94 episodes

THE WONDER explores perspectives, rituals, and observances of modern, naturalistic, Earth-revering Neopagan religious paths. Naturalistic Pagans embrace the world as understood by science (that is, without gods, magic, or the supernatural), and enhance our lives with myth, ritual and activism.

THE WONDER: Science-Based Paganism The Wonder Podcast

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.5 • 4 Ratings

THE WONDER explores perspectives, rituals, and observances of modern, naturalistic, Earth-revering Neopagan religious paths. Naturalistic Pagans embrace the world as understood by science (that is, without gods, magic, or the supernatural), and enhance our lives with myth, ritual and activism.

    Springtime, Fertility and Paganism

    Springtime, Fertility and Paganism

    • 36 min
    Total Solar Eclipse

    Total Solar Eclipse

    Remember, we welcome comments, questions, and suggested topics at thewonderpodcastQs@gmail.com
    This big eclipse post has nearly all the links:   https://naturalisticpaganism.org/2024/02/24/just-44-days-to-the-eclipse-finalize-those-plans-now-heres-a-ritual-too/#more-23086
    Including these links:   *Naturalistic Pagan Spiritual Pilgrimages
     *Eclipse timer app
    *Eclipse parties
    *Google map
    *Location idea links
    *Fully prepared Ritual
    *How to make a Cosmala
    **Eclipse Portals + other info at this link:  https://naturalisticpaganism.org/2024/03/25/what-are-eclipse-portals-heres-how-you-can-create-one-yourself/#more-23247
     
    **Cloud cover forecast – check a day or two before the eclipse:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2024/03/29/cloud-cover-eclipse-forecast-maps-cities/
    ************************
    ----more----
     
    Mark: Welcome to The Wonder, Science Based Paganism. I'm your host, Mark,
    Yucca: And I'm Yucca,
    Mark: and it's equinox time again. Time for that holiday that's at the midpoint between the dark of the, the dark side of the year and the light side of the year and for many, the coming of spring or the height of spring. And we're going to talk about all that stuff and how you practice rituals around it and what it means to us.
    Yucca: that's right. So, happy spring! Or autumn, depending on where you're listening from.
    Mark: Depending on where you're listening from, and as I understand it, Yucca, it is snowing where you are.
    Yucca: It happens to be snowing today, yep.
    Mark: happy hope of spring.
    Yucca: Yes, it has sounded like spring, and it has felt like spring. It's just today it decided it was not. Not quite there. So, but it's a wet snow too, so it's not, it's not gonna stick around. It's
    Mark: Huh.
    Yucca: as soon as there's any sun, it'll be gone. But yeah, how about for you?
    Mark: Oh, it's a beautiful day. It's going to be in the mid 70s today. And clear skies with some nice puffy clouds. We, here, the daffodils are already finished.
    Yucca: Oh, mine are just poking up there a few inches, starting to grow out of the ground right now. Okay,
    Mark: different, different climates we're in. Yeah, so it's been, you know, we have a number of fruit trees around the neighborhood that are blooming right now, and
    Yucca: no more frosts for you at this
    Mark: no, I don't think so. I'd be very surprised if we had any more frosts.
    Yucca: Okay, so it's, it's spring for you. You're into spring. It's not hints of spring, it's spring itself.
    Mark: Right, well, that's why on my Wheel of the Year, I call this holiday High Spring. Because spring, where I am, because we have a climate so moderated by the Pacific Ocean it, we get the earliest wildflowers around the end of January. And, you know, acacia trees bloom in the, in February, and that's when daffodils start coming up.
    And tulips, which never bloom unless you take them out and put them in the freezer and then put them in. Again and hyacinths and all those kinds of nice things. We have a hyacinth bulb blooming in our living room right now, making the whole house smell delicious.
    Yucca: Oh, lovely.
    Mark: yeah. Yeah, that was a score from Trader Joe's, amazingly.
    They had these little, little jars that had a receptacle in the top to hold a bulb. And the, the bottom part is filled with water, and so the roots grow down into there. So, You know, you take it home and a day later or something, because they've just removed it from refrigeration, it sprouts a big spike and leaves and blooms and it makes a beautiful smell.
    Yucca: Do you get to see the roots?
    Mark: Yes, yeah, it's a clear glass, yeah, it's a clear glass container, so you see the roots going down. Yeah, yeah.
    Yucca: Yeah. Well, this year, the, the Equinox is early. Now, of course, it's not that it's actually early, it's just that our calendar doesn't quite line up with the actual orbit of our planet, but it's, in my time zone, it'll be on the 19th,
    Mark: Ours too,
    Yucca: in the, yeah, so for folks who are in Europe and furth

    • 48 min
    Spring Equinox

    Spring Equinox

    Remember, we welcome comments, questions, and suggested topics at thewonderpodcastQs@gmail.com
    ----more----
     
    Mark: Welcome to The Wonder, Science Based Paganism. I'm your host, Mark,
    Yucca: And I'm Yucca,
    Mark: and it's equinox time again. Time for that holiday that's at the midpoint between the dark of the, the dark side of the year and the light side of the year and for many, the coming of spring or the height of spring. And we're going to talk about all that stuff and how you practice rituals around it and what it means to us.
    Yucca: that's right. So, happy spring! Or autumn, depending on where you're listening from.
    Mark: Depending on where you're listening from, and as I understand it, Yucca, it is snowing where you are.
    Yucca: It happens to be snowing today, yep.
    Mark: happy hope of spring.
    Yucca: Yes, it has sounded like spring, and it has felt like spring. It's just today it decided it was not. Not quite there. So, but it's a wet snow too, so it's not, it's not gonna stick around. It's
    Mark: Huh.
    Yucca: as soon as there's any sun, it'll be gone. But yeah, how about for you?
    Mark: Oh, it's a beautiful day. It's going to be in the mid 70s today. And clear skies with some nice puffy clouds. We, here, the daffodils are already finished.
    Yucca: Oh, mine are just poking up there a few inches, starting to grow out of the ground right now. Okay,
    Mark: different, different climates we're in. Yeah, so it's been, you know, we have a number of fruit trees around the neighborhood that are blooming right now, and
    Yucca: no more frosts for you at this
    Mark: no, I don't think so. I'd be very surprised if we had any more frosts.
    Yucca: Okay, so it's, it's spring for you. You're into spring. It's not hints of spring, it's spring itself.
    Mark: Right, well, that's why on my Wheel of the Year, I call this holiday High Spring. Because spring, where I am, because we have a climate so moderated by the Pacific Ocean it, we get the earliest wildflowers around the end of January. And, you know, acacia trees bloom in the, in February, and that's when daffodils start coming up.
    And tulips, which never bloom unless you take them out and put them in the freezer and then put them in. Again and hyacinths and all those kinds of nice things. We have a hyacinth bulb blooming in our living room right now, making the whole house smell delicious.
    Yucca: Oh, lovely.
    Mark: yeah. Yeah, that was a score from Trader Joe's, amazingly.
    They had these little, little jars that had a receptacle in the top to hold a bulb. And the, the bottom part is filled with water, and so the roots grow down into there. So, You know, you take it home and a day later or something, because they've just removed it from refrigeration, it sprouts a big spike and leaves and blooms and it makes a beautiful smell.
    Yucca: Do you get to see the roots?
    Mark: Yes, yeah, it's a clear glass, yeah, it's a clear glass container, so you see the roots going down. Yeah, yeah.
    Yucca: Yeah. Well, this year, the, the Equinox is early. Now, of course, it's not that it's actually early, it's just that our calendar doesn't quite line up with the actual orbit of our planet, but it's, in my time zone, it'll be on the 19th,
    Mark: Ours too,
    Yucca: in the, yeah, so for folks who are in Europe and further east, it'll be the early morning of the 20th, but for those of us in North America, it'll It's the evening of the 19th already, so,
    Mark: right.
    Yucca: yeah,
    Mark: and I mean obviously the main reason for that is the leap year. The ex the extra day that got inserted into the calendar in order to make things work out. But I mean, sometimes the Equinox is as late as the 21st. 
    Yucca: 22nd
    Mark: yeah, sometimes the early, early hours of the 22nd as well. So this is an early one that lands on Tuesday.
    But as with all things, I just tend to celebrate about a week of the season.
    Yucca: around, yeah, and it interestingly is not technically the day of equal daytime and nighttime.
    Mark: right.
    Yucca: There'

    • 27 min
    Interview: Mark Green - Round We Dance

    Interview: Mark Green - Round We Dance

    https://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738775364
     
    Season 5 - Episode 7
    ----more----
     
    Yucca: Welcome back to The Wonder, Science Based Paganism. I'm your host, Yucca.
    Mark: And I'm Mark.
    Yucca: And today, we have an episode I'm actually really quite excited for. It's going to be a little bit different. Mark, you have a book coming out in less than a month. So, yes, at long last, and we're going to talk a little bit about that.
    So I'm going to ask you some questions, and hopefully this is something that our listeners are going to be really interested in. So, can you Tell us what, what book.
    Mark: Well, the book is called Round We Dance, Creating Meaning Through Seasonal Rituals, and it's coming out from Llewellyn. It'll be released on April 8th which is also the day of the eclipse, the solar eclipse that's happening here in North America. And
    Yucca: Get your glasses,
    Mark: yes, get your
    Yucca: of totality, you'll still be able to see it if you're in the lower 48.
    Mark: Yep. Yeah. I have already gotten my glasses. In fact, I ordered them after the last time we talked about this. So, that's, that's the book. It's kind of a follow on book to the Atheopaganism book in some ways. But it's also meant for a broader audience.
    Yucca: Okay, so it's not branded specifically as atheopagan, but is it, it's branded as pagan in general? Do you say that's
    Mark: Well, it's, it's, it's not even really branded as pagan in general. Now, in the text of the book, I talk about Atheopaganism. And it's values and practices and ideas among other things. But the book itself is really intended for anyone who doesn't have a spirituality in their life right now and really wants one.
    You know, for, for folks, for example, who belong to the so called nuns. The, the people that express no religious affiliation, maybe they've left Christianity or Islam or, um, or they're, they're just atheists or agnostics many of those folks who come into our community, the atheopagan community find that they're, they want something that gives their life a sense of meaning and a sense of connectedness to what's happening here on earth and in the universe.
    In some cases, they want to have a value set that they can impart to their children,
    Yucca: hmm.
    Mark: You know, and ritual practices that they can conduct with their families. This book is for those folks.
    Yucca: Okay.
    Mark: You know, basically, it's a book for anybody who wants to develop a ritual practice.
    Yucca: Mm. And what about people who They already identify maybe as atheopagan and are just getting started or looking to deepen their practice
    Mark: Oh, for sure. Yeah, this, this book, it'll, it'll serve as a great resource for folks like our listeners. Who you know, they have you know, it's like we have the equinox coming up right now, right? So, you know, you can turn to the section about the spring equinox in the book and get some ideas for themes and ritual activities, recipes, craft projects And that's true of all of the Wheel of the Year celebrations.
    It's true of all of the Rites of Passage. So it, it really goes into some, some degree of extensive coverage of different ritual techniques and reasons for having rituals.
    Yucca: hmm. So this sounds a lot more like a how to book than your first book, right? The first book you were really digging into the, the what and the sort of intellectual side of things. What's this all about? And this is the how to practice. Mm
    Mark: That's right. The first book was mostly an idea book. It essentially told the story of how I had gone through, An internal exploration about, you know, what is a religion, and how can I get the benefits of religion without having to believe in the supernatural? You know, how could that work? And then the second part of the book, the first book was about describing atheopaganism as one implementation of a non supernatural religious path.
    That was focused on the, on the earth. This book is much more, as you say, a how to. It gives

    • 30 min
    Books

    Books

    EARTH PATH by Starhawk
    COMPLEXITY by Mitchell Waldrop
    RED MARS by Kim Stanley Robinson 
    CHAOS by James Gleick
    UNSCHOOLED by Kerry McDonald
    THE PAGAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING by Starhawk and M. Macha Nightmare
    ALWAYS COMING HOME by Ursula K. LeGuin
    DIGITAL MINIMALISM by Cal Newport
    GOOD WITHOUT GOD by Greg M. Epstein
    To order Mark's new book, visit https://llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738775364

    • 53 min
    Core Ritual Skills

    Core Ritual Skills

    Remember, we welcome comments, questions and suggested topics at thewonderpodcastQs@gmail.com
    Suntree Retreat 2024: https://theapsocietyorg.wordpress.com/news-and-events/suntree-retreat-2024/
    Season 5 - Episode 5
    ----more----
     
    Mark: Welcome back to The Wonder, science based paganism. I'm your host, Mark.
    Yucca: And I'm Yucca.
    Mark: And today we're going to visit the four core ritual skills. Now, obviously, there are a lot of different things that can be useful in leading rituals and in in participating in them, but these are four clusters of activity. That if you're good at them, you're going to have a lot more success both in leading rituals and in submerging yourself into the ritual trance y state, the flow state where you can really have effective things happen in rituals.
    Yucca: Great.
    Mark: that's what we're gonna do today.
    Yucca: And this is more from the lens of a group ritual than necessarily a private ritual because there's a few things we'll be talking about, like the speech part, which maybe you might do in a private ritual or maybe you don't. But when you're, when you have that interaction between multiple people and what we're going to be talking about, you can apply a lot of that to your private rituals as well, to your solo or individual.
    Mark: Sure. I know people who are who are pagans and whose solo practice involves a lot of dance, for
    Yucca: Mm hmm.
    Mark: because they're very movement oriented people and that's, that's what they do even, you know, in the privacy of their solo rituals.
    Yucca: Right.
    Mark: so yes and, and beyond that, these are good skills just to have in the world, you know, it's, it's helpful to have these.
    So why don't we start with public speaking,
    Yucca: Yeah. So, especially when you are leading the ritual, the words are how we communicate with each other and communicate these really complex ideas. We're gonna communicate other things through our body language, through movement, but when we're trying to communicate nuanced ideas, it's words.
    Mark: right? And this is the, the whole cluster of things that go into verbal communication, right? So it's not only speaking in coherent sentences and, you know, having an interesting modulation to your voice so that you're not speaking in a monotone. It's engaging. People are, you know, want to listen to it, but also the physical ability just to project your voice out, right?
    So that people that are in that space can hear what you're saying. All of those things are, are, they're learned skills. All of our speaking abilities are learned skills. I mean, we watch little kids slowly accumulate the ability to communicate about complex
    Yucca: Right? We start with a half a dozen sounds. Words that are instinctual, that are, I'm hungry, I'm in pain, and that's it. Everything else that, how many thousands of words do we know in each language, right? Each language's vocabulary amazing,
    Mark: Yeah. Yeah. And clearly, evolution has strongly favored our capacity to do this because a whole lot of brain space is taken up by our capacities to learn language and to speak. And then, of course, the whole separate factor of being able to read and write, which is a different set of skills, right? And a set of skills that we're not really talking about so much today.
    Yucca: right,
    Mark: Now, not everybody is a natural. Public speaker. I feel very fortunate that I happen to be gifted in that regard and that I can just sort of improvisationally talk about things that interest me not so much about things that don't interest me, but that's an ADHD thing, I think,
    Yucca: mhm. And I'm the opposite. Speaking is very difficult. I didn't speak till I was four. This is all learned and hard earned hard, it was difficult to learn to do, and I'm not comfortable with public speaking, despite doing it for a living but it's, if I was to be leading a ritual, it would be something that I would do.
    be practicing ahead of time. And that's just different ways of being, right? Yo

    • 43 min

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