Addressing the Confusion on THIS Atheist Witch


Image result for atheistI'm going to preface this piece with the assertion that I do not speak for all those who claim the title Atheist Witch. This speaks directly to my experience with religion over the years and the current quandary I find myself in related to what I believe my path is. I would also like to say, I find it extremely hilarious that there is an entire section of a website dedicated to "proving" that I do not believe in god(s).  Let me save you the trouble. I do not believe that a physical person walked this planet with three heads.  I do not believe that a man turned into a swan to have sex with a woman. I do not believe that Titans roamed the earth in the religious aspect.  There, I said it. This blog can now move on to new topics.  


To be sure we're on the same page, I am speaking on this subject with the following definitions in mind.  This is my belief.  I'm happy to answer questions.

Atheist - a person who does not believe in god or gods.
Witch - a person who uses magic to impart change on their world.

Oddly enough I have found more resistance from those in my Pagan community than those in the Christian Community. That tells me one thing.  Christians believe that Pagans and Atheists are the same thing. They see no difference between not believing in their God, regardless of perspective. If I believed in Pan instead of Jesus, they see that as an equal believe structure as not being in God at all.

What I found really surprising was the direct and out right attacks from those in the Pagan community. Now let me be clear, this isn't from "all" of them.  So please don't take the "No True Scotsman" approach here.   I'm speaking from a direct situation I seem to have found myself in with members of the Hellenic community.

Recently I have had several individuals send me direct messages on Facebook asking some interesting questions. They see me as an admin in several magical groups (groups that focus on magic or that are dedicated to a specific deity) and are confused by my religion listed on my profile which displays "Atheist".   The latest conversation consisted of someone who said, if I question the existence of Hecate, is that wrong?  I took a step back and thought, wow.  This is the same thing most people ask when stepping away from Christianity. Has Paganism become the new Christianity? Incredible.

While many people understand completely the natural progression of the trek many Atheists talk about on their journey from believe to non-belief. I was raised Southern Baptist in rural North Carolina and was told that my "sin" is what made my step-father rape me.  My "sin" is what made my family be on welfare.  My "sin" is what made me have the life I had. If I would simply donate money in the offering plate weekly and profess my "sin", God would forgive me and "bless" me.  I would then be worthy of having a good life.

Exactly how fucked up is that? What kind of message is that to give a seven year old? I wanted to be blessed.  Just like those rich folks who drove the church bus around to the poor neighborhoods bring in the poor kids to church. I put my pennies in the offering envelope, walked to the altar and prayed with the folks in the fancy suits and big diamonds, waiting for my turn to be "blessed".

As you can probably guess that time never came.

I was introduced to Paganism through a girlfriend when I was around 25 and used it as a way to explore my interest in science. Oddly enough the references to alchemy actually pulled me in. I'm pretty sure that is an odd way to end up in a religion.

Recently I was asked directly, what do you believe?

In 2013 I worked with The Covenant of Hekate to outline what the virtues of Hekate may be. This process is what started my exploration into Atheism.

We agreed to the following five virtues and definitions:

Compassion
– Sympathy and/or concern for others who are suffering or find themselves in an
undesirable position. A person attempting to develop the virtue of Compassion
within their daily life and practise would desire to aid in the alleviation of any
undesirable situation or at the very least not be a contributing factor towards it.

Real Life Example – You could try to help the homeless or less fortunate be they of the
two or four legged variety. Volunteering at local shelters or organising food drives are
great ways to learn and show compassion.

Courage
– Strength or character or fortitude to stand firm in your convictions and face
adversity or distress without fear. A person attempting to develop the virtue of
Courage within their daily life and practise may chose to stand firm against those
who would chose to undermine their beliefs or convictions or to speak out
against those who hurt and undermine others.

Real Life Example – Try standing up for someone you or your friendship group may
deem unpopular. Also when someone shows remorse for a wrongdoing some people
will continue to be angry and unforgiving. Instead state your position calmly (in itself an
act of courage) and then allow the situation to pass.

Temperance
– Moderation and self-control are both acts of Temperance. A person attempting to
develop the virtue of Temperance within their daily life and practise may chose to
restrict some part of their life be that thought or action in an attempt to find a
balance rather than choosing to allow extremes.

Real Life Example – Try abstaining from certain types of food or drink or showing
restraint in discussions online. An example would be to learn to hold one’s tongue and
listen a bit more before jumping into an argument.

Justice
– Moral and physical rightness are both aspects of Justice, as is the sometimes
contradictory act of behaving fairly towards other people. A person attempting to
develop the virtue of Justice within their daily life would strive to act fairly,
truthfully and with personal integrity when dealing with others and themselves.

Real Life Example – Try to treat others fairly, in action and tone be it online or in person.
Try to not pass judgement on another based upon your own feelings for a person, your
understanding of the situation or hearsay. There are often two (or more) sides to a story
and the truth lies somewhere between. If the truth cannot be ascertained then try being
impartial.

Wisdom
– To have the common sense, foresight and understanding to think or act in a
manner most objectively and beneficially to any given situation. A person
attempting to develop the virtue of Wisdom within their daily life would strive to
apply their knowledge and experiences in a prudent and practical way.

Real Life Example – Try volunteering to share on a topic that you are knowledgeable
on with a local group or center. Offer to do a guest blog post or write an article for an eZine
on a particular subject.


Now, we agreed that we should all try to maintain these virtues in our daily lives. Look at each one of these; are they specific to Hecate? Are they specific to a follower of Hecate?

Not really. Any person can display these attributes. Any one who chooses to have wisdom or justice can do so without any requirement to commit to a deity.

So why have a deity?  We are creatures of habit. We need reminders. We like reminders. When we see a key, we think of unlocking mysteries. When we see a cross road we think of decisions or choices made. We apply so much more to the simple image than is actually there. So when we see Hecate for example we think of a mighty Titan Goddess who rules the underworld or walks through the space between the living and the dead. We ask for her guidance and her power to help us understand, remove or command those forces we feel only she can command. This is typical human behavior. If not, how would organized religion taken such a hold on our world.

I mean just over Easter my house payment was nearly late because my electronic banking system and payroll couldn't decide who was going to observe Good Friday. Why in the hell is my bank evolved in a religious holiday? The answer is, it shouldn't be.  But here we are.

For those out there questioning your current belief system, my direction to you is just read as much as you can. Open a book on science, talk to those who don't believe. Talk to those who do. Look for evidence. Most of all, think for yourself. Don't be bullied into agreeing with someone simply because they send you hateful messages or they are so deep in their own delusion that they cannot get past simple things like treating LGBT with dignity.  Any religion, any religion at all that tells you have to treat a group of people badly because they do not believe as you do is simply wrong. Oppression is not holy. Making others feel less than because they're not in your club is simply bulling.

Recently I was approached by a family member that said to me, You just want me to believe what you believe. You're witnessing, just like I am.  Actually, no.  No I'm not.  As long as you don't try to push religion into our legal system, or education system or individually oppress people, I really don't give two shits what you believe.  Want to worship someone who raped an six year old? (LINK) That's your business. If you want to follow the Christian bible, yeah well that's up to you too. (LINK)

Unlike those touting this belief, my worth isn't measured in the number of people I can bring under me. It's like Christianity is some big pyramid scheme. The more people I bring in under me the bigger my crown is in heaven.  What a crock of shit. (LINK)

Image result for arthur c clarke

So where does witchcraft fit in here. When I was a small child I watch "religiously" (pun intended) Arthur C. Clark's Mysterious World. (LINK)  This started my journey of questioning everything. I wanted to know more. I wanted to learn more and I knew that out there somewhere was the answers I was looking for. 

He formulated three adages that are known as Clarke's three laws, of which the third law is the best known and most widely cited:

  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

To me, I believe in telepathy. I believe in the power of the mind to change your body's appearance. I believe in the mind to heal.  I believe in pre-cognition and the ability to learn from those who have passed on. Though it may not be in the traditional ways we think of them, each of these abilities are directly related to our brain and how it works in the world around us. 

  1. Phantom Pregnancy
  2. Memories Passed in DNA
  3. God Controls the Weather



I have rambled on with this post much longer than I expected. I want to clarify that I don't see my position as superior to any one else. This isn't a race or pie. There isn't a set amount out there. We can share knowledge and grown. I'm open to suggestions and education. I am however not going to fondle over a pile of scrolls found in a cave in antiquity when I have a machine in my hand that most of those people would have hailed as a god. 



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