100th Episode - Happy Equinox!


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S3E10 TRANSCRIPT: Read the rest of this entry »


Mark: Welcome back to the wonder science-based paganism. I'm your host Mark. And this is our hundredth episode. We are so excited. We have been, uh, talking with you and, uh, presenting our ideas and kicking them around between ourselves now for a hundred episodes, which is. a tremendous amount of talking. We're kind of shocked actually.

Yucca: Yeah. And it doesn't, I mean, it doesn't feel like that long on the other hand it really does feel like that long, but a hundred episodes.

Mark: Yeah.

averaging about 40 minutes a piece. So, you know, that's 4,000 minutes of, of a conversation and that is a long time. Uh, we'd have to do the math to figure out how many hours that is, but oh my God, that's, that's a lot of, that's a lot of talking.

Yucca: I had just under 67 hours.

Mark: Jeez.

Yucca: Yeah. So almost three days straight.

Mark: Yep of continual conversations. So that's, that's a lot of time. We are so grateful to you, our listeners for continuing to listen to the podcast, and I'm glad that you're getting something out of it and hope that you continue to and we really appreciate those that have, uh, kind of bumped the podcast to others and encouraged them to check it out.

We get new listeners all the time and it's just very encouraging. We have new members of the community that come in having first heard of, uh, these ideas and atheopagan ism and non-obvious, science-based paganism through this podcast. So, we're just really gratified at how well it's resonated once we started to do this.

Yucca: Yeah, thank you so much, everyone. And, and also thank you for the reviews and comments on platforms like iTunes, because that helps it get to more ears. We're not super concerned about, oh, how many stars did we get? But the more stars that we do get, the more people I get a chance to listen to it. And so we really appreciate all of those reviews that you have left us.

So thank you.

Mark: Uh, call out to feed spot, which keeps ranking us in the top 10 pagan podcasts.

Yucca: Yes.

Mark: In our first year, we were number nine in the top 10. And then in our second year we were number eight in the top 10. So we're, we're very excited about that and really appreciate the, uh, the publicity.

Yucca: Uh, number seven at the moment

Mark: Are we

Yucca: we are. Yes. I don't think that will ever make it past, say drew to cast or anything like that. But, uh, yeah, there's some podcasts that's been that have been going for a long time, but it's amazing to think that, wow, we're in our third year of this.

Mark: Right, right. Yeah. And we don't have as, as crazy good. A name as three pagans in a cat.

Yucca: Yes. Plenty of cats actually.

Mark: we do, yes. Yes. We have plenty of cats, but uh, but we didn't put it in the name of,

our podcast.

Yucca: yeah.

Mark: There you go anyway. Thank you everyone. This is a real milestone for us. When we started this, it was this great idea that Yucca had had.

And I had been hoping to create a podcast for a long time. And when Yucca approached me. And floated this idea. I said, well, Hey, how about if we do this as a partnership? And it's just turned as it turned out to be a great way of producing a, a recorded piece or recorded channel?

Yucca: Yeah. And thank you. We've become really good friends over the last few years. I look forward to this every week. This is one of the highlights of my week is just to get out, to get to hang out and talk with mark about these cool topics and, and share with all of you guys.

Mark: I really feel the same way. So thank you so much, Yucca. Okay. Well that said it's coming up on Equinox time and that is the topic for today's. Uh, podcast is, uh, the spring Equinox. And, uh,

Yucca: here we are.

Mark: here we are, again, once again, this is our third episode to talk about the spring Equinox, uh, because we've just passed our two year anniversary as well, which kind of makes sense.

I mean, there's 52 weeks in a year. So if you're two years. Plus a few weeks old, you get to a hundred episodes,

Yucca: That's right. Yeah.

Mark: because we took a few weeks off,

Yucca: Yeah. So sickness, you know, nothing major, but times where just life just wouldn't let it happen.

Mark: right?

Yucca: So, yeah.

Mark: It amazes me that there have been as few of those as there have actually, because we're both pretty busy and we're doing a lot of stuff. And yet we've found the time for these conversations every weekend. So that's pretty cool.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So the spring Equinox, the Vernal Equinox, or what I call high spring, because where I live, that's really what's going on now.

The Hills are all green with bright, new grass and wild flowers are blooming everywhere. There's tons of California poppies and the milkmaids are already gone and we've got Lupin that's blooming, and there's just. You know, the creeks are still running with water from the rains that we had, which is pretty much finished now.

So it's, uh, it's a, uh, kind of a happy springy, hopeful time when life is waking up again and we get to see all the beautiful results of that.

Yucca: Yeah. And we were just talking about before hitting the record button here and at my home, my daughter and I were noticing that the male finches are getting their color back. They don't completely lose it in the winter, but he gets a little bit more dull, but now they're getting the color back and he can hear them singing.

And it really, it's starting to feel like spring for us. We think of it as, as our first spring. And because it's kinda making, it's not quite made up its mind, whether it's spring or not, we'll have these real nice, warm, beautiful days and the animals will be out and the bees will even be out. And then it'll snow

Mark: Ah,

Yucca: drop down yesterday.

It was, it was like 15 degrees. Which I think what's that like negative eight or nine in Celsius.

Mark: Celsius. Yeah.

Yucca: now, you know, I'm a little bit too warm in my short sleeves, so it's kind of a strange time of year, but it's feeling you could feel spring. It's really quite, it's a nice breath of fresh air.

Mark: Yeah, I have some of that sort of paradoxical experience today actually it's the air.

temperature is actually not all that warm. I think it's around 60 degrees. But in the sun it feels. Very temperate and wonderful. So I am in shorts for the first time this year, uh, pulled them out and put them on today.

So that's kind of an exciting thing. I'm looking forward to a lot more days of shorts before days when it's so blazing hot, that even shorts is too much.

Yucca: Yeah, well where we are, we don't do shorts much at all because

Mark: Because you're at high altitude.

Yucca: So, well, for a lot of reasons, Prickly things. But the more you can just keep the sun off your skin, the cooler you're going to be. So, yeah. But also we should mention that the Equinox, this is something that has been observed all over the world by many, many cultures for millennia, because this is a point that has.

Astronomical meeting as well. When we think about earth as a planet orbiting the sun we often people will say, oh, the Equinox is a point where there's equal, might a date. That's really only going to be the case. If you are on the equator. That's not going to be the case when you're at higher latitudes, whether those are north or south, but it is the point when the plane.

Yeah. Imagine Earth's equator as a plane reaching out into space. And then also imagine another plane, which is the plane that we orbit around the sun on when we're crossing those two planes are touching each other. That's the moment in our orbit that we are around the sun.

Mark: Right. And as you say, there have been many celebrations of that around the world. My favorite is that in Japan, the, uh, spring Equinox is happiness day, which I think we could use a lot more of in the world. So that's pretty cool thing. Happiness day. I don't know anything about how it gets celebrated, but I would imagine that it's got some.

You know, contemporaneous quality with the blooming of cherry blossoms and you know, all of the wonderful spring things that we see, uh, around this time of year. So, we wanted to talk a little bit about how we celebrate this holiday. As I said, I consider this to be high Springs, so it's kind of. It's kind of the moment when we've stopped the dreaming and planning phase that winter and, uh, the cold months, uh, bring us, you know, where the ideas.

Germinated or rather where they, the idea is just get, you know, created in the first place. And where plans are made about what you're seeking to do over the course of the, of the year. And then along comes. Hi spring and well, at least where I am the ground isn't frozen anymore. And you can start doing things like sprouting new plants for our garden and implementing those plans that you had previously.

And it's, it's exciting. It's a time when work can begin. And I think that that's kind of a common thread that runs through celebrations of this time of year, all around the world. It's a time of waking. From the long sleep of winter and really kind of getting, going again.

Yucca: Yeah. Yeah, I definitely have those themes as well. It's also the time for us when we tilt our solar panels into their summer position. So we switched them twice a year and now it's enough that okay, we can tilt it, that it was really, really steep angle in the winter. And now we can lean it back and be catching that sun that's higher in the sky and just be like, we got to get to work.

We also have a very brief period of time where we can get lots of work done outside and the rattlesnakes 70 woken up yet, because once they wake up, you've got to be a lot more careful about stomping around, outside.

Mark: course, of course. Yeah.

We have a lot of rattlesnakes in Sonoma county, but not really in the domesticated areas. So I don't really have to worry about that unless I'm going on a hike in the state park or something like that. The, and it's warm enough here that snakes are active

Yucca: Alrighty. Yeah.

Mark: Yeah.

They're, they're already active. And, uh, and aggressive actually, cause they're hungry. They haven't, they haven't done much over the course of the winter. And now they're now they're out to get something.

Yucca: Oh, yeah. Well, our mammals are definitely waking up. We've got lots of little chipmunks and things and they don't do a true hibernation. Uh, they'll come out during the warm days. In the winter, just to kind of stock up on, on what they can find, but they've, they're definitely out and about, and having their little chipmunk wars and fighting with the other creatures.

That's a lot of fun to watch that, but it's also the time where at least for my area this is when a lot of the birds are beginning their mating rituals. This is when, if you keep chickens. So is when a lot of delaying picks back up. Because many of them will lay less during the winter, just because of the light that's triggered by, you know, how much light there is.

And we've never been the folks to want to put lights in their coops to try and force them to lay more. So this is a time that we start to think about, uh, the really celebrating the birds and the eggs. And so we've been gathering. We have several years worth of collected feathers that we gather, and we put them on, on little strings and hang them up around the house.

Just to remember that whole part of the ecosystem. That is it's an important piece on its own, but it's also really critical for our survival.

Mark: Sure. Yeah,

And I mean, as you say, I mean, one of the reasons why celebrations at this time of year, or, uh, deeply associated with eggs is that it's the first high protein food source that's been available. Reg that's been abundantly available to people following the winter. Uh, and so people all over the world, people above the Arctic circle celebrate, you know, Eating eggs at this time gathering and eating eggs at this time of year.

People. In Eastern and central Europe are known for the amazing decorations that they can do of the, the, the chicken, eggs and goose eggs, uh, particularly the Ukrainian punky. I have, uh, uh, a Ukrainian Bisaga goose egg which I'm going to be putting on my altar because of Ukraine as well as the season.

So it's a. It's a very old tradition to celebrate birds and, uh, laying and eggs at this time of year.

Yucca: yeah. And bunnies because yep. The bunnies, they there. The other small mammals they're coming back out and, and doing their thing.

Mark: Right, right. Yep. And the opportunity to eat rabbit and eat eggs is something that was really a big deal too. European antecedents after living on stored root vegetables for months, uh,

Yucca: Well, mostly dried meat. It would have been a very, you know, they would have been in good state of Quito for, for a couple of months at that point. Yeah. And then coming out. Okay. Cause it's a cyclical. Now you can start using some of the green stuff again and oh, by the time we get to the autumn and then that's when we've got all the fruits and honey and all that good stuff, but it just it's, we know that things are still alive.

And it's not that things are being reborn in the spring, but it's like, they're waking up, they're coming back and some things, yeah. Some things have very short periods of time, your annual plants. But that seed wasn't dead that whole time. It was just laying dormant in the ground, waiting for the right conditions to pop up and sprout.

And we're still a few weeks from that, but it sounds like where you are. There that's what's happening

Mark: it's well underway. Yeah. And it's not a big surprise. That people in, you know, in prior times believed that, uh, things were coming back to life because they didn't really understand, you know, humans don't hibernate. We, we demand way too much energy to be able to do that. And so our understanding of the way that life worked was, you know, well, when you lie down and stop having activity, you're dead.

So if you then stand up and start having activity again you you've come back to life. And so the metaphor of rebirth is something that's sewn very deeply into spring. And of course, Christians celebrate that with the resurrection. And, you know, there are all kinds of traditions that go along with that.

Yucca: And, you know, I suspect that I suspect that there was an intellectual understanding that there was a difference there, but it didn't matter because it was the, the two concepts were close enough that it might as well be that. And so why, why distinguish between that linguistically and, and in your stories and myth?

Right. Because I think that we definitely know that, okay. The. You can see the barest slowly breathing, you know, that they're alive right there, but they're going to come back understanding what was happening with plants. I think might've been trickier in terms of, but we've been saving seeds, you know, for 10,000 years.

So I would be cautious to, to sometimes we can act like, oh, the humans of today, we know so much more than the humans of the past. And I think we have access to more information. More quickly, but we weren't dumb. We were

Mark: I, I, I wasn't in any way implying that that's what we were, but on the other hand, the, the concept of spontaneous generation was something that persisted for a couple of thousand years. Uh, the idea that that rotting neat, spontaneously generated maggots and flies,

Yucca: right.

Mark: You know, this.

Yucca: just something in the air. Yeah,

Mark: there was a magical process that happened that suddenly brought forth life from death. And it took a long time before we understood that that's not the way that things work. And there was this entire microbial world that we just couldn't see where things were taking place.

Yucca: the, yeah. And that way, when that idea was introduced, it was, uh, A lot of people that not like that

Mark: Oh, round

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: roundly disapproved.

Yucca: Yeah. Even when they were able to see it in those there's amazing early microscopes. There was still a lot of thought of, oh, this is trickery of some kinds of scam, you know?

Mark: Well, and even as late as the mid 19th century the, the Roman idea of disease has spread by bad air, which of course in Latin is malaria. Was still very much the dominant paradigm in among scientists and this led to terrible problems. The the intake for drinking water in London was downstream of the outflow for their sewer.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: And they had terrible cholera outbreaks and it wasn't until a scientist whose name escapes me, uh, put, you know, actually, and, and what was most frustrating about all this from, from today's standpoint is that they were collecting all the data that could have told them that that model didn't work. And they just weren't looking at the pattern because they were so sure that it was bad air that was causing disease.

Yucca: Right. Which is, which is onto something. In some circumstances it's not bad air, but that things can be past air. Yeah. Right. So sure you see that that's something that could have been observed in the past and worked in certain circumstances, but then we just applied it to everything and, you know, that's

Mark: Because Galen.

Yucca: because Galen said, so.

Mark: Because Galen, which was the explanation for pretty much everything in medicine for more than a thousand years, humans, according to anatomical texts, humans had gizzards. Up through the point where dissections were finally allowed. But until Vesuvius who started actually doing human dissections and drawings of what he was actually finding, it was believed that humans had gizzards because Galen had dissected chickens and had assumed that they had that humans had all of the same structural parts.

Yucca: What did they think we used? Stark is there's four.

Mark: They didn't ask that question.

Yucca: Okay. I was not familiar with this.

Mark: Yeah.

It's so yeah, Galen was the standard for nearly 2000 years. It's really remarkable. There's a wonderful book called the ghost map, which is about the, the overthrowing of the, the bad air, uh, paradigm, uh, based on the cholera outbreaks in London. And, uh, it's, it's sort of a scientific. Well well-worth reading.

I recommend it. Well that was

Yucca: we get, how do we get onto that,

Mark: oh, spontaneous generation and, uh, you know, life

Yucca: back to life waking up. Yeah. But the, so that, that reawakening is, is something that I think a lot of places, depending on what's happening in their, their climate, but that that's shared in a lot of different. celebrations is, Hey, we're waking up.

Mark: Right. And so you'll see on the altars, you'll see flowers and eggs and symbols of rabbits, birds. And you know, it's, it's very common for example, to have some sort of a bird for a special dinner, like, uh, a chicken or a goose or something like that. Although I, Easter is associated with ham. I'm not quite sure how that fits into the model.

Yucca: Well in Lam.

Mark: oh, in lamb.

Yucca: Lam is, and that has the like, but that the lamb makes sense from just the mythology perspective of, you know, Jesus being the shepherd and all of that, but also just the timing. Wow. Right. So you would have a little bit earlier on the, the goats and the kids in the lambs would have been born, and then you're gonna end up, you can't support the whole herd.

You've just had a whole bunch of them in, so probably you're going to eat some end up eating some of the males. And this is around the time that you do that. And then, you know, you keep your larger flock and you're going to later on, you'd have your button. But the lamb is that is a very different kind of taste and meat and experience.

So it just lines up at the right time.

Mark: Yep.

Yucca: The ham, I think, I, I don't know, we'd have to check, but I think that's more of just an American tradition that that was what was available. But if someone knows the history to that

Mark: we eat a lot less lamb and sheep here than people do in other parts of the world, including Europe. And it may just be that That just got swapped out.

Yucca: That might be the case. Yeah. mean, that's our main, that's our main houses is household diet is bovine based. So lamb and beef and, and that sort of thing. So, but that's not super common for the whole, the overarching culture.

Mark: No.

Yucca: So.

Mark: So we've talked about the kinds of things that you might find on altars for, uh, an Equinox celebration. The sorts of things that people do in rituals are often around the themes we've been discussing. Like, uh, how shall I put it revitalization? Yeah. It's, it's not, it's not actually coming back to life, but it's.

The world is suddenly very busy. There's A lot of business taking place when a month before there wasn't so much, at least that you could see there may have been things going on under the ground and in the microbial realm, but mostly.

Yucca: guy.

Mark: Right. It's slow. It's just very slow when things are cold, life is that way.

And so now, as it gets warmer, suddenly there is a lot of work to be done because growth seasons are limited and food stores in seeds are limited, right? So they'd better get to work or they're not going to be strong and vital enough to reproduce.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So those. Those are themes that we can bring into our own lives. You know, the, the revitalization of our efforts, the sort of rejuvenation you know, a return to some youthfulness, right? Uh, some vigor of the kind that we see among those that are young. So we can Make commitments to various things that help us to feel vital and active. Uh, the weather has improved in most places.

So people go out outside more and do more kind of outdoor, active activities. All of those are good things for celebrating the spring.

Yucca: Right. And another common theme. This one, for me isn't as a big of a thing, but for many people. The Equinox, but the equinoxes are a time of balance because you've got the balance of the night and the day. And although it's not going to be perfect, it's pretty close to being balanced. And so for some people, that's a really important element of it is to be thinking about, you know, the, the dark and the light in our lives and in our efforts and our experience.

Mark: Yeah, there's a there's a temperance quality that many celebrate around this time of year. The, the idea being. Yes. Be enthusiastic, but also, uh, be responsible, right? Yes. Be uh, fun, loving, but also pay your bills, that kind of thing. Right. Because when you've been cooped up in. Winter conditions for months, it can be easy to go a little crazy once you're, Once you're allowed

Yucca: you can stretch again. Yeah.

Mark: Uh, and so the, the temperance aspect, the the balance aspect of the equinoxes reminds us well. That's great, but. know, use your wisdom, you know, you haven't, you've accumulated some life experience. Go ahead and apply that. So that you're, you're still safe and, and take care of yourself.

Yucca: Yeah.

So are there any particular traditions that you have for the Equinox?

Mark: Well back in the before days, uh, before COVID, what we liked to do was to have a little gathering of friends and particularly friends who had kids and we would get together and dye eggs and make little, uh, Equinox?

baskets with real grass, not plastic grass uh, which is the weirdest don't even get me started. And, uh, and candy and things like that. And we would play childhood games. We drink pink lemonade and play Candyland or chutes and ladders. You know, the, the kinds of things that people in elementary school, you know, can really enjoy. And so it was a day that was mostly focused around children. And that's also consistent with the thing that I do, which I've mentioned on the podcast before, which is to map the arc of a human life onto the wheel of the year. So that this time becomes the time. That's kind of about kids from the age of maybe three or four up until they're say 11 or 12, when they start becoming teenagers.

Yucca: So childhood really.

Mark: Yes

Yucca: Right. Cause before that, you know, before three, like yeah, there's pod sort of toddler, but it's, that's like infancy and toddlerhood, which is a little bit different.

Mark: That's right. That's right. And that actually is more the February Sabbath, right? The, you know, the, between the Equinox and the winter solstice, that's, that's much more around infancy and you know that the, the very beginnings of life, so. I, I like to do that for a couple of reasons. And one of them is that I think it's valuable to have a holiday that really centers children. The, I mean, to some degree you will can do that depending on how you celebrate it. But I think. It's it's healthy in its way to have a holiday that centers each cohort of life, whether it's, you know, kind of robust adulthood, you know, responsibility taking care of things, learning. Being in the full vigor of your adult vitality or whether it's being middle-aged or whether it's being an elder.

And then of course you get to Hallows and that's around death and composting and the part of the cycle that we don't experience. I just, I, I really see value in. Uh, having celebrations like that around the course of the year. So because there are some of those phases where people feel invisible and unappreciated, particularly in middle age and then in, in elderhood. But also I think children can get shunned to decide quite a bit,

Yucca: Oh,

Mark: By gatherings of adults and it's. I think setting aside a time that specifically for kids that way is helpful.

Yucca: Yeah. Yeah. I really liked that. I remember you telling, telling us about that. Well, The, uh, so three equinoxes ago, actually, this was one of our first episodes. Right. So I think we had one, maybe there was the equinoxes, maybe our second episode

Mark: I think so.

Yucca: Yeah. So I think that's great. You know,

Mark: Yes. and then our fourth, our fourth was about COVID.

Yucca: Oh know,

Mark: So as soon as we started everything changed.

Yucca: right. And I remember us going, there's this thing that's kind of starting in the world. Do you think we should maybe mention this a little bit? Oh, let's see how it goes. Oh, wait.

Mark: Yeah,

Yucca: this is, this is here for awhile. This is

Mark: really here. Yep.

Yucca: That's yup.

Mark: So, how about you? How do you, I, I hear that you celebrating the birds and the, you know, the avian communities what are the kinds of observances that you do for this time of year?

Yucca: Well, a lot of things as the family is starting to grow, you know, we've transitioned from what our personal private practices were as individuals to, you know, how do we do this as a family and, and the kids. The youngest is three now. So, and the oldest is five and a half. You gotta put that half. And she was very insistent on that, but that's,

Mark: about what,

Yucca: it's a big,

Mark: of that life of her life that is.

Yucca: is. I remember being the

Mark: is a big percentage.

Yucca: Yes. So five and a half, very different than five. But you know, they are old enough to be participating in most things, you know, they can't carry as heavy things as we can, but, you know, they couldn't carry the stick while I carry the rest of the firewood or whatever it is.

And there's just a lot that is, is happening in the world in terms of. I'm not talking about the world is in town and city and stuff, but just in terms of like our little piece of land and all the things that need to happen. And so there's just a lot of doing this time of year that started doing and observing, and we did several fires.

We have a little campfire in the winter, but it was a lot harder to do that when it was really cold. And so, you know, we're starting to have some nights where we can be out and at the, the fire again, and that sort of thing, and just finding, finding little pieces of stuff and and it's still just a tad early for the planting for us, but.

Week after March, we'll probably start some of our starts inside that need a long time, like the tomatoes, for instance, any of the tomatoes and peppers and things like that, that really need a long, uh, melons don't tend to do very well here. But if we were to do melons, we'd start the melons, that sort of thing.

So the greenhouse is getting ready to go and and it's. That time where, like you were saying, the planning part is done now it's the now it's like, get going, start doing. Yeah, but then we still have a few days where, oh, sort of cold we'll come back and you can just snuggle in with the cup of cocoa and just be like, okay, I don't have to do anything today.

It's too miserable out there. That's really what it is for us and then loving having the feathers everywhere. That's just really kind of, and we've tied a few little bells to some of them, so we'll have like a string with feathers on it and a bell on the bottom. And sometimes when you walk by the feathers, we'll just move in the air.

And the cat has gotten quite a few of them. So someone, if you really like one of the feathers, you've got to put it out of reach of the cat. Cause he'll

Mark: see.

Yucca: So it's just a lovely, lovely. Yeah.

Mark: That's wonderful. Yeah.

I really, I really liked the sound of that. Yeah. I'm reminded when you talk about your winter fires, those are the fires where the front half of you is warm in the back. Half of you is freezing.

Yucca: Yeah, and I am one of those people gets cold really easily. I don't have a lot on me. So I put this a ridiculous amount of blankets. We have some outdoor blankets so that we can just be a bundle of blankets. And even then it's like, okay, how close can I get to the fire safely with all of my blankets? And then the smoke, like the wind changes and goes in your face and then switch to the other chair, fall asleep.

Mark: Right. Yeah. Be because inevitably,

Yucca: Oh, yeah,

Mark: it just does that. Yeah, I'm thinking of burning a fire in my fire pit for the actual Equinox day. I'm going to be doing a little ritual with uh, with the local cups.

group, covenant of Unitarian Universalist pagans

Yucca: just a

Mark: in my local area. That's, that's a national network of Unitarian Keegan. Groups.

Yucca: Folks. Yeah.

Mark: Yeah. And, uh, I'm, I'm very uninterested in Unitarianism itself. I like their values a lot, but the, the, the ear and not alive enough for me. Not energetic and, you know, kind of body-based uh, so many of the things that we've talked about, I mean, I go to a U a T Unitarian service and I just want to take my clothes off and start beating a drum.

It's like, come on people be the animals now.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: And you know, a lot of that is because many people who are who are Unitarians are atheists or agnostics, and they're very sort of heady and intellectual. And the reason that they're doing Unitarianism is because it's very open-minded and it has very progressive values and they're very activist in their orientation.

So there's, there's a lot of good reasons for people to be interested in that,

Yucca: And they're very widespread too. You can, and a lot of different communities that you can find a group. Yeah.

Mark: So I'll be doing that. But I think that when I get home, I'm probably going to light a little fire and sit on my patio and maybe I'll drink a non-alcoholic beer. I found one that I really like. Yeah, there's actually a non-alcoholic beer. That's good. It's made by log Anitas and it's called IPNA for non alcoholic.

Yucca: Okay.

Mark: Uh, so it's, uh, that's what I've been drinking lately. I am now 10 weeks into my six months alcohol fast. So yeah. Yeah, it's kind of a, kind of a good thing. I've lost weight. Of course, because alcohol

Yucca: Has a lot.

Mark: there's, there's no more empty calorie than an alcoholic calorie.

Yucca: Yeah. And even a small amount. It's not easy on your liver. Yeah.

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: So that whole, the whole system. Yeah. So, Do you w in your new home do you have a space? You talked about the patio. Is there plenty of something that's built in or do you have one of those little, what are they called? Like the Roman fire pits, like the

Mark: Well, it's not built in no, it's, uh, it's a, uh, an iron frame was sort of a bowl.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: And then there's also a sparker rester, which is a grill that can go over the top of it to keep sparks from flying off, which I would use later in the year. I'm not very worried about fire now, but later in the year I would use it because we've had a lot of wildfires here and people are pretty twitchy about fire.

Yucca: Right. Yeah. We ha we have a similar set up here to an area that's cleared. There's no trees for. Several several meters, at least and in the middle, and then we've got the bowl that it sits in and the little screen like you're talking about, but I mean, the screen we don't use until a little bit later in the fire, because.

You have to lift it off and put your word in. And so when you're tending to it. Yeah, but just, you know, we used a lot of safety around that and the fire does not get left. And it's bad for the iron bowl, but we pour water on it afterwards too.

Mark: Yeah,

Yucca: rested one out that way. Cut holes in the bottom

Mark: in a place where the rain can drip on it.

So it's getting a little fin. We might have to get another one sometime soon.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: But it's really important to have a place where you can have a fire. I it's just. Of all the pig and things. I think having a fire is pretty important.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So what else do we have for, for talking about the Equinox season?

Yucca: Just excited that we're here. There's new things beginning. Actually you have a, a new thing coming up that listeners could be involved

Mark: that's right. Thank you for reminding me. I am teaching a class starting on the 27th of March and it will be three 90 minute sessions every other Sunday. So.

Yucca: this is live class right over, over, zoom.

Mark: live a live class over zoom.

The title of the class is atheopagan is the clerics path. And so the focus it'll go into, you know, what atheopagan.

Perspectives on the world and all that kind of stuff. But the main focus is really on. If you decide that you want to become an ordained cleric, which you can do at the atheopagan society website for free, you just have to indicate that you endorse the atheopagan principles. But that is a community service role.

And so this class is about the kinds of things that you can do as a cleric. Like. How to design rituals for weddings or funerals, how to do rites of passage how to do a ministerial counseling for people and how to know when to refer, to refer someone to a professional how to, uh, do prison ministry or, uh, I don't like that word ministry.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: Prison outreach say, you know, to support people that are being pagans or atheists or both in prisons or in hospices or in hospitals, all that kind of stuff. So it's going to be a really cool class. I'm excited about it. And it's 75 bucks for the whole class. And there are details about it on the atheopagan website, which is atheopagan ism.org.

Uh, if you're in the Facebook group, there's also an event, uh, that you can look for, uh, that will give you all the details about it. And, uh, I hope you'll join us. I, uh, I've already got a bunch of registrants and I think it's going to be a really cool class. So hope that if that's something that interests you, that you'll you'll come on.

Yucca: And since it's a, a live class, you get a chance to participate, right. This isn't just texting back and forth. So when you have questions and you want clarifications then mark, you can be responding at an organic and, you know, awakened alive way thinking that's the spring. Yeah.

Mark: And the sessions are going to be recorded. So, what that will do is if you have to miss a session, we'll just send you a link and you can then watch the, the session that you missed. So, you know, I just, and, and there will be time, you know, for me to help you with your personal practice, if that's something that you're interested in we. I just, I think it's going to be a really cool thing. I'm excited about it. I'm designing the participant packet now and I just, I think it's going to be really cool. So.

Yucca: Yeah. Sounds like a ton of fun. So, and will you tell us again where, where everyone can find

Mark: Yeah, you can find information about it. There's a post on the blog, the atheopagan blog, which is atheopagan aneurysm.org or in the Facebook group, there is an event in, in the group that you can look for the clerics path. If. You're just curious about it and can't remember those things or can't find it, go ahead and send us an email at the podcast email address and I will respond to it.

And that.

is the wonder podcast queues@gmail.com. The wonder podcast, Q s@gmail.com. And I look forward to hearing.

Yucca: Yeah, and we love hearing from all of you. We've gotten some amazing emails over the years, and if you have ideas and suggestions for our next hundred podcasts we'd really love to, to hear.

Mark: We certainly would. Yes. And thanks so much to the folks that have written in thus far. We, we read everything that gets sent to us and we've, uh, themed some shows on ideas that people have sent us. And pretty soon coming up in may, we're going to do a live podcast broadcast from. From the century retreat, which is the atheopagan gathering that's happening in Colorado Springs.

And so during the lunch break on one of the days, we're going to broadcast from there and we can interview people about the experience they're having a retreat and all that kind of stuff. So you'll be able to be plugged in. Even if you aren't able to go to the event itself.

Yucca: Yeah, which still has just a few spots, right?

Mark: Yeah.

I, I think we've got eight spots left. That's the last that I heard was that we had eight spots.

Yucca: So if you're interested and you've been holding off and now is the time to register.

Mark: Right. Yeah. And it's a very affordable event. I mean, the event itself with lodging and meals comes in at around $300. If you're staying in your accommodations, that you can, you can pay for a private room, that kind of stuff. It ends up costing more, but. You know, That's a hundred dollars a day for all this wonderful programming activity and you do of course, have to get yourself to Colorado Springs.

That's that's, that's the tricky part,

Yucca: that is near Denver. If you're flying or, you know,

Mark: as I understood.

Yucca: if you're driving.

Mark: Right. As I understand it, it's about another $35. One way to go from Denver to Colorado Springs area. That's that's what I heard. So.

I'm not, not that much to get very close. And the Colorado Springs airport is about 30 minutes away by Lyft from the retreat center. Costs about $33, uh, for a Lyft is my understanding. So it's very doable. And we hope to see you there.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: In the meantime, Thank you so much for being a part of the first hundred episodes of the wonder science-based paganism. And we are delighted to be a part of your life. Thanks so much.

Yucca: Thank you everyone.

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