For Small Creatures Such as We Book Summary By Sasha Sagan

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For Small Creatures Such as We explores how to celebrate the milestones of life in a non-religious context.

The author, Sasha Sagan, provides an interesting and engaging guidebook that helps secular individuals develop their own meaningful rituals and ceremonies.

Using her scientific background, she examines traditional ceremonies from different cultures and provides readers with powerful ways to create wonder and provide comfort without subscribing to one particular set of beliefs.

This book is a must-read for anyone looking for insights on how to bring more meaning into their lives.

For Small Creatures Such as We Book

Book Name: For Small Creatures Such as We (Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World)

Author(s): Sasha Sagan

Rating: 4.1/5

Reading Time: 23 Minutes

Categories: Book Summaries

Author Bio

Sasha Sagan is a renowned writer, editor, filmmaker and television producer with experience in various cities around the world.

Her work has been featured in some of the most prominent publications such as New York Magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine.

She has a way of examining cultural ritual through an analytical lens of science which brings her work to life.

In her new book entitled, "For Small Creatures Such as We," Sasha uses these same principles to help readers gain a better understanding of their lives on this planet.

It's an exploration that speaks to the timelessness of our existence and immerses us deep into the mysteries of human nature.

Crafting Meaningful Non-Religious Rituals To Celebrate Life’s Milestones

Non-Religious Rituals

Rituals can be comforting.

Whether we are celebrating, mourning or honouring something, having a set of actions to go through can help us feel settled and connected in times of transition – whether that transition is difficult or joyous.

But often the rituals practiced by society come with a religious undertones that make people uncomfortable if their beliefs do not align with those practices.

This makes us strive for other meaningful rituals that don’t have any allegiance to a particular doctrine or dogma.

We may take comfort in community when we recognise shared ceremonies.

We are all capable of creating our own practices – from simpler moments held between two people to bigger annual events shared by our tribe.

However, it takes time for reflection about what has more meaning for you and to connect with the wonders in your universe.

In this review you will learn how practices like singing the alphabet become meaningful marital rituals; how a 23.4-degree angle plays an important role in life; and how an ancient goddess remains relevant today in birthday cake celebrations!

Celebrating The Miraculous: Appreciating Our Arrival On This Tiny Green Planet

When you consider the events, circumstances and happenstance that had to align over thousands of generations for each one of us to be here today, it’s easy to recognize how miracle-like our existence is.

That’s why it’s important to celebrate a newborn baby’s entrance into the world.

It’s a way of honoring the remote odds that we exist at all!

This has led to many different ancient customs and rituals in various cultures – from baptisms in Western countries, to hosting feast when babies turn 100 days old in China, and planting seeds or trees in Caribbean countries.

All these rituals are focused on wishing safety, health, love and protection for the unique individual who has just come into the world.

Even though religious and cultural backgrounds often determine the exact form of celebration for a new arrival, anyone can create their own meaningful ritual.

This could involve reading a special poem to your baby or throwing a special party for them.

Whatever you choose, celebrating birth is an effective way to show appreciation for the fact that any one of us is here despite such incredibly impossible odds!

Create Connections With Regular Rituals: How To Reap The Benefits Of Community And Structure

Introducing regular social rituals into your life can provide you with an unexpected sense of connection and comfort.

Whether you’re attending church services, a weekly dinner with colleagues, or participating in monthly volunteering shifts, these activities bring structure to your life and help create meaningful connections to your community.

For example, author Ann Druyan shares how a simple daily ritual with her husband–sharing cups of coffee each morning–has become an opportunity for them to reflect on the power of multiple elements that create the perfect cup.

This small moment between them reaffirms their commitment to each other and carries their relationship forward.

Additionally, creating weekly rituals is also an excellent way to establish bonds with your own family and friends; regular gatherings remind us of our interconnectedness, even if we are facing uncertainty.

For instance, Druyan’s newlywed adventures include singing the entire alphabet song with her husband every weekend; it enables them both to recognize the love they share despite potential disagreements or mood changes at any given time.

And finally, rituals don’t have to remain exclusive within one’s family—they can be used as a tool to create new relationships, too!

Our author’s Ladies Dining Society demonstrates how cultivating more group events can encourage meaningful connections among those others may not know very well yet.

As such, regularly introducing social rituals not only connects you closer with your loved ones but provides opportunities for genuine friendships amongst people from all walks of life.

The 23.4 Degree Angle: How The Tilting Of Earth’s Axis Brings Us Seasons, Celebrations And Comfort In Dark Times


Celebrating the change of seasons helps us come to terms with the cyclical nature of life.

The 23.4-degree tilt in Earth’s axis gives rise to different temperatures and weathers which occur in four important points during the year – equinoxes, solstices, and other seasonal changes.

As a result, many cultures throughout history have celebrated these holidays as ways to grapple with death and rebirth, fertility, and hope.

Easter, Passover, and Kanamara Matsuri are examples of festivals that signify rebirth after a long winter.

On the other hand, Día de los Muertos and All Souls’ Day serve as tributes to the dead during Fall when days start getting shorter and colder.

Finally, Christmas lights, Jewish menorah candles, and Punjah bonfires represent light over darkness at Winter’s solstice when days begin to lengthen.

No matter what faith or culture you belong to, celebrating these seasonal transitions is a way for us humans to cope with our fear of death by accepting its inevitability in life’s cycle.

This also reminds us all that hope can be found just around the corner even if our darkest times.

Acknowledging Our Mistakes Is The Key To Reconciliation And Growth

At some point in everyone’s life, they’ll have to face the consequences of their mistakes whether intentional or not.

This is why guilt serves an evolutionary purpose – without it, there would be no effort to resolve differences with members of our community, people whose support and help keeps us alive.

Over time, humans have developed many rituals and processes for confession and atonement.

Catholics attend confession; Jews apologize during Yom Kippur; Hindus practice Prāyaścitta; and Native American tribes believe that physical diseases are caused by social norms breach so they tell their medicine man in order to recover.

The importance of atonement lies in taking responsibility for one’s misdeeds and growing as an individual from them.

Recovering alcoholics follow a 12-step program that includes listing out transgressions to a witness.

Therapy does something similar today as well as helping lawbreakers atoning for their crimes in court.

Even for more trivial issues, confessing can restore relationships when two parties open up about their actions and emotions – Sagan remembers doing this with her husband Jon when she was angry about him folding a paper wrong.

Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, seeking atonement isn’t just religious but is also used as a way to grow and foster connection beyond what we thought was possible before making mistakes.

By admitting our failings, we can begin down the path towards becoming a better version of ourselves while bringing harmony between us and others as well.

An Astronomical Event: Celebrating Life And Revering Death Through Anniversaries

Annual celebrations such as birthdays are a way to reconnect us with the ones we love and our place in the universe.

It marks time, reminding us that each year in our life has passed.

This repetition is powerful because it helps us remember those we care about and of the moments that have been shared.

The English language may not have a single word for days when we commemorate those who have departed this world, but Yiddish does – yahrzeit.

Despite her non religious beliefs, Sagan was comforted by honoring these anniversaries by lighting a yahrzeit candle with an intent of keeping even a small part of them in her memory.

Anniversaries are also celebrated with great joy such as birthday parties where cakes are decorated with candles – the origin of which is believed to be related to Greek goddess Artemis who was thought to hold dominion over childbirths.

We symbolically rejoice another passing year and recognize our continued life on earth and all generations before us that helped shape it into what it is today.

The Power Of Wedding Traditions: Honoring History While Celebrating New Beginnings

Wedding Traditions

When it comes to planning a wedding, acknowledging that it is also a social ritual can give a couple the freedom to create their own traditions for their special day.

Whether you choose to participate in cultural, historical or religious rituals, or even come up with something completely unique and personal; weddings provide an opportunity for a couple to express themselves and make the day one of a kind.

Take Sagan and her partner Jon’s wedding as an example.

The two drew inspiration from Jewish, Christian, and ancient Greek cultures when creating their own, unique ceremony.

They stood under a chuppah, lit a unity candle and read passages from Plato’s Symposium.

Ultimately however, they chose the rituals that spoke to them – including ones that allowed them to honor Sagan’s beloved late father through incorporating his necktie into her bouquet and hosting their ceremony at the Herbert F.

Johnson Museum of Art where his Cosmos art installation was on display.

Your wedding is your day, so why not create whatever meaningful traditions you’d like? Acknowledging that weddings are social rituals gives you just this freedom – whether it’s incorporating traditional customs from different cultures or starting something entirely new.

How Sex Has Shaped Human Existence And Social Norms Throughout History

We humans have had an interesting relationship with sex throughout history.

While it is a perfectly natural act, it has been heavily burdened with social and religious stigmas since ancient times.

It’s powerful and can be dangerous, making us try to regulate these impulses by introducing many rituals surrounding sex.

These regulations have been determined by religious and social mores for centuries; for example, the concept of marriage was created to sanctify sex between a couple and potentially even encourage procreation.

Even something as simple as the honeymoon still exists today as a remnant from an old tradition from the 1500s in which newlyweds got a month of seclusion in order to conceive an heir.

On the other hand, some societies actually rejected this guilt-ridden attitude towards sex—the Oneida community in upstate New York practiced communal living instead of ownership or private property, believing that sharing would be key to societal change.

In contrast, even now there are communities like the Muria people in India that encourage premarital sex by offering teenagers dorms called Ghotuls to live in so they can learn wedding and funeral rituals while also exploring their sexuality.

These sociocultural conventions may restrict us at times, but there is no denying that sex has been transformative since the beginning of time.

It shapes our lives and influences our roles within society—so regardless of religion or culture, we must always remember its power and act responsibly when engaging in such activities.

The Healing Power Of Death Rituals: How Practices Of Grief And Remembrance Connect Us To Each Other

Healing Power
Respect and praying on nature background

When someone we care about dies, it can be difficult to come to terms with the overwhelming emotions that we feel.

For centuries, humans have created rituals surrounding death as a way of coping with the pain of losing a loved one.

These rituals help us process the grief and express our sorrow in meaningful and tangible ways.

From cremation and burial to mummification in Tana Toraja, Indonesia; exhumation in Vietnam and Madagascar to covering mirrors in Jewish homes; there are many customs that allow us to channel our feelings into something tangible and keep memories alive for generations to come.

Even if we don’t agree or believe in specific religious practices, ritualizing death can help us find healing from loss by connecting with others who understand what we’re going through.

At the heart of these rituals is the recognition that life is precious, despite its brevity.

By combining traditional rites with personal expressions of love and respect for our fallen friends and family members, we pay homage to each unique life.

This acknowledgment of mortality grounds us in an appreciation for all that life has given us while allowing us time to grieve what might have been but never will be.

Wrap Up

The For Small Creatures Such as We book provides a powerful summary of the importance of ritual and its application to those without religious faiths.

Sagan shows us how rituals can be used to commemorate life events and connect with others in deep and meaningful ways.

In addition, he encourages readers to find their own personal interpretations of traditional rituals like marriage or weekly communion, inventing new versions of them that have special significance for people’s individual lives.

It also presents the idea of celebrating seasonal changes such as the arrival of spring by creating one’s very own version of Blossom Day; a unique tradition which even those without a garden can participate in.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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