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Paganism and Nature

The Hammer

Skald
Premium Member
Does being a Pagan to you require any sort of reverence for Nature and the Natural world.

What about learning the natural world of your chosen pantheon(s), and how the gods and ancestors would have seen those lands?

What about becoming familiar with your local environment and ecology?
 

Guitar's Cry

Disciple of Pan
Does being a Pagan to you require any sort of reverence for Nature and the Natural world.

What about learning the natural world of your chosen pantheon(s), and how the gods and ancestors would have seen those lands?

What about becoming familiar with your local environment and ecology?

I don't think it's required, but I do think all of the above is very important. Understanding the world around you is getting to know yourself and how you fit in with the rest of the Universe, and what else is spirituality if not that?
 

Rival

se Dex me saut.
Staff member
Premium Member
Does being a Pagan to you require any sort of reverence for Nature and the Natural world.
Not really. I think this is a trope, tbh. In fact I'd argue that, at least in Kemeticism, civilisation away from the wilds was seen as the crowning achievement; that we dominate nature, because it's frightening, unpredictable and often trying to kill us. This includes the weather, the animals, the water, toxic things that look edible etc. I think having a healthy fear of nature is a better way of looking at it. A lot of folks love nature until they have to live in it, realising it doesn't love them back.

What about learning the natural world of your chosen pantheon(s), and how the gods and ancestors would have seen those lands?
This is needful for me as Kemet was seen as the Holy Land, but only up to a point as I don't live there so it's less relevent.

What about becoming familiar with your local environment and ecology?
Any responsible person should do this, imo.
 

Ashoka

श्री कृष्णा शरणं मम
Definitely not required, but it is part of my path. The God and Goddess personify nature; so it makes sense to honor and revere nature. This can be done in many ways; like the op mentioned, learning about the local environment, doing more outdoor activities, and perhaps even developing a green thumb.
 

Hildeburh

Active Member
Does being a Pagan to you require any sort of reverence for Nature and the Natural world.

What about learning the natural world of your chosen pantheon(s), and how the gods and ancestors would have seen those lands?

What about becoming familiar with your local environment and ecology?

I tend to think that familiarity with ones local environment would have been a matter of life or death for our pagan ancestors. I would characterize our pagan ancestors relationship with the natural would as one of necessity, awe, fear and interdependence not reverence.

The disconnection of Abrahamic traditions with the cycles of nature and disregard for the mother nature is what encouraged many modern people to look for alternate belief systems. If you choose to worship pre-Christian deities I would think it would be incumbent upon us to at least understand their history and mythos.

Many of the old gods/esses represent aspects of the natural world, isn't just respectful to try to understand how they connect to your local environment? Otherwise asn't we just blindly following a celebratory calendar that does not reflect the realities of our environment?
 

The Sum of Awe

Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.
Even though humans are part of nature, something about things happening through a lot of unconscious forces just makes it seem more authentic and therefore closer to God.
 

rocala

Well-Known Member
I am not sure about required but for myself, I would say inevitable. Since my early childhood, I have often experienced something very profound in nature. It took quite a long time to realize these were spiritual experiences, but the feeling of relief was powerful. Like finding the missing piece of a puzzle.
 

rocala

Well-Known Member
I mentioned childhood in the previous post, I think this may be very important. Children seem to be very receptive to certain things but they may have difficulty in interpreting or expressing this in ways suitable for adults.
Not long ago I was involved in a related discussion on another forum. This jogged my memory to a quite powerful childhood incident. I wrote about it on that forum and got a very good response. Clearly, I am not alone in having such experiences. Below is a copy of my post. I wonder if any here can relate to it?

"...I think this stirred up things in my memory. About a month after making my post I was sitting in a local park, just relaxing when I had a very clear recollection of a childhood event.

I was about nine or ten, more than half a century ago now. We were on a family day out in the Epping Forest area. It was on the return journey, I was in my uncle's car, and it was getting dark. The road was tree-lined, at a certain point I noticed that the trees were big enough for their tops to touch, forming an arch over the road. At that precise moment, very briefly, there was a feeling of being in two places at the same time. The feeling that the trees formed some sort of entrance was powerful but over in a second.

I have so far been unable to find any similar accounts. What I experienced was very real, I don't know what it was but I feel sure that the trees are an important element."
 

The Hammer

Skald
Premium Member
I mentioned childhood in the previous post, I think this may be very important. Children seem to be very receptive to certain things but they may have difficulty in interpreting or expressing this in ways suitable for adults.
Not long ago I was involved in a related discussion on another forum. This jogged my memory to a quite powerful childhood incident. I wrote about it on that forum and got a very good response. Clearly, I am not alone in having such experiences. Below is a copy of my post. I wonder if any here can relate to it?

"...I think this stirred up things in my memory. About a month after making my post I was sitting in a local park, just relaxing when I had a very clear recollection of a childhood event.

I was about nine or ten, more than half a century ago now. We were on a family day out in the Epping Forest area. It was on the return journey, I was in my uncle's car, and it was getting dark. The road was tree-lined, at a certain point I noticed that the trees were big enough for their tops to touch, forming an arch over the road. At that precise moment, very briefly, there was a feeling of being in two places at the same time. The feeling that the trees formed some sort of entrance was powerful but over in a second.

I have so far been unable to find any similar accounts. What I experienced was very real, I don't know what it was but I feel sure that the trees are an important element."

I've had that feeling crop up in other instances myself. One time it was while walking through an archway leading into a Japanese Shinto temple. That time stands out for me because my now wife was with me, and she felt it as she walked through after me as well.
 

rocala

Well-Known Member
Hi Hammer. It is gratifying that you know what I am talking about. It is nice that you both experienced this, I should imagine that felt quite special. Nobody can say it is all in your head either.
 

Bear Wild

Well-Known Member
Does being a Pagan to you require any sort of reverence for Nature and the Natural world.

What about learning the natural world of your chosen pantheon(s), and how the gods and ancestors would have seen those lands?

What about becoming familiar with your local environment and ecology?

According to many pagans I have talked to nothing is absolutely required. That said I cannot understand why you would not have reverence for nature. First the word pagan referred to those in the country who retained the indigenous practices lost in those in more urban areas. These "pagans" were interconnected with nature and the nature spirits in order to survive. When the Catholic church wanted to control Ireland they new they had to separate the people from the goddess of sovereignty of the land. This severed the reverence of the people for the land/nature and changed it to a reverence for a supernatural god who was best communicated to in the city of Rome. The Irish gods and goddesses as well as all other meta persons were immanent in their world just as they are in my world view. It was critical for a king make a sacred relationship with the goddess of the land. The gods and goddess are woven into the land and natural world. How can you separate the goddess Boann from the Boyne River? With gods and goddesses immanent in nature they are thus not supernatural but rather natural. It seems to me at least in druidic Celtic paganism it would be impossible for me not to have reverence for nature.
 

☆Dreamwind☆

Active Member
Considering so many of the Gods are nature deities, it's only natural. No pun intended. I hear the laughter of the Gods in the wind, their joys of the earth in spring, the watchful presence in the glowing moon, the primal wildness in the wolf's howl, and the divine peace and cleansing on a rainy day.
 

Tamino

Active Member
Not really. I think this is a trope, tbh. In fact I'd argue that, at least in Kemeticism, civilisation away from the wilds was seen as the crowning achievement; that we dominate nature, because it's frightening, unpredictable and often trying to kill us. This includes the weather, the animals, the water, toxic things that look edible etc. I think having a healthy fear of nature is a better way of looking at it. A lot of folks love nature until they have to live in it, realising it doesn't love them back.
Good points, but not the entire story in my opinion.
The temple architecture is a very clear example: huge walled enclosure to make a controlled sacred space of Ma'at, all the symbolism of war and hunt on the outside walls: the king subduing the danger of the foreign and natural chaos... All the purification steps, clear rules and rituals. That is truly an attempt of taming the wild world... Or at least keeping it at bay outside the doors.

But there's another side to Kemetic religion. The common people didn't visit the purified interior chambers of a state temple, but they went to offer at small shrines in the hillside, had their household protectors and ancestor worship.
Kemetic deities are still very wild and natural, and can only be pacified and invited into a "civilized" temple at certain moments... See the story of the wandering goddess, see Ra "who's shrine is empty", see Amun the invisible, see Hathor as the wild cow of the marshes...

This is needful for me as Kemet was seen as the Holy Land, but only up to a point as I don't live there so it's less relevent.
Similar for me. I love visiting Egypt, and I hate the cold, wet and darkness of the European winter.
But I can and do see the Kemetic gods in my European environment. Here, too, I have night sky and sun cycles, thunderclouds and rivers, raptor birds, canids, cows, growing plants.
And I also include some local spirits and deities lately, that works far easier than I expected.
 

beenherebeforeagain

Rogue Animist
Premium Member
Does being a Pagan to you require any sort of reverence for Nature and the Natural world.

What about learning the natural world of your chosen pantheon(s), and how the gods and ancestors would have seen those lands?

What about becoming familiar with your local environment and ecology?
Yes, I would say that reverence for nature is a part of my paganism. The reverence is attached to the need to be aware of the community of the human and other-than-human kin that I am a member of. Even in human-worked environment, the 'natural world' holds sway. To me, it is necessary to be aware of and to take part in the flow of events and relationships of 'nature.'

I don't have a pantheon; at this time, I don't do deities, even though I recognize that they may in fact exist, and that others certainly believe they do and interact with them as well. I have learned a great deal about the natural world through observation and interaction--through experience. And experience is always 'local,' and always 'now.' But I also recognize the value in having learned about nature through others' eyes, for example, through books and articles and pictures and video productions, etc.

I don't know what the pantheon of the original indigenous Americans of this area would have been. I'm not sure that such information was ever collected before they were forced off the land. As far as I can tell, the Europeans mostly brought the detached monotheism of Christianity when they settled here...and that includes many of my ancestors. But I suspect that many of them brought traditional beliefs as well.
 

Soandso

ᛋᛏᚨᚾᛞ ᛋᚢᚱᛖ
I don't believe it requires reverence of nature at all. Not all forms of paganism are even nature based. "Paganism" itself is an umbrella term that can mean many a great deal of different religions and spiritual paths.

All that said, I am one of those nature bois
 

Bear Wild

Well-Known Member
I don't believe it requires reverence of nature at all. Not all forms of paganism are even nature based. "Paganism" itself is an umbrella term that can mean many a great deal of different religions and spiritual paths.

All that said, I am one of those nature bois
In this are you referring to modern paganism or historic? And what examples come to mind.
 
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