Note – I am not trying to imply that all pagan religions should be nature or earth centered in this thread. I want to understand how different people see nature with respect to their practices and beliefs. The introduction below is just how I see my relationship to nature.
Many pagan religions see themselves as nature-worshiping religions including the pagan federation but not all pagans agree. Reverence for nature is probably the most important practice in my pagan religion whatever it may be called which has been influenced by English and Welsh folklore I learned growing up along with Native American teachings from the northeastern region. I recently discovered writings from my ancestors preserved in our families old bibles (which were in storage) handed down through the family from before the 1700’s. These writings had personal beliefs about nature and the importance of respect to animals and trees. Finally my introduction into paganism in the 1970’s was with people who indicated that reverence for nature and the belief in the goddess as well as the god were important to paganism.
Evidence for the importance of nature in pre-Christian paganism that I have found is very diverse. The celebrations are associated with natural events specifically the celestial motions. These are all connected with natural cycles including the human body to harvest celebrations and convey a reverence towards nature. Shamanistic activity, which is implied in the myths and folklore of the Celtic and Germanic people, is traditionally associated with contacting spirits of nature. There is a rich folklore of shape shifting and transformations including stories that people and or god can change into animal form as well as communicating with animals or animal communicating to humans. Sacred areas were in nature such as groves, springs, bodies of water and trees in particular were symbolic in Celtic and Germanic myth and belief.
I began looking for others interested in paganism that I became aware that there were very different views on the importance of nature with respect to different pagan religions. I have given some personal views on the relationship of paganism to my pagan religion but I would like to know how other pagan religions view nature with respect to their practices and or beliefs.
- Message Board: Join in our discussion