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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 20,309,843  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 18

Lurker/Post Ratio: 1820 to 1

Question of the Week: 54 - 8/13/2001

What is the connection between Spirit, Nature and Humankind?

How do Spirit (the Divine, The Gods, whatever your nomenclature), Nature and Humans interact on the energy planes? Is it truly 'as above, so below' in that lessons/events/inspirations that take place here on the earthly plane through and by Nature reflect certain laws, principles or events on the Spiritual energy planes? Do the Gods speak to us through the elements/events/occurrences of Nature or are we just 'seeing' a connection in order to try to make some sense of the world? Are the Nature/Earth energies necessary in order to work 'magic(k)' or do human beings in themselves possess what it takes to influence/work the spheres/magic(k)? Do you think that experiencing/learning/observing or working with Nature and Her energies should be a part- and how large a part- of any magickal training?

 Reponses:   There are 18 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

In Some Ways I Really Hate This Word Because It's Taken On... Aug 16th. at 2:02:41 pm EDT

Cat (Asheville, North Carolina US) Age: 34

In some ways I really hate this word because it's taken on such frou-frou connotations, but surely the connection between nature and spirit and humanity is energy. I mean the literal thing--well, it's not a thing--stuff--well, it's not material--you can see why this is a difficult topic. But I mean what the sun puts out, and what we get from the oxidation of a chocolate bar or a carrot, and what draws the creek downwards. Energy is the currency of the world, to use a probably inappropriate economic metaphor: it's the medium by which exchange takes place, and it's what IS exchanged. It's what you have to have, and what you can't keep (a concept which might make some sense applied to money, come to think of it.)

However, the problems with this formulation are just about legion, unfortunately. One problem is that some pagans use the term "energy" to mean something even less tangible than the wave/particle which is the literal (here we go again) thing: our use of language is often sloppy, and when we talk about "scattered energy" or "the energy is bad in here", we foster confusion about whether we really mean physical energy or something quite different. A second, larger problem is that I don't really know what energy is: maybe nobody does, though I prefer to believe physicists have a clearer idea. We feel its manifestations in heat, light, motion, and so on, but I can just barely wrap my mind around the concept of energy itself. A wave in material substance? A moving particle THROUGH the material? A pattern by which material moves? A force which makes motion possible? A stream of something invisible which runs through one material thing to the next? According to my limited understanding, it's something of all of the above, but its complexity makes it one of the most mystical concepts I know of. I know humans have it, and everything in the natural world, and I infer that spirit probably has it too--a real common denominator--but I'm not really equipped to take it further than that. You can see, though, why ancient peoples worshipped the sun above all: it's the source of all the energy we'll ever know. Without it there'd be nothing here.

My Views On How Humans, Nature, And The Divine Forces Interact On... Aug 17th. at 2:24:20 am EDT

Nick (Shakopee, Minnesota US) Age: 20 - Email

My views on how humans, nature, and the divine forces interact on the energy plains tends to change often. It seems that everything I know in some way revolves around my religious beliefs. I am constantly learning new things every day and as a result my beliefs are constantly changing.

Weather or not the gods speak to us through nature and different events and occurrences doesn't realy bother me. We may be just seeing a connection to make sence of things or we may be seeing messages from the gods. It doesn't realy matter. It doesn't matter why or how the world is the way it is. nobody can truly know why. what matters is that the world does act that way. Most of you don't know why or how your computer works. most of you probably don't care just as long as it does work. the more you know about how the worlds energies work the better you can use them but you don't need to know how they do inorder to use them. I'm new to magic so I may be dead wrong.

I don't know much about energy play so I'm not sure weather earth energies are nessecary in order to work magic though I do know that personal energy is. If I remember my physics corectly all energy is the same, so I guess that you can use any energy source to work magic. Just so long as you don't try to use too much. Our bodies can only handle so much. If you want to test that theory you can lick your fingers and touch the two ends of a car battery. It isn't enough to kill you if you are healthy but it will give you one hell of a jolt. It is all the same types of energy only a car battery holds alot more than we can use in magic.

I do believe that observing nature should be a large part of magical training as well as the observation of anything else. When training in magic yu should observe as much as possible. No knowledge goes unused.

I Have Never Seen A Difference. We All Have A Part Of... Aug 17th. at 9:26:49 am EDT

Alex (Cape Cod, Massachusetts US) Age: 17

I have never seen a difference. We all have a part of the divine in us and nature is divine. Sort of like in Yoga the mind body and spirit are one not 3 seperate things. Also I do not like it when people think we are apart from nature instead of one with nature such thinking leads to the mistreatment of Gaia.

On This Topic, I Will Relate An Experience Witnessed A Year Ago... Aug 19th. at 1:15:31 am EDT

Anigrrl (Portland, Oregon US) Age: 31 - Email

On this topic, I will relate an experience witnessed a year ago.

A raven couple had moved into our area and were frequent visitors to the deck when we fed the birds. They were huge, mature birds. Often I would see them grooming & grasping each other's beaks as if they were kissing. Some time later, a hawk flew into the vicinity. "Uh Oh, " I thought, expecting some major territorial dispute. I saw the hawk fly into the tree & one of the ravens followed it & PEARCHED RIGHT BESIDE the hawk! Instead of the loud shrieking & aerial battle I was expecting, the hawk softly cried to the raven & the raven softly called back. As I watched them, they seemed to regard each other with either respect or familiarity. Then the hawk flew into the air, quietly chirping, and the raven JOINED the hawk & they BOTH flew off together! I watched them circle the house a couple times then soar off to go hunting or whatever.

This article is more in response to Wren's, "Is Nature learning Love from humans?" I personally believe that compassion in Nature occurs more often than we care to admit, simply because we haven't observed it enough. I am lucky to live in a greener state than Florida, and because I take the time to observe, I'm often witness to what other's describe as "Disney moments" in Nature, which they think are so rare.

Bottom line, emotions such as joy, sadness, jealousy, shame & even compassionate altruism have existed in the animal kingdom long before human kind was even a thought. After all, the animal kingdom is what we evolved from.

Be Blessed,

My Own Approach Is A Thoroughly Mythic One. In My Practice I... Aug 19th. at 9:21:07 am EDT

Ian Corrigan (Cleveland, Ohio US) Age: 45 - Email

My own approach is a thoroughly mythic one. In my practice I view the physical world (i.e. 'nature') as a direct reflection and manifestation of non-physical (i.e. 'spiritual') models. I often say that the physical world is the most important revelation of the divine to humankind. I think that by observing the patterns and processes of the physical world we can better understand the patterns and processes of the spiritual worlds. So I think that anyone who seeks to have a deeper, more effective Pagan spirituality needs to be a close observer of, and participant in, the flows and patterns of the world.
In my opinion, humankind is an integral part of the natural world and its order. There can be no separation between human cities, computers, television, etc, and the forms of the natural world. All that exists is natural, all was and is part of the processes of nature - even those things which are radically changing ecological patterns, and endangering species and land. Humans are true players in the game of life, and it is our choice how we will deal with the other beings in the world - may we choose wisely.
In the same way. I think that humans are spiritually powerful on our own. Our innate human energy *is* 'earth energy', and we have it by the fact of our birth and the fact of our developed skill. That said, I think it is immensely valuable for the magician to make contact with the spirits present in the non-human portions of nature. Alliances with the 'elementals' and the spirits that animate beasts and the land is a great advantage to any practicing magician. Without such alliances we are left on our own - and one alone can seldom produce the effects possible to a well-practiced alliance.
So, I hold that students must accept that they, and the human things they live with, are part and parcel of 'nature'. We must also come to know and understand the non-human portions of the world, observing them closely to learn their spiritual meanings. Finally, we must penetrate to the spiritual reality behind and within the body of the land, to strengthen andexpand our own innate magical strength.

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