The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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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.
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| 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.
| 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.
| 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.
| 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.
| 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.
| At Best, Humans, Gods, Nature, And Elemental Forces Work In Balance, Understanding... ||Aug 16th. at 1:29:04 pm EDT|
|Emerald (Fort Lauderdale, Florida US) ||Age: 20 |
At best, humans, gods, nature, and elemental forces work in balance, understanding and coexisting with one another. The universe has a consciousness, a soul, and a body, functioning as one eternal entity beyond our understanding. When we listen to the wisdom of the universe, when we allow ourselves to become more closely connected with its spirit, and when we understand and learn from the lessons of the physical world, we are achieving the balance of a healthy organism, and contributing to the overall health of the planetary and cosmic organisms to which we all belong. Whatever our outwards circumstances, we have the divine inner spark to overcome our own suffering and weaknesses. Even at the end of the world there will still be devout spiritualists accepting the strength that all living beings can draw upon in times of crisis. The Gods are as real as we are, but they are quite different from we are, and if we try to understand them through the laws and habits of the physical realm we will fail to understand them entirely. All sentient beings are a part of the highest creative force which shapes reality. As for the question of whether human beings must work with the power of nature to cause magick, or whether the power is within ourselves, the question is obviously moot, because any power within ourselves COMES FROM NATURE, like the food we eat, air we breathe, and water we drink. Besides, obviously the answer is that we have power within ourselves AND that we can manipulate energies resident in nature. Of course experiencing/learning/observing and working with Nature and Her energies MUST be a large part, the primary part, of any magickal training, anything else doesn't make any sense, especially for such a nature-oriented belief system as paganism.
| What Is The Connection Between The Reflection And The Reflected? My Grandfather... ||Aug 16th. at 12:44:50 am EDT|
|self (Saint Peter's burg, Florida US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
What is the connection between the reflection and the reflected?
My grandfather used to say: Poop in one hand and wish in the other. See which one gets filled quickest.
The obvious answer really.....depends....
| I Think The Dimension Of Spirit, Or Of Consciousness, Permeates Nature In... ||Aug 15th. at 6:53:31 pm EDT|
|Tom Tadfor Little (Santa Fe, New Mexico US) ||Age: 39 - Email |
I think the dimension of spirit, or of consciousness, permeates nature in all its forms. I think of the gods as both natural processes and spiritual forces--things that nature seems always to be trying to do.
Human beings are some of the most complex natural forms, and so we are also some of the most complex spiritual forms. We have enormous versatility compared with, say, rocks or even plants. That makes us probably the most potent instruments of the gods around. But nevertheless, the gods express themselves through other forms in nature as well, often with startling directness. And if you want to understand them and connect with them, you have to find what they do within you and also what they do in the natural world around you. Wisdom emerges from making those comparisons.
Ultimately, the greatest task of magic is to change ourselves and our relationships with the gods and with each other. But the complexity of the psyche is so great that that can be a daunting task, and we may have trouble seeing ourselves clearly. But zs we draw parallels between the spiritual dimension of our own existence and the spiritual dimension of the natural world, we come to recognize and appreciate the universals. It's helpful, for example, to work with physical fire in order to search out the fiery aspects of our own nature and learn the sort of handling it requires.
So for me, working with natural energies is a vitally important way of finding the gods and learning about them. I think my understanding of them would be hugely impoverished if I concentrated only on their human or psychological manifestations.
I don't much care for the language of "planes" of reality--it is implies too much disconnection between the aspects. Spirit isn't someplace else; it's here. Everything that goes on, goes on both physically and spiritually.
| The Balance Is There A Connection Between Spirit, Nature And Humanity? In... ||Aug 15th. at 3:14:28 pm EDT|
|David Aquarius (Renton, Washington US) ||Age: 42 - Email |
Is there a connection between Spirit, Nature and Humanity? In the beginning, there was nothing. A Grand Nothing. Nothing Squared. Then that which we look to as our Creator allowed the universe to begin. This event gave birth to Energy, Matter, and Magic. It is the nature of humans to question all things, so different versions of this creation mythology abound. Mine is surely not the definitive one.
Since we and all we experience are part of that first grand event, there must be a connection between them. This connection is finely tuned to be specific to each of us. The connection for one may not work for another. Our souls are as individual as our fingerprints so too must this connection be as specific.
After this event, our history began to record all that occurred. This history was written in the molecules of the stones and gasses that led to the creation of this world. Along with them came the energies needed to fuse them together and the magic to give them life. Soon, humans came forth to stake a claim as one of the Chosen of EarthŐs children. Humanity thrived within this Balance, using it to feed, heal and broaden itself.
But in the last few thousand years, we have moved away from the Balance, forsaken its rules and become lost in our journey to become the Chosen. We have allowed ourselves to become attached to but one of the three arms of the scale. We find ourselves enamored by the material, the toys, things that can only offer temporary solace. By ignoring the other two parts of the Balance, we risk upsetting our nature and falling from our place in the favor of the Earth. We risk extinction.
There are those who have not lost the means to keep the Balance. I find that those who offer a positive, balanced Spirit to the rest of humanity are our hope against this dark future. Whether humanity survives or dies depends on the spirits of folks who believe.
As participants in the magical side of the Balance, it is up to us to ensure that what we do complies with the Laws of Nature and that our motives are without conflict or imbalance. Personal gain, greed, envy, or vengeance are human failings and serve only to move us away from harmony.
Each of our different faiths has rules and standards that keep us from straying from the purpose at hand. All of us have seen what happens when one of our brethren has chosen to pursue a path of chaos and personal glory. To walk the dark path can be very exciting and sensual, but in the long term can be costly, perhaps deadly. There will always be those who walk the dark roads, live within the shadows; so too must there also be those who seek out the light, the energy that creates rather than consumes. TodayŐs natural faiths are the hope and the light that we as a species need so badly.
I have seen great and wonderful things done by those who follow the natural paths. Druids, Wiccans of all traditions, shamen, Asatrź, and others who have dedicated their existence to the maintenance of the Balance. They have found many ways to enliven their inbred connection to the Creator in order to guide this world along and keep it from crumbling into obscurity.
Questions arise about methods and processes to access this connection, how do we tap into its wonder and use is magic. In all of my travels and visions, I can only answer this way:
ŇBe true to yourself and your clan, work to find that which speaks to your soul, not to the opinion of others. Look to all paths, respect the faiths of others and know that deep within you already lies the answer.Ó
We all possess the connection and the means to enrich it. It is in our nature to develop this magic by our questions and need to know. Stagnation occurs when we allow others to do the searching for us, and make the decisions on what we believe and how we do it.
Humanity has a great understanding of part of the Balance. Matter and energy have been researched and questioned for centuries, but we will always fail in our complete understanding of the universe because we have left out the most vital part.
Magic is a part of us, it is like oxygen, water, and light all rolled into one need. You cannot abandon it unless you first abandon yourself.
Walk with Light and Love,
| I Am Not An Expert With Energy 'feilds' Per Se, But I... ||Aug 15th. at 2:37:18 pm EDT|
|Lady Unicorn (Gillette, Wyoming US) ||Age: 20 |
I am not an expert with energy 'feilds' per se, but I have had much experience with energy.
I beleive working with energy, or atleast learning about it, should be part of every beginner's (and for some advanced) learning. Working off spells gathered from the net or elsewhere is fine... provided you have permission. But what happens when the day comes that you need a particular spell or charm or whatever, but can't find an already premade spell or enchantment or whatever? If a person doesn't have a feel for the energies around him/her, and for energies in general, they are likely to get stuck quite often as they move farther down the path.
For me, energy familiarity is the feel when a spell is cast, the tingling sensation that follows an odd coincidence, whatever. That feeling is very much linked to energies, and it is getting to know these energies that is the gateway to understanding the world around us. At least, it was the gateway for understanding for me.
Often times, it is the small things that we over look that are the most important.
Dare I say it? Like Q says from Star Trek: "the way the universe works is to simple for you to comprehend." That is because we must look at the simple things, and only then the complicated come undone to our understanding.
| Mm... I Believe That We, Humanity, Spirit, And Nature, Are All One... ||Aug 15th. at 12:16:39 am EDT|
|Raindancer (Christchurch, New Zealand) ||Age: 53 - Email |
MM... I believe that we, humanity, spirit, and nature, are all one. What is above is below. In space, there is no above and below. Its post-paleo-pagan Judeo-Christian thought that separates humankind from the whole. What I believe is a large part of witchworking is control and channeling energies of various kinds, hopefully in a responsible manner, that is harmonious with the whole of nature.
Its been shown that genetically, all living things on this planet are cousins, descended from a common origin. All things are composed of atoms, electromagnetic energy. Many, if not all things seem to have some form of consciousness. We flatter ourselves that we are the highest pinnacle of that, although it may well be that what we call gods and goddesses, angels and guardians, are merely more highly evolved consciousnesses that (perhaps) are attempting to assist other forms of consciousness ( us, whales, primates, and ???) to make their way up the ladder. Who knows?
If we are to work with these energies in a responsible and harmonious manner, we must, of necessity, understand them, and work toward bringing our own energies into harmony with the energies to be found in nature. If we do, I believe, we will begin to make amends for the irresponsible, and reckless way that humankind has related to nature. A large part of the harm we've done as a species has been the result of ignorance. Should we spend time learning about natural forces? As witches, I can't see how we can do otherwise.
| We're All Just Neighbors Afterall. It Seems That Humans (of Course This... ||Aug 13th. at 10:07:44 pm EDT|
|Lynne-Renee (rural STL area, Missouri US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
We're all just neighbors afterall. It seems that humans (of course this is from one human's point of view) do the most that affects the globe negatively. There are a gabillion insects doing a heck of a lot more than we are but it seems that's still more natural than the huge amount of water-controlling (yes beavers build dams but they don't control 80% of the world's rivers) that goes on.
The Gods speak to us through everything. That means all parts of Nature including other humans. Personally, that seems to interest me more since I have to work with these people. In the same way that I prefer to speak to Goddess (because I see myself readily portrayed), I can try to interrelate and learn with/from humans. If we "see" something in Nature that speaks to us, that's simply the collective unconscious. It works for archetypes in stories, it works for patterns in human behavior and allegorically through animals, plants...
Energy runs through everything and the nothing which is the majority of the physical world on the sub-atomic level, as I understand from high school-excuse my blunder if I'm not really up on physics. If we use energy from nature it is like when you tread water. You are mostly made of water, you are floating in water and as you direct it, you move the water around you as well as the levels of hydration which are going about their own business inside you without your attention.
Lastly, I believe we can learn from any source especially when it brings *out* knowledge held within.
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