Articles/Essays From Pagans
September 11th. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Fair Weather Wicca
Article ID: 10707
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,808
Times Read: 6,812
RSS Views: 76,536
Author: Chirotus Infinitum
Posted: April 23rd. 2006
Times Viewed: 6,812
A group I work with occasionally had planned a weekend campout and ritual at a local Pagan-friendly retreat, but unfortunately the trip was cancelled due to a forecast of low temperatures, rain, and sleet. Far be it for me to question the fortitude of my friends for deciding against a little cold-weather camping, but by gods, if my ancestors could survive the Ice Age, I could last a few nights in the cold. I had been looking forward to the trip and was admittedly disappointed at its cancellation. Beyond that, something bothered me about the decision to abort the trip – aside from the money I had already spent on supplies.
One of the defining traits of Neo-Pagan religions is an awareness of – and theoretically, the attunement to – the forces of nature, so it struck me as ironic that a group of Neo-Pagans would, for lack of a better term, be afraid to experience nature for the sake of a little discomfort. Shouldn’t a religious system that seeks to transcend the contemporary mindset of subduing and controlling nature compel people to at least occasionally engage nature on its terms?
The ability to interact with – and even manipulate and direct – the incomprehensibly powerful forces of nature is a key element of Neo-Pagan religious and magical understanding, which is why the gods that represent and control those forces are objects of worship. If a Neo-Pagan is theoretically able to humble himself before a divine manifestation of a natural force, why would he be reluctant to humble himself before the physical manifestation of the same force? Would a devotee abandon a patron god who was in a bad mood, or who took a mythic action that was mean-spirited? If so, fine – that is a whole other issue – but if not, then why would that same devotee alter a mode of worship because of a little (or even a lot) of bad weather? Is it possible to respect and revere the gods and all they stand for, yet avoid a particular manifestation because it’s a little unpleasant?
What seemed apparent to me is that many Neo-Pagans only engage nature according to their own convenience and comfort, tending to do so because they have idealistic and romantic notions of what nature consists of. Ignoring the darker aspects of nature such as severe weather, natural disasters, and the predatory nature of many animals – humans among them – allows for a sense of nature expressed in terms which are more pleasant to deal with. This romanticized conception of nature tends to posit a natural system that is good, calm, and balanced, and which is opposed by human civilization and technology, the modern forms of which are typically viewed as unbalancing and morally corrupting.
Notions of predation and consumption often violate this romanticized ideal of nature. A friend of mine told me of a discussion he had been involved with, which contrasted human consumption to that of natural predators. A woman he was talking with stated that humans are the only animals that do not strike a natural balance with their environment, but keep expanding and consuming resources without end (an idea popularized by the movie “The Matrix”). Her evidence was the example of the coyote/snowshoe hare cycle, in which the predator population decreases if the prey population decreases beyond a certain point. She asserted that the coyotes, apparently aware of the impact of their predation on the snowshoe hare population, either stopped hunting or reduced their reproduction to decrease the burden on their prey. My friend correctly observed that the coyotes made no such distinction, and simply hunted the hares until they were so few that the coyote population decreased due to starvation. This, of course eventually led to an increase in the number of hares, which would then support a larger coyote population. His observation that any animal will consume all available resources until it is stopped by a limiting factor was met with hostility, as it went against the romantic ideal of nature in which everything is in perfect, elegant balance, with every creature instinctively aware of and maintaining that balance.
Extreme weather patterns also violate this romantic concept of nature. Studies which indicate that recent fluctuations in the El Niño/La Niña cycle and an increase in hurricane generation may be a result of natural solar cycles, and not the direct result of global warming, are met with open hostility and deemed not worthwhile to consider. A generation of environmentally conscious Neo-Pagans which has been exposed to movies such as “The Day After Tomorrow” is often reluctant to accept that such atmospheric violence and instability may have a natural cause. While human activity may indeed have a significant impact on weather patterns, it is foolhardy to attribute all weather anomalies to those actions without significant investigation and corroborating evidence. Weather and climate are chaotic, and one cannot ignore that simply because it is unpleasant to contemplate living in an unpredictable environment.
Obviously, nature can be very calming, relaxing, and sustaining, both spiritually and physically. The beauty and awe of nature can be very inspiring, especially to those who regularly interact and commune with it, and the gods that represent those natural forces can offer guidance and comfort on one’s spiritual path. These aspects of nature, however, must be tempered by its more violent aspects, which include many examples of death and destruction. Even the most compassionate, light-hearted gods have their darker sides, and even the most violent catastrophes can bring about positive change. This is doubly important for anyone who seeks to harness natural forces for magical ends to keep in mind.
Experiencing the harsher elements of nature can be uncomfortable, and I’m not suggesting that it is necessary to subject yourself to hardship in order to succeed on your spiritual path. (Obviously, that depends on your particular path.) However, it is possible to become too reluctant to engage the more negative aspects of nature (and life in general), which can lead to an imbalanced understanding of how natural chaotic systems function. It may prove easier to cope with the deadlier expressions of the strength and power of nature, if you’ve acknowledged those forces and incorporated them into your understanding of nature. Knowing that you can withstand a minor trial such as a cold-weather campout can make a difference when you’re forced to endure an earthquake, a hurricane, or any other catastrophe. Understanding the character and power of natural forces can also make it easier to comprehend the fragility of human life in the face of such events.
Sacrificing comfort to connect to nature on its own terms can be a very humbling and satisfying experience, and while it may not be for everyone, it certainly serves as a reminder that we are just a minor component in a larger, uncontrollable world. A cold night in a tent may seem harsh, but it certainly puts the tornado that rips through town later that week into better perspective. One would be advised to enjoy and respect nature, but to keep in mind the corollary to Murphy’s Law, which states plainly that “Mother Nature is a bitch.”
* I would like to dedicate this article to Apollo, who listened when I insisted I'd been ill long enough.
Copyright: Copyright 2006 Chirotus Infinitum
No reproduction without permission from the author.
Location: Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Author's Profile: To learn more about Chirotus Infinitum - Click HERE
Other Articles: Chirotus Infinitum has posted 15 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Chirotus Infinitum... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2016 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).