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Author Topic: Urban Pagan - help!  (Read 15419 times)
FierFlye
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« Reply #15: November 02, 2010, 04:39:54 pm »

One definition of "natural", at least. Like many words in the English language, there are a whol;e lot of definitions for "natural".  38 are listed here: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/natural

Yeah, it's a little clearer if you look up 'nature'. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nature
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« Reply #16: November 02, 2010, 05:17:57 pm »

Yeah, it's a little clearer if you look up 'nature'. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nature

I've never really understood why things made by people are not considered "natural." 

If a bird build a nest or a beaver builds a dam, it's "natural", right?  So, why are the rules different for people?
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« Reply #17: November 02, 2010, 07:56:10 pm »

I believe 'not man-made' is actually the definition of 'natural'.

How so?

Or:  What Moon Ivy said.
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« Reply #18: November 02, 2010, 08:25:52 pm »

How so?

Or:  What Moon Ivy said.

Because that is what the dictionary says and is what is the commonly understood definition of the word.

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« Reply #19: November 02, 2010, 08:27:03 pm »

So, why are the rules different for people?

Not sure. I didn't invent the word, I'm just trying to use it properly.
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« Reply #20: November 02, 2010, 09:26:09 pm »

Not sure. I didn't invent the word, I'm just trying to use it properly.

I wasn't really expecting you to answer.   Cheesy  It was more of a general question for discussion.

Humans are part of nature, no matter how it's defined.  IMO, at least.  So, whatever we do is "natural" in the sense that it's part of the world.  I don't get the value judgment that say things people make are not as good as things we don't make.
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« Reply #21: November 03, 2010, 07:52:54 am »

So, whatever we do is "natural" in the sense that it's part of the world.  I don't get the value judgment that say things people make are not as good as things we don't make.

Exactly. I can understand separating man-made from not-man-made and even using the tern "natural" to describe the later. What annoys me a lot is the was some people call man-made things "unnatural". 
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« Reply #22: November 03, 2010, 10:24:30 am »

I don't get the value judgment that say things people make are not as good as things we don't make.

I didn't see where anyone was saying the value of man-made vs. non-man-made was lesser. Just that they are different. A beaver dam is not the same as a styrofoam plate. If everything is of nature, then the term nature becomes rather useless. I think there is value in defining things for the usefulness of communication. One doesn't say, "I'm going to go take a walk in nature" and then head over to the GM plant for a stroll. 
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« Reply #23: November 03, 2010, 12:17:46 pm »

I didn't see where anyone was saying the value of man-made vs. non-man-made was lesser. Just that they are different. A beaver dam is not the same as a styrofoam plate. If everything is of nature, then the term nature becomes rather useless. I think there is value in defining things for the usefulness of communication. One doesn't say, "I'm going to go take a walk in nature" and then head over to the GM plant for a stroll. 

Not in this thread, no.  And I wasn't implying that anyone was.  Nor was I directing anything at you.  (Just hanging my comments on your posts for convenience.)

And I do understand how the word "nature" is used.  I don't really have a big quibble with that, either.

I'm just making the point that people are part of nature, too, as others did.  I just thought it was a particularly interesting aspect of the conversation.

Nobody in this thread has said that "man-made" = lesser.  But that attitude is definitely fairly prominent in many pagan circles. Since the question was about being pagan in an urban area, and many of the responses had to do with finding "nature", the idea of nature being separate from people is relevant.
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« Reply #24: November 03, 2010, 03:36:24 pm »

I'm just making the point that people are part of nature, too, as others did.  I just thought it was a particularly interesting aspect of the conversation.

I agree with that point. People are certainly naturally-occurring. But many of things that people make are so far away from 'natural' that I'm not sure the term applies to them anymore(the things, not the people).  When something has to be synthesized and processed in a lab or factory to be made and then doesn't decompose it doesn't have the same origin or life cycle of a bee hive or bird's nest.

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Nobody in this thread has said that "man-made" = lesser.  But that attitude is definitely fairly prominent in many pagan circles. Since the question was about being pagan in an urban area, and many of the responses had to do with finding "nature", the idea of nature being separate from people is relevant.

I can understand the need to seek comfort and mystery in things outside the human world. I live in the city, when I go out to the barn for my riding lesson the air is different. The smell is different and the feeling is different. I love my warm, heated house and my laptop and my BlackBerry, but going out into the woods or country can bring about a different spiritual effect than sitting in a coffee shop. I think there is validity, for some people, in seeking out places away from human influence. I'm not saying they are better, just different.
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« Reply #25: December 26, 2010, 10:17:21 am »


I can understand the need to seek comfort and mystery in things outside the human world. I live in the city, when I go out to the barn for my riding lesson the air is different. The smell is different and the feeling is different. I love my warm, heated house and my laptop and my BlackBerry, but going out into the woods or country can bring about a different spiritual effect than sitting in a coffee shop. I think there is validity, for some people, in seeking out places away from human influence. I'm not saying they are better, just different.
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Natural Magic for City Folk-

Track the seasons by grocery shopping and visiting the local florists. Take home seasonal fruits and flowers to adorn your alter.

Miss your favorite sacred grove? Craft and dedicate a Stang.

Taking a processional walk from the bath tub to the living room can be just a special when done with the right heart.

I am actually putting together a pocket alter to take with me in my truck.

One of my favorite spiritual practices is to change my screen saver to honor the current celebration of the Wheel of the year.

I'm even considering making a small frame, the size of a welcome mat, and filling it with river rock to stand on during ritual.

Worship should be fun.
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« Reply #26: January 04, 2011, 06:48:02 pm »


I'm even considering making a small frame, the size of a welcome mat, and filling it with river rock to stand on during ritual.


This is a great thought.  To be able to do it even larger, 3x5 ft or even bigger, perhaps custom with a concrete/ mosaic filler around and strategically level spots for a coffee table?  Wish I had a space for something like that right now.  Would be great to have one big enough to lay on!
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« Reply #27: January 04, 2011, 10:31:42 pm »

This is a great thought.  To be able to do it even larger, 3x5 ft or even bigger, perhaps custom with a concrete/ mosaic filler around and strategically level spots for a coffee table?  Wish I had a space for something like that right now.  Would be great to have one big enough to lay on!

Oooooh, river rock bed...nice.
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« Reply #28: February 09, 2011, 04:19:25 am »

I think I've been spoiled from living in the middle of nowhere, so now I have these strange ideas that I HAVE to have a sacred grove for my rituals, HAVE to grow my own herbs in a garden, HAVE to see the full moon reflected in water, and so on, haha.

If I waited for the moon to show enough to be reflected in water, I'd NEVER get any lunar work done. It's cloudy much more often than not here. Just knowing it's there and visualising it works for me. Also, herbs grow in pots every bit as well as in a garden.

Also, I can wholeheartedly recommend "The Urban Primitive: Paganism in the Concrete Jungle" by Raven Kaldera and Tannin Schwartzstein.

A brilliant read.
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« Reply #29: March 10, 2011, 09:40:55 pm »

I hope you'll excuse me, maybe I should have posted this in the newbie section, or maybe there are loads of information on this subject other places on this site that I couldn't find...
I hope for some advice from those of you practising your Pagan faith in urban areas.

If you're practicing an earth-based faith in the city, you might look into finding an urban foraging group (or class, because it's a great way to connect with others as well as learn what the city offers.) A local herbalist here does monthly walks where she takes a group of people on a ... well, a walk, to see what herbs and useful wild edibles might be around. Perhaps learning to see nature everywhere, in a situation where you don't see it without trying, would be more powerful than being knee deep in mossy rocks and wild violets. (Not that that doesn't have it's merits too, and honestly, it's what I'm aiming for. But in the meantime...  Smiley) Having to attune your eyes and mind to really grasp Nature when it doesn't look like a majestic vista or idyllic meadow could be really meaningful. There are also urban gardening groups/classes, etc etc. Whether it's learning to garden in a small space, or getting involved in a community garden, or both, it's helpful to dig in the dirt and become part of the sowing/harvesting cycle.

You might also want to look for a permaculture group - Meetup.com has them for some places, and one of the benefits of urban living is more access to groups of all kinds.

I definitely understand the attachment to the "natural" -- perhaps a better word would be "unprocessed" or "less processed"? That might convey more, since the word natural seems to be in question.  Hey, it works with food. An apple is less processed than a chocolate chip cookie. A tree is less processed than a Camaro.  Smiley
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