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Author Topic: Earth vs Nature  (Read 23791 times)
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« Reply #15: June 03, 2007, 08:41:27 pm »

II can't say it any more succinctly than Dr. Carl Sagan did... "we are star stuff."

And I have loved that quote since I first read it.

The Earth is where I live; she is what I have to work with.

Nature is innate to everything; the horse, the truck, the screwdriver.  The Moon.  The A3627 cluster.

When I was in Army basic training, my platoon drill sergeant barked at us to slam the receiver-assist home; yet on my M-16, slamming didn't work.  I had to gently press it forward.  I was working with the machine, not against it.  Much to my surprise, Drill Sergeant Thomas nodded and moved along.

Everything has a Nature; it is up to us to find it, be it a horse, an assault rifle, or a star cluster. Smiley

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« Reply #16: June 03, 2007, 10:47:50 pm »

I had a single conversation with a couple of their members who tried to convince me that really Wicca and Gardnerian Witchcraft are the only "true" earth-based/nature-based/pagan faiths (and that they quietly try to steer members in those directions).

I loathe people like that and have gotten to the point where I tell them so. If you have been around long enough that you should have learned better, but are still telling newbies crap like that, I'm going to be very unpleasant when you tell me about it.
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« Reply #17: June 05, 2007, 07:06:31 am »

I had a single conversation with a couple of their members who tried to convince me that really Wicca and Gardnerian Witchcraft are the only "true" earth-based/nature-based/pagan faiths (and that they quietly try to steer members in those directions).
In my experience, that's not often the behavior/attitude of initiated Gardnerians, that's the behavior/attitude of folks who are trying to use the Gardnerian cachet to legitimize their own take on things.  It's barely possible that something was lost in translation between what they (thought they) were saying, and what you understood them to be saying, but I'm suspicious.

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« Reply #18: June 05, 2007, 10:38:38 am »

In my experience, that's not often the behavior/attitude of initiated Gardnerians, that's the behavior/attitude of folks who are trying to use the Gardnerian cachet to legitimize their own take on things.  It's barely possible that something was lost in translation between what they (thought they) were saying, and what you understood them to be saying, but I'm suspicious.

Agreed, absolutely, the few Gardnerians I know are as horrified by this as I am.

I'd love to give the two I talked to the benefit of the doubt, but no, they were very clear.  And I quote... "Obviously, we can't tell people what to believe, but we do try to open their eyes to the 'truth' of what an earth-based religion is and isn't." 

This comment was followed by an example of people who use blood in ritual in any way, shape, or form. These two enlightened, all knowing witches then provided the explanation that someone who uses blood  isn't "truly" practicing an earth-based (or nature-based) religion but some "warped, twisted" system that "does not value life."   Angry  {looking for a smiley with steam coming out of its ears}   

At that point, I was beyond trying to correct them and told them to walk away from me or else.  Apparently they understood the implications of the "or else" part, because they went slinking back to a group of their friends and kept eyeing me like I was a large carnivore and they were a small tasty snack.  Which they are...   Wink
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« Reply #19: June 05, 2007, 10:52:04 am »

This comment was followed by an example of people who use blood in ritual in any way, shape, or form. These two enlightened, all knowing witches then provided the explanation that someone who uses blood  isn't "truly" practicing an earth-based (or nature-based) religion but some "warped, twisted" system that "does not value life."   Angry  {looking for a smiley with steam coming out of its ears}   

...What on earth (if you'll pardon the term) does using blood have to do with being earth- (or nature-) based?  Or with not being one of those things?  How...  odd.
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« Reply #20: June 05, 2007, 11:43:17 am »

A good example of why so many of us seem to share this feeling:  The primary "pagan" group in this area limits itself to "earth religions" but simultaneously claims to "promote the openess of paganism."  I had a single conversation with a couple of their members who tried to convince me that really Wicca and Gardnerian Witchcraft are the only "true" earth-based/nature-based/pagan faiths (and that they quietly try to steer members in those directions).  My response: "Really now?  Please tell me another story, I love fantasy and outright fiction."   Wink

Well, I'm not a Wiccan, yet for me, Mother Nature is the Goddess. Don't worry I won't ram it down anyone's neck! Cheesy What you believe is entirely up to you. I just see Nature as being the Feminine part of Deity in a universe where Deity (Fem. and Masc.) is inextricably interwoven. Could you have Nature without the Earth? Absolutely! Could you have the Earth without Nature? To quote Scotty off of Star Trek "... Not As We Know It!"
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« Reply #21: June 05, 2007, 04:58:57 pm »

...What on earth (if you'll pardon the term) does using blood have to do with being earth- (or nature-) based?  Or with not being one of those things?  How...  odd.
I've had that explained to me, but I don't think I can reproduce it for you without either your brain or mine (or both) exploding.  It has something to do with earth/nature-based = loving all living things.  There's also either a conviction that the only possible way to get blood is to kill something  Huh , or else that using blood is bad because it must symbolize killing something.  Or maybe some third option; that's where things got brain-'splodey.

As The Cat's Ex-Aunt says, "Oh, cottontail!  Aren't you cute!"

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« Reply #22: June 05, 2007, 05:56:55 pm »

I've had that explained to me, but I don't think I can reproduce it for you without either your brain or mine (or both) exploding.  It has something to do with earth/nature-based = loving all living things.  There's also either a conviction that the only possible way to get blood is to kill something  Huh , or else that using blood is bad because it must symbolize killing something.  Or maybe some third option; that's where things got brain-'splodey.

Yep, I think they might going with that line of reasoning.  I've heard that argument as well from others and it's probably some of the worst logic I've ever heard.  That whole way of thinking (blood = bad or dirty, earth/nature religion = pure and clean) makes me wish my head would implode!
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« Reply #23: June 05, 2007, 06:40:56 pm »

Or maybe some third option; that's where things got brain-'splodey.

Perhaps they think the only way to get blood is for someone's brain to explode. Scanners anyone?
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« Reply #24: June 05, 2007, 06:58:45 pm »

This comment was followed by an example of people who use blood in ritual in any way, shape, or form. These two enlightened, all knowing witches then provided the explanation that someone who uses blood  isn't "truly" practicing an earth-based (or nature-based) religion but some "warped, twisted" system that "does not value life."   Angry  {looking for a smiley with steam coming out of its ears}

That's not even LOGICAL! Everything on this planet is Earth-based, and if it's Earth-honoring, then there's the realization of the cycle of life. Blood is also earth-based, being in our bodies and the bodies of non-human animals, which are based on the earth. Culturally it is a representative of humanity's ability to procreate. (I know this is a major generalization, but I am prone to making those while ranting. My apologies if I have offended.) How can using blood (whether it be menstrual or from some other source) in a ritual be twisted/non-life-affirming?

And also...in nature, things must die so others can live, and then things are reborn.

"We eat the gazelle, and then when we die our bodies become the grass, and the gazelle eat the grass." -- Mufasa

"Life, which you so nobly serve, comes from death, destruction, disorder and chaos."  -- Zorg

As far as I'm concerned, life-affirming means death-accepting. You can't have one without the other.

....rant:off
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« Reply #25: June 05, 2007, 09:15:16 pm »

And I have loved that quote since I first read it.

The Earth is where I live; she is what I have to work with.

Nature is innate to everything; the horse, the truck, the screwdriver.  The Moon.  The A3627 cluster.

When I was in Army basic training, my platoon drill sergeant barked at us to slam the receiver-assist home; yet on my M-16, slamming didn't work.  I had to gently press it forward.  I was working with the machine, not against it.  Much to my surprise, Drill Sergeant Thomas nodded and moved along.

Everything has a Nature; it is up to us to find it, be it a horse, an assault rifle, or a star cluster. Smiley



Thanks, Warhorse. That's about how I see it as well.

One interpretation I've heard of "earth-based" has to do with deities: basically that people with earth-based religions have gods that are specific to planet Earth. For example, Brighid would have no power among sentient lizard people somewhere in the Andromeda galaxy, whereas a big universal creator God would.  I don't think this is the way the term is commonly used, though. Most often I've heard it expressed as something more like what most people here would classify as "nature" based.

I do occasionally use both terms, but really only on this forum, where people are familiar with me and have some idea of where I'm coming from. I wouldn't use either term on its own to describe my religion to someone I'd never met before, they're both just too vague. Yeah, my path is earth-based because I live on earth and I'm a part of earth, but animism would work just as well if I were a lizard person in the Andromeda galaxy, I'm sure the gods there are perfectly good gods, and nature applies to everything in the universe.

Betty  Smiley

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« Reply #26: June 06, 2007, 12:04:17 am »

One interpretation I've heard of "earth-based" has to do with deities: basically that people with earth-based religions have gods that are specific to planet Earth. For example, Brighid would have no power among sentient lizard people somewhere in the Andromeda galaxy, whereas a big universal creator God would.

But why not?  If Brighid can be as...ummmm...*present* in the US as she is in Ireland, who's to say she can't be in Andromeda too?

Granted, the lizard people might have another name for her (something with a lot of "s"s in it?), but that doesn't mean it's not Brighid or that she doesn't have power there.
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« Reply #27: June 06, 2007, 01:59:53 am »


nature isn't just untouched-by-human-hands wilderness, it's not just the rural environment, with pastoral-agricultural fields cheek-by-jowl with woodlands, or any of the other narrowly-restricted images that get evoked when many Pagans who use those terms are explaining them.  It's all of those things, true, but more. 


Not to mention that cities themselves are home to countless plants and animals ... they're just not usually the cute or majestic types. Pidgeons, rats, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, crows, squirrels, mice, roaches, hornets ... I forget which city it is where peregrine falcons nest on the window ledges, but they're there too. I think the thing that bugs me most about people who talk the "earth-based" line is the implication that human activity is somehow unnatural. I'm always tempted to say something like, "so why are you still wearing clothes?"
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« Reply #28: June 06, 2007, 06:38:08 am »



I wonder if part of the blood thing is people's 'ick' factor?  Unless you're a woman and use menstrual blood (or a man I guess, and using someone else's) you're going to be getting blood by taking a knife to yourself or someone else.  I know so many people who find self-harm insanely icky and can't *get* it at all.  I'll happily agree that it's a pretty crappy coping tool, but having been there and done it, it doesn't really bother me beyond the 'other methods would be better' issue.  I've used blood once or twice for magic as well, but have taken pains to make sure I wasn't doing it for the harm rather than the purpose.

So anyway...  do you think that'd play a part in the 'that's WRONG!' mindset?
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« Reply #29: June 06, 2007, 06:40:16 am »

I've had that explained to me, but I don't think I can reproduce it for you without either your brain or mine (or both) exploding.  It has something to do with earth/nature-based = loving all living things.  There's also either a conviction that the only possible way to get blood is to kill something  Huh , or else that using blood is bad because it must symbolize killing something.  Or maybe some third option; that's where things got brain-'splodey.


Oh, that is just crap!  I have been doing blood magick for 35 years and most of the time it was LIFE affirming!  ::walks away muttering under breath::

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