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Author Topic: Which Pagan religions are NOT nature-earth based?  (Read 20198 times)
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Religion: Hellenic Pagan
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« Reply #6: May 01, 2008, 01:32:46 pm »

Just a quick question:  I've read that most  Pagan religions are Earth-centered or nature worshiping, but that begs the question (so to speak) - which ones aren't?   I was also wondering if maybe it's not always a cut and dried kind of delineation to make, as few things in reality are simply black and white.

I agree that it's not always cut and dried.  "Nature-based" vs. "not nature-based" can get weird and sticky, because prior to the Industrial Revolution, most religions had *some* kind of tie to the natural world, at least the "agricultural festivals" part of it -- the bit that affects humans most directly.  I think the best distinction to make is one of, well, for lack of a better word, "rootedness"; if the overarching mythos and ideology -- the guiding principle of the religion -- is rooted in reverence for the natural world (whether it's actually "earth worship" or not), that's nature-based.  Like, the Greeks have plenty of gods connected to nature (Artemis, etc.), but that's not, like, the central theme/metaphor/linking factor of Greek religion in general; therefore, Greek religion=not nature-based (at least in the forms we know a lot about, like Athenian civic religion).  On the other hand, the natural world *is* a major principle of Wicca in all its forms; the gods are explicitly connected with nature and the natural cycle (Wheel of the Year), and it forms a major organizing principle of the religion.  The logic (I think that's the word I want) that underpins Wiccan practice -- as well as the practice of other nature-based religions -- is intimately tied to the natural world.   

So, nature-based would include Wicca (BTW and neo-), many indigenous tribal religions (esp. non-nomadic ones), and I'd also put Druidry in there.  Non-nature-based would include Reconstructionsms whose overall focus and structural logic isn't nature (Hellenic, Religio Romana, Asatru).  I am willing to buy, though, that there are ways to do Reconstructionism in a more nature-based way -- maybe people who are following more of a "farmer" or "hunter" path (as opposed to, say, "warrior" or "scholar" or whatever), or those whose personal practice revolves around, say, Demeter or Artemis.             

One problem that I've seen in places where non-nature-based Recons and Recon-influenced types are dominant is the equation of "nature-based" with "fluffy":  I have seen many snorts of "I worship the GODS, not NATURE!11!"  Which completely misses the point of what "nature-based" means:  the gods in nature-based religions are *about* nature (and sometimes, not always, nature itself), and most things in the religion are intimately connected to nature.       
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 01:34:44 pm by catja6, Reason: clarity » Logged

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