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Author Topic: Special Discussion: Nature and Pagan Religions  (Read 22896 times)
Juniper
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Religion: Hedgewitch with Neo-Wiccan leanings
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« Reply #9: May 14, 2008, 03:47:27 pm »

Sadly, there doesn't even seem to be a good and generally accepted definition of "nature-based" within the broader community of Pagan religions. What does it take to rationally and meaningfully classify a religion as "nature-based"? I've seen everything from "has to worship nature as the religion's deity to be nature-based" to "having one nature/agricultural festival out of one hundred that aren't and the religion is nature-based." This lack of a compromise definition that most Pagans AND most Pagan religions can accept is probably why these discussions so often turn nasty.

I agree that one of the major reasons the 'nature-based' discussions often become more of an arguement is because there isn't a set definition of what 'nature-based' actually means. If one person decides that their religion is nature-based, and they meet another person and find out that they have the same religious beliefs as them, then they may well come out with: 'hey, your religion is nature-based too!'. But the other person disagrees: he/she has never identified themselves like that.

A big part of the definition problem, in my opinion, is what the 'based' part of 'nature-based' actually stands for. For instance, if a drink label says that it is 'water-based', what does that mean? Does it mean that water is the main ingredient and everything else is insignificant? Or is there just slightly more water in it than anything else, but the other ingredients are also an important part of the drink? And what are the other ingredients? Are they different ingredients to another drink that identifies itself as water-based?

I know that was a rather silly analogy, but it's all I could come up with at this time.
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'How she longed for winter then!-
Scrupulously austere in its order
Of white and black
Ice and rock; each sentiment within border,
And heart's frosty discipline
Exact as a snowflake'
~Sylvia Plath

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