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Friday, 13 June 2008

Nature In Traditional Witchcraft

Nature In Traditional Witchcraft Cover Nature is one of the essential focuses in Traditional Witchcraft of Britain. Being close to Nature with its natural rhythm and seasonal cycles is important to all Traditional Crafters. When speaking of Nature we not only refer to the great outdoors and wide-open spaces, but also to all of the Earth and the Other Side (heaven). Each is an essential part of the totality of Nature. This is a different way of thinking about Nature, but it is spiritually much more accurate.

In our modern industrialized world, people far too often make the mistake of separating themselves from Nature. They put Nature over in one category and humans in another, when in reality humans are very much a part of Nature and are thus inherently natural. However, our mastery in the manipulation of our physical world has caused a disconnect of a type. This needs to be corrected if one is to progress in the Craft.

It may be easier to understand if you consider a metaphor. Think of the relatively new invention of cell phones. Cell phones have allowed us to become connected all the time to every part of the planet. Yet with all of this “connectivity” have we not lost something? Even though we are connected all the time, we have in a way become disconnected from people more than ever.

The same principle occurs with Nature. Science has allowed us to become master manipulators of Nature, which is not an inherently bad thing. Through science, the gods have allowed us to understand more of Nature than ever before. Nevertheless, the disconnect remains. Many people are not connected to Nature like our ancestors were, and they do not appreciate it as much as our ancestors did because we feel that it is something to be controlled.

The Craft is based on the practices of our ancestors. In a very real manner we stand on the shoulders of giants who came before us. So we must investigate our ancestors’ beliefs and understanding of Nature.

It may come as a shock to many people to discover that ‘Nature’ was not a primary focus in the times of our ancestors. It was a given that they lived in Nature, understood the seasonal cycles, and were completely interwoven in the fabric of Nature’s rhythm. Sure they celebrated some of Nature’s cycles, such as the harvest festivals, but they were not concerned with “connecting” with Nature, because they were already connected.

However, in today’s world many go their whole life without taking time to notice Nature. They don’t need to pay attention to the moon cycles to know when to plant, because they get all their food from grocery stores. We live in completely different world. It is necessary that we all take into account our understanding of Nature and our perspective of Nature. We need to reconnect with the natural rhythm of life, and of Nature, by living in a more natural manner that is connected with Nature.

Those in the Traditional Craft live a life that is closer to Nature. But it is also necessary to have the proper perspective of what Nature is and is not. It is true that at times Nature is wonderful and awe inspiring, but it is also true that Nature is inherently neither good nor bad. While some like to only talk about the beauty of Nature, that is only one side of the coin. Nature can also be harsh and dangerous. As Crafters, we must connect with every side of Nature and strive to be in harmony with the opposites of her. We must understand and appreciate all aspects of Nature and have a balanced relationship in order to create a truly harmonious life.

My old Crafter friend explained all of this to me. The best advice I ever received was to simply go and be in Nature. Experience all that Nature has to offer, the good and the not so good. Go to a beautiful waterfall and think about the journey that water has been on, witness the magnificence and power of the oceans, but also go camping in a rainstorm; experience the opposites.

One of the best experiences I ever had occurred one crisp, cold, autumn morning at around 5:45 AM. I went into the forest and watched the sunrise, I highly recommend this for anyone new or old to the Craft, it is a simply amazing experience. Go and watch the sun come up in silence. This is how one reconnects with Nature.

There are many other ways to connect with Nature. Plant a vegetable, and flower garden. Or perhaps there is another aspect of Nature that appeals to you, camping in the forest, boating on the ocean, hiking in the countryside… the options are endless.

Being with Nature can bring many practical benefits. You can become more grounded, you can gain a perspective on life that is more realistic, you can learn to be better prepared for life and life’s situations, you can become better aware of your surrounds and you can gain knowledge about yourself. Nature is wise and can share wisdom with you if you are willing to just sit down and listen. Understanding the rhythms of Nature and developing a relationship with your natural environment is an indescribable experience. You should allow it to happen.

Books in PDF format to read:

George Lyman Kittredge - Notes On Witchcraft
Alexander Roberts - A Treatise Of Witchcraft