Defining Nature Spirituality

Goddess of Freedom on top of the United States Capital
Goddess of Freedom on top of the United States Capital. It has Pagan elements from both the new world and the old world because certain Pagan traditions of both influenced the concept of liberty in the United States. The native influence was the Iroquois confederacy while the classical influence was Athens and republican Rome. The statue was patterned after the Greek goddess Athena (Roman Minerva) and native American Pocahontas. No Christian elements were included because religions with lord gods don't have the concept of liberty. 
In the May 11, 1855 letter detailing the commissioning instructions, the Christian biased Capital Engineer, Captain Montgomery Meigs wrote this: 
“We have too many Washington’s: we have America on the pediment, Victories and Liberties are rather pagan emblems, but a Liberty I fear is the best we can get.”
In July 1853, Meigs, supervising engineer of the construction of the Capitol extension, asked Massachusetts Senator Edward Everett to recommend artists to make the sculptures for the new pediments on the East Front. Everett recommended the American Thomas Crawford (1813-1857) who was then working in Rome.
 After getting the commission Crawford began to collaborate with Meigs and former Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis on artwork for the Capital. At the time Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War (1853 to 1857) and in charge of Capitol art and construction. He would later become President of the Confederacy.  Meigs wrote to Crawford:
 “I do not see why a Republic so much richer than the Athenian should not rival the Parthenon in the front of its first public edifice.”
To top the capital dome, Crawford was commissioned to design a statue of "Freedom Triumphant in War and Peace." In 1855 he built a plaster model for the statue in his studio in Rome, Italy.
Crawford died suddenly in 1857 after completing of the full-size plaster model for the Statue of Freedom in Rome. After his death, his widow shipped the model to the United States, where it was cast in bronze by Clark Mills and placed atop the Capitol Dome on December 2, 1863. Crawford's original plaster model is now on view in Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center. During the placement ceremony it was hailed by President Lincoln as a symbol of the country's unification.
References
Katya, Miller (2007) An Appreciation of Thomas Crawford's Statue of Freedomhttp://www.ladyfreedom.net/articles/Lady%20Freedom%20article%20(complete).pdf and http://www.ladyfreedom.net/history.html
 Fryd, Vivien Green (2017) Thomas Crawford, Statue of Freedom, 1855-63. American Social History Productions   http://picturinghistory.gc.cuny.edu/thomas-crawford-statue-of-freedom-1855-63/
Image from https://www.aoc.gov/explore-capitol-campus/blog/nature-capitol-statue-freedom)

 Nature Spirituality is Freedom - Liberty Originated In Pagan Revival Called The Enlightenment (1690- 1770)

(July 6, 2022)  The first phase of the Enlightenment challenged human created religious laws and institutions hiding behind a claimed divine sanction. The next phase would challenge was the divine right of kings to rule. The idea of liberty never emerged in nations having a non-Pagan cultures.

The Dawn of Freedom began in Britain in 1688  because that was the year of the "Glorious Revolution" in which constitutional limits were placed on monarchical power and religious toleration was made state policy and entered English culture such that it was never revoked. This phase had its roots in the philosophy of government from the classical era. This is why all the original government buildings in the United States look classical. An overview of this phase of the Enlightenment published in 1966 said the following:

"To call the Enlightenment Pagan is to conjure up the most delightfully irresponsible sexual license: a lazy sun-drenched summer afternoon, fauns and nymphs cavorting to sensual music and lascivious paintings, preferably by Boucher. There is some reality to this fantasy: the philosophes argued for a positive appreciation of sensuality and despised asceticism.... In speaking of the Enlightenment as pagan therefore, I am referring not to sensuality but to the affinity of the enlightenment to classical thought. Words other than pagan - Augustan, Classical, Humanist - have all served as epithets to capture this affinity ...." (Gay 1966)

In this phase, the Enlightenment thinkers tried to separate the role of the state from the role of religion. Europe had seen too many religious wars and wars against heretics in its history. They concluded that the state would be responsible for material things while religion would be responsible for emotional/spiritual things. This first stated by John Locke  (1632-1704) who was also important in closing out the previous phase of Enlightenment. He wrote the following between 1689 and 1693:


The commonwealth seems to me to be a society of men constituted only for the procuring, preserving, and advancing their own civil interests. Civil interests I call life, liberty, health, and indolency of the body (freedom from bodily pain); and the possession of outward things, such as money, lands, houses, furniture, and the like. (Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration in Kramic 1995)

Thomas Jefferson in the U.S Declaration of Independence shortened and generalized Locke's phase to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."


"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The concept of happiness as used by Jefferson thus includes the right to health and the right to acquire and hold possessions. During the civil war Abraham Lincoln and the nation elevated in blood the Declaration of Independence above that of the constitution to justify the elimination of the property right of slavery. The Declaration as a statement of purpose trumped any legal document meant to implement that purpose. Freedom is Pagan.

References

Gay, Peter (1966)  The Enlightenment - The Rise of Modern Paganism 

Kramic, Isaac [editor] (1995)  The Portable Enlightenment Reader.  Penguin books 

There is no Wi-fi in the forest but I promise you will find a better connection
Nature generates strong feelings of peace in most people. Such feelings are at the core of Druidry, Witchcraft, and Wicca.
Feeling forests and meadows is a multisensory experience so Druids tend to develop an awareness and appreciation of all their all their senses. 
Feelings are conscious phenomena and all available evidence indicates consciousness is the means of connecting with the spiritual realm. Considerations of its evolutionary purpose suggests we are all interconnected by a spiritual network in addition to the scientifically demonstrated non-verbal emotional propagation network. Networks are extensively mentioned in Alphabetic Akkadian texts and seen in some of the earliest Neolithic archaeological images.
Using feelings to interact with the spiritual realm is emotional magic and this sort of magic is extensively mentioned in the Alphabetic Akkadian texts.

Nature Paganism Starts by Having Feelings of Connection with Nature.

(Jan. 3, 2023) Nature spirituality is mainstream Paganism such that the all-encompassing word "Pagan" usually means "nature spirituality" even though its dictionary definition is: "a person holding religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions."

The core of any spiritual practice are feelings. These feelings are non-material conscious experiences having various levels of emotional energy. Consciousness experiences represent the non-material spiritual realm which is separate from the physical realm. No theory of physics explains consciousness.

Paganism is not a faith based religion in which its members are required to believe a certain way. Nature Paganism is a path based spiritually or religion involving continued growth in knowledge and awareness. In fact, one of the nature virtues is "growth" because that is a fundamental principle of nature.

Main Denominations of Nature Paganism Originate in Different Land Resonances

(June 9, 2023) The emotional resonances generated by land and climate are the main component of culture. This defines the main denominations found in today's Nature Paganism. These main denominations are: 

  1. African
  2. Celtic (Druid) - British Isles, France
  3. Egyptian
  4. Classical (Greek-Roman),
  5. Central American (Mayan, Inca, Aztec) 
  6. Nordic-Germanic (Viking)
  7. Eclectic - present land spirituality (nature witchcrafts, wicca) but no connection with past traditions

The main subject of this website is the the Neolithic Farmer Ancient Druid civilization. This ancient culture along with the invading Indo-European culture is the ancestor to the Celtic, Nordic-Germanic, and Classical Pagan denominations.

Some popular witch specializations are:

  1. Green Witch - works with green growing things. Often a herbalist.
  2. Kitchen Witch - works with green growing things with emphasis on home
  3. Sea Witch - works with oceans, lakes, rivers, waters 
  4. Cosmic Witch - works with state of planets, moon, sun
  5. Hedge Witch - works with the mystery of darkness and the powers of spirits between realms. Almost a shaman.

Starting Green Witchcraft by Annabel Margaret

(June 9, 2023) How does prayer or any communication with the spiritual realm really work? Are you on the phone or radio with some deity? Of course not! Energy is a physical phenomena and does not cross over into the non-material realm of consciousness. Only feelings have that possibility. Using feelings for that purpose is emotion magic, in other words, witchcraft. 

 The main themes of this video are:

  • Magic crafting is a life-long path of growing awareness and self-improvement. 
  • Everyone must find their own emotional resonances and correspondences. For example, what you read about what a crystal does may not work for you, that is only an observation of average effects. (standard training is to take a crystal and carry it with you so it is constantly in your mind. Observe what happens to you during that week.)
  • You don't need a lot of tools and things to start. While those aid in directing and enhancing certain feelings and emotional channels most things around you generate some sort of feeling within you. Start with natural things you find and personal memory items. Also practice various kinds of meditation and yoga to see what works.
  • Don't be afraid to mess up. Everyone is already messing up and doing uncontrolled witchcraft because everyone has feelings which are being projected out to others. These feelings then come back at oneself because we live in a social and spiritual network. So don't be afraid to start magic work which starts to bring emotions into awareness and under some sort of control. (That we exist within a social network has been scientifically proven. That we also exist within a spiritual network is inferred based upon anecdotal evidence and consideration of the evolutionary purpose of conscious experiences.)
  • Keeping desired subconscious emotional channels open (emotional conditioning) requires constant but moderate practice just like athletic conditioning. If your life is a mess you have the wrong emotional/spiritual channels open so don't keep using those.
  • You don't need to be a Wiccan to be a witch. While this was the first organized witchcraft tradition/religion, it is just one tradition out of many. Find a supportive tradition and make it your own but be aware that not all traditions are supportive. Traditions that are dualist (reality divided into good versus evil), dogmatic, or have lordified, human only, deities will severely limit your witchcraft by blocking many emotional channels. As Jesus himself said "you cannot serve two masters," meaning a person cannot follow both a feeling based spiritual path and a dogmatic path.

Pagan Path

(July 3, 2022) This well done video uses the word "Pagan" as meaning "nature spirituality."  Any spirituality involves feelings of connection with the believed sources of existence. Nature spirituality assumes the sources of existence are the various powers of nature found in both its physical and spiritual (conscious) realms and not some human-like god living apart from nature on a higher plane. Also notice that Paganism (Druidry) in both its spiritual and religious forms is an ever growing personal path and not a static dogmatic faith.

Path through a forest
Your life path is your religion. The dogmatic model common in religions today is not the only possible way to ground spirituality. That dogmatic model has given religion a bad name which is why a large number of people claim they are spiritual but not religious.

Grounding Paganism in Nature Makes It a Force In People's Lives

(July 3, 2022) Spirituality without grounding is just another feel good drug in a society full of such drugs. Spiritual practices need to be grounded in order for them to make a difference in people's lives. This grounding turns spirituality into a religion. 

Early Christianity faced this same issue due to its initial emphasis on gifts of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul issued this warning to those new Christians who only wanted to feel good and powerful. 

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (Corinthians 13:1-3 NIV)

Love in Nature Paganism derives from the fact that we are all interconnected socially and spiritually.

The three components of spiritual grounding are: