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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in earth-centered

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

The Three Centers of Paganism

I have found a useful tool for thinking about the Pagan community.  Most attempts to describe contemporary Paganism use lists of beliefs or practices.  Some of these lists attempt to be comprehensive, while others do not.  One problem with these lists is that they inevitably focus on those elements that the person making the list wants to emphasize.  Consequently, large portions of the Pagan community are excluded.

Another common way of understanding the Pagan community is as a metaphorical umbrella.  The problem with this metaphor is that the image of an umbrella suggest a single center.  And what the "center" is is a matter of perspective, usually the perspective of the person drawing the umbrella.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Thanks! I'm glad it will help.
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    I found this very useful--in any Pagan group there's always a lot of translating to be done, and this model will facilitate that.
  • Julian Greene
    Julian Greene says #
    John, regarding the positive and negative potentials of each, I felt pleased when I had "arrived" at what I considered a middle pl

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Is Nature Enough?

Paganism is often described as religion of “Nature Worship” or as “Earth-Centered”. Is it? Should it be? Is Nature, in how we use it, a euphemism for the wilderness, or the biological, ‘living’ part of the world, or is it a name we put on the world as a whole? Is Nature big enough for it to be a descriptive characteristic of our group spiritual life? Much depends on the definition of Nature. . .

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Chas  S. Clifton
    Chas S. Clifton says #
    Following Gary Snyder, I define "nature" not as trees and flowers merely, but as all processes outside the control of the human eg
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    There is so very, very much we do not know about the interwoven web of life that we call Nature. The sustainable and ever-changing
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Good to hear, Sam. Glad you like the essay. I read it as suggesting I was at the end of a continuum the other end of which was tho

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In the previous two posts, I set out to show how Jung’s archetypal psychology might be of interest to polytheists and deity-centered Pagans.  In concluding, I promised to discuss how Jung may also be of interest to earth-centered Pagans.

Jung’s earthiness is sometimes easy to miss.  It is quite possible to read a great deal of Jung’s writings, as well as a lot of secondary literature on Jungian psychology, and not find much concern at all with the natural world.  In fact, it is easy to interpret Jungian philosophy as being introverted to the point of solipsism.  And yet, one of Jung’s biographers confidentially calls him “earth-rooted” as well as “spiritually centered”.  People who knew him called often described him as “earthy”, referring to his physicality and vitality, as well as his simplicity.  Olga Konig-Fachsenfeld, for one, wrote that Jung's "earth-rootedness" was for her "the guarantee for the credibility of his psychology". 

In his personal life, Jung had an intense love of nature, simple rustic lifestyle, and solitude, reminiscent of the Transcendentalists.  Jung writes in his semi-autobiographical Memories, Dreams, Reflections that part of him always felt “remote from the world of men, but close to nature, the earth, the sun, the moon, the weather, all living creatures.”  His experience of nature bordered on the pantheistic:

“Nothing could persuade me that ‘in the image of God’ applied only to man. In fact it seemed to me that the high mountains, the rivers, lakes, trees, flowers, and animals far better exemplified the essence of God than men with their ridiculous clothes, their meanness, vanity, mendacity, and abhorrent egotism [...]

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