Earth Based

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Earth Based

Post by gillyflower on Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:53 am

Sometimes I really miss the religious discussions we had over at the "other" site. And I miss Creaky's wonderful insights. Just got a taste of it again.

So I thought we could try it here - and maybe if we all wish really hard CH will see fit to join us over here one day. A person brought up that Paganism was one religion and it was an earth based religion. I'd like to know:

1. How do you define "earth based religion?"

2. Do you think that Paganism is a religion? What do Pagan religions share?

3. If you think your religion is earth based or not, why or why not?

And then, of course! you can go off on any tangent you like!

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Re: Earth Based

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:26 am

1. I never liked the term "earth based." All religions are earth based; it's where we live. It's where we keep all our stuff. Nonsensical phrase, you know.

2. And do I have to start the drinking game up again, gilly?

3. My religion is not earth based. The earth is very important, don't get me wrong, but my religion is based on my gods. As I said, I don't think earth based really means anything, you know?

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Re: Earth Based

Post by gillyflower on Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:57 am

1. Yes, I'm with you on the earth thing. I think it is one of those "not-Christian" things. Pagans have the earth friendly Green religions and don't we feel virtuous? But it is more than that to me. The turning of the wheel and the Wiccan celebrations are symbolic of other deeper things, not just the time of year and what's going on in nature. That seems to be brushed aside by some and I suppose it is human nature. Look at Christians and the bible and the modern insistence by some to take it literally.

2. Well, I was floored when someone insisted that Paganism is a faith and we all share stuff that eliminates my religion as I know it from being Pagan. Smile

3. My religion is not earth based. I honor and respect the earth but my religion is based, like yours, on my gods and my relationship with them.

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Re: Earth Based

Post by John T Mainer on Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:31 am

I'm Ok with Earth based religion, its not actually true, but it is the corollary of the true statement. Christianity teaches that there is nothing worthy in this earth, it is Satan's. The only important things are in heaven, and the only goal of this earthly existence is to get there.

We believe that there is divinity beyond this earth, but we also believe that the spirits arising from this earth too are worthy of reverence and remembrance. Pagans are not earth based, but earth respecting religions. Christians are not earth respecting, but earth disdaining. The biblical injunction that everything upon this earth exists only for your use is symptomatic of this.

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Re: Earth Based

Post by gillyflower on Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:37 am

Do you think, John, that people who say their Pagan religion is earth based mean that though? I could get behind that - your version of it, even though it kind of is a not-Christian thing. We do hold that this world and our lives in this universe (whether or not we believe that the gods created it or gave either one to us) are something marvelous and precious and to be cherished. Rather than earth affirming, I think that is more life affirming.

Ed. to add: If you don't value this life, how can you be expected to value the life of anything else on earth, or the earth itself?

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Re: Earth Based

Post by John T Mainer on Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:52 am

I don't think that is what they mean, because they are just not able to step outside their own idiom long enough to contemplate any other way of looking. It is what they would mean if they had that ability.

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Re: Earth Based

Post by DeavonReye on Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:50 pm

This is an interesting thread. I look forward to reading more herein.

Christians think we should "care for the earth", but it is a "back burner" issue because "reaching the lost" is of utmost importance. So, spending time and resources to help the environment would be a complete misuse OF that time and resources, . . . which could be used, rather, to send missionaries, build churches, etc. Indirectly, though they may not believe it, . . . they don't really have much care for the environment. After all, . . . this all will be burned up and an "new heavens and new earth" put in its place. From what I understand from the Bible, though, this current planet is far more exciting, . . . though more dangerous. I was watching a thing on Yellowstone, last night, . . . an incredible area of the planet!

Anyway, I look forward to reading more on this thread.
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Re: Earth Based

Post by MaineCaptain on Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:02 pm

I understand Deavon, and I watched that scary show about Yellowstone too... eecckk!

But we need to take care of our home, because while it is still here we need to live pollution free, safe, and have clean drinking water.

The need to send missionaries never made sense to me, if their god wants these people can't he do it for himself?

That was not a remark towards you Deavon, just what I always think in conversations like that.
Gods are powerful, they have no trouble reaching those whom they wish. I imagine it is the same for the bible god, yes?

I don't know.


Oh and on topic, no my religion is not Earth based. It too is deity and spiritual being based. I love the Earth, she is my home, but I do not consider my religion Earth based.

However much of my focus is on the Spirits that dwell here, the Nature Spirits. So what happens to the planet does affect what I do.
One can hardly commune with tree spirits when there are no trees.

rereading this it probably does not make sense, I will have to think more

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Re: Earth Based

Post by John T Mainer on Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:29 pm

Well we know Christ07 isn't earth based.
His faith is Mongo based; where Ming-the-Merciless decrees all.

Its a crazy little planet, but much more his home than this one.

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Re: Earth Based

Post by Guest on Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:29 am

gillyflower wrote:Do you think, John, that people who say their Pagan religion is earth based mean that though? I could get behind that - your version of it, even though it kind of is a not-Christian thing. We do hold that this world and our lives in this universe (whether or not we believe that the gods created it or gave either one to us) are something marvelous and precious and to be cherished. Rather than earth affirming, I think that is more life affirming.

Ed. to add: If you don't value this life, how can you be expected to value the life of anything else on earth, or the earth itself?

John T Mainer wrote:I don't think that is what they mean, because
they are just not able to step outside their own idiom long enough to
contemplate any other way of looking. It is what they would mean if
they had that ability.

I've used the term earth based before, and believe it means pretty much the way you explained it earlier, John. Earth based means I respect the earth and everything that inhabits it. I believe that every life form has a spirit, and a message given to them by the Creator god and goddess, and nature is something we can learn from, if we are willing to take the time to do so. And yes, I believe all life ought to be cherished.

I agree with your take on Christianity where this planet is concerned. It has become popular lately for Christians to advance "going Green", however, it hasn't been as much as a few years back when the opinion was "ours is not of this world", and wasn't concerned with the destruction and polluting of it, because, as you pointed out, this world is of the devil.

I don't think it would do any of us any harm for giving people like me, who has no better way of explaining the closeness to the gods and goddesses than to suggest they have an earth based religion a little lee way. Actually, it describes me pretty darned well, for this is where I get my focus.... by being surrounded by nature.

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Re: Earth Based

Post by Davelaw on Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:42 am

I think only those Pagans that worship Gaia as a representation of the Goddess Earth can be truly called earth based

as to missionaries, we don't know why The God of the Bible says He is all powerful but acts only (or mostly) through human instruments but thats the way of it.
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Re: Earth Based

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:50 am

The earth based is just a simple manner of conveying a connection to the environment, or that it plays a central role in theological symbolism. The problemm as I see it, is that this becomes translated as "nature worship", which very well may be the case for some Pagans, is by no means indicitive of all; yet this is the popular image at present.

I think the term earth based is more to highlight those environmental connections, and not so much the concept of temporally focused religions, although in a literal way it tends more towards the later than the former for most of the Pagans/ Recons I know.

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Re: Earth Based

Post by Guest on Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:09 pm

Gorm_Sionnach wrote:The earth based is just a simple manner of conveying a connection to the environment, or that it plays a central role in theological symbolism. The problemm as I see it, is that this becomes translated as "nature worship", which very well may be the case for some Pagans, is by no means indicitive of all; yet this is the popular image at present.

I think the term earth based is more to highlight those environmental connections, and not so much the concept of temporally focused religions, although in a literal way it tends more towards the later than the former for most of the Pagans/ Recons I know.

Before the advent of modern science, people used the things from the earth as part of their daily lives; from predicting the weather to medicines. Each of the elements, earth, wind, fire and water represented a god or goddess and they had specific attributes. A horrific summer when there was drought, for example, meant they had pissed off the Sun God in some way. A hard winter meant they had angered the Air (wind) God. The entire basis for their religion was formed due to some event in nature. Where it leads us now for some Pagans, particularly the city dwellers, is anyone's guess. But it was all symbolic to their beliefs in the beginnings. I still like to adhere to those symbolisms.

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Re: Earth Based

Post by gillyflower on Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:38 pm

In my religion, we believe that everything is part of deity, which means that a plastic milk jug is part of deity, and just as worthy as a flower. Things that made by a tree or man, both are a part of the all. Some people may value things that aren't man-made over something that is, but deity makes no such judgement, in my opinion. Caring for the earth just makes sense. It is our home and will be our children's children's home. We want to leave them something nice.

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Re: Earth Based

Post by MaineCaptain on Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:13 pm

I do understand what you mean Gilly, and in that sense I do agree with you. I just can't like plastic. Not so much that it is man made, more that it tends to be so destructive. I guess I am for things that break down in nature and become part of the cycle of life. That of course is just my opinion. Not a judgement in any way.

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Re: Earth Based

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:23 pm

Too bad that recycling is done so infrequently by most people. But back to topic.
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Re: Earth Based

Post by MaineCaptain on Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:53 pm

Yes Deavon you are right. It would be much easier to conceive the idea that plastic and other recyclables are part of the great Divinity if we did take better care and actually recycle everything to the point that it does not do Nature harm.

At least easier for me

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Re: Earth Based

Post by gillyflower on Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:42 pm

MaineCaptain wrote:I do understand what you mean Gilly, and in that sense I do agree with you. I just can't like plastic. Not so much that it is man made, more that it tends to be so destructive. I guess I am for things that break down in nature and become part of the cycle of life. That of course is just my opinion. Not a judgement in any way.

It too has a cycle of life, it is just that plastic has a looooooong cycle and humans have not figured out good ways to deal with all the refuse they produce. I am not arguing about whether plastic is better than wooden spoons because we each have our preferences about most everything we have in our houses or wear or use, feather pillow or man-made fibers, for example, city apartment or country cabin, and I am no different. I have things I like and things I don't like. I do recycle and have become more and more Green in my use of resources (I hope) because I care about the world and the future world. That just doesn't have a lot to do with my gods.

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Re: Earth Based

Post by MaineCaptain on Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:18 pm

True Gilly, True

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Re: Earth Based

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:55 pm

Gorm_Sionnach wrote:The earth based is just a simple manner of conveying a connection to the environment, or that it plays a central role in theological symbolism. The problemm as I see it, is that this becomes translated as "nature worship", which very well may be the case for some Pagans, is by no means indicitive of all; yet this is the popular image at present.

I think the term earth based is more to highlight those environmental connections, and not so much the concept of temporally focused religions, although in a literal way it tends more towards the later than the former for most of the Pagans/ Recons I know.

But what religion doesn't have a connection to the environment? Every religion has its environmental sect, that uses it symbolically. Still doesn't seem to say anything that differenciates pagan religions from any other religion.

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Re: Earth Based

Post by hexpainter on Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:39 pm

John A. Cancienne wrote:

Where it leads us now for some Pagans, particularly the city dwellers, is anyone's guess. But it was all symbolic to their beliefs in the beginnings. I still like to adhere to those symbolisms.

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And remember her magical Incantation.

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Okay Seriously.
Cremation. Recycle those Human Ashes. Cemeteries are just as much a waste of land resources as are Landfills. If everybody had their own oh lets say 8x10 plot to fill in death since the beginning of time where would we be today? Knee deep in tombstone!!!

Oh but the Christians would hate that. They think they will physically be ressurected from the grave on Judgement Day.Very Happy
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Re: Earth Based

Post by MaineCaptain on Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:47 pm

believe me they are not gonna want to be physically resurrected, most of them are in terrible condition, all boney

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Re: Earth Based

Post by hexpainter on Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:35 pm

MaineCaptain wrote:believe me they are not gonna want to be physically resurrected, most of them are in terrible condition, all boney

But isn't that what they mean "Resurrected in the Newness of Life"?
Well it is a really effective weight loss program...Twisted Evil

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Re: Earth Based

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:04 pm

sacrificialgoddess wrote:
Gorm_Sionnach wrote:The earth based is just a simple manner of conveying a connection to the environment, or that it plays a central role in theological symbolism. The problemm as I see it, is that this becomes translated as "nature worship", which very well may be the case for some Pagans, is by no means indicitive of all; yet this is the popular image at present.

I think the term earth based is more to highlight those environmental connections, and not so much the concept of temporally focused religions, although in a literal way it tends more towards the later than the former for most of the Pagans/ Recons I know.

But what religion doesn't have a connection to the environment? Every religion has its environmental sect, that uses it symbolically. Still doesn't seem to say anything that differenciates pagan religions from any other religion.

Few have nearly as an overt connection or environmental centrality, as do a wide swath of Pagan religions (or more accurately, as much an image of it). I believe that again a lot of it is merely optics, which has to do with how Pagans present themselves, and how non-Pagans understand them. Many Pagans simply say earth based/ nature focused for simplicity, but in the end do a diservice because they may be Duotheist/Polytheist, but it is taken as "I worship nature". Again I'm not saying that Paganism is more nature focused than other religions, but it is often seen as being so. Generally any religion which would primarily have rituals in a grove/field/forest is going to come off as a lot more nature centric than those held within a structure, the old "nature is my church" adage.

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Re: Earth Based

Post by gillyflower on Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:22 pm

That's true, but also it is the impression rather than fact, at least for my religion. For every Wiccan ritual that is held outdoors there are thousands held inside, it's just that one hears about or participates in the public rituals. Many Wiccans long to have an outdoor spot but it just isn't practical for those who go skyclad or those who wear robes either if you don't have a lot of acreage. There was a Pagan family here who offered their land for private rituals and the privilege was so badly abused by people who claimed to be Pagans that they withdrew the offer, by the way. Some people seemed to think it was an excuse for nudity, drugs, sex and offensive behavior around a bonfire, imagine that. Smile

And how that was honoring nature, I don't know.

I'm a little burned out right now from hearing "I am/want to be a Wiccan because I love nature and the Lord and Lady." I don't even know where to start with that one anymore! But that is what a lot of people think and I'm not wild about it.

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