One of the chief reasons I am a druid is because “nature spirituality” is important to me. But when I ask myself, “What is nature spirituality? What is ‘nature’?” I find I don’t have any easy answers.
The root of the word “nature” is the Latin “natus”, which means “born”. Nature is that which is born, not made. That which is made is culture, artifice, artificial; that which is born is natural. Nature vs. culture, nature vs. nurture.
You and I were born, not made. Born live from a mother’s womb and suckled at her mammal breast, or by a facsimile thereof, we are nature. Creatures that hatched from eggs, sprouted from seeds, formed in the earth from heat and stress, they are also nature.
Birds build nests. Beavers build dams. Spiders build webs. Humans build houses, villages, cities. The sleekest, most computerized automobile is made by human art and craft from materials drawn from nature. To make things, to create culture, is part of human nature.
Years ago I read a statement by Z. Budapest to the effect that the Goddess is part of nature because there is nothing outside nature. At the time I did not understand what she was saying, but I think I do now. We talk about things that are supernatural, or paranatural, paranormal, unnatural. But from a pagan perspective, and I think from a Buddhist perspective as well, it’s all nature. Gods and goddesses, angels and demons, land-spirits, animal spirits, all these things are part of nature.There is no super-nature, no way outside nature, no “away” where we can throw things and they won’t affect us. To be a druid is to affirm that Susan Griffin is right:
We know ourselves to be made from this earth.
We know this earth is made from our bodies.
For we see ourselves.
And we are nature.
We are nature seeing nature.
We are nature with a concept of nature.
Nature speaking of nature to nature.
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