By Robin Smyth
With modern day worship firmly entrenched within the confines of cathedrals, churches, temples and other holy houses, the majority of our population has no real insight into the origins of religion.
To get in touch with the real roots of religion, get yourself out of the house and in touch with nature. Nature is home to all living creatures, including humans, and nature is where our ancestors first formed the rituals and ceremonies that eventually distilled into one god religions.
According to ancient religious practice, such as Paganism, the entire globe is sacred and is to be considered a place of worship. And why not? Take a moment and really look around you next time you are in the great outdoors. Nature is magnificent and awe inspiring.
Pagans and Wiccans regularly practice their religious rites outdoors because the belief is that worship takes place daily, in every moment. Everything around them is a blessed gift from the divine. Gardens and mountains alike can be a place of worship. To be in tune with nature is to be in tune to the god forces.
Before single god worship became commonplace, our ancient civilizations saw gods and goddesses all around them, in the sun and moon, the oceans and mountains.
This type of religion was not limited to one portion of the world at all. Multiple deities were worshipped by the Egyptians, Greeks, Japanese and Romans. In fact, the list is rather long. Suffice it to say that the multiple deity religious style of the ancients encompassed our world.
As time and worship evolved, ceremonies were removed from nature to take place indoors in huge, shining, reverent buildings. The number of gods dwindled from the many deities of different genders to the one. While Pagan and Wiccan religions give equal respect to all genders, one god religions focus their attention to a male god figure.
Without actually sparking a huge debate on which religion is better or worse than the other, the point I’m trying to make is that civilization has morphed its worship practices into a highly ritualized, indoor, date and time specific event.
It’s not even really publicly acceptable to announce that a person follows Pagan, Pantheist, Wiccan or what have you. Revealing an interest in nature-based worship earns no respect but instead tends to invite the “What a crackpot” mindset from the general public.
As a result, nature-based worship cultures tend to keep a low profile and stay silent on their faith of choice. This seems like a dichotomy of the most ironic sort to this most humble and impartial reporter.
We have a modern society which looks at its very own religious beginnings with scorn and intolerance while it chooses to hold on high a derivative of the very parent of its current belief system. That was a mouthful and a mind boggling statement.
Do any of us choose to explore the depths of the religion we follow? Where did it begin and with who? Are we allowing ourselves the opportunity to get to know who we worship or are we simply attending in our parents footsteps? Not that there’s anything wrong with that—it’s certainly none of my business—but it’s called a “flock” for a reason.
Sure, you might be reading my words and getting all hot and bothered, righteously indignant, even angry. But all these reactions are fear based. Maybe I’m way off topic but may I most sincerely invite you to get yourself back to nature?
What if your faith could be empowering, all encompassing, blessedly bright and accepting and on your own terms, just the way our forebears and the gods intended?
Robin Smyth has contributed to newsletters, business publications, inter-company webpages and blog sites. She has reported on multiple genres engaging a variety of styles and is known for her one draft, no edits style of writing. Follow her on Twitter @RobinDS3.