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Nature Spirits and the Healing Power of Nature

The characteristics of nature spirits.

Nature spirits are very real, though the quality and substance of that reality is beyond the scientific paradigm. My ancestors worshipped them, as nyads, dryads, fairies, devas, gods and goddesses of places etc. Many modern peoples still worship such spirits, and even those who have taken on a more modern, compassionate, monotheistic religion frequently still acknowledge and respect, or even revere the spirits of nature.
They are important to our wellbeing, and can help us or turn against us … and though this may only be in small ways, they can be life-saving or life-threatening.
Nature spirits are set slightly apart form our experience of reality, in that they are not worried about their survival. This does not mean they are immortal, or that they don’t suffer:- they are easily hurt and destroyed. They are concerned with their own meaning, destinies and wellbeing. They can be loved or hated, they can sense love or hate, or any emotion, and can feel and give such emotions too.
If well treated they are usually well-meaning, though often mischievous. But, if feared, if granted power over humans through human fear … or if overly praised, and granted power over humans through fawning submission … then their mischievousness can become inflated into cruelty and a disrespectful callousness. (Thus, don’t be afraid of them or overly worship them!!)



The Healing Power of Nature.

For the most part, natural surroundings are healing. We have evolved as a part of nature so our senses expect, and thrive on, surroundings of blue sky, green plants growing in soil, clean air, fresh water and warm fires. But also our dream bodies expect and thrive on the proximity of nature spirits. This is more important than many think: top psychiatrists are agreed that 30% of crippling psychosis could be avoided if we didn’t live in cities.
Being in a wild or natural place can evoke powerful emotions:- belonging, liberty, peace; a sense of purpose, a sense of beauty, awe and magnificence. Like looking at the stars it can evoke at once a sense of humility and tremendous significance. All the things that are missing from an alienated, anonymous existence, immersed in the pointlessness of consumerism.
Many nature spirits (especially old tree spirits) are also “consciousness raising”. That is, they put us in a frame of mind which is closer to the positive spiritual values: meaning, inspiration, healing … what many call the divine.
Often, people mistake this quality in such spirits as signifying that they are themselves divine. Although such spirits deserve our appreciation and nurture, to worship them would be akin to electing Brer Rabbit as president. It is the divinity beyond, the spirit of love that nature brings us closer to, which ultimately deserves the worship.
This is why I have ended up specialising in outdoor nature-oriented rituals, and why my teaching of Dreamcraft ends with an outdoor ritual in wild surroundings.

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