The Church of the Divine Earth

Pagan Communion with Nature


Andras Corban Arthen

There are many diverse ways in which spirituality manifests in the pagan traditions, but underlying all of them is a fundamental sense of experiencing the Sacred, the Great Mystery, through communion with the natural world. For pagans, Nature is our spiritual matrix, the means through which we may most directly connect with the Great Mystery that permeates every facet of our existence and surpasses the many identities, labels and theologies through which humans have attempted to represent it.

Nature is the most immediate and tangible manifestation of the Great Mystery. Like the Sacred, it contains us, but also transcends us. In cultivating a spiritual relationship with the natural world, we quickly come to realize that we are part of something much greater than ourselves, something so much more complex and far-reaching than we can begin to understand. We are as much a part of Nature as a tree, as a mountain, as a stream, as a meadowlark, as fire. Our sustenance, our very survival, depend upon it – the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the wood and stone we use for shelter.

Through spiritual communion with the natural world, we experience ourselves as enmeshed in a vast, living web of interdependent relationships, where we are part of everything, and everything is part of us. This leads us to an understanding that all our actions matter, that all our actions have consequences which affect everything else. It also instills in us a sense of perspective, of proportion – that the universe does not exist exclusively for the benefit of us humans, that the rest of the natural world deserves our respect and consideration.

Pagan communion with Nature brings us face-to-face with the Sacred in all its mystery and power, and can induce in us a mystical experience of profound inner peace, in which we merge with the Sacred and are nurtured and formed by it.