“Four things are given for your profit , with the names air , water , land and fire. But Odin will alone be the possessor thereof. Therefore, I advise you , you shall choose yourselves just men who deal out fairly the toil and the fruits so that none be free from work nor from the duty to defend . ” -Freyja , The Oera Linda Book


With all the philosophy , with all the ideology presented in this book it must not be forgotten that Ásatrú is first and foremost a nature religion. All of our gods and goddesses have a relationship, in one way or another, with the natural forces prevalent in the universal order. Odin is the god of wind, Thór lord over thunder and lightning , Frey is the patron of harvests , and so on.
This divine link to these phenomena represents , to us , the connection of all life in every corner of exist ence , as they reach out across the worlds to affect our planet . As civilizations seek progress through technological advancement above all else , human beings continue to be further separated from our environment as time passes . In looking at the powers of the gods and goddesses through their archetypes we can see that the balance between naturalism and human develop ment can and should be maintained .


Our world is sacred ; it is our Mother Erde , Mother Earth , a name for our highest goddess , Frigga . Our universe is sacred , it is Yggdrasil , that holiest of symbols representing the synergy of all things . Once we begin to recognize and place importance upon our relationship with our world habitat , we will then be able to grasp the need to protect it at all costs .


More than just wanting to secure the planet for future generations , we should want to defend it because it is the holiest of all objects to us ! Ásatrúar feel the power of earth all around us . We do not need to experience miracles through extravagant magical displays , we do not need artifacts or build ings to feel connected to divinity . It is all around us, in the forests , oceans, mountains, plains ,and valleys; it is everywhere we look , for our Mother Earth sanctifies all living things . Our miracles are in the sunrise , in the birth of a child , in the flight of an eagle , for we live in awe of all the natural wonders of the cosmos .


Although we may have temples , our "churches ” are mainly the sacred groves ( called " holts ” or “ lunds ” ) , where we may fully appreciate the gifts we are given in nature , for as organic beings our awareness of the flora and fauna surrounding us is viewed as truly spiritual . Since the introduction of the Roman paradigm our connection to the land has been suppressed .
For centuries, European people have been disconnected from their bond with the earth and the life on it , replacing it with a desire to conquer everything in their path . It is only recently that valiant efforts to save the environ ment have begun to be effective in the face of rampant industrialism . Until then , we moved from nation to nation , dominating peoples,threatening cultures , destroying landscapes , wiping out entire species of animals . When indigenous , nature based religions are exchanged for belief systems that view the world as a toy for mankind to exploit , our sacred planet will be the first to suffer. From such irresponsible considerations , we have seen whole ecosystems annihilated , and we continue to deal with the consequences of actions made generations past .


The earth is not ours to exploit , conquer , destroy , or harm in any such way ; it is our home , it is the land of our birth , the place we grew up , the soil that rests beneath our feet at this very moment . It is responsible for us as much as we are responsible for it . Scientists today have begun to understand that underlying the incredible balance of natural habitats across the world there must be some sort of intelligence , a consciousness that understands how to maintain this balance as it constantly compensates and adapts in response to change . This is known as “ The Gaia Theory ” , Gaia being the earth goddess of the Greeks , the equivalent of our Erde - Frigga . More often than not science comes full circle in recognizing that was once well established among the ancients. From this we can see that our planet is a living entity working as hard as she can to be a home for us . When we poison her with pollution or lack of population control , we weaken her , allowing the forces of chaos to be unleashed. Hurricanes , blizzards , tornadoes , tidal waves,all destructive forces were believed by our ancestors to be products of the powers of the Jötuns , which the gods and goddesses can only defend against if we help them to do so . We help them by honoring them and offering to them , by living decent lives , and most of all by playing our part in protecting the environment . But how do we do this ?


First , it is important for us to understand and seek to defeat the Roman model of thinking , within ourselves and others , through edu cation and community values . As long as this infects our people ,the sacred world revered by our ancestors will continue to be a plaything for multinational corpo rations and the common man.

 If we return to our native cultures , we can begin to rebuild the spiritual relationship we once had with the earth . Even if one chooses some other path , the very least any of us can do is eliminate the god - complex that has clouded our thinking for so long . If we can once again see the world as an intelligent entity we might consider the örlög factor in our dealings with her . As with any relationship , we should strive for reciprocity , so that every time we take something from her we should give something back . Cut down a tree , plant a tree ; if you hunt or fish , take part in efforts to insure the growth of the species you kill ; if you own or work for a company that consumes natural resources , see to it that these resources are renewed , if possible , and see to it that responsible , eco - friendly policies are implemented throughout every facet of your industry . We cannot allow greed , laziness , or selfishness to stand in the way of our obligations to the planet we live on . In ancient times , the connection to the earth was truly synergetic , for people could not have survived without the gifts of Mother Erde . The celebration of annual festivals revolved around agricultural cycles that were necessary for their very existence . Medicines , food , tools , homes , all things we take for granted , were once taken directly from nature , so they would have to be renewed for future use , maintaining the life of everything and everyone involved . 
In our modern world , because so much of what we use is manmade , we have to choose to reconnect with the sacred world around us , and realize that even the things we make ultimately originated from the natural elements . No matter how advanced we become , how well we will be able to manipulate these elements , this will always be an undeniable truth . 

We will accept our place as natural beings , we will embrace the use of natural remedies for our health , we will again rejoice in the cycle of the seasons , we will recycle , use sparingly and do what we can to protect our planet's resources . These are the ways for us to re - institute our spiritual bond with the environment . It is a responsibility all of us must take seriously , or we will face dire consequences . Each year natural disasters become more frequent as global warming takes its toll , showing us exactly why we have to respect the earth , or we will be the ones to perish.


Norroena.org


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