Mother Nature

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Mother Nature

Post  Admin on 10/27/2008, 1:45 am

Mother Nature

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Images of women representing "mother" earth, and mother nature, are timeless. Long before history was recorded, goddesses were worshipped for their association with fertility, fecundity, and agricultural bounty. Priestesses held dominion over Incan, Assyrian, Babylonian, Slavonic, Roman, Greek, Indo-European, and Iroquoian fertility cults in the millenia prior to the inception of patriarchial religions.
Algonquin legend says that "eneath the clouds [lives] the Earth-Mother from whom is derived the Water of Life, who at her bosom feeds plants, animals and men" (Larousse 428). (Cool She is known as Nakomis, the Grandmother.[edit]

[b]Western tradition

The word nature comes from the Latin word, natura, meaning birth or character (see nature (innate)). In English its first recorded use, in the sense of the entireity of the phenomenon of the world, was very late in history in 1662; however Natura, and the personification of Mother Nature, was widely popular in the Middle Ages and can be traced to Ancient Greece in origin. The pre-Socratic philosophers of Greece had invented Nature when they abstracted the entirety of phenomenon of the world into a single name and spoken of as a single object: Natura. Later Greek thinkers such as Aristotle were not as entirely inclusive, excluding the stars and moon, the "Supernatural", from Nature. Thus from this Aristotilian view—nature existing inside a larger framework and not inclusive of everything—Nature became a personified diety, and it is from this we have the origins of a mythological goddess Nature. Later medieval Christian thinkers, like Aristotle, also did not see Nature as inclusive of everything, but that she was created by God, her place lay on earth, below the heavens and moon—Nature lay somewhere in the middle, with agents above her (angels) and below her (daemons and hell). For the medieval mind she was only a personification, not a goddess. The modern concept of Nature, all inclusive of all phenomenon, has returned to its original pre-Socratic roots no longer a personification or deity except in a rhetorical sense, a bow to her illustrious traditions.
Specifically in Greek mythology, the myth of Demeter and Persephone tells the story of a mother who discovers that her daughter has been abducted by Hades, who drags Persephone into the underworld with him. Demeter, goddess of the harvest, whose name originally meant 'earth mother,' wreaked revenge upon the earth by refusing to provide any crops, so that the "entire human race [would] have perished of cruel, biting hunger if Zeus had not been concerned" (Larousse 152). She would not permit the earth to bear fruit until she saw her daughter again, and so Hades was persuaded by Zeus to allow Persephone to live with her mother most of the year, and to dwell with him in his underground world for the rest of the year. However, the price humankind pays for this agreement, according to the myth, is that when autumn winds arrive, and the earth hardens and becomes covered in snow and frost, Demeter is without her daughter, and allows no fecundity or growth; in contrast, the spring and summer months are those of rejoicing, flowers in bloom, and the beginning of months of warmth and fertility.
In this Greek myth, Demeter, the earth mother, has the power to deny humankind fruits of the harvest. A mother so powerful and so vengeful is an ambivalent figure in myth and history. The metaphor of mother nature continues to permeate the imagination of painters and writers, whose perceptions shape their audiences' images of, and beliefs about, mother, nature and women in general.


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