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Briton

Plant "worship"

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Briton

I've never liked the word "worship" since I became whatever it is I am today, since I don't "worship" anything in the conventional sense (but how many pagans do, I guess?) however it's the best word I can think of. Encapsulating the ideas of revering, paying homage to, prioritising and unconditional love towards, I guess.

Anyway, does anyone know of any belief systems, or cultic devotions within major pagan religions, where plants (of all kinds, from mosses to ferns to great oaks) are regarded as a form of life both more fundamental and at the same time "higher" than animals? I know fungi aren't plants but they may have historically been thought to have been and so included and that's fine with me. Where there any traditions whereby plants were held in particular regard, the festival calendar heavily focused on them, or that their possibly mysteriously sedentary but seemingly eternal lives (usually exceeding a human lifespan) was seen as something that we should give more respect to than other living things?

My animism has developed over the last year or so in this direction. I find myself utterly besotted by plants. They are so much older than us and will, probably, outlive mammals, if not all animals, too (in some form or another). Whether it's a humble liverwort or a towering, patronistic sequoia, I can't help but feel a form of reverence that I don't think I even felt when I believed in a god. If there have been or are other belief systems that give great reverence, or even worship, to plants it could give me direction, inspiration or structure to my own philosophy about how humanity must better live with plants in order to survive into the future (which I haven't gone into here and doesn't seem relevant to the forum).

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Moonsmith

Some time ago, when we were all bashing the word "worship" Pomona reminded us what it meant.

I can't find her post but the origin of the word is "to acknowledge the worth of...."  This would usually refer to a deity.  I would find it hard not to acknowledge the worth of my deity, the universe, in terms of my existence, life and thinking 🙂

There are certainly those who worship a car, a celebrity or a lifestyle.

As to worshiping plant - well I'm bloody impressed by a CatD8.

Sorry Briton, that was daft even though I'm leaving it there.  Plants above animals?  I doubt it.  World wide most cultures set humans above animals so I can't see plants getting a look in other than the homes or embodiments of a deity that exists "elsewhere" in its deistic form.

There are North American cultures that revered the Tree Mother.  I do not know whether she inhabited the tree or was the tree.  You can see her reflected in the cartoon Pocohontas.  She is certainly Lacota and Crow.

Is there a difference between worshiping a tree/plant and revering one?  Mistletoe?

I was once going to write an environmental thriller in which the world first lost the family rosaecae[ many trees and fruits] and then the gramineae [grasses, cereals and bamboo].  I'm sure there are cultures that worship/ed crops but again, probably as containing an anthropomorphic deity.

Edited by Moonsmith
coz I thought of something else!

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Earthdragon
12 hours ago, Briton said:

Anyway, does anyone know of any belief systems, or cultic devotions within major pagan religions, where plants (of all kinds, from mosses to ferns to great oaks) are regarded as a form of life both more fundamental and at the same time "higher" than animals?

Not "higher" as such but a fundamental part of our Druidic spiritual practise.

Starting with the Ogham and extending into the whole plant kingdom (or at least those plants/fungi that one is drawn to commune and work with) - the presence, forms, energetic vibration of plants their collective and  individual spirit are there to be learned from.

There is a tendancy for human beings to place things in a hierarchy - our fellows, and the beings that inhabit this world. I try to avoid doing this. 

Airmid from the Irish pantheon is  deity I have worked with as regards plants and their healing properties which extend from their physical composition into their subtle aspects...

 

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