The Gods as ‘Natures’: Exploring the Divine Constituents of Nature in Gothic Religion

Written by Dyami Millarson

In the Germanic or Gothic polytheistic tradition, the Gods are nātūrae natures as one may say in Latin, representing distinct entities or essences of the natural world. This means that the Gods are the constituents that make up the totality of nature. By examining the relationship between the divine and nature in Germanic polytheism, we can better understand the interconnectedness of these traditions and how they shape human understanding of the world around them. The analysis of the Gods as nātūrae emphasises their role as integral components of the natural world. In this view, nature is a collective noun synonymous with the collection of Gods. Germanic or Gothic polytheists traditionally perceive the world around them as a sum of distinct divine forces, each with its own unique characteristics, powers, and purpose. This understanding of the Gods as the constituents of nature reinforces the idea that the natural world is intrinsically linked to the divine.

The Germanic polytheistic tradition, both in its earlier and later forms, recognises the value of examining both the individual parts and the whole of nature. By acknowledging the unique attributes and roles of each God, Germanic polytheists are well-equipped to appreciate the complex and dynamic interplay between these divine forces. This holistic approach to understanding the natural world highlights the importance of each constituent, as well as the collective impact of the Gods. The belief that the Gods are nātūrae serves to strengthen the connection between the natural world and the divine in the Germanic polytheistic tradition. By viewing nature as a collective of Gods, Germanic polytheists inherently acknowledge the sacredness of the world around them. The Germanic traditional perspective fosters a deep appreciation for the environment and promotes a harmonious relationship between humans and the natural world, as also witnessed among the speakers of Schiermonnikoog Frisian.

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