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Nature Awareness

Nature Awareness is an introduction to how people fit into and interact with the land and Nature Spirits around them. It introduces students to the spirits that inhabit the very land we walk on and gives them an introductory understanding of the nature of those spirits. It will also help students achieve a more holistic perception if the universe in which we live and participate. The course includes a brief look into traditional Indo-European views of environment (social customs, ritual customs, or other areas of student interest) and how such views are continued in today's society. Students will become more aware of major environmental concerns in their immediate areas. The primary goals of this course are to:

  • provide students with a formalized introduction to one of our Three Kindred;
  • show students, in a very basic way, how they fit into the chain of events we call life;
  • provide students with a basic idea of how the ancients viewed their relationships to the land and how we might adapt those ideas in a modern context; and
  • help students become more aware of issues of concern in their immediate area.

Bibliography for Nature Awareness

Exit Standards:

  1. Describe the customs of two or three Indo-European cultures regarding the land and natural resources, and compare and contrast these practices with the prevailing modern attitudes. (minimum 300 words)
  2. Describe your understanding of the term "nature spirits"? Discuss this concept in relation to both ancient Indo-European and modern ADF practices. (minimum 300 words)
  3. Describe the park or patch of untended nature closest to your home and what kind of park it is. (minimum 100 words)
  4. Explain where your household water comes from; what waterway is nearest to your home, and where its source is; where it drains; if there are any large bodies of water (lakes, ocean) near your home; what you know about the quality of water in your region; and what the major concerns in your area regarding your water supply are. (minimum 300 words)
  5. Explain where your household garbage ends up and what recycling is available in your area? (minimum 100 words)
  6. Briefly describe the major sources of air and water pollution in your area, what the biggest source of pollution in your area is, and what impact it has. (minimum 100 words)
  7. Describe the basic climate of your region, the primary influences on your weather patterns, major economic resources of your region (for example, crops, minerals, ranching, tourism, manufacturing) and how are these affected by climate and weather conditions. (minimum 300 words)
  8. Name and provide the following information for each of three species of animals (birds, mammals, insects, fish, etc.) and three species of plants native to and currently found in your area:
    1. Its status (endangered, threatened, thriving, overpopulated)
    2. A brief physical description of the species, noting if you have seen it, and where.
    3. Describe at least one of the following:
    1. a way it is or has been used by humans (for example, as food source, medicinal use, raw materials for tools, clothing, housing, etc.)
    2. a way in which it has been affected by human presence or development
    3. a way in which it has adapted to or entered into an ecological relationship with human presence or human development.
  9. Identify one species of plant or animal in your local area which is threatened, endangered, or locally endangered, or which became extinct in historic times. Explain what destroyed or threatens this species locally, how does or might the absence of this species affect your locality, and what, if any, steps were taken or are being taken to preserve the species. (minimum 100 words)
  10. Identify one plant or animal species which was introduced to your area and explain how its introduction and continued presence has affected the local ecology and what, if any, steps are being taken to mitigate those effects. (minimum 100 words)
  11. Based on your experiences, meditations, and research, describe what, in your opinion, makes a place seem "natural." (minimum 100 words)
  12. Based on your research for Questions 1 above, describe what sort of offering would be appropriate to make to the Nature Spirits in your area, and what would be an appropriate way to make such an offering and why. Discuss the potential ecological consequences of making this offering and ways to modify the offering in order to minimize any negative environmental impact. (minimum 100 words)
  13. Based on the research and conclusions you have drawn from question 1 through 12, describe how you might further extend your personal and/or group spiritual practices to include the Nature Spirits and other natural elements. (minimum 300 words)


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