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PAGANS AND THE ENVIRONMENT Witchcraft is the new religion for the new world Sparked by the feminist movement and environmental concern of the 1970s witchcraft is the largest growing religion in the world One belief that unites all followers of witchcraft is that the Earth is sacred and all life is interconnected The natural world is the embodiment of divinity imminent as well as transcendent COG Rituals follow the natural rhythms and cycles of the Universe All witches practice environmental conservation techniques by themselves or by becoming active in an environmental organization With how humans have treated Mother Earth witches take a personal obligation to healing her Their goal is social change Humans have distanced themselves from nature trying to conquer and control it Witchcraft is trying to bring humans back into harmony with the Earth which is essential to the survival of all living things Wiccans connectedness with Nature and the Earth can be seen in their Eight Festivals Each holiday is approximately six weeks apart and they are recognized as pivotal points in the solar cycle It is this sensitivity to the cycles of the moon and the sun that distinguishes a witchs view of the world from others Four of the eight Festivals are referred to as Lesser Sabbats They are Ostara the Spring Equinox Midsummer the Summer Solstice Mabon the Autumn Equinox and Yule the Winter Solstice The other four Festivals are called the Greater Sabbats They are Imbolc Beltane Lammas and Samhain Nicholas These correspond to cycles of not only the moon and sun but to life and death and renewal as well Earth goes through this cycle annually and each Festival corresponds to a certain myth and placement in the cycle All living things are affected by these moods Plants growth patterns are a result of the moon and sun cycle This Agriculture Cycle tells farmers the best times to plant and harvest their crops The cycle tells
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