In a fabulous post over at Patheos Pagan, Melissa Hill (an ADF Druid) writes about the “fractal nature of the Earth Mother“, and how we can see and honour her both through the myth and symbolism of ancient and modern paganism, and as the “pale blue dot” (to use Carl Sagan’s phrase) revealed by scientific understanding.
For many people, “science” and “religion”, both understood narrowly, are in perpetual conflict. However, as Hill points out, both can reveal different ways of seeing the Earth and relating to her. In my opinion, the fact that a myth is not literally true does not take away its value and meaning as a story we tell ourselves about what it is to be human, to be alive.
When understood this way, there is no conflict between knowing the Earth is a planet rotating around the Sun, and finding meaning in myths of the same Earth and Sun as goddesses.
As modern pagans we have the challenge of integrating modern scientific knowledge with ancient wisdom and understanding of the world. Often times I see that people are incredibly polarized between one or the other, insisting that only scientific research can hold the keys to wisdom or that the knowledge of the ages, written down long ago is far more important in understanding.
I think we need both science and religion.
Go over to Patheos Pagan and read the whole thing!