Sacred Connection with Nature

Sacred Connection with Nature

Sacred Connection with Nature: Why does it matter so much?

Guest speaker: Dr Juliet Batten

Joined by Māhina Ngāpō and Jo Blackman, contributors to the Sun, Moon and Stars project.

This webinar took place on Wednesday May 3rd and the recording is now available to watch. Aimed at educators and parents, including Early Childhood, Primary and Intermediate teachers and nature educators, it is also relevant for interested people of all ages.

About the Webinar

Juliet’s book Celebrating the Southern Seasons: Rituals for Aotearoa has been used by educators and parents for 28 years, to support deeper connections with nature and ourselves. Her recent book Sun, Moon and Stars, includes stories from families and whānau who have been inspired by Juliet’s work, with examples and practical steps for creating and strengthening seasonal rituals, drawing on traditions from both Te Ao Māori and European ancestral celebrations.

“I would like to see every child growing up with a special tree or sacred place where they can tell their troubles and restore their energy whenever they need to."

Key discussion points in the webinar include:

  • Why is a deep connection to nature such a sacred and essential resource?
  • How do we enable the young to face the world they have inherited without falling into despair in the face of climate change?
  • What has happened to indigenous knowledge, a sense of wonder, and the spiritual dimension of earth connection?
  • What is the special power of celebrating seasonal rituals?
  • What is the key to accessing indigenous experience, not just for tamariki but also for children for whom earth-based spirituality may be unknown?
  • What is the role of elders and a long view in supporting the younger generation, especially those who may be experiencing mental stress?
  • The three dimensional world of nature versus the two dimensional world of the screen: can the two work together or are they incompatible?
  • Why is talking about climate change to the young like talking about sex?
“When we become fully aware of the connection of our festivals with the land, sea, stars, moon and sun according to the movement of the seasons, harmonising these festivals with the southern hemisphere calendar becomes a natural step… 

-Celebrating the Southern Seasons (pg 23)

Related Resources

If you would like to explore these ideas further and read inspiring examples from families in Aotearoa, we recommend Juliet's books:

You may also like to watch the short episode (7 mins) of Juliet discussing Connecting to Aotearoa, from the documentary series Land of the Long White Cloud.