(Credit to Hibbary for the artwork) Introduction As many of us like know already, a big part of our Involution is manifested in our relationship to the natural world itself just as much as it's also manifested in the way we treat ourselves and each other. We have damaged our environment in a wide variety of ways whether through depletion, pollution, or extinction. This trend occurred in more mild forms in the pre-modern era but the "Enlightenment" era and Industrial Revolution are where it really took hold. The next handful of decades onward will see the brunt of the consequences of these abuses. Today I'd like to talk about a specific aspect of the Traditional world and how it has been perverted/removed from the Modern world. As you could likely guess from the title, that aspect would be the various traditional Nature archetypes. This is something that is perennial, it's seen across the world, the archetype of the Lord of Nature, Guardian of the Forest, Mother Nature, The God of Growth, etc. Naturally, they tend to embody the physical features of Nature, the flora, fauna, geography, and even the astrography of their surroundings. For example, the Celtic goddess Abnoba was specifically associated with forests and rivers. The Kartvelians worshiped the goddess Dali, linked to the ibex, deer, and mountains. Mesoamerica, most notably the Aztecs, worshiped Xōchipilli whose name translates to, "Prince of flowers" and is seen to be embodied in that very form. However, Nature archetypes are also attached to more metaphysical concepts, fertility, beauty, ferocity, respect, and unpredictability. They demanded to be admired and respected, and promised the safety of their worship if they uphold this. Today we are going to be focusing specifically on one archetype, the kappa, a kind of 妖怪 yōkai (specter). It's a figure depicted in the above painting and in the Japanese 民間伝承 minkan denshō (lit. private transmission). It's essentially a part of their folklore, their oral history, and is tied to their traditional Shinto. I'd like to focus on the kappa specifically because it demonstrates in a streamlined way how nature archetypes are tied to the maintenance of Deep Ecology in a Traditional existence. We can also realize what happens when this and other archetypes are made to be absent. First, we'll explore the kappa itself and see what revelations come our way. The Meaning of the Kappa The kappa is, as previously mentioned, a creature in Japanese folklore. They were classified as yōkai, a grouping for legendary creatures that inhabit the physical world. They can be submissive or aggressive, intelligent or dumb, animate or inanimate, human-like or alien, and everything in between. The specifics tend to vary, especially when it comes to kappa, but certain details tend to stay the same no matter where or when you look in Japan's long history. The name itself depends on the time and region. For the sake of convenience we will be mainly referring to them by this. The physical appearance of the kappa varies, but can be limited to a semi-humanoid turtle-like creature with a bowl on its head called a 皿 sara (dish/bowl) that carries water necessary to the kappa's movement and health. Water is quite literally not just their home, but also their life force, their entire vitality. Therefore their home can only be in or near plentiful bodies of water. Kappa are often associated with rivers leading to one of their names being 川虎 kawatora, (river tiger). In this sense you could consider them to be an equivalent to the, "pond imp" described in certain local Scottish traditions. Such beings vary from cheeky helpers to deceitful scam artists. In any case, they are very intelligent and unpredictable, fitting for an entity tied to the archetype of water, especially rivers with strong currents and/or depth that are hard to determine, even then there's more to it than that. The sara on their head is their greatest weakness as it keeps them from travelling. If the sara becomes empty they must be able to flee back underwater. In a sense this is also a trait of bodies of water themselves, they are static compared to the humans that are around them. Nonetheless, the parallels don't end there, because exploiting their weakness is exactly how one endures a troublesome kappa. They are known to be very predictable in one regard, they are unusually fixated on traditional etiquette, no matter what, it's a reflex for them. If you are confronted by a kappa who means you harm, what you should do is make a deep bow to them. Manners demand that they instantly return your bow, draining the water from their sara and giving them no choice but to retreat so that they can refill it. Of course, in some stories the method differs, making a kappa spill its water in some other way works as well, but this is the common and certain way to do it, the one that requires the least amount of skill. Some accounts talk about taking advantage of the kappa's big ego. Similarly, refilling this spirit's sara for them ensures their loyalty to you. This is the most important comparison we can make between water itself and the legend in it. To avoid trouble with both, you must show respect to them, by treating the water as it is meant to be treated, giving a gesture of goodwill to its spiritual guard. In the legends, kappa often did good for people, as long as they were treated well. They occasionally help farmers irrigate their land, navigate in water, repair drinking wells, help fishermen in times of famine, and help people with sickness/injury. Notice that all of those functions are related in some way to what water itself does for humanity. The kappa is a means of personifying and transmitting a sacral Aesop, both the risk/obstruction that water poses along with the utility/support that can come from water. Crucially, if you want to survive and gain from water, you must treat the water in a certain fashion, with respect, awareness, and self control. These three concepts are enshrined in any Traditional society, Japan is no exception. Their wheel of archetypes makes sure that the future generations can compartmentalize and maintain a path of truth and virtue. What happens when this lesson is lost to us, as so many have been lost to Modernity? The Loss of the Kappa As you likely guessed from the featured painting, one way or another people have stopped bowing, and thus stopped respecting the physical water itself. The specific belief in a turtle-like spirit with a bowl on its head on its own is not the issue. The problem is viewing the natural world through a lens that can only see the world through its material components, not the immaterial whole. The kappa or tantamount icon is not a physical part of water, no, but it is a metaphysical part of what water is in the gestalt sense. Archetypes transmit a usable image of the latter for Realization. The primordial man had no need for archetypes because he understood these things intuitively. It's a mark of our Fallen status that they're so vital. Despite the rationalist/empiricist insistence that parables and myths are sub-standard Aesops at best, we need them. Anything else is, ironically a sub-rational approach. Even though some modernists claim to be on the side of Nature, they fail to articulate the reason why in a way that can be understood well, much less perpetuated to our descendants. Anti-Tradition can be summed up as making it harder to center on the most primal metaphysical truth and virtue. Materialism is anti-Traditional in this way. The average person Nietzsche famously remarked that God is Dead, slaughtered at the hands of Modernity. The kappa and all their manifestations are being thrown into the mass grave as well. We can see the modernization of Japan today, even if it's not quite as bad as what's happening in the West, the influence is still there, a cruel, creeping teleology. This Dark Epoch is no stranger to it. This is how Modernity cuts off the metaphysical first and the physical second. It annihilates the connection with the truly spiritual and ruins Man’s relationship with Nature. That which is in opposition to what transcends life, ultimately will always end up in opposition to the domain of life itself, especially non-humanity. We all know the humanitarian and human-centric streak that the Modern world has. The core of Deep Ecology is seeking to view Nature beyond just human-centered utility and especially human profit. Deep Ecology counters the belief that water is merely something to be shackled to a dam, confined to a bottle, battered with plastic waste, and so on and so forth. We defend that which has essence and through Modernity is reduced to interchangeable matter and energy. According to these Challengers-Forth, Nature won't be allowed to stand on its own, or stand at all. The water that flows naturally is actually flowing uselessly or even, "chaotically." and should be utilized in a way that empirically serves the System, whether the System serves the bourgeois or the proletariat. The Bringers-Forth grasp it very differently. We do not reduce, we illuminate the emergent, sacral nature of, well, Nature. These natural archetypes are the tools, limited as they are, through which we revive a worldview of Tradition, a worldview with a metaphysical center. We see the immanent hierarchy and order within Nature that, unlike the Modern realm is not slowly crawling towards chaos on its own. It is nothing less than the Men whose nature is corrupted that corrupts Nature. For that which is inward is correspondingly outward. The man who doesn't bow doesn't get bowed towards to, simple as that. This is why I'll always reiterate the importance of righting the inner world before the outer world. Conclusion Ultimately, we can recognize the importance of Nature archetypes in the Traditional world, and the disasters of their absence in the Modern. Through understanding this we can understand the degenerate attitude that so many modernists have with the natural world. Environmentalism, even when it occasionally pops in the Left under their vulgar egalitarian aegis, is a Traditional position in its most pure state. I plan to talk more about that and things like it in the future. I hope that this post inspired something or somethings in you. For now, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. Besides the ones I mentioned, what other archetypes can you recall from other Traditional worldviews? What are your experiences with the sacral aspects of Nature that go beyond materialism? I am looking forward to discussing them all with you. Thank you for reading.