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The Language of Nature 

Text by Siobhán O'Callaghan



Patterns are the language of nature. A pattern is a form of events created by pressure or tension between two different mediums. The purpose of pattern is efficiency, to facilitate energy flow or nutrient distribution, and they represent the connections and relationships between things. Where we often believe that there is chaos in Nature, there is actually profound efficiency and order, all throughout the macro to the micro world.


Despite becoming somewhat lost in our pattern sense of wholistic system thinking, us humans possess highly evolved pattern recognition skills. All we need to do is observe and interact.

Through simply observing, we can learn to read our outer and inner landscapes and identify recurring patterns. Not only does this assist to deepen our appreciation of the world that we live in, but it also empowers us to adapt and evolve our behavioural, environmental and social patterns into positive and healthy patterns that align with the energy flow of Nature.


By activating our senses to create positive change, pattern sensing can lead us to new discoveries, personal growth, as well as opportunities for developing innovative and regenerative concepts.


In the vastness of Nature, an infinite number of pattern variations can be found - from the macro to the micro world, within us and around us.


Despite this vastness, there are actually very few pattern form types - this means that we can easily learn these forms, which become our aids to further recognise the ever expanding complexities of Nature and of Life.


In Permaculture design, the Core Model pattern is referenced as the primary pattern of Nature - it can be viewed to represent Nature in it's most concise form. Translated as a 3D torus, it's top reflects it's bottom and it is constantly in motion with a centred balancing point. It is present in everything from galaxies to planets, animals to plants, trees to us humans. Pattern is what connects us.


Furthermore, the Core Model pattern reinforces balance and can be a reminder of the duality of life.


A 2D slice of the Core Model pattern is easily recognisable as an apple, and can be visually understood as a mature tree.


At the seed of germination, an explosion of events has taken place, giving the tree it's impulse to grow upwards. Nutrients are cycled from its roots into the leaves and at the same time sugars are cycled from the leaves into the roots.


It can be said that all of Nature's patterns can be found within this Core Model -

In the case of the tree, a spiral pattern of energy takes place through the trunk, branching patterns form the roots, branches and leaf veins, leaves connect to create scatter patterns, the tree's bark consists of a net pattern and it is common knowledge that the tree trunk growth is formed in a radial pattern.



The Core Model Pattern cards have been created for you to use as reference for understanding Patterns in Nature.


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