Some folks might be uncomfortable with the term goddess to describe the forest ecosystem. They’re afraid they might be accused of being superstitious or worse. However, terms like ecosystem or higher level complex system don’t really do it justice. In fact they fall short of describing the dynamics of communication and fundamental sentience that characterizes a living forest. The forest is the physical network while the goddess is the dynamic flow of information that drives the system.
The ancients knew that they lived in an intelligent system of communication, cooperation and memory. They personified the aspects of the system by giving them names and attributes. Science does the same thing, hanging names on invisible and even unknown objects, at will. They continue to crank out their own brand of mythology, unrelated to reality.
The mythic events the ancients recounted were meant to show relationships between invisible forces. Just as the descriptions put forth by our modern science, part of the motivation has always been to manage the behavior of the masses.
What our western civilized science has so foolishly discarded as superstitious myth is really a sophisticated description of the invisible information processing system that monitors and controls the behavior of all species, including human beings. The difference is that science shows no respect for the sentience of other living things. In our present state, nothing short of renewed reverence for Nature will get us back into the system.