Rich soil crumbles beneath my hands
like a decadent cake.
The moist scent of prosperity
and the powers of creation clings to my skin.
My heart echoes the drumbeat of our Mother
as I kneel against her in silent contemplation…
My hands cradling her cool tranquility,
I taste her composure,
her boundless strength,
and yearn for the balance she teaches…
Brimming with the dichotomy of Creation,
the eternal foundation forever changing,
dances through the twinkling void…
Bountiful, she provides
though we abuse and poison her…
taught by even a sliver of her bones,
where ancient memory has
Through night and day,
pain and joy,
birth, death and renewal…
our red roads scar her skin as we dance,
She dances still…
Waltzing in time with us
even when we don’t know we are dancing…
Our hearts keep the beat…
and Rich soil crumbles beneath my hands
like a decadent cake.
The moist scent of prosperity
and the powers of creation clinging to my skin.
My heart echoes the drumbeat of our Grand Mother
as I kneel against her
in silent contemplation…
Who sings now?
“The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belongs just as the buffalo belonged….” Luther Standing Bear
“The Great Spirit is in all things, he is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother. She nourishes us, that which we put into the ground she returns to us….” Big Thunder
“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew. ” Marshall McLuhan, 1964
Earth represents stability, strength, fertility/creativity/abundance, and home. As one of the four classical elements, it was associated with physical life, practicality, the sensuality of life, and materialism. The Archangel Uriel or Auriel is associated with this element as well as planet Earth, patron of artists and poets as well as the birds and beasts of the wild. Capricorn, Virgo and Taurus are the Earthy signs of the Zodiac. In the practice of Feng Shui, this element also represents confidence. Brown is the color most often associated with this element, although black, green, yellow, and reddish browns like russet are also common. Sometimes metal or stone is used to represent the Earth, although I see each type of Stone or Metal as an individual Teacher. Stones are the memory keepers for the Earth, and contain much wisdom although interactions with them are very different from more lively Teachers like Animals or Plants.
Greed, stagnation, materialism, gluttony, and unreliable behavior are signs of an Earthy imbalance. Without the Earth, we would not be here. Without this element’s receptivity and ability to nurture life we would have no food to eat, and no plants with which to create medicine, shelter or other useful items. Humanity is collectively Awakening, oh so slowly, to the connectivity of our planet, its needs and the damage we have inflicted upon it around the globe. In most ancient religions, reverence and care for the Earth is a prominent duty expected of each of us no matter our standing in life. People we admire are referred to as “salt of the earth”, although many such people today are scathingly referred to as “tree-huggers”. A long standing joke among my friends, “What’s the best thing about Pagan friends? They already worship the ground you walk on.” While not necessarily completely accurate, it is none the less amusing and a certain respect for our planet and its resources is a very strong aspect in most of the Neo-Pagan religions/philosophies that are being revived around the world.
Native Traditions are rife with references on our duty to care for the Earth, and tend it in trust for the future generations of all Life, as are many ancient cultural Traditions from around the World. These Traditions also include the perspective that the Stone People (all rocks, minerals, crystals, etc), are the memory keepers of the Earth, and that we can access those memories through meditation and energy work with them.
Perhaps stemming from Proto-Indo European concepts, many cultures believed in our earlier days that we were inextricably intertwined with all other Life here on Earth, and that everything on Earth has an individual spirit, is worthy of respect, has a sacred right to exist and a divine purpose to fulfil. To me it has always seemed to be such a simple matter. We all live here on Earth and should do our best to take care of what we have as it benefits us all.
There are many ways in which we can interact with this element whether we are speaking of mere soil or the planet on which we live, all of which are beneficial to us body, mind and soul. Gardening, planting trees, working with pottery, mud masks, voluteering your time to collect litter or help in your community on Earth day, picking up litter throughout your day, increasing your awareness of environmental issues, and recycling at home are just a few examples. My favorite suggestion, however, is simply spending time in Nature with the children in your life. To my mind, there are few occupations so rewarding both in the short term and in the long run. Drums are the traditional musical instrument associated with Earth, and the act of drumming is not only therapeautic but also a wonderful way to become aware of Nature’s rhythms and heightening our sense of connectivity.
“Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.”
An Ute Prayer
“Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery,
teach me how to trust
my inner knowing,
the senses of my body,
the blessings of my spirit.
Teach me to trust these things
so that I may enter my Sacred Space
and love beyond my fear,
and thus Walk in Balance
with the passing of each glorious Sun. ” Lakota Prayer
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. ~Elwyn Brooks White
Keywords: Stability/Foundations, Nurturing Transformation, Renewal, Confidence, Creation, Feminity, Abundance, Natural Power/Magic/Wisdom/Connectivity, Protection, Life/Death/Rebirth, Protection, Strength, Duty, Sacrifice, Reason, Healing
Associated Deities, legends, or popular figures: Mother Earth/ Gaia, Amatheon, Demeter/Ceres, Caillech, Cernnunos, Cerridwen, Dagda, Danu, Rhiannon, Skatha, Green Man/Woman, Gefion, Hades/Pluto, Hecate, Pan, Persephone, Aker, Ament, Hathor, Geb, Khnum, Khem, Neper, Osiris, Ki, Ninhursag, Ganesha, Tiamat, Freyr, Dionysus, Prithvi, Sita, Lakshmi, Atlas, Midgard Serpent, Kali, Khon-Ma, Nanda-Devi, Maya, Pavarti, Tara, Pan, Lilith, Archangel Uriel/Auriel, gnomes, dwarves, Hulderfolk, Cadmus and Europa, Brownies, Dryads, Pygmies, Satyrs, Elves, Axis Mundi
Potential balancing energies: other Elements like water, fire, air. Earthy animals like Buffalo, Cattle, Deer, Horse, Badger, Groundhog, Earthworm, Rabbit, Pigs, Bears, Chipmunks, Snakes, Moles, Turtles, Elephants, Insects like Centipedes, Ants, Grasshoppers, or trap-door spiders. Birds like Goldfinch, Burrowing Owls or Quail. Water creatures like Whale or Dolphin, Plants and Trees of all kinds including mosses and fungi, Stones/Minerals/Metals like obsidian, salt, or gold,