We Give Thanks for All the Earth Lovers

Mother Earth Goddess
Mother Earth Goddess

We give thanks for all those who are moved, in their lives, to heal and protect the earth, in small ways and in large. Blessings on the composters, the gardeners, the breeders of worms and mushrooms, the soil-builders, those who cleanse the waters and purify the air, all those who clean up the messes others have made. Blessings on those who defend trees and who plant trees, who guard the forests and who renew the forests. Blessings on those who learn to heal the grasslands and renew the streams, on those who prevent erosion, who restore the salmon and the fisheries, who guard the healing herbs and who know the lore of the wild plants. Blessings on those who heal the cities and bring them alive again with excitement and creativity and love. Gratitude and blessings to all who stand against greed, who risk themselves, to those who have bled and been wounded, and to those who have given their lives in service of the earth.

May all the healers of the earth find their own healing. May they be fueled by passionate love for the earth. May they know their fear but not be stopped by fear. May they feel their anger and yet not be ruled by rage. May they honor their grief but not be paralyzed by sorrow. May they transform fear, rage, and grief into compassion and the inspiration to act in service of what they love. May they find the help, the resources, the courage, the luck, the strength, the love, the health, the joy that they need to do the work. May they be in the right place, at the right time, in the right way. May they bring alive a great awakening, open a listening ear to hear the earth’s voice, transform imbalance to balance, hate and greed to love. Blessed be the healers of the earth.

-Starhawk

Healing the Feminine

The Face of The Mother
The Face of The Mother

There is a sacred ground that is calling to us to heal now; it is the ground  of the feminine that holds and nourishes all life. This feminine ground can be found in the dirt of Mother Earth that holds and nourishes a tiny plant seedling. It can be found within each woman who holds and nourishes a human embryo in her womb. Both plant and human require the sacred ground of the Mother to hold and grow new life.

I read of a young woman being brutally raped and left for dead on a bus in India. I turn the page and read of Mother Earth being raped and polluted in a search for oil in the tar sands of  Canada. And I feel the same energy in both acts; a hatred and a dishonoring of the feminine.  It is the male warrior energy run rampant, forgetting the sacredness of the feminine body.

The feminine body has been objectified and mistreated for generations. Both the female womb and the dirt of Mother Earth have been dishonored and defiled again and again.  Entire cultures and religions curse and blame the feminine for our human fall from grace. Those that don’t understand the gifts of the feminine have tried to stifle her wisdom and annihilate her power.

We fear what we do not understand. But how can we possibly kill what holds and nurtures each life?  If we kill the mother, we kill ourselves. And even when we deny the sacredness of the feminine, the mother quietly continues to perform her sacred magic, holding ground for every new life.

Mystery of Mother Earth

Mother is so quiet, dark, mysterious and yet so nurturing; the feminine gifts look and act nothing like the male energies that are prized today. These feminine gifts are so misunderstood, and yet so necessary to heal this world. The power of the feminine lies within an expansive holding, supporting and nurturing energy that is difficult to pin down; visualize the warm safety of mama’s lap; feel into the quiet stability of the earthy ground and you will be on the right track. Knowing the feminine is best done on a visceral and emotional level.

It takes a quieting of the mind and a wondering heart to grasp the gifts of the feminine energies.  Watch a mother with her baby; sense her gentle nurturing and quiet loving presence. Or go outside and sit with Mother Nature; just sit and be still. Breathe, watch and listen to Nature.

The divinity of the feminine whispers in the ripples of the water and the gentle opening of a flower. It is there in the growing tree limbs that arch toward the sky and the roots that burrow into mother’s dirt. Our Earth Mama holds a quiet space of wisdom, always there beneath the surface of life. She is a mysterious, flowing and constant presence.

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The ground of our Mother whispers that it is time now to heal the feminine. The Mother is quietly, yet insistently calling to us. She is demanding that we remember her gifts and honor her sacredness or perish. It is time to heal our relationship with our Earth Mother.

Originally published by Nancy Lankston in July, 2013

I Am Goddess

High Mountain Lake

My bones are mountains.
My tears, rushing rivers.
The earth’s crust is my skin.
Trees adorn my head.

The sun, moon, and stars
Are in my eyes.
The ether of the Universe is my breath.
Separateness is an illusion.

I am all things and all things are me.

~Anya Phenix

Late Summer Harvest

The Golden Lions of Lugh

It is early August. Here in the northern hemisphere, we are in the midst of the hot, lazy “dog days” of summer. The expression “dog days” is believed to pre-date the Roman Empire. Our ancestors named this late summer season the dog days because at this time of year Sirius, the dog star, is closely aligned with the Sun in our sky.

The ancient Celtic people held the festival of Lughnasadh during the dog days of summer. It was their way of celebrating the start of the harvest season. Lughnasadh was typically held halfway between the Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox. It was a time of gratitude for the bounty of the harvest season. In many villages the first sheaf of wheat was harvested and ceremoniously ground and baked into bread for the festival of Lughnasadh. Bonfires were lit to honor the fiery energies of the Sun. The first fruits of the Earth were harvested and shared.

Later in Britain, the festival of Lughnasadh became Lammas Day. The festival of Lammas was held on August 1st in honor of the wheat harvest. The word Lammas comes from the Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas  or  “loaf-mass.”  On the day of Lammas it was customary to bring a loaf of bread made from the new crop to church in celebration and gratitude for the harvest.

Lughnasadh and Lammas are both ritualized ways for the community to acknowledge and honor the food that grows when Father Sun unites with Mother Earth. Our ancestors lived closer to the Earth and the cycles of the seasons. They understood that all life on Earth depends on the magical union of sun, seed and earth. In these modern times, it is easy to forget that all of our food comes from the bounty of Mama Earth. Every morsel is a gift from the Sun and Earth, even if purchased wrapped in cellophane at the local grocery store!

All of our clothing and shelter are also gifts from this sunny planet, as well as the oxygen we breathe. We have come a long way from the times of subsistence farming, yet we are still the children of Mama Earth and Father Sun, completely dependent on their gifts for life. And pausing to acknowledge and honor the start of the harvest season can be a wonderful way to reconnect with the beauty and bounty of Mama Earth.

Take a few moments in early August to connect with Mama Earth and Papa Sun. Offer up a simple prayer of thanks to Earth and Sun for all that you have in your life. You can also create a simple harvest ritual of your own. Just focus on giving thanks for this year’s bounty.

Your personal “harvest” may include more than just the food you eat – what else has come to fruition for you this year?  Perhaps you have a new job or a new family member. Maybe you made progress on a project near and dear to your heart. Or perhaps you’ve found peace in a troubled part of your life.  Take a few moments to honor all the gifts that you have received this year.

Simple ways to honor this year’s harvest:

  • Prepare a dinner feast for family or friends and give thanks.
  • Bake a loaf of bread in honor of the harvest season. Not a baker? Make corn bread or gingerbread.
  • Light a candle and offer a heartfelt prayer of gratitude. 
  • Build a bonfire and dance a prayer of gratitude around it.
  • Go outside and sit for awhile with Earth and Sun. Offer them a heartfelt thanks.

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“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest”
~William Blake