May 10, 2021
Rooted / Determined / Loyal / Practical / Sensual
by Sara Timms / Art, Mother Nature, by Atalanta Fugiens
Do you ever stop to think about what the Earth is actually made of? We walk on it every day, eat food that’s grown on it, vacuum the crumbles on the rug that lies on it, and unless you’re a gardener or a child, we probably don’t touch it very often. But the Earth and ground we live, eat, sleep, and walk on is very important- from microscopic rocks like dirt and sand, and tiny living organisms like worms and bacteria, to giant redwood trees and mountains, the Earth and her gravity is what keeps us from flailing into the chaos of outer space, literally grounding and protecting us from the unknown. Let's look deeper…
What makes up the Earth? Dirt is a relatively thin layer of crust around our Earth which coats more solid layers of rock, and a molten inner core. If you want to get technical, dirt is actually considered to be “dead” by dirt and soil nerds as it is often just sand, clay, and silt. Dirt can also be formed when certain farming methods take all the nutrients from the soil without replenishing them, which leaves barren soil that cannot grow crops. Soil, however, is considered “alive” because it contains nutrients, worms, fungi, insects, and organic matter. Dirt is generally light colored and cannot support much plant life, whereas soil is dark, damp, thick, and supports much plant life because it is dense with nutrients. Soil takes thousands to millions of years to form by breaking down various organic materials, and is essential to sustain life on Earth.
Trees and bushes, with their strong roots that hold hillsides and mountains together, and their trunks and leaves that manufacture the oxygen, nutrients, and energy we need with which to live, provide not just sturdiness and food, but can also be broken down into things we need like shelter and clothing. If we look at the Earth specifically in terms of providing our nourishment, we will see that from ancient and tribal practices of hunting and gathering, to the mass produced agricultural needs of today, it is imperative that we take care of our Earth so that we may sustain properly - especially as some scientists estimate that we have roughly 60 years left of growable topsoil on the Earth (source). Take this concept and fast forward to the current moment where we can literally tell our computer or phone to bring food to our door without touching a plant or seeing a granule of soil, is such a luxury! We may not recognize it as such in the First World but if you look at the history of humanity, and at less wealthy cultures in the world today, it’s most definitely a royal privilege to be able to consume food without getting our hands dirty.
While our ancestors were not able to enjoy the modern luxuries of today, they did not necessarily deal with the same problems we have either. The luxuries of today may have sounded like Heaven on Earth to them, but to truly bring the bliss of Heaven to the Earth, we actually need to be more connected to Earth (and let’s not forget that she, too, is a fecund Heavenly body as deep and mysterious as the vast cosmos above when it comes to our actual knowledge of her!) The point here is to remind us of our humble ancestral origins of farming, hunting, and gathering, and to ask ourselves if perhaps a piece of those origins might benefit us today. Modern society is anxious, plagued by fear, chaos, uncertainty, and a barrage of information coming from all sides at all times. This is the digital age, where we process digital information and stare at screens all day and thus are in a little bubble of singular focus. The more we do this the more we become more seemingly detached from the presence and tactile element that is Earth. What are our feet, our roots, doing when we are on that computer? Where are we, our branches, growing towards when we swipe mindlessly on our phones? What is our core telling us, and where is our nourishment coming from? What do we really truly want?
These questions our ancestors never had to ask, because without phones, computers, cars and the like, they were more connected, more conjoined to the present moment, the Earth. If we use the characteristics of Earth as a metaphor or archetype in our mental health and spiritual practices, we realize that while always thinking ahead (Air), or feeling all the feels (Water), and taking all the action (Fire) is important to everyday life, if we do these things without the balance of the Earth element, we may find ourselves easily spinning out of control, desperately seeking an anchor of stability, abundance, and normalcy.
Where is the wisdom of Crazy Horse, the calm acceptance of the farmer through hell or highwater, or even the knowing grin of The Oracle in The Matrix? It is in the Earth my friend, and that is where your center and your roots can be found as well.
Heartseed by Jeanie Tomanek
The Wheel of the Year
To understand how we can use the elements in our everyday practice, we can examine how the element exists in our reality or perception. It’s literally impossible to not use the Earth element in your daily practice! You would have nothing to stand on, nothing to burn like incense or herbs, no paper made of plants to write on, etc. So the most important and easy way to incorporate the Earth into your practice is simple awareness and gratitude. Figure out a personification or mythological character associated with the Earth if that’s helpful, and consider how much she/he/they have given you. Consider too that your body is made up of all the elements that also make up the Earth, so you too are a living breathing Earth God or Goddess or Deity...a consciousness within a body of Earth-elements. Every single piece of matter with the exception of meteorites comes from the Earth. If your home is an industrial concrete loft, or log cabin, or space capsule...all of it began in the Earth. By connecting your mind and heart (via gratitude) to the Earth based origins of things, you are re-connecting to the roots...to your roots. When we connect to the roots, we are more centered, stable, grounded, confident, and even dare I say, enthroned.
Painting by Daria Petrilli, 1970
General Disclaimer: Always proceed with great caution with the elements! To avoid mishaps, and creating elemental disasters, contain your magic within a protective circle of salt, or energetically sealed with an astral circle drawn with an athame. I recommend adding to your ritual “For the good of all and with harm to none”. Remember that life and magick are a creative process. The elements have general correspondences (example: fire=creative, water=emotion, earth=foundation, air=mental world) but will always be expressing themself through your body in different ways depending on your growth, and life circumstances. Utilize these changing tools!
Need material inspiration to work with Earth? Shop our favorites below!
The Earth Element Candle for harnessing the power of Earth, and is especially great for invoking the three Earth signs of the zodiac.
Mugwort for cleansing, strength, and protection.
Balance & Grounding Crystal Kit for emotional, spriitual, and physical balance.
The Fertility Ritual Kit to welcome new beginnings, abundance, and a strong foundation.
Can't find what you need? Shop all things in our Earth collection!
Read more on astrology, horoscopes, occultism, magick & ritual on our blog, Esoteric Insights!
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