Earth is what we call our planet; it is the name for the dirt beneath our feet. The Bible says we are made of dust and to dust we shall return. The Big Bang theory says we are made of space dust among other things. For me it is one of the most tangible elements, feeling a handful of fertile earth in my hands, the moisture of it, the aroma, the possibilities of it is a rewarding experience. Recently, scientists have stated that working in dirt in activities such as gardening has anti-depressant qualities because of the many microbes found in the soil.
In spiritual terms, we talk about grounding or rooting yourself to the earth, connecting to the energy as an anchor as well as a tool for the spiritual and energetic cleansing of our ethereal bodies, for good spiritual hygiene. Walking barefoot in a patch of grass is a relaxing and rewarding way to achieve this and for me sends me immediately back to my childhood in New Jersey, the Garden State. Also, earth feels solid and calming, reliable and foundational. It seems to be a base from which one can build upon, and as such very often when doing spell work or ritual, I start with earth and think in terms of going upward from there.
When I think of my spiritual work and the craft, the earth element is one of the easiest for me to incorporate. I live in the desert and the earth is strong here in her pull of the mountains, the rocks, and the desert floor. There are other elements as well, but not as prominently displayed as earth. I love that nature is at my doorstep and the trees and the desert are welcoming in ceremony. They seem themselves to always be part of an ongoing ritual, a prayer of sorts with the spirits of the land here. It is a magical place for sure and has a strong energy, but if I drive just 16 miles I am half way up a mountain and I am in the middle of a piney realm with an entirely different vibe that still evokes the strong earth energy the Southwest is so famous for.
I find that adding things like crystals, natural materials like seed pods or other plant gifts, or even a potted plant to my altar or incorporating herbs and flowers to my work adds an earth element that I can easily connect with. I also have a lot of animal totems that are very earth oriented and bringing in their energy is a great way to add to ritual.
The trees are wonderful sources of earth energy and are interesting in that they have great roots, but also reach high into the sky seemingly connecting with both the underworld and the heavenly realms. I think of the trees of life in so many cultures and stories that mention them, from the Norse Yggdrasil, to Eden’s tree of life and tree of knowledge, the Pow Wow Oak tree, the Sacred Groves, to the Buddha sitting on the Bodhi tree, this symbol of earth plays an important role in spiritual stories and myths.
Earth can be our physical bodies and is often associated with the material as well as other creatures and energies of lower vibrations. So when doing healing work I often use spiritual medicines that are connected with earth energies, flowers, herbs, clays, crystals, there are of course other elements involved but for me its about rummaging around in the lower vibrations and trying to raise them up. Some great earth tools are rattles and drums; I particularly like gourd rattles, but any kind is excellent for raising vibrations. My mentor recently talked about Bear Medicine which is taking the time to metaphorically go into the womb of the earth and hibernate a bit to think about, to ponder your next plan, allow the seeds that have been sown to germinate before the next move. Both the bear and this medicine are great examples of earth energy and spiritually using it heal and find inner balance.
On any spiritual path one of the first steps is getting yourself grounded, finding a strong footing for yourself before you go any further; this is earth energy and the basic use of the element. In what other ways are you using it in your path? Perhaps you haven’t even considered all of the ways in which the element of earth really touches your life and your craft. Take some time and share some gratitude with the spirits of the earth; they are always around you, helping to make some magic in your life.
2016 copyright by Katie Pifer http://www.witchpetals.wordpress.com