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Article ID: 8840
Age Group: Adult
Posted: January 2nd. 2005
Email From Gaia
by Tree Higgins
Suppose everyone in the world, including heads of state and corporate suit types, woke up this morning and found an email from Earth sitting in their Inbox. What would it say? Maybe it would read like this:
To: All Humans Sounds a bit silly, doesn't it? However, if Earth could speak loudly to the world, Her complaints would certainly be many and most of them directed at Homo sapiens.
From: Gaia (Earth for all you non-Pagans who don't know my name!)
Re: Being Neighborly
How are you? I've been meaning to get in touch with you since you came on board but have been busy taking care of this and that. Anyway, welcome to the world! I've been watching you since you were cute furry little creatures and did cool tricks in trees but just haven't gotten around to greeting you. Sorry about that. I have been busy saying good- bye to many other species that seem to be disappearing with increasing frequency. Perhaps you might have notice since it seems to happen a lot wherever you all go. Just so you know, there is no celestial garbage pick-up in your neighborhood so you might want to think about making your own arrangements in handling your waste products. (BTW, throwing everything in a bucket and dumping that bucket into a bigger bucket and then into a large hole in the ground is not an acceptable management system!) Some of your neighbors have complained about your mishandling of your waste. In fact, several amphibians have emailed me about two-headed offspring and they are getting quite irate about it. Seems family reunions are becoming strained and there is that extra mouth to feed! I hate to sound like a whiner but there is another issue about noise. Would you please kill each other more quietly? I really don't mind you blowing up your cities but I am getting a bit of a tummy-ache in my middle and my eyes are burning when I first wake up.
Well, welcome to the world! Pay attention to the rules and the rewards are exquisite!
I wonder how our world leaders would react if they were suddenly aware Gaia was a living entity as opposed to a resource to be used and exploited? That train of thought could go down a very long road but I pose the hypothetical situation because, as Pagans, we have received Her email. Most of us are aware that sentient life is not limited to two legs or even four. We know the spiritual beauty of the Natural world and we know we are part of it. That knowledge both elates and sustains us and drives some of us to resignation and despair because of what is done and not done on a daily basis to Earth. We need not despair because, as Pagans and users of Arts, we are empowered to change Earth's fate.
We can begin simply. Those of us who through solitary practice or in groups and covens do routine rituals can begin with the ritual itself. Just as quarters are called, say a little something for healing that element here on Earth. For example, when calling the West, say a simple blessing for healing the oceans and the rivers or, as you release the Element, you can add the healing. Think of the power you generate in a circle. Awesome thing, isn't it? When you touch the face of the Divine in your ritual, your touch becomes nothing short of miraculous. Don't let your miracle stop there! Keep the healing going. Write a short ritual or chant that you can give out as blessings for healing as you go through your day and find things that are in need of that special touch. The more you use what you have created for healing the stronger it becomes and the stronger the healing becomes. Once every couple of months, have a healing ritual just for Earth. We celebrate different holy days as each Pagan Path has its own traditions, but there are certain days in each tradition that are more powerfully charged for healing. Use an hour on those days for healing Earth rituals.
Walk the talk. Individually or as a group join clean-ups of parks and beaches. Get involved with environmental action groups even if it is only on an email list or alert list so you can make your voice heard to your government. Ten thousand letters or emails make the news and bring issues more openly into a public forum even in these dark times so even if you are too busy to get involved with an environmental group, take ten minutes and email your Congressional representative. Set an example by living environmentally well. Pick up the litter on the sidewalk in front of you and dispose of it properly. Recycle, buy organic whenever you can and look for ways in your everyday life to minimize what you are throwing back into Gaia for the awesome gift She has given you.
Make a presence. Most Pagans I know have at least an altar in their homes with all the Earth elements in it but what about the rest of the home? Do you really need that entire yard? How about a small winding mediation walkway or a fountain decorated naturally for a water spirit to visit? Trees give us back so much! Plant a few trees in your yard. Make a walkway around them. Fruit trees and nut trees are especially good because they will feed both wildlife and you! Flowers in a rock garden are a call to Earth spirits. Tiki torches or a fire pit are not only beautiful at night but make the fire Elementals welcome. Wind chimes from trees sing another Elemental's song. As always, use environmentally friendly fertilizers and insecticides. Don't have a yard? You can do the same things mentioned here on a smaller scale in an apartment or row house or mobile home. A small rock-based fountain in the corner of a room, a planter of bright flowers in the window or wind chimes at the door all make an Earth presence. The point is that you are surrounding your environment with Earth power and reminding yourself and everyone who visits your home of the Gaia connection we all share.
Stay connected. Sometimes in the frantic pace of earning the money, feeding the kids and keeping everything going, we lose a sense of that Gaian connection. Stop for ten minutes every day, after the home has settled down for sleep or before it wakes up and think about what season it is, what that season traditionally meant. For example, it is winter now. Traditionally, in the Northern lands of my ancestors, it would be cold and they would have quietly tended fires, occasionally put up freshly butchered meats or made blankets and warm clothes. It was a time of reflection on the recent harvest and a thought or two on the spring planting. The rituals would be ones of thanks for the harvest, of getting through the winter and honoring the ancestors who handed down the Earth knowledge that let my people survive in the harshest of conditions. In short, reflect on your own long familial connection and personal connection to the seasons you are in and your own season of life.
Do your duty. Duty has almost become a dirty four-letter word these days. No one wants to hear about duty. Duty is associated with visiting the mother-in-law who hates you or going to someone's dull party simply because it is socially unacceptable not to. However, when your Pagan heart awoke and you responded to the Call, your duty began whether you like it or not. The Old Ones called and you listened and responded with love and an open mind. Duty is response. It is knowing that Gaia needs you now and you are going to act, not just because being a resident on Earth and recipient of Her Bounty puts you in Her debt, but because a sense of love and duty makes you want to act.
Remember, every little action we take and every magical thing we do makes a small shift in the rivers of Time. Acting together in small ways will begin as a ripple then become a tsunami that changes the world into a better place for us all.
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