Earth supports Water, as The Land holds the lake or the oceans, as a cup or cauldron holds liquid. Earth is permeated by Fire, as the light and heat of Fire from the Sun’s rays penetrate all things. Earth is animated by Air, as the Wind creates motion in the trees and plants, and across the surface of Water. In the same way, in us humans, our physical body (Earth) supports our Soul (Water), and is imbued with Spirit (Fire), and is animated by the breath (Air).
Earth is Feminine, along with Water, and Earth above all, is the element associated with the Goddess.
Earth IS the Land, Nature, and the Goddess. Rocks, soil, mud, sand, minerals, crystals, stones, pebbles, all are part of the bones and body of Earth. The Earth element refers to all that is physical, or the physical part of all that is manifest in the material world, for Earth is the ‘matter’ that is fixed in the ‘physical’. Everything of the earth also contains a mixture of all the elements, not just Earth. A plant, for example, is a mixture of minerals from Earth, Water from rain, Air from oxygen, and Fire from the rays of the Sun. Each plant may contain a different amount of each of the four elements. A tree, for example, contains Air from the oxygen it takes in through its leaves and through the soil via the roots, Earth, in the form of minerals absorbed through the roots, and, of course, the physical form of the tree is Earth.
Fire comes to the tree from the Sun, and the Fire element is the strongest element present in trees. Consider that the usual form of fuel for Fire is a tree in any one of its forms, as wood, peat or coal, all are from trees. When we burn wood, it transforms back into its true nature, which is Fire. When the wood is burnt, the ash that remains shows us how little of the tree actually is Earth. The same is true for us. We are mostly of Fire nature. We are Star Beings, products of the stars, and stars are suns, which is Fire.
Earth teaches us about our bodies, for this is our own manifested Earth, the body we go through our life with. It pays to honour, respect, love and look after it. It is the container for our Soul and our Spirit, the vehicle through which we express our love, and utilise our ideas and mental capacities. It is easy for us to grow up with unhealthy thoughts and feelings about our bodies, especially due to the unrealistic ‘perfect’ ideals that are sold to us via social and cultural messages. Think of your body as a receptacle for what is truly important, the Soul and the Spirit. Spending time and money on the packaging and neglecting the contents altogether is not wise. However, to honour and care for the container is important, to feed it well, keep it clean and healthy and able to move and be active.
Working with Earth
One of the most important ways for us to honour our body is through what we put into it, in terms of drink and food. Breathing, eating and drinking are amongst the most important ways we use our bodies. And yet we do these things with little or no thought to the way they can enrich us. Taking in food is taking in energy, healing, light from the sun and Spirit-energy from Nature and from the Spiritual dimensions and Divine White Light.
It is a gift given to us and through which we can grow not just physically but Spiritually too. When we imbibe drink and food, we take into us the energy of whatever we consume. Therefore, the best food for us is that which we can pick and eat from our own organic garden, or locally gathered wild food, food that is fresh from the ground or branch, has no additives, and that has been through as few processes as possible. This food it full of prana and the pure energy from Sun, Earth, Air and Water is at its most beneficial.
When an animal is killed for meat, it is usually distressed. It has faced a difficult journey to the slaughter house, it can smell death and blood in the air. At the moment it is killed, the energy of that death is absorbed into the flesh that we eat. Therefore, the meat contains the negative energy of the moment of its death, and I say negative not because death is negative, it is not, but because the death was unnatural and outside the laws of Nature and the animal was distressed. When this is eaten, we contain the negative energy within us, and it taints our energy.
Even though our ancestors were hunters and meat-eaters, they had a totally different relationship with the animals they ate. The animals had a natural life and every animal was honoured for the gift of life it gave. Furthermore, it is possible that, through the magical process of cave painting and Shamanic states, ancient humans communicated directly with the Spiritual archetypes of the animals they imbibed, so that the animals literally chose to make themselves available for food, in a complex energetic exchange. If this was the case, it is a skill we no longer possess and an arrangement the animal archetypes would be unlikely to entertain now, bearing in mind our attitude towards animals today.
Today, animals are bred in unnatural conditions for our consumption. We usually have no connection to and feel little responsibility for their death. Moving from eating meat to not eating meat is natural for some, and not for others. I think it is something we each may come to along the journey of our own Spiritual evolution. It happens when it is what we want, when it seems right for us, when we are ready. My advice is, don't feel bad if you want to stop eating meat but are struggling. It is a process, when you stop wanting it and start willing it, then, in time, it will happen.
Whenever you eat, try to do so consciously. Do not eat in front of the TV, but focussing entirely on the food. Say “thank you” to the energy that gave it, make what you say something from your heart. Take a single mouthful and really be aware of the experience of eating the food. How wonderful! Now, imagine, you can get that much pleasure and benefit from every mouthful you eat! Be aware of every mouthful, chew well and long. Do not pick up the next mouthful until the first one has been swallowed.
When we eat in this way, we amplify the energetic value of the food, and it empowers us and increases our Spiritual and physical energy. This attitude will go a long way to lead to good food behaviour. Many of us today have unhelpful psychological interactions with food, but rather than dieting, the best first step is to become a mindful and aware consumer of Nature, expressing gratitude and love for the food we take from Nature every day.
Earth’s relationship to the other elements tells us about its qualities. It is supportive, Earth holds us in her embrace. We are grounded and ‘hugged’ by Earth. Earth is our ultimate Mother, for we are born as children of the Earth, brother and sister to all Mother Nature’s children, the animals, birds, fish, and creepy crawlies.
To experience our connection and closeness to our Mother, to be grounded and enveloped in Her loving embrace, spend time sitting or standing with your bare feet on the grass or earth. This will ground you if you feel lightheaded or ‘flighty’, and energise you at the end of a hard day’s work. For an ‘Earth bath’ lie on the bare ground.
It is our feet that keep us in touch with Earth more than any other part of our body. They act as receptors for us. As Reflexology teaches, our feet are connected to every part of our body. This is not a coincidence. To keep our feet in good order as connectors to Earth, we must cleanse them regularly of any unwanted energies they pick up, and caress them lovingly, to keep them happy in the very important work they do!
If there is only one practice you take on board from the Shaman's way, let it be to give your love to Nature and Earth. When you are in Nature and feeling love from your heart for all that you see, hear, smell, feel and taste of Earth around you, then Nature will respond to that, become your friend and show you its greatest wonders.