"speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee" [Job 8]
I've been re-acquainting myself with the people, and their work, who have informed and inspired my life. It's a kind of backtracking I feel I need to do, to "archive" and "update" these sources. To Celebrate those who have been touchstones on the path might be a better way of expressing it.
Recently I posted a little interview I did with Frank Barney, at the Brushwood Folklore Center in New York state. My question to Frank was "How do we talk with the Earth?"
Since then, the question has hung around me like the mythic floating mountains of Avatar's "Pandora", long roots dangling in the atmosphere. What does it really mean to talk with the Earth? How would we live and act if we experienced the World, as Joanna Macy famously put it, "As lover, as mother, as self"? How does the Earth "speak to us"? How did people from other cultures and times do it? How are people in contemporary settings "talking to the Earth" now, in this time of great crisis? Where and how are they engaging the conversation? What have my own ecstatic, and sometimes inexplicable, experiences been?
Now that I think about it, this question has been fundamental to my art and spirituality ever since I blundered into a workshop in 1982 on ancient sites of New England, and Sig Lonegren taught me to dowse at a cairn, and ley crossing, site in Vermont. Come to think of it, he and his wife Karyn live in Glastonbury as well! Circles!
So, friends who may be reading this blog, forgive me if I use it for research for a while. With my trip to the UK coming soon, I realize that this question, as I visit sacred calendar sites, meet Goddess women who invoke the Deities of their homeland, as I perhaps visit crop circles and listen to speakers at the Glastonbury Symposium......under it all, that's the question I ask.
How do we interact more consciously with the mind of Gaia, our mother earth?
"Today we suffer from Geomantic Amnesia, forgetting that our planet is interactive with and responsive to consciousness."
John Steele, GEOMANCY: CONSCIOUSNESS AND SACRED SITES
So here I sit, surrounded by books and links to UTube. I re-visited the writings of Starhawk. I re-visited James Lovelock and the Gaia Hypothesis, which is now Gaia Theory. I pulled out articles about Vision Questing, and wonder anew what that question might mean within the practices of traditional cultures, shamanic cultures, and ancient cultures. I watched Avatar again, delighted with the way Cameron introduced the idea of "Tewa", the "Anima Mundi" of the planet Pandora. Among my books I find Earthmind, remembering a conversation I had with one of its authors, John Steele, so long ago. I looked up Michaela Small Wright and Perelandra, and the Book of Findhorn. I re-read an article by eco-feminist Gloria Orenstein, in Re-Weaving the World, and checked out what's happening at the Source, founded by contemporary shaman Jewell, and the Anima Nature Sanctuary in New Mexico as well.
Sure enough, within a day of doing that, I received an email from Jesse Wolf Hardin, founder of the Anima Sanctuary. Threads.......
Most of all, I had an "ah ha" ...... I'm going to Glastonbury, and Findhorn, this summer, to encounter people who, in their own ways, have been asking this question themselves, and like my friend Frank, have found their answers.
So......now I know why I'm making this trip. Let the adventure begin!
|"Earthmind 5" (2009)|