“And then the sun took a step back,
the leaves lulled themselves to sleep, and autumn was awakened.”
Photo: Grass and Sky
by Nancy Lankston
As the northern hemisphere moves into Autumn, there is a brief period of balance; where day balances night. It is here now. Autumnal Equinox has arrived.
The energies of Mama Earth are beginning to slow and cool here in the north. Every part of Nature knows that Winter is coming.
On some level, your animal body feels this shift, this turning toward cool, dark, slow, yin energies. Your body senses it just as the squirrels and trees and bears sense it.
Honor this beautiful transition with a small ritual; say a prayer of gratitude for Mama Earth and Autumn, cook squash or pumpkin, spread flower seeds in the garden, sit or walk among the beautiful leaves and seeds and nuts in the forest, light a candle at dusk. Honor Mama Earth in some small way for this season of transition.
Savor the shift.
Savor the yin gifts of Autumn.
The lesson which life constantly repeats is to ‘look under your feet.’
You are always nearer to the divine and the true sources of your power than you think.
The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive.
The great opportunity is where you are.
Do not despise your own place and hour.
Every place is under the stars.
Every place is the center of the world.’
It comes like a faraway whisper on the wind; so faint that you may not notice it the first few times. But then, maybe the five or sixth or tenth time, something new registers in your awareness. She’s calling to you. Mother Earth is trying to connect and communicate.
That is my experience of listening to the land; I spent weeks sitting and trying so hard, my mind positively pushing to hear Her. And hearing nothing. But then, one day when I wasn’t trying and striving, there She was, like a whisper on the wind.
Had Mother Earth been talking to me all those weeks and I simply couldn’t hear Her? Probably. We modern humans have become so attuned to loud, regular man-made sounds. But Nature isn’t loud or regular. Earth’s voice is quiet and subtle; more like a fragment of a poem than a linear, logical sentence. And it is a poem written in the breeze, the pulse of stone and the meandering flow of river water.
I suspect that our ancestors who used no clock except the sun, and who lived with Her dirt constantly beneath their feet were much more attuned to Her rhythms and voice than we are today. Living in cities and traveling in fast cars, trains and planes is not exactly conducive to hearing the subtle voice of Nature.
But Mother Earth is still there beneath us, every single day. She is living and breathing and trying to connect with us. We came from Mother Earth; She is our original mother. We are supposed to be connected to her!
Mama Earth is longing to connect with us again. She has billions of years of wisdom to share with us. We simply need to learn how to listen again.
Basic Earth Listening Practice
Close your eyes, right where you are. Breathe deeply. Feel the seat beneath you. And breathe some more.
Extend your awareness down beneath your feet and your seat. No need to puzzle or push to do this. Your animal body is wired for this, to connect with Mama Earth. Simply ask your animal body to extend its awareness down into the dirt and stones beneath you.
Extend your awareness deep; 10 feet, 50 feet, 200 feet, 1000. Drop your awareness down below the surface where humans have been mucking about. Drop deeper. Go down into the pristine soil and rock of Earth.
Listen with your entire body. What do you feel in your your toes? Your head? Your skin? Smell anything? What do you hear? What thoughts or images pop into your head? What emotions come up?
Don’t push for logical answers. Don’t push for any answer. Just ask what She wants to share with you today and then listen.
It may be completely confusing and unclear the first twenty times that you try to sit and listen to Mama Earth. It’s OK. That’s normal. It takes time to recalibrate your senses and connect.
Be patient with yourself. Building relationships takes time and commitment. Deep friendships aren’t formed overnight. Keep sitting with Her and listening. Eventually you will hear Her.
Once you begin to connect and hear Mama Earth, her wisdom may take many forms. Keep in mind that She may speak in riddles and dream fragments. You may get an immediate ah ha . Or you may not realize what was “said” until hours later. Her subtle, voice may take awhile to percolate up into your consciousness. Be patient. You’re learning a foreign language. Slowly but surely you will begin to hear Mama Earth singing to you.
This practice can be used to connect with Mama Earth’s living, breathing ground beneath your feet. You can also use it to connect with an old tree or lake or boulder. Experiment and have fun.