Journeys: Thoughts from a Druid Path

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Finding the Earth Mother in your Backyard


Earth-Mother.jpgFinding the Earth Mother in your Back Yard           



It is the Summer Solstice and the Winter Solstice, all at the same time. In some places, the Earth Mother seems rather quiet; in others, she seems alive and very vital. Vital or quiet, active or passive, one thing seems clear to me: the Earth Mother is always alive.


            We use the term “Earth Mother”, but I am convinced that there are countless Earth Mothers that vary from locale to locale, from people to people, from culture to culture. We never speak in great detail about the Earth Mother and I feel that she is different to all of us.


            Yet, I also believe that she is not just some mental construct that we create because she is nice to have in our cosmology. For me, the Earth Mother holds so many things together and the Earth Mother is everywhere we are and everywhere that she is.


            I like to sing the Earth Mother song that begins “O Earth Mother”, and is an old RDNA standard and also an ADF one as well. The RDNA version has five trees through which the wind whispers: elm, maple, pine, birch, and oak. The ADF variety has just three. I like to believe that five trees makes a forest, so I stick with the longer song. It goes like this:




Oh Earth Mother


We praise Thee


For the seed that springeth


For the flower that openeth


For the grass that waveth;


We praise Thee


For the wind that whispereth


Through the graceful elm


Through the shapely maple


Through the lively pine


Through the shining birch


Through the mighty oak;


We praise Thee


O Earth Mother


Who giveth life!




Oh, and for our Portuguese speaking members:




Ó Terra Mãe!


Nós louvamos a vós que faz brotar a semente,


Que desabrocha a flor,


Que agita a grama.


Nós louvamos a vós pelo vento que sussurra,


Através do gracioso olmo,


Através do formoso bordo,


Através do vívido pinheiro,


Através da brilhante bétula,


Através do poderoso carvalho.


Nós louvamos a vós por todas as coisas


Ó Terra Mãe,


Aquela que dá a vida.


(Translation by Marina Holderbaum Wroblewski)




            Often, during ritual, we touch the ground when we call out to the Earth Mother. I think this is an excellent exercise that we can do in our own backyard. The Earth Mother extends in all directions, yet she changes like the scenery does. The Earth Mother in Death Valley is the same Earth Mother as in Curitiba is the same Earth Mother as in Nova Scotia and the same as in your backyard. They are different ways of experiencing the Earth Mother.


            Let’s try this at home: find a small, quiet place in your yard or in a natural setting nearby. Reach down, if you can, and feel the Earth Mother. Feel what the ground is like, its texture. Is it wet or dry? Clay, mud, or sand? How does it smell? How does it make you feel?


            As you learn about your Earth Mother, do something for Her: make an offering. A good offering for the Earth Mother is water. Water is nourishing, water is natural, and water is the life blood of the Earth Mother.


            Try to do this exercise every day. Say a little prayer, maybe something as simple as “Earth Mother, accept my offering”, or “I honour and I thank you, Earth Mother”, or one of the songs above, even as a spoken word prayer. In doing so, you are performing a daily devotional, and daily way of reaching out and establishing a relationship with an important part of ADF and your own life: the Earth Mother.


            Over time, you will get a feel for the Earth Mother, your Earth Mother, your very local Earth Mother in your back yard. As the seasons change, you will get to see how She changes in that small spot in your garden, your yard, your locale. As time passes, you will age slowly and your appreciation of the Earth Mother will change and grow and blossom and fall and start again. Your relationship with the Earth Mother will be enhanced by observation, participation, and offerings. You will see her in new ways. And, I believe, she will see you as well.




“Earth Mother, accept our offerings.”






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Tagged in: adfdruidry OBOD RDNA
I am a long-time pagan and charter member of ADF, Ar nDraoicht Fein, a Druid Fellowship. I am a Senior Priest in as well as the Arch Druid of ADF. I am a Druid of the Third Order, RDNA; Druid Grade, OBOD; and a Second Degree Druid Companion in AODA. I love Druidry!  


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