Mother Earth Tag - PaganSquare - Join the conversation! Tue, 23 May 2017 04:06:19 -0700 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Dakota Pipeline: Unvanquished Perserverance & Hope b2ap3_thumbnail_th_Jenni-Monet-Oceti-Sakowin-water-protectors-FB-live-2-22-17.jpgLike General Braddock and his colonial-era armies that slaughtered Eastern Woodlands Indigenous peoples in Pennsylvania and Colonel Chivington (a Methodist minister) who lead his army against the Cheyenne ending in the massacre of Natives at Sand Creek in the 1800s, the 45th President of the United States and his supporters are leading a 21st century war under the same old banner of "social progress." However, this 21st century colonial war is for the same reason and intention of all previous colonial wars in America and around the world: confiscation of land, natural resources, and the willful harm of Indigenous people's cultural expression, personhood, and sovereignty. In this 21st century war it is ever clearer how those who benefit and support the old Dominator power structures continue to exploit and desecrate the land and Mother Earth's resources. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_DAPL-action-2017-Ray-Cook.jpgThe photograph above is a scene from Oceti Sakowin Camp that housed the protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline who left the camp this past week. Protestors numbered up to 10,000 at times over the course of the movement. Indigenous people from all over Turtle Island came to the aid of the Standing Rock Sioux nation, and advocates of all races and identities, especially American Veterans, came to show their support of tribal sovereignty and protection of the Earth. On February 22 Water Protectors left the camp ceremonially (and somberly) singing and drumming to honor the work behind them and all that is still left to do. Some of the few protestors remaining were arrested by police. The photo just above shows police in riot gear and thus the level of tension and threat the Water Protectors bravely faced.

b2ap3_thumbnail_archambault_ii-dc_sept_26-courtesy_teko_alejo-facebook.jpgWhat remains behind is the Sacred Will of the People--sweat lodge ceremonies, prayers, singing, drumming, and cosmic union of ancestors, animals, earth and humanity that flourished during the protests. Memories of militarized police violence, the assault of Elders, the confiscation of sacred objects, the herding of Indigenous peoples into cages like they were animals by police in riot gear, rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and hosing down peaceful protestors with water canons in 20 degree weather all remain in the protestors' memories, in media coverage, and in the minds of advocates from the around the world. Above, a photograph from Indian Country Today Media Network of Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II in Washington D.C. on September 26, 2016, addressing supporters in the fight against the Dakota Access oil pipeline's routing under the Missouri River near the reservation.

But the Indigenous peoples--and all non-violent advocates for justice throughout history--will do what they have always done in the face of a difficult cause: the Water Protectors have receded into safety where they will grow strong and live to fight another day. Like the Indigenous peoples of the Eastern Woodlands who hid in Plain Sight in order to survive by telling their EuroAmerican neighbors they were "Italians", the Native Americans will prevail. Like the Mohegan nation that built a church on their land but still practiced their traditions and only spoke their language in secret, the Natives will prevail. Like the Blackfeet that won their treaty dispute before the Supreme Court; like the Ojibwe that won their fight for return of some of their lands--no matter how defeated the Indigenous peoples may currently appear to be, they will prevail because....

THEY HAVE ALWAYS PREVAILED. b2ap3_thumbnail_Girls_20170226-180952_1.jpg

As I remind my students, Mother Earth NEVER discriminates when it comes to sharing Herself with humanity. She shares freely with all who need regardless of identity or social rank. Alternatively, human pollution affects us all as well, though not equally: poor people of all races and Native Americans living in Native communities experience their lands being polluted and impacted at far greater rates than middle and upper-class Americans' geographic spaces. This is why it is essential that all people participate in advocacy to protect the most vulnerable communities in our country from exploitation.

Being an ADVOCATE and not just a sympathizer is very important in the work of social justice. Working together, honoring the perspectives and voices of those for whom you are advocating, and remaining diligent in our approach yields results! Energy Transfer Company with the aid of some components of the U.S. Government, particularly the 45th President, have pushed forward in the struggle. But Native people have 500 years of experience in their collective histories of fighting oppression to draw from, and with the essential help of everyone who cares about Native people and the Earth Mother, we can keep earth corruptors at bay....Let us all listen for what the Water Protectors declare is the next step.

Until then, we will think of the next seven generations and all who have struggled before us. For them, we will NEVER give up because we cannot.b2ap3_thumbnail_vintage-native-american-girls-portrait-photography-36-575a88a99f15d__700.jpg



Read more]]> (Dr. Mays) SageWoman Blogs Sun, 26 Feb 2017 09:09:33 -0800
What Does Mother's Day Mean in a Patriarchal and Matricidal Culture?

When we seek immortality or spiritual “rebirth,” are we not saying that there is something wrong with the “birth” that was given to us through the body of our mothers? In She Who Changes and in "Reading Plato's Allegory of the Cave as Matricide and Theacide," I asserted that our culture is "matricidal" because it is based on the assumption that life in the body in this world "just isn’t good enough."

What is so wrong with the life that our mothers gave us that we must reject it in the name of a “higher” spiritual life? The answer of course death.

Can we love life without accepting death?

Can we love our mothers if we do not accept a life that ends in death?

Jesus was said to have encouraged his disciples to leave their wives and families in order to follow him.  When he was told that his mother and brothers were outside and waiting to speak to him, he is said to have said:

“Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!  For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matt. 12:48-50)

Buddha left his wife and new-born son in order to pursue enlightenment.

Some feminists, including Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and Rita Gross, view these incidents positively, stating that their meaning is that no person should be trapped in the conventional biological roles.

I have always experienced these stories as dismissive of women’s bodies, of women’s lives, of women’s work. When I went to college, I learned that all of the knowledge and insight about the meaning of life I had gained through the experience of raising a child with my mother was irrelevant to the university education I had embarked upon.

Read more]]> (Carol P. Christ) SageWoman Blogs Mon, 09 May 2016 06:25:17 -0700
A Birthday Party for Mother Earth

Our planet needs all the love it can get. Treat her well and she will return the favor. I propose not just doing this, but throwing her a party as well. Round up a group of your closest pals not afraid to use the term "climate change," and volunteer to clean up a park or river in your neighborhood. Bring along the following to store in cars until you are finished with your day project: a loaf of fresh-baked bread, a large bottle of distilled water (plus extra for all of you), a pretty collected stone, a sage stick with matches or a lighter, a birthday cake (also preferably homemade with organic ingredients), a cutting utensil, recycled napkins, and 15 birthday candles. Have everyone attending bring one of the items listed so this is a united group effort.

Most parks should have a grill facility that you could use to set the smudge stick, if not, bring a small plate or dish to let it rest on and ensure that it goes out safely. When you and your amigos have staked out a picnic bench and brought out all of your packed supplies, light the sage stick and smudge each member of your gathering, clearing them of any residual negative energy. Cast a sacred circle around the group in the tradition that you use. Pass around the bread and have everyone break off a small piece. Leave pieces on different areas of the ground within your circle as an offering to earth's fellow creatures. Then pass around the designated water bottle and have each person sprinkle a little on the ground to nourish the grass and soil. 

Put the candles in the cake and light them. Let Mother Earth know how much you cherish and appreciate her. Acknowledge the presence of the four elements symbolized in your ritual. Thank them and any Gods and Goddesses that your group works with. Sing "Happy Earth Day to you," and have everyone present close their eyes and make a wish for our planet. Keep them secret! When you are ready, blow out the candles in unison. Cut up the cake and enjoy. Skip the plastic utensils and eat with your fingers off recycled napkins. 

When you are ready to leave, be sure to clean up the area you have used well. But leave behind the pretty stone after you ground and close the circle, as one last token of thanks. Here is a lovely recipe available to try courtesy of the Food Network for a "Cracked Chocolate Earth with Whipped Cream (Flourless Chocolate Cake)."


Photo "Eco Concept- Earth in Hands," by jannoon028 from

Read more]]> (Colleen DuVall) Culture Blogs Tue, 21 Apr 2015 08:06:39 -0700
PaganNewsBeagle Earthy Thursday Oct 23

In today's Earthy Thursday we have stories celebrating our amazing planet. Profile of an eco-conscious farm; Bolivian law gives legal rights to Mother Earth; reviving ancient Incan agriculture; a Pagan pilgrimage to the holy places of Somerset; tiny fox massage.

Farming is a major influence on eco-systems around the world. This story from Yes! magazine profiles a farm that's trying to bring sustainable practices to agriculture.

The Law of Mother Earth ("Ley de Derechos de La Madre Tierra") in the South American country of Bolivia holds the land as sacred and holds it as a living system with rights to be protected from exploitation.

The endangered plants of ancient Incan agriculture might be keys to adapting to climate change in Peru. Fortunately, there is a movement afoot to revive them as well as other indigenous practices.

Pagan blogger (and Witches&Pagans columnist Jason Mankey) recently made a pilgrimage to Glastonbury. Read all about his experiences at this interfaith holy site here.

Here's a sweet story in the category of humans-helping-animals (cuteness alert).


Read more]]> (Anne Newkirk Niven) Pagan News Beagle Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:34:20 -0700
A Pagan Tradition for Mother's Day

My significant other considers Mother’s Day (along with Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day) to be a holiday created purely for commercial reasons.  As a result, she will not celebrate any of those ‘holidays’.  I brought a different view of Mother’s Day when we got together.  She and I are both Pagans and when I explained this alternate approach to Mother’s Day she wholeheartedly embraced it.  I have to thank my friend Amy in Oklahoma for teaching me this Mother’s Day tradition that she and her son have followed for many years.  I think her clever reinterpretation of this holiday is perfect for most Pagans.

Read more]]> (Carl Neal) Culture Blogs Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:52:53 -0700
It's all in the Healing

With all of the wacky weather we have been experiencing the globe over, one could get the impression that Mother Nature is royally ticked-off with us. Can you blame her? She's been so often abused, neglected, and taken for granted it is a wonder that we still have a planet fit to live on. What we can do is let her know that we care. Think of it like honoring your own mother on Mother's Day. I am a big fan of building strong energy and channeling it through ecstatic dance and music. I used to attend a great dance in Evanston back in the day, and there's no reason why you couldn't hold your own. For Earth Day this year, try organizing a Trance Dance. As in Transcendental. No, we're not talking about Rave 'Til Dawn. Your mission: find a great space, and create mood lighting. Low lights, candles on the outskirts (safely out of the way), pretty electric glowy lights and lava lamps, would all do the trick. Do you or someone you know have access to a large basement, church space, or school gym? The most important factor is that the space is wide open and that no one has to worry about colliding with objects or each other in it. Elect someone to play DJ for the eve. Make sure in advance that you have a decent sound system. Get a good-sized, unselfconscious group to come on out and let the party begin.

The main idea that everyone should be let in on from the beginning is that you are holding a dance with intent. To send out nurturing energy to help heal our Mother Earth. Send her your love with the energy that you create through your dancing.

Ideally, you move like crazy to a steady mix of New-Agey, Electronica, World music for one to two hours straight. You dance with total abandon, literally stomping your ya-yas out until you are dripping with sweat and reach the equivalent of a runner's high. If you need to cool it down in the midst of your twirling, feel free to strike some good yoga poses in the middle of the circle and catch your breath. See the clear unpolluted waters, protected forests, recycling programs, solar and wind power all happening in your mind's eye. Believe that it can continue to happen– that it is not to late to do our part to have a beneficial, lasting ecological impact on our planet. 

Wear good loose layers of exercise clothing that you can really move freely in and lose pieces of as things heat up. Keep very well-hydrated. Agua, agua, and more agua should be incorporated. Vitamin-infused water with some added benefits to replenish those electrolytes is always a wise move. Bring a towel and a yoga mat for when things wind down. End on a meditative and calming tune. Does someone in your group know Reiki? An especially appropriate way to wrap up this event would be to invite them to perform a little quickie energy work on those who are willing. Have them go to each participant as you are all seated on the floor, coming down from the energy-raising. Be sure to stretch out all of your muscles fully, breathe, and bring your heart rate down. Most importantly, ground yourself. Let people leave when they are ready and consider having a few bowls of grapes or fresh berries out for them to grab a handful of on their way out the door. Not only will it bring some welcome nourishment, but the fruit just might taste a little sweeter from all of that good energy that you helped raise.



Photo, "Silhouette of Young Women," by Sujn Jetkasettakorn from


Read more]]> (Colleen DuVall) Culture Blogs Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:59:54 -0700
I Can Hear Her Breathing “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.  On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” - Arundhati Roy

When I read that quote for the first time, the breath caught in my throat and the hair stood up on the back of my neck as I remembered....

I had been invited  to Wisconsin to present at a weekend workshop which turned out to be a more than wonderful experience.  I went thinking I was just going up there  to teach these women the workshop material, but the sharing and activities I participated in were a beautifully reciprocal dance.  Besides the bonding and the fun, issues I had never quite been able to banish from my psyche had dispersed in the safety of the  ritual the night before and I was feeling light and open and gloriously happy and fulfilled.

As the weekend came to a close and the time to drive back to the airport was drawing near, I grabbed a few moments of solitary time behind the dormitory where we were staying located about 100 yards off a serene and shining lake.  Between the lake and the dorm,  trees had been planted in a circle, with barely two to three feet of space between their trunks, and inside the circle was a bench.  I was drawn within the circle desiring a few moments of quiet contemplation in what felt like Nature’s embrace.

As I sat there, enjoying a cool breeze on my cheeks, glimpsing the reflection of the sun on the lake between the tree trunks before me,  I suddenly realized I heard a rhythmic breathing.  In and out.  In and out.  Where was it coming from?  In my mind, I began a process of elimination.  I held my own breath for a few moments thinking perhaps here in this small space among this odd configuration of trees I was hearing the echo of my own breath, but no, it wasn’t me.  I looked around to make sure there was no one else there, perhaps just beyond my initial line of light.  No. I wasn’t hearing the incoming tide of the lake.  I sat there mesmerized as I listened.   No, this sound was coming from this very spot where I sat.  Dare I ever utter the next thoughts that crossed my mind?  It was as if  I were sitting within the body of Goddess and I was hearing Her breathing  This was incredulous, but I was going to go with it and  just listen, feel, and  receive. I soaked in the magic of this sacred place.  The hair stood up on back my neck and arms.  I felt that familiar cold chill up my spine and my tears turned into sobs of joy.  What an emotional experience!

In hindsight, many of us might speak in metaphor, as perhaps the novelist and activist Arundhati Roy is speaking above, about Gaia or the coming new paradigm of the Sacred Feminine, but this was different.  This experience went beyond metaphor or even feeling inspired in some natural landscape.  This wasn’t merely equating the ebb and flow of the ocean tides with Her breath as we attempt to personify Her and embrace Her mysteries.  This felt as if it were another phenomena of a dimension I had yet to experience.   Was I crazy to even contemplate  hearing the inhaling and exhaling.....of our Mother?  Well, sometimes we just have to shut off that left-brain and just feel Her incredible gifts!  Those few minutes sitting in that sacred grove in Wisconsin will no doubt be some of the most profound and magickal minutes of my life.   Thank you, Mother.  Thank you for that precious gift.. I can hear you breathing!


Read more]]> (Karen Tate) SageWoman Blogs Tue, 07 Jan 2014 16:50:59 -0800