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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Earth Worship

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

How to Make Great Dirt | St Anthony Village, MN

 

Here in the Minneapolis, there actually used to be an ordinance against composting. The law-makers, reportedly, were worried about drawing vermin. Tell it to the neighborhood cats that regularly patrol my yard.

That, of course, didn't stop me. Starting the compost heap was one of the first things that I did after we moved in.

I'm a pagan: Earth is my religion. I don't throw away food. Telling me that I can't compost is an abridgment of my free exercise of religion.

A few years later, I started a second heap. You always want to have two compost heaps going at any given time: one to ripen, one to feed.

Digging up the ripened compost is invariably a wonder. You put in apple cores, tea leaves, and carrot peelings. A few years later, voilà, the scraps are all gone and instead you take out the richest, darkest, soil you ever saw: so chocolatey-rich, it looks like you could just take a bite out of it, as is.

Really, there's the whole pagan story, right there.

When we first moved in, the soil of what's now the garden—at the time it was lawn—was flush with the garden walk. Now, some 35 years later, the surface of the garden is all of two inches higher than the pavement. That's what happens when you feed the soil.

Every few days, I take the compost bucket out and empty it. I don't generate enough food waste to keep the heap active through the kinds of winters that we get here in southern Minnesota, so over the winter—barring what the squirrels get—the compost just heaps up into a frozen mound.

But one day not long from now, I'll go out with my bucket to find that the ice barrow is no more. Around here, there's no surer sign of Spring than compost collapse.

Eventually the folks down at City Hall wised up and rescinded the ban, and instead began to actively promote backyard composting. Finally, some years back, they instituted a city-wide composting program.

So now every few weeks I take out the kind of compostables that a small operation like mine won't sustain—the egg cartons, the used paper towels, the pizza boxes—and put them into the bin in the alley.

No way they're getting any of my food scraps, though.

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Have a Cool Earth Day, No Matter What Your Circumstance

During a stay-at-home order, if it’s not a complete lockdown, reminding yourself there is still an outside beyond your four walls has become imperative. Unfortunately, some areas, including my own in Wisconsin, have had to close our beautiful state parks in order to protect them. They were being flooded with folks desperate for nature and something to do. Although the majority were most likely there with good intentions and to appreciate the parks respectfully, some were definitely not practicing good social distancing guidelines with their fellow park-goers and worse still, were littering and vandalizing. Not cool. This has also been the case with many of our national parks. Sadly, some park workers were starting to test positive for COVID-19. Interestingly, in places now temporarily closed like Yosemite, the animals are having a party. Bears are out and about in high numbers without the usual throng of visitors. At Kruger National Park in South Africa, a whole pride of lions were happily lounging in the sun all along what would normally be frequently traveled road.

I see my friends online, myself and my significant other have become creative as to how, when and where we seek refuge off the beaten path into the woods, prairies, and meadows. The heart of the city can feel not unlike navigating a minefield in pandemic conditions. If you want to go out for a walk on a nice day, a drive to less-populated area is key. Do some research online ahead of time and find out what is and is not available to the public in your area currently. Even if state parks are closed, many smaller county parks remain open. Try to plan to your visit so it wouldn’t be at a peak time that everyone would have the same idea to be there. Wear gloves and masks and maintain the safe six-foot distance on all trails when coming into contact with others. Taking the high road has come to mean, “I will be the one to always veer off the trail if necessary,” to me. You can still be friendly and say, “hi.” Just do it from behind your bandanna, please.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Kiss the Earth

When's the last time that you kissed the Earth?

I mean: got down on your hands and knees and actually kissed the Earth? Kissed Her, and really meant it?

The Kiss of the Earth has nothing to do with abasement. It's an act of love, of worship.

All that we know, all that we love, our very selves: all these are gifts of Earth.

That's why we do it.

 ***

In one of the “20th” century's greatest pieces of pagan art, Sacre du Printemps, we see the Spring Rites of an ancient Slavic tribe. In the original Nijinsky choreography, at the end of the first act, the Day Rites climax with the moment of utmost sanctity, the Kiss of the Earth.

The youths lead the tribe's Oldest Man into the midst of the people. With their assistance, he lowers himself to the ground and kisses the Mother of Us All.

On our behalf, he kisses Her.

***

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
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. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Melinda Judy/Lyndie Diamond
    Melinda Judy/Lyndie Diamond says #
    Great post. I agree we should appreciate mother earth. Nothing could live without her. I'm new to paganism and just wrote this blo
  • Colleen DuVall
    Colleen DuVall says #
    Hi Melinda, Glad you liked it! The person you'd want to contact is Anne Newkirk Niven. Her email is editor2@bbimedia.com. Thank

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

I was in the garden yesterday, devoting these warm weather days to Spring time. I was not born with the greenest thumb, but the more I've tended the sacred garden of my heart in communion with Earth as Divine Creatrix, the more nurturing my hands have become to Her soil, and in life. 

In his book, Spiritual Growth Through Domestic Gardening, Al Fritsch, a Jesuit priest, says, “Gardening enhances our relationship with Earth. Through gardening, we are helping to heal the planet which is part of the work we are called to do.” 

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a1sx2_Thumbnail1_Courtney-Weber_139al-DSC_00761.jpgLet my worship be within the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. Therefore, let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.

I love the Charge. Who doesn’t love the Charge? Don’t you just want to roll around naked on it? I do. Its words read like goose down on the soul. Acts of Love and Pleasure are rituals of the Goddess??? Such an awesome faith. Beauty? Strength? Honor? Humility? GIMME ALL OF THE ABOVE WITH AN EXTRA SIDE OF EARTH WORSHIP! A few lines from the Charge re-set me when I’m tired and inspire me when feeling pretty uninspired. When I recite it, I feel my own soul’s desires streaming through the beloved words. Dear Goddess, I’m thinking, please let me exemplify those tenets of my faith like all those enlightened Witches I see in Facebook memes: The peaceful, smiling ones in the sunlit or moonlit groves of trees, sun or moonlight streaming onto their radiant/natural face and badass corseted, bell-sleeved dresses. Like You said, I’m sure I could find it within me...if I seek super hard…

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Courtney, I wish I had time for the lengthy response your blog deserves, but at least i have time to say: Reading your post was a
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    PS I was not clear, drat! I was talking more about my feelings than about fact, feelings of being a lone ranger, rather than actua
  • Courtney Weber
    Courtney Weber says #
    It's cool! I felt where you were coming from! Thank you for reading and responding--it is a pleasure to meet you, too!
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. Weber, Thank you for sharing an important Wiccan perspective on an important topic that our Pagan communities probably don't
  • Courtney Weber
    Courtney Weber says #
    Thank you, Jamie! I appreciate the feedback.

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