In recent months, I have been working with a small group of people to build a foundation for Green Earth Witchcraft. One that reflects what I’m trying to share, honors the Earth Deity and informs the tradition in a meaningful way. Together, we are defining spiritual practices, and the group is learning of the Earth Deity as a primordial spirit, etc. And I am learning how my group perceives and interacts with Them (the Earth Deity) in their personal practice.
However, I have unwittingly been neglecting an important piece of the mystery that is the Earth Deity. Allow me to explain. Oh, in the past (and in my own practice) I have used “Earth Mother” to denote the planet and the deity around which this path is formed. However, I now try to use gender-neutral terms such as “Earth Deity” and “They/Them” as a way to be inclusive within Green Earth Witchcraft.
Synchronicity Is A Beautiful Thing
During our family celebration of the Autumn Equinox, my family and I decided to share divination with each other. Each one of us took turns being the querent, while the others used our favorite Tarot or Ogham to share a reading. When we do this, our individual readings tend to synch up, approaching the question from different angles to similar final results.
When my turn came up, I had no specific question. So, I asked for a general reading. And Green Earth Witchcraft turned out to be the subject of the reading for all three. All of the answers were positive, but there were cautions from each not to get “lost in esotericism.” Foundation. That was the key point of all the readings.
So, all of that made sense but I didn’t quite see how it applied to my current activities. What did I neglect? And then I read an excellent post by Nan Lundeen — “We Are Warrior’s For Mother Earth.” Of course! It’s so simple the answer fairly slapped me upside the head.
So Simple It Can Be Overlooked
I have been so preoccupied with helping the group finder deeper spiritual connection to the Earth Deity as a primordial being, that I have neglected the second half of my own definition. The Earth Deity is a spirit and they are the Planet. And that is part of the foundation of Green Earth Witchcraft. It is one of the underpinnings of the physical, spiritual, and magickal aspects of my path as a Witch.
As mentioned, for me the Earth is both a primordial deity and the planet upon which we live. I have written articles about Healing the Earth Mother Through Natural Climate Solutions and that we must Awaken, because the Earth needs Her Wise Ones. In other words, we are Their warriors as is reiterated in Nan Lundeen’s article.
To be a Green Earth Witch (Green Witch, or of any tradition really) means we understand that we live within nature, not above it. And it is our duty to do what we can to preserve this planet and teach others to do the same.
We should support organizations that take on corporations and government leaders working toward change. Those who speak on our behalf and on behalf of reversing the damage humanity has wrought. Which we can do by putting time, money, and energy where possible into renewable resources, conserving water, reusing – recycling-renewing, etc.
So yes, while it is important to have a spiritual connection with the Earth Deity, part of our devotion to Them is found in the tangible things we do to protect and preserve Their sphere and nature which dwells upon it. And in doing so, we draw forward a cleaner more vibrant existence (hopefully) for future generations to inherit and protect.
“But What About Me?” You Ask.
Perhaps, you are reading this post and saying “Okay. That’s all well and good for you and your group but what about me? I’m not a Green Earth Witch. I’m a…(insert spiritual/magickal path here).” Well, it seems to me that returning to the foundation of your practice is a place to start. It certainly cannot hurt. Review, refresh or hold onto the core principles upon which your path or devotion is built.
For instance, in My Practice is Not Lost But It Is Struggling, Jason Mankey talks about keenly feeling the loss of gathering with his coven-mates these past months. And even though the circumstances and length of separation have broken his heart, the foundational practices of the coven (through decorating the sacred space, speaking the liturgy together albeit online) has preserved them and their bond. And I hope this will continue to do so should social distancing be required for even longer.
Different paths (especially solitary ones) include principles, rituals, or beliefs that hold the group/coven/grove together, as similar structures (even loose ones) do for an individual practitioner. That is one of the reasons I value and review the 13 Goals of A Witch. These statements of intention are another part of the foundation that forms my path. They give me guidance or things to lean toward.
So, the point is that foundation is important. Witchcraft and paganism include principles, rituals, or beliefs that can keep our feet planted, eyes focused, and intention strong as we tread the path. In that way, we can pursue the mystical/magickal/spiritual aspects of our path, deities, spirit allies, traditions, or Craft. And without forgetting why we are doing so in the first place.