Light a Fire for the Earth Mother
It is Samhain in the Northern Hemisphere and Beltaine in the Southern Hemisphere. The subtle seasonal interplay of opposites across the Equator once again proves to us that we do not live in a static world, but a vibrant and ever-moving one. In a similar way, our faith and our practices do not take the season off – the work that we have to do continues.
One of the important tasks that we undertake – in my vision of ADF Druidry – is to honour the Earth Mother, and I feel that it is appropriate to do this work every day. While I think that the Earth Mother – in her many faces and phases – is able to take care of herself, it is a good demonstration of our devotion and of our piety to do something for her every day.
Shrine or altar?
One can either make some kind of shrine or altar outside or one can be situated inside. Or both. If an inside devotional area is decided upon, it should be located in a place that can be seen every day and perhaps several times a day. A location near a window would be ideal because not only would you have a place set aside for the Earth Mother, but the backdrop for that altar would be a view into the Earth Mother herself: the great outdoors.
As one’s offerings are made on a daily basis, it would be easy to see the Earth Mother and her changes, whether grey to white to barren in northern climes, or barren to sprouting to green in southern areas. The altar and the devotionals would be part of a living and changing scene just like the Earth Mother – ever-changing.
An image of the Earth Mother
If the shrine is to be located outdoors, it might be a good idea to find a place where an image of the Earth Mother might be drawn or created. One could use an image such as this:
She is the ever-changing All Mother, after all. If one is able to place a daily offering, be it a piece of bread or a cup of tea, the image can be a centering point outside for the offering to Her. If the image is drawn or built in the Southern Hemisphere and plants or seeds are placed within it, as time passes, one can see life growing up through the Mother of All herself. Let your altar become a living and growing space where these items are placed.
What to do next?
If none of these scenarios is possible, if you walk outside each day – or any day that you are able – touch the ground and envision your idea of the Earth Mother. Keep that image present in your mind’s eye as you touch the ground with your fingers or your hand and say “I thank you, Earth Mother”.
Light a candle on your indoor altar for the Earth Mother, do so, and bring some light to your world and your offerings. If an open flame is not possible or advisable indoors or out, use an LED candle, which while artificial is still a representation of light. Use your imagination, see a bright fire blazing, and keep it lit for the length of your devotional time.
As the seasons move into light or as they slide into darkness, light a fire for the Earth Mother and kindle your practice.
May the bounty of the Earth Mother be with you!