In today’s world, our instinct tells us that our yearnings for a deeper, more nurturing connection to our Earth mother and to each other, is possible. As her seasons sing to us, so we answer her call.
In the past, we were aware of our intimate connection to the Earth; as communities we grew food together and cared for one another while tending her. Presently, our world warns us that if we do not change our ways, our precious planet will perish. Healing circles are now found all around the world, as are ceremonies to acknowledge this belief. The elements of our Earth mother reflect in our very bones and flesh. We cannot live separately.
Hand Fasting ceremonies are an example of how couples seek communion with each other, while at the same time honoring our Earth Mother. Hand Fasting is where a couple publicly declares their intention to marry one year and one day in the future. In 1820, Sir Walter Scott used this term to refer to a sacred ritual that binds a couple in a form of temporary marriage for this period of time.
Sowing, growing and reaping the seeds of relationship with family, reflects our Earth mother, nourishing us all.
One of the qualities of the Earth is to provide a neutral space, or a stable time, during which time maturation and transformation has an opportunity to take place. This is necessary in a relationship as with any other of Earth’s cycles.
Recently, such a ceremony was performed on beautiful Quadra Island. The day was sunny but cool. Blessed water was poured into a chalice, sipped by the couple and then shared with their witnesses in order to symbolize the need for balance and transformation in their future together.
Sacred circles were formed around the couple. As songs of love and acceptance realized the power of their voices and breath. The power of community was strengthened by celebrating with those we see daily, those we have known always, those that we come from and those yet to be born. These are our family.
To honour the abundance of mother Earth, sweet fragrant foods, leafy greens, millet, rice and other delicious foods were served. Even arctic char and musk ox were brought down from the North. The gifts of the Mother’s blessings were celebrated.
Then, the graceful, sensuous belly dance was performed. This reflected the connection and deep instinctual understanding of the power of creation from Earth, to bring blessings of fertility to the couple.
At the end of the day, I can only reflect that we live in a world ripped apart from its graceful source. We have delivered ourselves here by way of a journey of detachment from the sacred ways of the Earth. We cannot be apart. If we wish to remain upon the garden of our Mother we must find a new balance with her.
Dr. Pauline Wolf, is an educator and practitioner of holistic health in Campbell River, B.C.