Connecting with the Elements: Earth

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Happy Lughnasadh!

It has been a long time since I posted something other than events and updates. I was going back over past posts and realized I never finished my “Connecting with the Elements” series. With all that we have been experiencing over, well… to put it in realistic terms… most of this year, I found it fitting that the element earth made it’s way to be the next one in the series.

As with the previous posts of fire and water, I will focus on not only the element itself, but its associated direction and my traditions animal spirit associated with it, The Mighty Buffalo. For many of the indigenous plains tribes of America, the Buffalo was life. In many ways it meant stability for a time and an abundance of food and needed materials for the tribe. Buffalo is a lot like working with elephant and sometimes just as stubborn.   When working the Wheel, Buffalo helps provide grounding after walking a path of emotion and the spirit spark.  He is of the land and yet is the land.

Buffalo powerfully sits in the North, he lives and moves through the dust and dirt. Lets now take a look at the element of earth.

Being able to connect with the earth is fairly easy compared to any other element because everything we do is on the earth. Physically speaking, the earth is what we live upon, we build our homes on and with the things we take and create from it. We plant seeds in the earth to grow food to sustain life. We depend on its stability for us to grow both physically and spiritually.  The element of earth and its energy of stability, logic, patience and how it connects to our own bodies and the way we live is a good start in working the element.

Other Ways to Connect:

Focus on the objects around you, your relationship with them, your attachment to them. Notice your relationship to all physical objects. What do you depend on and limit their use.

Explore your body’s senses and what triggers them.

Plant a flower(something that will return each year) with your energies visualize it mixing with the earth energies.

Devotionals

Create a devotional routine to a Deity you have a connection with or that has a connection with the element of earth, I would do this with a Deity that has some form of linking the element in their mythos or to you personally. You do not have to make your devotional lengthy, just spend a few moments with your Deity, asking for blessings, advice, or just thanking them.

Divination

One divination method other than tarot that is closely related to the element of earth is runes. Usually constructed of wood or stone these divination tools are inscribed with symbols or letters of an alphabet. Take this a step further by creating your own “runes” for divination. Spend some time collecting and searching for rocks, sticks, or mold them out of clay. They do not need to be perfect or extravagant. They can be rather simple and crude. You may lay them out in a spread used for tarot or research the many ways they can be used. This is a great way to attune to the element in a hands-on-approach while learning a new method of divination. Once you are finished try them out by accessing the element of earth within yourself.

You can also incorporate the use of tarot in when working with the element of earth. Here are a few ways to use tarot and the element:

– Refresh your knowledge of all the pentacle cards of the deck.

– Pick a card that is associated with the element to mediate on each day.

– Use a spread that focuses on the magickal correspondences of earth. Here is one from “The Modern Witch’s Curriculum” that I tend to use often.

EARTH tarot spread

Place card 1 on top left. Place card 2 slightly right under card 1. Place card 3 right of card 1. Place card 4 next to card 3. Place card 5 next to card 2 and card 6 in the bottom center.

  1. Your lessons. What have you learned?
  2. Your rock. What are your securities?
  3. Your growth. How have you changed?
  4. Your focus. What you need to focus on?
  5. Your spirit. Where are you on your path?
  6. Your roots. What are your strengths?

 

Some other things you can do

Spend at least 30 minutes to 1 hour in meditation to connect to the energy of the element of earth. 

Research and learn about how other traditions and cultures view and use the element of earth. There are just as many concepts of the elements as there are the traditions that hold them. They can be found in the folklore, legends, and myths of almost every culture around the world. We can even see their influences in our own modern culture, especially in the entertainment and literary culture. Every tradition and culture use some “form” to represent the energy of the elements. These can be seen as dragons, angels, and the more physically related forms such as animals and trees. Focus on only the element of earth and its conceptual view in different traditions and culture.

Study the correspondences of herbs, oils, and crystals associated with the element of earth. Create your own incense or oil recipe. Various cultures have been making associations between the physical and the spirit for thousands of years. This maybe because of the belief that all things are connected. So, we must then conclude that some things work better together, in a similar manner, contain a similar energy thus we have what we call magickal correspondences. These correspondences can be used to connect and strengthen our own energy. Research and learn the attributes of our world that are connected to the element of earth and use them to create something magickal.

Create and perform a spell using the element of earth as its focus. The use of stones, crystals, and the planting of seeds are some common things that can be found in earth element magick. When creating your spell, think of an intent that will help balance “earth” in yourself.

 

How to Write Your Own Guided Meditation from The Modern Witch’s Curriculum by E. Massey

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In “The Modern Witch’s Curriculum”, the month of March has a focus on meditation and healing. One of the activities the reader is asked to do, is to write their own guided meditations. Out of all the writing I do, guided meditations are my absolute favorite. As an artist, this is the perfect way for me to convey the images and worlds I create in my mind and put them in an expressive format. Writing guided meditations is not as hard as you might think, in fact, if you have been self-meditating you have already been creating your own meditations. All you need to do is put them down on paper.

Writing Your Own Guided Meditation

Before you begin have a clear intent or goal for your guided meditation. Get into the right frame of mind, I like to take a few moments to focus and relax as if I am actually going to meditate. This makes it much easier for you to visualize what you are writing about. You may want to plan out your script, starting with a bullet point list of events you wish to describe in the meditation. Another method is to get into a state of deep relaxation, and then allow the entire meditation script to flow. Personally, I allow my guided meditation scripts to gradually form in my mind as I write. Allowing my mind to create what is happening, like watching a movie unfold and then putting it down on paper. Everyone is different, so the approach you take is entirely up to you. You may want to add music or environmental sounds to your meditation. Music can make or break a guided meditation it not only adds beauty but it also helps to relax and depth to the overall mood of the journey. As you write your meditation, you may want to add in symbolic images. In a deeper state, symbolic guided imagery can be very powerful. Consider the specific purpose of your guided meditation, and then introduce symbols that represent that purpose and give deeper meaning to the journey. Be wary of sentence length. Allowing a moment for visualizations to occur. Then move on to the next sentence.

General Structure of a Guided Meditation

  1. Getting comfortable

Give the listener a little time to prepare for the meditation and to get comfortable.

  1. Start with a general relaxation

Spend five to ten minutes relaxing the body and the mind with visualizations and/or breathing exercises. You may want to use a countdown technique during or just after relaxation.

  1. Begin the Journey

Start by describing the environment that you will experience. Include all five senses by describing what can be seen, smelled or heard and touched. The more one can connect their senses to the environment, the more deeply they will become immersed. Be careful not to let the description drag on. Don’t spend too much time describing specifics; your imagination will automatically fill in any blanks.

  1. The Return

During the meditation you will become very relaxed and will have entered into a deep state of relaxation. Coming back to normal waking consciousness should be done gently and gradually. One common way is to guide listeners back to the starting point of the meditation. Once you have returned to the starting point, slowly bring your awareness back into the world around them. Becoming aware of their physical body and of their surroundings.

The “Modern Witch’s Curriculum” is available in both print and e-book formats on this website or through your favorite online bookstore.

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Don’t forget to check out E. Massey’s online store

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You Want a Time Out! Meditation and Children

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 A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be part of a social-emotional program designed for early education. Its main focus was to help children to be mindful of their own and others emotions through teacher guided activities and meditation. The children were encouraged to practice meditations of body awareness, patience, and relaxation. As teachers, we ourselves were taught not only how to meditate (I was one up on the others there) but also how to encourage children to want to meditate. By using modeling instead of actual lessons, the children were not forced into learning meditation techniques all at once. This method of “teaching” through example provides a stress free and positive outcome for the child and laid the groundwork for later incorporating actual meditation techniques into the classroom.

There are many benefits from meditation for children, not only in the magickal world, but in everyday living as well. Meditation helps reduce stress, anxiety, and aggression. It improves concentration, memory, and creativity. Children who meditate show a better sense of awareness, relaxation, and an overall healthier mind and body. It’s also been thought to strengthen the immune system and can lower the risk of future health problems. As an early childhood educator, I have seen these benefits manifest first hand.

When given the opportunity to observe the meditative practices of an adult, children will most likely want to sit alongside you and imitate what you are doing. By giving your little Witch this opportunity to sit with you during your own meditation practices, they will begin to learn themselves. If you do not have a regular meditation practice, this is a great way to grow and experience mindfulness together.

Below is a technique that I have used in the classroom and in my Little Witches workshops.

A Basic Relaxation Technique for Children

I recommend beginning on your own in a quiet setting, choose a time before a meal or before bed, soon after your child will follow. For older children you can explain to them why you are sitting in silence.

Begin by asking your child if they would like to play a relaxing game with you. Continue only if they show interest. If they show no interest one day they may the following day. I recommend doing the technique yourself, the child will become interested after some time.

Sitting in a chair, ask your child to sit with his or her feet flat on the floor and hands on his/her knees. Using a gentle, slow voice, saying or something similar:

“Look for a spot on the wall that you would like to look at.”

This can be any spot the child chooses. Explain to your child to keep their feet flat on the floor and their hands on your knees.

“Breathe in nice and slow and let it out nice and slow. When you feel your body wants to get wiggly, just say in your head, it’s okay that you’re feeling wiggly.”

“Try to keep your eyes on the spot as long as you can.”

Do this for only a minute or two the first time, and expand by one to two minutes each session. A good practice to maintain is to not exceed your child’s age in the number of minutes you spend in a session.

FYI: Having a good meditation practice can help encourage children with self-awareness, to be themselves, and have a greater belief in their own potential.