Rituals for Honoring Mother Earth
Rituals help infuse intention and purpose into our day. They can teach us how to create mini-ceremonies out of everyday tasks and gradually build a sense of gratitude for everything and everyone in our lives. A ritual could be as simple as taking a moment each day to look up at the sky in appreciation for this vast universe we’re a part of or slowly sipping your water with the intent to nourish your body.
For the purpose of honoring and celebrating Gaia, Mother Earth, here are few rituals to help you form a greater connection with her:
Find your sense of stability and balance with the Earth by practicing a grounding meditation or Root Chakra meditation.
- Find 10 minutes in your day for meditation.
- Find a quiet spot outdoors where you can comfortably sit on the earth.
- Connect your breath.
- Focus on the location of the root chakra and visualize the color of the chakra.
Enhance your meditation experience with: Essential oils- Myrrh, Patchouli, or Frankincense. Use a Mudra-Muladhara mudra.
- Finish your meditation by bringing your hands to your heart in prayer and returning to your breath. You can also try closing out your practice by chanting OM.
The Earth element is the principle of stability. It supports commitment and confidence. Just like a tree, we grow both upward and downward with roots and branches. We can mimic this energetic experience through yoga postures such as tree pose or mountain pose to stand firm and grow tall, and child’s pose or pigeon pose to root ourselves to the ground.
Ever notice how you feel so energized and vibrant while walking on the beach? You might have noticed how the stress rolls off and you feel completely relaxed. What’s the magical ingredient? Electrons.
Our feet contain a rich, intricate network of nerves and acupuncture points and are especially adept at picking up free electrons from the earth’s surface. It’s called barefoot or caveman medicine, and walking barefoot – aka earthing or grounding – may be the easiest, simplest and cheapest way of shifting your body back to an optimal state of homeostasis and health.
The most straightforward way to participate in grounding is to simply make contact with the ground on either the dirt or concrete, which is also conductive. Here are ways you can ritualize your experience:
- Take your shoes off in your backyard each day after work
- Say a mantra: I am grounded. My spirit is grounded deep in the earth. I am calm, strong, centered and peaceful. I am able to let go of fear and trust that I am eternally safe. I am worthy of all things beautiful. -Carly Marie
- Meditate. Find a comfortable seat on the earth. Close your eyes and breath deeply. Feel the supporting soil underneath. Imagine roots stemming out from the base of your spine and into the core of the earth. Feel the reciprocal current of energy moving through you and the roots.
We live our lives under the assumption that there is little action we can take, aside from recycling or protesting, that would actually make a difference in saving our planet. But when it comes to the Earth, history has shown that she can heal herself, she just needs us to stop making her sick. Beyond composting, there are actionable and practical steps you can take to stop supporting systems that are hurting the earth, and instead make a commitment to keeping her clean and healthy. Uncover the industries harming our planet and what you can do to help here.
Ceremonies have been used by many traditions, notably the native americans, as a form of healing and transformation. They can be as simple as lighting a candle or involve a large community gathering. Both are centered around an activity that focuses on a particular intention in a ritualized way.
Healing Earth ceremony. This ceremony can be done with a group of friends or by yourself.
1. Find a quiet place outdoors
2. Create an altar to offer up the 4 elements (plant, feather, candle, stones)
3. Create a circle of protection
4. Call upon a your ancestors, a deity, ascended master, spirit guides or other loving beings to help you with the ceremony
5. Offer your prayers/intentions for the planet, maybe there is a certain part of the planet you wish to send this healing energy
6. Use imagery, visualization, and affirmations to help imagine the planet as being cleansed.
7. Considering bringing a drum into your ceremony. In the shamanic tradition, drums are used for their healing properties.
8. Close your ceremony by giving thanks.
Simply chanting OM helps you connect with the vibrational frequency of the earth. In the yogic tradition, mantra is a powerful tool to focus and quiet the mind. It can be used as part of your daily ritual to help you connect with mother earth, especially if you’re dealing with stress or anxiety.
Here are a few ways you can use this mantra as part of a daily ritual:
- During your morning commute, use this mantra to help diffuse stress or anxiety
- Begin your yoga practice by chanting a few rounds of OM
- Use the mantra during your shower or bath as a way to connect with your gratitude for water
Journaling is a simple sacred act that calls us to a place of exploration, curiosity, and revelation. It is one of the most open and forgiving therapeutic avenues available to us. As a ritual, journaling provides a way for us to set our intention for the day or provide a way for us to reflect on the day’s activities. In honor of celebrating mother earth, try creating a gratitude journal to remind you of the ways mother earth supports you. If you’re in need of some journaling queues, consider the way in which mother earth shows up in your life: food, water, supports the life of friend/family, energetic support, etc.
Living in harmony with nature is one of the principles of Ayurveda. We call it the circle of life for a reason. It’s give and take. We take so much from mother in order to survive but we must remember to replenish her in return to keep this cycle going. We can put this to practice by planting a garden.
Here are some ways you can ritualize your garden experience:
- Make your garden a sacred space with a ceremony before you plant your seeds
- Say a mantra or an intention for each seed you plant
- Spend five minutes a day to say a mantra or chant to your garden
- Practice earthing in your garden
New Zealand Gives Maori Volcano Human Rights
In a move to honor its indigenous people and provide retribution for colonialist oppression, New Zealand is giving human rights to a Māori volcano on the country’s North Island. Mount Taranaki will now be afforded all the legal rights of a person and is the country’s third natural feature to be given this designation.
After Lonely Planet – the largest travel guide publisher in the world – named Mount Taranaki the second-best location to visit, officials in New Zealand decided to protect the dormant volcano in a way that honored their native people. The mountain’s entitlement comes after the country gave the same human rights protection to the Whanganui River earlier in 2017.
Mount Taranaki is a 120,000-year-old volcano that is New Zealand’s most frequently hiked mountain. Its new designation would make punishment for anyone who harms the mountain tantamount to harming a member of the Māori people. The local tribes will work in conjunction with New Zealand government to maintain the sacred feature and ensure its protection.
Māori natives hold the volcano to the same esteem as one of their own family members, or whanau, and consider it to be an ancestor. In Māori philosophy, humans are considered to be part of the universe and, rather than domineering the natural world, they consider humanity to be an extension of it like any other feature.
This seems to mirror the ideas of shamanism and many indigenous tribes whose spirituality and religion is based on the ideology of animism, the belief that all material things have a spirit. It is common for indigenous tribes and shamans to explain that all they know about our world came from conversations with plants, trees, and nature.
In western society, we give human rights to corporations in much the same way. Corporate personhood gives these entities names, legal rights, and the ability to spend money in political campaigns, all while remaining entirely separate from the individuals who work there. If we think this makes sense to provide privileges to what is essentially an immaterial concept, then it makes perfect sense that natural features should be given personhood with legal protections.
New Zealand is setting a precedent for the world to follow, and it’s doing it while acknowledging to its indigenous people that imperialism from the 19th century demands retribution. The act is part of an apology particularly for the British Crown’s lack of enforcement of the Treaty of Waitangi – a pact between the Māori and British government originally intended to protect native rights.
Could New Zealand’s example lead to similar actions in other nations with histories of oppression against native people? In the U.S. reparations are rarely made to Native American groups, while indigenous land and protections continue to diminish.