Imagine yourself walking in the forest. See the tall trunks around you, smell the dry leaves on the forest floor. See where the sunlight filters through the branches, and see the little flies that are highlighted in the sunbeams. Beside you is a tree that has fallen over. You go to sit on it... You see a small seedling growing in the fallen log, its roots digging in to anchor it, its branches reaching up for the sky...
....And as you sit there, let part of your energy body grow like roots into the log...through the moss that covers the trunk...down into the wood itself...feel the grain of the wood as your roots grow down through it. ..see the insects that are eating the wood, let your roots search out moisture and nutrients...growing ever deeper and more solidly into the log.. .and as you pull the nutrients up into your being, feel them sucked up into your head and arms....turn your face up to the sun and feel its warmth and light...let the wind play around you and feel how solidly rooted you are in the log...
The element of Earth represents our Mother, the planet Earth itself. It represents body and solidness. It represents permanence, stability, and security. All the things of Earth are things you can see and hold. If Earth is Matter, it's also the Mother, or Mater. It represents nourishment on all levels. So Earth encompasses the soil which nourishes the plants and the insects and worms that process the decayed matter in the Earth to turn it into food. It represents the plants and all creatures that eat the plants. So it represents all the animals that run on four legs ...or two...or many...
Creatures Associated with Earth
Cows and Bulls, Stags and Does, Buffalo, Moose, Antelope, Goats, Sheep
Diggers in the Earth
Rabbits, Squirrels and Chipmunks, Gophers, Groundhogs, Badgers
Insects that live in the Earth
Centipedes, Termites, Worms, Woodbugs
Earth Creatures from Myth
Earth Dragons, Gnomes, Dwarves
Go out to a garden...preferably in the early or late winter when the ground is bare of snow but unplanted. Best to do this with your bare hands if you can. Stick your hands into the earth, and feel it...the moisture, the texture....ooops, something tickles....you pull your hands out and drop the handfulls of earth. Quick...look....see the little creatures that go scurrying into the earth...back to the moist darkness where they feel safe.. ..
Pull up another handfull of earth and really look at these little beings ...they are busy eating last year's cast off leaves and turning the matter they were made of into the rich dark soil that will nourish next year's growth. Without all these tiny friends, the earth would be smothered under a pile of garbage...and it would quickly be depleted of nourishment.
Take a moment to express your gratitude...for the Earth, for the food She provides, and for the infinite cycle of food and waste and recycling that support all life on this planet. Express your gratitude for the food that nourishes you. Express your gratitude for the beauty of the plants that will grow in this soil, and for how that beauty nourishes your soul. Blessed Be.
Earth is the element traditionally placed at the North pole of the circle. This is an easy association for me, because there are mountains north of me, and vast stretches of wilderness that are too cold for many people to wish to live in. Since anyone in this hemisphere associates North with tundra, ice, and snow, it is reasonable that as we've followed the circle around, North represents Winter. It also represents the Winter of our lifetime... old age, when our bodies are no longer fertile, but our dreams are. Within the cycle of the day, Earth represents midnight, the time of complete darkness after dusk and before dawn.
If you know where you can find a cave, take a trip to it...or perhaps go into the woods to a place where a tree has fallen and you can sit in the hole left by its roots and look up and the wall of intertwined roots. If you can, and it's safe, go near dusk...so you are there as darkness gathers. If you are going to a cave, you can go at any time, if there is a spot in the cave that is dark...if all else fails...go into a root cellar for a bit.
But take some time to sit in the cool darkness. Let your mind be quiet.... sense the peace to be found in this place where you are partly within the Earth. Put aside all the concerns of daily living and really feel this peace. As the concerns of daily life fall away one by one, slow your breathing until you are barely moving. Allow yourself to feel your body... and to let the boundary between your body and the earth around it become hazy...so that they merge as one... Let your awareness gradually slow and become one with the earth. And rest in this dark silence...at peace... knowing that it is enough to be...and to be one with all Her children. Any thoughts that come to distract you...replace them with the mantra "I AM"... until your beingness, as Hers, is all there is....
While all of the elements offer their own types of healing, Earth is the element that rules the healing of our bodies. It is the element of the plants...so the healing herbs... although each herb will have a unique balance of the elements within it. And of course, it is the element of the crystals, used for healing on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.
Take some time to sit on the earth...you may go back to your cave or cellar for deep emersion, or just sit on some soft earth anywhere. Feel how your body touches the earth. Let your roots grow into the earth again, deep, deep into the rich nourishing soil, seeking out what they need. And let them grow down further, through the bedrock, finding the cracks and crannies they can grow through...deeper and deeper...until they come to the heart of Mother Earth herself. And let your connection to the Mother be deep and strong.
Then feel all the parts of your body. Have you pain or tension anywhere? Let your awareness to into that place, and see the pain. See what colour it is. Now let that colour start to drain down through your body, down into your roots and through them to the Mother. And feel the energy She offers in exchange coming back up your roots, into your body, and into the area where you hurt. Feel that energy, Her love, as warmth or coolness, whichever is most healing for you...it can be straight from the fire at Her core...or cooled by the underground streams it passes through. See that energy, possibly white or red, seeping into the painful area. Keep using your breath to encourage the painful energy down your roots, and to pull in the loving, healing energy of the Mother. Keep doing this, slowly, easily...peacefully...for several minutes...for as long as it takes to completely offer to the Mother all of your pain, knowing She will transform it in the fire at Her core and replace it with her cool love. And see how the area that was sore feels now...
The Earth Elementals are called Gnomes. Gnomes come in many sizes, from the little guys who nurture each blade of grass to the large ones who work with the trees, to the huge ones who work with whole mountains. They are the elementals we can contact and communicate with most easily because they are the densest, the most like us. They like to live in the earth, and don't care for exposure or sunlight. They work hard and tend to be quite serious. The "Seven Dwarves" who befriend Snow White and go each day to dig in the earth for precious stones are very typical Gnomes. They can be good friends to those who love the earth. (We call people who are loyal and practical "the salt of the earth") They respect wealth and they respect those who are thrifty and recycle.
They appreciate coins and stones as gifts...they also appreciate any work you do to heal the Earth, to recycle, or to plant and maintain gardens.
If there is a vacant lot near you or any unowned property that has been abused take half a day to go there and do some healing work with it.. Take some large garbage bags with you. Greet the Gnomes in the place as you enter...state your intention to clean the lot or the land...and ask them to help you restore its health. Be careful in these places...sharp edges can be concealed in long grass and weeds. Pick up the garbage until your bags are full or until the area you defined is clean. Perhaps toss a few seeds onto the earth, or some grain, or bury a crystal charged with healing energy.. And ask the Gnomes to speak with you...then sit quietly until you have a sense of their answer. You might ask them if there is something else you can do to help heal this piece of the Earth. They might ask you to run a particular colour of energy into it, or to sing a song, or to imagine it healthy for a few minutes in meditation each Full Moon. If you can do what they ask, do it. If you need help or something you haven't got with you, tell them you'll come back another time.
The Gnomes will help you with work to heal the body, or to heal the Earth itself. They will work with you to break habits that aren't healthy. They will work with you for prosperity and abundance. They will assist you with fertility issues and with any work you do for your family.
Types of magic ruled by Earth and the Gnomes include crystal or stone magic, herb magic, magic that plants seeds or buries things, and magic with sand or salt. Any of these things can represent Earth on your altar...stones and crystals, pots of earth, growing plants, salt, or cast-off gifts of creatures of earth...like antlers or hooves.
They can also help you with all of the following:
Magical Goals Aided By Earth:
Buildings and Houses
Construction and Fabrication
Job and Career Matters
A simple piece of magic I love to do in the late fall is to imitate the trees as they move wastes in the form of organic acids out into their leaves , causing them to change colour and dry out. I will pick up a cast off leaf and envision the energy of a particular habit or emotional pattern flowing out of my cells and through my hands into the leaf. I call in the healing energy of the earth to flow through me and wash the memory and energy of this trait out through my hands and into the leaf. Then I bury the leaf...knowing that the creatures of Earth will cause it to decompose and the energy I have placed in it will be transformed to become the nourishment of the next generation of growing things...
The magical tool associated with Earth is the pentagram. This magical symbol, the five pointed star, represents the four elements pulled together and under spirit. It is a powerful symbol of protection. Earth is associated with the Discs or Pentagrams in the Tarot, and with the Empress, the Chariot, the Wheel of Fortune, the Hermit, Judgement, and the World.
Other correspondences include the astrological signs of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn, and the Planets Venus and Jupiter.
The Archangel of the North and the Earth is Uriel. Dressed in greens, browns, and black, he is a fearsome, quiet figure who offers justice. He is the patron of psychics and an initiator into the mysteries.
Take a moment, while out in the woods on a winter day, when all is gray and black and brown, to be still and meditate on the processes of life. Perhaps you will feel the stirrings of life in the soil under your feet... for the soil is never still even when there is no green growing from it. Perhaps you will contemplate how this apparent barrenness is truly the gestation of the life that will burst forth as the wheel turns toward Spring . Perhaps you will feel and know the connection you have to all living things through being a creature with a body animated by energy. Perhaps you will feel the calling of the ancestors whose bodies lie in the earth and whose energies whisper through the living things that rest around you. This is the time to reach deep into yourself and deep into Mother Gaia to understand the mysteries of life.
You might wish to make an altar in the northern part of your house to honour the Element of Earth and the Gnomes. Drape it and decorate it in browns, greens, and black. Offer stones and crystals, pots of earth or bowls of salt, coins, gems, herbs sacred to Earth, and the cast off gifts of animals, such as antlers or hooves. Welcome the Element and the Gnomes to make this their home. Then light the candles on this altar when you cook, wrap gifts, work with your family, plan your finances, or do healing work.
It may help when invoking the Element or elementals of Earth to use the symbols offered in the background of this page. An Earth Invoking Pentagram starts at the top point, moves to the lower left, and continues around to repeat this line. Earth can also be invoked using the circle with a cross in the middle, or a plain black square. To release the element, draw the Earth Releasing Pentagram shown in the bottom left corner, which is a reversal of the Invoking Pentagram. If you use the black square or circle and cross, see the shape it folding in upon itself and disappearing.
Psychological Qualities Associated with Earth
You can ask the Element of Earth, or its Guardians or the Gnomes to help you develop any of the postive traits listed above. To balance any of the negative traits, you may need to appeal to the other three elements to help balance an overabundance of Earth.