The Earth, a Sacred Place

79  bar falls 29.96  0mph NE  dew-point 56  sunrise 6:10 sunset 8:25  Lughnasa

Waxing Gibbous Corn Moon

I got this off the Permaculture listserv.

“(I find this is a good reminder to recite every morning.)

A Prayer for Gaia by Rose Mary O’Malley

As I breathe in your air, eat your fruits and drink your water, let me be sustained and nourished so that I may serve.

As I use your resources for clothes, shelter and warmth, let me be strengthened so that I may give back more than I have taken.

As I drink in the beauty of your oceans, flowers, blue sky and stars, let me be so filled with beauty that I will bring only love and joy to your inhabitants.

As I am nourished, taught and loved by your inhabitants, let me so filled with love and knowledge that I joyfully work to assure a fair distribution of your treasures.”

It is an example what I believe to be true, that is, many many people consider the earth a sacred place and have the intention of reverence and worship toward her.  The whole neo-pagan movement with its mix and match invocation of Europe’s ancient pantheons and perhaps some Egyptian influence does not reflect the rootedness of this sentiment in American soil. (That is, the American manifestation of it.  I believe this is a global phenomenon.) It is also not the case that the Native American reverence for the earth is other than a salutary reminder since their experience is so different from that of us boat people.

We need a way of following the seasons that respects our American experience of this vast and wonderful land.  We need a way of honoring mother earth that borrows, yes, from other cultures, but does not presume to make their ways our ways.  We need, as Emerson said, a religion of revelation to us, not the history of theirs.   And that revelation comes from two sources:  our experience of the outer world–this land, its peoples and our experience of other peoples and other lands; and, our experience of our inner world and its own universe, added to our resonance with the outer world.

This is the pagan lovesong that I hear in the hearts of so many people, one that needs articulation and expansion.  This is like Brian Swimme’s work, too.

This faith, this reverence and worship of the earth, as in Ms. O’Malley’s prayer, is an ur-faith, or a proto-faith, a faith that comes prior to others,  a faith whose acceptance does not contradict the Mulism or the Buddhist, the Taoist or the Christian, but complements, supplements them.  For some, like me, it is an adequate faith, enough to sustain me on my journey and as I contemplate the life after this one, or others, it is not enough, but one that needs some salvation instrument or some philosophical cleanser.  That’s all right.

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