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Gaia’s Mantle: The Greening of the Earth

March 1st, 2019

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As
Spring approaches and we find ourselves at another turn of the Great
Wheel, opportunity abounds for making deeper connection to the
natural world and Gaia’s greening of it. Gaia is seen as the maiden
offering the promise of new life in a womb that is still developing
and preparing for what will be birthed in full glory as the summer
approaches and the peak of all living things is held in father sun’s
gentle hold. It is Her sweet breath that breathes life into what lay
in wait to be birthed and it is Her gentle hand that guides the
process of renewal.

This time of reaffirming fertility and
its progeny of new life marks the Spring Equinox. What was weighted
more heavily at the time of the Solstice has now achieved a certain
state of balance and equilibrium, before it seesaws once again
towards one polarity’s weight. As we look around at our earthly
world we can marvel at the cyclical nature of new life, maturity and
the eventual harvesting and clearing which renders the ground fallow
as quickening awaits its rhythmic cue. We have emerged from Winter’s
hold of stillness and illusory death and now stand at the time of
balance and the drawing together of what was and what will be in an
organized and synthesized manner so that the promise of newly created
life may flourish.

Visually, Spring is the time of donning
new color, shape and form. Gaia offers up the splendor of her
multi-colored cloak as all manner of life bursts forth in texture and
hue. The energy of this palette enlivens our being and the call to
warmer air and out of doors activities entices even the most
reluctant homebody. As life blooms all around you, how will you
answer the call to take up the robes of nature’s finery? Where will
you invest your energy in renewing what has lain dormant awaiting the
gentle push of Gaia’s hand? Will you dare to step into the mantle
of the Goddess that she has lovingly crafted for you and claim your
place as co-creator in the greening of the world?

I invite
you to take a journey with me as the Wheel turns…

Gaia’s
Mantle Pathworking:

Take a deep breath inhaling and
allow the rhythm of your breathing to establish a gentle and regular
pace. As you deepen into this relaxed state you shift your awareness
to your inner screen. As you sit as observer you see a veil of pale
violet mist form in front of you and as it parts you see yourself
sleeping peacefully as the energy of the space builds around you. As
you turn greater awareness to this sleeping image of yourself you
merge to become one with it and are now the active participant. You
awaken to find yourself in the middle of a dense and green forest
just prior to dawn. You stretch and extend, feeling the cobwebs of
restriction opening and giving way. The potent smell of earth fills
your nostrils and the soaking heaviness of moisture fills your being
as you drink thirstily.

You sense that it is dawn and
sunlight filters through tree branches in slender slivers of thread
as beads of dew sparkle like small diamonds strung upon the finest
silk. You sit up and pull yourself up to standing, again stretching
and reaching upwards with breath coming in long deep inhales and
exhales. You take a few steps forward and the soft ground below gives
ever so slightly under weight of your foot. Your senses are keen and
alert and it seems that you can feel every granule of dirt and leave
and stone underfoot, despite the padded soles of your shoes. As you
move forward, the light grows brighter with each step and you find
yourself in a clearing. The ground is still covered in a light bed of
thin mossy green and patches of dried grass and you know that this
field will be full of flowers and butterflies in just a few weeks.
This image flashes quickly before you and then returns to the space
of fertile ground that will soon peak. 

You close
your eyes for a moment and feel the last nip of winter’s cold air
pass over you, quickly followed by a warm breeze that is light and
airy. You open your eyes and see a few yards ahead of you the form of
what appears to be a young girl. The sun is directly behind her and
flashes brightly in your eyes, making clear definition difficult. You
see that she is approaching you and you take a few steps forward in
greeting to meet her.

As you move closer, you now have the
impression that this form is not what you thought. There is
resemblance to human form, but the energy and lightness of its
quality seem otherworldly. As you move closer still you can now
discern that this shape of a young woman is the movement and gentle
breeze of seed, earth, and leafy grass moving and swirling. You stop
and your eyes follow the path of this unusual sight. Every area of
the field it touches responds with the bursting forth of small shoots
of flower and fragrant grass. Every area it passes over transforms
into haven and home for bee, blossom and butterfly. The fragrant
breath of tiny buds wafts delicately in the air and the gentle shape
of this breezy maiden of flora moves with focus and precision.

You
close your eyes and simply rest in this energy of renewal and growth.
You feel a gust of wind surround around and know that this maiden of
Spring is now enfolding you in her transformative embrace. You feel
the movement of her gentle breath clearing away the debris of what
has lingered too long and is not of your best interest. You smell the
fragrant and fertile earth of planting that is awakening the seeds of
potential within you. And, you feel the weight of her cloak of
greening as it presses against your skin reminding you that you too
are part of this cycle of new growth. 

You open your
eyes and look down at the beauty of the mantle she has placed about
you. Tiny leaf and budding flower are woven into a tapestry of vine
and slender root. The smell of new verdant life is intoxication and
you revel in the finery that Gaia has gifted you with. You feel the
gentle kiss of a butterfly’s wing, fresh from the slumber of its
cocoon and you know that another turn of the sacred wheel has been
rendered. You take a deep breath in, filling your lungs with the
freshness of a Spring day’s promise and as you exhale, the cloak
falls away and you are once again standing in the open clearing that
has yet to be birthed from Spring’s womb. 

You sigh
into a deep exhale, knowing that the greening will occur as it has
every cycle and that you will be active participant in welcoming the
warming tides. A single stream of air encircles you and you know this
is the blessing of Gaia and the promise of her transformative magick.
As these thoughts flood through you, a violet mist forms around you
and the landscape gently fades from your sight. You become aware once
again of your inner screen and pull that awareness back into the
sensations of your physical state. Each breath of inhalation draws
the energy of the space in which you are sitting back to your
conscious awareness. And, each exhalation brings focus back to the
gentle and easy rhythm of your breath. Continue in this manner for
several more breaths, and when you are ready, gently flutter your
eyes open and be fully present and enlivened by Gaia’s
Mantle.

Blessed Be!

***

About
the Author:

Robin
Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She
is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The
Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s
Written in the Stars

Astrology

The
Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry
of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The
Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening
the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A
Year With Gaia on Amazon

The
Eternal Cord

Temple
of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous
Devotions

The
Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A
Collection of Esoteric Writings

The
Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning
the Parts of SELF

The
Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings
on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping
with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights
of Devotion

A
Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings
for the Year

Her
books are available on Amazon
 or
on this website
 and
her Blogs
 can
be found at
Robin
Fennelly
 

Follow
Robin
 on
Instagram & Facebook.

A Harm Free Spring

Spring has always been the time of year represented by themes of fertility, renewal, and hope. For Pagans it is the time of year when the Goddess is symbolically pregnant with God. We celebrate the Sabbats of Ostara and Beltane. These Sabbats are centered around the natural season and have the same themes of fertility, renewal, and hope. Ostara and Beltane altars are decorated with flowers, eggs, rabbits, baby chickens and other symbols of spring and fertility. The Christian and secular based versions of Easter share these same symbols of spring. After all, Ostara is the original spring holiday before it was Christianized and became known as Easter. The Easter egg hunt is one of the many long standing traditions still practiced in most American households, even Pagan ones. This spring season in particular though I have started to take a new look at these old traditions of ours. Why do we “hunt” the eggs? Why do we decorate our altars with eggs and rabbits? Why my sudden curiosity in these old traditions? One word veganism. I recently made the transition from being vegetarian to being vegan and I have been surprised by how much this decision has changed by view of Ostara practices. I decided to be vegan because I could no longer support the brutally violent and cruelty filled dairy and meat industries. One of the reasons I have decided to make this change is because of my Wiccan beliefs. When I was a Christian I was taught that animals have no souls, and that God gave us humans dominion over them (to do to them whatever we please). Once I became Wiccan though my world view slowly started to change. I now believe in the Divinity of all living creatures and that we are all connected. Humans are a part of nature, just like all animals are. If animals are Divine how can I justify the torture and inhumane killing of them? In addition to my acceptance of the Divinity in all things, I also adopted the Wiccan rede as a spiritual guide for my life. Most Wiccans try their best to live their lives by the words of, “And ye harm none, do what ye will.” Clearly no harm is happening within the unregulated meat and dairy industries of the world. I am not saying that all Wiccans or Pagans should be vegan. That is not the purpose of this article. Everyone’s life is their own and they are free to make the choices they feel are right for themselves and their spirituality. I truly believe this! I do however, think that Wiccans could be better about considering the Wiccan rede and principles of a “nature-based” religion. Should we celebrate the coming of spring? Absolutely! Should we focus on themes of fertility, renewal, and hope? Of course! How do we celebrate these themes though? How do we teach our children about the beauty and symbology of rabbits, eggs, and baby chicks? Maybe it is time we asked ourselves some tough questions. Questions like, are we really teaching our children to honor nature and the Divine by exploiting dairy animals and the natural environment? Should we celebrate the natural season of spring by cutting flowers, stealing eggs from an unwilling mother hen, and then eating that same mother hen? Maybe, maybe not. This Spring season let us push ourselves to be better people and better witches. Let us live out the Wiccan rede! Let us ask ourselves in what ways can we make this spring season harm free and a true celebration of the renewal of nature?

goddess

Ostara/Eostre

Ostara is the Goddess of Spring and of the Dawn. Her name, which in German, means “movement toward the rising sun”, is also used by some for the Spring Equinox.

Legend has it that Ostara found an injured bird. In order to save its’ life, she transformed it into a rabbit. The transformation was successful in that the rabbit survived, but it was not quite complete, as this rabbit could lay eggs as if it were still a bird. In gratitude, the rabbit would decorate its’ eggs and leave them for the Goddess.

goddess2

In Anglo-Saxon, her name is Eostre or Eastre. Her name has lived on in the holiday of Easter, another Spring holiday, which is also about resurrection and rebirth, if not of the Earth, but of hope and renewal. In this way, the Goddess Ostara is celebrated from the Spring Equinox until Easter.

This Goddess is about the returning light and warmth; and the Earths abundance as it is reawakened and reborn. Eggs, rabbits, flowers – all symbols of fertility – all first signs of spring – are sacred to Her.

Ostara’s symbols also became the symbols of Easter, which came much later.

Rituals to Ostara would include seeds, what you wish to grow and sow; planting a garden; coloring eggs and leaving them outside for the animals who are coming out of hibernation; taking a mindful walk, noticing the Earth as she begins to come out of her slumber, breathing in the freshness of the air, listening to the songs of the birds and the buzz of insects, feeling the sunshine.

May you all be blessed by Ostara this Spring!

goddess3

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