I arise today
Through the strength of Heaven
Light of Sun
Radiance of Moon
Splendor of Fire
Speed of Lightning
Swiftness of Wind
Depth of Sea
Stability of Earth
Firmness of Rock.
— commonly known as St. Patrick’s Breastplate, but also believed to be the far older Druid Deer’s Cry Invocation
As I’ve been discussing, the evidence is overwhelming that time spent in Nature is vital to our well-being. We must reverse the trend to insulate ourselves, and especially our children, from unsupervised, intimate contact with Her.
As Pagans and Witches, this is even more crucial. We say we are an Earth-based spirituality. But if we limit, or micromanage the time our youngsters spend in the wild, we subvert their access to personal experiences with Nature as Divine.
Celtic shaman and writer Frank MacEowen reminds us that when our soul “leans toward the world through activated senses, in doing so [we] find a sacred world leaning back towards us…From this experience, we stumble on a secret that has never really been a secret. We come to see there is no separation between us and the world around us.”
What do you believe about the consciousness and intention of the Gods and Goddesses in the world around us? How many of you reading this have childhood memories of being contacted by Others – Nature spirits, faeries, elementals, or magical animals? What have you experienced about the benevolence, protection, and the consequences of being intimate with Nature?
Yes, sometimes those consequences are harsh – the laws of tooth and claw, flood and fire can be stern indeed. Yet, there is also Grace – which, through no particular merit or deserving of our own, smiles at our antics, and forgives our errors.
We are not the lords of the Earth. We are all Her children. If we believe this, we must not only tell our young that the Earth is holy, we must behave that way. This does not just mean recycling and making other Earth-friendly choices. It means that we release our kids from captivity, and trust them into Her care as often as possible.
We must make time for ourselves and our families to experience a relationship with an Earth that is alive, sacred, and aware of us.
And now, enough talk. I think we should all go outside and play.