Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Living Earth

 We have an ancient and indigenous awareness of the Earth as a living being. We attune to her through our rhythmic sleeping and waking and our receptivity to the magnetic, solar, and elemental forces. Her tectonic, ionic, magnetic and organic systems are analogous to those of our bodies.

Let's consider the metaphorical relationship of our body systems to the five elements that I work with in my healing and magickal work, as well as of the ancient Greeks. (The Chinese and Hindus also use five elements of different names.) The solar and fiery element corresponds to our nervous system. The airy and gaseous element is related to our breathing, vocalization, and hearing, and the watery element to our circulatory and lymphatic systems. The earthly element is related to our skeletal and muscular systems. Our chakra system, which receives cosmic energy, is most related to the ether element. I have recently been asked, "How do these elements and bodily processes affect our relationship with the Earth as a living organism?" The following is an explanation from my perspective.
Fire:  We experience the fire element in the desert, the flowers, the auroras, and lightening, which are manifestations of the Earth's eye, brain, and nervous system. We ourselves are electromagnetic systems that are affected by electromagnetic charges in the environment. Electricity is a conduit in both our nervous system and in hour chemical processes.

From fire comes light and darkness, the sources of color. Our eyes receive light waves from the Sun and convert them into photochemical and biochemical pulses which then are decoded by the brain. Both electromagnetism in the body and the light in the eyes are sourced from the Sun.

The Sun itself is like a rotating pinwheel, flinging fiery particles out into space. Upon entering the zones of the poles, these radiated energies stimulate the atmospheric molecules to glow in the auroras - somewhat like gas in a neon tube. The fire of the electrically charged particles from the Sun is deflected by the Van Allen Belt - a ring of particles and cosmic energy that penetrates the outer layers of the Earth's magnetosphere. The magnetosphere acts as the Earth's brain, receiving messages from the Sun and decoding them. Magnetism then enters and exits through the planet's deep interior through the poles.

Volcanic matter is a mutable fireflow within the bones and heart of the Earth. The fire of the desert is part of the Earth's metabolic heating and cooling system. Here, seeds drift before the Sun and reach for the dew in the morning. Underground waters, like blood, upwell in hidden places under the searing Sun.

Air:  The air element consists of all the atmospheric manifestations - the jet stream, the clouds, the rain and the biosphere cycles. Weather, wind, and sound all shape the energy of air. As temperatures change, hot air drifts up and the cooling air sinks down, creating a gaseous swirl. Air particles drift with the clouds, creep across mountains, and sweep into canyons as the breath of the Earth.

Cosmic rays descend through the etheric noctilucent clouds that spread between the ionosphere and mesosphere and fan out towards the ozone layer. Below the ozone is the stratosphere, where mother-of-pearl clouds suspend in midair. Miles below that are the cirrus and cumulonimbus clouds. Below these lies the naked Earth, receiving rain.

The ozone umbrella is the Earth's most far-reaching spiritual aura. Ozone protects us from ultraviolet rays, converting them into heat and chemical energy. Radioactive fallout from nuclear testing and fluorocarbide residue from industrial production have caused ozone depletion, gouging holes in the Earth's auric field and exposing all life to disease.

The Earth's breath gives voice through the sounds of the winds, tides, and creatures. Sound arises from the rhythmic compression of air particles in vibrating bodies. All such molecular movement creates sound, though it may not be heard by human ears.

Water:  Water is the lifeblood of the Earth, as it is to us. Holy creatures slither and swim in the flowing dance of rivers and seas. Springs bring minerals to the surface and distribute them through the tributaries of the planet's circulatory system. A watercourse brings green to the ground and refreshes us with its scent. Lakes give nourishment by storing water, heat, and chemicals in high places that are otherwise arid.

The salt density in our blood is similar to that of the ocean, whose pitch-black depths call us back to the primordial womb that gave us birth. Here subtle energy generates the vital force of life out of the yin darkness. The swiftness of the riptide and the slow undulations of the deeper currents are part of the Earth's intensive rhythms.

Malleable and permeable, water unites. All movements are part of this element. The spinning of the Earth's axis creates the Coriolis force, twisting the oceanic currents to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern. The resulting spiral - carrying the chaos of sand and sea - generates subtle energy that vitalizes all life systems.

As oxygen and blood mix in our veins, so the trade winds set the North Equatorial currents in motion, the great stream deflected by the spin of the Earth. This colossal, reverberating sea circulates the force of life from continent to continent, creating weather from its cyclonic eddies.

Earth:  The earth element is the most physical, the most formed and rigid. Rocks hold the Earth's memory - as in the fossilized protozoa and other simple life-forms contained in layers of limestone. Lying deeper are the slates born of clay, and deeper still, the glittering micashists, and gneiss. The primal rock is granite - composed of quartz, feldspar, and hornblende. The igneous rocks - granite, porphyry, greenstones, basalt and lava - break through the sandstone and limestone layers during volcanic eruptions. These diverse derivatives and structures of the Earth derive from their contrasting interactions with water and fire. The story of the planet is the story of elemental conflict and regeneration through the undulations of time. In the earth element are buried seeds of all things, awaiting a new birth.

Plate tectonics reveal the Earth's skeletal and muscular system. Without these chiropractic adjustments to maintain harmony between structure and movement, cataclysmic Earth changes would result.

Ether:  Comprised of the eternal fusion of subtle energy and light, the etheric element permeates consciousness as well as the body of the Earth. The timeless etheric celebrates the unchanging and the changing. All landscapes, all elements, all forms live in this formless sea. Withdrawn, ether draws out everything to be itself. Invisible, it makes all things visible. Intangible, it touches all.

Note: The ancient idea of all-permeating ether or akasha was interpreted by Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer as a psychic fluid in which planets could create tides or flows of subtle energy. As a healer, he knew that illness resulted when the flows of subtle energy currents in the body were interrupted, thus depleting vital force.

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