In two previous podcasts I have begun to weave a new thread into the present landscape of climate crisis and primal change—how the Earth Herself is changing, going through a transformation. Around us we can see the cascading crises of the end of an era, the loss of biodiversity with possible tipping points and climate feedback loops as we experience increasing heatwaves, floods, droughts, as well as the fracturing of our social fabric, with racial and social inequality growing, refugees increasing. But there is another dimension to this accelerating change, which I was first shown over thirty years ago when I was taken deep into the inner world—the archetypal realm that underlies life and determines so much of our shared destiny.
As I mentioned, when I was in my thirties I was taken into the archetypal, symbolic world through a series of journeys over seven years, when I would lead a small group into this interior reality. The nearest equivalent I have found is shamanic journeying, as these were real experiences of the imaginal world and its inhabitants. Many times I was shown how we have neglected this realm, how an inner sacred space is without children and how weeds have grown in its paths, how the land has not been tended with love. And often there is a deep sadness in this inner realm, how its inhabitants are blind because they no longer have a connection to the outer world, to the world of everyday life, as they used to. That was when we lived in conscious connection to the symbolic, when through rituals, prayers, and respect it was a part of our everyday life, of planting and harvesting, and of stories told around the fire.
Often in the inner world there was a deep sorrow caused by our neglect, a sense of joy was missing. And a quality of magic that belongs to our own connection with this world has become buried deeper and deeper, until it is almost inaccessible. At the root of this was the wounded feminine, whose “tears have been woven about her and she has been crying for centuries.” As much as our patriarchal culture has neglected and misunderstood, and abused both women and the inner feminine, so has she cried in the depths of the psyche.
But there was also a deeper secret in this sorrow, which the Earth Herself shared in one journey with a group of nine women. First we experienced the harm we are doing to the Earth:
There in front of you, you see the Earth, and you see the harm man is doing to the Earth. You feel it in the cells of your body, the destruction, the lack of care, the greed. You see how he is hurting the very body of the Earth. You feel it, how he is tearing it apart. And you feel the deep need of the Earth to be loved, to be nurtured, to be cared for, not to be sacrificed. All nine of you women feel it together, it is a part of you and you are a part of it. You feel how the Earth does not understand what is happening, how Her children would destroy Her, those whom She loves so much.
So you all say to Her, “How can we heal you, you who are a part of us, who forms the very blood of us. How can we help you in this time, when they would destroy you?”
Then in front of you, you see the Earth changing shape, and Her voice speaks to you and says, “My suffering is my own experience. As much as your pain can take you to a greater understanding, so is it also for Me, for we belong together, we are a part of one another. Just as your wounds can take you deeper into the depths of yourself, so is it also for Me. Yet you must make the most of this moment in time, when it is as if the skin between the two worlds opens and the pain and the love become one. For there is much grace in this moment of unfolding, more than you would ever imagine. And as much as your suffering is a silver thread that you can follow to the depths of your heart where there is truth, so is it also for this whole world which is My body. We must learn to look deeper than the pain into the meaning behind the pain and the purpose of the pain. Just as love has its tears and the rose its thorns, so is it also with Me. But as women you are closer to Me than men, so I share my secret with you. My secret is that within this suffering a new life is growing, such as had never been before.”
Suddenly you understand that the place of the Earth among the other planets is changing in a way that was not foreseen. You see how a new energy is unfolding, and how this all takes place in the human heart.
Thirty-five years ago when I was shown this, the loss of biodiversity, the pollution, had not ravaged the body of the Earth as has happened in the last decades. The oceans were not full of plastic and 1985 was the last time that the Earth was cooler than average. But the suffering of the Earth was still very present, and yet within that suffering a new life was growing. Suffering can open our own heart and also the heart of the world. This is why our own grief at the ecocide our culture is inflicting is so potent—how it can open our hearts to love and prayer for the Earth, become a place of healing and transformation.
This experience also takes us deeper than the surface effects of rising temperatures and carbon emissions, into the spiritual body of the Earth. It suggests that a new era for humanity can also be a new era for the Earth, that our journey together is deeper than we may think. And how this moment in time when there is an opening between the worlds has a possibility beyond our present imaginings. The transformation of the Earth may not be a part of our lexicon, but that does not mean it does not exist.
What does it mean that the Earth Herself is transforming? She has been through other transformations, for example, when life first arrived, microscopic organisms left signals of their presence in rocks about 3.7 billion years old. Or when flowering plants arrived one hundred and thirty million years ago, and soon covered the land with colors and beauty, diversifying in an explosion of variety. Before the Earth was peaceful, somber, green; inhabited by fish, turtles, and dragonflies. After flowering plants, the world became a garden—full of bright color and variety, visited by butterflies and honeybees. Flowers of all shapes and colors bloomed among the greenery. And so the Earth became alive in a new way.
And then maybe two hundred thousand years ago human consciousness was born in Homo sapiens. Through this awakening consciousness the Earth became aware of Herself in a new way, aware of the numinous beauty of Her forms and Her sacred nature. This was the “in the beginning of our story,” an awakening of magic and wonder when something hidden within the Earth came alive. In that primal dawn a new seed flourished, and when the first seers and shamans were given the sacred names of creation, were given the Original Instructions of how to care for the Earth, how to live in praise and thanksgiving, magic flowed and the song of creation could be heard. In the first podcast When the Source Ran Free I tell the story of this beginning, of this note of the Source, of this place of pure being. And how this note, song, prayer is waiting to be rediscovered, because it is our heritage, belonging both to our past and our future, our shared journey together with the Earth. When the seed and the soil and the soul sing together.
It is time to rediscover this deeper dimension of our journey together with the Earth, how we are born from both stardust and soil, and how the Earth needs our love and care and attention, our prayers, to come fully alive again. And how this rebirth will be a transformation for both the Earth and humanity. Because we have dismissed the inner worlds, because we no longer believe in magic and think that the human journey is about survival, it is difficult to grasp the meaning of this moment in time when the doors between the worlds stand open, “when the skin between the two worlds opens.”
The Earth will change. This is part of the evolving dance of the cosmos. What is less sure is the part we will play in this shift. There are deep patterns of realignment taking place, patterns that need our cooperation, dynamics of co-creation. We are beginning to make the connections to enable this work to unfold, form the communities that point to a new way of living. There are also forces within the Earth and within our human society that do not want this cooperation to take place, that want to continue the old story of separation and its self-destructive power dynamics. They want to keep us enslaved with greed and desires. They have even polluted the spiritual arena where self-improvement or well-being rather than selfless service is encouraged. One cannot sell devotion or market surrender. But the sunlight is always free, and light finds its way through the cracks in our individual and collective defenses.
I believe that we have a destiny together—a story woven with different threads from the dawn of the first day. Even in this time of darkening, when it seems we have missed every opportunity, life is recreating itself anew. We are a part of life, part of this recreation, this realignment, even if our attention is completely distracted, even if our way of life is an agent of terrible destruction and desecration, exterminating species as it pollutes the inner and outer worlds. We are both spirit and matter, and along with all of creation we are being reborn. Distracted by the images on our televisions, computer screens, and now smartphones, we might not know this for generations. We are so busy we do not have time to witness what is really happening. There is so little light left it is hard to see, the noise of our daily life is so loud it is difficult to hear. But the cycles of life and the cosmos, the seasons of the soul and the world soul, continue. And the ancient promises are always kept, the promises between heaven and Earth, the promises that give us real hope and meaning, the promises that our souls can hear, even if our senses and our minds cannot.