Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a place where you are connected to the earth. What do you see? Is it trees, lush grasses, and colorful plants in dappled shadows? Are you surrounded by green? Do Perhaps a faun, dwarf, or an elf features in your imagined space.
Certainly, all those things are part of the element of Earth. Often, though, people forget that the element of Earth element also includes deserts, mountains, and prairies. We are so accustomed to the idea of verdant forests that we don’t even include the other settings in our imagination. In fact, when you examine all the writings on the element of Earth, it is rare to see anything that doesn’t evoke the idea of dense greenery, whether the information is about correspondences, creatures, or colors.
All the elements help us move toward some purpose, but Earth is primarily our focus when we are working on material intentions. We appeal to Earth when we are seeking healing, as well calling Earth when working spells related to prosperity, employment, fertility, family matters, the home, and abundance. As cottage witches, Awen’s Cauldron is closely aligned to the element of Earth because of its association with the home and family. Gardening is a type of majick closely aligned to Earth.
Earth is associated with the north and with winter, and it is the element for the astrological signs of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. It is considered a feminine element. Like Water, it is represented by an upside-down equilateral triangle, with the addition of a horizontal line drawn across it. Earth goddesses include Gaia, Persephone, Mokosh, and Sif, any of whom may be called upon to bless rituals relating to Earth. Its tools include the pentacle, cords for knot majick, stones, and salt. Salt can serve more than one purpose: it can represent Earth but also be used to purify a space or form a protective circle for ritual. Many witches pour a line of salt around their houses and renew it regularly. Stones and crystals associated with Earth include emerald, jet, tourmaline, quartz, and peridot; plants and herbs associated with Earth include cypress, honeysuckle, ivy, grains, sage, vetiver, and patchouli. Animals associated with Earth are bulls, stags, wolves, and cats, while mythical creatures include dragons, gnomes, elves, and brownies. Colors associated with Earth are, not surprisingly, brown, black, and green.
We suspect an earth ritual in dry climate or desert might be very different from what we’ve described based on traditional writing. For example, the colors associated with Earth in a desert setting would be the light browns of sand and the grey green cactus or yucca. Lizards, tarantulas, or snakes would be more likely representatives of Earth, and fantasy creatures might include a jinn, a ziz, or a re’em. Calling on Hathor, Sekhmet, or Spider Grandmother would be a good fit for arid land.
In Nevada, a couple hours north of Las Vegas, there is a temple dedicated to Sekhmet. There, away from light pollution, you see the Milky Way and can watch the movement of the stars. There are probably not gnomes or dwarves peeking around the creosote bushes and cacti, but there is majick to be found in the desert. The earth is a wondrous place, and Earth is an element that comes in more forms than we expect at times. Perhaps we witches need to do a bit more imagining so we can create rituals that include every kind of terrain Earth offers.
How can you incorporate Earth into preparation for ritual? One way is to eat a meal slowly and appreciate all the tastes in the food you consume. Think about the land in which it grew, the nutrients in the soil that helped create it. Feel the different textures in your mouth. Another way is to ground yourself before ritual—stand barefooted on the ground. Feel yourself growing roots that connect you to Earth. Gather flowers and plants to touch and smell. Take time to feel the textures on your fingers and the smell that comes from them.
To celebrate Earth around you, plant a garden. It can be as simple as a few cooking herbs. Caring for those plants connects you to Earth. If you have space, create a labyrinth and walk in it frequently. Put up bird feeders and spend time watching the creatures who visit. Plant trees around the perimeter of your dwelling to make your space a sacred grove, and if you live somewhere dryer, take advantage of the information available to you to create a hardy, drought-resistant earthy space.
Earth majick includes using cords, and a knot spell is a great way to start with earth majick. To cast a knot spell, it’s very important to be specific about what you want as an outcome, without constraining the universe in its response to you. Including words such as “an even better result” is helpful. And, of course, those following a Wiccan path don’t cast spells that compel another person against their will.
You’ll need a length of cord long enough to tie 9 knots in it. Too thin or thick, like string or rope, makes it hard to tie the knots. Concentrate on the outcome you want as you tie the knots. Say this spell as you tie the knots.
By knot of one, the spell’s begun.
By knot of two, it cometh true.
By knot of three, thus shall it be.
By knot of four, tis strengthened more.
By knot of five, so may it thrive.
By knot of six, the spell we fix.
By knot of seven, success is given.
By knot of eight, the hand of fate.
By knot of nine, the thing be mine.
You can do different things with the cord after casting the spell. Some witches wear the cord until the outcome of the spell arrives. You can also place it on your altar near an image of an earth goddess or one associated with luck, such as Lakshmi or Habondia. Once you believe you have received the outcome of the spell you’ve cast, untie the knots in reverse order and bury the cord in the earth.
The Earth supports us, nourishes us, heals us. Whether we stand in a forest, climb a mountain, wander the deserts, or walk the prairies, we need to look around an appreciate the many ways in which Earth appears to us. Sink your toes into the dirt! Blessed be.
Opening Image by Carl Spitzweg – http://www.kettererkunst.de/kunst/kd/details.php?obnr=100800185&anummer=334, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11059517