My relationship with Mama Earth is the foundation of my spiritual practice and is ever-changing as I align with her seasonal energies, and as we support each other in different ways throughout the seasons.
Spend some time outside with Mama Earth. Visit a favourite spot for relaxing or meditation, or a specific section of your garden or local park. Revisit your spot throughout the month. Observe the trees, the plants, the birds, the insects, our four-legged friends, and the sky, the moon, the sun… whatever captures your imagination. I invite you to use all your physical senses and your intuitive senses.
If you don’t yet have a relationship with her, my suggestion for your first steps is simple: raise your awareness to the changes in Mama Earth this month as we approach Samhain in the Northern Hemisphere and Beltainne in the Southern Hemisphere.
Note what captures your attention. It might be new growth, new animal visitors, the temperature, the length of day, the humidity or dryness, the scents, the sounds. Use all your senses: breathe deeply and sense the aromas around you; listen carefully to the changes in bird songs, to the buzz of the insects.
TIP: If mobility or getting outdoors is a challenge, spend some time each day looking out your window(s) or team up with someone who can support you in this.
As I walk with Mama Earth in the Autumn, I notice so many things:
- the abundance of scarlet berries on the rowan trees and acorns on the oak trees, perhaps a portent of a long winter?
- the abundance of mushrooms in our wet autumn weather
- the individual timing of the trees as they follow their own cycle of transformation, from green leaves to purple, yellow and red
- the migration of birds as they head south for the winter
- the rich scent of leaves, already starting to compost and return to Mama Earth
I captured some of these images in the Autumn Mood Board at the top of this post.
And I wonder what is happening south of the Equator as the season starts to turn from Spring to Summer. The days are just a little bit longer each day, encouraging the plants and trees in their growth, and plant life is abundant and the farmers’ fields are full of new crops.
Internalize . . . listen . . . sense
As you notice the changes from day-to-day and week-to-week, raise your awareness to your own energy, how it reacts or aligns with what is happening in the world around you.
Reflect on your energy cycles, how you sleep and eat, how often you exercise, how you feel waking up in the darkness vs the light, or how you feel in the warmth or cold.
Capture your findings and impressions in your journal, in a vision board or mood board, along with photographs or drawings. Let Mama Earth inspire you to express yourself creatively: write a poem, sing a song, paint, craft, create an offering or blessing.
This is the essence of Soul Work.
How do you raise your awareness?
What is revealed to you through this activity?
What new connections are you making?
Take it to the next level
Map your observations onto a Phenology Wheel
A Phenology Wheel is a great way to capture what is happening in your locale and the changes over time.
What is a Phenology Wheel?
Phenology, per Wikipedia, is “the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate, as well as habitat factors (such as elevation)”. . . in other words, capturing the changes in your environment over time.
A Phenology Wheel can be used for any period of time, from a week up to a year, and can be used in so many ways, such as:
- to capture the changes amongst the seasons of a single tree
- to record what is growing in a small plot of land, including what is happening or changing and when
What I love about this concept is that it challenges our linear approach to time, and also connects us to the subtle (and, at times, dramatic!) changes in the world around us.
By encouraging us to capture our observations and environment in a circle, we can (re)connect to the Wheel of the Year, see patterns over time, and make new connections or gain insights into the relationships between the elements, the flora, and the fauna.
To explore this concept further, there are some great online resources. You can draw your own, using the layout examples above, or download some templates from these great resources:
- Check out the Wheels of Time and Place, created by Partners In Place. Their website offers a variety of free downloadable wheel templates and instructions.
- Montana Naturalist also has a great post on phenology wheels, with downloadable resources
Both are highly recommended!