Purification through the elements : Earth
Earth is grounding, homely and comforting. It provides a certain tangibility to the cleansing routine and brings you deeper into the core of nature. Glastonbury opened my eyes to honouring the earth through ritual, celebration and song. The priestesses hitting on their hide drums as we marched up the Tor, the partaking of Lammas bread they painstakingly baked for all, and the offering of earth’s bounty back to the land to give thanks for all the abundance we have on this plane. Here is where I first learnt the song Deep Into The Earth, a simple but effective chant to connect us with Gaia at the core.
At the Earth corner of my altar is a tiny bowl of sea salt. A simple yet wholesome representation for this element. Accompanying it will be some sand I collected from the less traversed desert dunes of Egypt, some crystals (mostly the black types such as tourmaline and obsidian), and a symbolic rock or two from travels.
The easiest way to cleanse with earth is to put salt at each corner of the house. Back then, whenever I cleaned a new space the floor will be mopped with a gentle salt solution to remove lingering energetics. Only then the salt mounds are stationed at the corners for further warding off and purifying the space. Even now, there is a cup filled with salt and some crushed sage leaves positioned near the window for this very purpose. The salt barriers can be changed every 6 months or so with renewed protection invocations.
Whenever partaking in a self release ritual, I meditatively retreat into a huge tree. I disappear into its belly and am immediately transported down into the cavernous trunk, deeper into the quiet still space. Here it is a warm hearth, a place secure and known only to me. In this secluded recess of my psyche I seek the protection of Mother Earth and all the wise Mothers who will be there to receive and hold space for me.
Burial rituals can help us get rid of something respectfully in our lives. I have buried crystals that have served me far and long, even a consecrated talisman that was fused with the intention of release from an old grief. The Earth takes back and helps us transmute. We play our part to ensure it is done mindfully with the least amount of contaminants.
New Moon is the perfect time to get our feet into the Earth. (To be honest, the moon is a reminder for a lot of activities in my daily life.) Walk barefoot if you can, or just sit cross-legged on the grass to get your body to feel what it is like to come into contact with earth’s deeply comforting loamy scent. I have spent a good hour, flat on my back on a large grassy field just crying and processing emotions. My tears flowing freely down my face and back into the earth.
Drum beats are also a great way of getting into our primal root chakra which represents our Earth element. It is said that the percussion’s beats reminds us of our mother’s heartbeat, the first sound we would have heard while in the womb. Perhaps it is a familiar lullaby that accorded regulated sonorous comfort before we came kicking and screaming into this world. I used to find tribal drum beats a little scary but now I welcome its comforting rhythm. My favourite tunes for connecting to the root chakra is Jana Runnalls’ Deep Into the Earth (thanks Glastonbury) and Elizabeth Huxtable’s The Dancing Earth.
Grounding essential oils in my repertoire are cedarwood and patchouli. Great to apply to the foot and also at the tail bone. On New Moon, an exfoliating scrub with sea salt, oatmeal or apricot kernels is a helpful to slough away old skin. Clay masks also help utilise the earth element to draw out the body’s impurities.
Foods that support the root chakra are chocolate, root veggies such beetroot and potatoes. Peanuts are great too. There is this lotus root and peanut soup I love to make; super nourishing and grounding. In yoga, mountain pose, tree and garland pose seem to help with the grounding of energies. On days I feel tired or spacey, my tree pose will simply not hold.
Earth dominant people are more chill and measured. They provide a sense of stability but can be prone to being inert. They take their time to process their thoughts. A good shake up is helpful for them at times. For those with a deficit in earth, they need to learn how to sit still and build on something longer lasting (looks at self).
A purification is not merely physical. It is emotional, etheric, and psycho spiritual as well. Waning Moon up to Dark Moon (a day before the New Moon kicks in) is the easiest time for us to exercise this process. Resistance will be less and output will be more efficient than usual.
This concludes my purification through the elements series. I love the process of elimination and writing it down categorically reminded me of how many ways we can all learn to get rid of something to make way for the new!