Earth Connection – Walking the Ways Day One


For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Sanctuary – Seasonal Observances

Today we being the Solstice-hinged e-retreat Walking the Ways of the Summer Light. To give you a taste of Walking the Ways, this is the first of the daily emails that goes out between now and the Solstice to attune to the elements and the wisdom of the season. Emails the rest of the week support connecting with wisdom guides, contemplating earth as an element and from the Tarot tradition, and going out for a wisdom wander. You are welcome to join us on the journey! 

Words to Inspire 

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth

find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.

Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder 

Wisdom Image

Central image is from the Minoan Tarot

Prompts for Practice

Today you are invited to contemplate an image of earth: the image above, your favorite Tarot card from the suit connected to Earth (Pentacles, Disks, Stones, etc.), or the view from your window be it the green of growing things or the concrete of the solid sidewalk.

Then ponder your connection and understanding of the element of earth.  This is the place from which you begin. Use your own current definitions and understandings to contemplate these questions.

  • When you hear the word earth what does it encompass?
  • What do you already know about the earth element (from the Tarot’s earth suit, or connecting physically with the earth, or from your spiritual tradition’s teachings about earth)?
  • Is there a place or an activity that especially connects you to earth?
  •  What lessons and gifts might come from connecting with the earth?
  • What gifts can you offer to earth?

A Little Report from my First Earth Wisdom Wandering

I just took my first wander of this year’s Walking the Ways with Tarot cards in my pocket. I didn’t go anywhere out of the ordinary—just my usual neighborhood walk—but having the intention of paying attention and the support of carrying the cards opened my eyes to small delights.
In the first week of Walking the Ways, we attune to the element of Earth as a physical reality—paying attention to the solid, the dirt and the stone, and all that stays near to the ground—and as a symbol—which if we are working with the Tarot connects us to the suit of Pentacles (also known as Coins and Stones, for example). So before I went for my walk, I sorted out the Major Arcana cards (I think they have aspects of all the elements) and the suit of Stones from my Shining Tribe Tarot. I made a little mandala of five cards with the 3 of Stones emerging as the central/primary card of the earth week for me.
The 3 of Stones is a favorite card. I see it as a joyful connection of the earthly and the spiritual. The image offers a lesson of how these realms exist side-by-side, within, and throughout each other. Deep in the earth at the bottom of the card, the Great Goddess sits. The snake of transformation travels down to Her while three birds rise up. Perhaps they are bringing Her messages to us, we earthly creatures, human and turtle, are held in this dynamic relationship. The point of power (that little purple point at the bottom of the triangle) is when we perceive the connection.
With my cards selected, I put on my hat and stepped out the door. The road was busy with the morning commute but I was meandering and taking time to look at what called my attention. Bark! The bark of trees is amazing with all its patterns rising, rising in the tall trees. There was a heavily pruned tree, really more like a four-foot stump that rose up covered in white mushrooms. It looked like a statue. A kind of saint of the edge of the yard (yes, I grew up Catholic). I’d reach in to pull a card as I walked to gather some imaginative insight into the deeper layers of what I was seeing/experiencing.
I cut through a corner of a local school, passing by their playing fields. The fake “grass” of the field is flanked by equally well manicured lawn. It was a perfect expanse of green … almost … because it was “broken” by a circle of buttercups. I stopped to gaze at them, to be delighted by them, to wonder how they escaped the blade of the mower to grow. I reached into my pocket and the 3 of Stones appeared. I placed the card amidst the flowers and let them commune a bit while I just paused and looked, and, yes, of course I took a picture.
Then I stood up and kept walking and as I walked I pondered the buttercup circle, thinking about it as an irruption of the wild into the manicured/mundane life. Thinking of the 3 of Stones, I thought of how Spirit, the Greater Than, the awe that moves us out of normal vision is a similar kind of irruption. These irruptions might seem infrequent or hard to catch, but there are little clues and invitations all around us when we pause and orient ourselves to just a slightly different way of looking.
Once home, I googled the symbolic meaning of buttercup. The fantasy writer Terri Windling has a lovely blog post on the folklore of flowers from English sources and writes that: “Buttercups are part of Ranunculus family, related to spearwort, crowfoot and lesser celandine. It was once believed that swallows fed their young on a diet of these flowers, giving them prophetic abilities and clear sight.” Less well sourced, but appearing in multiple places in the Google search— is a Native American—perhaps Nez Perce—that Coyote tossed his eyes up in the air and Eagle snatched them. Coyote then makes eyes from the buttercup.
Working with these stories I hear the message: Attend to buttercup and you will see with new eyes. Layer in the 3 of Stones teachings and the new eyes can help you perceive spirit in the material and the material in spirit. And in the moments when you can hold that connection within you, you can flow with a power that is joyful and connective and enough.
I’m holding this a gift and a blessing for me and all of us —formally and informally—Walking the Ways and wisdom wandering our way to the Solstice.

You are most welcome to join us as we travel through earth, air, water, and fire connecting with the elements and gathering questions. Then after the Solstice, we will select one of our questions to find an answer to on a pilgrimage journey.

Leave a Comment

Stay Connected

Soul Path Sanctuary

Offering ~ I tend the sanctuary as gift to seekers on the unmarked path. If you find this site inspiring, I welcome a gift to continue serving you sustainably.