Secrets of Magic 16: Touch the earth

Humans are spiritual beings, but we are also physical creatures, with bodies, living in a physical world. When we remember to honor our bodies, our families, and our connections to the Earth, we tap into some of the deepest magical secrets.
Human life is embedded in the web of life that sustains the earth. Each of us depends on the plants, animals, and people around us to keep us alive. We tend to forget this while we are caught up in the busy detail of our lives. Our homes and workplaces, stores and entertainment complexes protect us from direct contact with the outside world. The turn of a tap brings water into the house. When we’re cold we crank the thermostat up a notch. After sundown the lights in our buildings let us go on working and playing around the clock. Only a major event, such as a storm that knocks down power lines, breaks through our very effective insulation.

Human genius has made it possible for us to keep ourselves warm and dry in the most severe conditions. We travel great distances easily. Our medicine restores our health and extends our lives. These are great benefits of our ingenuity and skill. However effective we are at taking care of ourselves and each other, though, we are still living creatures dependent on the world.

We are profoundly affected by the weather, the seasons, and the conditions in our environment. The amount and quality of sunlight we get every day influences our mood and our physical health. When the weather turns cold our metabolisms slow down, causing us to sleep more, and add body fat. Wind, smog, and mist affect air quality, which in turn affects our ability to breathe and to see.

Recognizing that we live in a living world can profoundly change our lives. When we trace the connections between ourselves and the sources of our food, water, and shelter, we recognize our debt to the living things that help us to live. When we trace the connections between our homes and the systems that sustain them, we learn about the shape of place we inhabit, and how we in turn affect the land.

Our knowledge of the physical sources of life helps us tune into the energic sources of our life. The natural world provides tremendous energy that we can tap to heal our bodies and renew our spirits. The more we learn about the world, the more we learn about ourselves, and about the sources of magic.

I am a living being in a living world.

Practice: Create the stages
Go outside every day for a week. If you can, get to a park where you can walk around, even for a few moments. If you are not physically able or free to move around, have yourself moved outside for a few minutes in the day.

Practice being present. Notice the sky: are there clouds? What is its color? If you can see the sun, where is it in relationship to the landmarks around you? Take a deep breath. Notice the energy that floods into your body.

Lean down to put your hand on the ground. If you can, take off your shoes and walk on the ground barefoot. What do you experience when your bare skin touches the earth?

Make a note of your observations and experiences in your journal. If you have been keeping a daily journal recording the weather and your mood, read through the journal. Is there a correlation between what is happening outside and what you have been feeling?

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