Earth Magick is a belief system that focuses on our relationship with the planet and everything that exists upon it, from stones and trees to fish and birds and from insects and animals to the land and the sea. Those who subscribe to this ancient approach to spirituality believe that our relationship with the Earth has become seriously out of balance and that we all need to take action to restore it.
The Magic of Mother Nature
The fundaments of Earth Magick rely on the idea that everything, including ourselves, has some magical power within us. Through connecting with our environment, respecting it and making ourselves truly open to the gifts that Mother Nature can provide, we strengthen our connection with the physical world and allow seemingly magical processes to take place.
Practitioners of this belief system conduct ancient and traditional rituals that are designed to release the powers of Nature, as well as replenish them. Many Earth Magick Rituals follow this pattern, representing the cyclical nature of the seasons, of life and death and the setting and rising of the sun, all of which are perceived as important and sacred events.
Earth Magic, as an organised belief system is thought to have its roots in Ancient Ireland. At its core are the Goddess and the Gods, who are representative of Mother Nature and the other powers that walk the Earth. Mother Nature represents the planet as a whole, including all the creatures that walk upon it, the seas, the rocks, the plants and the heavens.
However, there are ‘lesser’ Gods who are appointed to watch over certain aspects of the Earth, such as Herne the Hunter, who is believed to be the protector of animals, in particular the stag. Giving each aspect of the natural world an associated deity meant that Earth Magick has branched into various groups, such as those who worship the spirits of trees, those who worship the seas and those who worship the spirits of birds. However, as a general rule, the majority of Earth Magicians respect and reverse nature in its entirety.
A Pagan Practice
Primarily, Earth Magic is a Pagan practice, although aspects of it have been embraced by Wiccans and Druids. Rituals are commonplace and often take place at particular times of the year, such as the Winter or Summer Solstices. These are often to mark the passing of particular seasons, to give thanks to Mother Nature for her help in the months that have passed and to seek her aid in the months that are to come. Typically, they will involve the use of all the natural elements, often centred around a bonfire, using water and taking place on sacred Pagan grounds, such as Stonehenge.
An important aspect of Earth Magick is making use of the natural ‘gifts’ that are available to us all, Many Earth Magicians study herbology and use only natural remedies to offer ease for ailments and illnesses. These are often administered as part of a ceremony with invocations and prayers being offered up to the appropriate Gods to facilitate the healing process. However, Earth Magick is also a very ‘green’ belief system - what is taken from the Earth must be put back, so it is often the case that practitioners will be found replanting areas where they have perhaps felled trees, picked herbs or used stones.
In many ways, it is a very gentle and respectful practice that recognises the fact that we are plundering the planet’s resources without restoring the balance through re-forestation or other ecologically minded programmes.
Earth Magick Rituals
With each aspect of nature having its own associated spirit, it’s not much of a surprise to find that the deities themselves are an integral part of ceremonies and rituals. However, not all these are conducted around bonfires and out in the open. Many Earth Magicians practice their ceremonies at home. As long as they have something that is representative of each of the elements, such as bowl of water or soil or a lit candle, they can focus on channelling the energies that they believe are generated.
Unlike the deities in more conventional religions, the deities summoned to these ceremonies are not entirely benign; many of them are attributed with capricious characters, reflecting the changeability and freedom of the natural world. At a Pagan ceremony of this sort, it’s not uncommon to see a witch or warlock begin proceedings by sprinkling a circle of salt around the participants. Salt acts as a barrier between the living and the spirit world, preventing deities from causing any indirect or direct hard to those protected by it.
A Faith We Can All Learn From?
Where people are concerned, Earth Magick is a very generous faith, encouraging its members to conduct themselves in as positive and respectful a manner as possible. Before a ceremony, it is common to see practitioners exchanging gifts, no matter how small, as a sign of mutual respect. In addition, the actual spells used tend to have both a specific and universal purpose. Rather like prayers, spells are focussed on individuals who are suffering or in need, but there are always spells that are cast on a global level, carrying positive energy to people everywhere and to the planet itself.
Those who practice Earth Magick do not see themselves as separate from nature; they believe that we are inextricably linked to it, for with out the planet and the creatures and plants upon it, we could not survive. Conversely, they also believe that we have a duty to respect and maintain the Earth to the best of our ability, helping it to flourish and, in turn sustain us.
With oil reserves running low and the lack of coal causing corporations to drill, dig and exploit areas of the world that can cause ecological instability, it’s small wonder that Earth Magicians are worried for our collective future. While there may be sceptics about the nature of the magic itself, there can be little doubt that the ethos behind Earth Magic has enormous validity in the 21st Century.