All of us are currently adjusting to a way of life that many were not prepared for. The state of the world that we are currently living in is unprecedented. As a result, we’ve all had to evaluate various aspects of our lives and make adjustments. For some this has provided hardship, others opportunities, and for many it has provided a little bit of both somewhere on the spectrum. Many of us are doing our best but are still having a tough time right now and that’s OK. Feeling the full range of emotions that go along with this new world we are living in is the first step toward healing yourself. That’s an important start.
This pandemic is certainly something we all need to concern ourselves with and take seriously but there are things we can do as individuals in our own spaces to latch on to the opportunities it has afforded us. While we do our best to stay home and out of the public, Gaia is still progressing through Her cycles. She is in the midst of showering us with the excitement and beauty of spring and soon enough, we will be blessed to join Her in Her summer stage. Because we have been trying to stay home for the good of ourselves and others, magical things have been happening on the Earth realm. We have never been in a better position to embrace that magic and transform it into many more wonderful things.
Our fundamental mission as Pagans, as humans in general, is to care for the Earth we live on. It’s our job to preserve this amazing Earth we inhabit because without it, we have nothing. It’s as simple as that. Mixed in among the sometimes scary statistics and stories in the media, we are seeing a rise in another type of story- how the Earth is healing right now. We’ve seen numerous stories about people helping each other. That is a beneficial first step in helping the Earth heal as it leads to a ripple effect of positive changes. The number one way we are helping ourselves and others, staying home as much as possible, is directly benefiting the Earth despite it being an unintentional side effect. We’re seeing stories about pollution clearing up, wildlife is thriving in places it wasn’t before, forests and bodies of water are rejuvenating, so many wonderful changes are happening as a result of us staying home to help each other. We want this to be a wake-up call for everyone since we have never before seen how beneficial a pause in human activity can be. We will probably (hopefully never again under this context) never see a pause like this again so this is our one shot to make it count. How can we as individuals help continue this healing wave, both now as we are staying home and in the future when we are allowed to resume activities we miss? When things start progressing back to “normal,” whatever this new normal will look like, we want everyone to remember Gaia and Her need for us to nourish Her.
What can we do to help?
In years past for Earth Day, we’ve seen large groups organizing large events and asking people to do things like help clean up a town park, or help clean up certain rivers, buildings, etc. We are asking you to do something different this year: stay home and help us continue this global healing wave. A general definition of a wave is a transference of energy. A wave of a hand, a wave in the ocean, a wave in terms of movement such as trees blowing in the wind, a lightwave. Anyone that knows us here at the Temple knows we’re big on energy! As such, we’d like to turn this Earth Day into something more. A season long event where we as individuals collectively create a giant wave of positive healing energy across the globe--The Gaia Healing Wave.
Home looks different for all of us but let’s not forget that Home begins with ourselves. Remember the saying, “Home is where the heart is?” Wherever your heart is on April 22, 2020 is where we ask you to begin this journey. I say begin because we’re hoping this will help create small habits and changes that will produce magnificent results over time. Practice makes perfect and there is no better time to create habits and changes than while many of us are staying home. We hope you will all actively work on creating these habits and changes through the rest of the spring and incorporate them into your life permanently. Every day can be Earth Day.
We cannot be stewards of Gaia if we are not kind to ourselves. With that in mind, we want you all to start with self care. 5 minutes of breathing mindfully works if it’s all you can manage at this time. We get it. These are some challenging and stressful times. If you feel you need more than 5 minutes, take it. After that, have a glass of water and eat a snack. Do this at least once a day. These are the basic requirements for us to survive and thrive, air, water, food, all courtesy of Gaia. Think of it as Gaia helping us heal from the inside out. Don’t forget, YOU are part of the Earth and YOU are important. If working on yourself is all you can do at this time, please do that. If you feel ready and you’ve taken care of yourself, you can move on to other areas.
No matter what your current situation is, you can help. We can each do our part by cleaning our own space, Home, a small part of the larger collective. We can use this time for rest, self reflection, and to clean out our own closets, both literally and metaphorically. Because Home is different for everyone, we are asking you to work within your means. Unable to go outside? Think about how you can transform your living space. Many people are cleaning out closets, attics, basements, etc., right now. That is a good way to declutter your life, help yourself, and possibly help others. What happens to all those items you no longer want or need? What is the best way to reuse, repurpose, or dispose of those items? Many people will throw everything out with the trash and not think twice. We’re asking you to think twice and consider how you can avoid creating more waste by reusing, repurposing, gifting, or selling items. Have a bag of old clothes? Can you use the fabric for something else? Can your neighbors use any of the items? Maybe a local charity? Can you offer it up on a social media marketplace for someone else to use?
If you’re blessed enough to have outside space, clean up your own yard. Make sure there’s no trash blowing around. Plant flowers and vegetables if you have the room. Plant things that pollinators love and that you can possibly utilize later. By growing your own food and flowers if you can, you’re helping in so many ways. You’re providing pollinators with food sources, you're helping the soil by diversifying what’s growing in it, you’re cutting down on fossil fuels by creating a little less demand for items that generally need transporting and hopefully you’re cooking that food you grew. It will nourish your body and the bodies of those you might share it with (starting with the bees!), you can save the seeds to grow next year, and the scraps (rinds/stems/peels) can be turned into compost for the next rounds of growth. See the ripple effect I mentioned earlier?
What if you don’t have your own outside space but you have access to “outside?” Some people live in areas where they have no personal outside space but they are still able to go for walks. Bring a bag and some gloves with you. Pick up litter as you walk. You don’t need to be in a giant group at a specific location for this to be effective. If all of us picked up just a small bag of litter or even just one piece while out walking each time, collectively we will have taken care of tons. And that’s the spirit of humans. Collectively we achieve great things whether we work together or individually.
We want you to get creative in how you contribute to the Gaia Healing Wave. We are hoping you’ll all share pictures with us of all the fabulous and creative ways you’ve come up with to participate. Did you weed your garden? Plant flowers in a window box? Built new trellises for your garden? Finally created that garden bed you’ve always been meaning to get to? Organized a closet? Repurposed items that would generally be thrown away? Created art out of those repurposed items? Created a meditation space for some self healing? Wrote a poem about how spectacular Gaia is? Show us! We want to see it all and collectively celebrate all of your work and accomplishments!
If you’re willing, please let us know where these accomplishments have happened. Do NOT send us your address, but if you’re so inclined, give us a general idea of where you are. The town, the state, the region, the country. If you did end up picking up trash in a park, send us a relevant photo of your choosing and let us know the name of the park. Send us whatever photos you feel best represent your accomplishments so we can celebrate with you. Send us pictures of more than one accomplishment when you make it that far! You can send pictures to us through email or Facebook. Just be sure to tell us they’re for the “Gaia Healing Wave” and include any information you want us to share. We will be collecting pictures through the first day of summer, June 20. We will be adding these photos to our Gaia Healing Wave Map so don’t include any pictures you don’t want shared publicly. We hope this map will show you how we as individuals can do great things together, give a sense of solidarity, and nourish Gaia.
May Gaia guide and heal all of us,
Temple of the Feminine Divine
31 Central St., Suites 203-205
Bangor, ME 04401