The Pagan Experience’s Monday Musing: Earth– The word “earth” has multiple meanings. What does it mean to you? How do you use its definitions to support your work?
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As with Terra and Gaia, Earth/Hertha/Nerthus is a personified goddess. I think civilization has always acknowledged her as Mother. We keep calling her by goddess names, even in monotheist eras.
I find it a little odd that we also call soil “earth”. Mother as the sum of her parts – the physical matter of her body, but reduced to the rocky sediment. But really, ocean is as much “earth” as soil is. Air, lava, and living organic matter are, too. You and I are “earth”. So this wording from our language draws my eye to the separateness and stage-set attitude of Western Civilization being “on the earth” rather than “in the earth”. On a ground or stage, rather than deep within the biosphere… itself deep within the universe. Above, on top of, dominating, walking on… Planet as mostly inanimate prop to play out the lofty human drama, instead of the reality that Pagans know of planet as living home and community to which we belong and mother from which we emerged… inseparable from ourselves.
I see soil as deep and fecund, and the ground as a lot more than a simple surface. Continue reading