Earth-Based Philosophies and Lifestyles

Exploring how to (re)connect to the Earth through new and old age philosophies and practices


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A Mind Map for Your Life

One of the many hats I wear is that of a trainer of sorts. At a center where I occasionally work, I have been talking a lot about Mind Maps and how to use them. I invite clients to explore ideas and make plans while using this nifty tool.

Some are already familiar with mind maps. Some are not.

For those of you who are not, allow me a moment to explain.

A mind map is a way to get all of your brainstorming out in front of you so you can see it and then organize it. It’s a diagram where your information is more visually represented than the classic outline. You put your main idea/topic right smack in the middle and then create the supporting ideas around it. After you just get all your thoughts out, you can draw connections and see what’s important vs. what’s not. It might look a little something like this:

 

got this from this nifty webcontent

 

 

This is just an example I pulled off the net, but I like it because it shows how creative and colorful it could be! And as a creative sort of person, it makes me smile.

So, like I said, a mind map is a great way to just brainstorm and get a better vantage point of the whole picture at once, rather than in bits in pieces.

That being said, I have been struggling a bit with my life in terms of balance and what to do professionally. So I decided to create a mind map, and I asked myself these four questions:

  1. What brings me joy?
  2. What brings me peace?
  3. What brings me purpose?
  4. What supports my life in this realm/reality?

This last one is a heavy-hitter for me, and I think it’s really important to discuss.

What I have noticed a lot is this weird see-saw of “esoterics, hippies and pagans” to kind of ignore the fact that we do live in this reality, in this world, right now. We are reincarnated into this reality, and while we seek a deeper connection with the divine in whichever way, we still need to be mindful of how we are living in THIS reality. Sure, I can read a book on Buddhism that talks about detachment and whatnot, but that’s not applicable to me in this lifetime. This mama’s got bills to pay, amiright?!

I also noticed that when I turn to the “esoteric” for help and guidance, and by this I mean by turning to others in the various communities for inspiration, not my own practice, I noticed a lot of question number four is ignored or not even brought up.

“It will all fall into place if you meditate/do yoga!”

“The Universe will provide!”

“What will be, will be.”

“The gods do not exist to bend to your will.”

“Imagine if entities could help you!”

“Ask and ye shall receive.”

“God helps those who help themselves.”

Well, that’s all a bit contradictory. Do you see what I mean here? I can’t just float about and pray for the best – it’s not enough. I can’t support my life, or the life of my baby, doing this. Not in a healthy way, anyway. I can’t just look at my kid’s heavy diaper and say, “What will be, will be! I will meditate, and maybe it will change itself.” :facepalm:

See what I mean? Maybe I am exaggerating. Maybe I am on a certain life path.

HOWEVER…

I know I can be an awesome mom at the spiritual level and in this physical, 3D reality. But how can I extend this into the rest of my life?

How do we evolve as spiritual beings while still staying human to what this reality expects of us? How do we balance our expectations?

So there’s been some of my dilemma in finding this “balance” between my spirit life and my life-life. For some, they are lucky enough that they are one and the same. For many I sense, this is simply not the case. It’s not like I am a closet witch or anything, but I am happy keeping my spirit life a bit separate and private (hellooooo, scorpio over here). It’s only natural to me that I seek out “higher guidance” for all my problems, but I also gotz billz ta pay.

Oh, hey there mind map. It’s about time I practiced what I preached, hm? Good one, Universe! 😉

So this thing that I had been talking about and praising in my life-life, I channeled into my spirit life to ask big questions and get big answers. I gave it some thought and came up with a rough draft and am looking forward to the opportunity to doodle on it some more. I am definitely feeling clearer than I have in months, and gosh, what a relief!

I would like to invite you to maybe try the same. Think about how you’re supporting your mortal flesh and life around you, here and now, and how that connects with whatever brings you joy, peace and purpose.

 

mau ❤

 

 

 

 

 

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An Echo of the Cosmic Divine

A “good” mom has to steadily, patiently make her way through the day, accomplishing a MILLION different things, and more often than not, does not get a break.

And while she tries hard to keep a composed exterior, her interior is going WILD in a frenzied chaos that echoes the Big Bang.

And when a woman loses this composure, more often than not forced on her by her cultural surroundings, and lets the chaos of her mind have voice and movement, she is met with disdain, discomfort and judgement by her peers, rather than embraced and loved for being exactly what she is – an echo of the cosmic divine feminine, trying to move through, explore and embrace life

Love her – don’t fear her.

Don’t lash out on her. Don’t belittle her or her emotions.

Just let her be.

Just love her.

 

 


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The Many Types of Witchcraft

Okay, so there seems to be a trend going around. Let’s break it down.

I am a witch.

I am not any kind of particular witch, just…a witch.

Now, many modern witches seem to have the need to distinguish what type of witch they are:

Hedge Witch

Kitchen Witch

White Witch

Grey Witch

Water Witch

Heritage Witch

Wiccan Witch

etc…etc…etc…

This confuses me. I am all these things because I am a witch. In my opinion and experience, being a “witch” means all these things and more. It is an all-encompassing title. I don’t follow Wicca, because I don’t follow anyone’s rules. But seriously, I am all these things. I am not limited to one thing or another, which is why I’ve chosen the term “witch”. Really, “neo-pagan hippy witch” is a bit better, but still, in essence, I am a witch. I have no limitations. I see the connection in all things, and I study them. I seek to understand, not to control or manipulate – that is not my goal.

Sisters and Brothers, why do you limit yourselves as a witch?

I simply am, and I use tools from all over the world and my experiences to bring myself to a better understanding of how the world around me works physically as well as spiritually.

I will not choose a limiting title to describe myself and my work. I simply am.

This now raises the question of, “I am all these things, but I specialize in such-and-such, which is why I’ve chosen the descriptive title.”

Okay, great on you, but…is that necessary? Are there really that many differences between a hedge, white or kitchen witch? Because honestly, I don’t think so. I think the only difference is the mindset and/or viewpoint.

Are you in a business and selling a particular skill set? I can understand it then from an advertising perspective, but really, in essence, are you not a witch? Is this title not enough?

The desensitization and demonization of the title “witch” is abundant through history, and I can understand someone wanting to soften the word to people who are not as open to the mystical and magical with a descriptive word.

But here’s an idea…let’s take the word back.

I’m tired of limiting myself, of making myself smaller for the comfort of others. Aren’t you?

I will not, I refuse, to give in to the lesser value of the word “witch”. I will stand here, being all that I am, and take back the mana of the word and use it like the sword and shield it is. I am a witch, and that is that. It encompasses all that I do and all that I am, and that is enough. 

If that makes you laugh, I don’t care.

If that scares you, I don’t care.

I am a daughter of the Universe and a perpetual student of how It works. My home is Gaia, so she is my focal point. I do my best not to preach or to vilify. I will not get on a pedestal in front of a crowd. I take responsibility for my actions and try to solve my own problems. I use the tools given to us to the best of my ability to understand that which I do not, and I seek to understand from as many vantage points as possible. I look to the earth and the heavens, to those above and below me, for guidance and the occasional assist. If you seek me out and ask, I will lend my experience and vantage points to you for a bit of guidance and understanding. I am so much more than your imagination. I am that I am, and the only title that fits that, for me, is WITCH.

If you feel better in a little corner of the world, describing yourself as such, by all means, power to you. But I do hope that maybe someday, you grow up and out and realize that words have power, and you are limiting yourself when you pick a descriptive word to place in front of “witch”.

 


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Elements

Elemental Symbols

I am Water – I am the Medium: I hold it all and give space; I am everywhere, shallow and deep. I go where I can because I can. I twinkle in the light and flow in the dark. I am where the rest meet. In me you are created and grow, and from me you are sustained. 

I am Earth – I am the Materials: I am the building blocks of everything. I make up you and everything around you. I maintain you, I build you, and I break you. You are made of me and when you die, you will return what I have lent you back to me.

I am Fire – I am the Movement: I am the animation, the dance, the change, the evolution. I am temperamental and varied…my rhythms are soft and raging. I can glow softly and comfortingly for you, or burn with passion anything in my path, including you. You feel me – I give you action and force. 

I am Air – I am the Motion: I breathe in life, or death. I give and move space and feed the fire’s movement. I am expression, dialogue, communication, language…thoughts, ideas, speech. I am your first request as you break through the womb, and I am the first to leave you as you die. 

I am Spirit – I am that I am. Love eternal. Mother, Father – All. Wisdom, Knowledge, Knowing. I am all the seen and unseen, connecting all. I am everywhere and nowhere. Guiding, teaching, watching, loving. You are a small, small, beautiful piece of Me. Your Soul – your perceptions and thinking, emotions and feelings are there because I put them there. Your joys are mine, your pains are mine. It is from me you come, and to me you will return. The game we play is that you are born forgetting this, and will spend your life remembering this. And I will love you regardless of how far you come in this great game because yes. You are my children, and I could never not take you back into My arms, back into My Soul. 

(c) Earth-Based Lifestyle


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How the Celtic perspective helped me to chase away the winter blues

Ah, the winter blues. Also known as seasonal depression, seasonal affective disorder and winter depression.

Cutting to the chase, it’s hard and it sucks. It is hard to put the breaks on the mental downward spiral of your emotions falling down the abyss of darkness because the sun has gone away and temperatures have dropped.

I moved from a very warm and sunny year-round climate into a more northern one with actual seasons. The first few weeks of my first winter were an adventure, but one that I could be happy and excited about. But after the holiday season, that’s when I got kicked in the head and those emotions began to tumble out of control. I barely made it out of my first winter in one, sane piece.

The next winter I tried to prepare myself. I bought a better winter wardrobe, had repainted the walls to warmer colors, had changed my diet and was exercising more. Again, I made it through the holiday season and then I tripped and fell into my blankets and hot water bottles and stayed there.

And then the third winter came, and just as the old saying goes, “third time’s the charm!”. This is when lessons in the more pagan lifestyles really began to manifest for me.

The sun officially “goes to sleep” by the autumn equinox (in September) and the dark half of the year really starts to make itself noticeable. The Celts and pagans had a really great way deal with this diminishing sunlight, and psychologically it has been the best medicine I could have asked for.

  • The sun has gone to bed, so the yang energy that has been abundant and wearing you down with external activity is finally leaving you. Now it’s time to wave goodbye to it and welcome the yin energy and work with internal activity, since you’ll most likely be spending more time indoors anyway. I always picture friends coming for a visit and doing all sorts of outdoor activities, then waving them goodbye and sitting on the couch with a book and some tea with a warm, fuzzy pet curled up at my side. I’ve enjoyed the visit with the friends, and now am enjoying the visit with myself.
  • Darkness is the natural balance to the Light, and it is NOT INHERENTLY EVIL. Darkness simply IS and has so much to teach you. Once you realize that what you cannot see with your eyes is not all evil and begin to trust your other senses more, the dark will be less scary and imposing. You’ll lighten your load as you begin to find the dark mysterious and comforting, peaceful and wise. For far too long fear has been spread about the unknown darkness, and I truly believe it’s because we have evolved to rely too heavily on just our eyes. The darkness challenges you in a way that the light cannot, and having to work harder emotionally and psychologically is not easy, and most people shy away from this. If it is “too much work”, it gets labelled as “wrong”, “bad” and “evil”. Silly humans, there is light in the darkness, but not the kind you can see with your eyes. It’s the kind you have to feel with your heart and soul. So if anything the dark makes you have to start trusting those more, and there is nothing wrong with that.
  • More parties! After the autumn equinox in September, there’s another celebration coming up – Samhain! And after that? Yule! Another you say? Yes! Imbolc! Almost every other month, there is something to celebrate, and something to look forward to.
  • On Yule, the sun is “born again”. So technically, from that day out, the sun’s time in the sky each day increases. So when the cold weather is blowing and the snow continues to fall, and even if you can’t see the sun through the clouds, look up and know that it’s there a little longer and a little stronger each day!
  • There is beauty in the darkness and the cold and snow. You have to remind yourself to look for it. How many shades of grey do you notice in the clouds? Do you still hear children laughing as they play outside, regardless of the weather? How many birds or other animals do you notice? How is the snow falling and staying? Are there any early blooms yet? Is the sun through the fog creating mists and shadows or little glimmers and lights?

Winter Sun2

 

I hope these tips and tricks can help you next time around the winter blues start taking over your head and heart. I know it’s not easy, but you can do it! There is light in the darkness and darkness in the light, you just have to remind yourself it’s there and smile at it. Nature is not evil, it simply is. So there is no reason whatsoever to try to classify the natural darkness as if it’s out to get you. If anything, it’s out to bring you balance, wisdom, and if you’re really paying attention, love.