This weekend behind F.I.R.E’s booth at the Spoutwood Faerie Festival, we shivered as we bailed off the roof of our tent and watched faerie festival attendees drag themselves through the mud. We viewed a mix of exhausted (mostly adult) faces who struggled against the mud for some means of control and cleanliness as opposed to those (mostly children and animals) who kicked off shoes in surrender and happily slopped around in the blessed mess. This weekend was a very good lesson in Earth Spirituality!
Many Creation myths begin with humankind being formed from mud with the breath of the gods breathed into them. Several religious traditions use mud baths for purification purposes or to honor specific deities. Mud is physically purifying (hence why fancy spas use it.) Mud is the sacred blending of the healing elements of earth and water…the stuff of creation…the womb of Gaia ready for seed to bring forth new life.
The Path of Earth Spirituality is a humble one. We realize we are a “part” of Nature. We do not “own” Gaia as She is our Mother who cares for us and all our hooved, feathered and furry brethren. We are called to honor and revere all the elements found in Nature: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. We recognize Nature is not tame nor is it at our beck and call. Each element should be respected as each is both creative and destructive as needed. Earth is healing and brings forth all the blessed green things…yet earth quakes and mud slides are terrifying. Air allows us to breath and blows the seed to where it needs to go…yet a tornado destroys all in its path. Fire is the element with a life of its own which provides us with warmth and light…and can also burn away entire forests and wreck devastation. Water makes up most of our bodies, cleanses and quenches our thirst…yet it also floods and drowns those caught in its path. Nature does not simply deserve respect, She demands it.
Does having a day of the Faerie Festival cancelled this year make us sad? Definitely! But let’s remember, our ancestors viewed the Fay (faeries) as beautiful yet untamed Nature spirits…more like local gods and goddesses than Tinkerbells. In ancient times the Fay struck awe (and some fear to be honest) in the hearts of men. I believe Greenman Rob is very wise in responding with “Squishiando!” and putting safety and respect before our desire for fun. There is wisdom in stepping back and not pushing our wills against Mother Nature. This concept of humility is the first step on the Path of Earth Spirituality.
Bright Blessings & Squishiando!