What is the most harmful lie we’ve been taught to believe? And how does earth-based spirituality heal it?
Earth-based spirituality or earth-centered religion are broad terms that refer to any religious worship or esoteric practices that focus on the earth, nature, or deities and elemental spirits connected to the natural world.
Yet a disconnect remains for many people who proclaim to be a Pagan, Druid, Animist, Wiccan, or Goddess-loving— often subconsciously perpetuating the most harmful lie we were ever taught to believe.
This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I’ve been an environmentalist and Earth activist since I was a young teenager. I’ve always felt really connected to the planet; in love with our beautiful earth.
In this blog, I share:
- how earth-based spirituality is intimately partnered with caring for the environment,
- my top 10 tips for making eco-conscious choices with the biggest positive impact,
- and 1 simple practice you can do every day to feel more connected to the earth.
How are Earth Based Spirituality and eco consciousness intrinsically linked?
Perhaps the most differentiating point between early goddess religions and modern neo-paganism and earth-based spirituality versus the main world religions and modern science is the belief that the earth is the body of Goddess.
This pantheistic view of God/dess being IN every living thing is in stark contrast with the belief that God is an entity OUTSIDE of ourselves, above our world and separate from us.
Modern science seems to be catching up and realizing just how “alive” our planet really is. But early on the message we heard was that humans are the superior life form, and the natural world is at our disposal.
The main world religions have told us that God is separate from us, separate from the world. Whereas in earth-based religions and divine feminine spirituality we believe that God/dess is in everything— and that includes ourselves.
So if you profess to love the Goddess but you continue to make choices that pollute Her body or your own, there’s a disconnection.
No judgment here, sister. Only compassion. We’re all doing our best, and we have a lot of internalized patriarchy to heal from!
When we fully embody the knowing of God/dess being within us and every living animal, plant, and landscape, then that wisdom shows through in our actions. So I’m inviting you to really look at where your beliefs and your actions are maybe out of alignment here.
I want you to think about this, deeply, and see if there is any “holdover” from perhaps your religious upbringing or an adoption of the pervasive cultural belief that we are separate from the Divine, that the Earth is a lonely rock floating in the universe being “watched over” by an all-knowing entity— instead of being the living embodiment, the body of, divine energy.
This illusion of separation from God/dess is at the root of all of our violence and destruction.
This illusion causes so much pain. But it’s what we’ve been taught for millennia, so it’s no surprise that this belief is so prevalent.
Understanding and healing this lie leads us to recognizing our interconnectedness with each other and with the earth.
We are living in an extraordinary time in human history, as we are collectively coming into full, conscious awareness of ourselves on a global level. We can no longer pretend that our actions “over here” have no effect on “over there.” That really shifts our inner beliefs, which then inform our thoughts, which then fuel our actions and our choices, creating our shared reality.
As millions of people all over the world are finding meaning in earth-based spiritual practices again, a positive outcome is more environmental care and concern. We cannot love and worship the earth while also poisoning and pillaging! This path brings everything back into balance by putting our source of life, our planet Earth, at the center of all our considerations.
Top 10 tips for making eco-conscious choices with the biggest positive impact
Often what’s better for our bodies is what’s better for the planet. And there’s a reason for that— because we are made of the same stuff. We are connected.
If you feel a split between your spiritual practices and your “everyday” life, these tips will begin to bridge your faith and your daily choices.
- Eat more raw, whole foods than food products.
In case you don’t know what I mean by that, whole foods are real foods that come from the earth or from the animals on the earth. This is food that is in its original form or with minimal processing, as opposed to a food product that is commercially manufactured. Food products usually have additives to make them more shelf stable, as well as chemicals, dyes, and sometimes cheap filler ingredients. You’re also purchasing a package, typically a box, can, or jar. So when you buy more raw, whole foods, you’re buying less packaging, less waste, and it’s really better for you and the planet.
- Buy organic, local, free range, and unsprayed options.
When we purchase these kinds of food as often as possible, we are choosing less toxic options. Not only does it create better conditions for our agricultural workers, but it reduces our internal pesticide and toxic intake. I know that the big block most people have about buying organic food is that “It’s too expensive.” And while it’s true that they are more often priced higher, make those choices when you can to signal demand to your grocery store. More demand equals more production and more production means lower prices. When produce is in season, buy local. It’s a better ecological choice to buy local unsprayed blueberries for example, rather than organic blueberries imported over thousands of miles.
- Eat less meat and dairy.
I’m sure all of you have heard this as a tip for environmental consciousness with our food. And here’s why: animal farming is responsible for a lot of the world’s deforestation as well as a high consumption of precious resources like freshwater. When you eat meat you are also “consuming” all the water that the animal needed to grow. For example, it takes 200 pounds of water to produce 1 pound of potatoes. Whereas 1 pound of beef requires 20,000 pounds of water! And did you know that it takes nearly 1000 liters of water to produce 1 liter of cow’s milk?
I want to be totally transparent that I’m not a not a full vegetarian. I have been fully vegetarian a few different times in my life, but I’m “mostly vegetarian” now and my reasons are environmental. If we really want to reduce the harmful impact our agriculture has on the environment, the simplest and cheapest thing that anyone can do is to eat less meat and animal products. This is one of the best things we can do to reduce our footprint, and that’s not even taking into account the inhumane treatment of animals or considering the antibiotics and hormones that are used in animal farming that we then ingest! So there’s a lot of reasons to eat less meat and dairy. Thankfully, there are a lot of great alternatives nowadays.
- Make your own natural beauty products or support a local.
Our skin, as I’m sure you know, is our largest organ and it absorbs all the petrochemicals that we put on our skin whether it’s lotion, shampoo, toothpaste, or makeup. This is why it’s really important to look at the products that you’re using in your beauty care routine and see what chemicals are in there. Find natural products made by a local green witch, or make your own, or buy online. If we don’t want to put it on our skin, we don’t want to put it into the earth.
- Throw away the artificial fragrances and use natural ones.
If you’re using artificial fragrance sprays or deodorizers in your bathroom or car, stop! They are filled with petroleum based chemicals and have been linked to many diseases and disorders. There are lots of natural options including diffusing essential oils, or using natural incense. Maybe you just need a fan for better air ventilation? For your laundry detergent, choose unscented as well.
- Reduce your paper and plastics use.
Wiping up the counter? Use a cloth instead of a paper towel. At the store? Keep a reusable bag in your purse so you can decline a plastic shopping bag. Going for a picnic? Purchase compostable paper plates or good quality plastic ones you can reuse again and again. Still menstruating? Switch to cardboard tampon applicators, biodegradable pads, or even better, use a menstrual cup.
We “vote” with our dollars, so in general don’t buy products that are overly packaged in plastic. Just don’t buy them. In less than 100 years we’ve created all the plastic that has ever been created in the history of humankind. And they’re estimating that a lot of that plastic won’t even biodegrade for another 500 years! I hope that I live to see the entire world move away from petrochemical plastic, to biodegradable plant-based plastic.
- Drive and fly less, walk and bike more.
Avoid unnecessary short trips in the car, by walking or biking instead of driving. Remember what I said about what’s healthier for us is usually also healthier for the environment?! Carefully consider all air travel (a silver lining of the pandemic). Don’t idle when you’re parked and waiting in your car; turn off the engine. Carpooling is another great option to reduce the number of cars on the road.
- Plant flowers that will attract bees and butterflies and other pollinators.
We really want to support our pollinators. Don’t spray your lawn to get rid of dandelions— they are some of the first food for bees after their winter hibernation. Enjoy some pretty blooms and welcome the bees and butterflies to your garden.
- Plant trees.
There’s a beautiful old Chinese proverb that says the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is NOW. If you cannot plant trees in your own yard, you can find local organizations that organize group tree plantings. I’ve done a lot of those, and we feel so accomplished at the end of the day, knowing that as a group we planted 500 trees. And if you’re physically unable to do any kind of planting at all…
- Donate to local or global environmental organizations.
What’s something that you really want to support? Do you want to help conservation of our wild natural spaces? Do you want to support the cleaning up of our ocean shorelines? Do you want to support local park building or green space efforts in your community? Do you want to help protect endangered species? Like I said earlier, you vote with your dollars, so put your money where your heart is.
1 simple practice you can do every day to feel more connected to the earth
I want to wrap up by sharing a simple practice that you can do: earthing. This is a type of grounding practice, essentially, where you are barefoot outdoors. You can easily do it for just a few minutes every day (or at least 3 out of 4 seasons depending where you live!).
Earthing compounds the benefits of a grounding practice with the benefits of being in nature, of which there are many. You are literally resetting the electrical currents of your physiology, because you’re connecting with the earth’s surface electrons. This reconnects us to our life source and helps remind us of our interconnectedness.
If you do this practice more and more, it will dissolve any residue that may be left of your belief in separation from the Divine that I’ve been speaking about.
It’s a beautiful, simple, and no-cost practice to feel the love that the planet has for US. It’s a reminder that it’s not just us that loves the Earth, Mother Earth really does love us in return.
Walking or sitting with bare feet is one way, and I personally also love to lay down. Lying down, right on the earth, looking up at the sky and breathing with the earth. Feeling my breath in the wind and the trees, feeling my heart beat in rhythm with the heartbeat of Gaia. I just don’t know how anyone could do this practice and still feel separate from Divine Source energy which is in all things.
In conclusion, I know that we’re all doing our best. I share these tips to educate and inspire, not patronize or judge. I’m definitely not perfect, but it’s vital for our future to bridge our spiritual consciousness with our everyday choices.
With all this in mind, you can see how earth-based spirituality heals the harmful lie of feeling separate from the Divine.
Did you learn something new? Are you inspired to adopt a tip or try earthing? Let me know in the comments below!
And if you are desiring a more embodied practice of cyclic living, being attuned to nature’s sacred rhythms, then check out Walking the Wheel.