Goddess Column: Gaia

Gaia: Greek Goddess of the Earth

Before there was Zeus and Aphrodite, before there were the Titans, before any of it, there was chaos and then there was Gaia. Gaia is the primordial earth goddess, worshipped as the earth personified. She is where all life comes from, and where life returns to. Gaia is the mother of the sky, also known as Urania, and she is the one who is said to have bore the Titans, the giants and the sea.

When we connect to Gaia consciousness, we’re connecting to the spirit of the earth, of the energy beyond words which is the truth you feel when you stand in a place untouched by man and are able to witness the purity and stillness of nature. I can write about Gaia all I want and it would never do her justice. To know her, she must be experienced. This is the feeling of being in our fullest power after spending time in nature. It’s the energy of a meadow, creek, field, mountain or stream. It’s the flowers in the wind, of the waves lapping the shore. Gaia is bigger than us and we can connect to her by spending time outside.

It is through Gaia that we return to our essence, to our truth. It is through Gaia that we are reminded of where we come from and where we will go when we die. And it is through Gaia, through mother nature that we learn of our own strength, power, multitudes and depth. Just like Gaia can be the calmest sea or the fiercest storm, so we too contain polaraties. But polarity is extremes of the same thing, and it is through the seasons of Gaia that we see compassion for the cycles that we face in our own life.

As we enter the embrace of Spring, we’re being led back into the arms of this divine mother. This is the transcendent energy of possibility that comes as we follow the fiery path of Aries season. It is now that Gaia is impregnated with possibility, it is now that we must tend to the gardens of our passions and souls. It is through Gaia that we witness our own cycles of birth, life and death and learn to tend to the terrain of our cycles.

Gaia is much the earth personified as she is all the critters and creatures that inhabit it. Gaia is the mother and the creation, and it is through her that we can start to form a relationship to the earth as more than the earth, but as a living, breathing spirit that we can work with. Gaia is the divine feminine because it is through her that we are able to create and share with others, giving birth, whether to ideas, projects, or even babies. Spring is her time, when she is fertile and ripe with possibility. This is when we are able to tap into our own sexual nature, to our own sensuality. We can honor Gaia through connecting to nature as well as through connecting to whatever makes us feel alive.

Sacred Symbols and Offerings

Something I want to emphasize is that working and honoring a goddess is a relationship like any other- it takes time and energy. And the only secret is to be respectful and do the best you can. A really beautiful way to begin cultivating this connection is to create an altar in dedication of the goddess you want to work with. This will serve as an energetic focal point for your work where you can pray, leave offerings, work magick and focus on your intention. Creating an altar is a deeply intentional and personal act and will hopefully help you create an intimate relationship with Gaia.

Since we’re honoring and working with the energy of mother earth, placing plants, flowers, herbs and other pieces of nature on your altar is highly recommended. You can even go outside and gather herbs and flowers yourself (but before you pick anything close your eyes, and ask the plant how it feels about this. If you feel a “yes” than pick the flowers and thank the earth! ) You may choose to decorate your altar with statues of the divine feminine, like the Venus of Willendorf. Plants, fresh herbs and flowers, candles in deep green, white, blue and gold, and a chalice (that represents the womb or the mother ) may be placed on your altar. You also may wish to have a candle you light everyday for Gaia, or some sacred herbs like palo santo or sweetgrass to light everyday as a devotional ritual.

Crystals: All crystals come from the earth, so all may be used to honor mother earth. Carnelianred jasper, smoky quartz and black tourmaline to help you ground and balance the root chakra.

Colors: The colors of the earth: deep, forest green. Bright green the color of new life. Dark burgundy red. Silver and gold. Deep ocean blue. Light sky blue.

Scents: Jasmine, rose, gardenia, honey, the smell of the earth after it rains, the smell of the flowers blooming

Sacred Associations: The cornucopia, flowers, trees, nature, animals; anything and everything of the earth. Any of your favorite flowers, herbs, wood, animals that you have a relationship with can help you tap into the energy of Gaia. Plants, succulents, pets..etc.

Offerings: honey, sweet cakes, flowers, tobacco, liquor

Mantras:

I tend to the garden of my soul with unconditional love and compassion

I am of the earth

I am of Gaia

I hold compassion for myself through all of my cycles and seasons

I tend to my needs and give myself permission to bloom

I am tender, I am love, I am divine

A meditation to connect with Gaia:

This meditation will be simply. Find an area where you can be outside and in nature. This can be a local park, a backyard, a front yard, a state park- whatever it is, recruit a friend and bring something to sit or lay on and any crystals you want to work with. If you’re in a public place like a park, your friend is there so you can close your eyes and meditate without worry. Let them watch your stuff if you so wish. Safety is important!

Anyway, either sit or lay down and close your eyes. Start to connect to your breath. Then start to feel the earth beneath you. Feel the way you are supported by Gaia, how she’s holding you firmly. Breathe into this connection as you envision golden roots moving from the base of your spine into the earth. Breathe into this grounding and then start to draw your attention to how you feel in the present moment. What does it feel like around you ? Smell like? Sound like? Gaia is there to teach you of her magick. All you have to do is allow yourself to listen. Just take this time to be present in nature. To feel the earth beneath you. To experience whatever it is you need to experience. You may talk to Gaia, offering up a prayer or a thank you. When you’re ready to come back to the present, imagine the golden roots moving from the earth back up your spine. Slowly open your eyes and breathe in like you’re sucking in through a straw to help you ground and anchor in the present reality.

A Ritual to Plant Seeds of Desires

In this ritual, we’ll be planting seeds- either real or metaphorical- and connecting to mother earth to help us attain our desires and manifest our intentions.

You’ll be doing this ritual outside in nature so make sure you plan out what makes the most sense for you. You can do this in your front or backyard, at a community garden if you have access to a plot, at a local park...etc.

You’ll need: gardening supplies if you’re actually going to plant something (seeds, soil, a small pot or plot...etc). A paper and pencil, any crystals you wish to work with.

If you’re actually going to plant something, take the time to research it and see what sort of commitment this requires. You may also wish to research the magickal associations of what you’re planting. I inspire you to plant herbs you’ll be burning; sage, mugwort, lavender, roses or any other plant you use in your magical practice.

Step 1: Gather your supplies and ground

Gather your supplies and find a space in which you can be outside, undisturbed. Turn your phone on silent, close your eyes and find a comfortable seat. Start to connect with your breath as you feel your belly fill with air and release as you exhale. Start to visualize golden roots moving from the base of your spine down into the earth. These roots move all the way down to the crystal core of the earth, feeding you white light that travels up your spine and out of the crown of your head, connecting to the light of the universe above you. This energy from below and energy from above meets at your heart. Breathe into this as you continue connecting to the earth underneath you. You may wish to call on Gaia, asking for her guidance, support and love. Tell her this ritual is dedicated to her, her ability to help you grow and transform. When you’re ready, you may open your eyes.

Step 2: Set the intentions

It’s Spring! The season to set intentions and manifest our desires. What is it that needs tending in your life? What is it that you want to call in? Perhaps you need more time to relax, maybe you want to deepen your existing relationships, or to call in more financial security. Write this down in your journal, and claim it in whatever language feels the best for you. You may state your intention as something you already have or it may be that you’re manifesting it. Do whatever feels the most accurate and passion filled with you.

And think of the earth. She grows and blooms and decays and dies and grows and blooms. So do we. In this next cycle, ask the earth what it is you’re meant to learn. If you’re not sure, let her be your guide.

Step 3: Plant the seeds

Once the intention is set it’s time to plant the seeds. If you’re actually planting something, now is the time to start. If not, close your eyes and visualize planting. Your intention is infused in the seeds you plant, and as you dig the hole you’re going to plant them in, you visualize your desires manifesting. Breathe life into this as you take the time to enjoy this gardening ritual. Call on Gaia for her blessing as you plant your seeds of intention into the ground.

Step 4: Shower them in gratitude

Once you’ve planted all your seeds, it’s time to water them with gratitude. Speak to your seeds, telling them of what they’ve done and how they’ve helped you. Speak of all you’ve learned up to now, of what these seeds mean to you and why. You may also wish to thank the earth for her beauty, and for helping these intentions come to life. Do this for however long you need. When you’re finished planting, “seal” this by visualizing white light moving from the heavens, down the crown of your head and spine, through your arms and out your palms to infuse the seeds with protective and cleansing energy.

Step 5: Close the ritual

When you’re finished with the planting and watering, close your eyes again. Start to connect to your breath, feeling Gaia supporting you once again. Take the time to breathe into the space you’ve created. Notice what feels different, what feels connected. When you’re ready to close the ritual, envision the golden roots from the base of your spine moving from the core of the earth back up your body. Breathe into this space, and when you’re ready, open your eyes. Press your forehead into the ground, envisioning any excess energy moving from your third eye back into the earth, where it will be transmuted into light. Thank Gaia and leave her an offering of honey, flowers, Florida water, liquor or cake. Then drink some water, eat some food, and take the time to enjoy outside.

Step 6: Tend to the seeds

Although this ritual may be over, you still need to tend to these seeds! If you gardened for real, then this is something you really can’t forget! But if you only planted energetic seeds, it may be easier to overlook. Use the New Moon and Full Moon as a time to check in with these intentions. Take the time to water and prune your desired. Dedicate space to your desires, tend to them, ask Gaia for her guidance and watch your intentions come to life.

Chakrub: The Gaia

What better way to connect to earthly sexuality than through working with Gaia herself? The Gaia Chakrub will help you ground in your power and root into your sexuality. Made from Red Jasper, this Chakrubs has a grounding energy to it that’s connected to the lower three chakras. This restorative stone helps us find a sense of strength and balance while also encouraging us to connect with our sexual and life force energy in an intentional way. This stone can help us shed and release fears and guilt, clearing our minds to help us manifest our desires as fully as possible. Call on Gaia as you work with this stone to help you feel embodied in your sensuality, self and skin. 

Photo by Olivia Shove