The element of earth is associated with feminine and receptive energy. It represents the physical world, the practical matter and it is connected to stability.
Some traditions see the earth associated with the direction of north and winter season, other tradition may connect the element of earth with the direction of east and autumn season. Work with the associations that make sense to you.
The Earth is the realm of wisdom, knowing from your body, strength, growth and prosperity.
If you want to work with the element of Earth in your magic, you can use it for fertility spell, for prosperity or abundance spells, and for business matters or if you are in need of more stability in your life.
I could often observe during my last twenty years as a pagan, that the element of earth is often neglected; I’ve rarely met someone who says that they are earth people, fire and water seem to be the favorites in general.
Personally I love the element of earth, even as a very airy person, but especially because of this I know how important it is to ground myself regularly and to have a deep connection to this element, I think otherwise I would really fly away sometimes.
When you want to work with the element of earth, you only need to sit near the roots of a tree, touch them and follow their serpentine length up to the tree. Spend as much time in the woodland as you can. Scientific research shows that trees really do have healing powers. If you research Forest Medicine or Forest Bathing you can read about all the benefits the trees are able to offer us.
I often hear people say that they don't have time, too much work, or they may live to far away from a forest. I get that, sometimes life is so busy, but truly it would be so beneficial.
In the end it is all about setting priorities, even if you live a bit further away, you may find enough time to go regularly on your free days to a forest, take your dogs( well dog owners are mostly there anyway, right?), take your kids, your parents, your partner, or a friend and just enjoy a nice walk. Apparently thirty minutes make already all the difference, so hey, that’s not even an episode of …(put your favorite tv show here).
To connect with the element of earth is also to acknowledge that our planet is a living and breathing being.
Earth has a very strong connection to Faery, just think about the Sidhe that we discussed in the first lesson; they are dwelling in the earth, beneath the burial mounds.
Other representatives are for example the dwarfs. They live deep under the ground in mines, or in the hearts of mountains. They dig for gold and precious stones, and some of them are very rich.
They are part of the Germanic and Northern mythology and in many cases they seem to be friendly beings.
Then there are also the gnomes, the Latin word gnoma, meaning “knowledge” or the Latin genomus, meaning “Earth-dweller”. They tend the earth and it is also said that they process the waste that we produce. They also clean up the imprints of man kind's discord and negativity that remain at energetic levels in the earth. Paracelsus described them as two spans high, able to move through the solid Earth, and reluctant to interact with humans. Because of their ability to move through the ground with ease, they were commonly believed to be the guardians of mines and underground treasures, especially in Germanic lore, and so similar to the dwarfs.
When I was a very young child I always watched a cartoon called „David der Kabauter“. It was about a gnome type being, who was a doctor and helped the animals of the forest, but on many of his adventures he was confronted with trolls, who were depicted as mean and dumb. I really loved this cartoon and so I was introduced to the topic very early on.
Here I found the intro on YouTube, unfortunately only in German, but you may get an impression of it.
Other beings that we connect with trees and so with the element of earth are the dryads.
Their origin lies in greek mythology and they inhabit trees, and they are tied to a tree for life. Usually they never travel far away from their tree. It is said that if a tree looks like it has a face a dryad lives in it. They are especially fond of oak trees, but if you do a little bit of research you will discover that there are many different types of dryads for different kind of trees. Their male counterparts are the satyrs.
It is also said that the dryads were minor goddesses of nature, specifically the forest, woods and groves. The Hamadryads were then actually the tree Nymphs who were born bonded to a particular type of tree. The dryads were therefore the patrons of forests and trees in general, and distinguished from the Hamadryads, who each inhabited a particular tree.
When we talk about the element of earth we can also connect it with stones, the sanding stones that we find through the landscape, the small rocks and peoples that covers many forest paths, and of course the crystals that so many are drawn too. I was drawn to any kind of stones since I was a child. I started collecting them whenever we went out for a hike, and I still do this today.
I remember when I first watched the movie Merlin (with Sam Neil -1998) and the rock who held Excalibur came to life, I was so thrilled to see this as this is how I imagine it in my mind.
Stones are like similar to water for me in regards of memories, thousands of years are stored within them, and often when I visit standing stones I receive messages from them, can actually hear them talk.
There will be a special lesson about the sacred sites and the standing stones, so I will not cover this here, as it is a vast, vast topic, especially if we still bring in the ley lines.
Thinking further about the element of earth, we also think of the planet itself and the biggest question of time: How did it come into existence ?
Many will know the creation stories of the biggest world religions, but I want to cover what point of view we can find on this question in the Celtic mythology.
There is not too much to find about creation stories in Celtic lore but one of them begins like this :
„Once upon a time, there was no time and that was when there also was no gods and no man walked the surface of the land. But there was the sea, and where the sea met the land, a mare was born, white and made of sea-foam. And her name was Eiocha.“
So the creation took place and continues. It is said that from an oak tree that grew in the land there sprouted a plant and here Eiocha gave birth to the first god Cernunnos. He mated with Eiocha and begot more gods.
From the wood of the oak tree they created the first man and woman, as well as other animals. Giants, too, are born from the bark of a tree that Eiocha hurled into the water.
Another story tells the creation took place by the primordial, first god who, by means of a melody played by his breath, brought creation into existence.
This reminds me of course also about the creation of Arda, in J.R.R. Tolkien, one of the most fascinating creation stories I've ever read about. Sorry just a little side note.
There is not much information to find about the Celtic creation myth, a problem that Damh the Bard ( pagan musician) solved beautifully in a creative way.
Here you can find his version of the creation story.
The norther mythology offers already more details.
At the beginning there was only a gapping abyss of Ginnungagap. It was a place of silence and darkness and it laid between Muspelheim and Niflheim.
The frost from Niflheim and the flames from Muspelheim were moving toward each other until they met in Ginnungagap. The drops of the melted ice formed the giant Ymir, even though he was seen as god like, his nature was destructive. The melting ice also created the cow Audhumla, she nourished Ymir with her milk, and she fed herself on a block of salty ice until some human hair emerged from this block. She kept licking until a man became visible, it was Buri the first of the Gods and a Giant.
Later he had three sons, Odin, Vili, and Ve together with his wife Bestla.
Odin and his brothers killed Ymir and so the creation began.
The three brothers took Ymir’s body to the center of Ginnungagap.
Ymir’s blood became the lakes, the rivers and the ocean of the world. His flesh became the land, his teeth the rocks and his bones the mountains. The hair became the grass and trees and his eyelashes became Midgard.
The three brothers threw the brain into the air and it became the clouds and the skull became the sky.
So as you see these are interesting creation stories and maybe something you can research on your own while you work with the element of earth.
You could take the opportunity for this lesson and start to learn more about the different trees. Learn about their different shape of leaves, how their roots grows, or how the bark differs from others. You could also learn about their magical properties or their healing properties. If you want to learn about this you could check out my Ogham series.
Or just go to your favorite tree sit at its roots and communicate with the spirit of the tree.
You have to become very still and open your mind and heart to receive the messages, some trees are more generous in their sharing than others, if you do this more often I’m sure you will connect very soon with those wonderful beings.
You don't need many instructions to do this, just remember to be always polite and respectful, don't force anything, and if something doesn’t feel right move away from the tree and try it with an another one or on another day.
To connect with the earth element you can wear more green and brown colors during this lesson. Fit into the natural environment.
You could also take this opportunity to start building something, maybe even a small faery house for your garden or for inside your own home. You don't have to spend money to do this, everything I’ve built is from material I gathered in the woods. But of course always ask permission if you can take it. In my experience I was often gifted exactly what I needed by just asking the woodland sprites. Remember it doesn't matter how it looks, even if you think it’s not pretty enough, believe me the faeries will appreciate the effort.
Otherwise you may sculpture something for the fae with clay, it doesn't matter what you do, just use your hands and get crafty.
During this lesson you may want to connect with stones on a deeper level. Start to pay attention to
any kind of stones you find in your natural environment. Maybe you feel very drawn to a
particular kind of stone. Feel into it, let it speak to you. You may even want to collect some of them
and bring them into your home, if some stones really strike your attention.
Carry them with you and write down what kind of energy they seem to have.
Otherwise you could also spend some time in nature where you can find many rock formations.
Look at them closely, see their faces and communicate with them, the same way your are
communicating with the trees.
If you have any caves nearby, now is to perfect time to visit them. Go in and just feel, observe your
own reaction to this experience and write it down. However pay attention to the time of the year
you do this, for example here in Germany you are not allowed to enter the caves from October 1st
until March 31st because of the protection of bats. A quick google search can clarify this for you
how it is in your own area.
Listen at least once to your guided meditation while you work on this lesson.
- Grounding and centering
For many this exercise will not be new, others may have never done it before so I wanted to include it . While you work on this lesson try to bring this grounding exercise into your daily routine.
You may want to do this before you start your day, just take a few minutes in the morning.
If possible sit down on the floor, even better if you can do this outside, but in your home works just as well.
Take a few deep breaths and try to quiet your mind. If you are a bit like me, you wake up and have already a thousand thoughts flying around, so just focus on your breath. Imagine these thoughts as some kind of light cords coming out of your head. While you keep breathing deep and steady, grab those cords with your hand and bring them down into the center of your body, one after another.
Now imagine how a long tail grows out of your spine and this tail divides into many roots and they dig deep into the earth until they reach the light of the earth itself. See how this light is transported upwards into your center. Now rise your arms and form a „V“, you form a vessel. See how the light of the universe fills up this vessel and imagine how it flows down into the center of your body.
Both the earth light and the light of the universe are now glowing in your center.
Take a moment to let them merge and transform the energy of the thoughts you put in there before.
When you are ready, release the light back into the earth and back into the universe.
Take three deep breaths and than start your day.
-Sitting in the dark
Another exercise I would personally recommend to do while you work with the earth element, is to take some time, as long as you feel comfortable, to sit in a dark quiet room.
It really should be dark, not even candlelight. And try to do this when it is absolutely quiet, or put some ear plugs in.
The purpose of this exercise is to do absolutely nothing. Just listing to your own breath and heartbeat, and observing your own reaction to this exercise.
It might a bit weird when you do this, as we are used to always be productive, our senses are constantly stimulated, so sitting quietly in a dark room is not something we do a lot.
Do this as long as possible, feel like a seed in the ground during the winter.
Afterwards you can write down your observations in your Faery journal.
Wether you have a garden or not, plant something dedicated to the faeries. If you can’t plant anything outside just plant something in a pot and put it onto you window sill.
You could for example plant some herbs, that you can later use to make your own incense, like sage, rosemary or thyme, the latter two both excellent faery plants as well. Or plant a flower for the faeries. Work with the soil, get your hands dirty and do this in a mindful manner.
Maybe you have already a garden and you work with it on a regular basis. Just try to really connect with soil during this lesson. You might want to go into the forest and dig through the woodland soil, experience it with all your senses.
- Body exercise
Some of you may do this already on a regular basis and some of you may have a little trouble with this. A lot of us have a job where they need to sit many hours and in the evening we are to tired to still do something for our body.
So if you are used to do some exercises you can ignore this part, for the others I really suggest while you work on this lesson that you start body exercises. You don't have to become super sporty now, just include more movement in your day. Depending on your schedule you could start to do some easy yoga exercises in the morning to energize yourself or in the evening to relax. YouTube has so many videos for this, from five minutes to sixty minutes programs, whatever fits to your own fitness level and schedule. Of course it doesn't have to be yoga, it just seems right to say that in the spiritual community…lol. I for example started a few months ago to drive bicycle again. It is the right thing for me, as it brings me out into nature and I'm lucky enough to have many bikeways in my area. Maybe just start to go for a walk everyday, twenty to thirty minutes is all it takes it the beginning. This is just so you truly feel a connection with your body, I’m sure you will find something that fits your own needs and interests.
This is such an important exercise, you don't actually have to do anything, except to unplug. Take a day where you don't use the internet at all, where you use as little electronic devices as possible and where you don't go on social media at all. Of course you can do this longer than a day if that is possible for you. We are constantly available nowadays, everybody can reach us at any time, but it is so important to set some time aside for ourselves. So just don't be reachable for a day, that is absolutely fine, go out into the forest, feel the connection of the roots, feel as a part of the natural network again.
Your Faery Homework
- Do the guided meditation for the element of earth
- Try out some of the activities suggested in this lesson
- Work on the recommended exercises
- Write your experiences down in your journal
- Take time for yourself and be good to yourself