As I go into the Earth, she pierces my heart. As I penetrate further, she unveils me. When I have reached her center I am weeping openly. I have known her all my life, yet she reveals stories to me, and these stories are revelations and I am transformed. Each time I go to her I am born like this. Her renewal washes over me endlessly, her wounds caress me, I become aware of all that has come between us, of the noise between us, the blindness, of something sleeping between us. Now my body reaches out to her. They speak effortlessly and I learn at no instant does she fail me in her presence. She is as delicate as I am, I know her sentience I feel her pain and my own pain comes into me and my own pain grows large and I grasp this pain with my hands, and I open my mouth to this pain, I taste, I know, and I know why she goes on, under great weight, with this great thirst, in drought, in starvation, with intelligence in every act does she survive disaster. This earth is my sister, I love her daily grace, her silent daring and how loved I am how we admire this strength in each other all that we have lost, all that we have suffered, all that we know: we are stunned by this beauty, and I do not forget what she is to me, what I am to her.
~Susan Griffin, in Earth Prayers From Around th World, 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth, ed. Elizabeth Roberts & Elias Amidon, Harper, San Francisco, 1991
As I'm landscaping my yard and planting new plants, replacing old ones, putting up structures, I've been spending more and more time listening to this tiny piece of land. I started doing that because I wanted to let the land tell me about herself, to make sure that what I did was in accord with her desires. What I didn't expect was how much she's been waiting to tell me about myself.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."