Jesse Wolf Hardin's Earth Magic
Anyone not aware of the increase in both natural and
human-caused disasters, hasn’t been paying close attention! “Of utmost importance,” Hardin teaches, “are
the practical and spiritual lessons they provide.”
Most alarming is the acceleration of events affecting the
entire world, taking place right now.
Including interpersonal violence and political repression: the destruction of the
Then there are those mounting conflagrations that are not as
easy to attribute to a single act or oversight.
Relief agencies around the world report they’ve never been spread so
thin, attempting to alleviate one humanitarian disaster after another. The antarctic ice shelf is breaking up,
hurricanes are on the increase, and a season of famine in
There are potential consequences should our kind not heed
the implorings of the existing shamans and elders, as well as the dire portents
of our communicative world. They are
reflected in the oft foretold fall of
Note that paying a price isn’t the same as either penalty or
penance, it’s simply a matter of responsibility: the portentous results of our
collective failure to respond. Contrary
to certain social and religious dictums, we’re being neither tested nor
punished. More accurately, the directive
inspirited Earth is probing for new healing, for new ways of being and
relationship that can return the whole to balance. She’s probing for those precious empathics
who can hear her cries, sense her needs, and feel her cumulative pain. And she’s probing for a reaction, as if to
ask “Is anyone home? Does anyone
notice? Does anyone care?”
The significance of the Earth changes is so great and the
social condition so urgent, it’s tempting to reject the implications and duck
the assignment. It’s certainly simpler
to blame it all on the power of evil spirits, the manipulations of scheming
extraterrestrials, the trickery of a hellish devil, the retribution of a
wrathful god.... or on an impervious corporate state.
We were each born with a body that regulates its internal
hungers and heat, triggers the urge to reproduce, and can heal its cuts and
wounds. A bodily fever is a valuable
curative response to a dangerous infection.
While a fever can potentially kill the patient as well as the disease,
it’s not some dark force that’s out to get us.
In a similar manner, violent earthquakes and viral outbreaks function
like a terrestrial fever that indicates– and can sometimes help eliminate– the
imbalance and dis-ease threatening the corporal Earthen body. We too are integral elements and agents of
planetary being, planetary change, and we have the daily informed choice of
being either part of the problem, or part of the cure. Ignorance is not a lack of information– it’s
deliberately ignoring the impact of our lifestyles, the results of both what
While in some ways it’s the more difficult path, being a
servant of Gaian truth and Gaian healing has some immediate and lasting
rewards. So much of this work involves
reinhabiting our animal bodies and the vital present moment, where we can fully
experience with every one of our six senses the unfolding world around us. It is here we discover not only problems and
challenges but their benefits and solutions. here we notice the taste of our
meals and savor the scent of our lovers.
When we plant seeds or saplings we plant ourselves in place and
time. Every circle we cast, every ritual
we practice or invent creates a magic that needs no future act or validation to
be complete. Teaching and healing are
revealed to be both rhythmic and melodic, as we become whirling ecstatics spreading
to a saddened culture our primal engagement and bliss. Even our necessary activism, and our most
assertive resistance, are part of this dance.
And there is no joy like that of helping other people, other species,
other manifestations of nature to be authentically realized, to bloom free and
evolve unfettered, no greater satisfaction than helping them shine! It’s here and now we choose to fly or
fall.... to ignore or heed the hero’s call.
There may never be a period of total peace on Earth, and
truth is, we’re strengthened and purified by a degree of challenge and
travail. But there can and must be a
return to balance that supports the flowering and blessing of the whole. The necessary cure will involve a complete
remaking or our sense of self, community, purpose and place. It will require new forms of Earth-centered
teaching, and teachers who are both visionary and grounded. A future founded in gratitude, and hope that
will last. And a return to the
sensibilities, sensitivities and values of our sacramental tribal past. We can halt much of the destruction by
exposing the facts, and through our most focused, unselfish acts. Even the earthquakes and droughts can be
tempered if not tamed, through the depth of our gratitude, the sincerity of our
rituals, and the strength of prayers.
In bringing down a deer to eat, our primitive ancestors of
every race gave thanks. Indigenous
Americans spread cornmeal before the animal’s stilled mouth. An ocean away early IndoEuropeans burned
smudge sticks while describing their hungry children to their downed quarry,
and promising to praise the creature’s stamina and beauty in songs shared with
the entire tribe. It’s time that we, too, spread sacred yellow corn or hallowed
tears at the foot of our many gifts.
Time that we compose new songs to the source of our sentience and
sustenance, bliss and delight. And that
we sacrifice all delusion and hesitation, on the miraculous altar of life.
If there is ever a human extinction it will be because we neglected to respond as her “feelers” and healers, failed to fulfill our Gaian and evolutionary role. And if we survive the Earth changes and our own species’ most magnificent mistakes, it will be because we have learned to apply the attendant lessons in ways that benefit not only us but the Earth. It’s then that we’ll truly flourish, body and soul.... serving as her lovers and protectors, ritualists and restorationists, sensors and celebrants again.
Jesse Wolf Hardin is an acclaimed teacher of Animá earth-centered
practice, the author of five books including Gaia Eros (New Page 2004),
and performs on the GaiaTribe CD “Enchantment” <www.cdbaby.com/gaiatribe>. He and
his partners Loba and Kiva offer online Animá correspondence courses, as well as
host students and guests at their enchanted canyon and true ancient place of
power. Opportunities include weekend retreats, personal counsel, shamanic
vision quests, resident internships, and special Apprenticeships for the most
dedicated. Annual events include the Wild Womens Gathering, and the Medicine
Woman and Shaman Path intensives. Contact: The Animá Wilderness Learning Center
& Women’s Sanctuary, Box 688, Reserve, NM 87830 <www.animacenter.org> <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
©Jesse Wolf Hardin 2005-2007 Reproduction in any form is prohibited without express written permission from the author.