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  • Writer's picturebruce Lyon

Re-enchanting the Earth

In the ancient world the land was seen as alive and enchanted in the deep sense of that word. To chant into and with the land was part of the practise of prayer, worship and reverence for this living being we form part of. In NZ the Maori carried greenstone over the land and retold the ancient stories.

In Australia the aborigines sang as they walked along the song lines. In Ireland the nature spirits were part of everyday reality. In Greece every glade, every stream and every hill was enchanted and home to one or other god or goddess. Gradually as the development of the mind and ideas, particularly monotheism, became dominant, we stopped listening to the chants of the land itself and started imposing on it instead as if it was a blank canvas for our ideologies.

 As different civilisations and religions rose and fell they built temples on top of each other competing for the supremacy of their god, their culture, their worldview and their dominion. Today the modern western world has come to the point where land is often just treated as an asset, something that can be owned, traded, 'developed' and defended. This is quite funny when we really stop to examine it. It is as if one of the millions of mites that lived on my skin erected a little mite flag on my elbow or nipple and proclaimed ownership in perpetuity.

A creature that lives for less than a hundred years claims ownership of something that has been alive for 5 billion. Modern society is based on 'property rights' and competition. No doubt this is all part of some larger evolution but the consequences for our own bodies has been dire. The mentality that treats land as a thing to be owned also gets applied to our own sacred land, the temple of our body. It becomes 'our' body to do what we want with. The ego holds dominion.

The result as we all know is reflected in the state of our health, our oceans, our forests, and our feelings. Over the last few decades a gradual wave has been building to re-turn to a listening to the chants of the land and our bodies. Our consciousness has become aware of the impoverishment, depression and suffering that results from the egoic stance.

Gradually one by one we come to our knees before the body again to ask forgiveness, seek atonement and start to listen instead of imposing our will. We come to the land and our bodies as a lover. We let go of possession and allow ourselves to be supported. Life returns, the radiance of the goddess is wooed back into the streams and forests ; back into the landscapes of the body, the armpits start to sing, the hands shed tiny droplets of light as they dance on the computer keys or stroke a lover's face. The wild powers of nature that have been driven back into the last remaining patches of wilderness begin to reemerge.  In the body this wildness has had to retreat into the genitals, the last temples that have kept the sacred fire alive albeit in an often distorted and barely recognisable way. The life force of our sexuality has refused to be owned by the ego and keeps itself alive in a hundred secret ways. When we turn with humility towards these powers they too begin to reemerge and eros starts to flow out of these mysterious sanctuaries and bring vitality , pleasure and beauty back to the whole embodied being. We come to ground.

We are enchanted. The mystery of surrender to the earth is that it is this very act which restores the sacred relationship. The ego tries to move away from the earth to transcend its own mortality, but deep acceptance of our physical reality brings our awareness and attention back to earth. That attention when it has been awakened and enlightened, IS love.

When we shine that love upon our own bodies and the body of the planet then one by one the secret portals open, the ancient dragons of the earth appear and the magic returns. The goddess awakens ( in our awareness that is ) and our world becomes re-enchanted. The heaven we went looking for is revealed as being here all the time, the veils fall from our eyes and we experience the original innocence and delight of this earthly paradise. Bruce Lyon


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