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Litany of the Earth
By: Grainne

I performed the ritual on a windy night on my back porch with a nearly full moon shining down on me. I burned some sage to create sacred space and set up the altar as was recommended with a branch of flowering white hyssop in the pot of earth.

As I was performing the ritual I had the feeling as it a growing number of animals were gathering around in a circle watching me. As I was reading the Oracle of the Goddess Hathor another strange thing happened. I seemed to me as if I were listening to someone else speak, or as if I were using someone else's voice. With each invocation there were more and more animals and they started circling clockwise around me. This did not seem threatening in any way. After the readings I blessed my two cats who decided to show up for the end of the ritual. They would not stay earlier because of all the sprinkling water, although they were very tolerant of the water when they were being blessed.

During the contemplation I felt as if in my mind I had gotten up and started moving around among the spirit animals that were ranged around my circle. I seemed to blessing them the same way I had blessed my cats, each animal seemed to bless me in return, each in it's own way. I seemed to see a fine web or cord passing from animal to animal, through each heart, with me included. For a moment I seemed to go back to a previous experience that occurred during The Rite of Rebirth where I saw a vast wheel of energy moving through space but then my focus returned to earth. I heard a voice say that this web was the expression of the Universal Energy except that this web was special to planet earth but that they were really the same energy, the smaller, earth, working within the larger, the universe.

I felt and saw the animals moving more quickly around me and I felt a little dizzy. The image became vague and transformed into the tunnel that I travel through when I do shamanic journeying with my power animal, Goose. I looked to my right and Goose was there with me She seemed to be flying next to me. I asked her where we were going. She said I would see when I got there. We exited the tunnel onto a green and grassy mountainside, in front of a large cave. A mature woman came out of the cave. She was wearing a long black cloak with a hood thrown back. She was very tall and looked very strong and robust although her hair had a lot of gray in it. She was carrying a tall staff with an exotic, sort of Indian looking cow head carved on top. She was accompanied by a menagerie of animals: a goat, a cat, a dog, a monkey, a lion, a pronghorn and a buffalo, there were many other animals walking or flying around. She was very kind looking but seemed to carry great power and wisdom.

I knew immediately that she must be Mother Earth. She spoke and said "I am the Mother of all beings and no being large or small is born without me." I felt very awed but I bowed and asked her about the silver threads and how they seemed to pass through each beings heart. She said the reason that the cords pass through each creatures heart is because as the Mother of all she loves all her children, from the largest and grandest to the tiniest microorganism. Although humans may look with disdain upon certain tiny or insignificant creatures or value beings only for any use we may put them to, Her love is given to all. As Arachne the spider she weaves the lives of all beings together. Through Her love they are connected at the heart. She stands at the center and is aware of all her children through these threads and that we also could become aware of other beings through our hearts.

She invited me into her cave. I felt very awed yet at the same time it seemed like the natural thing to do. The cave was very comfortable, with racks of drying herbs, shelves of mysterious bottles and jars and a fire with a pot warming over it. The walls seemed very warm and "alive" almost like flesh although they were stone walls. She sat on a large comfortable carved wooden chair and I sat on the ground at Her feet. She said that even though I had already given and received a blessing from so many animals tonight, I would receive one from her as well. I knelt before Her and She placed her hands on my head. I felt such joy peace and love that it is indescribable. She told me to speak to all people I meet about the intrinsic value and beauty of all living beings. I said to her I was afraid because I am shy and I don't feel as if I have very good communication skills. She smiled and said that when it was necessary my lips would open. She said that it was time for me to go. I turned around and saw that Goose was still with me. I felt a need to see my other allies and so I asked about them. One by one they each appeared, Beryl just appearing in my hand. I felt really pleased to see them. I went outside and my allies cam with me. I felt drawn back into the tunnel and traveled along it until I reached regular consciousness. I thanked the Goddess and the animals for my experience and closed the rite.

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