top of page

Unfurling Moon

We are soil. Soil is us. Earth, water, air and fire…we are all these elements, but as many creation stories tell, we have been made from the earth on which we stand, and we will return to it. The elements all around us are present in our bodies, reminding us of our relations to all living beings and substances. Thousands of years of earth’s evolution have made the soil, as a thin blanket that provides the sustenance for all life. This thin blanket, unique to each place, is then covered in a quilt of green, adapted to its particular ecosystem. This month we celebrate the miracle of soil that provides the ground of being.

We are in the new moon of June, which is the last of the three spring cycles. Beings have awoken,

growth has activated and visibly emerged in bursting buds, and now, leaves, grasses, flowers and small seedlings are all unfurling then blossoming in the height of exuberant creativity. The sun is waxing toward the solstice and so energy is at its maximum for the year. Things are lively and fast-moving now, in their youthfulness, bursting with heart breaking beauty and elegance of motion. It can be a time when we think about tapping life-regenerating sources.

Many cultures called ‘civilized’, have taught that getting ‘dirty’ constitutes menial labour. Elites maintain their distance from dirt and manual labour, hiring others for these jobs. Urban people are noticeable by their trendy, clean clothes and pristine shoes. In our industrial mindset of unending growth and production, we have eroded the soil, poured toxins of every form into it, and have paved over some of the best soils in the world. For some, soil is equivalent to slavery on plantations, the oppression of peasants in feudal-type systems, or the very hard life of pioneer ancestors. Yet, the ecosystem of healthy soil is vital to life. It is vital for our healing from this way of life and all the abuses of people and living beings.

Soil is sacred. As Martin Prechtel (2012) says, ‘The land owns us, we do not own the land.’ The land makes us human. If the relationship we have with soil is sacred, we find a profound respect is engendered. We stoop, kneel, sweat, and harvest in relation to the soil, as an honoring of the life-

giving energies around us and the ‘cities of plants’. The structure of and the work in the garden should ‘please the plants and the Holy that is present there’. To this end, shrines have long resided in gardens.