Today is Earth Day. For some of us this is one of the few days in the year when we remember and consciously honor our sacred connection to nature. We are encouraged to garden, recycle, conserve. Perhaps we point fingers and argue over the size of our carbon footprint relative to our neighbor, perhaps we reserve judgment and do our part to bring healing to the Earth.
In a perfect world we wouldn’t need a day to remind us of our connection to nature and our obligation to protect resources. We would know instinctively not to be wasteful and to do as little harm as possible. Yet our modern lifestyles have removed us from living in harmony with nature to such an extent that a reminder is warranted.
The element Earth corresponds to more than just the physical material world, but also that which we value. In the Tarot, the Queen of Pentacles is associated with the earth element. She is the representation of our material accomplishments, and represents work, abundance, stability, patience and nurturing of the physical and material needs. As the embodiment of earth in the personality she also represents our connection to the past and traditions, and the ways in which we anchor (or limit) ourselves. The Shadow side of this energy appears when we become stuck and stubbornly cling to tradition out of fear of change. When we limit ourselves to new ideas and become entrenched in routines for the sake of repeating the familiar. When we become too focused on money as an object and forget what is truly valuable.
In astrology, the signs that possess qualities of earth are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. Taurus is ruled by the planet Venus and embodies the energy of the Earth Mother. Taurus energy gives physical form to that which we value. This archetype is closely connected to art, music, culture, history, food and all areas of physical comfort, as well as beauty. Taurus is a patient cultivator, who steadily nurtures what is beautiful and perceived as valuable.
The Shadow side of Taurus shows up when we become vainly obsessed with the illusions of status and value, when we emphasize the material, as in the cases of people who hoard possessions, seeking security through things to fill the empty spaces in their lives.
Virgo is ruled by Mercury and brings the earthy energy into the intellectual realm. The careful planner, organizer, and detail oriented, methodical personality working behind the scenes to manifest not for personal gain but for service to others as a healer. The Shadow side of the practical healer energy shows up when we become a constant critic, focusing so much on the details that we lose sight of the interconnectedness of all things.
Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, and as such brings the energy of Karmic lessons. A vehicle for the expression of earth energy for the good of society but through the sometimes harsh channels of challenges intended to restore us to our foundation. Capricorn energy is embodied in the traditionalist, and like Taurus is also tied closely to the realms of finance and work. However Capricorn energy challenges us to be judicious with our resources- including time, and to remember our traditions.
The Shadow side of Capricorn is evident in the workaholic or in one who focuses only on material gain at the cost of nurturing their emotional needs.
I see the combination of these facets of earth energy as links in one chain or pieces in one puzzle. Regardless of the sign with which we identify (usually the placement of the Sun in the natal chart) we all have the energies of each of these archetypes. We all may embody the Queen of Pentacles, and we all carry within our energy the imprint of Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn and their ruling planets. When brought together what is the larger message?
That we are part of a larger framework, the Earth and all beings and aspects of nature including the elements and Spirits.
That we are blessed with the ability to nurture ourselves and our communities by living in harmony with nature, and by doing so we create abundance (Queen of Pentacles). By focusing too much on our own needs to the exclusion of the whole, we may become stuck, greedy or disconnected from the flow of abundance in our ecosystem (Shadow of the earth element).
That we may choose to honor the resources within ourselves and nature as valuable and beautiful (Taurus) and it is our responsibility to be prudent in our use of these resources, because all of our actions have consequences (Capricorn). That through application of our intelligence, we can draw on these natural resources for healing and to be of service to others (Virgo).
Whether you consider yourself an ‘environmentalist’ or not…..
Whether or not you believe in the science of climate change…..
Whether you see yourself as a nature enthusiast or whether your idea of camping includes being in a hotel room with a plant on the table…
Would it not be wise for us all to honor and respect the resources around us, to value that which sustains our ability to live and to make choices that show this respect and avoid wasting of resources?
Happy Earth Day