The next four months are going to be dedicated to the four traditional elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) with the totem I associate with each guiding me along. While I’ve spent years working with the elements via these totems, the more in-depth work has been a nice reminder of the nitty-gritty details.
This month (from full moon to full moon) is dedicated to Earth and Wolf in the North. The peak of the full moon was Thursday; however, I observe each day before and after it as well. So I had the greatest intentions of doing my full moon rite to dedicate myself to Earth this past Friday night.
Enter Acute viral nasopharyngitis–otherwise known as our friend, the common cold.
This happy little virus has been making its way around my workplace this week, and decided that Friday afternoon would be a great time to explode in my sinuses. By the time I got home Friday evening, I was exhausted. Rather than muddling through supper as best as I could the way I normally do, I did what I *really* wanted, curled up in bed, and slept straight through until 8 the next morning.
This helped immensely; while I was worn out most of the weekend, it was bearable, and I didn’t feel nearly so awful as I did Friday night. I also had an enormous appetite, and ate anything I wanted–I even walked a block and a half to the local organic grocery store to buy tortilla chips (blue corn chips, BOGO even!) so I could make nachos. I rested when I felt tired, drank when I began to get a bit dehydrated, and otherwise listened to what my body wanted.
The result was that what could have been a really bad weekend ended up quiet, but good. And now I’m back at work, feeling pretty good–people at work who caught the bug before I did are still out today. I’ll be headed to bed a bit early again tonight, just to be sure.
I’ll admit when I first got sick and then watched the weekend slip away as I was too tired to even meditate, I got frustrated. Here I was wasting time that should have been spent dedicating myself to the element of Earth! Yet as I realized, and my husband reminded me, one of the bailiwicks of Earth is the physical body, the fleshly form. The sickness, rather than hindering me, was a very real, down to Earth reminder of the needs of the physical. By tuning into my body and listening to what it needed (something I first really began to grasp when I was editing Taylor’s book, Inner Alchemy: Energy Work and the Magic of the Body) I was able to minimize my suffering. It also reminded me that body-awareness is all too often ignored in our go-go-go world of Do Stuff and Accomplish Things. While meditating on Earth Within and Earth Without, and working with totems, and other somewhat abstract spiritual practices can be healthy, sometimes it takes being planted firmly in my body-awareness to realize how grounded in Earth I really am.
On a somewhat related Earthy note, I did get to do one thing I’d intended for this weekend–get a drum. Or, rather, make a drum. though that wasn’t my initial intention. I live within walking distance of Cedar Mountain Drums, and every morning for the past couple of months when my bus has taken me past there I’ve looked longingly at all the handmade drums in the window. Since I’ve wanted to explore drumming (with me as the drummer) as a method of journeying, and since drums are Earthy instruments, I figured this would be a good practice for the Earth month.
When I got there, I was surrounded by a wide assortment of drums (which should come as no surprise). Unfortunately, most of them were outside my current price range. However, before I could get discouraged, I found a few drum kits, including a small kit (maybe 12″ wooden hoop) that was affordable. It was the only one of its size, and after wandering around the shop without finding anything that leaped out at me, I decided to take it home and try my hand at making a drum for the first time ever.
I’ll go into more detail about the actual process in a later post; needless to say, making the drum was the right choice for this artist. I’ll be working with it over the next month (and beyond), and I’ll be curious to see where it takes me (figuratively and literally).
So despite what might have been a rough start, I managed to not get frustrated (once again, that philosophy of staying motivated and stopping guilt). And the month of Earth has been quite educational thus far. I look forward to more lessons, even if they end up being unconventional and not quite what I expected.