I began this post earlier in the month, as the moon became full:
I just came in from walking the boundaries of my land, dusting cornmeal as I went.
Some think of this as casting a circle of protection. I don’t:
I think of it as re-establishing relationship.
Just like a farmer would walk the boundaries of his fields to check the fencing, I walk the land checking the energy and mapping my geographic place in the world.
I give a mental shout-out to my neighbors (as a way of respecting the land they hold).
I bow to the natural landmarks around me, like the Smoky Mountains off in the distance and the creek a quarter mile south. I love on the the trees and say hi to the birds. I pick up trash, note where the poison ivy is growing, notice which limbs need a trim… there’s no reason the practical and mystical can’t walk side by side.
The dialogue in my head is one of gratitude: “thanks for being here for me, know that I’m here for you, too. I’m honored to be a steward in this place.” My heart lifts and the land hums as I walk.
I start in the north, my personal tradition. Many who do this sort of ceremony start in the east where the sun rises, but I’m of a different school. I believe that beginnings happen in the North, the place of earth and the ancestors, where seeds are held in a womb of loamy soil.
Since I’m building something (relationship in this case), I walk clockwise. And I chose today to do this because the moon too is building and almost full. As I complete my circuit, I overlap my first few steps, beginning the next circle… ’cause this is ongoing movement… a continuation…
Why cornmeal? You can use lots of things (just don’t use salt ’cause it’s bad for the plants). I chose cornmeal because it’s familiar to the land—this is Cherokee territory and corn has been used in ceremony in these parts—if you want to speak to the land, speak in a language it knows; corn is also actually useful to the local critters; and the corn is from here—grown organically from heirloom seed on a local farm.Ceremony is a weaving, a tapestry of tradition, intention, and poetry. Click To Tweet
Find the form which suits your soul and gives meaning to your intention.
Walking the land, re-establishing the bounds, reminds me I’m part of this place. It grounds me in soil, in earth, so I can step into my purpose in the world.
I’ve realized how deeply important and often neglected this grounding process is.
How do you ground yourself? How do you stay in relationship with the land?