Earth Dreaming, Water Dreaming: How Elemental Dreams Offer Healing for the Earth and Us by Jill Hammer

I once dreamed I was giving a lecture on a spiritual philosophy called magmatheism.  The literal meaning, I thought when I awoke, would be something like “belief in the divinity of molten rock.”  I had the sense this dream was trying to tell me something about what I had come to believe and know.  When I asked my friends what they thought magmatheism was, they gave answers that delighted and intrigued me.

One said: “the belief that God/Goddess dwells below the ground and every once in a while erupts out gloriously.”

Another said: “By studying the ways in which rock is liquid, we can understand the oneness of all things… Our separation is an illusion.  We are part of the whole.”

A third said: “Honoring the magnetic pull to earth.”

A fourth said: “The unmanifest that creates the foundation of all life.”

The dream told me something real about the power of dreaming. It let me know that a life physically and spiritually connected to the earth—the life I was trying to live and to encourage others to live—did not only occur when I was awake, but when I was asleep.  The dream told me that the earth was speaking to me in my dreams.  As dream tender Stephen Aizenstat writes, “Dream images are not representations of our personal nature only, but are also informed by the subjective inner natures of the things and creatures out there in the world. (Aizenstat, S. Dream Tending: Awakening to the Healing Power of Dreams. New Orleans, LA: Spring Journal, Inc. (2011), pp. 149-150).

Continue reading “Earth Dreaming, Water Dreaming: How Elemental Dreams Offer Healing for the Earth and Us by Jill Hammer”

Belonging to the Land by Carol P. Christ

Carol Christ in LesbosI believe that we can restore our hope in a world that transcends race by building communities where self-esteem comes from not feeling superior to any group, but from one’s relationship to the land, to the people, to the place, wherever that may be.—bell hooks

In these words from her poignant memoir-reflection-analysis Belonging, bell hooks suggests that rather than creating identity by comparing ourselves to others, whether in the academy, in communities, or in the larger society, we would do better to root our identity in the land.

Hooks “left home” in rural Appalachia in order to pursue “higher” (why do we call it that?) education including a Ph.D. which enabled her to teach at prestigious universities in the urban north. Despite her considerable success as an academic and a black feminist, hooks suffered persistent depression in the cities where she taught. Eventually she diagnosed her dis-ease as a longing for the home she had left behind, specifically as a need to connect with the traditions of her ancestors, the mountains, and the land that had sustained them since the end of slavery. Continue reading “Belonging to the Land by Carol P. Christ”

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