Written by Lisa Stardust
The Gemini New Moon, occurring June 13th, presents us all with an opportunity to seek out knowledge, enabling us to connect to new philosophies and perspectives. As the New Moon falls close to the constellation Taurus, activating fixed stars found on the Bull’s Horn and Orion’s Belt, we are strongly urged to let our animal instincts out to play with our keen intellectualism.
What better way is there to connect one's body, mind, and spirit than to learn about old beliefs that nurture faith in the natural world? Animism is an ages old concept that connects humans to the elemental beings (fire, earth, air, and water), with the understanding that we are all one with the living body of the earth and its spirits. The belief of animism was studied and introduced to modern Western society by the anthropologist Sir Edward Tylor, but it dates back to the beginning of humankind as indigenous people in many parts of the world have always believed that, in one way or another, humans are one with their maker and their surroundings. In Animism, the earth is a living god.
With the ever-curious energy of the Gemini New Moon, it can be especially transformative to reflect on a new concept of oneness with nature, particularly for the purpose of to finding peace in this fast-paced, technology driven world. In the Celtic tradition, Brighid, the Goddess of Creativity, birthed the elements of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. To honor her elemental children, the Celts left offerings of food, poetry, prayers, jewelry, and other gifts that uplift the spirits of the land. You, too, can honor the elements described here in during these last days of spring in order to start a new cycle around healing by connecting to the spirit elements of the earth.
By acknowledging the spiritual, philosophical energy of the Gemini New Moon, we can connect greatly to our environment. Enjoying the weather, admiring plants, rocks, and bodies of water, as well as visual art and the work of wordsmiths are all excellent ways to get connected with the elements. As human animals, we can root more deeply into our lives by reflecting on the supernatural force that the ancients and some indigenous peoples today believe is the thread tying us together with the rest of the living, breathing earth.
Trees and Plants (Earth)
Celts honored trees, in particular the mighty oak and ash in nearby neighboring villages. Honoring old trees near your home will serve as the proper way to evoke the spirit. Gather with friends and have a picnic under a tree, taking time to thank the tree for sheltering you from the sun and cleansing the air you breathe.
Animal Omens (Earth)
Used as spirit animals, the animal omens were created as the symbolism for what humans did not possess. The connection of humans to another creature represents their divine inner nature. If you’ve seen an image or animal reappear in your dreams or visions and meditations, it may be trying to teach you about qualities you hold inside, which you can work to bring forth in the world.
The “Great Phantom Queen” who rules war, fate, and known as the manifestation of an earthly guardian ruler. She is feared as well as revered in Celtic lore. Crows and ravens are both symbols of the Morrigan. These highly intelligent birds are believed to be knowledgeable and powerful messengers from the spirit realm.
The Celtic version of Mars, Cardea rules bears for their protective nature. Fierce and loyal defenders of those who honor them, bears sacrifice themselves for those they hold dear.
God of the forest, Cernunnos rules the mystical deer spirit. Deers represent transformation and growth, rebirth. They are believed to be part fairy and part animal, and therefore possess magical powers.
Brighid, the Goddess of life Celtic version of Venus represents multiple animals...
Snakes: Shedding skin allows the transformative snake to embody eternal life.
Cattle: Essence of life. Cattle are a sacred animal representing fertility and well-being.
Horse: Beauty, grace, and luxury combined with extraordinary strength.
Dogs: Loyal guardians and healers.
Rivers, Lakes, Springs, and Oceans (Water)
Collecting water from rivers, lakes, springs, and oceans for your altar can bring a fluid, nourishing energy to your home and provide relief from everyday stresses. Brighid, in particular is also associated with fresh springs, as water is considered the natural giver of life. Rivers are recognized as the great mother. Dea Matrona is the most popular goddess in Celtic mythology who gives her name to the river Marne. All rivers in the Celtic world are named after goddesses.
Weather and The Sky (Air)
Let your hair down or wear flowing clothes to feel the breeze upon your skin. Watch the way the wind rustles the leaves on trees, causing the light and shadows to shift in your perception. Sing, read aloud, or have a good and honest conversation in which you use your breath in ways that honor your spirit. Cailleach, the dark mother, was believed by the Celts to be the bringer of winter storms, also known as a crone or “storm hag”. In Celtic mythology, she appeared in late fall when snow would begin to fall and the blustery winds howled. She came alive in the cold months. The old crone Cailleach, with her matted hair and one good eye, would come upon a hero or young man and, if he was gracious to her, she would transform into a beautiful young woman and rewards him for his kindness. Kindness dances upon the air, transforming relationships and the world at large.
The Hunt (Fire)
Celts prayed to a deity of their choice to guide them to successfully hunt their sustenance. Animal protein was very important in ancient societies. Animals that were hunted were thanked for their sacrifice and honored in rituals. If you do not eat meat, take time to reflect on the way the earth gives us all that we need. Give back to nature: Watch animals play, share your croissant with a squirrel, walk dogs at your local shelter— anything that gets you in-tune with the animal world.