Thursday, April 19, 2007


There is no accurate record of how Mother Earth came to be. Despite that fact theories abound. From the simple creation theory of fundamental believers, to complicated big bang and expanding matter theories offered by the scientific community. None of us know for sure what spark started our planet's birth.

Even the history of the planet was shrouded in misdirection and false beliefs for thousands of years. The earliest attempts to accurately date our home were thwarted by the established church's efforts to make history conform to biblical dates. This went on until sometime in the 1800's when carbon dating and other scientific advances made it impossible to ignore the empirical evidence. Earth is some 4.6 billion years old.

In that very early beginning, there was no life. The atmosphere consisted of gases like methane and ammonia. For the first 800 million years the surface of our planet was molten. This period is called Hadean time. Meteorites and Lunar debris are the only physical remnants of this very distant past. Carbon dating puts the oldest of this impact material at 4.5 billion years old.

Archean time marks the solidifying of Earth. The continental plates form and photosynthetic bacteria form. The oldest stones come from this period, 3.8 billion years ago. Fossils of bacteria found on Archean stones in South Africa and Australia are the oldest evidence of Earth's birthing process.

The longest geological measurement of time is the Proterozoic period. It spans Earth's formative years from 2.5 billion to a more recent 543 million years ago. It was also the most violent time in the planet's geological history. The continents that formed during the Archean era began to move. Molten magma bubbling beneath the surface of these land masses was constantly seeking to escape. For the next billion years or so, our Mother would endure some intense growing pains.

To help you imagine how much things changed during this time period, North America, which would end the Proterozoic era in its current position began the era with the West coast of California laying in an East to West direction, parallel to the Equator. Africa was at the South Pole.

Life on Mother Earth would go through dramatic changes during this period as well. Oxygen began to build up in the atmosphere through the middle millennia. While this caused the extinction of some life forms, for the first time multi cell organisms began to appear and animals. Marking the beginning of Paleozoic time.

Over the span of these two eras many of the gemstones and crystals we enjoy today began their journey of birth as well.

Some gems are the remnants of the planet's primordial mountains. These prehistoric mountain ranges no longer exist except as minor bumps and hills on our modern landscape. Natural erosion wore down these ancient ranges while colliding land masses created huge pressures and heat which would transform the sediment created by the erosion. Hundreds of varieties of gemstones and crystals were born during this process. So, the next time you enjoy your favorite gemstone, remember that you may be holding the remnant of a once tall and proud mountain peak. Perhaps this is why so many crystals grow into points.

Some of the oldest mountains still visible on the planet are the Ozark Mountains in South Central and the Appalachians along the East coast of the United States. Both of these mountain ranges began forming as the result of colliding land masses between 650 and 400 million years ago. Africa ran into the East coast of North American and South American was slamming into the Southern area of the continent.

Remnants of even older mountains can be found around Mother Earth. Avarallis is a primal mountain range that can still be seen as hills around Delhi India. In their youth (1 billion years ago) the peaks of the Avarallis Mountains would have dwarfed the Himalayan mountains that we recognize as Earth's highest today.

The Himalayas are the youngest mountains on our planet. During the reign of the mighty Avarallis peaks, India was not a part of the European/Asian continent as it is today. According to geological theory, about 140 million years ago the Indian continent (aka Gondwanaland) began moving across the now extinct Tethyan ocean which separated it from Asia.

It took 60 million years for this land mass to complete its journey and conjoin with the Eurasian continent. Primordial sediments from the floor of the Tethyan Ocean, crumbled remnants of the Avarallis peaks and all matter of stone and debris from the contact area were thrust together to form the infant Himalayas (and untold treasures of gems and crystals).

Apparently Gondwanaland has not stopped moving (ultimately all of the Earth's land masses are in constant motion). Over the last 1 million years the Himalayan Mountains and the regions in its shadows have risen another 5,000 meters above sea level. Tibet is considered one of the highest regions on Earth. Today geologists calculate this area is rising an average of 10 meters every 100 years. In the last century Mt. Everest has grown 8.2 meters.

Our Mother Earth is in a permanent state of change. Volcanos are still erupting, continents constantly moving causing earthquakes. This is not a good place to come for peace and quiet.

Next month we'll explore Earth's role as one of our first deities.

In our earliest beginnings, before men wrote testaments, gospels, bibles or korans we sought out the Divine. In a child like effort to understand where life came from, how to survive it and why it could end so cruelly many of us sought comfort and knowledge from a maternal divine source.

Perhaps we defined our Mother God first because when we looked around, it was the female that produced life. Not just amongst ourselves, but in every animal and plant it was from the feminine that life sprouted. Even masculine monotheistic traditions recognized and honored some aspect of divine femininity.

The names of these Earth Mothers/Goddesses are plentiful. Some almost universal and their presence still touches us today in the names of places, rivers, lakes and mountains. Others were only known to their particular children and remain as a simple mention in listings of forgotten things. More are probably lost to us all together.

Despite the many names given Her, who She is seems to remain constant throughout the Earth Goddess mythologies. She is All that is Life. The bright sun light and the mysterious dark night, birth and death, the flowing River, the ravenous predator, virgin, mother and grandmother. Her cooking pot and collecting basket are never empty. Her presence is in the rainbow's many colors, the heart of each living creature, the scent of all flowers, the taste of all fruits and in every breath you take.

Danu appears to be one of the more (possibly the most) widely used names of the original Earth Goddesses. From the mythical Celtic Tuatha De' Danann (Tribes of Danu) to the Hindu's in India, Danu has left Her divine mark on an expansive list of cultures. Europe's greatest river, the Danube is named for Her.

In Celtic myths the Tribes of Danu would battle the Tribes of Domnu when they first arrived in ancient Ireland. In these myths Danu's children represent all that is good in humans and Domnu's children represent all that is harmful. In the end, there are no true victors and both aspects of humanity survive to this day.

The Churning of the Ocean is a Vedic creation myth. Danu is the essence of Life within the Primordial Waters. The Earth rose up from within and now rests on top of this Water. Danu or Life is awakened when these waters are agitated and the full potency of Her life-giving essence is released. Through chaos, order is formed.

Dana is an early Greek Mother Goddess, whose name in Sanskrit is Danu. Dana would ascend the throne of Egypt as King Danaus. As a male king, this Mother Goddess did not fare well, being driven from one throne (Egypt) to another (Argos), then finally into exile by the king of Phoenicia (who was also his/Her father).

Some scholars have concluded that Nanna (a Danish Earth Goddess, mother/wife to Baldur), Anatha (Syrian), Anat (Canaan), Inanna (Sumerian) and other derivatives of Anne, Ana or Anna were originally taken from Danu. Even Dinah from the Syriac Old Testament (di sometimes means divinity or godhead) or Di-Ana from Semitic may be just more variations on the same root name.

Hathor is Egypt's Mother creator. Visualized as the Great Celestial Cow Goddess She created this world and all that exists upon it. Her milk gives nourishment to the living and She greets the dead as they journey to the next life. As with many of the early Earth Mother gods, Her celebrations consisted of much music, merriment, dance and intoxicating liquids made from Her bounty.

Europa was also a cow goddess, giving birth to Europe. She was honored and celebrated in Crete and Mycenae.

Celebrations to honor Tara, a savior Mother Goddess were held in Ireland, Athens, India and Tibet. There was a grove in Ireland that was a sacred shrine to her genitals. In Athens the ancient celebrations of Her fertile blessings were dubbed the rioting because of the wild behavior that resulted. According to Tibetan Buddhist traditions, Tara is the Great Mother, a Boddhisattva. The enlightened One who has vowed to incarnate repeatedly until all have achieved enlightenment. And always to return as a woman.

Gaea is the Greek Earth Mother. Mother of all the gods, oldest of all the divine. Chomo-Lung-Ma was the original name of Mount Everest. She is a primal goddess, one of the oldest of India's deities.

Themis is the pre Hellenic creatress. She gave birth to Themistes and Oracles. It was Themis that founded the oracle of Delphi which Apollo would later take over. In Egypt She was known as Temu, the spirit that ruled the fertile Abyss which gave birth to all life.

Ala is the Mother Goddess of the Ibo tribe from Nigeria. The creator of life and ruler of the dead, She also sets the laws that provide for the survival of the community and society.

Mawa of the Dahomey tribe in Africa created humanity from clay and water. The Turks honor Aka as their Mother Goddess and the Great Mesopotamian Goddess Anatu ruled both Earth and Sky.

In Iran's ancient mythologies Aramaiti is the Earth Goddess, mother of the people made from clay. The language of the original gospels (Aramaic) is named for Her.

Tlalteutli is the Aztec's Mother of creation. In the very beginning of Time, Her body was the Universe. In Mexican mythology, Chicomecoatl is the Mother of all people, She is the Earth's beating heart. Seven sacred serpents were her messengers.

Long before the Celts arrived, when Ireland first emerged from out of the Underworld, Cessair ruled the primal lands. This Goddess/Chieftain brought with Her 50 women and three men to populate the virgin country.

The list of names given to Mother is long and the stories woven to explain our birth are a joy to learn. I wish I had time to explore and share every one of them here. More importantly than learning a list of old names and memorizing stories is recognizing and accepting the complexity of the Divine's identify.

Throughout my research one theme appeared to run constant through the majority of mythologies, that the Divine is in all things. You, your children, the trees in your yard, the aggravating neighbor or co-worker, the mis-placed wildlife in the new housing development are all manifestations of and residences for the Divine.

Regardless of how you choose to recognize Divinity, masculine, feminine, both or neither remember to also recognize the Divine within yourself. Whatever force first breathed life into this planet exists within you. Honor, cherish and use your Divine Source to be a true co-creator in your own Life Story.

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