Earth Mover

5:51:00 PM


Emerging from darkness, winding my way between roots, moving obstacles and traveling alone- these are all things I do best.  It comes naturally to me.  I remember growing up, I'd hear some of the new-age witches say that "light was needed to drive out darkness".  They'd sprinkle their prayers in pleas to avert darkness and destroy evil as if the two concepts had anything to do with each other.  There is this association between dark and evil or wrongness that I've never understood.  I was taught that the light was beautiful and revealing, as well as burning and blinding.  I was taught that the darkness was strange and terrifying, as well as comforting and restful.  Right now, those who walk in the limelight are the greatest danger, those who lead, those in positions of authority- they are blinding the world.  Maybe, the darkness is the place to be right now.  Maybe we witches need to do what we do best, and ride that darkness, bringing nightmares as we go.

My gods, there seems to be an endless schism of right and wrong all around us.  The soul crushing callousness of politicians, the incredible entitlement of each generation, the careless destruction of the environment around us on grand corporate scales, the stupidity of our leaders; the suffering of thousands, millions of people fleeing their homes, and the suffering of those seeing their world change too fast around them; the voicelessness of the vulnerable, the war-cry, and the whimper.  It's a lot to navigate, to rationalize and live with.  I want to burrow deep in the cool land and let the surface world decay itself, build more dirt.  I want to hunt my enemies from below, attacking from beneath,  when they feel most safe and complacent.  I am not a patient woman, but I am the kind of woman who plays the long con, and I'm just tracking my prey as they move around in the world comfortably.  

There's a balance to all things and a greater purpose to all functioning things.  I wasn't raised to fear death or darkness in the same way as a lot of other people; I've watched so many people around me be blinded by the glamour of glittering light- like being fooled by those you trust, those in positions of power and authority, those who seem as though they have much to illuminate.  I've seen even many people find comfort in rest, in the dark, where illumination comes from trusting one's senses, one's intuition and mastering the unseen world.  The darkness is the safe haven for the night-wandering ones.

An ally, for a shaman, healer, or a witch, is more than a symbol, more than a favored animal or plant or object, more than an ideal shape.  An ally is a relationship that develops, often outside of the conscious will of the practitioner and leads to a synthesis of mind, soul and thought between you and some sacred other.  I'm of the thought that the reason so many witches identify with wolves or ravens is because they're a glamorized animal with a deep symbolic resonance in magic... but the likelihood that so many witches are truly allied with these animals they've likely never met or seen in real life, let alone worked with personally, probably doesn't have as much to do with the reality as much as the fantasy. My reality is that I have developed relationships with allies who live in my vicinity and they're all considered pestilence or weeds; rats, raccoons, rabbits, moles, dulcamara, ipomoea, hedera.  They may be vermin to you, but to me they're family, they're guides, they are lessons in humility. More than that, they're all keen creatures with a knack for dark associations.  They all have a gift of cunning and knowing.

That's where my spirit, the mole spirit, is an invaluable navigator of these hard times.  She is a famed healer whose entire being has powers to inspire healing, to protect from illness and misfortune.  Agrippa said in his books of Occult Philosophy that the mole was Saturn's animal familiar, and Saturn of course is one of the sacred stars if witches.  She is a cthnonic traveler and familiar to witches.  We may associate witches today with the typical familiars; frogs, toads, beetles, spiders, mice, bats, cats, moths, even hounds- but the mole has always been associated with graveyards, healing, death magic and witching for as long as the folklore of the mole has existed. From the old world to the new world, the mole has the specific gift to remove obstructions, heal and guide in the dark.  Talpids are liminal creatures who intermediate between life and death, between living things and the bones in the land.  

A mole is a good familiar for the silenced, for those who have spent too much time blinded by the glamour of the facade the world puts on for us every day.  I feel so completely fed-up obstruction of justice, obstruction from truth, obstruction in general.  I'm tired and weary and disillusioned with the grand illusion taking place all around us.  Media circus, congressional disgust, the cultish ego-fragility of the powerful, it's all a complete horror-house of nonsense.   Now's the time to embrace whatever ally you have in your life who is out to support and guide you, whatever spirit has initiated you into the darkness, because you're going to need your night vision for what's to come.  

"The vision of the mole has continued to modern times, though with a somewhat different emphasis.  The divine attributes have been almost completely lost, but there has emerged from the time of Pliny the figure of a mysterious subterranean creature, almost a chthonic seer and divinity.  Because of its existence in the earth itself, the animal is connected in the folk mind with death and the realm of the dead and likewise with the devil, witches and magical powers."-Wayland D. Hand, American Folk Medicine: A Symposium & Magical Medicine: The Folkloric Component of Medicine in the Folk Belief, Custom, and Ritual of the Peoples of Europe and America : Selected Essays
my allies are many; oaks and poppies, moles and rats, snails and rabbits.
There's a lot of ways to become initiated into the medicine or mysteries of the mole, most of them by violent and sacrificial means.  In some traditions of mole medicine and magic, one must wrestle power from the mole in a ritualistic crushing, a possession.  Other traditions are far less cruel to the creature, and call for one to experience the gift freely given by the mole through visions, dreams, medicine, presentation of materia.   Typically in the folklore of the mole and the magic associated with this  familiar, a piece of the mole must be obtained; the paw, head, tooth, liver, heart, etc in order to bridge the gifts of the mole with whoever seeks that medicine.  However, spiritual training rather than mystical exploitation comes from education through observation, through visions and dreams, through study and courtship.  The earth-mover, the laborer, the mole spirit is a creature of bloody sacrifice and peaceful healing all at once, and I think of this as a lesson in balance as well:  there is nothing that comes without a price, that life is as crushing as it is giving.

When I took up the path to follow the magic and medicine presented in molelore, I dedicated myself to balancing between the ways of all my ancestors where the molespirit is concerned.  I wanted to initiate into that inner-darkness in a way that followed my own path, because that's what the mole would, do; seek independence and go their own way.  in the darkness, there's only room for the senses, that's what I've learned from the mole.  That, and the power of balance.  There's always room for balance in life.  I've obtained my gifts from the mole; I dream I change skins and grow claws and teeth when I go burrowing between worlds.  I've come to rely on the mole to help me navigate and hunt.  

Whatever spirit helps you hunt for justice, find your own path and navigate the darkness and the light, call on them now.  For all of you who feel their world slipping out of balance, in the way that I do, I encourage you to find a way out from under the obstacles.  Speak to those spirits who symbolize and personify great things in your life and follow their example.  Don't be afraid of the dark and don't be blinded by the light.  Move the earth if you must.


Image: Earth Mover by Andrew Jimenez, commission for Via Hedera, 2018

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