How can we humans live fully in our hearts? From a Gaia-centered perspective, what we need to relearn is this: Our heart is completely linked with the natural world. Thus it has a built-in propensity to connect and ally with all life, not just other humans.
The heart chakra isn’t green by accident. Our heart resonates not only with human beings, but also with the Earth’s forests, mountains, oceans and rivers, and the material and spiritual beings who live there. Our hearts are nourished by relationship, connection and generosity toward humans and equally toward the entire more-than-human world. This makes it very important to keep our hearts healthy, robust and grounded in Gaia’s totality.
Our Green Heart, the seat and source of who we are, is centered and poised in the meeting point of all the manifest directions—the horizontal directions of East, South, West and North, and the vertical directions of Above and Below. Thus we dwell in a multidimensional field, with our green heart at the Center, where it receives, transmits and generates Gaia’s green love for all beings and places.
I’ve been working with these 7 directions for many years, and I can’t overstate the importance of making this a daily practice, however brief. Wherever we are, we can locate the 4 cardinal directions of east, south, west and north, and make a point of attuning with them. Perhaps we can set up a simple 4-directions wheel in the garden, with stones or plants marking the directions, or create a small wheel of stones indoors, on a shelf or an altar. Centering ourselves in our heart, we face and/or meditate on each direction and receive its energies and gifts.
It’s also not hard to cultivate a connection with the Above, the heavenly realm of the moon, the sun and planets, and the stars. Having a regular practice of going out for a few minutes at night, or at sunrise or sunset, or moonrise or moonset, is a great way to connect with our beloved, gleaming celestial bodies and honor their endless cycling journeys through the cosmos. Again, center in the heart, and receive the infinite power and beauty of the upper worlds, the Above.
The Below reaches down into the planetary depths, all the way to our nearest and in many ways our greatest Star, the star at the center of the Earth. All the lands of our planet are permeated and blessed by the light from this sacred bit of star-matter beneath our feet.
The world’s presently-dominant, inherently patriarchal culture has been waging war on the direction Down for several millennia. It has put a distant male God up in the sky, and has not only justified but encouraged the contemptuous denigration and pitiless subjugation of the Earth and the entire non-human world. “Down there” is thought to be at best unimportant except as a resource that benefits humans, and at worst scary and threatening, a dark, dense realm of evil.
Negation of the sacredness beneath us weakens our heart in a fundamental way—literally, in our very foundation. We are no longer supported by one of the most basic aspects of our reality—our rootedness in the ground we walk on. Yes, the land, in its top layer, consists of dark, damp, but definitely not evil earth—soil in its mysterious, life-giving fecundity, which we should not fear but celebrate, every single day. Meanwhile, the center of the Earth is red, molten star matter, as any geologist will tell us. Both physically and metaphorically, the land below us is radiant with infinite light—Earth Light. This Earth Light glows just as powerfully as Heaven’s light, and confers endless blessings on us and our planet.
A lighthouse cannot shine clearly and purely if it is constantly teetering on its foundation, and neither can we. We must reclaim the sacredness of the direction Down, the sacredness of Earth Light, to give support and stability to the innate powers of our heart.
Standing on the sacred land, we recognize and open to the 4 cardinal directions of East, South, West and North, and the direction Up, the Above. And we send our deepest roots down into the Below, all the way to the Earth’s shining, light-filled center, source of Gaia’s inner light, and our own.
When we do this faithfully every day, we affirm a radical, life-supporting vision—that of the radiant, beneficent Earth patiently awaiting the time when, through our hearts, Her own fertile Earth Light can reunite with the Heavenly Light of the cosmos. Just as we await the day when we and all humanity can know ourselves as who we truly, wholly are: joyful, luminous, heartful citizens of Gaia.