My Mother is the Virgin Forest. Ever renewing, ever climaxing and receding and climaxing again. She incorporates the highest to the lowest, she is succulent, feculent, and fertile. All creation takes joy in springing from her fertility. And so do I. I spring from that same rich, earthy stew of creativity, ancient and ever-renewing, that flows from her womb, from her vulva, onto and into the land and back out from the land into manifestation. All that is created from Her is blessed by Her, to go on creating, to go on evolving, to be as abundant as its nature is to be.
When I say forest, I mean many forests. The forests of tall trees, understory plants, vines, ferns, flowers—yes, these, in their expressions all over the planet. (Remember that once, all forests were as verdant and untouched—as virginal—as the rainforests you treasure.) But also tiny forests of moss, forests of cactus, forests of grasses; ocean forests of kelp and sea grass—all these are forests of my Mother, all are infused with her green blessings, all are precious, all are irreplaceable parts of her Green World.
These forests are Hers, along with the life they generate and support at their own scale, immense or microscopic. Tall, treed forests and their big mammals and countless birds. Forests of moss with their tiny insects and spiders. Forests of mushrooms with all their mysterious, expanding and contracting beings. Forests of grasses with their vast herds of herbivores and their communities of tiny mice and sparrows. Forests of sea grass with their manatees and turtles and their fish of all sizes. And all these forests have invisible legions of algae, bacteria, lichens, all those ones you humans can scarcely imagine, much less understand.
And all these forests have their own communities of spirit beings, who take care of them. Gnomes, elves, devas, sprites, little people—you humans have many names for them, but be assured that none of these names come even close to capturing their essence, their numbers, their variety, and their importance.
All an integral part of creation. All created by my Mother. All blessed and seeded by my Father.
All being destroyed by humanity.
In these times, in many of your so-called Christian churches, my Mother is put in a tight box of “virginity” defined by fearful men with small minds and closed hearts. They say that my Father is all-powerful, and can save humanity, but his consort is so disempowered that she can barely help him.
Now many of you are starting to see what you’ve wrought in my Mother’s verdant, ever-renewing world that could have given you everything you need and more. Now that world is tattered and wrecked almost beyond recognition. It can barely help you on any level, even if you were to humbly ask.
But we—Mother Gaia and Her court, including myself—are not interested in blaming or remonstrating. We are all poised on an edge. None of us has fallen yet into the abyss. All we await is enough of you to see us truly, to call us, and to humble yourselves while claiming your true greatness.
We can’t restore very much of what has already been lost. But if we—my Mother and my Father and I, and you—all return to the true Garden, we can all start anew. We can all be virgins—real virgins—together. That is, we can call together all the strands of potential, of regeneration, that still exist in Gaia’s processes, in her systems, in her feedback loops (these are strange words for me, but they are for you to understand) and use them all to strengthen one another, and us, and you. To get us all going in the same direction—the forests, the creatures, the spiritual beings great and small, and you and your intelligence and curiosity—and, with good will, with hope, with humor, we can take what is left and create new forests that will sustain life here on this planet. This work will involve much effort and also much celebration.
Forget the suffering one on the dead, desiccated cross! Forget the pious, downcast woman who hardly speaks or even occupies any space. Forget the lonely, angry male god who, without his true consort, was made into a deformed embodiment of humanity’s worst, vengeful extremes.
Remember the Green. Remember who you are. Remember who I am, always rising up, always rooting down, always giving, always joyful and generous, like Nature, like Gaia herself.
I am here for you! You can know me with no effort at all. You don’t have to beat your breast and acknowledge your sin and beg me to be your deliverance. You can, and must, acknowledge that your fundamental sin is separation from Nature, and that, I can indeed forgive you and save you from. This is serious, but it is not heavy or somber. We have much work to do together, which will require much humility from you, and much patience from Us.
But take heart, my sons and daughters! We are all on the same side, as you say—which is to say, the natural, flowing currents of Gaia. Don’t resist them anymore. What we can create together is magnificent, even with the few parts of Nature, of the Green World, that are left. Each forest—each acre of trees, each patch of moss, each tide pool, each desert hillside, even every city park and bare vacant lot, has within it the seeds and the soil and the beings that can, with your help, begin to populate a new world. You must ground Me everywhere, with joy and hope. Draw on the most joyful and hopeful places in you. Don’t restrict anything except the parts of you that aren’t really you—like competition, greed, contempt. You really don’t need those any more if you work with Us.
Start with adoration, for instance. The wise men were said to have adored the infant Jesus. You can adore Me now, if you like, but it’s even more important to adore the Green Lands of your home and the Green Lands of your ancestors. Look for the Green always. It is what underlies hope, renewal, continuance. Adore the green. Tenderly care for the Green everywhere. Let the Earth be fully herself, even in the potted plants on your windowsills.
Let the Green be itself. Nurture it, but don’t force it. Let it be virginal. A virgin forest does not respond well to forcing or to being defined by someone else. In its virginity—its capacity to be completely, fully itself—is its potency, its ability to renew again and again, to gracefully let go of the old and outworn while tenderly nurturing the new that is being born, in a matrix of constant change and transformation. (Remember that “matrix” comes from “mother.”)
A virgin maiden has all these qualities too, by the way. No wonder the old men thought they had to repress them with strictures about submission and modesty and piety. But those days are over. It’s time for every human being who hears my call to surrender to fully being her- or himself, from deep within. No looking back. No looking around to others for self-definition. With me, with Nature, everyone can learn who they are.
The cross that most of you know is incomplete. The True Cross is a tree—not with rigid, never changing right angles, but with branches gracefully growing out at all angles, housing mosses and ferns and lichens, and the nests of birds and the secret trails of spiders; and housing vast colonies of Nature’s beings, spiritual and material. This vibrant green universe dried up and disappeared on the dead, Middle-Eastern cross of Jesus. We need to repopulate the True Cross with all life, including our own.
The early ones worshipped in sacred groves. The conquerors cut them down, often in “Christ’s” name. Now we need to find the sacred groves again, to grow them if need be, but to find them also, to find the sacred groves in the forests, in our gardens, in the weeds by the side of the road, in the tended trees of a park, in the dry hillsides that support only cactus and thorns, in a pot of flowers on our porch. Celebrate Me everywhere, without ceasing! For I AM everywhere—still, even now, with my world so tragically depleted, I am everywhere. I am everywhere a tiny seed roots itself in the soil, when a bud forms and then a flower, and also when the petals and foliage turn brown and decay, leaving the dead leaves to nourish the soil and casting the seeds on the earth to sprout anew.
I need you to worship me. Not that “I” am important and need your submission, no. But for you to stand any chance of rejuvenating this precious earth, I need to be recognized, strengthened and celebrated wherever I am—which is everywhere. Tend me like the most precious garden. And I will bloom and give you all you need. I will also give you much work to do. Not work that begins in you and your outworn human impulses, but work that originates in me and is diligently carried out through you. In time you will access who you truly are, underneath the forcing, the pushing, the demands, the self-importance, the petty vengeances and paybacks that human are so prey to—and that have been fanned by the world’s dominant religions and cultures for many centuries.
Keep me as a song in your heart, as a smile on your lips, as you watch, perhaps, a small bird breaking open a seed to eat, or a tiny pool of water forming on the moss as it rains, or legions of huge trees swaying in the wind. I am in all of these and more. And so are you! This is coming home, recognizing who you are and have always been—not a lonely, separate sinner in need of salvation, but a part of the whole, just as perfect and imperfect as all the other parts—a one who simply needs to come home. Come home to the Green World, not to dominate but to co-create, with your own intelligence, your own hard-working nature, which we all need now more than ever.
What will my worship look like? It could be to come together to plant a tree, perhaps, with songs of praise and thanksgiving. To honor your children by presenting them to me as infants, by tending a garden for them that, as they grow, they can learn to help with—a garden that is their garden and also my garden. To render respect for your elders by preparing them for their most honorable transition into becoming even more part of me, to return to the ground of Gaia, leaving their works behind to nurture their people.
To take communion, receiving my Living Waters, to water me in you, to nourish the endless capacity you have to love the Green World, which is loving me, loving one another and loving yourselves. To create ceremonies to honor the spiders, the web-makers, who, in their own tiny universes are mimicking Gaia and her ceaseless web-weaving that holds the natural world together—perhaps to dance and sing the spiders and all the web-makers, to help and energize Gaia in her work.
Singing, dancing, planting, reaping, feasting, weaving, welcoming and nurturing all new life, and respectfully letting go of and celebrating all deaths—this is My worship.
Seek spiritual and psychological practices that help you feel and express all that is in you, the crooked and the straight. You bear much, you humans—your natural tendencies to hold apart, to strive, even to fight when necessary—which have been grotesquely magnified by the human-created world that you live in—this has brought you to where you are now, more of a scourge on Gaia than an asset. You have much to overcome, within yourselves and in the ways you relate to your neighbors. Stand by each other to do the work necessary to become who you really are—with my help.
Be discerning in the ways there are for you—yourself, authentically—to change and transform humans and human societies, and do whatever you do with me, in my name. It is too late to do anything less, too late to try to solve your many problems without including the Green World and its health and strength in all you do, right from the start. Don’t reflexively ride off on your white horse to right the dramatic wrongs that catch your attention. First, work to see the righting of all wrongs as part of our work together. Learning how to do this is a crucial part of the work we must all do collectively.
And for your relationships between men and women, the masculine and the feminine, know that you must heal both sides, so that these “sides” can become complements and not opposites. Study the virgin, the true virgin, as expressed in a virgin forest. Use this as your touchstone. Many of you—especially but not exclusively men, especially but not exclusively whites—may have to endure what seem like losses, mainly of your power and privilege. And the rest of you must not scorn and blame these ones for resisting what seems like a loss of essential self. But you must proceed, all together, seeing and honoring, in women and men and in humans of all colors, the virginal impulse that dwells within each one of you. Not to be self-righteously chaste, not to be untouched—but, instead, to be touched by everything, containing everything, able to hold and renew everything, through death and decline as well as sprouting and flowering.
Throughout all your necessary transformation and change, all your struggles, don’t forget this very important law of my Green World: there can be no diminishing of anyone’s true gifts, of anyone’s true nature, in humans or in the world.
There is much for us all to learn and understand, me as well as all of you. But our work is beckoning. The Green World is beckoning. Let’s follow.
© Copyright Mary Janet Fowler, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. Reproduction of this material in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without written permission.