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Feeding the Mother

Offerings of food, herbs, libations of wine or mead and other edible items have been expressions of human reverence for as long as human memory and records can tell.

These acts of devotion, gratitude and reverence have been central to our family spiritual practice for decades. I have noticed something interesting as we continue to offer fruit, wine, cream, honey, herbs, tea, my blood, to the land. In these places where the offerings regularly come, a community of animals gather. We find acorn shells and walnut shells on our altars. We find egg shells, cicada exoskeletons, discarded feathers. It becomes a communal altar of gathering, as these creatures receive sustenance from our offerings, and leave their own offerings behind.

As more time has passed, I have noticed thick webs of mycelium beneath the leaf litter of these altar sites. The deep web of fungal life in the land reaches up to these communal offering sites and begins to prioritize connection here, feeding and being fed. Fruiting bodies emerge. Spores spread. The land becomes more alive. Richer. More connected.

A richer, more alive, more connected soil network creates the conditions for healthier plants growing in the area. More biodiversity emerges. The seeds from our offerings are spread by the animal community who comes to the communal altar. The excrement of the animals feed the soil web. A community of abundance, nutrient exchange, collaboration and interbeing emerges. It becomes a microcosm of the web that holds all life. In this personal, intimate, exchange we are honoring the wholeness, and are able to see the mandala of being unfurling its petals before our eyes.

These ancient practices, when we participate and observe over time, offer deepening layers of wisdom. Realizations like this have helped me to embrace more discipline in my spiritual practice. Devoted participation in time-honored practices offers much more wisdom and transformation than we can possibly glean in a few short months or years. The gems of wisdom that we glean are holographic, applying to all areas of our lives. These are the keys that my Mother Hekate promises through acts of devotion, like leaving food offerings at crossroads and caring for those who dwell in the margins and in the shadows. Untold gifts of revelation and transformation are the fruits of our devotion.

What time-honored practices have been transformational in your life?


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