Timeless Spirit Logo ARTICLE

A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. January's Theme: "Our Relationship with Earth"
Volume 3 Issue 2 ISSN# 1708-3265
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My Relationship With Mars
(Not To Mention The Beetles Who Try To Steal Christmas On Earth, Mugwort Tea, And Garden Reiki)

by Martin Avery

I just saw a bumper sticker that said "I'd rather be here now."

It reminded me of the time when I was working on Reiki Part 1. The Reiki master gave us a mug of mugwort tea and asked us to look at a poster of that famous photograph of the whole earth. Printed at the bottom of the big picture was one word: HOME.

The Reiki master asked us to respond to that and most people said warm and fuzzy things about the blue planet we call Earth and think of as home.

Unlike the rest of them, I responded negatively, saying the picture made me feel alienated, as I had never felt at home on the planet. I've always identified with Mars.

My name is Martin and I was called Martin The Martian when I was a kid, when "My Favourite Martian" was a popular T.V. show. More recently, the books about Mars and Venus, which are so popular, made a lot of sense to me. The concept that women are from Venus and men are from Mars was easy for me to relate to.

I went so far as to get a column in a magazine called Moxie Femme and, as it was a positive column about men in a feminist magazine, I called it Good News From Mars.

However, I've done a lot of healing work since taking that Reiki course and now, as a result, I feel much more at home on the planet Earth. My relationship with the home planet developed in stages.

The grounding exercises healers do for energy work put me in touch with the planet and with Mother Earth in a very intimate manner. I learned how to send my roots deep down into the ground, imagining them embracing the core of the planet, to bring some of that Earth energy back up, through my chakra system.

Qi kung, tai chi, Quantum-Touch, and Reiki have all taught me how to develop my connection to the planet, get more grounded, send energy into the ground, where it is transmuted by Mother Earth, and to draw energy from the earth for healing purposes.

These exercises have had some interesting side effects. I now feel more at home wherever I go on this planet. Last summer, I travelled through New York State, to a retreat in the Catskills, near Woodstock, a hundred miles north of New York City. Despite the current hype and paranoia about border crossings and the fear of outsiders entering the USA, I felt completely at home for the entire journey.

I recently moved from a part of Canada which is to Toronto what Woodstock is to New York City. I left a small town in the middle of Muskoka and my place on the Muskoka River for a small city beside Toronto, right beside a nuclear reactor.

Shortly after I moved in, two of the reactors at the station were shut down and Greenpeace called it the beginning of the end for nuclear power in Ontario.

Walking through the reclaimed wetlands area beside the nuclear generating station, I discovered the wind turbine beside the Pickering power plant is the largest one in North America.

I see these as very positive signs.

After I moved from Muskoka to southern Ontario, I created several gardens with a friend of mine who found a place beside the forest in the hills just north of the city. There is a mind-boggling amount of real estate development happening in this area but environmentalists fought for -- and won -- the protection of these hills that have the headwaters of several rivers feeding the Greater Toronto Area.

Working in our organic gardens and building a fieldstone wall for a new terraced garden we call Machu Pichu makes me feel more and more grounded.

Putting those gardens to bed for the winter has also been a very earthy experience. I had never bought a bale of straw or a load of manure before. Covering the gardens with a blanket of straw and fertilizer made me feel more attuned to the seasons than ever before.

We use Reiki while we garden, sending energy into the stones in the wall and every flower or shrub we transplant. We call it garden Reiki.

The mugwort bush is doing particularly well.

Planning a winter garden, to add shapes and colour to the snowy landscape, was also a good experience. Red raspberry canes will look good all winter long.

Just when I was feeling very good about life on the planet, especially in this region where I now live, we discovered the forest was being invaded by pine shoot beetles. Parts of the forest were clear-cut, to quarantine the destructive little insect. Yes, a beetle that tries to steal Christmas is attacking the Great Lakes region of the USA and Canada and it is not related to John, Paul, George, and Ringo, or The Grinch.

The pine shoot beetle was first found in Christmas trees in Ohio a decade ago. Stopping the spread of this beetle has led to the clear-cutting of sections of forest in Ontario and spraying with methyl bromide in the north eastern U.S.A..

Thousands of trees have been destroyed in an effort to prevent the spread of the beetles, which have few local predators or diseases to kill them.

Quarantines to control the beetle hit Christmas tree plantations the hardest.

The common pine shoot beetle - Tomicus piniperda - is known as The Beetle That Tries To Steal Christmas because it was first discovered in a Christmas tree plantation and it has done the most serious damage in commercial pine tree plantations.

I didn't panic when I heard about the beetles who kill Christmas trees. I didn't even freak out when I got the news about the tsunami and the hurricaines.

This has been called the season of unprecedented natural disasters.

At the same time, a good news story about the level of warfare on the planet made it to page one of our national newspaper. Apparently, despite all the news about international terrorism, this is the most peaceful period on the planet in over a decade.

My new age friends who do past life work and future healing frequently talk about life on the planet six hundred years or so from now. They predict a major cataclysm for the planet, with wild weather caused by pollution, warfare, and the squandering of natural resources, but they also say the survivors of that future period will live in a place that sounds a lot like heaven on earth.

They say all the survivors will be getting back into the garden.

I'm not too focused on the next millenium. I'm happy drinking mugwort tea and using the garden Reiki at home, right here and now.

Martin Avery, B.A., B.Ed., M.F.A., A.Q. Drama, CISH, Reiki Master, Quantum-Touch Practitioner, of Soul Guides & Spirit Mates. He is an author, educator, and healer. An amateur gardener and cook but a professional writer, photographer, and workshop facilitator. He's also behind The Great Canadian Winter Novel Marathon in February. Feel free to visit his website.

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