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To Heal the Earth’s Heart


Fifty-six degrees, and not a snowflake in sight.

On this penultimate day of the calendar year, our world here is wildly out of balance.

This is no mere cold, no opportunistic infection, no bump or bruise; this is serious systemic illness, the Earth’s equivalent of severe and widespread cardiovascular disease. Her very heart is wounded, her lifeblood at a low ebb, breath short and strained and other organs increasingly at risk. Like any living organism, her growth depends on a healthy heart; without it, life withers and eventually dies.

We are now watching the atrophy occur in real time.

Scientists estimate that the current extinction rate, just for animal species, ranges from 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than what is known as the “background extinction rate” (i.e., that which would occur naturally were it not for the influences and effects of human activity). At the lowest estimate, that means that some 200 species are now going extinct every year. If the upper estimates are correct, however, Mother Earth is losing, permanently, more than 100,000 of her children, more than 100,000 separate species, per year.

Losses of such magnitude are enough to break any mother’s heart.

But the earth is mother to us all, and it is our obligation to restore her to health and harmony, to heal her heartbreak in both metaphorical and starkly literal terms. Because, as the description of today’s featured work notes, from the heart of the earth our whole world grows — and we, her human children, with it. It’s one of my favorites among Wings’s more recent works, as much for what it represents as the form and shape in which it manifests. From its description in the Necklaces Gallery here on the site:

From the Heart of the Earth Necklace

From the heart of the earth our whole world grows. Wings pays tribute to this evolutionary process with this necklace, a cross that is not a cross, but the embodiment of elemental forces and nurturing spirits. The pendant’s form is a very old design, one that circumvented colonial insistence on Christianity by appearing to adopt its four-spoked shape — and then adding an extra bar and a curving end to produce the form of a much older spirit: that of Dragonfly, a pollinator, a messenger, a symbol of romantic love and life’s abundance. Here, Wings has honored another old adaptation of the style, turning the curved tail at the base of the lowest spoke into a stylized heart. Above the heart, the pendant extends upward and outward to the Four Sacred Directions, each of the remaining five spokes stamped with a single thunderhead symbol pointing inward toward the center, a sign of the rain that keeps our Earth herself alive. Above the top spoke, the hand-made bail flowers into a lush green peridot; at the base in the center of the heart, the place of emergence, two tiny hand-stamped flowers are wedded into the form of a butterfly, a small spirit rising from its own place of emergence to continue the processes of pollination and prosperity. The cross is made of solid fourteen-gauge silver, and hangs 2-5/8″, the bail 3/4″ (the pendant is 3-3/8″ in total length; 1-1/8″ across at the widest point); the stone is 3/8″ long; the pendant hangs from an 18″ sterling silver snake chain (dimensions approximate).

Sterling silver; peridot
$1,150 + shipping, handling, and insurance


The task facing us in the coming year is more than monumental: Indeed, its magnitude defies human comprehension. None of us can take it on in whole; the best we can hope for is to identify individual spaces in which to contribute our own work, our own stewardship and restoration, our own contributions to her healing.

Envisioning the task as one of healing a broken heart — broken both by illness and loss, by injury and grief — is perhaps a starting point. We have passed several tipping points, and the scope and scale of the threat is near beyond imagining. If, in the new year, we each can identify a way to mend a single fracture, prevent a single loss, and then act upon it, restoring Mother Earth to health becomes possible.

Because here, at least, this winter’s missing weather has made it clear: We stand at a threshold, teeter on another tipping point. Our task for the year to come is likewise clear. This is a time to heal the Earth’s heart . . . and with it, ourselves.

~ Aji








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