by Eshana (Elizabeth Bragg, PhD) from Selected writings by Eshana

[A BRETH workshop is coming up soon - see

In mid-winter 1992, I attended a Re-Earthing workshop co-facilitated by John Seed, Julius Bertok, Kave and Inanna. We were cradled in a beautiful venue called 'Heaven's Door' on the top of a forested hill, in the shadow of Mount Warning in Northern New South Wales. Sixteen of us spent four days using holotropic breath (the same breath used in re-birthing) to heal ourselves and our connection with the Earth.

I began one morning's session with the intention "I surrender to Goddess Earth. I hear Her voice and give voice to my own." I drew a picture of a voluptuous earth-red Goddess, with a glowing rose-red heart chakra. She emitted soft purple, orange and fluorescent-green energies.

As I began to breathe continuously, images of mothering and nurturing emerged. I was Demeter. I was kneading bread, soft white dough with beautiful resistance. I kneaded and kneaded until it was just right and folded the edges under and set the dough before me in the sun to rise. And then it became an infant in my belly. A beautiful white infant at my breast. I hugged it to my heart and cried and cried. "Don't take my baby from me! Give me back my baby!" I was the barren Earth. Unable to have more children. My progeny ripped from my breast.

And then I became the infant inside my womb. Inside the womb of Mother Earth. I was white and could feel the proportions of my head to body, my shoulders hunched up, my hands before my face. I could feel the elastic pressure of the walls of the womb tight around me. This was my Mother. This was the Earth. Dark, red, tight, brown. "I know what I have to do when I get out of here!" I thought. "I KNOW what I have to do when I get out of here!" I thought. Impatient, pushing to get out. And "I haven't had enough nurturing! I'm NOT READY to leave!" Conflict. Pressure. I stayed there, experiencing enormous pressure in all directions. Stuck.

And then I became a seed. Relief. I realised that I could stay in the earth as long as I needed to. I stayed there, feeling the reassuring weight of soil above me. Earth all around me. The solidity of the Earth below me. I breathed and rested. At some point, I began to feel the desire to extend the base of my spine into the earth. Energy streamed slowly and intensely through my tail-bone into the ground. This root burrowed deeper and deeper. My arms also needed to reach down into the earth. One arm slowly disappeared into the ground, followed soon by the other. They became two strong dark-brown roots reaching down strongly. Other reddish roots sprang from these, and finally a dense matt of delicate white capillaries formed in the earth below me. This became a red throbbing Earth-placenta. I rested here. Absorbing nutrients. Love. Earth-love.

After a while, I felt an urge in my lower back to begin to extend upwards. It wanted to uncurl. The strong fleshy green stem, just forming, was white-burning to unfurl. Immense pressure from the earth above me. Weight. Pleasant. Requiring ALL my strength. I push and wait. Re-connecting with the placenta, my nurturing roots in Mother Earth. Push and wait. Weight. Exactly right. Push and weight. I found myself uncurling, pushing my way through the rich dark-brown soil. And finally, I felt my two strong fresh green cotyledons rise through the soil and into the air. Slowly they stretched out wide into the sunlight. And OH! it was Raining! Blissful rain! And the sun was shining! Beautiful sun! Nurturing energy coming from above as well as below! I basked in the beauty and the grace of the wonders of existence on this planet. Life! Earth-life!

And I began to grow. To play. Exploring directions and shapes. Dancing with the sun, the wind. Climbing. Growing. Expanding. Covering a huge area.

And then I felt my energies centre themselves once more. Contracting, gathering, concentrating into one point. My arms crossed in front of me, my fingers faced the sky forming the spent remnants of a flower. A fruit began to form. Swelling purple and red flesh with big black seeds. I could feel the energies, juices concentrating in my belly, my solar plexus. Ripening ripening juicier and juicier sweeter and sweeter plumper and plumper. Pressure was building inside my green skin and my arms were round above my head, my hands finding it more and more difficult to hold each other together. And the weather turned colder and I realised I needed to focus my energies within myself. No more nurturing would come from outside. I focussed on the heat, the life, the light within. And my skin dried slightly, contracted, became brittle. I BURST open!! Flinging black shiny seeds far and wide.

And then I sat quietly. Spent. My body brown and twiggy. Feeling a kind of peace never felt before. "My work is done." I sat upright, wise and old, and realised that I now could give without giving of myself. I looked around me and noticed that the black seeds had begun to sprout their own green cotyledons. I sighed. "And I am here for them. My wisdom is freely shared." Energy flowed through my downstretched fingers like an ancient priestess. I felt tall and woody. Powerful. Wise. At peace.

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Selected writings by Eshana]