The following process is accurate for Earthlands, nr Petersham Massachusetts. It needs to be modified with the geological details of the top 20 to 50 miles of wherever it is to be used.

Richard W. Ely

Those of us who follow Earth-centered spiritual paths need to have a scientific as well as a spiritual understanding of our planet, for Earth
is our sacred text, and we should know how to read it both ways. I am fortunate in being both a professional geologist and a priest of Gaea.

Most ritual circles that I attend include a grounding to establish an energetic connection with the Earth. Groundings are, in principle, a Good Thing, but I sometimes find my inner critic is so aroused by the uninformed, vaporous imaginings of what lies beneath our feet that I must tune out the words out and do my own grounding. In self defense, I offer this basic outline of Earth's inner anatomy.

The deep structure of the Earth has been investigated primarily using seismic waves, The solid Earth has three primary subdivisions These are the crust, the mantle and the core.

The information I am providing is not 'cast in stone' so to speak, but rather a middle-of-the-road view of current geologic knowledge.

The crust extends down to a depth 20-40 miles under most continents. Continental crust is essentially a low-density slag that has been exuded from Earth's mantle and is enriched in silicon, aluminum, oxygen and heat-producing radioactive elements. The continents float on the underlying, dense mantle. The oldest portions of the continents have deep keels that extend down to depths of 150 to 250 miles which have persisted for over a billion years.

Deep Geology of Earthlands, Massachusetts
John Seed, Bill Pfeiffer with geological grounding from Warren Johannson, retired professor of geology.

The history of the land we are standing on is as old as the stars but to make the story a little shorter we'll start from 600 million years ago. It was at this time that only 2 great continents inhabited Mother Earth, or could we say Mother Ocean. These two great continents started to move towards one another VERY SLOWLY but with tremendous intent. Quite remarkably, Central New England, of which Petersham is close to the center, lies on the very southern edge of the northern continent named Laurentia. Laurentia is composed of what is now North America and Asia. To the south lay Gondwanda, of which present day South America, Africa, and Australia were born. It took 200-250 million years for these two huge continents, Gondwanda and Laurentia to form a mighty embrace. It was here on the Northeast Coast (of what we call the US) that the collision of ancestral North America and fragments of ancestral Europe formed Pangaia, a supercontinent that included almost all of Earth’s present-day continents.

The pressure of the passionate volcanic embrace of Gondwanda and Laurentia created mountains laden with granite as high as the Himalayas along the suture line where the continents colided. 50 million years later Pangaea started to breakup and move on. Today we are standing on the roots of those mountains, volcanic and igneous rocks 700 million years or more old that once were part of Europe. We are close to the suture. These mountains have eroded to form the present topography but part of them is the coast of West Africa.

( What a love story!)

The part of Pangaia that became eastern North America is what is called the Alleghanian orogeny. The Boston area was then a small sedimentary basin with the ancestral Appalachian Mountains. The coal beds that accumulated in that basin have now been cooked into graphite.

225 million years ago when the Atlantic Ocean began to open and present-day Europe separated from North America, a fragment of Europe was left behind, land that geologists call Avalon. It includes all of Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The basal portion of the mantle, about 200 kilometers thick and overlies the liquid metal of the outer core. Recent studies have revealed parts of it to be a graveyard of sunken slabs of oceanic lithosphere that have slowly drifted down through the mantle to come to rest on the liquid core. These slabs have piled up to form anti-continents that are the opposites of the ones we dwell upon, having sunk to the bottom of the mantle instead of floating on top.

Earth's core has a radius of 2000 miles It is thought to be about 90 percent metallic iron, 9 percent nickel, and 1 percent sulfur and other nonmetallic elements. The outer core is known to be molten, and is believed to flow in huge convection cells that are an important part of the geodynamo that generates Earth's magnetic field.

The inner core is crystalline iron, with a radius of 800 miles many geophysicists believe the inner core is a single gigantic crystal of iron. Talk about your crystal magic, Mama's got a big one. Seismologists identify a slow eastward motion such that the core rotates once every 400 years relative to Earth's surface.

Now imagine roots growing from your heart down thru your body, thru the rich topsoil teeming with life (pause) and into the glacial till and post-glacial alluvium. pieces of Canada, Maine and New Hampshire jumbled together in a chaotic mess. Feel the ice 200 feet down feel how the ground remembers the ice, it’s cooler than
had the ice never been there. (pause)

Further down we reach the granite and igneous rocks of the mighty colliusion of continents described earlier.

Let your roots sink down through these rocks, 20 miles down highly metamorphosed rocks of the lower crust and another 30 miles or so to the viscous rock of the asthenosphere and then to pass into the hotter, more viscous rocks of the upper mantle. (pause) The temperature is around 900 degrees F, see the red glow of these rocks, feel their density, garnet and olivine make up much of the rock. The rocks grow hotter and softer as your energy and awareness descends, and at the depth of several tens of miles they are hot enough to glow with a red Hadean light. Sink your roots deeper and deeper, eventually at a depth of about 80 miles we come to the base of the North American plate and enter the soft rocks of the asthenosphere, the layer upon which North America slides as it drifts westward. (pause)

Sink downward through Earth's mantle for hundreds and hundreds of miles into hotter, denser rocks that glow yellow, then white, coming at last to Tartarus at the base of the mantle, the shadow realm where the old Gods were banished. This is the land where sunken anti-continents of dense refractory minerals float on liquid metal underneath a silicate sky; bordered by seas of magma from which rise 2,000-mile columns of molten rock, connecting that shadow realm with ours. These rocks grow ever hotter but do not melt because of the immense weight of the rocks above. Slowly, a few inches a year, the mantle flows, stirred by the heat of radioactive decay. Molten rocks of the nickel-iron core are at 2000 miles, with a great body of crystallized iron at its center, the crystalline heart of Mother Earth. Bind your energy to this great crystal, and honor it as Mother's heart.

Here, at the very heart of the Earth, a gift waits for each of us. A gift of empowerment, a gift of vision and direction about the role that we might play in serving this Earth out of which we are formed, where every atom of our body was made and woven into this present incarnation. (Pause here for a couple minutes to give people a chance to collect this gift)

Now, return up the path you descended, leaving behind a cord of energy that keeps you connected to the heart of Mother Earth.

Passing through the liquid metal skin of Her crystalline heart .... through the glowing basement rock .... granite and igneous rocks crust .... graphite …. Glacial debris …. through the topsoil ... coming at last to your own body, centered in your heart.

Find a partner and take a couple minutes each to share what you experienced, any observations or insights.