Oh Mother, Oh Earth: A Song

About Sylvia 

Sylvia V. Linsteadt is a writer & artist whose work is rooted in myth, ecology, feminism & California bioregionalism. Her latest book, Our Lady of the Dark Countryis a collection of short stories, poems & a novella that explore earth's magic and ancient feminine myths. Her first novel, Tatterdemalionis a post-apocalyptic folktale cycle created with English painter Rima Staines. She has also written two books of non-fiction, the most recent of which is a collection of local histories titled Lost Worlds of the San Francisco Bay Area. 

 

She lives on the Point Reyes Peninsula with her husband. When Sylvia isn't writing in her studio in the bishop pine forest, she can be found studying animal tracks out on the dunes, pouring over a slightly overwhelming number of texts on the ancient world after drinking too much strong black tea, making natural dye vats and spinning skeins of yarn, and dancing. (Hopefully not all at once.) 

Sylvia can be reached at grayfoxepistles <at> gmail.com

This song literally fell into my head when I was walking up the hill through the pine wood from my studio to our yurt one day last November. I haven't ever had a song fall into my head this way; it felt like it just plopped down with a bit of mist from a tree, and I rushed inside to write it down. Now it feels to me like a song for all of us in these times, a prayer and an invocation to the earth, to the ancient feminine forces long silenced. Here are the words. This song is yours as much as mine. Sing it to the ground and trees, share it with your friends and family. I hope it will nourish you as it nourishes me. 

Oh Mother, oh Earth

Give us the strength to make this birth

Oh mountain, Oh sky

Holy the serpent and holy the eye.

We are your daughters, and we are your sons

May we have the courage to become

Keepers of caverns

And tenders of seeds

We stand in a circle in your time of need

Oh Mother, Oh Earth

We kneel at your rivers

We dance at your hearth

We are your daughters, and we are your sons

May we have the courage to become

Seekers of caverns

And mothers of seeds

Ask any serpent how to be

Oh Mother, Oh Earth

May we have the strength

To make this birth