In the totality of Grandmother Earth there are four categories or “Worlds” as we call them. They correspond to the four directions. In our tradition, we often speak of these worlds as “children” or “people.” Though different in nature from humans, we relate to them with equal respect and honor. As varying forms of life, we are all children of Grandmother Earth, all manifestations of the creation of all substance form. Each of the Worlds carries and manifests energy within its own unique expression.
The Plant World sits in the south and are the Givers of Energy. the Plants as the givers of energy. What it means for the plants to be givers is that their gift, their essence of being-ness as a plant is to give. They give nourishment, shelter, beauty, inspiration and most importantly through the photosynthesis, the oxygen we breath, our breath of life. Plants teach unconditional giving. You don’t find a plant trying to decide who it will give air to today according to its likes or dislikes. Through its being-ness, it simply gives.
In the West is the Mineral World, who are the Holders of energy. The saying goes, that “within one grain of sand lies the entire Universe.” It is from the Mineral World that plants are born, so we might say that what is “held” is the potential for life. The Mineral World teaches us that substance is primarily a container, a vessel for spirit. The Mineral World is thus like our physical body.
Sitting in the North are the Animals as the receivers of energy. Their gift is teaching us how to receive. Knowing how animals are receivers is probably most easily understood by those of you who have pets. You will recall the times when you were sick or just “blue” and your pet came to curl up beside you and “made you feel better.” Animals will take on the energy of their human companion. Often people will say the pet looks like or acts like their caretaker.
The fourth World consists of Humans as the determiners of energy. Among all the creatures, it is only the humans who were created with free will, an agency of choice and self-determination. It is also only the humans who have the genitalia for experiencing full body orgasm at will. These two features distinguish us from the other Worlds. We determine our own reality and with this comes authority, responsibility, and power. It is our choice whether we exercise these in beauty and re-creation or in pain and destruction.
Remember we said wherever you have four, you also have five. So with the four Worlds is the fifth World: In the center of all Worlds is the World of Spirit, the catalyzer of all energy. All forms of life have “spirit” (manitou): they have life force energy, which we call the catalyst, pulsing through their form.