Earthworm - Regeneration
Groundskeeper. Gardening and the gardener. Earth protection. Nourishing the earth / nourishment from the earth. Earth wisdom. Respect for water sources. Nourishment from the night. Environmentalism and pollution. Reparation. Miraculous regeneration. Healing. Growth. The dirty work. Androgyny.
Earthworms have long, segmented, cylindrical bodies and no legs. They live underground, ingesting organic matter in the soil by consuming soil. The castes they leave behind are considered a healthy form of natural fertiliser and food for other creatures. Earthworms also aerate and move soil, thought to be helpful for gardens and forest. They are sensitive to changes in the chemical structure of the soil, so their absence or presence can indicate how polluted and/or healthy soil is.
Earthworms absorb all the oxygen they need through their skin, if they dry out they will die of suffocation. They cannot hear, but are sensitive to vibration. Earthworms are hermaphrodites, possessing male and female organs. The Giant Gippsland earthworm, endemic to Australia, is the world's largest earthworm with lengths of over 3 metres being recorded. They are so loud that you can hear them gurgling underneath the earth, and are endangered.
Lessons and Challenges:
The earthworm is the spiritual groundskeeper. In real life it both nourishes the earth and takes nourishment from the earth. As a guide, it says that through interacting - literally - with the soil and earth around you, you will find nourishment, and in turn nourish.
Earthworm asks you to engage in some form of gardening, and to take on the role of gardener. If you don't have any 'garden,' consider joining a local nature reserve protection group and see if they rehabilitate the land directly through the weeding of feral plants and through the re-introduction of natives. If you do have a garden or a small plot of land, turn it into something that nourishes you. This doesn't mean turn it into a veggie plot. It could indicate turning it into a small haven of native plants, or plants that you love. Remember to enrich the soil, and if you have the room, consider starting a worm farm.
It's time to do the dirty work. If you do it already, then there is emphasis on its healing nature in your life at this time. If you're not used to getting your hands dirty, it's time to do so! This may mean literally through gardening, or for example, in a business setting, by stopping delegating and actually doing the work reserved for the lower eschelons and seeing that their work is just as valid as yours, and - when earthworm is around - very nourishing.
Earthworm reminds us to have respect for our water sources, and to use recycled water if we can. It is important to be mindful of how little fresh water is available on the earth, and to respect our source of clean fresh water (if we have that access). Water not only nourishes us, but every other creature on this earth, and the earth itself. Remember its vast and wide-reaching value.
In continuance from above, earthworm signals it's time to foster an increased awareness in environmentalism and pollution. It is time to start seeing exactly how we pollute the land and the waters, and look at ways that we can constructively and realistically begin to counter this. The steps you take need only be small ones, because small steps are better than none at all. Even earthworm only cleans the earth by millimeters, centimeters, inches. Through its collective effort, it cleans the land.
It is possible, at this point, to take nourishment from the night itself. As earthworm energy is particularly strong at night-time, consider taking time to think about the earth, or to do rituals with earthworm at night.
Earthworm draws attention to the theme of androgyny, and suggests that at this time, it's worth throwing away strict gender dichotomies. In other words, try seeing past stereotypical ideas of what is 'female' and what is 'male.' Sometimes it isn't helpful to have fixed ideas of gender, and earthworm is drawing your attention to this, at this time.
There is a theme of miraculous regeneration, and it may be at this time that you have reached a turning point in your healing, or that you are witnessing miraculous healing in others. The energy of earthworm is one that heals when all others have given up on healing. It repairs when few other energies are capable of doing so. If you are having problems healing from any ailments right now, call upon earthworm energy and work with it, to see where it's possible to regenerate not just the ill body, but also the unhealthy spirit or mind.
There is strong focus on the earth itself. Both the wisdom contained in the earth as element, and the literal 'earth.' Take time to commune with the element of earth. Consider invoking it in meditation or visualisation, sit by it and touch it with your hand and see if you can feel the energies of the other plants and animals around you that also depend upon it. The wisdom of the earth is vast, sometimes even overwhelming, but if you take it into your life at this time, earthworm knows it will help you.
The Shadow Aspects:
If you have a problem with earthworm, you may have problems with the concept of 'getting your hands dirty.' This can be a literal or symbolic problem. You may literally fear or dislike dirt and germs - and while hygiene is important - earthworm teaches that exposing ourselves to dirt and grime can be beneficial to our immune system and help us to remain grounded. On a symbolic level, earthworm confronts our fear or dislike of doing jobs that may be considered 'dirty work.' Earthworm helps us to confront this, so that we may come to understand the healthy or helpful role that all forms of 'dirt' can have in our lives.
You may also have a fear or dislike of the earth, the ground, and nature. You may not see the point in gardening or having a garden, you may be unconcerned about environmentalism, even 'annoyed' with how fanatical others can be about it and how this can impact upon your life. You may also simply be disinterested in nature and your connection to it. Earthworm confronts these issues as a shadow energy, to eventually help you to acknowledge nature and its fundamental role in your life.
Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Earthworm is a friendly, and even gregarious energy (though it depends on the species… so far I've been impressed with my encounters with those I've visited or who have visited me). Earthworms show themselves in the earth, and sadly, on footpaths, after rains. If you do see them on a footpath, take the time to put them back on or in dirt to increase their chances of survival.
Earthworm appreciates offerings of water and compost. Add it directly to the earth, and earthworm will eventually will receive it on its wanderings. Earthworm can be a vocal guide, and also a very helpful guide (i.e. doesn't go overboard in cryptic messages). Earthworm also has a lot of emotional nourishment and support to offer, and can be a very comforting guide for those who are looking for more love and reassurance. In general, I feel that earthworm is an excellent guide for beginners to animal energy work.