Eartha's Children

An Eco-myth by Yeye Luisah Teish

"All right kids! she said, pinching Her third eye. They were fussing and calling each other ugly names. "Stop it!" 

She'd enjoyed a great sense of accomplishment in birthing such a beautiful variety of Beings. 

It took several million years for them to learn that they all came from Her, Our Mother. But now some of these kids imagined themselves superior to Her other children because of silly things such as skin color, hair texture, and the space between their legs. “Try to behave now." 

The boys fought in hand-to-hand combat, sometimes using clubs, knives, and bow and arrows. They built walls to separate themselves from each other. But just as quickly, they knocked those walls down with elephants, invaded each other's spaces on horseback, and stole away with the booty of war, spices, gold, and women trapped between the humps on a camel's back. 

"Boys, you need to settle down out there." 

"Aw, Mom, we're just playing a war game." 

She bit her lips and shook Her head as flecks of copper fell from the curls in Her nappy hair. I can’t let boys drive me crazy. 

Those boys loved to fight over their imaginary Friend. Their battle cry rang in Her ears: "My god's bigger than your god; my god's bigger than yours." "Can't y'all find something better to do? ‘War Zone’ is a tired old game." 

She told them to "play nice now." So they harnessed the light of the Sun and grew crops for barter and sale. They began to build roads; to create machines that flew through the air and roamed the seas.

At first, She was pleased that they had learned to make these toys. But they felled the trees in the Ancient Forests and hunted Her beautiful animals almost to extinction. Soon their playthings produced a gray cloud of poison that filled the sky. The creatures in the Ocean, trapped in nets and plastic, cried out in pain. She too cried out as they pierced Her body and drained the black blood from her veins.

"Aw, Mom, climate change ain't nothing. Who needs them icebergs anyway?” She doubled over from the pain in Her belly and screamed "Shut up, boy!" She stomped Her feet and that command set an earthquake in motion; a volcano erupted and a Tsunami followed. 

"I'm gonna ask y'all one more time to put down those weapons and stop fussing.”

Only a few of them obeyed Her request. 

She pondered the question, "What will it take to make them change?" At that moment a crack in the calabash of the world ran around the equator. She opened Her mouth as a bit of matter rolled down her tongue and fell at Her feet. She picked the curious thing up and examined it closely. The inscription read “Crown of Change.”

She placed the crown upon Her head and a surge of Power moved through Her. 

"Now hear this: I am Your Mother, Your Queen, and Your Salvation. GO TO YOUR ROOM," she commanded in a booming voice.

The children were taken aback by the thunder in Her voice. 

"Get in there and clean up the mess you've made. Put away those weapons of mass destruction. Take out the trash of fear, hatred, and greed. 

“Cover your faces and wash your hands. 

“Go into the silence, the stillness within. There you will find your birthright, your humanity, and my Love. 

“Do your homework, children. Practice humility and respect." 

She turned away from them with the crown half-cocked on Her head. The children stared at Her back, afraid of what She would do next. She looked over Her shoulder and lightning flashed in Her eyes. "Don't make me repeat myself." 

A chorus of voices answered in many languages "Yes, ma’am." 

(Note: It was by obedience to this command that the Children were saved) 

In praise to Oya, Queen of the Winds of Change. 


Watch Luisah relate a profound experience in this 6-minute video:
The Story of the Old Woman Who Gave Us $9

Click below to watch Luisah’s interview in Catalyst:
Yeye Luisah Teish on Storytelling, the Global Impact of Black Panther, and Expressing Your Creative Gifts

Click below to read Luisah’s article in Catalyst:
Joy Beyond Reason

Click below to read Luisah’s Eco-myth in Catalyst:
Eartha’s Children


Yeye Luisah Teish is the author of Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals. She co-authored On Holy Ground: Commitment and Devotion to Sacred Land with Kahuna Leilani Birely. Her latest work is Spirit Revealing, Color Healing: A Creative and Soulful Journey.

Luisah offers online classes in the Elements of Ritual and Casting Lots Divination. She is a co-teacher in the Afro-botany immersion class online, and the annual conference in Costa Rica. She also created the video series "At the Crossroads: Finding Your Life Purpose."

She is a storyteller-writer, an artist-activist, and spiritual guidance counselor. She is an initiated elder (Iyanifa) in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of the West African Diaspora and she offers healing services such as divinations to determine the source of disease or dysfunction, purifications to remove negative energies, and rituals of empowerment. She also uses mytho-synthesis and spiritual enactments to help people embody their guiding archetypes.

Luisah is internationally known as a conference weaver, workshop facilitator, performance artist, and ritual theater director. She designs spiritual self-health guidance programs for individuals, families, and groups. She conducts a weekend intensive "UnCommon Kinship: Cultivating Community Across Diverse Lines" for professionals whose clients are from a different culture. The workshop includes exercises and practices to prevent compassion fatigue. She serves as an advisor to the Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth group.

Luisah has contributed to 35 anthologies and has written numerous movie, play, and book reviews. She has submitted artworks to the Coreopsis Journal of Art and Ritual; published an article in Cascadia Subduction Zone (a literary quarterly of speculative fiction), and has interviews in magazines such as Essence, Ms., Shaman’s Drum, and Yoga Journal.

Click here to visit Luisah’s website. Click here to visit her Facebook page.

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This article appears in: 2020 Catalyst, Issue 8: Navigating the Shutdown