Have you ever thought of our planet as your partner?
How about as your erotic partner?
Two West Coast artists, co-authors of the Ecosex Manifesto, are advocating for just that:
“We’re changing the metaphor from ‘Earth as Mother’ to ‘Earth as Lover.'”
From this perspective, instead of viewing nature as an enemy force to be dominated, or the Earth as a mother that will take care of us forever, we come to see the “Earth as Lover” in an equal partnership with ourselves.
As an environmental activist strategy, their hope is that such a shift in cultural perception will create a more mutual, sustainable and loving relationship between humans and the Earth.
If we love Earth so much, why don’t we marry it?
In this Green Divas Eco Sexy episode, I talked to Green Diva Meg about folks who have actually married their “lover earth.” Listen up then read on for more…
In case you doubted their commitment, Annie Sprinkle—an internationally renowned feminist media artist— and her partner, Elizabeth Stephens—an environmental activist, filmmaker and art professor—began staging interactive performance art weddings in 2005. The couple originally planned a seven-year performance art wedding project in response to the anti-gay marriage movement and being prevented from marrying in California. However, in 2008, they extended these weddings to include the Earth.
Sprinkle and Stephens invited people to collaborate and join them in their vow to love, honor and cherish the Earth until death brings us closer together forever. Since then, they have performed marriage ceremonies to various nature entities in a series of rather elaborate and colorful ecosex weddings. Along with the Earth, they have produced international weddings to the Sky, Sea, Moon, Appalachian Mountains, Snow, Coal, Rocks, Sun and Soil. Through their art, they seek to instill hope while exploring serious issues. Together they aim to make the environmental movement a little more sexy, fun and diverse.
Something old, something new…
This actually isn’t a new concept, but a call back to an old tradition. On the Italian peninsula, a “Marriage of the Sea” ceremony symbolically wedded the city of Venice to the Adriatic Sea every year on Ascension Day. The practice dates back to the year 1000, with the Pope eventually casting a ring from the state barge into the sea as a nuptial. Each year, the Sea was proclaimed to be the bride of Venice, symbolizing intimacy with, dependence on and domination of the Sea.
More recently, Italian native, author and professor Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio (aka SerenaGaia) invited others to marry the beach with her at her home in the Caribbean. She describes this wedding as an official expression of connection to an ecosystem that nourishes and supports her, like a loving partner.
In Latin America, popular Peruvian actor, artist and environmental activist, Richard Torres has married trees on three occasions—in Colombia, Argentina and Peru. Similarly, he hopes to bring attention to human-made environmental troubles of the world and to persuade people to “commit to nature and stop destroying it.”
Still, some people may be more comfortable with seeing the Earth as a sibling. And, if that’s what works to engage them (or you) in a more mutual, sustainable and loving partnership with our planet, then that’s okay, too.
What do you think of having a lover Earth?
Images via Shutterstock