The Metaphysical Energy of Oil: Earth my Body, Oil my Blood?

Standing on the Walton-Okaloosa county line in a hazy sunset, looking out across the Midbay Bridge toward Okaloosa Island and Destin.  This is Choctawhatchee Bay, which the local county is trying to block oil from getting into and destroying.  Camera phone photo, copyright by Lorna Tedder; all rights reserved.

I’ve spent so much of the past month concerned about the effects of the Gulf Oil spill on my allergies and asthma that i didn’t notice the shift in the “energy” in the coastal environment where I live.

Since I first smelled the wind-driven, gagging, petroleum smell from the controlled burns in the Gulf of Mexico on the evening of 19 May 2010, I’ve been more concerned with managing to hold my breath while I run between the car and my house or the car and my office.  It was intermittent at first, once every week for a day or two, but as of this week, it’s constant and I cannot exercise outdoors,  walk through my garden, wash the car in the driveway.  It’s a struggle to take the trash to the curb or get the mail without finding my air supply cut off by the first hint of fumes in my throat.

Still, I missed something–the metaphysical changes in the Gulf Coast area over the past 2 months since the BP oil spill and Deepwater Horizon. 

Once a month, my spiritual circle meets at my house, which is about 5 miles inland, and my guests come from as close as two blocks away to as far away as 25+ miles inland.  At our June “Sunday Night Gathering,” some of my guests noted the same strong smell in the air, as well as a haze.  Then one of them commented on being able to “feel” the oil in the air, and I realized, yes, it’s true.  Some of us who sense energy shifts do feel the oil, not just as a haze or stench but in the metaphysical sense.

It is heavy here.  Not so much greasy as suffocating.  There are no better words for me to tag the feeling of it except heavy and suffocating.  I think that says it all.  It’s an image of tar blanketing our faces and bodies and cutting off the breath of life.

If you’re unaccustomed to thinking about locations in the “energetic” sense, let’s try a different example that might be better understood.  Every location has a different “energy.”  I’ve travelled the States extensively in my career, before limiting travel due to child custody issues, and every city I’ve visited has its own energy…what some might call a personality but more than that.  By “energy,” I mean also a spiritual aspect to the location’s personality.

Though I live near the beach–formerly a perk of where my career landed me–I love the mountains.  If you’ve driven the Blue Ridge Parkway, you might have noticed the powerful energy there.  It’s ancient and fresh at the same time.  You feel the freshness of heaven there even before you lower your car windows and taste the clouds hanging in the air  around you.

Gettysburg, where I’ve visited twice, makes me physically ill as soon as I hit the battlefield perimeter.  I mean violently ill.   I feel the fear and death all around, and the museum full of sweetheart’s photos and broken spectacles taken from those who died there sings to me of longing for home and loved ones never to be seen again.  It’s an empath’s nightmare.

After Hurricane Katrina, I could not go back to New Orleans. What had been relaxed, easy, and a little exotic suddenly felt as if the ground itself had been poisoned.   I’ve also declined to visit Ground Zero while in New York City and I won’t return to The Alamo either.    On the other hand,  while visiting the United Kingdom, the guide pointed out the Black Mountains as our bus headed back toward London.  One glimpse of them and I had the deepest yearning to go there that I have ever had in my life for any place.  I could not explain it but the energy of that place, growing smaller in the distance, touched something in me that I hadn’t known was there.

My guest was correct when he noted the change in the energy, that you could feel something different in the air beyond the obvious smell or the resignation and anger of the local residents.  The oil here has had an energetic impact, a spiritual impact on this location.

I know that oil, not just gas, has become a mainstay in our lives and that we as a species have contaminated our planet and our bodies with petrochemicals. I know that the computer I’m typing on was made with oil and that the clothes I’m wearing were made with oil. I know that the shampoo bottle in my bathroom was made with oil, right down to the adhesive labels.  I know that oil is pervasive in every aspect of our lives.  Yet energetically, the sheer magnitude of the oil spill feels as if it’s contaminating life in a much bigger way.  The energy is shifting that way and the personality of this entire place is on the brink of change, and not just wildlife.  It feels poisoned.  Contaminated.

It feels as if we are changing the very elements of what we are.

The next time we gather at a festival and chant that familiar song, will it still be

Earth, my body;

Water, my blood;

Air, my breath;

And fire, my spirit?

Or will it be

Earth, my body;

Oil, my blood…?