Mother Earth is referenced repeatedly by fellow tribesmen and although I couldn't put my finger on the difference, I knew Mother Earth did not correlate or equate to "Mother Nature." In a recent conversation, my uncle stated unequivocally that Native American tribal history has a greater handle on spiritual truth than most of mainstream white American Christianity and he's right! That's not to say, we tribal folk have not been sidetracked, distracted, and flat out taken wrong detours, but there is more than just a thread of truth in the term "mother earth," and is far removed from paganism or new age mysticism.
The term, "Mother Nature" always seemed to negate the reality that it is Father G-d who controls the weather. I'm also old enough to remember Dena Dietrich in the Chiffon advertisements. The entire premise seemed to allude to a "shared" status of deity, which I simply could not accept.
In searching and researching some of the presentations I give, I have come to the realization I am both, deeply spiritual and quite earthy. It is one of my self-realized dichotomies that has to remain in the proper order to not become imbalanced. What transpires in the natural realm is nothing more than the manifestation of what is ordained in the spiritual realm. With that being said, I'm heading back to the Scriptural truth and tribal wisdom in the reference to "Mother Earth."
Mother Earth is not mother nature! Scripture mentions early in Genesis, chapter 1 to be precise, that YHWH called the earth to "bring forth." In King James vernacular, bring forth is also used to describe giving birth. Luke 2, Mary "brought forth her firstborn son . . ." Y'hshuah pre-existed his earthly birth. He took on an "earthly" form. Even non-tribal folk speak frequently when discussing spiritual matters, of "earthly bodies."
When Native Americans use the term "Mother Earth," it's far from a new age concept, at all. It is acknowledging that the Creator of the Universe is our Heavenly Father and He placed his spark of life into the dust of the earth to create us, thus creation, in a sense, was "conceived" through Mother Earth. The concept of mother earth is continual in production and reproduction, in that within a seed contains the spark of life, but until that seed is placed in the earth, nothing happens. The earth in and of itself does not produce, but once a seed is received into fertile soil, Mother Earth nourishes, supports, and sustains life. Even the reproductive terms used to describe women are referenced in regard to the earth. There is barren land and there is fertile soil.
Just as our earthly fathers expect us to honor our mothers, as good children who honor our Heavenly Father, we are called to care for our mother, our mother earth. Which brings the issue of Standing Rock, fracking, and pasture lands to the forefront. Humanity was not given dominion over the earth or air, land nor water; but rather the animals of the land, birds of the air, and fish of the sea. We are called to take care of and protect the natural resources our Heavenly Father has created. They are for the benefit of all creation, not the greed of man.
Genesis 2:7, 9, 19 all indicate the Native American understanding of creation definitely includes mother earth.
And YHWH Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7
And out of the ground made YHWH Elohim to grow every tree that is pleasant to
the sight, and good for food . . . Genesis 2:9a
And out of the ground YHWH Elohim formed every beast of the field, and every
fowl of the air . . . Genesis 2:19a