There are have been some amazing communities birthed online over the past decade, and Earth Speak is one of them. Earth Speak is a community honoring earth-based spirituality for connection, belonging, and renewal. This community is on a mission to help intuitive earth-loving people to know that their own magic is real, and that their magic can have a positive impact on their everyday lives and the world around them. Creating and tending a community takes a lot of work and devotion. Here we catch up with the founders of Earth Speak; Natalie Ross and Shawna Cason as they share some of their creative processes and wisdom learned through experience. Mixing magic and medicine, purpose and play, rooting light into form is the Earth Speak way!
Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you get to where you are today?
Natalie: I was a soil scientist who realized that we have so many answers in science, but we don’t put them to practice as a society. In this I saw that we have a sickness of the spirit, and thus my life’s focus turned away from science (though not abandoning it) and towards reconnection with nature, spirit, and community. That led me to start a podcast with my sister in 2016, where we talked about intuition, nature connection, ritual, and all kinds of mystical things in a way that allowed folks who feel called to Earth-based spirituality were able to feel supported and validated in their beliefs and practices.
Shawna: I was going through a pivotal moment in my life both spiritually and mentally. I didn’t have a community that I felt grounded in, and longed to connect with others who could understand the complexities that come along with being deeply emotionally connected with nature, and the other than human world. I felt alone in my experience and understanding of being a physical medium. I connected with Natalie through the Dream Freedom Beauty Podcast, and we realized that we were longing for the same space, and so we connected and eventually birthed what is now Earth Speak Media. The Earth Speak Collective is the community that we most needed in our lives, and is our way of cultivating Earth Connection.
When did you first have the idea for Earth Speak? Can you describe the process of bringing it to fruition?
We met when Natalie put a call out for a show notes writer for her old podcast. Shawna applied, and while she didn’t get the position, it was clear to both of us that we had the same vision for creating something more than a podcast. We wanted to create a space where people who practice Earth-based spirituality and are into intuitive development can connect with community, engage in personal healing, explore different modalities, and evolve their spiritual practices.
What are the deepest intentions you have for the Earth Speak community?
We hold an intention of liberation for all beings, which we believe begins in healing on a personal level, which then ripples out to the collective level and to other-than-human beings as well.
Do you have any daily practices that help with clarity and creativity?
Natalie: I love to do morning pages, as learned from the Artist’s Way, where I just write three uncensored pages of whatever is on my mind. I also practice daily invocations, calling in spirit guides and helpers for support and guidance, and do a quick grounding and clearing to open and attune energy.
Shawna: As a full-time student and business owner, I find it challenging to maintain clear and consistent daily practices, however, the one practice I do everyday is to invoke my guides, ancestors, and the spirits of the land that I am on to both offer gratitude and ask that I am protected, connected and guided towards my higher purpose in this life. I have recently incorporated morning breathwork, and am finding this to be very helpful with focus and clarity at the start of my day. For inspiration, I am fortunate enough to live within walking distance to a beautiful beach and free gardens – I try to visit at least once a week.
What are some of your favorite podcast interviews you have hosted so far?
Natalie: This is so hard to answer because each one is so inspiring! Some that blew my mind the most were with medium Ash Canty on what happens after we die, as well as a very recent episode with Veda Austin about the consciousness of water and how water can communicate with us through images in very straightforward, clear ways!
Shawna: Ash Canty’s episode is hands down one of my favorites too! As a medium, it was validating to hear another person’s story. What I appreciated most is that they shared how mediumship developed in their lives and the process of relating to both fear and death. Also, all of the episodes with Luis Mojica!
Can you define what personal and planetary wellness looks like to you?
Wellness looks like the ability to not get stuck in a triggered or trauma response, but rather, to navigate one’s nervous system back to a regulated space of rest and digest. While we can’t avoid being triggered or encountering things that might cause trauma, we CAN learn how to complete the trauma response and allow ourselves to return to a sense of safety and ease. We believe that if this were taught to everyone from a very early age, we’d have SO much less conflict and harm between humans and in relation to humanity’s impact on the planet.
Do you have any wisdom to share for those who may be starting an online community?
We would urge anyone interested in starting an online community to draft an overall outcome that they hope to achieve with their community. To investigate others out there doing similar work, and to gain clarity around how their community offers a feature, or solution that others do not. One thing we’ve encountered along the way is understanding that community burnout is a very real thing. Additionally, be honest with yourself and ask if you are invested in showing up every single day. Developing a community is not easy – if it is just you, consider partnering with someone that is in alignment with your vision and ask them to come onboard to help you carry it out. Afterall, the whole point of a community is to co-create through connection, right? Earth Speak wouldn’t be what it is today without working together, and with others.
What lights you up most right now!?
Natalie: I’ve been on a journey of healing trauma around money, and this has been SO liberating. I’m finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel after traversing some of my deepest wounds over the past few months. So, feeling safe earning money is really amazing to me right now. Another thing that’s really lighting me up is finally learning how to edit videos to tell stories the way I’ve always wanted to. I will be releasing my first video soon about my first experience with van life, where my husband and I rented a converted van, visited friends in the Sierra Nevadas, hiked to a pair of pristine mountain top lakes, and had the most amazing adventure. I have more videos in the pipeline to edit, including one about 10 days in Arcata, CA, exploring ancient redwoods and skinny dipping in wild rivers with a full-time poet. This is my dream! To keep doing this documentary creative work telling stories of living in beautiful relationship with the earth.
Shawna: I’ve been on a journey through my college studies of understanding what created racial inequalities and how we can deconstruct the many fallacies we’ve unknowingly inherited. I’m really passionate about this work because I am mixed-race, and I’ve experienced feeling othered by all the dominant symbolic categories that I don’t fit into, regardless of my ancestral and genetic lineages. I am passionate about bridging the gaps between human relationships, spirituality, digital technology, and nature with hopes of ushering in an era of multicultural capital-egalitarianism, so that we can all be celebrated without judgment, and show up to live a life that values connection over domination.
What are you currently working on at Earth Speak and what’s next?
We’re reviewing where we’ve been and exploring where we want to go. After doing this work for nearly 3 years, we’re deep in the process of updating what we offer to align with how we’ve evolved as individuals and as a community. Looking forward we’ll potentially be placing a much heavier emphasis on somatics and teaching the foundations of trauma healing, as we’ve found this to be integral to all other types of personal and intuitive development, as well as to creating sustainable communities.
Anything else you’d like to share…..
- Be flexible and understand that life, creative projects, relationships, and businesses aren’t static.
- Community development doesn’t happen overnight. It took three years to get to where we are today.
- Healing doesn’t happen overnight, either, but it’s worth the journey. Our society expects so much instant gratification, and if you embark on a healing journey with this expectation, you’ll be sorely disappointed. However, time is going to pass regardless of what you’re doing, so you might as well be doing the work to create positive change in your life, no matter how long it takes.
Connect with the Earth Speak Community!
YouTube: Earth Speak