WHAT'S A MEDICINE WALK?
An 'aimless' walk you take alone in nature with a conscious intention to meet yourself, explore your relationship to Life, and call in the “medicine” – healing, power, insight or wisdom - that your body, heart, mind and soul need at that time. A Medicine Walk is a ceremony or ritual, a dedicated time with yourself and Spirit (or Life if you prefer).
A Medicine Walk invites you to slow down, expand your consciousness to tune in to the transient and multi-dimensional nature of your reality, and receive the wisdom, guidance and support that Life offers you. These gifts are always available, reaching out to us, but often we are not available to receive them.
It’s a well-known ancient shamanic practice for all earth-centred peoples, like the Australian aborigines, who go on “walkabout”, the Native Americans, who go on longer “vision quests” while fasting, and the Celts who roam the land with a ‘staff’ in hand. All religions also have some form of pilgrimage or prayer walk to seek guidance, healing, inspiration, and connection with Spirit.
WHAT'S THE MEDICINE?
The Medicine Walk is symbolic of your journey through life and with Life, and the medicine comes through the subtle and symbolic language of Spirit.
Medicine could come through the weather, the form of a tree, or the song of a bird. It could be from an animal, a person or a signpost. It could be what you see or what you hear, what you feel or your incessant thoughts, what is in front of you or what is absent.
For example, as I walk along a path I come to a crossroads. This is symbolic of the crossroads I’m at in my life. How I meet this challenge on my Medicine Walk will offer me some insight to how to meet the choices and uncertainty in my life. Do I panic or do I calmly sit and wait for more signs? Then an eagle flies overhead, circles me three times and flies off in the direction of the south. Ah, I take the path to the south. Not long after the road is blocked and I must return. I realize that it’s not so important which path I take – if one doesn’t work, I can come back to try another. There’s no such thing as failure, only experiences. The most important thing is to commit to whatever path I choose….
So, medicine refers to guidance supporting you toward wholeness. Sometimes you like the taste of medicine, sometimes not. Either way it is supporting you to grow and become a whole, integrated being.
The medicine you receive is both a gift from outside and a quality of who you are, as a gift to others. You interpret and integrate the medicine in your own unique way, based on who you are and your life experiences at any given time. It connects you to your presence, power, and potential.
So if we look at the same example above, my ability to face uncertainty with curiosity, lightheartedness, and trust in life show me my qualities that I can also share with others.
HOW TO DO THIS RITUAL 'TOGETHER'
HOW TO PREPARE
Beginning and End
A Medicine Walk must have a clear beginning and end, in order to create a clean container for the ritual. Mark both with a ceremony that makes sense to you.
For instance, at the beginning you could light a candle, write down your question and place it under a rock, burn sage around your body, place an object from your ‘ordinary’ reality, and walk across a ‘threshold’ as you ask your question. A simpler option is to bow in reverence and ask for the support of the powers of the Universe / your Spirit guides to bring you the medicine you most need.
This moment of beginning is the moment of ‘severance’ with your life as you know it, as you step into the unknown.
At the end, you return to the same point, pass back over the threshold and pick up your ‘ordinary world’ object, and give thanks to your Spirit guides. You may choose to have a closing ceremony, and to share with friends and community.
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