Medicine Walk Ritual for the New Year

As the New Year dawns, perhaps the most important ritual to do is to step into the New Year with a full YES! That is with fully conscious & embodied presence, commitment and intention - the WHY you're going forward. 
A beautiful ritual that we love to do is the Medicine Walk. And it can be super powerful to do this across the Threshold of the New Year. Either on the 31st or on the 1st, or maybe even both (with different intention or focus).
As a way of connecting us as friends, family, tribe and community, I'd like to propose for us to connect around this ritual.
The Medicine Walk is a solo journey of course - you go out into Nature alone - but when we journey knowing that we are supported by and uniting forces with like-hearted friends, it can be even more healing, nourishing and insightful. After all, we are in the journey of Life together!! The intention of our Walks can also include a collective intention as well as a personal intention.


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.



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.



1. Meet in person.
Arrange with friends to meet in person. Then cross the threshold at the same time to set out for your individual walks, and return from your walks at an agreed time and place.
2. Walk at the same time in different locations.
Set an agreed time (to begin and end) with a number of people when you will each individually go on your own Medicine Walks in your own locations. You might message your group just before you leave and on your return.
3. Share your experience later.
Share your experience and your insights from your own Medicine Walk. If you are part of any of my community groups or on my facebook page I invite you to share there.


Prepare your question or intention
Your Medicine Walk supports you around a specific question that you prepare in advance. The quality of the question can determine the power of your Walk. It is worth spending time to get as concise, deep and to the point as possible. Make sure you write it down. Some examples could be:
  • What do I need to integrate or let go of in order to go forward with my life this year?
  • What do I need now in my journey toward health and wholeness?
  • What is my medicine; what do I have to offer to the world?
  • How can I can contribute to the collective betterment in 2021? 
Personal Agreements
Lay out your personal agreements in advance that create a safe and meaningful container for your Medicine Walk. These might include:
  • The time and place and a ceremony for the beginning.
  • The time your will return and that you will not return much earlier or later than this time unless in emergency.
  • Your mobile phone is turned off and only used to check the time, or if you have a watch or you use sunset then the phone is only if there is an emergency.
  • You choose not to eat, only to drink water.

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. 

I wish you a beautiful, insightful and nourishing Medicine Walk. May 2021 be a year of deep listening, compassion and community spirit.

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