I recently bumped into a Facebook post (on a shamanistic group page) in which someone was saying that elements of shamanism are being ‘borrowed’ and used to market things, as shamanism is now “hot and sexy”.
Woo-hoo!! Finally I’m doing something hot and sexy 😀
No but seriously folks, time is something that passes, and anything that is related to time (like hot and sexy fashion) will pass.
What counts is what do you do with the time that is given to you.
I’d suggest you go for that which resonates with you truly.
Not just entertainment with the upper layers of your Mind/Ego, but stuff that shakes your Soul and makes your Heart skip a beat or flutter faster.
For me that would be the wonderful world of the Spirit, as weird and unconventional it might seem.
An aspect of the (shamanistic) Spirit world is the company and assistance of our Spirit Animal.
“What’s my spirit animal?!” an eager explorer might exclaim.
Hold your horses buddy, first you need to know why you want to know your spirit animal.
A spirit animal is: transport, safety, communication, information, signs. And more.
I’ve made a little document for you to download and print out about it. I hope you enjoy it!
(Just in case you need some guidance in gearing your attention from the busy outside to the different realms of the inside, here’s a little meditation audio to get you going.)
Let’s pretend you’ve warmed up to the thought that nature spirits exist, and you now want to attract them into your surroundings – because you like a touch of magic, enjoy the thrill of a possible encounter, or you want to enhance the energy of nature (any nature!) around you…or all of the above. Nature spirits as neighbors? I like that.
So how does one go about attracting nature spirits into the garden? Or the backyard even?
Anything that beautifies a place, by sound, light or carefully placed natural elements is pleasing for us and for the nature spirits.
Faeries like bells, so a wind chime with bells with a high tone would be appropriate. Wind chimes with bamboo, low bells, shells or stones have their own ‘vibe’ and will attract their own kind of folk.
Water is an attractive thing to nature spirits. A natural stream would be ideal, but a shallow bowl with clean water is also beautiful and effective. You could consider creating a nature altar, with a water element with it.
Spirals, labyrinths, small constructions with natural materials will all work.
Attractive stones, erected or piled on top of another work well as a focal point for nature spirits.
Small caves in rock and hollows in wood are natural altars that one can beautify further as a warm welcome for nature spirits.
You can also walk/dance/meditate in your garden and call to the different wind directions:”Spirits, you’re welcome! Come, come!”… ringing bells, rattling rattles, drumming or playing a flute as you do it.
(I found this last option ‘a bit too much’ until very recently – but then I experienced it myself in a shamanic ceremony and found it magical and mighty powerful, so yes, do what you need to do!)
Below you can find some visual inspiration, harvested for your creative impulses from Pinterest. Enjoy!
Sometimes I get on a thought-train that lasts for days.
It all started at Instagram, when I was commenting on a post by @earthcarekitchen.
She was inspiring us, the readers, to cook with what we already have in our kitchen, with the idea that limitations boost creativity (as they do). She also posed a question: what goes well with brown rice?
I’m (almost) always cooking with ‘what the kitchen holds at this moment’ and enjoyed the familiar setting. Sparked by the question, I commented by sharing my tried and tested culinary path of brown rice: in my opinion rustic stuff rhymes well with brown rice – eggs, spinach, nettles and…here it comes…bacon.
I hesitated as I was typing it. I hesitated as I was sending it. And I kept on thinking about it.
I used to be vegetarian – for a short while even vegan – until I got pregnant. Since then meat has been a fairly frequent ingredient on my plate, but for the last 1,5 years I’m having increasing difficulties in justifying my choice to myself.
“But I only buy biological meat.” is what my reasoning begins with, which is sort of fine for my physical body, but not for the animal.
I’m into homesteading, and was daydreaming about a time in the future when we’d raise our own animals in happiness and harmony, also for the meat (whoever thought Mother Nature is only hatching chicken and birthing female goats has to re-think their logic).
But then the reality-check struck: our three chicken ‘retired’, they stopped laying eggs.
Last spring I was determined to bring them to a kind butcher (?) in the next village.
I had my plan ready, only needed to check with the butcher and put the chicken in a transport box when…Martha, the oldest of them, looked me deep in the eyes and communicated: ” You filthy betraying human you! We’ve served you for years and now that we aren’t producing eggs anymore you want to end our lives!” I was surprised, shocked and ashamed. I instantly replied with my heartfelt apologies and promised (yes, promised) they’d have a sweet retirement and wouldn’t have to worry about me being dangerous to them ever again. Since then we’ve been good friends again.
So, back to the kitchen then. Milling over this ethical problem, I finally came to my present conclusion that the only way eating meat would be OK is if our bodies are signalling that we really need it, and we pray to the spirit of the family of a species (say, the Deer Spirit, or the Rabbit Spirit) and then go hunting and wait until an animal of that species presents itself as prey. And we then end its life skillfully, painlessly, quick and full of prayer and gratitude. But I’m not a forest-dwelling hunter-gatherer. The conclusion is therefore, for me, a philosophical one.
There’s still meat in our fridge. I’m still arguing with myself. But week by week, month by month, we’re eating meat less frequently, and vegetables take its place in abundance.
I guess everyone has to go through this thinking battle for themselves.
It is my personal conclusion that eating meat is not good for our energy bodies. Animals are our brothers and sisters, fellow beings on this beautiful planet – why would we eat them?? And every now and then I’m wondering if plants suffer when we harvest them for nourishment.
As long as we humans haven’t evolved to the level that we can live straight from sunlight and air, we need to eat (plants) and drink.
The plants are very kindly specialized in transforming sunlight, air, water and soil into nutrients that we animals – humans included – can digest and use to revitalize our bodies.
I suggest we start paying close attention to what’s on our plate, contemplating in gratitude every bite we chew and swallow… Your food is your medicine, it’s building and balancing (healing) your body.
What is your connection to your food – where does it come from? How natural is it? How nourishing is it? How do you express gratitude to it?
Just by taking a minute before cooking to connect with the needs of your family, then selecting the ingredients and preparing them mindfully is already a simple act of service and respect. My soul sister Kristiina recites this poem before her family begins their meal:
“Maasta versonnut on vilja tämä, armaan aurinkoisen kypsyttämä. Rakas aurinko ja rakas maa, teitä emme tahdo unhoittaa.”
which is Finnish and translates roughly to
“This grain has sprouted from the ground,
ripened by the dear sun
beloved sun and beloved earth
we don’t want to forget you.”
It is the flow of water that forms the river. My daily choices affect my body. The small steps add up, and form reality.
In an increasingly polarized world it is easy to feel powerless, alienated and discouraged. “What can I do?” is the question on many lips these days.
And the answer is right there, in the question. You can choose – every day, every minute – to think, feel and act in a way that reflects your idea of a better world. Since everything is energy, shifting your energy from the passive to the positive and active shifts the energy of our planet, one sparkle at a time (or, nowadays, perhaps hundreds at a time!).
I came to this subject via a side-track. I was thinking about animal communication, and about my practicing of it.
Immediately my mind jumps into complicated scenarios with large, wild animals in sight and me having a connection with them, followed by the slight disappointment when it is not so (right now). Smiling at my personal traits that I know to be somewhat idealistic and impatient, I ask myself the more useful question: what can I do now?
And I turn my attention softly to my diva-ish cat, who has been like a protesting teenager lately, doing everything in her might to attract attention, mostly negative, with her antics. She first doesn’t even notice, perhaps she’s so used to my mind chattering along. But when she does, she melts… her attitude changes from diva to the soft, gentle openness that she truly is.
I walk with the same curiosity about their well-being to my chicken. And instead of running away, startled, they calmly stay put, doing their thing, looking to my eye every now and then, hanging around.
It’s such a small thing, but with a huge impact. Protect yourself, by all means, with true Light energy fields, but then: walk in this world softly. Meet the other beings – trees and stones included – gently. Be curious about the unseen.
Wishing you a magical holiday and change of the year.
And I asked you to find one thing – your core value – that would be your leading star for the near future.
My own core value boiled down to service – let me elaborate.
It is my deepest, strongest and most heart-felt wish that we could create Paradise on Earth again. I’m not religious, but I sincerely long for our planet to become healthy again, with – instead of a money-economy – natural ecology being the leading force. My vision is optimist-proof with abundant forests and fields full of blossoms, fruit and shady patches, fresh, clean water flowing and pooling, providing life everywhere, humans, animals and nature spirits living harmoniously together.
I do enjoy the creative forces of money, the life-helping qualities of infrastructure and technical inventions, but the balance needs to be re-found in order for Life to flourish.
And I could sit here and wait forever for things to change, but unless you and I, the neighbor near and the other one far – all of us, together – take the decision to change our lives, things will evolve, but not necessarily in a direction we like.
So what do I mean by “service”? That I find and use the courage to step up and exclaim: I am here. I can do this. I do this.
And now I’m here, to Serve.
I tune in to nature and co-create: that’s how I garden. I tune in and work in energy realms: that’s how I heal. I tune in and listen to spirits of plants and other nature-beings: that’s how I get my knowledge. And I tune in to Gaia and sense she’s re-birthing herself: that’s how I re-direct my priorities.
I’m naturally curious to know if this “urge to step out” is itching in others as well. I’d like to hear what your core value is. And what it means, how you express it in the various fields of life? And what is your envisioned Hopeful Future Scenario? Let us know, in the comments below or at your preferred social media channel (links at the bottom-right corner of this site).
I don’t particularly like late autumn or winter. To be quite honest, I’d prefer to hibernate as soon as the first frost has gone over the land, only to awaken with new growth in spring time. (There are more aspects of a bear in me.)
These mornings, when skies are dark and gray and the trees are raining leaves, I get up with a slight sigh and mumble to myself “all right, here we go again…”. But I’m not just stumbling through my days. These days, I’m listening deeply. I’m holding space for the Universe, with all senses on Nature, inner nature and the nature outside, as I go about my everyday Life. And Life responds.
What does it say? A few, recent examples:
A master healer, whose talent and wisdom I deeply respect, watched at me practicing in class, and after a while, said: “You’ve got good hands”. Thank you, I know, and I’ll carry your words in my Heart.
An appointment got cancelled and I had time to listen to an audio course. In awe, grinning from ear to ear, I marveled at the lesson. With the tiniest amount of imagination I found myself in what I thought might have been a lesson of Minerva McGonagall at Hogwarts (school of magic in Harry Potter) again. For you see, quantum logic and magic are one and the same, if you ask me.
In meditation I felt the supportive hands of my ancestors on my shoulders, and later in the day got the urge to go for a walk in the woods. Leaning my back on a magnificent tree, I rested, first with eyes closed, then looking around. Next to my feet, a very young sapling of the common dogwood smiled at me, beaming with joy (how can a plant smile, it hasn’t got a mouth? It’s energy, my dear, energy). And it dawned to me – at last! – this is the plant I should work with in my living structure-project I’ve been thinking about!
I explained my plan to the sapling (it already knew) and carefully I pulled it up and carried it home. Now it’s happily sitting in a pot, waiting for the journey and re-planting.
I intentionally try to organize my life so that it is not busy. So that I have time – for holding space, being still – for deep listening. Life is full of support, when you’re open to it. Tune in to flow, synchronicity and co-creation!
I recently turned 42.
Playfully, I was swapping the numbers around, in order not to feel so old, and looked at ’24’. Would I rather be 24 now than 42? Absolutely not. I did enjoy the exciting change of scenery, from Finland to London, UK and all the fun and input my new surroundings had to offer. But…that was then, this is now, and I do enjoy the wisdom I’ve gathered along the way. I wouldn’t want to miss a single lesson, realisation, reflection or impression, positive or negative. They form my understanding of Life in this moment, and I am grateful for all of it.
Logically, my train of thought runs forward to the next question. How will I see myself at 42, looking back, from the age of 60? Or 84? If I’ve learned this much about Life so far, how much more will I understand of it at a higher age, when I’m an elder in this society?
I have a dear friend, who is 44 years senior of me. We talk about all aspects of life.
She takes joy in recognising a younger version of herself in me, and I’m grateful for the lovingly offered warnings and advice I get from her. Sometimes (often) I think I’m progressing too slowly. From her, more experienced point of view, I’m often trying to push things through way too fast.
Listening to her, I learn to have far more compassion for our elders than I had before. It isn’t easy to have a wild soul in a senior body. She would want to dance, work in the gardens and more – she does as much as she can, but it doesn’t really quench the inner thirst for more. Listening to her telling about her life I can feel the passionate emotions, positive and negative, and hear how wisely she has found a place for even the most difficult things.
Find yourself an elderly friend, it’s so much worth it.
I should find myself a very young friend as well, there’s much to learn that way too.
And now, the ancestors. I used to be quite oblivious to the whole concept of my own ancestors. I was too busy falling in love and being a mother, gardening and making plant allies. Even now I’m just a novice to the matter. But I got a very strong kick on the butt in that direction, and now I’m listening. (I don’t even have questions yet, I’m just listening). And what I’m hearing is this:
“Make connection with your ancestors. Feel the direct love from your grandparents, they treasure the promise for the future you bring. Trace back the wonderful lineage of people who met, felt passionately, nurtured and taught – without them, you wouldn’t be here now. You don’t have to know them – you can – but feel the respect as you follow the lineage back in history.
As you arrive at the pre-industrial revolution time, start to listen very closely to the wisdom of your ancestors. What they tell you about the land, the plant allies, animal friends, their connection with the sun, the seasons, the weather… Their gratefulness for the warmth, nourishment and shelter their immediate surroundings offered them. Their connection to all that lives.”
This is what I hear. Your received message is probably different. Try it out!
I’m very aware that living in these days is far more easy and comfortable than, say, in the Middle Ages. But along the way, we’ve also lost something vital. Our connection to the land.
Where does your food come from? Your clothes? Who made the furniture in your home? Think about it, trace back energy lines and see where they take you. If you like them, great! If you don’t, consider doing something about it. You can always choose, even a little nudge in the right direction is towards better.
Gratitude. I am thankful for my plant allies and want to express it with yet another batch of talismans. So I dive into my creative cabinet and return to the table with boxes and tins filled with treasures.
Taking one specific plant into mind, I assemble a little handmade trinket, a talisman, a thank you-gift. One by one I create them for the fig, the grapevine and the apple tree.
My husband walks by and I explain:”I’m making gifts for the trees!” “Oh yes, of course…” is his amused answer.
Expressing gratitude towards another living being is an art form that I have neglected too often. Now that the heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul connection is so powerful that it is almost tangible to me, I experience the connection – and communication – between me and my plant friends as that of good human friends: warm, respectful, and of loving service.
Listen to your intuition – because intuition is always right, it is your default compass.
But then comes the day when your inner world seems to consist of at least two different camps, and they are saying totally different things. Where’s the voice of intuition? However you look and search, you can’t find a coherent direction, on the contrary: it’s a total mess. What’s going on?
Welcome to the lands of Heart and Head.
Yes, we’re all born with a strong intuition, this gut feeling, the pure knowing of the Heart. But then something curious happens. We get told that things are done in such and such a way, that this one is better than the other, that we’re expected to live and behave in a certain way. By our parents, teachers, mentors, friends – often people who genuinely love us and have the best intentions for us.
As a fresh, innocent, malleable young person, we believe what we’re told. We take it for granted, listen attentively, take it in. But what if our elders are not-so-clear? What if they, in turn, have been thought by erratic people? And what if there’s a whole group of these people having erratic ideas – a whole family, nation or the whole population of your part of the world?
Then it’s very difficult to tell right from wrong, intuition from indoctrination, your original opinion from the prevailing idea.
As a self-improving, healthy person you want to get this thing right. So what do you do?
As with everything fun in Life, also here are various variations to tackle the situation.
One, which you’ve probably already noticed is recognition. You meet someone and start a conversation, and if the conversation gets warm and nice enough you touch things that truly matter: values, choices, Love etc. And you or the other says something brilliant and a light sparks in your eyes and you agree – we have the same, strange, misfitting idea. Wonderful!
Or, the Universe helps you, in totally unexpected ways: your questioning thought gets Approval and Answer From the Universe Itself through a song on the radio, a book you happened to buy years ago and you finally read it now or you watch a movie and could just explode by the upcoming emotions of recognition…See? Arts are the language of Spirit.
And for the studious, devoted people out there we have a special medicine, called meditation. By quieting the mind and just observing the landscape of your inner world, you will become more skilled in discerning the qualities of Truth and the rest. Not-truth feels edgy, uneasy, heavy, cold, not inviting. It drains you and is uninspiring. If it’s attractive but not-truth, it makes you confused and restless, frustrated and not-such-a-nice person.
All head-stuff, hormones, ego food and values that we’ve learned from others rather than filtered through our Soul (= looked at it from different angles, probed, tested and approved) belong to the land of the Head. Useful for functioning in our society and for solving short term problems, but not very fulfilling or uplifting in the long term.
Enter the land of the Heart. Many of us have a lot of healing to do first, since the world we’re living in at the moment is not a very harmonious place.
Even with a broken Heart you can already navigate, but be gentle, patient and compassionate with your Self.
The Heart recognizes Truth. “It rings true”. Truth makes you relax. Expand. Fill with Love. (Love is healing, so stay with it, take your time).
Truth makes connections, opens possibilities, makes your Light brighter. Truth is creative, joyful and playful, it’s singing, dancing and sharing togetherness. Truth is respect for expression, yours and mine. Truth is respect for boundaries – mental, physical and energetic.
I wrote down a wishlist for my Self at the beginning of this week, not quite knowing what it meant at that moment: letting go, grounding, relaxing, being wild! Letting go, grounding and relaxing are my homework for the land of the Head. Being wild! is the assignment for my Heart.
As always, your comments are very welcome.
Part three of this Intuition-series will be about the Life Path.