The other day I was at a place that I feel is sacred. It’s a ravine where a sweet little waterfall runs down layers of sandstone and clay to stream across the sand and into the sea. The sides of the ravine are woven with a tight matrix of grass and a myriad of plants. Purple aster and horsetail bob in the breeze with mint, yarrow, wild rose and ever present salal. A pale smooth driftwood tree with branched limbs thrown up by a high tide long ago liked it so much it wedged itself sideways and stayed. It makes a perfect perch to cultivate my joy. I reach my senses out to all the life and nature spirits around me in deep gratitude. For a water sign like me, sitting between a waterfall and the sea feels so homey.
I brought an offering with me. I pull the strands of sweetgrass that were gifted to me by a friend and inhale the exquisite scent. The scent that brings me both up to the sun and down solidly to the earth at the same time. The scent that brings me out of all the rabbit holes of collective chaos that I cannot avoid on my screens most days and into the amazing process of sun and water creating perfect green grass.
I exhale my gratitude and prayers into the grass and stand it upright in a fissure in the branch beside me. A place where it can wave in the breeze and feel everything.
Awhile later when ready to continue my walk down the beach, I see a strand of sweet grass on the rock below me. I reach down and drop it into the stream to flow out as an offering to the sea. It gets caught in an eddy next to a rock, unmoving like a swimmer in an infinity pool. I reach down to free it and I hear a message.
Daughter, thank you for your offering. Please don’t force where it goes. It soaks up what it needs to, it goes where it needs to. There is a divine purpose to how it flows and where it goes… and what it means in relation to your intention, your gratitude, your purpose as you are here in this place. We feel you.
The lesson has stayed with me this week. It is one that I have revisited again and again over the years. We are so prone to micro-management, even in spirit matters. We need to learn to give our prayers without condition and truly release them. Give them away without attachment to outcome and any sense of how it should be. Of course we have our opinion, which is why we are making prayers in the first place! But once those words, that song, that heartfelt blessing has left our mouths and hearts, it belongs to the winds of Spirit.
Trust that Spirit will know exactly what to do with it.
As we make our way through this incarnation, our spiritual evolution is always refining the way we balance solitude and community, sovereignty and relationships.
When we are on a spiritual path and are living with or working with others who may not be into that so much, we need solitude to keep our vibration at a level that expands our spirituality, keeps our energy clear and gives it a chance to equalize. The trick is getting enough solitude at the right time while still being able to feel comfortable and connected in our relationships.
The law of entrainment says that two energies who are together for a period of time will start to sync at the same frequency. Sometimes it is at the higher frequency and sometimes it is not.
Just because one person’s frequency is higher than another’s doesn’t make that person any better or more spiritually evolved. It is an individual process that can only be measured of and by oneself. The more important measurement is if we are feeling good in our own energy.
This is not a judgement in any way, as our energy bodies fluctuate as we go through different experiences in our lives, and we also get affected by collective and outer events. And everyone is on their own path and has the freedom to choose how they want to be in the world. This is why relationships are complicated.
If we are on a spiritual path and live and work with others, we need to make sure we have time alone to attune our energy, and time alone in nature to attune our spirit. We also need time alone to recharge our compassion for those we are in relationship with, and time for clarity and compassion for ourselves. When we do that, we realize that we don’t have to compromise our energy, and we can bring our authentic self to all our relationships.
"1996 Jocassee Quiet Solitude" by anoldent is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
So many of us started our spiritual paths as solitaries. Our circumstances were all different, some of us may have come from families that did not understand our openness to Spirit, or our search for meaning in life. Maybe we were brought up in religious structures that were more dogma that spirit, or we may have had a curiosity about other cultures and belief systems. But the result was the same - it left us on our own to explore different spiritual practices.
When I started my journey with meditation and tarot as a teenager, there was only one other friend my age who I could talk to about such topics. As I broadened into Wiccan and Goddess wisdom studies in my 20’s, I felt like I couldn’t share that with many friends either, and preferred to keep that part of myself hidden from most other people. Keep in mind I am a Gen-Xer and when I was a teen and in my early 20’s, we didn’t have household computers or cell phones – there was no internet for the public use then. I did all my exploring and studying with books. Connecting with others meant face to face meetings at bookstores, meditation centers and by synchronicity.
Now thirty plus years later we can study any topic through our screens and can connect to people and groups anywhere in the world in minutes. That can lead to the other end of the spectrum – too much connection that can distract us from our inner work! However it does give us the amazing opportunity to meet with kindred spirits all over the world.
I have a connection with a new friend in another country who is also a shamanic practitioner and visionary. She is around my age and has done much work as a solitary in the past. She and I had a great conversation via Zoom where we both concluded that the time for solitary work is done and now is the time for the shift to working in community.
Some of us who have been solitary for so long and are happily introverted may feel uncomfortable at first switching gears. But we realize that after working on ourselves for so many years, we have gone as far as we can go, we’ve hit a plateau. What takes it to the next level in our inner work is outer work. It means that we take the steps to put ourselves out there to share our gifts with the world. Maybe some of us have felt the draw to start our own practice to help others. If we have had the training and the years of experience, we could be feeling nudges from Spirit that points to this being our path. We may be called to start our own business as a practitioner, healer, teacher, life coach, artist, or other service provider. Or maybe we are called to be in service inside our communities by starting a shamanic journey circle, a Reiki share group, a spiritual book coffee chat or other group. Coming together in community to practice, share ideas, and support one another on our spiritual paths fuels our well-being and the well-being of the world.
Covid helped bring this to light for so many people. Even though we were forced into solitary circumstances via lockdown, we now had the technology, time, and motivation to connect. That opened new opportunities for community, friendships, and work groups that could connect from wherever they were. What a gift!
Screens cannot replace the in-person gatherings and circles that feed our souls in such a strong way. Being able to hold hands around a circle and hugging one another is such an important part of human living. But whether we come together online or in person, the important part is the coming together. We know that when we set intentions as a group the energy is amplified exponentially. We have the power to make beneficial change in the world by being weavers that extend a webwork of thriving throughout our communities. We just have to take that first step and pick up the thread.
To help you tend to soul issues that may manifest in physical, emotional, mental or spiritual aspects of your life, and to give you tools to empower your path to harmony and well-being.
-There are so many kindredspirits doing the work out there. I include these links to help our community connect with one another.
SACRED HOOP Magazine Guide to Shamanism Compilation- http://www.sacredhoop.org/Pages/FreeGuide.html
Kitzie's podcasts include interviews with artists and kirtan music. I love attending her weekly Satsang group and the New World Kirtan Band concerts -
My friend and herbalist mentor, Lawrence Birch is a Certified Clinical Herbalist, plant whisperer and shamanic practitioner. If you need custom tincture blends or are interested in a wildcrafting apprenticeship, he is the teacher extraordinaire:
Roger Wheelock and Gayle Ruth are shamanic practitioners and teachers in the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. https://www.rainmother.com/ I am grateful to be able to take part in ceremony with them, and to support their love for the Peruvian people through the World Ayni Association.