From a shamanic point of view everything has a spirit and is connected to everything else. So everything is connected to us and informing us at every moment. We are constantly receiving information and messages through our everyday surroundings from all kinds of helping spirits like our Higher Selves, guides and teachers, nature beings, ancestors. But as we are usually busy living life, sometimes we don’t notice the messages.
When we ask a question, and then intend to consciously pay attention to what all our senses are registering, we can tap into this flow of information. We will get all kinds of answers and insights. Some call this “felt sense”. Felt sense is being aware of everything that is going on within your body as well as everything that is outside your body.
This might be one of the oldest forms of divination. My teacher called it a Medicine walk. The term and concept of Medicine is used in many cultures, with different meanings. Here I am using it to mean the combining of knowledge, healing and power into blessings from Spirit that we can receive when we are open in a humble and gracious way.
To do a Medicine walk, first we have an issue that we need guidance about and then we craft a question around that. We stand at our doorway and ask the question, then realize as soon as we step out of the door, we will be receiving information. Everything is relevant. It can come from anywhere, not just nature. If we perceive and feel it as pertinent, then it is. The key is to not overthink, just let the information in, realizing that in addition to all of our body senses, we are also hearing with our Spirit ears, seeing with our Spirit eyes, knowing with our intuitive mind.
The question for my walk was “What do I need to know about a big co-creative project I’ve started with my Spirit teachers and a friend who is an artist?”
As I left my apartment and walked through the parking lot the first thing that caught my attention was a temporary dealer license plate on a car that I walked by that said, “We make it easy!” and it had a lightning bolt for an exclamation point. What a way to start things off! Then I got to the street and looked up and saw a free mini-library box with the word “Magical” under the little door.
I continued down the sidewalk I have walked so many times before, but this time I am perceiving it in a totally different way. Today I am noticing the wooden fences that separate backyards from the sidewalk and street. There are gates built into some of the fences, some with locks where a key would fit and others just a simple latch. The gates will open to the right person and time and place.
Some of the trees and hedges next to the sidewalk have been recently trimmed by loppers, and others have had branches broken from the wind. To me this feels like co-creation, though humans and nature have removed the branches in different ways, the result is that the tree is trimmed.
The bush with the red berries seems to say “preparation”.
A wind spinner in a yard gives me momentum.
At the nearby park, I walk down the tree-lined trail. Out of the corners of my eyes my spirit vision picks up figures and movement as the green stumps and broken logs look like mythical birds and alligators. Wise faces appear in the moss and lichens that cover tree trunks. I feel like the trees are telling me that they have much to share with me on this creative project.
On the little footbridge over the creek, I notice the caretakers shored up a weak spot in the middle of the weathered boards with a crosshatched metal plate. The bridge is made stronger.
The creek is singing, bubbly and full after recent spring rains. I see the buds at the end of the maple branches are about to burst open and the alders have dropped their flower strings all around. It looks like a joyful party of potential and regeneration.
On my way back home, a busy gray squirrel jumps down from a tree right in front of me and heads off into underbrush, unconcerned about my presence. They are focused on the task at hand.
As I passed the sign that told dog owners what to do with their pet waste, the words “Cleanup Required” jumped out at me and my foot slid in the mud. As if the message there was that if I got too hung up on keeping my task clean and tidy, I would lose traction.
A patch of folded up lawn daisies were almost ready to bloom.
Going up the stairs to my apartment the green bulb shoots in the neighbor’s planter reach out to me, so much bigger than they were a few days ago.
Once back through the door and into the house, I can close the Medicine walk with a thank you to all the spirits that helped. I like to record the impressions and messages I receive while on the walk by speaking in the notepad app on my phone. Then I can transcribe them into my journal. As I transcribe, messages become clear that I didn’t get while on the walk. It is an important part of the processing. Then I hi-light or circle the parts that stand out as messages.
So for me, putting together the messages that stood out the most reads like this:
My Spirit partners make this process easy and magical when I am ready and able to access the gates of knowledge. The right keys will be provided to the right gates. I and my partners co-create in our own ways with tools we know how to use. There is preparation, and momentum for this project. The trees will be sharing much information with me. The bridge between worlds and partners is reinforced and made stronger. The potential involved in the project can be joyful, even when staying focused on the tasks involved. I’m cautioned to not focus on keeping the creation clean and tidy or I’d lose traction in the process. This project is growing quickly, ready to bloom.
I feel like I received beneficial insights regarding my question about my project. I like to also do Medicine walks for a general “What do I need to know today?” question.
Anyone can do this divination practice, anywhere, anytime. There is no special training required.
I hope you will give it a try. I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.
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.