How to use Earth-based spirituality to heal yourself and grow
Over the years, I’ve had many meditation experiences that I would describe as shamanic. Visions of inner shamans that were initiating me, or messages from my guides about shamanic practices that could heal me in specific ways.
I find the shamanic element so fruitful in my own journey, so I wanted to share some of those insights with you guys in case they will be helpful.
WHAT IS A SHAMAN?
I believe a shaman is a mediator between the world of spirit and the world of matter. Often a healer or a guide. Someone who goes into the spirit world in meditation time to help others, by finding out information or invoking healing.
We should note at this point that shamanic tradition is largely an indigenous practice. There is usually an official status given to someone after many years of study and initiation, and often they descend from a line of shamans. This is all to say that while Earth-based spirituality is available to everyone, indigenous or not, we have to be respectful around how we use the term “shaman” and make sure we’re not appropriating native culture.
But in the interest of not getting totally hung up on semantics, it is 100% true to say that there are mystics and healers that practice earth-based sprituality. Here are a few hallmarks of this practice:
- A deep reverence for nature
- A recognition of the interconnectedness of all things – integration of oneness
- Initiation into the elements – a practice of learning from elemental spirits and of acknowledging the elemental kingdom
- Recognition of Earth as an advanced being, a living consciousness
- Sees animals as teachers and as carriers of medicine
- Recognition that all of the natural realm is conscious – stones, trees, plants, water, etc.
- Develops the skills of trance meditation in order to see into the spirit world on behalf of self and others for the purposes of healing and learning (this is not limited to earth-based practice, but is included)
HOW TO USE SHAMANIC TECHNIQUES IN YOUR OWN PRACTICE
ASK FOR EARTH MESSAGES IN MEDITATION
As I’ve said before, I try to meditate every day for about an hour. As least once a month, I’m asking Earth what her messages are. I usually hear back from animals or elemental spirits about how to stay grounded and harmonized with the planet. I also hear what steps I can take to reduce my footprint, like making less trash and biking more. Here are some ways to phrase your intention to hear from Earth guides in meditation:
- Guides, what messages from Mother Earth are available to me?
- What messages from my animal guides are available?
- What do my guides wish me to learn about the elements?
- Which is my primary element? And how should I use my primary element spiritually?
- Who is my inner shaman, and what messages do they have for me? (buckle up for this one)
WORKING WITH PLANT SPIRITS IN YOUR PRACTICE
I’ve been shown in readings that I’ve done for others that sacred plant ceremony can heal past-life trauma and PTSD from this life. I’ve also heard that it has positive implications for addiction therapy. I’ve seen it over and over again, so I feel strongly that it can work if facilitated by ethical, reverent people. But tread lightly, you guys. I wouldn’t recommend going into ceremony regularly. Multiple times a year seems like A LOT to me, but I hear of this …so I guess it bears mentioning.
If taking plant ceremony seems like a stretch to you (I still haven’t felt the need to sit with ayawaska), then a great option is to invite a plant consciousness into your meditation. You could do this with any healing plant: salvia, Aya, cannabis, mushrooms, etc. Ask for the spirit to go gently with you.
One thing that I’ve come to realize is that sacred plants that folks use psyhedelically or shamanically can be helpful in teaching people how much further their consciousness can expand. But the real work starts after that realization. Committed meditation (sitting everyday for at least 30 minutes) will take you back to those states. And here’s the gospel…prolonged meditation will take you well past the initiating plant-induced states of mind. Sacred plants can help you travel to lower 4th dimension, or the astral …which hosts our collective unconscious. But prolonged sacred meditation usually takes us to upper 4D and lower 5D, which is unity consciousness and exalted spiritual states. Lower 4D is a bit of a roll of the dice, which means neutral and even chaotic spiritual entities can hang out there, so it’s not my favorite location spiritually. Just know that.
Here are some gentle ways to incorporate plants into your practice:
- Take medicinal tea for lucid dreaming, sound sleep and healing (Find your local herb shop and start working herbs into your practice. If you’re shopping online, I like Anima Mundi and iHerb.)
- Meditate with a specific plant in your hand (I’ve had good experience with herbs like mint and lavender) and ask for communication.
- Use essential oils in your house by diffusing. Breathe these oils in before meditation or sleep and ask for connection.
- Have house plants around and work on attuning to nature in your waking states.
- Take walks in nature and take notice of plants, trees and flowers.
- Simply ask a psychoactive plant spirit to join you or communicate with you in meditation.
SHAMANIC MODALITIES TO EXPLORE
- Shamanic drumming to induce trance
- Shamanic rattle to clear negative energy
- Burning of sacred plants like sage, palo santo, cobalt to clear negative energy