On becoming a Shaman step one, go for a walk

How does one become a Shaman?  It can be a long  journey and one should start by taking a walk.  Make a commitment to yourself that you will take a walk outside on a regular basis.  Even if you visit a gym and walk on a treadmill, I encourage you to walk outside on a regular basis.

Walking stimulates the body, and the mind, and the spirit. 

Making a commitment, focuses your intent.

When you walk, please look at your surroundings.

  • Take in the air temperature.  Smell things.  See the sky, the clouds, the sun or the moon and stars.
  • See the birds flying and the trees they land in.  Look at the leaves and buds and twigs of the trees.  Notice the different forms of trees.
  • Listen to the sounds — the birds, and other natural sounds.  Try to hear where they are coming from.
  • Touch the earth, touch the grass, the plants, the rocks and sand that covers and forms the earth.
  • If you are near a body of water, go visit it.  See what color it is, if it is tidal, what do the waves look like, and are there critters in it/on it that you can see?
  • What has changed since the last time you walked here?
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Suburban Shaman, part two: Seeing

Suburban Shaman, part 2: Seeing.

Previously posted on January 31, 2010 by Whale Maiden

 

“Moth” (c) 2009 WhaleMaiden.

In an earlier post I stated I am a Suburban Shaman.  What’s that mean?  It means I watch the Earth and the Sky, and the Beings that live here.  I pay attention to very small things, and very big things.    I watch the cycles of wind and clouds and rain, to learn what will happen next.   There is a world of information happening, if we just tune into it.

I have studied and practiced “Native American” teachings and respect them very much.  Yet they are primarily based on information ‘borrowed’ from People who lived in the Northeast, or the Upper Midwest, or the Southwest.  Here I am in the Southwest of Florida.  The plants and the terrain and the climate are very different here, from the rest of North America.

And, my culture and lifestyle are different from those of The People, too.  (I mean, different from the ways of the People, when the ‘borrowing’ of their culture happened.)  I live in a house in the suburbs.  I drive a car, commute to work, and sit in a climate-controlled office all day, buy food at a grocery store.  These functions have very little to do with the Work that The People were engaged in, to survive and flourish.

So, when The People saw an animal, it meant survival.  It meant that food was available, or there was a change in the weather coming.  When I see an animal these days, it means that I am first of all, still honoring the frail connection I have to the Natural World.  It means I am looking.  It means I am paying attention to the web of life that connects us all.  It means I am seeing.