Elemental Journey: Merging with Mother Earth
Shamanism, at its foundational level, is about creating a sacred relationship with nature. Mother Earth (Allpamama) helps us to remember that we are all interconnected, and that everything, everywhere is part of the great Oneness of Being. Nature teaches us about change and the natural cycles of life such as birth, growth, death, regeneration and evolution. By spending time in nature, we can learn more about ourselves, and how to engage more fully in the cycles of life. Nature has informed our ancestors for ages, and those same teachings are informing us today…but are we listening?
Working and living in progressive, spiritual communities, I often hear people express their frustration with humans “destroying the earth” and their eagerness to “save the earth”. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make the earth a better place, but often in our effort to “save the earth” we approach this interest from a place of fear, and in turn, it may become a source of anger, dissatisfaction or even contentiousness. This approach is the antithesis of Mother Earth’s teachings, and only creates more negativity in our environment. If we want to be activists for “saving the earth”, we might consider focusing our attention on being a spiritual activist by “knowing the earth”. Communing with Mother Nature as often as possible is a great way to know her truth and to understand what it is that we can do to harmonize with her essence.
Humanity has existed for a fraction of a second when measured by the earth’s heavenly clock. I see Mother Earth existing in absolute perfection, and do not believe that we have the power to affect her divine nature positively or negatively. Does this mean it’s okay to pollute the skies and poison the oceans? Of course not, but what it does mean is that if the earth is already in divine perfection, it becomes our responsibility to harmonize with her perfection. Our purpose is to learn from her by merging with her and emulating her divine wisdom.
In Shamanism, we can journey to the dimension of elemental spirits. From there, we can merge with the elements in a way in which we can better understand them, observe their life force and connect more deeply with their consciousness. In the process of merging with an element, we are given the opportunity to hear the messages and the wisdom that they have to offer. The elements can inform us how to best work with them.
The elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire exist in the Middle World, which, according to Aztec tradition, is guarded by Quetzalcoatl, the winged serpent. The Middle World is the space in which we live here on Earth. It is easily accessible in a journey by energetically stepping out a door that leads you from the inside to the outside world. This world is filled with all of nature’s wisdom, including the spirit of the plants, trees, rocks, minerals, animals, insects, and all living beings.
In the upcoming journey, we will access the element of Earth. I will be guiding you through a mystical experience where we will connect with Mother Earth to ask her how we can best honor, respect and serve her. Once we have this understanding and a more intimate relationship with the Great Mother, our actions and decisions will innately reflect that connection we have with her. There is no effort or negativity associated with our intention. It simply becomes our way of being and interacting.
To begin your journey to the Middle World, set your intention to know the essence of Allpamama. Ask to be shown how to best relate to her and work with her for the benefit of all. Sitting comfortably while you drum, rattle or listen to medicine music, visualize yourself leaving the room or space in which you are sitting. See yourself walking toward the door that leads you outside. Know that this is the entryway to the Middle World where you can commune with all of nature’s elements.
As you step outside, greet the spirit of the land and let the Nature Spirits know that you enter this space from a place of the heart, and that you love all of life and earth. Start to walk down a path in nature, and notice the beauty, the contrasting colors, and the smells in the air. While on this path, feel yourself drawn to any part of nature such as a plant, rock or tree that may call to you. The Earth holds great abundance. It nurtures us, sustains us and is a reflection of all of the beauty that exists within and around us. Once you have made a connection, ask to enter into this part of the Earth. As you merge with its energy, you may ask how to adapt your life to be even more in alignment with the spirit of the land and the element of earth. Ask questions such as, “What are you here to teach me?” “What is your message?” “How can I support your purpose?”
After receiving a response from Mother Earth, thank her for her guidance and hold these teachings in the sacred space of your heart. To complete your journey, you may want to leave an offering as a symbol of acknowledgement and gratitude. An offering could be something sweet such as candy or chocolate. It could be an herb, flower, plant or leaf, or it could be food such as beans or corn. Leave your offering in a special place and thank the spirits for joining and supporting you. Begin drumming or rattling again to carry yourself back to the room or space where you began your journey. Bring your hand to your heart to energetically seal in the wisdom of Mother Earth.
Journeying to the elemental nature of Allpamama may be the most graceful and respectful way for us as a collective to best serve the Spirit of Mother Earth. From my experience, the answer is not found in doing something dramatically different, but in being something dramatically different.
Aho Mitakuye Oyasin
(All My Relations)
Ananda facilitates 200 hour and 300 hour Yoga Teacher Trainings, Shamanic Cleanses and Transformational Retreats giving each person the heartfelt attention and direct facilitation that cultivates ecstatic, healing and magical experiences. As a teacher, she sees each of her classes as an opportunity to hold sacred ceremonial space.
Integrating her teachings and passions, Ananda has developed a system of intentional-based healing that draws on the philosophy that we are all a part of a collective life force that is driving us towards greater consciousness. By exploring our gifts and expanding our relationship with higher Self, we come into alignment with our inner purpose of Awakening. Through our collaborative efforts and unified intentions, we magnify the richness of this life's experience.