Medicine For The Earth: Repairing the Web of Life

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The concept of the web of life is that everything is interconnected: plants, animals, rocks, humans and even the spirits in the spirit world. Since my second journey indicated problems within my ancestry, emigration from foreign lands to America, and the sorrows it produced, Lauren suggested that I journey and ask my helpful spirits to ‘reconnect’ any web-of-life connections that needed repairing. This reconnection would take place during my journey or immediately after.

Journey 3: As the drumming began, I found myself in complete darkness. My young teacher met me there and we journeyed into the Lower World and entered the cave. We met up with the eagle, merged with him and flew off into the void.

Our focus was on me, as well as my relatives and ancestors. As we flew, I could see new connections already forming, like one single cable with numerous strands, growing forward toward the infinite web of life. Through our intentions we joined the connections, first with my immediate family, living and dead; aunts, uncles, cousins grandparents, my brother, my parents, my children, my wife, my in-laws. Ultimately the connections extended themselves to our ancestors in Ireland and Sweden. Finally, at the end of all the growth, the cable approached me and I accepted it into my heart. What a pleasant experience. I was happy!

Toward the end of the journey I asked if there were others we should include, like friends. My teacher said no, that this was ancestor-oriented and therefore the connections were created that way. I thanked my eagle and my teacher and I said a prayer of thanks to all the helpful spirits on behalf of my ancestors.

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Medicine for the Earth: Second Journey

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On my first journey in the seminar I found that I had an imperfect idea about my heart being a source of pain. For our second journey we were told to ask our spirit guides where this problem began for us individually and if there was a connection through our physical ancestors.

Journey: Again I went into darkness rather than a specific place like the Lower World. I met my young teacher again and posed the question to him. He confirmed my suspicions that, for me, it began when my mother died. I was six and her death was unexpected and turned my world upside down. Because of the fact that I did not know or learn how to grieve, my sadness was always just under the surface of my life, waiting to be opened again and covered over as quickly as possible. Unfortunately this meant that the wounds were reopened every time I lost a family relative, and every time I attended a funeral or wake, regardless of whether I knew the dead person or not. The fact that I am an emotional person to begin with made such occurrences more difficult.

My teacher said that there was also another, ancestral aspect to the issue. My grandpa McAllister, and my grandpa and grandma Bergstrom left their homes in Ireland and Sweden to come to the United States around 1900. All three came because of limited opportunities and religion-oriented issues in their homelands. As a child I don’t remember my family making a big deal out of this. Maybe they knew so many people whose parents did the same thing that they took it for granted.

Back in 1900, when people left their homeland to come to America, they knew they would never return. This meant they were leaving their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents and friends forever. They might exchange letters but they would never talk to them nor see them again as long as they lived. It was as though all these relatives were dead. How sad that must have been for all those brave emigrants. It brings to mind the Irish song “Oh Danny Boy”. The song is about a young man leaving Ireland and returning some day to visit the graves of his relatives. It’s one of the saddest laments I have ever heard.

Society needs (I need) a ritual which focuses on accepting the passing of our loved ones in such a way that it allows us (me) to release our emotions, and with them, the pain and sadness incurred with our losses. Our modern wakes and funerals aren’t helpful enough. We need something more.

Medicine for the Earth: Journey

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In late August, 2013 I attended Lauren Torres’ seminar, Medicine for the Earth. It was five days long and held in Watervliet, Michigan.

Lauren taught how we are part of the earth. If we hate or dislike part of ourselves it is the same as if we hated or disliked part of the earth. The first journey was to ask the spirits to tell us what part of ourselves needed more tender loving care and to ask what part of the earth that body part represented.

JOURNEY: I journeyed but did not travel to a specific world, at least not one I could recognize. In darkness I met my younger teacher. He quickly answered my request. He said I needed to love my heart more. He said I am currently viewing it as a source of pain. He also told me the heart relates to the inner workings of the earth.: gravity, lava flow, balance, even the outer element of water flow that has a nurturing effect on our entire planet.

He said I also need to show more love to my eyes and other senses by avoiding those things, like TV news, that cause me worry and disappointment, and detract from my focusing on creating an environment of harmony and balance. The senses are part of having a physical body and part of how I experience the world. Lack of balance and harmony in our life can ultimately have negative results in the health of the body itself.

After I returned from the journey I thought about this advice. I am an emotional person and always have been so I am sensitive to what I see and hear and it can have a negative effect upon me. I thought about how I used to meditate more and decided I need to get back into meditation to ground myself and help create the balance and harmony I need. The advice about TV news made sense as well. I need to find ways to avoid the negativity of TV.

Next Blog: Ancient Wisdom: Wisdom from the Blackfeet Nation