spirituality Archives - Page 3 of 9 - Experiential Online Animism Class
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How Will You Hear the Whispers?

In Wales I learned to hear the whispers. In the past I have concentrated on going where Spirit roars. These are power places where even the most dense people can feel the swirls of the earth’s chakras attuning their bodies. They are exciting. They provide “proof” that something transformative is happening. Big shifts happen. Lives change. But my last pilgrimage wasn’t like that. The earth didn’t scream at all. It whispered. And I had to lean in to hear it. I thought it was a new experience for me, but I later realized that I had been preparing for it for a while. All the solitary walks in the woods helped me appreciate both the absence of manmade sounds and the chatter of the forest. When I’d look up and see the wide...

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sustainable spiritual travel

Sustainable Spiritual Travel

Nature has a carrying capacity. The western, modern way of dealing with that is to take from the "haves" to give to the "have nots." For example, if one area doesn't have enough water to support the population in, they bring more in. If there are too many wolves in the area for human safety, they shoot them. If tour companies want to grow, they build more hotels and roads. This is not sustainable spiritual travel. If we are to be good stewards of the earth, we can't participate in this. We have to find other ways to feed our inner yearning. Going out isn't working anymore when there are crowds, long lines, destruction of natural habitat and local culture. The price is too high. So, perhaps we need to go...

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pow wow

Spiritual Tourism Has Invaded the Pow Wow

I should have known it was just a matter of time. It's here. Spiritual tourism has invaded the pow wow. There appears to be nowhere to hide from the spiritual hunger of the mainstream world. No one is immune to the almighty dollar. I went to a pow wow this weekend. It's one I haven't been to in a while so I wasn't prepared for the radical shift in energy and focus. Pow wows are a modern invention that have only been around for about a hundred years. They started as cultural gatherings for the tribe to meet, dance, sing, celebrate, and share stories. As time went on, tribes blended their celebrations with other tribes, opened them up to the public as fundraising events, sponsored contests that offered prizes, and functioned...

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Image by spencer from Pixabay

How I Lead Group Ceremonies

By far the most controversial thing I have ever written was an article called "Please Don't Call it Native American Shamanism." Another article called "What You Need to Know Before Engaging in Group Rituals" fleshes it out a bit more. Since I still get questions and arguments about who is entitled to lead group ceremonies and do rituals, I want to just let you know how I lead group ceremonies. This is not to say that this is how it must be done. It's just to give you something to think about when you choose your group facilitator or if you are considering leading group ceremonies for others. I Know Who is in Ceremony With Me It's my job to know who is in ceremony with me because the ceremony is for...

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looking without seeing

Looking Without Seeing

I recently went for a walk in the woods with a friend. She stopped and gasped when we came across this magnificent tree. Oh, it was fine, and it took her appreciation and surprise to help me see that I was looking without seeing. Yes, I noticed it the first time I came across it too, but after a while the novelty wore off, and I forgot. We all do this. The brain looks for what is new. It also pays more attention to what's potentially dangerous. So, we are programmed to overlook wonder and see negativity! Yep, if something is bad or harmful, we will pay more attention to it. If we've seen it before, even beautiful things can fade into the background. Knowing this, you can see why life can...

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group ritual

What You Need to Know Before Engaging in Group Rituals

In 2011, best selling author and motivational guru, James Arthur Ray, was convicted of felony negligent homicide after conducting a sweat lodge where three people died. Every year pilgrims to South America die in pursuit of healing. Unfortunately, with the rising demand for rituals, spirituality, and transformative experiences, this may become more common. These types of tragedies don't have to happen to you. Here is what you need to know before engaging in group rituals. Go With Someone You Know In indigenous societies, healers serve their communities. Community members know their healers. There is a relationship. There is accountability. I hope you check out your doctor, therapist, massage therapist or other health care provider's credentials and reviews before you ask them to help you. Engaging in spirit medicine is just as important....

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Today I Lingered

Today I lingered. This is not my usual pace. I am focused, purposeful, and direct. My thoughts and actions are meaningful and targeted. Lingering isn't part of my program. Lingering encourages seeing, feeling, and discovery. It is what children do. That makes me happy. During our spring retreat, we focused on giving a voice to our inner child. I think most people do this in a Shadow way. They let out their Wild Child in rebellious hedonism. They vomit all over people putting their woundedness on display. That's not what I am talking about. I am talking about daring, play, laughter, and a lack of keeping score. A lack of self consciousness. I am talking about being without a reason or explanation. Animals are. They don't ask if they are worthy enough. No...

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ancestor pilgrimage

Have You Gone on an Ancestor Pilgrimage?

Spiritual travel is a big business now. Lots of people go to the pyramids, Stonehenge, and Machu Picchu, but have you gone on an ancestor pilgrimage? What's that, you say? An ancestor pilgrimage is a journey to the land of your people to reconnect with them and to see yourself. It's a way to reclaim your family stories, remember, pay respect, and deepen your relationship to the land. When I went to Cornwall for the first time, I knew that I had a past life connection to the place, but I didn't know that I had a hereditary history too. When my feet touched the ground, I felt more at home than anywhere I had ever been. I felt a deep link. There was a sense of exhaling, like I had come...

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autumn equinox

Spiritually Connecting During the Autumn Equinox

Twice a year, on the spring and autumn equinoxes, the day and night are the same length. In September, the sun's long reign comes to an end and he is "conquered" by his partner, the moon. For the next three months, the nights will grow longer and stay longer than the day until the day and night become equals once again at the spring equinox. So what's this got to do with spirituality? Well, people are part of Nature. Nature is now transitioning from a time of action to rest. We're moving from the fire element of summer to the water element of fall. Masculine energy is giving way to feminine. We're moving from outer directed energy to inner directed energy. If you're not moving with the flow of Nature, you may...

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