To everyone else, it will seem like you are just out getting some air. Little do they know that not only are you working those thigh muscles, you are also on a spirit quest!
- You’ll need a good pair of walking shoes. A place to walk and forage: a park, natural preserve, beach or wooded area is best, but if you can only manage your backyard or the streets of suburbia, that’s okay too. A question or issue from your life that needs some clarity. About 30-40 minutes of your time. A journal in which to record your journey.
- Avoid framing your question as a yes and no answer. Two reasons: one, there’s a general reluctance within the spirit world to muck with the free will of humans. (Otherwise it isn’t free will anymore.) Secondly, the spirit world is always game for a good gritty slog through the sort of crises we as humans like to avoid if we can. They don’t judge things as good or bad, and so will answer as positively as they know how with a resounding yes to every choice put to them. (Not always good despite what they think.) A better way to word your question is: What am I not seeing about X? What am I learning through this issue? Or, what do I need to remember when dealing with X?
- Venture out with as little expectation as possible. You want to have as clear a mind as possible. Shamans call it being a “hollow bone.” Remain open to sights and sounds around you. Take note of everything that happens, particularly if it seems unusual. Think of each “happening” as part of a story or metaphor. If you encounter any animal (non-domesticated), take note of how it is behaving.
- Now ask to locate a stone that will hold a picture or image that responds in some way to your question. Let your vision kind of float over the ground beneath you. If it seems to snag on a particular rock, approach the rock and ask if it holds the answer to your question. You will need to sense its answer with your gut or intuition (you know that funny little feeling you’re never supposed to trust?). If the answer is positive, ask if you may take the rock, and will you need to return it once you have found your answer? (I always feel if nature is respecting my free will, I should respect its.) If the answer is negative, move on until you get a positive response.
- Before you take the rock, notice how and where it is situated. Take your rock in your hands and turn it over. Notice the overall shape, texture, and color. Does this information tell you anything? Now look at the surface of the rock for any patterns, faces or images. (You might notice wavy lines or concentric circles, a spiral, the shape of a fist, an owl’s face, etc.) What do the images remind you of? What do they tell you about the issue at hand?
- Record your entire journey and make a list of all the things you saw and heard and learned on your walk. You may wish to draw illustrations.
Tip: If you’re having trouble converting the patterns and images you see on your rock into a sensible message, try free association. (Remember that exercise psychiatrists do with ink blots?) The idea behind free association is that it takes you out of your left brain (thinking mind) and into your right brain (creative imagination). What is the first word that pops into your head? What does that word make you think of, and so on? Imagine that the message on your rock is located at the center of a labyrinth inside your head. Pretend you are walking toward the center of that labyrinth on a concentric path of linked words. Keep walking on words until you locate your message.
Suggestion: Make the messages you receive from the spirit world into mantras. When a situation into which you previously sought insight occurs, and emotions arise, recite the message in your head again and again, breathing deeply and releasing.
Creative Exercise: Think of a metaphor that brings to mind a message from spirit. Say that the message “You are free” makes you think of a butterfly. “Let go of the past” may make you think of an open hand. Now get some pliable plastic-coated wire, a few sheets of newspaper and a package of plaster of Paris strips (you can buy these in an art store.) Create a 3D image of the metaphor. Stuff with shredded newspaper if necessary. Soak the plaster of Paris strips in water. Layer over the strips and mold to your wire sculpture. Let dry. Cover with words, colored paper, pictures, paint, buttons, charms, etc. to create a collage that speaks your message.