We all have regrets about our relationships. There are wounds and misunderstandings, resentments and irritations—things we carry that no longer matter and yet, weigh heavily on our hearts. The dynamic within relationships is just energy, and it takes the intention of only one member of any relationship to shift or transmute that energy from discordant to harmonic.
- You will need: your drumming tape (CD) or your own drum (you will beat it at a pace of 120 beats per minute), a space of 20-30 minutes, a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed, a comfortable place to lie or sit, a light blanket to cover you, and a bandana for your eyes. Have a journal nearby for recording the details of this journey.
- Enter the journey with the intention of healing the discord between you and another person in your life. (Remember, it is not important that this person share your intention. Once you change how you feel, the energy will shift and the dynamic between you will heal.) Go to the tree you used to meet up with your power animal (Journey to the Lower World). Enter the lower world the same way. When you arrive in the lower world, call your power animal to you. Explain the purpose of your journey.
- Hear or sense what your power animal has to say about what is out of balance in the relationship you wish to heal. Ask for a metaphor or symbol that will describe the dynamic as it is now. Ask what will correct this imbalance. Ask for a healing of the relationship.
- Follow your power animal to an open neutral space within the lower world. Allow your power animal to direct the proceedings. See the spirit of the other person come into the space. He or she will arrive escorted by an animal spirit. (Don’t get caught up in determining which animal—it’s not important.) Let the meeting evolve as your spirit animal sees fit. Perhaps there will be some exchange of gifts or the return of soul energy that one party appropriated from the other.
- Say your goodbyes and return with your power animal to the place where you met. Ask what it is you are supposed to remember about this person or your relationship with them—a truth you may have previously missed.
- Thank your power animal and go back the way you originally came until you come out by the base of your chosen tree.
- Begin to move your fingers and toes. Slowly come back to the room. Record your journey.
Tip: Suppose you return from your journey without as much insight or clearance as you had hoped for. That’s okay. We don’t always need to “know” what is operating as long as we still carry the intention of releasing it. When “bad” or hurt feelings arise from the relationship in question, just adopt the following mantra: “whatever is operating within these feelings belongs in the past and no longer matters. I freely release it.”
Suggestion: As a child I used to go to church sometimes with my mother to light candles for a family member who was sick or in trouble. This is a beautiful practice that symbolizes the vigil, or watch we intend to keep until a particular cause finds resolution. If there is a chapel or church with votive candles you can light, that is fine, but you can also light one in your home. You can buy votive candles in tall glass holders that actually burn for about 3 days. Light it with your wish for a healed relationship and allow it to burn to the end. (For safety reasons, I put mine inside the fireplace or in a bathtub whenever I leave the house.)
Creative exercise: This is a little transmutation ceremony you can do to shift the energy of any problem situation. You will need a smooth flat stone about two or three inches across, a paint pen, a bowl of rainwater, a sprig of sage and a container to burn it in. Lie back in a quiet room with your eyes closed. You may or may not wish to play your drumming tape. Settle back quietly and take several deep breaths. Hold the discord of this relationship in your mind. Observe the feelings it brings up within you without judgment. Place the stone on any area of your body that feels wounded by the discord. Hold it there until you feel the energy draw out of you and seep into the stone. When you are finished, sit up, turn off your drumming tape, and place the bowl of water in front of you. Cleanse the stone asking the water to wash away the energy of these emotions. Dry it gently with a towel. Light the sprig of sage in a fireproof and heavy bottom container. When it catches, blow out the flame. It will send up a fragrant smoke that you will dowse your stone in, asking the smoke to transmute or neutralize the pain you have experienced in this relationship. Now lie back once more and place the stone again on the wounded place you held it to previously. Ask the spirit of the stone (or your power animal) to provide you with a word, a symbol or pictograph that indicates for you a healing or new beginning in the relationship. Sit up and using your paint pen, inscribe the symbol onto your stone.