For as long as we know, humans have wandered the land with an intention outside of basic survival.
As a species we have a desire to look beyond the day-to-dayness of things and find deeper meaning. Aboriginals have their walk-about, Thai forest monks walk without a goal, as a form of meditation and many other religions have some form of pilgrimage.
In many contemporary Rites of Passage traditions there is often an invitation to walk as a preparation for the actual initiation piece. This Medicine Walk would happen from dawn to dusk a month prior to the Rites of Passage ceremony. It is a time to begin asking good questions and to begin the process of being open and receptive to the other-than-human realm and to the Mystery, or Otherness. We would choose to do such a thing if we have a desire to grow and if we have a desire for change and transformation. It is a time for contemplation and for reconnecting with ourselves and the natural world. The process can bring empowerment for it is up to us, not anyone else, to find our inner guide, our inner source of wisdom. One thing that became clear to me early on in my experience is that nature and the outer landscape have the potential to reflect what is happening in our inner landscape and this can be extremely powerful. How we then translate the encounters from our walk into our lives is up to us. And this is where the real work begins……….
These day walks can also be stand-alone ceremonies and I offer them as part of a 3-day event that includes sitting in a sharing council of the first day to find and name an intention as well as receiving guidance for self-generated ceremony. On the second day you are invited to leave at dawn and spend the day in ceremony and alone with the land and the other-than-human realm. The invitation, as with the traditional way, is to return at dusk. On the third day there is another council to share stories from the day walk and have them mirrored back for deeper understanding and meaning.
Although they are called Medicine Walks it is by no means obligatory to walk the entire time ~ wandering, lying, sitting are also part of the ceremony if that is what is needed.
See Events page if you wish to join me for one of these ceremonies….