I would like to share a blog I wrote a number of years ago following a 4 week group course I facilitated with my Mother called The Elemental Medicine Journey which involved a combination of Art Therapy, Sound Healing, Guided Meditation a d Ritual.
I’m currently in the process of re-developing this into a 4 week 1:1 online course so stay tuned if you’re interested in delving deeper!!!
In our modern western patriarchal society we have been focusing most of our awareness and energy into the physical and mental aspects of our being, our masculine side. We are geared towards achieving success through gaining material possession and a perfect body and the right clothing; stimulating our over-active and anxious minds with TV, computer games and drugs.
We are all about 'doing' rather than 'being'. The emotional and spiritual aspects of our being, our Sacred feminine side has been largely neglected and discouraged. There seems no value in developing spiritually and expressing our sensitivity and compassion in a consumer driven competitive way of life. Our Self has become fractured and fragmented. We have forgotten how to be a whole, complete being with all four aspects: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual in balance and harmony. We are both masculine and feminine, Yin and Yang, lightness and darkness. When our being is balanced, we live in flow, in peace and in love.
One way we can become more balanced and live more in flow is to reconnect Nature and its natural cycles. Birth, Life Death. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. A seed grows into a seedling, a tree, becomes dead timber, charcoal, carbon and then back into a seed again. The four building blocks to these cycles in Nature are the four Elements: Air/Wind, Fire/Sun, Water and Earth.
These elements are the doorways to reconnecting and rebalancing in order to become complete and whole beings again. Each element corresponds with one of our bodies: Earth is Physical, Water is Emotional, Air/Wind is Mental and Fire/Sun is Spiritual.
Beginning with our physical body, our connection to the Earth and our grounding to the here and now. Through connecting, listening to and learning from our physical body, we can learn to be more present with our consciousness and awareness. A simple practice of walking barefoot on the earth can allow us to tap into the Sacred energy of Mother Earth, which helps us replenish our own personal energy when it is depleted. Our bodies are just as Sacred as Mother Earth herself. Practices such as dance, yoga and walking bring us back into our sense of knowing through how our body feels, our intuition.
Water is connected to our emotional body. Our sensitivity, compassion, empathy and love for self and all emotions from joy, fear, sadness and anger stem from this body. Water can help us return to living in flow, having the ability to release and let go of difficult emotional experiences. Water has the power to cleanse and heal in order for us to continue to grow and develop our potential. Bathing in the salt water of the Ocean with the intention of letting go and releasing anything that is holding us and back or no longer serving us is a very healing practice. Even our daily shower can be used as an opportunity to cleanse our selves.
Air or Wind in linked to our mental or intellectual body. In our busy and stressful lives, our mental body, our mind, can wreak havoc on our beings. A never ending stream of thoughts that torment us with worry, fear, sadness and pain. Focusing much attention to reminiscing about the past or fantasising about the future, we forget about the present moment. One way in which we can use the element of Air or Wind to reconnect with the present moment and develop a more healthy and positive mental body is through our breathing, through the Breath of Life.
Being mindful of the process of breathing, of air moving into and out of our bodies is a simple, yet effective way to calm the mental body and become more present and in turn become content and more at peace within our selves. A simple mantra said in our minds or out aloud (sound is also carried through the air) can be repeated during our meditations with the breath. Inhale and say 'Here' and exhale say 'Now' or Inhale 'Let' and Exhale 'Go'.
Lastly is our Spiritual Body and our connection to Fire. Fire, The Sun, Life Force, Spirit. Our connection to all that is, to Mother Earth, Great Spirit, God, The Universe or whatever deity, source or belief you hold. This is your creative fire, your higher Self, sense of Divinity and Oneness. Standing out in the sun and feeling its energy warming our skin and igniting our life force is an way to connect to our higher self, our spiritual body. Lighting a candle as a prayer to your higher self and placing it in a sacred altar in your home is also another powerful ritual one can practice.
We can use the power of performing and practising Ritual to reconnect with Nature and returning to our wholeness. Ritual is a way to make our lives more sacred and more meaningful. When we mindfully and intentionally repeat rituals, we actually help to create new neural pathways in our brain and new ways of being as a result. As a society we have lost the much of the importance of ritual and as a result much of the sacredness of life. It can be as simple as making time in our day, even for five minutes, to practice mindful breathing, walking barefoot on the grass, swimming in the ocean and lighting a candle in our home.
I have completed an Advanced Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy. This course, as well as my life experience, research and mentors such as my Mother, has taught me about the use of practices based on Shamanism and other Ancient beliefs to help me reconnect to my natural ways of being, to listen to the wisdom of all my bodies, discover more about myself in order to heal, grow and reach my potential as a human being. This included various forms of creative expression such as art making, journalling, movement and chanting; performing rituals and creating altars; and guided visualisations and meditations. I wish to share my passion for Transpersonal Healing with others so they too can utilise these tools to improve their sense of peace and contentment within their own beings and lives.
I have facilitated a series of 4 workshops called the Elemental Medicine Journey which explored the concepts I have been discussing. These workshops consisted of a combination of art therapy processes, ritual and various forms of Meditation and guided processes to explore the connection between our 4 bodies and the four natural elements. These concepts also stem from the Native American Medicine Wheel, a symbolic circular map of the four cardinal directions and Ether/Spirit which is used to connect us to and help us absorb the Spiritual Powers or Energy (Medicine) of Nature.
My mother Ruth Summer-Rain helped support me in facilitating this group. Her guidance, wisdom and passion for the transpersonal provided a valuable contribution and knowledgable presence to the group. Together we became Journey Doulas: holding space, bearing witness and helping 8 women to journey beyond the self and rediscover our connection to Nature.
The rituals seemed to resonate especially strong, it was almost as though these women were tapping into our collective history as Pagans, Native Americans, Mayans and other ancient cultures whom lived in sync with the natural rhythms and flow of life.
I was born in the country and grew up in the Wilderness of the Wollemi National Park. I am very strongly connected to Nature, Mother Earth and Father Sky and feel their sacred energy helps me cleanse, heal, revitalise and find more peace, contentment and happiness in my experience of life. I love being able to share my passion with others.