Looking Back at Shamanic Walks
By Jocelyne Larghi
Wonderful Sunday morning surrounded by the wonder of nature and all energies moving around. It was much more of being aware, living in the present moment unmoved by any comments, sound, just to BE with an open heart and loving mind. The words which best could describe the experience up to me was connection, sharing. It was like an invitation to enter into the sacredness of the whole place. We may use the word “initiation” or entering into a new space where symbols, mysteries, legends, tales could be sensed. Everyone was able to lead the group until a specific chosen spot which had quite interesting meaning for everyone... it was fascinating to see some connecting treat each time. We used different words or expression but the essence came always from the one centre of living life integrating each one and the whole group in the present moment.
It was a peaceful, joyful and holy experience which remind us of the simplicity of the cyclic life in which we are all living, moving and have in our being.
Thank you to you Heather and to the whole group!
Shamanic Walk March 30, 2012
By Heather Price
The theme we began with for this walk at beloved Mt Tibrogargen, Father Mountain, was in relation to walking our path with confidence, in truth, from a place of love – the Ahuahu Way.
We began dropping into the ‘other’ worlds, at the Guardian Tree, noticing how well this great tree supports itself, with a huge branch coming from the ground that grows high, and is then loving held by another huge branch from the original tree. At the base is a huge face coming out of the trunk, like a mask attached to the tree. There is another tall, straight tree close by. I really feel this trio represented the spirit of Grandfather, Grandmother, and Great Spirit. There is so much love emulating from this gathering of spirits, and everyone was given permission to pass.
Soon, with me carrying the staff, we came to our first stop and the story began. This was a place that I was familiar with, a clear, forked path to the left with each path leading to two tall, medium sized trees that stand out, amongst the tall, skinny great She-oaks, with their ochre trunks and peeling bark. I noticed something different about this view this time – in the centre of the fork, a little way back from the two trees that stood opposite each other, each with their own path leading back to the main path, was a very large, tall straight tree of a different species again. It looked so centered and calm and it reminded us all of the importance of staying centered when we choose one or another path, knowing whatever path we are is divine and perfect, and that we are supported.
Not far past the forked road, we came to another tree on our main path. This beautiful tall tree curved itself from earth to sky, reaching out with fresh green leaves on white bark. The bark of the upper branches were in stark contrast to the brown hues of the trunk. The bark of the trunk was peeling from place to place, and it’s different tones carved animal faces onto itself. There was a clear picture of a deer in the centre, and several horse-like faces peered out at us. When I looked at the whole tree trunk again, I realized it looked just like a giant antler, and smiled to myself. The woman who held the staff by the tree and told its story had earlier spoken of her huge and gentle heart, the medicine of the deer nonetheless.
A family of four moved towards us on the path, mother, father and two little boys. The father asked us if we had found an animal as we had stopped and were all gazing up the tree trunk. Smiling, I showed them the spirit animals etched into the tree, and felt pleased to have planted a seed of creativity into this father’s mind. He was clearly out to please his son. The family hovered close by, and the next person holding the staff spoke of how he was waiting for them to move on. At the same time, a noisy helicopter hovered overhead. These signs reminded us that sometimes we get interrupted on our path of self-discovery, by family matters and other things way out of out control that seem to intrude on our serenity. And that is life.
At the next place in our story, a man holding the staff spoke to us about a clear path deeply etched from further up the mountain that snaked its way to our feet. He said it was telling us that when we look to above and be open to what we see and experience, we can be in flow. At the base of the path was some red stone dust, a gift from the earth, which I ground into fine powder with my finger, drawing a circle on the path, and we blessed ourselves with this powder, connecting at a deeper level with the earth.
The next stop on our journey was further up the mountain, and the woman carrying the staff faced the east side of path to tell her story. She had felt to find a place on the path where she could clearly see the peak of the mountain, and she now faced a huge stone wall, and not such a good view of the peak after all. She pointed to the steps on our path, and suggested that while it was tempting to stumble through the bushes and climb the rock wall on the shortest root to the peak, the clearly defined steps and the clear, winding path were the best option for her, as she had learned patience and trust in Divine Time on her journey. There was some opposition to this, and it was agreed there is time and place for both options.
Turning to the left side of the path, on the western side, we could see that we were standing at the top of the deep path we had earlier seen that guided us to stay in flow. Next to this path was a huge, old tree, with beautiful orange-red cloak of bark draped over its smooth bare inner trunk. Behind it, in the distance, was a huge breast-shaped hill, with a rocky escarpment that look just like a nipple. I was familiar with this view, and once again, it told the same story. This was the joining of the Divine Masculine and Feminine. We stood at this place and talked about how we think differently when we come from masculine and feminine perspectives, and our left and right brain views of the world. Our creative feminine side with her faith in the Big Picture will attempt to guide us one way on our path, while our masculine perspective will tell us to be organized and plan the steps we take, planning our way logically. We agreed that we could do both, and together these two perspectives would create strong flow, like the path at the foot of the great tree.
A few steps further on, the staff stopped us again, to remind us once again of our different ways of viewing the world. We had all heard a call in the wind that came from two branches rubbing against each other. Some of us interpreted the sound as call for help, while other heard it as a song in the wind. A dead branch rubbing against alive one, caused a great wound in this other wise thriving tree, trapping it for a short time, but clearly the dead branch would one day drop off and the path for this thriving tree would be clear for it to thrive and grow freely into the sky.
With only one more stop to complete our story for this walk, a woman took the staff and was led to the top of the hill, at the base of the mountain. Surprisingly, unlike the others in the group who had walked straight to take in the vast open view of the mountains in the west, she was drawn to the eastern side of the path where a tree stump was trapped between two large, flat rocks. She described what she saw as being reflective of how she felt, trapped and unable to go anywhere, a place where most of us have been at some stage of our life. I encouraged her to talk about her feelings, and then used a process with her, where I asked her to close her eyes and feel in her body where she internalized those feelings. Then I directed her to turn her body and face those feelings where they stood in the landscape and open her eyes. She stood facing a tall, rough barked tree with a lizard crawling near a wound in its trunk. Lizard represents our dreams, and this woman’s dream had surely been interrupted. I then asked her to face the opposite direction and told her answer was here. Some times we get stuck in what is in front of us, and we need to travel to the opposite direction for out answers. She had been trapped in her mind, and now she faced her body, and allowed it to guide her. She could see she could find more peace in her life by taking good care of herself on a physical level, eating well and exercising, and to stay present in this world, rather than drifting off in her mind so much. When she said this, she turned to the view in the west and her face lit up. There lay mother Beerwah, Tibrogargen’s wife, and their son Coonawarin. I shared the legend, as we have been told it, to the group, which tells of a father’s anger when his son fails to follow his instructions, leaving his wife vulnerable during a great flood. We talked as a group how our anger can cause us to do things we regret, and then nave to face the consequences of our reactions. We agreed it was up to us to walk our lives more consciously, and be mindful of our instinctive minds ruling our actions. When we learn to stand tall, strong in our centre, we can view the pathways ahead more clearly, and discern which one is the one that keep us in strong flow, and it often may be the path less travelled.
Each one of is an individual, with our own values, and filters that shape our view of the world. We all have our own past, present, and future pathways. While we may not be able to meet each other at these levels, we can join together through the love that we choose to vibrate from our hearts. Learning to listen well to each other, to value, celebrate and allow our difference, and to not take on the responsibility of finding an answer for other people’s challenges, will keep us in flow. This flow might at times take us past the familiar darkness that stands in the way of the light, and while that may take us out of our comfort zone and on an unfamiliar path, we are more resilient and powerful that we can imagine. We are also lovingly supported by The Divine, always. It is up to us how we view the world. When we come from a place of courage and trust, keeping our hearts open, we are standing tall and centered in our True Nature, as reflections of the Great Spirit within each one of us. Travel well dear friends.
Shaman’s Walk 18.02.12
By Heather Price
Thirteen people walked with me around Mt Tobrogargen this morning, after we sat in sacred circle first to create connection and mindfulness. After greeting and thanking Father Tibrogargen, Great Spirit. the Ancestors, and All Beings of all directions, each person tuned into who they were, in the core of their being. They thought about, and shared within the circle, what they were most grateful for in their live, what they were ready to let go of, and what they most wanted to nurture and create within themselves.
I then introduced the circle to the teachings of Master Po – The 8 Ways, sharing a brief explanation of how they cam about and what they meant. Today, these 8 Ways would guide and support the Shamanic Walk in a subtle way, as they do in all walks of life.
Then it was time to enter the forest, and listen to the wisdom of the spirits there, and the spirit of the mountains. Each person centred themselves, then they introduced themselves to the guardian tree and asked permission to enter into the unseen worlds of the shaman, beneath and beyond physical reality. The teachers of this world communicates within the physical world, sending signs and messages, for those who are aware and open, through the creatures and spirits who dwell there.
When we entered into the forest, walking now in two worlds – the world of consciousness, with an open doorway to the unconscious whenever we chose to go there, I was amazed at how quickly the story from the mountain, that would hold today’s teachings, began to unfold.
The staff pulled me up at a place early on the path that showed angel path diving into two, and each path led to a tree of the same species. One tree was thriving and strong, the other look sparse, and had a large branch at its feet that seemed to connect it to the healthier looking tree; one path lead to strength and vibrancy, and the other did not look so abundant.
My interpretation was that there is one path to take, but two ways of looking at your path. It depends on your values, and how you measure abundance. For me abundance means a full and open heart, a confident and self-loving spirit, a healthy and swell-nurtured body, and a balanced, peaceful mind.
One member of the group, after hearing of my interpretation, suggested that while the path chosen may be less travelled, it was not necessarily less abundant. This became the theme through out the walk, and showed itself time and time again.
The next two portals of energy that called the staff, carried in pairs at the front of the group, to stop, connected us with the mountains in the south. These mountains looked like giant, full breasts that were ready to nurture our spirit in this place. There was a sense of being hugged by the mountains and trees, and this was also felt on the mountain we walked.
As we stopped at each portal, we would listen within, and watch without, for messages and signs to help us interpret the story emerging from the mountain and surrounding landscape. The first people who passed us once the story began to unfold, was a man and his three sons. The masculine energy on the mountain was strong that day. Men in groups continued to pass us, and the feminine energy of the pointed mountains watched from a distance. The theme of masculine and feminine on a journey together began to emerge. Three blue bells on the path seemed also to command out attention, and the number three, with three feminine mountains, seemed to vibrate strongly in that place.
At the third portal, lead by two members of the group who were partners, the woman seemed to be claimed by the staff as it lead her to lead her partner to a great tree on the edge of the path. She seemed deeply connected to this great tree with it’s huge cloak of bark draped all over it, leaving an exposed section of itself close to the earth, open and vulnerable. The woman pick up a feather of the same colour of the tree, noticing its gentleness and softness, in contrast to the roughness of the red bark. This was a mighty, strong energy, and the man spoke of how he could see that energy emerging in his partner, and that he was willing to step back and support her on her journey to fully embrace and claim her power. The woman spoke then of how it is also supportive for the masculine to step out and walk a strong path ahead from time to time.
While the man and woman spoke, the people passing seemed to support the statements being made by the man and woman. At first a man walked strongly and detirmedly ahead of his partner, who walked two metres behind in a more relaxed way. While he looked down and concentrated on where he was going, she took her time to walk in more awareness, greeting us all as she passed. Soon after, a woman walked towards us from the other way, with her partner following close behind her. She was wearing very short shorts, and a tight t-shirt, and one member of the group pointed out she was ‘exposing’ her feminine side.
It seemed the mountain was attempting to teach us about the relationships possible between man and woman, and also between inner masculine and inner feminine – for the great tree that carried the message stood alone in this vast landscape. We began to talk then on how safe it is to expose our femininity and masculinity, and to show our vulnerability and our strength at the same time.
As we stood talking about this, a group of three women of Asian features, walked past us, which lead us into a discussion of how the feminine has been viewed within some cultures as being subservient, and how that has changed.
Another couple, also partners, took the staff and lead the group to the next portal, close by. This was the platform that overlooks a vast valley, with two mountain peaks nearby. The couple took their time to talk together quietly about the messages that they were receiving. Their messages were both similar and different. They both saw the mountains as representing the masculine and feminine energies, however, the man identified the feminine mountain as being the same mountain the women saw as masculine. Each person ahd their own interpretation of what that meant; neither saw the other person’s interpretation as right or wrong, it simply was as it was. Like the two paths that could be chosen at any time, there is always two ways to look at life.
The woman here was also taken by the softness that the trees on the valley gave to the landscape, in front of the mountain. Perhaps, the message being – “Look through soft, and gentle eyes at what unfolds in front of you”.
As we talked about all of this in this place, and older couple hovered around and shared the space as they looked at the view, and then a vibrant young couple passed by.
I then guided the group’s attention to the platform we were all standing on – a platform that the man, who had felt happy to be lead by his partner, later said he felt secure to step on to, with confidence that it would hold him. I asked the couple who held the staff, what is was that they saw as being the platform that they were building their relationship on. They went on to share how important respectful and timely (mutually agreed timing) communication was to keep them in flow – and sometimes they did that well, and other times they didn’t.
Just before they lead off, two men ran passed with water bottle strapped to their bodies, they were on a mission. Another group of four men came down from the mountain. The group was lead by fit looking young man in singlet, football shorts, and joggers. In contrast, the man at the end of the line wore navy kakis, and long, skinny legs in laced working boots with burr protectors over his socks – he had a well-worn Akubra hat on his head. We spoke then of the importance of acceptance of contrast and differences within relationship.
We set off then, lead by a woman and man to our next portal. This portal was called by the cicadas who screamed at us from the forest. It was the sound that drew the woman to a halt, and the site of a long, leaning tree that halted the man. They stopped at the same place, for different reasons, but were in harmony with each other, despite their differences. They were not a couple, and the woman was somewhat older than the man. Youth and wisdom, hand in hand.
The final leg of the journey was taken by three people in the group, two women walking ahead with the staff, with the man supporting them from behind. I walked close behind this group who seemed lighthearted and having great fun together. They were also oblivious of a butterfly that was flying over top of their heads, diving in close from time to time. When they stopped all at once together, the butterfly stopped too – and sat on a thin branch refusing to move until they gave it their full attention. They spoke together, and with the group, about the cycles of life, as shown to us by the butterfly. I was amused after the sharing, at the arrival the two men who had passed us earlier, who were on their second cycle of the mountain. It seemed the mountain was reminding us of second chances, and to know that life is cyclic, and that we do get more than one opportunity to take the path less travelled. It is up to us how, when and if we decide to do that.
It seemed our story had come to an end, and the group wanderd to the enxt meeting place, stopping on the way to hug the mountain’s heart where it spilled out on to the path. We stopped at the seats at the bottom of the north-east side of the mountain and shared a song before walking back to where we had begun the walk, and closing circle. We gave thanks for another revealing, healing, and inspiring journey with the Mountain.
17 September 2006
My friend, teacher & mentor Heather Price had arranged a Shamanic Walk around Tibrogargan at the Glasshouse Mountains. It was overcast, a Sunday 2 weeks following the death of Steve Irwin.
As I sat waiting, a couple of kookaburras were also present busily pursuing insects at the picnic site. Kookaburra represents a sign of healing the self1. Finally seven of us were present, a number significant to Heather, who teaches us to continually observe & interpret the signs. She challenged us to pick the stone in her Sacred Circle that originated from this sacred place, Tibrogargan. We held each of the stones representing the four directions & centre.
We did a short meditation. From aboriginal dreamtime, Tibrogargan represented father energy & as a group, fathers had significance & Steve Irwin played a part: myself, I felt a spiraling of energy & the idea of crocodiles! I narrowed my guess to two stones, that of the West, the Heart & the East, the Spirit.
As we proceeded to walk around the base, sharing & learning, the Spirit of the Father & our relationships with our own fathers & their relationship to those present emerged. It was amazing, the significance & synchronicity.
The Stone was that of the East & Spirit.
We were once more faced with kookaburras at the end of our Walk; leaving us assured healing was naturally occurring in spite or despite ourselves!
You just need to stop & feel the energy of this place, it is palpable.
Wherever you are in nature’s temples, observe & trust whatever comes up: ideas; thoughts; feelings. Observe the animals & other signs of spirit. It might not make sense immediately but will fall into place. Welcome to spirit.