April 11, 2015
Making Your Own Medicine: a new definition and a new way
The First Nations, Native American peoples lived on Turtle Island (their name for North America) many millennia before any of the White Lodge peoples came. Theirs is a very mature society.
Understand that what we think we know about any of them is an observation coming from the White Lodge perspective, often prejudiced by religious considerations and the result of our making much deadly mayhem for them to which they responded in kind. Custer had no idea who or what he was dealing with and largely we still do not.
The idea of medicine is not about a pill, a drug or the doctor.
Remember their life was what we can call a ‘natural life.’ Their day to day existence depended on their land, their relationships with the flora and fauna all about them and on the cooperation among them founded on a Sacred Circle of Power to which every mature person belonged. They were very knowledgeable about plants: what will feed us safely every season of the year? They held sacred relations with the animals hunting them for food and sustenance as often as was needed in a manner respectful of the animal tribes and of the individuals who came to be killed that the human tribe might survive.
Their tribal continuity was based on their individual and collective memory of their history. Shaman, specific medicine people and each person in the group knew and could recite their history word for word in ceremony.
In this time, those of us White Lodge people interested in developing our own spiritual nature can learn from these traditions personally adapting the ideas we become most related to. There is no wrong way.
Spiritual work, in my view, is the most potent and most personal work there is.
I have never been able to follow some guru, some formula or system considering they had no ‘life’ in them for me. I made my own medicine stumbling blindly along, meditating fitfully and only sometimes as I continued to grow.
I collected artifacts that helped me choosing them as they came before me: a beautiful elk hide, 8-sided large Mother drum found in a store in Yucca Valley; an F-key (heart chakra) Tibetan bell given a long time ago by a friend, sage and cedar incense given these days by a woman near me; prayers, chants, mantras and mudras noted and gifted to me from myself; recordings, books and video programs, Raven’s flight across a canyon wilderness. All of this has become my personal medicine, what in another kind of language, might be food for the soul.
I promise you that if any of this is meaningful to you, all you need to do is stop for a time and give yourself any and all of the medicine you recognize as your own.
This kind of medicine nourishes the much larger, much much older and wiser you and as you go forward in your life you will deepen and enrich your life, your soul force and your eternal connection with the One That Is.
Look around. The small critter you might own: the dog, the cat, a horse, perhaps: each of these animal friends, even if individuals are younger than we are, has been on the planet longer than any humans. It is necessary to ‘shut up your head’ to hear their medicine because they found it necessary a very long while ago to be silent around us. Simply acknowledging these truths opens a door to dog medicine, to the gift of the inscrutable cat, the emotional sweetness of your horse.
And the wild ones: four legged coyote, bobcat, rabbit, raccoon; the winged ones: raven, owl, road runner, the little scratching birds. Let them lift your heartful emotion to a state of excitement and pure joy. Laugh out loud while they scratch in the dirt, flit, trip and soar about over your head. Let their eternal magic enlighten you to the awe and wonder of their world.
Give thanks for the four elements: earth below our feet, air above, the breath within us, the breezes; water we every day drink so that our bodies function properly, ocean, rivers and rain; fire, the digestive flame in our gut, the spiritual conflagration that is our life.
It’s all yours right now. Give and Receive.