A Medicine We Can Grow Corn With: Ancient Ritual for Modern Healing

Why practice a ritual healing path? In my ever-evolving medicine practice, I’ve been noticing a dramatic increase in interest in my work. So many women are feeling ready to step into a way of living that is filled with honoring and connection. They want practical ways to restore the integration of spirit into daily life. They want to understand how to honor the seasons and connect to the Earth. They hunger to reinstate themselves as the creators and empowered healers that they are. They feel the call of spirit-the voice that tells them that it’s time for Right Living. It’s time to move and breathe in a way that reflects truth in Self and Other. They are interested to know, what exactly is Vedic Earth Medicine for? How does it work? What can it do? What is required? For those who have stepped on their medicine path, each is surprised and delighted by the greater integration, strength and meaning they are able to cultivate in their lives, the presence they are able to bring to their relationships and the deepening trust in themselves. They become unstuck and more skillful with stuckness when it shows up. ::: In our modern times, we often feel not quite at home in our bodies or the flow of life. We don’t understand what our bodies are doing, why they have pain and dysfunction. We feel that our bodies have betrayed us. We are confused and hurt by the persistence of addiction, vitriol and lack of fulfilment  throughout society and often in our own homes. Earth Medicine practices aren’t about finding answers to these problems. They also don’t fix illness, disease or discord. All of the ancient traditions (Ayurveda, Shamanism, etc.) are rooted in the understanding that disease arises due to lack of healthy and genuine connection to our Inner Medicine. And it is by creating health that disease diminishes. Earth medicine is a body of Feminine, earth-centric rituals that remove the blocks that keep us from seeing, feeling and being. They give us access to range within ourselves that we forfeited long ago. They clear away confusion and foster insight. Ultimately, Earth Medicine is not about fighting disease or warring against anyone or anything. It is about creating health and making space for true love to flourish. As we create health, disease falls away. Medicine that neglects to restore our sense of connection with the beauty of life is not practical medicine for our time. We require a medicine that is accountable to more than symptoms removal. All of the teachers I’ve had the blessing to study with have said the same thing-what good is a medicine if you can’t grow corn with it? In other words, what sort of medicine takes away symptoms without restoring our fundamental ability to nourish ourselves, to live in joy? We need a medicine that responds to the deeper perpetuators of illness, disease and discord. We need a medicine that enables us to live in full joy and participation. To us modern folk, smudging an altar to clear its energy or chanting mantras can seem woo-woo, airy-fairy. Aligning our schedules with the cycle of the moon can seem cumbersome and clumsy.  At first glance, these practices can seem disconnected from our real life on the ground-our concerns for our children’s well-being, the war and discord between individuals and nations, our own ability to be free and happy as we face the challenges of aging bodies. Our ancestors didn’t live with this division. They understood that with a sick spirit, no body could be healthy. And without a healthy body, access to deep spiritual insight was difficult. Spirit and matter were understood by our predecessors to be two expressions of the same creation. And the ancient ways of healing that they enacted are still with us. Our ancestors knew the moon, they knew the seasons, they relied on their connection to the earth to sustain them on every level. And we can too. It’s true that the exact methodologies that the ancients used are not the same as the ones we call on today. Even in the traditions of First Nations people here in the US, the practice of healing is not identical to what it was 1,000 years ago. But the capacity of humans for self-healing is part of who we are, it’s in our DNA. It can be called forth as we recognize ourselves as modern people capable of using ancient technologies for healing ourselves and our world. ::: To practice Earth Medicine is to be in a constant state of healing, a constant state of connection within ourselves and with the world around us. In fact, we’ve been connected all along. The medicine practices simply wake us up to it, they allow us to see what was previously unseen, to feel what we had been numb to, to live our unlived life. Being in a perpetual state of healing doesn’t mean that life will be perfect, that pain will cease or that there will never be illness. But what these rituals allow us to do is to prevent the disease from happening in the first place. And when pain does arise, we understand that it has meaning, value and teaching. We see it not as punishment, not as betrayal, not as something to fight, but as a call for love, a call for presence and a call for true bravery. Having lived this path for nearly 20 years, I can tell you that it is the most practical medicine I’ve ever encountered. Western medicine asks us to look at ourselves through charts and imaging of our bodies. We are asked to interpret what is happening through a model that sees us as broken somehow, and in need of repair from an outside force. We see ourselves in fragments, needing to rely on experts that we see for only moments before we are cut open, or before drugs are injested. I need to voice that I am not against Western medicine. I know many practitioners within that system who give their energy every day saving people’s lives when there is emergency. My own father wouldn’t be alive today if there had not been a surgeon available to rewire the circuitry of his heart when he nearly died. But what that surgeon could not do, what no drugs can do, is create healing. My father was kept alive by the surgery, but he has had to create his own health. His healing was different than his rescue. Western medicine is not a system of creating and awakening health. Earth Medicine is a methodology to awaken our innate healing. This is not just so that we will avoid needing medical emergencies. It’s not about avoiding at all. It’s a way of living that has practical application in every single area of our lives. It turns us from victims of our own stress and the perceived craziness of the world to empowered Earth-keepers. We find that wherever we go we can bring a quality of love. And the places we used to avoid now become opportunities for integrity and reunification. ::: As a parent I want to be present with my kids. I want my mothering to give them confidence in who they are, help them to be fearless in their growth and power, to be kind and generous. As a woman I want to know myself completely. I want to be my fullest Self. I want to shed the patterns of fear that keep me cut off from others and from my own heart. I want my presence to touch others in a way that gives them permission to awaken too. I want to be healthy, vital and curious. Earth medicine is practical technology to support these desires. It is available to each and every one of us because it is very simply who we are. If you are like most people, you did not grow up with anyone teaching you how to dialogue with your body, how to listen to the voice of the earth, follow the medicine wheel, the moon cycle or how to enact ritual in your daily life. My work is all about creating space for these opportunities. The gatherings I offer, such as the Equinox Medicine Gathering, are places to come together collectively, to remember what it means to be a true human being. We come together in Sangha, in Ayu, which is a communal space where Love holds you and keeps you in awareness of your Sacred Self. I also make space and time for individual healing sessions, when you are feeling the need to receive Earth Medicine techniques and learn how to apply these Feminine rituals in your daily life. You are healer and your medicine awaits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *