earth-medicine-bones

Most of my life, winter was … well … blah. And cold. And tiring. Spring and fall are my seasons; I feel much more energetic when it’s not so-damn-cold or so-damn-hot.

When my spiritual practice began to revolve around the seasons, though, everything changed; I found deep reverence and significance for each gorgeous turn of the wheel, and winter has completely captured my heart.

Earth Medicine

For me, winter is the time of earth medicine. One of my favorite things to do is gather stones, roots and bones, along with other meaningful trinkets and treasures, to make a unique divination set. These personal and intimate tools help me connect more clearly to my subconscious, allowing me to discover solutions to challenges that are significant to me. And I am going to show you how to make your own lovely set.

First, go outside (okay, stop right here… if you can’t go outside, no problem. Your spirit tools will be in your home. Okay, carry on) and look for anything that speaks to your heart. These pieces should be fairly small so you can handle them along with other small tools. Find as many as speak to you. This can be rocks, stones that are significant for you, cypress balls, pieces of amber, bones, small pieces of wood, feathers and lightweight cones (for decorating your space), etc.

Next, rummage around for a piece of cloth, a scarf, an altar cloth, etc., that can be used to house your medicine. *You may want some ribbon or thread or yarn to tie your bundle together after you have used it; this cloth will double as a foundation for your tools when you “throw” them for your reading.* It can be as simple or as ornate as you like.

When you have all of your goodies assembled, sit with each item and allow thoughts and impressions to come to you. Write them down. These will become your correspondences. You may have more than one correspondence for each item.

Here is an example of my correspondences:

Baltic amber: immunity, protection

Cypress ball: strength, shelter, potential,

Antler tip: awareness, stealth, nourishment

Yellow dock root: minerals, wellness, deep roots, detox, rooted

Smoky quartz: joint/tendon issues, pain relief

River rock: building blocks, softening edges, approachability

Seashell: tides, tears, Cayla (my dolphin friend), fluidity

Teeth: Speak up, bite into it, communication

Dragon’s blood: Power, protection, keeping under wraps

Clear quartz: energizing, movement, clearing, clarity, conduction

Notice that each of these correspondences could be something I feel I need in this moment. You may find that yours speak to you the same way.

Creating your World

Earth-Medicine22

The final piece of preparing for your readings is to set your scene.

The directions can hold specific significance. You can use the directions as a formula or you can create your own personal significance (or both). For example, East can represent intelligence, vision, knowledge, renewal, communication and/or flexibility. South can represent passion, power, creativity, intensity, destruction and/or integrity. West can represent emotions, surrender, release, grief, cleansing, relief and/or support. North can represent depth, strength, wisdom, stability, ruts (as in “stuck in a rut”), solid, decay and/or endings. Center can represent spirit, subconscious, the unseen and/or the nonphysical.

If your earth tools land off the cloth, that can hold significance for you.

I begin each reading by spreading out my cloth, setting my earth tools to the side and smudging my space; this brings me comfort. The heady aroma of the smudge, whether it is white sage, cedar, mugwort, rosemary or sweetgrass, puts my mind in “the space.” You know which space I mean. The “We’re getting ready to do some good soul work” space.

Then I take my earth tools into my hands, I ask my question *or if I don’t have a question, I allow my primary emotion to arise fully into my awareness*, I close my eyes and then I toss the pieces gently onto the cloth.

Here are some tips on getting impressions from your spread.

  • Gently open your eyes, soften your gaze and notice any initial impressions. Does the scene look like anything in particular to you?
  • Notice any significant patterns and/or shapes in the spread
  • Interpret based on your directional representations
  • Interpret based on your correspondences

Feel free to interpret your spread however you choose. Allow your intuition to guide you. Consider recording your impressions either via voice record or a journal; sometimes when I get in the zone, I don’t always have perfect recall after a reading. Okay, okay. I can’t remember chit.

You can get all formal with ceremony… begin by facing a specific direction…feel free to incorporate your own spiritual ceremony into this work and make it your own. I tend to face East out of habit more than anything, but I have been known to be a bit rebellious and face a different direction.

Supplement with a tarot deck or oracle of your choice if you want a more in-depth reading. I love Joanna Powell Colbert’s Gaian Tarot and Mark Ryan/John Matthews’ Wild Wood Tarot.

I love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Leave a message about how this post has inspired you, how you have incorporated your own type of connection with earth medicine with divination or how you would like to add skills you already know to this practice, and I will add you to a drawing to win a free internal landscape journey with me!

Our winner will be drawn on the evening of 12/22!

~Deep peace,
Dana

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7 thoughts on “Winter Earth Medicine

  1. This has been on my mind since moving into temporary space while in search for a new home for Muffin and I. I made sure all my objects were in box that I could and would get to. With the event of New Moon and Winter solstice to open the path ways to letting go and setting directions is a perfect time. The intention is there the space and time is has not yet presented itself.

  2. I read tarot and have done some work with rune stones but this is the first time I have heard of the process you have described here. As I read, my head was already “picking” out items I have collected and a feeling of excitement and urgency rose to go and collect more. Lol. My inner self isn’t happy right now. I have a commitment and can’t drop everything to go “finding”. Right now “she” is pouting.

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