Nature Divination — Reclaiming a Forgotten LanguageBy Andrea on October 10, 2015 — Leave a comment
We seek wisdom and advice from many sources — the internet, books, conversations and lectures. Some of us use divinatory resources — tarot cards, runes, the I Ching, tea-leaves, bones or the movement of planets to reference what is shifting in our psyches and our lives.
With these various ways of knowing, I’ve found myself returning to the natural world for specific guidance and inspiration. Instead of always using my intuition to offer sage advice to my clients, I may suggest they go out into the garden to engage directly with Nature.
Here are a few issues people recently took into the garden…
One woman wanted to consider the family dynamics between herself, her husband and her young daughter. She found three objects in the garden – a spiral begonia leaf, a sprig of flowering phlox, and a small leaf changing from green to red to represent each family member. Placing these on a small mat, she interpreted what she saw, commenting on how she felt about the dynamics between the three objects. Within ten minutes, she had a completely different perspective on her family situation, one that was much more spacious, relaxed and compassionate for all concerned.
Another woman, pregnant with her first child and struggling to defend herself from a very controlling mother, chose a water hyacinth to symbolize her baby. Gazing at the aquatic flower, she became aware of the creative power of her unborn baby as a force of dynamic change in her difficult maternal relationship. This insight allowed her to relax and trust her own wise instincts as a new mother.
Choosing three objects that represented aspects of herself at this point in time, Frances (not her real name) was able to observe how powerfully rooted her alignment with Source actually was. Observing the placement of the stone, flower and leaf she had chosen, she saw a dynamic triangle. Interpreting this as a living trinity representing her body, mind and soul she said, “All’s well,” thankful to have witnessed herself at this level.
Like most divinatory readings, all of these experiences are highly subjective. That doesn’t mean that they are not potently transformative. Being drawn to something in Nature that resonates with a personal issue then observing it closely to read the ‘signs’ engages a part of our psyche that we have long forgotten — the richness of our interconnectedness with Creation.
When we commune with Nature with a focused intention, the inner life of the natural world becomes heightened; everything feels slightly more alive within us and in the environment. In this generative reciprocity, we open ourselves to receive living wisdom as Nature reaches out to engage with us.
I encourage you to try this for yourself in your own landscape.
When I do this here at Grey Heron, my role is to witness a person’s communion, to affirm the subtle messages of wisdom, to celebrate the shifts in body and psyche that accompany the experience. You may want to ask a trusted friend to be part of this process. If you do, ask your friend to hold silent space for you, like a tree-witness, as you enter your conversation with Nature.
1. Focus on an issue that you are open to receive wisdom and guidance about from the natural world. Write this down in a clear, succinct way.
2. Prepare yourself to engage with Nature by engaging with your body (through movement and/or meditation) so that you can be fully grounded and present to yourself before engaging with Nature.
3. Holding your focus lightly in your heart, let yourself be drawn to something in the natural world that resonates with you. Take time to walk slowly until you feel a definite ‘tug’ towards a place, then narrow your focus until you feel a gentle ‘This is it’ sensation.
4. Observe this closely noting the details — the shapes, colours, textures, scent and the larger context of the object. Use all your senses to observe what you have been attracted to.
5. Breathe deeply, drop into your heart, and allow yourself to come into resonance with the object and deepen your communion even further.
6. In the stillness of your open heart, Listen for a message. With all your senses engaged, trust what you pay heed to the still small voice. You may also feel body sensations as part of the communication; pay attention to these as well.
7. When the experience feels complete, thank the Nature element for sharing its wisdom. As well as informing us, this work is a blessing for the earth.
8. Record your experience, and take a little time to do a body-scan to observe how you feel after the experience.
9. Contain the information you received quietly in your heart, and avoid talking about it too quickly until it is fully integrated. We become appropriately vulnerable when we commune with Nature. Comments and opinions by others can disturb the subtlety of the experience and pull us swiftly back into detached analysis. Honour yourself by letting what you know in your bones to gestate within you as your living truth and wisdom.