Can Your Location Influence Your Spirituality?

I hadn’t really thought of this until recently.  I had never really given any thought to whether my spiritual path had been shaped or influenced by where I lived or where I grew up.  However, in recent weeks after moving from Germany to Texas I am starting to think that your immediate surroundings can and do influence your path.

I have always just considered myself a “Magpie Pagan”.  Magpies are birds that are really intelligent – but take bits and pieces of anything to make their nest.  This is how I saw myself.  Though my early years were mostly revolved around a Hoodoo influence with a little Appalachia thrown in – I now see no clear lines.  Can I easily classify how I practice?  No.

While living in England my practice shifted to something that any Traditional Wiccan would be comfortable with and could participate in easily.  This was not intentional – I just did what felt right at the time.  While in Germany my practice changed a bit to be something that seemed a little more Druidic – but my perception of Druid.  Not actual authentic Druid – but something similar.

A few weeks ago I moved to West/Central Texas.  Spiritually speaking there is a very strong Native American influence here.  While not completely unknown to me, and though I have always had an interest in different Native traditions, I have never taken that leap to fully immerse myself.

Could it be the environment?  Could it be that the land around me resembles something of a desert that I associate certain tribes with?  To be honest – I was born and raised in Southeast Missouri where there were many tribes of Natives – yet I never felt connected there.  Here in Texas …. it’s different.

This is not to say that I will start calling myself a shaman and throw some random stuff in a little pouch and call it a medicine bag … because that won’t happen.  But I will share a recent experience.

Four times a year a local metaphysical shop owner who follows a Native path holds drum circles, peace pipe ceremonies, and sweat lodges on her property.  I had never participated in a sweat lodge or peace pipe ceremony.  I decided to try it out.  I attended a sweat lodge – and holy moly do you sweat.  While the word ‘sweat’ is in the name — I thought it was figurative.

Something amazing happens though.  I have a hard time holding concentration not just during channeling, but meditation, remote viewing — everything.  I have this intent desire to analyse that I have yet to fully control.  The sweat lodge is dug into the deep rust red ground of Texas with a little altar of sorts outside.  Before we entered I asked if anyone would be offended if I got a deeper explanation.  Everyone was happy to wait while I was enlightened.

The dugout lodge is the womb of the Mother (Earth).  It is seen as a safe place to ‘retreat’ to gain the peace and environment needed to grow as a being spiritually.

At first the heat was unbearable.  I thought I was going to have to leave.  The smoke wasn’t comfortable.  I was told by the leader that I had to separate my physical self from my spiritual self.  I had to let the heat and smoke carry me to a higher plane.

I’m not going to lie.  It was hard.  It was hard to not cough, or wipe my face, or let out a disgruntled sigh of sweaty-ness.  I bet it took 10 minutes for me to worry less about my environmental uncomforts and focus on … nothing.  I literally focused on nothing.  I was just going to ‘be’.  Just have the experience and enjoy it for what it was.  A group of people each taking a little personal journey.

Then it happened.  At first I thought I was fainting.  I thought the heat had gotten to me and I passed out.  Then I saw colors and smelled smells.  I heard speaking, but didn’t understand.  It felt like I was seeing an area for what it used to be in a time gone by.

It smelled damp – which is strange for West Texas.  Then I saw a river.  I had no legs and wasn’t walking.  I was just sort of moving as if I was standing on a skateboard and someone was pushing it.  As I looked around I saw dark haired people throwing powder/sand/ash (something) into the water.  A few seconds later the fish would come to the surface and the younger ones would rush in and pick up the fish.

I saw some women doing bead work and the colors of the beads was so vibrant it hurt to look at it. I saw some people skinning a beaver and heard another woman giving birth.  It was a really small village not far from a river.  It was beautiful.  It was Missouri.  It was actually really shocking.

That vision has stuck with me just as plain as when it first happened for more than 2 weeks now.  I have had a vision or two involving a Native girl – but I believe that was due to a close connection of a friend of mine.  This was entirely my own and I am still cherishing it.

Does all this mean that I am suddenly going to follow a Native path?  No, probably not.  I don’t feel it is for me.  I still don’t feel a calling for that.  I will, however, be incorporating some things into my practice that are Native.  I will be making a smudge fan with collected feathers and doing a lot of beadwork with patterns I saw in my vision.

Basically this entire story is just a call to take a chance.  Even if you have little interest!  It may turn out to be awesome!

Posted on October 19, 2013, in spiritual paths and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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