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INTEGRATING AND BRINGING FORWARD
A NEW MEDICINE
When it comes to integrating new
medicine, it occurred to me there's not a lot of information
the process. Since I'm in the middle of it right now, I thought
I would offer what I could on the
subject. Obviously it's a very personal process and there are
some things that cannot and should
not be shared so please bear that in mind. In my mind, this
isn't about giving answers but rather,
bringing transparency into the process of integrating your medicine.
Also, please don't share the
specific medicine. In other words - don't write a post about
integrating Spider Medicine. This is
about the process itself.
First and foremost, it begins with Creator. For me, the entrance
of a new medicine is
accompanied by dreams where I interact with the carrier of the
medicine. This is usually months
before the medicine begins to manifest on a conscious level.
During that time, I find that I cannot
settle on answers about the dream experiences. For example:
I'll research the symbology of the
dream. I'll then meditate on what the representations mean to
me on a personal and spiritual level
and receive information there. But frequently, though I find
'answers', I'm not satisfied. It doesn't
feel complete yet.
The next clue for me is that I begin to go through some physical
changes and don't really know
why at the time. It's instinctual - as though I'm making internal
room for the new medicine on a
cellular level. My meditations increase. My diet changes. And...
I start cleaning. I suspect this is
a 'me' thing. Cleaning is part of my processing because it is
an outward form of organization. As
I organize outside myself... I'm also organizing inside. I'm
curious to know if anyone else goes
through this step though.
Next, things begin to manifest in the waking world in relation
to the new medicine. One of the
first lessons I learned in Shamanism was 'Watch your parameters.'
In other words... if birds are
suddenly disturbed and fly out of a tree in mass, likely there's
a predator in the tree that you
better watch out for. So when things in the waking world happen,
and I can feel there's more to it
- it captures my attention in a way that tickles the back of
my brain but no outward sign that there
would be anything to know anything about, that's usually an
indication of a new medicine - when
combined with the other things, not in and of itself.
That's about the time I seek Spirit on the subject to bring
it to a conscious level of awareness.
Now, that's all just to get it to the conscious level - LOL.
That's not beginning to work with it yet.
The next stage for me is acceptance and that's the toughest
one. It's not that I have to 'accept' the
medicine to dance it. I've already been dancing it to some extent
before I'm aware of it. It's more
like the human part of me has to have its say. Once it's in
my conscious awareness - I have a
tendency to fight it. It's not usually a long struggle but it
seems to be an important step for me to
go through. Then at some point, the fight gives way to a child-like
curiosity about it and instead
of fighting, I take it's hand.
I was going to wait to comment on this and let other's get their
views in but thought instead that I
can address it based on my own experience and the teachings
I've received. I do want to
encourage the community to discuss this topic. SEDD is right,
it's a very important issue in our
spiritual growth and the way we develop with our Medicine.
I concur with all she's said on a personal level we do each
have our own ways of assimilating
changes that take place in our Medicine. Once the Medicine is
made known and the
understanding of it is received there is a spiritual transformation
that takes place as we absorb
that Medicine and make it our own. It is gifted to us, but we
must accept and embrace that gift.
Whether it has been bestowed through journey, ritual, ceremony,
questing, or some other means,
it takes time to adjust to it.
The adjustment begins immediately as you come out of the Oneness
with Spirit, your Guide, or
your Spirit Teachers. Your head may well be swimming with all
that has taken place and there is
a measure of excitement that takes hold. When that settles itself
(usually within 24-48 hours) the
reality has found its way to conscious awareness in which it
becomes more focused. This is the
first step of assimilation for me.
Next I will find that I need to let the Medicine filter through
me and back out again as I learn to
work with it. Practice begins on ourselves. In our lives, resolving
our situations or needs. When
we learn to hone in this way no one suffers for any minor mistakes
we may make (though there
should be none to begin with, the risk needs to be all ours).
Once we've mastered the Medicine
and found valid results for our ability to make it functional,
we can begin to serve others with it.
IMHO and the way I was taught this should be the way it's done.
Like SEDD, I'm usually put on notice that I am being Called
to a meeting by Spirit. This has
always been the call to Vision Quest for me, but others have
their own summoning situations. It
can, as I've indicated, be presented in a myriad of ways. My
Calls have always come about 3
months prior to the event actually taking place and there are
several different "notices" sent out.
It's like I'm told I will be needed in attendance and that concept
stays with me until the official
summoning arrives and I go.
During that time of waiting there will be many signs from my
Totems, in the Dream Lodge, and
from Spirit all validating that this Call has been made so there
is not a doubt in my mind when
the time comes to attend to matters.
In order to receive a new Medicine something has to be exchanged
and I always open myself to
Spirit's Will allowing that price to be set and pay it willingly.
I've found that never does Spirit
take something from us that it is not replaced by something
of equal or greater value so I am
more than willing to surrender whatever is asked of me.
I do have physical reactions prior to the receiving, but then
many people do. My physical
reactions tend to come from my Guides who initiate them. They
will adjust my being on a
cellular level and literally shift my inner spirit within me.
It feels like someone has suddenly
shoved me, pushed me, prodded me, and I can feel my spirit pushed
out or partially out of my
body, sometimes in several "sets" of actions. There
may be a lift or tug as well, and the closest I
can come is to say it's an adjustment or resettling. I'm more
or less "made ready". This usually
begins anywhere from 2-3 weeks in advance as cellular shifts
take time to unfold after that.
When the Medicine is received it is presented and explained.
A lesson that is thorough comes
with it and I am shown how to work with it with total understanding.
Afterwards there is often
another physical reaction as it settles into me. Again a cellular
shifting takes place to adjust
myself to the Medicine. It becomes a part of me and thus once
received it has to fit itself into my
makeup. Some side-effects can happen on occasion: restlessness,
loss of sleep or excessive sleep,
nausea, headaches, minor out of sorts feelings either mentally,
emotionally, or physically and
these are short lived for me, usually just an hour or two but
I have had them last up to 24. I've
heard others say they last weeks. I feel that depends on how
well you've grounded afterwards.
I have no dietary changes, but like SEDD, I do start cleaning
house and if I don't, I'm told to
"clean house" so it's something that I do. It's almost
this drive to do spring cleaning. I find it
goes beyond that symbolic "house=Self" though and
I clean up relationships too. Some I break
free of seeing clearly they need to end, others become either
distant or closer. In many instances
I've found my blood-sister and I go through this simultaneously
and we do share Guides so that
may be why. I'm not sure. I've not heard of others that do this
but we do get Called to the Dream
Lodge and share lessons together there too at these times.
The first time it happened I thought the cleaning was literally
my housework being neglected.
LOL. I later found out that it's an organizing process that
helps you to organize your Medicine
too. It seems that throughout history women's housework and
chores have been tedious work that
allow the mind the space to wander and process thoughts. The
experience of accepting the
Medicine is subtly shifted through and we can filter our own
thinking and sort it all out that way.
We do have to mentally accept this has just happened. In that
process our life and our lifestyle is
rearranged to fit the new perspective that has come along with
that Medicine for there is a new
pattern that must now emerge.
From here it begins to take material form and I start to manifest
the results of what the Medicine
can produce in little ways. Experimenting as I go in my own
life first, as I get the hang of it I
begin using it more and more and in bigger ways until I'm comfortable
with the fit. Once that's
done I'm more or less off and running.
I do take a very focused and ritualized pattern to adjusting
to it but that expedites the process for
me and allows me the space to see I don't have to fight this.
I've never felt that need. I embrace it
when it is given in the first place. Never have I received and
not been fully aware of every
intricate nuance to the situation.
I've been thinking about the fighting thing I mentioned. :box
I think I use fighting to explore the
medicine. I learned that about myself during my martial arts
training. As I entered the ring, all
my senses were awake and the dance of fighting became a lesson
in the balance between you and
the other guy. You knew they were looking for your vulnerabilities
so you were very aware of
them, while at the same time looking for theirs. In a sense,
you teach each other where your
strengths and weaknesses really are.
It's a different kind of intimacy that if you're aware of what
it's teaching you about yourself and
the dance, can be a valuable tool. If you're not aware and using
it - if it's simply a slugfest
between you and the other guy, that's very different. I don't
recall ever standing against any
medicine I was offered in a contentious way.
Cinn - You do the cleaning thing too! I wrote about this over
at Shaman Sapience too and that
seems to be a surprising commonality when it comes to integrating
medicine. I'm so tickled
because I never expected to find that was something that others
went through. Like you - mine
extends further also... but it usually doesn't extend into relationships
directly each time. I do find
that cleaning up more about myself improves how well I can listen
and relate when it comes to
all my relationships but that's usually the extent of it for
me - that I can recall at the moment.
The exchange you mentioned... that's interesting to me. For
me, there have been a few times
when I've returned things to the Mother, but not in exchange
for medicine. My exchange usually
involves passing on what I've learned. That's what's asked of
me each time so that's what I do to
the best of my ability. This last time, I find myself waving
goodbye to a few personal traits that
are changing with the new medicine. But I don't really see it
as an exchange (if you mean it in
the giveaway sense). That's more like, I can't absorb the medicine
if I cling to the older things. I
have to allow them to evolve on every level and by then, I'm
SEDD--that cleaning hit a new level for me with the last Vision
Quest I did. It was very intense
and Spirit told me to "clean house". I took it literally
at first but it ended up turning my entire life
upside down and ushered in many other changes. I cleaned my
life itself. Now while that was a
good thing in the end it created a state of chaos for a while
and I had to step out of my role
spiritually for a time and into the mundane to see to these
changes. At first I wasn't able to see
the "why" of things, nor was I looking for the overview
as I was too immersed in it all. By the
time it ended I saw why it happened that way.
You see, my Medicine had grown so much in that process of Vision
Questing that I needed to
make room in my life to apply it in new and expansive ways.
That took more time to unfold but it
came about in a very natural way. So there's reason for this
"cleaning" on whatever level or
scope it appears. I'm not surprised you're hearing others speak
of these things.
Extending into relationships would depend on the level of those
relationships to your new
Medicine. If there is anyone holding you back or getting in
your way you must find a way to
either assimilate to them or walk away. The Medicine cannot
flow inhibited. I didn't lose people
in every case, but the dynamics of relationships often change
as a result. Your focus becomes
different. Sometimes they are eliminated and paths part ways.
Sometimes it's just not seeing so
much of someone or having to change the interactions on some
level. It could be as simple as
having someone you're mentoring move on, and a new person coming
in to take their place
needing your new Medicine to be applied. That's the hand of
Spirit putting your to work so you
can serve...Or...it can be much more dynamic.
The exchange....no it's not the Give-Away, at least not in the
sense of giving away personal
things and making room. It's the exchange of giving up an old
perception for a new one, the
sacrifice of self in letting go of old habits that no longer
serve your needs, perhaps letting go of
fears, emotions, blockages, vulnerabilities, even traditions.
It could be any number of things but
you must give something up to make room for the Medicine and
its needs within you. These
things are not given back to the Mother, they are given up to
Spirit or our Guide/Teacher
bestowing the Medicine Way at the moment. Like a small fee.
In my experience I open to Spirit at
these times and offer Spirit the opportunity to look me over
inside and out and name what should
be yielded up. I never select it myself. I let Spirit name that
sacrifice and I've always been treated
Even there it's not so much an exchange for the Medicine per
se. It's more like a sacrifice of the
self-made so that the self can grow. Like Snake sacrifices its
old skin to emerge from it with a
new one and gaining size in the process. Never does Spirit ask
something of us or take something
from us that is not replaced with something of equal or greater
The passing on what you've learned, be it in teaching, or healing
acts, or some other form of
service is what we are supposed to do after the assimilation
period has been completed.
Assimilation can take a few hours to years depending on the
depth of the transformation.
Anytime we receive Medicine, have our abilities enhanced, and
grow a transformation has to
take place. So in essence the service we apply that Medicine
to may be quite varied but it is a
service. To those whom much is asked much is given. It's always
an exchange of some sort.
Yes, we serve to the best of our ability, but we need to see
that our life becomes molded to our
Medicine in many ways. To serve consumes our lives and the more
service we do the more our
lives have to change to accommodate that. It may be gradual
and we might not notice it much at
first but each time we undergo a change like this the mundane
life is going to reflect it in some
As you exemplified, you're seeing personal traits change this
time. Next time it could be much
more. I see other changes. Are you not, simultaneously, saying
goodbye to friends there as you
make ready to move to the States again? What else are you giving
up? The culture and ways of
the Medicine there to find some remains with you but it too
will change because you are
physically changing locations and cultures? See? What else are
you giving up? Guides? Will
some of those Spirit Helpers stay where you are now because
they are tied to the tombs/crypts?
Because their work is there, not Stateside? Are you giving up
teachers there for new ones here?
Anytime we receive an enlightenment, a Gift of Spirit, enhancement
to our Medicine, a new
ability, or are directed to serve in some new or expanded capacity...for
any shift in our spiritual
countenance there is going to be a need to release something
to make room for it. I think you
give up more than you realize, but this is not the traditional
sense of Give-Away (passing
material things on to others); it is the surrender of Self (shamanic
death or the death of a part of
you no longer necessary to the you that you've become.
Oh I can tell I'm getting into that territory where words aren't
enough. LOL. It does touch lives
in a permeating way on all levels though and it's fascinating
to see each time it happens because
not once have I found them to be the same. There's always improvement
on a weakness and a
loss of vulnerability that results but it can be wide ranging.
Once your life settles down again
and things fall into place you'll know you're ready to start
serving your community. You'll be
challenged as that placement comes about to use your new Medicine
to accomplish that
organization. You hone it in this way and by the time you're
done you know what it can do fully
and how to go about it. You know when and when not to use it
for others and they do start to
cross your path.
We're always challenged to apply it. First for ourselves, and
then for others until it is so
integrated in our makeup that it becomes second nature. Once
we've unified it with our other
Medicine it becomes part of the whole. Then it becomes reflected
as such and others may feel it
without being able to say what it is other than "there's
something *different* about you today,
did you change your hair?" LOL. We can smile and nod, "I
changed something alright!"
Medicine helps us evolve in many ways.
BTW, if you want to quote these comments at SS as part of the
thread I have no problem with
At this point of my life I'm feeling like I need to clean house
both physically and spiritually. I
think I'm just in lazy mode right now since so much stuff is
going on, mostly for the good(better
job situation, paying taxes etc.). But it can be overwhelming
at times...ah well, I'll figure it out
sometime...maybe Im in Coyote mode.*Grins*
Hmmmmm Coyote Mode? LOL...well humor helps you just have to
keep a wary eye on Old
Coyote...his ways are full of mischief!
As long as Coyote keeps me on my toes!*Grins*
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