Writing my new book, ‘The High Heeled Guide to Enlightenment’ saw me undertake several remarkable spiritual adventures. All of these were performed in the pursuit of a higher wisdom and deeper spiritual enlightenment. Each experience aided my understanding, and in turn added amusement for my very modern readers. A side effect of my newfound spiritual interest was a burgeoning love for the planet, and a deep concern for all the horrific abuses we commit upon her.
To me spirituality now comes hand in hand with a responsibility to make the world a better place. As grand an ambition as they may sound, it is nonetheless true. Frankly, there is no point sitting upon an enlightened pedestal and then watching the world you love turn to garbage around you. Indeed any wannabe enlightened being had better get used to the idea that balance, moderation and mindfulness are going to be key to her peaceful and spiritual journey. Such things come as part of the deal, and impeccable spiritual credentials include more than a love of meditation and a connection to spirit. In our godforsaken consumer culture, being spiritual also means treading lightly on the earth.
This heartfelt belief was exhibited to me by a number of incredible alternative systems of belief. The one that grew closest to my heart was Shamanism. Shamanic people worldwide feel a deep affinity with Pachamama (Mother Earth). They see nature as our equal, and believe that humans are just one part of a greater spiritual organism that makes up this planet, and indeed the universe.
Without being privy to our first-world satellite systems or eco-knowledge, Shamans have always known that the abuse of Mother Nature will bring us naught but trouble. They know it and for thousands of years they have truly respected it. Nature to the Shaman is a stronger force than any number of intelligent human beings. Shamanic people court nature, living in it, loving it, worshipping it and treating it with reverence. Somewhere along the lines our Western society moved away from pagan earth-worshipping principles, and we all got greedy. Leading of course to our wasteful, ‘have it all’ consumer culture.
Shamans were the original environmentalists; their simple lives and naturalistic based beliefs could teach us modern humans a great deal. My personal studies of Shamanic belief have brought strong spiritual focus to my love of nature and the environment. It was good for my soul and in tandem I rediscovered the naturally shamanic part of me that adores the world we live in and the creatures and flora that reside upon it. For all Green Goddesses a side dish of shamanic style spirituality can help bring a meaningful mix of harmony and super consciousness to your sincere eco-friendly lifestyle.
Article by Alice Grist
Read more about Shamanism, and other alternative spiritualities in Alice Grist’s book, The High Heeled Guide to Enlightenment available in all good bookstores worldwide.