How to Use This Book

Speaking with Nature: Awakening to the Deep Wisdom of the Earth - Sandra Ingerman, Llyn Roberts 2015

How to Use This Book

Spending time in nature will be your doorway into the seen and unseen realms where you can communicate with the nature beings in your surroundings. The exercises we suggest will guide you to a deeper appreciation for the lands, waters, animals, birds, and other beings you live with and in making contact with the helping spirits in nature.

In some instances we will suggest you listen to a drumming track or an audio track that features other shamanic instruments. This shamanic music will put you into a deep meditative state and allow you to let go of life’s ordinary thoughts and distractions that prevent you from exploring the hidden realms of nature. For these practices you can also listen to music you find to be uplifting and spiritually expanding. It’s best not to use music that includes words, because words might distract from the intention of the exercises. Suggestions for drumming CDs and shamanic music are provided in the About the Authors and Illustrator and Their Work section at the back of the book.

If you have a drum or rattle, you may enjoy drumming or rattling while performing some of the exercises. This will help you to step away from any mind chatter so that you can increase your concentration, find your energetic center, and focus fully on the spiritual practice. You can make a rattle by placing into a container, such as a small glass bottle, pebbles, corn, or seeds. Or you can find two sticks in nature and click them together to provide percussion.

Most important is spending time outside in nature. If you live in a city, find a park where you can walk, observe, feel, and listen to the natural world. At times you may simply lie on the bare ground. Lying on the earth and connecting your heartbeat with the heartbeat of the Earth, as well as moving your body in ways that mimic nature’s movements and walking barefoot, when you can, will reestablish a sense of peace, joy, and harmony within you.

When you walk in nature and speak to the spirit of the elements and to other nature beings, the true wisdom comes through a transmission that is beyond rational understanding. This energetic transmission touches a knowing you were born with, of oneness with the Earth, which acts as fertilizer for your growth.

There is no “right” way to perform the practices in this book. We truly mean to inspire you to find your unique ways to reconnect with the natural world and the intelligence of nature.

Shamanism is a practice of direct revelation, which means you have the ability to work directly with the spirit of the Earth and nature beings. As you learn how to enliven your outer and inner senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste, you will be amazed by how much nature has to share with you. This depth of connection will teach you how to communicate with and respect other life forms that share our Earth and show you how to improve your quality of life. As you open your heart and body to the Earth, intuition naturally unfolds. Over time you will see your own reflection in all of nature.

While writing Speaking with Nature, Llyn lived in the Hoh Rain Forest in Washington State, which receives twelve to fourteen feet of rain annually—a lush and rich green plant paradise that is abundant with flowing waters. Sandra lived in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Sante Fe, New Mexico, at 7,000 feet in the high desert—a land that experiences times of extreme drought, very cold temperatures in winter, extreme heat in summer, and high winds for much of the year. Just as we found corresponding connections in our own environments, we will lead you into meeting the spirit of the land where you live so you can deepen your connection with the land and gain a better understanding of how to improve the quality of your life.

Sometimes we complemented each other by writing about the same nature being, and at others we wrote about aspects of the landscape that differed. For example, in one chapter Llyn wrote on Glacial Silt and Sandra wrote on Sand.

The animals, too, are different in different environments. In one chapter Llyn wrote on Elk and Sandra wrote on Snake, both of us following our inner guidance.

As you proceed with the material, you might find yourself surprised and, hopefully, delighted to read about the nature beings that called to us. May you be inspired to listen to and honor nature beings that are calling to you where you live, to connect with the elements, and to cultivate your inner garden and a rich inner landscape.

Certain themes embrace a variety of teachings, both the shadow and the light, and there is quite a bit on death, rebirth, and initiation. We share ways of using your creativity to live the life you desire, in harmony with nature. We also explore ways of nurturing yourself, opening to universal love, and meeting your divine self. It is important for all of us to learn how to create and anchor sacred space, as the times in which we live are so filled with change. We share stories that will help you to weave your physical and spiritual life together, supported by the deep wisdom of the Earth.

At the end of the book, you’ll find two instructional essays. “How to Work with Omens” teaches how to be observant of omens and signs that appear in nature as you hold the intention of a question or seek guidance. “How to Work with Grief ” is designed to support your hurting heart, bruised as it may be from all the death and destruction we witness due to environmental shifts, disasters, and abuse created by unconscious human behavior.

The nature beings we write about reflect the principle of creativity and fertility in the natural world. There is such a depth of ancient wisdom we can embrace and feel as we awaken to the power of nature. But we must go beyond reading and feeding our minds to experiencing with our bodies as well as our inner senses and reconnecting with the power of creation and fertility.

Inhabit the beauty of the seen and unseen worlds of nature. Earth is your home! Nature is speaking to you and calling you home.