Kindling the Native Spirit: Sacred Practices for EverydayLife by Denise Linn and published by Hay House is chock full of exercises to ignite an Earth-based spiritual lifestyle. When common things no longer satisfy, and you feel a yearning in your soul for something more, a truer connection to life and all that implies, this book might be the answer for you.
Denise Linn does not claim to be the guru or the shaman every one has been looking for. Rather in this book she shares from her own Nature-based lifestyle practice. The exercises she offers can help us to reclaim something that many people have lost – that feeling of living close to the land and in reverence for the Earth. Each one of us can become an Earthkeeper: someone whose lifestyle is in balance with, and not in discord, with the sentience of the planet itself.
It is important, Denise Linn writes that we begin to recognize that all things share sentient spirit: the animals, the plants, the birds, all living things and also what people consider to be non-living things, such as the rocks, the dirt, the waters, the air, fire, the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth itself. This idea is not so far fetched; long ago our indigenous ancestors all shared the idea that everything was alive. Exercises in this book can help reclaim that awareness.
It is also important to recognize that no matter what race, nationality, color or social standing, all people have what Denise Linn calls the “Native Spirit” within them to reclaim. The Australian Aboriginal Elder Nundjan Djiridjarkan taught her that being native isn’t what’s in your blood, but what is in your soul. She found this attitude reflected in many places and with many Native peoples with whom she studied the spiritual calling of the Earth. If our hearts call us to help the Earth, then we have Native Spirit.
The challenge that many humans face today is overcoming an arrogance (which we have been taught) that we are superior to the Earth and the other living beings that dwell on it. How can we be superior to the very being we rely upon for healthy air, water, food, and shelter? And yet this very arrogance has led to destruction of the very resources that sustain us. We can begin to change our selves and our relationship with our Earth-home through consciously changing the attitudes we have been indoctrinated with.
Among the exercises Denise Linn suggests are fun and ceremonial ones: calling the Ancestors; calling the Four Elements; calling the Four, Six, or Seven Directions by constructing a Medicine Wheel. Or we can merge with life forms themselves: calling your Animal ally, your Plant ally, and even learning to shape-shift into its form. There are things we can make: tobacco ties, sacred space, or a spirit stick. And there are still more things we can do: maintain an altar to the ancestors or the seasons, make a drum or a rattle or a medicine bag.
This book contains still more life enhancing lifestyle changes, and if this is what you are looking for I cannot recommend it highly enough.