“Let me tell ya. You gotta pay attention to signs. When life reaches out with a moment like this it's a sin if you don't reach back... I'm telling you.”
― Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook
The first time I caught wind of Pixie Lighthorse’s plan to incorporate an earth medicine certification into her expanding repertoire of offerings my heart genuinely fluttered with excitement. I think it was a simple hashtag on one of her stunning instagram photos that tipped me off. Having worked with Pixie for well over a year in a series of SouLodge sessions, by the time the first hints of these new developments surfaced I was really hungering to sink my teeth into some meatier teachings. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to be a member of the first class of SouLodge Earth Medicine School and although I suspected this would change my life, I had no idea just how significant the impact would be.
We began our studies in June and by the time our coursework was due in November I had undergone a profound series of transformations both personally, spiritually and professionally. I entered the program nursing a few lingering emotional wounds that were holding me back in ways I would come to understand intimately. Facing myself and my shadow with the assistance of my particular allies would allow me to release the old and painful stories. In order to heal others, one must first heal herself. The reward of an honest pursuit of one’s totemic medicine is worth every ounce of the struggle. There were times I wanted to give up. I didn’t think I would complete my assignments. The nature of the work itself required me to surrender completely to my simple human nature. In the end, I refused to let myself, my sisterhood or my teacher down. I finished the work and it transformed me. These are the greatest gifts to come of my studies: I discovered my true song; my core medicines; and my staunchest allies. Working in concert with them to heal myself has opened the doorway to my fullest life again and I am inspired to bring this level of healing to others.
I completed my certification just as I was turning 40. Marking that particular milestone in this particular way seems appropriate for someone like me who finally feels old enough to be who I was meant to be. I often joke that I think I must have been born an old woman, but the truth of that statement is that I have been fortunate enough not to lose too much of the wisdom I came here with. The training I received in Earth Medicine School coupled with twenty years experience working the principles on my own and in multiple circles has prepared me to step more fully into a role I now know I am destined to embody. I am respectfully heeding the call to be of service to those who would seek me out. I know that there is a need for the assistance I can provide. As a ceremonialist I cannot shy away from the responsibility to perform that duty for others. Publicly I’ve presided over several marriages and run dozens of circles and privately I’ve conducted more rituals than I could ever count. There are just a few more tools I want to add to my belt before I “hang up my shingle” and in the meantime I am really enjoying the process of imagining exactly what this new role will look like and how it will all work.
My word of the year is FRUITFUL and 2016 began with a burst! On the first Saturday of January I received the most delightful package from Pixie which contained my certificate, a beautiful letter and a heartfelt token to mark the occasion for the SouLodge Earth Medicine School class of 2015. I sat on the floor of my living room as sunlight streamed in and slowly opened up this much anticipated parcel. I had been waiting eagerly, maybe even a bit fretfully, for days and I wanted to drink in the occasion completely. Fully present in the moment I felt such pride because of my own accomplishment, yes, but even more because I am so impressed by the work my sisters and I have completed all combined. It is heartening for me to know that there are dozens of other women out there each working as diligently as I am to heal and be healed. By restoring ourselves, our families, and our communities we are moving the healing of the entire planet forward by quantum leaps. The world needs us now more than ever and I couldn’t be more honored to be in service to preserving all that is wild, beautiful and true on Earth. It is both thrilling and humbling to be in such amazing company.
The 2016 session of Earth Medicine School begins this Saturday and enrollment is already capped, but there are still plenty of opportunities to work with Pixie in SouLodge this year. The caliber of her teaching and the quality of the SouLodge community are not to be surpassed. In a world swirling with options I heartily recommend anything Ms. Lighthorse has to offer. I’m excited to share with my readers how I’ll be putting my certification to good use. As my plans come into clear focus you can be sure that I’ll be letting you all know first! Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!