Taking an earth walk

'The sacred protocols, tools and medicine ways of treating spiritual illness'

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Earth Walk Medicine is located in a contemporary hogan (a Navajo Indian dwelling usually made of logs and mud with a door traditionally facing east) on the beautiful Hondo Mesa just 20 minutes north of Taos. With views of the Río Grande Gorge cliffs, the Sangré de Cristo mountain range and infinite landscapes of sage and piñon in between, this is a place where sunrises and sunsets are savory to the eyes, and double rainbows envelope us with their grander.

Here, Horse People talk and play, Crow People sing and dance and the Plant People find ease in the purity of existence. Cradled by Father Sky and Mother Earth, you can feel the spiritual connection welcoming you as the blessings of the compassionate spirits pour out upon your arrival.

Helping people for nearly two decades, my Earth Walk is rooted in multilevel disciplines passed on to me with authority to honor the methodology of the sacred protocols, tools and medicine ways of treating spiritual illness that in turn — when done honoring the strict covenant of the sacred manner of which I was shown — profoundly resonates healing on those multilevel frequencies moving through the universal circles of creation from Source, through Source, connected by Source through every sentient being.

Born of English-Hopi ancestry, my adoptive father taught me that all nature is sacred. Earth is our mother, nature is our church.

Though my childhood visits to Hopi land ended preadolescence, my connection to the many blessing way teachings of my native ancestors continued to influence me on and off throughout my adult life, until one day I was called upon to honor my roots. That calling came through the disguise of a string of debilitating supernatural illnesses I could not recover from (chronic fatigue syndrome followed by fibromyalgia, entangled with debilitating, stroke-like trans-ischemic attacks and migraines in a soup of deep depression).

I ended up seeking doctoring by the wise ways and life ways of a Lakota Medicine Woman and American-Tibetan shaman that lived in my region at the time. In turn, those relatives rekindled by ancestral agreements with Hopi. (I am not a federally recognized Native American.)

During my time of doctoring (by which I was healed of all suffering related to the conditions that ailed me), some of my life experiences were acknowledged as significant initiations for walking The Blessing Way, and agreements were made for me to receive many more teachings. Since then, I’ve integrated those teachings with understandings from my Hopi ancestry, and teachings from other medicine people and elders who have walked with me. I have been gifted many sacred tools with the authority to practice the protocols that come with those responsibilities.

In time, my desire to go deeper into studying shamanism brought me to participate in coursework, including a three-year residential program with the Foundation of Shamanic Studies. Amongst their many teachings, I deeply connected with the Tuvan practices from the Central Asian republic of Tuva. The Tuvan history dates back to the Stone Age, presenting many ancient techniques — some which I have integrated into my healing practice.

Adding to my spiritual Earth Walk, I completed studies for ordainment as a Minister of Walking Prayer through the Center for Sacred Studies. The two-year program prepared me to assist people spiritually in moving through the many transitions of life. I took to heart officiating beautiful ceremonies of welcoming newborns into our world, uniting lovers in marriage, saying goodbye to those ready to pass on and guiding people in their Earth Walk journey with spiritual counseling.

Additionally, I facilitate a New Moon prayer and drumming circle each month for women, and am available to facilitate prayer/drumming circles for other groups as well.

I walk with humble gratitude for the opportunity to help all human beings walk in courage enabling each other’s ability to move out of crisis into empowerment.

This Earth Walk is my ceremony. My heart speaks the language of my prayers. My mind follows. May the blessings pour out upon all of you — you are my Earth Walk family.

Sandra Chestnutt is a shamanic practitioner and minister of Walking Prayer who also performs healing ceremonies, shaman weddings and is a plant medicine educator.

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