On your first journey you will visit this mythical Eden, home of the Mother that we were separated from when we adopted the belief that we’d been cast from the garden. It’s an important journey, because even if you weren’t raised in a religious home where you learned the myth of Adam and Eve, you have been affected by a culture that embraces the idea that we left paradise and can never return—unless we find a secret key to the gate, such as being beautiful, famous, or rich. This will be a sweet journey home, returning to the Mother that has never left us and never will.
The map for this journey is taught to indigenous peoples from a very early age, although it is different for every culture. Some cultures, such as the Yoruba of western Africa, follow the roots of a great tree down into the depths of the earth, into the Mother Womb; Arctic peoples imagine that they’re diving to the depths of the sea; and rain-forest shamans journey into the depths of the Amazon River. This is your journey to reconnect with the spirit of the earth and the sacred feminine.
Before you begin this journey, open Sacred Space of the Noosphere. Then, imagine your luminous body going down into the earth. Sense the rich, moist soil, the roots of the great trees, and the stones embedded in the dirt. Go down past the bedrock, deeper and deeper, until you find an underground river. Lie down in this stream, sensing the pebbles pressing on your back; and imagine the cool, refreshing water passing through you, washing away any weariness, concerns, or other energies that you may want to shed and not bring with you into the domains of the soul.
When you’re ready, let the waters carry you deep into the belly of the earth, until you wash up onto the shores of a green, lush garden. Observe a meadow, a spring, and a forest. Find a boulder in this meadow where you can sit and listen to the songbirds. Remember that you can come here anytime you’re in need of healing and renewal. This is the life-giving womb of our Great Mother; it’s your personal Eden.
Call on the gatekeeper: “You, who are known by a thousand names, Lord of Life and Death.” Look into the gatekeeper’s eyes, and continue: “Keeper of the seasons, allow me to enter your domain. Show me the landscape of my personal Eden.”
The gatekeeper appears to each of us in a different form—it can be a beloved ancestor, or a religious figure or an angelic being. Allow the gatekeeper to guide you through the groves of trees, lush gardens, and meadows to meet all the animals that make it their home. Enjoy the garden, where you can speak to the rivers and trees and canyons, and nature still speaks to you.
Once you’ve explored your personal Eden and discovered its streams, forests, and canyons, make your way back to the shores where you entered, and dive into the waters, allowing them to bring you to the place where you rested before. Relax there once again, letting the waters refresh you as you prepare to return to our world.
Now begin your journey back up through the bedrock, past the roots of the great trees, past the giant boulders, and through the rich, moist soil. Return to the room and into your body. Take a deep breath and open your eyes, feeling fully refreshed and renewed, experiencing the sense of belonging and walking with beauty on the earth that results from discovering that you have never left Eden.
End your journey by closing sacred space (below), shutting the gateway to the Upper and Lower Worlds.
Bring your hands in prayer to your heart and then open them out to the side. Reaching wide, slowly fan them upward over your head until your palms touch. With your palms touching, bring them down the centerline of your body, to your heart, to the prayer pose. Repeat the prayer to the four directions and heaven and earth that you used earlier, only this time, thank and release each of the spirit animals, and then close sacred space.
Soon we’ll begin the practice of soul retrieval. In the process, you will become intimately familiar with the Lower World.