Become a Caretaker of Your Environment: Lessons from a Lipan Apache Shaman


| 6/1/2015 1:12:00 PM


Tags: wilderness survival, traditional wisdom, tracking, conservation, Vermont, Randy Walker,

Green Mountains 

“Grandfather walked in prayer, where every step he took blessed the earth.” —Tom Brown, Jr.

As every MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader knows, our Earth Mother is in peril. We can feel as if time is accelerating and the loss of vital resources, such as clean air and water, ecosystems and species, and our oceans, increases at an ever quickening pace. The task of turning around the cycles of violence pitted against the Earth at times feels overwhelming. Apathy and denial are a common response some people adopt.

The intent of this blog post is to present ways in which we can learn how to make a difference to stop this momentum toward the further destruction of our Earth, and to develop a relationship with the Earth that becomes an ongoing communication and a form of mutual healing. The lessons and skills of nature awareness, wilderness survival and a philosophy of living with the Earth that Tom Brown, Jr., received from his teacher and mentor, Stalking Wolf, focus on how we can establish a deeper relationship and connection with the Earth and all her creations.

Cultivate a Caretaker Approach to the Environment

Stalking Wolf’s approach centered around building an awareness of the environment, noticing what is in or out of context or harmony. When uncertain what course to take in a caretaking event, he would ask the Earth what actions would help nurture and re-balance the area.

Caretaking is actually a very old approach used by indigenous peoples worldwide. In order to “ask the Earth” how we can help her, we must accept the premise that everything, from a blade of grass to a rock has a spirit and is alive. Grandfather—as Tom referred to Stalking Wolf—taught how when we have a need to harvest a plant or dig up a rock for use in a sweat lodge ceremony, we first communicate our gratitude and thanksgiving, we honor the life we are taking, we learn to formulate our own prayer for the moment.

Scout
7/27/2015 8:18:21 AM

Great article, it has always been my spirit animal that guides me both in my actions and my thought processes. When I went through the rites of manhood, I had already been on my spirit walk for years. It will only be when all people reject the bad ideas that come from the worship of money and false pretense of religious belief so they can free themselves to become the spiritual beings we were meant to be.


Scout
7/27/2015 8:17:36 AM

Great article, it has always been my spirit animal that guides me both in my actions and my thought processes. When I went through the rites of manhood, I had already been on my spirit walk for years. It will only be when all people reject the bad ideas that come from the worship of money and false pretense of religious belief so they can free themselves to become the spiritual beings we were meant to be.


JahLiveInI
6/7/2015 9:41:19 PM

In addition to his survival classes Tom Brown has written several books regarding nature observation skills and things of the like. They contain a multitude of information like this. These are all excellent books and well worth the read! I very much enjoyed the article and look forward to others to come. -Andrew S. Harris





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