Urban Shamanic Lifestyle: Use the Elements

One does not have to be a healer or guide for their community to incorporate a modern urban shamanic spiritual practice into their life. This series of posts details ways we can apply modern shamanic spirituality to our lives right now.

When it is said that we are connected to the planet, that’s a slight understatement. That’s like saying we are connected to our hands. Our entire physical body is part of the planet. As such, the elements offered here are useful to us in therapeutic ways. Here are some ways to use the elements to help your mind and spirit:


When you need a quick reset, splash some cold water on your face. This has actual physiological effects on your body and can calm you.

In the shower, stand under the water, with your hands covering your ears so that you only hear the sound of the water hitting your skull. Imagine you are in your own private paradise, standing under your very special waterfall. This particular water is washing away your stress and negative energy. Emerge revitalized.


Find a patch of dirt or grass, either in a park or your own yard. Take off your shoes and connect skin to ground. Alternatively, you can sit and touch the ground with your hands. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes anytime you feel clouded and out of control. Try not to think about anything. Just feel the sensation of your bare skin next to the bare earth.


Another way to find balance is through conscious breathing. Close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths through your nose. Feel the air as it passes into your body through your nostrils. Feel it expanding your lungs. Hold it and think about your stressful feeling. Not the things that are stressing you, just your feeling of stress. Imagine it is dark smoke and as you exhale, you expel it from your body.


This is for letting go of something negative. Write down in words on a piece of paper what it is that you want to release. Or you can draw a picture of it. Express how it makes you feel. Use an open flame to burn the paper. You can use an outdoor fire-pit, or a fireplace. I have a special ceramic bowl in my back yard that I bring a ceremonial candle to when I need to release something. I set the paper on fire with the candle and let it burn in the bowl.

Never burn anything (other than the fuel) except the small note in the fire. It should have a singular purpose. When you are done, safely extinguish the flames.