Safety in the dark

I took a journey for someone recently who was asking Spirit to guide her in feeling safe and holding the faith it will all work out in these dark times of unknowing. In the journey, we found ourselves under a starlit sky on a moonless night.

The air was still, all was quiet, and we couldn’t see to move forward on our journey. I found myself asking her to light our way. A bright beam of light came from her head, and as she looked around, the darkness was dispelled wherever she placed her attention.

But as she looked at the world from head-level, turning around to look in every direction, there was simply nothing to see. The light wasn’t helping at all. She threw her brilliant flashlight of consciousness down on the ground in disgust.

I had an idea: “Train your light on the ground.” She did so and when she trained her conscious awareness down close and low, we could see that there was a cliff to our left but ground to our right.

With the help of her awareness focused on the ground beneath our feet, we found stones. Soon, we were busy shaping them into a circle. As we searched for stones, we found branches and began to create a campfire. Once we had the wood gathered and lit, we were in the presence of a much larger living light than the beam of the mind. This light was able to guard and assist us.

Unlike the strong beam of the mind, the fire of the heart can provide warmth, create a gathering place for community, cook experience into nourishment, as well as provide light in dark and frightening times. After our campfire was built, we were surprised that we could now see other campfires in the distance. 

Your focus (distance or ground?) and center of awareness (head or heart?) make a great deal of difference in our ability to avoid danger, feel secure, be of service, and locate community in dark times.

Building the fire is a metaphor for igniting the heart’s wisdom in our lives. It is a slow and incremental process. Training the mind to attend to things both humble and close is the first step. With experience, we find that the fire of compassion helps to dispel the dark heaviness that is advancing on our hearts. 

With the gift of awareness that comes with an established practice of tending the fire of the heart, we begin to see and feel that we are part of a great constellation of bright and generous souls. This light, kept alive with intention and effort, will help us find our way across a darkened landscape.


We will start the circle with a simple offering that helps you to recall the abundance of the ground where you live or that feeds the fire of your heart.


This journey circle will be dedicated to shifting your focus and exploring your ground, inner and outer. Be curious: what do you find when you shift to the vision of the heart in a journey? What does it feel like here? What resources might you have been overlooking? Is there anything to cultivate close and near that you aren’t already?

Explore the condition of your central fire of the heart. Tend it on your journey. What do you need to do to grow your heart’s vision and power? Seek to learn from the fire itself or a spirit guide.

The overall question is: what does your spiritual work look like in the darkening landscape of these times? 


This is a free, online journey circle offered by Gaia Shamanism. If you would like to join us, feel free to email All skill levels welcome.

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