Summer Solstice meditation

The solstice is the perfect moment to sit quietly in nature and consciously release the last twelve months, and then set our intentions for the coming year.  I offer this meditation to support you with this process.  You may choose to record it onto a phone or other device, so that you can sit and listen to it with your eyes closed at your meditation place.  If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, there is a Winter Solstice meditation here.


“Close your eyes and become aware of your physical connection to the ground – through your feet or the log or bench you are sitting on. Imagine roots extending from your body down into the earth, growing and entwining with the roots of the trees and plants around you.

Turn your attention to your hearing – notice the sounds around you, the birds, the water, the wind, the closest ones and the farthest ones. Become aware of any physical sensations – the breeze or sun on your skin, the feel of the earth under your feet, the log or bench under your hands.

Now opening your eyes and using your ‘owl eyes’ become aware of your peripheral vision. Feel the immensity of this place, as it stretches out and connects through corridors of trees and hedgerows to the vast network of nature that spans the plant, and of which you are a part. Here you are – an aspect of nature, immersed for a while in your natural place in the rhythm of things.

Consciously connect with the fullness of midsummer, noticing how the energy around you is at its peak, the activities of the birds, insects and small creatures, the fullness of the trees and plants in their summer finery. Feel how all these beings are filled to bursting with life and energy. Take a moment to connect with the trees and plants and feel the vibrancy of life flowing through their cells. Visualise the same energy flowing through your veins, empowering and supporting you to bring your intentions into physical form.

Now close your eyes again and turn your thoughts to the last twelve months, bringing to mind the key points of the year. No need to remember everything – simply allow the moments to float into your memory, trusting that what you recall is what you need to recall at this time. Walk through your year in your mind’s eye in this way, month by month, giving thanks for each blessing, each new opportunity, each connection made (or lost), including giving thanks for the challenges of the year, as they too brought their teachings and opportunities to learn, grow and expand into the fullest expression of your essence self.

When you have ‘walked’ through the year, give thanks for it all and then release it.

Now turn your attention to the year to come. Imagine yourself doing those activities that you already know you will be taking part in, and see them happening in the best way. Next, bring to mind those things that you’d like the next twelve months to contain – specific activities and experiences, but also an overall sense of the relationships, connections, journeys and feelings that you would like the next year to contain. In this way you are setting your intentions for the year. You might want to imagine each of your wishes as a seed that you plant in the ground beside you, offering your wishes to the earth and to the nature all around you, where they will take root and grow. Each time you return to your sit spot you can water and feed these intentions.

Now give thanks (as if these things have already happened) and consciously release yourself from the meditative space, bringing your attention back to the current moment and place.”


In addition to the meditation you may wish to light a fire somewhere outdoors and use the fire to release your reflections and gifts from the last twelve months; and to offer up your wishes for the next twelve months.  To do this, simply write the reflections and intentions onto separate pieces of paper, and place them into the fire one at a time. This is a ritual that can be done with friends gathered around the fire together, bringing even more power to our intention-setting through the shared experience.  If you are doing it with friends, I find it works best to place all of your reflections on the last year into the fire one at a time, followed by then placing your intentions into the fire.

Whatever you do at this time of year I hope it brings you joy, nourishment and supports you on your journey.

With love,

Jacqueline xx

Winter Solstice meditation

The solstice is the perfect moment to sit quietly in nature and consciously release the last twelve months, and then set our intentions for the coming year.  I offer this meditation to support you with this process.  You may choose to record it onto a phone or other device, so that you can sit and listen to it with your eyes closed at your meditation place.  If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, there is a Summer Solstice meditation here.


“Close your eyes and become aware of your physical connection to the ground – through your feet or the log or bench you are sitting on. Imagine roots extending from your body down into the earth, growing and entwining with the roots of the trees and plants around you.

Turn your attention to your hearing – notice the sounds around you, the birds, the water, the wind, the closest ones and the farthest ones. Become aware of any physical sensations – the breeze or sun on your skin, the feel of the earth under your feet, the log or bench under your hands.

Now opening your eyes and using your ‘owl eyes’ become aware of your peripheral vision. Feel the immensity of this place, as it stretches out and connects through corridors of trees and hedgerows to the vast network of nature that spans the plant, and of which you are a part. Here you are – an aspect of nature, immersed for a while in your natural place in the rhythm of things.

Consciously connect with the silence and stillness of midwinter, noticing how the activity is slower and quieter now; that the beings living here are conserving their energy and building their reserves. Take a moment to connect with the trees and plants who have shed their leaves and drawn their energy down into the earth; resting, taking a pause. Visualise drawing your own energy inwards and down into your own roots, slowing your breath and becoming still, and feel how this supports you at this time of year.

Now close your eyes again and turn your thoughts to the last twelve months, bringing to mind the key points of the year. No need to remember everything – simply allow the moments to float into your memory, trusting that what you recall is what you need to recall at this time. Walk through your year in your mind’s eye in this way, month by month, giving thanks for each blessing, each new opportunity, each connection made (or lost), including giving thanks for the challenges of the year, as they too brought their teachings and opportunities to learn, grow and expand into the fullest expression of your essence self.

When you have ‘walked’ through the year, give thanks for it all and then release it.

Now turn your attention to the year to come. Imagine yourself doing those activities that you already know you will be taking part in, and see them happening in the best way. Next, bring to mind those things that you’d like the next twelve months to contain – specific activities and experiences, but also an overall sense of the relationships, connections, journeys and feelings that you would like the next year to contain. In this way you are setting your intentions for the year. You might want to imagine each of your wishes as a seed that you plant in the ground beside you, offering your wishes to the earth and to the nature all around you, where they will take root and grow. Each time you return to your sit spot you can water and feed these intentions.

Now give thanks (as if these things have already happened) and consciously release yourself from the meditative space, bringing your attention back to the current moment and place.”


In addition to the meditation you may wish to light a fire somewhere outdoors and use the fire to release your reflections and gifts from the last twelve months; and to offer up your wishes for the next twelve months.  To do this, simply write the reflections and intentions onto separate pieces of paper, and place them into the fire one at a time. This is a ritual that can be done with friends gathered around the fire together, bringing even more power to our intention-setting through the shared experience.  If you are doing it with friends, I find it works best to place all of your reflections on the last year into the fire one at a time, followed by then placing your intentions into the fire.

Whatever you do at this time of year I hope it brings you joy, nourishment and supports you on your journey.

With love,

Jacqueline xx

Communicating with Desert Lions

The lioness and I held one another’s gaze for long minutes.  I felt my heart expand and an overwhelming sense of appreciation flowed out of me towards her.  It felt as though there was nothing between us – no fear, no aggression, no wariness – only curiosity, acknowledgement and respect.

I had arrived in Namibia less than 24 hours earlier, and after a three hour journey came to this place – the Hoanib riverbed on the Skeleton Coast.  This is true wilderness, where the animals roam wild, unfenced and largely sheltered from human impact.  My colleague James and I were about to lead an Animal Communication safari, and we were on an evening drive to get our bearings.

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Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

Two lionesses lay quietly in the shade and our guide stopped the vehicle 20 metres away.  I consciously quietened my mind, opened my heart and sent appreciation and love towards the older lioness.  I had no idea if she would respond, but that wasn’t the point – I simply hoped that she would feel respected and acknowledged for the amazing and powerful being that she is.  When she raised her head to look at me I could feel my excitement build. I deliberately calmed myself and continued sending her love and appreciation.  Everything fell silent and it felt as if we looked at one another for the longest time, but it was probably only a minute.  Then she laid her head on her paws and closed her eyes. My heart was filled to bursting with gratitude for the encounter.

At breakfast the next morning James said to me “that looked like quite a moment you had with that lioness yesterday.” I said I hadn’t realised he’d noticed, and he said, “I noticed because it was unusual behaviour from her”.  He explained that a wild animal would first and foremost be alert for potential danger, especially where humans are involved.  The vehicle in front of ours was full of people jostling for position with their cameras, and the driver of our vehicle had his window down and was talking loudly.  “She should have been distracted by both of those things, but instead she was looking at you.  It was unusual.”  Any doubt I had that the lioness and I had been in communication was dispelled by his observations.

Desert elephants waterhole
Desert-adapted elephants at waterhole

Two days later on an early morning drive our animal communication group had just tracked a herd of desert-adapted elephants to a waterhole when a message came through that the lionesses had been seen on the move, probably hunting.  We drove to where they had been seen and our driver began to look for tracks.  As we passed one of the huge sand dunes I felt a wave of emotion wash over me. It felt like immense sadness, and was coming from the direction of the dune.  I thought, “that’s odd, I wonder what that is” and made a mental note to see if it happened again.  We looped around, retracing our route, and this time we found the lion tracks – exactly where I’d felt the wave of emotion.  I began to wonder if there was a connection and remembered that my mentors, Anna Breytenbach and Jon Young, both talk of having a direct connection to a specific animal when they are tracking it. Anna describes it as a strong emotional connection, for Jon it is a ribbon of light.  I wondered if this could be what was happening to me.

Tracking lionesses
Following the lionesses’ tracks on foot a few days’ later

We followed the lion’s tracks for a while and then lost them in the dunes.  Once again the same sense of sadness washed over me, and I plucked up the courage to say “I feel they’re in that direction”, pointing to where the feeling was coming from.  The driver looked a bit uncertain, but after a while drove in the direction I’d pointed and sure enough he found the tracks again.  My confidence began to build as I started to trust that these feelings were really guiding me and that I wasn’t making this up.  Each time we lost the tracks, I would open myself to the emotional connection and guide the driver in that direction, and we would find the tracks again.

I also sent a silent message in words and images to the lioness, acknowledging that she was hunting and that we didn’t want to interfere, but asking respectfully if she would be happy for us to see her and her niece.  The feeling that came back was agreement “but we’re not stopping – you have to come and find us”.

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Ana trees in the Hoanib riverbed

Once more we lost the tracks and once more I pointed in a particular direction. Now our guide followed with less hesitation and suddenly one of our group saw the lions in the dry riverbed, walking slowly and purposefully up the bank and into the bushes on the other side.  Our guide followed at a respectful distance, taking a wide loop through the riverbed, bringing us ahead of them.  We waited in silence, and soon they emerged and walked no more than 10 metres away, disappearing again into the bushes to our left.

The driver looped around and moved on ahead, and a second time we watched in silence as they came past.  By now whole group was sending love and appreciation to these beautiful cats; no one had attempted to take a photograph, we were all awed by their presence and the connection we felt with them.  We also knew that taking a photograph carries with it ‘hunter’ energy, which wild animals are especially sensitive to, and that introducing this energy could dramatically change the dynamics – possibly causing them to avoid us.

Giraffe 2 cropped
Desert-adapted giraffe

I sent another message to the older lioness thanking her for letting us witness them in their hunt, and asking respectfully if she would be willing to pause briefly so that we could all see their full majesty.  When I make such a request, I do it with the understanding that the other being can say ‘no’ – it’s important that the request is made with respect and recognition of the other’s independence and self-determination, not with a sense of neediness or attachment, which can have the effect of pushing them away.

I got a sense of a slightly impatient ‘OK’, and as they emerged once more she paused – it was only a couple of beats, but she definitely stopped, and long enough for some of the group to take a photo.  The younger lioness stopped longer, looking around for a while before continuing.  With plenty of time to fully appreciate her beauty, we were privileged to witness her wild natural state from only a few metres’ distance.

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The two lionesses resting in the shade

Tears of gratitude rolled down my cheeks – I couldn’t quite believe that this most majestic and powerful of animals had heard me and responded.  I sent her a message of profound thanks and let her know that we would leave them to hunt in peace.  The driver noticed my tears and said “hay fever?” – I laughed and said, “no, I’m just very moved by these lionesses” – much later I’d tell them the fully story of what I’d just experienced.

Until this experience I would sometimes tell myself that I’m much better at teaching animal communication than I am at actually doing it.  This made me eat my words!  There is always more to learn and only “practise, practise, practise” will increase my proficiency, but as I tell others, the best way to build our confidence is to reinforce our positive experiences, and reaffirm over and over again that we are in telepathic communication with the other beings on Earth.

by Jacqueline Buckingham

Me and Nossi 1

 

for information about forthcoming opportunities to learn animal communication please visit the ‘workshops’ page