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Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Intuitive Walking -The will to be with Mother Nature (The Art of Zen-Punk Walking and Inherent Learning). A Pilgrimage into the Unknown Without a Map.

Harry's intuitive walk, Avon estuary, Bristol, 2001.

Intuitive Walking - The will to be with Mother Nature (The Art of Zen-Punk Walking and Inherent Learning). A Pilgrimage into the Unknown Without a Map….

(Please note that this article is not intended to convince you into taking unnecessary dangers and that, like all good things in life, you make decisions based on your own self determinisation – you take the risk if you think it’s worth taking). In actual fact, this article is a personal itinerary and investigation, written outloud in public (as I plan my next intuitive walk shortly).


Since I was nine years old, I have had a calling. This calling, an inner voice if you like, has been to ‘walk and meditate’. This inner direction, so to speak, is something I brought into being when I was 20 years old, listening to the direction, as part of a vision that I experienced, whereby a mental picture of a place in East Africa came into my psychic radar. I acted on faith, and found myself six months later in Arusha (Tanzania) in East Africa; on an exercise in walking and mediation – with no particular preconceived outcome(s). I did not, however, recognize this as a typical holiday trip. Now, 17 years later, having journeyed many geographic places, with many exposures to a sense of alienated places, through to more familiar locations and safer have(a)ns - the point being, that I now sense a time in my life to allow this ‘calling’ to re-enter my psychic radar. So below, I present the way in which I will engage this process, that being something I describe as Intuitive Walking (and the art of zen-punk meditation – at cross between the attributes of zen meditation and DIY creativity).


Dare we go into the countryside for example, into landscapes unknown, without a map whatsoever (with suitable provisions, dare we risk the dangers of the terrain for our absolute survival)? The Eccentric Archaeologist may well benefit from un-prescribed outings, the pleasure of walking intuitively into the unknown. The benefits – a step closer to nomadic migration, a step further away from our dominant prescribed existence (certainly in ‘The West’) – a little sojourn, a shamanic shift from our chakra’s that are blocked by the geographic and physiological determinisation of our nannying dictatorship that manipulates our sense of purpose in cities and towns, of farmed land, or built up geographic territories – our paths of prevalent existence that quashes us with a sense of passive, negative introspection, of hedonistic commercialisation, the rampant conservatism that prevails into many a neighbourhood – into our lives. Dare I present the Zen-Punk of Intuitive Walking, stepping over the boundaries of personalised limitations as figments of our fear-strapped imagination!? The intuitive walker finds refuge in being amongst the unknown, celebratory and rewarding at every turn, every step into the unknown, encountering demons and angels as they present themselves….


The mindset for such a walk must first of all be one of commitment - committing to the unknown, the (im)possible, to the sense of pure adventure. Such a walker can go solo, or with a partner walker, or less favourably – with a group (with each person committed to going where they have not prior planned of course). Each of these scenarios offer different challenges in the walk, this being a matter of negotiation. A solo walker is working on their own instincts, making decisions that they alone are responsible for. A partnership offers both coercion – negative and positive (as encouragement to go ‘the extra step’ can be both a challenge to undertake or a consideration to prevent a path into the unknown (conservatism may enter into the limitations of risk taking). A group is limited potentially with decision making, of accountability and of confusion. A leader may be borne, and here the controversy lies - the nervous energy of law and order, we bring our own baggage (unfortunately this should be left at home (metaphorically)). An intuitive group walk may well result in cluster arguments, whereby the anxiety of one or two people, for example, will set people against each other. Intuitive walking is seriously in peril if this is the (likely case) and one that will prevent the benefits of walking with no prescribed outcome (hard for many to accept, yet astonishingly powerful if people take this journey).

A crucial element of intuitive walking is not to have any prior sense of where you are to go, what you plan to see, no landmarks or planning whatsoever in respect of places the you will visit.


The place where you start - is the only main consideration needed in respect to begin an intuitive walk. From here on in, one is on a path into discovery and revelation. No maps may be used and must not be in your personal possession. The shamanistic power of Mother Nature, of psychic empowerment - will engage in the very instant you begin the journey. You remove expectations. For example, you don't have to get back to where you started the walk (I advise that this is a distraction and will remove the delights and challenges of 'going into the void'). Basically, just begin walking and follow your instincts (intuition). Enjoy and meditate as much as possible. There is no rush! You might walk a million miles, you might not! Giev yourself permission, not a task!


In the early stages of carrying out intuitive walking, a daytime walk is best (in that you may find that once you have encountered a village, town or city etc… that you look at making your way back to the starting point of the walk. (Or at least either find a bed and breakfast or a place to camp BEFORE it gets dark). Bed and breakfast, hotels, inns and hostels etc.. are absolutely fine to use if you so wish.

Longer walks should begin after a period of shorter intuitive walks, (in that an overnight walk, for example, whereby camping is involved) might not be the best thing to do for a virgin intuitive walker. I recommend a walk of length begins post walks of a shorter nature.


Know your starting position – where you are located (village, main road etc..)
Taxi numbers (especially 24 hours) – that are near to your starting position.

Let a reliable friend know that you are going on such a walk (start location, start date and expected end date). Reassure them that this is something you have fully prepared for. Make sure they have your telephone number (your mobile phone) and that you have theirs. Have an agreed time(s) in which you will try and communicate.


Ruck Sack.
Waterproofs (inc. hats, gloves etc…) – particularly for wet season walking.
Good walking boots and change of clothes.
Walking clothes and possibly a walking stick.
Waterproof watch (including date).
Sleeping bag.
Knife, string and a tarpaulin
First Aid kit.
Cash (depending on the anticipated length, I recommend at least £100/ a mixture of notes and small coins – i.e. for telephone machines in particular – you might well need to phone a taxi for example).
Mobile phone (fully charged – with extra battery if possible) – in weather proof bag.
Food (sandwiches, tins of dolphin friendly tuna (sunflower oil)….peanut butter and bread etc…)
Water (2 litres min per person for wet weather walking).
Water purifying kit.
Survival pocket book.
Local/regional taxi numbers (more than one number).
Notepad and pen (recording the elements of thoughts that are perceived and require recording).
Digital Camera.
Plastic bags (small) – to weather proof clothes and the like.


There are non. You make you own up! So that means that commonsense can and should prevail (and we know that this is something we learn). Yet, for example, if you find yourself near a camp site at 4pm in the afternoon – you can indeed make use of it (instead of thinking that you have to find an undesignated place to camp – which is fine as well of course).

However, it is advised that an intuitive walk be done in mild weather conditions, avoiding extreme heat, winds, rains, snow etc... Choose a time and starting place that is suited to a cooler season/climate.

Don’t expect to be back at work at a set time. Remove any pressure to be ‘back on time’ for any engagement after the walk, particularly for those doing longer walks over several days. Rest time should be built in when you return.

Also, avoid terrain that is seemingly very difficult. i.e., avoid large mountain ranges, desert planes etc… that have no indication of ‘human contact points’ – the ability to encounter civilisation is important. So pick a place that would realistically encourage human contact, at the very least (villages/towns/cities etc..)


This is a walk to do when you consider yourself to be in good health. A good sense of self, of level headedness, and it is advised that you have done some (countryside) walking on a regular basis prior to taking on an intuitive walk. It should not necessarily be a walk done ‘out of the ordinary’ when it comes to yourself. You should treat this as intelligently as possible – with good preparation and consideration.


Please consider carefully what you should take on this journey with you. There are many sites and books available on walking, and I advise you research more on the provisions for walking prior to undertaking an intuitive walk.

Please note. The author, Eccentric Archaeologist, Harry Palmer, is not responsible for any walk undertaken other than by himself. You walk at your own risk! Good luck if you do!

Copyright©2008 Harry Palmer / Intuitive Walking - The will to be with Mother Nature (The Art of Zen-Punk Walking and Inherent Learning). A Pilgrimage into the Unknown Without a Map.