Don’t Look Back

12 01 2016

Sometimes we can be so startled by the magnitude of a change which has happened during a healing that we look back rather than forward. Often it is hard to believe that a goal, long sought, is accomplished. Changes such as the loss of something unwanted, such as an emotion, or a connection to something, or positive change in health do happen. It can be hard to believe.

Sometimes our brilliant analytic mind, in trying to understand how this change happened, attempts to trace events. This looking back can undo a lot of good. In some cases, look toward what you want, not what you don’t want is best. I don’t mean neglect reality. Continue appropriate treatment. But, be brave in facing the unknown which is your new reality with the changes that have been made. It is like a child clinging to an abusive parent because it is all they know. We run a risk of become what I call, “united in our woundedness”. Run or tiptoe bravely toward what is next.

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A Simple, Easy and Effective Self-Healing Technique

12 01 2016

A simple, easy and effective self-healing technique

Following any deep spiritual work one can feel overwhelmed by the remaining energy of what has passed. Many, many years ago I learned this technique and still use it today. I’m sorry I don’t remember exactly who taught it to me. I hope it can help you.

It can be done in any physical position but I will describe is as though you are standing.

  • Begin by imagining you are in a small egg shaped bubble of energy.
  • Imagine unzipping this bubble below your feet.
  • Imagine your fingers extending out a couple feet and being covered with feathers, as though your arms where a bird’s wings.
  • Starting above your head, use these wings to sweep any negative energy off you.
  • Slowly move down your body on all sides, even lifting your feet to get anything unwanted under them.
  • Imagine this negative energy being carried out through that unzipped part of the bubble.
  • Then, imagine zipping the bubble up so that only positive and neutral energy is left in the bubble.

If you are not able to lift your feet or if you must do this seated or laying down just imagine your “wings” extending into the ground, chair, or bed.

I urge you to try this. It works. After a few times using this technique, you way start to be aware of a thick, sticky substance that is removed. It always leaves me feeling calmer and lighter. Good luck!

 

 

 





Dog Piles and Other Holiday Lessons

25 12 2014

Christmas means a good dog pile.  When my kids were little we would get up early on Christmas morning, open gifts, drink cocoa, eat croissants with raspberry freezer jam then lay around enjoying each other with looks of contentment on our faces. I have always thought of these special times as dog piles. I think we looked like a pile of puppies with full bellies laying across each other on the sofa half asleep. My kids are grown now but happily time with them still feels much the same. My wish for you is that you have many such special times with your family and friends.

My thoughts turn to others less fortunate and I am reminded of a time many years ago when I was reminded of the need for compassion for others. One evening I turned on the television and began to flick the remote control to move through the channels.  I came across the image of a woman just as she said that her boyfriend asked her to give him her five-year-old daughter for sex in exchange for drugs and that she had done so.

Repulsed, I swiftly moved to another channel. But, it was too late. The assault to my senses was intense. My inner voice shouting at me, “She is you and you are her. You must love her.” This was in stark contrast to my mind which was saying “how could she, she is the lowest of the low, and why put such a horrible person on television?” My safe little cocoon was assaulted.

I felt the opportunity for a big lesson, as usual, suddenly and unexpectedly. Reluctantly I turned back to that channel and saw what a truly pathetic person she was. I would estimate her age at 35 but  she looked 50. As she spoke, the effects of her self-confessed drug use, criminal past, and bad relationships began to explain how this incident had occurred. Her description of the Hell she had been through was a profound and, possibly, life changing for some of us in the audience.

And I was asked to open my heart to her. This was not an easy task as I had seen the lives of loved ones devastated by such acts. In an act of faith in my unseen teacher, I followed instruction. I began to open myself to a greater self, the part of me which remembers how it feels to be a tiny grain of sand in a beautiful and shimmering universe. This part of me feels no edges between places, things, and beings. It feels joy at being alive and part of all things. From this place of unity I could truly love this person, see that we were much more alike than different, and that, yes, we were each other. I could offer her love and support as she worked to forgive herself and make a positive difference in this world. I could see that given different circumstances I could have been her. Now I was observer. In the past, present, and future I was, had been or would be both victim and perpetrator. I too needed forgiveness, compassion and support. As I offered these to this nameless woman I received them. I was changed by this moment and was reminded why it is better to give than receive. Please join me in praying for love and compassion for all, for good health, the joy of having loved ones near, and for our loved ones near and far.





Thanksgiving Lessons

26 11 2014

This Thanksgiving I find myself thinking of family and friends near and far. I am missing them all, especially my niece and her family who have just moved to Austin. The table will be quieter but less fun without her, her husband and their two small children.

As we hold hands around the table I know I will feel the hands of all of you and my other family and friends clasped elsewhere but linked invisibly with my own. Shamanism has taught me to realize that time and distance are mostly illusion and not nearly as important as intention.

Please join me in holding the intentions of peace and connection this holiday. If your family disappoints you in their attitude or conversation examine how an annoying person is different from you and how s/he is similar to you. I often see myself reflected in my family members, for better or worse.

I also see how my world view has changed over the years. However much I strive, I am not always the calm center I strive to be. Shamanism has changed my reality but not freed from self-created drama, joys and sorrows. I see that I can be difficult for others to be with, just as they can be for me. As I see myself reflected in my family, I learn to accept the things in them that I dislike and perhaps even those things in myself that I dislike.

This Thanksgiving and holiday season, I offer you my current mantra. It is old and familiar but no less powerful. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”





Is a Shaman Scary?

12 06 2014

This post is about the shamanic practitioners you may come across in North America today. Most people who visit me come from personal referral, but a greater and greater number are coming from this blog. These folks often have little or no experience with a shamanic practitioner. I sense a lot of hesitance in them so I’m answering some of their questions here.

Like most of us, I was skeptical about shamanism before I began to study it. I also thought Tarot, Palm Reading, and Psychics were all foolish nonsense. It was only because I wanted to understand myself that I ever started to study the occult and eventually shamanism. I just knew stuff and didn’t know how I knew it. Elsewhere in this blog you can read about what brought me to this work.

I am a normal person. I’m probably not that different from you; with a family and obligations, struggles and bad moods, and everything else that goes with this earth walk. I learned a lot from shamanism and feel lucky in that. Because of it I am happier, kinder, and more thankful for my time on this precious earth. I’ve had enough experience with scary stuff through shamanism to try and answer this question.

Because of the shaman’s ability to sense information and call upon spiritual help the shaman can be a powerful friend or foe so is can be scary. With the information below you should be able to find a shaman who can be a powerful force for good in your life.

Good and Evil

My prevailing thought about this issue is that there is only power, which may be running with our desires or against them. Electricity can light our homes or electrocute us. Disease can grows in our bodies and ants can roam out homes looking to feed themselves. It doesn’t make them evil. Yet the source may be an evil intention somewhere.

Good and bad exist in each of us and sometimes there are outside influences which create strings of “bad luck”. Beyond seeking balance there is more to know.

Evil can be powerful, attractive, and easy, even if you aren’t a Jedi Knight. As long as that is true there will be people who have one’s best interests at heart and those who have their own interests in mind. Like a product that has been modified in a way that seems only to cost more money and deliver less, unscrupulous “healers” may put their interest above yours.

In finding a practitioner, as in finding a friend or adviser; look for one who has your best interest at heart. If you know yourself to be seduced by unlawful or unethical actions you may be attracted to unethical practitioner. If you have clear ethics you can probably trust yourself to reject unethical healers.

An unethical practitioner won’t only be the one with demonic symbols in the window or who offers black magic. Those are the easy ones to avoid.

Intentional or Unintentional Harm

Other healers may seem quite pleasant and knowledgeable and still be a poor choice. It is more difficult to detect healers who intentionally or unintentionally causing harm. By being aware of what this type of practice looks like, you can avoid it too.

An example of intentional or unintentional harm would be a healer who lingers with you in your misery. They may feed your victim status because it makes them the “superior” person in the relationship and gives them a sense of power. They may actually feed off your feelings of dependence. Their primary focus may be to create repeat business. A hands-on healing from such a person may feel like you are stuck in a circuit of remembered pain rather than making you feel a movement toward health and returning vitality.

Such a healer may consider him/herself a paid friend or councilor to whom you return again and again. If this is what you want it should be called a consultation, reading, or divination, not a healing.

Another practitioner may just go through the motions with the hopes of effecting change but have no belief in, awareness of, healing or confirmations of past success. They may or may not be successful.

What to look for in a healer

Happily, there is a lot of good news! By using the following tools you can find people who will be powerful forces for good health and a good life.

  • Ask for recommendations from people you trust.
  • Trust your own intuition.
  • Ask questions about the kind of work you seek. Elsewhere in this blog there is information about the many types of service possible.
  • Seek someone who has been doing the work for a while. I had successes early in my career but know I have gotten more knowledge and tools now. This goes a long way toward treating cause, not just symptoms.
  • Ask about their experience. They may or may not respond but it is appropriate to ask. Since time is valuable I have put this information on-line to educate potential clients.
  • A competent healer is usually modest, humble, and doesn’t sing his/her own praise. If they tell me how wonderful they are I would walk away.
  • The Foundation for Shamanic Studies, The Society of Shamanic Practitioners, and the website Shaman’s Portal are where I would start looking for a practitioner to refer someone to out of my area. While I do distance work at times, it may be easier to see someone is your area. Inclusion is these references is no guarantee but is a likely place to start. As you wade in you will learn more about questions to ask.

Don’t be afraid. I was lead magically to wonderful people at nearly every turn. I didn’t encounter anything scary until well into my journey into shamanism. By then I was prepared for it. I’m pretty sure there was a guardian angel watching over me. You probably have one too. Nearly any shamanic practitioner can help you learn to call on him/her.

 





Should You visit a shamanic practitioner?

12 06 2014

I encourage you to visit a practitioner if you want to. What is holding you back?

For most Americans a belief in magic, evil, and/or demons is considered:

  • Primitive
  • is associated with lower income or status
  • is foolish
  • is irrational and unscientific
  • a good way to be victimized by unscrupulous charlatans

Primitive – It is certainly true that the people most connected to undiluted shamanic practice are found in the most remote areas of the world and certainly don’t live by modern western standards. They may or may not have historic records of their civilization going back centuries and have complex medical, social, and political histories. It is very likely that they have not been fully involved in our narrowly defined “western civilization” so I’m okay with primitive so long as we don’t think it means less than, just different. They live in the natural world far more than we, often with access to traditional knowledge we have lost.

Lower Income and Status – Let’s face it, who needs control over their lives most, the wealthy and successful or those of us who struggle with economic reality. Shamanic healing isn’t covered by health insurance. If you don’t have health insurance maybe you are more open to other possibilities. Also, many of our immigrant poor carry shamanic experience with them to our shores.

Foolish I don’t think it is foolish to listen to your intuition, learn from nature, seek an authentic spiritual life, and not allow others to make you fearful of the unknown. If you are afraid of looking foolish just don’t tell anyone.

Irrational and Unscientific – Many things are irrational and unscientific. The scientist who thinks of the answer to a difficult question while standing in the shower doesn’t question it, nor does the composer who has a breakthrough during a daydream, nor does someone who falls in love, or you when you just know your sister is going to call just before the phone rings. I’m okay with that. I believe old knowledge has been lost in the pursuit of all that is new and scientific, especially spiritual knowledge.

Unscrupulous charlatans – they are out there. This work is difficult, often thankless, and a service not a business. Those who seek to brand “their” methods and find followers may make better teachers than healers.

The Last Resort

The most common words I hear from someone entering my door are, “I’ve tried everything else”. They have usually been to doctors, therapists, and an amazing assortment of practitioners before, as a last resort (their words); they came to try something they didn’t believe in. Most likely a friend has referred them after having spoken about their own skepticism, experience, and change of heart. I respect their hesitation because I was there once too.

The Two Foot Rule – If you visit a shamanic practitioner it should feel safe. If it doesn’t, use your two feet to walk away.

 





Is Shamanism Scary? Is this practitioner a Real Shaman?

12 06 2014

In the past shamanism was the only spiritual practice or “religion” of most clans/tribes/nations of people. Today it considered a practice that can co-exist with whatever religion a person follows. For people who do not follow a particular religious path it may be a way to live in harmony in the world without giving allegiance to a large, centralized authoritarian institution.

Modern views of shamanism range the gamut from visions of a bucolic gathering of peace pipe smoking natives too one of a raucous fireside gathering of sweaty bodies dancing to the feverish music of drums. These both exist but the practice is much more diverse than that so the answers to the questions above are too.

Shamanism is alive today in many forms. I want to distinguish two of these; those practiced in cultures with a continuous heritage of shamanic practice and those available in the “West”.

Shamanism in Traditional Cultures

Shamanic practices are extremely varied around the world. For example, among the Kung people of Africa shamanism is a practice shared by all in the village. Within a healing ceremony all can offer healing to another. In other societies practitioners may work together or individually, publicly or privately. There is local knowledge of who is most effective for what type of work. There are specialists in the many different types of heaings or services such as divination, mediumship, ceremony, etc. If you find yourself in one of these places asking a few questions from people you trust will get you to an appropriate practitioner. Be aware that there is often competition among practitioners. With a few basic questions you can ascertain their prejudices such as a willingness to perform black magic.

Shamanism in the West

If you find yourself in the western world, the knowledge you need to choose a practitioner is a little different. The very fact that shamanic practice is decentralized, fairly unknown by most, and that any certificate or credential is meaningless (as far as efficacy of their work is concerned), you need to be cautions. Personal referral from a satisfied customer is a very good resource as is your own intuition.

Beyond that, what you are seeking help with will determine your choice of practitioner. There isn’t only one “best” or “right” choice. I see a curious lack of “specialty” among shamanic practitioners I have met. Perhaps it is because of the scarcity of practitioners that most will work effectively in a number of different areas and are reluctant or unable to make referrals.

What help are you seeking?

As I said, this will determine who you should see. It is a common phenomenon that a client/patient will come to see me after seeing many practitioners such as doctors, massage therapists, herbalists, yogis, etc. I do not consider these competitors though I do consider them capable of similar healing success with the client/patient. I find that all these forms of healing work together, just as all the things that have happened to a person in the past prepare them for healing in this moment.

I will simplify an overwhelming variety of reasons people see a practitioner into the following:

  • To learn and deepen their individual healing practice
  • To heal a physical, mental, and/or emotional wound, for help with a specific entity causing difficulty today, divination/psychopomp/ mediumship

I’ve made this simple, healing or learning. This isn’t a complete list but should do for now. I invite you to email me at any time if you need further information.

To learn and deepen their individual healing practice

There is a significant difference between doing the work and teaching wonderful shamanic knowledge that is needed by all. There are many fine teachers about. I encourage all to explore with a variety of these before chosing the tradition with which one resonates for them and then sticking to that path. Those who seek to brand “their” methods and find followers may make better teachers than healers. No one’s way is the only way.

To heal a physical, mental, and/or emotional wound, for help with a specific entity causing difficulty today, divination/psychopomp/ mediumship

I believe it is much harder to find an effective healer than it is to find an effective teacher. The work is difficult, often unrewarding, and low paying. The practitioner also has to recognize and admit when they can’t help a patient. There isn’t any glory, recognition, or even appreciation. Plus, and this is important, not many are really good at it. By good at it, I don’t mean they have any power except the power to be available to the power which does the healing.

There can be healing from anyone, whether or not they have studied, apprenticed for 10 years in a village somewhere, or come from a lineage passed from father to son for generations. There are many “so called” healer who’s only qualification seems to be that they were raised in a shamanic culture, though they never actually practiced shamanism in their home country or because they successfully completed someone’s course and have the certificate to prove it . But to repeatedly have success with more and more difficult challenges is a calling. One has to walk the path of the many unsung heroes who have gone before us. This isn’t a typical mindset of most Americans.

It is worth the search and for those doing the practice. It is done without expectation of adequate reward but in the hope that each client heals and also helps change the perception of what is possible.