Huffington Post

The Myth of Teen Violence and Spiritual Paths

Posted by on 21 May 2013 in Huffington Post | 0 comments

What does it take to decode teenage America? How can we understand the confluence of factors behind rising crime rates involving our youth, changing sensibilities toward bullying, and violence in our society? Better yet, how do we inform ourselves and support young people in finding the facts? Every day I read articles asking these questions, and a San Francisco woman has devoted the last few years researching their answers. A passionate supporter of social causes, a civic voice sounding our shifting cultural landscape, a wonderful mother, and a brilliant writer — meet Beth Winegarner. Creator of Backward Messages, a forum openly discussing social elements that...

Read More

The Myth of Teen Violence and Spiritual Paths

Posted by on 14 May 2013 in Essay, Huffington Post, Teen Spirit, Wise Voice | 0 comments

What does it take to decode teenage America? How can we understand the confluence of factors behind rising crime rates involving our youth, changing sensibilities toward bullying, and violence in our society? Better yet, how do we inform ourselves and support young people in finding the facts? Every day I read articles asking these questions, and a San Francisco woman has devoted the last few years researching their answers. A passionate supporter of social causes, a civic voice sounding our shifting cultural landscape, a wonderful mother, and a brilliant writer — meet Beth Winegarner. Creator of Backward Messages, a forum openly discussing social elements that...

Read More

Everyday Journeying: When the Ecstatic Becomes Mundane

Posted by on 11 Feb 2013 in Huffington Post | 0 comments

“Journeying” is the term most often used to describe the process shamans go through to engage the spirit world. Some call it ecstatic journeying or shamanic journeying, starwalking, skywalking. The journey process encompasses setting an intention, then traversing the layers of the spirit realm with one’s spirit guides for healing or insight retrieval. Often done with drumming or other rhythmic induction, specific tempos induce a theta, or light dreaming, brain state. Journeying is often confused with pathworking, in which participants are guided in what to see and do. When learning to journey, a general framework is followed to access the ecstatic...

Read More

Tragedy, Collective Soul Loss, and the Healing Story

Posted by on 5 Jan 2013 in Essay, Huffington Post | 0 comments

In shamanic work is the concept of soul loss, or when an aspect of the soul has become distanced (I describe it as “shelved”) and can’t re-engage with the earthly consciousness. Souls are infinite, made up of limitless soul parts that travel in and out of our awareness. This soul traveling is the natural progress of growth, widening our awareness, expanding our consciousness. In times of trauma, when a soul part leaves and can’t return to the earthly consciousness, that’s when problems arise: chronic illness, feelings of depression, lack of motivation, feelings of not being completely present. Such is the path of soul loss in an individual....

Read More

Mindfulness and Animism: The Art of Soul Healing

Posted by on 14 Nov 2012 in Huffington Post, Repost | 2 comments

Originally published on the Huffington Post.  Follow me there for updates to my Huffington Modern Animism blog. When I began my shamanic practice almost 15 years ago, I found very different cultural perceptions of modern soul healing than those I run into now. I’ve written about contemporary approaches to shamanism, and how we have remade our perceptions of soul healing. Many people now know what a shaman is, what a shaman does. They know concepts that a mere decade ago were shrouded in mystery: soul retrieval, soul loss, soul wound. In the more recent years of my shamanic practice, I find a pervasive belief that soul healing should in and of itself be enough....

Read More

A Shaman’s Journey

Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Essay, Huffington Post | 0 comments

When I was 5 years old, I asked my Sunday School teacher, a woman, “What if Jesus had been a girl?” “But he wasn’t,” she replied. Unsatisfied, I asked again, only to receive the exasperated, recursive answer. My mother gave the same empty response later, in private. It’s no huge surprise that when I was about 14, my many dissatisfaction with the Church overwhelmed my fondness for it, and I began to explore other spiritual paths. Coinciding with this transition was also the realization that intuitive gifts I’d manifested since childhood demanded open expression, and that the energetic truth of my femininity deserved...

Read More