Joining me today is Sandra Ingerman, a pioneer in modern shamanism, as well as devoted nature enthusiast.
With us today is the ethereal Cherie Lassiter. I met Cherie a long time ago, and it’s been wonderful to share community and grow with her.
How would you describe your work/path/art to a beginner?
My path, my spiritual work is a work in progress, always evolving and changing. Any attempt to define or confine it has interfered with the organic process that is the path of my spirit. The path began as I began to recognize my gifts and also to remember the wisdom that is in my soul. It is as if I needed to grow into the knowledge and wisdom I innately had. I feel it is important, at least for me to not label myself as one thing or another and let my spirit and soul guide me to where I can best learn what I need to learn. I say this in order to give more of a sense of freedom to young people as they wake up to their spiritual being. While choosing a spiritual path and sticking to it is the way for some, there is also a recognition that this path may change and to allow that organic process to take place without trying to make it fit into a mold. My current work is Psychic work and mediumship. This is what I offer in service to others.
How did this work call you?
The call came very early in life but it did not feel like a call, it felt like a natural thing everyone had; a connection with other realms, the spirit world and the Other Side.
As a young child I felt at one with nature in a strong way and communicated with flowers and trees. I saw the faces of spirits in flowers, trees, clouds etc… I had communication with unseen beings that talked to me and I lived in a world of imagination. I was much more in these other worlds than I was in the physical one. I recognize now that I have always lived between the worlds. Being in the physical world has always been a challenge. This has never changed. As a teen, the psychic gifts began flooding in fast and strong. This began around puberty. I opened up very fast and began having experiences that at the time were scary and unsettling. I didn’t talk about them to anyone. I recommend communication as the most important thing any awakening being can do. Talk about it, share it. No matter how strange or bizarre, find a trusted adult and share it. As a young teen entering into such unfamiliar territory as psychic experiences, I was vulnerable to forces on the other side that were not always in my best interest. Psychic protection was not familiar to me and therefore I at times got lost in the otherworlds. This means I ventured deeper into other realms without proper guidance. I was on my own in strange territory which at times could be scary. Getting in to deep without understanding can damage a growing nervous system, brain and emotional body. In my late teens I read Mists of Avalon. That began my Earth/Goddess religion path which continued for many, many years. As I read, I remembered. As I read, my spirit awakened, remembered and tapped into past life memories that guided me and directed me.
Describe your experience of spirituality as a teen/young adult. How does that experience speak through your work, today?
This is a good place to touch on something important to share. The blessings and challenges of coming into my psychic gifts was deeply influenced by my home life and my schooling.
I went to an Episcopal Church school from 5th grade through 10th grade. I wore a uniform, went to Chapel every day, and got religion crammed down my throat through fear and intimidation. Hellfire and brimstone, sin and being saved were an everyday program I was forced to take part in. This brought out my rebellious self and also had me questioning religious dogma as young as 12 or 13 years of age. Questioning religion was not acceptable and power struggles ensued. I do remember going to the headmaster/Father and asking him if dogs had souls. I had just lost my precious companion, Sugar and I knew she had a soul. This conflicted with what I was being taught so I went to the Father to try to understand. He told me that dogs did not have souls. I left his office that day no longer believing in ‘religion’ or anything they had to say in the Christian Church. There were to many things that went against what I knew in my heart and soul to be true. I wondered why everyone else just seemed to go along with everything without questioning the dogma.
Beyond the school life that tried to mind control me ( and failed), my home life was very chaotic and at time violent. As the oldest of 5 children in a family that despite private school struggled a lot financially. For many reasons, there was a lot of fighting between parents and this was not done behind closed doors. The frustration, anger and fear of my parents was a daily event. This fear erupted into physical, mental and emotional abuse. As a sensitive child my survival mechanism was to escape into my own world. This escape into other worlds enhanced my connection with other realms. This constant chaotic environment taught me to read energy as this was a tool for survival. Taking the temperature of the room, the house, the parents was a constant neccessity. I learned to sense ahead of time what others were feeling and thinking so that I could protect myself. Walking on eggshells much of the time caused me to become highly sensitive to energy. Escaping the negativity and chaos around me was a defense mechanism that actually helped my psychic abilities to heighten dramatically. I was a highly creative child and young woman and a gifted musician and songwriter. Escaping reality into my music gave me an outlet that allowed me to express myself.
I also learned very early that I had healing abilities. Feeling the pain of others was a daily experience and desiring to heal them was a daily experience as well.
Once could say it was a perfect storm to becoming a powerful psychic. Being a musician I naturally was and am very clairaudient which means I ‘hear’ the voice of Spirit very strongly. I hear the voices and thoughts of those on this side as well as the Other Side. My sensitivity is oftentimes debilitating as it is hard to be out in the world without ‘over-feeling’. But I would not trade my early experiences for anything as they helped me to be the person I am today and has helped me to have empathy, compassion and understanding of the pain others feel. This is not a curse, though at times it feels that way. I am grateful for the gifts I have and for being able to serve others.
Cherie is a Professional Psychic and Medium. Learn more about her at: www.cherielassiter.net.
With us today is Abstract Expressionist, Clara K. Johnson. Clara is a powerhouse of wisdom, creativity, and grace. Check out her interview, and read the details of her giveaway, below:
How would you describe your work?
My artwork is created with feelings. I let the painting dictate what comes next. There isn’t much forethought given. It’s mainly subconscious. I love nature, colors and the solar system.
My spiritual path has been described to me as a self-evolution. Meaning that I choose to seek a closer relationship with Our Creator who dwells within us. A lot of times, people have to have a near death experience to in order to better understand the SELF. The SOUL.
How did this work call you?
Ever since I was a little girl, I was always painting and drawing. I just took it for granted. One day, when I was about nine, without my parents permission or knowledge, I applied to one of those mail correspondence art classes. Next thing I knew some man was at my parents door. I knew then that I was I an artist, I just didn’t know how to be. I didn’t complete the classes. Although I continue to create stuff for my bedroom, my parents’ walls, then later in my apartments I decorated them with art and all kinds of things I’d refashion.
I took my artistic gift seriously at the age of 34, about a year after my father passed away. His passing impacted me more than I knew it would at the time.
Describe your experience of spirituality as a teen/young adult.
HA!! As a teen, I like to think that I had a relationship with God. My dad was Islamic, my mom is agnostic (I think). My dad’s parents were Baptists, the mother and father of the church, in fact. I spent summers there and went to church 3 times a week! At home, we had a scattered attendance in the mosque. We didn’t eat pork, celebrate any holidays except Thanksgiving and that type of thing but there was no structure. I didn’t claim any religion but I knew there was a higher power and called on its strength often.
What’s your blessing to beginning seekers and youth exploring various spiritual traditions, today?
I would like to offer that GOD is just a word used to describe the intangible force that creates and sustains all things. Some call this force Allah, Jesus, Buddha, Jehovah. The Divine, The Universe. It’s all the same thing. It’s the labeling that keeps us divided and lost. We are all one! Apart of the Whole!
Learn more about Clara at:
Also, if you’re in the Triangle Area of North Carolina, comment here to win a free one-on-one art class with Clara!
I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Positive Living Vibrations’ Sara Troy! Listen in on our discussion about the spiritual paths and options of youth today, as well as what parents can do to support and better understand their teen’s interest in modern shamanism.
Available now for pre-order on Amazon and other stores, Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism from Soul Rocks Books is for all teens, young adults, and young at heart interested in learning more about modern shamanism.
Recently the wonderful Michele Rosenthal interviewed me on the re-release of Gift of the Dreamtime. If you’re not familiar with her work, check out her radio show, blog, and book Before the World Intruded.
My friend, colleague and survivor-sister, Kelley Harrell, has a new book out entitled GIFT OF THE DREAMTIME (GOTD). It’s a terrific read and a very compelling look into one way that we can access healing potential.
I asked Kelley to answer some questions about the book so I could share it with you….
Gift of the Dreamtime is about my experience of spiritual emergency, from childhood through young adulthood, until I sought the help of a shaman to release it. “Spiritual emergency” is a state in which consciousness is expanding at a rate or in a way that is not readily emotionally processed. It is a state of PTSD on a soul level.
At the time, I was just seeking healing for myself. I had held an animistic life perspective, connected with my spirit guides, and embraced shamanism as a way to heal myself, but I hadn’t planned to work as a shaman with others. The book describes how I moved through various levels of awareness of myself, to embrace facilitating healing for others.
2. What inspired you to write this story?
I always knew that I would write about my experiences as a survivor of childhood incest, though every time I sat down to write, it just never felt right. Approaching it in a dry, autobiographical way somehow flattened the experience. I didn’t know how to approach it in a way that wasn’t clichéd or sentimental.
In the spring of 2001 I had a dream, which occurs around Chapter Ten in the book, and that dream jarred my vision of how to write about my experience: from the inside. I realized I wasn’t to write about the experience of my life in the mundane, but in how I experienced the Dreamtime, or spirit worlds.
At that point in the industry, books on shamanism were very academic and anthropological. They described what I call “rearview shamanism,” as something only ancient or indigenous cultures did, not a practice actively growing in modern lives. As well, self-help books followed the same formula: memoir-interpretation-introspective questions for the reader. I didn’t want to write either of those styles, because they weren’t the way shamanism worked for me. I didn’t want to describe my experience to the reader, I wanted to offer an experiential invitation to the reader. Animism is the belief that all things have a soul. I didn’t want to write my life story; I wanted to write the story of my soul.
3. GOTD is your personal journey. How did writing it influence and/or affect your path?
Through the book I’ve gotten to meet people all over the world. As I never planned to work as a shaman, I also never planned to keep writing autobiographical works. Many of my clients met me through the book. After it came out, many opportunities opened to me to publish and sustain the momentum of writing my soul’s story. Primarily, I started my blog, Intentional Insights, which answers reader’s questions on shamanism, paranormal experiences, and modern spiritual paths. Gift of the Dreamtime has given me many opportunities, that I didn’t have before.
4. What do you think is most important to believe as one seeks to heal from trauma?
We have to remember our true selves, the part of us that no matter what happens, happened or will ever happen, is untouched and empowered. That’s a very charged, difficult to hold concept for someone who is experiencing PTSD, particularly when victimization is involved. Yet, there it is. Reconnecting with that core self is everything.
5. What do you think it’s most important to do in order to find your strongest inner guide?
The most important thing to do to connect with your authentic self is to remind yourself to do so. We forget that it’s there, or we think of it once then assume all’s well. This is where mindfulness and spiritual practice meet. This is the “practice” part of spirituality. We are responsible for reminding ourselves of our divinity, and through the power of our minds, we will start to remember. The reminding becomes easier, then does everything else. When we realize our connection to our true selves, hearing its voice behind everything we do becomes easier.
6. What do you hope readers will learn from GOTD?
I hope they will learn that they can rise from their ashes and be powerful. Our culture teaches us to be wounded, and talks about thriving in the wound. We have to move beyond the wound. We have to commit to finding our truths, even if that means letting go of beliefs or thoughts that don’t serve us. I hope that my book imparts insights for how to look beyond what we perceive ourselves to be and find something even greater.
To read an excerpt from GIFT OF THE DREAMTIME, click here.
Kelley Harrell is a neoshaman and author in North Carolina. She has been on a shamanic path since 1988, and since 2000 has served her local community and an international client base. Her book, Gift of the Dreamtime: Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma, chronicles her pivotal step into the role of modern shaman. To support her shamanic work, she draws on energy work, hypnotherapy, and flower essences. A modern Druid, Kelley is an ordained interfaith minister. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity. Kelley writes for several publications, including the Global Goddess Oracle and The Huffington Post, and has been published in many journals and anthologies. Her shamanic practice is Soul Intent Arts, and a major focus of her work is helping modern intuitives assimilate spiritual emergency through private sessions and mentorship in The Tribe of the Modern Mystic Mystery School. Click here to read more about Gift of the Dreamtime.
Originally published at Your Life After Trauma.