Tag: Gift of the Dreamtime

Sacred Ink, S. Kelley Harrell, Intentional Insights, Soul Intent Arts

Life Betwixt – Sacred Ink

I’ve long wanted to get a tattoo. When I was in college–well before it was cool to sport ink–a fellow TA had a tiny American flag in the shape of a heart on her ankle, and I wanted one, post-haste.

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Weekly Rune – Kenaz

Kenaz - Intentional Insight's Weekly Rune by S. Kelley HarrellKenaz – Torch – A complex Rune, Kenaz, its meaning calls us to examine the flame in our lives. On the surface it seems easy to recognize the places that are lit,particularly when we examine what is most dark. Sometimes even the tiniest flicker blazes bright and illuminating, when we’re surrounded in darkness.

Another layer to this Rune references a ‘boil,’ or more specifically a blemish, that which is inflamed and restrained. The pain of suffering buried hurt is no less a wound, an impediment, than navigating in darkness.

Futhark_RSSx150 Consider this week what sore spots need to be revealed. Likely a specific concern already flickering on the radar, make the choice to give it voice, listen, and let it be laid bare. There is deep, clear enlightenment here, that can’t be revealed until  some measure of light is shone.  While it may be challenging to process, it will not overwhelm. One of the hallmarks of Kenaz is small, digestible bits of insight, revealed as needed, as processed. What a wonderful opportunity to take stock, make wanted changes.

This Rune comes now as a courtesy, a memo reminding us to actively participate and craft our paths. It’s a tool, giving us control over our assets, which in this case are the little hurts we otherwise ignore on a day-to-day basis. In willfully yet soulfully excising them,  we honor the wound. By shedding light on the causal irritants, we can find meaning in the discomfort and move on. The wound will heal; its wisdom is imparted and applied for new direction.

In the context of this reading, Kenaz is politely saying, “You can make the change, or it will be made for you.”

Contact Kelley for a personalized Rune Reading.

Honoring Cycles

S. Kelley Harrell's Gift of the Dreamtime - Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma For years I thought I had reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I never felt particularly down in the gloom of winter, but in the overwhelming bright sunlight of summer. Funny acronym, SAD. I knew deep down, though, that’s not what it was. This time of year for me is a collusion of cycles ending and beginning, by which I specifically mean birthdays, anniversaries.

Just as there are the micro cycles we see and know throughout our lives all the time, also are bigger ones we aren’t so familiar with, until something happens, until something demands that we respect them.

However sad or appropriate it may be, the last time I was abused was the night before my 7th birthday, which is to say that I remember it vividly. There were candles, a pool party that wasn’t, rallying of troops, and a dire negotiation with the Multiverse–which for whatever reason worked out on my behalf. The juxtaposition of that event with my birthday, the most hallowed of holidays any of us can ever have–the opportunity to stand in the presence of the Multiverse and say, “I’m Still Here…” Well, let’s just say that for a very long time, I wasn’t convinced of that, and even when I was, it wasn’t easy.

I reached a point of quiet on that front some years ago, in my mid-thirties. The sting was gone, though a dull nothingness took up its place. Then something truly miraculous happened, again. On my birthday in 2001, I first held in my hands my memoir, Gift of the Dreamtime. The irony wasn’t lost on me, though I didn’t shrink to that. I realized as I thumbed through those crisp new pages that a new era was beginning. I had to bless the old, take up its weary bones, and let new being take form.

So it has. This year I celebrate my birthday, honor the child who brought me to it, and the support of people from around the world who first read about the crossroads of my birthday in Gift of the Dreamtime. It has become more than my memoir. In the true sense of the ancient healing story, it has inspired many others to listen to their own, to tell them, to share their truths.

This ninth year of its being, you can download the ebook from Amazon for free 28-29 June.

Thanks so much for giving it your blessing on its amazing journey around the world!

Spiritual Emergency, Awakening, and Tribe of the Modern Mystic

A component of shamanism that makes it different from other esoteric paths is servitude to a community. How one defines community can be as unique as the shamanist, herself. When I began my Masters work in 2010, learning what community I serve was a key focus. From my admissions essay through my thesis, I aligned my work with creating the Tribe of the Modern Mystic.  I don’t know how it dawned on me, as I’d spent 12 years creating and sustaining The Saferoom Project, a peer support nonprofit for adult survivors of child sexual assault. I’d also devoted 12 years to deepening my shamanic path, personally and in working with others. I fully expected my formation of community to comprise some facet of assault survivors, though no matter how much I devoted to that work, I was pulled to mentoring intuitives in spiritual emergency. No matter how I put out the intention for working with survivors to be my community, the clients and students who darkened my doorway were budding seers and healers, every day people reeling from some experience of the wyrd that left them wholly changed and oppressively alone in their transition.

Talking Stick, Tribe of the Modern Mystic, Soul Intent ArtsBut I didn’t want that to be my community.

The first time I heard the phrase “spiritual emergency” was from my therapist in 1994. It had just been added as a diagnosis in the DSM-IV  the year before. The day we met she told me that she could help me with symptoms of dis-ease in my life–depression, low self-confidence, PTSD, though she said flat out that she felt my distress was of a spiritual nature. She explained spiritual crisis as an awakening, in which the soul or consciousness is expanding more rapidly than the emotions or psyche can process. I can’t express what a unicorn she was, in the mental health care profession back then, able to make that statement with certainty. I spent just under 3 years working with her, experiencing great improvement of my symptoms, though the day we terminated, wholly affirmed that I was still experiencing spiritual crisis. Within two weeks of that last session I committed to deeper teaching on my shamanic path, had a soul retrieval, and felt relief from crisis for the first time in my life.

I didn’t want to walk back through that. To explore my capabilities in helping others assimilate spiritual crisis into soulful awakening required me to re-examine my rootless beginnings as an intuitive. It would force me to recall decades of knowing I was different in a way that defied vocabulary, the endless frustration and depression around feeling called to something that had no boundaries or guidelines, the loneliness of a solitary path, and the fear of many inexplicable phenomena that were part of my norm. I didn’t want to walk back through any of those things or the feelings they stirred.  Yet in greeting the stories of others, mine re-emerged as a strong shamanic narrative, encouraging others to stay the course and affirming that they weren’t alone. Along with reviewing my history of spiritual emergency came unexpected emotional snarls tangling my abusive childhood once again with my spiritual path, even if only that both were occurring at the same time, that despite trauma from those different sources, the pain felt the same.

[learn_more state=”open”] An isolated hour with someone who utterly understands you can’t sustain next to weeks, months of inundation from others who don’t, and likely can’t. [/learn_more] I also began to see patterns of those struggling into awakened life coping with mental illness, separation from lifelong beliefs about self, religion, and cosmology, and a resounding lack of support from loved ones during this intensely jarring time.  Their therapists didn’t understand, and neither their clergy, community, or other caregivers.  I found myself at the center of a gathering of people who badly needed support in an area that, like it or not, I was providing. Yet, in those tenuous relationships, I realized they needed more, just as I needed more.  They needed to hear it from someone besides me, more frequently than their routine trip to the local shaman, from a voice that could be engaged as needed, from others who understand what they were going through. An isolated hour with someone who utterly understands you can’t sustain next to weeks, months of inundation from others who don’t, and likely can’t. Most of them never spoke of the supernatural events in their lives to anyone but me.  They entrusted me with their most precious secrets. How in the world would I create community when we had all been so ostracized in our personal lives that we couldn’t even speak our truths unless we thought only the Divine was listening?

In indigenous cultures, this dialogue would likely never happen. Not that they don’t experience spiritual emergency.  They do–it’s called initiation. It’s called enlightenment, because they understand that enlightenment isn’t a sudden, dazzling solution to all of your problems. It cracks you open from the inside and requires you to rewire, start over, and do nothing the same. Shamanic cultures wouldn’t have this dialogue because they are born into their communities. They come into the world with the support system to witness, honor, bless, and grow their wild, intuitive selves from day 1. Such is not so clear in the west.

I’ve been on my healing path since I was six years old. From the age of seventeen I began my shamanic path. At twenty-seven I began working with others as a facilitator of healing. I realize now, as with all spiritual truths,  the shaman doesn’t find the community, the community finds the shaman.

If you feel a need for such support not only of your experience, but in the development of your mystical life, learn more about the Tribe of the Modern Mystic. My life’s work, my heartsong, and my compassion welcome you.

Weekly Rune – Thurisaz

Thurisaz - Intentional Insight's Weekly Rune by S. Kelley Harrell

Thurisaz – thorn– There is an expression, “in the weeds,” in the food and beverage service industry, in which not only have you gotten overwhelmed by the tasks before you, but you’ve fallen behind. Given that Thurisaz translates to “thorn,” I find that an apt symbol for the present vibe.  Worth noting, the last time Thurisaz was the weekly Rune, Mercury was retrograde. It just went direct yesterday.

While that may seem, and certainly feels, dismal on the surface, keep in mind that under duress, amazing outcomes manifest. Elements conspire to form diamonds, metal is whetted into sharp blades, nectar becomes honey.  In each of these, experience creates an outcome utterly unfathomable from its original form.  Thus, our attention turns to how we apply our knowledge, how we acquire it, and the tools we use to move forward in it.

This, too, shall pass.  In fact, it is already passing, and from some deeper vantage point within, has passed.  Imagine what the new, improved you looks like.  How does it feel to be not just through, but beyond the present rough patch?  Situate yourself into that moment. Breathe it, practice walking around it.  When you deeply immerse in the senses of what you want, what is most needed, you will realize that is precisely what you possess.

Weekly Rune – Ingwaz

Jera - Intentional Insight's Weekly Rune by S. Kelley Harrell


Ingwaz (or Inguz) – People of Ing – We’ve been in this rhythm of movement, then coasting for a while, now. So it would seem with the frequent intermittent presence of Ingwaz, suggesting that we take time to process our journey and let it root into change.

We tend to look for progress as this steady jaunt to some expected outcome, marking completed items off a list along the way. Ingwaz reminds us that true progress is measured not by our ability to reach the finish line first, but to reach it in a way that supports and fosters our integrity, shares our truth, and inspires others to hold to theirs. In short, Ingwaz cautions us that plans change, and it’s okay to roll with what comes. In fact, if we find that our plans have changed and kick in the reflex to fight it, the things we want most can’t come into being. No matter what lies ahead, what plans have been made, what desires motivate, all we can really work with is the present. Give it the attention it deserves, the regrouping we and our desires deserve.

Ingwaz is what I call a ‘hinge’ Rune, in that it’s about that tiny space–or maybe nonspace–between Here—> and <—There.  It’s not so much about the events themselves, where we started, or where we end up.  It’s about how the whole process changes us inside.  It’s about finding that well of nonspace, the inner Void where we create ourselves every day, and conscientiously, intentionally beginning that creation process again.

If you would like a personal Rune reading, check out my new service 30 for $30–a thirty minute Distance Rune Reading, for $30. Schedule your session by clicking the button to the right.

Weekly Rune – Ingwaz

Jera - Intentional Insight's Weekly Rune by S. Kelley Harrell


Ingwaz (or Inguz) – People of Ing – It’s quiet time.  A lot of ground has been covered lately, and the solitude needed to process that journey and let it root into a changed course is now.  In western culture, even among spiritually well-intended folk, is the drive to Go Go Go! and not allow time for what has been upturned, re-evaluated, calibrated, and set into motion to fly, be free!.  Somewhat addicted to the allure of expanding consciousness, we want to sustain that esoteric high.  We constantly stretch for the goal, then wonder why we burn out, or the goal shifts just left of center.

I’ll tell you why:  everything must root, and to properly ground into the place where we need to grow, we have to make peace with being still.  Of course being still doesn’t mean doing nothing. Solitude requires a tremendous amount of effort, particularly for those not comfortable being mindful.  That is exactly how all of the good-living practices, healing work, and study come to fruition.  This is the point that they become intuition.

Ingwaz is what I call a ‘hinge’ Rune, in that it’s about that tiny space–or maybe nonspace–between Here—> and <—There.  It’s not so much about the events themselves, where we started, or where we end up.  It’s about how the whole process changes us inside.  It’s about finding that well of nonspace, the inner Void where we create ourselves every day, and conscientiously, intentionally beginning that creation process again.

Worked muscles must rest.  Wounds must mend. Knowledge and experience must marinate into wisdom. So let this time be the point that rest, allow, and in doing so engage our deepest truth.

Weekly Rune – Kenaz

Nauthiz - Intentional Insight's Weekly Rune by S. Kelley HarrellKenaz – Torch – Be prepared to find something long searched for this week. More specifically, expect to manifest what has been most wanted.

Kenaz speaks to the fire we can control, the torch of inspiration we both nurture and bring into being as knowledge.  This esoteric moment is the lighting of the darkness. In practical terms, it’s the point of the match strike.  Fire can illuminate, warm, devastate, all considerations to hold in mind before ever bringing match to striker.  At such moments of divine creativity, we stand fully and knowingly connected to All Things; thus, all self-power is available.

Bear in mind, manifesting what has been most wanted isn’t about what is manifest.  It’s how we react to the inspiration. Often we have enlightenment but we don’t like what is learned, or how it makes us feel.  Nonetheless, we can’t unknow it.  We can’t revert back to who we were before wisdom, not without creating a landslide of ramifications.

Go forward this week with the assurance of gaining what has been sought, and holding ourselves gently to accept what that is, who it demands that we become, and where it demands that our life go.