Tag: healing

Soul Intent Arts – Ten Years, Ten Observations of an Animistic Soul #8

Soul Intent ArtsIn 2000, I created my neoshamanic practice, Soul Intent Arts. I’d worked with others for two years, and had crafted a personal animistic path with strong shamanic influences for ten years prior. Making the transition from spiritual seeker to committed shamanic practitioner was a huge step. Twenty-two years of experience seeing life through a shamanic lens and working with others has given me insights that feel right to pass along at this auspicious time. To celebrate Soul Intent Arts’ presence in this plane and this exceptional dance we’re doing toward this Winter Solstice, I’m closing this momentous year by listing my ten most poignant observations of personal shamanic work and maintaining a shamanic practice, and will present them over the next few days.
Thank you to all of the readers, clients, students, confidantes, comrades, and spaceholders who have contributed to Soul Intent Arts’ sustaining life force. Bless all of your dear hearts.


  • Even in the realm of spiritual and etheric healing, there is no magick pill. Miracles are not anticipated, they are observed. I’ve worked with clients who have made astounding strides in healing. I’ve had women who were trying to conceive sustain a healthy pregnancy after our work. I’ve seen people release lifelong emotional, psychological, and physical conditions after sessions. To my clients these outcomes were miracles. To me, each was a surprise, not because I don’t believe in miracles, but because I don’t project outcomes. It would be egotistical of me to define what my client would consider a miracle, not to mention would be usurping my client’s power. The marvelous occurs around us everyday in the form of signals. The better we become at reading the signals, the more miracles we witness in our lives. Consider the implications of such in the article Paranormal Everyday.

Soul Intent Arts – Ten Years, Ten Observations of an Animistic Soul #7

Soul Intent ArtsIn 2000, I created my neoshamanic practice, Soul Intent Arts. I’d worked with others for two years, and had crafted a personal animistic path with strong shamanic influences for ten years prior. Making the transition from spiritual seeker to committed shamanic practitioner was a huge step. Twenty-two years of experience seeing life through a shamanic lens and working with others has given me insights that feel right to pass along at this auspicious time. To celebrate Soul Intent Arts’ presence in this plane and this exceptional dance we’re doing toward this Winter Solstice, I’m closing this momentous year by listing my ten most poignant observations of personal shamanic work and maintaining a shamanic practice, and will present them over the next few days.

Thank you to all of the readers, clients, students, confidantes, comrades, and spaceholders who have contributed to Soul Intent Arts’ sustaining life force. Bless all of your dear hearts.


  • “Real healers are well.” That’s a loaded statement, if there ever was, but I hear that myth perpetuated often in New Age circles. First, we can only heal ourselves; the rest is just agreed upon vocabulary. We are all healers, the hallmark of which is knowing when to ask someone else for help. Next, the concept of well or unwell lies and manifests in the being of the beholder. Beyond that is only judgement of states of being, of the world around us, and of ourselves. And finally, with rare exception, everyone is healing something. We are infinite creatures with limitless components that create and influence our being. Is it possible to lead a life exempt from physical imbalance, emotional unrest, social distress, toxic environmental influence, gender typing, ethnic isolation… Probably. Not just possibly, I say, but probably. The question I ask is, what is each of doing to accomplish that not just for ourselves, but for each other? I elaborate further on the unique reasons driving life circumstances, personally and collectively, in There to Here – Life and Choices of the Soul.

Soul Intent Arts – Ten Years, Ten Observations of an Animistic Soul #3

Soul Intent ArtsIn 2000, I created my neoshamanic practice, Soul Intent Arts. I’d worked with others for two years, and had crafted a personal animistic path with strong shamanic influences for ten years prior. Making the transition from spiritual seeker to committed shamanic practitioner was a huge step. Twenty-two years of experience seeing life through a shamanic lens and working with others has given me insights that feel right to pass along at this auspicious time. To celebrate Soul Intent Arts’ presence in this plane and this exceptional dance we’re doing toward this Winter Solstice, I’m closing this momentous year by listing my ten most poignant observations of personal shamanic work and maintaining a shamanic practice, and will present them over the next few days.

Thank you to all of the readers, clients, students, confidantes, comrades, and spaceholders who have contributed to Soul Intent Arts’ sustaining life force. Bless all of your dear hearts.


  • Between the time that a person schedules a session with me and when the session occurs, release has begun. In reality, healing goes on all the time, as a matter of perspective. The point that a client calls me and schedules a session is often a first point of becoming active in the healing process. Once that opening occurs, often the initial intention for the session has resolved by its date, and the client is ready to take that shift further. For this reason, I do not schedule same day sessions with the exception of psychopomp work. Becoming active in one’s livelihood thrives on incubation, and I do not interfere in that process. Minding that rich gap between initial contact and meeting carries deep personal revelations only the client can mine. Understand more about shamanic healing in the article What is a Shaman? What Can a Shaman do for Me?.

The Dead Time Dawns – Saturn’s Gift

Every year for Samhain I publish accounts of my more charged, and in some cases creepy, spiritual pursuits. The Dead Time is a treasured journey to Solstice, and as it is a time of untime, the shadowed season presents a great opportunity to tell the stories that many who do shamanic work won’t tell–the occasions when things don’t go well or the unseen presents itself unexpectedly. You may recognize some of these accounts from my previous stories, while others are more recent. Enjoy the solitude of encroaching darkness. The light will return soon enough.

Saturn by George Pencz

Saturn by George Pencz

The first time I shared this story was last Samhain. It marks one of the most challenging experiences I’ve had as an intuitive, and certainly one of the saddest times in my life. I do think it a very classic modern glimpse of what I call the tribeless modern mystic, as only a gift from an ancient God can be–Saturn’s Gift.

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Read more spooky stories in “Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World,” true paranormal experiences of a lifelong intuitive.

To Heal or Not to Heal: Shamans in the New Era

“Rivers know this; there is no hurry, we shall get there some day.” – Winnie the Pooh

“Too many times we confuse motion with progress.” – Albert Einstein

A growing pain in the maturation of neoshamanism is the instinct to heal everything, that where there is energy imbalance it must balanced. Imbalance can occur in a person, a place, an animal, or an era. The inclination to heal at all cost can be viewed as a proactive model of health and wellbeing, no doubt the mindset many modern shamans bring to soul work. To indigenous healers, the ‘must heal’ mindset is very modern, and it embodies fear, isolation, even aggression. Because of its emphasis on the healer, the instinct carries with it arrogance, presumption, and idealism; thus is incomplete. It perpetuates the notion that imbalance is something to be viewed as broken, something unnatural, ideas that disregard the constantly changing state of Earth consciousness and experience. We are always in flux, and most of us realize profound growth not from balance or being out of balance, but in the process between the two. A task of the modern shaman is to embrace the full circle of Life, and in doing so, to impart that while perhaps uncomfortable, no facet of it is unnatural.

PageLines- peacock_feather_300_rotated_small.gifThe starry promise of restoring full functionality throughout daily life omits Shadow. Shadow is no one thing. We tend to think of it as bad and what should be avoided, as western culture has demonized anything that doesn’t dazzle with quick results. In fact, Shadow is usually the thing we most need to address in order to progress in the creation of ourselves. In the case of the ‘go-fix-resolve’ mentality, Shadow is forgetting to allow. Allow what? Whatever. No object is needed, when we are open to whatever is needed most. In that passive receptiveness the seed for healing blossoms into its unique destiny. We often forget how challenging it is to be passive, and those who practice it in meditation understand that to be passive doesn’t mean to do nothing. It means to allow, not to stand in the way of. The full spectrum of everything must be honored, and frequently the best way to honor it is to stop naming specific outcomes. When the emphasis becomes a specified outcome, the focus is on the healer, not on the highest outcome for the client. The ego pursuit of assuming that something needs to be done usurps the passive healing power gifted us by the Multiverse. The notion that everything broken must be fixed separates us from our connection with All, implying not only that we can control everything and should attempt to, but that undesired outcomes of our actions are failures, mistakes, or weakness. In some cases, the best prescription to resolve symptoms, release pain, or balance the etheric field is death. Yet many modern shamans still view death as the result of healing methods not working. In many modern practitioners, the natural healing properties of death are considered failure.

There are schools of thought that all energy or spiritual healing is good. While the argument is strong, it’s not that the work is good or bad. What is in question is the intent behind it. When we assume work should be done for a client based on intuitive observation–which for some shamans occurs instantly without journeying–lacking the consent of the client and/or impeccably clear direction from the client’s guides to do that work, we are operating outside the connection of All That Is. Outside that bond, nothing good can come. In some cases, if energy is shifted without examining the wider picture, more harm is caused than good. For instance, if a client has a terminal illness, just extracting the illness can make the “sick” cells more aggressive. The body, in this case, has forgotten how to function without the offending cells. Other supportive healing must be done first, and if it becomes possible, the imbalanced energy can be removed. Soul retrieval is another example. Returning soul aspects the individual is not ready for psychologically or emotionally can exacerbate the reasons the retrieval was done. In such situations, active intervention actually diminishes healing.

Some argue that the question of intent is, in part, why we have passive healing modalities such as Reiki, the Japanese healing art providing passive rejuvenation of life force, and hosts of spirit guides to call upon for aid. These are approaches to healing in which we express need to them then step aside, allowing their work to be done. They are an opportunity not to have to control everything, to honor the connection with All, and allow Multiversal support to work as it will.

Ultimately, healing isn’t about what symptoms go away, what miracles happen, or what death occurs. It’s about being connected to All Things and having a sense of peace that regardless of what occurs, we are well, we are in good company, and we are loved. As shamanic healers, we are often a final destination along a client’s path toward healing. Traditional modalities, even more accepted alternative ones have been tried with little or no results. It is sincerely challenging to look into the eyes of someone who has struggled to find healing and tell that person that all a shaman can do is facilitate allowing, between the client and All That Is. Yet that is our express obligation. We guarantee no specific outcomes, only that All listens and delivers. In the connection, we know when our influence is needed and when we should refrain from acting. The cradle of healing rests in that balance and that is the best comfort we give.

Saturn’s Gift

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Every year for Samhain I publish accounts of my more charged, and in some cases creepy, spiritual pursuits. The Dead Time is a treasured journey to Solstice, and as it is a time of untime, the shadowed season presents a great opportunity to tell the stories that many who do shamanic work won’t tell–the occasions when things don’t go well or the unseen presents itself unexpectedly. You may recognize some of these accounts from my previous stories, while others are more recent. Enjoy the solitude of the darkness, and know the light will soon warm!

Saturn. The name of the Roman god elicits shudders from historians and astrology enthusiasts, alike. The wielder of justice, the task master, the great leveler of the playing field. Saturn, the planet, is no less all business. With the intention of forcing you to face what you have not, this stellar body moves into a new sign about every three years. Practically speaking, this means that it occupies the exact location in the natal chart once roughly every 28-30 years. Saturn Returns, as such are known, are surrounded by much hype largely because they bring three years of intense personal clearing and transition. Considered a cosmic vice that will bear down on what you have not prior been able to release or move, rumor was that after all the intense purging managed by Saturn, the impartial judge would leave his tenderized charge a gift. Little did I know how hard I would work for that gift, or what that gift would be.

For me the fun began in March of 2001, with a car accident that left me in extreme pain for about three years and health conditions to manage ever after. The first year after I had intense kundalini explosions commonly referred to as a spiritual emergency (when the soul evolves more intensely than the psyche can manage). That was the conclusion of my first Saturn Return. Next came Saturn taking up station in my sun sign, which is not a common synchronous event. Where most people have the approximate three years’ liaison with Saturn, I had six. It was a profitable time during which I wrote and published Gift of the Dreamtime, inadvertently bringing me a great deal of healing. Willing to accept that as my gift at the close of my Return, I elected to follow Saturn’s lead for the next three years.

In July of 2005 I was staying alone in a hotel when I became aware of a presence in the room. I had already cleared the room, as hotels usually require such, and I was surprised to find a spirit there. When I closed my eyes I saw a spiritual manifestation of my grandfather. He told me that he was leaving and that he wouldn’t be back in this realm in form again. It was a peaceful interaction, though I carried no particular sadness at his announced departure. In my childhood he had sexually assaulted me on numerous occasions, the healing of which was thoroughly brought through in my Saturn Return. The next day, the day that Saturn left my birth sign in 2005, my grandfather died.

Despite the fact that I wasn’t close to him in any loving sense the news hit me fiercely, literally leaving me dizzy and needing to sit. My life force changed on the spot, some primordial thread passed from him, to my father, to me. In my lack of grief I felt oddly raw for a long while after, in a way that I couldn’t articulate. I felt as though I was exposed energetically and couldn’t regain grounding or protection. Aware of this lack, I focused on connecting with my spiritual allies and left the situation in their hands.

During this time one of my cats, Phoenix, began to act strange. He had made clear to me early in our fifteen-year relationship that he was my familiar. I had asked him what that meant, exactly, and he said, “I’m your companion.”

“What does a companion do?” I asked.

“Keep you company,” he replied. I didn’t ask him anymore questions. In that timeframe after my grandfather’s death I frequently found Phoenix talking with a presence in the guest bathroom. He always sat facing a particular spot, staring at it and caterwauling deep conversation. If I interrupted he would glare at me until I backed from the room, then he would continue talking. I didn’t know what was happening but it was clear to me that Phoenix wasn’t alone. As Phoenix was unfazed, excellent energy judges that cats are, I left him to it. My sense of the dynamic was that Phoenix was orchestrating something and I was not part of it.

By February of that year we began finding blood in the house–huge crimson sprays on the walls and carpet about 6-8 inches in diameter. At the time we had two cats and a dog, all of whom presented perfect health. Two months later, Phoenix began to show signs of vestibular imbalance, and I was at last with him during a projectile nosebleed. Mystery solved, this condition followed a pattern of him being immobile for days, then he would bounce back to light, life and playful kittiness. Evident to us was that his body was under extreme duress, though his veterinarian found no cause for or proof of his symptoms. I felt keen dismay at his odd decline. Having facilitated the deaths of several animal friends, upon talking with Phoenix I expected him to advise me of his life plans and what role I might play in them. To my surprise, he told me to do nothing. He told me that he was finishing work on another plane and that he would tell me when it had been completed. Clear to me was the fact that if I did facilitate his death to alleviate my grief it would be against his wishes.

Saturn by George Pencz

Saturn by George Pencz

The pattern of gruesome explosions continued, along with Phoenix’ chipper little personality telling me to hold the space for him to complete his work. He began to talk to his friend even more. The presence in the house became overbearing and by this point in my grief, my ability to fend off unwanted spiritual influences was almost nonexistent. Phoenix had stopped sleeping at night and was talking nonstop. He still ate well, groomed, and kept to his usual routine of napping in the yard and his favorite sunny spots about the house. Frequently I asked him, to his annoyance, if he was ready to die. He told me repeatedly that he was not and that I was, with no ambiguity, not to euthanize him unless or until he specifically told me to. He told me that he had work to complete here that would be more beneficial to do while he was still in form, and that if I euthanized him before that point it would complicate his process radically. Sadly, I left that governance to him and listened closely.

All the while that we had been supporting Phoenix other strange things began to happen in the house. Our dog began to exhibit vestibular imbalance, and lights began to flicker randomly throughout. I noticed changes in my own health. Within the space of about two weeks my hearing degraded significantly and I suddenly manifest problems reading. It was as if I had rapidly become dyslexic, only it wasn’t just that letters and words inverted on a page. I began seeing symbols that I didn’t recognize suffused with blank spaces mid-sentence. I felt that something major was going on etherically, a very profound shift of wiring, so to speak. I consulted the neurologist I had seen after the car-crash. Brain scans came back clean and the neurologist insisted that I had always been dyslexic and didn’t realize it.

One morning that August, Phoenix began crying in the wee hours. I gathered him around 3am and we lay on the couch. About an hour later I was awakened by a bright flash that settled into a horizontal sheet of white light cloaking the room. I sat up and observed that I could see above and below the hovering blanket of light. Phoenix began crying in my arms while the dog and other cat became agitated and left the room. Again there was a blinding flash and one of the computer monitors turned on. Instantly after that the four computers in the room simultaneously turned off. The room was deadly silent in the absence of the technohum, and I felt a masculine presence in the room. It hit me then that Phoenix had been buffering this energy and that his ability to continue buffering it was declining. Initially, I was very startled. Then, as is common for me when entities create physical intrusions, I became angry. I approached the monitor and saw that despite the fact that the desktop was displayed, none of the computers were on. I switched the monitor off and was livid.

Realizing that I was too emotionally involved with the situation to affect it I called on a colleague to help. Right off the bat she isolated that my grandfather was clinging to me and was manipulating my lower chakras. She didn’t know anything about my past with him, and I was genuinely surprised to hear her assessment. She went on to say that he was intentionally interfering with my sleep cycle to disrupt my usual healing work in my dreamstate, and that he was specifically dumping his karma on me to avoid having to do the work himself. My many spiritual interactions with him had always been very peaceful, very compassionate. I was genuinely taken aback to learn that not only had he not transitioned thoroughly, particularly after his visit to me the night before he died, but that he was lingering to cause me more harm. When I told my friend this she informed me that the aspect of him clinging to me now was not the higher, balanced being I’d seen so many times and the night before his death; rather, it was the earthly consciousness that was deeply troubled and still perpetuating abusive patterns.

Properly armed, I came home and thanked Phoenix for his work and cleared the house. I closed those of my grandather’s chakras that had remained partially functional after his demise. Three days of persistent entity release rituals transpired before I felt this suffering aspect of his consciousness completely transition. When it did I told Phoenix that he could relax and that he no longer had to do the work alone. His relief was evident, but he told me that his work was still not complete.

DSCF0610On 21 November I was admitted to the hospital with appendicitis. While I was waiting for surgery Phoenix came to me and told me that he was ready to move on. I lamented that I couldn’t help him and he assured me that there was no rush. He just wanted me to know he was finished. On 10 December 2006 we went to the vet with Phoenix, though we came home without him. His deathwalk was very difficult for me, yet it became clear in that procession that Phoenix had released me from very old, harmful misogynistic life threads. I also felt that he was paving an opening for radical etheric change in my life and in his own destiny. At that point I realized in our time together just how much Phoenix had contributed to grounding my life force. Physical evidence of that etheric transition came in March of 2007, when after having further health concerns I went to a new neurologist. In the brain scans that she did scarring was present, indicators of a series of minor strokes that left several physical markers, countless unseen ones.

What, then, did Saturn gift me? A deep and lasting release from limiting patterns. It may not be as exciting as a science toy, but it felt really great nonetheless. A budding insight into the vast . A budding insight into the vast and incomprehensible nature of consciousness. An opportunity to work through lingering anger toward my grandfather. An understanding that part of grief is the changing etheric field. An appreciation for the physical manifestation of widening awareness. More than any of those Saturn left me thankful for unconditional love and soulful support most evident in a truth of Wise Women lore that says when her familiar leaves Woman steps into her true power.

Angel Download

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Read more spooky stories in “Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World,” my collection of true paranormal experiences as a lifelong intuitive.

Every year for Samhain I publish accounts of my more charged, and in some cases creepy, spiritual pursuits. The Dead Time is a treasured journey to Solstice, and as it is a time of untime, the shadowed season presents a great opportunity to tell the stories that many who do shamanic work won’t tell–the occasions when things don’t go well or the unseen presents itself unexpectedly. You may recognize some of these accounts from my previous stories, while others are more recent. Enjoy the solitude of the darkness, and know the light will soon warm!

The year 2007 was rather strange for me, for several reasons, largely because two vastly significant segments of my life intertwined. In that timeframe health conditions that I had been managing through an intense spiritual emergency came to a head (which are covered in a subsequent story), as well as I began to have mindful interactions with Star People. I’d read stories of experiences in which people had stellar visitors who affected their neural functioning, in essence ‘changing their hardware’ to ready them for emerging frequencies coming into the planet. I’d never felt myself as part of that strata of experience. I was a shaman, an earth-dweller, a Nature spirit in my own right. I’d had many experiences journeying out into the starry vast Unknown, but I had not experienced that facet of the Unknown venturing to me. Many of my colleagues communicate with that level Intelligent Light, reporting such physical sensations of ringing in the ears or feeling as though a cool drop of water was falling on the third eye as indicators that such a base interaction was occurring. I had no reason to think that I would engage in that facet of spirit communication, and that was fine. Truth told I always found it somewhat hokey, talking with angels and aliens. By most measures I’ve had my hands full unraveling the myriad experiences of the wryd throughout my life, I didn’t need to court something more.

In the fall of 2006 I began to have migraines. I’d not experienced migraines since my first bout with them in 1999, the time I now look to as the beginning of my spiritual emergency, or what could have been one of several such etheric crises. What made this episode of discomfort different was that my face went almost completely numb on the left side, and I suddenly could not hear well and had problems reading. All sound seemed to be at a great distance, tinged with a persistent low ringing. Visually it seemed as though I had suddenly become dyslexic, only it wasn’t just that letters and words inverted on a page. I had begun seeing symbols that were unrecognizable along with upside down letters and blank spaces mid-sentence. With the rapid onset of all of these symptoms I returned to the neurologist I’d seen years before. Medical exams yielded nothing changed or harmful in my brain. The neurologist tried to convince me that I had always been dyslexic but at the age of thirty-five just “hadn’t noticed” until now. Being the sort who knew she wanted to be a writer at the age of five and who set her entire scholastic agenda to that outcome, I knew this was a new development and that I had not been latently dyslexic. My sense was that something major was going on etherically, a very profound shifting of synaptic wiring, so to speak. Medically, no diagnosis was reached.

Headaches persisted over the next few months and I began to have a very difficult time articulating myself. The visual phenomenon had abated for the most part, but my hearing was still quite affected by what was happening to me. I consulted my spirit guides ongoing, who informed me that my etheric form was shifting at a rate far more rapid than my physical form could comfortably withstand. As well, they told me that I was clearing out chakral clutter, which was resulting in various chakras elevating into vastly different vibrations than I was used to overall, and that other chakras were feeling very uncomfortable as they had not reached that point of elevation yet.

While I felt their assessment to be fact and I found peace in that confidence, I was physically miserable. I began having headaches more severely and sought out a fresh perspective on my neurological landscape. In early March of 2007 I went to a different neurologist who also held a rather holistic practice as an osteopath. She immediately confirmed that I had not suddenly become dyslexic, but that indeed a cerebral event had occurred. From her perspective it was imperative to assess just what that event was. From my perspective I wanted to see how the body’s mapping was changing to suit my new etheric territory. I consented to the testing that she wanted to do, which initially included another MRI. The results of this MRI were different than the one I’d had six months prior, revealing scaring on the brain as the cause, according to my doctor, of the physical symptoms I was having. In order to rule out deeper implications for the cause of the scaring she ordered more tests.

About a week later I was cruising down Raleigh’s outer beltline when in a flash I felt a ripple go through not just my body but the whole car and space around it, and I saw a split second visual of a group of lanky silvery grey Beings standing in a walled space surrounded by huge boxy electrical conductors. Though blended they felt predominantly feminine, and they were looking back at me through the windshield the way one looks at animals through glass in a zoo. As soon as the Beings realized that I could see them they gasped and appeared rather sheepishness, imparting a very clear sense of playfulness at being caught stirring the cosmic cookie jar. In another blink before me was only highway. I heard the murmur of a collective voice say, “she knows we just pushed this down.” I heard other voices, but they were hypnagogic, fluid, not unlike a melody. I heard this soft strain the rest of the way home.

The intensity and pervasiveness of this experience was very much like my strange mind-reading experience at Walmart, only the data coming in this time was purely pleasant. As I drove along, bemused, the meaning of this exchange was perfectly clear. I’ve read many instances in archaic history and modern experience of Star Beings collectively injecting radical transformation to passively open up options to an energetically stagnant populace. I never had cause to disbelieve it but I’d never experienced such personally. This intervention had been personal in that I felt it, but it also stretched beyond me over the land, in the space between the Earth and the firmament. It was not personal and yet was custom fitted to every Being who could receive it in this plane.

For all the strange encounters that I’ve read about, this one I saw happen—an image opened in my mind that did not originate from me–and I knew it was a radical transition being gifted us instantly. The entire event lasted about six seconds and I felt like I was surrounded by a silvery aura that was not my own afterward, like an etheric cushion so I wouldn’t hurt myself with my new information, a buffer to assimilate. I laughed the rest of the way home. I realized then that my wyrd had moved up to an entirely new level.

Medically, my doctor performed a lumbar puncture to discern the origin of the scaring on my brain. The results of this were normal, though an unrelated but peculiar outcome was the revelation that I apparently tend to be lower then the norm on spinal fluid, which can create a collection of annoyances, none of them particularly threatening. I walked away from the physical observation of the changes in my body know that my brain had indeed been remapped, a cause for concern to my neurologist, though to me it was a mirror of what I knew to be happening in the shifting template of my life force.

The last event in that sequence of changes came almost ten days later. In the early hours of sunlight I lucidly became aware of existing in two spaces at once. I was aware of myself lying in my bed, though I was also lying in what appeared to be an encampment in another plane. The scenery was a small arrangement of beige tents and bedding flanked by tall waving grasses of a meadow. There was a rather bleak feel to the space, though, as if it was a temporary meeting place between realms, a multiplanar MASH unit. I found myself lying on a beige pallet on the ground, surrounding by about 20-30 others reclining nearby. They, too were consciously aware of their location and of being outside the bodies. I recognized one of the people as a childhood playmate, someone I’d not seen in years. A Being stood over me, fairly masculine in energy, and quite a large presence. I felt him reaching into my head, specifically into the area of my brain that bore the scars. I felt him moving things around and became extremely agitated. I fought him quite hard, all the while having an inner dialogue with my spirit guides. They told me that it was his job to “install” the etheric component of the changes that had been made in my physiology and that it was up to me to decide if I wanted to allow it.

“Will the headaches stop if I allow this?” I asked them.

They informed me that gradually they would abate with this new balance of energy.

“What will it change in me?” I asked.

As soon as I formed the thought, the Being plunged its “chip” into my brain. I felt a jolt of electricity shoot through my body and crackle far out into my etheric form. My ego was quite distressed about its gruff methodology, though I knew that having uttered my last question I was expressing positive intent. By the time the energy traveled several feet out into my form I felt marvelous. I felt an indescribable cellular rapport, as if I was finally able to experience all of myself in a basic formed manifestation.

Indeed my neurological symptoms did calm significantly after the culmination of this series of events. I began to see silvery white orbs on a daily basis that I know to be the consciousness of creatures guiding us into a much wider practice of experiencing ourselves in this plane.

What is a Shaman? What Can a Shaman Do for Me?

I’ve observed that the Universe seems to send out memos on topics, as I will go ages without an inquiry about a particular theme then receive several at once. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve encountered people curious about shamanism. On the whole people do not stumble into shamanism, whether that is feeling led to study it or to receive shamanic healing. Even in the world of energy work and holistic medicine shamanism still seems to elude many. In hopes of addressing this spiritual curiosity I am reworking a hand out I give to new clients, information that is also on my website. That information is: What is a shaman? What can a shaman do for me?

There are all kinds of academic, even poetic explanations of what shamans are and what they do. In fact, a very detailed FAQ on shamanism can be found at various locations on the web. Detail or no, the questions from most people are, “What is a shaman? What can a shaman do for me?”

Siberian Shaman, Lake Baikal

Siberian Shaman, Lake Baikal

A shaman can help you heal whatever you are open to healing. Shamans are intermediaries with the spirit world, not just links to the spirits but explorers of the spirit realm, itself. “Aren’t we all?” you ask. Yes, we all have the potential to be, though not all of us readily know how. We are not all active participants in the worlds within and around us, though we all have the ability to be.

Shamanism is not a religion; rather, it is a perspective entailing that everything is alive. A base shamanic view holds that everything, everything has a soul, and is connected to every creature and energy. Through that connection we are able to travel out of our bodies beyond our egos to communicate with souls of the dead, ourselves and other humans; plants, animals, Earth, the elements; even “higher” spirits, such as guides, helpers, our own High Selves, and our Higher Power. How shamans accomplish this act is perhaps most telling, and most individual.

There are some basic tenets of shamanism that pervade ancient, indigenous cultures, and neoshamanic practice such as we all have animal guides and spirit guides; the concept of soul retrieval; extracting an illness or entity from the body for physical, emotional, mental or spiritual healing; psychopomp work, or death walking–guiding the dead to Spirit; and divination. Beyond the basic functions a shaman performs the similarities across cultures largely stop there. Shamanic cultures are diverse, as every cultural history records a social role of a person performing some facet of the role of shaman. Called medicine men, wise women, skywalkers, nagual, and many more titles and roles, today the purpose of the shaman is no different. Neoshamanic work draws on these same primary tenets creating many outlets for learning indigenous and contemporary shamanic practices for daily life.

Given the range of techniques shamans use, it’s important to understand how these skills apply to everyday life. In the most broad perspective, shamans promote healing. Opening communication with the spirit realm can open you to your own healing ability, body, mind, soul, and emotion. Bear in mind that no shaman, doctor, surgery, or medication can heal you. You heal yourself. You make the conscious decision to allow whatever healing modality you receive to actually heal you. Healing is your personal agreement between yourself and Spirit. Know that when you interact in the journey state, which is the theta brain wave level of deep cognizant deep dreaming, you are in the space to directly access yourself at the central levels of being. You can reshape your physical and spiritual DNA, taking command of the creative ability with which Spirit blessed you. With shamanic healing you are an active participant in your wellbeing. Through understanding your ability to co-create your own life with Spirit, you not only improve your own quality of life, but that of All Life.

Smudging

Smudging

What a shaman can do for you depends on your reasons for seeking one. Perhaps you have a chronic illness that doesn’t seem to abate. Perhaps you are depressed, or want to be rid of a disruptive pattern, relationship, belief, or habit in your life. Perhaps you feel you have unlimited potential, but can’t seem to manifest it into what you need in your life. Perhaps you just want to find meaning in your life, or want insight into your own abilities. Maybe you want to meet your spirit guides. The reunion with your guides can help in each of those things, as well as the reunion with your High Self. Remembering these relationships allows you to reconnect to Spirit, empowering you, and giving you intimate knowledge of your own strengths, abilities, and love. You will never feel alone again once you have remembered your spiritual allies.

Additional work could also help, such as a soul retrieval, in which spirit aspects that left due to trauma are returned and integrated, allowed to heal and age to your current maturity. In some cases soul aspects aren’t returned to the Earth consciousness but move on to Spirit. The effects of this technique usually include ending the pattern of chronic illness, depression, or other pattern that you have become locked into. In some cases, memories are returned, and certainly abilities that you may have missed as you have aged.

Another way to specifically address patterns, thoughts, or habits that have become harmful, such as addiction, obsessive behaviour, a disruptive relationship dynamic, or even chronic illness is life regression and progression. Often seeing the origin of these patterns helps one to clear them, as well as talking with a future self to see the healing as it has manifest and carried through one’s life.

In some cases, an extraction of an intruding entity is needed to release a pattern or offending condition. Some refer to this as depossession or exorcism, though it is rarely theatrical as it is depicted in fiction. It is, however, quite profound. In the most base terms such interferences are merely energy that is no longer functional in its current place. Symptoms of this may be physical issues, radical shifts in mood or temperament, an imbalance of power in a relationship. When the energy is removed and health flow to the etheric form restored the flow balance on all levels can be better maintained.

DIY Totemism

DIY Totemism

Another way to bring about balanced flow in your life force is a technique called “dismemberment”. In this technique, your animal guide is asked to do the dismemberment, and allowed to completely destroy your physical body. The animal may “re-member” you immediately after, or it may recommend that you take time in this re-membering. The end result is your body fully re-membered, without the affliction. It is new.

These are just a few of the techniques shamans use, and only a vague description of the reasons that you may feel led to a shaman. Wildspeak is a great resource of articles on shamanism, animism and a quite extensive animal totem dictionary. As well, for insight into working with helping spirits, Lupa’s DIY Totemism: Your Personal Guide to Animal Totems is brilliant.

Gift of the Dreamtime

Gift of the Dreamtime

My book, Gift of the Dreamtime: Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma gives a thorough presentation of shamanic healing in a useable modern context and may be very helpful in determining if shamanic work is appropriate for you.

I wish you deep healing and prolific power!

Energy Imbalances and Wellbeing

Recently, I’ve been receiving a lot of inquiries based on the same topics. I take this as further validation of collective transition, and over the next few months will be responding to many of these questions collectively. Please continue to submit questions about private matters, and I will be glad to feature, those, as well. To that end, I’ve had several inquiries of late that deal with physical and psychological conditions.  Finding that each of them shares the common concern on how beliefs affect our health, I am choosing to address them in a single overview of how health conditions are viewed and approached in a shamanic context.  This response is not a template for approaching every energetic imbalance.  As there are often similarities in conditions, there are always unique differences.

There are some common beliefs around perceived poor health, the first being that the condition is “bad.”  Within the consciousness of that life form and in the spiritual consciousness, itself, there is no concept of good or bad.  The condition just is.  Demonizing states of being is like saying “trees are bad,” or “the sky is good.”  It is an attempt to create disjoint from something that is otherwise neutral.  When we call something bad our body and mind has a reaction to that statement.  Think about the terminology used to describe conditions and consider what feelings are evoked by words such as, “illness” or “sick.”  Do you feel supported when you say them?  Does saying them make you feel better?  Generally such wording only reinforces the compromised state of health, because that terminology leaves us feeling emotionally less.  When our emotions engage that determines how something influences us.  If it makes us feel happy, we feel well.  What makes us feel sad, angry, depressed, leaves us feeling sore, tired, and weak.  In that light, specifically how we feel dictates our reality, feelings being the reaction to how we think.  Casting life force into a good or bad polarity does not help the healing process.  If anything, doing so hinders it.  To that end, regarding such a condition as energy that is no longer functioning at its highest capacity in that location is more useful.  In short, it’s energy in the wrong place.  Allowing it to move to a place where it can be functional or released back to All That Is, is the focus.

Another belief that we tend to hold toward our perception of health is that the illness knows that it is harmful and is willfully creating harm.  There can be unique factors around this, but in most cases that I’ve worked with the condition did not realize that it was causing harm.  In fact, it did not even realize that it was in a non-useful place.  This isolated view of self also is frequently witnessed in depossession and in psychopomp work, and is resolved by having an open discourse with the life force on the current state of things, the effect it’s having, and one hopes, by then facilitating its movement to a more useful place.

How to Heal Toxic Thoughts by Sandra IngermanIt’s not easy to change our vocabulary or our beliefs for expressing how we feel about physical or psychological conditions.  In some cases, elaborating on how poorly we feel is socially more accepted than celebrating how great we feel.  The phrase ‘misery loves company,’ doesn’t stir strong emotions for no reason. Creating discord is a lot easier than engendering harmony, and that is no more true than in matters of wellbeing. Regardless, allow yourself a head start in changing your unconscious perspective on health.  During my recent pregnancy and postpartum I found Sandra Ingerman’s How to Heal Toxic Thoughts: Simple Tools for Personal Transformation very useful in creating a way to speak how I felt in my mind and body that alleviate them, and I highly recommend it for that purpose.  Putting new thought patterns and methods in place for how to create health will be more easily done in a state of calm.  That is not to say that it is too late to address these when feeling compromised.  We are always ready to begin, and we’re always ready to feel well.

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Intentional Insights is a Q&A column inviting you to look inside yourself. If you have a question that you would like for me to address in my column regarding a brief Soul Reading or questions about spiritual healing and shamanism, please send them to me at Kelley at soulintentarts dot com, or contact me to schedule a full-length Soul Reading.

Collective Question, Mass Transition

As I have been hearing the same question repeatedly of late, it seemed appropriate to address it in this month’s Q&A. I’ve observed that when situations or dynamics seem to affect large groups of people at once there is typically a collective impact from the event. Certainly we all have our personal stories supplanting the details, but trends across groups and geographies stand out. Patterns of this nature beg their own inquiry, and the question I’m frequently being asked is, “Why can’t I breathe?”

One of, if not the primary physical agreement we make to become spirit in flesh is that we master breathing. Breathing is perhaps our most tactile, intimate and necessary experience of the Earth’s atmosphere, that also just happens to be imperative to survival. Examining the function of breathing in a more esoteric light reveals its profound effects on how we live. Yogis, Zen masters and mystics from myriad traditions have honored for centuries that the way we breathe affects how our life force moves. With skilled application we can even control our life force with breath. The technique of breathwork—sometimes referred to as holotropic or integrative breathwork—is the act of allowing the body to release emotions and physical conditions that are no longer needed. In essence, breathwork allows the opportunity of processing unconscious clutter, that which may not have words or tangible mental processes that could be addressed by more conventional therapies. From that capability it is possible to alter the breath in such a way that we not only move our life force and create a desired effect from doing so, but we can also unconsciously evoke pervasive healing.

I began the therapeutic pursuit of integrative breathwork a year ago this month. I had finally accepted that I was and had been in a state of spiritual emergency after a series of escalating health issues—a cluster of minor strokes and acute appendicitis, all while managing other critical autoimmune and metabolic conditions—all within one year. I took into breathwork the understanding that while I may be mentally, spiritually and emotionally highly functioning, my body was struggling to reach a complementary state of Being. While the mind, soul and emotions can “rise above,” can span multiple planes of consciousness to experience reality, the cells operate in a much different field. The body is part of all of these levels—their earthly host, one might say. It has its own spiritual nature, every cell having its own relationship to Spirit. Yet the body more than any other level of our Being has to play by a 3D set of “agreements” in order to function in accordance with the environment. However, as all is within Creation, all things are possible if we can conceive of them.

Many of us are being “forced” by atmospheric conditions to breathe differently, be that the result of unusual weather patterns, deforestation, pollution, or individual cellular renewal. By altering the way in which we breathe, energetically these environmental stimuli are putting us in a place of doing mass breathwork, mass release of personal and collective things we no longer need to carry as individuals, as a people, or perhaps as a plane. To what outcome we can only imagine: a shift into higher mass consciousness, improved wellbeing, robust collective caregiving.

I challenge us all to consider that what we perceive as chronic (or perhaps all) illness is transition of the physical form into a higher expression of itself. At a personal level when breaking out of the rut of “illness”, consider what this condition gifts, consider what its spiritual implications and nature are. Likewise, when many people share symptoms and physical experiences in tandem, question what we as a people are changing in our cells, in our souls and in the earth plane. This possibility doesn’t mean avoid seeking medical attention, allopathic or alternative. Being comfortable in the physical form is important, even if a primary indicator of a need for change is triggered by physical discomfort. Undertake the treatments necessary to soothe the form with the wisdom accompanying them that the body is going through a spiritual process, one in which we can allow its completion.

I wish us all comfort and an exuberant expression of the soul in form. I also wish us the joy of the process in all its myriad manifestations.

Breathe well!

Podcast 1 ~ Intentional Insights: Q&A From Within, “Collective Question, Mass Transition”