The prophecy of the bone is the upheaval of the mind. ~Kelley Harrell
Throughout the Betwixt series, I’ve talked about the significance of creating community along a shamanic path. I delved briefly into viewing ourselves as a valuable, informed member of our own spiritual council, encouraged readers to shapeshift into themselves to better step into their power. Taking that further, I’d like to talk about the many blessings and challenges of realizing the body’s inherent spirituality.
Most modern shamanic circles focus on all things soul. They touch on amorphous internal cosmologies supporting the whole, though the experience of the form remains demoted in that hierarchy. I connect this oversight to a tendency for modern shamanists to avoid Middle World work, as they tend not to explore the spiritual nature of what is most immediately around us. Rather focus is on higher guidance, deeper resonance.
The more I root into being here, the more I realize the body is the portal. It has all the answers, and knows the questions we haven’t thought to ask. We all get a body when we come into form, and it’s pre-wired and ready to go for the most soul rocking experiences imaginable. The body is intuition manifest. It’s the walking lexicon and interface, all in one. It’s how we are able to hear the mind, and the collection of a bazillion other senses that when we tune, remind us we’re animals. We’re Nature.
Yet we hit the ground running, to dissociate from the body’s wisdom. Ironically, the more we venture into spiritual community, often the less we incorporate the body’s perspective. We don’t often acknowledge that it has a perspective, let alone many. And the idea that every cell has a story… Well.
Pain, or some degree of discomfort, is often the voice we’re most willing to hear from the body. Again, it’s ironic, because it’s the one we least want to listen to. Because we live so outside the body’s experience of form, it is the dialogue of pain that presents a trove of information, expressing our experience as a world of hurt.
How do we wear meat suits, endure all the challenges doing so brings, and still remain connected with All Things? That is the challenge. There’s no one way or right way to do it, and each of us has a unique job in realizing our personal tribulations in staying engaged. My challenge around these involves being a cyclic person, from which I derive my most profound power.
For the record, it has taken me about thirteen years to write that last sentence.
What’s a cyclic person? Many things, the understanding of which is part of its unique challenge. Women identify with the phrase from the onset of menstruation. Certainly those who cope with fluctuating mood and mental health conditions relate. Men later in life comment around awareness of cycles, and how they affect their focus.
For me, it’s a combination of biochemical traits and chronic health conditions. I’ve never been diagnosed as having a mood ‘disorder.’ I have, however, been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Fibrymyalgia Syndrome (FMS) after a car crash in 2001, and have had minor strokes that among several outcomes, affected how I speak, read, and process data. While unofficial, my doctor approaches me on a spectrum of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). I work full-time. I maintain my writing career and my shamanic practice. I have a family, and a driving need to perform well at all of the above.
I recently wrote about how having cyclic focus affects my ability to manifest the things I want. The bigger picture of my changing tides is that I work hard to fully encompass the many voices in my body. I talk to my body, emotions, and mind(s) as discrete beings, and I also hold dialogue with the conditions that I manage. I call FMS in and we talk by a stream in my Lower World. I frequently have tea with my neurotransmitters. I recently walked with my body to a mausoleum, where we released eras of sick relatives from my ancestral line. Likewise, when my mind just can’t find a foothold in the reality that I want it to, I sit with it where it is. I keep it company, giving it what blessings I can, then I go to sleep, and wake to see where we’ve arrived, because I know it will be some place different.
I’ve said often in articles, classes, and sessions, you can do all the soul work and healing you want. If the body’s not in a place where the mind can accept it, spiritual healing can’t stick. I’m willing to go all-in and say it won’t stick.
Where is your body, really? What feels great about it, and what doesn’t? Does it talk to you? Do you listen? I promise, your body is a prophet in disguise, and that disguise is the limitations amassed trauma has put on your beliefs of what your form can accomplish.
Get out the superhero cape. Put it on, and whirl around a few times. Ask your body what it most needs from you. Ask the conditions you manage how they inform you, how they cradle you, and how they alter your perception of the ordinary.
Give up your vocabulary, linear movement, and perceptions of how your form relates to the space around you. Become the brand new being you were when you got here, and see what it has always known, without impositions or corrections. Shapeshift into your body as it is, now. Let it choose the sounds that come out. Give it the freedom to move the way it wants to. Transform into the formlessness of deep being, and dive into what information lives there, because that is who you are.
This observation isn’t about learning the story of your body. It’s about learning your body’s story of you, and those are not the same experiences.
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Kelley- Recently, a new intuitive friend revealed that he had a vision about a horrific crime happening in my home. In roughly nine months, a man randomly breaks into my home to rob me for quick cash. This man realizes that we are in the home–myself, and my daughter–and he ties me up and then rapes my daughter in front of me. The young girl my friend describes seeing doesn’t match my daughter. However, I have an identical twin sister with a daughter who quite matches it.Over all, he left me with a terrible vision of something that may happen to myself or my sibling. I just can’t fathom this crime, yet I don’t want to ignore the warning either. Can you give me any advice? Carolyn
I generally don’t give advice, Carolyn, but in this case, I suggest getting a new friend, most definitely a new intuitive. The fact that he would so carelessly deliver to you such graphic yet vague information indicates that he isn’t very grounded, and that he isn’t showing you compassion. Now, I’ll tear myself away from my knee jerk reaction long enough to give you an actual balanced, intuitive response.
A lot of people ask me the difference between psychics and shamans–and I admit–I’m being very general here. Anyone can see. Anyone. Whether someone can stand on the conviction of his or her intuition to do so in the service of others, is another matter. What makes someone a shaman, a healer, a conduit between the senses of the form and the senses of ether isn’t just seeing that connection but also knowing what to do with the information that comes. Not everyone can find the cord connecting the fantastic with its mundane anchor. My measure of progress with every client is that my work must have meaning for their daily lives, else I’ve not done my job. Regardless of what I see, however tragic, joyful, or ethereal, past, present or potential future, it’s my role to understand how the vision relates to the client in the moment. Sometimes things come in a language I don’t understand, but the client does. Or sometimes neither of us understands the language, but both feel the significance of the message. What matters is that on some level of the client’s being a cord was plucked, and its vibration evoked power. What your friend did to you was disempowering, akin to cosmic gossip. The cord he plucked was fear, and it jarred your peaceful connection with All Things.
Something else to keep in mind is that all glimpses of the future are merely glimpses of potential outcomes. People who truly walk between worlds are both confident and humble enough to know that everything is mutable. Every thought, every choice, every action we make shapes potential outcomes. There is no one potential outcome–there are an infinite number of potential outcomes for every consciousness on this planet. That means there is no one future.
As for what your friend saw, I hold visions as equally literal and metaphoric, one having no more significance than the other. Bless it and let it go. Who can say the reason for what he saw? Not I, and at this point, not even himself. Every moment that passes changes who we are, our life force, our potential… Were he to read you now, you would not be the same person he read then. Given that, I can’t validate or invalidate what he saw. I can tell you with my barest truth that it was but one potential outcome of an infinite number of possibilities. With that in mind, I ask your guides how you need to move forward from this experience. Without hesitation, the Osage elder who comes tells me your need is to develop your own intuition, and to learn to release what energy you take on from others. In other words, focus on setting etheric boundaries. He says this in regard to your friend, and others like him, who do not have good etheric boundaries and thrive on creating drama in the lives of others. This friend is not a bad person, but he has behaved carelessly with you, and likely others. I highly suggest looking to an intuitive who is more grounded, someone who knows how to process charged information and help you hold it in a way that empowers your ability to make choices in your present.
Focus on expanding your own intuition and let that be what leads you. And remember, the Universe loves you. The Universe is trustworthy. The Universe is looking after you.
Be well, Carolyn.
This week I was invited to guest blog at Author Exposure, in honor of Paranormal Day.
For intuitives and sensitives, Paranormal Day is everyday. The thing is, we don’t often get to talk about this way of being, so the fact that real people are out there having extraordinary experiences round the clock is unmeted. Maybe fear is part of that omission. Understanding that some people are visited by spirits, that some really do converse with animals, perform miraculous healing, or inherently have access to other dimensions can be challenging. Maybe it’s cultural skepticism, the fail-safe imperative to back away from what isn’t readily understood, or to grab it up in hopes of unraveling its science. Maybe such sentience is far more common than we think, but the sheer mind-blowing truth of what is too big to process, too challenging to revere, languishes as coincidence, chance.
I’m a lifelong intuitive who really does see dead people, hears the voices of Nature, and connects with the etheric field of All Things. As a neoshaman writing for years in my column Intention Insights: Q&A From Within, about personal experiences of the wyrd to help others find meaning in theirs, I can indeed attest that the ecstatic, the mystifying, and the creepy thrive. Beholding such isn’t miles beyond comprehension. In fact, it’s a stone’s throw away. The only difference between those who perceive the subtle world and those who don’t is willingness. To have the will to perceive what lies outside accepted awareness requires confidence. Cultivating the confidence to become more aware is comprised of learning that all sentient data is information, and instilling the habit not to judge that information. The latter of these two is what trips most people. Should you glance up and see that the sky is magnificently teal with purple polka dots, instead of instantly telling yourself that you must be crazy or ill, accept for that second, for a thin slice of being, the formed world presented a sky that was teal with purple polka dots. Perhaps the very next second, the sky is cerulean blue dotted with wispy clouds. This subsequent observation doesn’t negate the initial one, or vice versa. Both stand as valid, equal data. They are, perhaps, different kinds of input sourcing from divergent levels, but both are valid and equal. While this seems like a silly, frivolous example, the ability to see beyond the veil is cultivated in the banal. Frequently, moments of interconnected realities are expected to be grand AHA! affairs, and there are certainly those. Most common, instead of recognizing the etheric in mundane observation, we deem unusual perceptions irrelevant when they don’t fit an expected context. The unseen is everywhere, coursing through the things we see and encounter everyday. The connection to All Things is intact, even if we are not aware of it. The task is raising that awareness.
So the next time you see something that isn’t really there, or you know something you can’t possibly… understand that it’s all real. Allay the question of its existence and of your own perception. You cannot perceive what is not real. Your mind won’t allow it. Relax into knowing that you are part of All Things, and that connection offers you certain insight. Within that insight is no fear. As your fear of the unknown dissipates, so does the veil.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelley is an author and neoshaman in North Carolina. She is author of Gift of the Dreamtime: Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma, and has been published in many journals and anthologies. Her column, “Intentional Insights: Q&A From Within,” conveys contemporary applications of animism and shamanism through addressing concerns in her readers’ lives. Kelley’s shamanic practice is Soul Intent Arts, and she is vigorously involved with the worlds in and around her.