Tag: neoshamanism

The Darker Side of Lightwork

Kelley, The spirit of Tara, my ex wife and dear friend, has appeared to a new psychic friend. She seems to be warning me of something harmful that is coming. Three days ago was the seven-year anniversary of her passing, which was very unusual and unexpected in the jungle of Ecuador, while doing Ayahuasca with shamans. Any insight? Thanks, Flash.

Ecuador Butterfly 5707 Thanks for your note, Flash. The anguished aspect of Tara that I met was still in the jungle. You and I have done work around her death years back, though something that became evident this time was that this aspect of her was being held back on purpose, through no efforts of her own. I realized this as when I met her this time, she pointed behind me to a seething spiritual presence of indigenous magick that draws on the abilities of others. It appeared as a group of men dressed in plants, wool, and body paint.

My understanding from the altercation that transpired between myself and the men was that Tara wasn’t being held only for her intuitive abilities to be usurped by them, but everyone who energetically reached back to the point of her death in an attempt to understand what happened to her or do release work around her death, was being wicked of their abilities, as well. I don’t pretend to know what this presence was, it’s particular method, etc. What was clear is that they were a local force that had long-mastered the ability to draw on the spiritual abilities of others for their own use. They recognized Tara as a powerful intuitive, and they decided to keep this aspect of her soul there for good, to continue using and attract other intuitives to come find her. As these innocents came to help Tara, they would be leeched of power, possibly rendered unable to help Tara. In other words, this magickal force attached to those who have attempted to help Tara, and remained attached, drawing on power from many people over the years–including you. Especially you.

My guides intervened and took over the whole situation. They bound that presence to Nature, such that it can be gradually healed and released. It didn’t feel right to just yank it out and remove it. There was a need for this presence to come to know a more connected, balanced way of holding magickal power. Until such time, it is bound to Nature. Healing was done for Tara, whose final words upon her deathwalk were, “Heal Flash.” All healing that could be done for you and those who have attempted to help Tara over the years was given, and rooted into all present lives.

For you this means a steady return of power you haven’t felt for a long while, or felt but couldn’t hold onto fully. What was being taken from you is now able to be fully possessed by you. There may be emotional healing needed around this, as its return could stir some echoes of grief and longing. Overall, nothing is coming, Flash. It was already there, and needed to go. A light you’ve needed to see for a long time is flickering to life.

Edited to add: This article on ambiguous spiritual tourism and the use of ayahuasca just came out this week.

Why Journeying Isn’t Shamanism

About Soul Intent Arts - Intertribal Shamanism“Journeying” is the term most often used to describe the process shamans go through to engage the spirit world. The word was associated with shamanic ecstatic trance by Michael Harner in the 1980s, which for those keeping ancient score, wasn’t that long ago. My emphasis on that recentness is that what has caught the attention of those attracted to shamanism in the modern context often isn’t actually shamanism. It’s a fabricated semblance of that spiritual experience distilled to a set of techniques appropriate for western people not to hurt themselves and others (again, Harner). It’s important to understand that journeying isn’t the summation of shamanism, or the role of shaman. In fact, many cultures and traditions don’t “journey” at all. Nonetheless, various techniques of ecstatic trance abound, though the purpose of this post is to unpack the notion of “journeying.”

Seriously. Read on.

Some call it ecstatic journeying or shamanic journeying, starwalking, skywalking. it is all a form of intended ecstatic trance. “Can’t everyone do that?” you ask.

We’re all wired for the capability, though no, we can’t all readily access that wiring, and even those who can’t don’t automatically understand what to do with it. Ecstatic trance requires training to do effectively and well. That training includes learning to set an intention, then traverse the layers of the spirit realm with one’s spirit guides for healing or insight retrieval, with the intention encompassing the duty to bring that wisdom back and make it active in the world. That part is often skipped, as if “journeying” is just the trip out of body. Not so. Effective shamanic trance includes doing something useful with that information, for the betterment of community.

Logistically how do you do it? It’s often done with drumming or other rhythmic induction, specific tempos induce a theta, or light dreaming, brain state. If you’re not sure what those things are or how to use them, this is when you find a mentor. Again, wired, but not active.

Journeying is often confused with pathworking, in which participants are guided in what to see and do. When learning to journey, a general framework is followed to access the ecstatic state, though what occurs once in the spirit realm is entirely organic. Upon mastery of theta trance, the framework used can be as unique as what occurs in the journey, itself, if a framework is necessary at all. As well, it’s associated with meditation and astral projection. Meditation can be any of a gajillion techniques geared for mindfulness–all of which are beneficial to effective trance work. They, however, are not the sum of shamanic trance. Likewise, astral projection is travel outside the body. It doesn’t encompass relationships to a specific destination, flanked with specific spirit allies who assist on that trek, or guidance in what to do once you get there. In short, pathworking, meditation, and astral projection aren’t equivalent to shamanic ecstatic trance.

In the beginning, for most eager shamanic students, journeying is vivid, lush. Deep emotions stir and challenge how we hold our changed psychology in waking reality. For many, those first flights out fulfill a deep longing to connect, or reconnect as it were, with the unseen, that other belief systems or practices don’t provide. In those early stages, journeying seems to provide answers to everything, and for that reason it can be addicting, even escapist if not done with care.

Inevitably, though, the journeying process begs to deepen or to expand in some way that challenges the shamanist. Perhaps getting into trance becomes more difficult. The devices that facilitated it at first no longer smooth the path. The sensual experience internalizes. We begin to see that the spirit realms aren’t wonderland, serving up what we want to see, comfort, companionship. Its messages become less clear. Guides are absent or not as forthcoming. What happened? Why would a process that so fulfilled and provided stop working?

Traditionally, in indigenous and ancient cultures, shamans were chosen by heredity or transformation of a trauma (also called a shamanic death), while some were self-appointed. How they are revealed isn’t as significant as noting how shamans developed and were supported by their communities. Most modern students of shamanism come to it out of personal need, be that trauma or a sense of needing “more.” However, we are not a shamanic culture. We haven’t been surrounded from birth in an animistic life view that fosters our connection with the spirit world in and out of trance. As a result, we leave shamanic circles and classes to return to a mundane that doesn’t support our experiences. We don’t have the network of support to help us sustain the miracle of the ecstatic state beyond the journey. Thus, the journey process, itself, becomes strained. It becomes isolating.

That lack of network also tends to create the pattern of journeying only when something is wrong, when we feel a lack in our lives, or on behalf of others.  Shamanic trance isn’t self-help. in fact, shamanism isn’t self-help. In its full manifestation, shamanism is acting as the bridge between worlds, to bring healing to seen and unseen beings. Anyone who remains stuck in shamanic function as a mode of self-help is not a shaman. This is a modern misunderstanding of the role of shaman as distinct from the trance practice, and is largely the result of the renewal of shamanism happening alongside Reiki, tapping, and various other actual DIY modalities. When shamanism is considered DIY and self-help, a constant pattern of taking is established, creating an imbalance in how we relate to the spirit realm. When we take too much from the spirit realm, it becomes ill, unable to assist us. For this reason, balance must be observed in the role of shaman. We must see ourselves as facilitators of healing in all worlds, not just the one of humans.

Likewise, learning this method of soul travel and how to apply it well takes practice, time, and diligence. Without making it a daily practice as part of our personal spiritual discipline, we can’t evolve to be truly proficient at journeying, and we can’t begin creating ourselves as an animistic culture. We can’t become solid anchors engaging in waking what the spirit realm guides in trance. We aren’t proficient at manifesting that teaching if we don’t have solid roots in mindfulness, emotional maturity, and knowing our own boundaries and skills. These we learn from a teacher, a mentor, someone who actually does this work every day. This is why shamanisn can’t be learned from a book or in a weekend class. It’s not a technique, not a method; it’s a way of being.

Should journeying lose its initial luster, instead of forcing it to suit expectation and demands, dig deeper into formed being. Find a mentor and community who can support soul travels. Connect with the the spirits of immediate surroundings — familiar space, daily relationships, Nature. The more grounded we can be in the awareness that unseen reality is with us all the time, not just in trance, the more we lace spiritual interconnection through everything we do, the more readily trance comes.

Normalization of the journey experience isn’t failure. It’s natural, it’s progress, integration. The act of journeying is a relationship, not just the connections we make from it. At some point, it is right for the experience of trance to integrate, for us to become the embodiment of the community, connections, and wisdom we gain from it. Yet at the same time, we must hold our journey experiences loosely. Let the process unfold as it desires. Along the path of ecstatic journeying, we learn to trust the inner compass, not just to show direction, but when to be directionless, when to become the direction.

Gift of the Dreamtime Reader’s Companion

Gift of the Dreamtime Reader’s Companion

Buy it now!

Thank you for taking this journey with me through the Gift of the Dreamtime Reader’s Companion for the second, revised edition of Gift of the Dreamtime. I created this Companion to discuss what changes were made to the original text, detail peripheral events and processes brought up in the book, and to respond to reactions I received when Gift of the Dreamtime first came out in 2004.

The book was first published by Spilled Candy Enterprises. I’d spent a year to the date shopping the manuscript when publisher, Lorna Tedder, acquired it. I was thrilled to work with Spilled Candy and remain ever grateful for the experience.

At the time that I wrote this book, the publishing industry didn’t allow much expansion on the understanding of shamanism beyond academic and anthropological assessments. In short, they only understood, thus published, what I call “rearview shamanism,” a perspective that accepts shamanism as a thing of the past and not a thriving spiritual practice of the present. Books that had managed to be published extolling modern shamanism generally fit the formula of self-help books. They followed the formula of introspective memoir, followed by interpretation of shamanic events in mundane life, then closed with insights to engage the reader’s personal reaction to the text. None of them shared their shamanic narrative. None of them offered a glimpse into the other world experiences that brought healing.

I chose to write Gift of the Dreamtime from within that journey space so that reader’s could understand how shamanic healing really works, and Spilled Candy understood that purpose when other publishers didn’t. I remain grateful for Lorna’s insight and professionalism.

Thank you for taking that first formed trek with me into the Dreamtime. Thank you for returning.

For those of you new to the journey into The Dreamtime, welcome and blessings along your way.

I’m very excited to present this new edition, along with this Reader’s Companion. First off, if you haven’t met Christina Pratt, who wrote the foreward for the second edition, you need to. She’s author of An Encyclopedia of Shamanism, and the founder of The Last Mask Center. She’s an amazing shaman and wonderful person. Know her. Listen to her radio show, Why Shamanism Now, and you will find great support on your path, as well as direction.

If you’ve read the first edition, you will notice subtle changes to the text. The most evident change is the removal of the introduction to ecstatic journeying at the end. I chose not to include this section, as to really do justice on soul travel requires an entirely other book, which no doubt, others have already written more eloquently than my hurried end notes. Instead, for this edition I chose to stick more closely to my original intention for the text, which was to provide grounded insight into my process in creating initiations into shamanhood, thus leaving some sort of map for readers to do the same. The book now closes on an introduction to the role of the shaman in a community.

I had no idea where my foray into shamanic healing would take me. As such, resources for mentorship were slim. Gift of the Dreamtime tells my personal story of soul healing. At the time that I wrote it, I didn’t realize that it also chronicled a collective tale of finding initiation along a broken path, as many modern shamans have done. I’ve written extensively about this cultural quest in my column on The Huffington Post and at my blog, Intentional Insights, and look hopefully toward the future of what modern shamans bring to The Dreaming.

Enjoy the ebook, available at SmashWords and Amazon. Gift of the Dreamtime is also available on both sites, as well as the print edition is available on Amazon. It can be ordered by any local book shop. If you would like a signed first edition, please contact me directly.

Read an excerpt and praise for Gift of the Dreamtime.

Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World

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

Available at Amazon.

For years, as we neared Samhain and The Dead Time I’ve shared my true encounters of the supernatural. Experiences from waking to deathwalks in the night to seeing apparitions in the middle of the day, you name it and I’ve brushed up against it, whether I meant to–or not so much.

In Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World I’ve compiled revised editions of all of the stories that appeared on my blog, along with never-before-published updates to those stories, and several recent encounters.

Not your usual bump-in-the-night true paranormal accounts, these trips into the Middle World aren’t always scary. Some are sweet, some are affirming. Regardless, some I’d like to never have again, yet all of them changed me in a way that I never looked at myself or Life the same, after.

As a lifelong intuitive and shaman by choice for two decades, not all of my experiences with the spirit world have had clear-cut direction, instruction, or even results. Every one of them, though, has had meaning. It’s not my way to just dabble in the supernatural for only the sake of stirring the mystical pot. Instead, I approach such as an opportunity to learn about life out of form, and be of some kind of service to spirits in need. Working with the other side of death equips me better this side of life. There are many spiritual books on working with the dead and discarnate, though most of them only extol the wonder and awe of that work. They don’t talk about the toll it takes on their personal lives, or of perils they faced learning to be healthy conduits for spirits. Indeed this work is wonderful and awesome, but it can also be scary, disorienting, and uprooting. I share these accounts of paranormal exploration as part investigation, part curiosity, and part luck of the draw of being a human equally aware of her soul.

Gift of the Dreamtime – Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma

Gift of the Dreamtime – Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma

Available on Amazon.

In the 8th year of its journey, bestseller Gift of the Dreamtime is now available in its second edition, in several ebook formats. With a foreward by shaman and founder of The Last Mask Center, Christina Pratt, the second edition of this fantastical memoir chronicles a modern shamanic journey from pain, to healing and accepting a calling to work as a soul healer of others. Groundbreaking at the time of its first publication in 2004, still no other modern shamanic work shares an experience of soul healing told from within the shamanic narrative, bringing relatable and credible insight to contemporary shamanic healing. Through that rare glimpse into her experiences traversing the spirit world, Harrell’s story becomes the reader’s adventure.

Not always easy to read, there are unflinching passages examining hurtful childhood memories, confrontations with overzealous spirit guides, and challenging personal obstacles she must overcome in order to heal. The book combines Harrell’s personal journey with instructions for creating similar soul journeys to help the injured child in all of us look at the hurt, understand it in a spiritual context, and forgive both ourselves and others.

Gift of the Dreamtime has remained a bestseller in modern shamanism since its publication, and has stayed in the Top 100 New Age Bestsellers at Tower Books since its publication 2004. Enjoy Gift of the Dreamtime in ebook for of various formats, print from Amazon, or order it from your local bookshop.


Read an excerpt and praise for Gift of the Dreamtime.

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 

Soul Intent Arts, shamanic healing practice of S. Kelley HarrellA 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. More…

Wise Voice, Author and Modern Shaman–Dawn Paul

I learned about Dawn when I read about the December release of her book, “Healer of Souls.”  Based in St Albans Hertfordshire, she has a thriving shamanic practice as both a healer and teacher.

How does one become a Healer of souls?

Much time has passed since I received a vision of the Inca while at Machu Picchu, Peru, who told me in no uncertain terms that I was to follow the path of the shaman – and that they would help me. And now I see that they have kept their word, as for many years now I have run a thriving shamanic practice, assisting thousands of people from all over the world. These people have come from all walks of life and from all religions; the youngest has been seven months, the oldest 87. Some have been following a spiritual and personal development path of some sort, others have been desperate mothers, stressed out business professionals or even people from other healing professions who have never even really heard of shamanic healing, they just know they need help.

Dawn Paul and Don FranciscoOver those years my work has developed, with the assistance of my spirit guides and sometimes through sheer need. As is common to all in the healing professions, the more I have worked on my personal and spiritual development, the more my work has transformed and improved, for it is widely recognised that the healing received by the client is only as good as the levels of development and vibrational resonance the healer has attained, and I take this very matter very seriously.

A spiritual business is not like any other kind of business, for it is not run by spirit. They decide which clients to send, who I can help the most, with my blend of shamanic healing, general spiritual teaching and personal development methods. I found very early on that I could do a thousand soul retrievals and a person would still stay stuck in their old patterns, with their limiting beliefs and in their comfort zones, even though those zones may be very uncomfortable places indeed. In order for a person to truly heal and transform, change needs to occur on a massive level, ultimately, even down to the way a person thinks about themselves, their lives, and the world.

Although I am and will always remain a general practitioner, I specialise in healing sexual abuse, – which is currently a hot topic in the UK at the moment following the Jimmy Saville allegations – and I have seen wonderful results occur for both men and women. It is important to remember that when trauma occurs to a human being it occurs to them on all levels of their being, not just the mental level i.e. in my view, merely talking about something is not sufficient for full healing to occur. The great benefit of shamanic healing is that it works on all of the levels of a person.- not only the mental, physical, emotional, energetic, spiritual and soul levels, but also the conscious, the subconscious, the unconscious and the superconscious levels, as well as with the inner child.

In working with people suffering from sexual abuse ( I do not like to use the word victim), I recognised that they were often crippled with guilt and shame, which made me wonder why? Through my work I came to realise that during the abuse act, the abuser would offload his (or her) guilt, shame and hatred onto the person being abused. This person would carry this energetic burden around, thinking mistakenly that it was their own. I had one client, in her mid forties who completely hated herself, because she had not had the strength to fight off her abuser, and escape from a locked room in order to avoid the abuse. This was an intelligent, professional woman, who had not once questioned how she, at only four years of age, could have possibly escaped from such a situation. Once she realised the hatred was not even her own, a miraculous transformation occurred and she was able to free herself from a lifetime of neglect and self sabotage.

Machu Picchu by DawnOn the spiritual teaching front, I have found many spiritual seekers tie themselves up in knots over judging what is “spiritual” and what is “not spiritual.” Many will say, “Oh, I wanted to be a comedian, but that is not spiritual so now I guess I will have to be a healer.” There is nothing in this world that is not spiritual. We are spirit encased in matter. Even cleaning the toilet is a spiritual act, because a spirit is doing it. Being perfect is not being spiritual either, first of all it is impossible, and secondly, it requires us to disown and discard vast portions of ourselves. So not only do most people have a problem with the effects of soul loss, but they have a greater problem with what I call power loss, because often the aspects of Self that we disown hold our power, valuable aspects of our personality, and most importantly, our energy. Hence I found the need to develop a method called power retrieval, to bring these aspects of self out of shadows and the lower realms of consciousness and back to the Self.

We are living in very important times. Many people are picking up on that intuitively. They may have been carrying emotional burdens, depression or anxiety around with them for years, but now they are arriving on my sofa, saying they have to clear it, now. And they should feel so proud of themselves, because it takes a lot of courage to face our “stuff,” and make necessary changes in our lives, but it is important to know that our pasts need not define our future, we can heal our past and move forward, lightly and freely, and greet our new, happy and fulfilling lives with open arms.

Dawn Paul is author of “A Healer of Souls” and can be reached through her website or blog.

Mindfulness and Animism: The Art of Soul Healing

Originally published on the Huffington Post.  Follow me there for updates to my Huffington Modern Animism blog.

Dream Catcher, artist unknown

When I began my shamanic practice almost 15 years ago, I found very different cultural perceptions of modern soul healing than those I run into now. I’ve written about contemporary approaches to shamanism, and how we have remade our perceptions of soul healing. Many people now know what a shaman is, what a shaman does. They know concepts that a mere decade ago were shrouded in mystery: soul retrieval, soul loss, soul wound.

In the more recent years of my shamanic practice, I find a pervasive belief that soul healing should in and of itself be enough. There is an expectation that it’s a quick fix, a miracle cure for everything. Along with this travels the belief that we shouldn’t need medication, surgery, therapy, a balanced diet. Many people now believe that the singular trip to the local shaman should make us well and sustain us through our days. This hope is neither new nor culturally centric. Ancient and indigenous shamans informed us that soul healing, indeed, cured wounds and instilled miraculous wellbeing.

Modern reality shows us something different, however as this in-depth review tries to point out. Many seekers invite soul healing into their lives, then experience an initial phase of euphoria and wellbeing, only to eventually take on symptoms of dis-ease or imbalance again. It becomes curious then to explore why, when we are better informed and eager for healing, did soul healing work so thoroughly for the ancients when it doesn’t seem to for us. If belief in miraculous soul healing isn’t new, why are contemporary enthusiasts not receiving miracles? What function of modern life makes soul healing different?

The short answer to that question is mindfulness. Foremost, in ancient shamanic cultures, the soul healer was the doctor, the dietitian, the pharmacist, the therapist. Moreover, these mundane acts of healing were done with the intention of their spiritual significance alongside their physical and emotional properties. In ancient healing, the mindfulness of these important approaches to healing was inseparable from their spiritual counterparts. For the majority of contemporary wellness enthusiasts, body-mind-spirit are three vastly different territories that don’t overlap. Why would the difference in how we look at healing modalities and aspects of ourselves affect how we heal?

What our forefathers knew that we have forgotten is the significance of an animistic worldview. Animism extends far beyond seeing Nature as soulfully imbued or respecting the energetic validity of manmade objects. Animists realize that all things have souls, are connected, and interact within that bond. In other words, they all have agency. This life view formed the basis not only of spirituality for the ancients, it was the social construct that made tribal life thrive. It reinforced that all approaches to healing are of the soul, and that we are accountable for each other. The healing of one is the wellbeing of all.

Further, it made the concept of tribe much bigger than just consisting of humans. It honored that the space humans occupy is a living breathing part of community, and everything that dwells in that space is, as well. Significant to this concept is that shamans are active participants in this greater tribe, which not only benefits all involved, it provides much unseen support for the shaman to do her job.

Tribal support was a vital component of any mode of healing. Just as caregivers fed and tended the wounds of the healing patient, they also witnessed the healing story (shamanic narrative), provided accountability to stay on track, and could empathize with the healing path. In this way, the positive effects of a singular healing spread throughout the tribe.

In the West, we are not an animistic culture. Instead, we revere individuality. We don’t have a strong sense of collective responsibility, support, or giving, particularly as related to spirituality. Given that, often imbalance returns because we have no one in our everyday to talk to about our new balance. When we have no one with which to share our euphoria, we have no one to help us sustain its momentum. As a result, we don’t spawn healing in others from our healing stories. Our core beliefs don’t incorporate that the sickness of one indicates the dis-ease of all; thus, they can’t create healing for many from the balance of one.

Likewise, because we don’t have a sense of tribal connectivity, we don’t create healing constructs to support staying well past the initial euphoria. We don’t see other modalities of healing that would help with our recovery process as having spiritual power. We internalize a lack of connection to tribe as a separation of the aspects of ourselves: mind-body-soul. When we approach soul healing as “only healing that which is soulful or pertaining to the soul,” we miss vital opportunities for renewal and wellbeing on all levels. The isolated way in which we view soul healing modalities and community affects our ability to heal and stay well. When we focus only on what we perceive as the soul, we stop supporting the other layers of ourselves, we stop empowering ourselves to stay healed.

Spiritual healing isn’t a replacement for life skills. In the New Age we have been taught that we should only focus on the soul. As humans, separating concepts into compartments helps us work with them, understand them. As animists, we know that all things are soul — even these other layers of Self. When we devalue the physical and emotional components of ourselves, the message then becomes “If you heal the soul, the rest will follow,” perpetuating the myth that these levels of our being are separate to start with.

To create and sustain soul healing we must bring some sort of awareness into everything that we do. When we decide that we want to heal, we must become active participants in that process. This truth is the core of animistic perspective. In the West, often we don’t know how to be active participants, and soul healing, itself, doesn’t teach us. However, only part of soul work is spiritual. The rest is just plain work. If we don’t already have some way of holding mindfulness through the mundane parts of our day, we’re not going to suddenly have it when we approach soul healing.

Mindfulness is learned from meditation. Through meditation we learn to be in our bodies. We become present with purpose, without judgment. As we master these skills, we align with the layers of ourselves, which directly affects our ability to connect with others. As we connect with tribe, we maintain healing. With the ability to bring this open, interwoven world view into our spiritual practice and healing, the more likely that healing will root into our lives, and sustain.

It isn’t that our approaches to soul healing aren’t working. Rather, it’s that our way of holding our awareness doesn’t support our soul healing. Imagine how great it would feel to have a community that helped us hold our awareness toward wellbeing! That singular aid alone would vastly improve our balance. Perhaps the message from our animistic elders isn’t that we forsake other modalities of care in favor of soul healing, but that we begin to see them all as having value. When we can see the value of the many good things we do to maintain balance in ourselves, the more we will see evidence around us of balance supporting us.

More on the Huffington Post.

Samhain Stories – Saturn’s Gift

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellEvery year on Intentional Insights I share some of my more charged, spooky, Samhain Stories. This year I am releasing a collection of such encounters in Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World, to give further insight into my experiences.

As a lifelong intuitive and neoshaman by choice for over two decades, not all of my experiences with the spirit world have had direction, instruction, or even clarity. Every one of them, though, has meaning. Working with the unseen of the earthly realm is an opportunity to learn about life out of form, and be of some kind of service to spirits in need. Working with the other side of death equips me better this side of life.

This story marks one of the most challenging experiences I’ve had as an intuitive, and certainly one of the saddest times in my life.  It gives a classic yet modern glimpse into what I call the tribeless modern mystic, as only a gift from an ancient God can–Saturn’s Gift.

What unusual encounters have you had?  How have they affected your life? Comment on your experiences and be entered to win a free ebook of Real Wyrd!

Real Wyrd is available in print and ebook editions at:

Samhain Stories – Number One Rule of House Selling

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley HarrellEvery year on Intentional Insights I share some of my more charged, spooky, Samhain Stories. This year I am releasing a collection of such encounters in Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World, to give further insight into my experiences.

As a lifelong intuitive and neoshaman by choice for over two decades, not all of my experiences with the spirit world have had direction, instruction, or even clarity. Every one of them, though, has meaning. Working with the unseen of the earthly realm is an opportunity to learn about life out of form, and be of some kind of service to spirits in need. Working with the other side of death equips me better this side of life.

The rule? why, it’s declutter, of course! But who ever thinks to declutter their lingering spirits, emotions, or traumas? Number One Rule of House Selling

What unusual encounters have you had?  How have they affected your life? Comment on your experiences and be entered to win a free ebook of Real Wyrd!

Real Wyrd is available in print and ebook editions at: