Soul Intent Arts – Ten Years, Ten Observations of an Animistic Soul – #1

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.

  • Passive and active healing each have a place on the journey to balance, which is what we call wellbeing. I’ve trained in modalities of healing that merely require me to be actively present as the life force works, such as Usui Reiki, and I’ve also trained in modalities in which I am required to observe and move life force, as in theta healing, shamanic techniques, and general chakra balancing. There is a time and place for both. The biggest distinction between the two is realizing that there are forces available in the Multiverse whose role is simply to support us when we ask. Other forces require us to actively step into the role of healer of ourselves. Thus, passive healing cannot sustain us, and neither can active. There must be a balance of both, as elaborated upon in the article Etheric Eating – When Spiritual Emergency Becomes Physical Sabotage.

Etheric Eating: When Spiritual Emergency Becomes Physical Sabotage

Dear Kelley,
I’m at crossroads, and feel as if I soon will “take flight.” I recently realized that I’ve been spending my energies in an effort to be everything to everybody, but left myself off the list. One of my current quests is to discover myself and learn how to take care of myself. I’ve had a long-standing battle with my weight. I now have an awareness of my habits, what is good for me, how I comfort and punish myself with food, etc., yet I continue to choose to eat in a way that keeps the weight on. Can you offer any insight into my apparent need for this weight and how I might move past this to heal and be healthy?
Thank You! Faith

Thanks for your note, Faith. Eating is a grounding experience. In fact, after very intense trance work, eating a healthy protein is a good way to feel back in the body, to feel energetically stable again. In this case, eating has the effect of downward movement of life force in the chakra system, enabling you to root the knowledge from the trance into your formed awareness, and to feel physically balanced with your etheric field. What I’m seeing is that somewhere at the onset of puberty, you began feeling radical shifts in your life force that felt very uncomfortable. The way that you sought to feel stable in your body was to eat.

Puberty isn’t just biochemical changes. It is in essence a spiritual crisis. It’s the point at which we are coming into command of our spiritual wills, and our parents can no longer be our primary intermediary with All That Is, as we experience it in the formed realm. There is a lot of activity in the chakras at this point, choices being made around compassion for self and others, as well as burgeoning awareness of one’s sexual presence and ability to express sexual truth in the tribe and community. Our culture doesn’t include this aspect of puberty in how we help young people cope with it, and it most definitely doesn’t understand how to usher these changes into a balanced manifestation of Selfhood. It’s not a coincidence that kids who have been easy going and respectful suddenly become rebellious and/or frequently emotionally distraught.

The Chakra System

The Chakra System

When I ask to see the source of your need to hold this weight, I see you at the age of puberty (which happened earlier for you than for most), and your etheric field is fluttering, winding in on itself, sending off sparks. I do feel that there was some event in younger childhood, the deeper relevance of which didn’t sink in until puberty. I don’t get a vivid idea of what this was; rather, I have the vague sense that you observed someone else being hurt and did not have the words to express or explain what you saw. When you hit puberty, along with the normal changes it brings, you realized the harm you witnessed and it fueled the already wild energetic ride of your maturation process. I do not see that the realization of this event is connected to the weight, just that the timing of processing it and your etheric field being erratic coincided. The result of the changes in your field compelled you to find a way to control them, or to at least ease the effects of how those changes made you feel. You were a very intuitive child, and for that reason the effects of this energy shift were very debilitating. You did not have the emotional capacity to deal with all of the information coming in at that time. A way to dull that sensation was to eat, particularly sugar. Sugar unbalances the upper chakras, especially the crown. It creates a quasi-trancelike state, but the ravages of sugar on brain chemistry keep you from being able to draw meaning from the trance. It’s like inducing an altered state of awareness and being visited by the most profound wisdom you could ever want to know in your life, but because the etheric and physiological systems are out of sync from the sugar, you can’t recall any of that wisdom when you ground again. You felt this way repeatedly growing up. As soon as you would start to feel that anxious tweaking of your life force, you would eat to stabilize it. This pattern has persisted into adulthood.

Many people cultivate ways to quell spiritual emergency. It feels so distressing that we are willing to believe we’ve suddenly gone mad, and the only way most of us know to deal with it is to seek medical help. Some doctors and therapists understand spiritual emergency, but many don’t. They end up prescribing antidepressants or diagnosing stigma-inducing mental conditions that are really part of a process of spiritual maturation. This doesn’t mean that symptomatic relief is bad, or that you shouldn’t seek support or help from others. It means we are holistic creatures, and we crave holistic support. The thing is, developing a coping skill–any coping skill-to stave off etheric changes is also going to prevent you from the benefits of those changes. We need support to move forward through that process, so that the symptoms we don’t like can come to a true end, so that the coping means we’ve adapted to ease the tension in shifting life force can be released, and so that we can manifest that changed life force in a healthy, powerful, lasting way.

Sit with this info and see how it resonates. If you feel compelled to greet that life force now, enlist the support of friends who understand your spiritual perspective and the help of caregivers from all sides of the holistic spectrum to help you allow it in and manifest it. You are an adult now. Your fears of having more than you can handle coming in spiritually and intuitively can be released. And if you do feel panic around this shift, make use of that support network. Remember to tell your guides you need them to slow down and take things more gently. You are in control of the transitions you make in life, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. When you feel the groundedness of your own life force, you won’t need food to provide that for you anymore.

Thank you, Faith, for doing this reading. It’s been really nice to meet you.

Seizures and the Spiritual Experience

Back in the day, the original inception of Intentional Insights was a reader Q&A on spiritual experiences, shamanism, and animism. This question, this post, remains one of the top three read posts on my site. If you suffer with seizures, know that it is a spiritual experience, that still requires medical management. If I can help you with the spiritual aspects of it, feel free to schedule a session.

Kelley, My daughter (BA), who is thirteen, recently began having seizures. They say she is not epileptic, that the seizures are pyschogenic. I can accept this diagnosis, but the triggers are always when she is stressed, after she’s been sick. We are currently in the hospital and the doctors make both of us feel as if we’re crazy. I just have this feeling that we are missing something. Am I right? Should I keep searching for a new diagnosis, or are the doctors in the hospital correct? Because it’s not a clean cut case, I feel as if she is quickly dismissed. Thanks, A.

Thanks for your note, A. People who have seizures of any kind are having a spiritual experience. Seizures, in a shamanic context, are seen as a facet of the soul trying to move in and out of the body–which is natural. We all do it all the time, and are supposed to. Such movement is in part how we elevate our consciousness and deeper our awareness. When there’s some kind of conflict around that transition, or when going out feels better (escapist) than coming in, the transition gets bumpy, and in extremes can result in what we call a seizure. In shamanic lingo, this is soul loss, or “shelving,” as may be more appropriate. The difference can be radical between soul loss and soul shelving.

Soul shelving may be more of a power leak, like when you get a cut on your arm. It’s not a vital loss, yet it needs to be tended. If it isn’t tended infection can set in, greater blood loss can occur. Soul loss is when a significant component required to function at a fit earthly level has left the body. This can manifest as minor as dissociation, which can still be very debilitating, depending on the circumstances, or it can be as severe as seizure or coma. We all experience shifts in availability of soul/power throughout life. The question is when it comes as the result of trauma and doesn’t return fully on its own, how much it affects us on a daily basis.

When the soul/power can’t return fully, a soul retrieval is required. Soul retrieval is a technique shamans use to bring the power back and/or bring healing as its needed, so that disruption is minimized or stopped. How that healing manifests is different for everyone. It may mean the seizures end.

When I interact with the aspect of BA who can inform me on the source of her seizures, I am met by a flaming representation of herself. The figure is a young girl, literally on fire from head to toe. She’s so angry she’s hopping and jumping; she can’t stand still. She’s yelling and screaming at the top of her voice.

Though she doesn’t quite have a context for it, BA realizes that she’s coming into the power of womanhood and finding her voice, as well as hitting against the brutal truth that culturally no one is listening. She’s begun to tap into the misogynistic currents in the world, and she’s learning that all women are on the same team, no matter how old they are, what they do, where they live, what color they are. In other words, she finally sees herself as on the way to Grown Up, as an individual who is part of a whole, and she’s feeling that as a female, she is still relegated to second rate citizen. She’s disgusted with the idea so much that her earthly consciousness can’t express the depth of anger or frustration she’s feeling. Those feelings are being carried by this soul aspect, in a safer, removed experience of herself, in another spiritual layer. BA has also begun experiencing the political aspect of gender and bias firsthand in her peer group, and in general has become more sensitive to it at an Earth level. Thus far her ability to react to that personal and collective hurt has been to be both profoundly provoked to rail against it and subsequently to shutdown, all at once. These opposing reactions are triggered by conflict between what she feels to be true and sublime in her consciousness (acceptance of The Feminine), and what she sees going on in the world around her (patriarchy). She internalizes that distress, resulting in her soul truth and worldy observation disconnecting. This is the point at which she has a seizure. She feels the feminine wound and leaves her body, fleetingly. BA is extremely intuitive and does not have the emotional development to process the level of feelings she experiences when this happens, so she passes them to this flaming aspect, the facet of her soul where her anger has amassed.



When I speak with this aspect, she pretty much tells me to go screw myself until I express to her that I agree with her 100%, and that I’m not here to quell her anger, but to help shed some light on how to deal with it in a way that doesn’t hurt BA. She did not realize that her passionate anger was hurting BA. I explain to her that BA has a physical reaction to these fits of anger, and because of the seizures has come under scrutiny from doctors—another patriarchal system. The aspect doesn’t like that at all. I tell her there are better, more empowering ways to express anger, and that in order for BA to feel empowered amidst the things she sees and feels that are unfair to women, this aspect has to learn to turn anger into motivation to be part of the change in this realm.

The aspect goes up for healing, and she’s transformed into a lovely, calm young woman. Also, an enormous white egret comes back with her, whom is BA’s animal guide. I talk further with the healed aspect, and she is fully in compliance with being a force of positive change for the feminine principle in Earth’s strata, and she deeply loves BA and is ready to help her process feelings and thoughts that come up. BA is vastly empathetic and she picks up on more hurt and sorrow in the world than many do, certainly more than her peers do. The egret suggests a necklace of clear quartz for her to wear to feel connected to All That Is, to help her feel connected with the wisdom that all souls are equal. He also suggests placing smoky quartz around or under her bed, to whisk away errant energies that she may pick up on during the day.

Until BA develops more pervasive coping skills, she needs to process the feelings stirred by the world and personal situation by setting aside time to be angry, regularly. Maybe it could be a family adventure, where everyone gets to yell and pillow fight for half an hour a week. Each person could even name what they’re angry about. And/or, get that girl in kick boxing class. If you feel she can handle that kind of exertion, she needs a physical outlet to help her connect feelings to body empowerment. Eventually something like tai chi, that soothes and focuses, could be excellent moving meditation for her. Right now so many hormones and feelings are churning that safe, trained expression of them is imperative. BA is having an “other” experience, because she’s very sensitive and in tune with things around her. Some reading about spiritual emergency may be useful for you both. If you haven’t opened dialogue with her around intuition and what it is, how to work with it, things she may have experienced but been afraid to mention during childhood… now is the perfect time. There are many intuitive children who learn early on not to talk about the unseen. BA has a lot to bring to the world with her level of awareness. Luckily she has an observant and wise mother like you to help her.

Be well, A!

Children, Spiritual Emergency, and Spiritual Will

Kelley, we’ve had paranormal experiences off and on in our home for years–nothing frightening, just evidence of spirits. At the end of 2009, I had some disturbing experiences in the house, after which I and my daughter smudged the house and cleared it. I did not feel that presence again. However, just this week, a couple of new things happened. Early one morning I heard a voice call out, “Mom,” repeatedly. One of the kids was home (daughter 9), though she was upstairs asleep. The other kids weren’t home (son 15, daughter 11). Later the same morning, my husband and I heard the upstairs toilet flush, when we were the only ones home. We live in an area that is very active with ley lines, but can you shed insight into what’s going on? Thanks, EJ

Thanks for your note! You definitely live in a place that is etherically active, quite upbeat and healthy. The level of energy there feels like the positive end of a battery. That high level of vibration attracts lots of etheric visitors, but I would wager that most of them are fairly peaceful sorts, if not higher consciousnesses. When I feel the atmosphere of your house and weave through traces of visitors, these disturbances are not unquiet dead. You are being visited by a troubled projection of one of your family.

The phenomenon you describe has been traditionally referred to as poltergeist activity. A facet of poltergeist activity is a suffering spirit, or “noisy ghost” in the literal translation, becoming enlivened by an unconscious projection of a living person. This person feels powerless to effectively express needs or concerns, or someone who feels that expressed needs and concerns go unaddressed. It’s usually a child or young adult. Most people report poltergeist phenomena centering around a young girl moving into puberty. Occasionally this disturbance occurs with boys, but males typically have a clearer sense of power in the family, so there is no need to feel displaced or unacknowledged. Young girls, on the other hand, are beginning to see the wider dynamic of where the feminine fits into Life, not to mention are usually embarking on radical physiological changes. While females traditionally are more likely than males to speak their feelings, culturally, females at puberty realize that though they speak them, no one is really listening. A sense of futility develops as a troubled unconscious projection, through which the unexpressed emotions are vented. Where there is a troubled psyche is a prime highway for restless energies to venture in. The angst of youth is powerful, and when channeled through the unconscious mind of a troubled child, it’s fertile ground for errant energies to tag along and act out their own frustrations. The troubled unconsciousness is what gives these energies power to make chaos in your home. This fusion of frustrated young person with restless spirit is what we call poltergeist phenomena.

That said, my feeling is that your disturbances are being caused by your youngest daughter. Around the age of 9-10, we become aware of our spiritual will, and our parents can no longer shield us as effectively, or consciously affect our soul’s growth. Your youngest daughter is feeling the natural pull to “drive” her spiritual will, but her soul is saying that she doesn’t have the faculties to do so. For this reason she is acting out unconsciously. Volatile emotional traces of her are throughout your home. She isn’t harmful. Rather there is a feeling of panic, a desperate need to belong, and a specific need to feel protected. On the mundane level, she is beginning to see that she is not equipped to deal with the world outside your home, though her age and society are demanding that she do so.

What your daughter is dealing with internally is out of your hands. At an emotional level, a professional in behavioral modification (preferably one who understands spiritual emergency) can help your daughter give words to her feelings and learn to express them healthily. She brought long-festering discontentment into this life and it will not resolve quickly. This unhappiness has created limitations in her inherent ability to cope socially, and in her ability to be in command of her spiritual will. Energetically, her inner world is fairly dark, which is heavy and quite frightening for a child. If it seems like her joy is superficial, that’s because it truly is and she feels pressured to fake it. She doesn’t have the social skills that most children her age do, and she definitely doesn’t have the ability to cope with the errant energies that she’s picking up on. Chakra balancing would be helpful for her. Verging on puberty, if this mastery of spiritual will hasn’t occurred, hormonal changes will be mentally taxing for her, more so than is common, and will require medical intervention. Medicating her pain away isn’t an answer. In some cases medication can cease the soul work that is needed. Rather, work a combination of approaches to allow her process to unfold as gently as possible, and create internal balance, now. She is not mentally ill. She is experiencing a true spiritual emergency, in which her soul is demanding work that her cognitive ability can’t provide. This state isn’t going to be a way of life for her, but some facet of her spirit is crying out for better means of rooting into her form during this hormonal transition, so that her adulthood can be quieter and more focused. Quite simply, what unrest she brought into this life has exacerbated in her childhood, and can’t be carried into her adulthood. That is the reason her spirit is crying out for help now. She is asking for help in commanding her spiritual will.

The combination of potent ley lines, the visitors they attract, and three youth verging on teen years is going to keep your home energetically interesting for some time. In fact, the ley lines may be adding pressure to your daughter’s spiritual emergency. It is within your parameters as her parent to ask the higher beings on your land and her guides to ease off her rapid growth, thus, calm your home. Likewise, make use of that etheric portal you sit on and invite into your home some relief for you all. Be well!

A Houseful of Virgos and the Saturn Legacy

Kelley, I am a Virgo and have dealt with Saturn since September 2007, when my life turned upside down. I have worked diligently and have made progress, but I don’t have a job that can sustain my son and myself, I have not received child support since the beginning of Saturn’s visit, and my Virgo son has gotten into trouble and a toxic relationship. We are completely broke and live with my mother. Is this karmic? Am I suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder? Why is this happening, and will it ever end? Sara

Thanks for your note, Sara. The story I am shown is in your chakras. Your root chakra, which is the first of the primary chakras along the spine and is situated at the perineum, is very overactive. The root chakra does what it sounds like–it roots you as a spiritual being into the form of this world. Mastery of this chakra involves gaining the basic survival skills to stay alive as a formed being, and psychologically it entails that you become aware that you are part of a tribe, in preparation for the mastery of the second chakra, which is all about how one relates (or doesn’t) to the tribe, itself. An overactive root chakra can indeed give the effect of being locked in fight-or-flee instinct, the perpetual feeling that you are being pursued even when there is no threat. The other major point about the root chakra that is vivid for you relates back to the tribe–your family unit. You have a birth family unit, the one you learned to survive in and prepared you for surviving in the world, and you also have created a family unit, your son, whom will be leaving the tribe soon. In your time of peril you have returned to your original tribe, and in doing so have brought your created tribe with you. It’s good to have a support system, but in this case, sharing living space with your birth tribe is only creating more inner conflict for you. Another facet of this overactive root is OCD–Obsessive Compulsive Disorder behaviour. Virgos are given to wanting order and turning themselves inside out to preserve it. I feel like this is something you generally have good habits on, but the constant trigger to preserve survival has created self-harming habits, mostly at a mental level–spinning scenarios in your head until panic ensues, allowing irrational thoughts to trump approaches you know are more healthy. Sometimes we best manage by stepping back. We think that disengaging and being present is a passive act, when in reality it is the most challenging active pursuit. This is your greatest challenge right now, and as you master it, so shall your son.

Because connections of tribe are so interwoven with the way Saturn is affecting you, I do feel that this experience is karmic. Distress with your birth family is being unconsciously acted out by your son. He is expressing your repressed stress, which is a long-standing pattern between you that has only increased with Saturn’s focus. He is not consciously aware that he is playing out this dynamic. I have a sense of spinning wheels. He is at the threshold of stepping out into the world as an individual, and he feels that he should be able to help you more with the household. His own stress cripples him. This ‘inability to provide’ is creating a block for him. He is mature enough to feel the pinch and longing to help, but he doesn’t have the experience or emotional grounding to effectively help. Few his age do. Teens deal with ‘spinning’ by acting out. Rebellion feels productive, despite that it only divides and conquers. Crazy as he may be driving you, disciplining his behaviour won’t improve circumstances. His underlying stress has to be soothed, and the best way to do that is by example. Strategically placed, “My emotions are my own to process,” in talks with him can unconsciously help him let go of responsibilities that are yours alone to manage. It will also send him the signal to let you be the parent. Conversely, it will send the signal to him to be the child, ie, to listen and observe.

Your guides are only showing me how this karmic stress is affecting your chakra system. Because everything in our etheric form is connected, so, too, is the internal and external. It’s a matter of time before it affects other aspects of your wellbeing, your health in particular. Regardless of what is going on in your external right now, it is imperative that you address the internal. When I observe the rest of your chakra system, I can just make it out for the overwhelming size and brightness of your root chakra. The lower chakras pertain to our earthly growth and maturity, while the upper chakras relate our spiritual growth and maturity. Etherically speaking, what needs to happen is the root chakra energy needs to be moved up the spine, balanced throughout, as it were, and the life force that comes in through the crown–the topmost primary chakra in the form, needs to be drawn down. Whatever meditative technique appeals to you, bringing your awareness to this process will be helpful. Visualize doing it, feel it moving, imagine that primal balance taking place. If you can go to an energy worker to do this work for you, or if you’re comfortable with doing it at a distance I can do such work. Either way, some self-maintenance is required. I do not get information on job or new residence, because giving attention to your life force is imperative. My sense is that in giving yourself some solitude and care, you will have better perspective and opportunity will arise from that.

It’s been a long haul with Saturn. I completely empathize with you, Sara. You have come through it, and through the aftershock you are regaining your power. Be open to the wisdom Saturn leaves you, and some sweetness will prevail.

Observation is Action

Kelley, My husband has PTSD and major clinical depression. I’ve been married to him for 15 years. It takes a lot of my energy just to live with him. Living without him would be hard, too, especially financially. What do I do? L

Thank you for your note, L. All signs point to observe. If he is not actively in therapy, it is appropriate for him to be. When I see his life force it is an enormous flame, which indicates to me that he is too active in his higher chakras (in his mind). He is in dire need of mental, emotional, and psychological soothing, and that is not something you can provide. You have tried, to the point of your own detriment. There is a myth in our culture that as life partners, we are and should be obligated to provide every ounce of support to our significant other. The reality is, that kind of fishbowl support burns out more relationships than it sustains. If that has been the case, it has to change. When a loved one is dealing with deep trauma, as he is, the insight and skill of a trained professional are required. No significant other can carry that load; no significant other should have to. For the balance to shift between you, both must see the value in finding an objective third person in whom he can confide, or you have to elect to make the changes in your life that you need for yourself. Sure, in relationships we weather the worst of each other. But we must also relish the best of each other, and that has not sustained your joining for some time. You cannot control him or direct him in self care. All you can do is make the suggestions. If he is already in therapy and not making progress, perhaps it’s time for a switch, or for you to start making plans independently of him. There are many styles of therapy, many approaches. It is time for him to do something, or to do something different; again, forcing him will do no good.

It’s also imperative for you to decide your reasons for staying in this relationship. If compassionate coexistence can no longer be honored by you, you are doing neither of you favors by staying together. If you are genuinely vested in staying, changes will be required on your part, as well. While his conditions have created friction in the relationship, the dynamic that has developed has been a joint endeavor. Be very honest with yourself about what you want from this relationship, and clearly discern if you are already finished. Sometimes it’s amazing what progress can be made from merely gathering more info.

Be well, L!

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.

PTSD, Etheric Trauma, and Karma

Namasté Kelley.

I have had a series of traumas, including being molested and raped in the past, and an extremely violent first marriage when I was sixteen. I was later held hostage and lingered near death and was raped. I experienced a shamanic death then and have been clean and sober for almost a year. I am now forty-six, have a wonderful therapist, good friends in AA, and my fiancé does his best to support me. I struggle with physical PTSD symptoms, depression and just trying to find my path through this while keeping an open heart and not feeling vengeful, not living as a victim. Do you have any insights that can help me find my balance? Leanna S.

Hi Leanna.

The initial thing I am told about your present life is that you have released a lot of karmic “congestion” in this manifestation of yourself, some of which wasn’t just yours. I see an etheric representation of you experiencing a vortex in your solar plexus that was the result of a dire wound. I do not know the source of the wound exactly, but it feels to have been inflicted suddenly, without warning in an experience of yourself that was not in a body but was completely etheric and at a higher expression of yourself than your earth consciousness. That wound became a sort of doorway for very traumatic things to pass through, any traumatic experiences and wounds belonging to whomever needed release, as well as collective trauma. I don’t feel that you have carried these random events around with you in this life but the imprint of them, the extremely wrenching vibration of them has been what you have carried. It’s a Like Attracts Like situation and not necessarily something you have been aware of until the events of this life—which were also working on the Like attraction principle. The shamanic awakening was the point at which you realized you did not need to stay in that vibration anymore and shifted your energy. That has allowed many painful dynamics in your life to stop effortlessly, though other dynamics did require some psychological expansion so that you could take the wisdom from them and incorporate it into your earth consciousness. What you are left with at this point is the emotional re-experiencing of these lost traumas that were not all yours, which directly correlates to the PTSD.

In part, knowing that they were not all your tragedies will create some automatic release of the emotions. The other part is realizing that while extremely difficult it was a needful act for yourself and others. That energy needed to be transmuted and you did it. You do not need to do it that way any longer, however. For you to try to would be unhealthy. The chemical use in your past is related to having still held this frequency of energy and attempting to transmute it through your solar plexus. Attempting to do this took you out of your body a great deal and the chemicals helped you smooth the transition back in. You don’t need chemicals to facilitate that shift anymore. You are in a body now. You function at an entirely different level; thus, you have a completely new range of skills at your disposal to move energy. You do, however, still carry the ability to help others heal great traumas, as you probably already know. I see a theta healing approach or some similar healing that is done on the higher aspects of beings, more so than at the earthly conscious level, is a strong skill for you. I think it would be helpful for you, as well, in soothing your physical concerns. There are great teachers of theta healing should you feel led in that direction as a practitioner.

You’ve come a long way, Leanna. Enjoy a greater peace on this next part of your journey.

Podcast 3 ~ Intentional Insights: Q&A From Within, PTSD, Etheric Trauma, and Karma

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”