The prophecy of the bone is the upheaval of the mind. ~Kelley Harrell
The prophecy of the bone is the upheaval of the mind. ~Kelley Harrell
In keeping with the examination I’ve done on how we derive higher guidance, regarding reciprocity with guides, taking the next step in our guidance, today I’m reflecting on a more intangible source of guidance: Everything.
You would think that one would be pretty obvious, since it’s around us all the time, but most of us don’t regard what’s right in front of us as being Divine. I’ve been taking time daily, to connect with the spirits of my space, at work, home, the grocery store, the homes of others, and the commute connecting it all. It seems so silly. I’ve spent all these years focused on THIS totem, THAT guide, THIS space, sacred on/off, despite that intellectually I’ve known it’s with me all the time. I am it. It is All.
What’s the expression–the hell you know–to say nothing of the sacred.
I guess I’m beginning to sit more comfortably with not having to name things, less lines, deeper relationships–even if they only last a few moments. The realization that whatever I need is wherever I am, etherically, all the time, no matter what, is heady empowerment. It’s also terribly humbling.
One thing I tell students and mentorees all the time is the only trick to whatever technique you’re learning or path you’re exploring, is remembering to do what you need to do. Pause for a split second, step out of the routine, and remember your goal. How hard that can be to implement in everyday life!
There’s another thing, though, that’s just as important, and that’s forgiving yourself when you finally realize how hard you’ve been making it.
What is your need in this moment? Take the time, now, to ask and allow whatever life force in your immediate space can help, to meet that need. Bring it in on your breath. You don’t have to know what it is, how it works, what it does. Just ask and allow it. Let it do its thing. Let the allies of your external space bring you to a better internal place. Intend it on your breath for a couple of minutes, then re-asses how you feel.
In that allowance, consider what you can give back. Thanks? A blessing of some sort? A song or dance?
The body is many things, the least of which is how we engage formed being. It is the vessel through which we divine All Things.
“Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place.” -Rumi
In discussing the challenges sustaining relationships with guides can pose, I bring up a topic often overlooked in many esoteric arts circles, not just in modern shamanism: personal truth, or as it is more commonly called Unverified Personal Gnosis (UPG).
Most of us come from religious paths that strictly forbade us to act as our own spiritual conduit with the Divine. Part of what leads us to a more direct path is realizing the lack in such spiritual tropes. Yet, I see this same trap wrapped in different words and habits in esoteric arts all the time. I’ve known people who won’t order food from a menu without asking their guide’s input, first. I’ve known others who firmly believe that a ritual to Air won’t evoke the favor of the element if it isn’t done precisely so, every time. I’ve known intuitives who were called upon to assist in emergencies but declined because they didn’t have their portable altar with them to create sacred space. I’ve known people who never once uttered an insight of their own, replying “Well, my guides say ____,” or “I can’t comment until I ask my totems.”
How we roll with our Spiritual Council is exactly that–our relationship with our personal spirit allies. Part of the shaman-guide relationship is knowing its boundaries, with regard to spiritual discipline and possibly even health. I’ve got my own sacred eccentricities. I’ve had plenty of times that I became static in my process. Above all else on my path, I’m an advocate of results and growth, and I find that when I inhibit my instinctive responses, I stop getting meaningful results from my actions.
We’re creatures of habit, and the one thing that focused, dedicated journeying will teach in a hurry is dynamic self-reliance. Yes, the core component of a shaman’s effectiveness is committed relationship to spirit allies, though that doesn’t mean to the effacement of self. The idea that we sacrifice our innate wisdom at the feet of our guides is really no different from the rigid doctrines that talked us out of our spiritual knowing.
Soul allies don’t want to be a crutch or habit. They don’t want to be a convenient escape, or to keep circling the same healing wagons with us. In fact, projecting that wisdom can only come from guides eventually strains our relationship with them. When we stop forcing their counsel out of habit, the emphasis on belief that we need to ceases, and a willingness to enable direct experience with personal truth emerges.
Our guides want and need us not to just explore and implement UPG, but to stand in it. Not once, but over and over. That’s the thing about truth. Even if core truths we knew of ourselves at the age of four are still true, the ability to hold ourselves open to the possibility that they can change creates the evolving atmosphere for them to remain true.
Years ago, a dear friend summed it best: “We find truth, we know it, then we set it down, and back gently away.”
We must make peace with the demand to become active participants in our own Spiritual Council. However uncomfortable we find the idea of being ‘wise,’ or ‘aware,’ part of our job in self-healing is defusing the ego charge of these concepts. That charge runs the gamut of not believing that we can be wise, to believing we don’t have the right to be, and fear of being misled by our truth. We forget that the body has its own wisdom. Soul components of ourselves can make meaningful contributions to our spiritual path and practice.
Given that, how do we discern UPG from the insight of our guides? Do we even have to? How much does ascribing the source of insight matter, as long as it rings true? These are individual considerations with which we all must find balance. I don’t always know precisely where an insight came from. I do hear my guides’ different voices, along with that of higher aspects of myself, my body, an individual organ, the grass. For me, what it comes down to is having developed a keen ability to pin-point my truth, and actually listening to it, acting on it when I hear it. In the end, I don’t care where it came from. I’m just glad I could receive it.
When we can accept our personal truths, our life view shifts from the divisions of Here and There, to the moment, to no veil, to All Things. The power of spirit teachers doesn’t weaken when we initiate ourselves as allies. If anything, it strengthens.
See for yourself. They can take it.
Read other posts in the Thursday Betwixt series.
To continue the discussion from my previous post on deepening the modern shamanic experience, I’d like to talk a bit about connecting with totems and Spirit Guides, outside the journey state.
A concept that comes up often in circles of traditional shamanism is that of reciprocity with spirit allies, or what some refer to as ‘the demands of their Guides.’ I’ve known shamans whose Guides required them to make all of their ritual items. Some are required to dedicate one day a week to cut off communication and engagement with others, and for that day live in concert only with a specific guide. Leaving a place setting for the Guide at every meal is mandatory for some. Body modification may be a condition of connecting with a Guide. Others are required to wear talismans of a particular totem, such as feathers, fur, or skin of that totem.
In traditional shamanism, such demands are business as usual. In the modern context, the concept of demanding Guides is a somewhat off-putting idea, that in order to have their full support, we need to comply with certain wishes, on their part. Generally speaking, we’re not monastic. We aren’t in a culture that by virtue of a spiritual calling sets us aside while we develop that relationship. Most of us don’t cloister ourselves for even short periods of time, as a means of growing, refining, and maintaining raw connection with the Divine. We find the sacred amidst work, bills, and everything else that has to be done.
Despite this distinction from traditional shamanism, judging the imperative of ally reciprocity as archaic is a very capitalist way to look at the give-and-take nature that should underlie every relationship in our lives. Balanced exchange is no different with Guides. Despite our best strides in incorporating a shamanistic worldview, we still look upon such bare demands as archaic, or out-moded. By our keen intellect, we see ourselves as somehow beyond that base need. As a result, reciprocal relationship with Guides isn’t taught in most shamanic coursework, despite that there are significant spiritual needs that it fills, and very mundane ones, as well.
Foremost, demands from Spirit Guides, aren’t as rudimentary as “Do this, or no dice.” That simplistic way of looking at it brings to mind the pervasive idea that once called to a shamanic path, we have no choice but to follow, that we surrender free will. For many shamanic students, the idea of ‘fire in the head’ is daunting–the state of being spiritually awakened and unable to dismiss that fact, to return to life as it was before. It should be daunting, though not because it’s fearsome, but because it demands that we change, and that demand often comes in the form of our spirit guides setting a few ground rules. Once that circuitry gets opened up, we’re in uncharted territory. We need a few easy-to-follow guidelines to keep us in check, but to also hold us steady in the life changes that come. Honoring the demands of Spirit Guides is one way to do that, in a very brass tacks, chop-wood/carry-water approach.
Still, there’s more going on than quickening the mouse in the transpersonal maze. Another component of placating Guides is the subtler demand that you go deeper within yourself, into spiritual being. The requests of guides are at heart designed to keep us on track when we’re not communing with them in trance, specifically in ways that we would not otherwise monitor ourselves. Keep in mind, we’re not all driven by the same challenges. We are only affected by what’s in our context, so the challenges we’re given match that strata. So you’re not asked to make your own drum, or grow your ritual herbs. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a need and way to go deeper with your Guides. For an advertising executive on a shamanic path, being asked to honor intuition over sales and stats may be as challenging as building an ark.
Our soul allies light the fire in those initial visits, but it’s up to us to keep it burning. Have you asked your Guides and totems how to take your relationship deeper? What do they demand of you, to maintain your earthly connection to them, to your spirit? How do you honor them throughout your day?
“Then he began to think of all the things Christopher Robin would want to tell him when he came back from wherever he was going to, and how muddling it would be for a Bear of Very Little Brain to try and get them right in his mind. ‘So, perhaps,’ he said sadly to himself, ‘Christopher Robin won’t tell me anymore,’ and he wondered if being a faithful Knight meant that you just went on being faithful without being told things” ~A. A. Milne, The Wonderful World of Pooh
I’ve been re-thinking the format of my blog, and in doing so would like to create a more open dialogue around modern shamanism and animism.
“That’s not so different from what you’ve been doing,” you say.
Well, yes, but after spending some time clarifying what I need to do on my personal path and in my work, I realize this blog isn’t doing enough. I’m still open to the reader Q&A format, so feel free to shoot me inquiries. The thing is, it’s hard to ask a question when you don’t know the subject well. While we have come a long way, culturally, in the twenty-five years of my study of shamanism, we still don’t talk about the lifestyle around a shamanistic or animistic lifestyle, which frankly, has a lot to do with the problems that arise when learning to journey. To identify my entries on this theme, I will be posting them under the category “Thursday Betwixt,” dedicated space in my blog to address a topic with a foot in both worlds.
And before you say it, I know I’ve always said there’s no veil. There’s no line that says here’s Here, and———-there’s conveniently, separately located There, the official Other Side. Nonetheless, the need to articulate how that between experience feels and works in daily life requires some kind of identifier, and I’m not going to reinvent the conceptual wheel. Rather, I’ll just go with what we’ve got.
So here’s where this new direction starts: life after shamanic journeying. When I first discovered there were classes that taught shamanic techniques, that collection of techniques was put forward as shamanism. Well, they’re not =) What is even harder to process is that many are still presenting journeying and shamanism in that synonymous way–as if the ability to slide into trance makes one a shaman. Without celebration of our natural inclination toward trance states. Without discussion of what to do with the information stirred by the mere process of journeying. Without discussion of how life after that point changes–even if you have no plans to become a shaman. Without plans for how to carry the ecstatic experience into daily life–back to the foot in both worlds thing. Without provisions for how to recreate that ecstasy on your own.
Many present the technique of journeying as the feature distinguishing shamanism from other intuitive/psychic arts. It is. But that’s not all. I’ve said from day one of deciding–and it is a decision–to be a modern shaman, that anyone can see. We’re all seers, all intuitive. Going into trance doesn’t make you a shaman, it makes you human. It’s not a special skill reserved for certain people. But knowing what to do with intuition, how to respond to it, how to incorporate its wisdom into everyday life is a very special skill, that can–and should–be learned, for your own journeys, and especially if you want to work with others. Otherwise, dipping into journeying can make a huge mess, a spiritual crisis bigger than what brought you to learning the technique to start with.
To that end, a lot of people come to me, after a crash weekend course in journeying, needing to sort it all out, because that’s the part that can’t be taught in two days. Apart from the emotional fallout–which spans absolute ecstasy to horror, depression to joy, and everything between–that often occurs after learning to journey, the thing I hear most is how they can’t hold the ecstatic experience. They can’t recreate it the way they felt it in those early soul adventures.
The very first introductions we make, actively engaging the unseen, blow our socks off. Most definitely they alter our sense of self and Life, on a dime. Even people who consider their initial soul travels “unsuccessful,” with regard to meeting allies recognize the innate power of the altered state. In fact, often those with least expectation are the most deeply affected. Without fail, though, eventually the colors fade, the messages obscure. Sometimes communication stops short, and guides don’t even show up. Why?
Sure, part of that can be chalked up to dynamics. There’s something magickal about group sacred space, particularly when it’s created with the intention to facilitate and support shamanic journeying. Creating space in isolation doesn’t always get the same results, though if done with the intention of bringing in the totems in your familiar to help you hold the space, it can be even more personal, more transcendent. Another culprit is not observing ritual for journeying. The key thing to know about not being able to sustain the thrilling, vivid journeys of fledgling soul travel is… no one can recreate it that way, without manifesting through the rest of life what each journey teaches. Journeys become rote because shamanism isn’t just journeying.
It’s not a personal fault; it’s a deep component of our individualistic culture. We aren’t steeped in honoring the unseen through ordinary, commonplace gestures. Our standard mode of operation is one or the other–Here or There. We don’t recognize both at once. Even those of us on religious paths generally aren’t that thorough in bringing those spiritual tenets through all the days we’re not in earshot of the congregation. We are not known for walking our talk.
Without consistent observation of the unseen when we’re not in trance, it’s really hard to sustain exhilarating journeys into the Dreamtime. Journeying is all or nothing, in that to continue having life-altering experiences in trance, you have to manifest what you glean in them, in day-to-day life. What we do Here, directly impacts what we can achieve There. It’s all connected. When we water our houseplants, we have to consider our relationship to them, how our care affects them. When we walk through a space, we have to realize we aren’t just moving through it, but are engaging with it. When we encounter conflict, we mustn’t just rush to heal it, but consider its role in our story.
As seekers on a shamanistic path it’s not just suggested that we root into the unseen as deeply as possible, it’s expected. We don’t just roll up on the Other Side to learn things and heal ourselves or others. Relationships with Guides and totems need reciprocity as much as other relationships in our lives. Also, shamanic journeying isn’t just the formation of relationships to the spiritual allies you encounter in that state, it’s a relationship to journeying, itself.
Journeying is a lifestyle change. It gives you the seeds to grow what you need in your life. Unplanted, nothing can grow, Here or There. Planted, you grow everywhere.
Kelley– I was misdiagnosed with epileptic seizures at the age of 15, and was put on many different anticonvulsant medications for over 10 years. None of it helped, and none of my EEG’s showed conclusive evidence of epileptic seizures. I have only recently realized that my seizures are due to some kind of spiritual blockage. I have been able to control them better, but not completely, and would love some insight into what I need to do further to either have them under complete control, or to harness their power. When I was a teenager, and my spiritual awakening began, I had very vivid, powerful dreams, I could dream walk, I had prophetic dreams, I could communicate with my spirit guides easily. I can no longer do this, and it is rare that I have restful sleep. Any insight into this problem would be immensely appreciated! Love and blessings! – Niki
Thanks for your note, Niki. The message that I got from your guides is that some facet of your soul is seeking a different way to express that deeper part of your consciousness, specifically through training in spirit walking, or shamanic journeying. The aspect of your soul that I met with indicated that she is eager and waiting for you to work with her in learning to journey out with purpose to some intended healing. My feeling is that this will sate the part of you needing that release and expression, and it will help manage your physical symptoms.
Also, if you can acquire a naturally formed salt water pearl, this is a powerful fetish to have in your toolbox of spirit travel allies. It came to me very prominently in working with this aspect of you. If you have or can get one, keep it with you when you sleep, and as you adventure into learning to journey. The salt water pearl brings you grounding between spaces, and assures your ability to bring something beautiful from discomfort.
Generally speaking, seizures occur when a facet of the soul attempts to leave the body but is confined for some reason. The soul is infinite, and aspects of it naturally come and go as they need to. This is how our consciousness expands, provokes new thoughts and beliefs. When an aspect of the soul wanders out due to trauma and can’t return, shamans consider this state soul loss, or soul separation. Soul loss can manifest in many ways, such as chronic doubt, depression, pain. Soul parts are returned through a process known as soul retrieval. The phenomenon you have experienced can feel just as bad–when a soul part needs to wander out to expand and release, yet can’t. This state leaves you feeling trapped in yourself and spiritually isolated.
I don’t recommend learning to journey alone. Let me know where you are located and I can help you find a teacher. If you are open to distance learning, I can help you with that. I don’t think this means that you have to commit to the servitude of shaman hood or hone the intuitive skills of a mystic, so much as just give yourself this outlet for now. Cultivate it and stay open to what it brings. I wish you healthy, passionate travels, Niki!
In a recent discussion around disruptive energetic activity in someone’s house a question arose that often comes up in such dynamics: What do you do when a visiting energy doesn’t honor boundaries?
Many people at some point encounter energetic or spiritual activity in their home or workspace that they find disruptive, disturbing, or flat out frightening. Most often, how that energy is dealt with determines how well the dynamic finds balance. I’m careful to distinguish “energetic” from “spiritual.” Sometimes the activity in a space is due to odd fluctuations in the etheric field and has nothing to do with spirits. In this case, balancing the elements of the space can bring relief. Likewise, there can be a spiritual presence that readily exhibits a personality or humanoid traits, such as a female form or voice. Ultimately such disturbances indicate a different kind of energy out of balance and don’t carry a “good” or “bad” judgement. They just indicate that something needs attention. For most people it is the element of surprise that is bothersome. This is true whether the disturbance is another person coming up behind them or an insect popping out. Once they get their bearings on the situation they manage it by asserting a more suitable way to approach, or by determining if that particular bug can roam freely in the house. With the boundary set, things calm. It’s no different with spiritual energies. In the case of a spiritual interruption, we set boundaries, such as, “It’s OK if you’re here, though I allow no physical contact,” or “It’s OK that you’re here, though please no surprise visits.” What happens when the energy doesn’t hold up its end of the peace?
In order to understand why an energy doesn’t honor a boundary, let’s examine what that energy may be and its reason for making itself known to start with. There are many scenarios under which spiritual activity happens, and I can only touch on a few here. Figuring out what sort of visitor is present is key to resolving any unrest it causes. Some visitors warn about dangerous situations. Once the danger is removed, the energy moves on and disruption stops. Others are enticed into a peaceful environment and simply want to enjoy it. Some don’t know they’re deceased and don’t realize they need to move on. Others perished traumatically and are locked in a PTSD dynamic, acting out their demise until someone understands that’s what’s happening and helps them move on. In some cases a paranormal disturbance can indicate trouble in the home. The phenomenon referred to as “poltergeist” activity isn’t necessarily a spirit visitor at all, but an unconscious projection of a person in the household (usually a child) who has been traumatized and doesn’t have the communication skills to express their distress.
Another frequently occurring phenomenon is the visitation of spirit guides (or as some call them, guardian angels), who shake up the environment, particularly in the case of children, budding intuitives, or empaths who refuse to acknowledge their Other sight. Even in the case of a visiting guide–beings we often assume to be gentle angelic creatures–we question their need to sometimes be forceful or frighten us. Sometimes we have received gradual small signals that we may have ignored or just didn’t process as spirit communication, so a bigger display of need finally gets our attention. Another way to look at it is by considering that spirits are beings from a foreign country and they don’t speak the language, or don’t know the customs. They don’t know that disembodied voices in the night scare us, or that dropping onto the mattress while we’re sleeping is a bit rude. Again, that element of surprise prevents us from perceiving friendly interactions, or at least misconstrued actions with good intentions. Hence, this is the reason the accepted historic accounts with angels always begin with, “Fear not!” Moving past that initial shock is what determines whether we get the memo.
All of that said, when we have such experiences an opening for them has to be created somewhere. Sure we can feel so terrified by spirit interaction that we run screaming from it and never look back, and no such contact happens again. The cultural myth of “fire in the head” exists for a reason, though I think it’s somewhat misunderstood. We’ve all read legends of the old man who heard voices and went crazy, or the young girl who was visited by spirits that wouldn’t leave her alone. The message handed down has been that if we don’t accept the task of becoming a seer or conduit of the spiritual world in some way that bad things will happen. I think it’s more benevolent than that. In my experience we don’t have to take on the whole arena of what a spiritual encounter may mean, even ones that are very personal. We don’t have to quit our jobs and move to an ashram in India or suddenly become vegetarian and take herbalism classes. It may mean that kind of sweeping life change for some people. What it demands without question is that we honor that we had an experience outside of our understanding, that we allow that one little interaction to open our understanding of All Things. That’s all. In that light when we have a challenging spiritual experience and we refuse to acknowledge it, chances are the environment will become more restless, not because we are cursed or are refusing the leadership of a spirit guide, but because we are refusing some wisdom to light within ourselves. This is the reason that instead of dismissing energetic adversity we open a dialogue with it. This is why instead of shutting down that part of ourselves we set boundaries for how we can accept it. We do so not because we need to control the unseen, but because we have had a spiritual opening, an opportunity to learn something about ourselves.
Still, what if we go through all of these things and our visitor is still being obnoxious? I tell clients to keep two things in mind. The first is that All Things are connected, so when we speak from our truth, All Things actively participating in that connection recognize that fact and honor our needs. Create the habit of observing and regrouping when caught offguard–seen or unseen–and set a boundary not out of shocked fear, but from personal truth. It works. The second thing I tell people when a visitor isn’t honoring their boundary is, because All Things are connected, consider what All Things is trying to communicate something important. It may be about us, about the energy, or about the environment. There is a reason it is persisting, the least of which is to be merely bothersome. A final consideration is if the experience has traumatized the individual it’s very hard to find a place of balance from which to set boundaries. Activity will likely persist until the PTSD of the individual can be released.
In our western culture we don’t have the community Crone sitting by the campfire scrying out the best way to do this year’s crop planting or helping us make sense of experiences that don’t fit our norm. For this reason I actively teach people how to soften their experience of Other and to learn to integrate it into their lives. Western culture is the only thriving population on the planet that regards paranormal activity as astounding, riveting, or disturbing. All other cultures have integrated it into their experience of everyday. As a result of our separation from our spiritual perception, we panic when it seeks to reunite with us. I first met my spirit guide when I was about twelve or thirteen. I woke over years finding him standing at the foot of my bed, or at the end of the hall when I got up for water in the night. All he did was stand there, but that was all it took to terrify me. I didn’t learn who he was for another fifteen years. For that reason through private sessions, classes, and Distance Mystery School, I’ve committed to create a new tribe of support for children and adults whose lives are blessed with such experiences and an uncontainable inner knowing. I’ve committed to create The Tribe of the Modern Mystic.
As you feel led, I’ll be waiting by the fire.
Kelley, I am very impressed by your thoughtful and interesting answers to readers’ questions. I’ve done a lot of different kinds of spiritual work that has helped me tremendously with personal questions and dilemmas. My spiritual work utilizes meditation and guide(s), which is why I responded deeply to your insight. I have a nagging mystery that seems to have no clear answer or finality. My dilemma is the question of joining with a true soulmate or twin soul for a solid, long partnership. Until now folks seem to fall away or are not solid enough to form anything far-reaching, even though I felt they could be and I was ready. At this point in my life I feel ridiculous trying, so at least I’m not emotional about it. Am I to traverse this life as a solitary, without sharing in a beautiful, life-enriching partnership with a man? Or is my path to go fully into healing work and lead a celibate lifestyle? Thank-you for your insight. Shannon
Thanks for your praise and inquiry, Shannon. What I see straight away is that you are functioning at a very high level, etherically, though you’re not attracting potential lovers who are. Your chakra system and etheric field look great, but more than healthy, they are wide and strong. This is a good thing, frankly a rare thing to see. No doubt it is the result of your self-work and is supported by your strong personality and sense of self.You hit it dead-on when you asked about a life of celibacy, in that a monastic way of living has been the way you have maintained your high level of functioning in other manifestations of yourself. Your lineage in the formed plane has most often been one of spiritual servitude, and to be able to consistently provide to your community, you set yourself apart. You formed intimate relationships, but not ones of a sexually bonded nature. One of the things that the Age of Aquarius ushers out is the correlation that higher consciousness requires isolation. In reality it probably is easier to focus on personal growth without the distraction of interpersonal relationships, and that choice is always available. However, moving from the Age of Pisces, we are leaving behind the notion of “I” and that only cultural elites are permitted the station of spiritual leader. Our communities, our life force, and our minds are not organized for divisive spirituality anymore, which is one reason the congregations of major religions are diminishing. Now it is our charge not only to move beyond the emphasis of spiritual awareness for self growth, but that we do so amongst each other. We can no longer cloister our the pursuit of personal truths behind silent walls, or cloak our bodies to separate and hide the deeply spiritual sensuality of our physical temples. We can no longer save humanity sitting at the elevated vantage point on the top of the hill. We must walk with each other. We are whole packages now, and that’s how we must live.
What does this have to do with you finding Mr. Soul Complement? Everything. You have a legacy of separating in order to maintain the level of etheric balance you have achieved. You no longer want to separate, and in fact deeply yearn to bond. Rest assured there is no tradeoff. You do not have to give up your balance to acquire a soul love. All you have needed is to make the connection that you have carried into this manifestation the pattern that in the past you had to choose. In your spiritual work now, allow your Nature. All That You Are knows what you need, and now you need a spiritual complement. Infuse the statement, “I allow my Nature,” behind everything you do. If you feel led to do releasing work around the pattern of having to choose, do so. My feeling is that just reading this and making that connection will release the pattern. The new mantra will adjust your life force as it needs, to attract what will be right and endearing for you.
Be with and be well, Shannon.
In 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.
Two questions I’m frequently asked are, “If the soul is already aware and perfect, why would it choose to manifest in the Earth realm?” and “Why does the soul choose such challenging experiences?” Why, indeed.
First off, I have no idea. I couldn’t tell you. At best, I can share what wisdom I’ve gleaned from my personal experiences and those of soul kin whose process I’ve had the opportunity to witness.
It seems that the state of consciousness out of form, or some might say, “between lives,” is very different from consciousness in form. Peaceful souls out of form aren’t attached to emotion as humans are. They exist in a liberated state with nothing distracting them from being connected with All Things. They only know their true essence, while the quintessential challenge of formed being is to remember we are spirit in flesh. It is to remember that we are part of All Things.
Being separate from emotion allows the soul to see things very differently. Specifically, it allows the soul to see life on Earth very differently. From its removed vantage point where it is finely tuned into All Things, the soul looking ‘down’ at earthly life experiences only passion. Joy, anger, frustration, grief, peace, hunger, sensuality… any feeling, emotion, or state of being that stirs desire is merely experienced as passion. Passion is the key motivator in the human experience. When connected to one’s spiritual guidance, passion moves obstacles, transcends philosophies, creates new frontiers. Without the connection to All Things, ie, in the lack of remembering that one is spirit in flesh, ego-driven passion blinds, infuriates, and often leads to spirals of stagnating experiences. Usually a realization of some sequence of self-fulfilled prophecies and reawakening to the soul’s needs for returning creates pause. Within this quiet space is generally my first meeting place with new clients. From this rich (though often not quiet) pause between a heritage of soul wisdom and human calamity, questions of life purpose and soul origin emerge. Even asking the questions initiates growth, because it means allowing guidance from the soul rather than the ego. It means healthily detaching from emotion.
A pervasive thought many soul seekers hold is that they chose their lives, not just its manifestation, but the circumstances of it. This perspective can be extremely unsettling to those whose lives are pain-filled. Despite feeling connected to that truth of choice, there is disdain for the thought that one would choose trauma, loss, pain, or frustration on the earthly journey. In my spirit communication with the souls of humans, Nature spirits, guides, and entities who have never been in form–what ones would call angels or the Light Choir–the element of choice is still pervasive, even under dire circumstances. However, what becomes apparent is also that the perspective we held as souls between lives choosing to come into form is not the same once it manifests in the earthly domain. In the mindspace of the soul, we choose how we will create ourselves in form. There are no lessons or objectives we must complete, no tests from the Divine. We choose how we want to create ourselves, and that choice is made with the full support and wisdom of All Things. However, once in form, things move slower. They’re more dense. Greater than those states, we feel, and in the overwhelming nature of feeling we begin forgetting that Divine connection. We do not readily feel connected to All Things, and that’ where the tribulation starts. In the between life space, we forget the hardship of work. We forget the pain of growth. We forget the passion of the soul growing and become immersed wholly in the emotional experience of being.
Consider that the soul is consciousness, and the sole purpose of consciousness is to expand itself–to create itself as it wants to be. As a good friend once said to me, “Consciousness knows, ‘Go!'” That’s all it knows, not “hang on a second,” or “slow down,” much the same way that going nonstop is all children know. As students in academic programs, we are often eager to take on heavy course loads because we want to immerse ourselves in subjects that provoke and change us, even when seasoned advisers warn of taking on too much or very challenging material. All we know is that we want to expand ourselves, without realizing the minute details of how demanding it will be, how much time and energy it will take, what of us it will change. Then consider a campus full of others enthusiastically navigating their own creation and it’s no wonder that we become focused on more mundane experiences.
I firmly believe that forgetting the wisdom of the between life is a core facet in the blueprint of the soul coming here and learning to remember there. Forgetting our higher spiritual nature is part of the plan. It is intended that we birth through the veil of the Divine into the realm of humanity feeling the struggle of that delivery, just as the earth is both the colorful pallet by which we create ourselves, as well as the paintbrush.
Bless however you create yourself, and know that you are empowered to be as you want to be, at anytime. There are tools and skilled caregivers to assist you. If you have reached that space of questioning and you want to find your answers, consider contacting me for remote work, or let me know where you live and I will find someone near you to work with in person.
As always, be well.