Tag: totems

Thursday Betwixt – Going Deep with Spirit Guides

Image by Rajesh_India @flickrTo 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?

Soul Intent Arts – Ten Years, Ten Observations of an Animistic Soul #6

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.

  • Totem dictionaries are no substitute for the animal, plant, element, or life force that has come to you. I often encounter people whose life has been touched by an animal, angelic creature, or some dream symbol, and their reaction is to scatter to dictionaries seeking the definition of that symbol. While these tomes often are chronicles of ancient insights and modern archetypal conditioning that provide a wealth of information on symbols, there is no substitute for the manifestation of the symbol that has come to you. Ask the spirit of the symbol to speak with you and tell you what strengths and gifts it brings you. Ask what gifts you bring it. This exchange is the basis of every intuitive’s relationship with her guides. An excellent resource on whollistically working with totems is Lupa’s DIY Totemism.

Soul Intent Arts – Ten Years, Ten Observations of an Animistic Soul #2

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.

  • All spiritual and energetic work must have meaning. This seems like a nobrainer, but there are practitioners of many modalities of healing who don’t implement this observation, which I uphold should be the golden rule of anyone who provides a service. Anyone can see intuitively, though not everyone knows what to do with the information that comes, as noted in Intuition and the Ethics of Prophecy. I can see ravens as someone’s totem all day, but if I can’t clarify the role Raven has in supporting the client’s present, I have not done my job. The work must move the client forward in some way.

Divine Androgyny and Projecting Power

My husband dreamt that we were lying down, then I lifted and floated up. He called to me and reached to pull me down, but couldn’t. There was no mention of me responding in any way. What does this dream mean? Thanks, Sally.

Thanks for your note, Sally. The way I look at dreams for others happens on several levels. First, I hold in my intention the symbols of the dream, along with any feelings they evoke. Then I hold the perspective of the consciousness creating this dream, which is in this case, that of your husband. As it is you who is asking about the dream and not him, my ability to connect with that state of his consciousness is limited, if only from a standpoint of permission.

Dream Catcher, artist unknown

Dream Catcher, artist unknown

That said, what I take from my view of this dream is that your husband experiences a great deal of his feminine power through you, rather than through himself. He relies on you to create nurture, foster growth, and feed on all levels–mundane as well as spiritual–in your relationship and household. This separation of roles on a spiritual level is the result of our culturation on mundane levels, and is very common. Our modern consciousnesses have become very detached from the understanding that each of us carries inner feminine, masculine, children, animals, song… However, when we project the strengths of ourselves externally, we become weak. Whether that is a woman seeking the masculine qualities she holds dearest in a male counterpart, the expectation that a hawk as totem will guide us to our dream job, or a man seeking mothering from a male who is very balanced in his feminine, the outcome is the same. These are all examples of investing our power in something besides ourselves.

What I see happening in your husband’s dream is that he has allowed you to embody his feminine aspect. He has given away an element of his power to you. We all fashion our internal cast of archetypal characters by the examples we see around us. At some point we must become aware of how we carry this cast. In your husband’s case, this dream signifies that on some level he realizes he needs to incorporate more feminine qualities in his self-talk, his self-care, because as you drift from him in the dream, he attempts to retain you. He is afraid to be without you because he wouldn’t have an internal feminine aspect. That puts a lot of pressure on you, which again, isn’t uncommon in our contemporary lives. While many people are flattered on an ego level by being viscerally needed, they don’t understand that the need eventually becomes a drain taking a toll on all involved. In the end, it weakens the relationship rather than strengthens it. In this case, it is imperative for your husband to cultivate aspects of the feminine divine within. If he doesn’t understand what that balance means, a recent post by Jeff Brown, Apologies to the Divine Feminine (from a warrior in transition) may be a good place to start. When we honor that Divine Feminine power exists, it becomes easier to see it within ourselves. As well, as your husband approaches middle age or if this dream is a response to approaching middle-age, this softening to the feminine will begin on its own. Mid-life is the great gender leveler, biologically and spiritually. It introduces Divine Androgyny and the qualities of that neutral state to us all.

This dream is information for you both to examine just what needs you fulfill for each other, compared to what needs you should be fulfilling for yourselves. Consider speaking with him about this and devising a ritual for bringing a balance of power back to your relationship. If you seek suggestions for such a ritual, feel free to contact me.

Be well, Sally!

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

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

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

Siberian Shaman, Lake Baikal

Siberian Shaman, Lake Baikal

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

DIY Totemism

DIY Totemism

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

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

Gift of the Dreamtime

Gift of the Dreamtime

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

I wish you deep healing and prolific power!

Shortsightedness and Seeing

Question: Kelley, My niece, Sarah, is 3 years old.  Right now, she’s suffering a sight problem and it doesn’t look good. Can you tell me if there’s any chance she’ll regain her sight?  Sad and in despair, Bob McKinley

Hi Bob.  Thanks for your note.  Upon calling in a spiritual aspect of Sarah and her guides, it is my understanding that she is choosing to experience the manifest world in a different way.  What that means is it is up to her whether she chooses to perceive this plane visually.  At this point in her life she is very pleased with her sensual understanding of how she both relates to and interprets the world around her.  I also see that the grief of the adults regarding her “condition” is impacting more her ability to interface with the world the way she is choosing than the fact that her choice is to do so without sight.  I see that on an energetic level she is incredibly visually gifted and in that has a much higher perception of how to interact with the spiritual Unseen world than most.  When I view her etheric form she is quite healthy and happy, and I see that she interacts with colors aurally.  That is, she hears colors.  She interprets the color patterns she sees through her third eye into sound, and in that ability nothing is absent from her experience here.  Sarah doesn’t just hear colors, she interacts with them.  We have long known that different colors travel at distinct speeds of light, and that these speeds also correspond to tones, specifically certain notes in musical scales.  It is this connection that underlies most of what we call ‘energy work.’  Sarah is naturally tuned into this color/tone connection in a way that most sighted humans can never completely learn.  She also seems to be able to perceive what color something is by touching it, not because she sees the color in any figurative way or knows what we say its name is, but because every color has a unique Unseen vibration and she is quite attuned to that field of energy.  Most children are very connected with the Unseen and they express that in ways such as invisible playmates or through information that they ‘could not have known’, often to the chagrin of their parents.  As children become learned in the denser lessons of Earth, they forget.  We forget.  The process of forgetting can be very traumatic for some children, as the crux of it is their truths are no longer validated (or tolerated) by the formed world around them.  Sarah is a bit different in that she has a direct relationship to this “between” space, and she does not have the clutter and confusion of perceiving an object’s form as being different from its Unseen manifestation to distract her.  Nonetheless, as she ages and has to become more independent, the outside world is going to demand that she be more tactile, herself.  It is going to feel very threatening to her to think she has to let that go to be productive here.

Sarah always has the choice to regain her sight, though I do not see her choosing to. She is content to be in that between space of interpreting the world a different way.  I also see that she has great artistic and energy medicine contributions to make to the world from working in that space.  The Hurdles for Sarah right now are not actually her own.  Rather, they are more centered around her parents releasing guilt and sympathy regarding her not being sighted and her parents expanding their understanding of how their daughter really is perceiving the world, which is very nonconventional.  There is some emotional release needed for them, as well as some ethereal education.  Sarah very much wants to please her parents, and if they show shortsightedness in their beliefs of Sarah and her perceptions, so will Sarah.  It will be an interesting challenge for the adults around her to foster her growth in that way, and help her develop this ability–which seems to bring her great peace.  Sarah’s ability to have that connection with things seems to be a grounding force for her, helping her to continue to feel good about being here.  It helps her to feel connected to All That Is.  Allowing Sarah to develop this ability is akin to any one of us developing our intuition, or learning a specific technique, such as Reiki or Animal Communication. As you well know, she can learn to be very externally productive despite not seeing, but cultivating this ability goes much further than that.  This ability it a natural part of her being and is key to her ability to thrive here.  She is not going to learn to develop her gift in a conventional setting.  This teacher will have to be sought out, and will come when Sarah is ready.

Sarah has some powerful animal spirits working with her right now–a giraffe, a crane and a plecostomus (yes, a plecostomus).  The giraffe gives her a higher vantage point to “look” over life, and I suspect this animal has been with her for a very long time.  She has a particular affinity to him.  The crane is bringing her stability, especially in situations in which it seems she has none.  This animal also seems to have a soothing maternal air about her, which I suspect is connected to Sarah’s own mothering of herself already.  The plecostomus operates as a personal janitor, taking in Sarah’s less than favorable feelings and reactions to life, giving her a place to vent them out.  He is very fond of her, though they do not seem to have been together long.  She may really respond to having stuffed animals of these near her.

Sarah is very fortunate to have loving adults around her, such as yourself, Bob.  She can be a profound teacher in your life and the others around her.  You have an angel in your midst.  Help her fly.

Be well, Bob!

Cellular Music Man

Dear Kelley, This question is for my husband, Mark. His career in music has been a roller coaster for his whole life. Now that he seems to have more skills and experience than ever, the business has taken a dramatic turn for the worse in the last few years. He recently finished a solo project, that seems to be hitting roadblock after roadblock, and other types of work in music is way down. He seems to be confronted with a midlife crisis where his achievements don’t necessarily add up to being in demand or making a living. Is there a message or lesson he’s missed that’s preventing him from progressing?

Initially I am greeted by a fluffy white male rabbit. I ask the rabbit what he needs Mark to know at this time, and he says, “that he’s not following his path.” He goes on to tell me that Mark is on a path of fulfilling needs, rather than on the path of his heart. I ask the rabbit how music fits into Mark’s heart path, and he says, “it is the language he knows and best relates to.” According to the rabbit, the ‘roadblock’ that Mark perceives in not manifesting a living with music is that his heart is incongruous with his body. When he says this I know that he means on an energetic level, Mark is trying to create music outwardly without cultivating it inwardly first. Music is part of Mark on a cellular level, not just an emotional or artistic expression. Viewing it as only those things is creating a lack in the true power that music can have in his health, his perspective, his viability as an artist, his expression as a healer, and his ability to provide for himself at the level needed. It isn’t about Mark’s talent being able to support him financially, but about Mark’s ability to fully support his musical gift in how he honors it.

Mark’s form is very influenced by music, in that it activates and revitalizes him. Music must be in all levels of his being, not just in selected parts of his being. In essence, that commitment and honoring of music being a vital part of his life force has not been there on a structural and energetic level. Without that full integration, Mark’s cells aren’t completely speaking to each other. Certain synapses never get to fire, because they are not being energetically connected to music. The rabbit describes this as a case of “the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. While this is organic, it’s not a dynamic approach for Mark’s whole.”

I ask the rabbit how Mark can infuse music throughout his being, and he tells me that Mark must learn to feel the music and rhythm in all things—the food he eats, the air he draws and releases, even of the Earth’s resonance. There is an element of observing the wonder of music in these acts, as well as an element of humility. The ability to feel the pulse of all things at that level is his heart’s source. Mark can connect with this ability and music that is in all things by toning his chakras, meditating to draw that light and color into his body and moving it up the chakra system. The rabbit says that light and color are sound, and for Mark to learn to recognize the unique sound in every color.

I ask the rabbit how he is significant to the music in Mark’s life, and he tells me that rabbits are low and close to the ground. They feel the pulse of the Earth in their whole bodies at once. He says that when rabbits run, they are carried by the rhythm of the wind. As well, he says their ears tune into the star’s songs. Walking with Mark, the rabbit can help him to do the same. The rabbit is a powerful ally to speak with in meditation.

The rabbit says that Mark can work with him as a means of feeling the music in all things by honoring the simplicity of all things. He encourages Mark to allow the connection with what he perceives is blocking his abundance through music, and realize these blocks are friends and teachers. They do not impede his musical path. By being able to find and connect with the music in all things, including in himself energetically, Mark can draw that connection up his chakra system and life force, and allow it to not only strengthen his inspiration and ability to create, but to draw to him the people and situations who can help him further develop this connection.
Music abounds for you, Mark, as well as the support of it! Be well!

Tree [Spirit] Hugger

Question:  Hi, Kelley ~ I wanted to see if you could shed some light into the dark corners of my life . . . I was born 10/25/61, and have always prided myself on my drive and ambition and knowing what I wanted to do and how to get there. I’m now entering my 2nd year on the job I strived so to get (as a college professor), but am missing my work as a counselor and having a hard time getting excited about research and writing, things I once loved. I basically am feeling out-of-touch with my true self. Am I not listening to my Spirit Guides – I can’t seem to get in touch with who I am or where I need to be . . . do you have any wisdom to offer? Many thanks ~ Suzanne~

Thank you for your note, Suzanne. Well, you are a Nature girl, but not the kind of Nature most think of. When others look across the land and see grass, rocks, flowers and trees, you have the ability to see the fae, dryads, and communicate with woodland creatures. I feel that you are marginally aware of this, and that it’s not a relationship you have conscientiously cultivated. There is something about making those connections now and actively working with them that will facilitate finding your direction and heart’s desire.

Another aspect of the lively forest that I’m shown is that it misses you. In your absence, which seems to be somewhat intentional on your part, the creatures literally drew in with paints and markers the details of their world that your imagination was not there to bring to life. There are trees that have strongly rooted wood trunks, whose branches and leaves are painted on. Pink rabbits run by, who are truly furry pink, but their cottontails have been drawn on with white markers. A man who looks like “The Good King,” identifies himself as your spirit guide. Due to “lack of use” he has become a statue. He literally has become stone and stands in one area of the forest, watching over. It’s very interesting, really. The acts of the creatures here demonstrate a lot of support for you, and unconditional love, in that even if you are not actively pursuing your spiritual realms, they are actively assisting you. There are no strings, no potholes presented here. They sincerely offer you unconditional support and love, regardless of if you ever visit them again. In some form or other, they will always be there for you.

There has been a belief somewhere in All That You Are that feels you can’t have the support of those around you if you are truly on your path. In fact, in some cases, you really didn’t have support around you, in the career transition, and in the process of recalibrating after that. That feels like about the time that you checked out on your spiritual allies, as well, which is no coincidence. With the people around you not supporting you the way you needed it, there was no impetus to seek that support spiritually. That realization saddened you, and frankly, you had your hands full. In that transition you expended a lot of energy just to SHIFT. Without others helping you hold that space for yourself, you didn’t have the energy leftover to dig down deep and sit with the faeries.

Cut yourself some slack, and realize today is a new day. I feel that you have internalized a lot of the turmoil you felt in this transition, and never really talked candidly about it with anyone. This may be a point that you can through some meditation, prayer or ritual release the frustration, anger, excitement… of that time. The process of recapitulation is very powerful in this type of release—writing down (and I do mean writing and not typing, if possible) the account of that transition AND your feelings about it from start to finish, then burn it (the one and only copy) with the true intention of letting that era and your feelings about it go, bringing its healing and teaching completely into your present. Today starts now. If part of feeling supported is reconnecting with your spirit guides, then do so. Even bigger than that is remembering that no matter what anyone else says or does, you support yourself. When you have that kind of faith in yourself, you are living your Truth.

Be well, Suzanne.

Do I have Spirit Guides?

Dear Kelley, Since 1999 I have been “off track” with my life. The pillars of career, relationship, and finances have crumbled away. Now, I am in my prime and I’m really desiring to do meaningful work in this life, have the experience of true love with a man, and be “in” this world. Do I have guides? Who are they and how can I let them know I need their help – now!! These years of bankruptcy, unavailable men, and jobs of little money and no fulfillment of my skills cannot be why I am here. I really want to contribute in a meaningful way. Do you have a light or hit on a direction for me? Thank you! “Jo”

Hi Jo! Thanks for your note, and sharing your lovely sense of humor =) When I ask to meet your spirit guide, I am led to an active volcano on an island. Sensing the energy of this volcano as very feminine, it indicates to me that she is Pele, Hawaiian fire goddess who shaped the surface of the land (pretty powerful stuff). There is the quite obvious fire aspect of her power, which I sense as an intense ability to create what she needs for herself. What surprises me though, is that she also has a very profound relationship with air, in that she very freely moves her energy wherever it is needed. More than a factor in creation, she knows when to relax and float on the breeze. You have not had enough of that luxurious rest in your life, and it is time to provide it for yourself. The volatile combination of fire and air feels to be a quite poignant in the cycle of destruction and creation. We often forget that destruction IS part of creation, and in this Crone aspect of the Goddess, she is the epitome of that process. As she is your spirit guide, you embody that process. This guide is here to help you burn out the deadwood of your life and replenish it with prospering, thriving Life. Pele point blank says, “She has the ability to rise above circumstance and into herself.”

To bring her into your daily life more, she asks that you acknowledge her by lighting a candle. Spend some time regularly talking with Pele and cultivating a relationship with her. However you meditate, begin opening and holding a place for her and her energy in your life.

Give some attention to third chakra clearing. The third chakra is the point in development at which you energetically realize you are part of All Things, and honor that connection. The true harmony of that connection rests in realizing who YOU are, and in being able to stand confidently in who you are while making that observation about all of life. The third chakra is all about confidence, which is the fuel for intuition. Pele indicates you have become more withdrawn than is your nature, due to feeling used or just battered about by the world. It’s not your nature to draw in, and she shows me that doing some work on your third chakra will help you feel more confident not only about connecting with the world, but your place in it.

There is also a panda bear working with you right now. I have the sense that he is your lifelong animal guide. It may behoove you to do some reading about pandas and their energetic/spiritual influence. However, YOUR panda says that he brings you comfort, very much in that teddy bear sort of way. He loves you very much, and is intent on helping you find the line between comfort and growth, as well as between loving connection and co-dependence. It seems you have tended to be full-bore one or the other, and not observed the balance that is best for you. He is here to help you with that. Even his black and white coloring suggests balance, appropriate boundaries, yet bold sense of self. He also seems to carry an intense yet artful knowledge of ritual, that is, finding the way in which day-to-day processes and observances create a mind/body/soul connection. He seems to have a lot in store for you on that front—a very disciplined and lovely way to help you find how you spiritually relate to All Things.

He asks that you keep an image or little figurine of a panda near you, as you have a tendency to feel unsupported by the world. This memento can serve a s a reminder that you have powerful spiritual allies who are channels of Universal power, at your disposal. In your meditative space, it would be good to ask him to step into you and let you truly feel his abilities and the gifts he brings you. This merging is called shapeshifting, and is the foundation of working with animal guides.

Between these two guides you have a good bit of instruction available to you in changing the direction of your life. Both are incredibly powerful in their own way, as are you. I hope that in the work you do with them, you come to hold that power the highest way that you can, and see the results you deeply want. My best to you, Jo!

Life in the Mirror

Hi Kelley, Your work sounds interesting and is very unusual. I have two questions. Are you able to tell me if my Dad is ok? Secondly, I seem to be unable to extricate myself emotionally from a man who was never very good for me. Why this might be? And, why do I have such hard time establishing and maintaining relationships? Thank you. J.

Hi J. Thanks for your note. I have the sense that your father is comfortable with his choice, and is prepared for what lies ahead of him. I am not entirely clear on what that choice is, or what that means, but I see him in a very restful state, and surrounded with his creature comforts.

When I inquire about the relationship and not taking your power back from it, I see you standing before a mirror. When you touch the mirror is moves under your hands as a liquid, and sticks to your fingers like a salve when you pull away from it. Life happens behind you, but you are more fascinated with the mirror. Some quality of this man feeds your security of always only looking in the mirror and observing life, not fully actively participating in it. In other words, this man did not encourage you to life freely and grow in life’s experiences. It is certainly safe to live that way for a time, but safety eventually becomes constricting and self-limiting. This man is another mirror for you–another thing to lose yourself in and not be encouraged to grow. The total focus only on the mirror is the result of a hurt that was done to you. Remaining focused only on the mirror has sheltered you from really deeply connecting in relationships. The time that you can be sheltered has gone. The healing you need isn’t going to be found in the mirror, or in people-mirrors who would keep you from living your true Self. Your healing will be found in yourself, and in the company you seek to that end. You have an animal guide very ready to help you make this transition. There is a black bear with you, who tells me that he brings you the ability to stand with the resilience and peace of a mountain, as well with the incisiveness to move through survival to blissful connection with Nature… as yourself. Be well, J!