Day 29 with a Shaman

Photo by Marcela Bolivar

Today, I held a fire ceremony. Fire has been calling to me for a week and finally happened today. I was glad to have confirmation when my Shaman Teacher suggested I was ready to work with fire. I made offerings and they were accepted immediately! I honored each direction with a log. The fire blazed and consumed all of the offerings except the log for Hummingbird.

I tried to place it back in the fire circle three times but it remained to the side. Even in the middle, it would not burn. I asked if this was inviting me to work with the winds of the North and to leave it open.  It was evident this was the case. I was very happy to open up to this spirit even more, accepting anything it wanted to share.

Then, I asked the fire spirit for healing, guidance and assistance with harmony in all areas.

I asked for purity in any relationships that still needed healing. I asked for any seeming betrayals to be forgotten and forgiven in all directions. After that, I remained with the fire and listened. I was guided to cleanse the stones I’d received from the Olympic Mountains. As I placed them on a log and ran them through the flame, one of them jumped into the center of the coals. I assumed it needed some serious purification!

I opened my palms toward the flame and received its warm light to charge my chakras. I also replenished my bands of power. The Bands of Power, are 5 colored bands of light which are organized through intention, from the rainbow fountain of light that encircles our physical body. Each band is connected to an element. With the bands in place we become consciously connected to the earth, the waters, fire, the wind, and pure Spirit.

The intention is set that any heavy unusable energy that comes our way through life will be mulched by the bands and used for food, instead of coming though to us and weighing us down. The Bands of Power leave a space between us and the outside world, and at the same time, they help us to consciously be connected to everything and everyone, ultimately allowing unconscious, fear-based armoring to drop away.

As I sat with the fire, it felt like being with an old friend. We shared stories and responded to one another as each moment unfolded. I could sense the mood and rhythm changing as the bond grew deeper. As my essence solidified, the fire applauded in golden tendrils, like an approving grandfather. We fed each other with our simple passion of existence.


Day 28 with a Shaman

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Today I did a Shamanic Despatcho to the Olympic Mountains with the intention of harmony. Despacho is the Quechua word for offering. It describes the Andean practice of making offerings to the mountains (apus), Mother Earth (Pachamama), and other spirits in reciprocity, reverence, and thanksgiving. A despacho is an act of love and a reminder of the connections we share with all beings, elements, spirits, and sacred places. At the deepest level, it is an opportunity to enter into the essential unity of all things.

I have gathered sacred objects for a week; to represent Mother Earth, the four directions, animal spirits, stone spirits, and the levels of reality.  I offered rose petals, sugar, glitter, cotton, a shell, and stones. During the ceremony, I asked Angels and guides to help me bring prayers to the ceremony. The moment I was asking for their guidance, a sweet, soft wind gently blew across my face. It was warm and nurturing. I heard and felt the ancient ones surrounding me. As if condoning the celebration, they sent the message on the wind.  I instantly felt the profound relationship with the Olympic Mountains and was humbled in their powerful presence.

There was a silent prayer and intent with each offering and the silence held the gift of the Divine.  When it was time, I gently wrapped the offerings in cloth and tied them together. I was instructed to bury them in the Earth so the prayers could be released over time.

As I hiked back down the trail, I was filled with a  tangible peace and union. Each bird was singing directly to my heart and my pulse was fueling the river. This is how we are meant to live, subtly aware and deeply connected.

I left with an intimate affinity with the Apus. They continue to course through my veins as essentially as Oxygen.

Day 27 with a Shaman



I went with a friend to the Dr. to check on his skin cancer lesions. They looked like harmless little dark moles, but when the nurse magnified them for photos they took on a completely different existence entirely. They became grotesque, rotting, oozing, and repulsive.  They became a threat to the life force inside my friend’s body. Suddenly there was an urgency to remove these tiny little spots. There was nothing harmless about these little spots. These were ruthless, burrowing killers!

As I stood in disbelief, I realized this is very similar to how my judgments have looked over the past weeks. They started as mere thoughts, randomly interrupting my pleasant encounters throughout the day. Then, like an incessant child they became louder and more obtrusive. I began magnifying them and dissecting them one by one. I felt broken, hopeless, dark and beyond a cure. I became identified with the cancer cell, hungry to consume every last healthy particle of Misha’s essence. I split myself apart, the dark vs. the light, the good vs. the bad, the appealing vs. the ugly. This has taken me deep into the rabbit hole of my psyche, ripping pieces of the whole, tearing innocence from hate, trying to hold onto any morsel of goodness. At the same time, being tantalized by the alluring wickedness of what was left.  Illusion became my Master until there was nothing left to identify with.

Day 26 with Shaman


I woke up feeling empty and depressed. I was craving something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.  I decided to do a Journey to the Under World. We went down and entered the Chambers with the Intent to bring back a gift. The gifts that presented themselves were the gift of Acceptance, a light, and a ring. I accepted with gratitude and returned, when the time felt right.

What does Acceptance look like? Is it saying “yes” to everything that comes your way? Is it choosing gratitude in every moment? Is it being okay with the emptiness as well as the excitement?

I notice when I go to work, I make that the exception. I walk around dissatisfied and feeling trapped. I could choose to make that just another moment to find magic, but I don’t. Instead, I watch the clock until I can be free. I don’t even have any pressing matters to attend to outside of work, I just want to leave. It has nothing to do with the job, just that I have to stay in one spot because someone else is telling me to. I could spend 12 hours in one spot doing nothing but the fact that I’m choosing it makes all the difference.

I realize my thoughts of limitation have created my life just the way it is, but still I pretend that the story of my life has been thrust on me in some cruel way. There was a time, I preferred my own company…simple and perfect. Now, I want to crawl out of my own skin.

Is it okay to feel empty and depressed? What about anxious? I feel on the verge of tears without a reason. The tears are just sitting like a pool of water, stagnant and full. Something in me thinks they should move and flow like a river. What is it that is not feeling complete right now? What exists under this pool of grief?