Shaman Retreat Part 3

We opened sacred space and did fire breathing to open our energy bodies. Then, we practiced a guided meditation for grounding and protection.  The visualization was to form a golden light around us, spinning in a clockwise direction. Afterwards, we stood by the fire as we were drummed to rhythm of our unique heartbeat. The teacher found our pace and then proceeded to move the drum around our body as you would if you were smudging. As the drum reached my head, I could feel my cells aligning and becoming synchronized in the perfect internal rhythm. I could also feel my connection with Mother Earth deepening.

We gathered around the fire and wrote down our ideal Divine Mother/Father traits. Then, we wrote down resentments and gratitude we had about our birth Mother/Father.  As the resentments came up, old wounds were opened and soothed with the gentle salve of gratitude. My list of resentments was longer for my dad, but I also got to see what he had done. We placed the lists of resentments into the burning fire and asked it to fill us as we let go of the old. When the old released, it formed a void so we needed to ask to be replenished. It was satisfying on such a fundamental soul level to allow the fire to fill my heart and all it took was trust.

It was time to build a shelter to represent the womb of the Mother. We had bamboo, ropes, blankets, stones, logs, and rugs. Within an hour, we had a cozy shelter in the woods. It was completely closed, dark, and invoked a sense of safety. It was perfect to represent the womb of creation. We began drumming, chanting, and moving around the fire in preparation for acceptance of Divine Mother as our ultimate Maternal Guide. The energy was building with great intensity. One by one, we were chosen to embody either the mother or child. Spirit moved through each of us.

When it was my turn to be the child, the mother wrapped her arms around me and spoke in my ear. I could feel the essence of my birth mother speaking to me with love, channeled through another. Then, she let me go to be embraced by the Divine. I walked to the shelter and sat inside.  As I asked Mother to accept me and declared my willingness to be open to receive, I could feel fire engulfing my body. It got extremely hot and I could see the flames licking all sides of my body. When it was finished, I felt purified, fresh and new. I walked out of the womb, fully supported.

I was chosen to be the Mother for one of the others in the group. As I spoke words and held the person, my voice sounded foreign. It sounded like I was in another room, listening to someone speak. I released the person and felt immense love as they walked away.  I tried not to analyze too much, as I walked back to the fire to chant.  When everyone had been reborn, we sat in silence.

 

Shaman Retreat part 2

Shamanic Retreat Part 2

We started opening sacred space, which is still my favorite, then settled around the fire for a breathing exercise. Fire breathing is a great way to strengthen the Bands of Power. From a seated position, we placed our hands above our heads a foot or so, palms facing out. We reached inside our eighth chakra, opening it and brought our arms down in a semicircle around our bodies.

First we did this to the sides several times and then front and back. We wrapped an imaginary energy bubble around our bodies like an egg of light. After that, we put our palms together behind our backs pointing our index fingers straight out like a gun. We gently inhaled through our noses while pushing our abdomen out and exhaled through our mouths.  We were speeding up as fast as we could, which ended up being more like animal panting, then we slowly inhaled three times.

Then, we held our breath as long as possible, while flexing our perennial muscles three times drawing Earth energy into the base of the spine. Finally, we exhaled…feeling the amazing energy flow, as we brought our arms over head and placed palms out into the eighth chakra. We repeated this five times and it was extremely cleansing, grounding, and invigorating. My mind was so incredibly clear after this exercise, and there was a deeper connection with Mother Earth. It was tangible as were the Bands surrounding my body.

We then were guided in a journey to ask for a spirit guide. We drummed and traveled deep into the earth, asking for permission and traveling to the underworld. I was careful not to engage with any dark energy. I asked for a spirit guide and waited. Then, a viper started approaching, which turned into a pterodactyl. It was a funny, awkward, prehistoric bird/dragon. It was clumsy and comical. I felt no threat at all and invited it over to me. It bumped into shrubs and knocked things around. It was like being in a cartoon, but it felt like real life. It was unconcerned about how it appeared, which made it even funnier. It had an unspoken confidence and air of arrogance. Yet, it was completely innocent and adorable.  I could relate to the imperfection and felt like I’d known this creature my whole life.

At the moment it was within a few feet of me, it grew into a huge dragon and flicked its tail, which resulted in a thunderous boom. I froze. I was suddenly aware of the power and how it demanded respect. It had come to help me. It was showing me not to underestimate power just because of playful appearances. It is still teaching me. What a great and powerful animal it was and what a sense of humor.

After a lunch break, we performed a Despacho with intentions of the Divine Mother/Father ceremony. We offered beautiful flowers, sugar, seeds, rice, glitter, sequins. We gave thanks  to all spirit allies and placed our dreams in silent prayers. We wrapped the cloth around our offerings and prayers then placed them into the fire, feeding it and ourselves. It was gently moving and created a peaceful release. I asked to honor my mother and father. I asked to release all that was outside of love and to open to the Divine in both. I also asked to open to the Divine in all things…including myself. I asked to be ultimate forgiveness.

We walked away from the fire filled with awe and hope for unlimited possibilities.

 

Day 39 with a Shaman

My Shaman Teacher asked me today if I had purchased my ticket for Peru. There is an advanced initiation training there in November and I feel like I am meant to be there. At this point, I don’t see how. It is expensive and I don’t make a lot. I have put it in a Sand Painting and am asking spirits for assistance. I am also fundraising so that other people can donate as well.  I am holding a strong intention and expecting mountains to move to get me there.

I told her I was trying to get the money together. She talked to me about taking steps toward it and asked what other reasons might be holding me back. She spoke as if money were not a real obstacle. Her silence after the questions required me to be ruthless in my internal inquiry. I did a quick scan and could see a fear of the unknown.

I could feel myself sitting in limbo. I had to get real. Wasn’t the real fear that I’d transform and get what I say I want? Wasn’t I really terrified of stepping into power and not being able to pretend smallness anymore? Wouldn’t I be letting go of being a student and taking full accountability for what I’ve learned? Not to say that I’d be a Teacher but I wouldn’t be able to claim that “I didn’t know.”

Peru is not the first place I’d pick to travel. I’ve had friends that have gone there and I never felt the desire. However, since starting Shaman training with my Mentor and teacher, I have felt a faint tugging. It is evident when I am talking to her about the land, mountains and people there. There is a collective consciousness that is already a higher vibration. It lends an ease to this practice and while I wouldn’t go there otherwise, I feel I must.

During my journey to the underworld, I asked if there were any contracts that were no longer valid. The contract to keep me limited came to me and I put it in the fire. I watched it burn and knew that money was only an energetic part of this contract. It would free all energy related to this limitation and I felt ready. A new contract came to me.  It was the contract to embody a new level of Love, one that I’ve never known before. I welcomed this new energy, and invited it into every cell of my body.

A black horse and magic vase came back with me as allies. The black horse reminded me of the warrior inside; fierce, bold, courageous, graceful and receptive. The vase held unlimited potential in its purest form.  Nothing can be tainted in the presence of this potential and it is bigger than fear.

Day 38 with a Shaman- Sinking in the Crystal Blue

 

Photo by: Olympic getaways

I decide to go out to Crescent Lake to bathe and bask. I will invite the healing of the water, and strengthen the cords with the Olympics. I had previously performed a Despacho in the Olympics so it would be good to reconnect and see what comes.

I take one step and feel the cold rock digging into center of my foot, reminding me now would be a great time to stay aware. I continue walking over jagged rocks, as the water glides over the tops of my toes. It is cold and sends my body into a heightened state at once. I look toward the West and see mountains clothed in vivid green, contrasting the blue and silver sky.

The sun promises to reveal its golden warmth but disappears into the blanket of grey, sitting lightly on the mountain top. The smell of salt and wood chips fills me with fondness.  I shiver as I walk forward, turquoise water rising and wrapping around me like a kimono. It’s cold but not too cold to continue walking. As I start to float off of the rocks under my feet, I feel as though I’m surrounded by loved ones. I can feel the presence of spirits. I honor them and start to converse as I would with my sister or friend. I ask for the healing of the lake water to wash over me, releasing guilt and making more room for light. I hear the loving response in the wind, as the sun beams down on my face. Ducks fly over my head and I can feel a letting go.

Can I forgive myself? I wait. Do I trust God/Creator right now? Can I feel worthy to receive? I wait. Calm settles over me and I hear the hushed whisper of the mountains and the acceptance of the lake. Is it possible to be connected to all of this beauty and still doubt?

Day 37 with a Shaman

Photo by: Marcela Bolivar

What’s wrong with me? This is the question I’ve asked myself the most this past week. It seems I have ideals of how everything should go. It’s no surprise, I am surrounded with people that like to be in control, pushing my buttons constantly. In the session with my Shaman Teacher, I become aware of deep seated shame. Then, I realize it is the Anniversary of my grandfather’s death and while I remember, she hones in on the guilt. Admittedly, I tell her I still feel guilty of not being there months before he died.

He was like a father to me, when my dad would disappear or forget me at school again. He taught me how to ride a bike, waterski, shoot a 22, float on my back in the pool, and many other useful things. He would drive me two hours to gymnastics, providing delicious snacks and wait patiently for me to finish. He was kind and thoughtful but always forthcoming in his wisdom.

As my teacher asks me to track the guilt, I can see that even in my grief, I feel unworthy. I feel like I don’t have a right to feel sad because I wasn’t there for him for months when he needed me.  Then I realize that I feel unworthy of calling on God/Creator and spirits. I haven’t been perfect.

Do I actually believe this? My teacher assures me that this is a very core belief and that while a big part of me doesn’t buy it, it is still limiting me. It has been passed down from Ancestors and has been held in place for a long time.

It is time to put it in my Sand Painting, to release all the ways guilt has kept me cycling in doubt. I ask the guides for help.  She also told me to write down all the beliefs I have about God/Creator, Guilt, and Love etc. then write yes or no next to each, indicating if I believe this. God is Love, Love is Kind, God will take care of it, I am worthy of God’s love, I am worthy of good, I am enough.  Yeah right. Is that why when I took vows to God, I lost everything? That is a whole other story…

I am surprised to find this lack of trust for the Divine, especially when I have been seeking union with Creator the majority of my life.

Day 35 with a Shaman

Facing the demons

Energy has been tumultuous lately. One minute I’m joyful, then the next crying. It has nothing to do with what is happening in the story of life, I noticed as I began wailing when I realized I’d lost three pounds.  It should have been a celebratory moment and I found myself bawling like a baby. Anger has come in long waves. I made a decision in the midst of anger to face the dark side, while daring it to, “bring it on”! It was the only thing left to do. I was done. I began reading everything racy I could get my hands on, diving more deeply into the rage, deciding to face it without any numbing substances. If I was going to dance with the demons, I wanted to know them well.

However, being extremely empathic, I sensed that absorbing the mindset of the enigmatic allure of the underground scene would be enough. I needed to grasp the compelling nature of it and see the web of magic it could spin. It was full of twisted demons leaving lost souls and perversion in its wake. I ran full speed into every dark patch I could sense inside my body, mind, and energy field. I disappeared into the stories of junkies, prostitutes, shameful homosexuals, rapists, serial killers, and my own creator of sabotage. Looking around, grasping it completely.

Five days later, the end result is…absolute boredom. This two dimensional world no longer has any appeal.  It is empty and flavorless.  Even while experiencing heartbreak and pain, it has no power. Once the heart has expanded, there is more beauty to crave. It is infinitely promising, while the darkness becomes ever more finite. The darkness is only tempting, when we are running from it, running from ourselves, and lending it more power than it actually possesses. When we embrace it, there is more light and darkness ceases to exist. The lie is limited. Truth is Eternal.

 

Part 2

After further reflection, I think I’ve only begun to glimpse the dark side. There is a whole lower realm that is beyond this world, or parallel to it. It is beckoning to me, since I wrote this last post. Perhaps, I only explored the dark side of our everyday realm.  Something beyond that is passionately inviting me to dive deeper…