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 40 with a Shaman

In a journey to the upper world, I asked for an ally or gift. The ace of spades came back to me. My Shaman Teacher led the journey, while I just traveled. When she told me about the ace, I understood right away.

When I was younger, my family would camp out on the lake every summer.  We would gather around the card table at night and play games. My favorite game was spades. We would play partners and I loved using different strategies to win. No matter what strategy I used, if I had the ace of spades, I knew I would win.  It was the highest card in the game but that didn’t always guarantee a win. However, in my mind it did and it worked.  I would win every time.

The ace of spades was my ally now, which meant no matter what, I would win. It meant that even if the dark side got a few points, I couldn’t lose. It was exactly what I needed to know, on the deepest level, that doubt has no power anymore. It was also a great reminder to not take myself so seriously. I was given the message to follow the signs and this is a big one! As my friend would say, “this is a wink from God.”

Saying Yes

Then, there was another opportunity to follow signs. I was asked to do readings for other people. I have resisted because I am studying with a Shaman and felt like it would be a distraction. I’d stopped actively reading to just focus on Shaman practices. Then, I got the message that there was no distinction, if the intention was to serve and get out of the way. There was also a small part that believed I wasn’t ready. Although I wanted to decline, I was being nudged by spirit.  Since doubt has no power, I decided it was time for a different answer.  After a bit of resistance, I chose to do them. It would be a chance to invite spirit in a different way. Sacred space allowed for clearing and protection, it would just be cards instead of leaves.

I have been pleased with the readings and I’ve gotten surprising feedback. The best part is that I don’t feel like I am doing anything. It is effortless and flows through. It allows a greater sense of trust, which is perfectly timed. Letting go takes many forms but this week it looks like saying yes to serving others.  I’ve also realized that the Shaman practices have resulted in more grounding, which makes for better readings. Thank you to the spirit allies!

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 34 with a Shaman

I have been working on a sand painting for the last three weeks and keep adding objects of intention. I visit it every few days or when I have energy to blow in, but it has become so full of stones and shells! While talking with my Teacher, which happens to be miles away at the moment, she made a comment about how busy my painting was! It was both humorous and awe inspiring.

She is always positive with a delicious flavor of comic relief. This was no exception. I am inspired by the fact that she is able to see my painting from so far away. It is so exciting to have such an example of someone I’d like to emulate, especially when it is my Mentor.

There has been such an internal shift this week and I feel that is definitely time to close this sand painting and open a new one. There is a solidarity deep inside that I have been asking for. I will open a new painting with the intention of diving even deeper and anchoring awareness to walk between the worlds.

I realize that life will throw curve balls but my inner experience can be rock solid. It has been difficult to sustain this with so much stagnant emotional energy in my body. The more it releases, the more opportunity there is for connection with Spirit/Source/One.

 

The Divine is present in everyone, in all beings, in everything.

Like space it is everywhere, all pervading, all powerful, all knowing.

The Divine is the principle of Life, the inner light of consciousness, and

pure bliss. It is our very own Self.

— Amma ♥

Day 33 with a Shaman

In my session today, we tracked the anxiety and worked on a core childhood trauma. The message it had for me was that I needed to break free or I would die. It showed me that the old ways no longer work, i.e. people pleasing and focusing on money. If I continue to make these my priorities, my soul will die. It is dying. The old must be released completely so the new can enter.

My childhood trauma has supported an idea that if I move into the unknown, I will not be supported and even hurt. It has shown me that this world is not safe and that trusting can leave me without a safety net. Therefore, I’ve been holding on to this memory to protect me from the unknown and anxiety has been my security guard.

Each time an opportunity of the unknown presented itself in my life, anxiety would take over. It would cause great suffering and even sabotage. As a loyal security guard, it was merely doing its job. It wasn’t concerned with how much my life was crumbling, as long as it kept me tucked in or stuck in the known. Unfortunately, this included depression, chaos, and pain. These were registered as familiar to the security guard.

As we tracked the anxiety around the heart and allowed it to shift, it turned from a solid to a gas and rose up to the sky. We asked it if it had a message for me. It did. It was that it connected me to Higher Knowledge and all beings. I let that sink in. What I was left with was a feeling of safety, support, invincibility, union, and relief. If I am connected to all beings, including higher beings and knowledge, then I am perpetually safe.

There can be no wrong turns or ultimately unsafe choices. As the gas continued to rise into the heavens, I could feel the presence of the whales. Their wisdom permeated my cells and I felt like I was being enveloped in the womb of creation. I could hear their heart song reverberating in the depths of my soul. I was returning home.

My Teacher told me about her trip up to a Peruvian mountain. She described the angels and light beings that joined her. She said they were reaching out to her from the sky, lending their guidance. She talked about all the support that is surrounding us right now. I got on a very real level that we are so loved. There is an abundance of light waiting to pour in…to show us our way. We are never abandoned or expected to do this on our own.

Day 31 with a Shaman

Photo from: Rolf Hicker Photagraphy

Last night, I dreamed about Orcas Whales. There were about fifty of them swimming past. I was standing on a deck, watching them, as one came right over to the edge. It was a female and she was trying to come closer to me. At first I thought she was a danger but I could sense her loving disposition. As she was slowly opening her mouth and pushing her body onto the deck, she was looking right into my eyes. Her eyes held wisdom and ancient stories I could only grasp at a very deep level.

Eventually she was able to get her fully body out of the water and as her back end reached the dry surface, she changed into a wolf. She came toward me but I became frightened. I asked her to back up and she did. We had a moment of eye contact, as she conveyed her deep respect. Then, she ran past me into a dark alley. I was intending to follow her but was awakened by a car outside my window, which was disappointing. I hope to meet her again…perhaps tonight. I am open to any teaching/healing that the whale and wolf have for me at this time.

My intention is to enter a lucid dreaming state, as I drift into sleep. I will keep you posted!

I welcome any comments about your interpretation of this dream. It is so exciting to hear wisdom from others, throughout this amazing  journey.