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.



Shamanic Retreat

The first day of our Shamanic weekend retreat started with opening sacred space. Then, we started a fire and put our intentions into the fire. We did this by blowing the intention into the stick. After putting our sticks in, we allowed the fire to feed us with its power. My intention was to purify my spirit and let go of any old resentments around mother and father. The retreat was about embracing the divine father and mother. I was jumping in to the deep end but I was ready!

As we took our seats around the fire, our teacher lead us in a chakra clearing meditation. It started at our root and ended with the crown. It was a simple and essential practice. I could feel heavy energy leaving each chakra, resulting in greater balance and joy. We visualized a tail moving out of the base of our spine, leading to an aquifer deep inside the Earths womb. It was a place to release any heavy or unspent energy in our centers. It could easily move down and be recycled by Pachamama/ Mother Earth. I literally felt years of stress pouring out of my body.

Finally, we received a Bands of Power Rite. The Bands of Power are an energetic protection woven into your Energy Field , the energetic body that surrounds your physical body.  These bands help transform negative energy into one of the 5 elements so that you are protected and centered in yourself. I had received the bands previously but the ceremony strengthened their power.

When she got to the band around my head, she grabbed a stone that had been activated at a sacred temple in Peru (I did not know this at the time), and placed it on my third eye. I had to catch my balance as I felt like she had pushed me back. It was so strong; I had to shift my body like I was suddenly on an incline. Then, very suddenly, I felt myself falling backward into an endless void. It was swallowing me but it was not threatening. It felt like something was setting me free. It was hard to determine how much time had passed. It could have been several lifetimes or seconds. I heard the teacher’s voice in the distance beckoning me to return. I did but I was not the same…


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 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 25 with a Shaman

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It has been a few days since my last session, but everyday has been abundant with gifts. I am currently focused on releasing judgments. They are all coming to the forefront for review. It was been one test after another but the main message forgiveness.

The same message is coming to me from many different sources; tarot, astrology, strangers, friends, the news, books, movies etc… it is obvious.  It says to focus on compassion, forgiveness, and the love inside everyone. It is not so easy when my feelings are being hurt by others. My old pattern was to make them wrong and justify being right.

It comes down to making different choices in the midst of old scenarios.  It leaves me feeling raw and strong at once. When I open to this, there is a strength that is impenetrable. It exists as the foundation of all that is real. Yet, on the surface it appears weak. It goes against our societal programming.

While journeying to the Upper World today, I was guided to a chair. It was one of ten in a circle, a council of sorts. They were all gathered, waiting for me. I started receiving messages from them. They were saying to remember them as I walk the Earth, to remember my place, and my purpose of being. They stressed the importance of focusing on the likeness/Oneness in everyone. They stated that this was the key to my purpose right now. They said that when I focused on being different, I reminded others of suffering and there is no time for that.

Then, they passed a golden cord around, until everyone had a piece on their lap. Simultaneously, we raised the golden rope above our heads and it turned to liquid gold and formed a sphere around us. As it enclosed us, we shifted from ten bodies into one. I realized we were not the only ones in the sphere as it shrunk to the size of my hand. Next thing I know, they were handing me a box with the sphere inside, to bring back with me. It was part of me and an essential reminder. It would keep me from losing myself in the density.

I asked if I could go to the hall of records, and immediately stood at the entrance. I walked over to the book with my name on it. It opened to a page but I couldn’t read it. I put my right hand on one page and the words became a small flame. Opening the palms of both my hands, I watched the flames licking the air. They were extensions of my hands and my body was absorbing the knowledge they offered. They disappeared and I closed my hands.

Next, I asked if I could go to the book of all records. I was taken to it, but could not open it. I was told that I was not ready. I understood. As I returned from my journey, I realized there is nothing to do.


Day 23 with a Shaman

Last night I had a fire ceremony to release judgments toward myself and others. I opened sacred space and set my intention to deeply connect with Great Spirit. The fire blazed when I tuned in to fire spirits and not until. It seemed as though they were waiting for me to fully embrace their gift of fire. It inspired awe when I sank beneath the surface of my habitual thoughts. It became more than just a fire; it became a sacred realm full of possibilities.

The air became charged with indescribable electricity. The wind was more than happy to join in and the fire swirled with passion ignited from the origins of my soul. I wrote my judgments out on paper and put them in the fire. The fire was not quick to consume them. I had to come to a place inside to really be ready to let go, and I felt the spirits inviting me. I breathed deeply and finally declared my willingness; the fire accepted my offering and turned it to black smoke.

I closed the circle with the hopes that I would not be tormented by any torturous thoughts, at least for the remainder of the evening. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

I was tested immediately and in the most uncomfortable way. My partner voiced his strong opinion about a few imperfections on my body, claiming that they bothered him. He went on the say; he would help me take care of fixing them. I could have seen it as a test, but I reacted instead. I felt hurt, betrayed and devastated. I cried for quite a while…then heard a soft voice suggesting I ask for help. I decided to listen. I have been working the Eagle/ Condor for a wider perspective, so I called for help. I began letting my awareness go into the Eagle. It created a space between my emotions and the stillness inside.

I then got the message to ask the Owl for guidance in healing these perceived flaws. I asked and listened intently as I heard the name of two herbs. I breathed a deep sigh, relaxed and fell asleep.