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.

 

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 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 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?

Day 12 with a Shaman

Am I dreaming or am I awake? If I am dreaming, what do I want to do?

For years, mornings have been difficult for me because I fly free in my dreams. It is hard to instantly feel the limitation of my physical body when I awaken. I have had the trapped feeling of having no choice but to follow the rules of man. I would sleep a lot just to have the freedom that I yearned for. Then, I began experimenting with lucid dreaming.

On the occasion when I realized I was in a dream, I could play and create all I wanted. It was divine play and incredibly fulfilling. Then, I would come back to waking state with a dark dread. It made my life seemingly unbearable at times. Now, with the help of this practice, I am realizing I can more consciously play that way in the waking state. I don’t mean law of attraction as much as bringing fantasy into this realm. Now, that sounds exciting! Some might say unrealistic, head in the clouds…I call it finally being really alive! This is what I’ve yearned for!

When people have told me to live the life I’ve imagined, I’ve wondered if they even knew what they were asking. I didn’t see a world big enough for my fantastical visions. The dream car, house, and American dream were not enough. I wanted to play with the Gods/Goddesses, Angels, Animal spirits and all the things you couldn’t see. Even though they were out of sight, they were still very much alive.

I can make choices about my life according to creation itself. I can paint the canvas a thousand shades of green with a vibrant purple splashed across. With the most profound passion, I can live boldly and sing the song of my soul to ignite the fire of Earth. This can be my choice.

If I’m dreaming, where are the limits? Who decides boundaries? Do they even exist? When we realize we are dreaming what can actually stop us?

Day 1 with a Shaman

I’m mentoring with a Shaman and I’m stepping out in to the unknown.  I will share my process as it unfolds…Today is my first day of working with the Serpent Spirit to help me shed my past hurts and core issues.  I will nurture this relationship for two months, and will be learning to use the Earth elements as allies for healing.

The main core issue that became known to me was the belief, ‘ I’m not enough ‘. This issue seems to come up throughout my day, reflected back to me by almost everyone. It shows me in mistakes I make at work or stumbling over my words.  My relationship seems to be the biggest reflection of it, as I become like an absent minded child. When I’m not taking myself so seriously, it is actually hilarious.

I am excited and nervous. I feel like a part of my self is going to emerge…one that has been dormant for a long time. It is a whispered longing that is being answered by just saying yes to this. At the same time, I am acutely aware that other parts will wither and cease to exist. Two days before I agreed to do this, I felt an awakening on a cellular level.  It was familiar and foreign at once.  Today has been a day of deja vu and delicious remembering…