Time in the Lady’s Cauldron

Posted in Healing, Shadow, Transformation on February 21, 2016 by Tasara

The orchid will bloom in her own time.

The dirt will lie, perfect patient receiver of the rotting life. It will change slowly as pungent passes and chaos reorganizes into readiness.

Then she will lie down too and listen as everything passes by her. She will dream her dreams and sort through all the possibilities of what to be. She will listen and listen until she remembers and then she will yearn with all of her might, her yearning the only power within her purview. Her yearning can only be truly answered by that which makes orchids, so any wrong turn, any receiving of haphazard medicine will shape her asunder.

whiteorchid

photo credit:  thank you Hans Partes

So, patience, patience.

She yearns, her little mind filled with orchid visions and of the sun kissing her buds.

One day, in delight, she realizes that her yearning has burst her shell and she has become a seedling, thrumming with tender excitement. She dawns in her stretching and she ever reaches. Her intoxicated wonder bursts forth with her bloom and then dances a wild interplay with her new world, filled in the diversity of the cosmos. She receives and receives, sure of her vision under the nurturing great forces of moon, sun, water and wind.

Be an orchid my friends, bide time. We cannot stay forever in the cauldron, but we cannot leave until the Goddess opens the way, lest we run our dreams back into darkness. As decomposition turns to fertility, as the path is etched in dreamtime, each step is a long passage, each a juicy time of medicine to be schooled by and digested.

Our yearning is synchronistic faith and singular force of creation together. The nature of yearning is to birth, to co-create with the Gods. Hold this, my ones. Nothing is more important than the clear, unprecedented arrival of your bloom.

Blessed Be.

by Tasara

The Hag

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2016 by Tasara

When the hag invites you to tea, beware, because she is going to eat you for dinner. You will go down to her cave beneath the oldest oak tree and hang your hat on her door. It will start off nice, but everything you thought you wanted or needed will be stripped away with her look from across the table. Her gaze will stop time, it will, as the blood rushes from your veins.

She will say without saying it, “I have seen you and I see you, bones.”

and if you quake she will not care.

“Truth is truth”, she says. “It is what is.”

You will not be able to charm her. You will not be foolish enough to lie to her. As she mixes the tea, her frozen look will whisper to you without speaking,

“I have been hurt more than I could ever be. I have lost it all to the very last, my children, my pride, my plans and my hide. I am alone and no one can touch me now, because I want nothing. In wanting nothing, there are no ears for illusion’s siren songs. And having lost all of this, I have lost my own fear.

You will look back at her, and drown in your foibles. And she will watch you in your drowning.

If you survive yourself over tea, then she will dance for you, her wretched dance of pain and broken clattering. Will you withstand, as her body shakes in terrible jerks, a show, a vessel of power for a raging volcano? Her eyes host lightening bolts and her frame surges. With every gesture, she has become matter of fact, and in that rawness, her sex will have awakened without her knowing it – because it has become something else. Something not found in moving pictures and magazines. It has become something normal and personal. In her rawness, her scorched throat will have been quenched, and the air will feel authentic.

And after she has cooled, if you can sit with the rock in her heart and look back her gaze with love of your own, then you will be laughing at the night and she will laugh with you as the moon blisters bright and the owl howls at the river.

Haglight.jpg
When Spring comes, the hag will go outside and fall into the earth as the Sun begins to warm her. She will lie there, rotting, waiting to die, wishing to die. She will even leave her body a ways but then she will be driven home, because in her belly will be new life and she will be drawn to it’s light. She will rock and hold herself. She will hide her baby as long as she can. But the Winter will be over and she’ll be drawn to rise, uncontrollably, to surrender herself once more to the labor of love, a love everlasting and relentless.

by Tasara

Oligarchy Spell Revealed! The Imposition of Images and the Internalization of Black Magic

Posted in Shadow, Spiritual Sociology on January 9, 2016 by Tasara

There is an insidious black magic woven into the customs of our current ‘civilized’ societies. Its source is greed and its result is loss – loss of self, of values and in every interpretation of the phrase, loss of life. It has a specific mechanism of which we are all familiar with. It is in plain sight, the best place for something lethal to hide; our acclimation and apathy fuels its seat as it digs in deeper the longer it remains a function of our everyday lives.

trapped

It started with the road-side hucksters, the common jesters (not the bards) and the politicians. As the tools to proliferate communication developed over history, this very simple technique of manipulation became the staple of every marketing campaign across the world. People go to school to learn how to form these spells. They do school projects and take exams in how to manipulate your emotions, so it’s important to know what’s being targeted at you.

This is how it works:

Phase One. In order to make someone vulnerable, one must make that person lower their guard, so the best way to do that is to entrance them. To get them ungrounded and a bit drifted away from their center so that they are more impressionable. More open to suggestion. More open to believing something that just isn’t true. Here comes the glamor spell. It is a sexy body. It is a cooing baby. It is a cool glass of water, a day in the mountains. All of these things are meant to invoke emotion and open our field. We might even feel emotions like disgust, shame, self-hatred or sorrow. Maybe it is the adrenaline rush of extreme violence. We all know that the more acclimated to violence we are, the more severe it has to be in order to affect us. We understand this, and think that this understanding protects us.

In any case, once we are in that state, feeling that emotion, phase Two is put into play.

Phase Two is creating a link or an anchor between your strong emotion and whatever it is that the creator of this spell – this curse – wants to lodge deep into your psyche. If you are feeling a positive emotion, then their product or idea will be presented as a path for you to get to that emotion in the future. If you are feeling a difficult emotion, then their idea or product is presented as a way to escape that feeling, – that was just invoked in you, an emotion based on a situation that usually was not even based in real life.

Often, all that is inserted, deep into your psyche is a logo. This is called branding. Once the anchor is made, all the company has to do is to present the logo in order for that emotion to be re-invoked.

Think about it. iPhone or Android? Mac or PC? How do those two words feel inside of you? Are your reasons based in any truth? Aren’t both companies engaged in destroying the planet?

Whatever the image, it becomes a handle that can be pulled at a future time. It can be as simple as that, or it can be the building block of a more complicated language that is all rooted and hooked deep in different parts of your psyche.

The machine of incessant images has been able to create value systems that even if we know that we do not subscribe to, we are pulled into and shamed by. Only skinny can be beautiful. The only kind of wealth that has any value is of money. Young is people. Only white people really exist. By refraining from showing images of normal lives and only showing images of imaginary life, everyone starts to lean towards trying to live imaginary lives. We have become puppets.

At this point, Phase Three, all that is needed in order to portray a whole lot of messages without even having to say them, is to present a recycled archetype that was created by this system long ago.

spiritual ads

Phase Three. The internalization and eventual regurgitation of the entire process. This is where, without prompting or further brain-washing, people take it upon themselves to continue the patterns of entrancing in order to fill their own personal and small business needs. It’s a dog eat dog world. Everyone else is doing it, so I must too.

The destructive virus of thought-form creation is even in our alternative, progressive subcultures. Subcultures that aren’t run by corporations, that don’t have to be that way, that are supposed to run on a different set of values. Unfortunately, until people are able to root out their internalized mechanisms, they will still be trying to fit in, to be ‘someone’, to climb a ladder when we don’t believe in ladders, to give preference to those with shallow, sparkly qualities that are not nourishing to anyone, to glamor others in order to ‘survive’. Who gets most of the attention? Who is collecting the money? Who is given promotion into the ‘cool’ positions? It’s exactly the same game as in mainstream culture. The images are not the same; they are a little bit different. But they are the same.

We have all seen spiritual teachers, yoga teachers, public speakers trying to enamor people to want to take their classes, who use their sexual energy to draw people in. We have seen dogma manufactured that is designed to make us wonder, to make us look outside ourselves for happiness and fundamentally doesn’t really make a lot of sense. But it still gets repeated over and over, because it serves those who want you to think of them as your source of wisdom and revelation.

There is a big difference between commercial advertising and someone beaming in their authentic, unique light, sharing their medicine so others can find theirs. We have all had enough of people casting glossy projections of themselves in order to hook people into wanting to be like them, but we allow it to continue. We allow it by giving these people our energy. Many of us actually want to be taken on a ride because it’s much more like eating a chocolate chip sundae than doing the work within. This is the where the loss comes in. We give our precious, divine energy, time, money to forces, companies and people who do not have our best interest in mind and actually are willing to go to psychological warfare to get what they want. It pulls us more and more outside of ourselves. It can pull and pull until we don’t know what happened or who we are anymore.

This, my friends, is addiction.

Phase Four, the most lethal phase, is when both the source and the receiver of the black spell becomes ourselves. We mentally impose pictures over our own experiences, comparing them to illusory images we have seen in the outside world and then we give our experience a grade. Am I having fun? I am attractive? Did I do that like the guy on the show I liked? Would they think I was crazy? Does this mean that I am getting closer to the life that I have been shown? Am I doing this right?

We think that we should be happy – all the time. Not just content or at peace with the wide spectrum of life, but blissful. If we are not the kind of happy we think we should be, we impose images on ourselves in order to invoke the emotion we want. Then we run to a product or we put music on to drown out our true feelings. Or we create flowery dogmatic language to describe our reality in a way that makes it more epic-like. But nobody lives an epic, not like in the movies. Actually, the epics which are our true lives are far more interesting and fruitful, it’s too bad Hollywood wouldn’t just get a clue on that. How about a show around the inner workings of a blue collar town where all the characters are at work or running to get their kids or at the grocery store?

Repercussions

We all know this stuff but do we really think about it enough? As children, we naturally modeled ourselves to those around us. We had no scope of the world and human behavior. We were trying out ways of being. Many of us had very mixed up big people around us to show us what love was supposed to be. But we were trusting of those big people. We didn’t know any better. The thing is, if we never got a chance or a challenge to figure out for ourselves what is right for us, what our values are, we are still susceptible to outside forces to tell us how to think.

Because the media has become our parents and the strong comfort of reliable friendships is not presented to us anymore, we meet someone we like and wonder if they are going to be the one to take us away from our lives to an permanent castle of love bliss. We look around the world and we see the downcast, the millions of people who are not rich or skinny and we blot them out in our minds. This goes for people of color as well. If they don’t exist in fantasy land, we don’t want to engage with them in the real world.

american_consumer
[art by Aeryn Davies]

 This is called marginalization.

The revolutionary battleground in countries like ours is not out in the streets. Oh no, we are a “free country”. We would see no need for that. Besides, we have become so apathetic that we would not know where to begin or who to target, since the incessant mental attacks comes from every corner in current times. Every corner.

We owe this to ourselves. We have to stop thinking that the world of adults is full of grownups and strive to be one. If we don’t extricate ourselves from this twisted, sticky web, no one will do it for us. We can’t withdraw from this black magic without withdrawing from its loudest sources. We have to stop looking around the corner hoping something better is coming around. We have to commit, to ourselves and the life of authenticity, which is the only life that can bring true satisfaction.

Even so, we could invest great amounts of time and money in therapy finding ourselves, but the moment we are strong and ready to rejoin the world, we will find that the world has not changed. Yet. The barrage of mis-messages will still be there, challenging our true values without cease. No one can withstand that without significant spiritual support and clear boundaries around what goes in their cauldron. So we need each other. We can’t do it alone, even for ourselves. We can’t shut down entirely. We are social creatures and we are part of this world. Metaphysically, isolation leads to death, but in this world, overexposure is another kind of death? Managing this, navigating this is our puzzle.

First step, is to clean house and get to know our values.

gundestrup-cauldron.jpg

Our Sacred Cauldron is our inner vessel. It is our bodies, our minds, our very souls. What we choose to expose ourselves to, is how we take care of this vessel, this tabernacle. This means media, food, people, music, communities. We choose what is good for us. We have to stop trying to live other people’s lives or fantasy lives and live our own.

We need to get away from the swarm of messages, get off the high speed train, the Ferris wheel, the pheromone ride, the puppet dance – and stop running around, slow the fuck down and be more present with the people that we call our friends. We need remember to listen within and without and let arise that which is singing underneath the debris of catastrophic psychological and spiritual warfare. This song is a pure song, we know, because it arises by itself with no prompting. We need to trust that life is inherently resilient and that the fresh inspiration that comes from a real sunrise or the gait of a heron -not the photoshopped pictures of them that we place in front of them – will always be real. These are the types of things that cannot be changed or marketed.

Life is something to behold, not to manufacture. The images between ourselves and our lives can be eradicated, first by disassociating from their sources, then by nourishing that which is nourishing and real to us. If you don’t know what is nourishing to you, be excited, be still. Your body will tell you when you find yourself trying something new and relaxing into joy. Maybe some of you will find joy.

There is so much to learn about nourishing the good in life, about holding space for all parts of the cycles of life, death, sorrow, the delicious mundane and joy in our lives. For now, hopefully there has been enough said here for you to be able to understand and take apart a powerful mechanism which binds so many of us.

Knowledge and discernment is power. Real power.

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by Tasara

Mapping

Posted in Healing, Shadow on December 19, 2015 by Tasara

Scars mark the way to future conflict.
Their beauty still me

as I bend to scoop
cold water
on my face.

There I am.

I would not recognize myself
without them
for want of a compress,

begging,

soothe my presence.

(late 90’s)

—————————————-

I caste out a spider web and it sticks to their faces. It sinks in, penetrating their soul until I can see every pattern inside them. I draw from the pattern.

“Is this the way? Is this the way?”

I bring the pattern unto myself and try to fit into it’s shapes, to see if I will feel better.

“Is this the way? Is this the way?”

spiderweb

It is not the way. But I am so lonely. So I dip into my spider bucket and I try again. Again and again, onto the same person or different persons. Persons who look happy. Persons who look loved.

There is nothing left in my spider bucket and my imprints are jumbled and cross-sectioned inside of me, telling me what to do in so many ways that I do not know myself anymore.

“Is this the way?” “Is this the way?”

I am less lonely, because of all the voices. But I am less happy. And now I must be away in order to untangle the mess.

What is my pattern? What is my pattern? Does it run through me freely? Is it made of ideas or is it the song of my own soul?

The spirits sing. The spirits shout towards me. They say do not waste your precious life being anyone but yourself! Do not waste your precious, precious time..not exploding into the rapture of your precious, precious self, a song that no one can ever or will ever be able to sing but you. If you don’t, we will miss it. You will miss it. You must share yourself with the world. You must find the flower and care for it like it is your very own. Because it is the one thing that is.

I put on my mask, poured hot from the kiln and pounded into a shape only I can describe. The marionette strings are high, up into the world where no one can reach them. I dance, and it is not my dance. It is the dance of a jester, one who calculates how one will be received. I am happy. I am received and well, my brooches are colorful and dancing.

But my heart is deep within and my heart is hidden from all of you. For you are the enemy. My wiles and my smiles are meant to weave other webs, the kind I can sleep in and dream lullabyes sung to me by made up sweetness. But it’ll do. It’ll do fine as I do not ask much of anyone besides their praise. My heart is closed in a way that even I do not know it.

If I ever want to find true love I will have to get alone. Cut the marionette strings, consider the mask of power and lie still while my heart beats quietly.

“Is this the way? “ “Is this the way?”

My little heart speaks to me in syllables unspeakable. The spirits are silent, waiting to hear me stir in the darkness, to come clean with my own blade of reason, to feel the truth inside me.

Years pass and I am still lying on the dark earthen floor. I am taking in the butterflies. I am considering my past. I am looking at the edges of things, where they were not serving me before and will not again if I continue forward. I am watching great forces move across the horizon. I do not want to make a move, for I have not changed. I do not know who I am.

There is nothing. There is nothing and there is nothing. Once again, I am nothing. There is no master pattern to map and there is no self to hold onto. I am a vessel. There is nothing but movement and change. There is no expression but song. The kind of song that burst forth unprepared for with no warning. I am a song and I have lost my way.

But there is no way and stillness, eventually, only leads to death.

song

by Tasara

——————————————–

“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road– Only wakes upon the sea.

Caminante, son tus huellas el camino, y nada más; caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar. Al andar se hace camino, y al volver la vista atrás se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar. Caminante, no hay camino, sino estelas en la mar.”
Antonio Machado, Campos de Castilla

The Fox Awaits

Posted in Poetry on October 15, 2015 by Tasara

zao-fox-village-japan-26http://en.japantravel.com/view/zao-fox-village

She has those glimmery eyes, you know. We are all acquainted with her glimmery eyes, those mysterious glints come through the many windows that she steps through.

She shifts and we lose her, but we know she is still there. We know from the feel, prickling on our skin. We know from the whispers sifting through our spindle.

She moves and we don’t notice, for she is sly. She comes when she wants to and and where she goes, we do not know. She is free. She passes through the most impossible of barriers. She walks right through, bringing us with only a touch, a lick on the cheek, a nip on the shoulder.

Come to me, my fox. Bring me into your mysteries. Bring me out of this into that. Sift through the mysteries and lead me to void. Lead me to rabbits, to chickens, to grapes hanging so sweetly right out of reach. Let me watch your leap. I feel your pelt brush against my skin as we pass, we pass through, into the oblivion of sense which makes sense in the multiple perspective of scents and gobbling.

It’s Not Your Fault. | We Are All One, in this together.

Posted in Healing on August 11, 2015 by Tasara

Most of us have had trauma. Perhaps you grew up in an abusive family. Perhaps you suffer from depression. Perhaps you’ve a long, long string of dysfunctional relationships. Maybe you drink too much or use marijuana to blanket your true feelings of confusion and despair. Maybe you feel like taking yourself out sometimes. I am beaming out the love of the lioness and I want you to know, it’s not your fault.

helpDon’t let the new-whatever-it-is spiritual movement tell you that you chose this existence. Or that all you need to do is think positive and your life will turn around. Or that only you can heal yourself. Geesh. This is worse than Catholic guilt! Your life is hard enough without putting all that on you as well. Why in the heck do so many cultures have shamans if everyone is supposed to heal themselves?

I’m not saying that you are no longer expected to be responsible for your actions in the present day. Or that your choices have not created the situations you are in right now. Of course there are lessons to learn. That is life. Every life has wisdom being reflected back in our every experience. I’d just like to explain some things to you from a shamanic viewpoint about how our spiritual lineage can affect our mental health as well as our living situation.

We are all connected. Everyone is saying it these days, and it’s exactly true. That means that we are connected to our parents’ wounds and their parents’ mistakes. We are connected to generations of ill behaviors that came before us, the things that wounded humans do when they are in despair: by throwing their rage around, by hurting the ones they love the most. Killing and maiming. Those with the know-how that threw curses. A lot of times, the wounds suffered get passed down with unintentional curses, like “You will always ___.” “You are such a ____.” “You will never ____”” These energetic ley lines of pain, these curses have power that is far greater than ourselves. Most of us do not have the physical/spiritual capacity to undo them on our own. It’s too big. Yes, we are all our own personal gurus, but gurus-in-the-making. Having potential and living potential are not the same thing. Most of us don’t have the time to get to guru status in order to start living our lives clear of chaos before we die.

Shamanic illnesses are pretty common. This is because we live in a culture that does not believe in shamanism, so people don’t get help right when they need it and everything builds up. We also throw energy around like nobody’s business in ways that people in shamanic cultures know way better not to.

Yes, absolutely, it is our responsibility to do our own personal work and break the patterns that bind us, but for the big stuff we usually need help getting started. That is part of learning to be open and receive. Half of the love equation we are all looking for is receiving. We can go to a healer, who, honestly, probably doesn’t have the physical/spiritual capacity do to take on those great powers either, but they do have long-standing relationships with most honorable compassionate spirits that do. Or know how to unravel the situation with pure love, instead of a feat of wonder. Shamanic healers know that there are all kinds of forces and spirits out there that are vastly more powerful than we are. Healing is about skill, love and sometimes convincing and trickiness. Discernment, not typically raw power.

There is the condition of soul loss. It is possible to be in therapy for 20 years, working, working, working but never getting anywhere because well, we just aren’t home in order to do the work. We’ve been disassociated most of our lives, to the point where, though we may hear the phrase all the time, we have no idea what it means to “be in our bodies”. It’s pretty normal to jump out of your body when something awful happens, like a car accident, trauma, rape, abuse, long-standing oppressive environments. Who would want to be home to experience that? The hard part is coming back home. It doesn’t always happen by itself. Sometimes the soul part is just, gone. Sometimes we latch onto outside stimuli and people trying to fill the hole that was left behind or we are afraid to make changes in our lives that would make our bodies a more hospitable place for our precious, delicate souls. Sometimes the soul part has been stolen by someone who doesn’t know how to let us go.

When there is a big hole inside of us, this can turn out to be a nice home for other souls that have nowhere to go. Souls of the dead who didn’t know they died and didn’t get to cross over. Someone whose mother wouldn’t release her after she died. Someone with unfinished business who missed the window. These people can be confused, in despair or angry but always, they are hungry. They drift right in and all of a sudden we have a rider. Someone who needs to be in our body in order to get energy. This is possession. We might hear voices or thoughts in our heads, feel desires and passions we never had before. We might not realize that we are not fighting ourselves. Instead, we have some desperate company that needs help.

So we go to a healer, who can help this soul get in touch with the divine psycho-pomp beings and cross  into the light. These wonderful people can do the soul retrieval journey and bring the soul part back. Being home, we finally have traction in our lives. We can deal with things. We feel restored in personal power and our lives are no longer like movies we watch from a distance.

Why can’t do this ourselves? Why can’t we heal ourselves all the time?

Have you ever tried to make breakfast while talking on the phone with a drama going on in the living room and the dog just knocked a vase off the table with his tail? There’s too much to focus on. The healer has to be super, super grounded and in touch with her spirits, listening to them while taking cues from the forces that need help. The client needs to be very trusting and open, not working, receiving and tracking how this healing is shifting things inside herself. Plus there is this super special elixir that makes every healing session power-packed and exponentially increased in effectiveness called love. Love again! One person caring for another person. This kind of stuff gets the spirits really excited and they come in even stronger. There is something sacred about the power of witnessing, which is a lot of what a healer does. The spirits can’t do the work they do a lot of times without a witness and a conduit to the client. Having a healer/witness who has traveled the lonely roads of healing before us is a very assuring thing. This is for sure.

What is healing anyways? Is it the awareness that keeps you moving forward? Is it the moment that the wound is stitched? Is it the integration afterwards? Is it all of of this? Who does the healing, is the question of the age and it seems so very important to some to figure out who gets the credit. But no one gets the credit, because healing is an inter-relational process, because we are all connected. We don’t create our realities; we co-create them. And when we walk down to the river of healing, there’s lots of people there to show us the way and support us. Some of them have vision, some of them know the ropes and some others are gifted in procedures that are kind of tricky, like surgery. Why would you do your own surgery? Wouldn’t you rather just lie on the table?

If you have felt like you have been going from crisis to crisis for too long, it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault that you never had any role models for what love is, have no idea how to be sure that the people you hang out with are good for you and keep attracting the same situations again and again. It’s ok. You are ok. You are so loved. How are you supposed to know how to get what you want if you don’t even know what love is supposed to feel like? That’s why people get into programs, go to help groups, see therapy.. to get outside input to break up the same old patterns. What is fault anyways? A hammer from which to hit oneself.

In the spirit world, there is no shame or blame, only cause and effect. The spirits are always willing to show us what we did or didn’t do, but it is us that makes it worse with the unnecessary blaming. Your beautiful journey, hard as it is, is filled with messages to guide you, filled with wonder and wisdom that only you can see and hear. It’s your journey and every part of it is yours. You don’t have to stay in the same pain any longer. Maybe there’s more pain ahead, the pain of growing. Or maybe release is right around the corner. Whatever it is, it will be moving forward. What a profound thing, to forgive oneself and reach out for help.

by Tasara

The vast majority of shamanic cultures do NOT USE hallucinogens!!

Posted in Guides on August 1, 2015 by Tasara

The vast majority of shamanic cultures do NOT USE hallucinogens!! Get over the current hype and learn the facts. Sonic driving is what brings us outside of time and into the the worlds of the spirits. Partaking in entheogens can interfere with shamanic practices because the spirit of the plant is too strong and can interfere with a clear experience navigated with a myriad of other helping spirits.. shamanism with entheogens is an entirely different technique that bring on information in an entirely different way.

what people see (0;00;26;10)

Michael Harner is a world renowned cultural anthropologist who specializes in shamanism and has done his homework. He did start out with ayahuasca but quickly discovered that the drum, which other anthropologists thought was merely an accoutrement, is actually the main tool of the shaman. Or rattle. Or click sticks. Or bow. Gongs.

About entheogens and shamanism:
“From a shamanic point of view, the spirits of such plants not only have power, but they also have their own personalities and messages, which impinge significantly on the nature of the experience. Auditory drumming in many ways does not carry such influences.”

“… a Russian ethnographer who had spent 28 seasons of fieldwork in Siberia, told me that the real Siberian shamans normally employed only the drum to change their state of consciousness, rather than the psychoactive Amanita muscaria mushroom. The mushroom, Simchenko reported, was mainly used by nonshamans who have been unable to journey successfully with the drum alone. Also, he told me it is usually difficult to maintain the discipline necessary for the shamanic work when the Amanita spirit takes over the body.”

both quotes from Michael Harner’s latest book: Cave and Cosmos

This is the same man who wrote Hallucinogens and Shamanism, (a tract of very dry anthropological accounts.. ).He is well versed in the cultures that do use entheogens as well.

So please, please do not equate shamanism with hallucinogens. It is just not true. Being a shamanic practitioner requires years of training, self-transformation, difficult shadow work, empathic and empathetic skills when working with clients and fore-mostly, deep and long-standing relationships with specific (not general) spirits that help the shaman retrieve healing for others.

And some personal notes, the longer one practices, the more sensitive one’s system becomes, so yeah, I have had quite a few unfortunate hallucinatory experiences where I get pushed into places where I am in fear for my life or my sanity or my spirits can’t reach me or the spirit of the plant won’t leave me alone to do my work. Plant spirits are middle worlds spirits. They have a personality and a WAY, an energetic signature which DOES something. They are not in the class of entirely compassionate upper/lower world spirits that most of us prefer to work with. Yes, they will always “bring stuff up” and often there is a big mess to clean up afterwards but it does not always happen in the most compassionate or healing way. Do I need to cry for 12 hours? Or am I just being retraumatized? Do I need to feel insane to find healing?

Sonic driving is pure power, clean and clear. I have taken part in many, many shamanic ceremonies that kicked my ass and sent me to process my shit for months afterwards. I’ve channeled the divine so strongly that it took me a week to physically recover. This is no small beans over here, with the drum.

It is also potentially dangerous taking such substances in unprotected environments. I regularly have clients (and so do my colleagues) who are people who need extraction healing, depossession or soul retrieval after such experiences. This because when your field is entirely open and you are traveling outside your body, it leaves a space for other spirits to come in. It is no light thing to do, so please, please, do not engage in such practices out of sheer peer pressure because it is what ‘everyone is doing’. “Everyone” is not speaking about their true experiences..only the bliss ones. There are many kinds of personality types and some of them are emotionally/psychically closed down that they are pretty safe using psychoactive substances. Because try as they may, they are just not going to leave their body. But for those of us who are super empathic and open, it is an entirely different ball park.

On a happy note, there are some underground facilitators of hallucinogen experiences who are trained in helping your process in the moment. This can be quite valuable for those under such careful care. But this is not shamanism. Shamanism is the practice of going into an altered state with a clear intention to visit one’s spirit friends for the purpose of bringing back healing/insight for the good of one’s community.

Shamanism is not something you ‘get into’. It is a way of life. It is a world view. It is who some of us are.

by Tasara
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Please see this very relevant video: Michael Harner on Sonic Driving vs. Entheogens

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