The time is here. The place is here.
We are the Protectors. If it is not us, who will it be? We must protect our Mother.
And I speak directly to those that have committed their lives to the shamanic path.
Being a hollow bone is not a concept.
It is availing one’s body to the spirits to be used as a vessel for the healing spirits to come through and do their work for the good of others.
It is dedicating one’s life to the continual retransformation, clarity and care of this vessel so that it may be able to be the purest channel possible.
It is through the disciplined training of the mind that we are able to track energetic patterns, distinguish between the past and future, time and place, emotion and atmospheric pressure, to be able to cut through to the truth, and further to be able to release the mechanism of the mind completely and fall into experience, or stasis–whatever may be needed for the work at hand.
It is the earnestness of the effort of the heart opening and reopening, as boundaries shift and become more seasoned, allowing the right light in, the distracting elements out, in order that we may expand in love and not falter in it.
It is the endless, ever-shifting dance of relationship with every aspect of life and the living, from which there is nothing excluded.
It is the passion and joy of communion with the divine, as manifested on every spectrum from the formless, through to the metaphorical spirits, down to the lusciousness of the corporeal divine.
This being a hollow bone is not a world view.
It is a reality, a station and for many, not a choice.
It is an algorithm that continues to unfold the patterns of love in their multi-layered aspects, reflecting the ever changing state of it’s vessel, one that stretches that vessel to it’s very limits, many times beyond them, creating a symphony of open and closure, of birth, growth, clash, renewal, terror and bliss.
It is life itself, and everything that comes with it in unabashed nakedness.
The Raven, she embodies the hollow night.
She sits in the blindness next to you, quiet, yet unspeakably noticed.
She peers into the spaces between your bones, and she sees everything about you. She sees it all, and then she envelops you with great comfort.
A glow escapes her feathers, whose crevices are unable to keep back her infinite soft light, this compassion, this grace, this calm.
Both powers held in her shape
of daunting yawn of night
of complete and quiet acceptance.
You are known here. You are loved here.
In the silence.
Peak Spiritual Experiences are meant to open our minds, our hearts and our bodies to a new way of being. They can be found through shamanic journey, planned ceremony, fire walks, relationship with entheogens, meditation, fasting, exertion.. and sometimes we knocked over by them spontaneously. They are a flash in the pan of what life can be. They turn us inside out. They change us on a molecular level and give us the seeds we need to bring forth more positive realities into our everyday lives.
Once we incorporate these experiences into our personal lives, we become rooted in a new reality filled with more comfort, or compassion, or creativity, or light and love, or simple honest communication and then we are able to reach again and go further. We are reaching, not always up, but sometimes down into the blessed divine of mother earth, or across, as we are able to extend our awareness to include more and more of the world that we live in.
For many of us, finding simple happiness as a baseline is the big trip. For others, finding our way out of our heads and into our hearts is the big trip. And then, expanding our embodied experience of compassion could be the lesson. There are many lessons. It may take many spiritual experiences over many years to incorporate these things, depending upon the amount of shadow in our lives that needs to be dissolved in order for us to interact with the world with clarity.
Unfortunately, many people use these experiences not to grow, but to avoid. When we are in a high level of life pain, our systems become consumed with survival. All we are literally able to focus is on is ourselves. We are blocked from being truly aware of those around. We are alone. And as is the Law of Energy, only alone can we find our way to the root of the pain, to understand it and learn to walk through it to the other side. Only alone do we find connection with the Compassionate Spirits and open ourselves to receive their love. Only alone can come to know ourselves, deep, to the bone. This is the journey we must go on to fulfill our spiritual destiny, if there is such a thing as destiny. It is called the Walk through the Valley of Death. It is the prerequisite to initiation on any serious spiritual path.
But for many, it is too hard, too scary, too shameful to walk the hard road. There is too much fear of what we would see in ourselves or what would need to change in order for us to return to integrity. There is too much pain and shame in our systems, so we run, looking for a way out. We run toward another spiritual peak experience, hoping it will take us away from our pain. We seek peak experience after peak experience, even creating sub-cultural memes around the benefits of such repeated experiences to encourage us to keep running. Underneath it all, we know that the real benefits will never come until we commit ourselves to the hard work it takes to digest and manifest what has already been shown to us in these experiences.
This phenomena is not any different than an addict clinging to the next high and honestly, is not any more fulfilling. Approaching peak spiritual experiences with a consumer attitude degrades the experience to being merely…mind-altering with the chance of something phenomenal happening, rather than being truly transcendent. Mind-altering does not necessarily mean good or even healing, just as “spiritual” does not necessarily mean safe or healing. I just means mind-altering.
This stepping out to avoid everything painful, it creates a form of soul loss and only makes the journey longer and more difficult. It not only removes us from the pain of the past but it also prevents us from being present with ourselves and those we love. In this way, it can actually create more destruction than we have already suffered. It takes away our traction on the road to finding life.
What needs to be present at these spiritual events in order for the experience to be healing is a component of honor between ourselves and the elements/spirits that are assisting us. There needs to be a trust in something greater, a giving over to guidance and a significant energy investment in intention, preparation and giving thanks and offerings. When the experience is over, we must do our homework. We go home, we process, we write, we do further meditations. We are honest with ourselves. We make changes in our lives. If we do not do this homework, we are not getting anywhere. We are dishonoring the gifts that have been given to us in our peak experience. We must take the spiritual insights we have received and manifest them here. Otherwise, what is the point? For some of us, if we repeatedly do not do our homework, we fail to have any more peak experiences because the spirits have nothing new to show us. We are not listening.
The big spiritual experiences are not the path. They are indicators on the path. Rather than using them to step out of ourselves, we need them to grow into ourselves. This is more thorough and complete, and it takes time. Most good things do. The prize we earn through the hard work is that we are able to find a true way out of our old pain. A permanent release and a building of character.
When we do this work, we become greater channels for love and healing. Peak spiritual experiences disorient us by rearranging our energy on many levels at once. Once we become acclimated, being in the presence of the same energies is not disorienting anymore, hence..our experiences are no longer what one might call peak. We turn around in a new role by becoming human channels for loving energy to reach the mundane world around us through our bodies, life’s choices, ways of being, listening skills and kindness.
The spiritual path is not an event. It is life’s walk. It is every step. It is not finding a life without obstacles. It is about learning how to dance with the obstacles. As we incorporate what we have experienced into our personal lives, the infinite small changes in our actions and awareness, like the petals on a lotus, entrance us and we become in love with our carnal existence, our human form, with all the struggles and the times in-between.
The spiritual path is nothing if not about love. We receive and we offer. These two together become a beautiful flow that nourishes self and others. We are here to grow, high and low, deep and wide, in a single point and all encompassing. There are no words. There are no words. There are no words but devotion.
After a soul retrieval, a person can feel elated, buzzing with energy, emotional, having a sense of ‘being in their body’, a shift in physical sensations, a wonderful sense of groundedness. Of coming home. Home to self. It is beautiful beyond words.
Directly after a soul retrieval, a person can also feel nothing at all. Feeling nothing at all means..pretty much nothing. It can take over a month to really feel the settling happen in order to notice any kind of shift. That is what is was like for me after my first soul retrieval. After a month, I realized, holy moly, that hole in me is gone and I am no longer going to need to fill it. I lost a bunch of friends that were not serving me and the direction of my life changed course.
In the time that ensues over the several months, there can be epiphanies, increase in energy, restoration of qualities particular to that person, such as artistic expression, ability to communicate clearly, to be organized, to complete projects, to be filled with a bursting need to sing, to cook, to love.. you name it.
There can also be grieving, if the event that caused the soul loss was never grieved. This is something that people often have fear about before going into a soul retrieval ceremony, but it really isn’t that common. If it does happen, know that the emotions are not about rehashing; they are truly about release. What a blessing to be able to give honor to something that happened by being present enough to honestly grieve it, rather than trying to live around it, pushed down somewhere in our psyche for the rest of our lives. Grieving is not fun, but grieving is beautiful, like a river that cannot be stopped or hurried up. It just is, and it will continue and it will end.
This all takes time. Healing is a process. Soul retrieval can take over a year to fully come into.
Bottom line is, when we are finally returned to our bodies, we are home. We are able to make better decisions in our lives. Soul retrieval can be viewed as the first step of a long journey because now that we are home, we might not like the way the furniture has been arranged or think that there is a bit of cleaning up to do. For instance, a job or living situation may need to end. Boundaries in relationships may shift. Certain dynamics may immediately become unacceptable. There may be an ability to change emotional habits that one has been warring with for years.
There may be a new ability to be more open and loving, now that we know that we cannot be hurt anymore. Because we are finally present to take care of ourselves.
If I am confusing you with the variety of reactions, it is because we are all on our individual path and the event of coming home will be received uniquely for all of us.
There can be a feeling of finally getting traction in life. A newly returned power that is up to us to decided how to shape into the world. This is a glorious, glorious event in life, for some very dramatic, for others, subtle yet sure. Something worth sharing tears of joy over.
There is hunger for ceremony in our communities. The free, open-hearted, accessible and powerful movement of healing energy in a safe and sacred way. This sort of thing is so close to us as human creatures, it must be written in our DNA. We are creative creatures. We love symbology and we love doing things together. ….
A 3-part series about the use of our gift called the ‘shamanic eye’ and how its power is needed to restructure reality.
“In the final section, I will share some creative examples in how to put on affordable community events. We will also look at the challenges and benefits of working as a shamanic practitioner fulltime vs. part-time. Lastly we will explore Sacred Space and Commoditization, the difficulty of getting the word out about our practice while staying in integrity with our work.”
On to the reading of
Neo-Shamanism, Consumerism and Community: Our Place in the Web of Global Healers – Part 3.