Monthly Archives: June 2011

Life as a Vision Quest

One of my dear clients has been struggling with unexpectedly disturbingly intense, extended morning sickness.  My spirits showed me during a session with her that she is on a vision quest. Not being familiar with vision quest, she emailed me for more details about the purpose of vision quest, and how this might be related to what she is experiencing right now. This blog entry is my response to her questions.

In the tradition of the extended Lakota family I am part of, the vision quest is done for several reasons. And has some traditional history.

In the traditional history as I know it, the  ceremony was such that  the person would be sent off to be closer to Spirit and to receive a vision for solving some kind of issue—sometimes it was for the people. Sometimes it was for themselves personally. (Did you ever see the movie Billy Jack? He went on a vision quest.) Jesus went on a vision quest wandering in the desert. The aboriginals in Australia do walk-abouts, the truest walk-about is a moving vision quest.

In my Lakota family, people do a vision quest for that same reason. They go on the hill to receive information to address some need. As a way of preparing for the sundance ceremony, the dancers will go on the hill to receive information about their upcoming dance. My teacher Jan went on the hill (she is part of this family) to expand her capacity to teach and heal. She brought back an amazing learning about choosing joy in the face of adversity.

My shamanic community—guided by Jan at Lightsong School of Shamanic Studies and Energy Medicine—has held 27 vision quests (I have been a leader of support camp for many of them, and have done 3 vision quests with Jan, and one on my own in my little sweat lodge). People have different reasons for “going on the hill”. One year it was for my work in Africa, one year it was for my practice.

Through fasting and being alone, we are stripped of our masks—the programs of our personality that cover up the expression of our true self. We also reach a point of suffering where we are absolutely forced to ask for spirits help. Especially abandoning in many ways the whole reason we thought we went on the hill in the first place. Lots of unexpected things happen to us on the hill that aren’t part of our egoic strategy and plans and aspirations for getting there. the ego gets us there, and then Spirit happens, and it never looks like what we thought it was going be like. The answers to our prayers are always perfect, but seldom as our mind eye saw it to be.

So we ask about our masks here, as vision quest has a way of bringing them up. Example masks from my personality: The professor –knows everything; bad girl— likes to make mischief or get out of things by blaming her badness; class clown/look at me/over here mask—makes jokes and likes to be the center of attention; chef lauri—is proud of and talks about her food; these masks are all strategic costumes for coping with something. Many masks evolve early in life, and we hold on to them, even though they are obsolete. They are composed of: what we think, how we feel, what we do, and what we say, when we are wearing that mask/costume.

The truth of who I am is a radiant being that has been given an amazing place, community, partner, opportunity to channel light, love, wisdom and power to earth in partnership with the divine.

When you feel like you may be on a vision quest in your life, ask What masks or personality programs do you find coming up? What ones seem to be falling away? What is the truth of your being?

Ask Spirit to show you its purpose. Maybe it is making a shift. if you end up on your knees, whatever happens next is a gift. the spirits will always hear your call and give you what you need. sometimes it involve peering deeper into the truth to see what that is. Your true self will always be there glowing behind everything.

Cry for that vision and it will come. especially if you believe and are coming from your true self.


When is it time for a soul retrieval?

When is it time for a soul retrieval?

Soul retrieval is a beautiful shamanic healing ceremony whereby the shamanic practitioner and their spirit helpers journey through non-ordinary reality layers of the client’s life line/path to bring back lost soul essence. Soul essence can be lost during trauma, accidents, arguments, surgery, disturbing incidents; we can also leak soul essence slowly through self-recrimination and being in unhealthy relationships. This loss of soul essence can cause, or make more intense, physical, emotional, and mental ailments and issues because its absence keeps us from full vibrant living and decision-making.

So… are you—

  • noticing that you do not feel all completely present—like there is some part of you missing?
  • feeling tired and unable to recruit enough resources, energy, umf, to cope with life or pursue your dreams?
  • caught in an unproductive loop—either mentally, physically, behaviorally—not able to move forward or break free?

If so, it is time for a soul retrieval. Actually, any time is good for a soul retrieval. I have had 2 very powerful ones; the second one was even better, because I had a greater critical mass of soul essence from the first one. Sequential soul retrievals tend to produce exponential increases in wellness. I do them on myself periodically. My spirits always find places in my life where soul essence was lost, and they restore it to me. I always feel better.

It is critical to find an outstanding practitioner that has had a lot of training. There are people who provide soul retrieval training, and people who do this training then go out and start doing soul retrievals. This is a little scary to me, because practitioners are inserting stuff into the soul! Tracking lost soul essence and understanding their qualities and meanings is not easy.

I was trained by Jan Engels-Smith at LightSong School of Shamanic Studies and Energy Medicine; she did not begin teaching us soul retrieval until we had 5 years of shamanic training, initiations, and ceremonies. This prepatory training, I believe, was essential in having us learn a lot about spirits, how the universe and energy works, and so many aspects of the soul. I also had the good fortune of some amazing deep learning about energy and universe by sitting with guides channeled by an amazing channeler, Lina Bertsen. All of this training helps me be in communion with the spirits, with accurate soul part tracking and interpretation of the other information conveyed to me about people’s soul-life by the spirits. The ceremonies and initiations are important for what I call “personality purification”– reducing our own egoic contribution to the journey and ceremony of filling with soul essence.

Email me for list of highly qualified shamanic practitioners who can perform soul retrieval. Or come see me!