Category Archives: Healing Ceremonies

Call To and From the Wild

cropped-lion4.jpgOn Aug. 23 we carried out a ceremony of Sound healing for the Animals of Earth. It was an evening that combined sound healing, shamanism and nature constellations.

We experienced and sent healing to through journeying, merging, prayer and intentional sound to many of the animal world, including elephants who have lost family members through culling, wild horses slaughtered for meat, massacred buffalo, big cats pacing in zoo cages, whales killed by boats and nets, dolphins whose ears have been shattered by sonar, songbirds whose habitat has been destroyed, wolves killed by ranchers, polar bears losing their habitat through global warming, rhinoceroses poached for their horns, bees experiencing colony collapse, factory-slaughtered chickens, chimpanzees used in research experiments, domestic pets experiencing neglects and abuse. birds exploding from ingesting plastic bottle tops, birds of prey killed or mutated from pesticides. Much grief welled up to be felt and cleared. We continue to send these animals healing and love from our open open hearts.

The animals and the people who love them had much to say about their livingness, and I am honored to share some of the messages channeled through the people in ceremony:
“Buffalo’s message: Buffalo are big, full of power, full of strength, but incredibly sensitive. Buffalo’s heart is so heavy, holding space for Earth , humanity, and the animal kingdom. Buffalo feels it all and needs us to lighten our hearts. Buffalo’s heart is too heavy-too heavy to move. Lighten our hearts and Buffalo’s heart will lighten, and Earth’s heart will lighten.

Buffalo received the healing and sent it into the Earth. Buffalo has deep deep love for Mother Earth. Buffalo is a great wise one holding space in spirit and on Earth.”—S.R.

“The Song Birds told me to “breathe in” their songs – the vibration will help raise my vibration and heal me.  They sing Joy and Healing to all that listen.
We are definitely all one with nature and the animals.  I’m even seeing animal resemblances in people.  It was a wonderful reminder that feeling pain of animals, nature, or people, doesn’t help them or us – we help by lifting our vibration and sending our love.” C.C.

“The songbirds made it clear to the level of innocence they carry, as well as the other beings and children of Mother Earth. It is our lack of attentiveness and accountability that has caused disharmony.

I also wanted to share that in the last round I channeled “massacred Buffalo.” The clarity of my connection to Buffalo was strong and mutually supportive in many ways. Buffalo said ‘I want a Home’.” –J.H.

 About the Human Experience:
“What I learned from this: I felt my pain, my heaviness directly affecting another being. I felt the accumulation of collective weight in one concentrated place- Buffalo’s heart. From direct experience I know that healing myself/ lightening my heart is healing Buffalo, healing Earth, and healing/helping all. This is what Buffalo showed me. I feel this is the start of a relationship with Buffalo. Buffalo has a lot to teach me about walking in balance with strength and sensitivity.

I think more and more of these ceremonies have the ability to heal our relationship with the animal kingdom and earth. Helping to thin the veil into oneness. You are doing a great service, Lauri. I think this could even be offered as course work as well as healing work…..coming together to help the animal kingdom as well as understand/thin the veil to our relationship with them….how to work and walk with them.” S.R.

“I found the experience to be very deep and moving for me… more so than my usual exchange and honoring of the flora and fauna I interact with daily. Coming to this group meditation was a key part of the Initiation and chosen path I have been walking not only my whole life but specifically the last 6 years. I stepped right into the web of connectedness with everyone (all spirits and dwelling beings). This call was actualized when in the first round I was told by Spirit to step back and work with the circle to bring in and listen to send healing love to the animals.

Then things intensified by stepping in in the second round and merging with the songbirds sorrow and shock over their innocent folly and deaths. The amount of grief for this one creature was the most intense I have ever felt and I feel this is for many reasons. Their commonality and easily-missed plight among other more publicized animals aligns with my own work with my Voice. I think we share the ability to Sing away pain to re-inspire a deep loving connection with self and all beings.”–J.H.

“I learned that my animals provide keen insight on navigating a working relationship with the nature of the inhabitants of this planet.  I am taking away an enhanced appreciation and awareness of this. I came away with a greater relationship with the spirit of these beings, gaining clarity on the symbiotic relationship charactuizeded by a two way interaction.” T.G.

“I’m still in awe and wonderment from the spark we ignited last night. I feel The Calling to and from The Wild….this is trail I’ve been searching for. I’m so grateful to you all for being such magical song mates. I can’t type the words that express clearly what is in my heart and my voice. Let’s continue to nurture this project. I’m all in! Love beyond description” C.T.

We raised $337 for the Portland Audubon Society’s Wildlife Care Center. This is almost enough to cover the cost of a year’s worth of mice for the 2 sparrow hawks that greeted me at the Care Center when I dropped off the donation. Thank you to all who came to the ceremony and channeled healing to the animals, experiencing healing for yourselves as well. Thank you to those who contributed through prayer and financial donation in absentia. Your love was deeply felt.

All in service to love of Earth.


Soul Retrieval for Dogs

I had the honor and new experience of doing soul retrieval* on three of my friend’s/student’s dogs. I had come to do a house-clearing and right away, I had the visceral feeling that two of them who greeted me needed soul retrieval.

Signs of excessive agitation and fear were most apparent to me in the two dogs that met me right away, as I entered M’s house. I could hear the 3rd dog barking upstairs.

The process was completely spirit-guided, as I had never performed soul retrieval on animals before.

I performed the ceremony on one dog at a time. For the first two, I had M drum. I asked for dog treats and had them in my hand, along with my soul-catching crystal.

As the journey for the first soul retrieval began, a fox joined me as the power animal to both help me with the retrieval and to be the dog’s helper. The fox switched back and forth from red to white, showing me its other-worldiness. I was so happy to have the fox there. She immediately began telepathically communicating the experience of being a canine, so I was perceiving the journey from a dog’s perspective–this dog’s perspective, and her past. In the journey, it was a cacophonous, strange, scary city that the dog was lost in. Almost getting hit by cars that honked at her, she was running in a terror; she was hungry and did not know where to find food. She was assaulted by the sounds and energy and movement of strange menacing things. She was in PANIC.

The fox showed me that soul loss was happening in pulses, and that she was losing clouds of soul particles in pulses. Unlike the humans I work with, where I travel long distances to find large distinct lost soul parts, the soul parts were hovering very near the body of the dog, like a cloud of dust. This seemed very cool, and right, since my impression of dogs is that they do not mentally masticate their issues like we do, but hold them in their body with emotional consciousness.

I was wondering before I began the journey how I was going to be able to blow the soul parts back into the dog. For humans, we get close to their hearts and heads, and blow the soul parts from the crystal into their crown and heart chakras. For dogs, it was apparent that that was going to be a challenge, and a personal hazard when working with some dogs. The all-knowing fox showed me how to solve this problem. After we collected the soul dust into the crystal, we came back to ordinary reality and blew the soul parts and power animal into the dog treats, and then fed them to the dog. The fox was brilliant! It worked wonderfully!

When the ceremony was done, this dog laid down on the couch and went to sleep. She seemed a little more calm.

As the next soul retrieval journey began for the second dog, a black wolf appeared. She showed me that this dog also had pulses of soul loss, but his was turned down a few notches, and was at the emotional level of  WORRY. In the past, he had gone through a period where he did not know, nor could he rely on, an expected pattern of  his days. His world was unpredictable and unsettled and it worried him. When he would eat, go out, be pet or paid attention to–this pattern of his day was not well established and he was suspended in a state of worry. He, too, had clouds of soul particles very near his body. We collected them (and the wolf) in the crystal, blew them into the treats. He accepted the soul pieces and the wolf in the treats readily. He showed an immediate response of relaxation. He appeared to move around the house with more emotional ease. It was very touching to see.

For the third dog’s ceremony, M held him in her lap and I drummed. My old friend Watney, the Rottweiler, showed up to help. He took me to an image where this dog was high up on a tall building, looking down over the edge. He was afraid of stepping forward; his footing was uncertain and this made him nervous. We retrieved his soul cloud and Watney jumped into the crystal to help. This third dog happily ate his soul pieces and the Rottweiler that went with them. When I finished he did not bark at me anymore, and seemed more at peace.

I was very moved by this experience. I had never done a soul retrieval on a dog before. I look forward to doing more of them!

* Soul retrieval is a sacred ceremony done by well-trained shamanic practitioners. We believe that one of its origins was ancient Egypt, and can be seen clearly in the story of Isis and Osiris. The ceremonial practice seeks to bring back parts of our soul that get separated from the core of our soul during trauma. We feel more whole and illuminated, more alive and healthy, as a result of this ceremony. This ceremony is an integral part of my work with my human clients. I look forward to expanding my work to include pets!

A ceremony for after a ceremony

I always wonder and ponder and talk with other family members about how to carry on the learning and healing from the sundance ceremony we are immersed in each year. How to bring it into our everyday beingness.

The spirits (the “they” I refer to in the text below) gave me a ceremony for imbuing our land with the energy and spirit of this year’s sundance.

First, they gave me a symbol that conveyed the power of the ceremony (link: sundanceemblem1_Layout 1). They directed me to make certain parts of the symbol certain colors (I have the paint so far…). I am to paint this on 9 stones, each stone to be placed around the perimeter of the land and one in the center. I am to sing while placing these stones so that the stones and trees can relearn the songs, which will carry in the wind and across the land.

Next they told me to make robes (large bundles of tobacco with prayers placed in them). Each robe, for each of the colors for the 6 directions, is to have specific prayers about what I learned and what was conveyed to me by the tree, the songs, the people of the dance. (I have made most of the robes as well as taking notes on what the prayers are that have been made).These robes are to be placed around the perimeter at the appropriate directional boundary.

Each of these things will encourage the spirits to perpetuate the learnings and experiences prayed into the robes, and share them with the people who come to Hidden Lake for healing, reflection, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

I believe this to be good template for other ceremonies besides the Sundance. (Try it yourself and let me know what you notice.)

sundanceemblem1_Layout 1

We are the flute to the spirits’ wind

In the shamanic way, we are in partnership with compassionate spirits. We donate our bodies—our arms, legs, voice, breath, mind to orchestrate and bring into form and action the spirits’ loving intentions for healing. In our practice and ceremony, We move around with our rattles, drums, bowls, bells. We use our vocal chords and attuning sensing to carry the sounds the spirits are guiding us to make. We are the flute to their wind. In the Lakota way, we are the “hollow bone”.

So much time, experience, work goes into becoming the hollow bone. There is much to it that cannot be taught, but must be experienced. Ceremony and initiations over a course of years have helped me become a more pure vessel or conduit for Spirit.

The power dance is such an initiation. I recently attended a power dance at the LightSong School of Shamanic Studies was just last weekend (1/8/11), facilitated by Jan Engels-Smith. This ceremony or initiation has as its core the invitation for compassionate spirits to come into the room, and move into one of us, one at a time, to come forth and deliver a message.

This dance, the spirit of blood came into me. The first essence of experience of being the spirit of blood was the beating of the heart, as the force behind my movement around the body. After the physical experience of moving around the body, I began to have the knowingness about moving around and being at the center of continuity for humanity and all animals. Omnipresence in humanity. A shared spirit by all humanity. An animating essence. The vastness of this was almost overwhelming, and beautifully moving, as I was part of all life everywhere all at once. Animals too. The energy of this was huge for the human in me to contain. And then, the experience of being the thread connecting all humanity and wildlife through the ages, generations. From a seed of sperm and egg, the spirit of blood emerges and grows, and is passed through this way generation to generation. Then, I had the experience of spurting out of bodies. Bloodshed as a natural inevitability of the human condition, a natural part of Earth—the blood on the Earth contributing to the natural cycle of life and death, contributing to her fertility. And then, flowing out of the vaginas of all women. “Do not curse me” the spirit of blood emplored. It is a beautiful flow in the humanity of women.

Feeling the vastness and omnipresence of the spirit of blood is one experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was pressed deeply into me as a beautiful gift of this ceremony. The love the spirit of blood had for us was also almost overwhelming. It was a full body experience of ecstasy that made me giggle as I giggle at climax. This is the way of the shaman. A beautiful experience of becoming the hollow bone.

More on soul retrieval: response to a client’s inquiry

I had a client email me the other day with the following concern:

“I’ve been doing some reading regarding soul retrieval and it seems that the missing soul parts are frequently not willing to come back but during my session all three seemed quite willing – do you know why that is?  Also, was there any story to go with when the soul loss took place?”

My response to this:

I have NEVER had soul parts that were not willing to come back to any client. Perhaps I am not working with people who are as lost or ill as the person who has made that remark in their writing.

Soul parts are perfect and all knowing. They present themselves in response to our prayer that ones that are retrieved are the ones that most need to come back at this time. This prayer is very important in the intention of the ceremony, and it is possible that the person you are reading soul retrieval stories from may not state this formally.

When my spirits bring back the soul parts, they usually highlight the qualities that that soul part brings potency to for the whole of the soul. Too often people are stuck in their stories, so my spirits have chosen to highlight the qualities the soul parts impart an elevated level of in the person, and NOT the story. Too often the story is painful and is the reason the soul part left in the first place. It is the way the soul part has persevered in its perfection that is most important, and the tender aspects of the soul it was seeking to protect in its leaving that is most important. Listen to your s.r. recording to find the qualities, not the story.

Also,   the medicine the power animal brought back for the integration and weaving of the that soul part into the whole of the soul, tells its own story of strength and power. As you listen, align with the energy of those power animals, as they will tell you what it is that is most important for you to hear. Meditate on each animal and open to its messages. They will amaze and astonish you !

What is Soul Loss? Soul Retrieval?

We all experience soul loss in our lives.  During trauma or illness, surgery, accidents, or some other jarring experience, a piece of our soul essence gets “chipped’ off from the whole of our soul. It gets “parked” in another space-time continuum, usually without our direct conscious awareness. Relationships with people can cause a slow drain of soul essence, whether the people are aware of it or not.

This soul loss can accumulate over our life time. At some point we reach a critical level of loss when our well-being–physical, emotional, mental–begins to be impaired in some way by this soul loss. We begin to notice that we don’t feel like our old selves anymore. That something within us is missing. We begin to notice and confront that we have behavioral patterns (addictions), or reoccuring pain or thoughts that do not respond to other forms of therapy or treatment. Sometimes we have “tried just about everything else.”  Believe me, I have been there, too!

This is the point where people find me–and in partnership with my helping compassionate spirits–I can help them. Through soul retrieval.

Soul retrieval is a beautiful ceremony taught to me by my teacher Jan Engels-Smith. Its roots date back to Isis and Osiris in the Egyptian pantheon–when Osiris was cut up and scattered about the landscape by his brother, Isis called on the powers of the universe to retrieve and reassemble her beloved, in the original soul retrieval!).

Using shamanic journeying, we travel to non-ordinary reality, where our spirits help locate lost soul parts in that time-space continuum in which they were parked. We bring the soul parts that most need to come back at this time, back into ordinary reality and blow them back into the person in need.

During the journey, we also retrieve a power animal for each part that assists the person in welcoming that soul part back into the whole of the soul. That power animal helps the person learn about what that soul part needs to weave completely back into the whole of the soul.  It is really quite beautiful, and often sets the person off on a new line of inquiry and growth that may incorporate shamanism into their lives. In a subsequent 8-session series, I work with people and teach them how to journey and access the wisdom from their power animals to gain health and mastery over their lives. This training puts the person in direct contact with their helping ones and gives them the tools for self-healing.

Soul retrieval is always accompanied by a related ceremony, extraction. The voids left when the soul parts leave get filled with dense energies, energetic gunk–what my spirits call “spiritual plaque”, This gunk can exacerbate the lack of wellness, and can cause illness (“dis-ease, the lack of ease). Extraction is a ceremony whereby my spirits help move that dense energy out of your system, transmuting it and sending it “home” where at its native frequency, can do its original work, elsewhere.

This, in shamanism, we are either taking out the stuff that does not belong to your spirit/ soul/ energetic system, or putting stuff that does belong back in, and usually both!!!!