Category Archives: philosophy

Preventing Soul Loss Through the Kind Self

Photograph by Angela Weaverplaying with fire3In shamanic cosmologies, we are animated by our soul, this immortal, eternal divine essence. As shamanic practitioners, we doctor the human beingness by doctoring the soul. We remove “intrusions” –foreign energies—that do not belong to or serve the soul; and, we retrieve lost soul essence that has temporarily separated from the whole of the soul through trauma such as surgeries, accidents, and disruptions to the family and support systems, as well as due to arguments, and other negative experiences or circumstances. By integrating this soul essence back into the wholeness of the soul (along with a power animal on task to help the healing process on into the future), physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual discomfort, dis-ease, disfunction can transform, resolve, evaporate, leaving us healthier, more vibrant, freer and happier.

One day I was on holy land during a big ceremony, and was talking to a brother. The spirits began telling us through me that soul loss can be caused by negative self talk. That little pieces of our soul can split off from the whole of the soul when we decide we don’t like a part of our Self, some aspect or characteristic of our Self. This idea felt totally in alignment with a book I read decades ago called Compassion and Self Hate by Theodore I. Rubin (

This idea was also in alignment with information that came through during preparation for an Equinox sweat lodge I was to pour for the LIghtSong Community at Hidden Lake. That the dark feeds the light; that those things we have judged and labeled as bad in ourselves is absolutely and cosmically suppose to be there for our souls to expand through the process of personal work and spiritual growth. We are caused to seek relief due to these aspects of ourselves that may be difficult, hurtful, or uncomfortable. And through this seeking, we are lifted up, reach new powerful discernments in life and our energy ascends to higher and higher frequencies as we learn to work with and come to peace, and even utilize these aspects of ourselves.

So when that negative self talk arises, we ask, what is it that this aspect of our self is in service to? What if it is here to teach us something? How can attention, then a shift in perspective and expression of this aspect, actually create growth, new understandings about the world, our life, our path? These questions feel like a road to compassion and the Kind Self…asking them can help prevent loss of soul essence that might come through internal bickering with parts of your personality.

We ask the Kind Self to reach a gentle hand to us, into our heart, and teach us something new about these parts of ourselves that are present now. In this way, these parts may be seen, and then resolved or shifted. And we thus nurture our soul and tend it as the Divine One we are.


Getting from “here” to “there”: Messages about Creating

salmon1We set intentions; we formulate goals; we yearn and hope for “that thing to happen” or that state to be achieved, that shift to occur so that things will be different, a new way.

 And it a mystery from an energetic perspective how we get from here to there.

I had a client who was working intensely with those questions, and I wanted (with her permission) to share the shamanic healing journey we did together to ask the spirits about “getting from here to there”.

 The sacred landscape opened up with a forest grove and a stream.

We peered down into the stream, and then across the stream to the other side. There was a three-dimensional quality about this metaphor of the two banks of the stream and the source of the stream.

 We began swimming with the sockeye salmon–the wise salmon (an oracle). To explore the place in between “here and there”—between where we are now, and where we want to be. The salmon were transmitting wisdom through the water to us just by virtue of us being in the water with them.

 The first message was: Enjoy being in the water (the place in between). We focus so much on the “there”, where we are trying to get to, that sometimes we overlook what is in the spaces between where we are and where we want to be. The salmon then flipped us to walking on the backs of them from one side to another—but with a caveat: “Do Not look at the other side, but look into the gap—in the water.”

“Notice the detail and beauty of the rocks on the bottom of the stream, how the water is moving. Notice the reflection of the trees on the other side in the stream. While the trees appear to be standing on the other side of the stream, they are reflected in the stream. The ‘there’ is in ‘here’.”

 There was a deep teaching at an energetic level about the integration of here, the gap and the future. A harmony and synergy. 

“Love all the elements that come together in the in between. Earth, water, fire, air, the elements are important energies and building blocks, both, of the building of the next step(s).”

 “As our vibration rises, we carry the power to attract people who have that energy needed for or related to the creation of the next step. ” If we employ a greater awareness, we will notice these people and this helps create the next step.

 We call on the Great Mystery for our Construction team of creation of the bridge between the here and the there: attracting circumstances, the elements, compassionate spirits, and people. As we raise our vibration, we know that we are in communion with the spirits. We engage them to build the bridge over the gap. This team is engaged, both intentionally and accidentally; without our initial awareness, then we notice the team and its components, and it builds exponentially. Our change in perception of energy is going to encourage change.

 A magnetic vibrational quality that emanates from the heart, along with change in perception of energy, is going to “synergize to create synergy”. A field forms around us. The awareness of this happening feeds creation of the steps of the bridge.

” Watching and attracting; One bridge section at a time.”

“Healing work creates the construction team.”

The Wise Salmon clambered and implored: ”if no structure exists there right now, walk on our backs to peer into the gap”.

 “As you stand on the backs of the spirits in the elements: Notice the detail in the water (the gap)– this is really important for the foundation of what you are creating out in front of you. There is information in the gap. That serves as a foundation for for what you are building and creating. Above and below synergizing—keep watching how the land and the water interact”.


I thank my client for attracting such an amazing healing shamanic journey with me.

 I do these kinds of sessions over the phone, via Skype and in person at my sound studio at Hidden Lake. Contact me: 503-939-7174 or

Wisdom from the Spirit of the Lake

The spirit of the lake came to me on my walk today. This is a spirit who works with me in the lodge, and helps caretake the people who come to Hidden Lake for retreat and healing. She shared some more information with me–this is the way it is with the spirits, they meter it out when we are ready for the next piece.

She has shown herself to me in two forms–one is like an octapus, with many arms made of the same texture as our organs. This form allows her to align with organ tissue in a harmonious way and do internal healing. Another form which she shares with me and others who come is the “lady of the lake”. In this form, she provides a nurturing, familiar presence to the people, taking their pain and suffering and cleansing their beingness.

Today was a sunny warm October day, so her topic was especially poignant. She said that “we should not resist the waters”. At this time of year, many of us NW Oregonians begin going through grief about the loss of sunlight and warmth, with the return of the torrential downpours and long periods of wet, cold, rain. We actually begin broadcasting low density energies because we may be saying, “yuck, here comes the rain again, it will be raining until July 5th”, or whatever each person’s version of rain aversion is. This broadcasted energy is unhealthy and unproductive and begets more dense energy. I actually had never considered this before because it feels like a natural part of my annual cycle.

We are so blessed to be in the part of the globe where water is abundant. It goes without say that many other places are not. The standing ones, the trees, dance and glow and give and give and give to us here because of the abundance of rain. the cascading waters form an amazing, unmatched maze of streams, creeks, and rivers, supporting so much life. But more importantly, it is simply to be bright and shiny, as it rains, is wet and cold in air temperature. to express and celebrate our warm-bloodedness and warm-heartedness as the seasons change.

I Read the Trees

I Read the Trees

(written on a Wolftree science expedition in 1997)

I read the trees for what they say

of days and eons while we’re away.

How the forest site has grown to be

the stand of tree people we all see.

They stand like sentries and gift me stories

of fire, flood, those landscape glories.

Majestic guides in forest stands

their comings and goings tell of the land.

They whisper legends in the night

and reveal volumes about the site.

If crowds of trees emerged from seed,

and struggled for the light they need.

Or open grown trees with lots of space

grew branches broad and won the race.

When limbs are thick growing down to the ground,

they have had few competing neighbors around.

But when limbs are gone from down below,

they’ve grown in crowds, limbs tell me so.

The struggling small trees start to die

when light is lacking, ‘though they try

to keep up growth with their fellow trees

whose growth is faster, and the light they seize.

I read the trees, they tell me of

the climate and the world above.

In wet spots where the alder grow

to high alpine that hemlocks know.

as grand fir humbles in low lands

the cottonwood tower in riparian stands.

The pine flats of tom brown’s places

To stands that stand on south & north faces.

Did you know the atmosphere sucks

and has control over the gaseous flux-

CO2 in and water vapor out

that affects trees growth when in a drought?

With this special feat, taking CO2,

trees do the miraculous thing they do-

Using the sun to make their food

and passing it on for our fortitude.

Trees catch the sun and suck up water

without their shade the streams grow hotter.

They hold the soil with netted roots

that keeps streams clear for fish and knutes.

Their leaves they add much to the soil

from their gifts they make dirt royal,

fertile ground for seeds to sprout, and

growing fields where greens burst out.

The trees you see they hold the birds,

and chipmunks, squirrels, elders’ words.

Their giving food and sheltered nests

makes rich homes for forest guests.

Eventually they die and fall

creating habitat for big and small

mammals, amphibeans, mushrooms, ants,

these down and dead serve new forest plants.

And as they decay, those fallen ones

create good fire fuel by the ton.

And slow the rivers, making pools

for chinook and coho, salmonid jewels.

And as they die from disease in pockets

their openings make other trees grow like rockets.

And so the cycle begins again

the book of trees I read never ends.

I read the trees, their secrets clear;

come read with me while you are here.

Their stories for you will soon unfold.

Their tales are yours, their wisdom old.

What are our internal resources that we can draw on at this time?

We have been training ourselves to be grateful, to feel gratitude within our hearts. When we feel stress, are spinning out…this approach has been ratified by Oprah and E. Tolle of late (wahoo! for making this mainstream). Many of us taught by Jon Young know that being in a state of gratitude changes the brainwaves that we are broadcasting. This change in brainwaves actually is picked up by the birds and other animals in nature; observant people will notice a change in bird sounds and animal movement in response to these changes (this is the basis for my class “Bird Sounds, Healing Sounds” offered again in June 2009).

The spirits have been prompting us to go further than gratitude–to take stock, asking what internal, innate resources do I have that I call on? What gifts and skills do I have, that I can track through my life, that serve me in this life, no matter what. These are resources that transcend all external environmental conditions–and are especially important to be grounded in in these shifting times.

In asking this question, we go beyond being grateful for our lives, towards actually tracking some of the “mechanisms of well-being”, which have and will continue to support us in our walk. At these challenging times, when we are wondering about our prosperity, these resources will continue to be the foundation that we can stand on.

So if you are a journeyer, set a simple altar or lay before the one you have already set up. Call in your helping spirits. Ask for your spirit teacher or power animal to guide you on a “museum tour” of your gifts and skills and talents, which form the bedrock, the pool of innate resources that you can continue to call on. Ask them to show you new doorways into which this pool of resources flows for new opportunities for prosperity to grow.

If you are a meditator, you can cast this intention as you sit in meditation.

ask to be taken on a “museum tour” of your gifts and skills and talents, which form the bedrock, the pool of innate resources that you can continue to call on. Ask to be shown new doorways into which this pool of resources flows for new opportunities for prosperity to grow.

I would love it if you can report back anything that may unfold from this…

hollow bone

Somehow Spirit picked me to be a singer of ceremonial songs. This is an interesting walk.
Watching the ebb and flow of the ego, the witness, as we catch songs, like the ropes from the sky gods, to bring healing and power into sacred ceremonial space. The songs they are spirits themselves, given to the people under different circumstances. Many centuries old, these songs have spirits and thoughtforms and expectations associated with them.
Not my native tongue, these songs have taught me a prayer language. The energy signature of these songs is potent.
And some elders say, “don’t sing this song or that song unless…” while another will say, “when a song shows up, honor it by singing it.” I like him. good old Rod…the more the filtering process is to be engaged, the less the purity and truth expressed in each song can be set free, in the holding or the evaluation.
I sing with others in ceremony, and I look around and notice that all of the good singers have strong egos. me too. I asked Spirit about this once. they said that the ego strength is like the tempering of the hollow bone. When spirit comes through with the divine force of these songs, the hollow bone needs to be strong or it will shatter!
And so it is the walk, of noticing, witnessing, then stepping aside…most with a splash of coyote too cuz its a process of putting yourself out the into the stormy flow of song-power and spirit, with people, and ceremony, and structure and making mistakes in public…worth a good laugh afterwards, hopefully, after the occasional public spanking (seen or unseen, externally or internally imposed–ask Ken and I).
These songs they are spirits, yes, and they have also become like friends, or like children. to be taken care of, fed, nurtured, carried with reverence.
i have noticed that i see a lot of who i am as the one who sings in community. who am i if i am not singing…maybe a good time to be quiet then, becuz the whole point is to surrender the ego…
always an interesting walk to ask to be the hollow bone
You are invited to share sacred sound and song at the Shamanic Sound Intensive I will be facilitating at the end of May (24th-26th). See the calendar page at for more information.


Touching the wild, inviting it in


I have noticed that I can begin to “shake things up” in my life–to reconfigure my energy system and invite more vibrancy in my everyday being-ness– by touching the wild. While I am not in Africa anymore (where the above kill shot was taken), and probably neither are you, we have wildness around us everywhere, no matter how disconnected from nature one might feel or believe that we are.

I touch the wild by simply opening the window and listening to the birds singing…or my car window for bird-song drive-bys! Watching the buds on our house plants break out into leaf- and flower-dom. Better yet, the emerging crocus and daffodil outside… Taking a walk, with an invitation in the heart, that something wild (of nature) will inform the walk in some way.

Shamanic living for me is attuning to the rhythms of nature, and treating other organisms as if they were sages. Continue reading