Category Archives: sacred songs

Walking and Dancing with the ego

Walking and Dancing with the ego

I had an interesting experience this summer that sent me on a new belief system trajectory about the ego. The final outcome of learning from the spirits is that the teachings I have received about working with the ego in healing have shifted. It’s a dance, not a war.

I was supporting a very big ceremony (Vision Quest) with my brother. We were supporters in camp. We are brother and sister in song, part of an extended traditional family. We sing sacred songs together. There is a rule pertinent to another ceremony that is gender-based. We did not know it was in play at this ceremony. My desire to sing and support was strong, but was in a way that I did not know violated this rule. Ego-based, as all desires are, I “broke the rule” anyway. Shortly after this “transgression”, the reprimand came from the family elders. It was a big, upsetting deal to all of us. Tears and apologies followed.

Later in the week when the questers came down from the hill and were in lodge; one of them spoke their story. Great help and healing had come through the singing we did (during our rule-breaking session). Much power was felt and experienced through this singing, and the medicine that went up to the hill was exactly what was needed by that person, who had been suffering. It all made sense to me as I listened to this dear one tell their story.

What the spirits showed/told me about this is that the ego is an important ingredient to life as humans on earth. It has kept us alive and in constant inquiry –that is where many life- or conscious-saving questions arise. Perhaps more importantly and newly illuminated was how the ego moves us around in time and space to make us available to help with healing. Our egoic structures reinforce motivations that make us move around in time and space socially, and put us in places where we can do work. Yes, we move to the beat of our heart, too. And, the ego is often involved in the assessment and choices we make.

They (the spirits) also showed me in a more clear way than what I had previously conceptualized, is that the desire to “do away with ego” or quell the ego is almost akin to saying that we do not wish to fulfill the contract we made to be spirits in human form. Being human means having an ego that helps us navigate through the physical and social world. Saying we deny this ingredient to our humanity is like saying we might as well be pure spirit, which is not what we agreed to when we incarnated.

Healing and bringing pure information and divine power into ordinary reality DOES require that the ego not be projecting itself into this stream of light when we are being conduits of this light. This takes years of training and initiations in a process I call “personality purification”, so there are few intrusions of personal stuff in the hollow bone as power moves through us. It is a beautiful dance, of honoring all of who we are, and asking that the ego steps to the side in the process of bringing forth that divinity. To deny any of our humanity can cause soul loss, incrementally…another topic for later.

As time progresses, the ego in its original form has become somewhat imbalanced in its control over our lives, emotions. So we invite it to be just one of many elements in our walk. Bow and ask our heart to lead the best it can, while honoring all parts of the dance.


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.