Tag Archives: philosophy

Carnival of Healing 243: Shamanic, Intentional Living

Welcome to the Carnival of Healing.

Thank you,  Dee, for the previous Carnival of Healing, which provides a cornucopia of health-related tips and solutions that help us on our path.

This month’s Carnival of Healing entry addresses the spiritual aspects of our  walk on this earth. My most heart-felt intention is to provide some insight into the nature of shamanic, intentional living, as well as to provide some resources if you wish to become more  facile in the art of shamanic, intentional living.

The most life-altering belief or awareness that I came to have was that I had a troop of loving spirits that were out on my path orchestrating my life. This is the fundamental understanding of shamanism—the knowningness of the presence of compassionate, benevolent spirits that work through us to bring love and healing to everyday (ordinary) reality. With this understanding, I have become aware of the grace and perfection of how everything in my life unfolds—especially circumstances that at first seem disappointing, and then turn out to have the greatest good at their very core. I walk in the world knowing that my helpers are out ahead of me on my path orchestrating and collaborating with my true self to manifest my life.

You do not need to be a shaman to live shamanically. Many of you probably are already living a shamanic life and perhaps not aware of it. Dee from the previous Carnival of Healing certainly is, as she recounts the grace she received from her “guides” as she was preparing her entry for last month. Midnight Shaman provides musings and insight on shamanic life, spirituality and healing, as does ShamanElizabeth.

Living intentionally—with focus, prayer, clarity about what we seek to manifest in our lives—is magnified a million-fold through our working with our beloved spirits. It is as if our prayers are magnified and sent out into the universe with a jet pack. We wake up in the morning, we pray and meditate in the presence of our spirits, in which we are in communion, and intentions for the day, week, life are set into motion. Dr. Joe Dispenza’s discussion from “What the Bleep”,  I create my day, is a beautifully written description of the process of intentionally living and being the creator of your life. Add the awareness of help from the spirit world, and Wah Lah! WOW! BAM!

As revealed quite beautifully by Firechild’s blog, living shamanically engages us completely in watching the flows of different energies and power, noticing how the divine plan is unfolding, and listening and watching for messages. Taz provides an elegant mix of “thoughts and musings on shamanism, medicine crafts, meditations and personal development”.

Living shamanically, teaching shamanism, holding ceremony and being a leader in the shamanic world is beautiful and also has its dilemnas. Scarlett Kinney, in her blog Feminine Shamanic Consciousness is good reminder of this and discusses a sometimes touchy subject inherent in walking this walk.

I enjoyed exploring numerous blogs by people living a shamanic way of life. Spirit Muse’s Blog I found and enjoyed for  it’s discussion of  practical and philosophical shamanic topics. Living a Heart-centered life is critical to shamanic living, and is exemplified in the writings at the Path of the Clear Heart: My Walk with Lujan Mutas.

Bjezierski  beautifully illuminates the philosophy of most of us living a shamanic lifestyle…”Have drum,  will travel”, and provides deep, rich insights into the very real experiences in the life of a man living a contemporary shamanic life.

One of my favorite blogs on shamanic living is Shamanic Living Today. “This is an ongoing US and global project to help enthusiasts, scholars, practitioners, and curious parties learn more about shamanic living in a contemporary culture. The space here is devoted to sharing info, experiences and opinions about all forms of shamanic expression covering shamanism’s multiple permutations. Among subjects explored are traditions, techniques, insights, definitions, events, artists, authors, and creativity. You are invited to draw from your own experiences and contribute.”  What a great invitation!

I also loved The Earth Caretakers blog, which  helps us “Find inspiration and tools for shifting your awareness in our monthly Shifting Consciousness News! We explore the healing modalities of the future: light, vibration, and vision. We write about direct revelation, intent, and self-empowerment. We’re passionate about weaving and growing the interconnections between social and spiritual change, and between what we “know” and what our hearts yearn to manifest! By releasing the heavy in our thoughts and beliefs, we each move into a lighter, more joyous way of being. We can renew and reweave our interconnections in our own bodies, souls, and spirits; with stars, trees, and stones; and with cross-cultural wisdom and prophesy.”

Living shamanically and intentionally takes practice, training, consciousness. My training came from several places. I began my training with Jan Engels-Smith of LightSong School of Shamanic Studies in 1998. This training is ideal in that not only did we learn technique, but experienced many many initiations and ceremonies, so necessary to shifting one’s consciousness and way of living. Many trainings exist where you learn how to do shamanic healings, but do not provide the tools for changing how you live. Lightsong and Jan provide both. Jan has written extensively on the topics near and dear to our hearts in shamanism, which you can find at http://www.janengelssmith.com/articles/shamanic-articles.htm and her blog http://lightsongblog.wordpress.com

Michael Harner’s Foundation of Shamanic Studies provides comprehensive coursework in core shamanism, where I learned techniques, as well as experiencing some critical and powerful initiations which expanded my consciousness of being. Tom Cowan provides poetic training in Celtic Shamanism, and his two year class provided me with amazing initiations and ceremonies which I continue to carry out to our community.

We live shamanically through rigorous training, personal and community initiations and ceremony, falling down and ascending, singing, crying, praying. I will continue to write about such things on my blog here, and am committed to providing  opportunities to people who seek to strengthen their shamanic way of being through my healing practice, sound healing trainings, and the work I do at Hidden Lake Retreat. Please stay tuned or check out our calendar!

Thank you for going along for a little tour through shamanic living. If you are interested in shamanism, I recommend checking out our school, Lightsong School of Shamanic Studies. Also check out the Shaman’s portal as a great resource for shamanism. Teachers, information, trainings and events are posted there, along with many many blogs.

Visit the Carnival of Healing page by going to http://healing.about.com/od/community/a/carnival.htm

May Sweet Shamanic Journeys be upon you!


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 !

Message from the spirits: How the dark informs the light


We listen in the shamanic life to messages from our benevolent helpers. As I was preparing for solstice lodge, they were asking me to inquire about the relationships between what I perceived as the “light” parts of myself–things I honored in myself, the good, and the dark parts of myself–my shadow, the pain of wounds, fears, things i tell myself about myself that are “bad” ways of being. This line of inquiry catapulted all of us in the lodge to look.

The spirits’ underlying message was this: the dark always informs and feeds the light.

The spirits were showing us that the Earth experiences a dynamic balance of light and dark every day. On her skin, every day, in the dance with the sun. As the earth spins through this dynamic balance, so do we. There is no Home without this dance of light and dark.

The dark aspects of ourselves are only perceived by us that way. We know this. They are integral to our divine whole. They inform what we have judged to be “light” sides of ourselves; they cause us to seek help and advice, retreat and go into silence, journey, whatever multitude of means we as spiritual beings endeavor to do to bring healing to our lives.

There is a partnership between these aspects of ourselves. The events that prompt pain are karmic, for the pain and fear informs the development of the soul.

People come to me as a shamanic healer and say “I want you to help me get rid of this…” Sometimes, the “this” does not belong to them,  so we do an extraction or cord-cutting on this dense energy that is foreign to the person’s energy system/soul. Sometimes, oftentimes, the “this” they seek to be rid of is some aspect of themselves that they struggle with. The spirits were helping us see that healing this is about helping come to peace with those things, to end the struggle, to see into how to use those aspects as gifts for growth and development. How this “dark” feeds the “light, with these terms only metaphorical, like the dance of the earth with the sun.

I had heard this before, over and over, but this time they finally conveyed it to me in a visceral fashion that i could truly grok.

What was even more interesting was what they told me as I was speaking about this to a friend. They said that whenever we begin to “dis-own” the dark parts of ourselves, to speak about “getting rid of” these aspects we deem our dark side of our personalities or even our life, those quirks and fits of behavior we do not deem spiritual–as we poo poo these things about ourselves in our own minds, or as we seek help to get rid of these, we are actually causing mini events of soul loss (see http://www.hiddenlakeretreat.org/shamanism.htm for discussion on soul retrieval). Little splinters of our essence “pink” off (can you hear it???) into another time space continuum until we honor them and come to peace with them, or until a soul retrieval is performed.

So we learn from the Earth how to feel the dynamics of light and dark, to allow the dark to inform and feed the light. We thank the benevolent ones for this message, on this path of shamanic living.