Tag Archives: Shamanism

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.

Drum Beats: An Organizing Sound at a Cellular & Community Level

Our shamanic sound healing course convened last week. During one of the journeys, I asked my sound healing power animal about how sound works. I was shown something very basic, and beautiful, about the drum. It seemed like something I knew already at some level, but they showed it in such a beautiful way, that I got it at a visceral level of understanding.

Their message:

The journey drum beat “organizes the contents of our cells” …

They said (using imagery) “Imagine a million cups of water on a table. Now slam your hand down on the table, and watch the water in the cups all leap and vibrate, all at the same time.”

Now (and i am translating again, visual information to verbal information)  “imagine the drum as applying similiar force, on all of your cells–the fluids move synchronously in a dancing of vibration, all organized in a pattern of movement over time, like a rhythmic cellular massage.

“The vibrations, in this very tight pattern of sound, turn into a very tight organization of matter in your cells. Your heart creates a kind of pattern in sound too but only the cells in proximity to the sound of the heart get organized by the sound of the beat; your vessels move with the true pressure created by the working of the heart.

The drum distributes this tight organization over your entire body, and  it gets better! Everyone’s cells in the room are being equally, and synchronously patterned by the drum beat. And what is better still, this organized pattern of vibration is like an opening of a doorway that allows information to come into the matrix of matter and imprint at a cellular level”

Cool, we are vibrating at a cellular level together…

This might sound fundamental, but it has turned to FUN! DUH! MENTAL! information.


For more about sound healing with me, go to www.hiddenlakeretreat.org/shamanism


Sign up for my next sound healing intensive April 30-May 2–For more information,   click here

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!!!!

Reports of Shamanic Healing

Healing by the Lake

Shamanic Sound Healing at Hidden Lake

At the beginning of 2009, I heard from Spirit that I was to begin offering free soul retrievals. I announced it in Hidden Lake’s e-newsletter. WOW! What a response. I knew it would be a gift, but I did not realize the magnitude until it began unfolding. It was a wake up call about how much people would love to experience the work, and how, perhaps, finances are allowed to stand in the way of healing. What I also noticed was just how much grace there was in the room for these people who began coming. And while I like to spend more than one session with people, our time together was potent.

Here is what my first of a series had to say when I emailed to follow up to see how she was doing–

“Hi Lauri- I noticed a very significant “lightening”. It felt as if a large weight was lifted from me. I could physically feel the difference. Also my left ear that I had been having trouble with for 6 months and went to the doctor 3 times for was completely healed up the evening of the soul retrieval. My right knee is doing great too.

Also a couple of days after the soul retrieval I was asked to teach a class for our local community schools in my home town. This was just out of the blue so I knew that it was one of those soul path things where you needed to pay attention and say yes. So I am creating the class and writing the curriculum for the class. (Even though a large part of me wants to stay home and hide out:)

I know I really need to come and do the constellation work that you had mentioned. I still am very big on being secretive. For instance I don’t feel that in the  class that I can just come and out speak about what I really want to say, I feel I have to water it down to make it acceptable.

My new mantra is what you had said to me: “What if being on a spiritual path was easy.” I keep saying this to myself when I feel like bagging it. I have also noticed how protected that I am in EVERYTHING… even when I have no clue or make a snap decision I am later shown how it was the best choice I could have made even if I had labored over the decision for months and researched every detail.

One last thing … I think my guides are joking with me. I have been asking them for a million dollars. Yesterday, one of my husbands customers wrote him a note on a piece of note paper and the note paper had on the back of it a million dollar bill. (It was a picture, I don’t know if you have seen them in some of the advertising gimmicks where they send you a million dollar bill). I told them thanks and I am wanting the kind I can put in my bank , please. Thank you so much for the gift of the soul retrieval. K “

On Alleviating Pain..or…I love reporting shamanic success!

I just received an email from a recent client i had…after 10+ years of doing shamanic work, i still am amazed and buoyed by hearing stories like this. I am a science geek turned shamanic practitioner. the need for observable results has never left this scientist’s mind…

so i loved getting this email the other day from a client who is also a science geek! H from Portland writes:
“Ok maybe miracle may be overstating it. But.. I went and saw Larry (chiropractor) yesterday (he says hi btw) and while I was laying on the table I realized that my chronic sacriiliac pain (literally a pain in the
butt) that had ranged from mild to severe was _completely_ gone! I hadn’t noticed it since our session I realized.

It never occurred to me that pain was caused by anything other than my having been a computer geek for 15 years and not getting enough exercise. But it must have been related to the extraction or soul retrieval cause the pain is completely and totally gone. I still know I need to get more exercise but at least I don’t have pain when I sit.

Larry said that the level of tension throughout my body was reduced significantly as well. I have no recurring images or thoughts in my head that don’t make sense (actually none now). My mind feels clear for the first time that I can remember. Even my therapy is reaching a new phase since the soul retreival has resolved the issues I had been working on (it did take me 2 years to get to this point and I’m sure all the therapy helped get here).

I can’t thank you and the spirits enough.

I just wanted to let you know some of the other great things that have been going on since our session.

Thanks again and have a great day.

I too have recently experienced what i call a miraculous healing at a physical level in my back, doing a Celtic style of soul retrieval taught to me by Tom Cowan. Like, wow, we really are not making this s___t up!

For more about shamanism, see: