Transmutation News August 2005
There have been a series of planned terrorist attacks in London since our last Transmutation News. And I know our prayers and thoughts have been with all who were hurt and impacted by the attacks. I also know there are daily terrorist attacks on many people around the world that don’t make the news. For example to read what is happening in the Sudan is heart breaking.
As long as we see ourselves as separate from each other we forget that what we do to each other we do to ourselves. And as long as there is so much inequality there will be separation and hate. As long as there is fundamentalism around the world there will be separate camps and religious wars.
And as long as we do not honor our connection with nature the elements will keep coming through as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and earthquakes to remind us how out of balance we are.
So what can we do? We can continue our spiritual work. We can find peace within. We can go inside and get very still. We keep praying and connecting to the web of life and doing our work to experience harmony within no matter what is going on around us.
This is not an easy task. And I will summarize some of the work that will be helpful to each of us as well as the planet later on. I would like to address a few other issues first.
A few years ago I had begun visioning leading some teacher trainings both in Medicine for the Earth and in Shamanic Journeying and Healing Methods. In a dream I had been given the word “alliance”. I saw myself setting up an alliance of teachers who would work in cooperation and without a hierarchical structure.
I really feel as if this vision is coming to fruition. There are many Medicine for the Earth teachers doing their work in the world. I have four on-going teacher trainings in shamanism two in Santa Fe, one in New York, and one in Europe.
It has been really great for me to watch how the teachers are communicating and problem solving with each other, as well as networking together. I am not involved as an authority figure, but rather when an issue comes up in a workshop they consult with each other. To read about the solutions being shared with each other gives me great hope.
For it is truly time for us to work in the spirit of cooperation and as a community.
A couple of years ago I also became involved in The Society for Shamanic Practitioners. This society has a board of very brilliant teachers. In the last conference that was held in Asilomar in June it was clear that the members want more input so that they can work together as a community instead of looking to the board. In this way they want to network together and problem-solve together what is happening in their own shamanic healing practices. (For information on the SSP please visit www.shamansociety.org)
I feel as a spiritual community we are leading the way in making a great shift into the phrase I have been using for years: “A community of people have gathered together to change the world.” It is a very exciting time and much needed. For it is time for each and every one of us to step into our power and share our brilliance. There are no more leaders for us to turn to. The time for one hero or heroine to create change is truly over. As we work together in coherence sharing our gifts in symphony we will be rewarded with rebuilding a new way of life that supports all life on earth.
And at the same time I also feel we have to go deeper to really bring forth what is possible and to dream a new dream.
I have received a lot of feedback about what I wrote in my June Transmutation News about my wonderings about shamanic healing, psychotherapy, and trauma.
The shamanic community was very grateful for what I shared as those who are really out there doing the work feel the same. On the other hand I certainly ruffled some feathers from the therapeutic community. So I thought I would stir the pot a bit more. I always think it is good to stir the pot.
I do not want to invalidate the wonderful healing work that practitioners are doing. I am just asking practitioners to keep looking at how to take their work deeper.
I have been watching the soul of shamanism becoming lost as it is being integrated into so many other systems. The power of the healing work is becoming diluted. Even what the practice of shamanism is has changed to meet how people are marketing themselves. The word shamanism is put onto systems that are not shamanic in nature.
We can and are integrating shamanism into other systems. We just don’t want to lose the balance.
Part of the healing is becoming diluted because clients are wanting a quick fix and don’t know how to find the power within to take the healing to a deeper place. This is the life after healing work I keep writing about in my books and teaching about in my training workshops.
But on another level many shamanic practitioners have stopped doing their personal work. Years ago I read an article of different interviews of shamanic practitioners. Some practitioners who performed soul retrievals admitted to not having a personal shamanic practice and only using shamanic methods professionally. This of course is an extreme of what I am saying. I hope there are not many practitioners out there who are working in the same way.
I have really been searching deep about how we have blended shamanic practices in our modern day culture. Part of being on a shamanic path was the sacrifice and the initiations which carved away at the ego so that the shaman really could be “the hollow bone” and bring through the power of the universe.
I know some teach that when the shaman suffers the spirits take pity and offer help. I don’t work in this same way. I believe that all the spirits are here right now waiting for a vessel to work through.
But I do believe that we as “the vessels” have become clogged. Practitioners often don’t take the time to be in solitude and in nature where the deepest shamanic work occurs. There is not much fasting and praying going on in the modern shamanic community. There isn’t the carving away at the ego and being sculpted into a vessel that can really bring through the spirits.
I am writing this three days into a fast. Fasting is part of my spiritual practice. And there is definitely a difference in how the veils between the worlds open through fasting.
A lot of practitioners have gotten caught up in methodology instead of working with the spirits in a unique fashion. The spirits have so much healing to bring and we often don’t let them as we force them to work within our methods and framework.
I have never watched two indigenous shamans work in the same way. But today I watch hundreds of people work with a ritual or method learned from someone else without the deep connection to the unique gifts of the spirits.
When I teach soul retrieval I tell my groups that the best practitioners will be the ones who burn all their notes at the end of the training and find their own way.
A shaman is a person who performs ceremonies. Shamanic journeying is also a ceremony. And this part of the work is being lost. And some of the healing ceremonies lasted hours or maybe days not just for a few minutes. Oftentimes the whole community was present as it was understood that the health and well being of each individual affects the entire community.
As practitioners have huge expenses in the modern day world to survive more and more ceremony is being left out of the work. Often too many clients have to be seen to pay the rent.
Shamans are famous for telling healing stories. They have always known the words and the stories needed to be told to stimulate the imagination of clients for healing to happen.
This is definitely being lost which I can say from the hundreds of people who have not had good experiences working with shamanic practitioners who did not understand the power of words and stories. Words are like seeds. Every time you say a word to another human being you plant a seed which will grow into a plant.
It is important to understand the difference between inspiring a client to heal and keeping him or her stuck. And so many shamanic practitioners do not know the difference. And I find this the saddest part of all.
Every workshop I teach no matter how basic it is in a skill level I talk about the power of word. And also that the spirits communicate in metaphor and poetry. And we all know what happened to the world when the bible was translated literally. Now shamanic practitioners are often making the same error.
A lot of people who come to shamanic workshops are only looking for simple spiritual practices to bring into their own personal life. And that is fine. The people who are drawn because they want to become shamanic practitioners and heal others need to do a lot more personal work than is possible in a classroom. No classroom setting can replace the deep initiation experiences needed to sculpt the practitioner into a powerful healer.
You cannot certify a shamanic practitioner because he or she has taken a course or has taken a class over the internet. Doctors used to be gifted healers and were called to their healing work by a deep calling within. The whole medical profession has changed today. And I see the same thing beginning to happen with shamanic healing.
Shamans are people who see with their hearts not their minds. And the point I was trying to make in June is that too much shamanic work is going on that keeps both the practitioner and the client in his or her mind.
The body knows how to heal. When we can move our energy from our head into our bodies healing takes place. And this has been shown with many different forms of therapy and healing.
Bringing back true ceremonies, working with metaphorical stories, and working with movement is classic shamanism. And I hope the great power of classic shamanism doesn’t get completely lost.
Please do not become complacent with your shamanic work. Please open yourself up to truly be in service. The planet needs people doing “the real work” right now. All life depends on it.
I have been talking to some other shamanic teachers and practitioners about what I just wrote. Most of the ones I have talked to have also been feeling themselves being in a questioning period about their work. And they have all come to similar conclusions. So something is definitely happening in the collective as the energies moving us are requiring us to go to a deeper place.
How do we integrate shamanic practices in a modern day culture without diluting the work so much that we lose the unlimited possibilities of how the work can truly heal others?
We have only begun to explore what can happen as we keep opening new veils between the worlds. If you stop working you get stuck in only one level. I have been shown a deeper level or clairvoyance, clairaudience, and clairsentience that is possible as we keep lifting more veils. And we need to do more than shamanic journeying to get there.
I know many of you reading this website are not shamanic practitioners. But if you are I would like to suggest something to try this month. Take at least one day out of your life to begin to wake up from the ordinary reality trance. Go out into nature, fast for a day, be in silence. Give prayers to the spirits and state that you are opening up to how you can best be in service to the spirits and mother earth. Watch the omens that appear in nature in response to your prayers.
Notice the difference in your state of being when you disconnect from your ordinary reality life. As you do a vision quest in your own way, even if it is short, you begin to slowly remember the path of the shaman. This is just beginning. I do believe to be in true service right now we need to do more praying, more fasting, being out in nature, being in silence, more visioning, and adding more deep ceremonies to our work.
Let’s get back to reviewing some of the spiritual work that will help the planet and all life. As you continue to do your spiritual practices especially transfiguration let’s again focus on concentration. As we share our brilliance in the world it is so important to concentrate and focus on the journey within ourselves to find the abundance of light that feeds us on all levels.
It is very easy to get distracted from our inward journey. The world around us becomes a distraction and the continual looking outside of ourselves for light and solutions is a great distraction.
This month let’s focus our intention on doing our transfiguration practice on journeying very deep within ourselves and experiencing source, divinity, light within. The deeper you can go within yourselves the deeper changes you will experience in yourself and in the world around you.
Notice what keeps you distracted from really going within to do your work. Make a choice to work the muscle needed to journey within. Notice the peace you feel when you truly do your work.
I know how hard it is to keep up spiritual practices. We have been conditioned throughout our lives to live in a particular way. We often make priorities for ourselves that don’t always promote a healthy life style. We are on automatic drive.
We have on some level made a concession to live a life where we survive but we do not thrive. And we often feel we don’t have the time or energy to change this although inside we would love to thrive.
I thought I would write just some simple things to integrate into your day. None of what I am suggesting here takes extra time. It just creates shifts in our awareness as you continue to do what you do.
Remember to breathe. As you engage in conversations with people, as you are at work, as you watch TV, as you do tasks around the house breathe through your heart. Think of an image or feeling of something that is precious to you and place it there. And keep breathing through your heart.
Notice if your energy starts to shift. Notice if this helps you move out of a mental state of consciousness and connects you to your body. This will naturally create healing for you.
As you have a negative thought or feeling ask that the energy behind this thought or feeling be transformed to love and light. Whenever a problematic thought or emotion arises ask yourself the question to where and to whom am I sending this energy? This takes constant awareness to observe where we are sending toxic energy. And it takes just seconds to say I need to feel what I am feeling right now. Please just take the energy and transmute it to love and light. In this way love and light is raining back down on you and on the earth.
Observe the words you use throughout the day. What vibration are you sending into the universe that will manifest on earth? There is psychic warfare going on today just as there are physical wars going on. We must be diligent about the energy we are sending to others and the planet through our thought forms and words.
When you eat remember you are eating light and love. When you drink water you are drinking pure light and love. As you breathe you are breathing light and love. The sun is filling you with healing light and love.
If you do just this one practice it is amazing the difference you will feel. Put a note somewhere that will remind you to do this.
Throughout the day take a minute to see, feel, hear, taste, and smell a healthy life as if it is here now. See yourself living this life, feel what it would feel like in your body to be living a healthy and joyous life, what would the sounds around you be? Let yourself hear people acknowledging you for the incredible changes you have made and the life you now have. Smell the air in the room you are in. Taste the food you would be eating. And experience all of this as fully as you can as it is already here now.
If you only see it as something you want in the future you will keep it from being created now.
And have love for what you want. Passion and love for your creation acts as fuel to make it happen.
You can do this throughout the day. You could do it for one minute when you wake up. Or you can do this if you are waiting on line at the bank or gas station. A potent time to do this is right before you drift off to sleep.
Write down on a piece of paper right now the word radiance. Or I suggest writing down on a piece of paper I am radiance. Put this paper in a place where you will see it throughout the day.
If there is another word you prefer write down that word.
And remember before you go to sleep at night ask for a healing dream. Just hold the intention before you drift off to sleep.
Throughout the day for just one minute close your eyes and see your light shining through your cells and body. You are more than a body, a mind, and your past experiences. You are spiritual light. Take a couple of deep breaths and let that light shine through you. It will heal you as well as those around you.
If you can just do one of the above exercises each day you will notice a significant shift. And they do not take time to do. As you notice your energy and health changing you will be inspired to add a bit more into your daily practice.
Try the different practices once and see which ones are the easiest to integrate into your daily life.
Set an intention for your life. Intention creates action.
And remember just as there are weather patterns in life you will have similar weather blowing through your life. There are days when the sun is up and you feel great. There are times life seems cloudy. And there are also those stormy times. Weather is just weather and it always passes. But also remember just because you are having a bad day doesn’t mean you have to send psychic daggers to others.
Allow yourself to experience whatever your present states are and know that this too shall pass.
If you are looking for a great read I highly suggest Flight of the Goose by Lesley Thomas. It is an amazing story and I am recommending it to every one I meet. I loved this book!!
Lesley grew up in rural communities in the Alaskan Arctic, on a fishing boat in Southeast Alaska, and on a small farm on the Puget Sound prior to its development. Her families of birth and intermarriage are from different cultures. And her interest in shamanism and birds began early. She has also studied arctic ecology.
Flight of the Goose is an amazing novel combining a love story, with some deep teachings about shamanism in the arctic, the complexities of life of a small village, and deep ecology.
It is very rich. It was one of those books I simply could not put down. And Lesley Thomas is a brilliant writer. I cannot say enough about this book.
Flight of the Goose written by Lesley Thomas is published by Far Eastern Press in Seattle, Washington. As it is a small press I thought I would give you the ISBN number to make it easier to order: 0-9678842-1-7. You can order this book through your local bookstore, Amazon, or through Far Eastern Press at fareasternpress.com.
The full moon is August 19. Let’s gather our energies together to continue to weave a web of light within and throughout the earth touching the spirit of every living being and connecting us all.
Let us add to our full moon ceremony. On the full moon fill up a bowl with water. It can be water from your house or from an outside source.
Do a transfiguration ceremony filling your room with light and love. This light and love will of course fill the water. The water will reflect back to you your divine state of consciousness.
Leave this water outside allowing the light of the full moon to infuse it. Then on the following day bring it to a natural source of water where you live. Allow the light and love to fill the waters of the world. This will create healing in our web of light and in the web of life.
Remember if you celebrate life, life will celebrate you. To do this you must find peace within.