The mushroom people have been calling to me in my hikes this fall. They flash a glimpse at me and head me off the trail like an arrow pointing in detour. I’m led to an interesting stand of tiny pale fungi trees sprouting in the pine needles of the forest floor. Or I look inside a hollow tree stump and am surprised by a vibrant cluster of fungi family. Delicate looking with frills and gills, they are in fact so hardy that they grow anywhere; in sun, in shade, up on trees, hidden underground. Their colors are often ethereal shades, even in the earthy tones. After they have sprouted, matured and released spores, they melt into fantastical shapes as they recycle themselves into the matrix from which they unfolded.
I have never seen so many different mushrooms and fungi before coming to Oregon. When I see them, I feel their energy as enchantment. They have a symbolism associated with magical realms in stories and cultures spanning ages around the world from Mayan sculptures to the Rig texts to Disney animations. In my modern western culture, I associate them with faeries and other hidden folk, earth Elemental gnomes, entheogens, and doorways into non-ordinary reality.
After connecting to them on my hikes, I wanted to connect to them in the spirit realms to get to know them better. I visited them in their fungi realm in the Lower World and asked if I could step into their energy fields. I immediately felt blanketed in a soft full feeling of kindness and compassion. I also felt that they radiated a deep inexhaustible supply of power.
They say that they are like the skin and nerves of the planet. Their underground mycorrhizal mat is like a nerve matrix. They showed it to me as tiny neural-like fibers within the soil, winding through roots and seeds and pebbles and stone. Tiny sparks of light flash here and there in communication and transmutation. They sense everything. They work as an energetic network linking together plants, trees, insects, and animals and minerals. They are working hard to transmute all kinds of toxins and pollutants, trying to keep up with us as we keep dumping more all over the planet.
I asked them if they had a message for us that I could share. They said that they are the forest under our feet that we cannot see. They send messengers to interact with the above world in the form of mushroom and fungi people. When we interact with them by feeling enchanted by their beauty or in the excitement of collecting them for our meals, that emotion transmits through the fungi, down into the neural mat and through the matrix instantly over a great distance. They appreciate the energy of our love and gratitude as they can send it around the earth almost instantaneously. It is beneficial to the planet and all life.
Even if we are living in a place where we don’t usually see mushrooms and fungi in nature, we’ll still see their images just about everywhere. We’ll see them in the produce section of the grocery store, in art, in lawn ornaments, browsing the internet. When we see their images, we can remember to send them love and gratitude for who they are and all they do. They’ll get the energy. And in their infinite kindness they will return the favor and share it far and wide.
How often do we think about the spirit of water? Or think of water as an Elemental being? We don’t think about it at all usually because our heads are full of the logistics of living our lives. That amazing hot shower we took this morning was probably full of thinking about plans for the day, not about the spirit of the water. But on a subconscious level water is communicating with us, as it washes through our energetic field, as we drink it during the day. We have a relationship with the water Elementals (who prefer to be called Undines), we are just unconscious of it most of the time.
It’s relatively easy for me to relate to water. I’ve got a lot of it in my chart and my sun is in fixed water. I grew up wanting to swim in it as much as possible, in the lakes, ponds, and pools of upstate New York. I was even on swim teams when I was a kid. But meeting it as an energetic being and having relationship with it was remarkable. I understand why my shamanic teacher brought in the Elemental teachings early in our studies, and I do the same with people that I teach.
My awareness of water has changed over time as our relationship deepened. In the desert I learned to smell water and was awed when I saw the power of flash floods come racing down arroyos. There was never enough of it until the monsoons brought too much. When floods receded, it could be five or six months until it rained again.
When I got to Oregon, I found the abundance of water to be comforting. In the late fall and winter it can rain every day for weeks at a time. The morning fog turns to a misty rain that becomes a steady shower all day long. It creates rivulets that collect into streams, rushing into storm drains and creeks, eventually finding its way to the rivers, and from there to the sea. Rain is scarce in summer, and we get three months of hot sun and long bright days until fall brings rain again. And by then we are ready for the water and the greening of the land.
This year the rains came back early. A whole week in September of rain, unusual. Then more gray days and more rain.
During this same time, my daughter moved out to go on to the University. The two of us had been the nucleus of each other’s existence for 20 years. I was happy for her being ready to move on, I felt it was the right time for both of us. We were both ready to start this new phase in our lives. But I was surprised at all the different emotions that came up as I adjusted to living alone for the first time in my life. On the surface, I wanted more summer sun and was not ready for all this rain. Underneath that, I was not ready to fully recognize all the emotions unleashed at this major life change. I had no distraction, no other housemate to give my attention to, and my processing was stuck in a loop. I realized I was spiraling down into a funk.
The rains stopped for a few days and the sun came back. I felt Spirit nudging me to take a day off from everything. I needed to go to the coast. It was due to be a perfect sunny warm beach day. I needed to let nature be my counselor, my guide, my medicine.
Coming down the beach to the ocean felt like a loving reunion after a long uphill journey.
She flowed up to my ankles and spoke to me. “Look where you are standing now at the edge of the world. Think back on all your challenges and hardships over your lifetime and all the times you did not know how you would make it through another day. All of your steps led you here. To me, to this day, to stepping into your true self and your power, to this good life you have made for yourself and your daughter. You can put down your burdens now, they are like grains of sand scattering in the breeze. It is time to embrace your joy.”
Heart opened, tears welling up, I released the doubts and vulnerabilities that had come up in my recent funk. I released my burdens. I gave gratitude to the Undines for their rains that floated things to the surface, their streams that moved them along and to their ocean who embraced and transmuted them.
I gave myself over to the medicine of the day, and was completely renewed.
I love to learn new things, especially when they happen to be completely out of my realm of previous experience. This summer I was enrolled in a class with shamanic teacher and healer Christina Pratt called the Shadow Transformation Protocol. I’ve been doing shadow work for a few years, but I’m interested in different ways of approaching that work. I was ready to go for a deeper dive and explore her methods of shadow transformation, which included shamanic journeying, engaging the archetypal Crazy Woman for our spirit guide, ceremony and ritual…and dance.
When I signed up, I didn’t know about the major role that dance would play in the work. Most of my life I have never been much of a dancer, I always felt awkward the few times I tried. But when I moved to Corvallis, I saw a lot of regular community ecstatic dance events being advertised on social media. It sounded like fun and I was interested, but it was out of my comfort zone. I was told by friends who went that everyone just did their own thing, it was very freestyle. I finally got some courage, and a friend who was also out of her comfort zone about it, and we went. I loved it! Since then I attend the community ecstatic dance events whenever I can. It clears my mind, grounds and balances my energy centers, and it’s a romping good time!
But in this class when I found out that we would be getting to know our retrieved shadow selves by using dance, I had no idea how to do that. I was out of my comfort zone again. Not only did I have to get to know my shadow self, I had to get specific information about them, and Christina wanted us to do this primarily with dance.
Slowly, I gave myself over to the dancing. Using the excellent tools she gave us, and sharing playlists with other students, I began to dance regularly in my living room. I had my notebook open to jot down whatever information came through the dance. After a few nights, a surprising breakthrough happened. I was able to actually divine information through dancing. I was so astonished this actually worked for me. The key was letting go and trusting Crazy Woman to help me divine what I needed to know through movement and felt sense. So now I dance for fun, I dance for physical and mental well-being, and I dance for information.
As I was in this process, I remembered being in training with my Reiki Master, Sensei Kelly Jackson, in 2015 before I left Arizona for Oregon. As she trained and attuned me to the master level, she told me she had a vision of me in Oregon dancing with spirit beings all around me. At the time I thought that was figurative, but it turned out to be exactly what I am doing here now!
We all will experience Divination in our own unique ways. It can come through seeing, like Kelly’s way, or hearing the voice of spirits coming through our ear or onto paper, or a knowing that floods the mind and body. Or it can come through the dance. The key is to be open, release expectations, and allow yourself to move out of your comfort zones.
"Moon Dancer" by artist Julia Watkins
To help you tend to soul issues that may manifest in physical, emotional, mental or spiritual aspects of your life, and to give you tools to empower your path to harmony and well-being.
-There are so many kindred spirits doing the work out there. I include these links to help our community connect with one another.
SACRED HOOP Magazine Guide to Shamanism Compilation- http://www.sacredhoop.org/Pages/FreeGuide.html
Kitzie's podcasts include interviews with artists and kirtan music. I love attending her weekly Satsang group and the New World Kirtan Band concerts -
Energy Intuitive and Nature Communicator - Cheri Melton's work with Devas and Nature Spirits is profound. So happy to have her as a friend and mentor -