Years ago, a shift occurred in the way I perceived the idea of healing. Several of us who provide Reiki and shamanic services for others were in a group with our mentor, Cheri, discussing the word “healing”. It’s loaded with programmed connotations that assumes a person needing healing is less than healthy, less than whole. Cheri told us that she prefers to use the word tending instead of healing. She said that tending is a gardening word. One tends a garden by pulling weeds, fertilizing the soil, planting seeds. When we work with people shamanically and energetically, that’s more along the lines of what we do. We help remove the weeds that take the form of blockages, intrusions, limiting thoughtforms. We fertilize their soil by balancing the energy centers, returning power and any lost soul essences. Then we plant seeds by giving practical tools that they can use on their own to grow and tend what they want in their lives. I absolutely loved that perspective.
On the other side of that, to say that one is a healer also gives the impression that you are the one healing your clients. This is not true. The return to health is actually done by the client themselves. I, and people like me, are facilitators – or tenders – helping that return to health happen. We can hold the space for the client, and connect them with their helping spirits who do energy work for them. We can bring back messages from helping spirits about what would return them to a state of perfection. We can also be the channel for universal Divine energy to flow through us to the client. But we are just the channel. Once the client receives that Divine energy, their Higher Self and Spirit helpers directs it to where it needs to go.
Using the term "healing" can also put the client in a permanent state of seeking health. As practitioners, we must see the client as already in a perfect state. Then we need to help the client see themselves as being in a perfect state of health and wholeness. This is not delusion. This is putting the power of their energy to work for them. Energy flows where attention goes. The mind is an amazing force. Asking the question, “What is the perfection of the situation right now?” opens the space for the Higher Self and Spirit helpers to come in and show them.
For me the definition of tend in the dictionary is the essence of what I am called to do for others. But the words “healing” and “healer” are the ones most commonly used today, especially in alternative or metaphysical care. I find myself using those words when I don’t want to - just to get my meaning across. But I want to shift away from those terms, which is why I called my website Shamanic Soul Tending.
There is a belief system that is prevalent in our society today that we need someone to fix us. A belief system that says we are not capable of, or do not have the power to return ourselves to perfect health. But a rising tide of scientists and new thinkers* are proving that we hold that ultimate power within ourselves. We will continue to reclaim our power and re-frame the idea of how we heal. We will realize that we are all always in a state of Divine perfection, and that we could all just use a little tending now and again.
*Just a few thoughts from those scientists and new thinkers to shine some more light on the subject.
For the past seven weeks I’ve been taking a wonderful workshop with Sandra Ingerman about connecting to Nature Spirits. We’ve journeyed to many animal, plant, elemental and other ancient beings. One of the journeys we did in class was to connect with a mountain. In my journey I asked if I could visit the deva of Mary’s Peak, which is part of the Coast Range that watches over the town of Corvallis from the west. I’ve wanted to connect with the deva since reading Grandma’s Song of Healing, by local author Harry MacCormack. In it he says that the local indigenous people of the area knew that the mountain has the power to attract spiritually aware people to the area. When I read that it resonated as truth within me.
I feel I was called specifically to Corvallis four years ago. Spirit (my general word for spirit guides, helpers and the universal Source of All That Is) arranged my journey here very precisely, and directed me to this exact place, though originally my plans were to move south of here to Eugene. I have met so many other spiritual practitioners, healers and lightworkers who got the same call to come to Corvallis within the past several years. It’s quite remarkable, as I truly had no idea I would be moving here until a few months before I got here. Others I meet say the same was true for them.
In the journey as the drumming began, I reached out to Mary’s Peak. It rose up out of the landscape as a deep green being with vortexes of red, purple, pink and gold moving within it. I asked her if she brought me here. She said yes, and I thanked her, as I love it here. She told me she has brought many others. Her vortexes are fractals, she extends them out across time and space to interact with our fractals in our soul/energy fields and helps to draw us here. We in turn connect to others' fractal lines as we interact with each other. She called it “Fractal Destiny.”
She showed me that she is on ley lines in the Willamette valley that she likens to energetic acupressure points on the earth. Activation occurs on the lines from many things, but us being here on them and having our circles, ceremonies, songs and dances really affects them. In turn, our personal intention to do our work, shine our light, connect with nature and helping spirits and one another has an amplified effect due to the location of these energy lines and points. That is one reason she calls us here. That and the fractal destiny we have with one another as we swirl through interactions we have with each other and our community.
I’ve been thinking a lot about fractal destiny since then, and about how we all get to where we need to go in our lives. When Spirit nudges or pushes us strongly toward an area and we experience remarkable synchronicities and events supporting that, we can trust the message. The ease and flow with which it happens are signs that we are fully supported. Of course we have free will and we can choose to stay where we are, but we shouldn’t be surprised if the opportunity comes around again. Spirit has many ways of getting us to where we need to be!
By consciously working with the power of spring at the vernal equinox, we set ourselves to the rhythm of nature. Being in tune with the cycles and spirits of nature helps keep us in a state of receptive flow. In that state it is easier to connect with our guides and helpers and the spirit in all things.
We need to work with the energy of renewal and cleansing on all levels. Physically this means cleansing the digestive and lymphatic systems. It can be as simple as a one day fast, and then a shifting out of our heavier winter diet from fats and starches like nuts and squash to fresh greens, herbs and berries. Nature has made it so that what is growing seasonally now is exactly what our bodies need to detox. Stinging nettles for tea and miners lettuce for salad are abundant now in Oregon. I like to use red root tincture or tea to help flush the lymph, and a daily massage with sesame oil to move lymph from extremities towards the heart for re-circulation.
Emotional cleansing can come up while we are physically cleansing. We may find ourselves grieving with unexpected depth for someone or something we have lost. Anger may also come up, especially if we are adding liver cleansing herbs like milk thistle and turmeric to our cleanse protocol. The energy of anger is stored in the liver.
Mental cleansing is necessary as well. Going on a news fast may be essential for our reset, and we may find we like it so much that we never go back to it, at least not to the same extent! I also reevaluate activities and people I have been spending time with and decide if they feel like an obligation or a partnership. Is the giving and receiving between us reciprocal?
Energetic spiritual cleansing can be done by journeying to our spirit helpers and asking them to help us see what needs to be released at this time. They may do a dismemberment for us. This sounds gruesome, but it really isn’t frightening. This is a universal type of journey that happens at least once to all spiritual seekers and journeyers. It can happen spontaneously in dreams as well as shamanic journey. Our spirit helpers will take our body apart by chewing or pecking off our flesh and scattering our bones. It can also be facilitated by an elemental like water or fire that dissolves the body. It can happen in a myriad of ways, but the end result is the same; we become free of our physical body for a time. We may look back and see our bones - and what was in us that no longer resonates with who we are becoming - dissolving into dust. We will feel an exquisite lightness as we rise, buoyant, and expand without limitation. We become conscious of ourselves as pure light. We may find ourselves expanded into infinite cosmic realms, aware, and a part of all that is. At the end of the journey we are always remade anew, stepping into our lighter, higher vibrational body. It’s like a spring clean for the soul.
As a kid I loved the spring clean feeling that came with the first mild spring days after the harsh New York winter. We opened all the windows in the house, letting the breezes sweep out stale energy. In line with the traditional spring cleaning of our homes, I clean my altars. I take all the dried flowers and herbs from last year’s ceremonies and offerings and give them back to the earth. In their place I put pussy-willows, daffodils, and camellia blossoms. I re-dedicate my altars to focus on what I want to grow in my life this season.
I hope you’ll take a pause for a reset this season and see what ceremonies, rituals or self-care exercises come up for you. Feel free to share your methods of renewal in the community comments below.
Stinging nettles, Miner's lettuce, daffodils
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 -