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.
The subject of power often comes up in shamanic practice. Power within comes from the knowledge that one can respond to situations from a place of inner strength and integrity. Power is also shared as a partnership with helping spirits, as in with one’s power animals. It’s very common to hear about and to have power animal retrievals. A shamanic practitioner can work with helping spirits to retrieve a power animal for a person who may have been separated from theirs. We can also track where we may have lost power in other ways and retrieve it.
Just about everyone has experienced giving power away or having it taken from them. Often this comes with a feeling of being victimized. With assistance from helping spirits we can go back to those points on our timeline where we felt like we gave away our power to another person or circumstance. We can work with our helping spirits in non-ordinary reality and gather up our lost power.
This week I recently had a major power retrieval situation come up for my own healing. I went back to Arizona for the holidays to visit family. Driving in Tucson I turned down 22nd street, instead of another road I had planned to take. My arms moved the wheel while my mind was occupied with something else. I realized I was going by a duplex where I lived for three years back in my early 20’s. There were many painful points in those years, coming up from the deepest rock bottom I had ever been in my life. Pluto was just coming out of conjunction with my natal sun back then, its depths obscuring my brightness and bringing many of my shadows up for me to deal with in a harsh way. What I remember most from that time is feeling like a victim; of relationships, society, and circumstance. Now almost thirty years later my shamanic self is finding this route not accidental, but a meaningful nudge from helping spirits.
I did a check in. Am I coming back by here because there are still cords to cut to disconnect me from the energy of this place? No, not cords, but I’m seeing that there are threads of power that need to be reclaimed and brought back home to myself. An Ah-hah moment! Then later due to road work, I had to detour and drive through another neighborhood where I lived before the duplex, which was the point where I began my slide down into that lowest, darkest time of my life. Ahh, now this is getting very interesting.
As I’m heading south on the interstate, I’m thinking about the timing of revisiting so many places I used to live. And I’m thinking about all the times and places in my life where I have lost or given away power. I realize that I need to do a journey to reclaim and gather back that power. Right after that thought, a semi-trailer comes into view, and painted on the side is a green lightning bolt and the word SKY. Power, Sky. I laughed out loud. Sometimes Spirit wants to make sure I really get the message!
The day after I got home from my trip, I sat before my altar and went into journey. My helping spirits took me to the places in non-ordinary reality where my lost power was waiting for me. We visited five places. In each case my lost power was being looked after by guardian spirits who were glad to return it, and told me about the gifts that were returning with it.
This kind of work is profoundly personal, but my helping spirits want me to share a little of what I experienced to help others understand this kind of healing. In one part of my journey a gray-green swirling water whirlpool appeared. There was a tunnel going down through the middle of it. Suddenly from out of this tunnel rises a big beautiful dragonfly, iridescent with water droplets. It flies around me sprinkling water on me, its presence full of joy which rains down on me. I feel the joyful iridescence infusing my energy field and into my cells, and especially my eyes. I was shown that this related to a time thirty years ago when the water company shut off our water for non-payment. I remember the feeling of helplessness and anger as I was pleading with the water company employee that there had been some mistake as my husband had told me he had paid the bill (he hadn’t). The gift in this power return was primarily joy, but also the ability to see through illusion.
I have had plenty of joy in my life since then. This gift was related to the power of joy and trust that I had lost in this one incident. Its loss in effect was a small hole in my energetic make-up, that is now filled in and repaired. It was apparently a nexus point of some kind for me that required this attention. Not every power loss is going to require this kind of specific healing.
Being open to the messages that our spirit helpers send our way will help us track what kind of work needs to be done to return us to wholeness. The more we can achieve wholeness, the more inner power we can hold. That makes it easier for us to do our work, to help others, and to shine our light in the world.
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 kindredspirits 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 -
My friend and herbalist mentor, Lawrence Birch is a Certified Clinical Herbalist, plant whisperer and shamanic practitioner. If you need custom tincture blends or are interested in a wildcrafting apprenticeship, he is the teacher extraordinaire:
Roger Wheelock and Gayle Ruth are shamanic practitioners and teachers in the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. https://www.rainmother.com/ I am grateful to be able to take part in ceremony with them, and to support their love for the Peruvian people through the World Ayni Association.