I am passionate about bringing community together. I know that there is power in shared intentions. A few well-known writers and scholars have integrated science and spirituality to prove that point; Lynne McTaggart has demonstrated that with research outlined in her books The Field and The Power of Eight. But the best way to experience it is to participate in a group that comes together for a shared purpose, like a healing circle.
When community comes together to support one another on their spiritual paths, a solid container is formed for the work. It is etheric in its essence, but that container holds the energy and amplifies its focus. When the group consciously calls in the spirits of the directions and the helping spirits of each person present, we can feel them coming in, standing around the circle. We can feel the energy in the space change. Sometimes it’s like an electrical charge waiting to happen. Sometimes it feels like a comforting light blanket that a loved one drapes over our shoulders.
As is the case with our local healing circle, we settle into our seats in the sacred space we created, and each person gets an opportunity to request healing or to offer to facilitate healing for another. Often the people facilitating the healing energy for someone else find that in itself to be a healing catalyst for themselves as well. If we are a conduit for energy, we receive the benefit of the energy as it flows through us. There is also plenty of space for people to be there in a supporting role; drumming, rattling, grounding what needs to be grounded, joining in the intention for the best possible outcome for the highest good. Everyone supports, everyone benefits.
Three summers ago my friend Lawrence brought me along to a shamanic healing circle in Eugene facilitated by shamanic friends of his, Alida Birch and Reid Hart. I felt the power and grace in both the healing that was happening and in their service to the community.
Afterwards Lawrence and I found we both received nudges from Spirit to facilitate this kind of circle in Corvallis. We teamed up and invited all the people we knew who we thought might be interested and we started meeting once a month. Corvallis is not a large city, with a population just under 60,000, it has a diverse spiritual community with the shamanic portion of that mostly under the radar. We had no idea how it would go, or if anyone would attend. Now it is with a little awe and a lot of gratitude that I realize that that the Corvallis Shamanic Healing Circle just had its second birthday.
In the two years since we started it, the circle has become a dynamic process. It has changed location several times, and its format flexes to fit the energy of the moment and as Spirit directs. We opened it to the public, and not only do we get shamanic practitioners, but now Reiki, Pranic, Attunement and sound healers attend to be in service. I feel like we have been able to evolve and grow our practice to become that solid container for healing to happen in our community.
In these chaotic times, we are all being called to shine our light and step into our authentic selves. When we hear the call that its time to offer our talents and gifts in service to others, we must take that courageous step and answer it, whether we feel ready for it or not. Trust Spirit to know when you, and your community, are ready.
Do you talk to trees?
Do you feel closeness with one special tree, one that you feel speaks to you or even hugs you with its loving energy when you are around it?
Many people feel a kinship with trees, a sacred gratitude in their presence. They can have the aura of a wise guide, a loving grandparent, a mystical sentinel. They are as individual as people. Many folks that work in the spirit realms work with a tree or trees, and many also work with a special place in nature that becomes sacred with the work.
My friend Lawrence Birch, who facilitates the shamanic healing circle with me, had an inspired idea for our circle to work with a “shaman tree”. He shared a great book with me by Evelyn Rysdyk, A Spirit Walker’s guide to Shamanic Tools, in which she talks in great detail about how to create a sacred prayer tree for offerings, prayers, and ceremony. At our May healing circle we asked attendees to bring ideas of trees they know in local places that would be accessible to our group. We asked each person to journey to the tree beforehand to make sure they had their permission to bring them as a nominee. Five trees were brought as possible candidates. Lawrence had a brilliant idea to be the neutral organizer and labeled the trees anonymously A – E. He then led us on short journeys to our helping spirits to choose between two letters, A or B. Afterwards we went around the circle and reported the letter we got, then the one who received the majority went on to the next round, and so on, until only one was left. It was amazing in the last round that almost all of us got the same one. This one became our “shaman tree”, a huge, elder Douglas Fir in Willamette Park at the edge of a quiet, but public clearing.
Our shamanic healing circle met at the tree last weekend. We brought offerings to place in the tall grass and blackberry vines entwining its base, we joined hands around it and sang songs of gratitude, gave it poems and prayers. We journeyed to it and to the surrounding nature spirits. We received messages that were powerful and profound. I was moved very deeply by the experience, as were others. After our circle, I was nudged to the edge of the clearing to take a picture of our tree. The next day I looked at the picture and saw that spirit had honored us in turn by becoming visible light in the photo.
Imagine if a group of people in every city and town came together in community to honor the spirits of nature in all realms. Imagine the pure light of spirit emanating in every one of those circles. Imagine the possibilities for healing our world.
Last night I attended a Full Moon circle organized by Joyelle Petersen and Danielle Heenehan, two amazing women in my town who are bringing back the art of ceremony. The weather was beautiful, so they could hold it outside in a friend’s big backyard. They had rugs, mats and pillows of every color arranged on the grass for the circle. The altar was set up on one side with rattles, drums, sacred herbs. A good crowd of about 15 of us was there at the start time, and we shared tea and snacks we brought. I knew a couple women from other groups, but what struck me was that I felt so easy about talking to the people that I didn’t know, despite my feeling shy in big groups. More women kept trickling in and as I talked to them, I found many times we have some other friend or organization or modality in common.
As the ceremony started and a shamana sang a sacred welcoming song, I looked at the gathering of about 30 women and felt the strong invisible web that we created. We were weavers of our community, teachers, students, moms, grandmothers. Then I could see us in a birds-eye perspective woven together with all the other people coming together in ceremony all over the planet for the full moon, creating our web of light. Visions like that give me great optimism that humanity just might pull through these chaotic times.
Creating ceremony can be hard work. It’s not only just the planning, it takes a devoted energy to hold the sacred space for everyone to come together. I am so grateful that I know people who value ceremony, and have the skills, the heart and respect for the joyful work they take on to feed the spirit of our community.
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 -