Shamanism, or Spirit Medicine*, is universal because it is a unique relationship between a person and their helping spirits. That relationship transcends cultures, ages, and epochs. It’s a completely individual experience, yet the framework for it has remained relatively unchanged for millennia. Spirit reaches out to those it wants to work with, those who are meant to walk on this path. There are a lot of us walking this path now, here to help humanity as it stands on this precarious brink of transformation to either an evolved state or annihilation of ourselves and our home.
When Spirit reaches out to a person, they know it. The calling to this path can be a profound one such as a near death experience or a severe illness. It can be a life-changing event like a divorce, or a bankruptcy or losing a job. It can also come from a natural psychic ability, or a deep affinity for Spirit. And it can also come in gentle nudges, moving you into contact with people and experiences that work like sudden pathways or doors opening up to you, calling you to explore.
In my own experience, it was an abrupt divorce. After 14 years of maintaining codependence in a difficult relationship, I suddenly had to gather and stand in my own power. At the time I was only working part-time and anxious about how I would provide for my 18-month-old daughter. I was also angry, mostly at myself, for letting myself get into this situation in the first place. Finding my empowerment was a slow process, but Spirit was there supporting me all the way.
We lived in a rural area in southern Arizona at the time, with miles of open space around us, neighbors few and far between. The land was my solace. Most days I would put my daughter into her stroller and the dog and I would wheel her down the long bumpy rocky driveway and dirt road to the mostly dry riverbed nearby. I felt comfort being offered to me from the giant cottonwoods that lined the bank of the river. I received healing from the changing river bed itself, full of water and mud in the summer and full of leaves in the fall and winter.
It was on one of these walks that a song came to me. It was short and rather odd, and kept repeating over and over as I walked rhythmically down the dusty road. I knew that it was a song of power. At that time, I didn’t know what to do with it. Even though I had always been interested in shamanism, I did not think that it could ever be my path. I filed that curious song away, and concentrated on finding a full-time job and taking care of my daughter.
Seven years later as I was studying with my first shamanic teacher, that song came back to me. I could understand it and begin to work with it. And today, ten years after that, that song is integrated into my being, wrapped around my DNA and woven through my energy body. And the calling blossomed into a relationship with all my helping spirits, full of amazing synchronicities, grace and ultimate trust.
I am so grateful for hearing the calling through the pain and chaos back then. That major turning point in my life was what brought me back to my true self, my purpose in this lifetime, and the path of my heart.
Whatever is happening in your life, keep your awareness honed. A calling, a song of power, a synchronicity is coming to guide you on your path. Be ready.
*Spirit Medicine is a term Hank Wesselman uses that I really like
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.
Synchronicity is one of the ways Spirit lets you know they are working with you bigtime. Many of us called to the shamanic or other direct spiritual practice naturally have one foot in Ordinary reality and one foot in Non-ordinary reality. We have learned how to switch back and forth depending on the situation and environment. But if you must operate in Ordinary reality most of the day handling more left brain things like a regular type day job, interacting with the public, driving – Spirit does find a way to connect you to Non-ordinary reality with moments of synchronicity.
Last week I was working on my computer and listening to Spotify and the exact moment I clicked on a word on my screen, I heard that word in the song I was listening to, and it wasn’t even in my playlist. It was random. That feeling came over me like I had slipped into a non-ordinary state. But my logical mind was on it before I could tell it to just relax and go with the feeling. I paused the music, then replayed it to make sure that was really the word I heard. Yep. Then the giddiness and glow washed over me as I felt that Universe and all my guides and Source just took my hand for a brief moment, reminding me they are right here with me, right now.
Yesterday I had an energy work session with a friend, and while she was working on my heart chakra, I had a vision - a greenhouse full of roses. We talked a lot about relationships and heart healing during the session. When I left and got in the car and turned on the radio, there was a song on about roses. Sitting up and taking note now.
This happens a lot with me with music. And I don’t even listen to music all that much anymore, coming to appreciate silence for what it is. And lately when I do listen to music, it has been mostly kirtan, and it’s mostly in Sanskrit! So Spirit has to take the opportunity when it comes up to give me these synchronicity moments when they know I am paying attention.
When this first happened to me years ago I was stuck on figuring what it meant. I was sure it had some deeper specific meaning. As years have gone by and my relationship with Spirit has deepened, I know that there are times when the messages are literal, and times when they are more general. But when they come in clusters like this, I know that something big is on the horizon, a personal breakthrough or major change of perception. I shift into being extra aware of my felt sense, paying attention. Then I can receive the message with both neutrality and gratitude. And a little bit of giddiness.
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 -