When I was starting out on my shamanic path, my first teacher, Lone Dove, told me that since I made my decision to follow the spirit path of my true self, that which no longer supported my true self would fall away from me. This would include partners, friends, jobs, ideals, belief systems, and ways of being in the world. She said the shadow part of ego was to believe that these needed to change with me as I changed. The way out of that judgement was to release them to their perfect path.
It made me uneasy at first. Who would I be without them? Could I make it without them? I had relied on some of them for a long time as defining who I thought I was, as well as for sustenance and support. It took courage, but I also realized that ultimately it took love. It is an action based on unconditional love, both for myself and for them. It releases us each to follow our own will and destiny. Who am I to say what is perfect for anyone or anything else? How can I know what their perfect path is? I can only know what mine is, and by keeping that integrity for myself is the best I can do for all involved.
Releasing them to their perfect path became one of my most healing philosophies and tools. It is a state where I end my attachment to the idea that things can be any different than how they are at this moment. The action is in the decision to release them to their perfect path. Often further actions are needed after that to facilitate the release. If it involves cutting ties with a person or institution, then I must take that next step. Most times I have found that it is easier than I thought it would be because I am coming from a place of love, not hurt or anger, even if it is only love for myself. Energetic action may be also be necessary. I cut any etheric cords that would keep energy flowing between us. I set clear boundaries. I also ask my guides if there are any soul essences that I have may have lost or that I may have taken unconsciously, and if so, ask for their help in the return.
Releasing something or someone to their perfect path does not always end the relationship. Our perfect paths may still go in the same direction together, but the relationship changes it so that we are each in alignment with our own integrity.
We all want to help others, especially if we have family and friends who are in pain and want our help. And we can help in many practical ways, but sometimes we overstep our good intentions. The most common egoistic trap of all humans is to think that we know what is best for another person. Releasing them to their perfect path frees us from this trap and respects their free will. It says we trust their Higher Self and guides to help them fulfill their soul’s purpose. Just as we trust in ours to help us fulfill our own.
Years after learning this from Lone Dove, I delved deeper into soul work through shamanic practice and reading Dolores Cannon’s quantum healing hypnosis case studies. I looked at etheric contracts, soul group and lineage agreements, and how past lives interconnect us with others. It neutralized the urge in me to judge anyone or anything. There is so much more going on at a soul level than we can ever realize!
Our current lives here on earth are but a tiny strand in the thread of our soul that is interwoven into the tapestry of the universe in the loom of the Source of All There Is. Our purpose is to love and take care of our tiny strand the best we can. As we do that, the integrity of our strand is radiated to the other strands so that we all make the thread strong and the tapestry wondrous.
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.
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 -