Month: March 2021
Update to the Soul Compass Path
I know it’s a bit late in the game to announce the changes coming to the Soul Compass Path, but it felt necessary even though we are a little over a week away from this 9 month program taking off.
The first big change is that I will be breaking up this 9 month program into two sections.
- Part 1 – The Foundations: Months 1-4
- Part 2 – Coming Home: Months 5-9
Part 1 will pretty much be the same, where it’s the first four months of discovering and practice using shamanic tools so that we can be ready for the second part of the program. It will still include a group soul retrieval, void ceremony, dancing, divination, and shamanic journeying skills.
Part 2 will be crafted out of my own experiences as a shamanic practitioner to help one come back home to themselves. In my own shamanic community, the Last Mask Community, we are undergoing a community wide death ritual. You can read a little more about how it’s affecting me here. But one major shift is the changing of my identification, choosing to go by my first name of Chenchira instead of Stephanie in celebration of coming back to my roots. The second half of the program will be a reflection of this shift.
My year of living on an off grid organic farm have truly changed how I look at the world. We, as a culture, have grown so far away from our sources of food that many don’t know what the plants look like that grow our food. We only see the results of the harvest on the grocery shelves instead of helping with the harvest. It’s hard to feel gratitude for something we give a monetary exchange for, but as all gardeners know – there’s a sense of pride that comes in knowing where our food came from.
America was founded on uprooting homelands, both the migration from many ancestral homelands, as well as the displacement of indigenous people already living in harmony with the land. This sense of distance from our ancestors constantly migrating, or having set down roots for only a handful of generations can sometimes generate a sense of not belonging. The second part of the program is specifically designed to address the lack of belonging, lie of separation, eco-justice, and bringing grounded practices into our contemporary lives with a framework of living in harmony with the earth to support a framework to position ourselves to better handle changing the wider systems of oppression without drowning in overwhelm or numbing out.
There’s a growing sense of hopelessness that arises, and the grief that bubbles out of the heartbreak of our broken culture. As we feel the effects of the pandemic still within our culture, the effects of climate change, and the harsh reality of internalized racism – a need for change is calling to us. Not just a temporary change where we can feel okay with marginal improvements – but a true transformation that can fuel a regenerative change in a grounded way.
There is a change that is coming, where we can no longer look towards “sustainable” as a way of life. If we settle for being “sustainable”, then we will have already lost the battle before it has begun, sustaining a broken culture. We need to look at practices that are regenerative, repairing the damage or bridges we have burned to come back home to ourselves.
For those who have already registered and paid their deposit, no changes need to be made to your registration. For anyone interested in just the second part of the program either need to have completed past iterations of the first four months of the program, or their equivalent.
- Link to Soul Compass Path Landing page
- Link to updated course outline
- Link to sign up for orientation on March 18th
- Form to sign up for both sections of the Soul Compass Path
Any questions? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming Home – Power of Names
It’s been a week, and I have slowly started to allow this shift in identity to become more public. I have decided to change the name by which I go by. I’m not changing my name, because I’ve actually been going by my middle name – which is Stephanie.
Why? In my preteens and well into my twenties, I was known as Skwerl because I was hyper, full of energy and scatterbrained. I also was so deeply afraid of myself and committing to things that I had so much stuff on my plate to distract myself from what I truly wanted to do. It’s why I decided to go back to my real name, because I knew something was wrong when even my closest friends forgot my name was Stephanie.
It’s been about ten years, but I’m really going back to my roots for my naming identity on this one. My first name is actually Chenchira. I’ve shied away from it, dreading being called it in school because after the teacher did the inevitable pause in roll call, mouthing my name a few times before trying it out and normally butchering it, the most common thing people confused me for was a either a chinchilla or a chia pet. Besides that, Thai is a tonal language and I cringed hearing the American version of my name since I was so ashamed that I didn’t even grow up with Thai in the household because my mom didn’t want to confuse me with being bi-lingual growing up. Heck, half the time I can’t even pronounce my sisters name right (sorry, Sis!), even though it’s one syllable.
I’m processing for a big ceremony coming up in my shamanic community, and one of the things we are asked to do is really ask what part of ourselves is standing in the way of us being this manifestation of us living/expressing our gifts fully in our lives. One aspect of me that I am putting to rest, is this part of me that’s okay with having “enough”. It’s this part of me that’s okay with the status quo and just gets by with contributing and doing “enough” so that it feels like I’m making a difference instead of actually giving it my all and not settling for less until all of my brothers, sisters and siblings have equality. It’s this same part of me that didn’t even want to try and correct people when they mispronounced my first name, giving up by choosing to go by my white presenting name so I can fit in better and not have to deal with what uncomfortability my first name brings. Obviously I have grown a lot from that uncomfortability, so I feel that I can now embrace my first name in a way where I won’t mind if people mispronounce it as they are learning it. In the week of practicing with close friends and family, I find that this transition has brought more smiles as people try to remember the pronunciation, honoring my choices and reclamation of power. I have also felt a significant shift in my relationship with my ancestors, since I’m acknowledging and claiming my half Thai heritage from my moms side, when I’ve been avoiding it practically my whole life.
Names are power, and I feel like skirting around my first name in a weak hearted way for decades was my avoiding stepping into power. So I’m sacrificing “Stephanie” to the fire in exchange of the possibility of who Chenchira can become.
I’m not changing my name. I’m just changing how I identify. Chenchira is my birth name. I’m coming home.
Please call me by Chenchira (pronounced Chen-cheer-ah) from here on out. I’ll hold you with compassion if you slip up and call me Stephanie, I’ll just correct you 🙂
Thank you for taking the time to read this update. Many blessings to you and your family. May your ancestors be proud as we take new actions in this pivotal time in history.
SJG: Tending Shrines
The journey topic for this meeting is tending shrines. We will talk about the pitfalls and challenges around manifesting our relationship with spirit and what that looks like in daily life. I loved that we explored how we all each individually tend our shrines, as well as possible ways that we could tend it. It’s a lot simpler then you may think! And it really is about being more mindful about our actions in the physical world, not what goes on in our head.
I mentioned a podcast during the group, it is this one by Christina Pratt and Why Shamanism Now. Some different shrines or altars one could tend could be the main working altar if you are just starting, to an ancestral shrine, an earth shrine, water shrine, or even a spirit of the land. The options are up to you, just make it sacred and make it beautiful!
Please post your comment if you wish to share what you received in journey space. If you would like to join this discussion on Facebook, join our Journey Group on Facebook.
Some helpful references:
- What is Shamanic Journeying
- You watched the video below, and now you want to journey at home. What’s a suggested protocol on how to do that?
- Why is Energy Body Hygiene important when journeying
- Crafting a good journey question
- Deepening our Relationship with our Helping Spirits
- Journey Group Archives
Link to download the video
Link to download the audio