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SJG 9/25/18: Sacred Garden

This was a nice journey group where we ended up exploring our inner sacred garden. You can listen/watch below for our suggested journey group topic.

For more information, you can click these links:

We are currently dismantling the forums, so now people can just post onto posts like these. We will be having a directory of suggested journey topics and ceremonies in the future (winter time project).

Much love everyone!fountaingarden

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Journey Group 8-28-18

I swear, I’m going to get better about posting better suggested journey topics! Here is todays journey group in case you would like to get involved in the conversation 🙂

Todays group was about tending our own inner fire in context of summer coming to an end. What are some good journey questions we can reflect in on at this time?

Thanks for watching!

Other pages you might visit:

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What is a power object?

Plenty of people have heard me talk about power objects and why they are so significant. The basic definition of a power object that was explained to me, is any object that we use with intention for a specific purpose. In a way, a toothbrush or glasses can be looked at as a type of daily power object that we use and they are very important to us because we have a specific amount of personal energy invested in those objects. Hence why sometimes it’s easier for us to “track” where we’ve lost our glasses as opposed to other objects, because they carry more significance for us.

cropped-Header.jpgA shamanic power object is an object created through intention and prayer. It can be as simple as a few choice words written onto a piece of paper before you burn it for a one time use. It can manifest as concretely as a drum or rattle, to work with throughout the course of a lifetime – potentially passed down to the next generation. It can be something that already exists, like a gemstone, crystal, or scarf. The point that gets made with a shamanic power object is the amount of energy that is invested by both yourself and Spirit. Often times, a spirit of something will be blown into a power object. This is how the object feels “alive”, because it literally takes on a life of its own. When the spirit of the power object has served its purpose and moved on, typically the power object will break or crack in some way – thus releasing the spirit. The spirit within the power object generally needs to be honored in some fashion, especially if it is a sacred power object.

Common examples of Shamanic Power Objects:

  • Eye curtain to help assist with journeying. Every time you would put on this eye curtain, it helps you get to and maintain a specific altered state of consciousness. Typically these are handmade and can easily be made by folding a bandanna in half and then cutting them so it has that fringe on the bottom.
  • A Mask of your helping spirit – to help with embodying that specific helping spirit.
  • Staff or Walking Stick – This will help one connect more with the “world tree” to make travel easier between realms of Non-Ordinary reality.
  • Shamanic Regalia – All of the above can be categorized as part of a Shamanic Practitioners regalia. This helps them embody their own helping spirits or the energies they want to work with on a more intimate level. This helps us ground into the middle world, because that’s where our physical bodies are. Other aspects of Shamanic Regalia include scarves, rings, jewelry, etc. They can either be hand crafted or inherited already assembled. More information below.
  • Drum or Rattle – These are power objects that are typically their own being. They sometimes only want to come out for sacred events or ceremonies. Please don’t touch another persons drum or rattle unless they invite you to. This is another reason why sometimes people keep their drums back and away from the circle unless they are holding it. Some drums people have made by themselves, and are sacred. Typical unspoken language includes covering a drum or rattle to denote its sacredness, so that others don’t touch that particular power object. There are some that are more friendly then others.

Working with pre-made power objects

You can get the call from Spirit to craft your own power objects, such as necklaces, bracelets, eye curtains, and potentially drums or rattles. There is such an empowerment to making something and co-creating it with Spirit. But what happens if you have an heirloom that has been gifted to you? A carving of an animal that you didn’t make?

Sometimes power objects already have power and they need to find their next home. These things are often very mysterious to people that don’t know much about the background or history of power objects. When a particularly sensitive person picks up an object, they can feel into the energy an object and feel the emotions or energy of what is within the object. That’s why it is important that if a particular power object doesn’t want that energy in them anymore, it is released in a good way. Even if you can’t feel the power within it. Don’t just assume what you need to do for this power object. This is an active state of “listening” that takes our other senses to pick up what exactly needs to be done.

Did you ask your helping spirit for a way to connect with them a lot easier then journeying? Then get a gift of a owl trinket to put on your keys from a friend that “thought of you” and got it? This is very common. And it’s also recommended to cleanse the object before you really begin working more intimately with it.

If journeying is a skill you possess, then feel free to journey to the spirit of what is already there (if you pick something up) and ask for it to show you how to release it (if that is what is called for), or how to begin working with it. Make sure to keep checking your truth cord to see if this is something that resonates with you, or perhaps if this Power Object is meant to go to someone else.

rockpileSometimes power objects can be much more simpler then that. A simple stone picked up from the beach, woods, or desert might be a great power object to help you connect in with a particular Spirit of the Land. While there in a power spot, feel the draw of that particular rock that wants to help assist you in connecting with the land. If you get a “No”, please do not take and respect the answers you get from nature. If you do get a “Yes”, then give gratitude and sprinkle some tobacco, cornmeal, or gift an offering of a song. Giving gratitude is important, because that helps keep the flow of Ayni alive.

Working with rocks, gemstones or crystals can be a wonderful way to create a power object. Something to be mindful of, is that most rocks, and crystals already have a living spirit within them, so you have to ask permission from the item if they would like to embody the energy. Most of the time you will get a yes, but it’s always polite to ask.

Sometimes we need help releasing toxic thoughts, or a reminder of something that aligns with our true path. A gemstone or crystal is the perfect being to ask if they will help embody an energy so we can connect with it easier and draw it closer to us. For example, if we are going through a particularly tough time, we can ask a stone to embody the energy of Forgiveness so that we can have compassion for ourselves and be mindful of this whenever we pick up the rock. Another power object that I interact with daily is a crystal that represents true love for me. Sometimes it has been prescribed to clients of mine to have a stone that represents Sovereignty as a reminder that they are whole and complete beings, and to hold that energy daily to remind themselves that they have the ability to stand within their own power and not be afraid.

This is why it is helpful to have an altar practice. This doesn’t have to be long, but power objects make it easier to be able to place them in a spot that we have already declared as sacred space. Because if we make room for the sacred in our lives, the sacred will happily meet us there. It is our responsibility to tend the sacred within ourselves, and also be responsible for our connections to the greater web of life. Living a Shamanic life is about living in right relationship with the world around you. It’s not about how many connections or relationships you have, but the depth of them.

If you’ve got a busy life that is very full, it holds a lot of meaning that you spend about 5-10 minutes praying in the same spot daily. This is how we stay connected, empowered, and apart of the greater universe. Power objects make it a lot easier, but with this, it is a responsibility to take care of them.

Funny story, I’ve got a badger power animal, and he helps me with specific tasks in Non-Ordinary Reality. I’ve been told in a journey about 2-3 years ago that I needed to find a power object for him. Lo-and behold – My housemate got him at a store, and I did a simple “awakening” Ceremony just by playing around with him, chewing on his figurine paws, and other things. The power object also found me. It was simple, easy, and didn’t take a lot of time to imbue this figurine with power. But I put a lot of feeling into it. Now that this figurine is a power object, it sometimes ends up disappearing and I don’t know where it goes. When I hear a scream or shout from either my son or my housemate, I know that the badger has been found. It has a mind of its own, and sometimes the losing and finding of the power object is something that is able to help me find a deeper meaning or message without traveling into Non-Ordinary Reality because the energy of badger is within that power object.

If you’re really intrigued by this topic and you would like more support, there is this wonderful guide by Evelyn Rysdyk called, “A Spirit Walkers Guide to Shamanic Tools: How to Make and Use Drums, Masks, Rattles, and Other Sacred Implements “. You can purchase the book here.

Have fun with this. It’s a lot easier then you think 🙂

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Singing to your food

I know it might sound ridiculous and you’re afraid people might laugh at you or judge you if they catch you doing it. However, being kind to your food actually helps you in the long run.

Sensitive people can tell the difference when someone makes them food, and they really put their love and care into that food. When we get food prepared for us (especially from a fast food restaurant), it’s disconnecting in a way. Sure, it might taste good, but somehow it doesn’t fill us up like Grandmas Apple Pie did.

We can be magical just like our Grandparents and make amazing food with depth and meaning if we just focus our attention on our food in a conscious way. Most people live to eat. We should be making the switch to eat to live. If we slowly stop overconsuming food because the food that we cook or eat has our intention cooked into it, we can become “full” even easier. Thus learning to stop overeating can become easier.

Many people that are Reiki practitioners bless their food with Reiki. Hey, if that floats your boat then cool! I actually pray by singing. I connect my intention with my voice and singing always puts me in a good mood. I intentionally connect with the food that I’m about to cook and will often sing to it. What does that mean energetically? I am blessing my own food and eating my prayers. I’m not as disconnected from my food and I feel a sense of connection to something bigger out there in the big web of life.

Even if you’re a horrible cook and can’t cook for yourself, try just humming something to your microwave dish. Make the intention to connect to your food and give gratitude for the many hands it took to get it to your table. If you’re also looking to deepen your Shamanic Practice, set a little food aside for the land spirits and ancestors in gratitude for the food that is about to nourish your body.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

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Fire and Passion

If you have found this page, there is no coincidence that you are on a path of self discovery.  Even if that wasn’t your intention, you somehow still wound up finding this page.  This post directly deals with the Fire as an element, and how we can journey to find out the depth of our relationship with this element.  It can be a direct reflection upon us and how we function in this world.  We will be going through these journeying topics at the Shamanic Journey Group of Fairfax, however this can also be a “follow along at home” directional for those that wish to take this slowly and in a step-by-step process.

I shall update the table of contents as the blog posts get written.

Table of contents:

Purity and the Elements – Main post, Introduction to four element system and why

Earth – Representation of our Physical Body

Air – Representation of our Mental Body

Fire (this post)

Water (coming soon)

Fire is one of those elements that requires the right balance in order to burn in a way that is healthy.  Previously in other blog posts, we have discussed that Earth represents our physical body, Air represents our mental body, water represents our emotional body, and fire is the pivot point of all of these elements – representing our spiritual body.  Our Western Contemporary culture doesn’t value (or in the past has not valued) our spiritual body.  We do things that go against our integrity all the time: not fully being “present” and in the moment, falling back on what we said we were going to do, not being realistic about our expectations and overestimating the energy that we have left before we commit to a task, etc.  In order for our metaphorical fire to burn well, the other three elements have to be in balance.

Let’s start at the base.  Imagine your place of power, or the place you have visited with your guides before.  Go back to that same place to see you relationship with these elements and be open to the images that pop up.  If our metaphorical “ground” is too shaky, porous, or wet, and it not well formulated – is that a good place to build a fire?  Is it wise to build a fire on top of a whole bunch of dry grass?  Here is where I introduce the concept of judgement, because I know this has come up in previous journeys. When viewing our metaphors, we must not ask is “Is this wrong or right?” because that puts us in a mind frame of judgement.  If we label something as “Good” or “Bad”, then we will automatically categorize things into polar opposites for us.  Maybe having something a particular way can be beneficial, but we can’t see the value of it until we appreciate it later.  Sometimes the biggest miracle is God’s unanswered prayers.  Perhaps someone does need to build a fire on top of dry grass, because that dry grass represents a lot of the “burnt out” challenges they have had in their life and they need to clear it all out. Yes, it turns into a fire storm, and that can be chaotic for a time – but perhaps that drained state once the fire burns out is exactly what they need to be receptive for the next lesson. Sometimes we need to be under pressure before we can grow.  For example, conifers are a type of tree where fire is vital in their life cycle.  The seeds cannot germinate unless they have been cracked open by fire.  Everything has its learning opportunity, and learning to ask the right questions of Spirit is key to understanding ourselves and how we operate.

Now to deepen this metaphor.  If we go back to our earth element in the form of wood instead of just the ground, we can equate the wood to our materials for consumption.  Do we have too much wood?  Do we not have enough wood?  The wood can represent what we use to feed/nourish ourselves.  If we don’t feed or nourish ourselves properly, then how can we have enough physical stamina to burn the wood?  If we happen to sleep really well, eat right, and then wake up with a full stack of logs to burn, do we have a tendency to set everything on fire at once?  Usually what that looks like in physical reality is the person getting really super excited about an idea, then they proceed to go forward with many different tasks, throwing all of their logs on their fire and expending all of their energy at once.  Before they know it, after they get through half their day, their energy is depleted and they are dragging by the end of the day.  The question is not “Is this method wrong or right” but “Does this method serve me?” or “Is this a healthy way for me to expend my energy”.

If our mental state is out of balance, perhaps we might have too much wind to add to our metaphor.  If there is too much air (too many thoughts circulating), then sometimes our fire can burn out of control and we can run out of fuel (wood) faster then what we normally would.  Because of this excitement of ideas, we can burn through our resources so quickly that we still become drained.  Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the spectrum, if we don’t have enough wind, our metaphorical status could be “stagnant” and it could be hard for us to burn anything at all, because there is a lack of air.  This lack of air could be a feeling of hopelessness, dread, or depression that we can’t seem to kick ourselves out of.  If we happen to fall into this category, then some questions we could ask ourselves are: “What is my right relationship with my mental wisdom body, and how does it affect my element of fire?”; “Show me how quickly I burn through my resources when I become too over excited about my ideas”; “What is right relationship with my mental wisdom body, and how can I stimulate/calm it down?”

If our emotional wisdom body is out of balance, then our metaphorical scene could either be too wet, or not damp enough.  If the air is thick and humid, then it could definitely be hard to start a fire because of how wet/saturated the wood is.  If there is little to no emotion at all, then it could be too dry – and again, our resources get burned quicker then what we can throw on our fire.  Most people in our society have a hard time with our emotional wisdom body, because we either suppress our emotions (because boys aren’t supposed to cry, or crying is seen as a weakness) or we over indulge in emotions (those prone to gossip or drama and feed off of it).  It’s hard to find balance within ourselves, but again, we see how this very vital wisdom body can influence our element of fire.  If we consider ourselves to be “sensitive” and feel more than some other people, then sometimes some protection against another person emotions could be the key.  Perhaps someone is “raining on your parade”, and you find yourself drained and can’t build your fire after interacting with a certain type of person.  What that can look like, is someone with a lot of ambition, but then after talking with someone, can become really disheartened because that person does not believe in them or their dreams.  Sometimes filtering out these people that weigh you down is the type of protection you need to help protect your fire.  Great questions sometimes come from this, “What is the right environment for my fire to thrive?”; “Show me how my emotional wisdom body affects my spiritual wisdom body”; “Show me the type of protection I might need to protect my fire, and how my fire gets influenced by others”

All of these things factor into our relationship with Spirit.  If we are imbalanced in any of those three areas, it could be hard to keep our energy going.  Fire typically represents our passion, our influence, and what drives us in life.  If we feel like we have no passion, if we lack creativity, or we stop short – then what are you doing to feed your fire properly?  This is a direct reflection to ones spirituality.  Our sense of purpose and what drives us is directly enhanced by our relationship with our spirituality.  If taken into context, we begin to see that many people can be out of balance with their spirituality, because all of these things are connected and inter-related.  The point is not to have a fire that burns too terribly brightly, or out of balance with all the other elements, because too much “fire” can lead to arrogance, aggression, and ambition.  How many times have you been bull dozed by someone with a fierce determination without a lack of care for who stands in their way?  There is a such thing as too much fire. If we have too little fire, do we feel stuck, depleted, or feel like we are lacking a sense of purpose?

Fire is perfect for those who feel like they have too much on their plate.  One of the best things about the element of fire, is that is serves the purpose of purifying, as well as bringing the gift of instant transformation.  It is a universal law that energy cannot be either destroyed nor created.  So what happens if you’ve got a lot of baggage?  If you learn to utilize and work with these elements properly, we can begin to reflect on some of the things we’ve got going on in our life, and bring it to the fire so we can transform our thoughts/perspective, and then “let go” of anything else that doesn’t fit.

I will bring up a few patterns I see most common these days, that are standing in ones way to accessing their full potential of their spiritual wisdom body.  One is that people are using life as an excuse not to get spiritual.  Many people say, “Oh, I don’t have time to meditate” or “Yeah, I’m a really stressed out person, and I know I should do something for stress relief” and don’t take into account their spiritual health as well as their mental, emotional, and physical health.  On the opposite end, I have seen many people take on meditations of “letting it go” and clearing the stress of the moment, but don’t into account why those stresses pop up in the first place or why it triggers them into an emotional/reactive state.  If a person is constantly “letting go” and not diving down to why something is making them upset, it is termed a “spiritual bypass” so then they don’t really get down to the core of what makes them upset.  Both can be an abuse of our spiritual wisdom body, and can lead to a superficial relationship with our own spirituality.

Many people can be in many different aspects of these relationships, the main point to draw out of this blog post, is what state are YOU in?  This is not a linear path where you can “follow these steps and get this result”, but this is part of a guideline that is more holistic in application, and how you can pick up the pieces to strengthen the weak aspects.

Some questions we can ask our guides in regards to our relationship with fire are:

  • What things am I refusing to acknowledge at this point?
  • What are the challenges blocking me from accessing the full potential of my spirituality?
  • What things can I transform within myself to establish a deeper relationship with my spiritual wisdom body?
  • What things are standing in my way between me and living my life’s purpose?

As with any archetype, the shadow of fire is the wildfire (if you are confused at what the shadow is and what it represents, scroll down to the bottom of the earth post).  The wildfire comes when we become too arrogant, sit on top of our high horse, and put all of our eggs in one basket.  A more common expression of the wildfire is when our emotional wisdom body runs out of control, and the archetype of the “Wounded Child” drives the bus.  Some people may or may not be familiar about it, but I tend to have a pretty unpopular view of the “Wounded Child”.  What this usually looks like is someone who is fired by jealousy or their repressed emotions, and does something out of spite.  They become “alive” and “on fire” because they feel like they need to get back at a person, or a group.  Another thing is that we could have false passions that can drive us.  Sometimes our addictions can fuel our motivations in the world, and we can become feverish to fulfill these desires we have.  The wildfire is an example of chaos that can be used to drive us either into a state of madness where we destructively burn things without meaning to, or we can use it constructively in a way where we set forth fire in a way that allows for clear, concise break down so we can emerge as seedlings of a conifer that has been through the flame.  The earth is generally extremely fertile after a fire, depending on what was burned.  Could this be a new beginning for you that you can be proud of?  Or is the wildfire a result of your repressed/unresolved issues that you continue to project on your surrounding situation?  All of these are good questions to ask.

If you are an auditory person and would like an alternative way to listen to some of these ideas, feel free to listen to this podcast by Christina Pratt and Why Shamanism Now.

Other valuable links:

Journey Track Outline – Lost and need a refresher? Go back to the basics before moving forward

Purity and the Elements – Need a reminder on the element system and how these all play together?

Earth – Representation of our Physical Body

Air – Representation of our Mental Body

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April Journey Group Outline 2017

Hey guys! I sure have been busy this past month, with my recovering from deaths doorstep and heading out to Standing Rock and all. I somehow managed to write up a Journey Track outline for beginner journeyers because my inbox was becoming full with people who had questions about doing it by themselves at home. With all of that being said and done, the next few months are probably going to blow by fast for me. I’ve taken up training with an indigenous teacher, as well as going out on my first retreat with Christina Pratt in June (I’m in her four year training program and starting year 1 this year). So that means that we are going to move a little bit quicker in the journey group.

The last two months we have been working on the topic of earth as an element, and exploring that relationship as a metaphor of our physical body. The rest will be as follows on this big medicine wheel we will be taking a dive into 😉

  • Main Post: Purity and the Elements – Exploring the four element system, what it means, and the inter-connectedness/inter-related aspects of it all
  • February and March: Earth – getting the grounding, boundaries, and centering under wraps. This is a crucial part to understanding the element of earth
  • April: Element of Air – Exploring the mental wisdom body and how to bring about the clarity of the mind
  • May: Element of Fire (post coming soon) – Exploring the spiritual wisdom body and how we can use passion to fuel our drive in the world
  • June: Element of Water (post coming soon) – Exploring the emotional wisdom body and how we can use our emotions as a useful processing tool instead of drowning or being numbed by them.

Along with the basic journey group meetups, there is also a Shamanic Journeying Basics class on April 8th, as well as the Open Heart Path class on April 18th. Hooray for fun events this month!

Event listings for Eagle Therapies:

April 2nd – Heart Centered Sound Circle
This is the extended version of the 5-10 minutes of singing/chanting we do before we journey. It’s a ceremony that lasts for an hour. Begins at 1pm.

April 6th – Element of Air: Shamanic Journey Group
Today we will find the inter-connectedness and inter-relatedness of the element of air, and see how it fits in with the element of earth. Earth helps us cultivate a sense of wellbeing, as well as a sense of place, presence, and grounding. Earth helps us ask the question, “What do I stand for, and why do I stand for it?”. As earth helped pave the ground work, now we can step into the realm of air and be able to take on responsibility and power. The element of air helps us connect to vision as well as clarity, clear sight, and truth.

April 7th – First Friday in Fairfax – Drum Circle!
This is just a fun get together with drums, rattles, and shaky things 🙂 Come join in community!

April 8th – Shamanic Journeying Basics – The Bare Bones
This is meant for everyone from beginners who know nothing about journeying, all the way to experienced journeyers who want a refresher. This will also include a journey group right after, as well as a question and answer.
Cost: $15 – Please bring cash or paypal ahead of time

April 18th – The Open Heart Path workshop
This is one of my favorite workshops to teach, because the Open Heart Path is very near and dear to my heart (pun intended). Come find out what it means to live in todays world full of courage, and to bring your medicine to the table.
Cost: $15 – Please bring cash or paypal ahead of time

April 20th – Element of Air: Shamanic Journey Group
Whenever there is a light, if the light falls on an object of attention, it casts a shadow. The shadow aspect of the element of air is the tornado. Sometimes in life, we reach a point of hopelessness that it feels like an aspect of ourselves is suffocating. We feel stuck and can sometimes feel like we cannot move forward without being restricted in some ways. The tornado can help breathe a breath of life back into the stagnation that was there.

Fly high, everyone!

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Journey Track Outline

This post is an at home journeying guide, which will either guide you into your own journeying practice, or deepen the practice you currently have. If you are interested in joining the Shamanic Journey Group at a distance, click here. If you stumbled upon this page because you would like a little extra help framing your journey practice, then feel free to peruse at your own pace. This is a helpful guide that pieces all of the journey topics from the past two years, and compiles them from basics to more advanced.

Beginners

If you are still relatively new to Shamanic Journeying, then I would highly suggest that the first journey that you take is either one that establishes a place of power where you always start off, or to meet a Spirit Guide/Helping Spirit. Whenever learning a new skill (such as journeying), it’s very much like working out a muscle to make it stronger. Some people are innately going to have no problem lifting heavy weights, while some might have to work at it a couple of times in order to produce some results. Remember to not judge the experience of others, and remember that we all have different strengths when it comes to interpreting messages from the other side. Some might be able to hear things better, others might be able to see things, while yet some others tend to just “feel” or “know” that they’re going down through a tree or sitting next to a river. The point about journeying is to be as into the experience as possible. See if you can get as much detail as you can. If you see a waterfall, what does it sound like? What does it taste like? Where are your feet? What type of ground are you stepping on? Do you hear any other things in your environment?

Preparation for:

  • It is helpful to turn off all electronic devices and either let other people know that you’re doing it so they don’t disturb you, or choose a time when no one else will be home
  • Call up protection, or set the intention for safety. There are many people who put up sacred space or set up crystal grids so then that way their bodies are protected.
    • This is a small advisement that some people still don’t know what it’s like to be “fully embodied” and tend not to be fully present. Traditionally in an indigenous culture, they would take their body with them when they journeyed (trance dance states, singing, chanting, etc.), but many individuals in this society have to peel off so many layers just to have an authentic spiritual experience that experimenting in different techniques (such as laying down, sitting, rattling, etc.) would be good to find out what works best for you. This is an experience based skill that is based off of what is best for you. What works for some people might not work for others. The main thing, is to try and stay fully embodied while you travel to the realm of spirit, otherwise if you leave open a space – then that could leave room for another entity to come in. Light some incense, dim the lights, and shake a rattle 🙂
  • Try to sing, dance, or do something that will get you into the right brain state. The left brain state is about words, communication, and invoking. Leave space for repetition, and conscious trancing. All of these things (especially singing, chanting, and dancing) will help get you into an altered state of consciousness, which typically will mean a deeper journey.
  • There are some people who lay down when journeying, but I don’t typically recommend this when first starting out. This reminds us of sleeping, and even though there is a such thing as lucid dreaming – that is a different avenue and is very different then shamanic journeying. Get a comfortable chair or if you want to try dancing your journey, put on an eye curtain (piece of fabric that goes on over the eyes so you can’t see ahead, but only where your feet are), and put a hula hoop on the ground so you stay in the confines of the hoop (this is a purely practical thing, so you don’t bump your shins into the coffee table – nothing takes you out of a journey faster then pain).
  • Don’t forget to grab a journal! It’s always good to have scraps of paper lying around if you don’t have a journal. It’s always fun and interesting to read them later after you have digested the message a little bit. Remember that when coming back from the journey state, short phrases or simple words that will bullet point your journey are best. If you write in full sentences, it put you into the left brain state, and that will take you away from being in the right brain state (which makes journeys harder to remember).

Journeying is a question driven activity. If you do not have a focused intention while going into the realm of spirit, most often our guides will just take us on a wild imaginative ride that might not make sense. Remember to have an intention and to really feel what your question is – other wise your answer will be as non-productive as your question was. It helps to not ask a yes or no answer, because it will not be as open ended and you could potentially trick yourself into hearing something you want to hear.

Great beginning journeying questions:

  • I would like to meet my entrance to the spiritual world, as well as find my place of power
    • It always helps to have the same visualization that will bring you over to the realm of Spirit. It will help even more if this starting point is a real place in nature that brings you comfort. Start by finding a small hole or opening, and then imagine yourself going through. You should feel a going up or down sensation, and then you will be transported to your place of power. Explore your place of power, and be as into it as possible. This is where we will be doing a lot of work (if you will be following some of the journey tracks listed below). It tends to be a place we’ve either visited before, or a place that we’ve always dreamed of being (like a beach, lake house, mountain cottage, etc.)
  • I would like to meet my non-egoic connection to spirit at this time
    • There are many different types of spirits that we can encounter in the journeying state. It is my belief that we are all born into this world with at least 1 to 2 non-egoic helping spirits. These are the helping spirits that we do not need to feed, we don’t have to hide their identity, and they often change form as we learn and grow as individuals. Non-egoic helping spirits are directly connected to Source/Universe/All that is and only care about our own personal development and teach us to be better humans. I have run across many different individuals that practice different forms of Shamanism, and some might call this aspect a “higher self” version of a spirit guide. But this is a very big difference then working with an egoic spirit. A spirit that has an ego is very much like us humans here on the physical reality. They have their own personalities, their own likes/dislikes, and they definitely have their own opinions. These helping spirits tend to be specialists, and can offer very unique advice that non-egoics sometimes cannot give a clear opinion on (because they only care about character development and see everything as a lesson). There is a benefit to working with both of these types of generic spirits (for example, I primarily work with about 80% egoic spirits, but have 2 constant non-egoic helping spirits that I use to vet everybody else), but the benefit of working with a non-egoic helping spirit is that they cannot be fooled because they are directly connected to source. An egoic spirit can be tricked or lied to, possibly bribed to work against you (hence why some traditional cultures do not share their helping spirits identities). The trick is, that working with non-egoics is more about asking the right questions because they are not as opinionated as an egoic helping spirit. Which is why I have the journey tracks listed below, so that it can be easier to ask non-egoics some of these questions. The reason why “at this time” is added on at the end, because we want to be present about what will be beneficial to us right now. I have had a person get a past guide or a future guide that they are not meant to work with, or have had past debts with, so it made journeying challenging for that particular person. These are just suggestions I offer.

After repeating those journey questions to yourself at least three times, I would then listen to a good drumming track with anywhere between 180-220 beats per minute. Here are some good ones that are out there right now:

Of course there’s shameless self promotion for the journey track that I created. It’s on the sound cloud. But in case you can’t access that or have trouble downloading it:

  • 12 minute track – Has whistling in the beginning to call in protection and the ancestors by Sandra Ingerman
  • 30 minute track – Single track drumming by Michael Harner
  • 30 minute track – Single and double drumming tracks by Michael Harner
  • 30 minute track – Beautiful Taiko drumming with Nagado drums, Odaiko, and rattles by Sandra Ingerman featuring Taiko Sol

If you would like more information, follow Sandra Ingerman for up to date Shamanic Journeying Basics courses. She is the person who I learned from, and her online training’s work quite well! Sounds True also has a lovely website dedicated to all things Shamanic Journeying. I will also hold a once monthly Shamanic Journeying Basics class with a journey session afterwards so you can try out what you just learned. Sign up for the Newsletter for up to date events.

Intermediate

Alright, so you’ve got the basics down. You have a place of power and you have a guide that’s willing to work with you. What’s next?

The first step is learning about energetic hygiene. What is energetic health? This is where I introduce the concept of the “energy bucket”, and I refer to this quite often. This is meant to be a daily practice, as well as something that is to be maintained whenever life starts to go awry. It can change from moment to moment based off of what is happening to you in the moment. When we get exposed to different triggers, and enter into a reactive state – our bucket can sometimes become a little unstable. There are many things which can change, but remembering to take care of yourself as well as your energy level is crucial/critical to having a good foundation for shamanic journeying. When we have these introspection’s about ourselves, then we can be of better use for those that we help/serve/love.

The energy bucket meditations are guided visualizations that can help, and I also have a link to a journey track that you can listen to at home as well.

These are optional, but are good starters to anyone that is beginning to step onto a more shamanic path. I also digress slightly when I say this – but the purpose of me putting all of this information into one space is not to promote more shamans out there. Shamanic Journeying is a helpful tool that is very valuable. It can be added to any practice, and is not a religion. It’s a way of looking at life, and it is completely okay to have one helping spirit that constantly helps us rather then more “facebook friends” that we don’t really know that well. On that note…

  • Change and Transformation – Why do we care about these things?
    • Some good journey questions that come out of this article are:
      • What is the greatest challenge that is preventing me from transforming?
      • What aspect of myself is standing in my own way when allowing a change to happen?
      • What is a habit that I can begin to transform so that I can have a healthier relationship with myself?
  • Creating a Container for Transformation – What if we are a little over our heads with the difference between change and transformation. How do we start?
    • Some good journey questions that come out of this article are:
      • What does my personal/inter-personal container for transformation look like now?
      • What does my personal/inter-personal container look like for __(name a particular event you are having difficulty with)____?
      • What is this particular container supposed to look like?
      • What is missing from this container so that this transformation can be a powerful one?
      • Show me the steps to take so that my container for transformation aligns with my path and is healthier for me
      • Show me an example of a transformation that tried to take place but it backfired instead

Courses to Take and Expand Upon

The most basic one that is helpful for anyone wanting to deepen and enrich their inner world/landscape is exploring the elemental system. Each page has it’s own suggested journeying questions and follow through.

  • Purity and the Elements – A beginning introduction to the Four Element System, how they are inter-related and inter-dependent, and a wonderful tool of introspection which can provide clarity to any spiritual practice.
  • Earth – Metaphor for our relationship to our Physical Wisdom Body. Our physical body contains the innate wisdom of how to heal, and how we can live well in this world.
  • Air – Metaphor for our relationship to our Mental Wisdom Body. A lot of people in our society are prone to an excess of this element, and can become subject to headaches, migraines, and anxiety. This is how we begin turning an unhealthy relationship into one of balance.
  • Fire (coming soon) – Metaphor for our relationship to our Spiritual Wisdom Body. Fire is one of those elements that really depends on the other elements to thrive. If its too damp, a fire can’t burn. If it’s too dry, a fire will burn out of control.
  • Water (coming soon) – Metaphor for our Emotional Wisdom Body. Many people in this society tend to have a very unhealthy relationship with our emotions. There is either a tendency to excess and drama – or the complete opposite which is not having emotions at all.

 

This is a lot of information, and hopefully this all helps and fits together! If you have any questions, concerns, or are just lost – please feel free to text/call 571.306.3197 (just leave a message, please) or email info@eagletherapies.com

Fly high, everyone!

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Inspiration and Air

If you have found this page, there is no coincidence that you are on a path of self discovery. Even if that wasn’t your intention, you somehow still wound up finding this page. This post directly deals with the Air as an element, and how we can journey to find out the depth of our relationship with this element. It can be a direct reflection upon us and how we function in this world. We will be going through these journeying topics at the Shamanic Journey Group of Fairfax, however this can also be a “follow along at home” directional for those that wish to take this slowly and in a step-by-step process.

I shall update the table of contents as the blog posts get written.

Table of contents:

Purity and the Elements – Main post, Introduction to four element system and why

Earth – Representation of our Physical Body

Air (this post)

Fire – Representation of our Spiritual Body

Water (coming soon)

As we have found out through previous posts, all of the elements are inter-related and interconnected. Through earth, we have cultivated a sense of who we are, why we are here, what we stand for, and why we stand for it. If we don’t cultivate these things first, then we can get very overwhelmed in the element of air. Many people in this society have an excess of the air element. Because the air element represents our mental wisdom body, that means that we can have an abundance of ideas, but lack of follow through. Have you ever heard of the phrase “air head” or thought of the meaning “building castles in the sky”? That is because without the earth quality in balance, we can become very “ungrounded” and can begin to think with fantasy thinking, allowing our brains to run away with us. Air in excess can be manifested physically as anxiety, migraines, and headaches because we are up in our heads all the time. Air in and of itself physically is made up of smaller, less dense molecules then that of earth. The molecules tend to bounce around a lot faster, and sometimes when they are “heated up”, they move at lightning fast speed, bumping into each other and causing all sorts of chaos. Have you ever noticed that when someone gets excited over new ideas they trip over themselves trying to write them all down, but then they burn out before they begin to enact any of the steps? Excited air energy is great and wonderful, but being grounded and methodical is how we begin to plant these seeds that we get from the air. Right relationship with earth helps remind us to take a step back and breathe.

When working with the element of air, it is a direct engagement of Spirit. If we think about it, the first element that we are introduced to as we are born into this world is the element of air. A baby is not marked as fully alive until they “take their first breath”. Air is the element most taken for granted. The same air that we breathe now is the same air that was once breathed by our deceased relatives, animals, as well as ancient beings – including dinosaurs! When we breathe the breath of our ancestors, we can restore ourselves back to the original dream. We commonly engage in ceremony with words and speaking. Air is the energetic driver for taking a particular vow (which most people don’t take seriously anymore because vows are often broken in this society).

The spoken word does have a lot of power, because many words together begin to tell a story. We often tell ourselves stories about ourselves and can portray others and ourselves in a certain light. This is human nature and happens unconsciously. An example of a “story” that we tell ourselves is the story of being “a good husband/wife”, or “being a good daughter/son”. We often get a perception of what is good/bad from the people and community that raise us, so if we grew up in a very dogmatic household – it can be very difficult to unlearn certain behaviors, and we can have trigger reactions when a story that we are telling ourselves is being challenged. For example, if we keep telling ourselves the story of judging our own self worth, it could restrict our decisions. Because we could have a low opinion of ourselves and we see a dream job, we could potentially restrict ourselves from applying to that open job position. The “story” we tell ourselves often comes as a soft whisper that speaks to us like, “Nah, I’m not going to apply for that job. I don’t have the credentials yet”, or “Well, if I apply for the job, I won’t get it anyway”. In the end, that story boils down to our worthiness. Maybe in the past we were told that we couldn’t amount to anything, and over time if things like that keep being told to us – we believe it.  When we begin cultivating a healthy relationship with element of air, we begin to challenge these stories and ask if they are grounded in reality, or based in fantasy thinking.

There is a difference between doubt and critical thinking. Doubt is paralyzing, we lose our sense of connection and we only focus on what is wrong. With critical thinking, we are finding what is valuable in the situation and come at the situation from an open place of curiosity and discovery. When you follow the lead of critical thinking versus doubt, you can begin to discern the difference between delusion and imagination, and then begin to make progress forward on how you can move forward with the resources available to you now and in this moment. With a healthy relationship with air, we can begin to cultivate the qualities of truth telling. How often do we lie to ourselves when we think we can accomplish some grandiose task but don’t realize how much energy we really have in the moment? How often do we overstretch ourselves because of the dreams of others and their projection of how we fit into the picture? How often do we lose our sense of boundaries because we really just want the approval of others and try to make ourselves fit into their dream instead of dreaming our own dream? This is where we begin cultivating a proper relationship with air – by asking ourselves these questions. Many times when a person first journeys to find out their relationship with air, they will either find out that they can’t breathe, or that the air is filled with a thick smog. A healthy relationship with air is one that is crystal clear – like unpolluted mountain air.

Within this same vein, there is a difference between stagnation and suffocation. With earth, things feel very heavy – almost as if you can’t move. This is stagnation, when things are unmoving or you are too unwilling to let go of your own beliefs. With suffocation, you are living in something that is dead. Have your dreams died? Have you lost sense of what your dreams once were? When you feel suffocation, it is because we lose our sense of hope, or we drift away from the things that are aligned with our true path. This often leads to fast paced moving thoughts because we keep “spinning our wheels”. When we connect back to our dreams and our passions, that is how we can “breathe life” into a particular situation – by bringing in new ideas from our mental wisdom body and being able to discern which ideas will really be able to take off with the resources we have available (earth based realization). By flowing into this relationship between air and earth, we must realize the choices that we are making. Every time we say yes to something, we are also saying no to at least 10 other things. Earth can help us realize what is important to us, and how to prioritize, while air can help inspire us to take care of the situations we already have growing. We can ask vital questions such as:

  • By doing this particular action, what am I feeding?
  • What possible actions can I take in this situation that help feed what drives me?
  • How is this aligned with my path and does this stray from who I am?
  • Show me with clarity the choices I have available to me that I can reasonably accomplish

The element of air is very strongly connected to the element of truth telling. Truth can be a double edged sword in the fact that is can cut both ways. The hurt comes in the fact that it cuts, and the wound can hurt very deeply when we find out a truth. However, the blessing is that it’s a clean cut and it heals faster. How many times have we been fed lies, and the lies feed a blister or an abscess that just keeps growing. Many times people try to ignore the sore spot, lying to themselves that this abscess is not really forming underneath the surface. Doesn’t a clean poke hurt in the beginning but drain the abscess, leading to wellness? How many times have we allowed the abscess to pop because we didn’t realize/ignored that it was there. After it bursts on it’s own, note the length of time it takes to heal as opposed to when it was cleanly cut. This is a metaphor of a healthy relationship with air, and being able to have the wisdom of asking what the “spiritual antibiotics” are so that we continue to not get sick from our choices. When we cut with the sword of truth, it can help breathe life into things that were once dead. It can hurt at first, but it helps with the awareness and healing of it in the long run.

To help cultivate a strong relationship with air, we need to focus on truth telling and find out where we are lying to ourselves. Once we have this sense of awareness about the reality of a situation and begin to move from fantasy thinking (imagining that we are some place instead of actually realizing the state we are in) into a grounded sense of who we are, what we are, and the resources we have available – we become so much more productive in this world. This in turn helps us become more grounded and more efficient in fulfilling our lifes purpose. When our mind and heart move through with intention, we can begin to discern where it is we are really going. By cultivating a place to stand with earth, we can step up and grab some of these ideas from the mental wisdom body. It has no power unless we ground it in physical reality.

As with any archetype, the shadow of air is the tornado (if you are confused at what the shadow is and what it represents, scroll down to the bottom of the earth post). The job of the tornado is to dismantle. Perhaps a new perspective is needed because it’s being encumbered by your limitations, expectations, and views. Because of some of the stories we tell ourselves, we can lead ourselves into set patterns of thinking, and sometimes these thoughts swirl in our head so fast that we can challenge ourselves to question our ability to think. When we have such a strong degree of suffocation where we feel like we have no hope in a given situation, we might need a tornado to come in to “wake us up”. What are you feeding? What are you giving life too? How can we be thankful when a new perspective brings to light a huge story that we tell ourselves in regards to how connected we feel to other people, as well as how worthy we are to receive something. Remember that a shadow is neither good nor bad. It is a natural disaster that can have the positive aspects of wisdom once we clear out the debris/rubble.

Some journey questions we can ask ourselves based off of this article:

  • What is the quality of my relationship to the air element?
  • What shape is my mental wisdom body in?
  • Is there a particular area of my life that is suffocating right now?
  • Show me an aspect of my life that is in excess, and how do I calm this down?
  • Show me what right relationship with the air element looks like

If you are an auditory person and would like to listen to these same ideas in a podcast, feel free to listen to it on the Why Shamanism Now podcast.

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Earth Journey Group Outline – 2017

The beginning of February is the middle point between the middle of winter and the middle of spring. It is generally the beginning of spring, as well as a metaphoric time to begin thinking of what we will be planting in the months to come. It can be a rich time as we begin to come out of our hibernation of winter. In winter, a lot of people tend to go inward, reflect upon their year, and take more breaks then normal. It is our time to rest, relax, and recharge to prepare for the coming year.

The Fairfax Shamanic Journey Group tends to look at themes that arise in nature and questions how we can apply the teachings of nature into our very own lives. For the next two months, we will be pulling wisdom from the earth and seeing how the archetype of earth can be applied into our every day lives. If you have not journeyed before, it is helpful to at least read up on it briefly before attending. It’s completely okay if you are new to it and want to give it a try. There is a mixed group of practitioners that come, some that have no experience with journeying, and some that have quite the experience. The more advanced journeyers help hold the space for the beginning journeyers, and we find an interesting array of experiences as we open the forum of discussion to the whole group. Please do not feel pressured to share your journeys – just  share if you feel called too.

If you would like to keep up to date, we have a discussion forum on Facebook (which right now I look pretty egotistical and just posting journey group topics in there) that I would love for participants to start commenting on or to sharing their experiences about journeys experienced at home. It’s meant to be a safe space for people to explore their journeys without fear of judgement. It can also be a place for people to share helpful links that they shared during the group. You can feel free to read our newsletter for this month for some of the other events, as well as events from others in the area.

Now – down to the nitty gritty! Journey dates as follows! (Date also links directly to the meetup event so you can RSVP to the event if you wish)

Feb 9th – This particular session will be about the four elements, what they mean, and the interconnectedness between all of the elements. This is where we discuss the concept of complimentary dualism and how that can affect our lives. This is the introductory topic, and explores the four-element-system as a whole.

Feb 23rd – What is the earth element? How does it correspond metaphorically and apply in our lives? Here is where we look at our groundedness, our ability to stay in the present moment, and explore some metaphors surrounding our boundaries. What beliefs do we hold very concretely that are the foundations of what we stand on?

March 9th – How do we create presence and autonomy in our lives? In a world where isolation and loneliness fuel depression, there is big medicine to be found in the ability to work with the earth to create a sense of belonging, connection within, and interconnection with the larger reality.

March 23rd – Where there is light, there is always the shadow that is cast. The shadow is not a bad thing, it is the unspoken aspects of ourselves and of larger archetypes. The earth itself has a shadow, and it is the earthquake. The earthquake is what happens when we hold onto our beliefs too tight, our foundation becomes rigid, and things have become so stagnant that the only choice left is to shake things up. What happens when our world seemingly “falls apart”, and what wisdom can come of it?

So exciting to be doing this with a new community of people! If you guys have any questions or concerns, please feel free to text/call 571.306.3197, or email info@eagletherapies.com

Fly high these next two months!

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Winter Dreaming Ceremony

winter-dreaming

Winter has its own magic. It’s a time when nature turns in, and everything slows down. Plants go deep inside their roots, animals hibernate. Life takes on a different form- it turns within to dream. The winter moons (starting November 21 and completing March 21) provide us with an opportunity to become quiet, slow down, and turn our awareness inwards. This winter dreaming ceremony will connect you with the natural cycle of the turning in of winter.

This ceremony weekend will provide you with the opportunity to acknowledge your past year, and all the opportunities, events, and people that have influenced your growth. Winter Ceremony is a way of emptying yourself and preparing for the New Year, shedding your leaves for the winter so in the spring you may begin anew.

Join us January 28th (6pm) – Sunday, Jan 29 (9am), if you are interested in attending an all-night ceremony of reflection, emptying, and dreaming.

Four unique ceremony guides unite to hold space for a powerful Winter Dreaming Ceremony that will connect you to the natural cycle and rhythm of winter, empowering you to harvest the lessons of the previous year and dream yourself anew in 2017.

Receive a special 15% discount, exclusively for the Eagle Therapies LLC community members, by entering the PROMOCODE: EAGLE at checkout.

winter-dreaming

Check out the Facebook event to see who else you might know will be joining us! Or are interested in the event!

CEREMONIAL ACTIVITIES

The evening will consist of 4 ceremonial spaces:

  1. Guides will burn a Sacred Fire all night so that you can converse with Great Spirit/God, life, all that is and reflect on your past year.
  2. A Cacao ceremony will be offered to ignite the journey — this is an ancient Mayan ritual to stimulate divination and lucid dreaming. Various teas and crystal bowl sound healings will continue to be offered in this space throughout the night.
  3. A vision board station will be offered so that you can harvest the gems you have collected from 2016
  4. A prayer bundle station will give you the opportunity to plant your prayers or dream seeds for the coming new year

On Sunday morning, participants will have an opportunity to nap, join a sound healing session, or wake up with a gentle Asana yoga practice. Breakfast will be served to the group and space for reflection and discussion will be available.

Meet the Ceremonialists leading this retreat:

Natalie Orozco

natalie
Find out more about Natalie

Natalie Orozco is a spiritual empowerment coach, ceremony guide, blogger, and education researcher. She currently resides in Washington, D.C. She is sanctioned to teach medicine wheels and guide ceremonies by the Keeper of the Delicate Lodge Teachings, a tradition that has its roots in pre-Mayan times. She does this through group or one-on-one ceremonial experiences and coaching programs. She is committed to supporting others in their life journeys towards balance and wholeness and personal growth. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She will be the Ceremony lead.

Stephanie Segerstephphoto

Ha. Shameless plug time. Stephanie is an eclectic ceremonialist, participating and leading ceremonies in the Virginia/Maryland/DC area for close to 10 years. She helps awaken and transform people to step into their power, helping them realize their own potential. She is the founder of Eagle Therapies, a community that supports alternative therapies, spiritual exploration and empowerment so that people can make their own choices to leading healthier lifestyles. Click here if you would like to visit the “About” section to learn more about Stephanie and her path. She will be the sacred firekeeper for this ceremony.

Atticus Mooney

atticus
Visit her website here

As a catalyst for the cacao spirit; a practitioner of yoga and shamanic arts; an avid dancer; and a carrier of ancient Mayan wisdom. Atticus strives to connect the many threads of life that weave individual experiences into the collective fabric of this reality. She is the co-founder of Source Cacao, which currently imports Guatemalan ceremonial Cacao exclusively. She is passionate about the spiritual and physical energies of cacao spirit and is called to share its essence through connective activities such as dance, yoga, meditation and arts.

danielleDanielle Waldman

A Personal Development and Empowerment coaching currently residing in Washington, DC., Danielle works with individuals that are in a place of transition, dealing with resistance and defining who they are. She is an avid explorer and traveler. Her true craft in life is to empower those around her to live in a world where it’s okay to be you. Danielle will point beauty and altars for the ceremony.

Learn more about her through her website

Price

The cost is $150.00 per person.

Saturday night Dinner, Cacao, all-night soup and snacks, Sunday breakfast, lodging, and materials are provided.

We have intentionally kept our price low to make this ceremony accessible to any dreamer or soul seeker that feels called to attend. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. If you feel called to discuss an exchange (ceremony helpers needed) or an alternative payment plan, email the Ceremony lead Natalie at info@natalieorozco.com or me at info@eagletherapies.com with your request.

Limited helper and attendee spots available. Registration closes January 20, 2017.

Lodging & Accommodations

The ceremony will take place at RockWood Manor in Potomac Maryland. A bed will be assigned to you when you arrive to the ceremony so that you can have a designated personal space to rest throughout the evening. Linens and towels will be provided for your convenience.

Contact Info

Contact Natalie by emailing info@natalieorozco.com or sending a message through the contact me tab to schedule a time to discuss any questions or accommodations you may need. To reach Stephanie, feel free to call/text 571.306.3197 or email info@eagletherapies.com

winter-dreaming