DEEP gratitude for all that joined us yesterday during our Ancestral Healing Circle! We even had people join us from Texas and Nevada from a distance! The topic we covered was managing resistance and seeing if we could find somewhere in our Ancestral Line that we could focus our attention in regards to managing that resistance we feel daily in our lives at this time.
Here is the recording of the Ancestral Healing Circle if you wish to join us in our circle. We offered some deep shares, nice reflections for each other, and many blessings for those that continue to do this personal transformation work.
If you wish to participate in the ritual within the ceremony, it requires some paper and a candle. Hopefully you will be able to burn a small little portion within your home so we don’t set off your fire alarm 😉
All Ancestral Healing Circles are run off of donation. You can choose to donate with PayPal if you feel called to share that reciprocity. These Ancestral Healing Circles are gifts that Eagle Therapies offer to the world, and donations are a way to gift back.
Many blessings to you and yours! And may we be more empowered to break these chains that bind us!
We live in a time that is challenging. How do we become the people who can create a sustainable change and transformation in this world? Join Eagle Therapies starting in the fall of 2018 on a 9 day program stretched across 9 months.
This program was specifically crafted and co-created with Spirit to help bring people the basic foundational Shamanic Skills necessary to engage with the world around them in a good way. It doesn’t matter if you are new to this path or have been down the road of several spiritual traditions for decades. Using ancient Shamanic techniques and honoring the ancestors of the worlds traditions, we will engage with Spirit in an age old fashion that has been specifically crafted for this time. This cosmology and teachings are based off of the Cycle Teachings and the Last Mask Community, an authentic and contemporary cosmology which honors the way our ancestors have done it without taking their rituals, ceremonies and culturally appropriating them.
The Soul Compass Path is 6 hours once monthly stretching over 9 months. This program delivers a practical set of tools, techniques, and a way to engage with the more intimate aspects of yourself. If you are new to any type of spiritual exploration, this will hand you the basics. For the more seasoned practitioner, it will provide the framework to deepen your connection with your guidance and allow yourself to hear the song of your soul ever more clearly. This program is dedicated to helping one get out of their own way and step into their power with authenticity, integrity and sovereignty. Learn how to find your own life’s purpose and be able to live it in the world.
Payment is based on sliding scale, negotiated between your own heart and Spirit. Eagle Therapies is just the vessel to deliver this program of self transformation. What is the sacrifice you are willing to make? Suggested sliding scale pricing is $75-$200 per class. Payment due at time of class. Orientation and first class considered “one class”.
What might be a comfortable set of finances for one person might be a large sacrifice to another. Is $100 a night on the town, buying movie tickets and a couple of drinks while dancing? If so, then $100 is not a sacrifice, it is a simple commodity. This is an opportunity to put meaning to the monetary exchange and intentionalize it, not blankly pay with a consumerist mind.
The Spirit world understands the language of sacrifice, and it is up to you to decide what is the right price to pay within your own heart. Use your intuition and measure it with your own truth. It is possible that one month you can pay towards the higher end of the fee, while others it is the lower end. It is also possible that money is no issue at all and $200 per class does not cover the value of what is within the course material itself for you.
For those that prepay for the first class as a deposit before July 31st will receive a personalized Shamanic Healing as a gift. Can be redeemed at a distance. Your own healing starts when the commitment to your own personal healing is made.
We, as a culture, have large wounds around the exchange of money. If you would like more guidance in this arena, a lovely book you can download for free is “Sacred Economics” by Charles Eisenstein. Once you read the book and you feel compelled to gift back, then you can choose to pay for it. The Non-Local Shamanic Community that Stephanie participates in is currently doing a community wide transformation around Love and Money, and obviously it has a large impact on what she is offering to the world. If you want to change something in the world, start with yourself first. Change comes from within.
If you feel very drawn to this course but do not think you can commit to the full 9 month program, then you can choose to save up for at least the first two meetings. It is fine to pay month by month. If finances are a challenge, there is always delving deeper into the material learned and then hopping on to the program next year (yes, we are planning for this to be a repeating yearly program). Once you take the class, the materials and resources from that class will be shared with you, and you can still choose to communicate with your fellow classmates.
Is this program right for you? Read more about it on the Soul Compass Path landing page to check out dates, the syllabus, and other tidbits you might find interesting.
Already feel that this resonates within your bones to take this course? Fill out our application form!
A good resource if you are anxious to get started is through the free, listener supported podcast, Why Shamanism Now. There are over 400 archived hours, and a teaser to what is available both within this course and beyond. A great place to start is the Basics of Living Well series and the specific podcasts below:
Wow! I am so blessed by the open community that is forming around this US Tour. There has been an interest generated that I am humbled to witness/be apart of. Here is the first of a 3 part Ceremony series called the Water Blessing Ceremony – Coast to Coast Series.
It’s not too late! This Ceremony was recorded for a reason, and the way it was energetically set up means that people can participate at any time as long as they have heart and meaning when they participate. Feel free to pass this Ceremony along to friends or family that might be interested in putting their prayers energetically into that bottle of water that currently holds water from the Potomac River. It’s short, simple and only 30 minutes. Not a lot of “woo woo”, so even people that are new to Ceremony don’t have to be intimidated. It’s as simple as saying why we are grateful for water, and all of the lovely things that water does. Apologies for the airplanes in the background! Will bring the microphone next time so the wind blowing doesn’t affect the sound quality and it will be easier to hear the speaker.
This blog post is the space for the recording, however if you would like to participate in a discussion, feel free to hop on over to the forums.
As my son and I prepare for our last week in town, the last weekend in town we hosted 3 events. The Eagle Therapies US Tour – Crucible of Transformation happened on Saturday. It was my heartfelt explanation for why I felt called to go across the United States, exposing a little bit more of my personal story. Towards the end I pose some big questions and as a group we discussed what that means for us as a small community – connecting in with larger communities. Feel free to engage in the discussion on the forums.
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.
A 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.
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.
Sometimes 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 🙂
Hey everyone! My website is kind of wonky at the moment and it won’t let me upload videos directly to the forums. Here is the recording for this months Ancestral Healing Circle:
If you would like to post your results, questions or comments, please redirect them over to the topic in the forums.
This Ancestral Healing Ceremony was specifically about inheriting the patterns of shame and guilt from our Ancestral lines. This shame or guilt motivates us to be a certain way, fitting into a box instead of allowing ourselves to be authentic in the world. We dive a little deeper into what Ancestral Healing means as well as how to tap into that first layer around it.
I became a young Mother quite suddenly, but the more challenging aspect of it was coupling a spiritually fulfilled life while being a single parent. At the time of writing this article, my son has grown to the ripe age of 9 years old, and I am continually blessed for his existence here on this planet. I will share with you my heart, my growth and evolution as a parent. I invite you to join with me as I share my background and the struggles of raising an aware child in a society that does not cherish the sacred. I do not come from an indigenous background, but like so many other contemporary Shamanic Practitioners, I come from a broken lineage in an emotionally distant family of origin. Trying to piece together a spiritually fulfilling life while raising a little one can be challenging on its own, but here are some of the lessons and wisdoms that I have distilled from this experience so far, and I’m sure that I will be continuously growing this wisdom base.
With all great stories, we will start with the beginning. The conception of my son was surrounded by confusion, blame, trauma, and chaos. It took me years to understand the emotional baggage I carried with me. Many of my early years of raising him were scary and through the eyes of a child, because I had the emotional maturity of a child. It turned out to be a very magical experience because he is such a blessing to me. Not at the time, of course, but we always have a better view of things in hindsight. It was a challenge raising him since he was emotionally and spiritually sensitive. He was fussier than other babies, sensitive to people having a bad mood, and seemed “tuned in” naturally to the world around him. The blessing behind this meant it was easy to have age-appropriate discussions with him about energy hygiene, maintenance, and the natural world. I saw him for the true light of what he is and I have done the best I could in raising him.
In essence, I taught him things that I was teaching myself, except I would ask my guides to help the teachings be age-appropriate. I was always surprised at the ease and grace of which he answered to some of these meditations and suggestions that I reeled with for a week or two before I “got” them. He helped me develop that sense of ease and wonder, and “growing up” was less scary for me. Years later, as I reflect on that, it seems to be that with true self-healing as an adult, you have to “deprogram” yourself from what society, culture, and your family give you as core beliefs. My son constantly reminds me about deepening my roots and going back to the childlike sense of wonder—the “original” program we get handed by Spirit. In my life, he has been my greatest teacher.
I taught him how to journey at a very early age, and I remember him having to think on who his first helping spirit was. He said he felt them during the first journey, but couldn’t see them quite yet. Knowing that it was possible I could project something on him, I tried to distract myself with other things while he tried to journey again to find out who was playing with him. It made me so proud that by the time he curled into bed that night before story time. He stated plain and simple that his helping spirit was a bear. One of my main helping spirits is a bear, and hence he became my “Little Bear.”
In the early years, it was easy to keep him on the same spiritual path as me. He was joyful, loving, filled with inspiration and hope. Before the age of 6, he loved to journey and dance with me, doing the same activities as I did, and liked taking walks in the woods or talking to trees. But then he started going to school. I prepped him for it, because I noticed his eagerness in telling almost anyone that would listen about the amazing adventures he and his helping spirits would go on. Discernment was a good age-appropriate lesson about how sometimes other adults might not think the same way Mommy does, and he should be careful about whom he shares those thoughts/opinions with. He understood this on one level, but experiencing it in a public school system is a different story. Running home from the bus, he came home crying because another kid made fun of him about talking to his helping spirits under his breath. He immediately started disconnecting from the spiritual, pulling away and resisting me instead of joining along. It wasn’t until years later that I started connecting the dots.
When he stopped responding positively to a lot of the things we used to do together, it became a chore. I started leading journey groups, and instead of it being “fun” for him like it used to be, he would commonly get bored, and occasionally would get disruptive. The meditations we did together were no longer fulfilling; instead it became a thing that “my Mom does” and he would start rolling his eyes whenever I suggested it. The helpful tips that he used to look up at me to give, soon became disregarded. Talking back and becoming rude were growing steadily more frequent. The reflection this made within myself became a pile of frustration, angst, and self-blame. I wasn’t doing enough to make my kid more connected. It was “my fault” for not focusing hard enough on him, even though I thought I was doing all of the right things to feed, clothe and house him.
As I finally came into my own with my Shamanic Path, I found that it was an echo within myself that my son was reflecting back to me. He is the closest emotional connection to any human that I have, and that hasn’t changed for 10 years (I connected with him very deeply while he was in my womb). As I dove deeper into a contemporary Shamanic cosmology, I found that a lot of the threads I was bringing up were pulling up this constellation of factors that were also reflected in society. Because I was working on them within myself, my son (who is extremely open and emotionally sensitive) reflected the counterparts to the very pieces I was working on. I realized that when I was raising him previously, that he was modeling for me the very illnesses that I was trying to combat within myself. Some main ones being greed, entitlement, addiction to technology, and doing things to “prove” himself to his friends. It wasn’t until I engaged at this depth of understanding that I was able to re-prioritize a way to make him feel like his needs were being met in a way that we could explore this context together. I was exploring the depths of my own Shamanic world while leaving him out of it—which I found that for me was the wrong approach to come from. He is a part of my world, and thus is a crucial part for me to understanding myself.
As soon as I began to cultivate a deeper sense of compassion within myself for the grander vision of the situation I was in, he was of the age where he could make informed decisions about this on his own (this started around age 7). To remedy his pain and insecurities about being teased for having helping spirits in the first place, I found and networked with other parents who openly discuss these spiritual things with their children. I found family-friendly festivals where he could participate in group ritual. If things got to be really challenging and I wasn’t able to find something in the area, I invited him to participate with me during group rituals and ceremonies online via webcasting. As soon as he was able to see that there were other kids that were doing this with him, and he wasn’t the only one with a weird Mom, he slowly started coming back to opening up. Just as finding community strengthened me, finding community also strengthened his connection to Spirit.
When I stopped trying to force his healing because I thought something was “wrong with me” and my parenting skills, I opened up to the fact that there was something bigger going on. I started examining what about the situation was I taking personally, and kept asking my helping spirits questions about how I could improve my relationship with him. This way it didn’t infringe upon me “forcing” things to happen, and instead switched it to “allowing” things to happen. When I organically used the Shamanic principles I was learning from my teachers and applying them in my own life, I deconstructed and then reconstructed a way that allowed my son into the picture easily and effortlessly. I found that what I was doing before was just slapping together different aspects of living a Shamanic life and expected that it was enough. It wasn’t until I leaned into the teachings and allowed all aspects of my life to become Shamanic, did I realize that had a dramatic impact on my relationship with my son. I give great gratitude to the Cycle teachings and Christina Pratt for really driving that home. My own healing catalyzed as soon as I took root in a true Shamanic community that came together to live the same principles. It was the shift in realization that living a Shamanic way of life couldn’t just be condensed to my healing practice, but also opened up to every relationship that I had, seeing the interconnectedness of it all. The best service I did for my son was to step into a true transformational process and see how I brought my true lifes purpose into all avenues of my life, not just certain “chosen” parts.
I originally was trying to prevent him from seeing me in my deep healing, even though he was feeling it without naming it. It wasn’t until later when I noticed that when I was upset, he was acting it out. Christina teaches that young children ground to the parents because they don’t have their own sense of grounding. They depend on us to tell them what’s right and wrong, what is dangerous and what is not. Which means that we have to model for them how to live in a sustainable way. If we want to teach our kids a better way of being, we can’t take their reflections personally. We need to develop the skills that allow us to model a deeper change we want to see in the world. What I was doing before was only allowing a Shamanic life into parts of my life instead of letting it affect my whole life. I was marginalizing myself subconsciously, and in that my son modeled for me the marginalization within our relationship.
Reflecting out into the wider scope of entering a public school, if he marginalizes aspects of himself, does that really set him up for success in being able to handle criticism? I don’t outwardly view this as something as “bad,” because I find that putting challenges in front of him makes him a stronger kid. What we should be teaching kids is resilience. Children are naturally resilient to begin with, but when they start inheriting our inability to process emotions, to be taught to “hide” things because other people might not accept them fully, then we have to ask if this is sustainable. Are we truly raising children who can dream of a better dream than us adults have? Or are we raising another generation that a different version of the same thing, inheriting the generational backwash of unresolved energies?
What I have found that works for my child is a rich engagement in the activities I am doing. Going to Spirit and asking directly how I can involve him in the things I am doing now. Admittedly in the beginning of my Shamanic path, I was using my Shamanic trainings as a way to “get away” from having to be a parent, and just an opportunity to be me. As I came to a deeper understanding of myself in the world, I realized that my son is an expression of me. One with his own brain and heart. He has the ability to make his own choices, but I can’t force them. What I can do as a parent is model them as best as I can for him and to allow him to choose his own path.
Our job as parents is not to protect our children for life. It’s to give them the tools that they can help understand their context within the greater aspect of the Universe. Why not involve your kids with your transformative processing? Why not share, be open and more vulnerable with them? If you have helping spirits, try asking them how to make the conversation age appropriate so they can understand what is happening. Most of them do, but they have to have permission from adults to feel into those experiences and be able to name them so they can share and know it’s okay. The more we teach them to be independent and go to Source themselves when they are ready, the more we are empowering them to lead a rich life.
To teach our children to have depth, we have to have depth ourselves. To understand the proper way to raise a child also means to understand the cultural illnesses at hand that influence these greater aspects of our society and how we can better engage with our children to make them more resilient to them. When we build the foundation of mental wellness in our society, we begin to build structures that innately repel mental illness by their very existence. What we need to do, in my opinion, is ground these actions in ourselves as adults first, and then model them for our children. We need a more engaging way to bring Spirit into our daily lives.
Change the dream of one generation, and we can change the world.
On Children Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, But seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children As living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, And He bends you with His might That His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, So He loves also the bow that is stable.
Many contemporary people long to connect to a larger energy than themselves. We actively look for answers in community, society, and our western contemporary culture. However, the answers we are seeking in order to heal the story of separation are not going to be found in our culture. The story of interbeing will be coming from the margins.
So… Who is Eagle Therapies?
Eagle Therapies is a small business started by Stephanie Seger (me) in 2014. It was an authentic approach to me establishing myself on my Shamanic path. I have studied with Mary Tyrtle Rooker, Christina Pratt, and have taken courses with/read books by Michael Harner, Evelyn Rysdyk, Sandra Ingerman, and Betsy Bergstrom. Since the first Shamanic Journey group back in early spring of 2014, Eagle Therapies has hosted a number of different events in the Northern Virginia, DC, and Maryland area. This is the main local nest, and it has grown to a robust 8-12 events a month, centered around getting people connected with their mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies in a healthy way. Most of the time it’s through fun activities like dancing, drumming, or singing (there’s at least a little each event).
What is happening? Why take this on the road?
As I come to a deeper understanding of myself as well as deepening my connection to my Spirit Guides/Helping Spirits, challenges have been posed to me. I was clearly guided by Spirit to quit my job back in November and thus began my earnest dedication to Eagle Therapies.
Some big lessons for me at this time include trust (trust in myself, trust in the Universe, trust in my guides), humility, asking for help, and faith. Honestly? I tend to be pretty hard headed, so what’s going to push me out of my comfort zone the most? Get in front of a bunch of strangers across the US with community that I have not been tending carefully over the past 4 years… No. It’s not terrifying at all.
One of the things about being a Shamanic Practitioner, is that you have to live in good relationship with the world around you. Through a Shamanic lens, you understand that everything has a Spirit, and we are all connected and interconnected to the Spirit in all things. At first I thought this was going to be a small road trip, but I was wrong. Initially, I journeyed to the Land Spirits requesting permission to travel safely across them. They brought me to the spirit of Great Grandmother Turtle of Turtle Island. She had a mission for me if I chose to accept it (cue Mission Impossible theme).
The main reason why I was given this seed of doing a road trip last year was to offer Ceremonies similar to those I hold in the DC area across the United States. Grandmother Turtle has assured me that the time is right for me to perform what she calls “Awakening” Ceremonies. This is a “Guided by Spirit” road trip, and I’m going to be as transparent as possible with this trip, making my life on the road public for all who are willing to view. I will be bringing my son with me, for he is an extension of my heart and soul. And of course because we get into the most ridiculous shenanigans together. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and sign up for the special road trip newsletter (it will be sent out once weekly and good for those who stay away from social media).
What is an Awakening Ceremony?
To be honest, I don’t know at this point. That’s just the word that came into my head as I kept trying to describe my experiences. I plan on updating this post as time goes on so that people can stay up to date as I know and understand. What I do know at this point is that my main purpose is to connect with as many people as possible.
One of my gifts is the ability to involve people in fun, engaging activities in order to embody complex concepts with ease. The innately intelligent Land Spirits are consistent in their informing me of their earnest desire for humans to connect with them more. To pause in appreciation for the clouds while walking from your car to your work place is an example of the simplicity desired. To connect with the spiritual and natural world is uncomplicated; gratitude doesn’t need to be a complex expression.
You want an opportunity to attend a relaxed, fun drum or song circle? Oh, what’s that? You feel a stirring in your heart and you laughed like you hadn’t ever before? Good! That’s our goal. Transitioning to living a healthier lifestyle with more awareness of the world around you isn’t difficult…it’s joyful. Please join us!
There will be events along the way that will be just drum and song circles, but I will also offer Ancestral Healing Circles, Heart Centered Sound Circles, Life Compass Groups, and Awakening Ceremonies. The Awakening Ceremonies are still a little fuzzy to me, but I will be doing them daily in different areas where I will be staying or traveling through. We will be visiting multiple sacred sites across the US (Serpent Mound, Cahokia Mounds, Black Hills, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, etc). There is an Itinerary Post, and it will be constantly updated so everyone can stay on the same page. Links to events on Facebook and Meetup will be created. What I do know about the Awakening Ceremonies is that they will be planned closer to the date of performance. Some of the Ceremonies will be strong and structured, while others will leave room for the Sacred to intervene.
If you wish to be a coordinator for an event and you happen to be along the route, then feel free to message and we can most likely work something out! If you are a Shamanic Practitioner along the route, then I will be happy to advertise for your local events while I’m in town. I am flexible, and if it’s meant to happen, things will happen easily and fluidly.
The main point of this road trip is to help awaken ourselves to our true potential. We should be in right relationship with the world around us, and that starts first with where we live. It can be done through the small acts of awareness or through the deep Ceremonies of connection with the Land Spirits. Join in community, bring a friend who knows nothing about Shamanism to a song and drum circle to help open their eyes with how graceful and fun filled it can be. Inside of us is the reason why we were born into this world at this time. It is time we stepped up to be the answer to the prayers our Ancestors have been praying for. If anything, I know that I personally want to leave this world better then the way I found it so that my son and his generation have something substantial to inherit.
I will be carrying local Goose Feathers dropped naturally during molting season with me throughout the whole road trip. They will be potent power objects by the end of the trip, choosing to carry the energy of this road trip as they will be on each travel altar we set up and break down to honor the spirits of the land, ancestors, and sacred beings all around. They will be available for those that choose to donate to the road trip and want to have a piece of the road trip with them or the community.
This road trip is an immense amount of trust. This is an act of Co-Creation and I wouldn’t be able to do it without your support. If the Vision of this road trip calls to you, then please consider donating. We have chosen to go with crowd funding with reward tiers because I am willing to work for donations. Every dollar you donate will go directly to the support of this Vision, and you will get personally thanked by me. If you cannot donate at this time, then spread the word about this road trip. Contact people who might be along the route and let them know these events are coming to town.
If you read it this far, then I give deep gratitude to you as a human. You chose to donate your time and read this, and I honor your heart. May our hearts connect and share that spark of connection – if only for a brief moment. Brightest blessings, and fly high.
The remark has been made many times and I wanted to put the big banner somewhere that I am not a self proclaimed Shaman. There’s a difference between being a Shamanic Practitioner and a Shaman. This is currently a hot bed of a debate, and I don’t want to argue with people. That’s not my interest. But I do wish to clarify where I stand with this situation, and also define myself as a practitioner.
There’s this wonderful organization called the Society of Shamanic Practice that is a collection of Shamanic Practitioners. They organize different events, and have a directory of events, teachers, and practitioners organized by State. If you sign up to be a member, you might want to listen to the audio recording they released back in January of 2018 which has Lena Stevens moderating a discussion between Sandra Ingerman, Jose Stephens, and Ben Boomer. This was a very enlightening conversation between three very experienced individuals that are leaders in their field. Sandra Ingerman is world renowned for her leadership in teaching Shamanism for over thirty years. She got her start with Michael Harner and the Foundation of Shamanic Studies, and has since been on her own path of spreading her teachings that she has received through her Guides. Jose Stephens is one of the founders of the Power Path School of Shamanism and is a board member of the Society for Shamanic Practice. He has completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol Maracame in Mexico and has studied with the Shipibos of the Amazon and the Paqos of the Andes for the last thirty years. Ben Boomer was raised participating in both traditional Diné ceremony with his mother’s family and traveling to California for Christmas with his father’s side of the family. These experiences created a deep recognition of the validity and importance of the ancient ways of knowing from a spectrum of cultures. His life has created natural fusions between the modern western society and indigenous civilization.
The summary that I took away from that interview really helped clarify a lot of things for me. In order to be a Shaman, you must have a community that you belong to. A weekend workshop or a 1-2 year training program does not count. The community recognizes you as the Shaman and the Shaman recognizes the community. To use the word “Shaman” because it’s something cool and fashionable does dishonor to the role of a Shaman. In this contemporary society, there is currently a glamour around the word Shaman. It also breeds ignorance because there can be a superficial context of which to understand what exactly the role of a Shaman is. Traditionally it would take years of apprenticeship, study, and dedication in order to follow that path. And even further still, the role of being a Shaman is gifted by the Spirits. The Spirits choose who the Shaman is, and a community recognizes and feels the vibration of that choice.
Let’s put this into perspective. In a traditional Shamanic culture, everyone would be able to communicate and talk with the Spirits. It was a daily act of cultivation to be able to interact with the sacred. The Diné have the expression to “Walk in Beauty”, because the Sacred is in everything and should be honored. That is the meaning of respect, and cultivating that respect with the world around you. It’s knowing that the world around you is connected in a great web of life, and seeing the hands of Spirit/God/The Universe reflected in all things.
However, in our culture, those who can talk to Spirits and communicate with them regularly are marginalized. We have lost that point of connection where everyone in community can do those tasks, and it’s only a percentage of the population who are sensitive enough to explore and hone their gifts. There is an emergence of psychics, mediums, and other varieties that are becoming more common. Nothing is wrong with them, and they do have gifts. This should be more commonplace, to recognize the people that have true gifts. We should celebrate this instead of shame them. This would be considered “normal” and a functioning part of a Shamanic culture, because divination is still practiced in active Shamanic Cultures today. This is one of the reasons why I teach Shamanic Journeying (and have been for years now), because it’s a way to begin having these experiences of interacting with a trusted Helping Spirit. We as humans need help from the world around us to begin to see things from a different perspective. To project what we feel is “right” or “wrong” is actually imposing our will on our outside world, and is not taking into account that everything has its own Spirit.
Have you ever walked into someones house and felt nice and calm? Just started relaxing as soon as you walk in the door? And then what happens when you walk into an office building and you feel your shoulders start tensing up because of all of the stress that’s in the environment? Buildings have spirits too, and so does the land that the buildings are on. No one needs to be a Shaman to tap into that.
To be a Shamanic Practitioner means to be able to use Shamanic skills in your everyday life to interact in a healthy and respectful way with the world around you. It’s about constantly improving our language with Spirit and understand the messages we are being given. To Journey to the Spirit of the Land and give respect to the stream in your backyard by tossing some tobacco or cornmeal outside is a great way to begin cultivating the relationship with the world around us. You can honor the Ancestors by setting aside a little tiny plate of food at each meal to give gratitude for the food you are about to eat. These are things that (in my opinion) should be normalized to help us feel more connected to the great web of life. So many of my clients suffer because they feel the strain of loneliness, feeding into the story of separation – that they are separated from God/The Universe/Spirit. In an indigenous culture, everyone would be expected to maintain this relationship with the divine by honoring the Sacred in all things.
So in short: No, I am not a Shaman. I am a shamanic practitioner and shamanic healer. I have not studied or trained with an Indigenous culture for 20+ years. Yes, I’ve had a near death experience and have learned the shamanic healing forms like soul retrieval, curse unraveling, and compassionate depossession. Yes, I’ve talked to Spirits since I was a kid and have been immersed in other books about Shamanism, following a Shamanic Path without realizing it since 2006. But I didn’t really find my path until I found Mary Tyrtle Rooker and picked up Sandra Ingermans journeying book back in 2013. I find myself a beginner on this path of Shamanism. Constantly going back to the basics and spreading the truth of what I have experienced and the wisdom that I have cultivated into the world. If someone calls me a Shaman, I won’t correct them because if they happen to be at one of the events I’m leading, then they are part of the community that’s there. The community has the right to call me a Shaman, but I myself will not call myself a Shaman. I’m just here to do my part in community and to spread ease, joy, love, and laughter into the world.