If you are just joining me in these posts you can catch up on the chapter-by-chapter book review of Awakening to the spirit world through these posts:

Welcome back.

I read through this chapter, it’s a short one, and had a few thoughts about what to write. I went back and forth in my mind. Children are not an immediate part of our life here at home, we’re a gay couple with no plans for anything but DINK-hood (DINK = Double Income, No Kids).

Many of our friends have children and we enjoy the time we have with them. At various ages we experience the highlights and woes of pregnancy and birth and hen later their children’s growing curiosity and exploration of the world.

I wanted to contribute some bit of knowledge to this chapter but aside from the loving and spiritual connection to childhood through the little ones, there is not much that I can say about rites of passage without referring to my own youth and learning experiences. It’s not that they are invalid or that I don’t have something to give but the chapter focuses on the transformative process of youth and responsibility we have to the children that are in our community, noting that they are our future, literally.

Our Children Are Our Future

With all that said I find that I do have something to write. My, aren’t you surprised… 🙂

One  of the topics that jumped out to me in the chapter came into the writing straight away: The Shamans experience as being childlike. Sandra writes,

“Thus, in some way, the way of the Shaman is the way of the child. And, as Sandra Ingerman points out, beginners in the study of Shamanism often immediately see the connection between shamanic journeying and their own childhoods:

When I teach workshops on Shamanic journeying, a large percentage of my participants tell me that they actually journeyed as children. They simply did not realize that this was what they were doing, yet when their attention refocuses into the imaginal realms where their spiritual allies were waiting to companion and champion them, they discovered that these “spirit-friends” were assisting them through the perils and pains of their childhood.”

In my world “imagining” plays an integral role in creation magickally, creatively, daily. Children are our leaders in this world through the fantastic and tremendous power of creative visualization. Not only do they create entire worlds and scenarios, they interact with these worlds and often the spirits and energies in them in a direct and primal way. Children become the teachers and our lessons are in the spontaneous interaction, and channeling that creativity through our focused intent. This is where we create. This is where we live every day in greater or lesser degrees driven and routed by the core beliefs we have about life, reality, and the world.

On Tuesday of this week I had a great conversation with a friend at work. We talked about the life-calling. She, Anne, brought up the point that many people do not know what they want to do (to “be”) until much later on in life. We began to relate our feelings and thoughts about growing up, maturity, and in general the blind stumbling run of the 20’s and how things begin to form, a path becomes apparent, in our 30’s.

Now we can call this the Saturn Return but whatever name we give it, most of us find that there is a shift where what we thought we were supposed to do, and what becomes clear what we should do suddenly become clearer. I spent my early years studying mystical paths, only to find that I resisted them later on. I would work a finance company then a slew of hospitality jobs before bouncing back to Dot Coms and working in Graphic Design, Real Estate, and many other positions.

It wasn’t until the calling hit me to re-dedicate myself to the spiritual path, that things began to once again come together in a sensical way. First I met many opportunities for learning, which I ate up like a grub under a log. Then these paths narrowed in focus as I ingested the  meaning that I thought (first) was in the books, classes, and workshops, and then (later) realized that it came from within.

This came out in my conversation with Anne, easily illustrated: I realize that I am becoming again who I was when I was a child. I feel this is growing older.

It is a rite of passage and the authors write something significant that I can relate to in these passages:

“As Hank points out, the “rights of passage” seen in Western culture do not come close to accomplishing what shamanic ceremony does in terms of preparing an individual for a new stage of life:

Getting a driver’s license, going to the high school prom, and drinking alcohol or smoking pot are pale comparisons to indigenous ceremonies where each boy and girl is subjected to tests, trials,and tribulations that may include social isolation for many days and nights, fasting with no food or water during that extended time, and even enduring physical mutilation-circumcision, tooth evulsion, whipping, scarifications, or tattooing (Scott: Paths of power), in which the “child” dies and the “adult” is born. During this time, their helping spirits may approach them once again, which is why many groups call such rites of passage the “vision quest.”

Hawaiian elder Hale Makua once said that in ancient Hawai’i, each boy-child lived in the house of his mother until he was bout six or seven years old. Then the boy went to live in the Men’s House, and the first thing that the men taught the boys was how to treat women with respect.

…The role of initiation was (and is) the key.

As a teenage I was envious of stories that told of rites of passage. More than envious, I sought them knowing that what I was to expect from society was not enough. A driver’s license? The lawful ability to drink? These are not enough to sustain the psyche, they are footnotes on a life, generally speaking.

There is great power in finding our creative, primal, wild and imaginative self within and through our relationship with the children in our life. The stress on the ideal that the physical is the only reality and the path to power is dominion and ownership of physical things is but an immature ideal that has run mad and grown into an ox that we cannot control. Finding our true self, our inner child if you will, our magickal being within that can imagine outside of the box that our “adult” self cannot escape become essential to escaping the trap of age, situation, and the “reality” that we have been told is our only option.

This could be open for great discussion… but I know in myself, as I have let go and given faith in my experience beyond “the physical” and in my feeling, knowing, creating self I have found a truer definition of what I am becoming.

The remaining parts of the chapter focus on the reintroduction of the visionary experience, the rite of passage (for children), and a topic called Chidren’s Fire, which becomes a brief on introducing these changing moments to our children again.

I invite you to read along and to think about the children in your life and the child within, who is even now imagining the world we are experiencing and tell us a story or two.

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Be well,

Scott K Smith

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