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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:

Okay. I know. It’s been awhile but if you have followed along with me at The Journey, you know I’ve been a busy little bee, with some events and other things happening.

As promised I’m back to complete my thoughts (review) on Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation.

You may be expecting three more blog excerpts but I’m going to blend these last three chapters together into one. You see, much like the chapters on Death (previous entries) there is a similar  message in these last three chapters. It makes sense then to bring them together and close with some last thoughts here.

Community. Transformation. The Return of the Shaman

We return to the last three chapters of Awakening to Shamanism, like many inward journeys, the seeker lead back out through chapters on Community, Transforming Communities, and a final Chapter called The Return of the Shaman.

An Altay shaman beating a gong. Music was one ...

Image via Wikipedia

Clearly there is a connection between our self, our work, and the communities we live in. Naturally there is an exchange… As I believe, when we as people shift our consciousness there is a 100th Monkey Effect (I recognize that this is a considered “discredited” idea scientifically, but in Magickal work, I don’t. So I will use it). Enough magick and energy are infused in an area, it’s going to be changed. Magick is affecting consciousness, energy / vibration, matter composed of energy, etc, etc, etc.

“Shamanism”, or more closely put for me “Magick” is most effective when it is integrated into our core perceptions. Meaning, if it’s not considered in your day-to-day moments, I don’t know that you will find it always works. By “works” I mean that you actually experience it as a living thing, more than just imagined things from candles and such.

Community doesn’t always mean forming a circle and banging drums, chanting, preaching, or selling your wares. Community, I think, should probably mean that your (in this instance) “Shamanic Practice” could be best used in your own personal life, in the relationships that you have most immediately around you. Family, friends, etc. I’m not saying that one can’t form a drum circle or dreaming group, but as I remember I often saw a confusion between the two. A “Do as I say, not as I do” person or group who rattled and banged their spiritual tools, then went home and it was over.

Magick isn’t Church, it happens with every breath, it applies to the most mundane. Natural. Living. Now. In this circle.

In Chapter 13 we discuss a little bit more than that, looking for the Shaman in modern society. Who is he or she? The Minister? The Physician? Politicians? How about Visionaries like Joseph Campbell?  I think that the important question is, who are our modern functionaries through the process of living and are they qualified to help us through our passages? Moreover, what are they helping to facilitate? Is it a functional change or simply the advancement of a metaphor-to-be-taken-literally?

Okay. Maybe that’s my question. I’ve never fully been a part of the mainstream choices: Church. Sports. Pop. Patriotism. I’ve found I fit into the more sub-culture and fringe… which happened to become more mainstream. It seems like the integration of these so-called “New Age” things becomes almost overwhelming (but pleasant) when you can speak and not feel like you’ll be stoned.

Joseph Campbell

Image via Wikipedia

Anyway, my point, and I think that of the authors, is the question of who are our visionaries and how do we interact with our community; and in our interaction the learning of who and what are community spirit actually is.

Recognizing and honoring our interconnected nature comes from participating in life, and with those we surround ourselves with both physically and spiritually. This is the place of healing, and transformation in our self and our community when we bring it into our conscious, recognized life. We are not alone in our search for belonging or our quest for a place, in taking our journey into the realm of the day-to-day, we cut a door for connection to happen to some of our core hopes, fears, passions, and beliefs, creating connections with those forces that allow and understand our desire.

Sandra Ingerman writes:

“When I first started performing healing work with individuals in Santa Fe, I always knew if I was going to be working with an Anglo or a Native American by how many cars  I heard turning into my driveway. Whenever Native American’s came to  see me they brought their children, spouses, loved ones, and even their dogs. It was always a bit challenging forme to have a dog licking my face or a child jumping on my stomach while I was journeying for my client. But there was something special and sacred about this experience.

(then)

“…I have found over my years of practice that by having a client bring one or more support people to the session, the effect of the healing is long-lasting, for the client then has someone who was present during the healing ritual who they can continue to talk to about the experience.

(later)

In today’s world, a powerful and pervasive cause of illness  can be found in intense and prolonged feelings of isolation. Many people don’t know who they are, where they belong, or what unique gifts and strengths they have to share in their community. These feelings of alienation are unique to Western people. [I call this generalization but that’s me ~Scott] They simply do not exist in tribal societies in which every individual belongs in perpetuity to the tribal whole. “

Sandra and Hank then guide us through some scenario’s like “Healing Challenges Within Families“, including an exercise for seeking identity in healing, and our perceptions of those who are sick. They talk about the environment and sharing an ecological responsibility and move into our role as (becoming) a visionary within your community. Sandra and Hank write about forming a circle and the collective dream of a tribe and a people, that takes us into the next chapters, The Transformational Community and the Return of the Shaman.

I don’t want to gloss over these things but it’s hard not to write a novela here because we begin to discuss topics like Indigenous Prophecy and the Cycle of Ages.

I think that if you were to dedicate yourself to the suggestions and ideas in this book as a map for understanding our self, and discovering what our natural place / calling is in the world, you would be happy. The first chapters open us to the calling, the inner chapters give us the framework to create the experience of the Modern Shaman, and the last chapters bring us to our potential roles in the community and the World, which feels to be on the edge of something vastly transformative.

Joseph Campbell in the Masks of Eternity concludes with the necessity of the changing myths, of what they will become, of how they will transform our society in ways that we cannot imagine. Sandra and Hank talk about the return of primordial spirituality. Indigenous Prophecy. The Sioux and the Hindu cultures speak of the cycles of ages and the four-legged bull (buffalo) which is now standing on it’s last leg. The Maya spoke of 2012, taken up by recent “New Age” folks, Earth Birthers, and others. The climate has changed…

I don’t necessarily believe in prophecy as in I think it will occur, because I (personally) think that we collectively help to create them through our insistence in the outcome. Maybe the thought that births the result of the prophecy to fulfillment is necessary to create the change. I’d just hope that people would like something aside from a disaster to be transformed… yet that seems to be the nature of all prophecy. Death and rebirth. It doesn’t have to mean, mythologically speaking, that is / should be a literal event.

Whatever our coming times are to be, global warming, or White Buffalo Woman come again singing, I feel that we are in an age of change and it is important to have an understanding of our place within the natural world. Who are we and how are we connected becomes, how am I a part of this moment I am in and what can I do to help heal, balance, speed up, change.

I think it should be interesting. I’ve always thought that maybe it was a shift in consciousness. That maybe one person doing, becomes some people doing until the shift of energy is as natural as a hundredth monkey learning to wash a yam in the river because the many have embraced the idea into the social consciousness. The passage of ideas, the deepening of the spiritual awareness, which is our natural, normal, and healthy awareness of the world and all things in it, through a period of transition, transformation, and rebirth. If it were a song it would start with a sound of pain or bliss: This is wrong, I must change. That is beautiful, I must be there. Following our bliss is centering in who we are and from that place then discovering how what we are does something good, it is more than nature, it is innately human, it is our moment of becoming.

What if we find that we are all in a collective moment of becoming? What if it is our collective bliss or calling. What if prophecy is but poetry, dancing around the truth of our evolution… or death and rebirth?

I acknowledge that this is my part of the experience, my lens of practice, my metaphysical interaction with life and the world. Maybe it’s my message to me, connected to you, to life, an AUM moment of realization. Being alive. Shamanism like many things (I think) can be applicable because it also can be practical, and practical spiritual connections to the world are important. Metaphor’s and prophecy should connect us to the meaning of the now, expand our awareness, deepen our connections to life. Though some parts of Magickal practice do take us into other states of consciousness it is important to recognize (IMO) this truth that it should apply to our living, our love, our passages, and I think that in essence that is what Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation is teaching.

I thank Sandra Ingerman, Hank Wesselman, Carol Proudfoot-Edgar, Tom Cowan, Jose Stevens, Alberto Villodo, Fools Crow, Black Elk, Merlin, and all the other seekers, Shamans, Witches, and Spiritual doer’s past, present, and future for taking the time to live the life of their calling. We all are human, imperfectly-perfect natural beings seeing into the great unknown and traveling paths to seek and bring back that which can help us all collectively.

Find your path to direct revelation. Reach into your inner being. Spend time in your bliss, your calling, your authentic, magickal self and bring back the gifts that you have. They are needed more than you know.

In love.

– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

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Cover of "The Temple of Shamanic Witchcra...

Cover via Amazon

Welcome back. I’ve been away. I know but the recent art work and show left me a little beat and in need of some recuperation. I owe you a couple of chapter reviews from Awakening to the Spirit World, and I’ve been itching to post something else. This post on Journey Work.

It’s not ABC witchcraft.

This particular post should fall under the Journal category as I’m really doing my best to illustrate the experience without being too much of an editor, protecting privacy issues and attempting to cover a wide swath of the last month and half of meditation and magickal work.  Bear with me.

GRAARR!

I mentioned earlier that I was interested in practicing a few things before I moved into my third attunement (Water) via the Temple of Witchcraft series, drawing in bits of things that felt left out in my own spiritual / magickal path.

In Lesson Three: The Underworld Path, I found very interesting and helpful exercise that brought me back to some core intuitions about how I deal with dense or heavy energies: Underworld Offering. I am familiar with this type of “energy eating” from other traditions, specifically working with Maria Yraceburu (Earth Wisdom) way back when I was exploring other spiritual practices. Much of that work involved Snake Medicine and many of my dream-experiences explored shapeshifting, shedding, and consuming poisons, transforming them into medicine.

When I was younger in my experience I would have dreams of chases. Things, gargoyles, bees, people who wanted to capture me. These were reflective of my life. It was trying. As are many lives. I learned in life to take the negative and transform it into something empowering. I don’t know how I did it, maybe it was something in the early study of metaphysics or Witchcraft, but it came through in dreams and subconscious tugs, urges, and intuitions. Through these dreams I learned to shift the energy by taking it into me and transforming it. An old practice.

Reading through The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft I came across an exercise that has become one of my new favorite tools in grounding denser energies while filtering out the refined energy for use. The denser energies are grounded down through a stone, a link to a place that I have created in the underworld. There they are recycled. The lighter energies remain and are put back out into the world. This practice is called Underworld Offering. (TOSW, Lesson Three, Exercise 14, page 179. Christopher Penczak).

Christopher writes,

“There are three main ways to release your heavy, dense energy to the Underworld. The first is simply through intent, much like grounding or earthing the energy after a ritual. you can do this by making contact with the ground itself, by kneeling on the ground and pressing your hands into it. You can also funnel the energy into the ground through as staff or sword, or simply will in there through your raised hands in a standing position (OTOW, Chapter 11). You can do the tree breathing meditation (exercise 6) and focus exclusively on the roots. As you ground your energy, simply use your will, and intend  to release all heavy energy through your roots into th earth and then the Underworld.

(Later)

The thrid technique is to create a heavy energy eater. For this magickal device, you will need a stone of considerable size. Mine is a very large quartz-crystal point, the size of a newborn child. It doesn’t have to be that big, or made of quartz, but it should be a fairly large, dense stone. It is not something you will carry around with you…”

I chose the selenite piece that I had previously used to cycle dense energy while working at my office job (in the past) and used it as my link to a cleansing space I had found in my journey work. Let me explain.

My most recent mediations have been a series of psychic body building, traveling into the lower and upper worlds to create connections to spiritual and magickal archetypes and helping spirits. In the lower world we have our animal helpers, ancestor spirits, dark gods, and shadow forms of the lower self. There I found  my Underworld “me” and.

In the upper world are the sky world deities and spiritual/archetypal beings, or higher self. The Upper World “me”. I spent some good amount of time breathing into and from these beings to myself here, in the middle world, allowing my consciousness to exist in three worlds at once, as one. It’s powerful fun stuff, and not without some enlightening thoughts and experiences.

These exercises were the techicolor sign posts of study in my mind and spending time on this type of exploration. I feel that we don’t really have to spend the time asking why as the answer soon becomes apparent to the seeker. I’ll get to that.

I combined two other exercises, Eating Heavy Energy (exercise 9), and Earth Mother Journey (exercise 10)  into what I beginning to understand is a perfect technique. Eating Heavy Energy brought my awareness to the place in my energy field where I could split the dense from the light. Earth Mother Journey lead me to the place in the Underworld, a Cauldron, where I could send these dense energies. The exercise Underworld Offering gave me the tool which I could use to link to this place and cycle out the poisons and retain the medicines.

It’s much more involved in the process of working up to linking these three exercises. I am not sure if it was Christopher’s intent when he wrote it. It may even seem complicated to some but at the point when the three visualizations link the intake of the denser energies through the spiritual stomach, and filtered through the stone I had chosen to act as my Underworld connection, offering the energy through it to the cauldron in the Underworld, worked amazingly.

I’m so infatuated with these exercises I’ve been using them daily in situations that arise with dense energies in my self and in various situations. Today the Trine of lessons came together during a healing session. Though the details are naturally private between myself and the person I am working on, I found that the combination therapy of Reiki and grounding the denser energies through the stone and into the Underworld, to be very useful.

I’m grateful for the aid of the Reiki healer that joined me in today’s session and the patient who was willing and able to let go and allow for the deepest healing possible. The session was probably the most amazing and intense that I have experienced in my lifetime. Tears. Screaming. Shaking. Healing. Healing. Love. I met the energy with love.

I’m very grateful to Christopher Penczak and his formidable body of knowledge, and the aid that it has given me today and in my life. The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft, if worked with regularly is a gem of a book. I highly recommend the whole series.

Looking forward to continuing the journey along this Shamanic Path a bit more confident and a lot more prepared.

Got questions? Ask. Thanks for tagging along with me.

– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

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Subscribe via RSS. Leave a comment, those are always appreciated. Submit something for posting, topics and ideas are welcome.

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