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I was going to wait until I finished this book before I posted a review but I learned that Hank Wesselman will be at the Conscious Life Expo in Los Angeles this month and I had to get this out to share my excitement at meeting the author in the near future.

The Bowl of Light: Ancestral Wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman is a story, retelling the events around Hank’s meeting and growing friendship with Kahuna elder, Hale Makua. Interestingly enough I happen to have a friend who I have in the past gone to for information about her Hawaiian culture and spiritual traditions. Being a granddaughter of a spiritual elder from the islands I feel she’s my “go-to girl” for this type of spiritual information. I had to talk to her about it because, interestingly enough, her Grandfather is mentioned in the book.

So… the two of us are going to the event on Monday, February 14th at the Hilton Los Angeles: Spirit Medicine: An Overview Of Shamanic Healing. That hyperlink should take you to the events page, it’s roughly a 2 1/2 gathering and talk about healing.

Course Description

Join Hank as he examines the three classic causes of illness and the four levels of Shamanic healing and explores the nature of health and illness from the perspective of some of the Earth’s indigenous people. You will learn ancient, time-tested ways of entering the Shamanic state of consciousness where you can connect with your spirit helpers and healing masters and learn how to work with them in your personal place of power and healing in the inner worlds.

From the Conscious Life Expo:

In the Western world today, interest in complementary and alternative therapies is on the rise, and increasing numbers of health care practitioners and laypersons alike are discovering the ease with which the healing modalities developed by the traditional tribal shamans and medicine makers can be learned and practiced. In this workshop, we examine the nature of health, illness and healing from the cross-cultural perspective of the indigenous peoples. This experiential event includes an overview of the three classic causes of illness and the four traditional levels of healing and concludes with a powerful healing ritual.

Note: Please bring hand drums and rattles (if you have them), a notebook, a bandana or eyeshade and a light blanket.

I will be there. I have purchased my ticket as of this morning. If you feel the call, come on out, I’ll see you there!

Now where was I? Oh… right. The book!

I know you know the feeling, reading something that feels right. The Bowl of Light has taken me on an honest journey through the telling of Hank’s meeting with Hale Makua. There are points within the book such as prayers, and answers to, Pele that have caused me to smile and nod. I’m familiar with my spirit connections, these things I understand because I have them. Then there are other tellings -mind you never too much, breaking tradition or revealing that which should not be given away- such as the understanding of what the bowl of light IS, in the Hawaiian tradition, and many other examples that connect the dots [in my head] to other mystical / tribal traditions.

I’m an avid book reader so my “for instances” can contain some cross-pollination between books. I think that’s OK seeing how the references connect.

For instance…

Christopher Penczak, in his latest book by Copper Cauldron Publishing called The Three Rays of Witchcraft brings up into the light the Three Cauldron’s, or foundations, of Awen. This book is a whole review in and of itself but I am still working on some of the advanced exercises contained within the Three Rays of Witchcraft, but I need time to process and digest those. In short, awesome, but now, my point.

The three Cauldrons as Christopher illustrates, are spiritual vessels within the body at the head, the  heart, and the belly. In his instruction with this Inner Alchemy we are filling up and balancing these cauldrons with energy, light. They are balanced by rays, the three rays in fact, and each is a descent of Power, Love and Wisdom, thus the title of the book. What I found interesting as I read there in the working of the cauldrons is a message that I have heard many times over. To channel, one must make the vessel clear, ready to pass the energy with clarity. One of my first references was Frank Fool’s Crow, and his instruction on clearing the body as a vessel for Wanken to heal, “we must make ourselves like hollow bones.”

This message I found in the Bowl of Light. I asked my friend about her grandfathers connection within the story and then excitedly invited her to the event with Hank Wesselman. She  responded enthusiastically describing the spirituality, as Makua had taught Hank, as I read, of the bowl of light…

“At twilight, Makua got up, using his walking stick for stability, and lurched over to his truck to reach for something in the bed behind the cab. He returned to the table under the shelter with a large pu’olo, a ti-leaf bundle that was wrapped  and tied in the traditional style. He presented it to Jill and me with a grin and the simple word makana – ‘gift.’

We eyed the large, leafy bundle with anticipation for several long moments, savoring this time in the dying light of the last day of the year. Then we opened it excitedly and found within a beautiful yet simple wooden bowl made in the Hawaiian style and shaped like the lower half of a gourd.

‘This is your bowl of light,’ intoned the kahuna with a warm smile, ‘the light that was a gift from you ‘Aumakua, your immortal spiritual soul that divided itself before you were born. Each of us comes into the world from the great beyond with our seed of light. This light nourishes us and sustains us as we pass through life-but as we grow in experience and wisom, things happen.

‘Sometimes we lie. Sometimes we steal, and sometimes we injure others through our thoughts, our actions, or our words. When we step into the negative polarity, it is as though we put a stone in our bowl, and some of our light goes out. Slowly through time, our bowl of light fills up with stones, and our light dims until it is nearly gone.’

Makua stopped and looked at us with great seriousness. ‘The great problem in the world today is that the whole show is being run by individuals whose bowls of light are filled with stones. With few exceptions…


‘Hopefully, we wake up to what is going on and discover what we are doing.’ The elder paused dramatically, his expressive dark eyes luminous. ‘At that moment, we become aware that our bowl of light is almost filled with stones and there is almost no light shining forth. And you know what we do then?’ Makua paused and his gazed turned serious. Jill and I hung on every word.

Gently he took the wooden bowl from me and turned it over, shaking it vigorously. ‘We simply dump it out!’ A huge roar of laughter burst forth from all of us…”

The Bowl of Light: Ancestral Wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman, Hank Wesselman, PhD, Chapter 3, pg 47-48.

There is a lot more to this book. Talks about mana, illuminations on the Spiritual Warrior society, and interesting thoughts on polarity and spiritual purpose. It is a gem. More than the overwritten “how to” book. This is good storytelling containing seeds of light for your own “bowl” or cauldron.

I’m going to finish up the stories soon. I’d like to recommend this book to the spiritual seeker or those interested in getting more than just an anthropological perspective on Hawaiian spirituality. It isn’t taken without permission, it has been given and with respect, retold and passed along in a way that I think the spirit of Mauka, and many other ancestors would be pleased.

The Bowl of Light has not yet been released. I’ve been blessed with an advance copy. You will be able to pick up your own copy soon.

The Bowl of Light: Ancestral Wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman
May 1, 2011
Paperback / BK01886 / 284 pp

ISBN: 978-1-60407-430-7
eBook ISBN: 978-1-60407-455-0
UPC: 600835-188685
US $16.95

Synopsis: An intimate view into the mind of an authentic Hawaiian kahuna elder—with shamanic insights for connecting with the wisdom of our ancestors and our own divine nature.

I hope this finds you well.

– –

Scott K Smith
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Lunar libration. see below for more descriptions

Image via Wikipedia

I’m really excited for this week. We’ve got a cosmic-trifecta, at 1:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, (Dec. 21st) a full moon and total lunar eclipse will occur on the winter solstice. The last time that happened was on December 21, 1638. Um… that’s a long time ago.

More than just the knowledge of the solar-lunar solstice and the potent energy that it caries to be honored and observed I had a tickling at the crown this morning as the sensation of the message came through. In no way do I wish to be cliché but Hope and Light and Peace were my spiritual hash-tags. It’s as if the spirit of Christmas, much talked about and portrayed in film and story is muscling in over and around the pervasive heavy vibration that has ebbed in and out the last few months; and which appeared to heighten in the last week.

If you are sensitive to the subtle flows of energy in and around us, you may have perceived this in various situations.

Well I pulled a card this week, The Star, and I think that is message enough from me but the accent cards show that our healing and inspirational skills can be applied to our life in the most effective way at this time, because the time is right.

But don’t take my word for it, let’s look at some of the buzz around the web, specifically those that focus in on the Cosmic-Trifecta this solstice.

“Tuesday, December 21 at 0:13 AM PST we shall be experiencing a Lunar Eclipse in Gemini (29º21’). What makes this a rare event is that it is occurring only a few hours before the Winter Solstice (Sun entering Capricorn at 3:39 PM PST). Eclipses are always major turning points in our lives and this one, even more so. To find out which area of your life will be the most affected, look at which astrological house it is falling into.

This eclipse points to the importance of balance and integrity. We need to infuse beauty and peace in our personal relationships. It is important that we discover -or reassess- what our common goals/dreams with our significant other are, so that passion may continue to make us soar or reawaken from its ashes. A sense of intensity and groundedness in our personal power accompanies these realizations. As we know who we are, what we want and what we have in common, nothing will stand in the way of what we can manifest as a couple.

For those who do not presently have a significant relationship, it is a time to  create your inner marriage and find completeness within yourself.  Making our inner masculine and  feminine conscious, erases the sense of lack or longing. If your desire is to join with another in relationship, from that place of mastery, peace and wholeness where you are deeply in love with yourself and your life,  it will necessarily unfold in the most beautiful of ways.

Michelle Karén M.A., D.F.Astrol.S.

And from Trumbull Patch:

Traditionally, the solstice is a time of renewal, of hope in the darkness and of celebration as the days gradually become longer.  Many cultures used to celebrate their new year at the winter solstice. Rock formations, temples and pyramids were said to have been built to show their people the exact time the solstice was taking place so they could plan their rituals and ceremonies.

It’s no coincidence that our celebrations at this time of year focus on adding light to the darkness. Trees and homes are illuminated by Christmas lights, and candles are lit on the Hannukah menorah as we find ways to make it through and out of the darkest time of the year.

There’s so much electro-magnetic energy swirling around us that feeling major “shifts” in our lives in the coming days is to be expected.

Power created by the solstice point is amplified by the full moon in the final degree of the mental sign of Gemini and is boosted by the fateful total lunar eclipse. Issues that have been working beneath the surface of our minds and hearts will soon manifest into reality.

Pay extra attention to your dreams, gut instincts, synchronicities and coincidences — all signs and signals of new insights and truths and the next steps to more happiness and fulfillment.

With all the cosmic power out there as we wind up 2010, the coming year appears to offer a no holds barred “fresh start.”

By Eugenie Diserio / Full article here.

Finally a great note on other aspects of the solstice and the eclipse, with some particularly interesting notes on the astrological components. Justin Bond posted this link on Twitter and I bookmarked it for today as there are several interesting passages in the newsletter. I can’t repaint the message, or the great details that Cathy Pagano has spelled out for us. I invite you to take a peak at what I have her and then invest a little time in reading and meditation on both the newsletter and her great blog Wisdom of Astrology.

This Solstice is important too because in 2011 the dance between Uranus (revolution) and Pluto (death & rebirth/evolution) intensifies, eventually forming seven exact squares between 2012 and 2015; these energies will continue to push us to demand personal, cultural and political reforms.   With these squares, we will be entering the first–quarter phase of the 60s conjunction of Pluto and Uranus.  Echoing the Hero’s journey, this is the phase of the cycle when we have to over-come obstacles, where our determination is tested.   You just have to look at the world news to understand that these energies are at play in the world, asking us to work with them creativity.  When Uranus finally enters Aries in March 2011, we will discover new identities for ourselves, new ways of entering into the life of the world.  This new Birth therefore, is important for us since it is our new Uranian identity that’s being born in the Light.

One way to understand what we have to do now is to entertain the possibility of making our instincts conscious by seeing them as archetypal patterns; the work is to recognize what our instincts are telling us about ourselves. Are we warriors, nurturers, inventors, artists, scientists, environmental visionaries? The Child of Light is a redeemer and savior.  S/He redeems the Dark – brings what is still dark into the light of consciousness. What talents and abilities are waiting to be recognized and born in that divine maternity bed this Winter Solstice?

The full Moon occurs just hours before the Sun enters Capricorn.  This Gemini-Sagittarius Full Moon is not only a lunar eclipse, but also a Super Moon, swinging closest to the Earth and intensifying its gravitational pull on us.  So we might get more emotional, more dreamy, more unconscious.  It also occurs at the last degree of Gemini/Sagittarius, signs which rule how we think and what we believe about life, pushing us to resolve the full energies of the two signs with wisdom and compassion.  The Eclipse is visible in Europe, in South & North America and Japan, and is total at 8:13am GMT/3:13am EST/12:13am PST.  (You’ll find more information at my astrology blog.)

Since the eclipse occurs at the last degrees of Sagittarius and Gemini, it concerns how we transform information, beliefs, and knowledge into Wisdom.  Emotions and feelings play a big part in that, and with the eclipse, we might find ourselves understanding just why we do what we do.  The more we know about what our beliefs are founded on, the easier it will be to transform what’s blocking us so we can bring about real change in our cultural attitudes and in the environmental degradation we have created.


This eclipse also (trines) attracts energy from Neptune and Chiron’s idealistic new vision of Aquarian wholeness and equality.  When the darkness takes the place of the Light during the eclipse, we could be thrown into chaos and fear, but if we hold true to our vision of one world at peace, if weImagine as John hoped we would, we will come through the dark night with a clearer vision and a brighter hope than we’ve had in a while.  A lunar eclipse marks the end of something.  But an end is always a new beginning.

We need to tell a new story.  That’s what Winter Solstice invites us to do, especially this year with Mercury going deep into the Galactic Center. The fires of Creation await us!   Let’s imagine it together.

Wisdom of Astrology / Cathy Pagano

Personally it is important for me to say that this time, at this moment, we have a great opportunity to be who we essentially are in our truest vision of ourself. We do not have to be Oprah (whom I love) to inspire, or his Holiness the Dalai Lama to represent your heart of compassion, these are just a few of the Stars in our life. They are reflecting our greatest potential.

Believe in that potential.

– –

Be well,

Scott K Smith

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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.


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.


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

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“Working Yin & Yang || Male & Female “



Happy Hump Day and welcome back to the Journey. I’m having Anahata fun today and thought I would write about a meditation that I find interesting and balancing.

I’m not feeling so crafty today, this blog entry has been interrupted about 99 times. I’m not bothered but I’m sure it is a little stuttered. Please forgive the blog if it skips a bit. Couldn’t be helped.

Meditating this morning I had a fun experience channeling Earth and Sky; Yin & and Yang; the Light and the energy of Form. They are dualities. One rises from the Earth, the other descends from the heavens. Shakti & Shiva. Goddess and God. The dualities, the polarities. These two energies can meet in many places, today I chose the heart because the union of these two energies is a feeling of love, and love is some good magick. 🙂


I started with the Reiki  Mudra meditation technique*, you can use whatever meditation technique you prefer. Get into your centered place and start at the Crown.

Imagine the center of the universe, the center of all things. Feel that place inside your mind. Imagine what it would look like and how the energies would feel. This energy is the Life Force, it is the power that infuses all things.

Feel this energy enter the Crown and move down the path of energy centers in the body, clearing and balancing your wheels of light. 7th. 6th. 5th. 4th. 3rd. 2nd. 1st.

Surrender to the energy, allow it to travel through you, each center and then down through the hands, then feet into the earth… This is the Yang. This is the male force. This is the God Force.

Stay there. Let your mind, you thoughts, your feelings open up to the sensation of this force moving through you and into the earth. Earth’s core. Earth’s soul. Goddess. Feminine force. Yin. That which holds the energy, shapes the form.

Feel that Force of Yin accept the energy. Feel the energy of that union as it moves up your body, through the feet and hands, up through hara, into the wheels of light. Let that energy travel through you, out the crown into the sky to the center of that power emanating from above.

The God force that projects, the Goddess force that is the vessel for all things. The power and the place. The blade and cup. This is the love and movement of all things.

Bring your awareness to your heart then and allow the energy to meet there. Become aware of the two energies mingling and the product of that alchemy.

The heart center is more than just a place of love, it is a center of Alchemy. Opposites are married and made into new things. The heart transforms. It is a powerful place and illuminated when the light of love is shining on it or through it.

I remain in this place and seek my guidance or simply allow for that energy to flow into whatever comes to mind. If I have something specific to focus on -from this new perspective- I will send this new energy to it then.

When you are ready, count out of your meditation, ground and enter your day.

*Please note, if you are using the Reiki Mudras, Sha, Rin, Kai, then I would keep to the following guidelines. Sha when drawing from the universal energy / God source. Rin when drawing from the earth source up. Kai when allowing myself to feel the energy mingle and experience the love. This then would be your jumping off point where you would either continue your meditation for your own purposes or exit meditation. The Kai mudra is a position of intuition, brining both sides of the mind together to open intuition. It is clearing and focusing.


The interesting thing, for me, during this time is that I usually also connect to whatever healing guides and deity forces / archetypes that I am working with. Today as I was pulling from the God force the archetype felt male but as I respectfully channeled the energy of the feminine it became female for a moment before “flickering” between Male/Female to settle on an almost hermaphroditic form. A spiritual deity of dual sexes or the embodiment of both of these universal energies. Ascending/Descending. Yin/Yang. Male/Female.

Meditating on that I had to search suss out some information on the web on Hermaphrodite or dual sexed deities. Wow, there are a lot throughout history of our people.

My favorite happened to embody the feeling and image the best which was Kwan Yin (Guan Yin, etc). However I found Ardhanarishvara to be an interesting and very similar deity to the sensation I experienced.

ArdhanarishvaraArdhanarishvara (half male-half female God).The sculpture’s left is female and the right is male, depicting Shiva and his consort Shakti/Parvati.


So… If you happen to be curious (bi-curious HA. HA. Get it?), know a similar practice or are willing to try I would love to hear your feedback on the practice of channeling both energies and being the conduit. ESPECIALLY if you already integrate this into your magickal or energetic practices OR you are trying it for the first time.

Today alone I’ve felt that love that is generated jump right out of my heart like a beam of light and work with a few clients. It was powerful, beautiful and uplifting.

Be well,

Scott K Smith

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