Announcing Online Class “Steal Away Home: A Spiritual Journey of Beauty, Resistance, and Freedom”

A series of 6 weekly online classes offered in May 2017

As sunlight is only half of nature’s daily gift to the planet, so too lives lived only in the light are lives half-lived. These times are dark—and full of promise.

This moment is very much in keeping with our collective yearning and prayer for greater freedom and joy. The time is ripe. Now is our chance to make a break for it and steal away home.

This is where the practice of lunar shamanism and the untamed wisdom of the spirit world comes in. We need folks who are ready to tear up their maps, jump into the unknown, and learn whatever they can outside of the narrow vision of “reality” that we have inherited.

As shamanic practitioners on the lunar path, my task and yours is to burn down the house that imprisons and blinds and binds us.

The lunar path is almost universally misunderstood and feared, a pathway long reviled and demonized. There is much unlearning to do.

As a consequence, a lot of the material in this class seeks to flip the images, create cracks in the foundation of our fearful and superstitious mental constructs, and point us toward practices and experiments in cultivating greater inner freedom.

Much as peasants and slaves once met at night after a long day’s work to sing, dance, and connect to spirit, so too our work will be hidden, done in the available scraps of time, an underground effort to steal away home even as we go on with the business of daily life in the world.

Liberation is a step-by-step process. There are no quick fixes or gimmicks. The way home can be hard to find after years of overgrowth and neglect, but no matter. The sooner one sets off, the sooner one arrives.

It helps to have a guide to point out signposts along the way, lest you grow discouraged and turn back. It helps to have others accompany you on the path until you begin to blaze your own.

And because our destination is shaped by the journey, it is vital to have fun on the way.

To learn more, including how to join us for the FREE first class, click here.

Message for the Second Week of Trump’s Presidency

Yesterday, we held our first journey circle at our house. Each person was free to journey for his or her own intention. I chose to journey for the group on the question of what we are to do as we enter week two of the Trump Administration. And, as it turned out, three others in the circle either saw many of the same things I did or added details that were important to the overall message.

The journey was set in Washington DC and we as a group were wandering around, circling the Capitol, parading in front of the White House, wondering what to do. After some time walking about, searching, we felt hungry and wanted something to eat, but all that was available on the national mall were hot dog carts and we felt sick to our stomachs with the mere thought of eating at one.

After the march in DC with its sea of pink pussy hats, the interpretation of the meaning of these “hot dogs” is pretty obvious. Though hungry, we abstained from eating what’s being dished up for the people in our nation’s capitol.

The overall message brought to us by our guide in the journey was that big change is upon us, patriarchy is failing and falling, and being in the dark about what to do is appropriate. One person in the circle saw a white snake, and another in the circle offered that animals can become white after generations have been born and raised in the dark, as in caves.

White animals are popping up suddenly in the journeys I have been doing for my US clients since the inauguration as well, the color indicating that these guides carry the energy of spirit into our world, not because they are white, mind you, but because they are not at all blending into the surrounding environment.

They are of another order entirely and their protection comes not from being still, blending in, or acting as prey would. Their protection lay in being on the side of Life.

These white spirit animals are being dispatched at a moment when the underbelly of white supremacy has come out into the light again and given quarter in the heart of our democratic system. Now is the time to cash in on whatever privilege we enjoy and use it to betray the betrayers. Now is the time to stand up, stand out, and be counted.

We find ourselves in the dark cave–both a womb and tomb–at this moment in time. The darkness that one of my friends experienced throughout her journey is a darkness that initiates us into a new learning: one of humility, one of feeling our way along in the dark, one of finding our way not chiefly with the mind, but instead with gut instinct and heart.

The earth is the drum upon which we walk, our hearts the true drumbeat. We are to walk in such a way that we sound out a rhythm steady and strong, not pushed around by the fearful and frantic tone set by Washington. When we find ourselves scattered or confused, we are to stop a moment, tune in to our heartbeat and breath, and begin to march again from the rhythm at our center.

We are to be led through the dark of these times by our heart’s questions and deepest longings. This time is the seed-planting stage, a pressing down from above into earth, into darkness, into unknowing, into reality, into action. We are the seeds of the new order.

We are to practice not reacting with fear to the shock and awe barrage of heavy artillery from the top, but to march instead to the beat of our hearts, to be mindful of our every step upon the earth, to remember that it is we who in our numbers rightfully set the tone for this planet. We can choose to scurry about as prey, or we can pray by sending a baseline rhythm of love and life out into the world from our centers.

We are on the side of Life, so we win in the end. The death we are experiencing now is an organic process. We are to remember that while the breaking apart of these marble artifices will leave their mark on soft flesh and dark earth, this is the breaking apart that accompanies the growth of a new seed, a collective seed. This is a good thing, albeit a painful process. What we’ve had on the planet up until now, folks, this ain’t living.

We are in the “death throes” of the old order, and this frantic flailing about is going to cause a lot of damage. Our job is to help contain the damage, to practice solidarity with all peoples and the planet, and to turn up the heat up with our resistance. It is up to us to see that this collective soup gets cooked into something that will feed us all–body, mind, and soul.

Stop eating hot dogs as you watch the circus act unfolding in Washington DC. Turn off the TV, step away from social media. Feed yourself some real soul food: take a walk, go to a rally, help someone in need. And for Gaia’s sake, do have fun doing it.

Tandem Journeys: Jumping into the Unseen Together

The idea of going on tandem journeys was inspired by the practice of going on tandem jumps when learning to skydive. While you won’t convince me to skydive anytime soon, I have found that jumping into unseen realms together is a hell of a lot of fun and assists the novice journeyer in several ways.

Tandem journeys help to demonstrate how you connect to Spirit (e.g. feeling, seeing, hearing, moving), give emphasis to particular aspects of the journey I undertake on your behalf, and can support you in deepening your shamanic practice with a more vivid experience of the spirit world.

Journeying at the same time with the same intention together can also help to demonstrate that the spirit world is an actual place.

It is not unusual to see the same places or things when journeying together, to receive complementary pieces of the same story, or to have feelings that track the narrative arc of the journey that I undertake on your behalf.

Tandem journeys are a compelling way of arriving at a felt sense of the reality of the unseen realms and can give us a taste of the miraculous nature of this life where far more is going on than meets the eye.

I make beginning instruction and opportunities in tandem shamanic journeying available in shamanic spiritual guidance sessions and in journey circles we host here in Eugene. Make an appointment or contact me for more information.

Learning to journey

There are many ways of learning how to journey; each pathway has its relative merits and drawbacks.

Online courses are convenient but lack a face-to-face connection. Books are inexpensive. Local classes connect you to others in your local community, but can be more expensive or offered on days or times that are inconvenient.

At the end of the day, it is most important to choose an approach that works best for your personality and within the constraints of your life.

Each Shamanic Spiritual Guidance session, conducted in person or via Skype, includes beginning instruction in shamanism and tailor-made guidance to help you deepen your practice.

An inexpensive and good introduction to shamanism and its practice is Sandra Ingerman’s Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation

To journey for yourself you will need:

• A quiet, private environment;

• Bandanna or eye mask to cover your eyes, allowing you to “see” any inner images better;

• Recording of a drumbeat or a drum/rattle sounded at the correct frequency;

• An intention for your journey.

The shamanic drumbeat recording that I use is Shamanic Drumming by Michael Drake available on iTunes for $9.99

A 9 minute recording of Shamanic Drumming is available for free on You Tube.

If you find that recordings of a drumbeat don’t really work for you, try shaking a rattle, sounding a drum, or dancing to the beat. Many folks are aided by adding movement to the practice of shamanic journeying.

Another way of deepening your journey practice is journeying with others, particularly more adept practitioners.

Creating Sacred Space

The intention-setting process for the shamanic spiritual guidance session can be a regular practice for your life journey as well.

Carrying questions in your heart with awareness creates a sacred space within you. Bringing your thoughts and attention inward as you chew on your questions about life re-collects and focuses your life energy.

No longer scattered, but instead held with purpose and intention, your thoughts create a sacred space within. The purpose of ceremony and ritual is to facilitate this state of gathered inwardness, but you can dispense with the intermediaries altogether and instead walk about the world in a state of ceremony.

It does help, however, to create a sacred space outside of yourself as a reminder that life is indeed a sacred journey and to prompt you to practice a few moments of gathered attention.

Not much space is needed for your altar: a windowsill, a place on a bookshelf, or a spot outside that you pass by often will do. Clearing a space and leaving it empty, or only putting one thing there like a cloth, an empty bowl, a candle, or a picture is a good start. The point is to signal the subconscious that you are making room for the sacred. The less clutter the better.

Now, with your sacred spot created, keep your eyes open for things you might want to add to your altar.

This is a powerful practice in the days leading up to your shamanic journey and the days immediately following, but it is also a lovely spiritual discipline to maintain over time. It helps you to stay present and on the look-out for gifts of beauty and meaning on your life’s path each day.

Topics for a Shamanic Spiritual Guidance Session

Often, but not always, people seek a shamanic spiritual guidance session because there is something unresolved in their life.

Topics for journeys can include:

• Questions about life purpose and direction.

• Difficult relationships with family, mate, classmates or co-workers, yourself, and/or God.

• The meaning and soulful lessons hidden within illness, a tragic event, job loss, disturbing and/or recurrent dreams.

• Creating an authentic life, cultivating more joy, finding right livelihood, sustaining activism over the long-haul, or deepening your intuitive gifts and innate connection to Spirit.

Setting your intention

Intention is everything, for what you look for in the journey of life determines what you will find.

Shamanic spiritual guidance addresses questions about real problems and offers practical advice, but shamanic journeys also nudge us out of the mind’s singular focus on problems into a broader perspective—that of the soul.

The soul prioritizes growth, choice, and experience over getting things “right.” Looking and even feeling good are less important to the soul than progressing to a life of greater internal freedom and meaning.

Shamanic journeys tend to address the big picture aspects of what you are experiencing, give next steps or homework for developing a capacity for expanded awareness, and nudge you to self-understanding and acceptance.

It helps to be forthright about what questions you hold for shamanic journeys as well as a tool for personal development. It helps to carry the questions of your heart with awareness.

The more clarity you have about your intentions, the more clearly the imagery and symbolism of the shamanic spiritual guidance session–and life’s journey itself–can speak to you.

You might think about the things you most want guidance on before going to sleep at night and then write down your intentions and any insights upon awakening. Or you might create or do something— doodle, wash dishes, play music, chop wood, weed the garden—while reflecting on your life.

However you deepen awareness and recollect yourself after a busy day, do that. And if you find getting clarity about your deepest questions difficult, do note that as something for the shamanic spiritual guidance session to address.