“You’ve Taken Your First Steps…”

I started this some time ago…

I’ve been thinking about what I need to do in order to up my game in living shamanically. Number one, I know that I need to take better care of my container. The body is the temple, the only temple, that matters. I realize now the need for actual energy clearing, like QiGong, as I think this will help bring some of those pesky unseen issues into better balance. Eating and sleeping better are constant goals of mine, and strengthening my meditation practices. These I have been pretty good about, though I’ve noticed my weight went up as I took a break from eating my usual amount of meat. I sing and pray each morning at my altars, and at the swing where I sit before work which has become a sacred place to me where I feel I’m developing a relationship with the spirits of the land, the animals and birds of the area. I have also noticed how little my “inner critic” speaks with such harshness, if at all, these days. While I was plagued this past week or two with my familiar suicidal thoughts, they have grown into a different thing, and not stemming from my own self-belittlement, a practice that I have finally, blessédly, ceased. They seem to be at once the result of my aging hormones, but also aging, in general. The growing understanding of mortality. The realization that at the end of the bodily struggle is death. It is no more complicated than that. I feel that snake-ever-eating-its-tail of time, ready to consume me and set my consciousness free into some other thing, and taking me away from this gorgeous planet I have grown to adore so. I do not want to go.






The Strange Betwixt

I’ve been writing more poetry lately, after having sorted through loads of papers lying about and mining old journals to make some sense of them. I decided to put all of my poems in one book, that way I can always find them. I realized there is, indeed, almost a full book’s worth already, and I know there are loads of poems I’ve written that I have no idea where they are kept. Journaling has been harder and less poetic. I feel in this strange betwixt place that is curious, beautiful, annoying, frustrating, joyous and sad. My world seems to be bleeding into more of a web of thick nap that clings and becomes entangled with all things, making it harder to discern between things, ideas, feelings. They seem to all be facets of each other. It’s been difficult to work within certain parameters because now those parameters are not hard and fast but fluid and slippery. I always thought that when I came to this place, things would be more clear, but it has made life much more convoluted, like oil-marbled paper.

My altar practice has become quite strong, and I reconfigured my elemental altar and have been blessing that each day, in addition to my ancestral/spirit altar. At first, the reconfiguration felt very strange and wrong, but for some reason, it’s been easier for me to come speak to it now. I rearranged it to reflect the Celtic directional correspondences (saying what you will about the “rules” of such things, which in my perspective are merely guidelines and I view most rules as questionable at best). I’m starting to come to terms with my anarchistic view of spiritual paradigms, and though I respect the use of words, terminology, lore and images to try to pin down certain concepts, I know more and more that these are but passing snapshots of a picture that is constantly in creative motion. New things are born all the time, being woven quietly into the weave without our approval or knowledge, and for simple humans to claim to know anything, really, is in my eyes just extremely naive. We are but ants to the bigger picture, and yet even ants, even bacteria, help to make that picture. All pieces need to be present and part of the moving puzzle.

This all brings it home to me how much what I do, say and think matters to the whole. If I harbor villainous, hateful thoughts, it pollutes all waters. If I bring my open, loving and joyful, creative spirit and heart to bear, it helps make clean and nourishing waters. I am responsible only for my part of the waterway, for I can only nourish my own thoughts, my own self. Supporting others is different than thinking or doing for them. Nor do I have any desire to tell or direct others what to think, feel or say. That is up to them. Contrary to how this sounds, I do not think that one must “think clean thoughts”(in a moralistic sense) at all times. I actually think we are at once clean and dirty, holy and in pieces, reverent and irreverent, sacred and profane, and that it is precisely these juxtapositions that we can dance with and straddle to make up a wonderful balance, and that is IS the dance we dance with them that cleans the waters. I have been challenged by one of my teachers in this regard as they seem to have a different viewpoint than this, and I’ve been chewing on this disagreement for some days now to fully understand what it is that I believe about such things. And I still come back to the dance. I do not believe in putting such concepts into human-constructed boxes, because that is a world of limitation, of dogma, or saying with a certainty that we do not posses that things are “like this” and “not like that” and that stating such things is merely another way the mind creates a comfortable box of rules to live within. I just don’t see the world that way at all. And in exploring this, I feel the need to let go of the need to be in agreement with this idea. Detaching from outcomes and from the need for approval or agreement is part of my learning.

Labels have their use, yes, because we are in a body of limitation. The human experience is one of limitation, discomfort, constant shifting to adjust to different types of limits. We are born babies and continually need to grow and shift within the confines of our bodies and its abilities. But we are bigger than our human selves. We are more than our body, more than our psyches, more than our egos, more than minds. Our souls know this, and they swim in that dark, chaotic limitless abyss all the time, which is what our fears of death constantly whisper to us in the night. “One day, you will be annihilated” or “One day, your body that you believe is you but merely a temporary house for your consciousness, will cease to exist.” But it isn’t just “one day”, as we seem to understand instinctively that we are dying all the time. Always changing, always shedding old skins, ever making our way to the next death. Being part of that silent and invisible weave whispers that deep inside us: you are here, and you are not here. Time is a fluid and slippery beast.


Breaking Hearts

I stood at my altar last night and poured out the ineloquent contents of my emotive soul to my ancestors and the Unseen guides that walk with me. I said plainly what I was feeling, thinking, hoping, regretting, mourning, loving, adoring. I sobbed and sobbed as I thought about this beautiful, gorgeous and tragic planet and my love for it. I could feel my heart split open even more, making more room for the love that overflows from this gracious mother if only we willingly open to her. I thought, My heart breaks open, and I let it. The pain rushes in, and I let it. As it opens and the pain swells into the willingness, into the surrender, the true grace and beauty and love is revealed. Like a mother’s body bursting open to birth her baby, filling her with pain and joy, this is how the heart expands-with pain and joy.

If you are searching for that missing joy, look into your own heart. Ask it to show you. Let it split open. Let it bleed through you. It will fill you with an incredible food. But you must let it. You must surrender to the pain, and to the joy. Drink it in, for it is the food of our souls.

Hallowe’en Journey

Just returned from the Unseen. It took me a long time to see Eagle and Komodo, and I had to “summon” them through the Huginn & Muninn exercise; a method where I envision my Huginn coming out of the left side of my head (as it comes from the energy of Urd’s well, which for me lies beneath my right foot), and my Muninn comes out of the right side of my head (as it comes from the energy of Mimir’s well which lies beneath my left foot) and they emerged heavily onto my shoulders. I then rode Komodo as Eagle was at times flying above us or sitting on my shoulder as we journeyed through the vast desert that I always seem to see when I ride or become Komodo. My intention was this (and comes from Christina Pratt’s podcast Why Shamanism Now): “how would it feel if I were to align the full powers of my heart with my action to the degree needed to live my soul’s purpose?” I was then deposited in a lake in the middle of the night with no clothes on. My guides were nowhere to be seen, and I swam and swam and swam in the black lake and I did not feel afraid. I saw a great, glowing moon above me, and the dark silhouettes of trees all around. I was then on a sandy beach lighting a lovely fire that crackled with life and heat and warmed me as I dried my wet body. I looked around the beach and saw no one, and was not afraid. I then saw a tent with a welcoming light inside. I climbed into the tent which had a warm bed and all that I would need for the night, and I sat inside the opening to the tent enjoying the fire, and I was not afraid. Then I walked along a path covered in autumn leaves and I started to feel my heart beat furiously with fear and excitement, and a massive grizzly bear came up the path. I thought it might attack me, but instead it sat down on a large, downed tree beside me as if it were human, and we seemed to commune, though I have no recollection of what was imparted to me. After awhile, I could hear crunching noises and the scene turned to snow and I was crunching along in the snow in very heavy, furry boots and thick leather and fur clothing. I seemed to be hunting. I saw blackberries, and my ego mind thought it strange since it was a snowy landscape, but my journeying mind paid no mind to this detail and I continued hunting for berries. I thought of the book “Blueberries for Sal” from my childhood that my grampa used to read to us. It was like I could see the whole scenescape from the story in my journey, though very briefly. I then seemed to get lost in the drum beat and the visions left me. I then heard banging and had to go check on Hubby. He was alright, just brewing beer and making noises. I realized it was after 9pm so I decided to just come back to this world so I can sleep properly.


I wrote these poems:

sister tree dirt dance
she flounces in the
nighttime October winds
naked but bathed in
and silky black kisses
of lake water
the place where cosmos
lands abruptly against earth
sinking deeply into

moonbeams land quietly
on soft grasses
bare feet
walk in wetness
dew of the passionate
nighttime wanderlust
slide like erotic
droplets into the pores
of soul skins
merging, heavy with
wont, lustily
making its mark
with ecstatic release
and exhaustion

a perfect autumn day
sunny and clouds
gusty winds
the smell of decaying leaves
on the crisp air
the entrails of a rabbit
cruelly plucked of life
from some predator
in flight
or a hound
looking for an easy
the trees sing their praises
to summer as she departs
their leaves falling
like tears to say their
yearly goodbyes
sap sinks to earth
preparing for winter’s
frozen embrace
where all life ends
and begins again


Parts to Make a Whole

As I so often do, I have been considering this idea of “wholeness” and “completion” upon death. When I read back on my posts of feeling so broken, and the repair stitching the self back together to be held fast but not ever again what it once was, it would seem that through our incarnate selves we are stripped down to the component parts and fashioned together again into functional, or semi-functional, beings again. Kind of smashing together but not being smooth, or seamless, or even completely complete because we will always be re-shaped in our lives. Just the simple process of aging tells us that we are not the same one day to the next, always evolving. And so it is that I have come to believe that maybe once we die, we join our missing place seamlessly into the cosmic weave. That somehow we needed to experience the breaking, the tearing down, the dis-assemblage in order to bring new information to the cosmic home of our spark, and that in itself creates more wholeness. Sort of like we are sent here to find loads of missing eggs in order to return them all to the great hive we all are driven by: the life force. That force that governs us all. Whatever that is, whatever you want to call it, or perceive of it, or deny its mystery. Or maybe we are never quite whole, maybe we evolve into eternity and constancy is something that we seem to ever wish for but can never really have.

I am coming to realize just how afraid I am to share my inner self, to expose my true self, to the world. Even just sharing this blog, I’ve only ever given the address out to one person that I trust with this part of myself. I mean, people I don’t know reading doesn’t bother me half so much as those I know reading it. First, I have this suspicion that most people don’t give two fracks about my spiritual thoughts and leanings, especially since I know so many people who seem to identify as atheist. Why would they even bother reading about my otherwordly and innerwordly and unseen woo when they deny the existence and meaning of the great mysteries? I mean, I don’t really care that they believe in another paradigm, not at all, but it would be like someone not interested in a subject forcing themselves to read about it, sighing in annoyance all the while. But there is this silent, nagging part of me that is telling me to share it so that those who want to read it, can read it. And there is a strong resistance inside my guts that I suspect has more to do about fear of this reveal rather than actually telling me not to share. I also continue to receive strong prompts from the Unseen to write my story, though every time I’ve sat down to start, I stare at the screen with a giant, invisible question mark on my forehead.

There’s also this conundrum: when is it sharing, and when is it showing off? This is something I’ve been thinking about a great deal because it seems in our media thick world that so many things are shared to shock people, to make them look, to get attention. That is not where I want to be with this stuff, and especially not since I am sharing things here that I am superstitious about sharing. These are profoundly personal, intense, magical, mystical things, and it can feel a bit like blasphemy to share it openly. It’s like, what part of a personal journal do you want to publish, right? Mostly the reason I prefer to blog is that I type faster than I write, and it’s easier to read back what I have written to examine and learn from my past experiences. I’ve got loads of dream journals, and I really wish I had typed them into a blog because it’s impossible to find anything quickly. I started marking significant dreams with post-it notes, but now the tops of my pages are loaded with post-it notes that must be sifted through. But again, there is a constant inner whispering that I hear prompting me: “share yourself, share the healing, share the mystery because this worlds needs to open to the other worlds again, it needs to unfold” and that is why I share things here, also. So that somehow it IS out in the world, and if needed, I can direct people here. But it’s not enough…the voice tells me that keeping my writings private is not enough.