As we move out into the world as spiritual beings, to tell our stories, live our values, and cultivate a healing presence, it is good to pay attention to our words. Words carry power. They can bless us or curse us. We can bless or curse others, without even knowing it, unless we are fully present to our audience, the larger context, and the healing path that lies before us in that moment. As the late medicine man Charlie Redhawk Thom put it, there is a reason people come to us instead of someone else. We can ask ourselves, “Why me? Why is this person here with me at this time?” and let that question inform us in the words and actions we choose. Continue reading
Everything has a spirit – from the slow and simple spirit of a pebble, perhaps, to the angry bit of war spirit darting from someone’s eyes, to the hidden wisdom of our personal spirit helpers, to the unbounded embrace of the spirit of the universe. Everything that is, is alive.
In the course of our everyday lives, there are spirits who belong with us and some who don’t. As we make our way through daily life, it is helpful to be aware of the ways we may pick up spiritual intrusions, which are neither bad nor good, but which impact our well-being, our health, and the energy we have to put into all that is important in our life.
We are biologically social beings – herd animals (or part of a pack, if that is more appealing), who rely on each other for safety and survival. When there is danger, Continue reading
Whenever I read or hear about dealing with serious illness, there is the exhortation for us to become the directors of our own health team, including all the various doctors, nurses, care-givers, associated practitioners, and supporters who are involved in our journey back to health. With all the wisdom, information, and recommendations laid out before us, we are the ultimate decision-makers in how we wish to proceed. In this respect, and in its purest form, all healing becomes a self-healing, self-directed process.
Over the past year, I have become fascinated with the myriad of inter-related aspects of physical health and healing. It seems we are rediscovering what shamans – and humanity – have known intuitively for thousands of years about the nature of health and well-being, and in more and more studies, science is bearing this out. What this means for us as individuals is that our base of knowledge and options for personal wellness are expanding at a rapid rate. Here are a few Continue reading
Are you stuck on a problem, in a rut, or need a more creative insight to a life challenge? This is a good time for shamanic divination.
Creativity is all about leaving structure, assumptions, and expectations behind and allowing ourselves the freedom to see patterns in a new way. This is what divination is all about. Divination has been used for tens of thousands of years in shamanic cultures to find creative solutions and hidden knowledge in life-and-death situations of the times. It is equally effective today to find imaginative and much-needed approaches to our personal and communal needs.
Divination is different from prophecy in that it does not attempt to foretell or influence the future. It simply gives us a broader view of what is happening around us and the opportunity to respond in perhaps a more useful way than we would otherwise. The best-known form Continue reading
A sampling of a book I have underway – The Eagle and the Inchworm: Face-to-Face with Trauma and Shamanic Healing.
The power of a journey circle, where several people who practice shamanism come together to journey as a group, is that the more people who compassionately give of themselves, the more strongly the spirits become engaged. A journey circle is a powerful place to take a request for healing or wisdom.
Once in a while, a group comes together but no one has a healing request. This happened in one of my groups along the way, and when no one else had a request, I piped up and said, “I’ll always take a healing!”
The group members all journeyed for me, and the end result Continue reading
Six months ago, I completed a set of White Papers exploring shamanic self-healing of physical illness, and I am currently teaching an experiential class on the same topic. A fundamental principle of healing that comes up again and again is the power of thought, visualization, and belief to help us heal. Physiology shows us the very real connection between the frontal cortex (thinking part) of our brain, the hypothalamus (the part of our brain that controls the Pituitary-Adrenal Axis), and our body’s ability to respond and heal. In other words, our thoughts play a part in our body’s response to stress and illness. Brain studies have also Continue reading