“I feel vulnerable and bare
but more myself than I have in over twenty years.”
This last week – my first intensive week of training in Shamanic healing – has been one of the most profoundly altering periods of my life. I don’t fully understand yet the implications of what I’ve been through, though I know that I have stepped across a threshold into my new world. It is the world I have been looking for, yet one which has always been there.
I have danced around the fire, sung, rattled and clapped until my face shone with happiness. I have watched as new love hit others and felt deep pain at my loss, but also joy and relief that it wasn’t me this time. I have stood barefoot in soaking earth and leaves while the rain poured down, leaning against a tree and crying my eyes out in loneliness. I have hugged people at will, and felt huge love and compassion for them. I have touched souls and been touched by them.
I have been initiated as a Shaman. I am a Shaman. Inside, my energies are moving and my senses are acute and accurate. I have helped in healings and I have done my own healing. I have felt both understood and a deep understanding for others. I have also felt my own deep hurts, where they still exist.
The journey I’ve just embarked on is based on the Shamanic Medicine Wheel. Each week-long intensive represents one of the four directions, each with its own archetypal energies. This week which has just ended was the South – represented in South American Shamanism by the snake which sheds its skin periodically and lies belly to belly with our great mother, the earth. By working with snake energy, we are empowered to shed our own ‘old skins’ (our personal histories) and to come closer to the earth. And I have spend the last seven days and nights doing just that – trawling through my life for what I still need to let go off and say goodbye to. I’ve been looking at how I’ve held myself back unnecessarily and what kind of life I might want instead, once I’ve shed my ‘skin’ and am ready to move on more freely.
I can’t sufficiently capture all the details of what I’ve been through. If I could paint two pictures for you it would be firstly of a shy, slightly reluctant woman arriving at the beginning of the week, wondering what she was letting herself in for. And the second would be of a woman with wood smoke in her hair, sitting on a log with new friends as the last embers of a fire died down. I feel vulnerable and bare but stronger and more myself than I have in over twenty years.
It feels as if I was really thrown in the deep end – doing healing work from the first day but discovering that it came to me so naturally. I’m not sure what I think about past lives, but there’s no doubting that some of this ‘new’ territory is as familiar as anything in my life up to now. Some of the new folk I’m meeting here talk about having been medicine men and women in former lives and perhaps there’s something to it. I’m finding I can easily pick up information intuitively about others, that I can journey effortlessly to various levels of consciousness and beyond. Why is all this happening so easily unless I’ve been born with some kind of prior knowledge which is only now being activated? It doesn’t really matter, I suppose. All that really matters is that I’m aware of the ability now and am starting to use it for both my own healing and that of others. Where it came from doesn’t matter so much. And, anyway, I think it sounds a bit like bragging when I hear others say things like, ‘I’ve been a wizard in a past life’, so I’m not about to start doing it myself. Who cares? All that matters is what works for me, and others, in our current lives.
Right now I have the luxury of being on my own here, in this amazing old house where we’ve spent the week. Because my flight home doesn’t leave until tomorrow, I’m staying an extra night and have the wonderful wooded grounds pretty much all to myself (yes – I’ve been climbing trees!). Everyone else left at lunchtime, after our final morning session.
Just before they headed off, though, one of the men in the group approached me and offered me a small stone as a gift. Yes, I know it sounds a little unusual but offering small tokens of gratitude has been relatively common this week and it wasn’t my first. The guy wasn’t someone I had spoken to at all during the week, although I had noticed him. He seems very familiar but our paths just didn’t cross all week so this was the first exchange. I took the stone and as I watched him head off down the lawn to the car, wondering what had prompted the act. Almost automatically, I held the stone against my lower abdomen. Immediately, I felt a warm energy spreading from it into my second chakra and, from there, upwards and downwards to the other chakras. Once the energy had settled, it felt as if all my chakras were sending out some kind of ‘call’ to the universe, as if telling it that I was ready for the next step in my life.
And now, hours later as I sit here after dinner writing to you, I still feel as if I’m sending out the same ‘call’, as if the stone has triggered some kind of homing device within me. Part of me wants to suppress it in some way – to wrap myself up in a blanket that might muffle it until I understand better what message it is that I’m beaming out. It’s so strong that I can’t deny that it’s happening but I just wish I understood it better. I guess I’ll have to wait and see what appears in my life over the coming months and deal with it when it happens.
In the meantime, I have some homework to do when I get back, to finish up what we didn’t have time for here. I need to deal with those feelings of extreme loneliness and the lack of being understood. I don’t want to draw a situation to me again in the future which triggers those simply because I still carry an affinity for the energy. I understand only too well now that we all carry affinities for various situations because of energetic patterns we carry. I’ve become aware of some of them this week and hopefully have cleared them (or, at least, started the process of clearing them). I want to get myself to a situation of strength. Then, hopefully, if I have another relationship I’ll draw someone to me who will be nurturing for me and whom I can nurture in return. And regardless of whether I ever do have another relationship, at least I’ll be fulfilled and happy!
But I find myself still wondering about you and whether you will re-appear in my life as my own healing journey continues to unfold. Time and work will tell, I’m sure. For the moment, all I know is that you are still there in the background, somehow part of this path that I’m now on.
Much, much, love.
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