Working with a Shaman
The role of the shaman throughout time has been to delve fearlessly into the underworld to retrieve our wholeness. There in the world of the unconscious the shaman uncovers the missing pieces of our personal life’s puzzle, gracefully recovering each missing piece; and when we place it carefully into it’s rightful place in our life, we watch transfixed as all the other parts of the puzzle re- assemble themselves into a whole new life’s map that spreads out before us.
We watch and we see the effects of this extend throughout the rivers of time, behind us through our past, and before us into our destiny
When we decide to take this step on our Soul’s journey and work with ashaman, it leads us to own our own power. Working with a shaman we discover a more authentic self, we discover more of who we know ourselves to be, we begin to bring forth our gifts and talents so that we step into our becoming and as we do so we create and hold a new map for ourselves that shapes our destiny and that of the world.
We begin to know absolutely that we can change our world by changing ourselves, and we can re-negotiate the contracts that we made that keep us stuck in toxic illnesses, painful relationships, work that doesn’t inspire us.
- Do You Ever Feel that Your Life isn't Working for You?
When we have an illness or physical symptom that can’t be mended, that isn’t responding to normal treatment; when we have a sense of dread that seems to come from nowhere; if we can’t seem to make our life work anymore, then shamanic treatment can be very helpful. Working on the energetic level, Shamanic healing reaches places like no other treatment can.
Time to reclaim the healthy, vibrant Self, our birthright.
Do You Ever Feel Overwhelmed by life?
The weight of responsibility, the expectations that are placed on us at certain times in our lives leads us to feel anxious and weighed down with all the ought to’s, the should’s and the have to’s. We may feel bound by duty or loyalty, perhaps we’ve realised that we’re living someone else’s dream. Maybe we feel tired all the time.
Time to find our own dreams and learn how to step into them.
- Do You Often get Distracted and Pulled off-course?
Perhaps we find ourselves putting everyone else first, and we begin to notice how often our needs are last on that very long list. Maybe we find ourselves constantly putting off what’s important to us in favour of others. We may even begin to feel resentful that others are taking too much of our time and energy!
Time to learn how to stand strong, to say ‘no’ to that which doesn’t serve us and ‘yes’ to that which does. Time to create healthy boundaries. To feel our powerful self step in, and protect our more vulnerable giving self from over-extending itself. Time to learn to hold our own in the face of conflict and others expectations of us.
- Do You Ever Feel that you are on a Treadmill, and Going Nowhere?
Sometimes, we get stuck in life. We get a sense that our life isn’t working quite so well as it used to, perhaps we notice that we are going round and round the same old loop, we might even have done lots of different therapeutic processes, much self healing and yet even so we can’t seem to find the way out of this loop. Even we are getting bored with our own story!
Time to create a new story, a new map for our self. One that allows us to step into our destiny.
Do You Ever feel Disheartened and Disillusioned with Life
In the beginning we thought we knew what we wanted from life, we set off full of life and energy, doing the thing that we thought would bring us everything that life could offer. Then one day we woke up to find ourselves lost. What we thought was important no longer seems to matter so much, our joy and passion for life has gone and we didn’t even notice the moment it finally got up and went.
At these important life-changing times we may even need a totally new map to guide us into the next phase of our lives.
Do You Ever Lose Sight of Who Are
Change happens, change is inevitable; how we deal with it is all important. It may be that we lose or change our roles, our jobs; we may lose our health, our money, and our sense of who we are in the world. Sometimes we choose change; sometimes it’s forced upon us. Either way our old map won’t work anymore. At times like this we look in the mirror and we don’t recognise the person looking back at us!
Times like this we need to uncover who we truly are, find our own new way to dance with the world, our own voice, our personal expression, our authentic self that knows what our true purpose is.
Stepping outside of time and space
The shaman sees beyond the illusion, looks behind and beyond the personal stories of our lives to the patterns, behaviours, and conditioning and to all the ways we as people keep ourselves stuck, the many things that bind us, that cling to us and keep us small, all that stop us from manifesting ourselves fully into this world.
Our Sacred Wounds
When I began to see my life as a journey of the soul, a journey to wholeness, it became in that moment a sacred journey. I came to understand that ‘my’ wounds are ‘our wounds’, and that as fellow humans on this path called ‘life on earth’ we have a certain number of collective wounds, and that they manifest in many different forms depending on our social culture and the world we live in.
Illnesses and the ways in which we die seem to be collective and ‘of our time’ (in ancient times bubonic plague /war and pestilence, these days cancer/heart disease/ME/MS, and most recently aids/poverty/starvation/ mental illness/ MRSA/even terrorism) and at the same time we see our illnesses and dis-ease as completely individual, these places where we are wounded by life. We even begin to own them… ‘my cancer’, ‘my disease’, ’my depression’.
These are the places that scare us, challenge us, and keep us stuck, they may take many different forms and yet I have begun to see these as our collective wounds, our sacred wounds, our sacred stories, the myths that we believe in, that we live by and that live within us; and I begin to wonder whether after all there aren’t really thousands of different diseases or illnesses, but that it’s more likely that as each generation becomes more and more ‘developed’ and complex we are manifesting our sacred wounds in thousands more ways.
When Our Wounds Become our Power
From the perspective of shaman I see that as I set about healing my own life, it has become a sacred journey, one that has empowered me, and then others.
When we are offered the chance to step away from the role of victim and see our wounds (weaknesses, sicknesses, dis-eases) as a manifestation of our humanness and our Soul’s Journey on this earth, then these same wounds become our powerful allies rather than our weakness. We can finally stop disempowering ourselves, or even others, with our wounds and take responsibility for healing them into wholeness.
Seeing them as sacred wounds can be put another way:
‘What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!’
My Mesa of stones, my medicine bundle, contains my own wounds, the healed wounds, the memory of the stories that once lived within me, they have been through rites that connect them to my teacher, Dr. Alberto Villoldo and his teacher, and all the teachers right back through the royal Inca medicine peoples.
They contain the wisdom that comes from the healing, and the wisdom handed down through the ages.
This is powerful healing medicine that I carry into the world, my mesa a powerful healing tool and I am increasingly aware of the fact that my stories are your stories, are our collective story.
Using my experience with clients and the wisdom passed on to me, I am using the Medicine Wheel as a means of organising the sacred wounds, the wounds that we might experience as a result of living in this culture/society in the western ‘civilised’ world right now:
WOUNDS OF THE SOUTH
1. Letting past painful experience inform our present and future
2. Repeating old patterns, behaviours and habits that bind us into a loop
3. Following others advice rather than trust our own inner wisdom
4. Feeling unfairly judged or criticised, being judgemental or critical
5. Sense of being out of balance: all sorts of unspecified illnesses manifesting
6. Abandonment/rejection issues
There are so many things that can bind us to the past, cling to us, and hold us back. Knowing that we can release all this baggage, and having the tools to do it is vital to our physical, mental and emotional health.
The shaman’s role is to help us to find ways to shed our past. Just as serpent sheds its skin regularly so that it can grow bigger, so we too can gently and with honour and respect, let go of our past, step away from our conditioning, our personal stories of pain and suffering. Each time we shed a piece of our past we have the chance to grow. When we remove the bindings that hold us back or keep us small we have the opportunity to move forward, to grow fully into each new stage of our lives. Then we are living in right balance and harmony with ourselves and in right relation to the earth. Then we walk in beauty.
THE WOUNDS OF THE WEST
7. Fearful of making changes, fear of the unknown, unspecified anxiety
8. Feeling unsafe in the world, unwilling to show up and join in
9. Relationship issues around sex/intimacy/family issues
10. Feeling toxic guilt and shame/abuse issues
11. Trapped in a cycle of victim/rescuer/perpetrator
When we look at nature we see that there is a natural cycle to everything: a seed is planted, it’s nourished and grows roots into the earth, then as the warmth of the sun shines down upon it, it grows a stem, then leaves and a eventually a beautiful flower, it fruits, then seeds. The seeds scatter on the earth, the plant dies and the vegetation decays and nourishes the earth, the dark earth holds the seed until it’s ready to grow and so the cycle repeats itself over and over throughout time.
When we surrender to the natural cycles of life/death/rebirth, when we allow all the aspects of our life to follow it’s most natural cycle; where life is followed by death and followed by re-birth, where the going down into the dark is followed by coming up into the light, then we have the chance to step outside of fear, to release ourselves from the grip of guilt and shame and other behaviours that no longer serve us.
When we are ready and willing to let go of that which no longer serves us, to change our wounds into powerful allies, then we energetically make a space big enough to receive the seed of something new, and there in the darkness in the courageous place of our ‘not knowing’ we let it just be for a while, to gestate.
As we get a sense of it, we begin to nourish it, and eventually we’ll see new growth poking through the crack. When we realise its only our fear that stops this process happening, then it’s important that we honour and acknowledge the fear of the unknown, of death, of no-thingness, of darkness, of a depth we’ve never explored before. It takes courage to take that step, but as soon as we take the first step, we see a whole new map appear before us that helps us to navigate these new waters. When this work is done, we are clear of the past and ready to step into our destiny.
THE WOUNDS OF THE NORTH
13. Feeling duty bound, overwhelmed by all the things we ‘should’ be/do
14. Powerless/ineffective/helpless/seeing no point or having no choice
15. Feeling like we’re living someone else’s life
16. Needing to ask ‘who am I?’
17. Knowing that we aren’t fulfilling our destiny but unable to find the way forward
There are times in our lives when there comes a point of choice: usually in the form of a crisis! Maybe we got sick (and tired), maybe we lost our role in life, our business, our partner, our family; maybe we surrendered willingly, or more likely we gave up unwillingly, our safe life and stepped out into the unknown full of fear and grief at the loss of it all.
Mary Oliver’s poem The Journey describes this place very well.
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice -
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations -
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do -
determined to save
the only life you could save.
It’s a time in our lives when we might even have the awareness that something isn’t working BUT do we truly want to give up what’s holding us back? Whatever it is it has kept us feeling safe for a long time now, otherwise we would have changed it already! Even though it’s hurting us, it’s sometimes easier to cling to the rock of safety than to let go and not know where the tide will take us.
The tiny Hummingbird flies thousands of miles across the ocean, although she is tiny she finds the strength to make this epic journey, she answers the inner call. Rather like Jonah and the Whale, when Spirit calls you, you either answer the call willingly, or you end up getting taken in the belly of the Whale.
When we find ourselves here we need the courage to give up all that we aren’t and find the courage to choose whatever makes our heart sing. To give up all the ‘shoulds and have to’s’ and do what brings us joy. When we bring joy to ourselves, we can only bring joy and beauty to the world.
When we are living our own life fully, the path to our destiny unfolds before us.
We become at ease, in the flow of life. We give up the struggle and dance with life and life speaks back to us through synchronicity.
This is the place where we can simply be ourselves and our very being-ness allows our gift to manifest in the world. From this place we can envision and build our own new world.
My son Tom is a ‘rapper’ sometimes in local clubs, he says that when he stops trying to find the lyrics and steps instead into the place where the lyrics live within him, then the lyrics find him and speak through him, he gets him ‘self’ out of the way, and the effect is awesome - everyone gets it, there’s an energy that takes over and it can be felt.
The same thing happens sometimes when I dance, I become the dance, and the dance dances me, and if I am dancing with another person who also becomes the dance, then we become ‘one dancer’ and the dance dances us. It feels as if there is another presence that is informing the dance.
My friend Lilah recently went to have voice coaching and made a sound that took her to a place of bliss. She felt she had become the note, as if she were riding on the wave of sound to a place of utter peace and stillness.
There was no struggle, no trying, no have to’s here. Just letting things be.
This seems to me to be truly stepping into our becoming. Answering the call. I absolutely believe that when we create with Spirit, when we step up and do the thing we are called to do, when we let go of the outdated version of who we thought we were, when we give up the struggle and surrender to the dance called life, we are in touch with our God-ness. Whether we sing, we dance, we paint, we write, we garden, we fish, we chop veg, whatever it is … if we step into the being ness of it.. then it allows God to work through us. If every one of us were courageous enough to get out of our own way and connect with our God-ness, how much more goodness there would be on this planet, how much more God-ness and love.
And all this requires is to trust!
THE WOUNDS OF THE EAST
19. Fear of death/fear of life
All the great teachers throughout time have spoken of death, not as something to be feared but as a state of grace to be embraced during life. That death is not the end, but the beginning of new life, and that life is everlasting.
Knowing that we cannot die, that our souls are immortal allows us to live a full and creative life.
In the film the Big Fish…. The boy Edward saw his own death in the eyes of a witch, and from that moment there was nothing that could frighten him. He knew every moment that he would not die, and his fearlessness made him able to step fully into life, to embrace all the monsters (outside and in!) that showed themselves to him, to step in where others feared to tread. Even when he lay dying in his bed, he knew this was not the moment, so there was nothing he could fear.
When we have stepped into the world beyond death, beyond the veils, when we know absolutely in our hearts that we cannot die, that we continue on and on in this soul’s journey; then we can trust enough to step fully into our becoming, to create the life that serves us, a life that has meaning and purpose for us, that serves our families, our communities and our planet. This is the place from where we can ‘dream the world into being’, where we discover how energy, vision and intention create form and manifestation.
As a shaman I work with the sacred, with ritual and ceremony, journey, story and divination
The modern shaman uses many tools to help us succeed on our souls’ journey.
I work with the elements of earth, air, fire and water, the four directions of south, west, north and east, and with the Spirit that informs all things.
Together, we’ll work with the body, with sound, with journeying and divination. Every piece of work is different, it’s an alchemical process, every client is individual, nothing is static, nor is the process set in stone.
If we see our life as a hero’s/heroine’s journey then the shaman is the modern day magician, the myth maker, the story teller, the fairy godmother, the genie that throughout legend and myth and across time has helped the hero find a way back to the garden of Eden, to paradise, to realise their dreams and fulfil their purpose in life.
My role as shaman
As shaman it’s my role to step between the worlds, to reach the underworld, the world of the unconscious and there track the things that hold us back, and then to hold a safe space as our clients go through the process of letting go.
What I love about the Inca tradition of shamanism is that the letting go can be done with such ease and grace, rather than pain and struggle.
That’s the beauty of working within the luminous energy field.
There is no need to re-experience the trauma and emotional or physical pain that’s held there. We are simply dealing with the original imprint that informs the physical, mental and emotional bodies. We are working at the source of the wounding. Dipping our fingers into the rivers of time, and intervening at the energetic level so that changes can be made with ease and grace at a cellular level within the body.
A SHAMANIC SESSION WITH ME
A session with me can last for either one or two hours depending on what work we have agreed to do.
The cost of a session is currently £35 per hour
It helps to be very clear about the issue that you would like to deal with even though this may change
I work in the centre of Reading, Berkshire and you will need to phone in advance to make an appointment.
Here is an outline of the type of processes that I might use in the course of a session and I may use a combination of these, or none of these depending on what is called for in the moment. You can expect to feel lighter, clearer and more at ease with yourself after only one session. Healing will be instantaneous because we are working on the luminous energy field; the effect of it will take a little time to filter through to the physical body and the healing may be quite different to the way you imagined it to be.
Dealing with specific issues where patterns are stuck in the luminous field
Releasing stuck energy through the chakras.
Cleansing the chakras and re-balancing.
EXTRACTION and CLEANSING
Tracking and removing energies that that live within your luminous energy field and effect your life in an adverse way
(These energies may be from past wounds/past lives/present trauma)
Cutting ties that bind and freeing up your energy body
Cleansing the luminous energy body
DE-COUPLING FIGHT OR FLIGHT
When the body has the ‘fight or flight’ locked on, we can use up huge amounts of energy staying on red alert, keeping us safe. This simple technique de-couples this mechanism and the body learns how to relax thoroughly. This is particularly helpful for people who feel stressed/burnt out/hyper-active!
Journeying into the underworld can help us to under-stand what’s holding us: repeating patterns of behaviour that don’t serve us, revisiting the same old issues without getting resolution, realising that something is missing from our life but not sure what it is… we gain understanding and compassion from this process and above all the resource we need to move on.
DISPELLING THE MYTH!
We live within a mythology: our own personal stories are very much alive within us, and we also hold within us the myths of our times. When our personal story begins to hurt us (illness/struggle/disenchantment/disillusionment) it’s time to make changes. Changing the myth, changes the course of our destiny.
The ancient wise women used divination and spell casting!
I prefer the act of dis-spelling! I prefer that clients be empowered to step out of their old spells: the spells that society/family/generations has cast upon them.
Now we can dis-spell the old myth and create a new story that is in tune with our destiny, to step fully into the life that’s ours and that has always lived within us.
CEREMONY/RITES AND RITUALS
There are times in our lives when it’s helpful to have way markers, whether it’s moving from one stage of life to another, whether it’s loss, or celebration. The cycles of life and death and re-birth, live within in us.
We see it in our lives as we move from baby to child to adult to elder and then ultimately on to death.
We see this in the waxing and waning of the moon, the ebb and flow of the tide, the cycle of the seasons.
Nature itself speaks to us of the need to celebrate ourselves, to honour the changes, and mourn the losses.
All the earth based traditions use ceremony at these times to enhance and empower the changes.
When we are stepping from one part of our life to another, we may have this honoured, a ceremony created specifically for us.
A rite of passage or a ritual allows us to call upon the Sacred Other to be witness to our intentions, allows us to call upon the Universe to be present, and empowers the changes that we want to make. When we offer our prayers to Spirit, we know that they will be answered. We simply have to get out of the way and watch it unfold!