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Shamanic Healing Soul Retrieval The Legacy of Seidr Wandering Souls of Vietnam Healing with the Spirits of Nature Lucid Living Communicating with Invisible Worlds Yewshamanism Shamanic Activism The Flight of the Caduceus A Journal of Contemporary ShamanismVolume 6 Issue 1 sprIng 2013 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 Spring 2013 Contents 4 Acknowledgement Thank You Bonnie Horrigan Founding Executive Director The Society for Shamanic Practitioners Alan Davis MD 5 Letter Keeping Pace with Changing Times Sara Johnston Executive Director 7 EDITORIAL Finding a Comprehensive Soul Retrieval Training Sandra Ingerman MA 11 SHAMANIC PR ACTICE The Legacy of Seir History Experiences and the Path Ahead Annette Hst 17 ESSAY The Wandering Souls of Viet Nam Ed Tick PhD 21 SHAMANIC PR ACTICE Healing with the Spirits of Nature Jane Shutt 25 ESSAY Lucid Living in the Middle World or Follow the White Rabbit Gary Lindorff MA 29 ESSAY Communicating with Invisible Worlds Using the Language of the Cosmograms Marko Pogacnik 31 SHAMANICPR ACTICE Yewshamanism Michael Dunning 37 Interview Jonathan Horwitz Talks with Lenore Norrgard about Shamanic Activism Lenore Norrgard MA CSC 43 Essay The Flight of the Caduceus Cecile Carson MD 47 Resource Directory www.shamanic 1 2 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 Spring 2013 Editors Tom Cowan PhD Jonathan Horwitz MA Sara Johnston Kay Kamala ArtDesign Ron Short MABFA Publisher Sara Johnston Society for Shamanic Practitioners Advertising Sales Sara Johnston For information about advertising sales please contact 303-726-2922. A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism is published twice a year Spring and Fall by the Society for Shamanic Practitioners 2004. All Rights Reserved. No part of this journal may be reproduced or copied without the permission of the Society. Non-profit postage paid at Santa Fe NM. Permit No. 173. POSTMASTER Send address changes to the Society for Shamanic Practitioners 956 Camino Oraibi Santa Fe NM 87505. Subscription Society members receive the journal as a benefit of membership. Non-members may purchase a subscription for 24 one-year US 32 one-year overseas and 38 one-year US library. To join the society or subscribe please visit or send your check to the Society for Shamanic Practitioners P.O. Box 100007 Denver CO 80250. The Society for Shamanic Practitioners a non- profit 501c3 is an international alliance of people dedicated to the re-emergence of shamanic practices in modern society especially those that promote healthy individuals and viable communi- ties. Email Web site SSP Board of Directors Cecile Carson MD Tom Cowan PhD Alan Davis MD Sandra Ingerman MA Martha Lucier Anna Harrington Carol Proudfoot-Edgar CSC Jos Luis Stevens PhD Lena Stevens Sara Johnston Executive Director Amanda McCarthy Administration 3 EDITORIAL BOARD Jeanne Achterberg PhD Saybrook Graduate School Research Institute San Francisco CA David J. Baker MD Professor Emeritus of Medicine Canadian College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Victoria BC Canada Stephan V. Beyer PhD JD Peacemaker Services Chicago IL Patrick Curry PhD Lecturer Religious Studies University of Kent London UK Jeannine Davis-Kimball PhD Center for the Study of Eurasian Nomads Ventura CA Stuart R. Harrop PhD Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology Department of Anthropology University of Kent Canterbury UK Robin June Hood PhD Adjunct Professor School of Environmental Education and Communications Royal Roads University Victoria BC Mihaly Hoppal PhD Director of Institute of Ethnology Hungarian Academy of Sciences Budapest Hungary Stanley Krippner PhD Saybrook Graduate School San Francisco CA Mary Pat Lynch PhD Athens OH Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer PhD Research Professor Department of SociologyAnthropology Intercultural Center Georgetown University Washington DC Robert Moss MA Founder The School of Active Dreaming Albany NY David Mussina MA Medford MA Philip M. Peek PhD Professor Emeritus Dept. of Anthropology Drew University Sanbornton NH Larry Peters PhD Nepal Spiritual Excursions Topanga CA Stephen Proskauer MD Sanctuary for Healing and Integration Salt Lake City UT Evelyn C. Rysdyk Spirit Passages Yarmouth ME Patricia Shaw PhD Phoenix Psychological Group Inc. St. Louis MO Sarah Sifers PhD LCSW Indigenous Lenses Salt Lake City UT Farrell Silverberg PhD NCPsyA Psychologist Philadelphia PA Sharon Van Raalte MA Mississippi Station ON Canada Alberto Villoldo PhD Founder and CEO The Four Winds Society Park City UT Marilyn Walker PhD Associate Professor of Anthropology Mount Allison University Sackville New Brunswick Canada Robert J. Wallis FRAI FSA Professor of Visual Culture Director of MA in Art History Visual Culture Richmond The American International University in London UK Kyoim Yun PhD Assistant Professor Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures University of Kansas Lawrence KS 4 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 A ckn o wled g ement Thank You Bonnie Horrigan Founding Executive Director The Society for Shamanic Practitioners by Alan Davis MD It is with great pleasure and appreciation that we recognize the vision passion and hard work of Bonnie Horrigan founding Executive Director and board member of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners. Bonnie and I met when she was the publisher of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. At that time I was one of a group of seven physicians who were dreaming into existence a shamanism in medicine conference. It was then that I learned of Bonnies talent as a facilitator and creator. We presented our conference proposal to her which she not only accepted but joined with us to make it a reality. Similar conferences followed and they became the springboard for SSP. As the third Shamanism in Healthcare con- ference closed it was clear to us that our helping spirits had a new direction for us. Bonnie suggested we start an association of individuals with an interest in shamanic healing that would both support them and bring their work more fully into the world. It was Bonnies clear visionher deep creative dreaming of a society of individu- als sharing their interest and passion for shamanismthat brought the SSP into existence. Her goal included shifting world consciousness from the material to the spiritual by helping our practitioners know that they are not alone. From our found- ing in 2004 until her departure this past autumn Bonnie was a steady guiding hand for the Board and our membership. She has moved on to serve as the Executive Director of the Bravewell Collaborative another organization seeking to shift consciousness by supporting the full emergence of integrative medicine into healthcare. We wish her well in her new endeavor and give gracious thanks for all she has done for SSP. 5 L etter Keeping Pace with Changing Times A letter from the Society for Shamanic Practitioners We have a new name A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism. The SSP Journal will continue to present diverse perspectives on shamanism and explore both traditional practices of shamanic people around the world as well as all types of contemporary shamanism. Particular attention will be paid to the underlying principles of shamanic practice and we will showcase the many ways that shamanism is re-emerging and integrating itself into personal lives as well as contemporary societies. Each issue will celebrate shamanism and inspire readers by offering direction and thoughtful facilitation for using shamanism as a personal spiritual practice as a mission for small groups and larger communities or as a healing modality. We want to encourage our readers to share experiences and insights from their practice. Shorter articles and interviews will be a regular feature. Letters to the editor and op-ed pieces will be included in future issues. Specific guidelines and instructions for submission can be found on our website at httpwww.shamansociety.orgsubscribe.html under under Author Guidelines. The actual production of the Journal would not be possible without the tremendous effort and dedication of our volunteer editors. Kay Kamala is the newest addition to our editorial staff. Kay has written and published articles and newsletters for her intuitive counseling business for over 25 years. In addition to her own writing and counseling work she worked for several years doing research for Cormac McCarthy. Kay lives and works in Santa Fe NM. Tom Cowan continues to provide leadership and guidance in creating a publication that supports shamanic practices in modern society and that presents a diversity of inspiring articles that reveal the marvelous complexity of shamanic practice in our world today. Jonathan Horwitz is our European editor and consistently brings us unique authors and subject matter that provide a window on current practices in Europe and Scandinavia as well as contributing many previous articles for the Journal. Ron Short is our design expert graphic layout master and comes up with the fabulous images and many of the photos that so enhance the Journal. He puts all the pieces together and we are grateful for his expertise and creative touch. Thank you for your membership and support. We look forward to hearing from you as we evolve. Blessings and gratitude Sara Johnston Executive Director 7 Shamanism has been practiced worldwide for over 100000 years. I believe that the reason this ancient practice has survived is because it has evolved to meet the needs of the times we live in. The key principles of shamanism remain the same but the culture-specific ceremonies have changed over the years. We certainly do not practice in the same way it was practiced 100000 years ago. And yet shamans still act as healers doctors priests and priestesses psychotherapists mystics and storytellers. Shamanism teaches us that everything that exists is alive and has a spirit. Shamans speak of a web of life that connects all living things and the spirit that lives in all things. Everything on earth is interconnected and any belief that we are separate from other life formsincluding the earth stars wind and so forthis purely an illusion. And it is the shamans role in the community to keep harmony and balance between humankind and the forces of na- ture. There are a variety of ceremonies that shamans perform ceremonies to welcome children into the world to perform mar- riages to help people transition to a good place at the time of death and to mourn the death of loved ones. And shamans of- ficiate at important initiations that mark certain transitions in a persons life such as moving from childhood into adulthood. And they perform many different types of healing ceremonies. We have seen a remarkable resurgence in the interest in sha- manism in the Western world. People are searching for ways to regain access to spiritual practices that support their own abilities at receiving direct revelation and also reconnecting them with the natural world. Many individuals seek spiritual practices that will improve the quality of their lives. And many want to explore how shamanic healing ceremonies can help with the emotional and physical illnesses that we suffer from today. More and more people search out shamanic practitioners to perform a variety of shamanic healing ceremonies. And more and more professionals such as doctors and psychotherapists come to training workshops looking for ways to bridge shamanic healing into their traditional ways of working. Bridging shamanic healing into a variety of both traditional and alternative methods of healing has been exciting. Results have been powerful and inspiring. But we must pay close attention to this integration process because as shamanism becomes popular- ized the power of this ancient way of healing may begin to un- ravel. In the West we are addicted to methods and techniques but methods and techniques have never healed anyone. Only love and light can create healing. When true shamans do their healing cer- emonies there is love light and a healing presence that shines through and this presence creates true healing and transforma- tion. It is not the outward ceremony itself that heals but the spirit contained within it. Any ceremony that is merely form and devoid of spirit will not be successful. Many people today seek training in shamanic healing and there is a danger they might end up getting an imbalanced educa- tion. There are many causes of illness that shamans address which typically fall into categories such as loss of power a loss of soul andor having a spiritual intrusion blockage or a possessing spirit that needs to be removed. Shamans remove blockages intrusions and possessing spirits and return any power or lost soul parts that are needed to fill a person back up with vital energy. It is impor- tant to be trained in all the core shamanic ways of healing. I often meet practitioners who trained in only one form of healing such as removing spiritual intrusions but never trained in soul retriev- al. Similarly I find psychotherapists who are attracted to learning soul retrieval but do not learn about removing intrusions or pos- sessing spirits that might also be contributing to a clients illness. My belief is that not everyone needs to be a specialist in all the different ways that shamans heal. But good practitioners should be familiar with them so when they see that a client needs more shamanic healing than they are trained to perform they can refer clients to other practitioners who were trained in those other methods. I think practitioners should only do healing that they feel comfortable with. In my teacher training program I encour- age students to teach one-year or two-year programs in which stu- dents are exposed to all aspects of shamanic healing. In this way practitioners get a balanced education and their future clients end up receiving the healing work they need. E dit o rial Finding a Comprehensive Soul Retrieval Training by Sandra Ingerman MA __________________________________________________ Opposite Removing blockages to restore an individuals physical emotional and psychic balance. Photo by Ron Short 2013. 8 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 The Difference Between Curing and Healing I see a distinct difference between curing and healing. In indigenous cul- tures children were raised with an under- standing of how to live a life of harmony honor and respect. They were taught how to live in harmony with nature and because people lived in close community they also learned how to be creative and vital members of their communities. Obviously when issues of healing came up in indigenous cultures people often instinctively understood what was out of harmony in their lives and creating illness. After a shaman performed a heal- ing people understood how to return to living a harmonious life. Disharmony causes illness. In the Western world many people on hearing this feel they are being blamed in some way for being ill on an emotional or physical level. This is not true. But what is true is that we have to do some self- exploration about how we live so that we can return to living a harmonious life where we honor and respect ourselves others and all of life. When a shamanic practitioner performs a ceremony that will remove blockages and returns power or lost parts of ones soul this provides a cure. But for longterm healing to occur clients must look at what changes they need to make in their lives that will create long-term healing after the ceremony is performed. For example if a client comes for a heal- ing ceremony and then goes back into a life filled with stress an abusive relation- ship or continues to eat a very unhealthy diet we cant expect solid long-term results. I find that many people come for shamanic healings and expect a miracle cure where they do not have to do any work on their own. It is almost like going to a doctor to get a pill that will allevi- ate symptoms without looking at the core issues that are creating illness. Of course there are people who have done a lot of self-exploration and really just need the curative spiritual ceremony to be performed. For example I have had clients who explored the impact of past traumas on their lives in psychotherapy and made healthy changes in how they live. This type of client may need only a soul retrieval to complete the process. For some people a shamanic healing cer- emony is the first step of the work and for others it is the last step of the work. But it is essential that we look at how to bring our lives into a place of harmony after shamanic healing is performed. I have noticed in many forms of healingtraditional medicine psycho- therapy Chinese and Eastern forms of healing shamanism and othersthat when we feel ill on an emotional or physical level we also feel worn down energetically. It takes a lot of energy to go shopping for food run errands and go to work when we dont feel well. But when we are healed of our emotional and physical issues we have a lot more energy available to us for daily living. Some people inherently know how to direct this energy to create a positive present and future for themselves but I find this is not universally true. Many people without being aware or conscious of their energetic process end up directing this energy to create another trauma or illness in their lives. Some individuals have no awareness that we have the potential to create a deep and meaningful life for ourselves. Creating a Better Life Shamanism is more than journeying to helping spirits for healing. It is a way of life. As shamanic practitioners we have a great opportunity to teach people after weve performed a shamanic healing how to live a life that is filled with harmony. This benefits our clients and the world itself because our inner world is reflected by the outer world. And every change in consciousness we make ripples through- out the web of life. In shamanism we learn that we are part of this web of life. We are part of nature and its cycles. In the West many people have forgotten this teaching. We live in a way where we separate ourselves from nature and this is a major cause of emotional and physical illness. So many people today walk against the river of life which causes an incredible amount of emotional and physical stress. We can teach people how to align with this river with the cycles of the moon and with the seasons of the year. We can teach people about the power of gratitude. When we wake up each morning and give gratitude for our lives and to earth air water and fire as the sun for giving us what we need to thrive we create a pathway for positive things to happen in our day. In shamanism the principle of reciprocity shows us that when we honor and respect ourselves the spirit that lives in all things and nature we will be honored and respected also. In shamanism we learn that thoughts are things and words are seeds. We can teach our clients how to direct their thoughts and words to achieve desired outcomes in life and direct the energy of their thoughts and words in a way that end up blessing themselves and others. As shamanic practitioners we know that there is a difference between express- ing energy and sending energy. To live a healthy life and create peace in the world we need to feed all of life by expressing love rather than sending psychic darts that create harm. What we feed grows. It is our birthright to fully express our soul in this life. We are all born creative beings. In shamanic cultures unique and creative gifts of community members were honored and respected. In the West we are taught not to shine too brightly and that there are only a few creative people. Westerners are taught to behave and fit into society. Many have forgotten how to direct their creativ- ity to build a life filled with meaning. Instead we expect that collecting material objects and money will bring happiness and meaning. Shamanism encourages us to find true wealth within ourselves as we develop a rich inner world. It is our 9 responsibility as shamanic practitioners to show clients how to develop this inner landscape that creates true joy peace and harmony that is not dependent on what is happening in the world around us. We can show clients how to create a life filled with passion and meaning. Finding In-Depth and Comprehensive Soul Retrieval Training The resurgence in shamanism raises the question of how to find the right training to become a shamanic practitio- ner. Many people are asking questions about the proper length and content of soul retrieval training. Before discussing this let me back up a bit and explain how my own soul retrieval training evolved over the years. In the late 1980s I taught weekend soul retrieval workshops all over the United States and in Europe Australia and New Zealand. I discovered that in weekend workshops there was not enough time to adequately train practi- tioners to deal with issues we face in a modern Western culture. There is a lot to understand about the results of bridging the powerful and ancient method of soul retrieval into a modern day psychologi- cally sophisticated culture. A longer time frame was needed so in 1990 I devel- oped a five-day soul retrieval training. I dont mean to romanticize in- digenous cultures but they tended to support people from birth honoring the gifts they were born with to share in their communities. Indigenous people were taught how to live a harmonious life and also knew what caused the disharmony that can result in illness. Whats more soul retrieval ceremonies were performed immediately after a trauma occurred in someones life. Life is not so simple in the Western world. We are not always supported to live a life filled with meaning. We often cannot connect the dots to how our lifestyle has created the emotional and physical illnesses we are dealing with today. People lose parts of their souls at very young ages and show up for soul retrieval work many years after a trauma occurs. Shamans in indigenous cultures did not have to go back 40 50 or 60 years looking for lost soul parts. And indigenous shamans did not work with a psychologically sophisticated population such as ours. I think the following considerations are crucial for anyone looking for soul retrieval training that will provide clients with deep and meaningful ways to create long-term healing. The workshop should include teach- ing the after-effects of soul retrieval work. Practitioners need to know how to deal with healing crises that come up after soul retrieval and deepen the more subtle effects of the work. It is especially important to let clients know that they cant always expect a miraculous instantaneous change. Practitioners should carefully reassure and counsel a person who does not receive an instantaneous healing. Some soul loss can occur when a cli- ent is a baby or toddler and this loss can create a habitual life pattern that runs the persons entire life. Many re- curring traumatic themes occur in life as a result from soul loss at an early age for example a repetitive pattern of always finding oneself betrayed in relationships. Good soul retrieval training teaches ways to help a client break old patterns and create a new positive present and future different from the traumas of the past. Practitioners should look for training that teaches ways to help clients fully integrate their soul parts so that the soul retrieval creates long-term heal- ing instead of short-term effects that quickly fizzle out. Its important to learn how to share with clients what is seen in a soul retrieval journey in a way that inspires them to move on with their healing process instead of re-traumatizing them by taking them back into the traumas of their past. This is a vital skill because so many clients are re-traumatized by shamanic practi- tioners who dont know how to tell healing stories. For example it is not healing to share with clients that a damaged or hurt soul part is being returned. The soul part coming back is now whole not damaged. Similarly a practitioner should not bring back a soul part that is afraid or does not want to come back. Clients should never be given this type of information. The definition of soul is essence which cant be harmed or hurt. A soul retrieval returns to the client the pure essence that brings the client into a state of healing and wholeness. A good soul retrieval teacher presents ways to phrase healing stories so that the practitioner blesses each client by plant- ing seeds of love hope and inspiration. Every time practitioners share a jour- ney with a client they are planting seeds that grow into plants with deep roots. People today dont need more bad news. They need to hear stories of hope and inspiration about the gifts talents and strengths that are now available to them after a soul retrieval which will improve the quality of their life. Frankly this takes simple common sense on behalf of the practitioner to understand the impact of his or her words on another. Words can be used to bless or curse someone. Ethics is a topic that should be cov- ered in soul retrieval training as well as in any course on shamanic healing. Two examples It is unethical to confirm through a shamanic journey whether the client was or was not a victim of sexual abuse. This is a complex topic that also has legal ramifications and cannot be gone into in this short article. A good training in soul retrieval will discuss this topic thoroughly. It is unethical to perform a soul retrieval long-distance without someones 10 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 permission. This is akin to voyeurism and there are laws about voyeurism in both the ordinary and non-ordinary realms. These are key topics for professional soul retrieval trainings. Other topics include charging for shamanic healing work the number of soul retrievals a per- son may need how long to wait between soul retrievals and working with children and families. A great teacher will encourage stu- dents to perform soul retrieval ceremo- nies in an individual way to meet clients unique and individual issues. This means being ready to change ones normal way of working for each client. Every client deserves to be treated as an individual. I have been in touch with many veterans from both the War in Iraq and also the Vietnam War who were greatly disap- pointed with shamanic practitioners who were taught soul retrieval as a simple method and performed it in a rather robotic fashion. In my own life and for my own healing I would only contact shamanic practitioners for help who have a deep understanding of the work and have had extensive training in it. Clients deserve the best treatment and healing help the same that we would want for ourselves and those we love. We must remem- ber that shamans work with the same principle as all helping professionals Do no harm. Finally we should remember to reflect on our personal needs when we look for someone to teach soul retrieval and we must find the teacher who can best address those needs. Soul retrieval training is training to be in serviceto people all of life and the planet. And we should hope to be the best possible servants that we can. About the Author Sandra Ingerman MA is a world- renowned teacher of shamanism. A licensed therapist she is the author of eight books including Soul Retrieval Shamanic Journeying How to Thrive in Changing Times and Awakening the Spirit World The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation. Her web sites are and 11 shamanic practice The Legacy of Seir History Experiences and the Path Ahead by Annette Hst During the past 25 years the old Norse shamanic tradition called seir has experienced a renaissance internationally. Different shamanic and heathen groups as well as individuals have been exploring this heritage experientially. In this article shamanic teacher Annette Hst examines traditional seidr as well as the new seidr asking What have we learned about the old seidr and the new What does it take to do a strong clear seidr respecting the tradition And looking ahead what possibilities and challenges does it offer our shamanic practice of today and tomorrow Old Norse Seir Seidr is originally a Norse shamanic tradition and could be seen as an old Scandinavian form of magic with strong shaman- ic traits. Seidr in Norse seir pronounced some- what like sayth where is pronounced like the th in there was a living tradi- tion used for divination and transformation up until middle or late Viking age. The ritual structure of seidrconsistsofmagicsong staff and a ritual seat. It is the combination of all three elements used in a shamanic way that gives the unique quality of seidr. Our only written sources are bits and pieces in the mythical Edda-poems and the sagas from late Viking age and early middle ages. In this literature a practitioner of seir is called a seidr woman seikona seidr man seimar or volva meaning staff carrier or spkona meaning seer. Sometimes the person experienced in the art of seid is just called fjolkunnigr meaning a person skilled in magic. The eddic poems and the sagas mostly mention women as practitioners of seidr but this might have been different at an earlier age. Seidr is much older than both the written sources and the Vikings. Most likely its roots are in iron age fertility cults and early shamanism and the tradition most likely has a lifespan of more than a thousand years. The old texts only offer us glimpses of the practice in its later days and clearly it must have undergone many changes through its long life. To picture how a seidr session might unfold in the Viking era we can turn to the most famous seidr account that of Thorb- jrg Little-Volva in the Saga of Eric the Red. Thorbjrgan ex- perienced professional wise woman and seikonais sitting on the seidr seat seihiall with her staff. The people who have summoned her to help solve the problems of illness and bad hunting luck in their settlement surround her singing the seidr song. Thorbjrgs spirit allies gather around her called by the haunt- ing chanting and the song transports her into an al- tered state of conscious- ness into the spirit world. There we must imagine how she meets with spir- its divine beings or na- ture forces asking for help on behalf of the suffering community but the saga is silent on this intimate part of the ritual. Her task completed she signals the song to end. The saga then tells that she chants kua the outcome of her magic Both health and fertility shall speedily return to the settlement. In the silent space following the song Thorbjrg is still between the worlds and from there she gives divinatory answers sp to the questions put to her by individuals from the farms about health the crops and the future. Thorbjrgs story tells us about seidr done as a big commu- nity ritual but seidr can also be done with just a few people. In Laxdoela saga Kotkel Grima and their two sons do an out- door seidr together singing strong songs raising a storm to wreck a ship. In other sagas Thuridr performs seidr to bring ________________________________________________________ Odin and his wife the goddess Frigg by Lorenz Frlich ca. 1895. 12 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 fish back into a barren fjord and Halgrim uses seidr to make his spear axe invincible. Seidr can be done alone in nature as the few ambiguous hints in the eddic poem Volusp The Vision of the Seeress might be indicating. As in all shamanic work there is always a purpose for the seidr. And in short it can be used to transform both to harm and heal and to seek vision including knowledge about the future. Earlier academic researchers held the view that seidr for the purpose of change or transformation is by nature harmful black magic. There is no more substance to this claim than similar claims about shamanic work as such. Whether an act is harmful or helpful is determined by the intent of the practitioner not by the method. Recent researchers in the past fifteen years seem to have broken free of the black seidr idea. Still it has created uncertainty among modern seidr students leading some communities to settle on doing only divinatory seidr to avoid the whole issue. Academic and Experiential Research Seidr has been the object of academ- ic research for several generations and many aspects of the art are still discussed contested or plain unknown. Since the middle of the nineteen-eighties differ- ent groups and persons from shamanic circles to satr communities have joined the research asking What can we learn about seidr by combining scholarship with experiential practice of the method itself What distinguishes seidr in relation to other magic Some researchers and modern practi- tioners view seidr as a generic term for all Norse magic as well as a distinct method. The way I understand the written sources reading with shamanic eyes seidr is one kind of Norse magic. But not all kinds of Norse magic are seidr. In the earlier sagas at least seidr is clearly distinguished from both other branches of magic and from the shamanic noaide tradition of the Sami. There are four main branches of magic described in Norse tradition galdr rune magic seidr and utiseta. Utiseta sitting out overnight for wisdom shares many traits with the vision quests of other cultures and it was practiced by laymen as well as professional magically trained people. Galdr an art of magic singing rune magic and seidr are skilled magic traditions not found elsewhere. They are arts demanding substantial even professional training to learn. Froei translated to skill wisdom is a word used about seidr song indicating it takes a certain effort and patience to learn. An experienced fjolkunnigr practitio- ner of old might combine the different kinds of magic in a session if the task demands it. In Oddruns lament a biting galdr is combined with runes cut on the wrists to aid a difficult childbirth. In Volusp the ambiguous poetry hints that the volva may be combining seidr and utiseta to call forth her deep visions. Experiences of the New Seir Since my first introduction 25 years ago to experimental and ecstatic seidr through the Swedish shamanic network called Yggdrasil I have practiced seidr with countless groups in many countries. During the years different aspects of seidr slowly revealed themselves in an ongoing exchange between critical text studies and shamanic exploration. I find it is far more than an exotic ancient speciality. I call what we do new seidr ac- knowledging that it must of course be different from the old one. My feet are planted here in modern Northern European shamanism and my aim has never been to reconstruct the past or do Viking-age seir. Rather my passion has been to find out how it works and then ask What does the seidr tradition bring to the magic and spiritual practices of today and what shamanic skills does it demand of us Today there are several different ap- proaches to the new seidr. I have found working with seidr as a distinct method defined as a shamanic work using staff song and magic seat in combination to be consistent with both the historical sources and the shamanic tradition. In other words there are four Ss in a seidr Staff Song Seat and Spirits. If any of those four is missing it is not seidr as I see it but some other method which we may call seidr-inspired rather than proper seidr. The Ritual Forms and Variations Let us take a look at each of the four elements to better understand how they play together. The account of Thorbjrgs seidr outlines a ritual recipe for a com- munity seidr. It has proven a great way of working for a group of people with a common purpose like finding a guiding vision for a project or re-empowering a neighborhood. Apart from the results of the work just being part of such a com- munity seidr can be very empowering for both the unity of the group and for the individuals in the circle. However a big group seidr is far from always being the most appropriate or effective method. It all depends on the task. Often a simpler version done indoor or outdoorcan be a better choice for your mission. If you are just a few people together you can still let one person journey carried by the song of the others. There is also a related practice for when you work alone which I call solitary seidr. The term solitary seidr is not used in the old literature but in the mythic poem Volusp it is indicated that such a ritual method was used. If you do it in nature your seidr seat might be a rock or a root of a tree. With your purpose or intent clear in your heart you simply sit with your staff and sing 13 yourself into contact with the wind the night with the animals and spirits out there and let their songs blend with yours to guide you and heal you. The Seidr Song In seidr we use singing instead of drumming to come into contact with the otherworld. Thorbjrg states that with- out singing the spirits turn away from her. And without spirits she cannot see to do the seidr. Sweet was the chanting or no one present had ever heard a fairer song are some of the descriptions of the old seidr songs. At other times they are referred to as strong or harsh. Both then and now the seidr song is known to often become ecstatic. No old seir songs have been handed down to us so I have had to turn to the related traditions of magic and ritual song of the Nordic countries especially the Norse galdr the Finnish runolaulo the Sami joik and to learn the old for- gotten skills of magic singing. Traditional magic chanting is characterised by being repetitious and going on for a long time thereby facilitating trance or a change of consciousness similar to the way drum- ming works. This is the old literal mean- ing of the word enchantment. Today this is experienced by both the seidr worker and by the singers in the circle who maybe for the first time in their lives know the basic human experience of let- ting go completely into singing. In different types of seidr you are either sung over by other people or you can sing yourself on your journey. In the example from Laxdoela Saga mentioned earlier Kotkels family as a close-knit unit sang their own seidr. Just as im- portant though chanting is often used by the seidr-worker to communicate with the participants and to manifest the outcome of the seidr work. When Thorbjrg for example chants This illness shall end sooner than any of you expect she is doing more than report- ing a vision she is singing it into being Sung messages unlike spoken words have a way of going directly to the heart of the listener without being first filtered by the brain. It is a way of moving power strengthening the magic impact and deeply touching the listener. In both Norse and Celtic spiritual tradition this is a strong trait known as inspired in the literal sense poetry and is often ecstatic. It is also used worldwide in shamanic rituals of many traditions including Siberian and South American. It easily enhances and empowers our own modern healing and other shamanic work. The Seidr Seat In the past I often translated Seihiall to high seat when speaking English as do many written translations of the Norse sources. But this inaccurate trans- lation is mixing two terms which histori- cally and energetically are very different. For example in the case of Thorbjrg she is led to the hsti on the night she arrives. The next day doing the seidr she climbs onto the seihiall. The hsti high seat is a seat of social honor in the hall often kept in the family for generations. It is of this world a VIP seatfull of ego. The seidr seat seihiall is a magic seat or platform built for the occasion and it has no room for ego. The seidr practitionerlike all shamansis while on the job and the seat the servant of the people and at the same time a servant of the spirits a mediator sitting between the worlds. It can be very seductive to sit on the seidr seat if the distinction between the two seats is not made clear and well under- stood. The danger is in forgetting that the authority of the words coming out of your mouth does not belong to you but to the spirits. The Staff The staff volr which has given name to the volva is also literally speaking the centre of seir. When you sit on the magic seat in a sea of human and spirit voices or sit in the visions of the twilit forest it is the staff in your hands which holds the direction of your journey and keeps you centered. At the same time the staff is your grounding like the Tree of Life connecting earth and sky. In the old literature another word used for staff is gandr. But gandr can also mean spirit ally or magic or all three at once as in a shamanic experience with the soul of the staff when it might turn into a horse or move like a snake. In seidr work it is the inner spirit side that makes a powerful staff not the look of its outer surface. Working with Power and Ergi Sometimes the character of a seidr is mostly gentle and clear. But now and then in a strong ecstatic seidr you may encounter a raw power of nature coming from the earth or whirling in the song running through the staff or yourself. And sometimes this power has a clearly erotic or sexual character. This can be a profound spiritual experience in itself. But the point is that this is the power that you are given from the spirit world for the stated purpose of your seidr be it healing transformation or deeper insight into the web of life. And the way to deal with it is through surrender without forgetting your mission. For me this is the beauti- ful mystery core of seidr. This quality of seidr is hinted at and named ergi in the mythic poems and the sagas. Ergi is the most esoteric and enig- matic aspect of seidr. In the academic research it is also the most misunder- stood aspect of seidr. In the old texts it is said that men could not perform seir without shame due to the ergi inherent in seir. Ergi was in the age of the sagas the Viking age interpreted as a linking together of unmanliness magic skilful- ness and sexual perversion. Thus the idea of the unmanly seidr man is heav- ily dependent on the Viking ages narrow definition of acceptable masculinity and sexuality. Still the unmanly seidr myth has stuck in almost all later academic and popular speculations. 14 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 14 It is noteworthy that the whole issue of ergi and reputed unmanliness has had more impact in the modern circles which have studied seidr in the sagas and aca- demic research and adopted their view of ergi before experiencing it firsthand in seidr. My personal understanding is that ergi is a skilful way of handling spirit power through focused surrender by receiving the power and expressing it magically. Voluntary loss of control the union of ecstasy and consciousness is also known by both the old Sami noaide and the Siberian shaman. Today it is experienced anew by people who venture out on the path of shamanism. I should emphasize though that a seidr especially for divina- tion easily can be effective without deep ecstasy and ergi It all depends on the task. The power that needs handling through ergi only reveals itself now and then and is neither something to fear nor pursue. Magic and Heathenry While the magic and religious realms were closely connected in pre-Christian Scandinavia the ancient written sources distinguish between magic and heathenry. In other words you dont have to be satr to practice seidr galdr and utiseta. Seidr is an independent tradition much older than the Viking age and the divini- ties we know of from Norse mythology. I feel we are on safer more authentic ground if we go behind the structure or filter of any religion and connect with the spirits and power of Nature as the spiri- tual foundation of seidr. More authentic because the great forces we meet firsthand in nature are timeless. Seidr of Today and Tomorrow We are now at a point where we know what it takes to do a good seidr and we know something about which skills it demands of us. What possibilities and challenges are ahead of us now Why do we want to do seidr today Often I have seen that people are in such awe over seidr because it is an old North European magic craft and they want to use it for everything in their shamanic practice. When we start getting familiar with it we will see that it is re- ally just a way of working together with spirits and nature powers. Its another shamanic method or ritual tool in our tool kit. When you get it incorporated in your practice you will only use it when it is the most fitting tool for your given task. The question is always Does it work Does it bring you closer to the mystery and power Does it do the job With song staff and seat integrated in our shamanic repertoire together with drum rattle and dancing we can be- come freer to choose the right ritual tool for the right task. Ways of Seidr Training How do I get seidr training I am often asked. My answer is always that all shamanic training is good seidr training. Your seidr doesnt get any stronger than your general shamanic work practice your connection with your spirit allies your journeying skills and your ability to handle power. That said here are a few training suggestions for your inspiration Find or get found by a staff. A magic staff is your travel companion your spirit guide. Get well acquainted with your staff by travel- ling with it in both worlds. It is your work together as a team that matters somewhat like the way you and the rattle can work together. Next get comfortable singing your journey experiences out loud while they are happening. People who have worked with shamanic counseling are already used to the Harner Method of speaking their journey out loud. Just start chanting it instead of talking until it becomes a natural way of expression. Thirdly findon journeys or in natureyour own seidr songs and learn them well by heart. Learn other ritual songs by heart. We need song keepers in both the new seidr and modern shamanic community in general. These exercises prepare us to perform a big or small seidr ritual. They are also valuable shamanic disciplines in their own right and will enhance our shaman- ic craft and abilities. Seidr Nature and the Spiritual Longing Modern Americans of European descent often tell me of a longing for an- choring their practice in an earth honor- ing spiritual tradition which is also part of their own native cultural heritage so they do not have to borrow from the American Indian or other indigenous spiritual tradition. This is one impor- tant reason for seidrs appeal to modern people. To me the mystical core of seidr is inseparable from wild nature. There- fore a key part of our new seidr practice is sitting out alone at night with our staff amongst the hills and trees singing the power of earth and wind. This offers a beautiful wild way of literally rooting our spiritual and magic practice in our own landscape and in our own time. What we experience there is both ancient and new authentic and timeless. People often say it is like coming home. The Path Ahead Seidr can indeed renew and inspire our modern shamanic practice in many ways. The greatest challenges I see for the new seidr is that we respect the tradition and at the same time we keep our focus on the timeless aspects. As Gustav Mahler said . . . tradition is the keeping of the fire not the worship of the ashes. For me keeping the fire means that we keep our seidr ritually lean and free of exces- sive Viking ritual liturgy and roman- ticism. In other words Keep it simple keep it shamanic keep it close to nature It is also means that we maintain that seidr belongs to both men and women letting the ergi-angst of the Viking age rest with the Vikings. It is easy to dilute a practice and I feel we should remember to distinguish between seidr and seidr-inspired work. 15 We can do this by remembering the four Ss in a full seidr Song Staff Seat and Spirits. Finally to honor seidr it is important that we respect that the craft and songs are froei demanding skill and we must take our time to learn them well. It is worth it to make the effort to do our best with each seidr knowing that the steps we take today create the tradition of tomorrow. About the Author Annette Hst based in Copenhagen Denmark has studied practiced and taught shamanism internationally for over two decades. Her 25 years of research and teaching of old Scandinavian shamanic traditions include lecturing on seir at the National Museum of Denmark. She is co-founder of Scandinavian Center for Shamanic Studies with Jonathan Horwitz. For more about her work on shamanism and other articles on seir see _______________________________ Left Annette Hst. 17 E ssay The Wandering Souls of Viet NamFirst Published in International Deep Memory Association Journal Summer 2007 by Edward Tick PhD One Life is difficult full of unexpected challenges and threats. Many people do not complete its journey in peace or with good fortune. Whether from warfare at sea while travel- ing or from accidents or illnesses people may die violently and unexpectedly far from home and loved ones. Many traditional cultures from around the world have believed that when people die this way their souls whether on this plane or anothermay be traumatized stuck in a limbo unable to move on to the land of the dead or in their cycles of reincarnation. In ancient Vietnamese belief if a person dies violently or without leaving children to remember them the soul becomes trapped wandering in this world and unable to continue its jour- ney toward reincarnation. In Viet Nam a wandering soul is called co hon. Peasants report seeing and hearing wandering souls gather to lament in jungle valleys and riverbeds.1 In Viet Nam the 15th day of the seventh lunar month is the Day of Wandering Souls. It is a time eighteenth century poet Nguyen Du wrote when rain falls like a ceaseless weeping . . . and pear trees scatter their tears like dew their dew like tears.2 The Vietnamese say that on this national holiday the full moon is crying. On this day people tend uncared for graves all over the country leaving porridge or bean and lentil cookies for the home- less souls to eat. Whether lost at sea on a long journey or missing in action during war when families accept that their loved one is dead but the body will not be recovered they build a Ma Gio a Windy Tomb.This is an empty tomb that serves as home and altar for the wandering soul to find rest among his relations. With more than 2- million dead from the American War alone tombs in Viet Nam sprout like rice. Many are in large mili- tary cemeteries for Northern and Viet Cong dead only there are no such honorific cemeteries for the dead of the southern army who were allied to the United States. The military cemeteries con- tain central patriotic statues in socialist realism style accompanied by a motto declaring The Motherland Honors Your Sacrifice. Countless other tombs are in small family or village plots where war dead are buried along with ancestors who are worshipped for four generations a full century. Viet Nam is not only overpopulated with the dead. While the United States still has about 2000 Missing in Action Viet Nam has million. Tran Dinh Song from Da Nang is a 56 year old teacher and tour guide. Though against the war because everyone had to serve Song was a southern air force officer. Songs family history in both war and peace demonstrates how wandering souls can af- fect the living and the prevalence beliefs and practices of tending wandering souls in Viet Nam. Because of their war losses typical for nearly every family in Viet Nam Songs family has built two windy tombs. _________________________________________________ Opposite Photo by David Wilmot. WINDY TOMB Alive our souls need a house to be home. Dead our souls need a tomb for deep rest. Without a house we are homeless. Without a tomb we wander without return. My uncle was VC his son was ARVN North and South just like your war. My uncle was buried when your tank crushed his tunnel. My cousins bones sleep in a mass grave for both sides. My family searched with shovels and spoons but we could not overturn the earth and the water. Finally finally we built windy tombs tombs without bodies tombs without bones. Finally finally father and son sleep together rest again. Once every year when the moon cries its tears with rice porridge and cookies we join in sad feast.3 Two Songs aunt was the widow of this uncle who was killed during the war. In a repeating dream she saw her husband appear before her night after night. He did not speak but shivered with wet and cold and looked like he could not find rest. The aunt consulted a family elder known for his wisdom. The elder advised her that this dream indicated her husband was a wandering soul who needed a home. This consultation led to the family building the windy tomb. After building it the aunts disturbing dreams ceased and have never returned. The Vietnamese honor not only those killed during war but all lost souls. The Vietnamese teach that children lost due to miscarriage abortion or illnesses are also our children. Thus parents who have two living children and who have also had an abortion and a miscarriage say they have four children. These souls lost to early death need honoring and helping ritual as well. When their second son was seven months old Songs wife Lan had a miscarriage. For a long time afterwards Lan had a disturbing dream that a baby son appeared and pushed their infant son from her breast to get milk for himself. She too finally consulted a family elder. He had not known about the miscarriage but asked Did you ever have another baby The elder instructed Song and Lan to build the lost one a tomb and an altar. They constructed it outside their bedroom window. As soon as it was completed the dreams ceased. Now Lan and Song put sweets and toys on the altar just as on other family tombs. And they always say they have three sons not only the two that are living. Three Chu Li lying near the eastern coast between Da Nang and My Lai was the site of the first battle between newly arrived American troops and Viet Cong in May 1965. Marines had occupied a rocky hill and the Viet Cong wanted it back. Today there is a tall spire with an emblazoned date standing atop the battle mount. Water buffalo walk up the stone steps drop mounds and munch grass. Peasants collect wood and cut greens nearby. During one healing and reconcilia- tion pilgrimage I lead to Viet Nam every year our group stopped at Chu Li to pray at a Windy Tomb an earlier travel group had built for an American MIA from that battle. This is the only windy tomb known to have been built for an American MIA in all of Viet Nam. Some members of our group honored MIAs from families at home and we prayed for all lost souls. Another of our travelers Beth Marie Murphy had been a nurse on the hos- pital ship U.S.S. Sanctuary during the war. In addition to wounded American troops Lt. Murphy had treated Viet- namese children maimed and burned by American bombs and napalm. She developed a special bond with a young girl named Mein who lost both her legs during an American raid. Beth Marie oversaw Meins treatment and recovery until her parents arrived to prematurely take her back to their jungle village. Beth Marie has lived for decades with the fear and grief that Mein died of her wounds or of exposure in the harsh jungle environment. Like the Vietnamese women of Songs family Beth Marie had dreamed of Mein for years and has felt the burden of carrying endless grief. Seeking to bring healing and peace to both souls Meins and her own Beth Marie asked to build a second Windy Tomb close to the first. 18 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 19 THE AMERICAN WAR NURSE BUILDS A WINDY TOMB My back is bowed from decades of carrying the soul of the legless girl who began as my patient but became my niece as we flew colored kites in the wind off my ship. In dreams my eyes are pink and swollen with the ocean of tears both shed and withheld since the angry wounded called her VC child and desperate arms snatched her back to the jungle. Today I carry one stone at a time. With each dripping tear I recite her name. Gently I let her down off my back and give my lost niece this tomb for a home. Eight children tumble round my fractured legs to help me lay the last stones on her cairn. One red dragonfly hovers in our wafting incense and a sweet breeze kisses my cheek with her name. Through the Vietnamese recognition of wandering souls Beth Marie Murphy achieved both spiritual explanation and comfort from her decades of dream- ing about Mein. This same spiritual explanation has proven useful to many war veterans that nightmares of the dead are not pathological symptoms to be eradicated but may be the souls of people violently slain trying to commu- nicate with the living.4 The Vietnamese belief in wandering souls their practices of building them windy tombs and honoring them as our lost loved ones or allies have brought significant help and relief not just to the Vietnamese. When embraced and applied with the support of spirit in respectful ritual and in the context of a loving community we may heal our disturbed relations with wandering souls whether they were family mem- bers friends our young charges or even enemy combatants. In Viet Nam continuity is everywhere. Travelers visitors even war veterans who fought against the Vietnamese are welcomed as brothers and sisters aunts and uncles. Together we can honor the wandering souls achieve healing for those souls and for ourselves and experience renewal and rebirth. About the Author Edward Tick Ph.D. is an internationally recognized transformational healer writer and educator and co-directs Soldiers Heart a non-profit veteran healing initiative. He is an expert on veterans PTSD and the psychology of military-related issues and has conducted trainings retreats and workshops across the country and overseas. He is the author of War and the Soul The Golden Tortoise The Practice of Dream Healing and Sacred Mountain as well as over 100 articles. Endnotes 1 Accounts of such encounters are reported for example in Bao Ninh The Sorrow of War trans. Phan Thanh Hao London Minerva 1994. 2 The excerpt from Nguyen Dus Call to Wandering Souls is from Huu Ngoc Sketches for a Portrait of Vietnamese Culture Ha Noi Gioi Publishers 1998 881. The translation of Dr. Huus. 3 This first section of prose and poetry is taken from Edward Tick The Golden Tortoise Viet Nam Journeys Los Angeles Red Hen Press 2005 98-99. The first paragraph has been added for introduction and some paragraphs have been reordered or slightly expanded for this article. The remainder of this article is published here for the first time. 4 This interpretation and its applica- tion to therapy and healing of war veterans are presented in Edward Tick War and the Soul Wheaton IL Quest Books 2005. U.S. Nurse Corps pin issued during the Vietnam War. 20 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 21 When I started working with the Spirits of Nature Land Spirits and Middle-World Spirits I started as most of us do by going out and asking a local Spirit of Nature for a healing or a teaching. Then what I like to think of as an innate sense of fair- ness made me start thinking Whats in it for the spirits When I askedWhat can I do for you I was started on a path of land healing which I still practice and teach. Working with the Spirits of Nature is my passion and from doing this work I feel I have come to a greater understanding of myself and of the working of the web of life. My personal spirit friends have never made a distinctionbetweenhumansandtherestof nature. There are only those who need help and those who can give it. So I heal where I can whether the recipient is land those spirits who inhabit the land plants humans and other animals or buildings. And I hope I am equally open to accepting healing from others in turn. My heal- ing teachers mantra isWe do what we can do for whoever is in need of what we do. Increasingly as I feel the flow of power around the web touching us all I feel less inclined to divide my shamanic work into healing and being healed. The power flows through us allcontinually. It takes many forms and is used in many ways and most of those ways are healing ways. We use power to bring about change and if that change is for the better that is healing. Original Soul Loss I always feel there is more to learn and recently I have been discussing with my spirit teachers how I can use my relationship with the Spirits of Nature to bring about healing in people. As a way of answering they gave me a journey mission for myself and my students In what ways can the Spirits of Nature help me to heal others and myself One of the most important teachings I was given then by my teacher was this Power is in everything. Power is the flow of energy through everything. And so everything is part of the flow. Everything around you points the way to health and to healing leaves rain the way a shadow falls all this connects you. In connection is completeness and in completeness is health. All this power is heal- ing power as it is growth power life power love power. When we go out to sit by a favorite tree or gaze at a beloved landscape where we enjoy the feel of the breeze on our skin and the sun on our face this is when many of us feel most strongly our connection to everything. Feeling this connection helps us be more at peace. Many people have told me that if they are feeling down a walk in woodland picks them up in an almost miraculous way. This is maybe the simplest way that Spirits of Na- ture will heal us just by being with us hold- ing our hand and giv- ing us company at our lowest points. These simple things which we all do at different times are healing ways. They heal our soul and bring us peace. My teacher then gave me another important teaching Once we humans were just another creature on the face of the earth. We were complete in our humanness connected as we were to other animals and to the spirit worlds. And then we be- gan to see ourselves as other-as not just an animal and even more importantly as not a spirit. This was humanitys first soul loss. Since then there has been a craving in humans for reconnec- tion for making ourselves complete again for retrieving human- itys soul. He then said You can never be completely whole in life because the world of humanity is not whole. This idea of us once being so closely connected to the web and at one with all things is one which is found in many religions shamanic practice Healing with the Spirits of Nature by Jane Shutt 22 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 and cultures. This is not to say that we are wrong in any way for not being so now. My teachers have pointed out that withouthumanitys first soul loss without this fall from grace we would not be able to learn so much in our lives. How can we truly understand connec- tion if we have never been disconnected The spiritual search which we under- take throughout our lives is ultimately to recover for ourselves as much of this lost soul as we are able. The traditional work of the shaman makes this goal a little more attainable. Soul retrieval is a major part of our shamanic work in this life. Souls can be lost from this life and have been lost from past lives we live in cultures in Europe where it has not been the norm for many centuries to seek help from the spirits. Accepting shamanism means for me accepting that we and the spirits we work with are individualseach individ- ual plant has an individual spirit which may or may not wish to work with us. It is a necessary part of my shamanism that I negotiate between the spirits in order to bring about healing for my client. Why would spirits help us Well my experience is that not all will. Some nature spirits like some humans have been damaged to the point where they cannot think beyond their own pain. They need to receive help before they can give it. This is a large part of what I do and what I teachthe healing of the land and of nature. Most nature spirits are like most peoplethey will help if they can and if they are asked politely and offered something in return. This can be seen as a form of contract. If we keep our side of this contract they will keep theirs. The Spirits of Nature are on the whole incredibly generous. They will help in any way they can if the balance of giving and receiving is maintained. Maintaining the balance between the worlds of ordinary and non-ordinary reality is ultimately our goal as shamanic practitioners. The work of the shaman is bound by this need to maintain the bal- ance and so often when working with the spirits of plants whether as oils tisanes or an oak tree part of the work is to come to an agreed contract about what can be given in return for the help being offered. Ask the Spirits Maintaining the balance is difficult. It is very easy for us to get out of balance. Our culture does not regard spiritual balance as particularly important. In Feng Shui the elements need to be in the correct proportions to each other. The geomancy of Northern Europe where I am is similar although the energy flows are slightly different and unlike Feng Shui practitioners I do not need a list of rules to follow in order to find out what to doI ask the spirits. A client suffering from serious mental health issues had been visiting me for healing for some months. She was finding it hard to leave her home a one bed- roomed apartment even to go shopping. Her spirits said that her home was seri- ously out of balance. I arranged to visit her and see what I could do. I asked the spirit of the apartment what was needed. The answer was very clearand surprisingly organized. The spirit wanted each room to be dedicated to an element. The bathroom should be Water. Paint it blue and have decorations that will make Andrea think of the sea shells pictures of fish and so on. The kitchen needs Fire. When she is in there cooking she should light a candle and thank the flame and the sun for her food and the means to cook it. Make the sitting room Air. Hang some chimes and open the windows at least once a day. And the bedroom needs Earth. It should have thicker curtains to cut out streets lights at night. It should be warm and cozy. Put some pretty stones on the windowsill. All of that was done some of it opening the window at once. The rest took longer but she was determined to be well and went at her task with vigor. The next time I saw her she was much better. The rearranging gave her some- thing to occupy her and she found that the constant reminders and giving thanks had reconnected her to the natural world. Her bedroom became a private sanctuary a place where she could literally go to earth and feel secure. She began to sleep much better. She loved the sitting room finding that her energy levels switched on while she was in there. She began to feel able to visit me using public trans- port and to go out into the local park walking her neighbors dog. Soon she felt well enough to start looking for a job. This simple example shows how through balancing the elements in our lives heal- ing can occur through reconnection to the web. Connection and balance bring about healing. Very often the act of actively giving thanks to the spirits for helping us is all they need to continue to be willing to do so. Blessing our food before we eat thanking the sun as it sets each day and giving thanks to the spirits of weather are all simple acknowledgements which help maintain our connection and help maintain the balance in our lives. Connection to Nature I feel that many illnesses in our culture stem largely from disconnec- tion from the Spirits of Nature. A simple and direct way of working with them is ingesting them with our food. The more natural our food the better and the stronger is the connection to the spirits. People in our culture are divorced from growing gathering or hunting food relying on others to do this for us. This increases our disconnection from the spir- its. Some people do not like to go outside at all seeking to reduce their exposure to the outside world as much as possible by for instance shopping inside huge malls and spending leisure time within inside venues. They prefer to have nothing to do with the natural world rejecting even fruit and vegetables shuddering to think they could possibly eat stuff which has been grown in the dirt. These are the people Annette Hst refers to as earth phobic. A student of ours on a work- shop about land refused to go outside to connect with the weather because it was raining. Another who disliked being dirty found herself stuck in some mud being released after she apologized to the mud for treating it so badly for so long. Spirits can help and will help us to reconnect if they have our respect and care. It can come as a shock to people whose idea of spirits is that they all work for the greater good if the spirits they contact have a different and possibly more personal view of what the greater good might be. Bear in mind that when you go to look for a spirit teacher for example your intention is to find a spirit who wants to teach you. When you look for a plant to help with healing your in- tention will be something like to find a spirit who will help . . . But when you go to speak to a particular spirit a house spirit for example you cannot guarantee that they will want to help. Even if they do talk to you which is not always a given their agenda may well not be the same as yours. A friend of ours had moved into a new to him house a former miners cot- tage on the North Yorkshire Moors. He journeyed to meet the house spirit and to ask it to help him to make the garden beautiful. The house spirit was furious Beautiful he shouted Gardens are for growing food to support the family not for pretty flowers We suggested he con- tact the garden spirit. Doing so he was able to negotiate between them by agree- ing to grow both flowers and vegetables. All parties were pleased with this and until he moved away last year his garden was both beautiful and productive. By maintaining a balance by negotiation healing for all was found. Cleansing the Land During the 2001 hoof and mouth dis- ease epidemic in the U.K. the virus was all over the North Yorkshire Moors where we were living at the time. We asked our spirit teachers what we should do to help. My partner Christine was told to do and did extractions of the virus from the air for several weeks after that. And I was given a teaching. I was told that the virus is able to take hold because hu- mans even those involved in the produc- tion of food are disconnected from the land and the animals. Not so long ago fires would have been lit at festivals and the animals led through the smoke. This worked not because there is anything me- dicinal about the smoke but because it was part of a very old bargain with the spirits. When this was done the animals were safe from epidemics. It is similar to the agree- ments that we have with our spirits when we smudge our tools in order to clean them. The cleaning is not a physical func- tion of the smoke it is a spiritual action of the spirits. Then I was told to Take a smudge bundle. Light it. Then holding the inten- tion that cleansing smoke will fill the valley tie it to the hedge at the end of the garden. I said The bundle will go out in the rain. My teacher replied Only in your reality. In the spirit world which is after all what counts here it will continue to burn. Replace it once a week. I did this. And whenever I journeyed for the next several weeks there the bundle was glowing gently and the smoke was filling the valley. We do not do as a people the things that our ancestors did as a matter of course to maintain our own health and the health of the land. Rituals which were once commonplace are no longer adhered to regarded perhaps as superstitious nonsense. These practices were contracts drawn up long ago between us and the spirits of the land in order to maintain the health and the balance of both. Now we have broken the contracts without even realizing that we have done so. Why then should the spirits continue to keep their part of the bargain The valleys sur- rounding us were infected with hoof and mouth. There was not one case within our valley. Receiving Healing from Nature Spirits Maintaining balance in our lives is a constant issue. Over the last few years Christine has needed the help of nature spirits more than usual. She developed a small benign brain tumor which has af- fected her balance in a very marked way. She has now had the tumor surgically re- moved but her balance is not good. She walks with two sticks frequently falls and is often in pain. We asked why the tumor had developed. Her teacher explained that Christine had set up a contract to develop a non-life-threatening but de- bilitating condition in order to learn how to be without balance in ordinary reality. Following the operation we asked the Spirits of Nature to help heal the surgical wounds. The spirits said Her head is too full too busy. Her brain needs help to heal. Bring her to the quiet places the peaceful places. Let her sit on the moor and listen to the curlews. Let her watch the wind in the trees and the moon rising over the sea. Let her feel the rain and the sun the earth beneath her and the breeze around her. We go regularly to the North Yorkshire Moors near our home to the woods and to the sea cliffs and beaches and Christine sits quietly asking for help. Sometimes she is told to drink from a stream or to eat a leaf ways for the healing from the spirits to enter her. Sometimes she puts her feet into the sea allowing the discomfort to flow from her. But often she just sits for an hour or so and comes home more at peace. The spirits in our garden have offered to help alleviate her pain. When she needs to she puts bare hands and feet onto the soil. The spirits of the plants and the earth in the garden take what they can of her pain deep into the soil. At other times she lies down on the earth and allows the pain to drain directly out from the affected side of her head into the earth. 23 24 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 Continued from page 23. How to work with spirits of nature for healing Ask for helpwith respect and without any attitude of entitlement accept the help and give thanks for the help. And work continually towards connection. I asked my spirit teacher once to tell me about love. He said The Universe runs on love. It is the energy that you and others harness. This is why loving magics are so much easier than non loving magics. It is always easier to go with the flow than against it. But humans are a long way from being able to fully understand this Universal Love. What humans call love is actually connection. At your stage of spiritual developmentat the stage that anyone who is incarnate on this earth is atlove and connection can be considered to be the same. Your spe- cies struggle towards love is a struggle towards true connection and in that true connection true love may then be found. Set your feet on the path of connec- tion and keep walking. That is all and everything that can be expected of you. About the Author Jane Shutt is a teacher of shamanism in northeast England. She is the founder of North Yorkshire Shamanism and one of the co-founders of The Core Shamanic Practitioners Circle in Britain and Ireland. She has been practicing shamanism since 1986 and is the author of best-selling The Spirits Are Always With Me. She is currently working on her next book which will be about working with nature spirits. Contact Jane on 44 7412 902048 or The White Rabbit illustrated by John Tenniel in 1865 for Lewis Carrolls first edition of Alice in Wonderland. 25 Shamanically speaking living in the middle world as if it is the only world is one sure way of guaranteeing the unsus- tainability of that world. Such a one-world-consciousness reminds me of the nightmarish situation depicted in the film The Matrix the 1999 brainchild of the Wachowski brothers. The Matrix is a super-program in which all of humanity minus a small num- ber of rebels has become imprisoned. It is no secret that we are in fact on the verge of imposing a Matrix-like destiny on ourselves. That being said it is even more accurate to compare a monopolistic middle world to a collective lucid dream in which the lucidity of the dreamersor the intra-dream awareness that we are dreamingis all but unanimously lacking. In other words we by which I mean humanity are missing a golden opportunity to effect change on the level of our Dreaming. Middle World as Void By itself the middle world is little more than the dressing of a void. It has impermanence written all over it like a carnival that comes together overnight and when its over disappears just as quickly. Lets assume that there are two kinds of voids the chaos that is breaking down into nothing the dreamless void and the nothing that is always on the verge of building into something unprecedented the vacuum plenum. The middle world is a void trying to decide whether it wants to collapse in on itself or become real and true. Sound far-fetched Internationally respected author critic and theorist Damien Broderick writes that some physicists find it useful to postulate the existence of a probability field to ac- count for how probability space can bend in the presence of some psi paranormal element of consciousness. He asks Can coupling between intention and matter or energy cause a warping of. . . the probability field1 In the 1950s when UFO sightings were a dime a dozen some were so real they were pursued by Air Force jets and the government has never come clean on what they learned from all their classified mid-air encounters. But what was even more interesting to Jung who coined the word psychoid to describe archetypal structures that straddle the psychic and material realms was the relationship of ordinary people to the UFO phenomenon. Folks were so anx- ious to experience UFOs first hand that some published sightings were nothing but homemade models of airships caught on film or a snapshot of a dish tossed over a suburban clothesline. Suffice it to say the middle world is always in a state of flux. It is half-baked floating on a vast relativity of values and dreams and barely functional systems secretive bellicose governments the ruins of ethnicities great train wrecks of religions the stirrings of new and renewed visions environmental breakdown a soup of disparate energiesmoral restlessness continuous war cultural mayhem. Fortunately as shaman and Buddhist Joan Halifax re- minds us Shamans are trained in the art of equilibrium in mov- ing with poise and surety on the threshold of the opposites in creating cosmos out of chaos.2 A Dying Middle World Living shamanically in the middle world means living here lu- cidly knowing that there are co-existent worlds of equal or even greater significance that are readily accessible. I want to suggest that this is the great work of a lifetime precisely because so much of the middle world is dead or dying. I am worried about the vital energy of Turtle Island waningher energy life-force or what the Australian Aborigines call guruwari a potency that the first ancestors injected into the land that infuses the soil and every liv- ing thing. We have all witnessed dead zones quasi-abandoned strip malls with vast parking areas or whats left of once thriving neighbor- hoods where the life energy has dried up where people appear defeated and vacant and streets are a maze of permanent one-way detours with signs that read to borrow from T.S Eliots J. Alfred Prufrock like a tedious argument. The same ennui or doldrums pervade certain forests where trees appear to be dormant or just biding their time. One can only hope that the ancient giants of Sequoia National Park the most polluted national park in the country where the ozone level is comparable to Los Angeles will be able to make it through this time of trouble. Energetic partnership with the land is something our culture knows very little about. If the guruwari of a locale is strong it can pass power or potency to people and people for their part can enhance the life energy or guruwari of a place through timely ritual. But this symbiosis can reverse. If the energy of a place has been downgraded or obliterated by human projects or neglect or perchance by a natural disaster this can sap the energy of the people who inhabit that place and they in turn become sponges for the life energy of other locales. Citing the example of Sequoia essay Lucid Living in the Middle World or Follow the White Rabbit by Gary Lindorff 26 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 26 National Park again the climate there is literally hazardous to the health of the people who work or hike there the ozone is depleting the life-force of the place. It is conceivable that a visit there might ac- tually trigger depression in an otherwise healthy person Even people who tend to the land and enjoy a healthy relationship with a place cannot expect the reciprocating land to provide everything they need for life. In his discussion of the healing effect of song on both the human and natural environment theoretical physicist David Peat referring to Colin Turnbulls book The Forest People describes how certain African forest dwellers thread through the forest producing a kind of music that mimics the sounds of the animals because it makes the forest happy.3 The idea is that by serenading the forest it will stay awake and will not forget them. Sad to say our situation is such that our forests have mostly forgot- ten us. Few of us identify with a single locale anymore and very few of us sing to our trees. Even if we want to sink roots life pulls us in many directions. Our dreams are proof of this restlessness. The important thing is to recognize when the land is trying to tell us something and to pay attention. What allows us to navigate the dead or energetically comatose regions is a shamanic attitude that never lets us forget that what we offer is essential even though what is unfolding is far beyond our comprehension. Cultivating that attitude is exhausting but our sanity depends on it. Destroying Mother Nature I have come to believe that there are people in the world who are waging all-out war against nature not just to subdue or control but destroy Mother Nature. . .Nature and anything that stands in their way. For example as of this writing the USDAs current Bye Bye Black Bird program is responsible for poi- soning tens of thousands of birds since the dawn of this new century. In 2009 by their own posted count they killed euthanized over one million Brown- headed Cowbirds and close to a million Red-winged Blackbirds just one of whose distinctive call from the edge of the marsh is a sure harbinger of Spring. If one wanted to dream up a program for crippling the biosphere within a milli- second of geologic time aside from liter- ally blowing it upwhich we may yet do one might be hard-pressed to fashion a more effective strategy than what environmental writer Bill McKibben calls the unburying of all accessible coal and oil out of the Earth and burning it while clear-cutting and burning the rainforests of the southern hemisphere. Are people who promote and execute this environmentally disastrous agenda inherently amoral or evil or are they warped by some powerful Weltanschau- ung to behave in a way that defies reason science intuition and common sense but to them seems normal and reason- able Weltanschauung refers to the whole of how we view the world not conscious- ly but reflexively folding in the myriad causal and acausal factors that contribute to who we are living in this time and space. Perhaps warped isnt the right word because it implies mental illness. . . but on second thought maybe it is the right word You can say that someone is addicted to oil wealth or power but addiction or neurosis is treatable. This problem goes much deeper. Weltanschauungs run deeper than socialization and indoctrination and are even supported by their own brand of psychology and religion so the whole universe jumps in. When everyone is in the grip of the same madness no one is mad. It is only when two Weltanschau- ungs are at odds in the same land that people begin to question their neighbors sanity and right to exist. The most violent wars are the wars fought between the adherents of conflict- ing Weltanschauungs. The Romans and the ancient Celts come to mind the Aztecs and the Spanish the British and European newcomers to the New World and the Indigenous or First Na- tions people of Turtle Island Imperialist Japan and the United States and closer to home the American Civil War North against South are all good examples. But now we are living in a time when two people can look at an oil pipeline project or fracking and see utterly different things because of the emotions that well up. Sadly the day may soon come when those emotions will make or break gov- ernments shatter social alliances divide families and foment civil wars. Alone in the Woods Listening Dead zones notwithstanding Gaia is very much alive. It is essential that we realize that because one measure of our health and sanity is in how our lives re- flect and channel this great life force that sustains us. In explaining his intention to live spartanly in the woods by Walden Pond for two years Thoreau wrote I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately . . I did not wish to live what was not life living is so dear . . I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.4 Rare is the person who is called to spend extensive time alone in nature where the Matrix of the middle world releases its grip on the psyche and where lucidity is a very real possibility. The point is we are not alone. Gaia is alive and ask any shaman there are coexistent realities. This helps explain why many of us are plagued by an omnipresent quan- dary that transcends the personal almost as if there are semi-audible whispered conversations being carried on within us above us around us causing us to question just about everything. The air is alive with signals and vibra- tions how naive it would be to assume that all of them are generated by our own business or even human business reducing them to mere projections of our dizzy brains. Its as if we are being 27 discussed. Michael Conforti Jungian Analyst author of Field Form and Fate calls the whisper of the ancestors or the elders a sottovoce. Whether we hear one whisper or many depends upon the receiver but gone are the days when hearing voices was a sign of madness. It could even be argued that those who hear only their own voice are poten- tially the craziest among us. Perhaps Conforti proposes we can find some modern amphitheater within which to amplify and listen to this message of underlying unity between individuals and between matter and psyche.5 If we dont listen choosing to ignore or silence or drown out the sottovoce with the chat- ter of mainstream culture the ancestors might resort to other ways of getting our attention. There are plenty of examples in classic shamanic literature where the reluctant shaman is picked up by the spirits and forced to undergo horrific trials geared to dismemberment and magical reconstitution because they know he or she wont take the initiative. The materialistic life is very lulling our reluctance to change our ways is epic. Many of our receptors for spiritual in- formation are switched off or blocked by excessive sugar salt TV compulsive sex movies meetings street drugs prescrip- tion drugs music the internet coliseum scale sports events books sight-seeing package tours propaganda coming in from a myriad directions. Dreamtime For an appreciation of how initia- tion works or worked until recently in a culture that is famously nonmaterialis- tic and initiation based the Australian Aborigines automatically come to mind. The Aborigines until recently seem to have had access to a fast track to shaman- hood. In Aboriginal culture the fine line between matter and energy space and time spirits and non-spirits simply isnt there. Their middle world seems to rest as resiliently and delicately as a spider web upon an immense geneti- cally refined respect for the place they inhabit that holds them and maintains them together like a vibrating gravity of ubiquitous connection. Their Dreamtime an abstraction to us is the essence and fruiting of a 50000-year-old memory-based relation- ship with Earth In Voices of the First Day Robert Lawlor says succinctly The Australian Aboriginal culture is founded entirely on the remembrance of the ori- gin of life.6 The word Aboriginal is ac- curate because the suffix ab means of or from the Aborigines are literally of or from the beginning. They are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent. Dreamtime dissolves the line between yin and yang releasing the dream power that dwells at the heart of every scintilla of creation. Compared to this kind of access this living knowledge this quality of reciprocity nothing we know or have invented is worth a cent not if we want to walk into the future and not if it mat- ters to us that our mother Gaia is about to abort us. We should be begging the Aborigines to teach us what they know. The White Rabbit What if the middle worldwhat we call realityis just an old-fashioned psy- chiatric hospital All the psychotics and the depressives are medicated but they are still miserable and ranting or dream- ing about the end of the world. Who are the sickest The ones who are staring out the window or having polite conversa- tion or watching TV Of course the ones who are hardest to control are the ones who are about to walk. There are spirits everywhere who want to help us. If we dont see them the reason is we are blind. Just as a blind per- son knows there are stars in the heavens and mountains and bats flitting around on a summers night just as we know there are creatures who shine like constel- lations in the deepest cellars of the sea . . . just so there are spirits ancestral spirits spirits as old as time mountain spirits forest spirits land spirits. The eyes and the ears to perceive these spirits do not just appear gratis any- more than one would expect to see a bat in a hospital a snake under the bed. Then again its not as if they arent trying. In The Matrix Morpheuss advice to Neo was to follow the white rabbit. Whatever it takes to snap us into lucidity before we dream ourselves out of options it seems timely to turn to shamanism for that wake-up call. Endnotes 1 Broderick Damien. Outside the Gates of Science. New York Thunders Mouth Press 2007. p. 278 2 Halifax Joan. Shaman The Wounded Healer. London Thames and Hudson 1982. p.94. 3 Peat David. Blackfoot Physics. Boston MA Weiser Books 2002. p.143 4 Thoreau Henry David. Walden Pond. P. 5 Conforti Michael. Field Form and Fate. Louisiana Spring Journal Books 1999. p. 60. 6 Lawlor Robert. Voices of the First Day. Rochester Vermont Inner Traditions 1991.p.14. This article is a revised excerpt from Lindorffs forthcoming book New Wasi- chu Crossing Our story is just beginning. About the Author Gary Lindorff resident poet of Transformational Counselor specializing in dreamwork and shamanic techniques lives in rural Vermont with his wife and two cats. He has a website at Bigdreamsweb. com and can be reached at 29 First of all it should be clear that the language of rationality and logic is a specifically human language. It cannot be under- stood by beings of nature and the universe without being translat- ed into a holistic kind of language. We developed rational ways of thinking to become autonomous subjects of the earthly cosmos. But by following the exclusively rational path we closed ourselves off step by step as a civilization into a separate box called an- thropocentric without noticing it for a long time. Deep ecology and geomancy were developed recently to over- come this rational based devastating exclusion of human beings from other worlds and dimensions. Concerning geomancy there still prevails the notion that it deals exclusively with energies of a different kind. Life energies of course are a fascinating element of the landscape but its elemental consciousness constituting the so-called noosphere is much more important. Noos Greek for consciousness. My first contacts with the noosphere of na- ture were elemental beings representing the consciousness of in- dividual trees rivers mountains etc. The next step was to realize that we as incarnated beings of the Earth also take part in Gaias noosphere. In this sense human beings are amphibians related to spiritual as well as to the elemental dimensions of reality. At that point I realized that we are used to communicating as spiritual beings but have fully neglected to talk to trees stones mountains and the invisible worlds of the inner Earth. As a result I started to develop several aspects of what I call universal language. Perception as a Form of Language Without perceiving someone with whom you would like to talk communication makes no sense. So I started to teach my- self and others how to perceive beyond the boundaries set by our rationality. We human beings mainly perceive what is around us through the sensitivity of our aura and the membranes that en- compass it. But to understand the language of pure vibrations we need to know how to translate our perceptions into the language of images symbols light figures or intuition. It is this kind of language that can ultimately be realized by our rational mind. The drive towards understanding beings and phenomena of the non-human kind made me think about an open system of language that is not based upon the logic of mind but rather the intuition of the heart given that the heart system is also con- sciousness. Being fully present in my heart I open my world of emotions and intuition towards the place or being I would like to communicate with. Then I may give a gift to the being I want to talk with in the form of an image or pose a question. Speaking in my imagination I then have to translate the ideas into images and emotional qualities so that I can be understood by the elemental noosphere. The answer usually comes in the form of an emotional cloud that contains several images or intuitions. During this pro- cess my mind is working hard to translate this raw material into ideas and logical concepts so that I can understand the message. We should be aware that only by being present in our entirety can humans become visible to other worlds which makes com- munication possible. Any effort beyond this I consider useless. Be who you are. Gaia Touch Language After a while I realized that elemental beings love human body language. It is relatively easy for them to read our movements. They are especially interested in the movements of our hands because they consider them as a hologram of the divine creative hand. So I started to move my hands and fingers to make the flow of communication easier. Showing our hands to beings of natures noosphere might be the best way to support our dialogue with their presence. I next began noticing that elemental beings and spirits in sacred places started to show me certain body move- ments containing sacred messages. I realized that by performing those movements with my body or hands I was allowed to en- ter different inner realms of Gaia consciousness. Throughout the years body exercises of this kind turned out to compose a system similar to yogaa communication system to get in touch with shamanic practice Communicating with Invisible Worlds Using the Language of the Cosmograms by Marko Pogacnik What does modern geomancy have to offer to renew the dialogue with nature and its beings visible and invisible The updated approach to our home planet and its life organism makes it clear consciousness is its basic quality. The shamanic cultures know this fact and act accordingly to be permanently in touch with Gaia consciousness. How do we transcend the ignorance of the rationally based civilization regarding communication with the different layers of the Earth consciousness __________________________________________________ Opposite Phot by Bojan Brecelj. 30 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 the universal consciousness embrac- ing the earthly and cosmic realms. I call them holographic exercises because they operate at the level where every- thing is still connected. So by moving the body in the way of Gaias Touch the whole noosphere of Gaia or its particular aspect is also being moved. The Gaia Touch language could become a constant source of dialogue between individuals and groups if performed on a regular basis. Language of Cosmograms As a professional artist I am also interested in the holographic form of lan- guage. Could a visual message be formu- lated in such a way to be understood by the noosphere of the landscape with its many beings and dimensions By explor- ing the invisible dimensions of places and landscapes I started to look for patterns of their identity underlying their visible appearance. I realized that by transform- ing them into visible signs they can act as a means of communication and healing within a given environment. Lets say for example that a place was destroyed due to building operations that ignored the geomantic phenomena of the place so that its true identity was completely lost. And lets say that a new owner would like to restore the place to its original state of vitality. In this case someone would need to dive deep into the memory of the place and find out the locations original identity patterns. Such patterns can then be translated into visual signs that I call cosmograms. Carved for example in stone and positioned at the acupuncture points of the place they would help to restore the original strength and inner beauty of the location. Cosmograms are not simple symbols even if they look like this. They have to be designed in such a way that beyond their form they operate also at the level of vibration to be perceived by beings which have no eyes to see at the physical level. This capacity of cosmograms can be achieved by consciously bending their lines in such a way that they are emitting clearly defined vibrations. Partly it depends on the way they are carved in stone or how they are created in some other material. In the case of stone they are carved in a concave way so that forms of the cosmograms are catching sunlight more intensely. Through the interplay between light and shadow the etheric form of the cosmogram appears that can be perceived by the noosphere of the place. Language of Creative Rituals Also rituals can be seen as a form of universal language that can be compre- hended by all different members of Gaias noosphere. I do not mean only tradi- tional rituals. Language of ritual forms can be created in each given moment when there is a need to communicate something to the consciousness of what I call Earth Cosmos. I call such rituals creative rituals because of their practi- cal purpose. I work for example with a group in a place which has been dam- aged through war or some other aggres- sive act. The place is traumatized and as a consequence its beings of consciousness are frozen. I feel free in such a case to create a corresponding ritual through which the divine mercy or powers of transmutation can work to melt away the traumatic effects along with their causal patterns. Usually there is no need to repeat it because the healing wave comes in instantly as a response to the demand expressedeven without any word through the rhythms of the ritual. No less important are personal ritu- als through which one can speak to the personal elemental being or other aspects of our own multidimensional world. I prefer those created in the form of imagination where our creative poten- tials combined with emotional qualities are involved not so much the mental realms as in the case of visualizations and affirmations. Human civilization has arrived at the ultimate crossroads. If we continue to destroy our home planet and to ignore its highly evolved Gaia consciousness we will have to leave the Earth and find another place in the universe where we can continue with our madnessif there is such a place in the universe. The alternative is to change and to find again the way to talk to the elementalcos- mic noosphere of this beautiful planet heading towards dialogue coexistence and cooperation. Creating the proper language that all beings involved can comprehend is one of the primary tasks of the moment. About the Author Marko Poganik www.markopogacnik. Born 1944 in Kranj Slovenia and graduated as a sculptor in the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana 1967 he lives with his family in empas Slovenia. Marko is the author of numerous books in German many of which have been translated to English Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings 1996 Healing the Heart of the Earth 1998 Sacred Geography 2007. 31 It may seem strange that a tree could heal a human being. But what about a tree that is older than the pyramids and regarded as the living symbol of an unbroken bloodline from the original Tree of Life There is such a tree the Yew and curi- ously it has worked its way into a couple of popular movies. In Avatar it is portrayed as Eya the Tree of Life and in Star Wars it is the shrunken wizened figure of Joda. Eya is the earliest known name for the Yew tree and the work conveys the idea of eternity or more literally touched by eternity. Eya is an old Hittite word for Yew that dates back to 1750 BC and refers to the tree god of Eridu who is also known as Ea the god of the waters. Ea gradually became Yah or Iah and eventually Yahweh which can be translated as Yew.The name Joda is derived from an old word for Yew Iodha. The Yew tree is the oldest and yet paradoxically the most youthful tree on earth. I encountered the Yew tree for this first time in the early 1990s in my native Scotland. I was very ill and spent over nine years under the tree. Yewshamanism represents the outcome of those nine years. It is a constantly evolving and essen- tially non-journeying shamanic healing practice. My Initiatory Experience The Elemental Sulfur Spirit Within the first few months of graduating from the Edin- burgh College of Art in 1986 I realized that the life of an artist would not be as easy or as romantic as I had envisaged I decided to take a job as a seasonal treeplanter near Thurso which is about as far north as you can go on the Scottish mainland.At that time the entire area was menaced by the nuclear reprocessing plant at Chernobyl in Russia but I weighed the risks and decided that money was a higher priority than my health. Less than two-weeks later however I was wakened violently in my caravan by an intense burning and choking sensation. I clutched and clawed at my throat in desperation but was unable to breathe. There was a distinct and awful smell of sulfur. I made an attempt to pull myself from my sleeping bag but the space within the caravan had become dense and pushed me down. An intense burning pain spread through my throat and lungs as the fluid sulfur began to penetrate inward. It was as if I were being dissolved. In a blind panic I came to the awful conclusion that there had been a radioactive leak at the nuclear plant at Chernobyl. It was at that moment I sensed a presence of something outside the caravan that had nothing to do with the nuclear plant. A presence that was aware and observing me. It circled slowly around the caravan. I could feel the surging and settling of its breath in the space all around me as though it had gained control of the entire atmosphere. Finally I managed to drag myself slowly inch by inch toward the door to escape and lay there on the floor peering blindly out through the open door into the night. The presence whichI have come to call the Elemental Sul- fur Spirit seemed able to read my thoughts and as if in response drew itself back like a coiled serpent ready to strike. The pressure was enormous and the earth under the caravan began to shudder. I felt thinned out and expanded and as I began to lose consciousness I sensed that I would die. Suddenly and with an extremely loud bang the Spirit was gone and I felt my spirit drop back and down into the body that lay on the dirty caravan floor. The internal burning sensation dissipated immediately and within moments I felt a breath of air enter my lungs. I was able to crawl slowly back into my sleeping bag. The following morning I searched the area outside the caravan for traces of the being but found nothing. I returned south to Edinburgh after my encounter in Thurso but I was unable to move on with my life. I felt different more sensitive and certainly more vulnerable than before. My muscles had become very weak. I could not shake the presence of the Elemental Sulfur Spirit and although much fainter it remained as a feeling of pressure within my body. I was constantly dizzy and disoriented and began to lose interest in other people and in life in general. shamanic practice Yewshamanism by Michael Dunning 32 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 Then around 1990 I had an experi- ence that at first seemed like I had been hit by lightning. I was struck in the left temple by a burning flash of light and thrown out of my chair. I was with friends who helped me up from the floor and took me home. My entire body smelled like burning electrical wires and my hair began to fall out in large clumps. A short time later my skin turned yellow and I lost a great deal of muscle mass. I became profoundly fatigued and could walk only a few short feet before reaching exhaustion. I Meet the Yew Tree About three years later I was rescued by a friend who brought me to her small cottage southeast of Edinburgh near the sea. She quickly demanded that I seek medical help. The nurse at the nearby hospital began my medical exam by weighing me. She looked closely at the reading four or five times in disbelief and muttered to herself as she bumped the old scale to check that it was working. Nothing conclusive emerged from the tests and after a few months of hospital visits the nurses doctors and infectious disease specialists gave up on me. To this day my condition has not been adequate- ly diagnosed. Then I began to notice that my perception of the space around me was changing. I could no longer determine where the ground was located in relation to my feet and I would feel myself fall into gaps in space that would appear randomly to my side or in front of me. I seemed to be experiencing a sort of du- alistic existence where I was being drawn in two or more directions at once. I suf- fered extreme panic attacks and became convinced that I was dying. It was during the first few weeks living at the cottage that I first met the East Lothian Yew tree and learned how ancient and powerful the Yew tree was. The tree has the appearance of a gigantic evergreen bush whose outer branches swoop to the ground in long and graceful arcs to form a seemingly impenetrable and dense circle of thick growth. On closer inspection a dark and tiny entrance reveals a 40 foot long tun- nel of jagged branches. The narrow tun- nel gradually rises up and finally opens into a large and enclosed central chamber of living wood Through a process called branch-layering the Yew boughs over a period of some thousands of years gradually descend from the main trunk back down into the earth to create what appear to be new treesin fact they are part of the original parent tree. The circular chamber isapproximately 15 feet wide and reaches about 12 feet in height nearest the trunk. It is simply magnifi- cent to behold When I first entered the inner world living chamber of the Yew I knew that I was in the presence of a great and ancient spiritual being. It was as if I had come home but I could not explain this feeling. On my next second visit to the tree I fell into a violent fit not unlike an epileptic seizure. These painful seizures were to continue unabated for 3 years. In Scotland there are three ancient yews. The famous Fortingall Yew isreputed to have been the birthplace of Pontius Pilate and where Jesus himself was supposedly tutored by Druids. Then there is the Ormiston Yew in Midlothian not far from Roslyn Chapel. The third is the East Lothian Yew where I spent nine years living with my friend. It is my belief based on my experiences under the Yew and through extensive research that the three Scottish yews are three of the original Five Sacred Trees of Ireland planted in very ancient times by an an- cestral figure named Fintan who received and planted the five trees of Ireland from a branch bearing three different fruits given to him by a divine being. If this fact is true then these three trees may have a divine origin. Other evidence points to the im- portance of the Yew tree in European history. A myriad of towns and places throughout Europe especially in the British Isles are named after the Yew. Clearly the Yew was once widespread. What happened to these yews The medieval English war machine required the Yew for its deadly longbow. By the 16thcentury the Yew populations across central Europe were exhausted. They have yet to recover. It seems that the three yews in Scotland were deliberately excluded from the destruction possibly because they are thought to have had a divine origin in ancient Celtic lore. There is ample well-researched evidence to suggest that the Yew was the original Tree of Life. The Norse World Tree Yggdrasil was a Yew and Heimdallrwhose name means World Treethe Guardian of the Rainbow Bridge was born of nine mothers who were Yew trees. Beyond the Norse we have the ancient Mesopotamian Mes tree that has recently been traced conclusively to the Yew. It has been proposed that the original Egyptian Tree of Life was a Yew. It has also has been suggested that the original cross of Jesus was a living Yew. Faced with the plethora of published and wellresearched material now avail- able about the Yew and its significance there is little doubt that the Yew was regarded as the original Tree of Life. If so the Yew trees that exist today are the sentient carriers of an unbroken Tree of Life bloodline stretching back to ancient times. The Yew and the Elemental Sulfur Spirit Although my health problems may appear to have been of an entirely de- structive and chaotic nature they were in fact extremely orderly and followed a definite sequence. There are clear links between the function of the Elemen- tal Sulfur Spirit and the Yew. Both are ancient beings that were already in existence when the earth was in a more fluidic and less stable state than it is to- day. I have learned that the deeper func- tion of sulfur is to shift ones being out of the dominant state of consciousness 33 34 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 and into a more metabolic state of be- ing. By metabolic I mean a state where consciousness becomes more fluidic and less attached to thought and the external sensesessentially a state that is not organized by the sensory nervous system. This metabolic state which I call the Tree in the Sea has become a key com- ponent of Yewshamanism and is essential to the healing process in that work. In Yewshamanism consciousness must be loosened and essentially freed from the sensory nervous system in order to enter the spiritual world where the forces of healing originate. The Yew functions as a sealed cosmic space or womb where the loosened consciousness can be reshaped outside of the influence of the sensory nervous system. The Elemental Sulfur Spirit and the Yew are polar opposites in their function. The power of the Elemental which is an Earth spirit is oriented in a centripetal direction or basically inward. It is more metabolic and tends to extinguish every- day consciousness. As an evergreen tree the Yew is largely independent of the sea- sons perhaps existing like all evergreens before the earth began to express itself in the rhythm of the seasons. All trees are etheric beings whose branches extend out toward the cosmos. And so the Yew ori- ented to cosmic forces extends outward or centrifugally in its growth like other trees but then turns inward to create an inner space. No other tree achieves this to the extent that the Yew does. The Yew demonstrates a gesture that is called branch-layering where it creates clones of itself that re-root into the earth to form what look like new trees. The East Lothian Yewhas an outer circumfer- ence of over 400 ft. The inner chamber stretches about 15 feet from the trunk in an almost perfect circle and reaches about 12 feet in height. The East Lothian Yew forms a true inner space similar to the processes of animal development. However its powers of regeneration are beyond those of any animal or human. Within its inner space it constantly dies to itself so that new growth can be induced. This is the secret of its eternal nature. It is the Tree of Life but also the Tree of Death. It holds the balance of opposites within its very gestures of growth and decay. I like to compare the growth gestures of the Yew to the early stages of early human embryological development. I have come to understand that the process of my initiation followed an orderly pattern that resembles embryological development in the critical stages where the embryo must die to its former self to reach the next stage in its develop- ment. Ultimately none of us are finished beings. The spiritual forces that create us are loosened after birth and used for consciousness and further development. However we can refocus these forces to regain their potent embryonic nature and in so doing we can accelerate and enhance the healing process. Further Stages of Initiation During the first three years spent under the tree I felt as though I were being quite literally turned insideout. There was a very clear pattern beginning with convulsions followed by a kind of incubatory sleep where I would experi- ence vivid dreams. Lesser convulsions ensued after waking and as they sub- sided I would catch glimpses of whirling tendrils of light that wound around the tree and that finally over a period of months entered into my body. The light tendrils seemed to function as sensory organs for the Yew tree as if the tree was able to use the tendrils to communicate with me. The tendrils moved like a fluid around the tree and took on shapes and forms that seemed organic. I began to see a sort of language in these forms as if the tendrils were imitating the shape of my organs and fluids in the space beneath the tree.I began to see myself pictured by the tendrils. They were like organic drawings in light. It was as if the space under the tree was filled with my extended body. During the next few years of my initi- ation I began to encounter specific spirit beings. One of the most significant of these beings was the Bird Shaman. One of the Bird Shamans principal methods of healing involved working directly with the light tendrils of the Yew. Over the next three years he and several other spirits began to instruct me in how to unite my perception and my hands with the language of the Yew in its light tendrils. The organic light forms would constantly change shape and expand and contract in a sort of breathing process. I could see my hands in space touching and directly working with these light forms and yet at the same time I could feel the forms that my hands touched as my own body was stretched out into peripheral space. This was an incredible experience and although at times pain- ful it was the beginning of a process of healing initiated by the Yew. During the further stages of initiation and especially over the following years I came to a much deeper understand- ing of the function of the light tendrils. I began to experience them as not only the sensory organs of the Yew and a language of healing described by Bird Shaman but as an aspect of my own spiritual form. Gradually I began to learn to differentiate between the various levels of their manifestation and finally came to the realization that the light tendrils were outlining the existence of a second body a spiritual body that is involved in maintaining health both spiritually and physically. This second body which I call the Spiritual Organism is not geneti- cally constituted nor is it in any way con- trolled by the sensory nervous system or by the ego. In my healing work over the last twelve years I have come to realize that each human being has such a body a perspective that was greatly supported by my work in the field of biodynamic craniosacral and in my studies of occult human embryology. The Three Healing Practices of the Yew On a practical level the Yews teach- ings stay very close to the main outlines of my initiation and the sequence given by the Yew. The teachings also reflect 35 aspects of what at first appear to be myth but that in fact represent im- portant healing and wisdom practices derived from the lineage of the Yew. Remarkably the lineage of the Yew involved techniques that sought to emulate the early stages of human development which hold the power of healing and development in a fluid and unfixed state. Ultimately this has led me to the study of human embryology from an occult perspective as a language that can support these discoveries. Occult embryology refers to a method of ap- proaching early embryological develop- ment from an experiential and spiritual perspective. This method was practiced in ancient India and China and it is re- ferred to in Rosicrucian and Theosophi- cal writings. The language of occult embryology is the closest language to my experiences of healing and initiation under the yew. The second body the Spiritual Organism can be discovered and worked with as healing force in oneself and with others through training consciousness to free itself from its at- tachment to the sensory nervous system. The healing practices that I learned from the Yew can be viewed as three streamsBlood Origin and Sensing. The stream of Blood refers to the vital presence of the Tree of Life within and beyond our metabolic ocean which I referred to earlier as the Tree in the Sea. This stream involves a series of deep perceptual practices where we learn to access the living blood-breath of the Tree of Life as a force of self-healing. Here we meet our most ancient consciousness or Spiritual Organism as it breathes in the present as a force of healing and as an absolutely necessary bridge to the spirit world. The second stream refers to our spiritual Origin and involves direct mirroring work a form of meditation through the use of specific initiatory gestures given by the Yew. It enables us to coach our consciousness out of its de- pendence on the unstable rhythms of the autonomic and central nervous systems. The third stream Sensing involves the direct use of our enhanced percep- tion as it relates to ways we can train our hands for healing work. Each stream takes time to master but gradually they merge into what I call a single shamanic sense organ. There are many benefits to this work. For example it trains our perception as well as the perception of our clients if we are practitioners to reconstitute itself around realms of consciousness that are not locked into a human nervous system that is becoming increasingly overspecial- ized fearful and brittle. I have witnessed various inflammatory and sclerotic con- ditions resolve or greatly stabilize as well as a reduction in seizure activity and even the overnight disappearance of a serious brain hemorrhage in an infant. Learning to work with the metabolic ocean of the Tree in the Sea and with the ancient intelligence of the Spiritual Organism reclaims a bridge to the spirit world that enhances our ability to sup- port healing and journey work without having to rely on or default to a nervous system that surreptitiously needs to be in control. By coupling our consciousness to the wisdom of the Spiritual Organism that is directly involved in our incarna- tion and embryological development our souls become free to respond to impulses that illuminate the way forward in our personal and hopefully collective spiritual evolution. Suggested Further Reading The God Tree by Janis Fry Soul Companions by Karen Sawyer in- cludes a further account of Michaels initiatory experiences under the Yew The Sacred Yew by Anand Chetan and Diana Brueton Yew A History by Fred Hageneder About the Author Michael Dunning is the founder of the Sacred Yew Institute which offers professional training in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. He teaches and lectures on Yewshamanism and Occult Embryology. He lives in rural western Massachusetts. 37 __________________________________________________ Opposite Since March 2011 More than 100 monks and nuns have set themselves on fire inside Tibet in protest against the repressive Chinese occupation there. interview Jonathan Horwitz talks with Lenore Norrgard about Shamanic Activism Lenore Before we start would you mind telling me what in- spired you to ask me about shamanism activism and politics Jonathan I think initially many of us may come to shaman- ism because we feel we need empowerment and shamanic heal- ing is very empowering. But Ive noticed that a lot of people com- ing to shamanism get short-circuited. Looking around it seems some practitioners use their shamanic practice as sort of a spiri- tual backdrop for their lives rather than living it as a path that must constantly respond to life in order to be authentic. Many people also get caught up in technique rather than actually living a practice. What I aim for now when I teach from the very basic work- shop is to get people to live the things theyre actually taught and shown by the spirits rather than getting hung up on technique. I feel strongly that shamanic practice is about taking what you get from the spirits and taking it further together with the spirits. And as Ive watched you work I see that is what youre doing with your activism. I see you pursuing a legitimate spiritual path called shamanic activism which can include political activism and ecological activism. I see that pathway as one of the possible routes that a living shamanic practice can take. Lenore You also mentioned to me that youve seen a divorce be- tween shamanism and activism or spirituality and politics and that thats a problem. Jonathan Yes. Michael Harner always used to be adamant that shamanism is not political. I get so interested by this because a lot of people especially younger Americans say Im not into politics. They just cant see that that in itself is an incredibly political statement. Do you follow me Lenore Right Jonathan Because there are peoplepoliticians in factwho are going to decide the fate of the Earth. Of course a lot of people were disappointed by Obama in his first term and personally I wish hed shown his teeth more in the beginning. But parties and politicians aside theres the envi- ronment the Earth which is an incredibly political issue. So I really get worried when shamanic practitioners tell me with a perfectly straight face that politics doesnt matter the Earth will survive. As if surviving is enough. I look at them and say Listen the Earth is losing 100 species every daywhat about them Theyre not surviving. I want the Earth to thrive. So Im interested in trying to get shamanic folks to become more active. To be activists. Lenore Okay. I get it. Jonathan So maybe we could start at the beginningwhats your story How did you come to the path of shamanic activism Lenore Well I grew up in a religious family that was very sup- portive of the Civil Rights Movement. My father was a pastor who preached something called the social gospel applying Je- sus teachings to contemporary social issues not unlike Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. My younger brother was adopted from the Menominee tribe so between the Civil Rights Movement and my awareness of my brothers ethnicity I was conscious of race and racism from a very early age. Now my parents religion didnt catch with me but their social values did. In my early teens I protested the war in Vietnam and was an early feminist and in the mid-1970s I became involved in radical politics. However as an artist I found party politics too constricting and went my own way remaining an independent activist and becoming a photojournalist and writer. Jonathan Early indications But how did you get from there to shamanism Lenore I had never considered myself spiritual but I carried deep wounds from my childhood and struggled with clinical depression for decades. In 1987 an animal spirit intervened and blessed me with a spontaneous healing. My depression was fin- ished overnight. What could I do but become spiritual One of my very first thoughts after gratitude was OhThis is whats been missing from the political work If I can receive such a miraculous healing personally why cant we have miracles of social healing too 38 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 Jonathan Good question Lenore At that point I shifted from a paradigm of social revolution to one of social healing and started naming things like racism and misogyny as social wounds and wondering how we could heal them. I was alone with my initiatory experience and didnt know anything about shaman- ism. When Sandra Ingermans book Soul Retrieval came out in 1991 I read that. And I immediately realized that we had experienced soul loss as a nation with the assassinations of Dr. King the Kennedys and Malcolm X and also with the betray- al of the Democratic Party convention in 1968 and later Watergate. Our citizenry was a broken body politic paralyzed in the face of a right-wing reaction to the gains of Civil Rights feminism labor etc. I received intensive training with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and then started teaching all along thinking about this question of shamanic social healing. The first social healing ritual I developed was Dreaming the Dark a celebration to honor and receive healing from the spirit of darkness. The intention was to heal our relationship with the Dark the Western repository of all bad things. Dreaming the Dark became a highly-anticipated annual winter solstice celebration in the Pacific Northwest. Jonathan When was that Lenore I think the first one was in 1994. Jonathan I suppose some people un- derstood the ritual as political and others did not. Lenore True. In fact I think there are different ways for shamanic practitioners to influence the political situation. We can participate in community organiz- ing meetings and bring the perspective of the spirits into planning that work. And there is very private work like the Buddhist practice of tonglen and other practices to help shift the social and Earth vibration that we can do alone. Another level is doing closed healing rituals and other circle work that is focused on social healing like Dreaming the Dark. And we can do very public things like bring- ing ritual into public protest and thereby transforming it. Ive had decades when Ive been out in the streets protesting and years where its been more about writing. Ive worked privately in shamanic circles and Ive also done a lot of very public interfaith work infus- ing shamanism into interfaith social activ- ism and also bringing the power of ritual into public protests. Now Im making a dramatic film AMERICAN UBUNTU which weaves together shamanism Earth activism and politics. Jonathan When youre working in sha- manic circles doing work on behalf of so- cial or Earth issues how do you approach that I can imagine all kinds of interesting ethical issues arising like how much can I ask my spirits to interfere with the pro- posed Monte Belo monster dam on the Xingu River in the Amazon basin that kind of thing. Lenore Yes as with all shamanic work I am careful about asking for specific out- comes. I usually include a caveat that our work ultimately serves the highest good of all because we dont have the whole picture. Through our shamanic work we can get a peek at the big view. But for example with the election I wasnt will- ing to do shamanic work specifically for an Obama victory because maybe Rom- ney needed to win so that we can have a revolution. How would I know the best outcome of the election So I think one crucial thing in shamanic activism is to have humility as we stand before the Great Mystery and to know that we havent got the meta view. It is hubris to think that we can know how the specific outcome of each individual struggle will affect the whole. Does that make sense Jonathan Of course it does. Lenore This came up recently in my drumming circle. Someone said that Monsanto Corporation is the embodi- ment of evil and we should ask the spirits to destroy it. After discussion we asked instead for whatever was necessary for harmony and healing on the planet with regard to Monsanto and left it up to the spirits as to how they want to handle that. Another time I was teaching a Shaman- ism for Activists weekend and it hap- pened that the World Trade Organization was meeting at the same time. Naturally people wanted to journey about putting a stop to globalization. I told them My heart is really with you. But remember what I said about having humility before the Great Mystery We do not know ulti- mately what the role of globalization is in the evolution of the world. The amazing thing was that these activists all nodded their heads soberly. And we reframed the question as What is our right relation- ship to globalization It was a very pow- erful journey with not a few tears. Jonathan Sometimes Im really torn when I become very emotionally involved and really want to do something like that. One way is to ask to see a given situa- tion through one of my spirit helpers or teachers eyes. And although sometimes you dont get a total view you often can get a more nuanced view. You can see a lot of things that arent immediately ap- parent. Lenore Yes exactly. Jonathan Because if youre going to use thespiritstoengageasanactivistyouhave to go into the activism from their point of view and not from your personal point of view. Lenore Right. One of the most power- ful things shamanism can bring to activ- ism is exactly this. It can help us to work on issues and work in the midst of con- flicts in a way that brings about harmony and connection. Because one of the root problems if not THE root problem on the planet is the human illusion of separation. Not only separation from spirit but from one another from the Earth and some- times from ourselves. I feel the danger in 39 getting very vociferous is that we end up feeding that separation. So we need continually to ask our spirits how to enter into these crucial conflicts in ways that reduce separation and in ways that bring about the sense of interconnec- tion. That is the very foundation for shift- ing our relationship with one another and with the Earth. This shift in consciousness is crucial or we can get all caught up in how evil Monsanto is. Actually we could say that Monsanto is the ultimate expression of the human illusion of separationthink- ing that we can somehow manipulate genes that we can take land and seeds from other people and destroy their lives and not be affected ourselves. Weve cre- ated thathumanity has created that il- lusion of separation. Monsanto actually is a manifestation of a fundamental misun- derstanding on the part of humanity. Jonathan Youre onto something. Separation is our guiding illusion and propagates fear and greed which are like the Mordor driving forces of the human world today. So when going into an ac- tivist setting entering in with an angry Us vs. Them attitude is a dangerous thing. I think the best way to get to a more bal- anced state is to try to see things as the spirits do. And often the spirits have an agenda. But if they have an agenda Im willing to work for itI trust their agen- da more than I trust mine Lenore Yes Jonathan Tell me more about the inter- faith activism. Lenore That really started when I at- tended the west coast founding confer- ence of the Network of Spiritual Progres- sives NSP initiated by Rabbi Michael Lerner in 2005. The conference was overwhelmingly Christian and Jewish and white so I helped start a Diversity caucus at the conference to promote racial and all kinds of diversity including spiritual. After I campaigned for months to get an interfaith healing ritual on the agenda of the east coast NSP founding conference in Washington D.C. It was a tremendous amount of work to get the ritual accepted but many joined me in calling for it and when it was won I invited Myron Es- howsky to collaborate with me. We car- ried it out across from the White House in Lafayette Park. When we told the Christian Jewish Mus- lim Buddhist and spiritual-not-religious participants that our intention was to heal the history of violence in the name of re- ligion they got it immediatelytheir re- sponse was Oh yeah we really need to do that. Jonathan Wow. Thats really brave of you. What happened Lenore Some of the participants said it was the most powerful spiritual experi- ence they had in the four-day conference. When I returned to Portland where I was living at the time another interfaith peace group had heard about the D.C. ritual and asked if I would do one for them. So we talked and I journeyed and we did a public peacemaking ritual for our neigh- borhood which was torn by gentrifica- tion. It turned out that the day before the ritual there was a huge escalation in the war and many people were upsetso not only people from the immediate neigh- borhood came but beyond. They said they came because they felt helpless and wanted to do something positive instead of another anti-war protest. They left feel- ing empowered and hopeful. Jonathan That reminds me of when I got back from Viet Nam in 1966 and I joined in the Anti-War movement. But a few years later I got involved in the Peace Movement. Lenore Exactly In 2008 I wrote in Sacred Hoop magazine about my vi- sion of transforming mass social pro- tests into massive public rituals of so- cial healing. I had come to feel that the practice of protest had become disem- powering in anti-war demonstrations we would be given a prescribed route to march then we would hear a bunch of speakers and performers then we were asked for donations and then we were dismissed to go home. And I thought Dis-empowered again. It had become awfully rote and instead of people con- necting with their own power and ex- pressing that together on behalf of the greater good itd become like the worst of going to churchyou know You get a moment to feel good that you did the right thingbut did it affect anything What if instead we all encircled the Pentagon and created a huge field of love around it The Pentagon is filled with people. We can affect their hearts and affect what they actually do. So in- stead of making a big Us vs. Them pro- test and feeding conflict we can create peace. I also wrote about bringing in the ancestors to help us to do this and connecting with the spirits of the land. Jonathan Do you see these public ritu- als going beyond the interfaith activist movement Lenore They mustand they have. This happened for the first time in 2009 when I was asked to put together a ritual for the national conference of the Peace and Justice Studies Association. That was a real turning point because it was the first time a secular group asked me to put together a ritual. I journeyed and asked Please show me a peacemaking ritual for a secular group that reaches them and that they will participate in. My spirits showed me that what we needed to do was a Coronation of the Collective Heart. They said People will understand that. They know the word coronation. Its about crowning a sovereign. This is about installing the collective heart as the sover- eign of the world. Jonathan Thats beautiful. And by go- ing to your spirits with this it gives a per- fect example of what I think of when I talk about shamanic activism. Lenore It was really amazing. I saw in my journey a huge garland of flow- ers for this coronation and I thought 40 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 Thats a cool metaphor how shall we do that Later I learned that the word coro- nation comes from the word corona the Latin word for garland Ultimately we actually made a 100 foot long garland some shamanic folks made a base garland of greens and blessed it and a florist do- nated hundreds and hundreds of flowers. The ritual itself was very transformational. One man who at the opening had his arms folded but who stayed and participated in weaving the flowers into the garland and hoisting it at the end wiped tears from his eyes and joined in the crowds cheers for accomplishing this Coronation of the Collective Heart. The energy generated was palpable and lasted several days and stayed with people as they dispersed to dif- ferent parts of the country. Jonathan Thats how it should be. Lenore One thing Ive found is that as we enter the political arena it is a fantas- tic arena for our spiritual unfolding. Jonathan This is the direct opposite of what many experience. Say more. Lenore Well heres an example As I was developing the ritual I just described I kept getting email reminders about reg- istering for the conference. However the only way to register was to pay the reg- istration fee. So I emailed the man who had requested the ritual and said Hey Im happy to register but since Im putting together and leading this ritual and also teaching a workshop for free can you just add my name He wrote me back and lam- basted me for suggesting I shouldnt have to pay. His response in fact was very angry and toxic. He suggested that he would be hap- py to drop me from the program and that given my attitude it probably was just as well. I felt the force of his rage Im sensi- tive and it really affected me. Of course part of me reacted and wanted to just write back To hell with you I dont need to work for you for free and then pay you to boot. But I also was struck that this guy is a leader of some renown as I was becoming and what power has a peace movement if we cant even sort things out among ourselves So I slept on it and the next day I went online and registered and paid. Then I wrote him and said Look I must have hit a raw nerve with my request. I have just registered and paid for the conference and would like to go forward with the ritual. And if you dont want me to then Ill just consider my registration fee a donation to a good cause. Jonathan Phew Powerful move. Lenore It was. Paying the fee really stretched mein more ways than one -- but I did not want to lose the opportu- nity to bring ritual activism into a secular environment and felt that making this sacrifice was part and parcel of the peace- making work. The guy wrote back and said Youre right Im overwhelmed you did hit a raw nerve . . . Thanks for handling this with much more grace than I did. So this process somehow lifted both him and me up and I think this was not only part of my own spiritual practice but also part of the social healing involved in that piece of work. Jonathan As it does so often So where does your filmmaking come into all of this Lenore In the late 1990s I went to film school in the Bay Area. I understood the power of stories in creating ourselves and our world and had an idea that we needed new stories but I wasnt aware of any particular new story I had to tell. In Spring 2001 I returned to Seattle and thought it was time to advance the sha- manic social healing work so in August I announced a Fall circle called Reweav- ing the Web Healing Our World. Flyers went out and people were signing up when one day I was doing a soul retrieval and my spirits piped up You need to do film. I said Well Im helping people Im doing good work. They said No you have a big message and you need this bigger tool. Jonathan Your spirits knew before you did. Lenore Yes and I knew what that meant as soon as they said it I had to return to the Bay Area and would commute to lead Reweaving the Web. On September 10 I left Seattle with a car- load of my things and overnighted with some friends near sacred Mount Shasta. Thats where I was on the morning of 911. When I got to San Francisco later that day I curled up on my futon ask- ing myself How do I respond to this as a healer as a filmmaker and an activist For days I meditated on this and that is when the characters who would later populate my screenplay AMERICAN UBUNTU first revealed themselves and their predicaments to me. I didnt actu- ally start writing the story for a few years though after Id moved to Portland. Jonathan And Portland is where you engaged in all that interfaith activism Lenore Yes. And throughout the ritual activism my spirits were tapping their paws saying What about film This needs to be done. In between the activism and the demands of my shamanic practice I occasionally would steal a week or two and go away and work on the script but it was coming too slowly and I constantly felt torn. Finally I got clear that I really needed to focus on the film it was my activism and social healing ministry as well as my art rolled into one. If I was going to actu- ally make this movie I had to focus or it never would happen. After several drafts AMERICAN UBUNTU finally arrived at the current one. The story is a culmi- nation of all the things weve been talk- ing aboutshamanic activism and the collapsing of polarizations. As Christina Pratt said This is a movie that shows how shamanism actually worksgrap- pling with real world problems and solv- ing things. Jonathan I cant wait to see it 41 Lenore I cant wait either In the sum- mer of 2011 I moved to Oakland to set about bringing it into production. And then the Occupy Wall Street movement began and I was powerfully drawn to it. Jonathan Of course you were There was a lot going on in Oakland too wasnt there Lenore Yes. It was huge. I started get- ting involved. I wrote about it from a shamanic perspective held a teleseminar and did a Tuesday Morning Conversation with Christina Pratt. But I saw the writ- ing on the wall Lenore if you get involved in this AMERICAN UBUNTU never will be made. I feel that making that choice to hold back from getting deeply involved in Occupy and keep a clear focus on the filmhas served well. Jonathan Thats a really good point how important it is to be really present and aware of your role in a given situa- tion. So there were all these temptations but you kept your focus throughout. I think focus is something that we can lose very quickly and easily. In closing would you tell us a little about AMERI- CAN UBUNTU You call it a healing story for the USA. What does ubuntu mean Lenore Ubuntu is a Zulu word. It means I am what I am because of who we all are. In the story I apply this to the very diverse country the USA is today Ameri- cans are what we are because of who we all are. Jonathan Thats a very powerful and important statement in a country so split as the U.S. is today. Lenore It is truly a shamanic tale of our times. One of the main characters is in the ancestral realm. The script has won an award and at this point Im looking for a professional producer. Ive always known this film would be made through a groundswell of support from the sha- manic and spiritual activist communities. Jonathan For me what you have been talking about is what I see as the role of the shamanic activist to bring healing to our world with the help of the spirits liv- ing the teachings they give us following the path they show us. Thank you for do- ing that. Its been inspiring. About the Authors Lenore Norrgard is a teacher of shamanism a writer filmmaker and a shamanic activist. She resides presently in Oakland California. If any readers of this article are inspired to help in any way with the production of American Ubuntu please contact her at lenoreamericanubuntu. com or 415 671-5864 in the U.S. Jonathan Horwitz is the European editor of the Journal of Contemporary Shamanism. He is co-founder of the Scandinavian Center for Shamanic Studies and a teacher of shamanism for more than twenty-five years. He lives in Sweden and can be contacted at 42 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 43 The winged caduceus of the Greek god Hermes came to supercede the staff of the healer Aesculapius with its single snake around a wingless staff as a representation of the North American medical profession less than a century ago appearing initially as a symbol of the American Medical Corps during World War I.1 Hermes and thus his staff was a sym- bol of wisdom eloquence and communica- tion vital elements in the physician-patient relationship. There has been some criticism of the caduceus as a medical symbol however because the mythological Hermes also leads the dead to the underworld is associated with wealth and commerce and happens to be the patron of thieves. But a deeper look at the symbology is in or- der. In nearly every culture throughout history staffs and serpents have had a general associa- tion with wisdom healing and transcendence whereby the underworld snake-consciousness passes through the medium of earthly reality to attain transcendence in its winged flight.2 The symbol historically has been reserved for powerful mythic figures humans of unusual distinction like shamans and mystics or for royalty.3 It seems to me the practice of medicine in the contemporary West is well represented by the caduceus in many of its symbolic meanings. As medicine has become big business the medical- industrial complex is ripe for thievery enhanced communica- tion technology and the electronic medical record challenge the privacy of patient records and in the time pressure of organized medicine doctor-patient communication suffers. The modern medical mandate to find it and fix it leaves out the possibility for true healing through the transcendence of illness when medical providers equate the souls response to illness as tampering with religion and therefore beyond their role. Symbolically the focus in modern healthcare is the staff and not the serpent or the wings. Healthcare providers in all the disciplines as well as the pa- tients they care for have felt the lack of soul in Western medicine. Over the past several decades there has been momentum to return the elan vital to our work as clinicians first as holistic medicine of the 1970s complementary and alternative medicine of the 1980s and 90s and more recently as integrated medicine in the 21st century. Into this confluence of Western and alternative therapies the spiritual methodology of shamanism has begun to emerge as a source of healing. Traditionally the purview of native peoples for over 30000 years a cross-cultural form of it more applicable to western culture was developed several decades ago by anthro- pologist Michael Harner who with his faculty has trained thousands of conventional medical practitioners. Shamanism seems particularly rel- evant to the practice of western medicine today inherently animistic it directly addresses the soul aspect of physical and emotional illness. Todays symbol of the caduceus with stiff wings and coiled snakes arrested in their movement is becoming invigorated. The traditional practice of shamanism over the millennia is a community event in which the patient is remembered into the larger frame- work of relationship to family and group life as well as to the family of spirit. Illness is seen as a need to rebalance and attend to the souls work in this lifetime and the process of recovery takes on a different and more profound meaning beyond only the re- lease of distressing physical or emotional symptoms. Shamanisms inherent work with the spirits can often provide answers to the existential questions of illness such as Why is this happening to me when illness seems unfair Who am I when illness takes away our roles Am I more than my physical body when we can no longer equate self with corpus and ultimately How do I learn to fully and bravely face my own death In January 2003 I conducted a survey of Western medical practitioners physicians nurses psychologists social workers pharmacists etc. who also had shamanic training to collectively understand how shamanic resources were being translated into more biotechnical healthcare settings. In addition to questions about allopathic training and shamanic training the survey asked if and how the practitioner was able to integrate shamanism into the work setting and if not able to integrate what the challenges were. I was surprised to find that many of the respondents especially those in primary care settings reported they did not use their sha- manic training at all. They cited a number of reasons for this in particular medico-legal and ethical concerns and the lack of a sense of how the form in which shamanism had been taught to essay The Flight of the Caduceus by Cecile Carson MD 44 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 them could apply to the clinical encounter. Through conversations and collabora- tion between Michael Harners Founda- tion for Shamanic Studies and the owner and publisher of Alternatives Therapies in Health and Medicine a small group of physicians convened a medical conference on shamanism in medicine in 2002 to provide a forum for medical practitioners to exchange ideas and creative forms for applying a shamanic framework into the healing equation. At the 3-day conference in a natural setting surrounded by the spirits of nature participants grappled with issues such as ethics professional- ism lack of research and disparate frameworks of medicine and healing. Together they remembered the larger Order of Things in which health and fall- ing ill reside and used ritual ceremony presentations and informal conversations to connect with each other and with the spirits. These conferences continued for three years through 2004. From this series the Society for Sha- manic Practitioners was conceived and implemented in 20032004 to recognize and support the integration and practice of shamanism not only in medicine but also in its re-emergence in other aspects of modern life education ecology business the creative arts. Its mission statement included 1. the creation of an alliance of diverse shamanic practitio- ners to function as a circle of peers 2. gathering and disseminating knowledge about shamanic practice 3. promot- ing personal responsibility in doing the inner work necessary to live and practice with integrity 4. focusing resources and shamanic energies to bring healing and unity to the world 5. encouraging a dy- namic exchange around how people use shamanism as spiritual practice in their personal daily lives and how to bring shamanic practices into their profes- sions 6. supporting education through an annual conference regional gather- ings and a journal of shamanic practice 7. maintaining a repository of stories and clinical case studies of successful shamanic interventions and 8. facilitat- ing research evaluating the outcome of shamanic healing. Several years ago the Society sent out a call to its members for essays on how shamanically trained western medical providers were integrating shamanism in their practice of allopathic medicine. The collection of these essays developed into a book released in January 2013 entitled Spirited Medicine Shamanism in Contem- porary Health Care.4 The book is a treasure trove of inspi- ration practical wisdom methodology and research. It illustrates the integration of shamanic practice into urban and suburban medical clinics hospitals and private practices by a broad representa- tion of medical disciplines physicians osteopaths naturopaths psychologists and specialties obstetrics physiatry family medicine urology psychiatry cardiac rehabilitation hospice as well as the application of traditional indigenous shamanisms into these settings African Peruvian Celtic. And it brings to life the process of returning soul to medical care as it lays out such diverse topics as surgery as sacred ceremony psychopomp escorting the souls of the dead to the Light in hospice care shamanic parallels to psychotherapy expanding the clinical framework in which to understand the delivery of healthcare and the structure of healing stories. Another function of the book is to connect of the thousands of medi- cal providers now trained in shamanic methods many operate in relative isola- tion. The book is designed to open doors for medical providers to find colleagues and maps and ideas that can extend the mundane practice of health care into a sacred pursuit. There is a growing awareness of shamanism in this country. An increas- ing number of people have their own shaman as part of their healthcare team at least three journals are devoted to the practice of shamanism and a conference of shamanism in medicine co-sponsored by the Society and by Omega Institute is scheduled for October 2013. The spirits are guiding us transforming and adapt- ing shamanism to a variety of cultures and healers and contexts. We know there are many roads up the proverbial spiritual mountain shamanism is but one though its methodologies and sacred underpin- nings provide a means of spiritual engage- ment that is extremely accessible.5 I have been struck by the power of this particular spiritual methodology to dig down to the essence of the healing required for a given person at a given time. We are moving beyond the secular and sacred split created by Descartes in the 1600s recognizing that whether seen or unseen acknowledged or unacknowl- edged soul issues are a major part of both illness and health and the spirits can be accessed as a resource for these deep questions. We can build on the momen- tum for integration of mind and body and spirit of these past several decades allow the wings of the caduceus to stretch and reach beyond the secular the pinion feathers to spread and the serpents scales to grip the staff in our ascent. Endnotes 1 Fenkl Heinz Insu Wikipedia. 2 Henderson J. Ancient Myths and Modern Man in Jung C. Man and His Symbols. 3 Fenkl op. cit. 4 Carson C ed. Baltimore Otter Bay Books 2013. 5 Carson op. cit. p. 263. About the Author Cecile Carson MD is editor of Spirited Medicine Shamanism in Contemporary Healthcare. A former internistpsychiatrist and academic physician with the U of Rochester medical school her focus presently is on addressing the souls response to illness and translating the spiritual methodology of shamanism into a practical framework for clinicians in caring for their patients. 45 46 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Submit an article become a member with a website listing or just subscribe The Society for Shamanic Practitioners Dedicated to the reemergence of shamanic practices in modern society especially those that promote healthy individuals and viable communities . . . We are artists educators healers in multiple disciplines therapy-dog owners nonprofit professionals editors and many more. We live in Italy Idaho the UK California Canada and Iceland. What binds us is our belief in the practice of shamanism as one of healing that reminds us of and supports our connection with all that is. If you would like to submit an article join as a member with a website listing subscribe and order back issues or come to one of our regional or international conferences please visit us at Please join us as we make shamanic practices and wisdom more available to all 47 ARTTOOLSSUPPLIES CEDAR MOUNTAIN DRUMS Drums Rattles Flutes Kits Accessories Herbs Rawhide Hoops More 503-235-6345 CICADA CREATIONS Jewelry created with 4 themes Power Intuition Grounding Protection using gemstones Austin TX Ron Short Studios Ronald Short MA-Art Therapy BFA Art and Editorial Design Consulting Services Santa Fe NM 505-954-1050 ORGANIZATIONS SHAMANPORTAL.ORG The global shamanic communitys most comprehensive website. Find healers teachers workshops trips share knowledge and keep up with the Shamanic News. Get involved. See ad on page 15. SOCIETY FOR SHAMANIC PRACTITIONERS An alliance of people committed to the re-emergence of shamanism. See ad on page 46. PUBLICATIONSBOOKS A JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY SHAMANISM See ad on page 46. SACRED HOOP MAGAZINE A leading international magazine of shamanic wisdom See ad on page 46. SPIRITED MEDICINE A Society for Shamanic Practitioners Book Shamanism in Contemporary Healthcare See article on page 43. THE SPIRITUAL GIFT OF MADNESS The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement Seth Farber PhD See ad on page 42. AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SHAMANISM 2 Vol. set essays shamanic concepts and peoples Available in eBook paperback hardcover SHAMANISM WITHOUT BORDERS A Guide to Shamanic Tending for Trauma and DisastersA Society for Shamanic Practitioners Handbook Experienced practitioners explain techniques and principles used throughout time to deal with trauma and disasters and how these practices are still applied today. httpwww.shamansociety.orgswb.html TRAVEL RETREAT CENTERS SPIRITWALKERS RETREAT On the slopes of Mount Shasta EVENTS AND CONFERENCES Caretaker II EARTH SKY Wisconsin Aug. 30Sept. 6 2013 Advanced apprenticeship begins in land healing weather working. Ana Larramendi Nan Moss David Corbin Ana Larramendi 608 255-4333 FIRST FIRE OF THE ANCESTORS Residential Shamanic Conference Gathering Bow Island Washington October 2427 2013 See Ad on Page 35. MARKO POGACNIK USA 2013 TRAININGS Wisconsin May 812 2013 Sacred Relationship and the Elemental World Ana Larramendi 608 255-4333 Colorado May 1719 2013 Earth Changes Gaela Morrison 831 277-2805 SHAMANISM AND MEDICINE SSP Weekend Seminar at Omega Institutie for Holistic Studies Rhinebeck New York Oct. 46 2013 Explore the processes and perspectives that shamanism has to offer the healing process. For healthcare professionals and those interested in healing. Faculty includes Cecile Carson MD Alan Davis MD Phd Sandra Ingerman MA Lewis Mehl-Madrona MD Jose Stevens Phd See ad on inside back cover. SOCIETY FOR SHAMANIC PRACTITIONERS UK SHAMANIC CONFERENCE Dancing With The Four Directions Dorset England Sept. 58 2013 See ad on Page 20. SHAMANIC SERVICES ANCESTRAL VOICE Center for Indigenous Lifeways Phillip Scott FounderDirector 415 897-7991 See ad on page 41. PAULA DENHAM CSC Shamanic Healing Counseling Spiritual Support 916 863-1383 DAVID FRANKLIN FARKAS Psychic-Spiritual-Shamanic Healer Thought Leader Rogue Scholar See ad on page 45. SARAH FINLAY PETER CLARK Healing Counseling Education Distance work via Skype 802 253-7846 or 802 456-8735 DANIEL FOOR PhD Heart-Centered Transformative Trainings Public Rituals Private Sessions 650 248-8917 See ad on page 45. AMANDA FOULGER Heart Medicine Workshops Private Clients FSS Faculty Member Topanga CA SUSAN GRIMALDI M.Ed. Treatment for health concerns relationship issues emotional trauma grief anxiety anger. In office or by telephone Montpelier VT 802 223-2972 S P R I N G 2 0 1 3 R es o urces 48 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Volume 6 Issue 1 SPRING 2013 SHAMANIC SERVICES continued. 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Woodland Park CO 719 687-4335 RITUALS BY THE SEA SHAMANIC CONSULTATIONS ENERGY CLEANSINGS Let there be peace in the ocean let there be peace in my soul. 516 889-9763 SHAMANISM CANADA Canadian Centre for Shamanic Studies presents The Way of the Circle where shamanic teachers develop tools to create shamanic community. 1-888-383-8320 See ad on page 42. SHARED TRANSITIONS Pam Albee CL CCHT CHI Shamanic Healing Counseling and Classes 509 326-5350 KATHERINE SKAGGS Visionary Artist Painter of Soul Portrais Shamanic Practitioner Speaker Teacher Author Soul Guide to You being all you are. 970 372-0136 See ad on inside front cover. LYNDA SKEEN Soul Retrieval Spirit Release Extraction Power Animal Retrieval Journeywork Reiki Los Angeles CA 323 363-2040 SOUL RETRIEVAL EXTRACTION DEPOSSESSION Recover your lost soul parts. Restore your true self in the energetic presence of Mt. Shasta. 530 859-3499 JANET STRAIGHTARROW Soul Shamanism Profound Healing Learning Retreats Mentoring-Apprentice To You 973 647-2500 WHY SHAMANISM NOW.COM Practical application of shamanic skills Live Internet Radio and Podcast Archive TRAINING FOUNDATION FOR SHAMANIC STUDIES Michael Harner Training in core shamanism advanced shamanic healing See ad on page 10. THE HOLLOW BONE Shamanic workshops on personal healing land clearing Ana Larramendi LAST MASK CENTER 4-Year Training in authentic nontraditional shamanism. Advanced classes for professional renewal and inspiration. See ad on page 24. POWER PATH SCHOOL OF SHAMANISM Providing Practical Tools for Conscious Living Santa Fe NM See ad on page 2. RIVERDRUM Tom Cowan Celtic visionary healing techniques See ad on page inside-front cover SHAMANIC TEACHERS Shamanic teachers and practitioners trained by Sandra Ingerman See ad on page 3. WOLFINDARK Dr. John-Luke Edwards Lions Bay BC Canada See ad on page 35. F A L L 2 0 1 2 R es o urces A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Society for Shamanic Practitioners 956 Camino Oraibi Santa Fe NM 87505 RetuRN SeRviCe RequeSted Nonprofit u. S. Postage PAID Permit No. 173 Santa Fe NM 87501 Spirited Medicine Shamanism in Contemporary Healthcare Spirited Medicine is an exciting contribution to the integration of the ancient healing system of shamanism into modern Western society. Most of its authors are dually trained as both healthcare providers and shamanic practitioners and collectively they offer a broad framework and powerful clinical examples of how to attend to the soul of those who fall ill. Filled with practical strategies for healthcare and shamanic practitioners alike this book brings sha- manism forward from its historic and animistic origins into a broad range of Western medical settings surgery psychotherapy rehabili- tation medicine family medicine naturopathy osteopathy hospice care private practice and a general medical clinic. 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