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the foundation for shamanic studies a non-profit public charitable and educational organization TRAINING IN SHAMANISM SHAMANIC HEALING WWW.SHAMANISM.ORG Authentic. Effective. Powerful. Pioneered by Michael Harner author of The Way of the Shaman and Cave and Cosmos Workshops and training programs offered worldwide with outstanding highly experienced FSS faculty. Read the article in Prevention magazine Visit and check the News column on left shamanism.orgnewsp1360 for the Prevention magazine link Contents 3 Letters to the Editor 5 Op-Ed PUNCHE DE MEXICANO Unexpected and Magical Encounters with an Ally Plant 6 INTERVIEW Theater of the Spirits An Interview with Virginia Monte Cecile Carson M.D. 12 SHAMANIC PRACTICE Owl Warning Healing a Costa Rican Community Rebecca Singer 15 SHAMANIC PRACTICE Meeting with Darkhad Shaman Erdene-Ochiz of Mongolia Susan Ross Grimaldi M.Ed and John R. Lawrence Jr. PhD 18 ESSAY Architects of the Future Jill Raiguel MFT 24 ESSAYS The Holding Space Method Underlying Shamanic Aspects of Polarity and Craniaosacral Therapy Gary B. Strauss MS RPP PWE 26 Traditional American Indian Bodywork the Origin of Osteopathy Polarity and Craniosacral Therapy Nita M. Renfrew 29 SHAMANIC PRACTICE Merlin Tree V. Ariel Van Haltern 32 REVIEWS LESSONS IN COURAGE PERUVIAN SHAMANIC WISDOM FOR EVERYDAY LIFE by don Oscar Miro-Quesada Review by Jos Stevens PhD 34 NUMA AN EPIC POEM WITH PHOTO COLLAGE by Katrinka Moore Review by Nita Renfrew 36 THE SHAMAN WITHIN A PHYSICISTS GUIDE TO THE DEEPER DIMENSIONS OF YOUR LIFE THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING by Claude Poncelet PhD Review by Jonathan Horwitz 38 SHORT REVIEWS THE CO-CREATION HANDBOOK A SHAMANIC GUIDE TO MANIFESTING A BETTER WORLD AND A MORE JOYFUL LIFE by Alida Burch Review by Tom Cowan 38 UP A TREE by Jane Burns Review by Tom Cowan 39 MAKING PEACE WITH SUICIDE by Adele McDowell Review by Tom Cowan 39 WHISPERING WITH ANIMALS by Maryphyllis Horn Review by Kay Kamala 41 RESOURCE DIRECTORY www.shamanic 1 Cover Art The Nature of Technology by Mark Lewis Wagner See page 5 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 2 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 Inner Shaman Retreat MasculineFeminine July 9-13 Wilderness Solo Program August 16-20 Remote Healing Individual Sessions 505-982-8732 Going Deeper With Your Inner Work Need support or skills Support during spiritual emergency Support during life transitions Shadow work for spiritual seekers Preparing for and integrating deep transformative experiences Grof Holotropic Breathwork Guided Focusing sessions Kevin Sachs PhD 646-415-6721 Safe Journeys Home LLC facilitation support education for your transformation Services Offered EDITORS Tom Cowan Ph.D. Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Horwitz MA European Bureau Kay Kamala Nita Renfrew ARTDESIGN Allegra Marketing Print Mail CREATIVE DIRECTOR Amanda McCarthy Oda 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 So- ciety 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 PO Box 100007 Denver CO 80250. Subscription Society members receive the journal as a benefit of membership. To join the society 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 nonprofit 501c3 is an international alliance of people dedi- cated to the re-emergence of shamanic practices in modern society especially those that promote healthy individuals and viable communities. Email admin Web site The opinions expressed in A Journal of Contempo- rary Shamanism are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors nor those of the Board members of the Society for Shamanic Practi- tioners. We make every effort to be accurate but we cannot be held responsible for any errors omissions and inaccuracies. SSP BOARD OF DIRECTORS Tom Cowan Ph.D. Alan Davis MD Genie Hobbs LCSW Anna Harrington Jaime Meyer MA Jos Luis Stevens Ph.D. Lena Stevens Sara Johnston Executive Director Karrie Cooper 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 March 7 2015 Following a shamanic path in the mod- ern world brings unique challenges. We seek out the old ways at a time when the new were told is everything. We search for ways that are lost or foreign to how we were raised and trained. We are most of us going against family expectations social norms culturally mediated goals. And we dont know what were doing a lot of the time at least I dont. Shamanism is difficult even to describe. How many conversations have you had with friends family strangers trying to distinguish spiritual from religious and referring to the many traditions in which some concept of shamanic practice can be found Like all humans we long for com- munity. We all need groups that share our values understand our issues and celebrate our triumphs. We need our tribes. Finding shamanic communities is part of the chal- lenge we face especially if we are charting a course outside established traditions and away from teachers and elders. Creating community begins with iden- tifying what the shared values are which practices best reflect those values and how we move forward on our paths. The most recent issue of A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism addressed this head on with an opening essay offering a list of basic ele- ments and a selection of articles pushing the boundaries of what a clear easy defini- tion of shamanism might include asking questions like What is shamanism today What does shamanic practice look like For many of us a full reflection of who we are in the world needs an even wider net. For a variety of reasons we develop a practice or set of practices that include elements that are not shamanic but over time become imbued with the same spirit become woven into all we are and do. Yet how do we talk about the totality of what we actually do in the world How do we present ourselves in an authentic and still acceptable way Time now to get specific. I came to shamanism after a serious illness that completely disrupted my life as it was a classic opening. I trained in core shaman- ism seeking out Celtic and especially Irish material wherever I could. Tom Cowans work in that regard was absolutely essen- tial as I began and Ive found others along the way. I found other practices too. Because of my vivid and intense dream life I explored dreamwork. Within a shamanic journey a new ally sent me off to study astrology and alchemy and I became an astrologer. Hav- ing explored the Tarot when I was young I came back to that as well. I developed a sense of a world filled with intuitive languages ranging from ancient auguries to dream messages to modern card decks. How much of this is shamanic At first consistent with my academic training I kept my practices in separate compart- ments. It seemed inappropriate to mix them vague and somehow wrong. Over time though two things happened. As the practices became mine they melded them- selves together and my shamanic allies told me to stop pretending they were separate and start synthesizing. Let me say I still have not figured out how to create a synthesis of all I do but they continue coming closer together. Sometimes answers in journeys come in the form of Tarot cards. My relationships with the planets appearing as they do in my birth chart become more and more like my relationships with my allies. There is increasingly a seamlessness to my own experience of this. But how do I talk to others about this Especially how can I have conversations within valued shamanic communities about what I actually do I dont want to be dismissed. And still not to talk about what Im really doing feels increasingly inauthentic. The thing is I look for and value similar kinds of synthesis in others. The best example I can offer here is bodywork something I need and cannot do for L E T T E R S T O T H E E D I T O R Shamanism Yes And Mary Pat Lynch 4 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 myself. Certainly I have had competent massages from therapists without any knowledge of shamanism. But when I look for mas- sage therapists and other bodyworkers I watch for those who are intuitive who are sensitive and best who are shamanic. What happens in those sessions may not be shamanism but is always enriched by that deeper connection that occurs. When I think of shamanic practitioners I know today more of us are combining various practices than not. I know shamanic prac- titioners who are also bodyworkers dreamworkers who include a variety of divination practices like runes and the ogham who work with channeling and mediumship who use henna or tattoos as part of their shamanic work. Is there a way we can explore these things together There are rich topics for conversation here things to be shared and learned. Its not about broadening the definition of shamanism so far that everything possible is included but of allowing ourselves to admit that our lives and work include other things and over time these things interweave in ways that become essential to who we are. Shamanic practice is at its core based in our ongoing rela- tionships with trusted allies and listening to their guidance. This inevitably leads us in different directions and it may not be helpful to be too exclusive in setting limits on what can and cannot be discussed and shared. Astrology for example is not shamanism but how might it be shamanic How has my work in astrology been affected by my shamanic practice and vice versa I would love to find like-minded others with whom to explore these topics and I suspect Im not alone. Can we make our tent big enough to allow these kinds of con- versations to happen And we must also allow for the very real possibility that the shamanic tent may get far bigger than we can imagine. At a time in the worlds history when many paths are crossing combining and coming together we may want to keep open minds and hearts about where our allies send us. We might find many practices fold- ing into and becoming shamanic. In the world of improv performance actors must learn to Yes and When a partner tosses out the unexpected and youre on stage together you cant say no you have to build on whats there Yes and. My life feels more like improv the farther I go. This does not mean I lack skills. In fact good improv performers are some of the most skilled actors around. What it means is that I can or try to roll with what comes my way and build on it. I guess I am moving into a form of shamanic practice that also says yes and I think thats what my allies are asking of me. Mary Pat Lynch 24th September 2014 was a day of sorrow. Ailo Gaup left this world passing into a place we can only imagine. He was a dear friend of mine for 34 years. I met him the first time in the beginning of the eighties. I was just seventeen when he turned up at my par- ents house asking if I would join a the- atre group he was starting up. I followed him to Kautokeino in north Norway. We worked in theatre for many years he wrote scripts and I directed. Besides that we started on our spiritual journey. I remember we invented methods to train intuition sitting everyday trying to read each others thoughts interpret- ing dreams and removing ourselves to other realities. Ailo had a big heart and a great laugh and his skills in shamanism were incredible. He came to a hospital where I was with my mother who was very ill with cancer. Ailo did what he could do. Afterwards he said Sorry the disease has gone too far we can only end her suffering. Three days later she died. I know that many Sami people sought help from Ailo even though the people of the church condemned it. The younger generation especially had great faith in his work. We must not forget the books he wrote nor his magic poetry that contains many mythical secrets. His book The Shamanic Zone has become a must-read among Sami people. When I first heard about that book I was wondering how I could get hold of it which bookstores might have it. A few minutes after thinking that thought the telephone rang. Of course it was Ailo wondering where he could send a copy of the book. Such was my relation- ship with Ailo just thinking of him made him respond immediately. In March 2014 I was going through a hard time my heart was full of fear and tears were running down my cheeks. I was wondering what to do how to end this suffering. My telephone beeped and a text message arrived from Ailo asking what he could do for me. He has helped me many times and every time I have thought that this is a real shaman. Maybe the last real Sami shaman. The final indication of that was at his own funeral. When we said goodbye to him and saw the car drive away with his coffin an immense thunderstorm started. It lasted the entire afternoon and night. I am sure he rode the thunder to the other side. -- Do not move faster than the speed of your protecting angel Contact sa Simma at Tel 4670 2705770 Day of Sorrow by sa Simma 5 Cover Art By Mark Lewis Wagner The Nature of Technology The question at a conference on the Earth and Technology was What does Technology Want. Answer It wants to be part of Nature. Mark Lewis Wagner MA is a digital and traditional artist and educator. His artwork was on the book cover of Michael Harners The Way of the Shaman and his illustrations appeared for many years in the magazine Shamans Drum. Clients include the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and PixarDisney. He is also the founder of the nonprofit Drawing on Earth which passionately connects art and creativity to youth and communities around the world please donate. Their first project set a Guinness World Record for the largest chalk drawing. Wagner has created 5 pieces of art that have been photographed by satellite. He is currently showing work at the Living Shaman Museum in San Francisco. Web sites www.marklewiswagner In New Mexico wild tobacco Nicotiana Rustica is often called Punche de Mexicano. On the Native pueblos certain people grow it for the medicine men to use in their kiva ceremonies and elsewhere wildcrafters find it growing at about 4000 to 7000 feet elevation in the desert and mountains. Ten years ago I had no relationship with this powerful ally except for a negative association my father died of lung cancer at- tributed to smoking tobacco. But the Spirit of Punche had other ideas apparently and one day in Death Valley one of my vision questers came back to base camp laden with three-foot-long stalks of a plant she said was wild tobacco. A few weeks later the same woman took me on a wild-crafting outing in the Chiricauhas south of Silver City New Mexico. As we hiked among the red rocks and arroyos we suddenly came upon a tall green plant with large leaves. The plant seemed to jump out at me and glowed with a golden light. I usually dont see auras but I felt the plant was making itself known to me. My companion an expert wild-crafter said it was wild tobacco or Punche de Mexicano as the locals often call it. I felt the presence of a Spirit near the plant and had the dis- tinct impression that it was letting me know it was my Ally Plant. Since then I have had many opportunities to make friends with my Ally Plant. A Lakota Sun Dance chief in South Dakota carved a Cha- nupah ceremonial Pipe for me and initiated me into the proper ways of praying and smoking using a mix of tobacco and red wil- low. Once in a situation that felt somewhat desperate I smoked the Chanupah to help dissipate a dark energy in someones house. The heaviness in her home lifted almost immediately as we smoked and made prayers. Another time in the wilderness around Pedernal Mountain in Northern New Mexico my husband and I and two friends hiked considerably off trail and stumbled into an ancient quarry of chalcedony flint. All four of us felt nauseous as we approached this place where ancient people had made their tools. I had my Chanupah and knew it was important to introduce ourselves by smoking our prayers for the ancestral energies there. As soon as we did so our nausea subsided. I had the distinct impression that we had been accepted by the spirits of this place. I have also become acquainted with Mapacho the Southern cousin of Punche which grows in the Amazon and is widely used by ayahuasceros for healing and cleansing. When I am in Cusco Peru I purchase it in the Mercado de Brujas Witches Market for use at home with students and clients. I often do soplando with Mapacho cigarettes and have been amazed at its powerful ability to remove hucha heavy energies. It has taken Punche a few years to convince me of its desire to work with me as friend and Ally I now work frequently with this powerful plant and have come to understand that it has the unique ability to create a pathway through the veils and allow our prayers and intentions to connect with ancestral energies and helping spirits with the result that transformation healing and cleansing happens rapidly and sometimes in magical and unex- pected ways. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Carol L. Parker is a vision quest guide and pilgrimage leader in Peru Death Valley Canyon de Chelly the Yukon and Hawaii. She has been initiated into the altomisayok high mountain shaman tradition in the Peruvian Andes and continues to study with her teachers there. She integrates ceremonial and shamanic methods into her college classes as well as private work with clients and students. Punche De Mexicano Unexpected and Magical Encounters with an Ally Plant Carol L. Parker Ph.D. O p - E d 6 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 This is the first of a series of interviews with shamanic prac- titioners who are integrating shamanism into Western culture in interesting and unusual ways that open our hearts and minds to what is possible for spirits healing in our troubled world. In Theater of the Spirits Cecile Carson talks with Virginia Monte a theater director who is aware and intentional about bringing an experience of the numinous to her audience as well as working in that dimension with the actors. During an intro- ductory workshop in core shamanism several years ago she was bowled over by how much of her life and her work in the theater fit into a shamanic framework. CC Tell me a little bit about your background in theater and your hopes when you began your professional training in this. VM I was always just a little different a little off center from most of the people I knew and the theater became the one environment where all those little oddities of who I am became completely natural and completely usable. I did undergraduate work in fine arts art history opera and theater. I remember someone once telling me that I had to choose one of these and couldnt understand why painting was the same to me as storytelling which was the same as singing. They all had the same feel and I really enjoyed playing with their boundaries. Then I spent a few years out in the world doing design work in regional theaters. During my time in Manhattan I found while designing sets that I actually wanted to fix the costumes and work with the actors to fix their lines. And I realized at that point what I really wanted to do was to direct not to design. CC What happened then VM I miraculously got into an overseas program for direct- ing at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. And thats where everything changed. I realized my work started becoming less about me trying to fulfill this need to be acknowledged and more about me opening to the world instead of hiding from it. And I started to look at things with my third eye open which is where shamanism really first began for me. I remember reading a line by Joseph Campbell early in the directors program that compared the works of modern artists to the practices of original shamanic teachings. Campbell posited this idea that these practices for both shamans and artists are for helping peo- ple through big problems and for asking the biggest questions of themselves. And in this very naive moment I wrote in my journal Im going to be a shaman. I knew I wanted that kind of art the kind that brings people to know themselves that has this bigger sense of the world and that can bring us together in a way that most things nowadays cant. CC I think its great that you didnt know any better VM I dont think I would have done it I think that just put a beacon right on my back and suddenly spirit said Okay youve opened the door here we come. It was a really critical moment and both the best and worst experiences of my life followed from it. I found myself in the cataclysm of being torn apart through the extremes of first waking up so completely and then engag- ing with my environment so fully that I self-destructed. In part it was because the program as an institution is not the place to have an awakening like that its more a teaching-technique institution vs. a coming-to-yourself institution. I remember at the worst of it being very angry and question- ing why the faculty couldnt have understood and supported me. And yet there were individuals there who did in their own way. Even though I had to step away from the program for health reasons the Dean and the head of the program let me finish. It took three extra years. I think too of Nadine George a voice instructor there I now know was operating shamanically and who would walk into a room and change things simply by her presence. Lerna Penny was another vocal instructor so acutely aware of the body and of how people were embodying themselves that she would I N T E R V I E W VIRGINIA MONTE Theater of the Spirits by Cecile Carson M.D. Virginia Monte photo by Cecile Carson 7 Celebrating 20 Years of Service in the Bay Area and Beyond Indigenous Lifeways Program-Path of the Human Being Way of the Awakened Warrior Traditional Native Healing and Ceremonies Rites of Passage Plant Medicine Counseling Bodywork Instruction in Tai Chi Chuan Native Drum FluteDidgeridoo Phillip ScottFounderDirectoris of mixed Ancestryincluding Oklahoma Tsalagiand a Ceremonial Leader in the Lakota Tradition. He has walked the Native Path for over 30 yearslearning from MedicineHoly PeopleTribal Spiritual Leaders Elders and Shamans from various cultures. 415 897-7991 turn actors around in a few moments to give spectacular and honest performances. And Id say to myself Thats exactly what I want to be able to do Later on I would meet Glynn MacDonald at The Globe the famous theater of Shakespeare who was working with whirling dervish techniques. She would stand us between the two famous pillars of The Globes stage and have us energetically hold space. It was from her that I learned the incantation that they use there on the stage I take from the Earth all that I need and bring it into me I take from the Heavens all that I need and bring it into me And once it is inside of me I give it away. I still use this incantation with my actors today as a power- ful invocation before opening performances. The impact is often profound and I cant thank Glynn enough for teaching it to me. CC And of course there were those who were not sup- portive of the process you were going through. VM Yes the flip side is that I met other people for whom what I was exploring was terrifying because it demanded a lot of the people involved including instructors. In my naivete I just went full force and we clashed because I couldnt understand how anyone would not want something this fantastic that took the craft to a spiritual level that asked the actors and audience the biggest questions Who am I and Why am I I know now for some people thats asking too much thats not why they come to theater. So for me a huge lesson during my recovery period was learning to respect and acknowledge others path in theater even if its not my own. CC As you share this I find myself thinking about the shamanic process of dismemberment and then of remember- ment as we remember who we deeply are. It seems there are a lot of parallels here. There really were. I started experiencing moments of hav- ing my foundation kicked out from under me not knowing whether what I was doing had any grounding any more. Having gone through the process of bringing everything that I was up to the surface and then suddenly having to bring it all into question in a manner that had no resolution was very difficult. And there wasnt anyone I had at the time that I could talk to in a professional setting about seeing auras or feeling body energies. So part of the difficulty was not just the dismemberment but feeling very alone in it. As I look back I can see there were some voices. Nadine George said what I needed to do was sit in this and come back to her when I found my way through it. She understood that for what I was going through there was nothing she could do except have me come back and see her when I was done with the process. She was right but it was very hard to hear. Everything in the universe seemed to conspire and say You are done There was something I needed to learn and couldnt. I believe the universe gives you what you need and if youre not listening theyll give it to you again harder. I feel I was given the opportunity to learn the lesson of compassion for those I work with and since I didnt learn it the first time the universe sent me home without that degree. CC Sounds like a dark night of the soul very painful confusing and bleak. VM I remember one of the hardest things I had to do was Ancestral Voice is a Center of Healing and Learning devoted to the preservationapplication and respectful dissemination of Shamanic and Indigenous Lifeways. 8 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 to look at one of the individuals who had done me a great deal of wrong. It would have been so much easier for me just to give him the hate I feltyet all I could see in that moment was this very sad and sorry little boy who had lashed out because he was scared of what we were doing and what I was bringing and who did what he needed to do to feel safe. Suddenly I no longer had the conviction that I was right. My disassembling really began in that moment as I recognized that I could cause so much suffering and pain through what I was doing. I knew I didnt want to hurt people or create art that was based on fear or anger or resent- ment or an Ill show you mentality. At that point I really cognitively and mentally disintegrated. I began to have vivid dreams and I felt my mind was coming against me and didnt know how to control it. It was really scary. So thats how I ended up having to return from abroad without what I had gone for and with having to question everything I had put myself through. CC So how did you get through the dismemberment VM Day by day One of the biggest challenges for me was simply accepting what had happened. I wanted to deny how powerful and scary what I went through was as well as the sense that I had somehow done it to myself. It took me a while to be able to say if thats what happened its okay. My family who were supportive and helpful thought of it as depression but I chose not go on drugs. I knew they were not the solution because it was not a mind hurt or a body hurt but something deeper. So I started looking at how to fix a soul hurt by examining my interest in ritual and religion. I went to a Zen center and sat for a while and learned what that was like I looked at yoga and what that was like. I started reading Thomas Moore and other religious texts to try to figure out how others who had come through something like this could still have a joy of life. CC Sounds like protected time and a willingness to accept what had happened was important to start your healing. VM I knew my fear was having gone through this once that even if I recover theres a chance of relapse. So I began to focus on how to put into place the mechanisms that would keep me doing what I want to do and making art on the level I want. The one thing I knew I couldnt give up was artand that was what pulled me through. It was during this period I came across JourneyDanceTM developed by Toni Bergins that acknowledges the body before the mind. In my first experience of it I felt as if someone had flipped the on switch in me. In the middle of the ritual dance in a section of the fire ceremony I actually ritually put myself in the fire and acknowledged that there were things that needed to burn. It was a wonderful transformation and a shamanic tool that Ive now adopted into my own practice. Through the use of ritual I was able to re-acknowledge that what I had done was damaging what I could do could be dangerous but that it could also save souls. And now that I had learned its dangers and also what it could do I now needed to see how to put it into place in my work. I always knew even during the worst of it all that innate compassion was what I was lacking. I dont think I understood until then why it was such an important tool. I think it was this acknowledgment that we all heal and that if I can be a vehicle in any way how could I say no or walk away from something that could provide that kind of benefit CC What youre describing seems to me to be steps of a shamanic initia- tion that break apart the old structures and assumptions to lay us bare to rebuild ourselves and bring that back into the world. How did your personal transformation and your awareness of the power of art begin to translate into your work in the theater VM After a long hiatus I had an opportunity to do my first directing piece as a little piece of Hamlet. Although I had always put the actor first it was the first time I experimented with this model of directing where I put the actor in a spiritual role and asked them to truly question their character in a way that was honest asking of their character Whos hurt and How are you hurting So we looked at what it was to take this on this character as a vesseland also what it was to take it off. And we also looked at how to make a sacred and safe space for these two actors who were experimenting with this. I had a female Hamlet and she found an honesty in it that really had the audience questioning this character whos usually seen as a bit despicable and selfish. What they saw instead was a human being in pain. And Ophelias pain was no less pain both of them were equally hurting. Both actors and audience found a human scenario in the performance that was very moving they were just exquisite. CC I can certainly sense the com- passion in this method youre bringing to your actors. How does this compare to other acting methods you were introduced to before your dismember- ment Ive seen some acting methods where actors actually carried the negative energy of the character they embodied home with them and I remember thinking that even if its making great work it cant be right or good for the person. As a direc- tor myself I now question the morality of any director who puts another indi- vidual in a situation like a Hamlet whos a suicidal character and just lets them languish in that. CC I know there are shamanic methods in which the shaman takes on and embodies the illness or tragedy of the client but then brings that energy through themselves and remains intact as to who they are. Seems like there are some similarities with this method youre using. VM When I started even before my coming apart I watched how actors worked and the amount of damage they would take on in the pursuit of the per- formance. Having a mixed background as I did with fine art and other art forms I realized there was not one fine artist I knew who would take on this level of damage to make art. So how could I as a director create a healthy environment Because actors use their bodies as their 9 art form theres no way for them to avoid bringing in the nega- tive energies and emotions of their character. I started to look at how different artists were doing that and found that all of them were using spiritual language breaking down the I vs. Thou mentality. And so I began putting in more spiritual language in my directing which is a little tricky because for some people its a huge shutdown. Finding the right vocabulary took a while but thats when I started to build my environment around spirit. And The Winters Tale was the first large-scale experiment with that. I set forth a kind of Hippocratic Oath for myself for this project to do no harm. Knowing that there were characters who had to go through a lot of pain I vowed that I would check in I would maintain a healthy environment and that I would not raise my voice no matter how frustrating the process. CC How did you do that It came down to being clear and being strong and at my peak to hold those containers separately but strongly. It took going in ahead of time before rehearsals and meditating and clearing the space and setting the intention that this would be a healthy environment. And I could not be lax in that. I had to honor my own vessel because if I didnt how could they honor theirs And it surprised me at how responsive the actors wereall of them could feel it and they took to it. CC Youve had some training in core shamanism recent- ly. Can you speak about how that framework mapped over the process you were developing in your craft as director VM Theater began as a ritual in its original context in tribal cultures theater was an enactment of myth to bring im- portant stories closer to us and to make them relatable to us. As the West developed acting became very presentational and not about the ability to impact someone you simply had to be that object. So it was less about your emotive quality and more about your mastery of form your ability to feel it meant nothing. About 150 years ago art changed. You can see it in the fine art world where Impressionism appeared. The Impression- ists were really the first to say in a big way This is not just about that I can technically paint its that I was there I painted that. Its the first time the content was placed on the artists themselves. Modernity did a wonderful thing and thats when shamanism came back to the artistwhen the artist became responsible for content and technique. Theater did the same thing as fine art right around the same time and took on more potency. And its a little bit danger- ous too thats a lot to ask of actors. And it also meant that the techniques we had been using were not necessarily suited to help people through these new demands. I dont think Shakespeare intended Hamlet to be a painful role the text was supposed to do that for you. But now we expect acting to have this emotive mimetic relationship where we as audience feel what the charac- ters are feeling. And to do that safely you have to have some form of shamanic grounding you need to know where you stand and you need to know what youve inviting in and you need to know how to protect yourself. CC Moving from a macro view of your theory and his- tory to a micro view what are some instances where you intentionally brought the transcendent in the performance VM I have a tendency to gravitate to scripts where spirit is already present. I want to ask those bigger questions. So what makes the classics more accessible to me is at the time Shake- speare was writing religion was more in the open and it already had a vessel within it where spirit wants to be where we have to ask those important questions. What attracted me to The Winters Tale is that it reads like a dream to me thats a huge indicator of a place for spirit. In looking at a script like this one spirit questions emerge What is Change What is Death and thats exactly what this script addresses. A bear shows up at the end of Act III and eats a man and if you were to look at it in a modern context where a man randomly is eaten by a bear it could be comedic. But if you were to look at it through the lens of spirit which is re- The King and his Fate from The Winters Tale WT0078 One of Three Fates in A Winters Tale WT0136 10 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 ally what I tried to do for this script direction this bear is not an accident. It is rather a culmination of everything that has happened up to that point where this man has made a terrible choice to go along with a terrible law he knows is wrong and there has to be divine justice for it. So the bear is actually an en- actment of all the pain and all the suffering that all these choices have brought together and created something bigger. The bear is actually more divine than it is physical. On a personal level as an artist thats the question I tend to gravitate toward How do we accept Change or Death We are afraid to take those steps and yet we crave a higher spiritual experience. CC So how did you get the actors in the frame of mind for those spiritual questions like in The Winters Tale with the bear VM A lot of it came down to discussing it dramaturgically. For example in Shakespeares time Fate would be understood as a physical force. Then all you had to do in the story was refer- ence it and it might as well be present. In todays society thats not so true. So for this play we actually chose to embody Fate physically in the form of these ethereal creatures that roamed the stage. The funny thing was I think without ever using spiri- tual or religious terms the actors were willing to embrace it on that level with storytelling. I think the story took them. We all have our stories and Im particularly interested in the stories we all share the Jungian archetypes and those things that bring us all together. Its actually so much easier to be divisive and it takes so much more energy to be inclusive. It takes so much more willpower and thought power just to look at somebody and say I see you. CC Say more about when you sit on the sidelines and give the actors agency and then watch the response of the audience. VM I dont believe the director is an artist in the traditional sense I believe we are curators for other artists. And if you take that role on and really embody that as a director you have to give the actors the room they need to make their own art. I know one of the most popular theories used in directing is this idea that I will tell you who you are what you are how you act and what that is. But if you want the actor to have the kind of experience thats more a one-to-one relationship with the question itself as a director you have to get out of the way. You have to allow the actor to use his own vessel and not put your imprint upon it. A show is a vehicle that requires many vessels to be operat- ing instantaneously with each other so my job is to guide and to make sure each one of these individual works of art can coex- ist in a way that services the story. I really believe in allowing them their artistic right and allowing them their practice and their own answers to these profound questionseven if the answers are not the ones I want. By their coming to their own answer the role becomes meaningful to them and they become invested in that role. Because we all have every character in us every archetype it will manifest differently for each person. And Im also there to be the conduit between what the playwright has written and what they get out of it. Part of my job is to give them the tools they need to take that embodiment on personally. And what Ive found is that it creates artists who want to tell the story its no longer a chore and they enjoy the experimentation. They enjoy asking the questions and even in some instances enjoy the frustration. Im just really there to set the groundwork so that each of these artists can come to the script with their own honest vitality. CC So thats the actors experience. What happens with the audience VM To me theater is a sacred space theres a community that watches and a community that enacts. And the commu- nity that watches is there to have a mimetic relationship in that they will have feelings and they will be brought to a higher understanding of some kind by witnessing somebody else going through this experience. CC So the depth that the actors can get to will pull the watchers along into their own deeper experience into that larger story in which we all exist. VM One of the worst things we can do to an audience is to lie to them. Because the minute we feel were lied to we shut down. So how can we truthfully work with these stories and with this audience As much as the audience gets to feed off the actors the actors do the same. So when the audience is with them and believes what is happening they become invested. And as that energy grows the actor becomes more invested. Theres nothing more wonderful than everyone in the room is thinking and feeling the same thing everyone having the same joy and the same sorrow. I think as a community thats how we heal and how we thrive. CC How do you see shamanism and a shamanic per- spective informing and inspiring your work VM I think the biggest thing shamanism has done for me is given me a language and a home for my instincts. Shaman- ism has provided a vehicle by which I could suddenly start to structure and utilize them. Once I started to see how ritual could work and how ritual has been used to heal and to move others I suddenly had a direction and some tools. For instance I would journey with a text in mind to try to get some perspective and direction I would use it as a personal tool to find my strength for any trepi- dations and fears. It also gave me some clarity on things that up until that time I had been afraid to talk about like seeing energy systems and being able to manipulate them. Shaman- ism gave me a way to recognize them as a legitimate force and something that I could use in a healthy manner. One of the challenges going forward has been how to bring shamanism out of a personal practice and let it be more produc- tive in my rehearsal spaces without it being something that creates difficulty for others. What amazes me is the more I bring it forward the more people are interested and want this. Its starting to grow and evolve in such a way that I recog- nize if I really practice what I preach my mission is to take on shamanic theater in my own fledgling theater. Were still in the 11 beginning stages of it taking on sacred spaces and sacred texts to really give them a place. Right now though a large part of that is to create a sacred container for the artists themselves. Because if they want to speak on something sacred I think they need to be ready to honor that and that includes having a personal practice that include this sense of forever evolving. CC So is this like an actors school or dojo as part of your fledgling theater company VM Kind of. What Im looking at is more of a place with discourse or instruction or whatever it is the artist needs. Its about mastery which is an ever-evolving state in which you are ask- ing yourself What dont I know What am I ready for next Wheres my edge And its a place where people can start to build the personal rituals they need that ground them and make them ready for what they do. CC Historically we had the mon- astery for spiritual initiation. In the monastery you had a safe place where you could fall apart and people would tend you and feed you and protect you. Your shamanic theater has some of that same feel. VM In Buddhism its said to not take on a koan without a teacher. You have to do the work but sometimes these answers are very difficult and hard and theres so much to be gained by having someone there ready to say its okay that it hurts its okay that its hard and its not a problem. Its not a sign that youve done something wrong but that youre developing. So I am making a space where actors can continue to evolve and to look at their craft not as a technician but as an artist as the shaman that Campbell talked about the one who is awake and ready to take on the responsibilities of these very important myths that are a part of these texts. What I love the most about shaman- ism is there is no myth outside our scope. We have the ultimate playbook because we are the playbook What better can there be ABOUT THE AUTHOR Virginia Monte is a theatrical director designer and theorist who has designed and developed theater for Off- Broadway Off-off-Broadway Regional and International Theater companies. Virginia is the Founder and Artistic Director ofWallbyrd a theatrical production company. She has an MA in Directing Classic and Contemporary Text from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a BA from Stetson University in Fine Art Painting with minors in Theater Art and Art History. In 2011 she was the National Youth Theater Awards recipient for Most Outstanding Costume Design. Cecile Carson is a shamanic scout who has been guided to collect stories about people bringing shamanism into western culture ininnovative ways. She now really gets it that spirit is everywhere and she has been seeing many new things through that lens. www. LESSONS in COURAGELESSONS in COURAGELESSONS in COURAGE NEW BOOK Peruvian Shamanic Wisdom for Everyday LifePeruvian Shamanic Wisdom for Everyday LifePeruvian Shamanic Wisdom for Everyday Life Respected Kamasqa Curandero from Peru Available at don Oscar Miro-Quesada don Oscar Miro-Quesada Walk a path of ancestral healing wisdom in the modern world. Learn the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition of curanderismo from don Oscars sanctioned teachers. SHAMANIC APPRENTICESHIP 12 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 S H A M A N I C P R A C T I C E For five years I lived near Monteverde in the Costa Rican rainforest encouraged to go there by my first teacher a woman of Lakota and Irish ancestry who told me I would learn much from the trees. My house was small made of wood and concrete like most Tico houses but I had painted the entire inside and outside myself each wall a different primary color. The local people called it the la casa de feliz cumpleanos.It looks like a birthday cake very happy they would remark. My transporta- tion for those five years was a horse I trained named Chispa who lived in the field outside my home. The small normally peaceful town of Santa Elena was a fifteen minute walk up the road. Now every night for two weeks an owl had been hoot- ing near my window. I had never heard such a loud hootit alerted the entire rainforest. On moonlit nights I could see that this owl was huge. It perched high in a tree near my kitchen but the sound was so loud it might have been right outside my bedroom. One day Nani my friend and nearest neighbor came to say this owl was bothering her that she had a bad feeling about it. Nani who often knew things thought the owl was a messenger of no good. The murders ripped through the innocence of Monteverde like a knife through silk changing the inner and outer landscape of the place forever. It was the worst crime in Costa Ricas his- tory. I was riding home on my horse Chispa when the first heli- copter appeared headed directly toward the town the chopping sound disturbing the usually peaceful mountaintop air. Chispa startled at the sound and raced toward the safety of home taking refuge under the barn roof. Helicopters never flew into Monteverde the valley with its shifting winds was too danger- ous and the 5000 foot altitude was too high to safely make a passage through the rainforest for landing. Then Nani came up the road crying. Nani never cried no matter what horrible things were said or done. She had a good big heart but she had learned to be tough as life on the moun- tain sometimes held cruel surprises. But this day she came crying and asked to come in. Nani short with deep almost-black eyes was my dearest friend on the mountain. We were like sisters walking together every morning having coffee together nearly every day. It was Nani who had taught me to cook take care of my garden and shop. Nani was also as silly as I and the two of us giggled and laughed easily. But this day Nanis tears flowed into her tea. Two Nicaraguan men had robbed the bank and taken twelve local people hostage. They were trapped in there in the bank unable to leave. Already three shots had been fired and rumor had it that three people had been killed in the first hour. The ongoing siege was on the news and we turned on the TV to watch. As the drama unfolded Monteverde was besieged by the media both local and national descending like vultures and Monteverde was filled with armed police trucks cameras and strangers. One of the robbers lay dead outside the bank steps perhaps shot by a local policeman. The locals were told to stay in their houses most of the town was cordoned off so they were forced to watch from a few blocks away. It was like watching a show from another planet. They witnessed a few of the hostages escape through a window in the rear of the bank and run for their lives into the surrounding forest. All through the night the whole town was paralyzed. No one knew who was alive who was in the bank. Frantic calls were made house to house until word got out. William the mailman was in the bank. The florist. More shots during the night. The next morning one of the bankers convinced the robber to come out hands up and thats when everyone learned of the nine dead people in the bank. They were all people known by everyone on the mountain. Good people kind ones who had simply been in the bank to take care of their financial affairs. And now they were dead. The town was in shock. Once the media and police thinned out people stood in the town center day after day through night time candlelit vigils whispering. Many were simply frozen showing no emotion. How could it be How could this have happened The government sent counselors who held meetings for any- one to attend. People began to unfreeze and the tears flowed. A memorial of poetry dolls flowers balloons prayers stuffed animals and written memories covered the entire downtown. Every day new prayers more poetry. Huge black ribbons ap- peared on doorways as people tried to get back to daily lifebut they couldnt. Then the funerals began funeral after funeral pierced by the calling of the birds the occasional rumble of thunder all of us standing numbly beside grave after grave. Owl Warning Healing a Costa Rican Community by Rebecca Singer 13 Monteverde was a small enough community that the absence of even one person was noticeable. Suddenly there were nine people gone. Three weeks after the event I was riding Chispa home when I suddenly felt I must go into the bank and clear out the energy. I had a strong feeling that some of those who had been shot still did not understand they were dead and needed an explanation. But the town was very Catholic and I did not want to offend the priest. Then I heard my beloved teachers voice in my head as clear as though she was right beside me riding next to me Go in and ask the bank manager. I tied Chispa to a post outside the bank and entered. It was near- ly closing time. I asked to speak to the manager and was granted permission to enter his office. He indicated I should sit in the chair opposite him. He was a small man with an ample stomach his shirt buttons nearly popping. He had kind eyes and he looked at me with curiosity. We had done business for four years now and he knew me to be a trusted client in the community. Con permiso tengo una pre- gunta un poquito differente With permission I have a question.... its a little unusual. He gestured for me to con- tinue. I explained that I was able to do the work of a curandera that I could clear the energy in the bank so that it would be lighter and easier for the people to work there and for the people in the town. I explained that everything I did would be in harmony with the church that I could do the work with others present maybe around closing time. I mentioned I might be singing lighting a candle and some sage walking around. And then I waited. He answered immediately and his response surprised me. His eyes filled with tears and he said he would be so grateful. That they could hardly breathe in there. That working was nearly impossible. When could I come to do the work In three days I answered. I will come in three days at 500 pm. And I am most grateful. No it is I it is we who are grateful. Just come in and all but a few will be done for the day. Thank you so much for offer- ing this to us. I was startled at his manner at how grateful he was it was as though he had been waiting for someone to ask. As I rode Chispa back to my house I began to see what must be done. My teacher had taught me how to enter the World of Spirits the world that had spontaneously opened to me as a child and often irritated and sometimes haunted me as a young adult. Now I had the tools to shut it down or open it and open it I did. I contacted a group of ten people on the mountain both locals and expatriates who practiced a form of Japanese healing similar to Reiki. I asked them to gather in a house to the north of the bank on the date I was going there and they agreed. I asked them to send light. Then I approached a group of Quakers who lived on the mountain and asked them if they would gather in a room down the street from the bank and be still and pray for those who had been killed. They agreed. I called healers from North America and asked them to drum at the time I would be in the bank and they agreed. Most importantly the sha- mans of Mt. Chirripo had taught me how to enter through deep meditation their sacred healing space and to ask for their help. I did this through a specific ritual and they agreed to assist me. Essentially I had the four directions covered groups and individuals holding protection and sending light from all four directions. Then I began my research on the history of the bank. I was not surprised to find that in the past on the same ground there had been a bar and that there was vi- olence and death associated with that bar. Before the bar there had been a house where a child burned to death. The ground itself had a history of death and violence. I asked all those involved not to speak about the cleansing that for their protection and mine it was best kept quiet. Also I did not want to be known for this work as it was not me but the combination of everyone that would make the bank clear. On the evening I entered the bank I had prepared with ritu- als of protection for myself and everyone involved. When I walked in I could see five bodies lying in pools of blood on the floor. Undead. This type of seeing was something I was born with and I was not surprised at the bodies I knew they were spirits. Unsettled. Not understanding. Shocked. Still not able to go. I sat among them vaguely aware of the three people left working in the bank who purposely ignored me. I knew I had to work in a way that would not alarm or offend the workers. Quietly I began by lighting a candle and clearing the space with a small bit of sage and juniper. I brought a large eagle feather to send the energy out and up into the sky where it could be transformed into light. I began explaining to the five souls what had happened to them. How the robbers had entered through what door and to each I explained that they had been shot and that they were dead and could go home to their god now. In fact I told them they must. So that life could go on. Their relatives were saying 14 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 goodbye they were in fact now buried in the ground so they would not be able to re-enter their bodies. They had to go. It was done. It was okay. They could go in peace. Their families knew they were dead. They must not stay there. Here. Here was a good light to look into. Watch. There were angels coming relatives who were already on the other side. They were to watch them as the dead came to greet them. Slowly one by one they left going into the light. I placed a small statue of Mary in front of me. I sat still till I could see the light begin to emanate from the center of the room and slowly spread inside the building into every crevice every darkened space into the earth deep and now circling the bank on the outside like a small hurricane of light. Then into the sky into the night time signaling to the stars that all was well on this tiny spot of earth that the spirits were at peace had gone home and It Was Done. I rose slowly after a long prayer of gratitude and closed the work. I did not know that several hours had passed and as I rose to leave I noticed that only the bank manager was left waiting for me. He was crying. Without words I hugged him and left walking down the street to the room where the people were gathered at the end of the street. I entered the small dark room and asked them what they had seen. Light they said. Light first coming from inside and then swirling around the outside of the bank and into the sky. I thanked them and said it was done. I felt faint and one of them offered me a ride home. After I entered my house I began vomiting again and again. Then spent I walked out into the night and listened to the night sounds. An occasional dove call or mot mot. Mostly crickets in chorus with tree frogs. I slept for a day and a night. A week later when I entered the bank I was delighted. The priest had brought a beautiful statue of Mother Mary to grace the corner of the bank. Large plants stood in the other corners. Local artists had hung gorgeous paintings on the bank walls. Behind each tellers window they now had tiny personal belong- ings pictures of their families. It was done. The owl was silent gone. I never heard that sound again as long as I lived in the Birthday Cake House. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rebecca Singer is a shaman trained in ancient healing ways whose 35-year journey has taken her to the very roots of shamanic traditions. She has been taught by shamans healers and teachers among the Lakota of Pine Ridge in South Dakota the indigenous tribespeople of the Costa Rican rainforests and the Reindeer People in the northern mountains of Mongolia all of whom accepted her and passed on to her the wisdom of their healing ways. Rebecca currently lives in upstate New York where she is at work on her memoir and she travels internationally offering ceremonies healing sessions and workshops. You can read more about Rebecca at 15 S H A M A N I C P R A C T I C E Introduction Since the mid 1990s Susan Grimaldi and John Lawrence Jr. have together been searching for and researching surviving traditional shamans. Their work has taken them to three conti- nents. The fruits of their labor have been preserved in photo- graphic video and audio recordings as well as in written form. The video recordings include face-to-face interactions conversa- tions interviews shamanic rituals and healing work. For the work presented here they began a quest to see if they could find practicing shamans among a nomadic tribe of reindeer herders called the Dukha AKA Tsaatan these people being the last remaining truly nomadic subsistence reindeer herders in the world. Just as they finished packing their gear and were preparing to begin the last leg of this expedition into the West Taiga John and Susan had the unexpected good fortune to meet a shaman from a different ethnicity the well known Darkhad shaman Erdene-Ochiz. The following findings were gathered during this expedi- tion to the Sayan Mountain Range in the remote outpost of Tsagaanuur located in northern Mongolia. We asked Erdene-Ochiz how he had become a shaman. He began When I was 13 years old I got frozen. He was attending a boarding school in a different town. He missed his family and hated school. One winter he tried to escape from the school and reach his home. On the way his ears and toes were deeply frostbitten. During his escape he was stricken with another serious ill- ness. Its a childhood illness known as the wind flower illness. He explained This illness got inside of my body and I got crazy. A rash appeared on my skin. I was told that I had become delirious with a high fever and had taken off all of my clothes. I was unconscious. He didnt remember any of this. Someone in a car found him naked lying beside the road.He was frozen so hard that his feet were as hard as wood. He laid in the hospital unconscious for fifteen days. When he awoke he remembered nothing only knowing that he was in the hospital. For three months he stayed there and during those months he had to have fluid aspirated from his chest and from behind his scarred ears. He lost some of his toes.Eventually though he got well. We wondered why he had run away from school and he told us I missed my home very much. I was not interested in school at all. I had tried to run away before and my family would catch me and send back to the school. We wanted to know what happened after his recovery and were told After I got well I had to go back to school. When I was at school I started foretelling the fortunes of my classmates. The teachers didnt understand me. They blamed me for doing these divinations and said that I was bad and doing wrong claiming that I was turning around the heads of my classmates. My teachers hit me beat me and threw me against the wall. Shamanism was prohibited and punished by the Soviet govern- ment. My teachers made me hit the wall because the society was against the shamanic traditions. They tried to take away my power and destroy me. So I stopped doing these shamanic practices under this pressure. I quit this kind of seeing.It was Meeting with Darkhad Shaman Erdene-Ochiz of Mongolia His Story and Description of a Special Tool for Extraction Healing by Susan Ross Grimaldi M.Ed. and John R. Lawrence Jr. PhD Erdene-Ochiz Darkhad Shaman Photo by John R. Lawrence Jr. 16 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 something I had to stop for a period. It was when I was 27 years old that I became a shaman in the real meaning of the term. He finished school married and had a family of his own. At the age of 20 he became insane.He ran away from his home and family. He ran away fifteen kilometers and preferred to be in the mountains in nature and alone.He became strange and couldnt be with regular people.This condition lasted for over a year. He doesnt remember that time well.He only remembers what he heard from other people. He ran through the valley and on occasion he would return to his home only to eat but then he would run away again. People couldnt recognize him because he had lost a lot of weight and seemed like a different person with a different appearance. He was really thin.He only wanted to be alone and to pray. An old shaman saw him jumping up and running away into the mountains and tried to make a shamanic re-pairment for him which we later understood to be the same as soul retrieval. With this help he made some improvement and after one year he stopped running away. That old shaman helped him to get back to life and regain his sanity. The old sha- man had told him that he needed to have some shamanic tools so he got three items a rattle a jaw harp and the Skys Arrow.His teacher made the jaw harp alive for him by whispering some powerful energy into it. A craftsman made a Skys Arrow for this sha- man which he still has and uses for extraction healing. Erdenes grandmother had been a shaman too. One of her students who had become a shaman informed Erdene that he had been chosen to become a shaman.During this initiatory pe- riod he began to dream of shamanic teachings learning directly from deceased ancestral shamans. As a tool the Skys Arrow has its origins in the Bronze Age. The length of the Skys Arrow is 7-10 inches 20cm. The point is sharp and the shaft is twisted into a spiral. The Skys Arrow as- sures that the shaman is always able to connect with the sky. He explained to us that The Skys Arrow is empowered by thunder and lightening and that the vibrations of the thunder and the power of the lightening can destroy an illness. He described how he uses the Skys Arrow for healing pa- tients. The Skys Arrow is used for getting out bad things. The helping spirit goes into my body and tells me what to do with the Skys Arrow. For instance he was instructed by the spirits to wipe the patients body clean using the Skys Arrow. If the person is having spasms or twitching the Skys Arrow needs to be wiped over them from head to foot and crosswise. I may be shown how to draw this bad out from somebody. He says that he often doesnt remember the healings Because when the spirit goes away I forget what I have done. He compared his shamanic healing journey to a dream saying It is like a dream. It is the spirit that knows. The Skys Arrow is a tool especially important for treating psychosis. He has treated many insane people successfully. He spoke about one man who had been insane for seven years. Dur- ing this period this insane man had two horses that he would tie together by their necks. He would stand on one saddle and then step across the moving horses to stand on both saddles. We asked why the insane man didnt fall off and he explained It was because while he was insane he was very good at communi- cating with the animals. During the healing for this man a helping spirit entered the shamans body enabling him to see the reason for the bizarre behavior. This was a case of shamanic poison. This insane person was an unusual person but he wasnt a shaman. The shamanic poison oc- curred because the patient had broken a taboo. He had offended nature and was experiencing punishment. In the healing process The Ongot spirit tells the shaman how to get rid of that shamanic poison so the person will be sane again. We understood Ongot spirits to be deceased shamans ancestors and nature spirits. During a healing the shaman calls on his many helping spirits and these go into his body. Erdene revealed Its like be- ing shifted. He said I have seven helping spirits. Almost all of them are old people spirits who already lived on the earth and have passed away. He told us that during a healing his soul goes out of his body as the spirits go into his body. We told Erdene that we had been informed that a few sha- mans in Mongolia practice black shamanism and we wanted to know if this is true and if so we wanted to know if he could explain why someone would do this.We had heard that in olden days there were two brothers who were both Darkhad shamans. They died in the 1960s. One shaman was white and one black. The black shaman would cause hardship and the white shaman would try to fix what his black shaman brother had caused. When the black shaman was still living every year on a particular day he required everyone in his community to pay him a visit and give him a valuable gift. Even the poorest person had to do Drawing of Skys Arrow by Erdene-Ochiz Darkhad Shaman Digital Image by John R Lawrence Jr. 17 this or they would die. He took advan- tage of everyone and did terrible things with his power. To this day people will not speak the name of this black shaman for fear of awakening his spirit. It was explained to us that the reason someone would practice these dark arts was because they were bad people something was not right in their mind. A person who enjoys making others suffer and manipulating others to their advan- tage has the behavior of a sociopath. He said that there used to be black shamans in the old times but nowadays he doesnt know whether they exist or not.But then he went on to say that he doesnt know about it directly but he knows that it does happen. He added that if a shaman is trying to do good and is working to heal a client it takes a long time but for a black thing it takes a short time. We wondered what happens to a black shaman asking if there are bad effects of doing bad things. He told us Bad things can affect the black shamans children or relatives like their brothers and sisters or the next generation. We asked him to tell us about his drum. He told us that shamans here never make their own drums. It must be another person who makes a drum for the shaman. Drum makers are special people. Some shamans make drums for other shamans but not for themselves.A drum maker must have knowledge about shamanism and know the ethics and rules for making drums. They use larch wood for the rim.The drumhead is made from a does skin. It must be from a two-year old female deer. A female deer usually gives birth when she is two years old but as for the skin for the drum the female deer should not yet have given birth. We told Erdene that we had seen shamans drums with objects tucked under the hide on the outside of the wooden hoop and we wanted to know about these bumps. We learned that these bumps are usually made of wood and that the size varies. These bumps are part of the shamans regalia and signify the shamans rank.A young or new sha- man starts with small bumps. When that shamans rank is higher and he becomes more skillful and powerful then the bumps will be bigger. We asked Erdene if he has an impor- tant message that he wants for us to con- vey when we return to our homeland. He hesitated only a moment before saying The most important thing when becom- ing a shaman is that for the first three years the shaman doesnt do any healing for others because the shaman needs time to mature in their understanding and grow in their abilities. He compared it to when a baby is born saying It needs time to grow up and start to walk. It takes time for a shaman to be ready. The first year just after becoming a shaman if they start to do something its like just after being born trying to run or walk it cant be. These shamans are not good for the people because they are not yet a matured shaman. He cautioned This could result in more suffering for the client. The shaman must learn step by step to become powerful and helpful for people. He was curious about us and wanted to know if we are shamans researchers or if we are delegates from an organization wanting to protect the shamans rights. We told him that we are research- ers and that we practice shamanism. We explained that we are working to preserve shamanic knowledge and that we would be contributing our findings to the Foundation for Shamanic Studies Shamanic Knowledge Conservatory and that it would be protected and preserved for future generations. ABOUT THE AUTHORS John R. Lawrence Jr. PhD is a Cultural Anthropologist explorer documentary videographer and photographer specializing in the research of traditional shamans. His fieldwork has led him to China Tuva the Amazon Basin Estonia and Mongolia where he worked to record and preserve the practices of these tribal traditional healers. He co-produced three documentaries and has published numerous articles. He is a shamanic practitioner counselor and licensed massage practitioner living in Seattle WA. john Susan Ross Grimaldi M.Ed is a dedicated ethnographic researcher committed to cultural preservation specializing in AudioVisual Documentation. Susan was born into the Choctaw Nation and is a highly respected internationally renowned Native American shaman based in Montpelier Vermont. Her fieldwork has been ground breaking and pivotal for catalyzing the reemergence of shamanism in China. Her dedication to cultural preservation has led her to the Amazon basin in Brazil rural China and to the most remote northern taigas of Mongolia where she filmed shamanic traditions. Actual Energy Clearing June 1214 Sedona AZ Oct. 2325 Portland OR Ancestral Healing Clearing Cultural Illness Nov. 68 Portland OR LAST MASK CENTER FOR SHAMANIC HEALING Explore the medicine of the Healer and Death intimacy with spirit and faith in your calling. Year One progresses from learning shamanic skills to their direct application in actual energy clearing working effectively with power objects and sacred space and true intimacy with your helping spirits. The Cycle gives you access to mentorship teleseminars and ayni-based membership in Last Mask Community. July 510 2015 COD Ranch outside Tucson AZ presents The Cycle Teachings Shamanism for the New World with shaman author teacher Christina Pratt For registration and more information visit lastmaskcenter.orgcalendar 18 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 E S S A Y The temple and light column work that have been revealed to me over the last several years convinces me that ancients from many cultures are gifting us with their secrets. The light column work and temple work are just two aspects of that secret knowl- edge. These spiritual allies are giving us a template for the next 26000 years so we can build a future not just for our children and grandchildren but for generations to come. This article describes how I was initiated in this work and how it is being used. It discusses some of ancient knowledge contained in this wisdom. Then I explore why it is being re-remembered now and how people are participating. Spontaneous Initiation I had been asking my spiritual team How else can I help the Earth When I journeyed they replied Put in light col- umns. But what did that mean How would I do that Then after closing up the house one chilly night I sat in my easy chair to meditate. For some years this has been my practice. I give thanks make my offerings and often sing to my spiritual helpers. I had just settled in and taken a few deep breaths I slipped quickly into an altered state. Quite suddenly I was inside a ceremonial structure filled with light. Excitement and fear raced through me. My body was being infused with power and filled with light. as quickly as it came it was gone. My heart was racing my body pulsing. I felt honored and humbled but what had just happened Over the next weeks I asked my spiritual team that question. I was introduced to the Egyptian god Horus who told me he was the spiritual being in charge of the light column work. He instructed me in a two-minute process to install a light column for healing the Earth. Then he told me how to install such col- umns anywhere on the Earth. He suggested that I ask for a new spiritual team for my light column work separate from my team I use for regular shamanic work. It now consists of an animal a tree spirit an ancestor and Horus. The light column initiation involves a sigil which is a symbol that has a magical purpose. I was excited but was I making all this up I called a clair- voyant friend of mine. She came over to watch me as I did the process silently with a map on my lap. I told her nothing about what I was doing. She remarked You are building a column of light and then its going in to the Earth. That was eight years ago. But where was this wisdom coming from Could there have been a spiritually and technologically advanced culture whose ancient teachings are now being accessed Why was this being revealed now One Ancient Culture I found part of the answer in cartographer Charles Hap- goods book Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings of the Ice Age Evi- dence of Advanced Civilization in the Ice Age. He has discovered ancient maps. Hapgood states As our studies extended from map to map we accumulated more and more evidence of an ancient exis- tence in an era long before Greece of spherical trigonometry and its application to map-making. Hapgood p. 183. Through Hapgoods meticulous research he infers that there must have been one ancient seafaring civilization that was the root of many major world cultures. In addition to being spiritually sophisticated these sea-going people had knowledge of longitude and latitude spherical trigonometry and higher mathematics they knew the Earth was round. What was this ancient civilization Some call it Atlantis Mu or Lemuria but evidence shows it may have existed 11000 years ago. Although it is not possible to confirm that certain cultures came from Atlantis some scholars present convincing evidence. Clues exist throughout the world. In the jungles of South America Hapgood asserts explorers have found remnants of ancient pyramids from long before the Inca that predate the Egyptian ones and that could have been built by this culture. The Cherokee tell stories of their ancestors who came from what they called Elohi Mona or Atlantis according to Dhyani Ywahoos Voices of our Ancestors Cherokee Teachings from the Wis- dom Fire. Tracing their origins from the Pleiades the Cherokee are a star people who came to islands in the Atlantic they called Atlantis. Ywahoo reports The islands and civilization of Elohi Mona were eventually destroyed through the arrogance and ignorance of those who abused sacred power...This went against the ele- ments holding the people and islands together and thus the islands broke up and the great migrations began. Ywahoo p. 11 Temple Keepers of the Americas who existed before the time of Christ trace their migrations to Atlantis. Ywahoo asserts that Architects Of The Future by Jill Raiguel MFT 19 these temples had no interior light they were lit up by seven to twelve wise people who sat in them. One could only become a Temple Keeper after demonstrating ones ability to create this Light for the community. After I had drafted this piece I journeyed and asked my Atlantean spiritual teacher for his comments. He said that by the time Atlantis sank the spiritual leaders had mastered extrasen- sory skills and the healing arts. They could even manipulate the weather. Priests and priestesses who still worked in the light encoded the sacred teachings to be retrieved in the future. That time is now. Ancient Knowledge We know that some ancient cultures remembered their soul purposes and technologies better than others Egyptians Atlanteans Hawaiians Peruvians Cherokee Hopi. But strife and lack of cooperation led to their physical destruction. Some shamans healers and priests preserved their deep spiritual teach- ings but found their societies were not ready and responsible to use them. In some cases individuals and adepts took care to hide these important teachings until the time was right for future humans to uncover and use them. The Tibetan Buddhist word for these secrets is terma a hidden bundle of ancient teachings or buried treasure. A person who is born with the destiny for recovering a bundle of teach- ings and making it available to the world is called a terton. Here are a few examples of people being downloaded spiritual teachings. Sharon McErlane in her book A Call to Power relates her experiences with the Council of Grandmothers a group of non- ordinary reality beings who have come to help women and men balance their yin and yang. They assert that part of the problem in Western culture is that we are too yang focused and we need to call forth our yin energy. In his book The Bowl of Light Dr. Hank Wesselman shares with readers the description given by Hawaiian kahuna and shaman Hale Makua of what Makua called the Great Ancestral Plan set in motion tens of thou- sands of years ago to be activated as we end one age and began another. Nicki Scully and Linda Star Wolfe share the power of the heart initiation of ancient Egypt in their book Shamanic Mysteries of Egypt. These are just three examples of spirit gifting us with ancient wisdom crucial to our personal and planetary transformation. Secret teachings are being re-remembered because of the critical time in which we live. They can contribute to our power and wisdom bring us solutions and guidance and perhaps as- sist in insuring a new age of peace. The Egyptian light column teachings are such teachings perhaps as much as 16000 years old according to our teachers in the spirit realms. Collaborative Shamanism Veteran shamanic practitioner and another light column in- structor Marta Boyett who lives in Eugene Oregon and I who live in Southern California developed a way of working together using shamanism over the phone to erect light columns. This collaborative model was born out of spiritual helpers telling us that one person was not enough to address certain world issues. It takes a team but how to be a team when light column people are located all over the US So we created our monthly calls. During the last eight years the light column practitioner group has grown to over a hundred people living all over the country. Although we have had three annual conferences in Death Birth The journey of lovers 8th SCGMSS Residential AnimistShamanic Conference Gathering Easter Seals Camp Squamish BC Canada Wednesday 4th Sunday 8th May 2016 - Pre-conference Monday 2nd Tuesday 3rd CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS Closing date for submissions 12noonPST July 15th 2015 Guillermo Bedregal A Bolivian revolutionary said this To make your love fit something would have to die in the world. Birth contains the journey of death and Death the journey of birth. For something to come in to being something else must leave. It might be thought that Death and Birth are twin lovers yet in truth they are together the act of love. It is sung that the soul that does not sing of death is not living and the dead that do not sing of living cannot be reborn. We gather to make a love that fits information on the gathering previous gatherings and to submit Please view httpcircleofgreatmystery.org2016-death-birth or email 20 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 Oregon we do gather monthly on free to the participants. We sit in sacred circle and journey out loud focusing on a global issue or area that we are called to. That could be the racial violence in Ferguson Missouri a plane crash the California drought or last summers wild fires. As directed by our spiritual teams we use the various light column tools we have been given. Initially Marta or I lead the call but now we have trained others so we rotate the leadership and responsibil- ity. Calls are about one hour. I find them very nourishing and satisfying as well as a way to stay connected to people I dont get to see very often. The process of installing an energetic light column is an easy process that takes a few minutes after an initiation by a light column instructor. It is a sacred process that is taught to people when they are initiated. As we have installed light columns Horus and other beings have given us other tools as well. These include light curtains girds of power protection of support a re-generation of species process a healing for trees and plants. As my spiritual team has instructed we can install any or all of the light columns tools in a person as well as on the land. To me these columns look like beams of light. Recently a light work practitioner who was called to do light work for the fires in the West was shown how to install a water light curtain and a water light blanket to help the burning land. It seems that as we have a need our spiritual teams create a technique for healing that need. When one of us is given a new light column tool we share it with everyone else. A spirit helper supervises each light techniques they include Isis Osiris Thor and Neptune. Spirit has told us that these energetic light columns raise the vibration of not only the Earth but also the humans beings installing them. There are now nine of us who are light column instructors who can initiate any open-hearted healthy person who has a passion for helping the Earth. In an effort to share this work with more like-minded folks Marta Boyett Susan Brietmann and I initiate any other shamanic practitioner on the phone no charge. It takes about 45 minutes. If people are interested in the work we ask them to journey to their helping spirits to see if it is right for them. Temples of Light I thought that light column work was enough to keep me busy for years but spirit had other plans. Starting in April 2011 an energetic temple was installed on my property. To double check our perceptions of the Temple process Marta Boyett and I sat together in journey mode on the phone. We were so exhila- rated and overwhelmed with surges of love and power we had to take breaks to assimilate what was happening. Shortly after that a second temple was built in non-ordinary reality on Martas property in Eugene. I asked my spiritual team what was next. They wanted more temple hosts. Marta and I made a list of shamanically trained folks doubled-checked these names with spirit and then asked each person if they were interested. First they asked their own spirits helpers if this was right for them. Then each person was to detoxify and strengthen. For me that meant swimming and detox foot baths. To date over 60 people have volunteered to host temples. Some needed to fast others took certain baths others adhered to a certain eating program some needed to walk swim run do yoga or practice judo. As of this date there are temples installed throughout the US Central and South America China Japan Australia and Europe. Every temple appears to be unique whether like a pyramid or rectangular with columns or stone in structure or made of crystals. There are 200 plus temples world-wide. As these magnificent structures are built and are instructing each temple host I have more questions than answers. Who was directing this temple project I would soon find out. The Master Temple Keeper One morning I saw inwardly a long time member of my spiritual team. I greeted him with respect and honor and yes curiosity. He said I am the keeper of the template of these temples. I am from Atlantis. I was thunderstruck. I had met this spiritual teacher in a past-life regression almost 40 years ago. I did man- age to ask a couple of questions before I had to focus in ordinary reality and see my days clients. You have been at my side as a guide for all these years why are you just telling me this now I asked aloud. It was not time yet We -- you and I -- agreed to do this when Atlantis was sinking he said. I was overwhelmed but his broad smile and kind twinkle in his eye was reassuring. I was so excited that I floated through the day of client sessions. Temple Purpose and Function Each temple appears to have a distinct purpose and that purpose directly correlates to its hosts life purpose. For ex- ample I am a life long teacher I have taught high school and college and continue to teach in my private practice. My temple in Southern California is the Teaching Temple it looks like a step pyramid. It serves as the incubator for all the other temples. Tonilee Hansons temple covering the Spokane River and aqui- fer spreading over 100 square miles is the Water Temple. In her everyday life she is director of the water board that protects that area and she and her life partner run the Spokane River Project that is dedicated to cleaning up the Spokane River. Hers serves as a healing temple and generates energy for the other temples. Susan Brietzmanns is a Healing Temple since she is a Reiki Master. Although the temples have special functions they ALL seem to act as a healing temple. In my experience the temple heal- ings are much faster than other shamanic processes. How this happens I dont know but I have personally experienced deep healing. And others have reported similar healings. 21 Hosts learn what their temples can do and provide. One host said Each tem- ple is analogous to a computer. Just as a computer has many programs that ac- complish different tasks so temples have multiple functions. They are like power stations many have libraries within their structures most have terma embedded in them and they act as portals. By that I mean I can use my temple as a launch pad to non-ordinary realities times and dimensions. The portal also allows light beings avatars and teachers to come here and assist in our transformation. The Siberian Ossuary To illustrate how one temple came into being Ill explain how the Temple of the Bones came about. I had seen in one of my journeys a Siberian shaman who had a box he called an ossuary. I did not know that word they said look it up on line. It means a box usually about two feet long to hold a persons bones. But why a box for bones and why from Siberia I have no ancestor connection to that region of the world and very little knowledge of Siberia. So I waited until the mystery revealed itself. My mentor and friend Dr. Betty Kovacs was the key. I knew she had traveled the world extensively and I recalled she had made a trip to Siberia. And I wanted to know more specifically about that trip. At one of our lunches she began We traveled to Altai an autonomous region between Mongolia and Siberia. That region is said to be the center of shamans. The village of Kamlak in Altai is where Siberian shamans met. I asked her about ossuaries and bones. She told me that for Siberian shamans there is great power in bones. I came home and journeyed to Altai and a Siberian shaman was there to greet me. He took me inside a yurt he called the Temple of the Bones. He told me that he and his colleagues are standing with us as are the great shamans and spirits of many traditions because the earth and all of humanity has such great needs. Within the teachings that these bones and the temples are housing are many of the solutions. Anyone can journey to the Altai Temple of the Bones that looks like a yurt. Go inside and have yak butter tea and chat about Siberian wisdom with the shamans there. The Powder River Temple The Powder River Temple came about through a series of journeys that started when I reviewed Hank Wesselmans training as my spiritual team suggested. Poised on the edge of the Pacific Ocean the training was at Big Sur in a mag- nificent setting. Giant cliffs crashing surf inspirited land. During one of the journeys I was inwardly dancing around a council fire as a Native American medi- cine man. I could see several other tribal chiefs around the fire. Then I looked across the fire and saw a white man. It was General O. Otis Howard the great- uncle of a friend of mine. I was amazed. I had read General Howards autobi- ography about his work with the Ameri- can Indians in the 1870s. After losing his right arm in the Civil War at the battle of Fair Oaks he was commissioned by President Ulysses S. Grant to make peace with the Indians. Howard made several what had to be very arduous trips to the American West to meet with Chiefs of many tribes including Black Kettle Red Cloud Cochise and Chief Joseph. These fellow warriors grew to trust Howard as an honorable man. As a result Howard was very successful in brokering peace agreements. Indians even gave him many ceremonial objects clubs bead work arrows and tribal clothing much of which is at the Smithsonian or at Howard University. Tragically by the late 1800s the next troop of white soldiers slaughtered the Indians. In his autobiography Howard relates that at the end of his life even though he was a decorated war hero had started the Freedmans Bureau for freed slaves and founded Howard University he felt he had failed the Indians. With that as background I journeyed 22 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 for more information after the workshop. In my minds eye with my eyes open I saw Howard in a white muslin long- sleeved shirt slumped over. He seemed entangled in white web- bing. General Howard told me he felt he had failed failed to make the peace. A new power animal a tarantula began eating away all the webbing. Howard stood up smiling. Spontaneously I began to address him Thank you for the red man for the white man for the black man. You led an exemplary life of service to your country to men and women of all races. I was crying. With tears in his eyes he kissed me on the cheek. Then two angels appeared and took him to the light. Several days later in journey mode I saw Red Cloud Black Kettle and my spirit helper Red Eagle... and General How- ard. As one voice they said We want a temple for peace...for peaceful relations between all peoples. It will help us fulfill our promise to make a lasting peace.... at the Powder River fifty miles south of the WyomingMontana border. Why the Powder River When I looked it up on line I discovered that that river was the scene of Red Clouds War. Now a spiritual place it is open to all who want to strengthen their peaceful relationships. In non-ordinary reality anyone can dance around the tipi or bathe shamanically in the river or whatever ones spiritual team directs them to do. Earths Template The spirit helpers of the temples relate that the teachings and knowledge of the various terma will be revealed in time but what do the temples themselves provide I had another conversation with Dr. Kovacs mythologist and retired Pasa- dena City College Professor. She related her thoughts about the temple installations. She said Perhaps these current Temple Keepers as well as thousands of others are igniting the Earths new energetic pattern. Perhaps these energetic temples are helping set the pattern for the Earths new template. Since so much negative destructive energy is rampant on the planet building of the temples can be a conduit for positive love energy to flow into time and space and stabilize matter. Temples are like anchors for peace harmony and good. Hale Makua Hawaiian shaman stated in Wamea Hawaii The end of 2012 marks the end of a 26000 year cycle 2013 begins another 26000 year cycle that can be an age of peace harmony and prosperity for all. We who are awake can set the pattern for that to occur. We are those people. Re-designing Our Future But what about the Earth What about the future Dr. Kovacs had some answers. Since the Temple work started Betty has been and continues to be a wonderful support. She adds her vast knowledge of ancient cultures as we dine. She explained that the ancient stone circles and sacred temples all over the world were built on ley lines and power centers where the Earths magnetic energy came together and was especially powerful. These structures were built in align- ment with astronomical and natural cycles of the stars sun and moon. On the surface they may appear to be simple but they certainly were not. They required complex mathematical calculations to execute. So when a man or woman stood in these temples they were empowered with tremendous energy and were aligned with the natural forces. Dr. Kovacs described a journey she had to the Earth Mother who said Create your world to keep me well. As the ances- tors of our descendants seven generations from now we are the keepers of the wisdom for them. Let us create with our spiri- tual allies a world of peace health and prosperity for all life. Sources Bruyere Rosalyn. Wheels of Light Chakras Auras and the Healing Energy of the Body. New York Fireside Books 1989 p. 18. Hapgood Charles. Maps of the Sea Captains of the Ice Age. Kempton Ill. Adventures Unlimited Press 1996 p. 181. Kovacs Betty. Miracle of Death Claremont Ca. Kamlak Center 2003. Personal interviews August 21 2011 and April 19 2014 Ingerman Sandra and Wesselman Hank. Awakening to the Spirit Realms Paths of Direct Revelation. Boulder Colorado. Sounds True 2010. Makua Hale talk by Makua at Visionseeker 2 Waimea Hawaii August 2001. McErlane Sharon. A Call to Power The Grandmothers Speak. Laguna Ca. Net of Light Press 2006. Raiguel Jill. Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery for the Genius. Nashville Tenn. Charity Channel Publisher 2015. Scully Nicki and Star Wolfe Linda. Shamanic Mysteries of Egypt Awakening the Healing power of the Heart. Rochester Vt. Bear and Co. 2007. Wesselman Hank. Bowl of Light Ancestral Wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman. Boulder Colorado. Sounds True 2011. Yawhoo Dyani. Cherokee Teachings of the Wisdom Fire. Boston Mass. Shambhala Publications1986. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jill Raiguel Author of Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery for the Genius Jill Raiguel MFT is a psychotherapist at Kohut Psychiatric medical Group in San Bernardino Ca. and she has a private soul retrieval practice. She conducts workshops in the light column and temple work as well as the alternative work she uses in her therapy. Visit jillibean. com or 23 A beautifully crafted and inspiring work...Read this book Alberto Villoldo Ph.D bestselling author of Shaman Healer Sage and One Spirit Medicine. Itzhak Beery is a master storyteller...inspire us to tap into our shamanic potential. Brilliant book Sandra Ingerman author of Soul Retrieval and Walking in Light The Everyday Empowerment of Shamanic Life ...offers clear teachings as well as riveting testimonials about what becomes possible when we walk this path with humility reverence and discipline...I love this book Hank Wesselman Ph.D. anthropologist and author of The Spiritwalker Trilogy the award-winning Awakening to the Spirit World and the Bowl of Light The wonderful message of Itzhak Beerys excellent that everyone has the shaman with- in....Beerys gift to readers is his deep understanding of what makes a shaman and how a shaman lives in this confusing world. Even better his story teaches us to trust the visions of the spirit world. Tom Cowan author of Fire in the Head and Yearning for the Wind Be amazed and inspired. Above all be open to your own powers. John Perkins bestselling author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Shapeshifting The Gift of Shamanism Visionary Power Ayahuasca Dreams and Journeys to Other Realms By Itzhak Beery Foreword by John Perkins 16.95 ISBN 9781620553725 Itzhak Beery is the founder of cofounder of the New York Shamanic Circle and he is on the faculty of New York Open Center. Beery is an internation- ally recognized shamanic healer and teacher. He was initiated into the Circle of 24 Yachaks by his Quechua teacher in Ecuador and by Amazonian Kanamari Pag. He has also trained intensively with other elders from South and North America. Praises for The Gift of Shamanism Available Wherever Books are Sold 24 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 E S S A Y Originally in traditional societies doctoring was of a femi- nine nature I am sure though I wasnt there or maybe I was. That is to say that doctoring was by its nature receptive and listening. Our modern medicine has become overly masculin- ized with technology and prescriptions that are often based on a masculine functional idea of one size fits all. The problem is that health is more individual than that especially on the road of manifestation into a condition. However the feminine is still alive and finding a resurgence in the energy based healing arts which I have practiced for over 35 years Craniosacral and Polar- ity therapies. Both Craniosacral and Polarity therapy started with Dr. Andrew Taylor Still MD DO who originated Osteopathy in the late 19th century. He believed that every cell in the body was imbued with a spiritual intelligence. Likewise in the aboriginal worlds where I have participated they believe that all things have their own innate intelligence and deserve to be regarded as sentient. One of Andrew Taylor Stills students was Dr. William Garner Sutherland DO the originator of cranial osteopathy. He determined that this spiritual intelligence had a pulsation to it that emanated from the core of the brain and spine which he called the breath of life. Wherever the pulsation was healthy there was health and where it was impeded there was disso- nance and the beginnings or presence of pathology. He arrived at this thought under Stills tutelage. This work is the basis for todays Craniosacral therapy. Another student of Andrew Taylor Still a contemporary of Sutherland was Dr. Randolph Stone DO DC ND who determined that this pulsation was animated by life energy as it pulsed through the soft and hard tissue of the body. He believed that this pulsation was the emanation of our spirit and soul as it made its way through the process of evolution or the coming into being. He called the system he originated Polarity the Vital Element in the Healing Art. In my personal journey some 35 years ago when I had been practicing yoga meditation and the martial arts and was feeling nourished by something that I only vaguely understood I met a young man who introduced me to Polarity. He rubbed his hands together and pulled them apart encouraging me to do the same. When I did so I was amazed by what I felt between my hands. It was like electricity it had a pulsation and a magnetic type of feeling and I became excited and deeply intrigued. I had never quite had that experience of myself with such ease. That led me to study Polarity and Craniosacral therapies and make them my lifes work. Since then I have done about 35000 sessions trained thousands of students throughout the world and have been an avid student practitioner teacher and mentor of the energetic healing arts. On this journey my life was transformed. My relation to my own life energy and to others had been awakened. I discovered that everything had its own intelligence or pulsation and that it loved it when I thought that and behaved like that. In fact I found that the more I regarded life as though it were a sentient being the more it responded with enthusiasm and with my own self-empowerment. I started to feel that the less I did the more life just unfolded naturally and healthily. Whatever a client would bring me whether it was a broken bone a headache depression cancer bulging discs etc. it was always a similar process where I would sit and listen as if lifes intelligence was speaking through the issues and health of the client consciously and unconsciously. The more I listened and honored the intel- ligence the more the client seemed to unfold and unravel the blockages in their body and life bringing about changes to their life and body that I could not have imagined. This kind of lis- tening began to permeate my work in the energetic healing arts with clients students and teachers and then my relationships. At first I began to use the language of Holding Space in my classes. I thought I had discovered the idea although in hindsight I believe those words were ready to come to many people. At one point I met a North American aboriginal teacher with whom I was called from afar to study during a week of ritual and ceremony. Before I met him I dreamed that I would do so and that it would greatly influence my life. When the time came to meet him I was so excited waiting to hear what he would tell me. Like a child learning a new lesson I was feel- ing a bit awkward. I waited and waited for the teaching and The Holding Space Method Underlying Shamanic Aspects of Polarity and Craniosacral Therapy by Gary Strauss 25 there was only silence. He didnt say anything. And when I real- ized he wasnt going to say anything verbally the awkwardness became magnified. As time went on in our journey however the silence became nourishing and the lesson I received was about stillness. In stillness there seemed to be no need for discussion. I soon felt like I was hearing him loud and clear. I lost the need to have a transmission with words. In fact the stillness seemed to open something vital that could only be sourced through emptiness. In Craniosacral unwinding that stillness is the beginning of the process that allows the body to unwind unfurl and find healing in the places that have become tight and restrictive. Our modern astrophysicists and particle physicists have postulated that the known universe is but 4 of what exists and that the other 96 can only be accessed through an empty doorway of darkness. In fact their process is about contemplating that darkness to find the artifacts of reality that animate the world we perceive. This has been my journey with the human body and its various dimensions as well. Throughout my journey I have been amazed at the parallel principles that exist between physics traditional western sci- ence aboriginal attunement to life and wisdom and the work of Craniosacral and Polarity therapies. Dr. Stone who was my mentor would say that the infinite within is ever expanding that it is a statement of how we are being expressed physiologi- cally from something unseen that is vaster and more potent. My work has seemed to be based on this part of the human cosmic energetic continuum of life that the unseen animates the known world with a potency a force that is capable of altering our world. Likewise I have had experiences spending time with shamans where I found that they live outside their culture they are with it not of it. They serve as mediators between the known 4 and the unknown 96. Similarly in my way with all of this I have found a path that works that is between the worlds. It is almost as if I were negoti- ating between the larger and the smaller to bring about a natural cure or way for the people I work with. In the Toltec tradition I understand they believed that the seeker of truth or spiritual aspirant needed to wake up each day and make war on encul- turation. They believed that the culture of society had an insan- ity to it that you needed to avoid. Einstein would later say that you cannot heal the problem of an entity from within the system that created the problem. It takes someone from outside to help it to right the ship. My brother in fact has made an incredible living for himself by being a consultant to large hospital chains. He goes in and helps them do the things they need to do that they cannot do on their own because they are so entwined within the system. And every time he brings them from the red to the black and helps them find their way back to integrity. I actually do the same thing. I just do it with energy finding where the energy needs to right itself to restore integrity to the persons system. Dr. Stone always said that energy has intel- ligence and a direction that it needs to flow in. The wise person sees this and assists nature in doing its job the nature cure. It seems that this is also the way shamans work. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Gary B. Strauss MS RPP PWE is a Master Practitioner and Instructor of Polarity Therapy and CranioSacral Unwinding. Gary has helped thousands of people find greater health and well-being with his work and mentoring. His educational programs have uplifted many students to greater levels of skill self-awareness empowerment and deep understanding of the Principles of Life Energy. Garys unique perspective on healing energy and holding space is original and profound and he is known for his compassion and devotion to helping people through his work. He has over thirty years experience in the Energy Medicine field and is the founder and director of the Life Energy Institute and Polarity Healing Arts of California. 26 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 It seems that the origins of Osteopathy created by Dr. An- drew Taylor Still MD DO 1828-1917 in the late nineteenth century indeed lie in traditional American Indian bodywork. I use the term American Indian as used by AIM in the Ameri- can Indian Movement. We know now that among the natives of this land there was a healing tradition that combined a form of osteopathic massage and manipulation with energy and narra- tive work.1 In fact Dr. Still whose family was from southwestern Virginia where the territory was traditionally Shawnee and Cherokee lived among the Shawnee for many years on their res- ervation in Kansas where the tribe was forcibly relocated in the nineteenth century. Stills father was a missionary and a physician to the Shawnee and starting in 1853 Still assisted him for a number of years as part of his medical training. Earlier however in Tazewell County Virginia in the late 18th century where the territory was strongly contested by the native inhabitants the Cherokee and the Shawnee Dr. Stills family of settlers had al- ready had several momentous encounters of a different nature with the Indians. In the struggle over owner- ship of the land a number of Stills ancestors had lost their lives and others were taken captive. His mater- nal grandfather had been captured at age fourteen by Shawnee Indian Chief Black Wolf in an Indian raid on the homestead and taken to live with the Shawnee in Ohio. Then in a subsequent raid Stills great grandfather was killed with three of the children and Stills great grandmother was taken captive with the remain- ing children and later killed also during the journey north. Stills grandfather was eventually rescued after being sold into slavery to a French trader and he returned to Virginia after a few years.2 Nevertheless it would seem that destiny had in mind a continuing connection between Stills family and the Indians for Andrew Taylor Still and his father are reported to have developed an excellent relationship with the descendants of those same Shawnee in Kansas. Still lived with his wife and children on a farm on the Shawnee reservation for a number of years plowing the land with oxen growing corn and is said to have learned the Shawnee language fluently while he helped with doctoring the Shawnee.3-6 Later when Dr. Still became a recognized physician and surgeon although he never said where he had learned his musculoskeletal and organ massage techniques which he called Osteopathy he is known to have alluded to the bone-setting methods of the Shawnee at least once as reported by the director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in a lecture who added that Still often used the phrase Tak- ing an Indian look at something. Forgetting what you know and just to quietly observe with no thoughts. This was followed by a quote from Stills Auto- biography7 All Nature seemed to wait in hushed expectancy. With the iron hand of will I barred the gates of memory shut out the past with all its old ideas. My soul took on a receptive attitude my ear was tuned to Natures rhythmic harmony.8 Indeed Dr. Still lived his life like the Native Indians by a nature- centered belief.9 And when he started his medical practice he advertised himself as a magnetic healer and lightning bonesetter before naming his methods Osteopathic Medicine.10 Today much of the traditional healing of the American Indians has been lost because the Christian missionaries called it Traditional American Indian Bodywork the Origin of Osteopathy Polarity and Craniosacral Therapy by Nita M. Renfrew 27 devil worship. However what has survived in pockets around the country along with Zuni and Navajo healing and bone- setting is Cherokee bodywork which was surely similar to Shawnee practices since they were neighboring tribes in Vir- ginia. Cherokee Bodywork today is practiced and taught by Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona MD PhD of Cherokee and Lakota heri- tage professor at a number of colleges and universities most recently Dartmouth Maine medical researcher and author of many books including Coyote Medicine. His thesis along with some of his colleagues is that Dr. Still learned much of what would become Osteopathy during his years assisting his father in his medical duties among the Shawnee. Dr. Mehl-Madrona who is seeking to honor and preserve Cherokee Bodywork came to this conclusion after experiencing and seeing the many similarities between Cherokee Bodywork and Osteopathy. Interestingly this would indicate that the origins of both Craniosacral and Polarity therapy also lie in traditional American Indian bodywork since both Dr. William Garner Sullivan DO 1873-1954 the originator of Cranial Osteopa- thy the foundation for todays Craniosacral therapy and Dr. Randolph Stone DO DC ND 1890-1981 the originator of Polarity therapy were Andrew Taylor Stills students. Cherokee bodyworkers reports Mehl-Madrona who learned the method from two traditional Cherokee women are masters at working with energy and the breath and they also move cranial bones seeking the ridges albeit with more force than Craniosacral practitioners. They do this along with osteopathic-like massage and manipulation of musculoskeletal tissues organs and joints as well as acupressure on points and energy channels that in fact correspond to the meridians. They combine all this with gentle rocking and with narrative healing both verbal and energetic using story telling and dialogue with the musculo- skeletal system and with the client and intense breathwork to restore spirit to all parts of the body when giving treatments that they commonly refer to as doctoring. There is in addition a very important spiritual component to Cherokee Bodywork which can appear as elements of tra- ditional ritual and ceremony which might mean using smoke offering herbs such as sweet grass cedar sage and tobacco feathers crystals imagery and intent to move energy and work with the spirit world or prayer. Interestingly in addition to the physical bodywork that Osteopaths do Dr. Mehl-Madrona has found one more similarity between Osteopaths and traditional American Indian bodyworkers many Osteopaths although they dont normally talk about it publicly like the Cherokees and other American Indians converse with guides and other spirit beings and use dialogue and intent during their practice. And both Polarity and Craniosacral therapists are known to do the same. Widely-recognized Biodynamic Craniosacral and Polarity teacher Franklyn Sills in one of his training books describes the parallels between shamanistic or traditional healing and Craniosacral therapy Shamanism is a healing tradition found in almost all ancient and primitive cultures. It recognizes a divine ordering principle at work in the universe and spiritual roots of creation. The work we do in craniosacral biodynamics has direct sha- manistic resonances. We orient to deeper forces at work and to ordering principles that are not made by human hands.11 Sills goes on to talk about the striking similarity of ap- proach among very diverse cultures including Navajo shamanistic healing and soul retrieval in classic cultures.12 Likewise in the companion article to this Craniosacral and Po- larity instructor Gary Strauss talks about the similarities in his work with shamanistic practices. I say isnt it a sweet irony or poetic justice rather that we apparently owe Osteopathic Medicine Polarity and Cra- niosacral therapy to the original inhabitants of this land the American Indians And isnt it time that we give them the credit due and that we help them restore their spiritual healing traditions to their rightful place in Americas healthcare system We can do this both by supporting traditional healers in their work and by honoring their systemslearning and practicing them so as to make their healing methods more available. In this way as was done with traditional practices such as Chinese medicine we can follow in Lewis Mehl-Madronas footsteps helping to bring about the inclusion of American-Indian or Native American traditional healing practices into mainstream integrative medical services. AUTHORS NOTE Although the word shaman origi- nally came from the Siberian Tungusic Evenki language it now has a far wider and more generic meaning working or mediating between the invisible and visible worlds or between the physical and spirit worlds to effect changehopefully beneficial in health or other. It is in this sense that I use the term. Endnotes 1 Mehl-Madrona MD PhD Lewis. One Road Many Branches. A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism. Vol. 7 2 Fall 2014 p. 32. 2 Booth PhD DO E.R. 1906 History of Osteopathy pp. 2-4. Stills ancestors bloody encounters with the Shawnee in Virginia httpwww.mcmillinmedia.comeamtfilesbooth chapter01.htm 3 Paulus DO MS Steve. Andrew Taylor Still 1828-1917 A Life Chronology of the First Osteopath pp. 1-4. httposteopathichistory.compagesside2LifeChronology. htmlAnchor-11481 4 Andrew Taylor Still. p. 1. httpkansasboguslegislature.orgfreestill_a_t.html 5 Andrew Taylor Still. Pulpdiddys Place p. 1. httpwww.pulpdiddyspermutations.com20140910 andrew-taylor-still-8 28 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 6 Ball Bonnie. Andrew Taylor Still founder of Osteopathy p. 3. reference by Still to herbal treatments by the Indians httpwww.rootsweb.ancestry.comvahsswv historicalsketchesstillandrew.html 7 Haxton MA Jason. Lecture Part I Dr. Andrew Taylor Still And... his Observations About Nature pp. 20 33. Stills account of Shawnee bone-setting and Taking an Indian look wp-contentuploads201303Dr-Andrew-Taylor-Stills- Observations-About-Nature.pdf 8 Still Andrew Taylor. Autobiography of Andrew T. Still. The Author 1897 p. 378. 9 Lewis John. A.T. Still From the Dry Bone to the Living Man pp. 1-2. 10 Andrew Taylor Still Father of Osteopathic Medicine. Museum of Osteopathic Medicine A.T. Still University ATSU pp. 1-3. httpwww.atsu.edumuseumats 11 Sills Franklyn. Foundations in Craniosacral Biodynamics the Breath of Life and Fundamental Skills Vol. 1. Berkley California North Atlantic Books 2011 p. 353. 12 Ibid. p. 355 359. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nita M. Renfrew is a practitioner of Cherokee Bodywork and licensed massage therapist and a student of Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona with whom she co-authored an article on Reiki along with Barb Mainguy for a medical journal. Renfrew has studied with a number of traditional and other healers and practices several energy-healing as well as shamanic-healing modalities including Craniosacral. As a staff member she practiced energy healing for several years in hospital and medical-clinic settings and she is a research associate of the Coyote Institute for Studies of Change and Transformation. As a follower of the Red Road she has danced in Sun Dancewith Dakota Intercessor Durwin WhiteLightingand is a pipe carrier. She is also an artist a writer and an editor of A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism. She lives in New York City and can be contacted at 212 879-3961 29 S H A M A N I C P R A C T I C E In this another age Of evolving tools and weapons How are we to grow Survive Without the sacred ways Of our ancient ones It started with the tree. The Eagles Hawks and Osprey used to stop in the stand of green between the In- dian River to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The island of pine the shelter of life overlooked the Medicine Wheel in the far north of this land the county claims I own. On the west and north of the Wheel the Banyan Sea Grape and Night Blooming Jasmine add their scents their luxurious dreadlocks and populations of rare Butterflies enjoying Milkweed. Just weeks ago not a day passed when the winged creatures missed coming to those strong wil- lowy Pines to share their songs messages and blessings for sunrise and sunset ceremony at the Wheel. That stand of trees stood tall shelter and buffer near the coast a quieting place for the western wind an oasis of reflection a mirror of starlight. How many days I flew to the tops of those trees to commune with my feathered friends under the great blue or celestial night. How often we rode on meteors and sang the songs of wings and air spirit and space. One day I heard the sound of the chainsaw on the other side of the lot. Then it went away leaving the patch safe. A week later when I returned the green patch had vanished a hollow womb in its place signs of a great uprooting. Instead of the peace of the grove a Merlin Tree by V. Ariel Van Haltern Drawing by Julia Bertand 30 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 wide view unfolded of a newly placed cell tower. I choked deep in my heart my gut. My insides cried a sea of grief. I could not breathe. The winged creatures were gone too. The air smelled of gasoline. Far off ghost birds circled in the air wondering with stronger hearts than I more than I could wonder. I could not talk. I could not speak. I found myself frozen in bed for three days. I stared at the wall. I did not know what was the matter yet I did not concern myself with matters. I knew only that I lost my dearest friend an important soul partner. The green had been there when the Medicine Wheel came into being a guide of the southern direction of healing and discovery and so shared the deep lasting blessing of the first ceremony heaven and earth the spiral the three worlds the seven direc- tions. Three days later in the evening for I could not bear going out in the day to see what chainsaws had done I went out for a walk to pray to leave sacred tobacco and corn meal at the place of desecration the place where Mother Earth had given her heart to the tree so it could rise up and share the language of our Earths cosmic connection. I stopped in the shallow near the dark and empty well and prayed and honored the great being of my friend the tree the gifts it had given us for so long. I sang the song of my friend and my friends journey home flying with the Windhorse where trees are loved and revered where trees bless the cosmos with their sacred branches and join the Norns weaving songs into the web. There there in that night feeling quite alone and sad I sud- denly felt an energy I had not felt previously. I looked in the direction of the Palm and saw a shadow there. It was as if some- one had been standing out of view watching me for some time. The form moved. In that movement I saw a light a swirl of grey. It moved like a fog or an infinite cloud congealed in a central dimension. Then a more definitive form expanded to the right of the Palm. I saw him clearly then touched by moonlight a man of the woods a man of the forests. He might have been part tree himself. A soft breeze lifted the fronds a quick even clatter but there was no breeze. In his long flowing garment he turned to the owl sitting on his right shoulder. He said something to the owl and then they both turned to face me. The moonlit form made a sign that he was hungry. He moved his hand back and forth to the earth to his heart to his mouth and there he stood grey eyes looking at me making sure I followed his movements. I stood speechless determined to hold my eyes steady so as not to miss a note. He turned one more time to the owl to communicate something. I knew it could be none other than Merlin himself here in the midst of this barren womb holding on for all of us holding the sacred ways and wisdom of nature begging pleading for us to pay attention to do something before all starves all of it Merlin too and the sacred ways. I told him I understood but my lips did not move. He told me with his eyes with his miraculous dimension and nature of impossibility that I was not alone in my suffering that we des- perately need each other to awaken and care for Mother Earth the sacred messages and the ways of our Wisdom-Keepers. He showed me how close he is right in our midst here with Mother Earth to guide us - if only we take up the call and carry the ways forward for the good of all. I do not know how things happened afterward only that things happened rapidly so rapidly it was all I could do to keep up with the flow of information. Here and now the world held no time for bed or grieving only time for sacred ceremony to move ahead and to awaken. A book came to me from a Russian translation of very old texts found in Im thinking Wales. The material connected magically with other works I had been drawn to research further the Zodiac of Dendara Egyptian pyramid star alignments The Eight Immortals ancient Taoism my general interest in ancient sites mounds rock art and geometries structures aligned to the stars Solstice Equinox and the realms of Stonehenge. Standing face to face with Merlin admitting it to myself proved intellectually difficult the steps often lost on how to reckon this phenomenal encounter with the mundane to shake it yes shake it awake. I had never bought into or followed the Merlin King Arthur route. If anything my feelings passed as mere enjoyment in a tale. I simply preferred to have something more definitive for my own work. The only other time I remember seeing Merlin hap- pened during a Shamanic Journey. He passed through floating lightly from sky to earth then he vanished with great fun as if a trickster on holiday. I remember saying Whats Merlin doing here He laughed and passed through several times then noth- ing. He did leave his mark however throughout the journey that feeling of his energy hiding in the air somewhere. I will say that after that journey I did release my opinion that he was all tale and fluff Now through a great loss I had found this book that men- tioned his star palaces his years of work and healing. I knew it was real as real as the translators discovery of Llys Don Ances- tor Palace. I knew too Ancestor Palace was my star palace and it called to me to do something and that I better pay attention. Soon more star palaces came to light along Merlins route to feed nature and the world. More and more happened quickly as ever. Still I cannot forget that Merlin truly waits hungry and the owl on his shoulder waits for us to return to wisdom. Meanwhile the parts continue to come together. Dendara plays a part and The Eight Immortals who are said to have been taught by a man who came from the far western world a sage who lived in trees in the forest and worked with the plants and forest energies a great teacher they called the Wizard who disappeared back into the forest after showing The Immortals the corridor of stars the palaces the celestial river and cloud scripts. Merlin another Bon Jhankri of the wild another Shiva another Wisdom-Keeper of the ancient ones calling us to reunite and accept the gifts of the sacred elements Mother Earth and the stars heaven and earth yin and yang. More details of the star palaces and the ancient wisdom 31 comes in the divine and perfect order not that I am the one doing the work. It comes magically and quickly as this work is known to come when it is of heart and soul leading the way without us in the way. We have a Merlin group now in Florida and we come togeth- er to share and honor Merlin and the wisdom of the ancients the star palaces the dragon lines of heaven and earth the jade veins the song lines the sacred forms of the Aboriginal bark paintings the quantum lines growing us healing us showing us the way. Merlin calls to all of us to feed and share the light. No one has to starve. Wisdom does not have to die of starvation. The gift awaits each and every one. Merlins world our world does not want to die of starvation and disappear. This gift this blessing wants to hold us too. Merlin comes to remind us to call us. We journey. We listen. We honor. We re-member. And so our tears are no longer tears of sadness instead tears of joy the mirror of pure yin and yang in the sacred flow of the water that nourishes the wood the Tree of Life the connection the circle the way of heaven. in this place we humbly do our part to honor the gifts the wisdom of the ancient onesthey are here calling To Merlin with love always and endless gratitude ABOUT THE AUTHOR V. Ariel Van Haltern Shamanic Practitioner Tibetan Bowl Sound Healer Reiki Master Ariel is a lifetime student of medicine work and sacred ways with various wisdomkeepers around the world. Her extensive studies include Himalayan Shamanism Cosmology Healing Techniques and Methods Yungdrung Bon Bonpo Studies the native religion of Tibet with Shenten Dargye Ling in Blou France. She has studied at Sacred Circles Institute Teaching and Leadership Sacred Circles Teacher Leader Wolf Clan with Dr. Mattie Davis-Wolfe and Dr. David Thomson in Washington State and at the Shamanistic Studies and Research Centre with Mohan Rai in Kathmandu Nepal. Currently Ariel is conducting research for a book planned on Sacred Fire Traditions in Mongolia and Finland with local Shamans due for publication in the summer of 2015. She is author of Across the Phantom Divide Song of Chagos Books 1-3 all available on Amazon. Questions re Merlin work The Society for Shamanic Practitioners 2300 Eighth Street Olivenhain CA 92024 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED NONPROFIT US POSTAGE PAID Permit 154 ENCINITAS CA 92024 SHAMANISM WITHOUT BORDERS A Guide to Shamanic Tending for Trauma and Disasters A SOCIETY FOR SHAMANIC PRACTITIONERS HANDBOOK In this book experienced practitioners explain techniques and principles used by shamans throughout time to deal with trauma and disasters and how these practices are still applied today. ORDER TODAY US 15.50 12 plus 3.50 shipping Canada 16.50 12 plus 4.50 shipping Overseas 20.50 12 plus 8.50 shipping 32 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 R E V I E W S When I first began to read Lessons in Courage Peruvian Sha- manic Wisdom For Everyday Life for this review I prepared myself for yet another laundry list description of the Andean cosmology its rituals and its practices. Not that there is anything wrong with this however I have read many such books with this same theme and I was hoping for something different this time. Within a few pages I knew I had struck gold. While some of these beliefs and practices are mentioned in the book it is the spirit and heart be- hind them that he emphasizes. As an added benefit Oscar Miro-Que- sada skillfully weaves the wisdom of his tradition with the teachings of great adepts and masters of other traditions as well. His story is presented through the writing of Bonnie Glass-Coffin Professor of Anthropology at Utah State University and long time student and apprentice to Miro- Quesada. Bonnie Glass-Coffin has done a superior job of presenting his teachings as if he had written the book entirely himself. In other words she sees no need to insinu- ate herself into the storyline or the teachings an admirable and rare accomplishment. Receiving his higher educa- tion in the United States and apprentice to powerful shaman teachers in Peru Miro-Quesada is in a unique position to bridge and bring together these disparate worlds. Because of his education in the United States Miro-Quesada is well versed in Gestalt Jungian Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychologies. In addition he is a student of ancient traditions of Hermes Sufism Theosophy Buddhism Gurdjieff and a host of other spiritual lineages that he adroitly weaves through his discourse in a way that is revelatory rather than distracting. As he describes the development of consciousness through his Peruvian shamanic tradition he borrows a page from Vipassana Buddhism when he says We do not silence or reject any emotion fear or lower impulse. We simply observe it. This is a consciousness that requires we abandon all attach- ments to everything we thought we were. In short this is the life story of Oscar Miro-Quesada born of a Peruvian father of Spanish descent and an Italian American mother raised in Peru and educated in the United States a man challenged to bridge various cultures throughout his life. This is a story of severe childhood illness family dysfunc- tion psychological challenges breakdown initiation apprentice- ship and realization. It is a classic heros journey complete with all is lost and redemption. He does not hold back or whitewash the story of his own dysfunction and how he is brought to his knees through his self-destructive patterns. In true shamanic style he recognizes the healer in himself emerging from his wounds. In his tales I detected no artifice no guile no arrogance no hostility for outsiders only a deeply compassionate and humble teacher dedicated to his life task work spreading the teachings Lessons in Courage Peruvian Shamanic Wisdom For Everyday Life by Bonnie Glass-Coffin Ph.D. and don Oscar Miro-Quesada A Review by Jos Luis Stevens Ph.D. 33 of his tradition to the people of North America. In the body of the work Oscar takes particular pains to explain the power and importance of ritual in setting our world right. He writes The ritual gesture of composing graceful ceremony is the way we re-member ourselves as an interde- pendent strand within the sacred web of life. This is the way we bring beauty into our hearts. It is how we open our hearts fully to love. He goes on to say that the practice of teaching love by the way we live is in fact the heart of the tradition he teaches. Miro-Quesada places great emphasis on awakening the Pachakuti Mesa the central fixture of his teachings and the an- cient altar of his ancestral teachers in Peru. By teaching the Pachakuti Mesa which he outlines in this book he introduces his students to a simple but powerful way of ordering the cosmos to live a life free of instincts and impulses that lead to chaotic conditions. He states that the ancient ones knew that nature informs purpose and they set up their altars and ceremonies to mirror the beauty of creation. Near the end of the book he describes exactly how to make a Pachakuti Mesa and how to activate it with prayers and visualizations. He then goes on to explain exactly how to use it and apply it for personal benefit or that of others. In addi- tion he explains how to make traditional Peruvian Despachos offerings explains the methods of offering and describes the building of the Apacheta Rock Cairn and explains how to use it. This provides a richness that prevents the book from be- ing too theoretical and instead makes the material more practical and useful. What I particularly liked about the book was his inclusion of a variety of simple but powerful shamanic exercises that can be practiced easily and I find do bear fruit. I enjoyed reading this concise book packed with shamanic wisdom from Peru yet easily understandable without an overwhelming amount of jargon. Miro- Quesado has a way of clearly presenting practical shamanic notions so that the ma- terial is easily digestible for almost anyone. 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. 34 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 R E V I E W Numa is an epic poem about a wild feline numena nature spiritlearning to shape-shift. As Numa grows up she learns to take the form of other animals and of plants and even ele- ments. Accompanying the poem are Moores charming photo collages of such things as animal tracks feathers and appropri- ately stone eggs in birds nests. Ever since I was a little girl I have been intrigued by shape-shifting. I read childrens books about shamans and was fascinated by the prospect of being able to physically shape- shift especially into a bird so that I could fly. Much as I tried however all my efforts were in vain I was never able to fly. Eventually I became interested in other things and forgot about shape-shifting. Then many years later when I began my own shamanic practice I read Teton Sioux medicine man Fools Crows autobiography where he said matter-of-factly that he had shape-shifted into a dog during the 1973 Wounded Knee standoff in order to slip past the U.S. military that was encir- cling the American Indian Movement AIM camp. I believed him and my curiosity was reignited. But Fools Crow did not explain how he did it. I also read another compelling account in Lesley Thomass book The Flight of the Geese Sandra Ingerman recommended it to me about the experience of a young indigenous woman in northern Alaska learning to shape-shift which has continued to haunt me. Today I find that the poetic Numa dovetails nicely with Thomass far-more-graphic narrative. During a workshop once with Amazonian shaman Ipupiara I asked him privately about shape-shifting and he explained that you needed to begin by shape-shifting just one molecule into the animal you wanted to become then two and so on and slowly build up to your entire body. He referred me to one of his students who related that he had done just that over a period of time and suddenly he had found that he was a complete wolf somewhere in the wild of the north. However he found that he was a wolf facing a hunter taking aim at him with a rifle and terrified he hurried to shape-shift back into his ordinary human body. Ipupiaras student felt that he had just escaped being killed and was wary of trying this again. When I started reading Numa I expected a narrative of what I imagined shape-shifting to be but what I found at first seemed like rough disjointed sequences. Very quickly however I became enchanted by the realism of Numas otherworldly experiences and it was perhaps the not-fully-successful at- temptsrough and disjointedthat led me to suspect that Moore must herself have been in that space of becoming an- other. In a later exchange with Moore she explained to me that in the section Shifts Numa is still immature and cant fully realize the metamorphosis into the powerful spirit of Bear. And so the numen comes out sketchy more critter than beast tucked inside rib bones damp warm knocked-about passenger within black- furred lumberer 1 Later in the poem when Numa is teaching her cub ... she curls up egg-like her cub copies. Two shells grow crack open. Full-fledged owl flies to a low branch. Hatchling tiny cat paws clings to a flimsy stalk. 2 Moore I slowly realized had actually managed to capture the essence of what it must be like to learn to shape-shift on a physical level. When I arrived at the end of the poem indeed to my surprise I was feeling like I had begun to shape-shift myself. On a visceral level my ordinary reality had been pulled this way and that and was definitely out of shape. Where at first I had sought a realistic narrative of Numas shape-shifting experiences I found rather that I was in the grip of the very energies and inner workings of journeying that we shamanic practitioners encounter and of the shape-shifting process itself rough and disjointed. As I read I found that the very juxtaposition of words that I thought must have self-selected depicted the powerful inner movement of journeying. They were words that had manifested as a reflection of a primordial inner moving of energy where shapes have a liquid aspect no longer bound to our consensus reality. In fact I had quite literally been pulled into that space as I was to find later. Numa An Epic Poem with Photo Collage by Katrinka Moore Review by Nita M. Renfrew 35 Please join us for a Book Part Reading by Katrinka Moore Guillermo Filice Castro Music performed by Catherine Graetze ... Numa calls concocts her self each cell burns gathers rind and bone she calls corrals becomes begins again 3 After all that the unexpected ending to the story when an interloper appears in the forest could not in retrospect have been any different. It was the after effect of the poem however that brought the real surprise for me. It came after I had finished the book late one night and went to bed. I had an intensely unsettling dream where suddenly and frighteningly I found that I was conscious and was making ear-piercing high-pitched sounds that I couldnt control or understand. And I was aware that I no longer knew who I was or where I was going. It was terrifying. I realized later that I had in a sense been suspended between ceasing to be me and becoming another. I had been trapped in the gearsthe very intersticesof reality where dangerously I was stuck making the foreign sounds of another creature I was not able even to identify but without the intention of becoming any- thing. For what seemed like a long time I struggled to cease making those more-and-more-ear-splitting sounds of desperation and to exit from the dream. And when I finally did manage to awaken I realized that I had just had a lesson in what not to do when shape-shifting. Just as important as knowing what you want to shape-shift into I realized was knowing how to come back to your original shape so as not to get trapped in between. As I saw it I hadnt taken with me any tools for navigating for directing the experience. I knew then with certainty that indeed to write such a powerful poem about shape-shifting Moore had to have had the experience herself at least on the ener- getic level. I knew that Moore had been a Butoh dancer with a Japanese company where dancers moved so slowly that the movement was almost imperceptible and it might take an hour to move across the stage. But now I learned in an exchange with Moore that she had also studied with anthropologist Felicitas Goodman author of Where Spirits Ride the Wind who explored posture- mediated trance based on prehistoric cave paintings and indigenous artifacts that often portrayed metamorphosis or shape-shifting. And yes Moore explained that she had had some powerful experiences which were reflected in Numa. Endnote 1 Shifts p. 15. 2 Meander p. 59. 3 Rises p. 69. 36 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 R E V I E W Claude Poncelet is an nuclear physicist who has been teach- ing and practicing shamanism for over thirty years. His book The Shaman Within is a comprehensive compilation of many of the things he has learned and is highly recommended especially for anyone who has an established shamanic practice or for people on a spirit path who are interested to see where shaman- ism could take them. The Shaman Within is divided into two sections and thirteen chapters. The first part Poncelet calls The Shaman Within and the second part Shamanism in the Twenty-First Century. The book includes exercises and suggestions for shamanic work in each chapter. However it is basically not a how-to beginners book but rather a treatise on what it can mean to be a practicing shaman in todays western world. Poncelets emphasis is definite- ly on how to live on the shamanic path and he generously pep- pers the book with ideas guidelines suggestions and encourage- ments for doing it. The book is also unique in that Poncelet does not try to hide his physicist background but instead shows how it has influenced his shamanic work and how these two different fields are well connectedas he points out is everything in the Universeand can dance beautifully together. The Shaman Within is primarily concerned with shamanic ethics and spirituality spiritual as Poncelet says not in the sense of religious but in the sense of transcendental or meta- physical sacred or hallowed. He goes on to write Along with bringing us back to the sacred shamanism can bring us back to who we truly areour essence the divine in us our true nature which I refer to as authentic being. The concepts of authentic being and impeccability are central to Poncelets understanding of what it means to work and live shamanically to be a shaman. In his chapter Impeccability and the Art of Living he writes I believe the art of living is to be found in doing things well every single action every single day using everything we have secular and spiritualnot for making things right or perfect but for making them con- sciously based on the authentic being we are and in harmony with the Universe with the Source. To do things consciously means slowing down and not allowing ourselves to run on automatic. We cannot limit shamanic practice to particular times and places to drumming circles or workshops. We must integrate it into all other aspects of our lives. At the same time we cannot develop an impeccable shamanic life if we do not also seek impeccability in our ordinary daily life. He goes on to talk about the obstacles which keep us from living and practicing with impeccability for example attach- ment to achievement and running our lives according to the expectations of others. The greatest of these obstacles is what he refers to as the shamanic ego which tries to define and control our shamanic and spiritual life rather than letting authentic being take the is very good at forming alliances with other difficult parts of our ego such as the narcissist the power seeker the self-righteous the teacher or the healer. The sha- manic ego is addicted to peak experiencesthe exotic the powerful journey. It aims to run our shamanic practice and is convinced it is doing the right kind of shamanic work. Most shamanic practitioners who are willing to look inside are familiar with it. This shamanic ego seems to be the special trickster for shamanic practitioners and looking back over my almost thirty years of teaching I can see many instances of the shamanic ego mine and othersjoyfully dancing. But what to do about it For one thing Poncelet suggests making a journey of inquiry to your spirit helpers to ask if they will guide you in finding out when and in what circumstances your shamanic ego tends to take charge. He points out that it is our relationship with our THE SHAMAN WITHIN A Physicists Guide to the Deeper Dimensions of Your Life The Universe and Everything by Claude Poncelet PhD Review by Jonathan Horwitz 37 spirit helpers and our collaboration with them which is our best tool for dealing with the issues of the ego and the shamanic ego. In the next three chapters of this first section of the book The Art of Dying The Art of Healing and The Art of Shapeshifting Poncelet looks at these three aspects of shamanic practice through the lens of authentic being and impeccabil- ity. In The Art of Healing he shares with us his own journey through working with what he referred to as my birth and re- death experiencethat is a diagnosis of possible lung cancer and all the questions and doubts this brought up for him. Were the spirits helping himor testing him Was this an initia- tion And finally do the spirits really exist He also shares how he worked shamanically with his life situation in the time leading up to the operation right to the moment he was being rolled into the operating room. He shares with us many things he learned about healing as a result of this experience perhaps the most important be- ing that healing is all about transformation it is a return to authenticity. The second part of the book Shamanism in the Twenty-First Century moves the reader into applied shamanism. The first two chapters deal with shaman- ism in family daily and profes- sional life and again he brings the concepts of authenticity and impeccability the foundations of ethics into focus. True to his credo that shamanic practice is something that must go on 247 Poncelet outlines numer- ous guidelines for incorporating shamanism into what many experience to be the battlefield of the family or the wasteland of nine-to-five. Practicing shamanically in todays work environ- ments requires dailysometimes hourlywork awareness and attention.We tend to be asleep and forget to do our shamanic practice when we are at work we forget that spirits are all around us and that everything is sacred and interrelated. Remembering the spiritual dimension in everything is perhaps the real challenge in bringing shamanism into professional life. He suggests among other things journeying to the spirits of the organization or the work environment and even journeying to the authentic being of a colleague. Throughout the book especially with his journey sugges- tions Poncelet is clear about the ethical boundaries the shaman must recognize. For example before journeying to the spirit of an organization he asks for permission to do the work from the spirits usually my own spirits guides and the spirit Im journey- ing to. I always start with something like If it is appropriate in light of the greater harmony of the whole I would like to request Respect is a quality he values highly. Some of the most unusual aspects of The Shaman Within are the chapters dealing with shamanism and scientific discovery time and the birth of the Universe. Of course this is normal fare for a shamanic physicist but not something one expects to find in a book about shamanism. But in three mind-bending chapters Poncelet takes us beyond the edge of the cosmos to creation in a way that shamanic practitioners can easily follow and appreciate. And appropriately he calls us back to Earth in the final two chapters which deal with heal- ing the world and its communities and healing our relationship with Nature. For me these very grounded yet poetic chapters provide much encouragement and many guidelines for everyone who has ever thought I want to heal the Earth. As Poncelet incisively points out The transfor- mation must begin with us and ultimately depends on changing our attitude toward and relationship with the natural environment. This is because humans are an inte- gral part of nature a human is after all an animal. No separation Since Michael Harners ground- breaking The Way of the Shaman there have been quite a few books about the practice of modern shamanism. The Shaman Within is one of the best. Claude Poncelet is generous with his thoughts insights and experience. There is an inviting warmth openness and compassion in his style. But because it is so packed it is not a quick easy read. The book is for studying. Thirteen chapters one for each moon perhapsthat feels about right. Hopefully it will help you as it has me to see your own shamanic path with fresh eyes and come to deeper insights of where you are going where you have been and most important Poncelet would say where you are. I look forward to his next book. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jonathan Horwitz is European Editor of A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism. He has been studying and working with shamanism since 1972 and teaching since 1986. He is co-founder and director of the Scandinavian Center for Shamanic Studies and lives in the woods in Sweden. 38 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 THE CO-CREATION HANDBOOK by Alida Burch The Co-Creation Handbook A Shaman- ic Guide to Manifesting a Better World and a More Joyful Life lays out a thorough plan for deepening shamanic practice and applying new personal insights in concrete ways to ones everyday life. Alida Birch carefully presents guiding principles behind the way we envision our lives perceive our current selves and launch resolutions for enriching our lives and the world around us. Birch draws on insights from sound psychology and life-coaching practices to ground her techniques. The steps for co-creation are structured in an eight-week format so readers can pace themselves and make sure they have covered all the aspects. Some of the concepts Birch works with are stress and creative tension the role of the subconscious the value of making personal statements the law of synchronicity per- sonal relationships balancing personal life and work and the power of blessing. Accompanying this book is a three-disc audio recording made by Birch incorporat- ing visualizations that she gently leads with pauses to allow for personal reflection. The visualization sessions are accompanied by light shamanic drumming. These CDs structure the manifestation work over eight weeks and each weeks material is divided into a morning and evening session. A committed reader could complete the entire program in two months time. Each of the eight chapters corresponding to the eight- week program includes a list of action steps with practical activities to put the information of each chapter into a working mode. Many of the action steps draw on shamanic practices and principles. Birchs co-creation process will make an excellent program for shamanic counselors to use when working with clients who are new to shamanism or know nothing about it. By going through the program a client will learn how to slip into non-ordinary re- ality and discover information and practical wisdom as well as meet helpful spirit guides. Seasoned practitioners can use the program as a means to extend and broaden their shamanic lives. TC UP A TREE by Jane Burns Jane Burnss Up a Tree A Novel and Shamanic Handbook tells the story of Clare a recently widowed mother coping with her personal problems as well as those of her two teen- age children. As a shamanic practitioner Clare draws on her journeys to help her process her own grief that of her children and the knowledge that her late husband was having an affair. Her life becomes ever more complicated when her own mother enters the picture and when Clare meets an artist named Dill who works in a studio next to her own. The story is very believable and Burns has a remarkable gift of catching dialogue and allowing each character to present him or her self through conversations. The twelve chapters each named after a tree bring in important tree-lore as Clare discovers the spiritual strength of trees in her shamanic work. In each chapter Clare journeys at some point to find the strength to go on with her life and finds wisdom and insight to her problems from various trees. As Burns writes in her Authors Note I wanted to convey how the shamanic way of life is not an esoteric practice that lies peripheral to reality. It is a way for ordinary people to live their ordinary lives in an extraordinary way a way of living more wholly and deeply more peaceably and compassionately. In- deed Clares story is gripping in that she is an ordinary woman confronting ordinary but difficult challenges to carry on with her life. The final section of the book is a shamanic handbook consisting of twelve chapters that correspond to the novels chapters. Burns begins by explaining the shamanic journey and then continues to present shamanic journey ideas with tips and suggestions so that readers discover as Clare does how living shamanically can enrich ones life. Burns tells the readers up front that they can become the heroes of their own lives. But as Burns acknowledges It is shamanism that is the hero shamanism that saves the day and leads by example. And Up a Tree is a wonderful and compelling example of that. TC S H O R T R E V I E W 39 MAKING PEACE WITH SUICIDE by Adele McDowell Making Peace with Suicide A Book of Hope Understanding and Comfort by Adele Ryan McDowell PhD treats this ever painful subject with compassion insightful reflections and val- ues important to shamanic practitioners. McDowell digs deeply into the history and worldwide views of suicide in its various forms. From this study she derives the three common elements of suicide pain disconnection and disenfranchisement. She notes All three elements...take us to shut-down closed-off places that lead to inactivity inertia passivity and powerless- ness. And so we feel stuck. McDowells excellent book is an indispensable compan- ion for anyone dealing with the suicide of friends family or acquaintances. The chapter What Leads to Suicide includes ancestral considerations the family tree addictions bullying lost relationships shame soul loss and spiritual crises all topics that shamanic practitioners deal with on many levels. She also considers special cases such as teenage military maternal sui- cide and suicide as a conscious end-of-life choice an impor- tant aspect of death dying and psychopomp work. Her chapter Tales from the Front Lines contains vital first-person accounts from suicide survivors. Most important from a shamanic point-of-view is a chapter on suicide and the soul which presents an expanded perspec- tive on these topics. Here readers will find discussions of death the afterlife reincarnation soul contracts messages from the other side and the death of the ego. This last topic McDowell presents as both psychological and spiritual. The former is sui- cide which results from unrelenting pain depression heartbreak loneliness etc. The latter is a souls choice a willingness to drop the ego and choose suicide for a higher good to do work from the Other Side in service for humanity. As a therapist minister and shamanic practitioner Mc- Dowell brings a wealth of insight from many angles to this painful and disturbing topic. In addition to her own wisdom she includes an appendix of resources for readers who want to read further about these many topics and issues. This book is a wonderful addition to the literature about suicide. TC WHISPERING WITH ANIMALS by Maryphyllis Horn Maryphyllis Horn writes a deeply personal spirited and accessible accounting of her communication with members of the animal bird insect and plant kingdoms. Her stories of the messages and wisdom that come from turtles horses dogs cats deer birds squirrels insects and trees are simple sweet and direct. I also found her drawings of dog and cat companions and photos of her friends in the wild a won- derful visual complement to the stories. Horn introduces the book with a thoughtful and instructive description of what motivated her after a lifetime of intuitive and telepathic exchanges with tame and wild creatures to share her experiences in this quick and enjoyable read. Horn makes the point quite well that harmony and balance between humans and members of the other kingdoms with whom we share the planet is greatly enhanced by our ability to learn the language of those kingdoms. Each one communicates differently and is communicating all the time. Through her experiences she gives us pointers on how to silently send and receive messages from our animal companions at home and with creatures in the wild. Although there are many good books out there about this subject I have found some of them to unfortunately be somewhat preachy. This one is not. Much to my appreciation Horn takes you with her on her encounters in a way that inspires the same wonder and curiosity that she herself is experiencing. After each encounter she includes helpful insights and reflections about what she learned which I found particularly useful for anyone wanting to delve into the subtle world of inter-species communication. KK S H O R T R E V I E W WhisperingWithAnimalsMaryphyllisHorn 40 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 Whispering With Animals by Maryphyllis Horn 12 book available at In Whispering With Animals Maryphyllis Horn shares stories of her own personal telepathic experiences with both tame and wild animals. Telepathy is the mind-to-mind way we converse with Highest Spirit i.e. the internal silent communication closely connected to prayer and meditation. In 2012 her Spirit Teacher requested that she write this book. It provides a focus for Spirits message i.e. to give the world an additional voice on behalf of animals and nature. These younger brothers and sisters of our world have as much right special intelligence and mission to be living on this planet as we humans do. Their telepathic language is just different from what many of us are accustomed to. These stories can help you learn how to be telepathic with animals or to recognize that youre already doing so. Maryphyllis Horn M.Ed. is a former high school choral music teacher now a shamanic practitioner artist certified therapist and ordained metaphysical minister who loves and respects animals and nature. Since 1995 she has been in private practice of shamanic counseling and spiritual healing for humans. Much of this is done clairvoyantly and telepathically with her spirit helpers and archangels. As a side benefit she has become more attuned to the telepathic communication of wild and tame animals. A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism Submit an article and become a member with a website listing 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 order back issues or come to one of our international conferences please visit us at Please join us as we make shamanic practices and wisdom more available to all 41 S P R I N G S U M M E R 2 0 1 5 R E S O U R C E S ARTTOOLSSUPPLIES CEDAR MOUNTAIN DRUMS Native style drums plain and painted drum kits rattles and rattle kits talking sticks shields accessories herbs flutes and more. 503-235-6345 CICADA CREATIONS Jewelry created with 4 themes Power Intuition Grounding Protection using Gemstones Austin Texas DREAMING GAIA Offering unique Goddess and animal totem rattles accessories. Etsy.comshopDreamingGaia RON SHORT STUDIOS Ronald Allen Short MA-Art Therapy BFA Shamanic Art Illustration Book Design Editing Production Santa Fe NM 505-954-1050 MARK LEWIS WAGNER Digital and Tradition Artist Educator Guiness World Record Holder Dedicated to the Creative Evolution of the Planet See Cover Art and Artist Bio on page 5 See Ad on page 14 ORGANIZATIONS THE POWER PATH SCHOOL OF SHAMANISM Providing practical tools for conscious living Programs classes wilderness solos Santa Fe NM 505-982-8732 See ad on page 2 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 33 SOCIETY FOR SHAMANIC PRACTITIONERS An alliance of people committed to the re-emergence of shamanism. See ad on page 40 PUBLICATIONSBOOKS ANCESTRAL LINES CLEARING Maryphyllis Horn Teaches a spritiual energy process that clears dysfunctional psychological and spiritual traits from your DNA. Available at AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SHAMANISM 2 Vol set essays shamanic concepts and peoples Available in eBook paperback hardcover See ad on page 17 A JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY SHAMANISM See ad on page 40 LESSONS IN COURAGE Peruvian Shaman Wisdom for Everyday Life don Oscar Miro-Quesada See review on page 32 See ad on page 11 SACRED HOOP MAGAZINE A leading international magazine of shamanic wisdom See ad on page 28 SHAMANISM WITHOUT BORDERS A Guide to Shamanic Tending for Trauma and Disasters A 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 See ad on page 31 SPIRITED MEDICINE A Society for Shamanic Practitioners Book Shamanism in Contemporary Healthcare An exciting contribution to the integration of the ancient healing system of shamanism into modern Western society. httpwww.shamansociety.orgsm- orderform.html See ad on Back Cover 42 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 THE GIFT OF SHAMANISM By Itzhak Beery Beerys gift to readers is his deep understanding of what makes a shaman and how a shaman lives in this confusing world. Even better his story teaches us to trust the visions of the spirit world. Quote by Tom Cowan See ad on page 23 THE CO-CREATION HANDBOOK A Shamanic Guide to Manifesting a Better World and a More Joyful Life By Alida Birch See Review on page 38 See ad on page 38 WHISPERING WITH ANIMALS By Maryphyllis Horn Stories of telepathic experiences with both tame and wild animals. Available at See Review on Page 39 See Ad on Page 40 TRAVEL RETREAT CENTERS SPIRITWALKERS RETREAT On the slopes of Mount Shasta EVENTS AND CONFERENCES 8th SCGMSS RESIDENTIAL ANIMISTSHAMANIC CONFERENCE GATHERING DEATH BIRTH THE JOUREY OF LOVERS Easter Seals Camp Squamish BC Canada Wednesday May 4 Sunday May 8 See ad on page 19 SOCIETY FOR SHAMANIC PRACTITIONERS International Wilderness Retreat August 12-16 2015 See ad on inside back cover THE POWER PATH SCHOOL OF SHAMANISM Inner Retreat MasculineFeminine July 9-13 2015 Wilderness Solo Program August 16-20 2015 505-982-8732 See ad on page 2 SHAMANIC SERVICES ANCESTRAL VOICE Institute for Indigenous Lifeways Phillip Scott FounderDirector 415-897-7991 See ad on page 7 ALIDA BIRCH Healer author and teacher of shamanic methods. Eugene Oregon 541-686-2023 See ad on page 38 CANADIAN CENTER FOR SHAMANIC STUDIES Where Shamanic Practitioners gather in the Way of the Circle Co-creating a new dream for the Earth. 888-383-8320 See ad on page 21 AMANDA FOULGER Heart Medicine Workshops Private Clients FSS Faculty Member Topanga CA MARIA GHARAKHANIAN Shamanic healing extraction soul retrieval compassionate depossession curse unraveling and energy healing. Reiki attunements and monthly drumming circles. Richmond VA 804-971-6575 sunsandmoonswithin 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 HEALING WITH SPIRITS offers HSC Shamanic Counseling Divination Energy Healing Space Clearing Extraction Soul Retrieval. On site Manhattan and Brooklyn location home visits and long distance healing Monthly Drumming Circle See ad on page 25 S P R I N G S U M M E R 2 0 1 5 R E S O U R C E S 43 HEART OF THE HEALER don Oscar Miro-Quesada Walk a Path of Ancestral Healing Wisdom in the Modern World Shamanic Apprenticeship See ad on page 11 GENIE HOBBS The Shamanic Way Accessing Answers Within Be the person you were born to be . . . powerful precious beautiful and free aho 720-940-3395 MARYPHYLLIS HORN M.Ed Metaphysical Interfaith Minister CT. Ancestrial Lines Clearing Karmic Matrix Clearing Soul Retrieval Aura Cleansing Shamanic HealingPast-Lives Pittsboro NC See ad on page 40 JOURNEYWORKS Jennie Kristel Michael Watson Shamanic Healing Reiki Psychotherapy Training In office or Long Distance Burlington Vermont 802-860-6203 LAST MASK CENTER Shamanic Healing Distance healing and Integration Basic Advanced Classes 4-Year Training Program Community 800-927-2527 ext 02586 Practical application of shamanic skills Live Internet Radio Podcast Archive See ad on page 17 GAELA MORRISON Forcers of Nature Design Geomancy Feng Shui Clearings Sacred Sites Tours Art Commissions THE POWER PATH SCHOOL OF SHAMANISM Providing practical tools for conscious living Individual sessions and remote healings Santa Fe NM 505-982-8732 See ad on page 2 KEVIN SACHS PhD Safe Journeys Home LLC Transpersonal Experiential Spiritual Counselorspecializing in non-ordinary states work life transition psycho-spiritual crisis and shadow work forspiritual practitioners. Holotropic Breathwork guided focusing sessions shamanic counseling. 646-415-6721 See ad on page 2 SACRED HOOP MINISTRY Helping People Heal Themselves Using The Ancient Techniques of the Shamans Indigenous Cultures. For Personal Empowerment Through The Spiritual Aspects of Healing. Woodland Park CO 719 687-4335 LYNDA SKEEN Soul Retrieval Spirit Release Extraction Power Animal Retrieval Journeywork Reiki Los Angeles 323-363-2040 Call For Artists Our editorial board is actively seeking submissions of shamanic artwork to be used in upcoming publications of A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism. We are intending to introduce artists and feature shamanic paintings weaving and textiles drums rattles photographs watercolors pen work sculptures etc. on future covers color and to accompany articles within the body of the Journal BW. Artist must be the creator of the work submitted and hold the copyright. No photos of people unless you have a written signed release to publish the photo. Send photos of your work along with a short bio and contact information to sara or S P R I N G S U M M E R 2 0 1 5 R E S O U R C E S 44 A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 SPRINGSUMMER 2015 S P R I N G S U M M E R 2 0 1 5 R E S O U R C E S SOUL RETRIEVAL EXTRACTION DEPOSSESSION Recover your lost soul parts Restore your true self in the energetic presence of Mt. Shasta 530-859-3499 EMILY TOWNSEND Environmental Shamanism heals built and natural places. 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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. MEMBER PRICE 18 plus shipping NON-MEMBER PRICE 24 plus shipping