The Work of a Shaman, so much more than Healing

Shamans do many things.  A lot of it is “healing work” but that can manifest in many forms:

  1. Writer — The most obvious thing I do as a Shaman, is write these blog posts about Shamanism and about the Earthways Shamanic Path.  I start with the kernel of an idea, set it down and it unfolds.  I have to step aside when the words flow, or else the message gets mixed up.  I write in an Altered State.
  2. Founder–The second thing I do as a Shaman, is nurture the Earthways Shamanic Path.  I arrange for ceremonies and classes.  I get the rooms or spaces and post the announcements.  I write the class materials and the ceremonies.  I haul the ceremonial or instructional material to/from the location.  I set up the Altar or training space, establish sacred space, conduct the class or ritual, thank and release the energies, close it all out and pack it all up.
  3. Diplomat — I assist other people when they are conducting training or ceremonies.  Sometimes I function as a diplomat between groups and help carry the message from one group to another.
  4. Coach — I’m here to Listen to people.  People seek me out, send me messages, talk to me, ask me questions.  I respond with information, insights, “thoughts and prayers,” and referrals.  This is what I call, Shamanic Coaching.  I don’t know everything, but I know many people, all with their own areas of expertise.  I check in with them on a regular basis and learn more.
  5. Facilitator — I arrange sometimes directly, and sometimes indirectly, for you to meet people or receive information or make connections or to have experiences.
  6. Prayer-er — I say “Prayers Going Up,” and send prayers to people because I BELIEVE it helps.  I visualize my prayers going up from a sacred fire or a candle or even a crystal, and I see it going UP and reaching the person in need.  It is Energy/Love and not directed to a specific outcome.
  7. Healer — when people need healing, I serve as a conduit of energy.
  8. Singer/Teacher —  I am connected to music, through the Whales.  I sing songs, and each people to sing these songs.  This is a healing aspect.
  9. Explorer/Journeyer/Connector — I go out in Nature and renew my connection to everything that is there.  I meet and greet the helpers in the  Plants, Trees, Birds, Insects, animals, the water, the wind — what ever is there.  I gather plant materials to learn what can be used for smudging.  I am a Water Warrior.
  10. Researcher/Journeyer  — I research techniques to achieve Altered States of Reality.  “Oh, the places I have been.” I teach what I have learned.  I attend classes, ceremonies and events.  I read.
  11. I’m a Change Agent.  I help people make changes that they want to make.  Sometimes, I’m a catalyst:  I don’t change much, when I provide you with a book to read, or a phone number to call for information on a subject you are interested in, but it might be something that helps you make a big change.  But if I conduct a class or a ceremony, or attend an event with you, I am learning and growing, along with you.
  12. Medicine Carrier — be it songs, or jars of smudging materials, or a book, or a feather, I bring with me, elements of ceremony and ritual which are essential to complete the healing that is to take place.

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[Digression:  if the word ‘Shaman’ doesn’t seem to fit for a person who does all of this, what would you call them?]

Share your talents and skills and passion (“Your Peace”) with Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the Big Waters all around us.

Learn more about the Earthways Shamanic Path by visiting, Earthways Shamanic Path

(c) 2017 to present, Whale Maiden for the Earthways Shamanic Path.  All rights reserved.

Journey of the Heart: The Symbols Within

This post substantially edits the May 10th post,    “Journey of the Heart:  The Shamanic Path Within.”

In this Blog, I am describing a Journey which I am on, to find my Spiritual Path.  I am on what is called the Earthways Shamanic Path.  That much is known and clear.  But since it is a path of my own invention, and I am blazing a trail, I have to feel my way, with each step.  Recently — at a New Moon meditation ceremony, two months ago, I came out of the ceremony with the vision of a great green spiral.  It looked something like this:

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A green spiral. (Photo credit unknown)

Green is the color of the Heart Chakra.  I am on a journey of the heart, but I knew the message wasn’t about romance.  Instead, this is about finding my soul’s connection to the great green spiral that pulses at my core, (at my Soul’s Heart,) and about my on-going dedication to honor my Path, “the Path with the most heart,” which was the most important lesson I got from the Carlos Castenada books.

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Photo Credit, unknown

[I thought the Spiral referred to the Sea…]

Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, you must find YOUR Path.  The one that will best nurture you and challenge you to grow and flourish.  This is the Path with the most Heart,.  Sometimes, following this path may require that you take focused steps winding along mountain sides.  Other times, you will discover the path completely drops off a cliff and you must ‘high back’ and leap across the chasm.  Trusting you will drop into the Sea, the deep waters all around us, and discover you are body surfing, jumping waves and the curl of the waves drops you off in a forest glen, densely green and lush and so soft and you enter it and the big green hum of cicadas sings to you, calls to your heart, their rising and falling crescendos a giant spiral yet again. Find your song, follow your path.

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Cicada by Whale Maiden 11/2015

Here’s the Important update, Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans:  a few days after I posted   “Journey of the Heart:  The Shamanic Path Within”  I had a conversation with a helpful reader, who helped me understand that I had written TWO posts in one blog post.  (One was all about Music and Messages From Spirit. and I have pulled that one together, elsewhere.)  I realized the point of this Blog, was the symbol, the Green Spiral.  So, I searched the internet for images of green spirals, and that is when I found this:

As you can see in the accompanying text, the Koru spiral refers to “going back to the beginning, in order to nurture new phases in life”  And, what this means to me is, at that New Moon Ceremony, two months ago I was being encouraged to go back to my Path’s roots, and feel my way forward, to make sure I would make good choices in the subsequent time.

My experiences on my path began in Nature at the Jersey Shore (the wave as spiral) and included lots of time in the Pennsylvania woods, surrounded by cicada, who’s noises are an all enveloping spiral,   so, it is important to return to Nature to “Find the Path with the Most Heart.”

I’ve been through a lot of changes since that New Moon Ceremony, two months ago:  I’ve left a ten-year relationship.  I moved away from the house where I have lived for 15 years, the County for over 30.  I got a new job.  I’ve reconnected with my inner spirit, I am happy.  I’ve had some wonderful adventures out in Nature.  Has my Path sustained me during all this?  Yes, it has.  Am I connected to Spirit?  Yes, I am.

So I say to you, We are all Connected.  Share your Peace with Mother Earth, Father Sky, and with the Big Waters all around you.

(c) 2017 to present, Whale Maiden for the Earthways Shamanic Path, all rights reserved (Except for the spiral photos.)

Journey of the Heart: The Shamanic Path Within

I sing a lot.  Sometimes I sing out loud, and teach songs in sacred space.  Other times, I sing along to my cd player in my car as I am driving around Florida, on my circuit of road trips.  Other times, the Song is in my head and ears rolling around in a great widening spiral to my heart.

I am on a journey of the heart, but this isn’t about romance.  This is about finding my soul’s connection to the great green spiral that pulses at the Heart chakra, and about my on-going dedication to honor my Path, “the Path with the most heart,” which was the most important lesson I got from the Carlos Castenada books.

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Photo Credit, unknown

Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, you must find YOUR Path.  The one that will best nurture you and challenge you to grow and flourish.  This is the Path with the most Heart,.  Sometimes, following this path may require that you take focused steps winding along mountain sides.  Other times, you will discover the path completely drops off a cliff and you must ‘high back’ and leap across the chasm.  Trusting you will drop into the Sea, the deep waters all around us, and discover you are body surfing, jumping waves and the curl of the waves drops you off in a forest glen, densely green and lush and so soft and you enter and the big green hum of cicadas sings to you, calls to your heart, their rising and falling crescendos a giant spiral yet again.

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Cicada by Whale Maiden 11/2015

Find your song, follow your path.

And share your Peace with Mother Earth, Father Sky, and with the Big Waters all around you.

(c) 2017 to present, Whale Maiden for the Earthways Shamanic Path, all rights reserved (Except for the Wave photo.)

Fire Season is coming

In the Earthways Shamanic Path, I study the seasons as they unfold in my location, which is Southwest Florida.  The seasons here are, Rainy, Hurricane, Dry, and Fire.  I call this, ‘finding the Magic In the land,’

Fire Season starts in mid-February.  Some of the physical markers are, a doubling of our population, a drop in temperature, an increase in fires.  These markers relate to the spiritual aspects, which I’ll address in a different post.

I know Fire Season is coming, because the Live Oak trees are brimming with their flower parts, and will release “scree” soon.  Scree can be collected, dried, and used in place of sage, for smudging purposes. 

I don’t have Live Oak trees in my yard, but I know where they are.  The trick to collecting scree is it needs to fall onto a tarp, or on a paved surface, because it is whispy.

Scree burns fast, and you need to gather a lot of it.  Since the weather patterns have shifted so much, trees are blooming at unpredictable times.  Thus, when we see that the trees are just about to release the scree, we need to be prepared to collect it, that day, or the next. 

Share your peace with Mother Earth and Father Sky and the big Waters all around us.

(c) 2017 to present, Whale Maiden for the Earthways Shamanic Path.  All rights reserved. 

 

Mummurings and Magazines

I’ve had a busy Rainy Season, and an even busier Hurricane Season. (This is the period of time most people call, “Summer,” but in Florida it is kind of Summer all year ’round, so I have my distinctions.)  Among other exciting things, I was recently interviewed by Linda Sechrist of the Natural Awakenings Magazine, about Shamanism, and my Earthways Shamanic Path. Linda did two great articles, The Modern Shaman and then a really great side bar called, The World Through the Eyes and Heart of Three Local Shaman.  I was so thrilled to be included in this article, and am happy to share these links with you.

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What tools do you need, to be a Shaman?

Shaman's Tool Basket
Shaman’s Tool Basket

What tools do you need, to be a Shaman?

We’re having this conference, next week — perhaps you’ve heard about it by now?  It’s the Earthways Shamanic Path Gathering 2016 and you can learn more about it at our new website .  Before I had even finished lining up all the speakers, people were asking me, “Will you have vendors?”  Yes, we are having vendors, but more importantly, the Conference is about EXPERIENCING aspects of Shamanism:  learning how to go on deep meditations.  We call these meditations, “journeys,” and the skill is called, “journeying.”  Throughout the conference, you’ll have the opportunity to go on many different journeys for many purposes.

Shamans come from all over the world, and customs differ from one place to the next, but when I go journeying, I like to have a comfortable place to sit.  I like to wear comfortable clothes.  I prefer shade if I am outdoors.  If I’m outside I wear a sun hat.  I like to smudge myself with locally dried tree flowers.   I like to use a rattle to make a rhythmic sound.  And, when I have completed my journey, I like to record my experiences and quench my thirst.  Those are the basic needs.  Inherent in that is a list of objects: Chair, clothes, shade tree, sun hat, dried flowers, bowl, lighter, feather fan, rattle, notebook and pen, water.  Some extra things that I have found helpful are: a candle, a blanket or wrap, favorite talismans (I have some special necklaces, and some post card sized pictures, and family relics) a cloth to set them out on, and a pouch to put them in. I have a rattan picnic basket I put most of that stuff into:  It is my Tool Basket.

It’s that simple, really.  When I am teaching classes about Shamanism, I tend to bring a lot of stuff with me, for illustrative purposes.  And, when I am conducting special Ceremonies, for example, a Welcoming Ceremony at our Earthways Shamanic Path Gathering, then I would have more items, to decorate an Altar.  More candles, flowers, statues of totem animals.

I’ve been practicing Shamanism for a long time.  I have everything I need. Yet, I have a fondness for rocks and shiny-sparklie things.  And I understand that many people are new to their Journey,  and don’t have what they need to Journey comfortably.  When you feel comfortable, your confidence as a Shaman, increases.  So, yes, there will be vendors at the Earthways Shamanic Path Gathering and there will be opportunities at the Gathering, for you to make some of your basic Shaman Tools:  a rattle, and a pouch.

Share Your Peace With Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the Big Waters, All Around Us.

(c) 2016, Whale Maiden

Spirit is my Event Planner

Some of you may have noticed that we are having an event here in Fort Myers, Florida, in a few weeks, for the Earthways Shamanic Path.  It is called the Earthways Shamanic Path Gathering.  We’ve been busy pulling this event together for a while now, and every day there is some new exciting detail to address:  Facilities!  Rain Plans!  Food!  Food Allergies!  Camping!  Hotels!  Presenters- blurbs, bios, photos,!  Vendors!  Volunteers!  and, people are registering, or have said they will, soon, or might come.  Whew.

One of the most important things I’ve been doing, is taking the flyers around to the local metaphysical type stores.  I always get so excited when I do this, because the stores are fiull of crystals and sparklie things that are — so distracting! — and I have to focus.

20140711_155928Recently, I was at one store which had a basket of cards on a shelf.  Each card has a message.  I slowed down and pulled a card and the message was:  “Spirit is my event Planner,” and I said, YES!  It is important for me to remember that everything will work out just fine with this Gathering.  The people who need to attend, will attend.  the Presentations Will be awesome.  When I need Help, Helpers will (and have!) step up and offer that help.  It is amazing, and I am reminded just about hourly, to have Spirit be my Event Planner.

Thank you Great Spirit!

And We Share Our Peace With Mother Earth, Father Sky and the Big Waters All Around Us!

For more about the Earthways Shamanic Path Gathering 2016, check here:  CUUPS Website