Being In The Shamanic Flow

I don’t have a very long commute to my office, Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, and some days it seems to take me a very long time to get out of my house.  But today, I’ve realized that part of the work of being a Shaman is knowing that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, all the time, no matter what time it really is.  When you are a Shaman, you step into The Flow.

My little town has some boulevards:  roads which have two lanes going North, a lovely landscaped median, and two lanes going South.  These are also called, “divided highways,” as you’ll see in my picture, here.

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My town also has more than its share of people driving around  who are just visiting.  I mean, they are tourists or snowbirds:  they aren’t from around here.  They get lost,  easily and frequently.  So this morning, I was driving towards this   “T” intersection, where a two lane road, meets up with this 4 lane boulevard, and I watched as a little car headed into the intersection, and then, instead of going  around the landscaped median and South, he made a tighter left, to the South, and began coming my way in the North bound lanes.  I stopped short, honked the horn, and flashed my lights and got his attention.  And by this time, I was straddling both North bound lanes, much to the confusion of the car behind me.  So, I ‘held space’ for the little car.  After a moment, the little car moved around the median and proceeded very slowly South.  And I made my way to my office.  No matter what time it was, I had arrived there, on time.

You can learn more about this at our upcoming Earthways Shamanic Path Gathering, April 15-17, 2016, here in Fort Myers.  Follow this link to our Registration page.

So I say, See the Magic in Your Land.  Feel It.  Feel your connection to the world all around you.  And I say, Share Your Peace with Our Mother Earth, Our Father Sky and our Big Waters that surround us.

(c) 2016 all rights reserved, Whale Maiden

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What is a Shaman?

One day a friend of mine asked me, “What is a Shaman?” I said, “a Shaman is someone who is somewhere between a priest/priestess, a healer and a teacher.”

There are shamans all around the world, and there have been since time began. Or at least since humans began.  Some people become a shaman because they grew up in a tribe or other indigenous close-knit community, and someone in that community taught them the knowledge of healing and divination that was handed down over generations.

Other people, like me, didn’t have the knowledge handed down to them from family members, but felt a “call,” to become a Shaman.  I’ll write about this some more…

I believe we are all connected through energy.  I am connected to people, plants and trees, animals and minerals.  All these are beings, and have an energy pattern that can be seen/felt and interacted with.

One of the things Shamans do, is go into Altered States of awareness.  That means, they do something to change their energy, to change their vibrations.  Some Shamans ingest plants or beverages that change their awareness.  In my case, I meditate.  I dance.  I make sounds (tones).  I listen to music.  I play a rattle or a drum.  The noises and the movements, change my vibrations, change my energy.  Once I’ve done that, then I feel calmer, and my senses are heightened.

If I do a walking meditation, which is part of a Shamanic Nature Trek, then, when I am outside and calm and relaxed, I see more of the plants and animals and minerals around me.  The colors are more vivid, the sounds are more pronounced.  I get in tune with the vibrations of the plants and animals and minerals around me.

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Also while in an altered state, I travel to the other worlds to meet with my animal guides and spirit teachers.  We all  have animal guides and spirit teachers.  I go on these journeys to solve problems and help myself and other people.

Since being a Shaman is a way of being, it becomes the way you operate.  So I say, See the Magic in Your Land.  Feel It.   And I say, Share Your Peace with Our Mother Earth, Our Father Sky and our Big Waters that surround us.

(c) 2016 all rights reserved, Whale Maiden

The Earthways Shamanic Path Gathering is coming!

Hello Everybody!  CUUPS of Fort Myers is hosting the first ever, Earthways Shamanic Path Gathering at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers, April 15 through April 17, 2016.

This is a new pagan path, developed here at CUUPS of Fort Myers.

1. We study the Seasons as they unfold where we live. We learn what those Seasons are, their physical-environmental aspects, their spiritual aspects and what they mean, and how to celebrate them.

2. We approach the world through a shamanic perspective. We drum and meditate to achieve altered states. We go on shamanic journeys. We communicate with spirits and guides. We do this to help ourselves, or to help other people or other beings.

3. We believe that Shamanism is an ancient earth-based spiritual practice with modern applications. We recognize that you can be Shaman and Wiccan, or Shaman and Druid, or other combinations. But for us, we are Shaman and this is our Path.

4. We say, “Share Your Peace With Our Mother Earth, Father Sky, and The Big Water.”

We have a lovely brochure:

EwSP Gathering 2016-Brochure.02252016

You can visit the Eventbrite website to learn more information and to register.  If you want to split your payments, Whale Maiden takes PayPal and has a SQUARE, and will be happy to help you with that.  Contact Whale.Maiden@yahoo.com if you have questions.

Thanks everyone.

Black Stars and Wands Up

Our lives are so intertwined with our arts, and we live in a culturally rich time.   Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, the veil has opened and people who have meant a lot to us, culturally, and spiritually, have slipped through, but they did not go unnoticed.

On Monday of this week, we learned that David Bowie passed away at the age of 69. He had just released a new album, Black Star, Friday, and many of the songs on it, seemed to suggest that he knew his time was coming.  Today, we learned that Alan Rickman has passed away, also at the age of 69.  (Since we tend to see celebrity deaths in groups of three, today several people pointed back to Natalie Cole who passed away on December 31, in order to complete this trifecta.)

Monday morning,  when we found out about David Bowie, a young friend of mine posted on Facebook, “I thought he was immortal,”  and I knew exactly what they meant:  David Bowie’s music has permeated my life from 1972 on-wards, directly at first through his own music, and then indirectly, as his artistic genius began to be woven into the creative lives of countless other artists over the past several decades.  I thought it would always be this way, all my life.

Part of my Shamanic practice — a large part of it — involves music and singing and dancing.  I am immersed in music on a daily basis.  Certainly this involves drumming to achieve altered states, and singing songs to the Great Spirit and Mother Earth and Father Sky and to the Waters all around me.  But it also involves listening to music while I am out driving around.  And it used to involve listening to music while sitting around with my friends.  We’d put the record on the phonograph, or the tape in the tape player, and rock out.  All of these are altered states.  They are Shamanic experiences.  And Bowie’s music, and the music he inspired, is in there.

(If I could, I’d post just the refrain from Bowie’s song,  Moonage Daydream here, the instrumental part…it is similar to, but not the same as, my Spirit’s Song.  The one that comes to me when I feel joyful.  The one I sing to myself when I want to feel joyful.)

And then there’s Alan Rickman and his awesome VOICE. …  One of the books that had a tremendous impact on me and my Shamanic Path, was Dune by Frank Herbert, which I read between 1975-77.  I was particularly impressed by the women in the  Bene Gesserit, who knew of personal power, for example, the ability to move just one toe.  And, how they directed reality with the power of their Voice.  This is the power of story-telling.  Speakers do this, parents do this, teachers do this.  And in my world, one of the greatest Voices of our time, is that of Alan Rickman.    (I love this clip from from the movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, where Severus Snape strides into the classroom and directs the students to  “Turn to page three-hundred-ninety-four”.)

Incidentally, Alan Rickman’s last project, is the voice of the Blue Caterpillar in the upcoming movie, Alice Through the Looking Glass.  Now there’s another Shamanic Story for you!

Sometimes, you won’t know what has influenced your life, or your spiritual path, until the influence is gone.  None of us are immortal, but their influences will live on.   I am thankful to live in a time with readily accessible recordings of these great artists, at my fingertips.

Meanwhile, Wands Up, “Let’s Dance!” and Share Peace with Our Earth.

~Whale Maiden~

~~~ ♡ ~~~

Although the Earthways Shamanic Path is based in Florida, it can be celebrated anywhere. You just need to explore the magic of your land.  What is it saying to you? What are the seasons, where you live? What do they mean to you? How are they celebrated?

Join Whale Maiden in the discussion at the Earthways Shamanic Path – Facebook Group

(c) 2002 to present, Whale Maiden. All Rights Reserved.

Shamanic Nature Treks in the Earthways Shamanic Path

Our monthly Shamanic Nature Treks in the Earthways Shamanic Path are intended to get us out and about observing the flora and fauna, in different biozones (mangrove compared to piney forest, for example) and at different times of the year. And, while we are out on the Nature Treks, we will do Walking Meditations, which form the essence of our Shamanic studies. Children are welcomed to attend, but they have to be able to be very, very quiet when we go into the meditation parts. (We won’t be meditating the whole time, but we do practice quiet walking to enhance our enjoyment of the Liminal Spaces.)

Our Treks last 2 hours or so, depending upon the location we pick. We try to select locations that have a boardwalk, so it is accessible to folks using various mobility assertive devices.

What to Bring:   Sun Hat, Sun Block, camera, sun glasses, closed toed shoes, bug repellent, small note book & pen if you like to take notes. Remember to also bring your bottle of water, and perhaps a small snack.

Quiet walking is a meditation in a liminal space
Quiet walking is a meditation in a liminal space

After we have our Shamanic Nature Trek, then we will meet somewhere nearby for lunch (TBD). If you can’t make it to the Nature Trek, you are still welcomed to meet us for lunch.

Although the Earthways Shamanic Path is based in Florida, it can be celebrated anywhere.  You just need to explore the magic of your land.  What is it saying to you?   What are the seasons, where you live?  What do they mean to you?  How are they celebrated? 

And “Let’s Share Peace With Our Earth.”

Join Whale Maiden in the discussion at the Earthways Shamanic Path – Facebook Group

(c) 2015, Whale Maiden.  All Rights Reserved

Farewell to Rainy Season from the Florida Branch

It is mid-August and we are leaving the Rainy Season as celebrated in the Florida Branch of the Earthways Shamanic Path.  What have you learned about yourself and your world, in this Rainy Season?  Here in Florida, Rainy Season is about cleansing, and restoring your inner spirit.   It is a time of planning and contemplation.  Yes, it was rainy.  Yes, sometimes you have to sit in your car and wait for it to stop raining, yes.20150617_190058It was hot.  Yes.  It was HUMID.  Yes.  But the kids went off to camp, the other kids got married, and there were many celebrations to attend to.

And, since it is so hot and rainy, it is a little too hot to get out into the woods, so this is a good time of year to think about what you may want to do, when it gets cooler and dryer.  You have time, since that won’t happen for a few months.  So, what ideas did you have, while you were sitting on your porch in the morning?  Rainy Season is an opportunity to make plans.  I hope you put this time to good use.

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Because Hurricane Season is just around the corner.

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And Honorable Shamans, remember to Share Peace with Our Earth.

FaceBook Reality?

I attended a workshop on Shamanism a few weeks ago up in Sarasota.   It was wonderful.  It provided  a supportive environment to practice my journeying skills.  We talked about Reality a lot, both every day Ordinary Reality and Non-Ordinary Reality.

Lately, that is, since January 20, 2014, I have maintained an almost daily presence on FaceBook and I’ve come to the realization that it is a separate reality — the FaceBook reality.

In the FaceBook reality, you co-create the illusion that you are sitting in a room with all your friends, carrying on all these little conversations and looking at pictures of kittens (because they wear bow ties, and, because they are so adorable,) and it feels like you are with all these people.  But in truth, they may be sitting on the couch next to you, immersed in their world of FaceBook reality, which is separate but equal from yours.

And all the while, I am not fully present in the Ordinary Reality, and simultaneously, I know I’m not in the Non-Ordinary reality, interacting with my Spirits and Guides.

I need to get out more!