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.)

Music: Messages From Spirit

Stick with me, there’s a point to all of this.

I wake up, not with the memory of a dream, but with a song, The Drugs Don’t Work, by The Verve, rolling out in complete recall: The lyrics, the melody, the complete orchestration…something like this acoustic recording, only more-so,

Spirit is giving me a message!    I do not do drugs, so, superficially, I can say this isn’t a message for me. But the odd thing about hearing this song this morning was, in spite of its melancholy tone, it didn’t make me sad; because of the ending, it actually makes me feel, and I mean, feel,  hopeful and connected to Spirit.

I’ve only recently heard this song when I reinstalled my entire CD collection onto my phone in April.  I have 2,095 tracks on my phone.  My cd player is set to play tracks, not albums, and it goes alphabetically from ”   “, (   ), 01, 02, and then A through Z.  I play these songs, end over end on all my various road trips across Florida.

You might think I’d get tired of hearing these songs in alphabetical order, but several factors are at play which  make every road trip a wonderful conversation with Spirit. Frequently, the system will jump from the T’s back to the S’s as if it is important for me to hear one particular song — like Scarborough Fair by Glen Campbell, followed by … Scarborough Fair by Simon and Garfunkle.  I’m obviously meant to get that message… whatever it is. Deciphering these messages is a work in progress.

Due to the way a lot of CDs are produced, copied, shared and uploaded, I have a lot of songs called, Track 01, Track 02, Track 03 … so, there is a point in time where I get this strange rotation of songs by Albannach, and, Mbrascatu.  This is a strange pairing.  Albannach is tribal, Celtic, mostly pulsating drums and bag pips and some vocalizations.

Mbrascatu’s songs are sung in Italian, and accompanied by violins and other instruments.  I heard this band play live in Seattle in February 2016.  They are great fun to watch, they have great stage presence.  You know I danced.  I loved their music, but I do not speak Italian.  I don’t know what they are singing about.  It could be about their family, their lover, a lost love, their land, their wine or pasta.  I haven’t a clue. But the songs make me feel happy.    Here they are playing  “Cittu Za Vecchia” which they say means ‘shut up grand mother,’ but I think they were joking —

Here is what I’m really writing about today, Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans.  Because of my Whale Energy (The Whales are some of my Spirit Helper Animals,) I pick up music and songs easily:  I’m tuned in to the way songs sounds.  I know romance languages and can make out syllables, I can sing La-La, La-La. La. La La La, la la la,  along with Mbrascatu.  I can learn the songs without knowing the words.

Recently, I was honored to attend a Sweat Lodge Ceremony where all the sacred songs were sung in Lakota.  Now, I do not speak Lakota, but when the people began singing, my Whales do their thing, and I respond in sound bytes and syllables, and gradually pick up the songs as time goes on, through repetition.  The first time I attended this Ceremony, back in late December, even though I didn’t know the words, the songs touched my Heart; it didn’t matter what the words were.  In one of the Ceremonies this past weekend, someone taking their first Sweat asked if the songs were available translated into English.  They wanted to know what the songs meant.  It is always a challenge to translate songs from one language to another because of grammar and sentence structure.  Lakota doesn’t translate to English very well at all because Lakota will have one word for a beautiful concept that must be described in a complete sentence.

This weekend, as I attended this wonderful and beautiful Ceremony, I learned more of the songs, and more and more of the words are seeping in, touching my Heart.  One day I will wake up singing those songs.

Footnote:  Maybe now, this part of my post “Journey of the Heart: The Shamanic Path Within” on May 10th, will make more sense:

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.

… the Song [the Messages from Spirit] is in my head and ears, rolling around in a great widening spiral to my heart… 

[On your Sacred Path,] 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.

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 music videos.)

 

 

Habit forming

Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time inside a building with security door latches.  Some are accessed through a badge which we wear.  These are credit card sized devices, anchored to a clip with a retractable cord.  That  sounds like zip-zip-zip when used, and provides hours of entertainment.

Other doors are accessed via a four digit code on a key pad.  I’ve successfully memorized the code (a life skill).  That’s a good thing, because I don’t want to get stuck outside in the hallway.

The keys on the key pad beep when pressed: tap-tap-tap-tap! And then, there’s a pause and a ‘click,’ and the door can be opened.

Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, in just three weeks, I have developed a strange little habit.   After I depress the 4 buttons, I tilt my head to the left, just slightly while waiting for the ‘click.’  I don’t know why I started doing that.  I don’t know why I only tilt to the left.  I just know, I do it every time now.  

That’s how easily habits develop.  As habits go, this one is totally benign.  It doesn’t hurt me, or anyone else.  And once I noticed it, I set about stopping that habit.  It’s a choice.

Every day, the little choices we make, sometimes without even noticing, add up, like drops of water wearing away a mountain, drop by drop.

Make good choices, and share your peace with Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the Big Waters all around us.

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

Gait of a Shaman

My Mom was very keen on posture, carriage and, bearing.  She didn’t let her back touch the chair in the dining room.  When we were kids, my sister and I walked around the house with books on our heads, to learn to control our gait.   Years of walking, bicycle riding, dancing, have given me a certain gait and with it, a rolling sense of confidence, poise, grace and strength.

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Sanibel, April 2017

Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, this is the best way I can describe my “bearing,” but to me, this basic body/mind connection is also a shamanic tool.

If I need to, I can pull up a great deal of energy, determination, strength, just by walking through the doorway into a building or down a long corridor.  It may have something to do with moving through liminal space; I don’t know.  I just become taller.  My wing span unfolds.

… ” wearing my long wing feathers as I fly,  wearing my long wing feathers as I fly, I circle around, I circle around, the boundaries of the Earth.”

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

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.)

Holding Space for Each Other

I’ve been going through some changes for a few months.  Three months, definitely.  Maybe more.  Maybe six.  I haven’t been able to give my all, and some times, I haven’t been able to give, at all.  I’ve had moments where I rallied, and right now, I am thankful for the concept of Holding Space.

And the people around me, held me close in their hearts, and yet, made space, too.
Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, I’ll give you some examples of Holding Space which I have seen over the past few months:

  • In groups, I held on, (I was making space for another person who was going through an even rougher time than me,)  while  we added administrators.  Or, people stepped forward to fill in the void, posting good articles and quotes.  In classes, new people stepped forward, willing to teach, and to continue sharing  the gifts of knowledge.  I stepped back, and felt the healing power of allowing that gift to take place, that space.
  • Holding Space is very simple.  Sometimes it means, being there, when someone needs to talk.  Or not talk.  Maybe they simply need to hear you breath, or see the little blinking lights flicker in Messenger, the sign that someone is out there, communicating, and holding space for me.
  • Holding Space is also when a person opens up in a sacred circle, and shares something that has been weighing on their mind, heart, soul, and they finally feel ready to share this, and in that moment, they are held by the respect of the circle, listened to and not judged.  Given the space they need.
  • Other times in the past few months, people have invited me to their table.  They added an extra chair and a plate, and assured me there was plenty of the good stuff to go around, we would all be nurtured, fed, held in that space. 
  • I was able to Hold Space when serving as a liasion between two groups, working separately to achieve common goals.

If you held space for me recently, thank you.  If I held space for you, you’re welcome.

Share your Peace with Mother Earth and Father Sky, and with the Big Waters all around us, for we are all connected.

(c) 2017 to present, by Whale Maiden for the Earthways Shamanic Path.  All Rights Reserved.