Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Death Activates Life Along Fine Spiral Lines

I have been dreaming and journeying for teachings about how to embrace more closely the reversals and inversions in the many shamanic ways I am studying, of healing and restoring life through death. One of our circle members died to this world yesterday, initiating his big dream-journeys into mystery, and more teachings for some of us. My prayers are with him, and with others, yet my thoughts are going around in circles.

This transitional season shows me green, new life everywhere I look, along side of many gray, dead, broken, remains of winter. Many of last year's autumn leaves are decomposing as food for microscopic beings, while the blossoms on many branches promise new ones soon. The more I look around, more dimensions transformation open up before me, and the more fine lines I find to cross over.

Every shamanic journey - even the kind commonly taught as easy in weekend beginning shamanism workshops - is an mini-chance to die and return here, with gifts for changing and reactivating lives. And, shamanic dreaming along the inner spacetime spirals is a way of flowing creatively with both the patterns and asymetries of the cosmos.

On behalf of self and everyone, a shaman is at once the alchemist and the chosen matter, soul, and spirit of the great work - cooking, fermenting, and rising into a marvelous new life-form that must crack out of the container. Yet a shaman is also that same broken sacred container, that in the weirdest ways of Spirit is best repaired by being broken.

This title of this blog links to a challenging (for me) technical, scientific article about how a crucial and delicate balance of deliberate death against life opens pathways and re-engages development, at some of the closer boundaries of ordinary reality - right within the cells of our bodies. Lately, I have been happy to simplify my life in order to be able to study and pray more, and at this moment I am still irked. I know that there is a key teaching for me in all of these meanderings that I have yet to recieve!

Here is one part of it, that I preach to myself, yet often forget by the end of the sermon: In all the profoundest teachings of the religions of earth, death doing the worst closest to home catalyzes great shifts in a chosen direction, and releases many frozen blessings. This is happening close to home in the death process of a circle-companion and during each of my own daily mini-demises into either anguished or joyful foolishness. All over the world - close up and faraway - chances keep coming for turning death and life around. This is how the universal mother and necessity teach us the great shaman trick - transforming anguish into joy by turning agony and play inside-out.

An all-important lesson that keeps getting buried under seriousness in religion (yet revived by Spirit and the Spirits, as often as possible), that I must relearn daily in shamanic practice, is that, right up there with faith, hope, and the greatest love - laughter is required for salvation. Between finer and finer lines, many saving names of power and possibility are still linked to freedom, peace, and healing laughter.

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