Growing up, I mislabeled my shamanic experiences as mental and emotional sicknesses and sought medical assistance to get over the "crazyness" -- even while I learned more from spirit and spirits and practiced the ways in secret. The weird special effects were troubling, yet compelling.
Gifts or aberrations? Both, usually at once. Self-absorbed dis-functioning was the sickness, and the rest was direct experience of spirit and spirits, misunderstood more often than grokked.
Finally, during young adulthood, I began favoring the pathological interpretations of my experiences and this "made it so" -- the choice led me into grave illnesses and abuse (years of exhausting dis-ease and depressing disorder). After enough was enough, in a real way, I died -- physically, psychically and spiritually (though not permanently). I suffered a long, drawn-out near-death journey.
But then I began dreaming myself well for real, in and as spirit and spirits.
I would find myself dreaming transformational adventures, while I slept or slumped around in a daze. One day, I realized I was growing well, ever so gradually, so I kept going. Then I came to a juncture -- get well all the way or recycle, insisted spirit and spirits. (But either choice was absolutely, perfectly A-OK at this one, wondrous crystal-clear decision point; there was no shame or guilt at all in this encounter and challenge; it was simply, purely true-love).
When I chose wellness, it happened -- by leaps and bounds.
Those are my only real "shamanic credentials," though my shamanic practicing has been vetted by an official shamanic church (besides the one I co-founded).
Important: I do not suppose simply choosing decisively brings desired, desirable results. Instead, I suppose, changes involve countless overlapping, interconnecting flows, weaves and patterns, within many dimensions, at many levels, through many orders, and may take generations to appear. Generations of some beings go quickly while others take eons. Every choice changes the world significantly and every prayer is answered naturally, I am supposing -- but, first and last, with Mystery.
After I returned from the dead, so to speak, I noticed with astonishment that what I had run from, yet found myself entering into fully with growing understanding, was being called "the way of the shaman" -- just one stream of a popular spiritual revival. To get "up to speed" in ordinary reality with what had transformed me faster than light-speed in non-ordinary reality, I attended months of days of experiential study with various teachers of shamanic and many related ways, at great expense.
Before my flailing, failing fall into the deeps, during the better moments on my good days, I studied the mystics, mages and alchemists of the western Judeo-Christian tradition intently and intensely, occasionally under priestly guidance, more often alone. Before and after that period, I lived my individualistic gnostic heresies, oscillating wildly in and out of agnosticism.
In my tweens, I had studied psychoanalysis and hypnosis. But I missed my calling all along, life twist after roundabout turn, approaching what would fulfill, then always veering away by a few inches on the bookshelf to many miles in the world. In the long run, it all became learning, by hard ways up rough roads, though I had begun my earth-voyage in first class, with many blessings and privileges.
Now, what I live and teach bypasses most of the hardship and traces back to my earliest childhood shamanic experiences, not called any such thing by me in those days. Since then, all is influenced by every instruction I receive -- all sorts in many fields of life.
I claim no authorizing tradition or lineage -- only my life, lifelong studying and ongoing direct experiences of spirit and spirits, while by while, as shamanizing intentions arise. The way grows murky, off and on. But navigating the fog is fun now.
This is only one of the reasons I usually refer to myself as only a shamanizer, and that only when some shamanic activity is what I happen to be doing in the moment, stirred by spirit and spirits, which I choose NOT to define. Whether I call this life in and with spirit and spirits play and pretend, or imagination and art, or temporarily adopt other descriptions in attempts to explain, or acknowledge one Holy Spirit or Life Spirit moving, the methods work fine for me -- meaning life enhancement keeps happening, without proof of causes and effects.
Maybe I keep shamanizing though my skepticism because of genetic predispositions. Maybe I keep on because the practices delight me, while shifts for the better keep happening in my life.
Anyway, when I shamanize over a concern, for myself or for someone else, I work only within myself, to heal or transform my version and vision of whatever patterns are needing and calling for help, acting as if it will help, acting as if other folks' versions and visions of the challenges or troubles at hand (known and unknown to me, near or far from me) might change also, in resonance, according to free will and choice. Often enough to amaze, I receive encouraging feedback, stories of shifts happening. It's always a happy (yet disconcerting) surprise that makes me wonder and question all over again, then quest on.
Oops: In online directories I did begin listing my shamanic practice(s) some years ago under what seemed like the closest incorrect category (because shamanic ways defy categorizing). I have stopped doing this, but there are lots of listings out there haunting me, too many to go find and delete. No more listing or advertising for me.
Still, situations like this make me wonder sorrowfully, and contemplate withdrawing even further. Before any shamanizing, may I never forget to beg of spirit and spirits, "First and last, allow NO HARM to result from my foolishness!"
The (nowadays called) Law of Attraction is not the only cosmic law in effect in this multi-verse, and Trickster often gets a say-so in the grand mix-up of things!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
My shamanic calling wasn't crystal-clear