During a recent journey, I had an opportunity to meet and speak with my client's great-great grandmother, a Cherokee woman who had walked the Trail of Tears. She told me that the shamanic journey is a way of bringing what is inside us to the outside where we can see it and hear it, and that the drumbeat is an extension of our own heart. I loved this idea that journeying is a method of making our inner wisdom external and therefore available to us, and felt very grateful for the gift of this insight.
As we enter 2012, many of the channeled works and transmissions from indigenous elders, as well as the journeys of shamanic practitioners the world over, speak of the necessity of a different way of being in the world to come—a way of living through spirit and pledging singular loyalty to the wisdom of the heart and soul, that our survival as an individual and a race depends upon this. The teachings say we must now more than ever allow ourselves to be guided by an inner wisdom rooted in the Divine, rather than heed the long-established paradigms of our external reality and the steady diet of pressure and fear these schools of thought impose upon us.
On January 1st, I went on a journey to see what was in store for 2012. One of the themes, which came forward almost immediately, was the necessary collapse of old structures. This is a global development that has been repeatedly mentioned to me in my journeys—and has long been evidenced in the world around us. (Look at what has happened in recent years to the institutions we thought could never be shaken—our political system, the economic superstructure and institutions both religious and secular that are buckling under unprecedented levels of dysfunction.)
Many of us keep trying to return to these old structures to resolve our present difficulties, but the wells there are dry and broken. The ego-mind reassures us if we just follow the rules and tenets set out by these established institutions, we will find our way out. But the messages coming from spirit say that everything we see crumbling around us needs to crumble, and that now is the time to protect our personal power (or sovereignty) by turning to inner wisdom, by establishing new sources of nourishment and understanding that come directly from spirit. The old ways of being can no longer satisfy us or solve our problems.
Another theme of 2012, which has been cropping up in my work over recent months, is the imperative need for ancestral clearing, a going back and restoring the damages and losses to our human family lineage before we, as a race, can move forward with wholeness and strength. In ancient times, in the wake of war and catastrophe—experiences which can often fragment and misdirect the exiting soul—shamans acted as mediators (psychopomps) in order to ensure that the victims of these cataclysms had a proper passing over and found their way to the spirit world. Because our consciousness has been so outer-directed in recent millennia, this sacred work has been neglected and the integrity of our genetic and karmic ancestry has suffered.
In my client work these days, it is not uncommon for me to act as a psycopomp for souls that have been caught in the timeline of some historical conflagration or tragedy (eg., the Trail of Tears). It is as if the unfinished stories of these fragmented or lost souls are recorded in either the DNA the client carries in her physical body or the akashic record she carries in her soul. These souls (or soul parts) must be plucked from the time-space continuum in which they have become frozen; they must be allowed to heal their experience and become part of the greater whole.
Becoming whole and finding inner balance is perhaps our greatest imperative in 2012. We are being prodded and encouraged to do our inner work now more than ever before, because now is the deadline. Those who commit to the work to restore the integrity of their soul, those who let go of the emotional baggage and the detritus of the past, those who make compassion and unconditional love their guiding principle, will have a smoother ride going forward.
Oftentimes, new clients will ask me: how many times do I need to come and see you? Will one visit be enough? Unlike traditional medical and therapeutic models, healing through shamanic practice and treatment is not about commitment to a given protocol as much as it is commitment to a different way of being, a personal vow to henceforth serve the urgings of the soul rather than the whims and demands of the ego. It is the shift we must make—or so the changing times tell us—from honoring mundane priorities to, above all else, manifesting divine visions. (Look for my next blog posting on the topic of manifestation.)
When in doubt, when in distress, when in fear and confusion, we must learn to go within to spirit for interpretation and guidance, and wean ourselves off our historic reliance on science and the media. So, isn’t it a blessing that one of the most powerful tools for doing inner work—the shamanic journey—has been preserved for us throughout the many millennia of human existence? This very accessible practice enables us to bring what is inside outside, so we can see and interpret and understand who we are, what is happening in our experience and what is required of us to move beyond it.
I wish you all many blessings and a grace-filled 2012!