Posted in elemental kingdom, Energy healing, Shamanism, spiritual skills and techniques, transformation

Shamanic Trance Intensive

As a shamanic practitioner, I wish to understand trance and look to history for inspiration.  I look towards those ancestors who lived before agriculture, the hunter gatherers.  A time when shamanism was synonymous with everyday life.  For thousands and thousands of years, humans have appreciated that there’s another state, another experience available within the human sphere, beyond our physical expression, and it happens during trance. 

Trance is a part of our lives even today, but we rationalise it as something ‘other’.  To our forebears  it was as real as what we call ‘normal’ everyday life.  They saw how powerful this state of consciousness is, they understood the possibilities and embraced it.

I’m especially interested in learning how to intensify the trance state in today’s world without the aid of hallucinogens.  I’ve realised there are numerous ways we can go deep into trance, especially when we layer the methods. 

Breathing is a hugely fundamental tool, as is repetitive percussive sound at about four beats per second.  These are my usual techniques when I’m doing shamanic work.  Another layer is sensory deprivation, wearing gear that renders us unable to see or hear.  Of course, if we are free-floating in a large tank of salt water in the dark, that’s going to do it, but that’s too impractical for the most part, so I’ll give that a miss since my bath isn’t big enough.

The shamanic trance intensive retreat kicks off with a vision quest, a powerful way to induce trance in itself.  One of the ways it does this is to induce a state of fear.  The idea is spending anything from a night to five days and nights alone, without human contact, with little or no food and only water to drink, with no comforts and staying awake the whole time, in a state of meditation and contemplation.  Staying with ourselves.  And that’s the scariest bit, having nothing to distract us from ourselves.  We live in a world where there’s so much to fill us up so that we’re not having to be with ourselves, TV, radio, music, books, phone, computer, social life, activities, food, alcohol.  We keep ourselves engaged to avoid having too much emptiness when who-knows-what can emerge from within us.  Vision quest is all about being with ourselves good and proper.  And that’s something that can take us into trance.  Some crazy things happened to me on my first vision quest, things like hearing the rain make melodious music and feeling a lot of presences with me. 

Sweatlodge is all about breathing and heat and fire.  Sweatlodge is ceremonial.  Ritual and ceremony are also trance-inducing through the power of repetition, focus and  building the intensity of the energy.  Sweatlodge is a purifying experience but also brings us into a deeper state of consciousness.  Like vision quest, sweatlodge induces increased levels of fear because it can be difficult to breathe and manage the heat and one can feel trapped in a small space.  The heat can be challenging and along with possible dehydration, it’s easy to find oneself becoming dizzy and light-headed.  Trance-invoking percussive sound and chanting are also used during sweatlodge.

Trance dancing and drumming in a repetitive rhythm around a fire is a powerful experience, especially at night.  Group shamanic trance dances always induce deep and profound trance states and are ideal for undergoing shamanic journeys. 

Finally, I’m learning currently about postures and what they contribute towards shamanic trance experience.  It was back in 2018 at a London workshop that I first found myself working with movement during meditations, activations and journeys.  I’ve found correlations from a number of sources that endorse either body movements or postures during meditation or journeying to create a potent focus and energetic alignment for a particular purpose.  This work can create powerful and intensive trance states and I intend to write a more detailed post on the subject in the future.

The intention of trance is to achieve as deep a state of consciousness as possible, in order to open oneself up to the non-physical world.  In doing so, it’s possible to really boost one’s capacity to experience otherworld reality and beings.  An even stronger connection with ones’ spirit guides is reached.  That’s why the trance intensive retreat spends several days creating deep trance states, so that participants can intensify their connection with elemental and nature beings such as tree and plant spirits, landscape guardians and the energies of earth, air, fire and water.  These beings don’t exist at a physical level and therefore we can’t communicate with them that way.  They exist at the emotional energy level and by inducing a non-physical energy stance, we are able to experience and communicate with these and other beings.  Nature beings and elementals are teachers and have gifts to give.  Where plants are concerned, this is paramount for healing.  Where elementals are concerned this is a way to achieve healing, balance and harmony for humanity and planet Earth.       

Posted in elemental kingdom, Mother Earth, nature, Personal Story

A Sacred Grove

Yesterday, I set off from my home on foot to walk up my mountain and there I found what I’ve been looking for ever since I moved to this locality six months ago.  I found my sacred place in nature where my own special tree was waiting for me.

I finally reached a place I’ve been meaning to go.  It’s an old quarry, a sunken world, now totally reclaimed by nature.  More than that, it has become nature’s temple. 

This sacred grove is isolated, on private land that I have unrestricted access to, it sits far away from paths or human places.  It is left entirely in peace.  It’s a wet, soggy hollow with woods of oak, willow and hazel, some birch on the higher slopes.  On one side hangs a high cliff-face of earth and greenery.  It abounds with bracken and bramble, ferns and moss.  There are sparkly drusy quartz-covered stones, glinting in the undergrowth, bedrock long since quarried and abandoned.  Corvids hold court here, the jackdaws, rooks, crows and majestic ravens are all around, calling and swooping through the woods.  Also in attendance are robins, blackbirds and little jenny wrens.

It was exciting when I finally came upon the narrow entranceway that led down into the wide amphitheatre of lush green mystery.  Three oaks called to me as I passed, on each I saw the face of its accompanying tree spirit.  I knew the moment I approached the third oak that this is the one that’s been waiting for me.  All the trees are bedecked from head to toe in moss, a veritable green world, this is. 

Having formally approached up to the edge of the canopy, I asked permission of the oak to draw near.  I placed my hands on the broad trunk and bent my forehead to the bark, giving my name and asking the tree for his, which was received.  I sent my love to this tree, and through it, to the great oak consciousness.  Then, I sat at the foot with my back to the trunk and opened myself to the energy of nature, but not before opening my mouth and throat to sing of my power from the depth of my lungs.  As shamanka, my song lets the spirits of this sacred place see me, know me and feel my authenticity, integrity and power. I am demonstrating my right to be here. My raw notes rang out loudly, echoing through the grove, unheard by human, but a wind appeared from nowhere and met my song, letting a shower of oak leaves fall with each piercing note, ceasing to stillness only as the last note trailed away. 

Eventually, I moved further down the wide corridor of the grove into further wetness until I reached the opposite end.  Thank goodness I wore my wellies.  From there, I climbed up to find the sky and summit as I tried to find a shorter way home, but it was not to be.  All in all, I was up on the mountain for just short of five glorious hours yesterday.  Now, I sit cosy in my little tree house, knowing my sacred grove and beloved oak tree await me for another day and another adventure.            

Posted in Abundance and lack, Inspiration

“What Makes Your Life Rich?”

Here is our Friday Transformational Question. What makes your life rich? What a great question it is because it really gets you thinking about your values. It really helps you realise your attitude towards lack and abundance in your life. Take a moment to ask yourself this question before you read on because the rest are my ponderings and I don’t wish to influence you.

What makes a rich life, a full life, a worthy life?  What makes our life big and meaningful, what makes our life little and meaningless?

I have been asking these questions and talking to others about this, for it is very much a question of perspective and opinion.

In my family, and I assume I’m not alone, one is considered to be living a rich, full and worthy life if one is making a lot of money and travelling throughout the world.  One is viewed as having a little life, a life that is looked down upon, if one is not leaving home, not travelling, not making money.

Spiritual life doesn’t come into it, whether one has a rich inner life or well developed personal world, whether one is healing old wounds or learning new skills, this counts for nothing.

Travelling inside, journeying on the wings of the drum, in trance, the shamanka’s path, this is my world.  Surfing the currents of my imagination, experiencing the energetic world. I can travel across the globe instantly and go far out to space.  Conversing with light beings across time and throughout the cosmos.  Travelling to ashrams on the inner planes to meet ascended masters in my sleep, to learn and expand the truth of my being.   

We don’t need to travel in planes, trains or automobiles to live a full life. And we don’t need to be earning loads of money.  

Sit under a tree and go nowhere but inside yourself, just like Lord Buddha did, and we can have the richest life of all. Lord Buddha went nowhere but inside whilst sitting under the Bodhi tree, without moving from his seat for seven weeks. And he ended up just about as enriched and awake and aware as it’s possible to get. Nobody could say his life was meaningless.

So, who is to judge us? No one. Whosoever judges is deflecting from how they think they are judged and how they, deep down, judge themselves. If there’s somebody you know who just seems to sit around all the time and is going nowhere, don’t judge them, you don’t know where they’re going inside.