Saturday, December 29, 2007

Understanding Therapy

For years My friend Cole and I have talked about a thing we call "Understanding Therapy" which essentially relies on a certain style of empathy that requires one to intuitively 'feel like' another person to 'understand' what they are experiencing so that you may help them to decode the experience from another perspective.

Here is an excerpt of an article by Micheal Erlewine explaining this same 'healing method' from the shamanistic paradigm.

"...the shaman is able to... (display) signs of experience that the client can recognize and acknowledge as true. Once the client understands that he or she is not alone, and that the experience of the shaman in fact encompasses their own experience, they can submit to allowing the shaman to lead them out of their current predicament and on toward another place—one hopefully more comfortable for them. The act of realizing that they are not alone, and that someone else has had similar experiences, is often a key step for a client in this process..."

I believe we all can learn to heal each other through this method of deep understanding.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Reading the Shaman Stones

So you’d like to learn an easy method for divination? Casting stones is one of the oldest and simplest methods of divination still in practice today. I have used this method for a number of years, always with pleasing accuracy.

This type of reading is excellent for revealing our blind spots and for insight into areas of life we usually to avoid. It is also possible to look at a snapshot in time, but free will and "the Butterfly Effect" insure that predicting the future is difficult. At any rate, my teachers tell me, "we have to learn to deal with our present before anything else."

7 ordinary stones, a bit of cloth and a pendulum will be your tools. Follow this link to learn how to select and prepare your stones. Follow this link to learn to use the pendulum.

Have the querrant hold the stones in their left hand and think of a question or a specific area of their life for which they want guidance. A question can focus the reading, allowing you to give more specific answers.

Write down the question, or if they request insight into a specific area of their life, write that down in the form of a question. If they don’t have a question, tell them to choose one stone from their hand and let that represent the theme for the reading or just ask Spirit to show the client what they need to know..

Begin by having them gently roll, or spill the stones onto the cloth or leather.

You will try to read the lines and groupings like sentences. It may be necessary to repeat the sentences aloud 2 or 3 different ways, changing the emphasis and order of the words until the answer feels right. Trust your intuition to help you.

First notice which stones are closest to the querrant. Which are in the middle? What are their meanings? Ask the querrant if this seems significant.

Next, consider any stones that are grouped together or touching each other. These may represent important themes for the reading.

Next, check to see if any of the stones are lined-up in straight, curved or diagonal lines, (even if they are far apart across the leather form).

Also, consider the over-all shape or pattern made by the stones and ask the querrant if they can see any thing – you will sometimes imagine a number, a letter, perhaps a bird, or another recognizable shape. Ask if this shape is significant.

If something is unclear, use your pendulum to ask your intuition for clarification.

Here is how the sample reading above would be interpreted:

· West is the closest stone to the querrant indicating that the theme of the reading is communication.

· Moon + North + F&F are grouped together (almost touching). This could mean that the querrant could feel a subconscious pull toward more “spiritual” pursuits.

· Sun + North + F&F + East aligned may mean that the querrant's family life will take on an aspect of spiritual growth.

· Health + F&F + Moon + West reveals that the querrrant should talk about their emotional health with their friends and family.

· The spread seems to symbolize an airplane, which could literally mean air travel or metaphorically that things are about to “take-off.”

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Learning Divination

Some one asked me an interesting question about psychic readings. She said, "So is it divination with the tarot that you practice? Do you think that just anyone has the ability to 'learn?' I know that we all have hidden psychic skills that have been blunted by time and our ever decreasing need to use them... as we are not the hunted any more.. but do you think that everyone can bring them out?"

Yes, I do think everyone can learn to do divination. We are all connected to the Source through our higher consciousness.
But the biggest hurdle is actually "believing" that we can do it. What we expect to happen,or what we want to happen, is often disrupted by what we believe will happen.

If you want to learn to read the "Shaman Stones" or the "Tarot Cards" you will work on the
techniques and develop the skills only if you believe you are capable of doing divination. The curious thing is that we can hold 2 mutually exclusive or conflicting beliefs at the same time, and we don't recognize that we do this. You may believe for instance that everyone has innate psychic skills but that you yourself aren't psychic. If you aren't, then 'everyone' doesn't have them but if everyone does, then you must also.

Follow this link to learn to do psychic readings with Shaman Stones.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Contacting Spirit Guides with a Pendulum

An important idea which is basic to Shamanic practice is the belief that there are benevolent Spirit entities all around us, (some might know them as guardian angels) who are constantly attending us and available to offer advice.

For those who are interested, there are a couple of ways to contact them.

When you are confident in your ability to journey to the Non-Ordinary Reality, you can visit them and speak directly to them, but if you don't have the time, or privacy to journey, an easy way that I have found is to use a pendulum.

I learned to use the pendulum in this way over 15 years ago as a Neural-Linguistic Programming (NLP) technique for accessing my subconscious mind. In NLP we would address “the part of my subconscious that is addicted to smoking,” or “the part of my memory that has forgotten where my keys are.” Having since taken courses on how to contact Spirit Guides, I have adapted this technique with excellent success.

Focusing my attention on the small-still voice inside me, I ask yes or no questions and the pendulum "swings" in response. Whether the movement is due to my fingers shaking, “the Spirits,” my “Higher Consciousness,” or “God” matters very little, as the presumption is that I am connecting to the “Source of All” and will in this way, be able to ask specific questions of every “entity,” or “Soul Part” that I invoke (request to participate).

As you establish your own method for using the pendulum you can adjust it to suit your style, but while you are learning please do it this way.

After clearing yourself (see below) and performing your ritual to invoke the spirits, hold the pendulum in your left hand, (connects to your right brain which is intuitive and creative), and tuck your elbow snugly against your ribs to steady your arm. Allow about 15 centimeters, (6 inches) of string below your fingers. Be careful to pinch the string or chain in a way that allows it to hang straight-down without leaning on or swinging against any part of your finger. Sometimes the responses you receive are very subtle and you must avoid doing anything that might inhibit your accuracy. Try to hold the pendulum completely still, (don’t be frustrated, it’s OK if it is moving slightly).

Ask your Spirit Guides to show you what a “Yes” answer looks like, (out loud or silently to yourself). The pendulum will swing in a particular way, and you must remember it. Thank the Spirit Guides, then ask to see a “No” answer. The pendulum will swing another way. Again, wait until you’re sure, thank the Spirit Guides, and remember the way it swings. You can also ask, what “Maybe” looks like.

Remember to say thank you, (I say “Hi, Hi,” which is literally “Yes, Yes,’” but means something like “Amen”).

Now test it to see how it works. Ask yourself if your “name is…?” and watch the response. Ask your correct age, and then ask about an incorrect age. Play with this until you are comfortable with all of the variables – the ability to maintain your focus, the way you hold the pendulum in your fingers, the meanings of the way it swings, and your ability to hold the pendulum steady. (It may be a good idea to begin each session by asking what “yes” and “no” answers looks like until you no longer feel it is necessary.)

Or you may begin by asking, “Do I have a Spirit Guide?” or “How many Spirit Guides do I have?… “More than one?” “More than two?...”

In this method, it’s also very important to pay attention to how you ask the questions. You may think you are being clear when actually you are not.

I sometimes ask the same question more than one way just to be clear. “Can I attend the conference next week?” will give you one answer, but “Will attending the conference cause the best outcome for me?” or “Will attending the conference bring the best outcome for all concerned?” might give different answers. See the difference?

And you are best to avoid asking the Spirit World if you “should” undertake a particular course of action. There are many reasons for this, but clearly the Spirit World is unconcerned with money or time, seeing all events and consequences as growing experiences and therefore positive. “Should” questions may lead you to painful experiences or misadventures that might have been avoided if you phrased you question more carefully.

When I want to speak to a particular Spirit Guide, I ask by name, “Rosa Redhawk, please listen to me now…” “Are you there?”

Now you can experiment with speaking to “the Souls of the Departed,” to “God Almighty” or to your “chocolate addiction…” You will doubtless find many useful ways to use this technique and get to know your psyche and your Spirit Guides.

Clearing Yourself

Clearing yourself simply means becoming centered and focused in the present moment. Stress, noise and daily distractions prevent us from hearing our intuition. Also, the extent to which we are “grounded” or not, affects our ability to be present.

You can become quickly grounded by simply laying on the floor or on the ground and paying attention to your breathing.

You can become clear by smudging with smoke from sage, cedar, sweetgrass or incense. (Actually, any smoke, even that from a candle or a camp fire will do.)

Or you can wash yourself in Chi Energy.


Using the smoke from your incense or other ritual fire, cup both hands and gently draw the smoke up over your head as if you were wetting your hair, symbolically washing away your cares. Again, cup your hands and draw the smoke up to your 3rd eye chakra, (middle of your forehead) and ask Spirit to open you to your vision. Next, cup your hands and draw the smoke up to your ears and ask Spirit to open you to hearing their lessons. Next, cup your hands and draw the smoke up to your eyes and ask Spirit to help you to see clearly. Next, cup your hands and draw the smoke up to your mouth and ask Spirit to guide your words and allow you to speak the truth. Next, cup your hands and draw the smoke up to your heart and ask Spirit to help you listen with your heart.

Now, cup your hands and draw the smoke up to your chest, and gently turning your hands push the smoke down the trunk of your body washing away any negative energy that may be left.

Clearing with Chi Energy

Rub your hands together vigorously and feel how the friction warms them. Be aware that you are building up the energy and try to feel it’s “charge” if you can.

In much the same way that you did for smudging, wash yourself in this Chi Energy, first over your head, then your 3rd eye, then down your body, and finally down each arm.

When you finish shake your hands, “flicking-off” the stale energy and excess energy as you would flicking water from your hands. Repeat this if you feel the need, but you will soon feel refreshed, and will be aware of a sense of calm and clarity.


I have many pendulums some for specific uses, but I treat them all with love and respect. Some have crystal pendants, some have stones or medallions, and some are made of bits of things I found. All of them have energy of their own, because everything is just energy at the sub-atomic level, and because of their “former usages,” (for example, a metal washer from a railway track, would have the energy of trains, and extreme weight and stress). It is good to regularly cleanse your ritual objects by holding them in the smoke of your incense or other ritual fire and invoking the Great Spirit to purify them.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Boy Who Could Become the Wind

The boy knew the desert sensed his fear.
They both spoke the same language.
On the third day, the chief met with his officers. He called the alchemist to the meeting and said, "Let's go see the boy who turns himself into the wind."
"Let's," the alchemist answered.
The boy took them to the cliff where he had been on the previous day. He told them all to be seated.
"It's going to take a while," the boy said.
"We're in no hurry," the chief answered. "We are men of the desert."
The boy looked out at the horizon. There were mountains in the distance. And there were dunes, rocks, and plants that insisted on living where survival seemed impossible. There was the desert that he had wandered for so many months; despite all that time, he knew only a small part of it. Within that small part he had found an Englishman, caravans, tribal wars, and an oasis with fifty-thousand palm trees and three hundred wells.
"What do you want here today?" the desert asked him. "Didn't you spend enough time looking at me yesterday?"
"Somewhere you are holding the person I love,"
the boy said. "So, when I lookout over your sands, I am also looking at her. I want to return to her, and I need your help so I can turn myself into the wind."
"What is love?" the desert asked.
"Love is the falcon's flight over your sands. Because for him, you are a green field, from which he always returns with game. He knows your rocks, your dunes, and your mountains and you are generous to him."
"The falcon's beak carries bits of me, myself," the desert said. " For years, I care for this game, feeding it with the little water I have, and then I show him where the game is. And,
one day, as I enjoy the fact that his game thrives on my surface, the falcon dives out of the sky, and takes away what I've created."
" But that's why you created the game in the first place,"the boy answered. "To nourish the falcon. And the falcon then nourishes man. And, eventually, man will nourish your sands, where the game will once again flourish. That's how the world goes."
"So is that what love is?"
"Yes, that's what love is. It's what makes the game become the falcon, the falcon become the man, and the man, in his turn, the desert. It's what turns lead into gold, and makes gold return to the earth."
"I don't understand what you're talking about," the desert
"But you can at least understand that somewhere in your sands there is a woman waiting for me. And that's why I have to turn myself into the wind."
The desert didn't answer him for a few moments.
Then it told him, "I'll give you my sands to help the wind to blow, but alone I can't do anything. You have to ask for help from the wind."
A breeze began to blow. The tribesmen watched the boy from a distance, talking among themselves in a language that the boy couldn't understand.
The alchemist smiled.
The wind approached the boy and touched his face. It knew of the boy's talk with the desert, because the winds know everything. They blow across the world without a birthplace, and with no place to die.
"Help me," the boy said. "One day you carried the voice of my loved one to me."
"Who taught you to speak the language of the desert and the wind?"
"My heart," the boy answered.
The wind has many names. In that part of the world, it was called the sirocco, because it brought moisture from the oceans to the east. In the distant land the boy came from, they called it the levanter, because they believed that it brought with it the sands of the desert, and the screams of the Moorish wars. Perhaps in the places beyond the pastures where his sheep lived, men thought that the wind came from Andalusia. But, actually, the wind came from no place at all, nor did it go any place; that's why it was stronger than the desert. Someone might one day plant trees in the desert, and even raise sheep there, but never would they harness the wind.
"You can't be the wind," the wind said. "We're two very different things."
"That's not true," the boy said. "I learned the alchemist's secrets in my travels. I have inside me the winds, the deserts, the oceans, the stars, and everything created in the universe. We were all made by the same hand, and we have the same soul. I want to be like you, able to reach every corner of the world, cross the seas, blow away the sand that covers my treasure, and carry the voice of the woman I love."
"I heard what you were talking about the other day with the alchemist," the wind said. "He said that everything has its own destiny. But people can't turn themselves into the wind."
"Just teach me to be the wind for a few moments," the boy said. "So you and I can talk about the limitless possibilities of people and the winds."
The wind's curiosity was aroused, something that had never happened before. It wanted to talk about those things, but it didn't know how to turn a man into the wind. And look how many things the wind already knew how to do! It created deserts, sank ships, felled entire forests, and blew through cities filled with music and strange noises. It felt that it had no limits, yet here was a boy saying that there were other things the wind should be able to do.
"This is what we call love," the boy said, seeing that the wind was close to granting what he requested. "When you are loved you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there's no need at all to understand what's happening, because everything happens within you, and even men can turn themselves into the wind. As long as the wind helps, of course."
The wind was a proud being, and it was becoming irritated with what the boy was saying. It commenced to blow harder, raising the desert sands. But finally it had to recognize that, even making its way around the world, it didn't know how to turn a man into the wind. And it knew nothing about love.
"In my travels around the world, I've often seen people speaking about love and looking toward the heavens," the wind said, furious at having to acknowledge its own limitations. "Maybe its better to ask heaven."
"Well then, help me do that," the boy said. "Fill this place with a sand storm so strong that it blots out the sun. Then I can look to heaven without blinding myself."
So the wind blew with all its strength, and the sky was filled with sand. The sun was turned into a golden disk.
At the camp, it was difficult to see anything. The men of the desert were already familiar with that wind. They called it simum, and it was worse than a storm at sea. Their horses cried out, and all their weapons were filled with sand.
On the heights, one of the commanders turned to the chief and said, "Maybe we had better end this."
They could barely see the boy. Their faces were covered with the blue cloths, and their eyes showed fear.
"Let's stop this," another commander said.
"I want to see the greatness of Allah," the chief said with respect. "I want to see how a man turns himself into the wind."
But he made a mental note of the names of the two men who had expressed their fear. As soon as the wind stopped he was going to remove them from their commands, because true men of the desert are not afraid.
"The wind told me that you know about love," the boy said to the sun. "If you know about love, you must also know about the Soul of the World, because it's made of love."
"From where I am,"
the sun said, "I can see the Soul of the World. It communicates with my soul, and together we cause the plants to grow and the sheep to seek out shade. From where I am - and I'm a long way from the earth - I learned how to love. I know that if I came even a little bit closer to the earth, everything there would die, and the Soul of the World would no longer exist. So we contemplate each other, and we want each other, and I give it life and warmth, and it gives me my reason for living."
"So you know about love," the boy said.
"And I know the Soul of the World, because we have talked at great length to each other during this endless trip though the universe. It tells me that its greatest problem is that, up until now, only the minerals and vegetables understand that all things are one. That there's no need for iron to be the same as copper, or copper the same as gold. Each performs its own exact function as a unique being, and everything would be a symphony of peace if the hand that had wrote all this had stopped on the fifth day of creation.
"But there was a sixth day," the sun went on.
"You are wise, because you observe everything from a distance," the boy said. "But you don't know about love. If there hadn't been a sixth day, man would not exist; copper would always be just copper, and lead just lead. It's true that everything has its destiny, but one day that destiny will be realized. So each thing has to transform itself into something better, and to acquire a new destiny, until, someday, the Soul of the World becomes one thing only."
The sun thought about that, and decided to shine more brightly. The wind, which was enjoying the conversation, started to blow with greater force, so that the sun would not blind the boy.
"This is why alchemy exists," the boy said. "So that everyone will search for his treasure, find it, and then want to be better than he was in his former life. Lead will play its role until the world has no further need for lead; and then lead will have to turn itself into gold.
"That's what the alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too."
"Well, why did you say that I don't know about love?" the sun asked the boy.
"Because it's not love to be static like the desert, nor is it love to roam the world like the wind. And it's not love to see everything from a distance, like you do. Love is the force that transforms and improves the Soul of the World. When I first reached through to it, I thought the Soul of the World was perfect. But later, I could see that it was like other aspects of creation, and had its own passions and wars. It is we who nourish the Soul of the World, and the world we live in will be either better or worse, depending on whether we become better or worse. And that's where the power of love comes in. Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are."
"So what do you want of me?" the sun asked.
"I want you to help me turn myself in to the wind," the boy answered.
"Nature knows me as the wisest being in creation," the sun said. "But I don't know how to turn you into the wind."
"Then, whom should I ask?"
The sun thought for a minute. The wind was listening closely, and wanted to tell every corner of the world that the sun's wisdom had its limitations. That it was unable to deal with this boy who spoke the Language of the World.
"Speak to the hand that wrote all," said the sun.
The wind screamed with delight, and blew harder than ever. The tents were being blown from their ties to the earth, and the animals were being freed from their tethers. On the cliff, the men clutched at each other as they sought to keep from being blown away.
The boy turned to the hand that wrote all. As he did so, he sensed that the universe had fallen silent, and he decided not to speak.
A current of love rushed from his heart, and the boy began to pray. It was a prayer that he had never said before, because it was a prayer without words or pleas. His prayer didn't give thanks for his sheep having found new pastures; it didn't ask that the boy be able to sell more crystal; and it didn't beseech that the woman he had met would continue to await his return. In the silence, the boy understood that the desert, the wind, and the sun were also trying to understand the signs written by the hand, and were seeking to follow their paths, and to understand what had been written on a single emerald. He saw that omens were scattered throughout the earth and in space, and that there was no reason or significance attached to their appearance; he could see that not the deserts, nor the winds, nor the sun, nor people knew why they had been created. But that the hand had a reason for all of this, and that only the hand could perform miracles, or transform the sea into a desert... or a man into the wind. Because only the hand understood that it was a larger design that had moved the universe to the point at which six days of creation had evolved into a Master Work.
The boy reached through to the Soul of the World, and saw that it was part of the Soul of God. And he saw that the Soul of God was his own soul. And that he, a boy, could perform miracles.

- Excerpted from Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist," English version by Harper Collins

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Shift Your Consciousness Internally

The subtle shifts in thinking, the heightened awareness that leads to the alternate states of consciousness and ultimately to the expanded consciousness of enlightenment require practice. Some find the practice difficult, (read hard work), but more find it difficult to make their spiritual practices a priority in their lives.

There are a lot of people I refer to as Ph.D. Shamans, (see Alberto Villoldo; Michael Harner) who have studied and practiced in both the western and shamanic traditions of thought and healing. They are important "opinion leaders" at this epoch of "New Age" cultural development, but we westerners tend to put so much emphasis on credentialism and pedigree that we lose sight of the need for our own practice. I remember a story about Jesus who, being a supremely enlightened individual, encouraged his followers to heal others and to use their faith to create miracles. The followers in turn, (apart from a few Apostles) fell to their knees in reverent worship, almost completely missing the invitation to elevate the spirit of all people and therefore raise the consciousness of the human race. But do we give away our power to cultural heroes and thought leaders in the same way?

I'm afraid we are a society of "tryers." We claim that we "try to get good grades" in school and that we "try to be nice to others," but that word "try" is almost meaningless. I saw a demonstration of this a few years ago and was reminded again recently.
"Try" this yourself - right now. "'Try' to pick-up your pen!"

Did you pick it up?

Either you did or didn't, but what happened in between wasn't trying - not exactly. Presuming you have the physical capacity, what you did, whether you are aware of it or not, is you shifted your consciousness to a space where you intended to do it, (or not), and then effortlessly manifested that intention.

I think that schooling, (in the North American sense), teaches us among other things to forgive ourselves in advance for potential failure. We learn that it's OK to "try" and fail, because the answers are in the back of the book. But when we graduate to real-life questions, where there are no right or wrong answers, that attitude is no longer useful. That attitude leads to the life of "quiet desperation" that H. D. Thoreau talked about... the feeling that we lack the power to change our lives.

A moment ago you shifted your consciousness and effortlessly manifested your intention.

Compare that with your first experience of
dressing yourself or singing or riding a bicycle... Do you get it? We either do something or not. We might not do it well the first few times, (but that might be due to our flagging intention rather than our suitability to the activity).

Now think about meditation. The first time you attempted meditation, did you "intend" to touch that great pool of consciousness... or did you just "try" to meditate? How could your experience change if you began
each meditation session with the belief and intention that you would have a mystical experience?

Monday, January 22, 2007

My Shadow

My keen eye reveals my gentle prey.
My Shadow snarls and shouts and I kill the small bird.
My mother chastises and coos and shames me for my act.
My father frets and turns red, and slams the door as he leaves to do his chores.

In my Shadow Life I kill the bird;
feel remorse in the violent act;
grieve for the bird and for the child's lost innocence -
then I take myself in my arms and love me fiercely for my humanness.

And I love my experience for its ancient wisdom.