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In This Issue
* The Winner Is . . .
* Shamans and
Book of Answers
Did You Know?
Ways You Can Be of Service
The Shaman's Journey
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Shamans and Shamanism
Before 1970, I had never heard
of a shaman. At the time, I lived in California where the in book was
The Teachings of Don Juan. A friend gave me a copy, with the instruction that
it was a book that would change my life. I was not yet ready for
that life change. Although I found the book about the training of
a shaman fascinating, I was put off by the use of the
hallucinogen ayahuasca, not so much because of the use of drugs,
but because this particular drug caused vomiting. Ugh!
I had a repulsion against anything that caused my stomach to turn
over. Still, I was interested in the shaman's journey as one of
healing, and I kept thinking there are other ways of reaching
these alternative worlds. What I didn't realize at the time is
that as a poet and someone with a very vivid imagination, I was
already traveling to different worlds in alternative dimensions.
It seemed normal to me. However, I was not traveling with an
intention of healing as does the shaman, but as one who goes
after words and story, which is what one level of the ancient
Druids did, who were also shamanic healers. Years later I came to
realize that my words and stories are healing to myself and
Shortly after Castaneda came on the scene, Michael Harner, a
respected anthropologist, became the modern-day leader of
shamanism in this country. After shamanic training with the use
of the psychoactive ayahuasca, Harner began using monotonous
drumming to tap into the shaman's journey. About the same time,
one of my teachers - Jean Houston (with whom in the 1990s I spent
four years studying) - was conducting experiments with LSD. This
was, of course, before this substance became illegal. Like
Harner, Houston found the mind does not need hallucinogens to
open to alternative dimensions. Houston began teaching a
combination of physical and mental processes the way Harner used
drumming to allow the mind to tap into other dimensions.
Both Harner and Houston began publishing books that brought the
universal experience and common principles and practices of
healing to millions of interested people. They found - as I later
learned while writing my master's thesis on sacred expressions
throughout history - that the practices of a medicine person who
travels to other worlds for healing is worldwide and part of the
culture of nearly all indigenous peoples.
Traditionally, as Harner teaches us, the word
"shaman" comes from Siberia, but it has become more
universal. It has come to encompass both the medicine person of
indigenous cultures who travels with a power animal/nagual/totem
to other worlds to bring back healing and today's shaman who
travels an inward journey of healing for self and for the planet.
Be sure to read the article "Creating the Blue
Feather," a light-but profound-look at manifesting our
reality. A link to the article is at the bottom of the
newsletter, on the left side. Click on "Diana's Blog."
The shaman has one purpose in the journey and that
is one of healing, which may be for the individual or the
collective. When the journey is for the individual, the purpose
is to remove the cause of an illness, a disease that is causing
an eruption in the spirit of the mind and body. This rip in the
spirit can be caused by an outside influence or by the acceptance
of an incorrect thought pattern.
Then the journey is for the society as a whole, the purpose is
the same - to heal a disruption in the ethereal body of the
community. Once the tear in the fabric of the society is healed,
the society itself can heal as long as the collective desires to
do so. There must be a consensus. If the desire to heal does not
exist, the society continues to remain unhealed until such time
as the pattern changes.
The shaman may take more than one journey to heal a being or
society. This is the purpose of so many partaking of the memory
of other lifetime experiences - to heal one's self and each
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Ways You Can Be of Service
Years ago, one of my teachers, Peter, told me about
a shaman he had studied with (I believe in Ecuador, but not sure
of my memory here). This shaman spent the greater part of his day
weeping for his tribe and the night dancing and celebrating life.
He was taking on and healing the tears of his tribe so they could
live in joy. There are those days when I feel like that shaman,
taking on the tears of the world - the tears of the people who
have lost so much in the recent weather in our country - lives
lost, loved ones lost or hurt, animals lost or hurt, homes and
businesses lost; tears for people and animals in war-torn
countries; tears for those living in violence, and for all who
are sick, in pain, depressed, or unable to cope with their lives.
We all feel like this at times, that sense of being
overwhelmed with our lives and with the suffering in the world.
It is in these times, that we can feel helpless or we can take
action. Whether we choose to pick up a weapon of destruction or
spend our time in powerful and healing energy and prayer work, we
all have a path to follow to help all humankind to live freely.
My path is one of prayerful healing.
I pray for myself, for the strength to get through the hard
times. I pray for my family, for their health and wellbeing. I
pray for the safety of my community. I pray for those around the
world who have made their transition today. I pray for their
families. I pray for those caught in weather, for those who have
lost their lives, loved ones, or homes and businesses. I pray for
those caught in violence, anger, or hatred that their hearts may
be healed today and that they find a better life. I pray for the
hungry that they be given food. I pray for the sick that they be
healed. I pray for people in need of money that they receive all
they need. I pray for everyone caught in war and revolution that
freedom and peace be theirs.
I pray, and I know as I pray someone, somewhere is praying for
me, and I am grateful.
Please know I am praying for you. Please join me in praying for
The Shaman's Journey
It was on my 50th
birthday that I had a party and invited 50 of my friends. Each
was asked to bring a present, but the catch was that they could
not spend any money on the present. One of the women at the
party, Vivain, brought a stone from Sedona, where she had studied
with a shaman who explained to Vivian that the stone was not for
her, but that she was to carry it to Ohio. He went onto say that
Vivian was to give this stone to a shaman who did not yet know
that she was a shaman.
Vivian held onto the stone for several months, often looking at
the stone and wondering if she'd ever find out who she was to
pass it along to. Then came my birthday party, and Vivian knew
the stone was to be given to me.
When she put it into my hand and told me the story, I tried to
withdraw. It had been years since I had thought about shamans and
shamans' journeys. Now here I was being pulled back into this
world of healing and I wasn't sure I wanted to go. Yet, our
personal journeys have a way of pulling us back no matter how far
away we may seem to venture, and eventually we learn that even
the so-called venture away from ourselves is in truth just
another avenue that leads us back to ourselves and the truth of
who we are.
Today, in spite of trying to not accept the stone, and at another
time actually giving it away, the stone now sits on my altar or I
often wear it as a wire-wrapped necklace. Whenever I do, others
always take notice of it. Its energy - which I have long since
come to respect - is strong with the shaman's healing energy, an
energy I am blessed to share as I journey my shaman's journeys of
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Love & Blessings,
Psychic Reader and Transformational Life Coach