My Life as a Druid {Shamanic Journey}

"Once, I was a man with a beard that was grizzled and gray. It grew so long that it touched my chest. I was a tall man but moved around with an unexpected grace and softness. I was a carver by choice, not of trade, in which I would create animals from wood or clay taking upwards of six months to complete a single one. By taking the proper amount of time to connect with my subject, I learned how to become them, thereby being granted the honor of using their medicine and shape-shifting into their power."...

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The Importance of Breath {Shamanic Journey}

What's wrong with you, Sensitive one?
Why are you feeling everything?
Why have your headaches increased?
Why are your pressure points raging?
Why does your heart feel heavy?
Your shoulders weak?
Why is your belly upset?
Throat sore?
And why, oh why, are you so damn tired?

I have been suffering from everything written above. Unable to find a cause or remedy, I went into shamanic journey to seek help and stop the breach in my energetic system. 

Standing in a nest of etheric haze, my spirit teacher was waiting for me. She stood over a large pot and stirred its contents with a ladle made from the branch of a white birch tree. Her hair was parted in the middle and two, long braids that kissed the sides of her cheeks. Her eyes sparkled with luminosity, clarity, and joy; a visionary hallmark of a Spiritual Master.

I sat before her cauldron resting the weight of my body upon my knees and said, "Abuela, I have been feeling so awful. Posts aren't getting written and my artwork isn't getting made. I have so many ideas that are desperate for manifestation, yet I can do nothing more than just lay down in exhaustion. I try to connect, I try to offer and participate in the ways that I know but I can barely make it one step outside of my home. I feel so weighted. What am I not seeing? What am I doing wrong?"

She took her birchen spoon and slowly began to turn the dregs of the brew to the water's surface. I took a peek inside and spotted a wooden carving floating to the top. I am surprised to see a figure crafted in my likeness with a hole bored through my middle. She pulled the figure from the pot and blew through its missing center. There, a small seedling began to sprout. Handing the carving to me she said, 

"Where is your center, child?
Where can you find calm in these moments of upset and duress?
Know this place and come to it often. 
Remove yourself from the sensationalist news erupting. Untether yourself from the cords that twist your heart into your stomach and allow yourself to reconnect with the profound power of breath.

Breathe openly.
Breathe deeply. 
Breathe fully.
It is upon this breath healing can happen and you shall come to know me."

If you have been feeling as I have: uncertain, foggy and weighed by the world, I extend this question to you—where is your center? Do you have a safe place in your heart to go? Are you retreating when you're feeling tired, making time for self-care? Are you taking appropriate actions to disconnect from the people, places, and things that may keep you feeling angry or ill? More importantly, are you breathing? Not the tight, chest-restrictive breathing that we use to survive but breathing through your belly, your Dantian or energy center. Are you breathing to facilitate your life, or just breathing to live?

When we learn to breathe in a less constricted way, our body and brain receive more oxygen. More oxygen means healthier cells. Healthier cells lead to healthier organs and greater systematic efficiency. The power of our breath can help us to relax. We can use breathwork to regain control during panic attacks and in moments of high anxiety, and it can help us to rise out of the perpetually cyclonic "thinking state" so many of us live in.

Through our breath, we come to know Spirit. We can use it to enter our "receptive mode" which means we get out of our headspace and into our hearts where we connect to Spirit authentically. When our connection to ourselves and Spirit is healthy, we feel aligned in our purpose and path. We can live with both compassion and resolve and are less affected by the pressure from outside opinion. We spend less time fraught with uncertainty and in misdirection. Instead, we find empowerment, intuition, and knowing. 

May we take the time to learn how to intake and expel our breath in ways that are healthy and beneficial and give proper attention to this great power of ebb and flow. In this precious space of both groundedness and higher connection, this sweet spot of Spirit, may we all learn to seek and nurture our centers.

Anglerfish Medicine {Dream Share}

I had a dream a few nights ago where I was standing in the middle of a drumming circle observing the layout around me. Out of the twenty chairs present, all were empty except for two which were occupied by a pair of enormous Anglerfish. Both looked equally grotesque with the odd combination of translucent skin and opaque eyes, and even though their bite was closed, an impressive set of sharp, pointed teeth that seemed taller than the height of their body was on full display.

By their nature, Anglerfish attract their prey by a large, fleshy growth from their heads that acts as a lure. In my dream, on the end of each antenna were the smallest of lights that shone quite brightly in the darkness, but it was only when I viewed it from another angle did I see that the light was made of a jelly and acted as a mask to hide a little hook inside of it.

Both fish remained stationary, completely immobile except for their lighted lures which whipped wildly from side-to-side as though they were searching for something, anything, to feed off of.

Despite the fact that these two fish were absolutely ferocious looking, I would walk around each undetected, passing through their gnashed jaws and marveling at how something could be so blind to the world and so transparent to others, but still somehow manage to get exactly what they wanted. I was completely and utterly confused by them.

"But they are supposed to be guardians," I said out loud. "Why are they so fearsome?"

An elder of the circle appeared at that moment, a little old lady wrapped up in layers of clothing and a staff in her hand. She wore the hide of a spotted animal draped around her shoulders with two braids parted on either side. She took her staff and stilled the antenna of one, pointing to the little light that shone brightly at the end, saying,

"A light is still a light. Only the soul gets to decide how it's used."

And that, I guess, is how I feel about this election.

Hawk Medicine

"There is no right, no wrong. Who you are, your choices and personality are reflections of your environment. Your choices shape your experiences. Your perception shapes your choices. Sometimes the only way out is to go up. To witness your world with eyes clear of the fog; ears free from the whispers of doubt or opinion; air clean from the energy of the familiar..."

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Spider Medicine

I had a reading a few weeks ago where a woman came to me wanting to know about Spider's medicine. Curious, I asked her to explain a little bit more and she said that spiders have been out of control lately, building enormous webs across her house and gathering in masses that frighten her. They were falling on her, crawling on her, biting her; spiders, spiders, spiders!..

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The Isle of the Forgotten {Shamanic Journey}

There are two types of shadows we hold, light and dark, but both are created from the same energy of lack (a need or want of something) and fear. Our dark shadows are our scary places that we hide with self-harm. Be it substance abuse, addictions, depression, anger or violence, we numb or mask our "negative" emotions with patterns of behavior that make things feel less variable and out of control...

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Cockatoo Medicine {Dream Share}

I had a dream last night where I was obsessively shopping for the perfect little black dress, to find the right shoes to this dress I didn't own yet; the right jewelry, the right handbag.

Over and over again I would buy items to take home and try on, just to immediately go back to the store to return them and renew my search. This dream felt like it went on forever and only when I took notice of a curtained doorway did the loop end.

I stepped through, crossing the threshold into a very common looking thrift store with flickering lighting, yellowed walls, metal shelving and junk galore.

As I moved through the aisles, I stopped in front of two, individually caged umbrella cockatoo statues situated side by side. Each bird and cage were made to scale and I took notice that the door was missing on the cage to the right.

Also on this cage, a necklace had been laid upon it made of skulls, garlic bulbs, and red, silk hibiscus flowers. It looked as though another shopper second guessed their purchase and threw the necklace over its top, but the face on the bird was proud and suggested that it was supposed to be there. There was a placard attached to its bottom that read the name, "Kahli" typecast in gold.

The cage to the left was bare in comparison, being nothing more than bars and bird. It too had a name on it but what it was I don't remember. I woke up to write the dream down at exactly 5:55.

This morning, I googled Kahli and to my surprise, I discovered "Kali the Hindu mother goddess or deity of the whole universe. Often depicted with skulls or human heads hanging from her neck, visually she can be a bit frightening but she is said to "bring the death of the ego as the illusory self-centered view of reality."

How fitting for a dream about relentless shopping in a quest to appear well and look well, only to find reference to a goddess that can help remove these limitations.

Cockatoos hold powerful significance in their own respect. When I see a Cockatoo appear,
I think of divine authority and allowing oneself to experience spiritual, and creative freedom. It's said that the white cockatoo can help free the inner self as well. In my dream, the Cockatoo had no door on its cage, giving it the freedom to leave anytime it felt ready.

I've been pushing and pushing for transformation lately. Change isn't good enough anymore because I always just change back to the patterns of what I was. When we transform, there is no stepping backwards. A butterfly cannot return to a caterpillar in this life, just as I wish not to fall into the same pitfalls displayed in new ways. I feel like I'm on the cusp of something big.

What about you? Have you been dreaming lately?