Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Flow of Kundalini Energy throughout the Body

Much of the focus, research, and material on Kundalini awakening in the body is on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual changes that occur. There is not a great deal of information on the pure energetics of Kundalini and how it courses through the body. Today I will introduce the energetics of intelligent Kundalini, its purpose, and how it courses throughout the body.

At first, Kundalini awakens. Kundalini can awaken out of one of three channels- the sushumna (or central channel, basically the spine), ida or pingala (which begin in the second or third chakra, basically). If Kundalini awakens through the sushumna it will first be felt behind the area of the tip of the coccyx and perhaps in the sacrum. If Kundalini awakens in Ida or Pingala it will begin in the lower abdomen or around the area of the belly button.

The first rising of Kundalini is typically fierce. Other people may feel energetic awakenings up the spine, but there is a difference between activation of chakras or simply feeling energy awakening the stored material in the chakras and Kundalini. Activation of your own energy in the spine can be intense- bringing up emotions and experiences with currents of electrical sensations in the spine. Kundalini is like having a volcano erupt up your spine. Especially the first few times it arises.

As I have discussed previously, Kundalini will work its way up the spine until it comes across significant blockage. This is typically in one of the first three chakras- the chakras of our own past, ancestry, deep emotions, and family issues. The massive amount of volcanic energy will then “explode” the chakra it is at- releasing a lot of stored material in that chakra.

Since Kundalini is intelligent it will continue to go through cycles of going back into the first chakra into a somewhat dormant state and then becoming really active and rising as far as it can to release more stored emotions and physical-spiritual-energetic material. Depending on the force of the Kundalini (more forceful Kundalini means it can break through blockages more quickly resulting in more severe physical-emotional-spiritual issues on the part of the experiencer) eventually it will make its way up to the center of the brain.

At some point this will be a full circuit. Kundalini is initially coiled in the first chakra and as it arises and works it way through blockages it will uncoil. When it is fully uncoiled (three and a half times) it will be completely through its first cycle. If you have had an awakening through Ida or Pingala it is likely the energy is stuck and you will need to find help to activate it through the sushumna.

Next, the Kundalini will arise out of the crown chakra. For many this feels like a burst of energy. Energy like an explosion will be felt strongly from the first chakra through the crown of the head. This will lead to a whole host of physical, mental, and spiritual changes within a very short period of time. In a way it is a sort of death- the death of everything that you knew and who you thought you were. This period can be very disorienting.

After the Kundalini has made its circuit you will begin to feel a glow around your head and other people will remark about a certain light or energy in your eyes.

Kundalini can now awaken in Pingala and Ida if it has not already. This will lead to visions of DNA, feelings on the right and left sides of the body and spine. This is the caduceus symbol that we see in Greek mythology and modern Western medicine. Ida and Pingala further release the second and third chakra and go into the nostrils and eyes and further into the brain. Those pathways will clear and awaken. The light around the head will grow larger and brighter.

Kundalini will again and again rise through the central channel. This may be like a gentle wave or a strong rush, depending on what is needed. Since Kundalini is a conscious energy it is individual as to what happens. You may need another huge push of energy flowing through your central column, clearing out large amounts of material. You may also need Kundalini to simmer in your first chakra, scraping the bottom of the barrel… getting to all of the deep and dark issues of that chakra. The simmering can be more difficult than the bursts for many people, as I have heard time and again that (for example) when K is simmering in the first chakra people have melted through their pants and felt unbearable itching, pain, or discomfort in that area. The appearance of physical issues with or without cause can appear (always get checked out by Western med if you are having physical issues, just because you are going through a spiritual process doesn’t mean you are not going through a physical one as well).

Next, Kundalini will flow through the major channels of the body. We are composed of energetic channels called meridians in Chinese Medicine or sen lines in Thai Bodywork. Twelve of these (or ten in Thai Bodywork) are major channels. We will begin to feel Kundalini flowing and opening those channels.

Kundalini will also begin to flow through the minor chakras. We have many minor chakras, the most notable in our hands and feet. These will begin to open and Kundalini will flow to and through them.

We will then feel flow to each organ, each tissue, each layer of our body, each cell of our body. This will result in not only our head but our entire body attaining a sort of glowing quality to it.

A central column will develop. For some, this happens earlier in the process. This means that we will feel a column extending to a minor chakra below our feet (called the Earth chakra) to the chakra above our heads (the one above the crown called the Heaven chakra). At first this may be a vertical column going through our bodies. In time as we have our organs, tissues, layers, cells, even our DNA cleared this column will extend and fill our entire aura. We will now have energy flowing completely around us from six inches or more surrounding our physical bodies.

In time we will realize a “bubble” or energy surrounding our Heaven chakra. This chakra above our heads will at first look like a bubble or circular energy as we gain access to greater divine flow. Eventually the chakra above our head will expand and we will have access to the further chakras above our head which are pure divine flow (not having to do with us as individuals at all).

This realization and direct experience of the chakras above the head and the feeling of direct divinity will allow for us to open the chakras below our feet. This will connect us to our primal, animalistic nature. We will realize our humanity and relish our sexual, emotional, and even the shadowy nature of our physical and spiritual selves. No longer are we able to separate the world into neat “good” “evil” “dark” and “light” or even “spiritual” and “physical”. Many people stop themselves before this stage because of puritanical and deeply entrenched belief systems about the nature of spiritual awakening. If anything awakening the upper chakras allows for us to deeply explore and find comfort in our lower chakras and their primal and emotional drives.

Finally we will open more again. The vertical columns surrounding us and opening the further chakras above our heads and below our feets will expand. They expand again surrounding not only our own original field and definition of self but the entirety of divine flow.

At this point Kundalini is no longer differentiated from Shakti. Shakti becomes Kundalini in the physical form. Kundalini is the guiding force that creates the physical further differentiating into qi (which then goes on to create the elements, the rest of our physical nature, everything we can see, taste, sense of “ordinary” reality). At some point we realize the pure flow of Shakti through us and no longer differentiate it as Kundalini. We reconcile and understand all of our layers- physical, emotional, spiritual- and realize that they are the same thing. We realize that we are home- we are who we are and in the full embrace of divine flow.

There is more beyond this, but I have not read any accounts or personally gone beyond this point. I imagine to do so would mean to no longer be in a physical body. It is common to think that Kundalini has a completion process or an “end” point. In our culture we love end points and to graduate from something. If we fully submit and surrender to this process we know that there is no end point. We expand as much as we allow ourselves to. As long as we have physical bodies we will have issues come up, we will have material to process. This may be in the very highest “Heaven” chakra or it may be in the first chakra. Even after we have fully felt Kundalini flow through every cell of our bodies it may need to return and work on a deeper level through the sushumna, or the first and second chakra. By allowing it to do as it is guided we will continue to develop and awaken.

Mary Shutan L.Ac, CST-D, CZB, ABT offers readings, services and programs for people undergoing Spiritual Awakening issues, including Kundalini awakenings, as well as for people dealing with psychic abilities. You may contact her to set up a consultation for an appointment.

Spiritual Advice Column: Shamanic Calling

Mary-

First off I wanted to tell you I love your writing. It is really refreshing and blunt. I hope you can be that same way with me and my issues. I was an addict for ten years and I am just now three years clean realizing why I used. I am sensitive and feel called to be a Shaman. I denied my calling and didn’t know how to deal with everything. I feel this strong calling to be a Shaman but all of the stuff around me seems focused on money. Most of it seems like bullshit as well. I am white and don’t feel called to be a Native American or to be part of another culture. How do I follow my calling and become a Shaman? How do I not fall prey to the heaps of bullshit out there and the people who just want to take my money? Lots of questions I realize but I don’t know what to do. Thanks for any thoughts

baby shaman

Dear baby shaman-

Thanks for the compliment- and I will be blunt with you. You are right- there is a lot of B.S. and misinformation out there, people who just want to take your money, and “fake” shamans who have no idea what they are talking about. It took me a long time to wake up to the fact that most of the shamanic workshop circuit and books out there are basically just another illusion, so kudos on realizing it so soon.

A few thoughts about your note… first off, I am assuming that you would pay money as long as it was the appropriate amount to a teacher that could actually be of benefit to you. They are out there, and they need to make a living. There is a current new-age thought out there that spiritual teachings should be free, or should be by donation, and if you do not ascribe to the certain brand of thinking you are not a “real” teacher. Most of this thinking is a result of new-age spiritual bypass- where people separate the physical from the spiritual. They have not grown past this understanding and split.  I believe that teachers, no matter if they are teaching young shamans or elementary school should be paid appropriately. So we will set the matter of money aside assuming that you are able to find a right and ethical teacher… because a real teacher will charge an appropriate amount or even undercharge for what you will receive from them. It is the bloated organizations and vacation mentality workshops that charge more than they are worth. If you feel that money is the primary concern of a teacher it is a good indication to find another one. But certainly pay someone for their time and expertise. I can tell you from experience it takes a lot of time and energy to put together a decent workshop or educational experience.

Now, let us get on to the bullshit. There is a huge amount of false information, message boards and facebook groups full of beginners who have little idea what they are talking about, teachers who have not dealt with their own issues, have ego issues, or do not have any spiritual power, and books and other information that will tell you that you have to be, do, think, and act a certain way to be a shaman. Beyond the ability to traverse the worlds and some common attributes (such as near-death experiences and other shamanic calling symptoms) that designate that yes, you are a spiritual healer, it is up to you to find your individual path as a spiritual healer. There is no one path. So, basically don’t drink the Kool-aid. If any book, person, or spirit tells you that their way is the only way, it is B.S. If anyone tells you that a Shaman is a specific race or from a specific cultural background don’t believe them. There are Spiritual Healers of all sorts across the globe and throughout history (the term Shaman is from the Tungus/Siberians but let us expand the word Shaman to mean Spiritual Healer). There are even white middle class shamans from Ohio, such as yourself.

Unfortunately what happens when someone such as yourself has a calling to become a Shaman they often get caught up in what other people think and the organizations that are out there construct your spiritual reality. You begin to see the spiritual worlds as having only three layers, as having specific archetypes, and begin to believe their mythologies about “good” and “bad”. You then participate in this illusion instead of realizing what your spiritual path is, what your spirits tell you…You become immersed in spiritual materialism with students who may or may not have a spiritual calling.

Most of these classes are for people that cannot traverse between different realities- they need to be told what to think and believe and have their spiritual reality constructed for them. They will then participate in this illusion, constructing angels, deities, and spiritual support out of displaced aspects of themselves. Most people interested in shamanic workshops are not called and do not see beyond the illusion and B.S. This makes up most of the new-age or “core” shamanic community.

We live in a modern society of spiritual materialism- where anyone thinks they can be a shaman. Anyone who has been truly called knows that this is not true. Some people are called, some have natural abilities, talents, and powers as a spiritual healer. Unfortunately since being a shaman or a spiritual healer is a relatively rare thing most of the material, workshops, and teachers are catered towards aspirational shamans rather than actual shamans. The difference is that you, baby shaman, are unskilled at this point. You have the power and the abilities- you need to the tools to be who you are, to protect yourself, and to educate yourself about what is going on.

An important thing to know is that experiencing some of these workshops is beneficial. You can tell what you do not want from seeing and participating in them. In Acupuncture school I had a particularly bad intern I had to follow. The supervisor made a comment to me one day that “now I will know what I do not want to do and who I do not want to be.” This thought has allowed for me to experience people, places, and events that show me who I do not want to be. And this helps me grow.

But there are good teachers out there. Strong teachers, who can help you through and help you become who you want to be. I am of the opinion that until we reach a certain point that we need physical teachers, we need mentors in physical form. They help us become grounded, teach us skills, and are able to call us out when we are in a state of illusion. And at the beginning (and middle, and near the end) we are in a state of illusion. We self-create, we congratulate, we get stuck in weird spiritual states… if we are on a spiritual path we will get lost, confused, and stuck. We need physical teachers, catalysts to help guide us to come out of these states, to give us tools to traverse our path, and to help us to discover who we really are and our own individual path. Once we discover our individual spiritual path, build relationships with our own non-self-created spirits we can rely less on teachers. Any teacher that moves out of “catalyst” mode into telling you what to think, feel, or be is a good signifier of a teacher that is not right for you. But teachers are always wonderful- as you become more skilled good physical teachers become incredibly difficult to find. But they are out there.

So what else to do? You feel called to become a Shaman. If you are, we have discussed how you simply need to research, read, explore, and find a physical teacher. Even in the fakest and most ego-filled book or teacher there is insight. It is up to you to take that insight and let that inform you. Simply leave the rest. If you are truly called to be a Shaman there are already spirit teachers (as in non-physical teachers) around you. This sounds cheesy or too simple (we have a huge tendency to complicate things in this world) but simply state out loud:

I am ready to become a Shaman. I am ready to learn. I am ready to follow my path. I am ready for my spiritual teachers to appear. I am ready for my physical and non-physical teachers to appear.

Whatever of these varieties feels right to you go forward with. It sounds so simple but it really works. Look for signs, synchronicities, and messages that show you the way. If you are called to be a shaman you can learn basic skills like journeying or communicating with guides from a wide variety of sources- even the most basic workshop or teacher can give you these skills. You will not have to look very far. Take these skills and make them your own. Spend time each day communicating and establishing a relationship with your spiritual teachers.

Beyond this advice, start simply. Spend time out in nature. Learn about your own ancestors. Often we are strongest in our spiritual capabilities by learning about how our own ancestors approached spiritual healing. You may need to look deeper for this than someone who comes from a culture that places emphasis on spiritual healers and healing, but you can find it.

Begin to meditate if you have not already. This is important. Simply spend quiet time in nature or contemplation or find a meditation book or style that calls you to it. Do it every day- even if it is for a short period of time. This will give you the ability to work through your own issues so you can help others and allow you to eventually develop skills to communicate with your spiritual support/guides in a profound way.

I hope that helps you on your path baby shaman. Just with this simple advice, a good book or perhaps a beginning workshop you can learn basic tools to proceed in a powerful way. When you learn to access your own spiritual power, your own spiritual path, and come into contact with the spiritual forces that surround you (meditation, nature and your guides) you will no longer be a baby shaman. At that point you may be able to find a real, appropriate, and non-B.S. teacher to guide you. Good luck

Mary

Mary Shutan L.Ac, CST-D, CZB, ABT offers Spiritual Healing services, readings, services and programs for people undergoing Spiritual Awakening issues, including Shamanic callings and awakenings, as well as for people dealing with psychic abilities. You may contact her to set up a consultation for an appointment or go here for information on readings.

Types of Ghosts and Spirits

It is common for people when they encounter any sort of energetic presence to think that it is a spirit. By this they typically mean that it is the spirit of former human being. Many people who contact me believe that they are encountering malevolent spirits, demonic or dark entities. Others feel like they are possessed by something or someone outside of themselves and assume as well that it is dark or that they did something wrong or evil to attract a presence to them. I will get to this scenario in a future blog (the subject of possession, why it occurs, and the basic signs and symptoms) but today I will be going over the different types of spirits and ghosts that people encounter.

There is a lot of confusion about spirits. We are overrun with television shows where the most basic, garden variety spirits cause frat boys with cameras to run screaming from houses (yes, I watch some of these shows too… I always suggest the Dead Files to people if they are curious how a real death medium works). These shows and popular media make spirits seem as if they are scary and evil. In most cases, this simply is not true. In most cases, what people are dealing with is actually not a spirit. In reality, most people either encounter spirits that they wouldn’t mind sharing a house with or energies that are not spirits at all.

I will go over the most common to the least common scenarios. If you think that you are dealing with a spirit, I would suggest going down the list as a sort of checklist. We tend to think everything spiritual around us is really dramatic, and in most cases it is rather mundane. We also tend to leap to wanting to banish spirits, or assume that the spirits around us are demonic with very little information and without crossing off the more obvious choices first. While I am not discounting that there are in fact evil or dark energies out there that can create a huge amount of chaos, most of the time the energies we encounter and are surrounded by are actually somewhat boring. We have all sorts of energies- grids, thoughtforms (our own thoughts and others thoughts), emotions, spirits and other energies around us all of the time. We simply don’t notice them most of the time. Instead of automatically leaping to clearing, banishing, or being afraid of spiritual matters, with a little knowledge you can approach them with understanding. This will help you discern what the proper action is to take (and if you actually do need help with something dark or dangerous).

The Types of Ghosts and Spirits people encounter
1. Imprints
The most common “ghost” that people encounter is an imprint. Picture this… a woman lives in a house for thirty years. Each morning she gets up, puts on her bathrobe, goes to make coffee, and sits on her front porch. When she passes her spirit is no longer present in the house. But the imprint- the residual energy of her going through her morning routine is. It is ingrained into the house.

Imprints are very, very common. Beyond this scenario, sites where there was something of importance that happened (wars, fighting, break-ups of relationships, shootings, fires, an event of great joy or heightened emotion, etc) are common to imprint as well. Even mundane events, if they were of importance energetically or to the people involved can form an imprint. Imprints do not interact with people- they have no consciousness. They are either present at a place already or come up because the place is being changed- plenty of people report spirits during construction. These are mostly imprints- energies that are actually likely being cleared by the change in structure.

Imprints are usually fairly easy to clear. Any of the basic clearing methods- sage, copal, even lemon water and a good scrub down of your house, imagining white light going through your house can clear most imprints.

When most spiritual practitioners say they move spirits on or work with spirits, they are working with this category. Sage, copal, and basic cleansing methods rarely work on any of the following categories, that of conscious energies. If you have imprints you can learn how to clear them online or call up your basic spiritual practitioner or Reiki Master to clear your house for you.

Actual Spirits/Ghosts

There is a great deal of confusion about the further categories. Since most “ghosts” are actually imprints, many spiritual practitioners think that they work with ghosts because they can clear imprints with sage. Conscious spirits and energies require someone who is specialized and experienced in working with actual spirits. If we think about this logically- when we clear our house with Pledge this will get the dirt away. Spiritually this “dirt” would be thoughts, emotions, and imprints that are there. If we have a person standing there who wants attention or is angry squirting them with lemon Pledge will not get them to go anywhere. The difficulty is that while there are many talented spiritual practitioners out there who can work with conscious spirits there are many more who have no idea what they are doing either out of ignorance or because they lack the proper training and spiritual abilities to work with spirits.

Garden Variety Spirits
Most spirits are “garden variety”. This means that we are surrounded by spirits. Most of them mean no harm. Most of them are former humans. They simply didn’t go anywhere when they died- either out of confusion (like a drug overdose, dementia, they are unaware that they are dead), because they have a lot of emotion or trauma concerning their life or death, or they are simply scared to move on because of what they may have done in life. Many of these spirits do not have much power- they cannot move anything or interact much. Some of these spirits want help to move on but many are content here. If you can handle having a roommate of sorts, they will generally respect boundaries when you place them and can make for interesting dinner conversation. Basically, you can ask them if they want to move on but if they don’t want to they don’t cause many problems and are nothing to be afraid of. Getting a spiritual practitioner who is experienced and talented as a medium can help these spirits move on if they choose to do so.

Difficult Spirits
Former human spirits that had a difficult life, have a lot of emotion about their death, or did a great deal of harm in their life can turn into spirits that can be bothersome. These spirits often have power and presence- you can see them in full human form or outline, they can move objects, interfere with your health (basically, you will feel sick around them), they can harm or push you, interfere with your house, and basically create chaos by being around them. With any severe symptoms of health issues that you can attribute to a spirit (after ruling out carbon monoxide, your own health issues, imprints, etc) and objects moving with a feeling of a dark energy it is likely a difficult spirit. About 80 percent (yes, I made up that percentage) of spirits are imprints or garden variety. This category would be about 10 percent of the remaining former human spirits. These can be difficult to deal with, and to find an experienced spiritual practitioner who can actually either via distance or in person clear your house who actually knows what they are doing enough to move on a difficult spirit can be hard to find. But it is well worth it- there is no need to deal with being bullied, becoming sick, or dealing with a dark or violent presence of a former human in your house. There are people who can deal with difficult spirits- you just need to find one.

Non-Human Spirits
As I mentioned earlier, there are all sorts of energies surrounding us. Thoughts, emotions, grids, and the above categories surround us all the time. If we add up the above categories, we find that we are at 90 percent of what “ghosts” typically are. So what is the remaining 10 percent? They are typically non-human origin spirits. They can be put into the following categories- land, elemental, and demonic.

Land
This is most times similar to an imprint. A war or other happening was significant on a piece of land. This land is then marked. This is not a typical “spirit” per-se, as in you will not see a single spirit or entity hanging around. You will feel a dark presence or something about the house where the land is, though. This is the old “my house was built on an Indian Burial ground” scenario. Land can be cursed by events and people, land can have portals and energetic places where it is “thin” meaning that spirits and other energies can easily come through. Basically, have your land checked out if you feel something off about it. Working with cursed land and other land issues is a specialty of some spiritual practitioners. Find out who was originally on your land and try to find a representative of that group to work with if you can. Otherwise a spiritual practitioner who works with land curses, portals, or land energetic phenomena can be difficult but very useful to find.
Elemental
We have all sorts of energies and beings that surround us. Some of these are creature rather than former humans. We understand and know of these from our popular fairy and folk tales from when we are kids. Most of us disregard these stories as being stupid or not real when we grow older. However, many of us who are sensitive or have worked with the spiritual realms for long enough know that there are all sorts of elementals- energetic beings of non-human origin that surround us. This can be fae, the winds, a mountain spirit…the variations are endless. In some cases when people report “spirits” they actually are dealing with elementals.

These actually appear much differently that human spirits, and will make up about 9.5 percent of our remaining “spirits” (I discount the land category from our percentage calculating). Many would say that elementals make up a great more of the percentage, but it really can vary as to where you are located what the elemental population is like and how much they bother humans. This will be strange activity- mischief, scurrying, small shadows, and child-like presences are common experiences. This can vary though- if you are dealing with a fae invasion this will be much different than dealing with a mountain spirit. To work with elementals requires finding someone trained in working with them, establishing boundaries with them, and many times bribing them (like giving them a house or area outside where they can hang out). Finding out what they want is often the key in this scenario and bribing them or establishing boundaries with them so they will leave you alone is often how to best work with them.

Demonic/Evil/Shadow
Most people assume that spirits are in this category if they are having any movement or strange issues in their house. In most cases it is the difficult spirit category instead. However, there are presences on earth that are non-human in origin. They would be referred to as shadows, evil, or demonic. These presences cause serious chaos, destruction, health issues (disturbing imagery I realize, but one woman I recently helped was being flayed alive by a presence) and the complete change in personality by the human presences. These appear as either pitch-black shadows that cannot be seen through or they can change or shift themselves into all sorts of different forms- even human children in order to trick you. This category is only about .5 percent of occurrences, but is very real. Full demonic presences do not come into our realm very often because it is difficult for them to stay here- their energy is not congruent. It is difficult for them to stay here- so if they are it is for a very specific purpose and reasoning. Basically, it is not good… they are not just randomly here. If you are having difficulty with a presence you believe to be demonic/evil/shadow (and does not fit in the other categories) finding someone who truly does this sort of dangerous work can be difficult. Most spiritual practitioners either are ignorant of true evil non-human presences, do not wish to believe in them because they are still in the beginning stages of spiritual development, or are rightfully scared. Even practitioners who do work in this category are often hesitant to do so because it requires a great deal of power and spiritual support to do so. It is dangerous for you to do so and for them to do so. Find a serious dark practitioner who deals with these energies or someone in your religious organization that does.

Mary Shutan L.Ac, CST-D, CZB, ABT offers Spiritual Healing services, readings, services and programs for people undergoing Spiritual Awakening issues, including Kundalini syndrome, as well as for people dealing with psychic abilities. You may contact her to set up a consultation for an appointment or go here for information on readings.