Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Three Levels of Power

I talk about the concept of power quite a bit with clients and in my blogs, so I thought I would devote a whole blog to simply describing (as best as I can) what power is and how it is achieved.

First things first, though… we have a lot of loaded energy around the word “power” when it comes to spiritual practices. I remember one of my beginning teachers saying that “sorcerers” hungered after “power”– as if it was the mark of someone doing bad things, evil things to utilize power, or to even want power.

I realized later that this is one of those divisive tactics that is so common in modern-day spiritual communities. If you never find your own power, you always need the power of someone else… like a teacher or guru. 

If you actually find your power, or if on your spiritual quest you actually find what you are looking for (going from seeker to sought) you don’t need to buy the latest books, go to workshops, follow a teacher around and quote them. You can think and do and be for yourself.

And this frightens teachers. Some teachers, anyway.

Because there are teachers out there who have amassed a great following, and if those people are healed, if those people find their own power, their following dwindles. Some of these teachers have not come up with a new thought or idea for a long time, and keep on publishing the same ideas over and over… and people buy them again and again. It is rare that people notice that most “self-help” or “shamanic” books are largely the same as one another, all repeating the same things… and most are sorely lacking in any “how-to’s”– any techniques or actually telling you how you can achieve what they have supposedly.

But back to talking about power.

Power is considered to be a sort of dirty word, as if we are wrong if we want power… like we will suddenly turn into Voldemort or whomever the current cultural villainous sorcerer is if we do.

But power is who we are. If we fully are who we are, if we understand who we are, if we totally and completely know who we are we have achieved power.

And in any form of spiritual work, cultivation of power begins with the self (the first level, if you will). If you do not know how to cultivate power within yourself (there are lots of methods of this out there from self-enquiry to qigong to reiki to nature hikes) you are somewhat stunted in terms of how much spiritual growth you can have. You can only achieve so much, learn so much in the spiritual realms if you have no concept of who you are and have not cultivated your own power.

And again, cultivating your own power takes time. It takes effort. It will not happen tomorrow if you start today. But even if you are starting today, picking a self-cultivation method and sticking with it, learning how to truly understand who you are and the energy dynamics within your own body… understand how you energetically, physically, and spiritually are interacting with the Universe… it is a step in the right direction.

The second level of power is considered “dark work”. It is a crucial step that most people skip over to the more “shiny” third level. It is learning how to work with the Earth, understanding the dynamics of the Earth and its inhabitants. It is learning how to work with the ancestors (as a general concept) as well as your ancestors.

This again takes time. We do not forge spiritual relationships overnight. Going out into the woods and speaking to or sitting by a tree is wonderful. But after ten years of speaking to trees, you have enough connection and understanding to know when you are self-creating (what you want to hear, what you want to experience and mentally creating that) and when you can actually feel the vibration of the Earth, the essence of “dark” energies flowing through you.

Each source of power has an essence, a flow, a current. It is by deeply entering into that current that we achieve power. 

Any time that we have power, that we come into contact with power, it is a palpable thing. We feel the vibration of it, the current. We may feel a slightly elevated sense of energy when talking to ourselves (self-creating), but this is nothing like being in the full current of power… of having energies be so strong around you that you can feel their emanations, their vibrations through you.

The third “layer” of power is working with the “heavens”, meaning deities, angelic presences, and elevated guides (such as the collective, ascended masters, etc).

And not to get too complicated, but there is sort of a 2.5 (or 3.5, depending on the energy) layer of connecting to elevated energies of a completely different vibration such as energy fields, ET’s, and assorted other-worldly beings (not elementals, they are in the “Earth” layer/second layer).

And not to get even more complicated, but after the layers you can just emanate and be with Source energy. But if you have not worked with the three layers, chances are your experience of pure Source energy is heavily filtered. You have not had the self-cultivation, or done the work to be able to directly interface with Source… (and yes, even if you are naturally sensitive, awake, have in a past life, etc… in fact, it is even more important to learn the tools and have the ability to cultivate energy if you do have natural power given to you by other sources).

Most people get interested in the third layer before the first two. And what happens is that they typically are self-creating, they aren’t tapping into that source of power. If you do not know yourself, if you have not self-cultivated your own power (layer one), if you have not connected to your lineage of power/ancestors that run through your blood, and to the energies of the Earth and World (second layer) it is rare that you will be able to work with the third layer in depth.

Some people are able to, by the way, for a variety of complex reasons I won’t get into here. But even for those people, if you are truly contacting something in the third layer, this is a massive source of power. Meaning microwave blowing up, house shaking, earth shaking types of energies. Meaning that the first time (or first many, many times) that you contact energies like this you are likely to be “blown out” – a term meaning basically that your senses are so overstimulated that you either black out or are unable to function for a period of time.

It is a lot of power, basically. And until you have created power through the first few layers (especially self-cultivation) you will not be able to understand it or work with it fully.

Until you reach that point, you are likely working with archetypes and sub-personalities. These have power, by the way. They are part of self-cultivation (level one). We all need to integrate, to understand who we are, to understand our own power. We disassociate from our own power, and it is easier for us to see an “outer” archangel than to think that we actually have power. So the archetypal relationships are important– they are part of us understanding our own power. But they are not separate from us (but still very important, as I have stated).

So why achieve power? If you want to work on a spiritual path, especially if you wish to become a spiritual worker, your trade is power. Meaning that in a more mundane way if you are in a bar and are 5’2″ and have never exercised a day in your life and want to fight someone who is 6’2″ and has five black belts, you likely are in a huge amount of trouble.

But I don’t want to fight? You say. I get that… but there are so many beings and energies out there that are looking for openings in people, especially those who are are spiritual workers. The amount of trickster energies and beings and other energies I have released from spiritual workers who were not aware of their presence (or just knew something weird was going on) because they did not have the appropriate power level to do the work, the self-cultivation path traversed, the proper tools to know how to clear themselves after working… let’s just say it is a lot.

If we want to go below the surface we need to achieve depth. Most people are at the surface layers of consciousness, of their spiritual path… even if they have been on a spiritual path for a long time. Despite the workshops, the large amounts of money spent, they are still parroting their teacher and his/her words, they still are looking for power outside of themselves. They haven’t learned how to actually think, act, or be for themselves, and have not learned who they are. The amount of “shamanic practitioners” I have worked with who have no idea who they are is still astonishing to me. I regularly talk to people who only want to hear what I have to think about their situation. I have no problem letting people know what I think, but my purpose in working with people is to get them the tools so they don’t need people like me except for specific situations. But they have spent so much time and money on seeking the outer they have no concept of the inner… and are often incredibly resistant to layer one (or two for that matter).

If we want to do spiritual work, or have a deep spiritual path, we need to have some power. To be safe, to stop self-creating, but also to simply be able to interact with specific energies or worlds. If we do not have power, we do not gain entry. If we do not have power, we only achieve a certain depth in the spiritual realms. If we do not have power, we can only do so much, basically. If we do not have power, we will be unable to interact with certain energies, and they will have limited interest in us. As we gain power, the amount of spiritual experiences we have increases (and gets much, much weirder by the way) and the more we are able to interact with energies and beings that were not willing or were unable to interact with us before.

And what’s more, if we have power, our work and our lives get much simpler (in a lot of ways, and in other ways get more complex). My work has gone from extremely complex to very simple. I no longer have this huge urge to seek, which is helpful financially but also on a soul level I don’t have that emptiness that always makes me look for the next thing… I no longer have that sort of quest that I once did. This is not saying I do not have a huge amount of work to do, but the “seeker” mentality, the idea that I need to know more or be more is no longer a factor in my life.

And many people are fine at the surface. It is safe there– we like safety, we like control. To venture beyond this is to realize that we only have so much safety and control.. that we only know so much. I always know how fake a guru/teacher/etc is when they talk about how they know the totality of the cosmos (or about death, what happens after death, has every answer spiritually, etc).

I am not telling people to move beyond what they are ready for. People are where they are, and they will do what they are ready for if and when the time comes. But if anyone is looking for depth, for power, they can find it… with patience, with readiness, and with finding a simple tool (or two) and sticking with it for a period of time.

Getting Lost in the World(s)

It is not unusual for me to talk to people who say they feel stuck or lost in their lives. They may feel dizzy, out of body, or simply out of sorts.

For some of these people, there may be an actual part of them that is lost elsewhere.

A lot of people think of astral or etheric travel (where a portion of you or one of your energetic “bodies”) goes to other places (simply put) as a conscious thing, something that they may have read books about to learn how to do.

But far more people do this naturally. They do it without realizing that they do. 

Most people are familiar with the concept of Soul Retrieval– the idea that a part of you has disassociated/left as a result of trauma. I do not believe for this to be quite true, but that is another blog you can read here

But parts of you can leave not because they are traumatized but simply because they can.

Although this can be a difficult concept to explain (as many spiritual concepts are) there are parts of you that are likely more “awake” than others. There are parts of some people (due to past lives or ancestry most typically) that have more latent power and spiritual abilities/understandings than others. These parts of you are not likely conscious. But these aspects of you may travel in dreams (most common) or when awake. They may travel anywhere– from different parts of our world to different planes to different worlds.

In fact, many people talk about spiritual concepts not really aware of the fact that they are talking about a place. Most people who talk about a “dark night of the soul” or “being in the abyss” do not realize that these are spiritual places that we can inadvertently wander to and get lost. 

So the real question is what to do about this…

The first realization here is to recognize where you are, where all of you is. If you feel scattered energetically (feeling cloudy, dizzy, not all together, spacey) there may be a good reason for it.

If you know that you “travel” it is your responsibility to get the training and skills that you need so it can be a conscious thing that you do. So you know how to do it with skill. So you don’t get stuck or partially stuck if you journey or go somewhere (either consciously or not).

If you feel like you have latent power (a subject of another blog on power I will be doing soon) it is also your responsibility– to figure out how to work with it. Until you do it will be a stumbling block for you. There are a fair amount of people out there who have latent power causing all sorts of issues for them and they have no conscious understanding of why so many odd things happen to them.

And if you do not know how to sort something out yourself, or you find yourself saying things like “I feel like I am in a wasteland with no water” or that “I feel so blank in a space filled with nothingness” or “I feel like I am trapped alive in a coffin” or “I feel like I am in a deep dark abyss” realize that those are places that a talented spiritual worker can help you leave. A spiritual worker can find you, wherever you might be, and bring you home… As long as you want to come home (this is, of course, another story).

There are so many places and parts of us that can travel to some odd places. Most of us do this inadvertently, and have no conscious understanding of it, beyond reporting strange dreams to places you have never seen that feel oddly real or not about you (and not about your psychology). Learning about your individual skills and gifts (and being able to travel is an ability that some people naturally have more than others) and how to use them with safety is essential. Becoming aware of them is essential. Knowing how to call yourself back home is essential.

We all should be as “home” as we can be, with our dominant energies focused on this lifetime and our current human form, no matter who we believe or know ourselves to be. If this is not happening we cannot fully enjoy our lives to the full extent that we could. By bringing all of ourselves into the present, and learning the skills we need to to do so, we can bring our skills and abilities into our current lives and day-to-day realities. By becoming conscious and skilled we can achieve a lot in this world, and deeply understand ourselves, where we are, and what we individually bring to this world.

If you feel called to work with me, you can contact me here.

 

Money and Spirituality… Again

So in the continuation of “popular emails I receive” I will again answer a common one, and will attempt to do so compassionately:

Hi Mary, I am a seeker & I don’t want to seek from you what/how my future will be… & I don’t want to buy spirituality.

My question to you “why are you selling God’s given gift??”

“Is the purpose of Kundalini Awakening in you is to sell its benefits for a price?”

With Regards,

A Seeker

To A Seeker:

I will attempt to answer this question compassionately, even though your intent was to chastise, belittle, and judge me. I get this question a few times a week, so I thought I would answer it rather than delete it, which is what I normally do.

This is the last time I will answer this question, or talk about money (except in perhaps a more esoteric way) because I am tired of it, quite frankly, and this is never an issue about me, it is always about the person and their unresolved trauma and issues around money… and until the person decides to take a look within and take personal responsibility for their issues, they will never be able to even fully read the rest of my response and process it.

It is also true that the intent of questions like these are always tiring– this response is not to spread love, compassion, or good in the world. It is in popular parlance, to be a “troll”. It is an attempt to get me to see you are “right” and that the whole world, the whole universe, should ascribe to your specific brand of spirituality, your own ethics, thoughts on the universe, and your own path. It is an attempt to feel superior to me, because you likely feel inferior to yourself. And I don’t care what you think about me, I do not know you, and when you realize that the opinions of others are as illusory as anything and are simply reflective of their own traumas you typically let this shit go… unless you care about the person and/or respect them or their thoughts. And that is a small group of people to me, quite frankly.

And anyone who cannot see beyond themselves to the point of having compassion for others and respecting their decisions, whatever they might be (even if you personally consider them “wrong”) has not awakened. Simple as that. 

Awakening, even a small amount of awakening, allows for you to see that the world doesn’t need to revolve around you, and in fact you are an infinitesimally small part of the Universe who doesn’t matter that much.

Until people “wake up” to a certain point they believe that the world has to revolve around them, what they have been taught– their own brand of judgements, religious path, spiritual path. It is everything that is wrong with the world today, quite frankly. It shows that the person lacks the capacity or ability to look within themselves to resolve issues that they have with the outer world. It is a basic lack of recognition that in most people, what they see “outer” and their problems with the “outer” world are actually issues within themselves.

This actually changes at a certain point, but not before you get beyond your own conditioning, your own issues, and your own judgements. Until then, everything you are reacting to is an issue that needs to be resolved within yourself.

Once you get to a certain point you begin to realize that people are where they are. You begin to have compassion for them, and their constricted world view, and the amount of anger and fear they must have to not only bring such negativity into the world, but to seek to send it out to others.

If you were to only look inside of yourself, “seeker”, you would see that this issue is not about money, and it isn’t even about me. It is about you, and something that can and should be reconciled within. Except you are not ready to do that, and that is fine… you will likely continue “seeking” on your self-righteous path, judging and sending brutal negativity into the world to anything that you view as not “you”– anyone that is acting in a way that you do not personally agree with.

You will likely continue to quote from religious or spiritual texts, or whomever your teacher or guru is, never having a direct experience of spirituality. And that makes me sad. It makes me sad to think of the thousands and millions of people who do this, and never get to feel a direct, palpable sense of being connected to their greater spiritual nature, to oneness, and to the type of energy that will tell you that everything is okay, and that you do not need to turn your anger and fear outward, that will fill those empty lonely places within that cause people like this to act blindly like this, trying again and again to send their negativity and drama and chaos outward.. and that everything is part of divinity– from money to the most esoteric spiritual concepts.

So I hope that you do find that someday, “seeker”, I really do. Because until then you are just going to continue to lash out at the world, lonely, depressed, never sure why you can’t fill yourself up, continually convinced that your constricted world view is what is right and judging anyone who does not live up to your standards… which likely includes you, by the way… it is in fact really difficult to live up to our own illusory standards, and if we look within we will realize that the standards we set for others we are not meeting ourselves and this is why we feel so angry and afraid and in a state of despair… and this type of energy will never allow for you to be “sought”, to be comfortable, to come to the end of your journey.

Telling people what to do is the least “spiritual” thing that you can do with yourself. Whether it be what diet to eat, what god to worship, or how to make a living, judging people (especially to the extent that you have the need to email them in a confrontational way) is one of the least enlightened things anyone can do.

What you are doing is attempting to steal my power. And I do not give my power away or let others take it.

Let me explain. When someone purposefully sends you the energy of judgement, combined with their thoughts and negativities aimed at you, they are doing this to steal your power. This happens all the time– from message boards on the internet to this person contacting me.

A lot of people are willing to give away their power. And this temporarily fills you up, “seeker”. But it is not your power, so it always dissipates and leaves you feeling empty again. So you need to lash out again, looking for more power to steal. And if you were only to heal yourself, to learn how to develop your own power, you wouldn’t need anyone else’s. You wouldn’t need to act the way you do, quite simply.

By the way, this type of negativity and animosity, the types of energies and thoughtforms that this creates… are much worse that whatever you are judging. The irony here is that this person is seeking to be superior (and often people who send this sort of stuff either quote gurus or will talk about their high “vibration” and/or how shamans don’t accept money, which is completely a myth). You are judging someone for eating meat, worshiping the wrong god, making a living, not acting like you are (even though people who make such judgements are, again, never “awakened” or even more importantly, happy with themselves or their lives). This type of energy that you are sending, that you are likely unaware of, is amplifying the unhappiness, the pain that causes people like you to send such notes. 

In fact, you likely do not realize that it is increasing it. People like this rarely realize that the brutal negativity and judgement they send out (that they hope will land on anyone other than themselves so they don’t actually have to examine anything internally) increases and is sent back to them. They are devolving their karma, their vibration, their own happiness, and are stagnating themselves on their spiritual path, likely for a long time, if not for many lifetimes.

If you are happy with yourself, if you are happy with your path, if you have truly found God or whatever you are seeking, you will have no need for this.

Again, people are where they are. And we can have compassion for them, even if they are someone who is seeking to stick their cords and energetic tentacles and negativity onto anyone out there so they don’t have to deal with their own heap of unprocessed trauma and darkness, even someone who is attempting to steal power from you, even terrorists and murderers and people who enjoy cheese or meat or do not worship the “correct” god. We can all realize that they are simply people, people so far into despair and negativity and chaos that all they can do is lash out.

And people are doing the best they can, or the best they think they can. And in an unhealed state, it is so much easier to lash out than to look within and heal. And people will just keep on repeating the same loop of unhealed behaviors, the same patterns, often blind to the fact that they can do anything about them, often blind to the fact that the problem is them, not the outer manifestation in the physical world.

And healed people do not act like this. They just don’t. They have no need to.

So, seeker, I am going to answer your original question. Why do I accept money?

Because my God, my spirits, my connection to divinity told me that this was my path. In fact, if you knew anything about the call to be a spiritual worker, you would understand that I cannot do anything else for a living. I have tried. Once you get a call to do something like this you cannot be an accountant (nothing against accountants, I love my accountant and actually think he was called to be an accountant). My path has allowed for me to do this full time because it is my calling, and who am I to question my calling? And more importantly, who are you to? If you think that you are greater than my calling, or you should tell me what my calling is and how and what I should do with it… again, you are welcome to do so. But I would suggest questioning the presumptuous and ego-driven nature, the unawakened nature, that would do so, that would seek to question the spiritual path of anyone, the spiritual calling of anyone, especially of someone you have never met or even interacted with before.

Because we are not just spiritual, we are physical. I do this work 24/7, 365. It is my job. If I were an accountant, I would not be able to work with people all day spiritually. Divinity has directly corralled me (not always so gently) to do my work as ethically as I am able to as well as has provided for my rent and my daily needs. And nobody who is a spiritual worker gets rich (well, very rarely, but they typically aren’t doing spiritual work, they are teachers who don’t see clients). The physical and the spiritual are equally important. We are spiritual in physical bodies for a reason, and we need food and shelter, no matter how “spiritual” we are.

This world desperately needs spiritual workers. Spiritual workers who have the capacity to devote their entire life to this work. Spiritual workers who know what they are doing, who have dealt with enough of their own stuff to be of service to others. And this capacity and willingness on the part of the individual to basically have their entire life cater around spiritual work is rare. Very rare. And this world (again) desperately needs people who don’t do this on weekends for fun, who actually can contact the spiritual realms (and not just self-create or work mentally), who have developed their skills over many, many years, and who are beyond the sort of tiring repeated ideologies such as this one.

This is why we have so many people out there like this “seeker”– who have a divide between what is “spiritual” and what is “not” with money solely being in the “not-divine, evil, dark” etc corner of things.

Because money isn’t evil, and money is as divine as anything. Anyone who asks this question has an issue with money. Money is simply a thing. It is neither good nor bad. It just simply is. If you think that money is evil, or that someone is evil for charging, whether they be a spiritual worker or a plumber, that has to do with you, not with anything outer, not with the person you are seeking to chastise or judge. You.

So this is the last time that I will respond to something like this, because quite frankly, it is a stupid question, and I have better things to spend my time on. People who ask this always have the same anger, the same fear, the same issues. While I am compassionate towards it, it makes me tired… as tired as the continual “what is a shaman” questions, as tired as people endlessly quoting their teachers and books and religious texts without having any insight or direct experience of their own.

I am over it, and hope that others who read this blog will consider their relationship and judgement around money, and realize that it is something they can resolve within themselves to great effect on their outer lives… and that the type of judgement and negativity that are created by people like this always is called back to them, thus making them more angry, judgmental, and negative.

Think about this the next time you are judging someone– if your negativity and thoughts are in fact worse than whatever you are judging them for.

The world needs people who can rise above this type of thinking, who can realize that it is okay if people don’t act, think, or believe in the same way they do.

And most importantly, we need to stop sending brutal negativity, judgement, and division into the world. We are at a tipping point in this world energetically, and we can take personal responsibility for ourselves, our thoughts, and our own healing process… or we can continue to put things outer into the world because we do not want to personally deal with them… thus creating and causing the type of collective brutal energies that result in global chaos like we are seeing now.

Most people have huge cultural issues, family issues, ancestral issues, and personal issues with money. It is a relationship that lies unawakened within themselves, unresolved within themselves. It is so easy to put this on other people, and to have some romanticized idea based on your own issues, your own unexamined traumas, and to put those outward onto other people. It is much harder to look at yourself and reconcile within yourself that money is just a thing, like all physical things are things. It is not important, and although it matters quite a bit in the physical world and there is a huge amount of issues concerning hoarding of money, scarcity,and anyone can tell you how difficult life can be when you do not have money to pay the rent… in terms of its spiritual nature money is as divine as whatever spiritual concept is out there, and we can realize that and transcend this type of tiring thinking and repeated behavior.

So You Want to be a Shaman?

Every week I get around twenty emails from people asking me how I came to be a “Shaman” and/or how they really enjoyed their first Shamanism class so I should give them free guidance, advice, and support. I put these emails in a different category than people seeking to work with me, to have a session with me, or interest in my programs where I teach people how to work in a spiritual manner.

These are emails from people that are looking for free advice (at this point I get about 150 of those a week in general), free guidance, free support… typically with a heavy dose of entitlement and new-ageisms such as “I don’t think money should be a part of the spiritual path” or “this is a path I must walk alone so I don’t need a teacher” with the intended effect, despite my contact form saying that I receive too many emails to be able to respond to without going insane, of me seeing how “special” the person is and responding to them because dammit they deserve it and, in fact, are entitled to it.

They are entitled to my time, my energy, and my expertise simply because they want it, and they want it now.

And they never see the irony of the fact that they are asking for advice and guidance from someone while at the same time espousing how they must walk their path alone, or that they don’t need a teacher. They really don’t get how entitled they are, and how this is, in fact the least “spiritual” thing you can be– to ask for energy, for anything really, for free– without offering anything of themselves in return.

And ironies of ironies, these are people who have not taken enough time to typically read any of my blogs (which are free, of course) to see that no, I do not want to awaken your Kundalini, and no, I do not think you are a Shaman. 

I was young once, but I was never entitled. I never thought that people should do something for me because I was special, because I wanted it, because I deserved it. I always respected all my teachers, and either paid with energy of my own (setting things up for them, bringing them gifts, doing healing work with them) or money. I was always thankful for what I received. When I did reply to emails like this a long time ago, when I was able to, I never got a thank you from them. They just wanted to take more and more of me, without even considering the fact that they were being entitled, or rude, or simply taking up my time in which I could be doing something else.

And before things get too grouchy and rant-filled (I am a work in progress, as we all are), I will state my basic reply to people. I will state that I have a tendency to be brutally honest, so if you do not want this brutal honesty, I suggest clicking away to Facebook or wherever now.

And before you think this is just about me, or whatever you may think, I will say that this is a huge problem in any field. A tech worker that I know gets inundated with emails asking to pick his brain for several hours, a famous astrologer I am friends with gets 100 or so emails asking him to teach him (for free) everything he knows, and another spiritual worker I know focused on folk magic gets many people asking her each week to tell them “what is hoodoo” and “tell me about magic” without evidently knowing about google.

So You Want To Be A Shaman? Or You Want to Do What I Do?

Well, I have discussed this word before, but I do not call myself a Shaman. I call myself a Spiritual Worker. There is a lot of complex politics with this, including not wanting to associate myself with new-agers who think that because they graduated a program they can call themselves a Shaman, or even a Shamanic Practitioner (what does that mean? Is a plumber a Plumber Practitioner?).

There is also the complex politics of not wanting to upset American Indians and other indigenous folks, some of whom I have had conversations with about this very issue. I understand their rage as a result of history (some of it misguided towards a word and something tangible rather than a collective history they cannot do much about), and the fact that the word Shaman has turned into something that white surfer dudes from California seem to call themselves, or people who have taken a few classes at a Holiday Inn call themselves. I only had to have someone show me a nineteen year old white chick in a bikini with a headdress once who called herself an “Indian priestess” to understand this rage.

There is also the fact that in most of my work I do not “go anywhere”. I have the understanding that everything is here– we are all a bunch of planes and spirits and energies compressed together. We do not have to “go anywhere”– that is a construct of our minds to make us feel better and to help us divide things. There is also the fact that I have learned much more than new-age Shamanism, and have a background in many different spiritual, magical/occult, folk practices, and bodywork, energy work, and holistic medical paths.

But back to you.

Chances are that you are not meant to be a Shaman or a Spiritual Worker. There, I said it. I am not meant to be an NBA player, or an architect, or anything having to do with technology or math beyond balancing my checkbook. It happens.

People who are intended to be spiritual workers can see and sense beyond right here, right now. It is something that has always been a part of them– they did not come into this interest twenty years after they were born. They did not come into this interest in middle-age with a complete mid-life spiritual crisis to “find themselves” once the kids are out of the house. They have always been strange, they have always seen more and thought more and seen differently than others. It is something that has been noticed in them since birth, most likely, even if in modern society we do not have the framework to understand what that “difference” is.

They don’t have a choice in the matter to be a spiritual worker. It is what they have been guided to, and they can’t do anything else with their lives (not for the sake of trying, by the way).

And rather than it making them “special” for most of them, it made them feel out of place, not accepted, a “freak”, most who would have (until they accepted and gained the appropriate skills, but sometimes even then) given anything to not be able to be so sensitive, to be able to see so much and hear so much beyond.

Because it is frightening. It still can be, to tell you the truth. It is frightening to go beyond illusion, beyond mental conditioning, beyond societal conditioning, into spiritual understanding.

There are so many worlds, planes, spirits, beings, energies, and just things (without name) out there… so many people screaming in agony for help silently, so much out there that most people do not ever see or sense. Not to mention thoughtforms, imprints, and emotions swirling around. Even most sensitives only notice a portion of it. With skill you can work with this, you can understand this, but it still doesn’t stop the fact that you see and sense it.

It is hard to have these realizations not affect you, basically.

Most people who have gone through spiritual classes, who have spent decades studying shamanism have never actually had a spiritual experience. They self create all of their “angels” and “guides” and whatever else they are creating out of their psyche. This way they can have a “native american” spirit guide who tells them how wonderful they are. This way they can feel safe, and be told that they are special, and feel special, without having to come into contact with anything outside of themselves.

Because if you come into contact with an actual angel, it will likely blow out your microwave (just saying). And nobody has ever explained to me how if you have a “Native American” spirit guide who is supposedly from the 1600’s (or whenever) that he talks just like you, agrees with you, and will tell you exactly what you want to hear. This is not how actual spirits or spirit guides are. And if something is from the 1600’s it will not talk or think exactly like you. And nobody has ever explained to me why they don’t have a Mexican spirit guide. 

Well, I can tell you why. Our first experience of new-age spirituality and “Shamanism” was through people who worked with Native American populations, and so that has entered our psyches as a “spiritual” culture– something that we should appropriate to be “spiritual”. It doesn’t matter that our “spirit guide” is something that we have co-opted based on magical thinking, we have read a Wikipedia entry about that tribe and so now believe we have a Native American spirit guide.

Being a spiritual worker is not a “magical” thing, something to do on weekends. It is a job. Is it a different job than an office job? Yes, of course. But the difference between doing something as a full time career (more than full time, as you will see below) and what many people romanticize about this work is quite different. It is no different than any self-employed job in many ways, and although you are dealing with the spiritual realms, it is really in many, many ways not different than being a self-employed piano teacher, or plumber, or massage therapist.

Being a spiritual worker– being able to see/sense/be beyond is tiring. It has gotten a lot easier for me, but I hear from people when they are at their worst, typically. I am happy to be of service, I wouldn’t replace that for the world, and I quite happy with my path, but it can be brutal… and tiring.

People who come to me have typically seen a few “Spiritual Practitioners” before me as well, which typically (not all the time, but often enough) means that they have been told that their issues/curse/spirit/whatever spiritual issue is happening is “all in their head”– because the “Spiritual Practitioner” has never accessed anything spiritual, they think it is all mental– most of New-Age Spiritual Practitioner-ing is based on psychological/mental constructs because that is where they, and we as a society are in consciousness– and they can just wish whatever is happening to them away with white light and positive thinking.

I am all for positive thinking by the way, but when the sea of modern-day practitioners is 99 percent “aspirational” and new-age, it is hard for someone who does actual spiritual work, it is frustrating for someone who does spiritual work, to combat the whole sea of aspirational types.

Spiritual Initiations happen– a lot– if you are intended to be a spiritual practitioner. It is the reality of the job. You are always learning, always unfolding. In many ways this is wonderful– you become more of who you really are, you understand things at an incredibly deep level. But the sort of tests and changes that happen are tiring. There is no “I will do some spiritual work this weekend” or at my next workshop, it is 24/7 365. This means that I do not get a day off. I am constantly immersed in spiritual activity, spiritual initiations (these come and go, but are intense), and my spiritual life.

Again, this can bring great joy, freedom, and an ability to realize things on a deep level. But it also means that I do not get a break. Pretty much ever.

This work is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Just in case that wasn’t clear. It is wonderful if you want to take a weekend workshop to “find your guide” or whatever. Those of us who are spiritual workers are constantly immersed in spiritual activity– there is not enough palo santo in the world to stop the realizations, the understandings, the initiations, and the experiences.

This is a path of joy, of understanding. Before things get too dire– I will say that I am truly happy to be walking this path. But in order to get to where I am you can read my resume and the immense amount of education and preparation I had to do to get where I am. I spent ten years of my life just focused on healing myself and learning how to deal with what I see/sense/hear. And by that I mean that I spent that decade pretty much focused all on that and nothing else– and I really mean pretty much to the exclusion of anything else in my life for that ten year period.

This is not unusual from what I hear from most of my friends who are actual spiritual workers. If you want to be a “shaman” consider the fact that you need to have self-cultivation practices, likely for a decade or longer, that you need to be in training for over a decade, and that it is a continual training path to get to where I am or even further.

I have some teachers who have been spiritual workers, constantly immersed in the spiritual realms 24/7 for thirty, forty or fifty years… and they state that they are just at the beginning of understanding, just as I am.

There is a wide variety of b.s. out there that has created a culture in which you can pick up a book or attend a weekend class and “become” a Shaman. Try a decade, try two, or three, try several lifetimes or having an ancestral lineage filled with spiritual workers.

And that doesn’t mean anything for you, by the way… you can have all the natural gifts in the world, all the ancestors, all the natural innate power… it doesn’t mean you know how to use it in this lifetime. For most people, it is a huge stumbling block actually because they don’t know how to use their innate power.

So you want to be a Spiritual Worker?

Realize the immense amount of work and self-sacrifice. Realize that if you were one, you would have realized it, or the people around you would have realized it pretty much since birth. Realize it takes decades to be any good at it. Realize that it takes years of self-cultivation work to realize any power to be effective. Realize that most people are just playing in the mental realms and self-creating, and actual spiritual work and contact is much different. Realize the constant tests, initiations, and the 24/7 365 nature of this type of work. Realize that you will understand how much pain, chaos, and confusion there is in this world. Realize that you will realize that the whole world is an illusion, including most spiritual paths and teachers. Realize that you are not entitled to anything because you want to believe that you are “special”, and realize that that is just as much of an illusion of the new-age spirituality movement as anything else.

There is immense joy on this path, deep realization, deep connection to yourself and others. There is oneness, there is understanding. There is also, at the same time, isolation, and difficulties, and contending with the fact that you think differently, see differently than most of the world.

So yes, you can be happy, you can be in oneness,  you can fully realize who you are and what you are intended to do in this world… and you can still be isolated by the experiences, understandings, and realizations that you have. This is the path. Tread lightly.

Healing Karma (and the Role of the Persecutor)

Throughout our perhaps long, winding path of healing ourselves we have come to understand that we have been victimized many times.

This is not an illusion. We have all experienced trauma, difficult situations, and have been in a state of real victimhood– being held captive by a persecutor or two who has caused us real, irreparable harm.

It is incredibly important to heal these inner victims– and to reconcile the harm that has befallen us. If we do not, we are still victims in our own lives, consistently feeling persecuted against by those that surround us (as well as the world).

If we do not heal our inner victim, we act out our patterns of victimhood again and again unconsciously, unknowingly… Whatever our pain and own unique brand of chaos, we act it out with the people and circumstances that surround us until we are able to heal it.

But a funny thing happens the more you heal your victimhood state(s), all of those past incidents in which you have had harm come against you because you were too young, or the force or circumstances were too great for you to bear.

Some of us, if we are willing, begin to understand and reconcile the times we were a persecutor, in which we have made victims of those around us.

It is a difficult thing to reconcile. We in fact have no issue thinking and acting out our victimhood state, the idea that we were wounded or hurt by another is not really news to us, and we are all too willing to accept it.

But the idea that we have harmed others, through our actions, our thoughts, and our emotions most of us cannot process. Or are not willing to.

And this is where karma comes in.

We can get into philosophical debates about karma if you like, but I will say what my understanding and direct experience of karmic patterns are. 

As I have mentioned in the past, I spent a great deal of time steeped in intellectualism and actually with each year, or month really, that passes I am less and less interested in sitting around and talking about such constructs. I don’t see much point in it… I would rather “do”: practices, work with others, and develop healing methods that are effective and practical… and I would rather “be”: meaning that I have little interest in questioning every thing that comes into my life, because I really have no idea what is happening to me about 70 percent of the time spiritually, even still.

So there are many understandings of karma, but here are my basics… In a past incarnation or through a past family member/part of our ancestral lineage there was an action that took place, complete with beliefs and understandings, emotions, and a story behind that action.

This action was so “large”– meaning that it had consequences– that it had a ripple effect down through your lives or through your ancestry.

And what is most important, is that if we trace this back far enough, that the originator of the karma was in fact not a victim, but a persecutor. 

This is important to understand. Again, we have no issue treking through our past lives, our ancestry (well most of us at a certain point don’t, but I am always surprised still when people want to argue with a spiritual worker that their family, ancestry can impact them.. but I digress) to tell the story of our victimhood, how we have been harmed. Again, this is important work to heal.

But the originator of our karma is, in most cases, someone who caused difficulty, chaos, and harm to another.

And we experience this pattern in our next incarnations until we heal it.

So this can present a few ways. And I will use an example here, to be clear.

A woman came to me feeling like she always needed to hide, that there was danger in her showing herself. She wanted consciously to be seen, but her whole life she felt invisible, was treated as invisible, and had difficulty speaking, being heard, and in fact showing up in any sort of way to her life.

She had many reasons for this from her own lifetime. Severe childhood abuse, a naturally shy disposition, psychic abilities and sensitivities that caused her to feel that the world was a chaotic place to be.

But she also had many past lives in which she needed to be hidden– wars, famines, and the sort of lives where it was in fact dangerous for her to be seen, because being seen meant that she would be raped, killed, sent to war or a death camp.

This was all important healing, and as we worked with this she came out of her shell, and was able to be seen for the first time in her life– at work, finding a partner and fulfilling sexual relationship, and so forth.

But as we worked she realized that she had a past life, and an originator of this pattern. This originator was someone who had been essentially a soldier who was responsible for sealing people up in catacombs, and trying to find people who escaped into those catacombs. He didn’t want to do this, and felt a bit of guilt, but it was either cooperating with those in charge or having harm come to himself.

I am talking about this person because this understanding is fairly typical, if we are willing to go to this depth in our own consciousness.

Most of us are not. We are not ready, willing, or able to think of ourselves in the “persecutor” role, whether it be from our own lifetime, and the karma we are accumulating from the various actions, thoughts, and realizations that we are going to pass on to our next incarnation(s) or down our family line, or from our past lives or ancestry passed to our current incarnation.

It takes a real depth of consciousness, a real willingness to fully heal, to work through patterns like this.  It also requires going beyond the surface levels, and stopping to realize that the “spiritual teachers” and “healers” who are suggesting that you can clear karma by waving your hands around or chanting their mantra, or any method that allows for us to simply, neatly, and clearly cut away our karma without understanding it or reconciling it may not know what they are talking about.

Until we reconcile what happened, we can only heal so much. Until we take personal responsibility, fully and with great courage, we can only heal so much.

We are all so used to the victimhood state, and that is important, if not essential to heal. In fact, it must be healed first, and often for a long period of time. But some people are ready to move beyond that, to really heal the root reasons of why they unconsciously move through patterns, why they are acting out these patterns with specific people in their lives, why there is so much unspoken energy between you and another when it just doesn’t make sense given the context of your lifetime.

For those willing to go to those depths, you can truly release patterns like this. To free yourself from not only the victim but the persecutor. To no longer be unconsciously moving through your life, through your relationships, with unspoken energy pressed on you from various incarnations and karmic energies.

It just requires a person of depth, and of courage, and of readiness.

If you are interested in releasing karmic energies, old contracts, various victimhoods, and/or even the persecutor, you can contact me… I will say that many people are not ready for this type of healing, and it is in our nature to jump to the most advanced thing we can think of (from A to Z, as the saying goes) without working with anything in the middle. Some of the middle needs to be worked with, and this work is typically for people who have been on a healing path for quite a while. But you can contact me with interest, and we can work with whatever energies show up for you to heal, and at whatever level you are ready to heal them.

Can We Ever Truly Get Over Trauma?

As a clinician, I have held space for people who have been through some terrible things. Rapes, incest, electrocutions, war, bombings, terrorist attacks, famine, starvation, persecution, and all sorts of violence and harm that this world can bring… often from the people that were intended to keep us safe and to tell us that the world is a safe place to be.

I have been told in the past that no matter how deep the trauma, no matter how horrible the trauma that we can heal fully.

Lately I have been thinking about this, and if this is in fact true. It is a good PR line, isn’t it? It is what we truly want to believe… that no trauma is insurmountable, that we can go from being broken to being healed. That no matter what we have experienced we can go back to the way things were, and that we just need to simply let go of the emotions and pain associated with the experience, to “erase our story”, to gather up the parts of self that have disassociated or wandered off, and to move on.

My objective here is not to be a pessimist, but a thoughtful realist about this subject. I truly think we can heal. We can heal so much from really difficult circumstances. And I am talking about difficult traumas here– meaning the sort of darkness and even evil that can be visited on some of us.

I am not talking about every-day trauma here… we all have trauma, and by looking at the spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional aspects of it we can heal.

I am talking about the type of darkness that some of us know all too well- the deep dark family secret, severe childhood neglect, plane crashes, famine, incest, murder of a loved one… I could go on, but my point I feel has been made.

When we experience these types of events they change us at our core. They imprint us. There are some imprints that can clear, that can be cleared, there are so many events that can be healed and worked with… but there are some events that create such a chasm that they cannot be healed fully, nor should they be, really.

Let me explain. Even if we have experienced something truly terrible in our lives, we can officially heal. We can forgive everyone involved, release the emotion(s) involved in the event, and not want to change anything about what happened. We can move beyond blindly repeating the patterns from the trauma– the beliefs and behaviors that have been ingrained in us from a trauma. It happened, and it happened to us, and we have accepted that, and have moved on.

This is official healing. All of those things I listed– basically what healing is is not being “okay” with everything, but releasing everything and everyone to the extent that there is no reason for any part of us to be stagnant there, to constantly be retelling the story again and again in our minds (or to others) as a loop.

And more than that, we no longer feel the need to change anything. It was horrible, it was difficult, but we accept that it has happened and no longer have the “what if’s” and the “if only” or the type of rage, powerlessness, or grief that hangs over our former selves who experienced this.

But we can have officially “healed”, we can have no part of ourselves spiritually lingering at the event, we can take the loop apart, we can mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually heal from this event… and we can still be technically “unhealed”.

What does this mean? It means that there are certain events in our lives that change us. They change us physiologically. They change us mentally. They change our very spiritual makeup.

If we have been harmed by another, or by the world we now have the understanding and the direct experience that the world or other people have that ability to harm us. If we have directly experienced evil, or devastation, panic, hunger, or fear to the point that we can physiologically recall it, there is no denying that these things exist. We can have new-age gurus tell us that “evil” doesn’t exist all they want, if we have directly experienced it we know to the depths of our soul that it does.

These events create a spiritual imprint. This can be seen in your field– they actually look like stamps. Faces, snapshots of events, and the type of energy someone who has witnessed or been a part of a cataclysmic event has in their field without exception.

We can talk about “clearing” or “releasing our story” or whatever the new spiritual trend is all we want… there are some events that change us. They change who we are. And it doesn’t mean that we are unhealed, it means that we have the direct experience and knowledge of something, a depth of knowledge of something, that few people know.

It makes us into an odd sort of club. And before this gets way too dark, I will say again that it is possible to heal from things, to really and truly not want the events of our past to change, no matter what they were. To let go of the emotions, and the pain, and whatever else is there from it.

But people who have known this type of pain, these type of events have a depth to their soul that cannot be erased. And this, believe it or not, is a good thing. It is a rare thing. It means that you have a depth of understanding about the world, about yourself, and about the nature of things that few do (or would want to). It means that if you are able to get to that healed state that you can hold space, bear witness, and help others who are struggling to get to that place of healing…

Because people who have experienced this naturally gravitate towards one another. They may not see the “stamp”, but they will understand that you have had this depth of experience. In some cases this creates further difficulty, as people still in the “chaos” portion of their unhealed states may gravitate towards another, but in other cases this can create people who can truly help others figure out their suffering, to heal in a way that only someone who has borne witness to this type of event can.

It is not easy to look out on the world after experiences like this. To realize that no matter what you do that the experience will always be with you. But the type of person who has experienced this has a depth of their soul that few others have, and can be of service to others who are their journey to healing in a way that most other healers, clinicians, teachers (or insert job here) cannot. We cannot bear witness to another’s pain if we have not seen it ourselves. 

For clarity, I do not mean even the same type of pain here.. the same sort of event. But if you have known the world and suffering with a certain depth of soul, it can facilitate a very deep path for yourself, and can allow for you to eventually be of service to others who are walking that same path in a way few can. It is a beautiful thing, to heal, and to be of service. One naturally extends into the other, whether we take on the label of “healer” or we are simply there for friends, or for family who will look to us for the type of depth-of-soul advice and support only someone who has been there can provide.