Although I do not wish to belabor a point, (you can read my general rant about new-age spirituality here) over the past few weeks I have been shown how far I have gone from “mainstream”, new-age, neo, or core shamanism (whatever you wish to call it). I have also been given complete and total clarity that it is a chapter of my life that I have moved away from with finality, which I consider a blessed occurrence. 

Since I have been in the “awakening” process for over 15 years now (and about twelve consciously) I have had patterns come up and smack me over the head. By that I mean that similar people, similar instances, or similar experiences show up in order to show me a pattern that I haven’t been conscious of, to help me heal, or to help me close a chapter in my life. This typically happens in rather quick succession. All of a sudden, or within a very short period of time I am shown elements of a similar theme that I need to surrender or heal. I tend to go through patterns really quickly because I don’t block them any more and generally pay attention to when a theme comes into my life. The theme that has been present with me this week is releasing any energy still remaining from my participation in core shamanic groups, workshops, etc.

I often get asked about my experiences about core shamanism, and work with many people who have taken literally all of the classes that core shamanism has to offer. I could easily go on rants about how core shamanic courses are for people who are not being called to be shamans, or how they are for people who need a different way to process different traumas and disassociated aspects of Self (basically a form of psychoanalysis and more mental than spiritual) and most participants (with exceptions, of course) do not “meet” anything beyond themselves even as they are constructing a whole host of deities, angels, and elementals that tell them how great they are and what they want to hear.

I could say that most people utilize these courses for self-growth and rarely become practitioners for a reason. I could talk about how the people who have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars and have taken all of the courses, workshops, and met with all the core shaman gurus are still stuck in the sort of illusory spiritual competition state and have not really cultivated any spiritual power or relationships. I could talk about how most courses are filled with white middle-upper class types and there is a really odd energy present of a both puritanical and yet conquerer nature. I could talk about how funny it is that a bunch of white people have Native American spirit guides (never a Mormon? or a Jewish spirit guide? what about a Hispanic spirit guide?) and whose “power animals” are all fluffy- a wide variety of cats, dogs, wolves, and cuddly animals. And finally, I could talk about how people rarely have direct experiences that facilitate great change in those types of courses– they walk out repeating the words of their teachers, the words of a culture that is not their own, and take on the cosmology of the organization or teacher they are studying with without much thought. 

All of these things I have broached before. It does bear saying that my admonition of a specific group, or cosmology, does not mean that I have not met some lovely people who work for, teach, or are students of such people and organizations. We should all be able to question, to think about our experiences… to not just accept what we have been given. To look beyond what is lurking at the surface and see if there is something with more depth for us… if what we are learning is giving us the ability to learn more, to grow more, to expand more… or is it just keeping us feeling safe, and secure, and confined within our personal brand of understanding of the Universe, or our teachers own brand of understanding or cosmology.

What I would like to talk about is rigidity of thoughtforms and cosmology… as well as the amount of fear and control issues that are incredibly pervasive in core shamanism.

Lately I have been focusing a lot of attention and thought on control. About how fear shapes and creates our universe. Awakening is about freedom to me. It is about losing the rigidity of thoughtforms. It is about reconciling and moving past that fear. It is about having direct experience of the divine. Shamanism, or Spiritual Healing, is about direct experience. It is about having a direct experience with something that is not “you”. It is being open to hearing things of a spiritual nature that are not of you. 

In core shamanism there is the concept of the three worlds (keeping it basic here). That the “upper” and “lower” worlds need to be “journeyed” to– we have to go somewhere else for them other than our daily lives and our physical bodies. Not only this, but the “upper” and “lower” worlds are the “safe” worlds. Anything that is here and now, anything that has to do with the “middle world”– meaning this world, our physical bodies and our external daily lives isn’t “safe”. This rigidity allows for people to consider anything of this world “not safe” which allows for them to distance from it… along with thinking that the spiritual is somehow “out there” rather than flowing through and informing their daily lives.

This rigidity of cosmology allows for participants to feel safe and in control. Although I have compassion for this need, and recognize the fear that causes it, shamanism isn’t safe. Spiritual work in general isn’t safe. If we shut our eyes and stick our heads in the sand it doesn’t make us safe. If we choose to believe only our own rigid thoughtforms and stay in a state of spiritual immaturity despite spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on courses we are still not safe. We are just ignorant. We will just not have real spiritual experiences happen to us because we are not ready for them. We will just stay on the surface level of understanding because our own rigid cosmology will not allow for us to see anything or process anything outside of it.

One of the main reasons I broke from core shamanism was because I began to see the illusory nature of it and how people were just creating their spiritual experiences to tell themselves that they were okay, that their beliefs were okay, and that they were worthy as people. This is wonderful, but it was and is nothing like the experiences that most people going through spiritual initiations have, and nothing like what the people actually called to be shamans/spiritual workers have to go through. It just isn’t.

The other reasons that I broke from core shamanism was that I began to find and work with mentors and spiritual systems that made core shamanism look like a joke. I started finding like minds- magicians and occultists and rootworkers and conjurers and spiritists and spiritualists and curanderos and folk practitioners who were crucial in my own personal evolution, and placed a sharp divide between the general falseness/fakeness of contrived spiritual experiences on the mental realm that is core shamanism vs. actual spiritual experiences from people who can accomplish things and have power and wisdom that is beyond words. To study with these people, to be around them, and to develop my own spiritual power and understand my own direct spiritual experiences and initiatory experiences was one of the greatest blessings of my life. 

After this point I found core shamanism a pale shadow of what actual direct spiritual experiences can be, and began to see many of the participants as being on a really surface level, playing with things that they had no idea about, and didn’t quite frankly want to know about. Anything outside of their comfort zone, anything not “safe” or “compassionate” was scary, and would quickly be thrown out in order to keep the illusions of a perfectly orderly spiritual universe that was outside of themselves that they could control with “white light” or sage or just not thinking about things.

Anything to do with darkness, with other cultures, with other ideas, with other thoughts or understandings that are not of this rigid identification are thrown out by the core shaman. This is evident even with “shamans” dealing with “darkness” such as curses, spirits, and possession (which many of them are just playing at actually dealing with by putting in “white light”). Anything that was not of the whitest (and yes, that does have double meaning) sort of cosmology was admonished. Anyone who dares to question, to think outside of this cage, outside of these illusions, is thought of as difficult or “unsafe” or even dangerous.

I say this because I have had my blog forwarded to two people who replied to their friends and said that my thoughts were dangerous. I say this because I know people gossip about me because they do not want to face the fact that they are operating under a whole lot of illusion… and that to recognize that what I say may be valid means that they are not “safe” or in control. I say this because I realize that it is rare that people actually question in this world. It is much easier not to think- to have your cosmologies and thoughts given to you by others. It is much easier to play at something than actually become it. It is difficult to realize that however much money we have spent there likely is a 13 year old somewhere that has never taken a course that is fifty times the spiritual worker/shaman that we will ever be (this happened last week to me, actually, but I found it astonishing and hope that he can get through school okay).

It is even more difficult to realize that any spiritual path is not one of ragged dogma and rules and admonitions but of the direct experience of the spiritual realms. When you have actual spiritual experiences you realize that the brightest, lightest archangel is also likely the fiercest (and will likely kick your ass), and that the darkest “evil” is actually coming to you for comfort and help. As much as core shamans talk about compassion and neutrality they are seriously lacking it for one another, and for any experiences that are outside of their own cage of thinking.

One final thing. I realize that my words are dangerous. I hope to make you think. I do not care about the individuals who seek to slander and admonish me. They have taught me that there is a reason that I have closed certain doors in my life. They have taught me about who I used to be and how far I have come. They have taught me exactly who I do not want to be in this world. I do not write for them. They can continue on their path, and if some day some of them wish to contact me when they wish to remove their rigid thoughtforms and cosmologies they are welcome to. I have compassion for them– it must cause a lot of fear and chaos for them when they are confronted with something, even if just for a second, that makes them feel that they are not safe and in control, or that there is so much more out there than they are letting themselves experience.

I write and work with the people who are ready to go beyond such constructs. Who are ready to interface with real spiritual energies, who are ready to learn, who are ready to become who they truly are. It is scary to do so, I realize. Working with spiritual experiences, becoming a spiritual healer, or learning how to develop spiritual power is a life-changing thing. Many of you are being called to it. Many of you are being called beyond the illusions, the surface levels, and the spiritual immaturity that pervades modern and core shamanic circles, the rigid constructs that are handed to you. You are ready to think for yourself, you are ready for true direct experience. These are the people that I work with. Again, I do have empathy for others who seek to remain where they are, but there are a huge amount of materials out there for them. I am here to be a source of teaching for people ready to move beyond the surface.

As I am letting this subject go, I will be refocusing my energy solely on the people I am intended to work with– people ready to move beyond the surface layers of reality and exterior illusions of this world. I can help you to deeply question your existence, to understand yourself and your divinity in a real and beautiful way, and to develop spiritual guides or work your way through spiritual initiations and callings with ease. I can help you embrace the darkness and the light. We are all divinity. Just a handful of us are ready to recognize this, to remember this, to live this. If you would like to work with me, you are welcome to contact me for an appointment.