Writing Creatively With Spirit

A journey of psychic discovery


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The Way of the Shaman – Journey to the Upper World – Page 4

Our second journey was to the upper world. I chose as my axis mundi a mountain in the north east of England. I had once been walking with friends and got lost. We ended up on the mountain when the sun was setting and became part of the sunset. We had merged with the colours of the setting sun, became golden with fringes of rust and a touch of orange. I couldn’t think of a better place from which to access the upper world.

Sunset in the Caribbean

Sunset in the Caribbean

Simon said that the upper world was divided into several levels and that if we didn’t meet our teacher on the first level, to keep going up until we did.

If we met anyone to ask, ‘Are you my teacher?’ And if the answer was no, to move on.

Again we were blindfolded in our chairs or on our rugs.

As the beat began for the journey to begin I repeated the intention the whole group had been given.

‘My intention is to go to the upper world to meet a teacher in human form and either ask a question or request a healing.’

Simon had suggested that we avoid ‘when should’ questions as spirit existed in a timeless place and guidance on time has always proved problematic. Also to avoid ‘and’ questions because it invariably means we’re asking two questions in one.

I was in two minds whether to ask for healing for my broken finger and trapped nerve, or to ask that I lose the sudden craving I’d developed for sweets. I need to purify my body before taking the Yellow Fever vaccine. In the end I decided to go with the help with the craving.

By the end of the third repetition I was spiralling up into the sky from the top of the mountain. I found myself in a strange landscape – a bit like something from a science fiction film.

I saw a man running very quickly some feet ahead of me, but he didn’t stop. No one else came so I decided to move up to the next level.

As I moved up I lost all awareness of everything around me. I felt the pulsating beats of the drum and felt myself merge with them. My whole being became the beat of the drum, and despite the insistence of the beat I experienced a sense of calm, total oneness with the beat. I was vaguely aware of movement somewhere in my head, but nothing defined, nothing tangible that I could describe.

I stayed in this state till the change of tempo in the beat signalled the return to the middle world. It was a reluctant return as I was so at one with the other beat, so at home being the music.

I apologised to the person I had to do feedback with for having so little to share. Interestingly he said he’d had a similar experience toward the end of his journey. Did we share this during the journey I wondered?

Although Simon found it interesting, he didn’t comment on it further.

On relaying the experience to a friend of mine a few days later, she said to consider that in the upper world music is my teacher.

What do you think?

PS. The following day one of the participants brought in a bowl of cherries to share, which kept me away from the biscuits!!! Was the sweet craving healed or was this just a coincidence.


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The Way of the Shaman – Journey to the lower world – Page 3

Simon explained that we’d be making our first journey to the lower world to see if there was an animal there who wanted to work with us.

He explained the drumming signals, i.e. the steady beat for the intention setting and the journey, the rapid beat that signals our return, and the beats that would signal that we be fully present in the room.

So, with blindfold in place, (as the journey needs to be taken in the dark without distractions), we lay on our rugs or sat in our chairs and waited for the drum beat which would be the signal for us to set our intention three times before finding our axis mundi and beginning our descent.

As the monotonous beat of the drum began I repeated the intention we’d all been given three times.

‘My intention is to go to the lower world to explore and to see if there’s an animal for me’

2002-01-01 00.00.00-1478My axis mundi was through the roots of a magnificent copper beach tree at the front of my house. I had to make myself really tiny to get into the roots, and became smaller and smaller with the descent as the roots narrowed.

It was a weird feeling and I opened my eyes to look around – only to find I was looking into a blindfold, and realised why we’d been asked to use them.

I finally emerged through a tiny door at floor level into a round room, very much like a mouse hole. As I stood there trying to acclimatise my eyes to the dim light I grew back to my full size and became aware of my grandmother sitting at a table. She wore a white veil which covered her face and was looking deeply into a candle on the table in front of her.

When she became aware of me she lifted her veil, stood up and held out her hand to me. Without speaking she took my hand and we walked through the wall (there were no doors in the room) into blinding sunlight outside. We were standing in what appeared to be a small village in Africa.

We walked for a short time till we came to a large circle of animals, all kinds of animals, from lions to boars, from elephants to deer.

‘Are one of these mine?’ I asked, but my grandmother didn’t answer.

As we walked up to the circle the animals parted to let us in, and then closed the circle around us again.

My grandmother walked with me to the centre of the circle then beckoned me to continue walking while she stayed there.

As I reached the other end of the circle the animals parted to let me through then closed the circle again.

After a little while of walking on my own I became aware of a black jaguar walking beside me.

‘Oh, it’s you!’ I exclaimed, really pleased to see him.

‘Yes, it’s me,’ he smiled.

‘I was so happy to have you with me last night on Kilburn High Road when it was late and I was lost because I’d been given the wrong directions by somebody who didn’t know.’ I gushed.

‘That’s what I’m here for,’ he said reassuringly.

‘I have a question for you,’ I said, remembering the question from the meditation in the circle on Thursday about how I get rid of fear.

‘Yes?’ he encouraged.

‘How do I get rid of fear? I don’t mean how do I manage it, I mean how do I get rid of it.’

He paused for a moment. ‘Well, you can always jump on my back. I will carry you.’

‘I can do that?’ I was incredulous. Me? Travelling on the back of a black jaguar?

‘Yes, because you have a lot to do that could be scary. When get really scared jump on my back,’ he said as he turned his head to look at me, as if to make sure I knew he meant it.

I was about to say how grateful I was when I heard the rapid drum beats which signalled our return to middle world.

‘Thanks, but I have to go now!’ I said, giving him a quick hug before running back the way I came, through the ring of animals, back through the room, said a quick goodbye to grandma and headed back up the roots. This time it didn’t feel so strange to be small again. I was moving with a sense of urgency. I didn’t want to be left in the lower world when the beats ended. I didn’t know what would happen.

I made it. By the time the signal for being back in the room sounded, I was there, marvelling what had just taken place.


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The Way of the Shaman – The Basics – Page 2

I arrived for the first day of the course at the Amadeus Centre in Little Venice, West London on foot after a thirty five minute walk from my B&B. It had been a hot and sticky night, airless on the inside and too loud on the outside to open the windows. I hadn’t quite grasped that Kilburn High Road would be alive for so long after the witching hour.

The Amadeus Centre, West London

The Amadeus Centre, West London

By the time we were all seated in the large room there was a buzz of anticipation as people made contact with others who had made this journey (no pun intended) to learn about shamanism and shamanic practices.

The things we’d been asked to bring, a palm sized stone, a blindfold, a rug or cushion, pen and notebook, were all laid out beside us. (Well, I was sitting on my rug.)

When we were all seated Simon and his assistant Martha welcomed us. After the housekeeping arrangements were relayed Simon began by putting shamanism into context.

He said it was the ultimate democratic spirituality. There’s only you and spirit, no rule book to follow and no intermediary.

He paid tribute to the two people who had been highly influential in his understanding of and development as a shamanic practitioner, namely Carlos Castaneda and Michael Harner, and gave us a quick overview of shamanic

In all traditions where shamanism was practices.practiced (and this was world-wide before organise religions brutally squashed it, ridiculed it, or killed its masters) three things were consistent:

The Drum: 4-7 beats per second encourages the brain to move into theta waves, the state between sleeping and waking, where connection with spirit is most effective. Most spiritual practices such as meditation, chanting, and prayer are designed to help you reach this state. The drums have been proved to be the most effective at getting you there quickly.

The Voice – Is used to connect with spirit and with each other, particularly in healing when it can have a soothing and healing effect on the client.

The body – movement is an integral part of shamanic practice. Often the shaman will act out the journey he or she is undertaking on behalf of a client.

A shaman is someone who is able to move awareness from this reality into another to access information and bring it back into this one in order to heal or to provide guidance. A shaman works in partnership with spirit, and is able to make him or herself a ‘hollow bone’ or an ‘empty reed’ in order to allow spirit to work through them. A lot like trance mediumship. Indeed there was a lot of references throughout the workshop of similarities between the two forms of practice, with some small but significant differences. Mainly that a shaman would never interpret the metaphors of the journey s/he undertakes for the client, whereas spiritualist sometimes do.

He said a shaman is not a title one gives oneself, in the same way a hero would not call himself a hero. It is a title bestowed on one by others for the practitioner’s consistent ability to heal and to help.

He went on to say there are no rules as such in shamanism – the individual gets the direct revelation while speaking to spirit during a ‘journey’. This is in contrast to religions where the rules include all that is in the holy book and must be obeyed and carried out by all in the same way. Religions also require that other people interact with God on our behalf, i.e. the Pope.

A shaman’s map consists of three worlds: Upper, middle and lower. The upper and lower worlds exist as spiritual reality and it’s where the shaman journeys to find answers to questions, solutions to problems, or means to heal. The middle world is the reality as we know it.

A journey always involves an intention which is set prior to undertaking the journey. The nature of the intention will determine whether the shaman travels to the upper or lower world.

Spirit present primarily as animals or as humans because we are both. Animal spirits mainly, but not exclusively, inhabit the lower world, and humans mainly, but not exclusively, the upper world.

The shaman always travels from an axis mundi, i.e. a recognisable point on this earth. If travelling to the lower world it could be through the roots of a tree, down a rabbit hole, or in a lift. Journey to the upper world could be from the top of a mountain, a tree etc.

The final bit of information he gave us before our first journey was that a shaman engages all his or her attention with  intention. There’s no scope for thinking about what to cook for dinner, or what to wear for the work’s do.

With this we were taken into our first journey.


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Visit to Brompton Cemetery

Regular followers will remember that back in May I had an experience which seemed to be directing me to Brompton Cemetery.

https://writingcreativelywithspirit.com/2013/05/06/graveyards-and-pigeons/

I got my opportunity to carry out that directive on Friday (19/07/13). I’d arrange to meet my friend outside West Brompton tube station at 1.15 p.m. but as she was delayed I walked the few yards to the cemetery by myself.

Open Day at Brompton Cemetery

Open Day at Brompton Cemetery

I noticed two things almost simultaneously. The first was the banner advertising the cemetery’s open day the following Sunday. I wondered who hosted such a day. Whether the residents come out for the day and invite people to experience their small resting space (or in some cases not so small). Which leads me to the second thing I noticed. The vastness of the cemetery.

The main street in Brompton Cemetery

The main street in Brompton Cemetery

As I stood at the Old Brompton Road end my eyes were drawn to the circular building at the end of a long drive which was flanked by ancient tombstones in all shapes and sizes. I made my way in the scorching sun through the group of what appeared to be street performers. As I wandered further up the drive their laughter and applause became less distinct.

I took detours down some of the side streets to the left and to the right, noting that some of the graves down these avenues were somewhat overgrown with long grasses, and sprinkled with vivid purple sweet peas.

Overgrown graves at Brompton Cemetery

Overgrown graves at Brompton Cemetery

Some well positioned trees provided welcomed shade, and on one occasion an opportunity to ‘spend a penny’ as there are no facilities in the cemetery.

By the time my friend arrived an hour later I’d had a chance to take in some of the more spectacular and unusual edifices, and engage in friendly chatter with a Portuguese man who stopped to talk to me. I found no evidence of the graves of Surrounded by the Enemy or Red Penny, and without a specific map of where they’re buried I could have be wandering around for weeks. The cemetery is 16.4 hectares.

Graves at Brompton Cemetry

Graves at Brompton Cemetry

We headed to Tesco for some lunch at the Fulham Road entrance, being both a bit peckish by then; but was forced to stop and observe a group of courting pigeons. I’d never noticed before the iridescent green and pink of the male neck feathers, which shimmer and dazzle when inflated to attract the attention of all too often disinterested females. These female pigeons were certainly making their men work for their attention. Makes me think we could learn a thing or two from them.

Flowers at Brompton Cemetry

Flowers at Brompton Cemetry

It was lovely to spend time with my friend in person. Even though we speak almost every day on the phone there’s nothing like a face-to-face meeting to rekindle that special friendship energy.

As we on a bench, chatted and munched on our lunch, a red fox emerged from the graves behind us and stood looking inquisitively at us. He was there for about five minutes till the woman on the bench opposite us looked up from her magazine and exclaimed, ‘It’s a fox.’

He turned to look at her and scarpered. We marvelled at how he’d held our gazes, looking from one to the other of us as though trying to tell us something we couldn’t quite get.

An hour later as we wandered back down one of the side avenues we saw a group of crows. What is the collective noun for crows? They seemed to be having some kind of meeting but dispersed every time someone came close.

Crows at Brompton Cemetry

Crows at Brompton Cemetry

I mentioned to another friend that nothing spectacular happened in the cemetery. ‘Maybe not in this realm,’ he replied. ‘How do you know what your presence there, at that time, changed somewhere else?’

I’ve only just realised as I write this (five days later) that the day I had the dream there were pigeons trying to get into my window. One meaning of seeing pigeons is getting messages in unusual ways.

I looked up foxes and crows.

Fox = amongst other things, listen and hear, look and see, sense and feel – trust your senses to guide you.

Crow = be very watchful over the next couple of days for any clear omens and signs that will guide your and teach you.

With hindsight it wasn’t surprising to see these creatures – given that I was in London for a shamanic workshop!!! DOH!


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Session 39 – Meeting my power animal

Thursday 18th July 2013

2002-01-01 00.00.00-1386Another small group, 3 men and two women but so different to last week.  We were in the log cabin again, but began our first relaxation meditation not long after 7.30.

Just as I closed my eyes to begin I saw two cats playing on the floor to the left of me.

As I’d mentioned to Greg that I was going on a shamanic workshop at the weekend he said he’d do a shamanic journey with us to meet our power animals. He’d very generously offered to help me choose a stone from the garden that would be suitable to take with me on the course. He thought the one I’d chosen was too big (not palm size as requested by the course but more something that could be used as a lethal weapon). He said it was likely to be the first of 13 alter stones if I decided to pursue a shamanic path therefore a smaller would be better.

He told us some of the basic differences between shamanism and spiritualism, but basically said there was a lot of overlap. He then took up on a shamanic journey (without the drums) to meet out power animals.

He ask us to climb up a hill and then down the other side.

‘Stop and look back at how far you’ve come,’ he said.

I was about half way down. He told us to look across the landscape to an island shrouded in mist. We were heading for the island but first we had to go through the woods that were directly in front of us.

‘Stand still and wait for a sign to show you which direction to go in,’ he said.

I waited. A coconut fell off a tree and rolled to my left. (What’s a coconut tree doing in a British woods!!!) Anyway, no time to think about it as we were being instructed that we had now come to a clearing where there was a lake and a ceremonial robe. We had to put it on.

There were seven robes on the ground in front of me, one in each colour of the rainbow. I had an internal tussle between the yellow and the purple one, but finally choose the purple.

‘Step into the lake,’ Greg instructed us, ‘and get into the canoe which you can now see.’

Wet and dripping I got in, marvelling at how things can just materialise in front of your very eyes in meditation.

We had to row across to the island, get out and choose between one of three paths, a wood, a river and a beach.

I really wanted to follow the river but found myself pulled to the beach.

‘Sit on a rock or a log. Close your eyes and wait for your power animal to come to you,’ he said. ‘Be aware that it could be huge like an elephant or tiny like a wren, or even an ant. When you feel your animal’s presence open your eyes and look at it.’

Even while Greg was still speaking I saw, in my mind’s eye, a sleek and graceful black jaguar walking down the beach towards me. When I opened my eyes I found myself looking deep into its eyes. His face was only inches away from me, but I felt no fear. In fact I felt the opposite, I felt completely safe.

‘Walk with your power animal,’ Greg told us.

As we began walking along the beach I could feel his power and knew he could and would protect me from anything.

‘Ask your power animal if it has a message for you,’ Greg said.

I waited for the jaguar to say something to me. When he spoke to me it was telepathically.

‘You’re stronger than you believe. You’re faster than you know. Never fear those who fear you.’ His voice was strong but soothing, and I was about to ask what he meant by ‘never fear those who fear you’, when Greg said,

‘You come to a river and have to get back into the boat.’

Power Animal Oracle Cards

Power Animal Oracle Cards

I was feeling a little sad that I had to leave but perked up when Greg said, ‘Your power animal gets in with you and you paddle back to the other side. When you get there get out of the canoe and immerse yourself into the water before coming back into the room.’

I reflected on my messages while the first person shared her journey. She too had seen a black jaguar, but had also had a bear and a bird. I’d look up Jaguar in my Power Animal pack with I got home.

The first two parts of my message made sense to me, but why would I fear those who fear me?

Greg said he felt it was about letting go of my fears, not just learning how to control them but letting go of them completely, because I had nothing to fear.

I mentioned the cats.

‘Was one of them black,’ he asked.

‘Yes,’ I replied wondering if he’d seen them too.

‘They are often in here,’ he said. They used to live here and their spirits obviously come back from time to time to visit.

‘Must be a thing with cats tonight,’ I joked.

Because three of us had unanswered questions from the meditation Greg suggested doing ten minute silent meditation to ask for answers. One was ‘Why am I constantly hot?’ Another ‘Why am I always rocking?’ A third was ‘How do I step into my power?’ and mine was ‘How do I get rid of my fear?’

Within minutes I felt a tremendous tingling in my back. It went on for some time. I began to wonder if it meant ‘don’t look back’ or ‘learn from the past’ or ‘don’t hold on to past hurts.’ I was still trying to work it out when Greg called us back.

One of the women said that tingling in the back is usually an indication that our angelic wings are being fitted, or if already fitted being adjusted, often being made bigger.

Greg thought it was about not focusing on the past, but looking to the future.

I’m still not sure. Do you have any other suggestions???

 


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The Way of the Shaman – Page 1

I went on this long awaited course at the weekend. It completely blew my mind. I’ve been seeing my spiritual journey as collecting bits of a jigsaw puzzle which, when all the pieces are in place, will finally show me why I’m here. On this course I picked up quite a number of pieces.

I’ll have to write up the main exercises and my learning in a series of blogs. I’m still trying to process some of them. I want to say a massive THANK YOU to Sandra for pointing me in the direction of Sacred Trust. I’m so grateful that you have shared my journey so far, and pray that you continue. I value your input. Please know, all of you who respond to my cries for help that it is received with gratitude and positive effect.

Further blogs to follow in the series ‘The Way of the Shaman.’


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Countdown to Cameroon – Yellow fever vaccine

14th July 2013

Those of you who know me know that I’m not keen on taking medication. In fact I haven’t taken any pharmaceutical medication since 2007. It sticks a bit in the craw that I have to have the yellow fever vaccine just to get into Cameroon, but I respect the country’s regulations. I called the authorised centre last week (discovered there’s one just round the corner from me) to find out how to go about getting the vaccine.

They have a travel clinic once a week on a Friday. You have to book in advance and pay £52.00 in cash. No cards or cheques accepted. The receptionist said they had no vacancies for the next three weeks (must be the holiday season), then she noticed a cancellation for the following day.

‘I’ll have it,’ my lips said, before my brain was fully engaged. There’s something about scarcity that makes people make rash decisions.

It later occurred to me that my plan was to get my body strong and cleansed before putting the poison of the vaccine in it. I had to call the next day and cancel. I’m now on a regime of getting my body fit, strong and cleansed. It should take about three weeks – time enough as the minimum time before travel for the vaccine to take effect is ten days.