Shamanism: An Ancient Recipe for Modern Living

Shamanism - an ancient recipe for modern living

Jean felt lost. While she was a student there was always the next class to attend or assignment to be done. Her life was  structured by her timetable and tasks to complete. Now that she had graduated life had changed. There was no structure determining her next moves. She was anxious and felt insecure; that she had been set adrift with nowhere and everywhere to go, with no rudder to steer her.

She didn’t know it then, but her life was about to change. As she scrolled through her Facebook feed, she saw posts that ignited her curiosity. The posts were about Shamanism and practices.

Jean Today

You wouldn’t recognise the same Jean today. She has a presence that tells you she knows herself well and will fearlessly pursues the things that she is passionate about. Jean hasn’t just achieved goals that she has set herself, she is tuned in to her environment, compassionate and aware of others and is true to her values. She is confident, self-assured, and above all, happy.

Shamanism

Contemporary shamanism draws from the ancient practices of indigenous cultures across the world. Shamanism is not a religion, but a spiritual way of life that embraces all the practicality of daily living. Jung travelled the world observing indigenous cultures. He observed great similarities shared by cultures that had never had contact with each other. Subsequently, modern psychology has created modalities for treating patients based on his observations. Contemporary Shamanism goes further in that it gives you the tools to live consciously aware; to know yourself well and create a lifestyle that reflects your true nature.

It is a common theme in many people’s lives that they lose confidence, feel unworthy, lost and unsure like Jean. Many also find themselves repeating the same pattern repeatedly; often becoming worse with each cycle. Jean attended several private sessions that in turn dealt with the causes of her lack of confidence and direction. Conditioning from childhood experiences (wounding), ancestral patterns, soul’s journey and past lives all contribute to how we are in the world. With the help of a shamanic practitioner, these were discovered and brought to the light and transformed. In this way, Jean was relieved of the burdens of conditioning and past experiences and could step forward and express her true self.

Self-Empowering

This may sound rather daunting as it sounds radically life-changing; and it can be! However, Shamanic practice is a self-empowering process where you are completely in charge and learn as you grow and change. Shamanism is a many faceted concept and you will be attracted to the things that will resonate with you most. To give you a better idea, this is Jean’s experience.

Jean’s Journey

# Visioning workshop

Jean needed to find some direction so she decided to attend a shamanic workshop with the intention of creating a vision of her future. She was immersed in a safe and sacred space with others with similar intentions. As the workshop progressed, she became fascinated by how the ritual, symbols in many forms, and the Sacred Circle of Whole Consciousness spoke to her, her truth and helped her to vision what is possible in her life.

# Personal Sessions

After the workshop, Jean was aware that she was feeling quite anxious about some aspects of her vision and that she couldn’t bring them to reality. She decided to have some personal sessions. Each session was focussed on a vision that she wanted to achieve; confidence, assertiveness. During each session, she felt healed; that ‘blocks’ had been transformed into the light aspects that she desired, and were now part of her.

# Everyday Living

A core principal of Shamanism is to be consciously aware – in the present moment. As she learnt more about Shamanism, Jean learnt tools for everyday living. She learnt to stop regularly during the day to be mindful, to notice the small things that are usually missed and recognise them as signs of synchronicity. She remembered the ‘rules’ that are congruent with the Shamanic Way – The 8 Ways, channelled by Heather Price – to keep her on track.

In this way, Jean became who she is today – her authentic self. She is confident, happy, fulfilled and positive.

What about you?

Are you living life the way you want to? Do you feel that you are comfortable being yourself in all situations, or do you put on a mask and act as though you must be someone else in the theatre of life? Are you confident and happy? Are your relationships loving and caring?

Life is too short to not be confident and happy in the way you live it. Although changing the way it is now can be daunting, the outcome of change – transforming it – is beautiful as it brings the gifts of confidence, joy and peace and you become the best that you can be.

The added bonus of Shamanic practice is that it not only supports you with vital tools for living. It provides you with ‘culture’; a depth and richness to life that otherwise may not be there, as rituals, symbolism and conscious awareness bring colour and deep meaning to daily life.

If you would like to know more, please explore my website and any questions, please contact me.

Ho’oponopono

 


Ho'oponopono

Ho’oponopono

I love you

I’m sorry

Please forgive me

Thank you

A mantra to change each one of us and to change the world.

You know how sometimes it happens this way – You learn something new, and you’re sure that you really get it; you understand what it means. And then one morning, you wake up and have a REVELATION that your understanding was only the tip of the ice-berg and the meaning has expanded exponentially

Well, that happened to me this morning.

Resolving events from the past

For a long time now I have been reflecting upon times in my life when something has occurred, and too late, I have realised that someone has felt hurt, unheard, misunderstood or even loved in a way they haven’t been able to receive, or have felt their love rejected.

I have felt powerless to move the energy around these times, since we live in a world of past, present and future and current reality is that we all know that the past is gone. I felt deep sadness and regret and a desire to undo or at least resolve these times.

This morning my REVELATION was that I really understood this. The event and each person touched by it is not everything; there is more. It involves the energy that happens in those moments. Often the energy not only remains but intensifies like Lorenz’s metaphor the butterfly effect as the gentle flutter caused by the butterfly’s wings causes a hurricane on the other side of the world. The energy of the event remains unless it has been adequately dealt with, and it amplifies as the emotions of the event are expressed by those affected – affecting more people and so on.

The energy may be old, in the past but it is still there, added to; growing in intensity even though it may have been forgotten.

Imagine that this negative energy is a cloud that we all have contributed to. See it and make it real because we can deal with real objective things and we can transform them into light loving energy.

Ho’oponopono

Some time ago, I was given the gift of Ho’oponopono, and it has sat with me unused until now. As I reflected this morning it all became clear. I revisited Dr Joe Vitale’s website where he explains his first encounter with Ho’oponopono and everything made clear sense. (Read it after this. It’s a good story :))

Ho’oponopono is a mantra:

I love you.

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

Ho’oponopono is an expression of unconditional love.

Say it I say it to yourself.

Say it to  all your family, friends and aquaintences.

Say it to everyone in the world. 

Now say it into the cloud you hold with the energy of the past event and ask that it transform it into Love and Light. As you do this you will heal myself with love and all others; the love grows and intensifies into a cyclone of love all over the world.

I quote from the note at the end of the article:

“Dr. Len’s message may be quite hard to believe, yet it’s amazingly simple. He states that we are all responsible for everything that we see in our world. By taking full personal responsibility and then healing the wounded places within ourselves, we can literally heal ourselves and our world. As related by Joe Vitale in the radio interview, Dr. Len suggests a four-stage process for this ho’oponopono work. Whenever a place for healing presents itself in your life, open to the place where the hurt resides within you. After identifying this place, with as much feeling as you can, say the below four statements:

I love you.

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you. ”

This is the gift that I pass on to you today. Together we can change the world.

I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.

Betsy

Shamanic Wisdom ~ Walking in the East with Spirit.


horse - symbolism

I woke up feeling sad this morning.

The reason for it is one I don’t need to share except to say that it involves the behaviour of another…. and discussing it is not an option at this time. So, what to do? I could, as I have in the past, spiral downwards, become more upset and try to manipulate the situation with my emotions, or I could draw upon all my Shamanic wisdom and resources and be responsible for myself and my reactions.

How I took action.

I decided that the best thing to do was go for a walk. Walking shifts the energy in my body while it gives me the opportunity to ask Spirit to help me out. In the past, I would have indulged in my thoughts; they say this, they said that and I felt this and that etc. and in this way, put things into perspective in my mind. I would become very emotional and allow my emotions to fully expand and explode. Now I find I do it somewhat differently. Today I stepped out calling upon Great Spirit to help me with this situation; to put it into perspective and show me what to do and how to be.

On the Sacred Circle Map, I was walking in the East; in Spirit. Previously I would have been in the South, indulging my thoughts or the West with my emotions or maybe in the North looking for practical solutions. The North was helping me out with physical activity of walking to help me connect with Spirit. This means that I was walking mindful of my surroundings with my mind quiet and the issue resting with Spirit. I breathed in the air, the scents, sounds and sights and felt and acknowledged the great sadness within me, while feeling gratitude for the beauty around me.

Message from Spirit.

When I arrived at the field where beautiful horses graze, I found my solace. Today there were five horses (the number for my name) – usually there are four. Four of the horses were standing facing away from me in the shade. Sitting on the warm gravelly sand next to the small pond was a dapple grey looking straight at me, as though to say, ‘Yes, this is it! Take note!’ Then he proceeded to lie down and relax in the warm sand, then sit up and look at me again. Then he did it again but this time he turned his tummy to the sky and lavishly wriggled in the sand before sitting and looking at me again.


Horse symbolism

The Meaning.

When receiving messages, it is important that you have a clear intention in the first place so that you know what it is referring to! Today I stepped out calling upon Great Spirit to help me with this situation; to put it into perspective and show me what to do and how to be. Here was a clear message to ‘Chill out and relax!’ Tummy to the sky – vulnerability – I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable and this is important; now things will have the opportunity to shift. Sitting by the pond – look at your reflection; know who you are and what you want that will serve your higher good. Also, be aware of the other’s reflection – it is different from yours. Take care of yourself, enjoy and relax. Horses are earthy and grounded. They take us on journeys as they take us for a ride. They are playful, intelligent, independent and yet giving. These are qualities that I also bring into my message.

Further along the track, a little stick called me to pick it up. It is a beautiful wand and reminds me of the magic within me and that I am responsible for making the magic happen.

Wand symbolizes the magic.

Conclusion

On my return journey, the horses had dispersed and were munching grass in the sun. I had my answers and will take time to allow myself to process how they will manifest from in my life.


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Walking in the East:

  1. Make a clear decision that you are going to walk with Spirit and that you will release your mind/brain.
  2. Set a clear intention.
  3. Walk mindfully, noticing if your brain engages in deep thought. If it does, thank it and tell it you are looking at nature in this moment.
  4. Notice what grabs your attention and take in all the details.
  5. Sit quietly, breathing into your belly and this will help you absorb the meaning that arises from the symbols you’ve collected.

Collecting Colour Reveals Hidden Treasures.


Rene and Priscilla digging out 'yellow dye' roots.

My recent journey to the Northern Territory promised to be an adventure but turned out to be so much more than I ever could have imagined or hoped for. The outward purpose of the journey was to learn about how fibre is processed and weaving techniques while immersed in indigenous culture, but the purpose for my world within would be the powerful outcome of the journey.

Collecting Colour in the Bush.

My adventure begins with collecting colour. Priscilla is our guide and as she sits in the front seat of the four-wheel drive, her sharp and practised eyes are scanning the bush for signs of plants that will become dyes for our fibre. The bushland here is different from where I live in Queensland and the types of trees seem to be in pockets; changing as we drive along.

Priscilla directs us to the visitor centre where she knows there are some ‘pink dye’ plants. Armed with bags, we set off into long spindly dry looking grass with bunches of tiny seeds at the top. This is what we are collecting to make pink dye. When we have collected as much as we can find, Priscilla uses the shovel to show us how to harvest the roots. As they are lifted, the shovel grazes the surface to reveal a rich red/orange colour. Such beauty hidden in the earth! These roots will make ‘brown dye’.

This is only our first stop in collecting colour, but already I have the sense that this is so much more than the ‘outer world’ story I am telling here. I am aware that whereas before I wouldn’t have noticed the little black seeds, my eyes are open and are keenly seeking them out. I am aware of the environment around me and how my body feels as I work with my companions. I am grateful for the feeling of awe when I see the truth of the colour of the roots as they are lifted from the earth.

Driving on towards Gunbalanya eyes are peeled for kapok trees with their spindly tall thin trunks with green pods riding at the ends of the branches. “There’s some! … and some more!” …  but I can’t see them! It isn’t until we stop and walk a little way from the road that I see what has been described to me and now they appear everywhere.

Harvesting is as easy as shaking the tree or pulling the branches down and plucking the pods – that is, unless they have been colonised by stinging green ants. I noticed that the pods on this kapok plant look rather ‘hairy’, being covered with the ants, and Priscilla is timely in rescuing me from their stings as she says it’s better to choose one with no ants!

With a dilly bag full of kapok, we are now looking for yellow dye; the root of another spindly looking plant with yellow flowers. In the Northern Territory heat digging out the roots is no easy task, but we dig down to the roots and follow their contours to chop out the biggest parts. Black dye comes more easily in the shape of shiny green leaves nearby.

 


Kapok pods

Crushing kapok seeds turns the white fibre inside bright yellow.

Roots of 'pink dye' plant

Kapok Pods

The white fibre and seeds from inside the pods are crushed exposing a brilliant yellow colour.

Sylvia is chopping ‘pink dye’ plant roots for brown dye.


Cooking up dye

Pink Dye -photo Renee Bahloo

Dyes simmering over the fire

Dye cooking on the fire.

Pink dye seeds. Pink dye cooking on the fire and pink dyed pandanus fibre.

Yellow dye and green dye cooking on the fire.

Connections are being made. With the Earth, the plants, each part of the plants and so too we are connecting with each other; local women, guide and adventurers. Helping each other, watching, listening, learning, accepting, enjoying each other’s joy and enthusiasm; sharing heart connection.

Treasures Revealed

Being out in the bush collecting these resources was new to me; different from the walks I love to take in the bush. We were there with a clear intention, and the dyes we would be able to make depended upon what we found and could collect. But it wasn’t only the feeling of achieving our purpose and learning about the plants and how to collect.

Driving past nondescript bush and taking it for granted is no longer an option. I know there is a treasure trove of things to be discovered there! I have acquired an acute awareness of ‘being’, of feeling grounded and feeling connected to the land and people. It is as though the very earth has become ingrained in my spirit and will stay with me forever.

My recent journey to the Northern Territory promised to be an adventure but turned out to be so much more than I ever could have imagined or hoped for. The outer world purpose of the journey was to learn about how fibre is processed and weaving techniques while immersed in indigenous culture, but the purpose for my world within would be the powerful outcome of the journey.

Interested in Rene Bahloo’s journeys? You will find all the information about her workshops and journeys to Arnhem land on her

website: http://weavery.com.au/ or join her on

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weaverywork

Injalak Arts has cultural information: http://injalak.com/

Look out for my next story of Arnhem Land !

Blessings to you

Betsy

 

Raging Waters Have Symbolic Meaning

Have you ever noticed how the nature reflects the pattern of your life?

Have you noticed how the weather affects your moods?

The recent deluge of rain caused a very significant flash flood in our local creek with the water inundating the park and walking track. Tonnes of gravel was shifted from the creek bed to cover the path and river sand covered the park. Trees had been undermined by the force of the water and some had fallen. Their branches and other debris remained where the water had left them; choking the bridges and wrapped around the plants and posts that had caught them.

As I walked down the path after the event, I felt the great power that had been unleashed and I knew that this was significant for my life. I felt like a weight had lifted from my shoulders and the emotional confusion that I have been feeling had been washed away.

When you walk in conscious awareness you come to notice everything around you and you notice significant things; symbols that will add meaning to your life. The unconscious part of our brains is many times larger than the conscious part and we aren’t able to access this information directly. When we dream our brain waves have slowed down allowing messages in symbol form to rise to our conscious brain. This is why dreams often entertain us with their funny or fearful stories. In the same way that we can interpret these dream symbols, we can also interpret the symbols that we notice through conscious awareness.

To walk in conscious awareness, I first decide upon a question or a problem that is troubling me and ask for guidance around it during my walk. I ground myself, breathe, call my guides, and ask my question. ‘What can my walk tell me about what has been happening in my life?’ I then walk, with my mind relaxed and open to anything that presents itself.

The day after the flood there were several significant things that presented them to me. Water is often described as symbolic of emotions. As I have mentioned already, the atmosphere, the energy surrounding me, was very powerful. It contained the power that had been expressed by nature the day before and had a strong feeling of everything being flushed clean and renewed.

Gravel was swept in a small mountain range across the path; fresh small rocks piled into a form that I had to step through and over as I couldn’t go around. For me this symbolised fresh new things coming across my path that I can’t avoid. I will experience them and emerge on the other side better for the experiences.

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The evidence of the power of the water was everywhere. The flattened grass and weeds showed the ‘going with the flow’ of the water and surviving. The debris under the bridge and against the trees spoke to me of holding onto the old and the message to release and let it go with the flow – keeping only that which will serve me well.
Ducks were in their element as they paddled happily in the tranquil ponds left by the flooding rains, finding lots of juicy grubs to eat. Ducks work hard paddling under water while they look serene as they glide along – hard work creates serenity through organisation and planning for it. Enjoying the flow, the emotions both overwhelming and calm, seeing out the storm and reaping the benefits are other messages here.

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Walking in conscious awareness this way connects me with my guides and intuition. The messages are very confirming about what is happening in my life, give me some clear directions for moving ahead and hope for the future.

Here is a pattern to follow.

  1. Breathe and ground yourself and ask for your guides to be with you.
  2. Set a clear intention for your walk
  3. Walk with your mind relaxed, not thinking or wandering; allow it to take in your surroundings.
  4. Notice anything that presents to you.
  5. Write these down on completion of your walk.
  6. ‘Listen’ to how each of these sound to you when you write them. What do they mean for you with regard to your intention?
  7. How do these come together to make a story to answer your intention?

So, next time you go for a walk, why don’t you set your intention to find answers to something that’s been bothering you and see what happens. I wonder what you’ll discover?