For the month of February I planted the seed that we make the entire month a ceremony of invoking inner peace. Please take a moment to reevaluate how you did. Did you deny feelings and thoughts coming up or did you work them through? Were you able to remember to stay focused on transmuting your state so peace did shine through you as you walked through the world?
Many mystics and shamans were and are either born with a predisposition to only feel peace in the midst of suffering. Or it might be that the years of initiation experiences wore away any feelings or thoughts of separateness creating a cellular knowing of unity and perfection. Peace and light would shine through in the midst of all human conditions.
For many of us who might be coming at a spiritual path through other doors, we might move toward emanating peace and light at more gradual stages. This means many of us must learn how to hold the paradox. On one level we know our own divinity and experience the divinity in all of life. At the same time we work through the feelings, thoughts, and attitudes that arise by watching the behavior of those around us and conditions in the world.
As I have already written many times before, feelings are natural and are to be explored and worked through, not to be repressed. To repress our feelings, thoughts, and attitudes can create illness and also cause us to behave in inauthentic ways. I don’t know if you have ever been around someone who keeps saying, “Everything is perfect” while you can see the opposite belief seething through his/her pores.
Remember alchemy is the working with and through the dense darkness inside. This means not repressing what is coming up from below the surface but rather experiencing the feelings and working them through.
Some of you might be saying this is too hard and give up and judge yourself for not being able to meet the challenge. It is not too hard and yes it can be challenging. All exercise is challenging whether you work on emotional, physical, or spiritual levels. But as you know there are always great rewards for meeting the challenge. The rewards in our spiritual practice are experiencing the beauty and joy of life while at the same time creating a better world for all life to live in.
We all have to find ways to work with and through our darker emotions and thoughts so the light and a state of peace can naturally shine through us. Throughout Medicine for the Earth I offer many different ways to help us fully work through feelings of separation.
Here are some suggestions you might try this month: -Surround yourself with words you have written on pieces of paper that help you work through a problematic state of consciousness.
-Surround yourself with pictures such as a precious loved one, child, animal, plant, tree, or a scene in nature that reminds you of what if truly important and can help you reframe and move through your current state of consciousness.
-Write out your thoughts and feelings about an issue or event causing you upset. Research has shown if you write out your objective thoughts along with your emotions you will come to a place of peace and improved health. Writing out your emotions only does not have the same affect over time.
Writing for ten minutes a day for a few days in a row is usually enough to establish a sense of peace and completion about an issue. Obviously if you are working with a severe trauma you might need to write for more than a few days.
-Check out some of the Heartmath material. I have written about their work before. They have extremely simple exercises that can get you out of a problematic state of consciousness into a heart space very easily. You can check out their work at www.heartmath.org.
In Overcoming Emotional Chaos, Doc Childe (one of the founders of Hearthmath) gives many suggestions that have been helpful to me. My favorite suggestion that works really well is breathing through my heart and at the same time repeating to myself, “Take the significance out”. I find that this works really well when I can’t sleep because my mind is looping on some angry thought. I only have to say to myself, “Take the significance out” about three times before I drift back into a deep sleep.
I have a bell hanging up in a porch by my garden. I have come to learn that often the bell will ring when the “spirit people” or “little people” are trying to communicate with me.
Sometimes I will leave my house or come home disturbed by some event or conversation. I find that at these times although the air is perfectly still the bell will begin ringing loudly.
I stop and feel the preciousness of these beings trying to make contact with me. This precious connection is more important and vital to me than the negative thoughts and emotions that arise from buying into the world of illusion. I remember what is true and important to my heart, and I find the soil turning inside of me and uncovering a treasure of joy inside that transforms but does not deny what I am feeling or experiencing.
Look to nature. Nature is always reaching out to us and communicating and teaching us how to till the soil within.
Don’t deny or repress what is coming up for you. There are so many things to trigger negative thoughts and feelings today. Be authentic with your feelings and communication. And keep working them through. Find practices and tools that help you so the end result is that we do not coat the earth with anger, fear, despair, and feelings of separation. Rather let’s coat the earth with love and remembering there is only one heartbeat, only one source that is pure light and love.
As I have written before I have an ongoing journey practice of visiting descendants to keep learning how to work with oneness, light, and sound for healing others and myself. Last month I had a wonderful journey with a descendant. She gave me the experience of fully feeling my connection with the one pulse of life. Then she gave me the metaphor of a pinky finger deciding it was separate from the rest of the hand and body and dropping to the ground. There needs to be a procedure for reattaching the finger to the rest of the hand where it is once again part of the body.
She said that when we feel separate we are like a finger that mistakenly identifies with itself as a separate entity. She said that this creates illness on many levels and healing must happen to reconnect us with what she called “the lifeline”.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- On a similar note, over the past few months I have received letters from some of you who are disturbed by the power struggles, egos, and divisive energy in the shamanic community. I have a friend who is a very respected teacher in shamanism who says that shamanism will die out because of the inherent issues of power.
I don’t agree. I am not an anthropologist and my own helping spirits has guided my shamanic work. But as I have so many students who have traveled to indigenous cultures around the world it is clear there are shamans who heal others by embracing the principle of divinity, light oneness, and unity. And then there are shamans who still work in the framework of illusion and separation.
Some people say the spirits will take care of this issue. I feel that how the spirits take care of this is by finding those who are willing to work in partnership with them to bring forth the model of harmony, oneness, divinity, love, light, and unity. We must feed this heart rather than the heart of divisiveness, separation, ego, and manipulation of power. In this way the true essence of shamanism shines through into future generations.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There are many ways to make changes in the world today. We all have to find where our contribution is. Some of us choose to work on the spiritual levels with the knowing that all change on the physical starts here. Another way is to be more of an activist. All ways are important.
I read in the newspaper about a teenager in Denver who is choosing to have the courage to speak the truth about her feelings about the circus. She has no problem with clowns and trapeze artists. But she feels strongly about lions and elephants being trained to leap and dance for the public’s enjoyment.
Heather Herman is a high-school freshman and has gathered enough signatures last month to put a question on Denver’s Aug. 10 ballot asking residents to ban performances by exotic animals.
She says, “I believe animals do not belong in the circus, that they shouldn’t perform, shouldn’t have clothes put on them or have people riding on them. To make animals perform, you train them and to train them you must break them, which requires physical force.”
Of course you can imagine the response from Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and some of the Denver government officials. Their only response has to do with how this would effect jobs and the economy. One Councilman said, “I firmly believe the ballot process is getting out of hand. I think it’s getting wacky, like California.”
While we are all entitled to our opinion, my prayers and thoughts are with Heather Herman voicing her concerns about the disrespect and dishonoring of the animals we share this earth with. They were not put on earth only for our enjoyment. And I applaud her courage for not only speaking out but by trying to get her community involved in taking action.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- March 20 is the Spring Equinox. I know many people are happy to see this time of rebirth transition into our lives again.
I suggest to celebrate the equinox that we all take some time during this day to journey or meditate to merge with the earth. Use this practice to learn by becoming what changes the earth is experiencing during this time. Our bodies and the earth are one. As we learn how the earth is transitioning we learn about ourselves and harmonize with the changes of this time.
During the winter solstice we began to dream together what we want to see burst forth in our own lives and for the world. Through your meditation or journeys check on the seeds of the dreams you planted. Are they growing? What kind of nurturance do they need?
Celebrate the beauty of nature. On the equinox take a walk outside alone or with your family or friends. Be in appreciation of the beauty of nature. Depending on the weather patterns of your area you might observe new growth coming forth from the earth. Observe the power of new life and how it stands strong.
For as much of the month as you can take appreciation walks. The more you can take in the beauty of nature, the more you will be able to reframe what is happening around you. Our perception creates our reality. As we see the beauty in the world our reality changes. And please remember to share this practice with your children.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I am full of news this month, so please read on.
I want to give you an update on the research project I have been designing with the medical school at the University of Michigan. If you are new to this web page months ago I wrote that a research project was proposed to try and measure the health benefits of the transfiguration practice I teach in the Medicine for the Earth work.
We are moving rapidly with creating the research design. It is all very exciting. The population we have decided to work with are people who have suffered a heart attack for the first time. One group will only receive traditional medical treatment. One group will receive group support along with education on diet, stress reduction, and exercise. One group will go through an adapted Medicine for the Earth training.
The groups will receive follow-up twice a month for three months. Both medical tests and psychological tests will be given at different points in the study to measure changes in physiology and sense of well-being.
The research design is in the completion phases, and I will keep you posted as we get to the next stage. There are many people around the world today who understand the great potential and purpose in tapping into our divinity and understanding that all feelings and thoughts that we are separate from the web of life are pure illusion.
But I feel that others would be inspired to begin to explore the spiritual practices that lead us to a state of experiencing oneness if they are given a reason. If the University of Michigan medical study produces good results I do feel it will eventually lead to more and more people joining in with the transfiguration work. This will have huge benefits for all of life today as well as for the future of the planet.
My new book Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide is now out. I had an opportunity in this book to write almost everything I wanted to say about shamanic journeying. It includes complete instructions of how to journey to the Lower World, Middle World, and Upper World. I also give some suggestions of how you can take your journeys to a deeper level. There is a chapter giving many different suggestions for journey topics. A drumming CD is also included.
I am excited about the book, as it will make shamanic journeying as a way to get personal spiritual guidance available to a broad audience.
I am grateful to Angeles Arrien who has been one of my most inspirational teachers for the endorsement she gave: “Sandra Ingerman’s great fit is that she skillfully teaches us how shamanic journeying can be used for guidance, empowerment, renewal, divination, and healing. This an exceptional resource and guidebook, accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime!” -Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., author of The Four Fold Way and Signs of Life
Last year and this year has been a year for planting many seeds and watching them grow. I feel that the times we live in it is essential that we make spiritual practices accessible to different audiences. We want to work in community and be supported by our spiritual communities. And at the same time I do believe it is important to widen our networks. It feels like a lot of my work is helping to create different kinds of networks.
A lot of people cannot pay the tuition or travel expenses for many shamanic workshops being given. It has been important for me to create the www.shamanicteachers.com website and begin my new Teacher Trainings so that we can seed local communities with really good teachers who are grounded in experience and who passing on the work from a place of integrity. Money should not be the weeding out process of who gets shamanic training. It is important to make the work accessible to those who want to learn.
I also want to remind you that we now have shamanic practitioners who can provide shamanic healing help listed on www.shamanicteachers.com. There is a section titled “Practitioners”. You just click on that title to find a list of local shamanic practitioners who have been trained by me.
And of course there is www.medicinefortheearth.com, which lists local Medicine for the Earth teachers. My passion is really seeing this work grow and touch as many people as possible.
Last month I posted the formation of the Society of Shamanic Practitioners. The society will be a way to network people practicing shamanism and share ideas of how we can bridge shamanism into our lives and work in a deeper way. The benefits of membership includes: a monthly E-newsletter, an interactive website, an annual conference, regional trainings, annual print publication, case studies library, code of ethics, mentor program, and networking opportunities. I think there is incredible potential of creating a stronger global shamanic network through this society. Please look at the February 2004 Transmutation News of how you can get more information and become a member.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In the late 1980’s I was gifted with meeting Christina Crawford. Christina is a woman who has survived a lot in life, and has used what has happened to her to help others heal from their own abuse. She was very courageous in writing her book Mommie Dearest and was one of the first people to publicly speak to the issue of abuse.
Christina attended a workshop I was at where I did a demonstration of a soul retrieval. After the workshop she asked me if she could come to Santa Fe to learn soul retrieval from me. At that point I had never taught soul retrieval to anyone.
Christina did come to Santa Fe. For the final part of her teaching I had her perform a soul retrieval on me. I gave her no information and just told her to bring back what she was guided to by the spirits. The soul retrieval she performed for me ended up curing chronic depression that had been with me since my teenage years. So I have always been extremely grateful to her.
Christina also became a mentor for me while I was writing Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self. I was so insecure about writing a book and her support and friendship was instrumental in Soul Retrieval being written.
Christina has just published a new book titled: Daughters of the Inquisition Medieval Madness: Origins and Aftermath. This book is filled with fascinating information. It is a 400 page hard cover in which Christina traces the story of women for eight thousand years. Christina spent nearly a decade researching the material for this book. This is a dedication of passion and tears that Christina hopes will shape the present and the future by introducing new insight from the past – history which has been ignored because it was herstory.
Daughters of the Inquisition is published by Seven Springs Press. It is available through Amazon. You can also contact Seven Springs Press for ordering information: 208-274-2470 or SevenSpringsCC@aol.com.
If you are looking to read the Transmutation News in German, Italian, French, or Slovakian please visit the Important Links Section of this page to find the appropriate link.
The full moon is March 6. Let’s continue to transfigure and weave our lights together throughout the globe. Let’s fill the world with light and love.
I wish you a very joyous spring as the seeds you have planted show their beauty in the world.
Soul Retrieval, Medicine for the Earth, and Shamanism