Journeys and Meditation

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The first time I used the CD from Awakening To The Spirit World my intention was to go to the Lower World, see the cave that I had imagined as my entrance to that world, and meet my first power animal. I had read the directions on how to journey and followed them. Track three on the CD began to play. I pictured myself traveling to the cave’s location. It was easy. I was surprised. And before I could walk up to the cave an animal came along and I knew instantly it was my first power animal. I reached down, petted it and we walked into the cave together. My power animal led the way and showed me two other animals which also became my power animals. It happened just like the book suggested it might. When the journey ended I petted each animal, said goodbye, and returned to what we know as normal consciousness. I was amazed at how easy it was and how clearly I saw the cave and animals, and how I immediately understood what was happening.

When I told this to my teacher, Lauren, three years ago, she said it was probably easier for me because of all the meditation I had done. The more I thought about it, the more I agreed. As time has passed I know that, for me at least, this was one of the unanticipated benefits of all the hours I spent meditating. I might have done OK without it, but I know it helped.

The first time a person tries journeying to the spirit world, they have mixed feelings. They aren’t sure they will succeed. And even when they do succeed, it is easy to have doubts as to whether they really made contact or just imagined it. Sometimes I still wonder about this myself. I get a satisfactory answer when I ask myself two questions: ‘Did everything go as I thought it would?’ and ‘Did I accomplish what I set out to do?’ When the answer to the first question is ‘no’ I understand that my journey was real. If I was imagining it, it would have gone as I thought it would. The second question is a little trickier. Sometimes, rarely, the spirits decide I should not journey in a certain way or to a certain place and they refuse to help, probably for my own benefit. On the other hand, perhaps I needed to spend more time defining what it was that I wanted to accomplish before attempting the journey.

As you can see, journeying is not something I take for granted. I believe these reality checks are what keep me performing the journeys. I am keeping an open mind. In the case of soul retrievals, the feedback I get from my clients is both positive and encouraging.

Three Journeys: Power of words; the Moon; Four Directions

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Journey 1: Power of Words – 09/16/11

My intention was to understand the power of words to create healing and peace. My power animals led me to my new Teacher who took me on a pathway back through my life. I saw how my meaning meant as much or more than the words themselves; how people had told me that I should write down stories I told them because they enjoyed them. At the end I saw someone getting into a sleeping bag and zipping it up all around themselves. The words we think, speak and write form a cocoon around our lives. There were other examples I forgot.

Journey 2: The Moon and how it affects me – 09/17/11

Went to the cave and saw my power animals. The eagle wanted to take me. I climbed on to his back and merged with him and we flew to the moon. Surprisingly it was warm, comfortable there. The position of the Earth-Moon-Sun is important. Take advantage of the waxing and waning phases; increase in waxing, decrease in waning. It’s like breathing in and breathing out. The moon and earth have a symbiotic relationship: no moon/no earth, no earth/no moon. Both are in relationship with the sun. The moon’s light reflects the sun’s light, but it also reflects some of the sun’s energy to earth and this has a beneficial effect (which I don’t understand). Again like breathing in and breathing out. Trip ended. I will go again in the future.

Journey 3: The four directions – 09/19/11

This journey was in the form of a dream that occurred around 3:00 AM. I was shown the four Cardinal directions. Each was a brilliant white segment of a larger whole. Each one gave me a power which I still felt when I awoke at 7:00 AM, having slept all night. After that experience I dreamed I entered a room full of people. At I entered they stopped and stared at me. I saw myself. My head was shaved. I was smiling lovingly and I had a wonderful glow in my eyes. I was surprised to see myself this way.

Next blog: Shamanism and Creation Seminar (even better than the first – my first journey at ‘Creation’ was amazing)

Journeys right before Introduction to Shamanic Journeying class

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July 27, 2011 I journeyed with the intention of seeing the divine light within me. I went to the lower world through the cave. The eagle flapped its wings indicating it would take me. I merged with the eagle and flew skyward. We went to my back yard where I saw myself sitting on a bench. Surrounding me was a pale white light. The center of the light, which coalesced in my heart, was like a white pearl. We returned to the cave.

July 30th, I met with my power animals in the lower world. I asked them why I had such negative emotions this morning. The fox said, “It’s what you ate.” I thought about it and didn’t understand until I realized it was really what I drank, two gin martinis with sweet vermouth. (Later I realized I had accidentally used a larger shot glass, making each martini the equivalent of one and a half martinis.) Next we went to the upper world. Halfway up I met an Indian woman I had previously met but she looked older this time. She indicated she is to help me improve my love for and empathy with humanity.

August 3rd, my intention was to get a better understanding of our purpose as humans. I had many visions, too many to remember. However my understanding is that we need to cooperate with the unfolding of life and participate it by creating our world with intention and will. In order to do this we must be well grounded and live a balanced, harmonious life.

I went on vacation to visit my grandkids, daughter and son-in-law August 5th through the 12th.

On August 19th I sent with my eagle power animal to see the Ancient One. My intention was to learn what else I could do to proceed along the shamanic path. He told me but I could not remember what he said because I was swept into daydreaming for a long time. Perhaps it was influenced by the allergy pill I take during ragweed season (August 15th until the first frost).

Next blog: Lauren’s Introduction to Shamanic Journeying class

A Gift from the Ancient One

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During early July, 2011 I was on vacation for a week. I didn’t journey while I was gone.

After returning, I journeyed on July 10th, 13th, 14th, and 20th. In these journeys I was practicing the Transformation Exercise from page 170 of Awakening to the Spirit World. In this exercise, I use one of the fifteen minute tracks on the accompanying CD. First you relax in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed; you close your eyes and remember that your intention is to experience the divine light. As the drumming begins, you simply remember your intention, repeating it to yourself as necessary. This light is the light of your soul as opposed to connections to your body or mind. Some people ‘see’ the light. I experienced a feeling of increased energy. Sometimes I saw blue and green light, much like I did when I performed Transcendental Meditation.  I liked the vibrations associated with this exercise.

On July 22nd, I woke up at 3:00 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep. I got back up, sat on the front room couch and journeyed using track three. My intention this journey was to learn more about the world of spirit. I journeyed directly to the Upper World. In my case the Upper World exists on a mountain. The sky is in a perpetual state of sunset; dark clouds overhead with the sun’s crescent setting in the distance, on the dessert floor below. I love it! I feel at home there.

The Ancient One was waiting for me, sitting on a large rock looking off into the distance. I asked him for help exploring the Upper World. He looked at me, smiled, put out his hand and a bald eagle appeared out of the darkness and  perched on a nearby rock. I know the next part seems incongruous but this is how the spirit world works. I climbed onto the eagle’s back and put my arms around its neck. The eagle and I became one. We took off and soared through the spirit world. On the journey I encountered people I knew. I had many experiences but I could not remember them after returning from the journey. Perhaps it was because I loved flying so much. I never experienced anything like it before. It was distracting.  It was my first flying experience. There were more to come. And as I found out on future journeys, the bald eagle was now my fourth power animal.

In spite of the success I was having, or maybe because of it, I felt a strong need to validate my experiences. Was I doing this right? Were my journeys to the spirit world real or was I fooling myself and imagining everything? I decided to find out.

Next blog: Finding a teacher of shamanic studies who can help me validate my experiences.

First Journeys – part 3

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June 29th I awoke several times in the early morning and felt a stream of energy coming out of my heart and solar plexus areas. The energy was flowing from me into the book I was writing, “Pauly’s Mother”. This was a powerful feeling. It seemed like I was using my autobiography as a healing tool.

Two days later I awoke to find myself thinking about a healing song.  I wrote it down right away:

Sing a song of healing

Sing a song of love

You will get the feeling

That comes with the light from above

I knew more words could be added if I played with it. Later in the day I went to the keyboard and sang it with chords C, F and G. I imagined a bridge of G-F-G-A and C-G-F-C.

At this point I took a break and went on vacation with friends. We went to South Haven, Michigan from July 2nd to July 9th.

Next blog: Ancient Wisdom – Life on Earth

More Early Journeys

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My first journeys were unusual because they set the stage for later journeys and they were, after all, my first experiences with the spirit world. But not all my journeys have been as visual nor as significant. Sometimes I needed guidance on less important issues. In these journeys I got the answers I needed but the answers were only as spectacular as the questions; mundane questions usually result in mundane answers. For example, I wondered if it would help for me to wear certain colors while journeying. The answer was that colors might mean something to me, but the spirits didn’t seem to care.

Another time I approached the Ancient One asking for assistance in sending healing energy to an out of town friend who was suffering from ALS; a disease that attacks the nervous system. Currently there is no cure for ALS nor any way to mitigate its negative effects. The Ancient One immediately changed into a muscular, younger man with dark hair who acknowledged my request, sat cross-legged, and closed his eyes to ‘see’ what could be done. I tried to focus on my friend too but was unable. Finally the younger man looked at me and said, “She is gone.” This told me it was too late. She passed away about a year later.

At this time I was in the process of writing the fifth, and last, version of my childhood autobiography, Pauly’s Mother. I journeyed to ask for help remembering Christmas, 1952 so I could include details of that in my book. I received a number of images of toys I had played with, but nothing impressive. While writing later that day, I suddenly remembered that was the Christmas I got my Lionel train. This was a wonderful gift to write about because I could remember many details of the toy, putting the track together with my brother and father, and the fun the three of us had playing with it. I guess sometimes you have to patiently wait for the answer to your request.

Later in June I journeyed to learn more about my power animals, and received information on each of them. Then I asked the Ancient One for a spirit to help me with my writing and he assigned one. Later I used numerology for the names of the spirits I knew as well as the power animals; this helped me understand their purpose.

Around this time I did a Tarot reading for myself, asking about the new path I had chosen. I started learning Tarot cards n 2004 and had developed a great relationship with the cards over the years. I chose to use the Celtic Cross spread. The first card is called the significator. The first and second cards in the spread give the essence of the whole reading. The significator card in this case was the Death card. The Death card is about transformation, the end of one phase and the beginning of another. I was glad to see it. Transformation was what I wanted to find. The rest of the reading told me that I needed to have first-hand experience in order to be able to truly stand on my own.

Next blog: Dreams, a healing song and July journeys

Meeting My Higher Self

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June 3rd, 2011 I woke up about 1:30 AM, went to the bathroom and couldn’t go back to sleep. About 1:50 AM I got up and decided to put the CD in and try another journey. I put on my sweats and sat on the front room couch. As track one started I relaxed and imagined going to my entrance to the Lower World. The beaver was there to meet me and I followed him into the cave. I saw my other animal guides and asked them to take me to my Spirit Guide in the Upper World.

The fox led the way with the hawk overhead. In darkness we walked up the hiking trail I had walked in Calofornia. It ascended to about 1200 feet above the desert floor. We passed the spot where a picnic table and shelter were located and went higher up the trail. It got darker. Dark clouds hung low in the sky. The sun’s orange crescent was setting on the horizon. Ahead was a campfire and sitting in front of it was the Ancient One, the very old man dressed as an American Indian. He may have been the Indian I had seen when previewing the tracks on the CD.

He motioned for me to sit. I bowed out of respect and sat on the ground. I asked his name. He told me and I thanked him. I also asked who he served and he said God, everyone serves God. Anyone who serves the shadows is just on an ego trip. The Ancient One said since I now understood that writing is my purpose in life (confirmed though my interest in personality testing, numerology, and astrology) it was important for me to follow it. I thought about all the years I spent trying to figure it out and I assured him I would. He smiled at me and said he thought that would be my answer. I asked him to tell me what I need to know about following my purpose in life and he said, “Just go with the flow. It won’t be hard.” I thanked him.

I said I wanted to become like him. He replied, “Maybe you are like me. Maybe I am you and maybe you are me.” I felt a strong flow of emotions as I realized the Ancient One was my Higher Self; some would call him my Guardian Angel. I felt as if I had come home. He stood up to go and I asked if I could just sit in his presence for a while. He agreed. After a short time he left. I petted the hawk and the fox and thanked them. They started leading me down the path. I wondered if it was really time to leave and then I heard the tempo on track 3 change, slowing down like as it was ending. When it stopped I opened my eyes, turned off the CD player and wrote notes about what had happened. Then I went back to sleep.

Journey to the Lower World

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In Awakening to the Spirit World Sandra Ingerman recommends visiting the Lower World first to meet one of your power animals. She also recommends choosing an entrance to the Lower World, one that you will remember, one that seems right for you. I chose an entrance to some underground caverns I visited a few years before.

So on June 1st, 2011 I sat on my meditation cushion on the living room floor. First I played track one of her CD in order to get into the proper frame of mind. It’s only five minutes long. Next I launched track three, fifteen minutes long. My intention was to meet my first animal spirit guide.

As track three started I pictured ‘flying’ to the location where the caverns were. Then I pictured myself entering the underworld through the entrance. I don’t know what I expected, but my first encounter was with a beaver who stood waiting by the entrance. I knew he would lead me to other power animals (there were two more). We entered the cavern, the beaver in the lead. At first it was dark, then it got lighter and we entered a garden space that was in the open air. Nearby was a pond. There were plants, grass, trees and a sky overhead. On a low branch was a large bird. At the foot of the tree was a fox.

These were two of my power animal spirit guides: a red-tailed hawk and a brown fox. I petted each of the three animals and I asked them to show me things about healing and what I needed to know at this point in along my path. Many images flashed through my mind but I couldn’t remember them after the journey. Sometimes this happens. However I did feel healing energies from each of the animals. After this experience I decided my next attempt would include asking my animal guides to lead me to my Spirit Guide in the Upper World. I ended the journey as track three was ending.

Honestly, I didn’t expect to have a beaver as one of my power animals. I wanted, you know, a tiger or a lion, something very manly and strong. As I would learn, we don’t get to choose our power animals. They present themselves to us and they represent qualities which are important for our development along our path. Sometime in 2013 I bought a copy of Ted Andrew’s book Animal Speak. I find it is a wonderful guide to animal totems. After I read about my power animals in his book I appreciated them more and was pleased with the types of help they provide me. I’ll say this again and again as I blog, in Spirit Walking it is important to keep an open mind. If you experience something you don’t understand, remember it and study information about the animal or event and you will come to understand what significance it has for you. In a later post I will talk about my primary power animals in more detail and what they mean.

Next blog: Spirit Walking in the Upper World and an emotional meeting with my first human spirit guide

Research and First Journey

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The day after my encounter with the two Hawaiian spirits I got online and looked for books on Hawaiian spirituality. I ordered three and they arrived within a few days. The book that helped me discover my path was The Bowl of Light by Dr. Hank Wesselman. Dr. Wesselman is a cultural anthropologist who encountered shamanism and has written several books on the subject. The Bowl of Light describes how he formed a friendship with Hale Makua, an important figure in Hawaiian spiritual culture. The story of this friendship helped me understand that shamanic practice was the path I needed to know more about. Reading all three books kept me busy through most of May, 2011.

May 26th I searched online for books on shamanism and came across “Awakening To The Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation” by Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman. The book arrived on May 29th and I started reading it right away. I didn’t know it when I ordered it, but the book comes with a CD that has four sound tracks of drums and other instruments to facilitate shamanic journeying. I listened to the first track that prepares you for your journey and then gave a quick listen to the other three tracks to get a feel for what they offered.

While listening to track one I ‘encountered’ a very old American Indian man who was sitting in front of me. At first I was tempted to reject the image but then I just let things happen. Since this was my first journey, though I didn’t realize it at the time, I acknowledged him respectfully with a nod and just listened to the rest of the track. The little I heard of the beginning of Track 3 actually gave me a tingling sensation over my heart. Later as I read the book it advised that we need to breath into our hearts while journeying because the shaman “sees” with his/her heart.

Next blog: Journey to the Lower World