Why Journey to the Spirit World?


This is a good question. Journeying is a method of direct revelation. We learn directly from our spirit guides. This learning can take the form of asking for guidance in decision making or to seek healing for ourselves and others. Why would spirits want to help? Spirit guides have a purpose just as we do. One of their prime purposes is to help us. By helping us they assist with the evolution of the universe. It’s that simple.

When I think of helpful spirits I remember what I learned in Catholic school about guardian angels. The sisters taught us a prayer to our guardian angel:

Angel of God, my guardian dear,

To whom God’s love commits me near,

Ever this day be at my side,

To light, to guard, to rule, to guide.

The last line summarizes what guardian angels do for us. This is true whether we call them angels or helping spirits. I recognize and respect the doctrinal differences between religion and spirit walking. I’m saying there are also some similarities in this area of spirit guidance.

As an adult, before I started spirit walking, there were times when I ignored messages from within. I always regretted it. On the other hand, I enjoyed the results when I paid attention to that inner voice. Spirit guides give good, accurate advice. We may receive this advice without journeying but journeying helps us focus on the message. We form an intention, set aside quiet time to ask our question, and listen for the answer.

Why is it important to listen for spirit guidance? Our purpose is perfectly in line with the spirits. We are here to evolve individually and, through our evolution, influence the evolution of humanity as well as Mother Earth and the entire universe. Everything is interconnected because every part of God’s creation contains part of God within it. Imagine how wonderful the world could be if more people paid attention to their inner guidance.

Shamanic Tools for Healing


Different cultures use different tools for healing: everything from herbs to incense to rhythm, including song. As with all shamanic practice, individuals use the tools they were taught to use and what they feel works for them and their clients. Today I am focusing on the use of the drum and the rattle for healing.

I always start the healing process with drumming because it clears the area of all energies so you can start fresh. Then, still drumming, I invite helpful spirits to join in the healing, especially my healing guide and any healing spirits the client prefers. But the drumming does more than simply clear the space. In his book The Way of the Shaman. Michael Harner notes a study done by Andrew Neher in 1961. Harner quotes (page 66), “The rhythmic [drumming] stimulation affects electrical activity in ‘many sensory and motor areas of the brain, not ordinarily affected, through their connections with the area being stimulated.’ This appears to be due in part  to the fact that the single beat of the drum contains many sound frequencies, and accordingly it simultaneously transmits impulses along a variety of nerve pathways to the brain.” The use of the drum affects the person leading the healing as well as the client. Client friends and family have told me drumming has a powerful effect on them as well.

The beat of the rattle is the same speed as the beat of the drum. It supplements the drum’s healing effect. Again quoting Michael Harner’s book (pages 61 and 62), “The shaking of the shaman’s rattle provides stimulation to higher frequency pathways in the brain than does the drum, reinforcing the drum beats and further heightening the total sonic effect.” Some of my clients have told me they feel a new energy when the rattling begins. There is also a belief among some indigenous peoples that the rhythm of the rattle ‘breaks up’ negative energies in the body and sends healing energy to the area that needs healing.

“The Shaman’s Well”, an online website, carried an article about rattling  in October of 2011, The Shaman’s Rattle. It discusses the various uses for the rattle, including attracting helpful spirits, activating magical properties of special objects, setting up a protective barrier and healing. “The rattle is excellent for doing diagnostic work, for opening up areas where energy is blocked, for re-establishing energy flow, and for helping remove inappropriate energy.”

Whether using the drum or rattle, it is the rhythmic beat, three to seven beats per minute, that leads the brain to that realm of the spirit world where the healing takes place. Using both together can produce an entire spectrum of  healing vibration.

Tarot Reading: Communicating with the Spirit World

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I’ve been serious about tarot cards since 2004 and have developed a wonderful relationship with them. Before I do a reading I say a special prayer asking God to have an angel assist me with finding the answer that’s in everyone’s best interests. For today’s reading I also called on my helpful spirits for input. My question was, “What would my helpful spirits like me to tell everyone about communicating with the Spirit World?” I used the Celtic Cross spread.

The first part of the answer regards what motivation people have for communicating with helpful spirits. Will you communicate only when you are having problems, like trying to avoid future suffering, or trying to get the inside track on a business or work deal and then forget about it until the next problem comes along? If so, you are more of a dabbler. As with any endeavor, dabblers don’t become proficient in their craft. You need a sincere, persistent interest coupled with great respect if you want to communicate with helpful spirits. Helpful spirits want partnerships and mutual trust, not one-sided demands. Think of helpful spirits as friends without human form. The have every right to refuse to help you if you don’t show them the proper respect.

The person who will be most successful communicating with the Spirit World is someone who wants healing for themselves, their family and friends, their communities, and the entire world. They must have confidence in the spirits, be enthusiastic in their communications, and they must seek true knowledge and the experience that many trips to the spirit world will engender. While not every trip to the Spirit World will be memorable, having the correct attitude will help the spirit walker get the most out of every visit.

For anyone interested in learning tarot, I highly recommend “Tarot for Your Self” by Mary Kay Greer. It was one of the first tarot books I bought. It is a wonderful reference and a continual source of learning about tarot cards.

Nelson Mandela

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Get a free numerology report at http://www.cafeastrology.com/numerology2/index.htm . That’s where I got the following report for Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, born July 18, 1918 (source: Wikipedia):

Life Path Number 8: The path you should take through life.

You were born to lead and your Life Path will provide you with opportunities to express your God given talents. Indeed, your success may well be measured in terms of accomplishments, which could take on historical proportions.

Life Destiny Number 9: Those things you must accomplish.

Your destiny is to love all mankind without condition. You do truly want ‘peace on earth and good will toward man’ and will work to make those conditions a reality.

Soul Number 8: Deepest desires and dreams.

Your inner desire is to lead, to take control of the world around you. Since your talents lend themselves to this desire it is very likely your desires will be fully satisfied.

Personality Number 1: The personality traits others will know you by.

As is fitting with the number 1’s prime directive to lead, those with a 1 Personality Number have the qualities of a natural born leader. They are also blessed with a mind capable of formulating innovative solutions to old and new problems alike.

Maturity Number 8: The person you will come to be.

Those with an 8 as their Maturity Number will find rewards through their accomplishments.Their early years will be spent learning how to apply power without becoming dictatorial and finding a balance between the material and spiritual world. As you mature you will be called upon more and more often to lead others. If you learn to apply authority without becoming tyrannical you may well be thought of as one of the world’s great leaders in your later years.

MY COMMENTS: Remember that these traits were part of Nelson Mandela from the day he was born. He had the free will to choose them or to ignore them. Our world was blessed that he recognized his strengths and talents and used them to improve our lives. Nelson Mandela was a wonderful man. My God bless Earth with more people who will follow in his footsteps and live up to his standards!

Shamanic Tools: Numerology

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How accurate is numerology? You decide. What follows is from an online numerological report I ran for the Dalai Lama. He was born Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso on July 6, 1935 (Wikdpedia).

Life Path Number  22:(The path he should take through life) “You are a builder on a grand scale and possess lofty ideals aimed at improving our world. Whether you build structures or governments or organizations, you will turn your dreams into reality. Regardless of the arena you choose, you will be deemed an expert in your field and inspire others to be their very best.”

Life Destiny Number 6: (Things he must accomplish) “Your sense of beauty and community will make you a harmonizing force for those around you. You will bring to our world two qualities it is all too often missing: love and balance.”

Soul Number 9: (His deepest desires and dreams) “Your compassion will often lead you to sacrifice your own needs to address those of others. While this sacrifice will tear at you some, your soul’s need to heal others will over-rule any concern you have for yourself.”

Personality Number 6: (The personality traits others will know him by) “Six personalities are great counselors and very faithful to their loved ones.”

Maturity Number 1: (The person he will come to be) “The life of a person with a  1 Maturity Number should be marked by assuming roles of leadership and developing a self-reliant, pioneering spirit.”

I am not a Buddhist, but I am familiar with Buddhism and respect its principles and teachings. I believe that the Dalai Lama is one of those rare people who deserve to be called a Holy Man. If you have ever heard him talk or read any of his books you know what I mean.

Shamanic Tools: Words


Words are tools that are easily overlooked. We take them for granted. Yet, in my opinion, they are the most powerful tools we have at our disposal. The power of words is indirectly expressed, but implied, in one of the ancient writings of India, the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (IV.4.5) : “You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

I’m currently reading an interesting book titled the Energy of Words by Michelle Arbeau, Llewellyn Publications, 2013. It analyzes the numerological value of words. In her Introduction she discusses the law of attraction and how it seems difficult to use. She says it is difficult because we use more negative words than positive words in our self-talk, sabotaging our efforts to succeed. She makes a good point. Visualization is only part of the law of attraction. If we visualize correctly but undercut our efforts with our thoughts, “I hope this works” or “I’ll try this and see if it works”, then we are working against our hopes and dreams.

The same is true for labels we use for ourselves. By the way, a great book on the numerology of peoples’ names is Numerology: The Romance in Your Name, by Dr. Juno Jordan; I highly recommend it. But names are not the only labels we use for ourselves. We hear the name shaman along this path. Numerology indicates that name equates to the number 20 which further reduces to the number 2 which, according to Michelle Arbeau, is associated with the title supportive guide. On the other hand, the label medicine maker equates to (medicine = 8, maker = 3) the number 11 which reduces further to 2. This may seem the same as the value for shaman but it is not. This (11/2) is one of the Master-Numbers in numerology. It is the highest spiritual number and is associated with the title spiritual-guide. The difference is subtle but significant.

Other labels are interesting to compare: Mom/Dad, Teacher/Student, Leader/Follower. Michelle discusses all of them in her book. But the main point is that the words we use every day have a positive or negative influence and it is in the here and now of our communications, written or verbal, where most of the influence, negative or positive, occurs. I’m going to discover the positive words and use those most frequently, especially in my self-talk.  Words are the most powerful tools we have.

Next blog: Soul Retrieval for Steve.

Shamanic Tools: The Drumming Circle

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Definition number 3 in my Merriam-Webster Dictionary states that a tool is something used in doing a job. You may disagree if you wish, but I think the drumming circle fits into that category. I believe it was in early December of 2012 that Lauren Torres initiated a drumming circle in Chicago’s south suburbs. It meets on the second Tuesday of each month in Alsip, Illinois at a place called TranZformation: A Center for Spirit. TranZformation has books on ‘new age’ subjects such as shamanism, has classes on a variety of subjects such as Reike, and also sells gifts like pendulums, incense and such.

The drumming circle, which lasts from 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM, usually starts off with drumming, followed by a general discussion of what is going on in our lives. Members are encouraged to bring their own drums and rattles. Sometimes members will share instruments with those who did not bring any. After a while Lauren suggests one or more subjects for journeying and we discuss those ideas. Then she leads the group in the journey process. Afterward we discuss our experiences. Sometimes we journey a second time as well.

The beneficial aspect of the drumming group is that attendees get the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with each other. This is good because it gives everyone the opportunity to hear what others are doing on their paths. Personally I think drumming circle is great. There aren’t that many people who are walking the shamanic path so it’s encouraging to spend time with those who do. Associating with people of similar interests is one of the best ways to get support for the path we have chosen. Drumming circle is the ‘something’ that helps us keep a fresh and positive outlook on our chosen vocation.

Next blog: Another Soul Retrieval

Shamanic Tools: Rhythm and Energy

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Welcome to Spirit Walking Journal

Welcome to Spirit Walking Journal

In January, 2012 I decided to buy a drum for my shamanic practice. After hearing the deep, penetrating sound of Lauren’s buffalo drum I decided to get one. She mentioned that people sometimes paint pictures on them; power animals and other meaningful symbols. When mine came I decided to paint the vision I had of creation (see Shamanism and Creation: First Journey). I knew I couldn’t duplicate that vision, but I painted it and I’m satisfied with the results.

The leather pouch I use contains a couple of stones that friends gave me and a crystal Lauren gave me when she taught me soul retrieval in August, 2012. The two shell necklaces came from Hawaii. I got the larger one during my first visit there in 1993 and the second one in 2011. They help remind me of my experiences there in 2011 (see Hawaiian Encounters).

I bought the rattle at the Blue Feather (www.bluefeatherforyou.com), a wonderful store in La Grange, Illinois. The rattle was hand-made in Peru. I love its sound. In addition to the rhythm I get when shaking it, it has its own counter-rhythm. The counter-rhythm reminds me that chaos sometimes exists within an otherwise orderly world. All is one.

In and of themselves these tools hold no power. But over time they become attuned to the shamanic energies created during rituals and healing ceremonies. I wear them and use them frequently in my shamanic practice. They are like friends.

Next blog: Communicating with Nature – the element of water