This is an ongoing US and global project to help enthusiasts, scholars, practitioners, and curious parties learn more about shamanic living in a contemporary culture. The space here is devoted to sharing info, experiences and opinions about all forms of shamanic expression covering shamanism's multiple permutations. Among subjects explored are traditions, techniques, insights, definitions, events, artists, authors, and creativity. You are invited to draw from your own experiences and contribute.

What is a SHAMAN?

MAYAN: "a technichian of the Holy, a lover of the Sacred." CELTIC: "Empower the people...by changing the way we think." MEXICAN APACHE: "Someone who has simply learned to give freely of themselves..." AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL: "...a teacher or healer, a wisdom keeper of knowledge... (who) takes people to a door and encourages them to enter." W. AFRICAN DIAGRA: "views every event in life within a spiritual context." HAWAIIAN: "...human bridges to the spiritual world and its laws and the material world and its trials..." QUECHUA INDIAN: "embodies all experience." AMAZON: "...willing to engage the forces of the Universe...in a beneficial end for self, people, and for life in general."

-- from Travelers, Magicians and Shamans (Danny Paradise)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

ShapeShifting and Connection with Conscious Intention

It really hit home for me last week why I have been so wiped out after a training trip (as most of you know I cover a 19 state area teaching loggers how to best utilize and recover value from the trees that are selected for harvest). What I realized was that during theses trips, I have been “unconsciously” or “unintentionally” shapshifting back to my consensus reality, industrial persona and holding it for 5 to 6 days. This has been creating a huge drain on my system.

I recognized that the same thing happened when I first started working Co-creatively with Nature. That is, purposely connecting with the Spirit of Nature or a specific plant and asking how to best work with it in a cooperative and balanced partnership. It is important to remember that once you are connected, you stay connected until you intentionally disconnect. Having that open line of connection is like leaving the facet running or the lights on. Energy is constantly being used to sustain the connection and can drain you very quickly.

The answer, is to be conscious and intentional of what/who we are connecting to and to not leave the lights on.


Heart of The Mother said...

Good point about purposefully connecting with nature...
While I love living in the woods, sometimes it can be very loud and intense. There are days when I walk outside, connect with the trees, land, animals, birds, etc. I make the commitment to connect with nature and then I forget to let nature know that I'd like some quiet time in my house. So nature is still "turned on and tuned in" when I'm trying to retreat to my cave. That's when I notice that it's gotten really loud in the woods. It's all about consciously establishing and maintaining a functional and balanced relationship with nature and all.

Rainbow Warrior said...

I often feel along those same lines. I would be exhausted after long periods of doing the same kind of work, whether it be at my job, among my muggle loved ones, or doing shamanic work. For a while I was having a hard time integrating all the new Energy I am opening up to. I felt like I would need to segregate my conscious from unconscious mind, keep the muggle away from the shaman.

Recently something shifted for me, and I am beginning to better understand shapeshifting. For me it's a lot like the art of acting. I look at every situation I am in and decide what role I want to play, or what role is Spirit demanding I play! I go into character, tap into the energy of that environment, and get the job done. However, just like what happened to Hears the Trees, if you're in to for too long and never "get out of character" it takes its toll on your energy supply.

Life does not demand you play every single role and be all things at all times. As Hears the Trees said, "The answer, is to be conscious and intentional of what/who we are connecting to and to not leave the lights on."

I found I can still be Rainbow Warrior, I can still be my parents' son, I can still be a massage therapist, I can still be your drinking buddy, but I don't need to be playing all of those roles at once. That also doesn't mean I need to shut off the connection between my conscious and unconscious minds. When I step into the role I am playing, or shapeshifting, there is full integration of consciousness. And often times, there's more physical energy there too.

"All the world 's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts" - William Shakespear, "As You Like It."

She.Who.Remembers said...

Thank you for this post! I being one who longs to deeply connect with alot of what comes into my presence, I realize that I do not open or closed connections conciously. When I leave work, work is still with me when I get home. Although, not physically connected to certain people in my life, I can feel myself being energetically called and pulled in many directions. This makes for many restless nights and feelings of being drained. I am going to now conciously close each connection when I leave a conversation or close an assignment for the day.

Thanks again!