Notes on various shamanic journey experiences I’ve had over the years.
Fairy Statue and Shaman Drum
A Soul Contract Journey
At first, I began this shamanic journey headed south on the path. It felt awkward, and so, after a short time, I turned the opposite direction. The mountains were to the west, the river, east. Around a corner ahead, I found the meadow, tall grass mimicking the color of the sun. The mountains continued as a backdrop to the sunny golden meadow, and a great boulder, growing larger as I approached, stood before me. It was in fact, two boulders, a larger one set atop a much smaller one, like a lever atop a fulcrum. Had both sides of the boulder been equal, it could have pivoted like a see-saw. Instead, the west end of the boulder, facing the mountains, came to nearly a point, while the other end was large, round, and heavy. When it came time to climb the boulder, I was surprised to find it easy, and the topside was quite flat, so that I could walk to the point with ease. The boulder was so large, that I found plenty of room to sit there at the point, legs dangling into the vast space below.
The Guardian of the Contracts appeared, a dark figure, strong and capable, adeptly traversing the side of the mountain. As he got closer, I realized that he was not a man, but an ape. Before I even asked, he beckoned for me to come down to the earth. Without hesitation, I jumped, landing easily on my feet. Rather than asking or me telling, the look in his eyes confirmed that I was ready. I followed him back toward the mountain, and we came to a spot where the mountain had a door in it. As the Guardian of Contracts opened the door, an intensely bright light shined out, but when we entered there was a dark cave where there were what appeared to be statues of people I knew, and one I didn’t, a tall man, with dark hair, wearing what appeared to be some sort of military uniform; a combat uniform. I tried to will the statues to life with my mind. The Guardian of Contracts looked at me soulfully, and then, at the entrance to the lighted room past the first chamber. There I found The Librarian. He stood, waiting for me, a pleased expression on his face. It was my father, very young, younger than I am now; a strong, healthy young man. I began to cry, I was so happy to see him this way. “I’m here to clear a contract”. I said, not knowing what else to say. He nodded and headed into the thick stacks of my contract library. I waited with some trepidation… what would he bring back to me? As I waited I took in the room. The shelving was made of some warm golden wood, pecan perhaps? As I looked at the walls, they seemed to come out of the darkness, and it appeared that the room was actually inside a giant tree, the walls were knotted like a tree trunk. My father, The Librarian returned with the contract. At first he seemed to possess it, holding it closely to his chest, his face lightly apprehensive. Finally, after several quite moments, he stretched his arms out to me offering me a look inside.
On the first page were drawings of plants of all sorts. As I gazed upon them, they lifted off the pages and manifested before my eyes. A tomato vine, a cucumber vine, vines of all sorts made their way from the page to reality. The pages began to turn. On subsequent pages were blueprints for landscapes, details of the chemical composition of different soil samples, solar charts, temperature graphs, and pictures detailing the anatomy of insects. Strange things impossible to comprehend in such a short visit!
“This is the contract you want. If you do this, the other contracts, the ones you came to clear, will no longer matter.” There was no rewriting or voiding of a current contract that was evident to me. Instead, I needed to agree to this new contract, a contract of action rather than of words, and all of the contracts that no longer serve would void in their own due course. I accepted the newly revealed contract.
At this point things get a little fuzzy. I think I’ll have to do another journey to thank my Guardian of Contracts and The Librarian. I’m pretty sure I became overwhelmed and forgot. I think I ran home crying (like a girl). 😉
A Dismemberment Journey
I had a rather unexpected dismemberment journey last evening. It was brutal…but I can’t say that it hurt. I drifted into a tunnel of stars to the lower world. I arrived there flat on my back, atop a desert mountain. Falcon appeared, already with his talons in my thigh, pecking, pecking my flesh. The pecking became more insistent until all at once and quickly he was tearing away pieces of my flesh. I welcomed this, as much as I could. At one point, I was asked, I’m not sure by who, if I would like to be anesthetized. I turned the offer down with little hesitation. We continued. He tore flesh from me in what seemed to be larger and larger chunks. It wasn’t fast enough, and my one request was that we find a way to hurry the flesh removal more quickly, perhaps with a flesh eating bacteria entering my wounds. Spirit agreed, and this was done. My flesh dissolved until my bones were clean. I turned my body over and willingly offered my other side, which was summarily ripped into by Falcon. When my bones were fully picked clean, I lay prone. Just then, a herd of elephants came from behind. I felt the crushing force of the first, and then the rest of Elephant followed, stampeding, obliterating what was left of me into the earth.
On the subsequent shamanic journey, a week or two later, I returned to this same place; only this time I came up and out of a ground full of worms. It was now rich soil instead of desert sand. It seemed like the worms writhing was somehow related to my body forming from the earth and eventually, I rose up on my knees and looked around.
Before me was Lion, whom I had encountered in my very first shamanic journey (not recounted on this page). I was grateful to see her and she came and sat next to me and let me rest my body against hers. Her pelt was damp and thick, yet comforting. And we sat for a while like that before I thanked her and we parted ways. From that point, I had a strong sense of having been reborn. It wouldn’t be the last time.
A Shamanic Journey in the Here and Now
You maintain that your insistence on finding explanations for everything is something so deeply ingrained in you that it overrules every other consideration, that it’s like a disease. There are no diseases, there is only indulging. And you indulge yourself in trying to explain everything.
We both are beings who are going to die. There is no more time for what we used to do. Now you must employ all the not-doing I have taught you and stop the world.
Journey to Ixtlan, C. Casteneda
So, I sat down on the floor with the intention of doing nothing. Then, I decided to read, but nothing academic. I elected to read News of the Weird, because…well… As I sat cross-legged on my rug, spreading the Austin Chronicle out before me I thought “Yeah, because I won’t learn ANYTHING reading this!!”
About halfway through News of the Weird, I encountered a story about facial recognition software that online instruction programs can use that can tell if a student is disengaged, and will pause when the “eager” student looks away, or falls asleep. I also found a cool handout of Web 2.0 teaching tools, and a very interesting video suitable for presentation. What this means is that my deadline for completing my presentation on the subject of online learning, has been met. I actually ended up effortlessly completing a project by sitting still. Holy shit!
More to come as time allows..