I have a little story to tell.

Last week, my son had to go under general anesthesia. After his first dental work, he developed a total fear of the dentist. So despite the fact that he had only minor work to be done, anesthesia ended being the final option. We looked to every possible option and it really came down to that. As an occupational therapist, I had seen plenty of surgeries gone very wrong, so naturally I was worried.

After he had gone under, I went back to the waiting room, surrounded by all the other parents who had children in there. I had read somewhere (though I looked, I couldn’t find where I had read it) that soul loss can happen during general anesthesia. Shamans use soul retrieval techniques to find missing pieces of people’s souls that can happen during trauma or soul theft. I have taken a number of workshops in shamanism, but I had no idea how to do a soul retrieval. But this was my son and I was going to do whatever it took.

I sat cross-legged on my chair in the waiting room and closed my eyes. The other parents probably wondered what the heck I was doing, but I so didn’t care. It was my job to protect my little guy. I journeyed out into the middle world. I ‘got up’ and walked right through the wall to my son’s bedside. I called my guides, I talked to him, I surrounded him with a bubble so that his soul would stay close by. I guarded without pause to make sure that no pieces of his soul wandered off.

Then, in an instant, my focus broke and I was back in the waiting room. The connection was completely severed and though I tried and tried to get back in there, I just kept bouncing right out. What was going on?

Then I understood. They had just taken him out of the anesthesia! And as I realized that, the dentist came out and told us they had moved him to recovery.

Everything went well and he woke up without problems. Relief all around.

The reason I am writing this is that we are taught to fear, to not trust our deepest instincts, to surrender control to those who know best, to follow the Establishment. I didn’t know how to do a soul retrieval. And yet, I KNEW! I knew how to protect my son. And I did! I just went deep inside and did what I thought was the right thing despite what might have looked completely crazy to all those other parents. It wasn’t crazy or irrational. The fact that I knew when it was over confirmed to me how real this power was.

You must understand that I am probably the most normal person around (well, at least, I think so….) I’ve been involved in magic and paganism for over 15 years. But I I imagine dress like a hippie, own an occult store of some kind, do Tarot consultations and workshops for a living, etc…. It is not what my life is like at all. I am the person you sit next to on the bus. I work my day job, manage my business, get my kids to school… My day to day is no different from yours.

I need to repeat this: I am no different from you.

That night, I felt greatness fill my whole being. I felt like I had honored my sacred duty to do what was right and not to follow blindly what was being told to me. I took my own power back. I had power to help my son, a power which was irrational to most and I used it. I left the doubt behind and reached within to find that power. There are many in this world who would have us believe that we are powerless, that someone else knows better. But our power is infinite, beyond belief. Your power is infinite beyond belief. You KNOW what needs to be done and how to do it. I am not just talking about magic. Magic is just a technique. What matters most is believing, reading the signs of the times, seeing what the universe is telling YOU.

May this full moon bring you a taste of this greatness that is within yourself. Blessed be!

Easter Vigil - the fire

Easter Vigil - the fire (Photo credit: Dean Ayres)

My dear friends,

How great to be sitting here and getting back on-line!

Sometimes when you take time away from yourself to give it to others, you end up on a journey of spiritual discovery unlike any other. It has been such for me over the last few months of winter. I gained spirit lessons the like of which I have not had in a long time. When I decided to put my writing on hold to give more time to my family, I was suddenly given time to find sacred space for my own soul. I read a book for fun. I did more shamanic journeys. I dreamed more. I made encounters that taught me great things. I took up yoga again. And somehow, I still had plenty of time to take care of the ones I loved.

This time somehow brought me back to the place I aught to be. I am a Witch. I bless my house. I ask the Spirits to guard us. I counsel others when they need me. I listen, I live, I learn, I become. And all these lessons that I learned, they belong to me and nobody else. I live a blessed life, even in the midst of hardship, this I cannot deny.

For those of you who are curious, I am happy to report that my son has done incredibly well since I have made the decision to put my ‘other activities’ on hold. We have gotten one very good evaluation result a couple of weeks ago which has given us much hope. We are scheduled for more tests next week which will give us a clearer idea of the situation. I don’t want to scream ‘Victory’ yet. I will keep you posted.

But for now, we are ready to enter our most holy time of the year. Every single year, without fail, a revelation is given to me, whether I seek it or not. It just enters my mind, like a Presence, and my vision is forever changed. This year was no exception. This is my own revelation, one that I must live with and grow with. I pray Our Lord to give each and every one of you such a blessed visit this week. This is the week to sit in silence, to slow down the pace, to move more slowly and to talk in measured tones. It is the time to listen to the story of our Lord’s passing and to ask ourselves: “What did it all mean? What does it still me to us now? What does it mean to me?”

 

May the blessings of the Paschal season be with you all

An artist's impression of Sirius A and Sirius ...

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‘I light this candle and dispel the darkness.

For I have Hope.

And on this night, there is much to be grateful for.

God has made himself man.

And man has made himself God.

May I bring this light forth so that darkness may not prevail.

In the name of the Father and Mother, the Lord and Lady and the Spirit that binds us.

For ever and ever.

Aa-men’

English: Winter scene taken at in Bulgaria. Fr...

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I’ve been walking my talk over the last few weeks. I’ve been focusing on taking care of myself and my family. Not to say that it wasn’t busy (it always is in the city, isn’t it?) I gave a couple conferences at the Magical Blend for the Yule fair. It was nice to talk to people in the flesh about this blended path of ours and to see how excited we are about it. I also had the pleasure of attending a lecture by my friend Brendan Myers on sacred sexuality. You should be able to listen to it on his podcast (see blogroll: Standing stones podcast) We’ve met new people and had them over for game nights (like the good old days in Chisasibi).

Most importantly, I am transitioning into Winter. Since following a Pagan path, one of the great lessons that I have learned is to follow the flow of the seasons. With a blessing of crystal flakes, God tells us that it is time to come home and rest. The work of the summer is done and the harvest is in. What we didn’t have time to finish will have to wait. It is time to get in from the cold and ponder the meaning of things. It is time to catch up on the stories that we didn’t have time to tell each other. It is time to light a fire, pick a book and continue our studies and reflections. It is time to pick up our knitting or stitching or woodcarving and settle in its soothing rhythm. With Yule and Christmas on its way, it is also a time for family and joy, for sharing food and laughs and to take back the spirit of the holidays.

I wish you all a warm and peaceful Winter!

An Altay shaman beating a gong. Music was one ...

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I just spent a wonderful weekend journeying in the Beyond! Every time I come back from these intense weekend shamanism workshops, I feel so re-connected to my own power. It just feels wonderful.

This particular workshop was on Death, Dying and the Beyond. We explored the worlds souls travel to once they have left this world. We journeyed to meet loved ones who had crossed over and we helped lost souls find their way to a happier place. It was a powerful experience.

I have blogged about shamanism before, but I want to say once more what a great practice it is. It is about regaining power first and foremost. It is also extremely personal, so that it is really the spirit guides and the person who do the work. The Shaman is only an intermediary in the process. I find this refreshing when so many so-called ‘healers’ take all the credit. Since it doesn’t carry a specific spiritual system with it, I find shamanism to be extremely pliable to a multitude of systems including ours. Of all the healing methods, shamanism is the one that attracts me the most because it deals with soul rather than just body. I think that the arts of healing the soul have been lost in recent years. And we desperately need it.

The Foundation for Shamanic Studies offers workshops throughout the world. You can find a list at http://www.shamanism.org

When you start practicing the Craft, you learn a lot and very quickly. Everything is new and every new information leads to something else. With time, your studying slows down, you start focusing more on the philosophy of things and the ‘Great Questions’. Practice itself gets a little lax and it becomes increasingly difficult to test yourself and push yourself a little further. At a certain point, you need to devote yourself body and soul to really progress and that gets complicated in a world where you have other obligations. These advanced shamanism workshops really give me the opportunity to push myself a little bit further every time and to do this in a safe and structured environment. I went into the workshop with the mindset of going in a little deeper, of surrendering to the power. I was not disappointed.