The Infinite Paths to Spirit

There is no single path to spirit and our wildest dreams, but an infinite multitude of trails. It should be obvious, but sometimes we forget that there are no rules for connecting, accessing, and communicating with the non-physical world.

This is why I have felt distanced lately from labels like “shaman”. It has become clear to me that I do not agree with the shamanic worldview as it is generally understood. I cannot, myself, ascribe to any perspective that lays out the non-physical world as if it can be mapped at all. To draw a map is to impose limits and boundaries, while often reducing space to 2 dimensions and condensing data or details to the point where it all
becomes a metaphor, or even just a symbol. The spirit world, meanwhile, has no boundaries. No limits. There’s no containing it, and no laws need apply there. I believe contradiction abides peacefully in the spirit world, untroubled by the human mind which cannot comprehend it. I tend to think that the spirit world cannot be usefully mapped at all.

I’m not even saying that the shamanic description of the spirit world is wrong. For instance, it is said that there are three layers to the spiritual dimension: the Upper, Middle, and Lower worlds. I don’t have a quarrel with the concept; I don’t quibble about the somewhat vague meanings of the three categories. And I understand the compulsion to use physical terms that people are accustomed to, as if spatial directions
are relevant outside of spacetime. But this map is far, far, removed from the entirety of what the spirit world is. It’s just a napkin scribble that might help you get where you want to go — or where a teacher wants you to go. And it’s important to realize this. Who are we to think we know the landscape of infinity??

The less we think we know, the better.

But what I really want to say is that the label “shaman” imposes a distasteful distinction between “regular” folk and “special” people who can commune deeply with spirit. I disagree with this notion completely. While some people may be more confident, or even more skilled, in the ways of connecting with spirit, I maintain that everyone is directly in touch with the spiritual realm, even if they don’t realize it, and most can easily build on this innate ability. It is damaging to the spiritual growth of humanity to think we need to follow any elite group or person in order to get information about the spirit world. In truth, we do not actually need spiritual books or teachers, although learning from others does deliver new insights and perhaps helps push us along our journey. Just as you can see (or otherwise sense) the physical world and learn from it directly, for yourself, we are all given the opportunity to directly sense and learn from the spirit world.

My belief comes directly from how I define spirit. To me, the simplest way to define spirit is: something that exists which is not physically manifest in the world. And I believe that what we call spirit is the same thing we call potential. Potential by definition is non-physical, perhaps even the opposite of physical. Once potential becomes manifest, it is no longer potential, but physical. For me, if spirit can be equated to potential, then we are all hardwired to sense it: even animals dream, which is an exploration of potentiality. Things that aren’t physically happening; things that could happen. As I have said before, our imagination is a direct sense of potential, which is spirit. Imagination allows us to freely explore the landscape of the spirit world.

I have more to say, much more; but I wanted to offer a brief overview of why I will no longer be labeling myself as a shamanic practitioner, or any other label. I am but a human being who explores the spirit world.

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Free Shamanic Readings

Spirit has gifted me with a desire to do more shamanic readings, and so I have decided to offer free readings for two individuals a week on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please comment below if you would like a reading and when it’s your turn I’ll ask you to email me your questions or concerns.

What is a shamanic reading? In my readings I utilize shamanic journeys, which are trance-like states in which a practitioner confers with Spirit in order to receive wisdom, answers, and healing. All my readings are wildly different as they are focused on the person I am reading for. A reading may reveal an animal spirit guide, or a deceased relative’s advice. You might get a description of your own Higher Self and his/her message for you, or a glimpse into a past life and wisdom about how it affects your present circumstances. A reading may indicate a need for healing. If Spirit indicates that healing (such as a soul retrieval or other energy work) is necessary, I will ask your permission and complete this healing for free as well.

You do not have to be of any path or faith to write to me. I will try to converse with you on your level and I respect all compassionate faiths.

When you email me privately you can tell me as much or as little as you like, and it will all stay confidential. The one thing I absolutely need is simply a question or issue you’d like me to journey about.

So again, comment on this post to reserve a free reading! Remember, I can only promise two a week so please be patient.

*Edit*: Please be aware that comments on this post are not private — so I will give you my email address when it’s your turn.

Inner Space

She shut her eyes to see
a universe within, stunned
at her own second coming
home.
Here, she was the artful creator;
here, she reigned
by her own decrees:
she imagined joy, and thus was joyous
as a newborn god, enthralled
by making herself
happen.

Grounding

Grounding yourself, the idea of coming into your body and being aware of your energy connected to the Earth, strikes me as a useful discipline, but I’ve always had trouble with it. I situate my body and energy within the infinite Everything, and so placing my feet on the ground and remembering that I’m on the Earth seems limiting. I want to be consciously aware and present, but within the greater cosmology of all-there-is, not merely this rock I’m living on (despite my love for Earth).

I like to remember that within infinity, you are always at the centre. Centre-points make excellent  places with which to connect one’s energy and they provide as firm a ground upon which to stand as any rock beneath your bare feet. So I extend my energy outward in all directions, present in an infinite space. It brings me to awe, which I find to be a useful state for expanding conscious awareness. I breathe with the universe and my entire body – each infinite point upon the planes of my skin – receives and bestows the pure energy of Being. It is an exchange and a merging of the Being-as-an-Instance and the Being-as-the-Infinite.

Can this be comparable to the typical process of grounding? I don’t know, but I prefer it.

Creating Space for New Possibilities

By changing your perspective, you can make new models of reality emerge. The benefit of doing this is to prevent an unbalance of mental “closure” – a word Kenneth Smith uses in his book “Shamanism for the Age of Science” to describe being stuck or too rigid in one way of thinking. Closure is like fundamentalism in that it closes off your capacity to see potential and transform or awaken yourself to new levels of knowledge. So I have a few exercises to offer that I find useful, which can open you to new experiences, new insights, and expand your awareness in all directions, pushing against any limiting boundaries you’ve perhaps unnecessarily accepted.

These exercises are actually fun – to me, anyway – and they stimulate your imagination and challenge your attachment to particular models of reality. They are meant to tease your perceptions of being, creating room for new possibilities.

  1. Walk as if you are not moving forward, but actually turning the Earth with your feet. When your feet glide over the ground, push a little and imagine that you are bringing the environment directly in front of you closer, rather than walking to it.
  2. Imagine reality is merely what you see, exactly as YOU see it. For instance, the distant trees are really that small and objects are fully solid (not full of mostly-space and atoms). Perhaps the Earth now seems flat; or try to come up with a new experience of perception other than the examples I’ve listed.
  3. Consider: everything you can imagine must be real. What does that imply? If everything you imagine must exist, can you therefore imagine a spirit, decide it must be real, and have a whole conversation with them that must also be real? If you imagine a future self that can communicate with you, are the thoughts you imagine your future self saying therefore real?
  4. Imagine yourself pulling the future against you in order to experience the present moment. You are not helplessly flowing forward along with time – you are pulling time past you.

After these exercises, where you go next is up to you, but I think it creates a prime stage for self-reflection and creative work.

Meditation Tool for Energy Work

I made this rawhide rattle with amethyst crystal points. It’s for directing energy, like a wand, but is also shaped to help me see energy flowing. I like it because it kind of looks like it does something, like a Star Trek prop.

Hour Glass for Breath Work

I often speak of my meditation-prayer, which is just to inhale thinking “Thank you” and exhale thinking “Bless you”. It is a simple thing, but how much energy you can pack into it and expand upon the practice is nearly infinite.

Since I love making spiritual tools, or pretty art pieces that have some function, I came up with the idea of a breath work “hour glass” — a rattle that you can use to help you breathe slowly and deeply for meditation. The motion of turning the rattle with each breath also helps if you need a little more stimulation during meditation and don’t like to keep completely still!

This my first prototype: