For many years I suffered with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and sought out treatment for it with traditional counseling. Although helpful, it seemed to take quite a long time to unravel and change the symptoms. I suffered with anxiety, sleep deprivation and depression for several years.
One day through work, I met a woman who was trained as a Lakota-Sioux medicine woman. Her name was Irene and she was also a Reiki Master who could do distance healing. She taught classes in Shamanism, as well as Reiki. Curious, I began to take her classes and learn about Shamanism. Eventually, I would also seek treatment for the PTSD from her and have many remarkable experiences.
Humans are a part of creation and shamanism is our way of connecting with the whole ~ Will Adcock
Shamanism is a practice that involves reaching altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with a spirit world. A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of spirits. The shaman typically enters into a trance state and then travels or “journeys” to other realms at will, interacting with other entities in order to bring about healing, and to offer divination for his community.
It is believed that most cultures in the world practiced some form of shamanism before organized religion began. There are some traditions still alive today whose practice has been unbroken for thousands of years. It is believed that the shaman acted as the doctor, psychologist, priest and artist for the tribe. It was his job to keep the people healthy, warn of dangers coming up and keep the spirits happy and helpful to his community.
In the classes that Irene taught, I learned how to reach altered states of consciousness and journey to the different worlds. Irene would rhythmically drum, while we students lay down on the floor with our eyes closed. One of our first journeys was to meet our spirit or power animal. In the shamanic belief, everything is alive and carries with it power and wisdom. Power animals are an essential component of shamanic practice. They are the helping spirit which add to the power of the shaman and are essential for success in any venture undertaken by the shaman.
We had been instructed to find an opening to the “lower world” usually at the base of a large tree, sometimes under a pool of water. The lower world was where we would encounter our power or spirit animal guide. Shamans believe that everyone has power animals – animal spirits which reside with each individual adding to their power and protecting them from illness, acting like a guardian angel. Each power animal that you have increases your power so that illnesses or negative energy cannot enter your body.
The spirit also lends you the wisdom of its kind. A hawk spirit will give you hawk wisdom, and lend you some of the attributes of hawk, as would a wolf or bear. Power animals don’t have to be mammals and can be birds, reptiles, insects or sea creatures. Any living creature can serve as a power animal. During this journey, we had asked the power animal to show itself to us and if it had a message or gift to give us.
Be patient and strong as you drum, drawing upon the inner power to direct you ~ Steven Ash
When we were back from our journey, we were taught the importance of honoring and respecting our animal guides. In our culture, we may not be taught to value animals or the gifts that they bring to our life and the world around us. In shamanic work the power animal is essential, for a shaman who has no power is not going to have very good results. Shamanic practice honors and acknowledges the life and wisdom that exists in all things. Everything is believed to have something to teach you and animals are thought to have a wealth of wisdom and protection to offer you.
In Shamanism, it is believed that healing the spiritual body will have effect on and heal the mental, emotional and physical bodies as well, as they are all connected. So in a shamanic healing the focus is on the spiritual aspect of the person requesting the healing. It is not uncommon that the healing will be done entirely without the shaman touching your physical body. When I came to Irene’s place to heal my PTSD, the first thing we did was talk a little about the symptoms I was experiencing and the desire to heal. She did not want to know the story of my trauma or the details. I had learned how to take a shamanic “journey” by taking her class, but it was not necessary for the healing. She told me I would be lying down on the massage table with my eyes closed and that I could go to sleep or just relax while she drummed and went on a journey for my healing. She said she would journey and ask her guides what I needed.
I could need an “extraction.” Irene explained that an extraction is a spiritual healing that removes a spiritual intrusion (unwanted negative energy) from my energy field. I also might need a “soul retrieval,” having a piece of my spirit that is missing brought back. She explained that there are wounds to the soul due to experiences in a person’s life that causes a part of their essence to be shut off to them, or lost to them in some way.
Soul loss is common during traumatic events. If something traumatic is happening, such as a car accident, physical violence or an emotional assault, the last place we want to be is fully present in our bodies and so part of us goes away to avoid the trauma. Psychologists refer to this as dissociation. In shamanic terms it is called “soul loss.” Sometimes we even give parts of ourselves away during relationships, especially dysfunctional ones. Soul loss may occur in the present life or it can be carried over from a past life. It is safe to say that most people will incur some amount of soul loss throughout their lifetime.
Your power animal represents the entire species of the animal that is protecting and helping you. For example, you don’t have the spirit of a specific eagle, kangaroo, or squirrel protecting you. Rather, you have the protection of the spirit of the entire species of eagle, kangaroo, or squirrel ~ Sandra
Soul retrieval is a healing process of returning the energy, the essence of your spirit and what is yours, back to you. It is possible for a person to function without knowledge of what they are missing. If I needed a soul retrieval, Irene would be guided to know where she needed to journey to for retrieving the energy of my missing piece or essence so it could be retrieved and gifted back to me. We would also discuss integrating that part of me back into my life now when she was done. Soul retrieval is a complicated healing process that brings positive outcomes to the person mentally, emotionally and physically, but often takes more than one session to accomplish.
Irene burned sage to cleanse and purify the space before I came. Now she took me into the healing room where the massage table was. It was lit by many candles. Placed on table tops and shelves were many animal pelts. Fans made of bird feathers hung on the walls and lots of beautiful crystals sparkled and shimmered in all the burning candlelight. Many Native American paintings and sculptures decorated the room. As I walked in, I impulsively reached out and petted a red fox pelt as if it were a pet dog. I took off my shoes and lay on my back on the table. Irene covered me with a soft blanket and then put the fox pelt over me. She said that I was drawn to the medicine of the fox and that the fox would help with the healing. I closed my eyes and could smell lavender and rosemary. Irene began drumming and singing a soft chant, circling around me. I knew it was a prayer and even though it was in another language, I felt like I could understand it.
It truly felt like I was held in sacred space, gently and lovingly by strong, unseen hands. I was immediately at peace and drifted into that half asleep, half awake place. I was aware of a small dog lying beside me, guarding my body. I thought, is that a jackal? No, it was a fox! I felt such warmth and love from him. I seemed to be in a cave, with sandstone walls, and bright torches bolted to them. I lay on a comfortable pallet on the floor. It seemed that I was only there for a short while and then I could tell by the change in the drum beat that Irene was coming back from her journey. I thanked my fox friend and came up out of the cave and back into ordinary reality.
After I got up and went out into the living room, we discussed what she saw and heard on her journey. She had gathered up soul pieces from a lot of different places and she described the places and what age each soul fragment was. She saw some of the original events that took place and caused the soul loss too. She advised me to take it easy for the next 24 hours or so as you may feel suddenly exhausted or energized and your emotions are sometimes all over the place, although usually on the positive side. I remember taking a long nap that day and having some very vivid dreams that I wrote down along with all the other things I experienced during the healing.
The next morning, when I was picking out my outfit for the day, I felt the need for wearing much more flamboyant clothes than were in my closet. It made perfect sense because one of the soul pieces that came back was me as a very young adult and I would have totally thought the clothes I wear now were boring! I welcomed her back and promised to go shopping for something more exciting and purple. Overall, the experience of regaining my essence was very gentle and yet powerful. I noticed a big difference in my energy, I had much less anxiety and depression and I was sleeping better than I had in years. It was as if I was finally able to release the trauma and integrate the steps I made through the counseling. I must say I was amazed and would recommend it to anyone.
| PsychicAccess.com.Kaysie is a natural born psychic whose abilities were bumped up after a serious head injury. Her predictive dreams include accurately forecasting an earthquake in Los Angeles! While working as a bartender, she was able to gather highly detailed and personal information just by throwing a pair of dice and is currently working on a book drawing upon those experiences. From her base in Virginia, Kaysie has gathered a long list of devoted clients and is a main draw, reading Tarot at psychic fairs and private parties. If you’d like a reading with this highly accurate, ghost-busting Psychic , you can find Kaysie at |
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