Monday, April 26, 2010

Shamanic Journey Group

I just got back from the shamanic journey group ( and it was pretty emotional for me, as I thought it probably would be.

I had a hard time at the beginnning, loosening up and joining in the circle/energy raising activities.
The first journey, I was so blocked and found it really hard to focus. I couldn't visualize, couldn't get past the tunnel part, even though I desperately wanted to. It was kind of frustrating and made it more difficult to concentrate.

I spent most of the time in the dark, trying to see and feel the tunnel in order to come out of it. Finally, I did, and I was in a peaceful, sunny meadow with tall grass. Immediately, I heard a songbird sing.. loud and clear like it was in the room with my physical body. I didn't see any animals, though I'd hoped my power animal would be waiting at the end of the tunnel to guide me.

I began walking through the tall grass, feeling how good the warmth of the sun felt, how good the grass felt. I stopped and smelled the air and watched the insects flit about.

I kept waiting for an animal to appear, but there was nothing but me, the meadow, and the sun.
It felt really joyful and good and tears started streaming from my eyes... I think because I haven't felt that kind of joy for a long time.

I flopped down in the grass and enjoyed the way it smelled and felt. Then I went and sat with my back against a tree and tried to feel the tree's energy, but I was still really blocked, so I got up and walked through the grass again.

The next thing I knew, I lifted up from the ground and spread wings I hadn't realized I had until that moment. I began to fly, somewhat slowly, and that, too, felt very joyful.

I flew and looked down at the meadow, then a forest, and then I could see a winding, sparkling river. I was about to fly over the river when we got called back to the group and the journey was over.

The second journey, I was in a better mindset and better prepared. This time, I saw the hole immediately, at the base of a tree, and I went in. I could see the darkness winding, the tunnel walls passing as I wound my way down, much like being on a waterslide. It felt like a while before I found the end and I think I was too eager because I found myself in the same meadow as before, only it was dark and lifeless. It didn't feel right, so I went back to the tunnel until I came out again.

The end of the tunnel was covered in leaves. I pushed my way through the leaves and realized that I was in a very tall tree, well off the ground. This surprised me because I expected to come out on the ground.
I started to climb up the tree, up the branches. I kept climbing until I was near the top. I could sense an animal or something about to happen, so I sat down on one of the branches and looked around me.

A large, beautiful red-tailed hawk sat near me. Feathers gleaming in the sun, golden beak, and glinting, intelligent eyes. I was excited because this time I thought I might get some answers.

I greeted the hawk and asked if it could help me. I asked how I could heal my pain and it didn't respond, it just looked at me. I felt so desperate and full of emotion that I cried and kept asking it to help me, how I could heal, how I could get rid of the pain, anger, and resentment.

It responded that I have what I need to heal and then told me most importantly, "You have strength and cunning. You have what you need."

It didn't make me feel better and I wanted to let these things go, to get them out of me. The hawk was very kind, strong, and empathetic. It listened and comforted.

I asked if I could merge with it and then I did. We were one and we took off from the branch and began to soar high above the ground.

The hawk, who I somehow knew to be female, said, "You must let go of these things that weigh you down." With that, I watched a white, stone-like thing fall away and hurtle toward the ground. "If you are not weighed down, you can fly."

Just drop them and let them fall away, and feel lighter.

I still didn't feel healed, as I'd hoped, but I did feel comforted, understood, and listened to. I think the message is that only I can decide to be happy and that I have to decide to drop the bad things that drag me down.

We flew around a while and then I asked if I could ride on her back. We landed, I climbed on, and we flew again. This time, she went into dive and we hurtled toward the ground. "Fear," she said, "is not necessary" and with that, she pulled up and we soared again.

We sat on the branch again and I stroked her feathers. I asked if she could help heal me and I envisioned opening my chest while she plucked out the bad things with her beak.

We ended up flying upward, to the top of a mountain. I took in the world around me and still felt so desperate to be healed. At this point, I wanted an embrace, to be held, and she tried to wrap me in her wings.

I wanted something warm and soft, so I asked if I could see my grandpa and he appeared. Of course I cried again, so happy to see him, but so sad with missing him and that he's gone.

It was wonderful... I hugged and kissed him, held his hand, and he wrapped me in a warm hug, which was exactly what I needed. I got to spend a little time with him, being reminded of how his cheek felt when I kissed him, the smooth dryness of his hands. I got to tell him I love him and miss him and that I'm so regretful that I didn't visit him in the hospital sooner. He reminded me of the moment that day when he recognized me and took my hand. He told me it was okay.

It felt so good to be there with him that I wanted to stay, but that was the end of the journey and I was called back.

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