Is this process similar to psychological counseling or therapy? In other words, if I have a session with you, will I be expected to continue on a regular basis?
What can I expect to happen during an appointment?
It’s best not to have any expectations, or at least as few as possible. This is because Spirit and our own souls often have their own agendas, which ultimately lead to the most profound results and greatest growth. Even when I see a client for more than one session, things never unfold the same way twice. I’ve found it to be best for all to simply remain open to our heart’s unfolding as we ask for assistance.
That said, there are a few consistencies to every session:
The first thing I always do is open sacred space. I do this by “calling in the Directions,” which is a means of greeting and inviting the archetypal essences of the Four Directions, as well as Mother Earth and Father Sky, to join us consciously in our session. This prayer or ritual creates a cocoon of safety and sacredness.
We then have a conversation, during which I ask you why you’ve made the appointment, and explore how your path has led you to being where you are today physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. During this conversation, the healing work has already begun (as always happens when doing anything within sacred space). It is not uncommon to discover at this point that old wounds or traumas we thought we’d overcome or transcended continue to have an impact upon our lives by influencing our choices and perspectives.
After reaching agreement on the issue most in need of healing at this particular moment in time, we engage in the Illumination process, described below. During this process, it is not uncommon for me to be guided to engage in other techniques as well (also described below), the need for which only becomes apparent as we both enter into an altered state of awareness that comes from deep relaxation.
Once all the work I’ve been asked to do by Spirit and your soul has been completed, I complete the Illumination process by filling those chakras that have had specific work done upon them with pure energy of the highest vibration (known as sami in the Inkan tradition) and then aligning and balancing all of your chakras, the energetic vortices that comprise every human being’s system.
The last thing I do is close sacred space, releasing the archetypal essences of the Four Directions, Mother Earth, and Father Sky and expressing gratitude for their oversight and guidance during the session.
How long do sessions usually last?
A first session, which is usually all that is needed to achieve profound change on a particular issue, can last an average of 4 to 6 hours. Follow-up sessions, which are rare for the same issue, typically last between 1 to 3 hours.
While it is sometimes impossible to arrange, I recommend that clients try to keep the rest of their day free of any appointments or tasks that require a great deal of concentration or focus, as “the work” does not end at the close of our session.
I have successfully requested Spirit’s assistance in getting the essentials of the appointment completed within a specific time frame requested by the client. Thus, if we only have two hours in which to work, then we do what we can within those two hours and save the rest for another appointment. Occasionally I find a person’s soul will eagerly step up to meet the challenge of engaging in deep work “quickly,” allowing us to isolate the underlying issue and begin the healing process far more rapidly than is usually the case. Most often, however, this has occurred with people who have had prior sessions with me. This is all part of the process of working with unique individuals and Spirit. Again, I try not to have any expectations, and encourage you to do the same.
Of course, it should be noted that if you try to “work your will” with Spirit or your own soul, you can pretty well rest assured that, ultimately, your agenda will be frustrated. But that’s just my observation.
Is this process similar to psychological counseling or therapy? In other words, if I have a session with you, will I be expected to continue on a regular basis?
No, it is not. While the beginning of the process may feel like a therapy session, in that I ask you why you are seeing me and we engage in a deep discussion of a variety of topics ranging from symptoms to experiences to things you never expected to bring up (that’s always a surprise), we do this primarily to determine exactly what it is your soul needs and wants you to heal. Often, it is something you thought you were “over” or believed you’d resolved through other means, but which actually has remained in your luminous energy field, waiting to be triggered anew.
Once we isolate the issue we need to work on, which again, may or may not be what you thought you were going to work on when you made the appointment, we then begin the illumination process, which is described below.
In addition to the illumination process, I may also be guided to engage in extractions, soul-retrieval, cord cutting, or other energetic techniques, which I also describe below.
Resolution of an issue is often achieved in one session, particularly if a client sincerely engages in the “homework” I give them, which is specifically intended to assist in the integration of the work. There are no magic pills or waving of wands that will create a state of healing for a person without that person also committing to integrating the changes in perception and consciousness that accompany shamanic work.
Occasionally, another session or two may be needed to completely resolve an issue. However, this has been most often the case, in my experience, when a wound or trauma we work on exposes an even deeper underlying issue that then demands attention. We are complicated beings; that’s the simple truth.
Of course, human beings are like onions; we are comprised of many, many layers. Particularly with people who are determined to move forward in their lives, I have found that once an issue has been healed and integrated, another block or hindrance to their growth may rear its head and demand attention. Thus, after weeks or months of integration and self-reflection generated by our first session, clients occasionally request another session. It is almost always true that we will work on a completely different matter as our education and inner evolution builds upon each of our experiences.
Follow-up sessions are often shorter than first sessions. My sense is that this is true because my clients, in doing their work and establishing a deeper connection with themselves and Mother Nature (always a big part of my recommended homework), are better able to tap into what truly needs to be healed – on a spiritual level rather than on a mental “what they think is wrong with them” level. This enables us to dive into what needs to be worked on much more quickly.
What do you charge?
My rate for services is $110/hour, billed in half hour increments. Payment is expected at the close of the session unless other arrangements are made beforehand. Cash or check is preferred, although credit cards are accepted for appointments at Medicine in Balance.
How can shamanic work help me?
In order to understand how the Illumination process works, it is helpful to have an idea about the energetic composition of our world, specifically as it relates to our bodies.
Ancient teachings from many cultures suggest that our physical bodies are surrounded by a Luminous Energy Field (LEF) that records every thought, word, and deed directed at or generated by us. Traumas, like bruises that are hit over and over, can leave deep imprints on our LEF. These imprints, when triggered by seemingly unrelated events, can cause us to relive old hurts or respond to situations or relationships in predictable, if unhealthy, patterns that are difficult to break or overcome.
Essentially, the LEF or bubble of energy surrounding each of us contains the blueprint for our physical bodies. Traumas or wounds lodged in the luminous energy field, if triggered enough times, can also ultimately manifest as symptoms or illness experienced by our physical body.
It is also important to recognize that what constitutes a “trauma” for a particular person is defined by the person experiencing it. Thus, a situation experienced by a person when they are 3 years old could, in that person’s world at that time, feel intensely traumatic, even if, from perhaps an adult’s perspective, the experience could be seen as benign or not even remotely intended as a traumatic event. The child’s subjective experience of an event, therefore, could conceivably leave a wound that that person, as an adult, continues to unknowingly or unwittingly have triggered by seemingly innocuous words, gestures, or situations.
Shamanic healing works at an energetic level to clear the imprints left by traumas and to create balance by restoring essential energy and repairing injuries to our LEF. It works to re-establish our connection to the natural world and help us begin experiencing again the interconnectedness we all yearn to share with ourselves, with each other, and with our environment. This interconnectedness extends from stones to human, from plants and animals to fire, from the wind to all of creation.
Shamanic work has a special, nurturing regard for the soul. Some shocks, like the loss of a relationship, an accident, or the experience of cruelty, serve to diminish soul force and can leave people feeling lost. Such intrusions on and losses to our energy can create imbalances that manifest in different ways, such as panic attacks or anxiety, in excessive anger, fear or other emotion, or in physical symptoms.
For every individual, the shamanic healing process is a unique journey into personal
history, present circumstances, and future aspirations. It is a journey that can lead to a profound sense of coming home to your Self.
It might be helpful to ask yourself:
· Do I have problems getting over or sustaining relationships?
· Have I suffered an illness, accident, or bereavement and never felt the same since?
· Do I try to fill an inner emptiness with addictions or material objects?
· Do I take up new interests and soon abandon them because nothing seems to fulfill me?
· Do I allow other people to control me?
· Do I suffer from depression, feel overwhelmed by stress, or engage in repetitive negative thinking?
· Have I spent too long trying to break free from the experience of abuse (past or present)?
· Do I feel like something is “missing” from my life but I just can’t figure out what it is?
Observe your initial “gut” reactions and answers to these questions. Sometimes our reactions to a question are more telling than the answers we might give ourselves because our egos like to concoct stories to make us feel like we have our act together. Ah yes, the games we play with ourselves…
Do I want to heal?
Your deepest desire is critical. Only you can answer this question. Shamanic work is for those who are ready to shed their issues and begin making profound changes in their lives and their relationship with themselves and the world.
What are the most common techniques used in your work?
Illumination – This is the basic process of locating the chakra that is most impacted by a trauma or issue, clearing out the heavy energy associated with that wound, and illuminating or healing the imprint with pure, essential energy.
Extraction – This technique involves removing from the LEF crystallized energy that has become embedded through repetitive trauma or belief. Extraction can also
include removal of intrusive energies or entities that may have become stuck or lost through trauma, fear, or affinity.
Soul Retrieval – Sometimes, when an experience is too traumatic to bear or happens so regularly that our soul sees no way out or hope of escape, a piece of ourselves will split off and go to a place where it feels safe. Regardless of whether you call this safe place the Underworld (which is the shamanic term) or the unconscious (a more 21st century, scientific term), experience has shown that this process of splitting off happens more often than we might realize. This “soul loss” can result in a person feeling as though they’ve lost a part of themselves, or are missing something that they often try to compensate for by buying things, numbing themselves, or behaving inappropriately.
In this situation, a process of journeying (often using a drum or rattle) is undertaken to discover the original source of a wound and the agreement made on a soul level in response to that trauma. This process often involves deciding to change the inner agreement and retrieving the soul part that retreated when the original wounding occurred. It is not uncommon to retrieve a power animal or ally to aid the client in integrating the renegotiated soul contract and retrieved soul part.
What do you mean by “healing?”
There is a profound difference between the concepts of healing and curing. “Curing” is what we most often think of when we look to the allopathic (modern age medical) model of health and disease. We hear about the scientific community’s constant search for a “cure” for cancer, etc. (and here you can substitute pretty much any of the awful diseases and conditions with which people suffer), and we imagine that “cure” to be some miracle elixir that will wipe the disease off the face of the earth. So much of what is done in the allopathic tradition is aimed at masking or erasing the symptoms of disease, including pain. This approach is primarily reactive, not preventative. It is, unfortunately, turning out to be a model of disease care as opposed to health care.
Shamanic work does not seek to “cure” illness or disease in the sense of our modern ways of thinking. Rather, a shamanic perspective on illness, disease, anger, malaise, addiction, etc., always and fundamentally stems from the recognition that the conditions we experience as “needing to be cured” often signal an imbalance of some kind, a lack of harmony within or without or both.
When we engage in shamanic healing work, we look at our lives from a completely different perspective than we otherwise might. We look for areas in our lives where imbalance or disharmony may prevail in our thoughts, words, feelings, actions or beliefs. We excavate these imbalances and seek new ways of bringing harmony and congruence to our lives.
Of course, as we seek to restore balance energetically and on a soul level, there is no reason not to embrace the extraordinary potential offered to us by a wide range of allopathic, homeopathic, and other medical modalities existent in our 21st century lives.
Sometimes this work can effect profound changes in the physical body. Almost always, this work gives clients a new perspective on themselves and how they live their lives and walk upon the Earth. This work helps people remember their connectedness to All Life and the profound impact our attitudes and beliefs have upon our energy and our lives. Shamanic work can restore balance in our lives and help us remember that, ultimately, there is nothing to fear, which in turn can totally change our perspective on our symptoms, our challenges, our circumstances, or even our attitude toward life and “death” themselves.
When faced with life threatening illnesses and disease in particular, shamanic work can help us restore balance in our relationship to self and others, and give ourselves a heightened appreciation for the meaning and joy to be discovered in the life we have to live right now, in this moment. Those qualities, in shamanic terms, are “healing.” And let’s face it, in truth, every life on this earth is “terminal.” Our responsibility is to live our lives in as grace-filled and beautiful a way as possible.
The Great Rites of Enlightenment – The Great Rites are the nine rites of initiation revealed by the Q’ero, transmitted in their original form, using the Quechua language. These rites invite us to embark upon the path of becoming persons of wisdom and power, willingly accepting stewardship for all creation. These ancient energetic transmissions are offered in their traditional form and ancient language in order to help us remember on a cellular and soul level who we are so that we can consciously step into who we are becoming.
Faerie Rites * – Much has been written and discussed about Faerie Energy, yet it can only be truly known through individual openness and experience. We live in a time when human beings must return to full integration with the Earth’s energies and an important part of that is connection to the Elementals and Faerie Folk. The calls of wisdom, guidance, creativity, wild playfulness, and an indigenous heart from the Faerie Kind to us yearn to be heard. As with all rites, I am not transmitting an energy into a person, rather, I am offering an energy through me to awaken a seed of connection in you.
Keening Ceremonies * – Before undertaking the work of weaving or dreaming a new vision of the world into being, it is our responsibility to use only those creative materials of ourselves that no longer hold on to grief, regret, or loss. Thus, as we engage in both our personal and global healing efforts, it is sometimes necessary to first engage in a cathartic ceremony of profound cleansing and purification, one which was used by our ancestors in their wise ways of knowing and living the natural concepts of balance and reciprocity with All Life.
Energy Cleansing – Techniques to protect and preserve your energy are also offered. This can include cleansing of your personal energy field, as well as your home or office. There are times, more and more so lately, it seems, when the spirits of the land of which we are caretakers also demand to be heard and ask to be healed.
* Special thanks to Karen Ward and John Cantwell of Slí An Chroí (Pathway of the Heart) for sourcing these rites and ceremonies from the Faerie Realm and the Old Ones and gifting them to us for our personal and collective remembrance and healing.
I accept Paypal for my services and can send an invoice after a session if that helps you. Paypal provides an easy and convenient way to pay me, particularly for remote sessions. Please contact me if you would like to find out more about how this works.