The soul’s journey is like “the hero’s journey”. There are dark, tight places, great openings and awakenings, and mysterious meetings. And we may repeat that sequence, or variations of it, many times. (We’ll almost certainly not have one big sunrise of enlightenment, and then float blissfully along a peaceful stream, ever after.)
Within the cycles, we do often find ourselves in one of three processes:
Shadow work, “un-stressing”, healing. Here the task is to uncover old patterns of avoidance and defense, structures which we’ve created to protect or armor against the danger we experienced in some trauma, in the past. And “we” and “in the past” may point to a very much larger territory than we’d expect! Not only our since-birth experience, but also pre-natal, past-life, and collective unconscious material.
Awakening to Divine Nature. The Eastern traditions identify many levels of samadhi or satori, so here again the journey has cycles We can characterize them as ascending levels of recognition that “I am That”, that our deepest nature is pure Being, Spirit, Oneness.
Being “called” forward to actualize more of who you are. Carl Jung called this “individuation”. He described it as the process in which we sense an inner voice - “the Soul”, anima/animus, which is in effect the subtle dimension of our fully-realized Self, coaxing us to step fully into our potential. We may Interact with ”upper world” forces or entities… “subtle spiritual beings”.
It’s probably safe to say that every culture has found ways to facilitate this journey. Certainly these three facets of it have manifested over and over; they manifest over and over in individual lives as well, in a cycling or spiral often seen as the unfolding of the realized person. When the spiral appears in Natue, it expands with each circuit. Only recently, since the Cartesian/Newtonian revolution, have we humans attempted to deny the reality of this full range of human experience, and to avoid the cycles of this journey.
For the two of us, coming along at the midpoint of the 20th century, much of life’s task has been recovering the means (tools, techniques, understandings) to persevere on this journey. Along the way we’ve each heard a call to also give assistance to others trekking on this route.
While we acknowledge, and honor, that there are many traditions and many paths, some inner technologies have most resonated with us, and naturally it’s those that we’re most comfortable bringing to others’ attention. As it happens, these are based in some of the earliest surviving traditions, those of indigenous peoples, practices sometimes referred to as “shamanic”. They tend to engage on the level of the body, as well as mind, and to operate in numinous or imaginal realms, as well as the everyday.
Facilitating Your Journey
Given that understanding… of the dynamic of forward-moving processes, cycles of change ... we engage with you in the dynamic of your current process. Our objective then is not to move you to a particular objective, but to help you find your own way forward along the trajectory of your own journey… which may emphasize any of the three phases, or some combination. The processes we use in one-on-one work generally help you to access parts of yourself that may be outside your awareness.
At the core is the body. The body anchors us, gives us a solidity that allows us to contain the process at hand, a connection to the Earth which holds, feeds, heals us. We also store trauma in the body, and the way to work with this is not by turning away, fleeing to “spirit”, but by engaging, coming consciously into contact. Using breath, and attention, within a safe and sacred container, it’s possible to engage and support the body’s own healing process, and release, at a safe pace, old trauma or wounding. Often the healing/releasing process is unpleasant in the moment -- “it takes a thorn to remove a thorn” -- but it’s our experience that there is also a natural pacing for these processes, and that by staying sensitive to that discomfort, not resisting it, yet leaning forward, the gradual release of old material can be held and encouraged.
When we are simply “being with” whatever arises, we are making room for the next step. We may encounter a deeply held emotion or fear. At some point we may come to a long-forgotten, or previously-unknown resource, which gives us the balance we need to move through challenges. Further, we may find truly new potentials opening. We may experience new visions, new ideas, new intuitions, opening us to new meanings.
Our work as facilitators, assisting in this journey, is to help you open the door, help you to stay grounded and secure in your connection to the everyday realm, provide an anchor for your exploration. Our work in the realm of "shamanic healing" includes in-voking, calling in, those forces of Nature which can give you leverage, help in your deep work.