By Kristen McGuiness How a Shaman Helped Me Deal With My Deepest Insecurities and Severe Addiction These methods are unconventional, but they’ve kept me sane and sober. April 4, 2014 The following article first appeared in The Fix. Also on TheFix.com: Brain Restoration: Too Good to be True for Addiction and Disease?; Howard Dean and the Politics of Recovery ; Tap Tap Tap: A Path to Healing and Recovery. Lidia leans over me and shakes her rattle, asking me to breathe in deep to the child I was. I feel the heavy stone as it sits on my belly, the scent of copal and green tea heavy in the room. I have done a lot of things to get sober, but in many ways, this hour with Lidia has kept me there. When I was barely a year sober, I had gotten a traffic ticket, had my wallet stolen, and was dumped by a guy all in the space of one week. My boss found me crying in my office one night, and offered to introduce me to someone. At first, I thought she meant a potential love interest, but she meant Lidia, her therapist. coque iphone 2019 As I quickly found out, Lidia was not only a licensed counselor, but also a Curandera, trained in the Shamanic energy work of the Peruvian and Huichol native peoples. The work that began that day in Chatsworth has carried me through my sobriety, and at the same time is deeply connected to it. Because what Lidia has taught me is that our souls are hardwired to our mental impulses. The belief systems which have been handed down from my Hungarian, Italian and Irish ancestors still live in my actions today and the lies that my forebears told themselves, and their children, in order to survive often echo in my own behaviors. And like the DNA that spirals through my chromosomal identity, those stories create the spine of my resentments, my fears, and how I have learned to love.On my first trip, she had me talk about where I was at in life—describing the frustration of my work life, my love life, and the childhood that had been so key in shaping the choices that led to both. Despite her loose white linen garments, and the hippie decorum of her home (nestled in the middle of suburban Chatsworth), it could have been any therapy session anywhere. But then she pulled down the shades, turned off the lights, pulled out her circle of sacred stones, and we began dipping into the shades of consciousness that pool around that desire to drink something or take something in order feel better. On that first day with Lidia when she had me choose a stone and then laid it on my body before pulling out a rattle and helping me channel the energy passed down by generations and solidified by my own beliefs and perspectives, I saw what I had yet to find anywhere else: the neurosis that lies beneath the addiction. And together Lidia and I began to heal it. At one time, I saw Lidia every month, but today, I only see her three to four times a year. The reason is simple, I have gotten better. But life still comes up. Through my time with Lidia, I left a job I did not love for one I did, I wrote and published my first book, I created a career as a writer, I fell in love and got married, I moved to Paris for a Masters degree, and came home to Los Angeles to new and exciting adventures in my career and in life. Now, as I prepare to embark on the next phase – getting pregnant and starting a family – I turn to Lidia again. We discuss my need for control as I have been trying to time my pregnancy with a Chinese gender predictor chart and the most desired astrological signs. That would be a control issue, I believe. Lidia again challenges me to find why this need for control still pervades my life. She explains to me what I had yet to realize myself, “It sounds like an addictive behavior. You’re compulsively trying to plan for life when you know that life doesn’t work that way.” Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Yes, I know that tune. It doesn’t take me long to trace back this addiction. When I was growing up, my father was imprisoned for marijuana smuggling. Nearly every year, he would give me a date for his release – June 4, 1988, November 10, 1990, August 30, 1996. I know these dates like the back of my hand. I would plan for them, dream about them, illustrate them in perfect detail. The day my father would be free, the day my daddy would come home. But then that date would pass, and my father would remain incarcerated, as he had been since I was four. The habit is old. If there is something I want, I will immediately feel the need to design its acquisition. I will formulate dates, I will plan big events, I will want to control what was never, ever in my control in the first place. And l do this all with the mind of an addict: obsessively, compulsively, unable to stop even when I know it’s not good for me, let alone those around me (just ask my husband). Lidia has me get on the floor and choose a stone. It isn’t as strange as it used to be. The process is now comforting, like settling in before a massage. I choose a strangely molded one that looks like a purplish brain. Lidia places it on my belly and we begin to channel the energy that can either hold back or inspire my deepest potential. coque iphone I begin to talk, but its not really a deliberate dialogue, it’s born from that liquid consciousness – the one that speaks in scents and colors and not in language or reason. coque iphone en ligne And in that stream of thought, I recognize the games I play with finance, with my relationship, in my career. My unending need to plan vacations and track dates and calculate numbers and premeditate fantasies and goals and babies in ways that are not necessarily healthy. The time passes quickly. The tears have come and gone and I am breathing deeply on Lidia’s floor when suddenly I feel a ripple of energy run up along the left side of my shoulder and around my neck. It’s a strange experience, one I have never had before while meditating. Lidia shakes the final spell of her rattle, and closes the ceremony. I open my eyes to see her sitting above me, looking down. “The weirdest thing just happened,” she tells me. “As you were laying there at the end, I saw this image of a swan wrap itself around your neck. coque iphone xs max It was so clear, I could see it move up your shoulder and then your two necks intertwined.” She laughs, “I wondered what it was going to do with its little webbed claws.” I gasp. This is why I come here. This is why I continue to come here. Because beneath the addiction, beneath the twelve steps, beneath the recovery and the sobriety, is the magic of being alive. And Lidia and I dance together in that. coque iphone I tell her how I felt the same thing, and I realize what the feeling was, “It was feathers. I could feel feathers moving alongside my body.” Fuck yeah, magic. After we get up, and close with a final prayer, turning the room back into one that could double as any therapist’s office anywhere, she pulls out a book on medicine animals. In it, we read about the swan, “Swan… The power of woman entering Sacred Space, touching future, yet to come, bringing eternal grace.” Kristen McGuiness is a freelance writer and regular contributor to The Fix who wrote previously about old timers in AA and sober travel, among other topics. She is the author of 51/50: The Magical Adventures of a Single Life.
This story connects the lives of four people in a quest for life’s deeper meaning. coque iphone With the help of a modern Medicine Man and Shaman, coque iphone xr the artist searches for the spirit of his departed famous father among the living in the healing red rock country of Sedona, Arizona. soldes coque iphone This critically acclaimed documentary is a story of grief and transcendence, coque iphone filled with music, coque iphone pas cher art, coque iphone 8 beauty, coque iphone 8 and Native American wisdom-moving tribute to our loved ones who’ve gone by.
David Carson was raised in Indian Country in Oklahoma. At an early age David was taught the ways and signs of animals by his Choctaw mother and aunts, Opal, Ruby, Agnes and Phoebe. After writing Medicine Cards, with Jamie Sams, David traveled extensively giving readings and seminars about the teaching power of animals. David’s other books include Crossing into Medicine Country, 2013 Oracle, Find Your Sprit Animal and others. coque iphone xr David Carson’s newest work is called The Golem of Taos (a truish tale), a social satire and hilarious murder mystery based in the culturally diverse town of Taos, New Mexico, available at [email protected] and on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. coque iphone 2019 Click here to read an archived interview with David Carson. Discover the tool that millions of people worldwide are using for guidance, inspiration and help in finding answers to life’s question. coque iphone 8 This unique and powerful divination system draws upon ancient wisdom and tradition to teach the healing medicine of animals. coque iphone en ligne Medicine Cards found its way into the hearts and hands of many, guiding the way to healing the body, emotions, mind and spirit, and providing insight into and understanding of one’s unique purpose in life. coque iphone xs max Medicine Cards is a boxed set of 52 beautifully-rendered animal cards and accompanying book. Medicine Cards is an advanced tool for achieving personal growth and balanced living. coque iphone pas cher Learn the meaning of signs sent to us by animals in our daily lives. coque iphone 8 Learn how these signs are powerful and meaningful to our life situations.
Kate is a 5Rhythms teacher, shamanic teacher, and an exceptionally gifted shaman practitioner, known for her enormous passion, a vulnerable sense of the intimate and the ability to create community and tribe. coque iphone 2019 soldes She is a senior instructor within the Moving Center School founded by Gabrielle Roth with whom she has been closely associated since 1992. vente de coque iphone She is accredited to teach both Waves and Heartbeat. coque iphone 8 Kate is also an initiate of the Path of Pollen shamanic tradition and one of a small handful of individuals authorized to teach seminars and trainings for women on behalf of the Path of Pollen. coque iphone x In that capacity she co-teaches The Way of the Melissae seminar, the year-long training Arte Triptych Melissae and The Trembling Veil and The Roar of The Roses with The Sacred Trust, a UK-based educational organization. coqueiphone Kate possesses a bold improvisational style and a passionate sense of humour that enables magic to ooze into the everyday moments. coque iphone pas cher She has worked with adults, teenagers and Rites of Passage, medical students,The Dolphin Connection Experience, nurses, drama students, The Ojai Foundation, gay men’s groups, dentists and doctors, Against The Stream,The Polish National Ballet, and The British Association of Anger Management – always aiming to empower people to inhabit their bodies more fully and to inspire a heart-driven life full of love and spontaneity.
Three Causes of Spiritual Illness by Hank Wesselman, PhD. As we pass through life on the physical plane, things happen. We contract flus and colds and viruses, and we sustain physical injuries, like falling off our bikes as children or experiencing sports injuries. As adults, we may throw our back out or experience a serious car accident, in the process, acquiring bruises, cuts, sprains, infections, lacerations, and sometimes broken bones. Some of us may also experience serious illnesses of an internal nature like cancer or hepatitis, heart disease or multiple sclerosis. Eventually we pass through old age and the progressive infirmity and death of the physical body. coque iphone 8 These are the givens–they are all to be expected as part of what it means to be an embodied, living being. But these are all effects, and what the shaman is primarily interested in is the cause. coque iphone outlet Watch a video of Hank discussing the three causes of spiritual illness:
I have been here in Sedona the past 26 years arriving on the summer solstice of 1987. It was a very exciting time to be in Sedona especially because of the Harmonic Convergence prophecy from the Toltec lord Quetzalcoatl for August of that year. By 1988, I began working as a vortex tour guide and eventually started my own company in 1990 as Sedona Nature Excursions with my specialty Mystic Tours. I offer private shamanic healing sessions and astrological consultations.
During the 1990’s I worked with many people very eager to experience the energy of the Sedona red rock country and its famous vortex energies. And this gave me the opportunity to develop my own unique way of teaching and sharing shamanic wisdom and healing methods while out in the beauty of the sacred landscape of Sedona.
My approach has combined wisdom teachings from both eastern yogic traditions, Christian mysticism and Native American shamanism. I was especially drawn to the teachings of Toltec wisdom that has come out of Mexico, and to the practice of Kriya yoga. Since I was already very deep into the practice of western astrology, I was able to merge this perspective into the teachings of the Medicine Wheel as taught to me by Sun Bear.
Artist and the Shaman Trailer
My Native Indian ancestry is via Mexico (although I was born in the Midwest of the United States where I grew up) and I recognize myself as an American born Toltec. My awakening to the shamanic path was preceded by a number of mystical experiences I had beginning in my teenage years that jolted my reality. And these types of experiences continued throughout my life where I had some profound encounters with Spirit Powers and intelligences from alternate realities. At the age of 21, is when I was telepathically contacted by my ascended Master teacher and began my conscious journey onto the spiritual path.
Back in the late 70’s when I attended the College of Marin in northern California, I was involved as head of a Native American student organization that worked for public awareness to the issues of Native American political rights and land disputes, etc. At that time this opened my eyes to the struggles of indigenous peoples throughout the Americas and the world.
Later while living on Maui, Hawaii, I pursued spiritual and metaphysical studies, and had experiences that facilitated my becoming a professional astrologer and mystic. During that time I had a close encounter with a UFO that opened me to the presence and message of the Star people. The Star people that contacted me are extraterrestrial /galactic human beings and are here to assist in this time of changes we are going through even if they remain hidden to the public.
Since I was working as a spiritual guide, astrologer and healer, I was invited to be ordained as a minister into the Order of Melchizedek on Bell Rock in 1988 by the Reverend Dan Chesbro. And since 2012 I am a legal member and medicine person of the Oklevueha Native American Church, as well as, the head of my own Native American church, ‘Toltec Sun Ministries’. I conduct Native American style weddings, Sweat Lodges and blessing ceremonies, as well as share shamanic teachings and energetic practices including Medicine Wheel empowerments with sacred drum, flute, songs and chants.
My private shamanic healing sessions are designed to clear anxiety, stress, phobias, emotional and mental creative blocks, bringing healing and balance back into mind and body. Astrological consultations allow understanding of soul patterns as mapped in birth charts and insights into manifesting creative purpose in life via career, relationships and spiritual dynamics. I apply the use of various predictive methods and specialize in relocation astrology as seen in astrocartography and local space mapping. Energetic movement and healing practices include tantric Kriya Yoga with Cobra breath and other special breathing modalities.
The Life-Altering, Psychedelic Ayahuasca Plant
Author: Rak Razam
Ayahuasca is a plant medicine that has been used by the indigenous people of South America for millennia to heal physical ailments—and, they claim, to cleanse and purify the spirit. It was discovered
by the West in 1851 when the legendary British botanist Richard Spruce explored the Rio Negro Basin and was introduced to the vine by the Tokanoan Indians. Spruce gave the vine its scientific name, Banisteriopsis caapi; in different areas of South America it is also known as yagé or hoasca. For a while in the mid-twentieth-century chemists who isolated the active properties of the vine called their compound “telepathine.”
Research showed it contained various harmala alkaloids, which are boiled up in a brew (also called ayahuasca) with a multitude of other plants, one being the leafy Psychotria viridis, which contains the powerful hallucinogenic chemical Dimethyltryptamine, also known as DMT. On its own the vine is only orally active at very high doses, but it also contains potent MAO (mono-amine oxidase) inhibitors that overpower the body’s own enzymes and allow the DMT to potentiate.
Science has made cautious forays into the jungle to study the vine in its native setting or, as with the “Hoasca Project” in the 1990s, to study church members of groups like União doVegetal (UDV) who drink ayahuasca as part of their syncretic Christian-jungle religion. What they found was that regular ayahuasca use flushed the brain clean and improved receptor sites, suggesting the vine could be a medicinal goldmine.
But what science cannot explain is the psychic effect of this “mother of all plants,” the sense of the numinous and the spiritual world it reportedly opens up. Those who drink say that each ayahuasca journey is unique. They say that the spirit of the vine comes alive, it guides and teaches, and on the other side nothing is ever the same. Or so they say.
The native men and women who safeguard the knowledge of the vine and of the spirits it is said to reveal are the curanderos and curanderas—or, as the West would call them, shamans. Their role has been that of healer, priest, and traveler between worlds, acting as intermediaries between the spiritual dimension and this world on behalf of their patients.
Yet the demands of the work and the rise of Western materialism throughout South America have seen a fall in prestige—and customers— for the curanderos. The profession, usually hereditary, was in danger of extinction before an unprecedented wave of Western gringos started coming in search of ayahuasca and the healing it can provide.
Over the last twenty years or so a new gringo trail—this one a journey of the soul—has been blossoming in the jungles of South America. Seekers and thrillseekers alike have been coming from theWest for a reconnection to the deeper reality shamanism connects one to—and bringing back amazing stories of hallucinogenic trips, healing, and enlightenment.
Indigenous shamanism has quickly become the most profitable business in town and numerous jungle lodges and retreats have sprung up across South America to cater to the influx of rich tourists. This has spilled over onto the internet as hundreds of ayahuasca websites, chat rooms, and forums have emerged to crystallize a global subculture engaging with an indigenous spiritual practice and seeding it back into theWestern world.
As well as being used by hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of indigenous peoples throughout South America, ayahuasca has also become one of the world’s fastest growing religions, with branches of Brazilian churches like Santo Daime and União doVegetal springing up in Europe, Britain, Australasia, America, Japan, and elsewhere. In January 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a New Mexico branch of the UDV, saying they had a constitutional right to be allowed to legally practice their ayahuasca ceremonies under the freedom of religion law. The U.S. government immediately appealed, but the genie was out of the bottle.
The mystery of ayahuasca had left the jungle and entered the cities, via religion, media, and the web. And what did it say about the growing Western need for an authentic reconnection to the planet?
Author: Rak Razam
Permissions: The following is an excerpt from Aya Awakenings: A Shamanic Odyssey by Rak Razam (North Atlantic Books, 2013)