Clients bring ‘gifts’ to me quite often. Many of these gifts are clearly from God. I think of these gifts as those things that connect me to my inner self and to the work I am called to do. These gifts come through a session given or a book received, and even a personal story. One client brought with her the gift of igniting a curiosity to experience a personal Soul Journey. When I google ‘Soul Journey’, this is what is posted:
If you are alive, you are on the journey. With this in mind, may your journey be a conscious one where the intentions of your soul intersect with the intentions of your human nature on a daily basis, bringing both into alignment every moment of your life. That is what it means to experience heaven on earth.
Wow, who doesn’t want to align their soul with the intention of their human nature? I was introduced to the book Soul Retrieval by Sandra Ingerman. It’s a great read about some of her experiences as a Shamanic Healer. What struck me was how we both work in our own way to mend wounds that the human spirit or soul has incurred.
In the earliest of times, Shamans were (and are) healers who work with the Spirits to bring healing. I was a little worried about how my own Christian beliefs would align with this work. Daily, I work with Holy Spirit. I ask Him for help, guidance, knowledge, protection and thank him for all of those who come to me for help. In my own curiosity and learning, I found that sometimes things I am curious about don’t align, but in other areas they do align. With a lot of prayer, I did experience my own Journey asking God to reveal nothing if I was not supposed to journey.
My Journey to the Below
Intention: To meet the Tree of Grief in the ‘Below’
Will signaled the start of the Soul Journey by drumming. I was laying on a blanket and the room was dark and comfortable and my eyes were closed.
In my mind’s eye I started on the Olympic Peninsula which is a beautiful area on the coast in Washington State. I was on a forested bluff with the ocean below. I went to the ‘underworld’ through the opening of a log that had fallen and was decomposing. With conscious awareness, I instantly noticed the sensation of things being very dark. I think I may have lifted my hands to my eyes and noticed they weren’t tightly shut and that it was still really dark. That is when I understood that I was in the tunnel going to the ‘underworld’. Our guide, Will, had said that we would find our way down to the ‘below’ or ‘underworld’.
When I arrived, there was a sea of plants as far as my eye could see. I didn’t know what to do so I called out for help. I have to admit that I was a little “sassy” not even understanding that I truly was on a journey. My arms were crossed, and I was calling, “come out, where ever you are” like a small child poking fun. This sassy energy is a defense mechanism of mine to help me deal with my nervousness. It was a little weird to find myself in the ‘underworld’ not knowing how this was going to go. I felt vulnerable and wondered if it was all ‘for real.’
A red fox suddenly popped up. The scene seemed to be elevated to that of a Disney production. Everything had a real, but also ‘animated’ look, similar to the new Lion King movie. I understood the fox to be a helper and I agreed to follow him. From that time on, I did not see him again. Instead I followed the plants as they vibrated in front of me. I knew they were showing me the way and I assumed he set the vibrations for me to follow.
Finally, the Tree of Grief stood before me. It was a willow tree and I located myself under the long branches. The tree reminded me of one of those Barbie cakes where the cake is the skirt. The Tree of Grief used her willow branches as her skirt. She had a slim trunk and willowy arms and she looked like a “she” tree.
Wondering what she had to share, instantly, I saw images of family members. Some had passed and some were still alive. As a family member’s face would appear, the willow tree would lift her skirt (her willow branches) and then the floor of the forest would begin to swirl around me. There was a lot of wind and it felt great to be in the wind. Again, another face of a loved one would appear (either passed or still alive), and the tree would lift her “skirt.” The ground would rise up and swirl around me.
I took this experience to mean that with life comes grief, but we are also constantly renewed. I understood the rising of the ground to mean that out of the “grief” comes renewal. The grief can come from the loss of a loved one, or from a wound with someone who is still alive. The wind swirling along with the lifting sensation represented renewal. It was comforting.
Our guide, Will, drummed a signal for us to return to the present. I don’t remember travelling back so much as I do just being back to the present. I felt refreshed and was left wondering if I had really journeyed or just activated my imagination.
There was no time to ponder because the next journey was to travel to the Upper Realm to meet an ancestor and learn.
My Journey to the Upper Realm
Intention: To meet an ancestor and learn
I was instructed to find my way to the Upper Realm where I would meet an ancestor and continue my Soul Journey. I hoped to meet my father who passed away about 3 years ago.
To ascend into the upper realm, I walked from the bluff down to the beach. An ocean wave reached out to me and I rode it to the upper realm. The constant crashing of waves helped to propel the wave I was riding upwards, upwards, upwards. I had to make my way through a gelatinous layer in order to arrive at my destination. As I reached the layer, the water formed a funnel or portal for me get through this layer. It was easy to do.
The upper realm was black upon arrival and I wasn’t sure what to do. I asked the ancestors to show themselves. The ancestors swooped in like a scene from the movie, The Matrix, and were suddenly present to the right of me. There were elders sitting around a fire, backs to me and I didn’t see their faces. I don’t think I wanted to see these spirits in detail. I saw a seat in front of a fire and knew it was intended for me. As I sat, my father’s grandmother — my great-grandma Morris presented herself. She lived well into her 90’s and I did know her as a child and recognized her. I was delighted to see Great-Grandma Morris. I did ask if my dad, her grandson, was okay and she shook her head yes. YAY.
I asked Grandma Morris what she wanted me to know. She said, “It’s about all of us. It’s not just about you.” “What?,” I asked. And she repeated the phrase again. This has so many meanings for me.
I think she was telling me that our ancestors matter and are a part of who we are. This was affirming since ancestors show up for my clients to help out quite frequently. We need to understand that the energy from our ancestors does come through to future generations. We need to be good stewards of that energy and also work to heal what needs to be healed for future generations.
Grandma Morris was also telling me that my ancestors are here. They are here to help and we need to care for the ones yet to come. It was comforting to receive the message and I was encourage to learn more about how our ancestors can help, and also how their energy can hinder us too. It let me know that my work in helping others, and continuing to be curious in how to help others, is the right path for me.
As the drumming called us back again, a wave retrieved me and gently brought me back to the present.
This experience was expansive for me and I am glad for my curiosity. I am not sure if I will journey again, but it was helpful to me to understand that we are all different in our beliefs, cultures, and experiences, yet we are all connected. I truly believe it is better to experience and learn more about our world with an intention of understanding and growth. It’s what keeps us open to what is offered!