I belong to a women's' circle. We are the Raven Sisters. I belong there.
The circle is held by a kind, wise, strong witch. She holds us. Each woman is invited to be wise, vulnerable, raw. Real. We come with what we are traveling with.
Last night I reflected on how long I have been journeying with these wonderfilled beauties. How many ups and downs, crisis and celebrations we have experienced with each other. The passing of time marked by showing up for ourselves and each other.
We come together to be in ceremony with each other, to make and to tell each other stories; old stories shed and new stories, holding space for our growth. In circle we are each sisters who love each other. We believe each other when we speak and offer each other our heart felt reflections.
Last night we made broomsticks to sweep away the old and sweep in the new. We celebrated each others lives through our broomsticks and the tales we told of their making and what might come now.
Being held by crow
Old pain revisited me yesterday. There are a few possible reasons I can think of. Mostly I reckon, when we heal, the painful experiences of the past arise to be held and owned when previously we haven’t been able to hold them.
This can be upsetting, sometimes shocking when we have an expectation of what healing will feel like. I have been holding myself tightly while self judgement pulls me away from self love.
When I sat in an eyes closed space today I felt crow strongly. I was talking with colleagues yesterday on the value of hugging as a therapeutic tool to assist with healing safety and trust. In some circumstances. While I have first hand experience that this is a powerful tool when working with clients, I noticed my own aversion to being held in a therapeutic context. I triggered my utter lack of trust, and pain and anger at the neglect of my mother.
Today though, crow offered my their wings in a healing embrace. I accepted this strong gesture. I noticed my deep willingness to surrender to crow, accepting the comfort and safety offered by this experience.
It felt so good to allow myself this depth of love. Completely trusting crows unconditional holding.
Working deeply across a week
It has been an interesting experience working across a week, each day working with my client to see what I can tell her about my experience of her experience. It reminds me that it is through working with clients that I learn the most about the tools I am using. I am also reminded how a clients willingness to work with me, trusting my offerings and also willing to work within their own landscapes shapes the work.
After a week of daily practice with my client, this is my first day of rest. I felt glad to commit my time and energy to her healing. My capacity to pick up things that might be useful to her and to take actions in the non physical space increased across this experience.
I like the feel of an intense block of work, then integration time for both of us.
Healing is often an unraveling. After the unraveling where everything ready to be let go can be shed, a new skin will grow.
Taking a pause
Taking a leaf out of the art therapy lexicon, I suggested to my client we take a pause from the journey work today, to give her a chance to process the work done so far. In the end, I am not sure it was really required, but its a good practice to work slowly. There was enough going on anyway.
I have been waking up at 4am for the last week. I am not sure if this is related to the work I am doing with my client or not. Last night when I woke up, in my imaginal space, I saw a slimy, creepy man. Literally slimy. He was quite scary, bordering aggressive. He felt intrusive and prying.
It reminded me how many years ago I had done a healing ceremony with a shaman, and he explained how he had had 'something' visit him in the night; an 'entity'/energetic presence relating to the healing work with me. This felt like that. A something, some male, creepy energetic presence showing up, showing itself to me,
My sense is that this does relate to the work I am doing with my client. That's how it felt. I am checking in with her to see if this is resonate or not. That's how we are working. Me journeying and sharing knowings that come in other ways to her as reflections. Me working with whats there, providing the ingredients for release and softening. Her, seeing if, how the reflections land, always invited to decline a noticing or reflection. It's her healing journey, I am just undertaking this work on her behalf towards her healing and the fullest expression of her wellbeing and personal power.
Working with a teenage part, with crow
I sat with the baby effigy I made yesterday when I sat for my client this morning. As I closed my eyes I asked crow to work with me, and show me what I needed to see, to assist my client.
I saw a room, quite large, darkened by half closed curtains. In this room I experienced what felt like a teenage part of my client. This part of her felt very lonely and isolated. I could feel fear. I noticed that the teenage part also had a distinct much young feel as well. It was like I could feel a younger child part inside the teenage part.
I asked crow to ask this part of her what they needed. This part asked for a teddy bear, which crow gave it. The teenage part tried to connect with the teddy bear, but the feeling space was of giving up. It felt like the teenage part felt it should get comfort from the bear, but couldn't.
I sat with this part, and offered this part my witnessing. After a while I asked this part if I could offer a song. This part indicated it would allow me to offer a song. The song was a whistling song, similar to what I have heard made by the Icaros whistling.
I felt that this song went into the heart space of this part, soothing it and connecting it back into the web of life.
After I finished this journey I wrote it up and emailed it to my client. Then I mediated for myself. It was interesting to feel the contrast between the journey space for the client and my personal mediation. I was curious to see if there would be a strong overlap, and the client experiences would intrude into my personal space.
There was a small amount of noticing of other nuanced feelings I shared with my client once I had finished mediating, but most of the experience of mediating after journeying felt discreet and differentiated.
I have a client who I have read cards for over the last year or so. In our exchanges I asked her if she would be open to me practicing my shamanic healing with her. She agreed, and I have started to map my experiences of healing in her non physical spaces.
Even though I have had a number of years of shamanic training, I have always found my experiences are different from my training. My knowing often comes before a healing will start, as well as during. For example, my knowing might start with an hour or so before I work, a stone might speak to me with a message relating to the healing, or a bird call might trigger a felt sense, I have had to hold this at times, because it wasn't the way I have been taught.
I think its important to hold the traditions I have been taught and work within, while still learning about my own personal connection to non physical experiences and allies.
Once my client had given me her permission to work with her, I started tuning in. (My tuning in happens both formally in a sitting down eyes closed space, as well as day to day receiving insights as I walk down the street).
Firstly I experienced a baby, this felt like a part of her linked to current blocks in her life. It could be her or a representation of her. My experience of this part of her was of it feeling totally alone, isolated, frightened. I also experienced a wolf around this child. The wolf felt bound to the child, but the baby felt afraid of the wolf.
I reflected this to my client. She stated that from previous work she had done, the wolf was a totemic energy for her. There was also another wolf connection with her from another person in her life that was significant.
After sharing my reflections I asked again if she was happy for me to continue, she was.
Feeling into this baby energy, it felt very unhappy, its isolation so painful it had given up. I was wondering if it would be possible to break through, or work to shift this into something else. I have set a parameter for the work with this part of my client as 7 days, working each day with this part and seeing what unfolds.
Today when I sat, I experienced the toughness of the babies sadness and pain. As I held this part of my client in the non physical, slowly I could feel this part move beyond the story of its pain. This part fell into the deepest and most peaceful sleep I had ever experienced. It felt like this baby part was being restored to its self, its beingness. The wolf, which had previously felt scary, felt kind and nurturing. Other things happened too.
I made an effigy of the baby to carry with me today, and across the week, to strengthen my connection to this part of her, and continue my non physical spaces working with her non physical spaces.
I noticed today when I was in my yoga class, a sense of spider in my body. Being in a group space is a challenging experience. There are layers of self consciousness that arise, negative self beliefs etc that are activated by being with others.
I think spider was strong in my body because I have been dancing her. I danced her when I went to No Lights No Lycra last night. She is my center, a place of clam and unfolding. She pushes my dance into the unknown, encouraging me to amplify small movements and find still edges and wild edges.
She showed up in yoga. I could feel her filling out into my arms and torso, gently announcing her presence. She offered me compassion as I struggled with the edges of my social experiencing. I felt her holding me, like a mother. I felt safer in the physical space being seen and felt by my experience of this non physical ally. My emotional experience wasn't perfect, I didn't nail being a human in the class. But, I felt nourished. The sense of being with this strong non physical presence assisted me to regulate the edges of my emotional experience.
Today when I sat I decided to do nothing. To remove all expectations of experience.
I noticed crow and also wolf, who visited me yesterday’s outside of a eyes closed space. Wolf feels connected to a client I am working with, but I am not completely sure yet. So just sitting and feeling.
I noticed while there were some uncomfortable currents in my experiencing, that I felt safe. For me, this represents significant new territory. I have never felt safe, even in my closed eyes sitting. Always on alert.
Today, feeling safe, deeply safe, with crow and wolf was enough.
I woke up today with a familiar not-being-good-enough sadness. I feel my sitting spaces are really about holding myself in the things that look to pull me apart. When I closed my eyes, there was crow. Strong and loving. I felt loved and supported. As I sat, I could feel the beat of the drum working on my body. Beating out the pain in my heart and belly.
I have been sitting with the unresolvable separation from my family. It's a wound that never heals. I know that no matter what I do, no matter how much I study and work I will never get their love and approval. This deep wound of rejection feeds my bodily sense of being rejected and lost. With out power, open to anyone coming and taking my self esteem and power from me, feeding of my spirit.
So here I sit with this painful, wounded spirit. Lost power and splintered soul. This is "why shamanisim". The wound of abuse and separation is both psychological and energetic, and spiritual. The existentialist is not only a contemplative conundrum, but, for me a spiritual one.
Today it was enough to sit with crow, in the love and trust we have for each other. I ask for my power to be returned to me. I ask that all parts of my spirit/energetic self that have been splintered off feel safe enough to return. Crow and I can hold you. Well crow can, but I am learning every day.
Different kinds of helpers
Sitting today, I felt crow, very happy to see me again. I have been working with my Totem, spider all weekend. Dancing, working with spider in healing. Not crow.
In the non physical space crow was strong. He was glad he was still welcome. It feels like so much love between us.
I traveled with mostly my normal not quite defined edges. Looking for clarity. Not finding a lot. It occurred to me the clarity was there, traveling with me, alongside me, in my cloudiness. Like how the sun still shines on a cloudy day, above the clouds.