"Your path is to be shared...It will be called The Golden Thread Road"
~White Buffalo Calf Woman

Monday, February 9, 2015

Applying Torc

I recently took an online shamanic journey course with Sandra Ingerman and one evening's journey stood out from the rest. One of the reasons is the incredible timing of it, having happened just the night before a soul retrieval that a friend did for me, that was nothing short of epic. 

So this night's journey started out normally enough, if anything pertaining to journeying can ever be deemed 'normal.' Actually it was the 'new' normal, the origin point of my recent journeys having shifted from a beloved tree on the old Faerieworlds site to the High Falls on the Pigeon River in Northern Minnesota that I visited last summer. 

This was specifically an Upper World journey. We had done a Lower World journey the previous week, which was easy enough, simply diving into the water below the falls and following a blue iridescent tunnel before surfacing in a pool, that was just in front of the cave from which I used to emerge when descending through my aforementioned tree friend. But how, I queried, was I going to ascend to the Upper World from a water fall? My answer was quick in coming as Salomon, my salmon guide, appeared swimming up the falls. I jumped on his back and he carried me to the top where a rainbow arced into the sky. With out missing a beat, Sal continued swimming up the rainbow.  

I don't exactly remember the transition from my piscine friend's scaly back, but suddenly I was standing in the living room of my Upper World spirit teacher, Fred. I received a warm welcome and a hug, as usual, then Fred, with his ever present smile, asked how he could help me today. 

Our intention for this journey was to ask our spirit teacher to show us a wound that needed healing that we were unconscious of. Relating this to Fred, he reached over, without a word, and opened a drawer in the cabinet beneath his fish tank. His hand disappeared into the drawer and withdrew holding what appeared to be a strip of leather. "Here's your throat back after it was ripped out." 

I think I gasped, this being totally unexpected yet making tons of sense. He applied the leather strip to my throat as if it were an adhesive bandaid. He stepped back to take a look at his handiwork, and as I looked down, I noticed there was more than just the leather on my neck. The knobbed end of a torc rested on the right-hand edge of the leather bandaid, and from that point encircled the back of my neck to where the other knobbed end rested on the opposite end of the leather.

"And with your voice returns your authority!" Fred said with an extra twinkle to his smile. "Perfect," I thought as tears welled in my eyes. 

Recognizing my own authority has been a regular theme of late, and after being raised in an environment where it was not safe to speak one's truth, this was no small feat. So to be given this gift and recognition by Spirit was huge for me. And to receive it in the form sacred to my ancestors was simply sublime. 

In case my prior description was not descriptive enough, a torc is a band of metal, usually with a decorative twist, that is worn around the back of the neck, open at the collar with each end terminating in a metallic ball, sometimes in the shape of a totem animal. This was a Celtic sign of authority, royalty, and chieftainship. 

To honor this spontaneous healing I began immediately shopping around for a torc, excited at the prospect of having a physical component to what I received in spirit. I would have to be patient, though, as it would require some time to save money for such a hand-crafted item. 

In the mean time, as I walked past my altar one day, I looked down and was struck by what I saw.

Stretched across the front of my altar was the choker I'd gotten at Faerieworlds this past year. I had previously been hesitant to buy anything similar, not having Native American heritage, but this particular one spoke to me. Plus, I'd met and given a Medicine Card reading to the man who had made them, who happened to be the base player for a friend who performs at Faerieworlds every year. That seemed to make it okay. 

So I wore it proudly at Faerieworlds, but once I  returned to the mundane world, had trouble finding occasions to wear it, and thus placed it on my altar until the time seemed appropriate. Now I was looking at it in a new light -- This strip of leather that covers my throat.  My throat, the expression of my authority, was already sitting on my altar just waiting to be recognized and claimed. 

I still plan on purchasing a torc to honor my journey, but for now I have my choker to wear when leading ceremonies or classes. And it is amazing, and strikes me as strange sometimes, the element of authority that has somehow, unbidden, slipped into my voice when I speak now, especially things that afterward cause me to say to myself, "Where did that come from? I didn't know I knew that!"

Monday, February 2, 2015

Granny, What a Big Heart You Have!

I had spent the previous day in a wonderful class of Animal Communicator, Mary J Getten.  The class focus was on 'Animal Death and Spirituality' and it was a much needed reminder to me of keeping connected to the 'higher' realms beyond and within this limited physical reality. 

It was a breath of fresh air as my consciousness drifted up then broke the surface of this world, like a bubble rising to the surface of a pond and bursting free of the watery confines into the air where it belongs. 

I was surprised by how caught up in the dramas of day to day life I'd become without realizing it, so that I'd forgotten what it was like to connect to the bigger picture. And I was greatly relieved to find how quick and easy it was for me to reconnect again as if no time had passed since the last time my spirit was allowed to unfurl into its wholeness. 

I had found out long ago that I seem to have an easier time talking to dead animals than live ones, and so this class was great as I got to spend time with a woman's schnauzer, who had passed a few years ago, and impart some messages and lots of love to her former owner. I also got to connect with Truffles, a family dog from awhile back, and was delighted to find out that the footsteps I sometimes feel on my bed, usually when my cats are no where to be seen, are his. But the best thing I got from the class didn't occur until the next day. 

Mary has specialized in communicating with whales, in particular the orcas of Puget  Sound where she spent years as a naturalist on a whale watching boat. So yesterday I was sitting reading her book Communicating With Orcas: The Whales' Perspective that she'd written on her experiences with the orcas, specifically the matriarch whale of one of the pods who is known as Granny. I'm just reading, minding my own business, when I turn the page and a picture of Granny came into view.  I spontaneously felt this wave of energy wash over and engulf me. It was like this sparkly, electric excitement and love, and then Granny's head just appeared in front of my face (my eyes had already closed on their own accord by this time). I was speechless and didn't know what to say so asked if I could just hang out. I'm pretty sure she was laughing at/with me then, and I just kind of swam through her energy. Finally I thanked her and asked if I could meet her sometimes in my shamanic journeys and she said she's happy to do so. Her energy slowly receded as I continued to repeat the only words I could find, "Thank you thank you thank you..."

I opened my eyes again and looked around the Starbucks where I was sitting, and giggled at the fact that the other unsuspecting patrons hadn't a clue of what I'd just experienced in their midst. I breathed another thank you and blew a mental kiss to Granny. And I thanked Goddess as well for my life so rich with these deepening experiences. Life can be tough on the shamanic path, but moments like these make it all so worth while. 

Thank you Granny. Thank you Goddess. Life is so awesome!