However, this was ‘Shape Shifting’ of a different kind, yet a very timely journey to prepare us for the Aries Full moon eclipse. Check out my Lunascope for more about this coming moon.
Throughout the day, John took us on three shamanic journeys to release whatever was holding us back from being who we are, interspersed with hilarious stories about his adventures in the Amazon.
People usually think of shape-shifting, as changing shape from one thing to another, from one animal to another. But there is another definition. We can shape-shift out of an old skin, like a conditioning, belief, or pattern, just as the snake must transmute in order to move forward.
We partnered up with the person next to us, which rapidly bonded the audience, and using his drum, John took us on our first journey down into the underworld, where all the hidden messages reside. This is where the shaman can hear the messages and then brings them back to this three dimensional world to start living/actioning it!
There are many different definitions for shaman, but one universal one is that they are bridges between the worlds, to bring back the hidden messages to the community, who are unable to see. The shaman can also journey down for another, but it’s always best to hear your own personal wisdom.
Once we had travelled into the underworld, we arrived in our sacred place in nature where we feel safe, powerful and free. We then invited our spirit guides, power animals, helpers, supporters and guardians to join us so that we are not alone on our journey. There is always help and support from all the different dimensions. Shamans know this and that is why they are unafraid to journey into the darkness.
I was in a pine forest and a huge bonfire was burning. I was alone with a wolf, my companion and best friend, and we were staring at the fire, hidden by pine trees for miles and miles under a dark starry night. I felt peaceful, calm and contented…And then we were called back to the room to share our experiences with the group.
The drum started again and this second time we journeyed down into the underworld to discover what it was that is holding us back from being in our true power. What belief systems, conditionings and patterns were we still holding deep in our unconscious that are no longer serving us? I journeyed down to my bonfire in the pine forest with my wolf and there we were greeted by snake, who wrapped herself around me and whispered that it was time to transmute. I tuned into the sound of the drum and surrendered to the message.
The message came loud and clear, “Fear of persecution/death for being a witch!” And then a huge wave of fear swept through my body as I could smell the stench of burnt skin. I have had a sense that I was burnt at the stake in a past life. I also have such a deep ingrained fear about being a powerful woman healer shaman that doesn’t make sense from the 21st century perspective of the liberated woman.
But nine million women were hung, drowned, burned and butchered for being healers not so long ago. In Europe we wiped out all our indigenous knowledge and female matriarchs. It was a scary thing being a woman in those days, and I believe we are all somehow holding onto this fear, it is in our collective psyche. We have been beaten and raped into submission….And then John drummed us back into the room.
It was powerful work and I came out of the journey a bit dazed and confused. I have known this fear has been holding me back for a while, but I was unsure of how to release it. The fear felt so real and yet so intangible. During the break we shared our journeys with our partners. My partner Brendan, a very cute Irish farmer, and I sat in the afternoon sun and shared our experiences and it felt good to voice it.
The third and final journey was to release the fear that was holding us back. John asked us to visualise the fear, as rings of an onion skin, to peel it off and destroy it in whatever way we wished.
The drum started, and again I found myself by the bonfire in the pine trees and this time bear, raven and deer came along with snake and wolf, to assist the journey. I saw I was wearing a hard, old, stone, mossy, body armour. It was restricting my movements and I felt stuck in it…I couldn’t dance around the fire!
“Take it off”, I heard, “And use the courage of this powerful Aries full moon eclipse to release a fear that does not serve you, or any female, once you have released it you will empower others to do the same.”
I removed the armour and threw it in the fire. The flames leaped and roared around it consuming it. And I was left naked. I felt vulnerable, bare and unprotected with no armour to cover me. I began to feel fearful of this vulnerability and isolation, when suddenly, I saw myself surrounded by so many family and friends creating a ring of love around me, reminding me that I am not alone. As I began to tune into all the love, the fear evaporated, and I sent it down through the soles of my feet.
And then I heard “You’re vulnerability will be your greatest success.” I felt jubilant, glowing, I had done it; I had shape-shifted, and transmuted an old worn out, collective post traumatic stress disorder that has been holding me back.
However, in order for this shape-shifting journey to have made any real difference in my life though, is whether I choose to remain held back by the fear, or to embrace and acknowledge it, remove the armour, allow myself to be vulnerable and trust that I am protected and loved! Hmmm, I thought, this is where the real work begins, but also where the fun starts!
So here I am shape-shifted, bare butt and all, sharing my story and feeling liberated!