Shamanism

Peek Behind the Veil: What happens at I AM Alchemy Retreat?

I just got back from our second four day retreat with my I AM Alchemy 2018 students, and I feel...

...full of energy, enjoyment, grace, and amazing food.

...inspired by my amazing students, by my personal takeaways, and by the body of knowledge itself.

...supported by my wonderful Shaman Sister, Katherine Bird, and by Ruthanne and Heaven and Earth Retreats.

...eager to share the magic with you!

Here's a sneak peek inside what goes on during a magical I AM Alchemy retreat:

Every morning, we began our day with Qi Gong practice lead by guest instructor Katherine Bird. Kat brought us practices from her Medical Qi Gong studies to support the energetic work. During this retreat, part of our focus included working with the Three Essentials (Salt, Mercury and Sulfur) and our personal Planetary Constitution. Here, Kat introduces us to the philosophy behind our movement practice:

We learned how to calculate the personal planetary constitution of everyone in the class, based on the Alchemical doctrine of Planetary Rulership. This includes primary archetypal influences, personal "power hours," and supporting the energies with corresponding metals, herbs, colors, foods and embodiment practices...

I AM Alchemy Retreat Teachings Planetary Correspondence
I AM Alchemy Retreat Planetary Constitution Moon Mars

 

...Then we studied  the necessary correspondences to support our personal Salt, Mercury and Sulfur Level Planetary Forces. I'm a double Moon plus Mars, which explains a lot.

I AM Alchemy Retreat Class Lightworker Portland Alchemist

We played games and found out who among us is competitive (hint: 2/3 of Team Mars, big surprise). We ate incredible food, we did intuitive readings and healing work for each other, we took a stargazing stroll and saw Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars. We laughed a lot and witnessed each other through our joy and our tears. We examined our personal and professional practices in light of this mystery school and renewed our commitments to Self and Spirit as wayshowers for a New Earth.

I AM Alchemy Retreat Altar Ceremony Oracle Magic Eclipse Vision Quest

We all took an afternoon of solo ritual space to Vision Quest and practice journey work to step into this next initiation phase of our course. Everyone worked some pretty powerful magic and came back with epiphanies, commitments, messages from Guides and new, powerful energies to supercharge the next stage of the journey.

 

I AM Alchemy Retreat Personal Practice Journaling Alchemist Teaching Portland

 

 

The weekend included plenty of time for journaling and personal reflection. In such a beautiful setting, you can't help but breathe a little deeper, tune in to a more subtle awareness and just let yourself simply be.

 

 

I AM Alchemy Retreat Portland Alchemist Magic Spirit Synchronicity

 

 

There were signs and synchronicities everywhere! We received plenty of visits from animal guides, whispers from Spirit, and massive inputs of eclipse energy. Every sign felt like a message from Source, saying "you're on the right track. Enjoy the journey."

 

 

I AM Alchemy Retreat Heaven and Earth Portland Alchemist Training Teaching Magic

 

 

Plus, we got to wake up with this right outside every morning. Check out the view from my bed:

 

 

I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful, nourishing, inspiring retreat experience! This work is so much FUN, and I get to share it with a cohort of passionate, powerful students who are changing their lives and changing the world. It is truly an honor and a joy to dive deeper and deeper into this work. I AM Alchemy is stretching me, pushing me and inspiring me to uplevel my practice and my craft in ways I never imagined. What a journey.

If you're interested in I AM Alchemy 2019, get on the wait list here!

I'll be taking the next few days to rest and integrate! Catch you in August.

Full Blood Moon Eclipse Magic

Full Blood Moon Eclipse: Friday, July 27 at 1:22pm PST.

This weekend, we get to enjoy the second of three back-to-back-to-back eclipses, which also happens to be the longest eclipse of the century. For those of us in the PNW, we won't get to appreciate witnessing the eclipse visually, but we can still take some time to bask in the energies and set intentions.

This full moon lunar eclipse takes place in the sign of Aquarius: the revolutionary keeper of the Sacred Vision. As part of our I AM Alchemy retreat, we'll be holding a vision quest ritual for the eclipse. Here are some of the themes we're working with as a class:

  • Moving into the Separation stage of Alchemy: stepping back to gain perspective, and separating out the pieces of our sacred inquiry in order to understand and evaluate them all.
  • Moving out of the Black Phase (sacred destruction) and into the White Phase of Alchemy (reorganization/reconstruction).
  • Working with Eclipse magic: playing with energetic polarity and the role of tension and harmonization of duality.
  • Designing powerful rituals to amplify energy and participate actively in the creation process.
  • Claiming our roles as Visionary Leaders of our lives and of the world.
  • Working with powerful planetary correspondences and alchemical calculations in order to align more intentionally to our primary influences.

I hope that gives you some ideas! If you feel called to join us in working Eclipse Magic, please come meet us in the ethers.

Many blessings and happy Eclipse!

Personal Alchemy

My Morning Practice lately has been largely a movement fusion of my own invention: DanYoCoGong (dance, yoga, core and qi gong). Here's a bit of the dance part to let the creative expression flooooow...

I had a mini Soul Map reading the other day with a new friend. One of the things that resonated most deeply was the confirmation she offered about letting the silly, funny and creative part of me shine through my work.

As I've been playing with this process of Personal Alchemy over the last several months, I'm noticing my internal objections that naturally arise. Historically, I haven't shown that side as much when it comes to my professional face. I think a lot of that has come from wanting people to trust me, think I am capable and qualified, and not too young to be guiding them through major life stuff (I started my business when I was 21).

However...

There is room for Divine Play in the healing process. There is room for laughter in the darkness. There is room for dancing and being funny, even when it feels like everything around you is heavy. It doesn't mean we're taking the work less seriously. It just means that we remember that all things are birthed from the void and that creation springs up where death has passed moments before.

It means we remember that we can exist simultaneously in grief and humor, rage and creation, heaviness and grace.

Let the creative expression flow.

Let the Alchemy of personal transformation unfold.

~~~

It's so easy for us to get stuck.

  • Have you ever taken a look at where you are in your life and had a sinking moment when you realized that you're in the same place you were a year ago? Two years ago?
  • Have you ever felt like you always get to a certain spot in your job, your life, your relationships... and then everything falls apart and you have to start over?
  • Have you told yourself over and over that you want to create a change in your life, but felt at a loss as to HOW that change was going to come about?

If you found yourself answering "yes!" to any of these questions, you might be stuck somewhere in one of the stages of the Alchemical process.

Alchemy is the process of change: even if we don't know it, we are moving through these stages in a continuous cycle throughout our entire lives. Most of us have no idea that we are living this cycle, and find ourselves washed around by the currents of change without any sense of direction or ability to consciously move through the process.

I have a gift for you.

I am offering eleven free one-hour sessions of Personal Alchemy! Here's the deal:

  • This is first come, first served: once they're booked, they're booked. No reschedules, no wait list. Yes, this is my gift to you.
  • We meet for one hour on my private conference line. I'll make a recording of your session, if you like!
  • We'll explore where you are in your life right now and discover which of the Alchemical stages you're currently in.
  • We'll look at the best way for you to get unstuck and continue to move through the cycle of Alchemy--get ready for personal practices and tools!
  • If it feels like a good fit, we'll talk about ways we can continue to work together in your process of change (I AM Alchemy or one-on-one with me).

Book your Personal Alchemy session here!

Last time I put out an offer like this, it filled within a few days. If you're interested, please book your session ASAP.

Once you're registered, I'll contact you with further details for our Personal Alchemy session! I look forward to diving in with you.

New Moon in Capricorn: Sacred Structure

The New Moon in Capricorn next Tuesday brings us the powerful medicine of Sacred Structure.

Without our bones, it doesn't matter how much muscle or energy or force of will we have: we would not be able to move an inch.

The same is true of anything in our lives: without structure to support and hold a container, action becomes impossible. We spend so much time and energy focused on inspiration, movement, fire and momentum... but running around the world fueled by pure spirit is completely unsustainable. If we're hoping to build mountains, we need to root in the bedrock.

And I'm building mountains. Are you?

If so, we must focus on the foundations of our lives. What sacred structures can we build for ourselves to be able to grow? How can we strengthen the "bones" of our lives to give stability and sustainability to our actions? How can we make our work and our presence in the world more lasting, more meaningful and more powerful?

Let's build our bones together.

My Gift to You: Happy SOULstice!

This Winter SOULstice, I've been thinking about what I would like to give back to YOU, the amazing people in my life who inspire me to continue the work I do.

As work with Soul Contracts comes up big time during this darkest, most contract-ive time of the year, it feels more important now than ever before to clarify and clean up our Soul Agreements before heading into a new year.

So, I would like to invite you to receive a special gift. I am offering five FREE Soul Contract healing sessions to you during December 26-29!

Here are the details:
-These must take place in person at my healing studio in SW Portland. Address provided upon registration.
-Once you register, there are no reschedules.
-First come, first serve! Once these sessions are filled, they are filled.
-Register here to reserve your FREE Soul Contract healing session.

What you can expect from these sessions:
-We will journey into the nature of your Soul Contract to examine any clauses that are no longer serving you.
-If possible, we will erase and rewrite them with a healthy, new agreement.
-We will do energy healing work to help this contract alteration integrate gently into your lived experience.
-I will not be doing this work "for" you. I will be guiding you and holding space for you to claim your full power in stating the nature of your Soul Contract with Spirit.
-There will be an audio recording of this session for you to revisit at any time.

If you would like to claim your FREE Soul Contract Healing session now, register here!

The Medicine of Space

When we create spaciousness for ourselves, we can relax into BEing and presence. We can expand to fully embody all parts of ourselves. We can be as big as we actually are. We can welcome in new energies and remain balanced through dynamic shifts.

I’ve been keeping relatively quiet for the past couple of months as I sit with some very significant changes that are coming up in my life and my work. I won’t go into too much detail now as it is still crystalizing, but suffice it to say that everything (one-on-one work, teaching, programs, etc) is getting an overhaul. The way that I am moving through it with a greater degree of ease and grace than I could otherwise is... spaciousness.

Even so, the overhaul has brought on some anxiety. The inner voices share their doubts:

“Am I committing entrepreneurial suicide by switching up my offerings all the time?”
“What the heck do I think I’m doing?”
“Am I kidding myself?”
“What if this is way too far out for people? What if nobody is ready for this? What if nobody gets it?”
“How can I make all these massive changes without shooting myself in the foot?”

Those are some of the highlights, but you get the idea.

I just returned from a week-long trip to Sedona, AZ, where I experienced a great deal of new energy and catalysts, set some changes in motion and received some profound medicine. One of the highlights was a visit to the Grand Canyon.

I had never been to this particular sacred site before, and as I approached the canyon rim, I felt myself start to tear up. I could feel the energy swelling up out of the exposed layers—ancient and constant in its power. Moved beyond words, I wandered off by myself to stand on a cliff edge and feel the potent waves course through my body. The Grand Canyon is a giant portal, and the amount of raw power and potential held within each grain of sand is palpable.

“This is the kind of healer I want to be. I want to be this spacious, this ancient, this solid, yet mutable.”

As these realizations formed in my mind, I felt myself expand enough to accommodate the Grand Canyon within my energy field.

“I AM this spacious. I AM this ancient. I AM this solid, this mutable.”

No matter the direction my work takes from here, the kind of space I hold for myself and for others is that deep. The kind of container I set for transformation is that wide.

I sat down to write in my journal, tears continuing to blur my vision. I had no idea what I was writing, and only discovered after I read it later that night that I had written a declaration—a prayer to the Grand Canyon herself:

I AM big enough to hold you.

I AM strong enough to serve you.

I AM patient enough to learn from you—the lessons in each stone and grain of sand.

I AM ancient enough to remember you as flat, scorched Earth that gave off the sharp tang scent of new metal, fresh from the fire.

I AM small enough to curl myself into each pore in your cavernous walls… tiny wombs where crystals and magic are born.

I AM quiet enough to hear the stories that have been buried in your layers for aeons rise up as they are freed by matter dissolving into air.

I AM raw enough to feel the currents of wind stirred by Raven’s wing.

I AM humble enough to kneel here, to know that I have died here and to surrender my bones to you to compost into soil.

I AM embodied enough to feel that you are big enough to hold me.

I AM wild enough to want to scream and chant and howl and sing and fill your canyons with my prayers, but subtle enough to know that a whisper will suffice.

I know that there is space for you in my bones, in my cells. I feel my body drinking in your familiar magic. Make me ancient. Help me remember. Support me in crumbling away all the surface layers to reveal the parts of me that were present for the birth of this and other worlds. Instruct me in how I may better serve. Teach me the ways of timeless presence. I fill myself with you. I AM reverence. There is no room here for anything but the Truth. I see my blood on your walls. Let me lie here and dissolve.

This is the kind of spacious timelessness that constitutes the Void. In this reality, no healing work is needed because nothing needs to be “healed.” There is no need to fix, to change, to alter or adjust. There is only BEing and presence.

Within that spaciousness, all things are possible. When I hold the medicine of the Grand Canyon in my body, the doubting voices immediately become silent.

I invite you to examine where you can breathe more spaciousness into your life. In what ways can you allow more BEing and presence?

Many blessings!

Michelle Hawk Shaman Portland Sedona Reiki Master Healer Teacher

New Moon in Leo: Self-Love, Sovereignty and Addiction

Self-Love, Sovereignty and Addiction.

...Wait, addiction?

Yes, you read that right.

The Leo archetype is well known for supporting the energies of self-love, worthiness, self-expression, sovereignty and shining our inner light into the world. But what does addiction have to do with that?

In short, everything.

In this case, I'm referring to addiction in many forms: not only substance abuse, but addictive patterns of behavior, addiction to beliefs and energy cycles, addiction to relationships... you get the idea.  Addictions help us cling to old ways of being where we get to stay small, disconnected from our truest selves and not claim our inner worth.

Let me give you an example. One of my own addictions that I learned of recently is addiction to suffering as part of the healing process. This came to light during a very intense ceremony where many people were struggling, and I was not. I felt very comfortable and grounded, but started to become anxious, wondering why I wasn't struggling with everyone else. I wondered if the healing I was receiving was as deep or profound as it could be. At this point, my guides tuned in and told me, "We're not going to make you suffer. You are addicted to suffering as part of the healing process, and it's time to release that for you, for everyone in this room and for all of humanity. You need to learn that healing that comes with ease and grace is actually more valid than healing that comes through suffering."

As soon as I heard that message, I released any remaining anxiety I had about my lack of suffering and was able to drop fully into the ceremony experience. Needless to say, it was powerful, profound and I DEFINITELY received deep healing.

Now that it's come to my attention, I can see that this particular pattern of addiction has been present with me for many years. Historically, I have liked to learn things the hard way. I have put myself in many situations where I experience deep suffering in the name of healing. I have used suffering to keep myself smaller than I am, because it's safer than living the fullest expression of my sovereignty.

Another addictive pattern that arose in my awareness recently was my addiction to self-judgement. During a ceremony, I received a gentle correction from a mentor of mine and immediately felt myself spiral into judgement. I made a tiny mistake, I did something wrong, now everyone things I'm horrible, blah blah blah.

I was fascinated to observe this very self-punishing thought pattern emerge from such a tiny thing. No harm had been caused, it was absolutely no big deal, and yet, I immediately plunged into criticism and judgement of myself so strongly that it took me aback. I observed these punishing thoughts like vines made of razors slicing over my my heart and mind, and I consciously released them.

I share these stories because addiction can be sneaky, and most of us don't easily recognize the addictive patterns that keep us small and disconnected from our self-love. In both of these cases where my addictive patterns came to light, I was able to discern them in part because of some powerful messages from my guides, but also because I have spent years cultivating a strong practice of self-love. This practice allowed me to see that these addictions made me feel unworthy, small and stupid. Because of my extensive personal practice of owning my sovereignty and my worth, I could distinguish the thought patterns that made me feel separate from my truest state of being.

I invite you to consider your own patterns of addiction. When you tune into your choices and behavior, what do you notice? What beliefs do you hold about your own worthiness and sovereignty? What patterns do you have that get in the way of living the fullest expression of your self-love? Now is the perfect time for these inquiries. Align your energies and intentions with this powerful New Moon container to release patterns of addiction. This is the first of TWO New Moons in Leo. Use this first one to remove any blockages and old patterns that no longer serve you, so next month you can plant the seeds of self-love and sovereignty under the container of the Eclipse.

(For more information on working with the Lunar Cycle, check out my LUNAR ALCHEMY course beginning September 12!)

In the name of loooooooooove!

Soul Family

Today is the birthday of one of my favorite people: my amazing sister, Katherine Bird.

When I went to visit Kat a few weeks ago, many people asked us how we had met. Kat and I met for the first time after Burning Man in 2013 at Summer Lake Hot Springs. We chatted a bit, she showed me some body rolling techniques, gave me a Yamuna ball and a business card and we parted ways.

I kept her business card on my desk for over a year, feeling an energetic draw. We connected here and there a few times over the next year or so, but never sat down to have a proper one-on-one conversation.

When we finally did in January of 2015, it became immediately apparent that we have a deep energetic connection. We started attending a weekly women's group together, shared our work with each other and eventually birthed many creative projects together (Animal Dance, Shaman Sister Sessions, and more!).

It's funny when I think about how long in terms of earth years we've been in each other's immediate orbits... We've really only "known" each other properly for about 2 1/2 years, and yet, we've known each other for eons. This is definitely one of those sister soulmate scenarios (fun to say, more fun to live).

My two cents: when you find your people--the ones who see you (sometimes more clearly than you see yourself), the ones who you love easily, expansively and unconditionally, the ones where you support and inspire each other to shine ever more brightly and witness each others' luminous unfolding--love them dearly. Everyone's lives are better when Soul Family comes together.

Shaman Sisters Michelle Hawk and Katherine Bird

Song as Medicine

Over the past month or so, I've been sitting in deep contemplation with my relationship to music and song. This is still a fairly new and somewhat vulnerable theme for me, but I feel called to share it with you! (For more background on how this has been coming up for me, check out this previous article.) Suffice it to say that I am currently exploring Healing Songs as an important manifestation of my medicine and Sacred Work in the world.

Last night, I had a Medicine Dream that reaffirmed this theme for me:

In my dream, I was performing as the closing act of a concert which took place in a church. I was supposed to play a song on the flute. Even though in my dream I didn't know how to play the flute, some part of my subconscious nature did, so I trusted that I would be able to perform the complicated song when the time was right.

I opened my performance by speaking about Standing Rock and offering a prayer for the sacred waters and the Water Protectors. Many people in the audience started talking and ignoring me as I spoke. I became angry and frustrated and tried to play my flute song, but was barely able to make any noise come out of the instrument. As I grew more frustrated and the show director asked me to leave the stage, I heard a subtle thread of drum beats and music coming from somewhere nearby. My microphone was still on, so I started to sing. I sang my frustration at the people for ignoring the prayer, I sang a call to prayer and I sang the prayer itself. People stopped talking in order to listen to the prayer song, and I started dancing the prayer as well. It was a simple, powerful song that reverberated around the church and pulled people into its strength.

At this point, some older men came into the church, playing drums. It was their music I had heard in the distance. They came to play with me as I sang and they spoke to me, offering me their blessings and witnessing me in my prayer song. I awoke still reverberating with the power of the song and the message.

I know these men represent my guides, who appeared to support me in sharing my song. My voice is my instrument of power, and while I don't know exactly how it will manifest, Healing Songs are an essential component of my Sacred Work in the world. While revealing this publicly still feels sort of new and tender, I am so excited to continue exploring this powerful Medicine! More on this to come, I'm sure.

One Client's Amazing Healing

I love witnessing my clients as they make amazing shifts in all areas of their lives! I checked in with one client today who, before we started working together, was feeling stuck—stuck in an unfulfilling job, stuck with friends and acquaintances with whom she no longer had anything in common, stuck in a place of less-than-optimum health and stuck in a mundane daily routine that zapped her of any drive and energy. She contacted me several months ago after she came across a book on Shamanism, and she described the feeling as though a fire was lit inside of her. She knew that her health, her marriage and her life force energy were all suffering and she needed help to “get unstuck” and reconnect with her joy and sense of purpose.

Even though she was motivated to make some changes in her life, she was very afraid of upsetting the status quo (especially in her work and in her marriage). What if these life changes made her stick out even more at work and she lost her job? What if, by stepping into her personal power, she alienated her husband? What if she lost everything?

A few weeks ago, we completed our three months of working together in my Deep Medicine Path program, and watching her transformation has been absolutely extraordinary. Instead of losing her job, she decided to proactively phase herself out of her unfulfilling line of work at her own, gentle pace. She is in the process of beginning her own life coaching practice so she can inspire and empower others. Instead of losing her marriage and feeling alienated from her husband, their relationship finally has that spark of new life! He has loved witnessing her changes and gladly stepped up in full support of her transformation. Instead of feeling drained and tired all the time, she now has energy to devote to her own health and well-being and her body “hasn’t felt this good in years!”

Hearing “I’m so glad I worked up the courage to say yes and work with you!” from a client is the most amazing feeling. I am so humbled every time someone trusts me to shepherd them through their awakening. It means the world to me that I get to be a mentor and a guide for those stepping into their own power and embodying the radiance of their true selves. In so much gratitude!

Animal Song

ANIMAL SONG: What does it mean to be an Animal Song Carrier?

A person who has been gifted the role of Animal Song Carrier fully embodies the medicine of that Totem. The Animal who chooses to offer its song to you declares in doing so that it gives you permission to access its magic, and that it trusts you to hold its energy and bring it forth into the world. The Animal Guide who invites you to carry its song empowers you with its medicine so that you can, together, co-create alchemy on the Earth plane. The Animal totem, after all, has a purpose and wisdom all its own, and by sharing its song with you, invites you to enact its vision into reality.

Working with Animal Totems is a significant component of my medicine and my discovery of Animal Song began (subconsciously) when I was very young. I have felt a deep connection with animals for as long as I can remember—in fact, my very first memory of this lifetime features the dog that my parents had when I was born (my parents are nowhere in this memory). As a child, when walking in the woods, wild deer would gently step out from between the trees to look at me before moving away into the dappled shadow. I remember visiting a flock of swans and watching them aggressively chase away other children who approached, and yet they allowed me to walk among them and sit peacefully in their midst.

The idea of connecting with animals in the energetic realm always made sense to me. My favorite stories growing up involved talking animals, and I read every book of Native American folk tales I could get my hands on because animals were featured as powerful, intelligent beings with a purpose and wisdom completely separate from human motivations.

I experienced my first Shamanic journey to discover my Spirit Animal when I was 14 years old. The Totem that revealed itself to me made its presence known in my life in a beautiful, supportive way, and I still receive the benefit of her guidance, even 15 years later.

As I deepened my relationship with Animal Guides, I discovered that I had many. I devoted myself to meditating with my guides, learning their medicine and honoring their wisdom. I found that some guides work specifically with certain situations and energies, some are present for short periods and others are lifelong totems.

Eagle is one such governing Totem in my life. In 2012, while offering blessings to a pair of bald eagles, they told me: “Eagle Song is more than the cries of the bird—it is the BEING of an eagle. It is the movement of air over feathers and the flexing of powerful feet and talons. It is observing without being observed. It is intensely knowing your body and valuing every part: there is no waste, only maximum efficiency for flight. But there is a part beyond our physical selves: that which lives between the layers and flies to the sun and back. This, too, is Eagle Song. Our wisdom comes from intimately knowing these parts and uniting them in our Highest Selves. We—and you, too, Child of Earth and Light—are far more than our physical bodies.”

In 2015, I participated in a traditional Native American dance ceremony, during which the Eagles told me that I am an Eagle Song Carrier. It was then that I truly delved into the essence of Animal Song and learned the enormous magic that comes from receiving such a gift. Being a Song Carrier for an Animal Totem is both an honor and a responsibility. By answering the call of the Spirit Animal who entrusts you with its Song, you effectively create a soul contract with that archetype to actualize its energy on the physical plane. You offer yourself as the vessel through which the medicine of this Animal Guide may flow as it works its own brand of magic for the well-being of Earth.

I carry other Animal Songs as well, but Eagle was the first to initiate me into this medicine. As such, I honor this totem through my work, and help others align with the Song of Animal Totems through private sessions, journey work and events featuring a particular Animal Guide.

It is my honor to facilitate another such event this Sunday afternoon (January 29), during which we will connect with Wolf Song. Wolf medicine is very strong in its cycle of power at this time and wishes to share its magic with the Earth plane for the benefit of all. Please join me this weekend to tune in to this powerful wisdom and let us together honor Wolf Song. Event information here.

Image by EntheoNation

Image by EntheoNation

SHAMAN

SHAMAN: What's in a "title"?

Last week I enjoyed the opportunity to introduce myself to someone using "anything but the woo-woo words" to describe myself and what I do. I was meeting a family member of someone close to me for the first time, and was forewarned that this family member would be most receptive to meeting me and warming to my character if I did not use "Spiritual language" to describe myself. In short, the phrase, "I'm a Shaman!" was off the table.

Challenge accepted!

When asked, "what do you do?" by this family member, I described the functional, tangible aspects of my work. "I support humans and animals in their journey to natural health and wellness. I work with animal health and behavior, and on the human side, I help people connect with their joy, love and purpose. I mentor people through challenging periods of their lives and help them work their way to the other side feeling more empowered, confident and connected." This person nodded approvingly and the conversation moved on.

Fast forward to today, in continuing with the theme, when someone online asked me, "What do you do as a Shaman?"

Again, I thoroughly enjoyed considering the functional implications of the term. What does a Shaman "do?"

Here is what I wrote back:

"I'm kind of laughing at my internal response to your question, which was "What DON'T I do as a Shaman?" I know that's not how you meant the question, but I try each day to live the idea of "my every breath and action is a practice in devotion to All That Is." So, essentially, I do everything as a Shaman, from washing the dishes and dancing to my healing work and more!

In other senses of the question, I practice the philosophy of "A Shaman devotes herself to the health and well-being of her Tribe." In my case, my Tribe is my global community. I work with humans and animals all over the world (though much of my client base is local) to help them discover and express their greatest joy, their fiercest love and their deepest purpose. I teach empowerment, mentor personal investigation and shepherd people through the underworld as they experience their own dark nights of the soul.

Functionally, I also work with supporting natural health and wellness (for humans and animals), teach Reiki and other healing practices (to humans), translate between species (animal communication) and channel Spirit (usually for humans).

Does that answer your question?"

Being a Shaman means different things to different people. The term gets thrown around a lot, and it's often loaded with some kind of judgment and/or misunderstanding. It took me YEARS before I was able to "put on the mantle" of claiming my medicine and publicly call myself a Shaman.

Now that I've journeyed through the process of fearing the label, unfolding the layers of the label, coming into my own understanding of the label, claiming the label and living the label, I'm finding that the label matters less and less. Shaman isn't what I DO, it's who I AM and how I live each moment of my life.

When my every breath is a prayer for the Highest and Greatest Good of All That Is, when I practice presence and peace in the face of every challenge, when I accompany people into the depths of their darkest fears so that they may feel safe, when I surrender to Spirit and allow the Divine to flow through me in order to let someone feel loved and seen and held--THAT is what I do, with or without the label. Shaman or not.

To be fair, the word "Shaman" fits more easily on a business card. It can be a very loaded "title," but it is also only that--a title. How is someone living their life as a Shaman? How do they practice their devotion? What is their offering? How do they live their service? These are questions I love to ponder for myself and others in the world, whether or not they call themselves Shamans.

I offer my gratitude to all those who continue to inquire and create opportunities for me to ponder my work, my choices and my path! I gladly receive these moments of reflection and growing understanding.

Many blessings and much love from your friendly neighborhood Shaman!

Michelle Hawk

"What's Your Animal Guide?"

“What’s your animal guide?”

People often ask me this question after I introduce myself as a Shaman who works very strongly with Animal Medicine. In the context of a quick conversation, my short answer usually sounds something like, “Oh, I have many animal guides, and so do you,” but this brief response does nothing to illustrate the infinite layers of complexity and magic that come with delving deep into working with Animal Totems.

“My animal guide is an otter, because I’m very lighthearted and I like to play.”

I love that Animal Medicine has worked its way into popular consciousness! Many people share with great certainty the identity of their animal guide and an attribute of this guide with which they resonate strongly. However, as soon as I ask follow-up questions such as, “How else do you work with otter? What other aspects of its medicine do you find particularly impactful?” Most people answer that they haven’t really done anything further with their totem.

To me, this is akin to meeting your new best friend and powerful ally, learning their name, shaking their hand and then never speaking to them again. Imagine if you were at a party and the host tells you that a friend of theirs wants to meet you. The host leads you over to this person and you immediately perceive a strong energetic connection. You find yourself drawn to this person and feel excited to know them, and perhaps a bit honored to receive an introduction. The host goes on to offer further explanation of why this person was interested to meet you, and you find out that they are a wealth of talents, knowledge and power. This new person smiles glowingly at you and you shake their hand, feeling a surge of energy at this new, profound connection! Then, someone else calls your attention away and you make mental note to return to speak with this amazing new friend again, but you never do. You leave the party without exchanging information or making plans. You never reach out to the host to ask to put you in touch. From this point on, you recall with fondness the memory of that one time at that great party that the host introduced you to this amazing, glowing person with whom you felt such a strong connection, even though you never spoke again.

What if this potential best friend is still out there for you, waiting for you to rekindle the connection? What if this powerful ally has been waiting for you to reach out and ask to know them better? What if this amazing, magical being has been watching you, witnessing your life, ready to offer their teachings as soon as you are ready to receive that wisdom?

Throughout my many years of working with Animal Totems, I have witnessed time and again the magic and profound lessons that come from diving deep into animal medicine. To date, some of my most powerful initiatory experiences made themselves known through Animal messengers appearing for a dramatic introduction.

And yet, the introduction is exactly that: the first step in claiming your relationship with a powerful ally. The work that follows holds the real magic of depth, subtlety and power. By stepping into relationship with your Animal Totems, you cement a bond with their medicine that can last a lifetime and support you in your continued unfolding of joy, love and purpose.

Do you already know the identity of your Animal Guide and want to delve further into your personal connection with its medicine? Even if you don’t know its identity, do you feel your guide out there, waiting to meet you?

Magic & Medicine is an in-depth, four week long journey of discovery with your Animal Totem. This experience includes:

  • The Meeting: Welcome the new Totem into your energy field.
  • The Messages: Learn why this Guide is appearing to you and how it wants to reveal its teachings.
  • The Merge: Bring your Animal Totem to life within your own body and make its energy actionable on the Earth plane.
  • The Manifesto: Delve into the purpose of your work with this Totem and solidify your mission together.
  • And more! Learn the details of Magic & Medicine here.

Contact me for a free consultation and begin your Magic & Medicine journey with your powerful animal ally today.

Embodiment

Originally published on Eagle Song March 6, 2016.

There’s a term I came up with that I like to use with my clients and students to impress a certain idea upon them. The term is “Divine Embodied Being.”

I find this term very appropriate for a few reasons, but largely because it reminds us of the multi-faceted nature of our existence. The term “Human Being” is of biological origin and serves only to describe our physical and genetic makeup. How are we different from other beings? Well, we’re Human Beings!

However, we are so much more than our limbs and our brains and our genes. We are the embodiment of the Divine. Our physical forms provide the anchor for our souls to live on the Earth plane.

And so, we are Divine Embodied Beings. We are the physical manifestation of Spirit. We are Source and matter.

(For the purposes of this article, I only talk about human Divine Embodied Beings, but plants, animals, crystals, minerals, etc are also Divine Embodied Beings.)

It is so easy for us humans to use duality to separate and exclude: “If A, then not B.” Or, “If I am human, then I am not Divine,” or even, “If I am Divine, then I have no reason to pay attention to my human body.”

This last example is one that I see all too often, especially among people who have begun to realize their Spiritual awakening but have yet to balance it with the earthly aspects of their existence. Many clients come to me who are so focused on the energetic part of their process that they haven’t bothered to bring their physical bodies up to speed yet.

So let’s talk about the purpose and importance of Embodiment practice from a Spiritual perspective.

In order to honor all parts of our nature and live in the world as whole beings, it is of equal importance to devote care and attention to the parts of ourselves that are Divine AND the parts of ourselves that are Matter. Moreover, we must not treat them as separate facets of our existence, but as deeply interwoven and mutually necessary components of our wholeness. It is our bodies that offer a place for Spirit to live inside of us, and it is our Souls that animate our physical forms beyond the level of a biochemical machine.

One of the ways we can support both parts of ourselves simultaneously is through Embodied Meditation. Absolutely any activity can be a form of Embodied Meditation, if you hold the intention for it. When students or clients tell me that they’re “bad at meditating,” I ask them what activities they enjoy, and what brings them peace. Often the answers include things like walking outside, gardening, yoga or going for a run. I tell them that these are all wonderful forms of Embodied Meditation, and when they do these activities, to practice bringing intention and mindfulness to the exercise.

My favorite form of embodied meditation is dancing. And I’m not talking about the kind of dancing where you sort of stand there awkwardly and shift your weight from side to side. I’m not even talking about structured dances with certain steps and standards of correct form. I’m talking about allowing your body to move in whatever way it feels called, whether or not it’s pretty. The kind of dance where you feel energy coursing through your veins, filling your cells and making your chakras spin and glow. The kind of dance where, as you start shaking, you feel all the blockages and stagnant energy inside yourself start to melt and release into the floor. Dancing until you are drenched in sweat and your hair is full of tears from crying as you allow powerful energy to rush through you, releasing old wounds. Dancing and channeling our ancestors who danced for thousands of years before us to honor their bodies, honor Spirit and feel alive. Dancing until you drop in so deeply that you enter a trance state and forget completely who and where you are, and all that exists is movement.

Needless to say, I start more slowly with my clients and we work up to trance dancing when/if they’re ready. I teach some basic practices and help my clients find what works best for them. Some forms of Embodied Meditation can be relatively peaceful, like gentle yoga. Some are more playful, like my friend’s game of “Zen rock-hopping” (jumping from stone to stone through a river or stream. As he says, if you think about it too much, you get wet). Others are fairly extreme, like my roommate running 100-mile races. She told me about one instance, about 70 miles in, were she started seeing ghosts coming out of the ground. But what is the point of activities like that? No matter what form it takes, why do we need embodied meditation?

Physical practices like these unite the part of us that is Embodied with the part of us that is Divine. When we bring our Spirit and our intention to an embodied practice, we can move energy through our physical system. It is the perfect union of tangible and intangible, working across the hemispheres of our brains and across whatever barriers we have put between our energetic awareness and our bodies.

Throughout my whole life, I have had some form of physical practice. Whether it was being part of a sports team or doing activities by myself, I always knew that I felt happier and healthier when I took care of my body. When I officially began my Reiki practice in 2006, it took a few years for me to make the connection between the energetic work I was doing and the physical process of moving energy through my body. There were times when I would do all I could with Reiki to release stagnant energies, but until I went for a run and flushed them from my system, they were stuck. In the last several years I have come to a deep understanding of how physically shaking and sweating old energies out of me is just as important to the healing process as the energy work itself. We are Divine Embodied Beings, and in order to be whole, we must honor all parts of ourselves.

I used to only teach Embodiment practices to my private clients as part of our work together, but I recently included an Embodied Meditation workshop in my Shamanic Reiki Apprentice Program.

Contact me to book a consultation to work one-on-one with me, or if you’re interested in taking classes. In the meantime, I encourage you to look at your physical practice with a new perspective, through the lens of yourself as a Divine Embodied Being. See you on the dance floor.

Truth Belongs to No One

Originally published on Eagle Song January 9, 2016.

Yesterday I did some deep healing work on myself and moved massive amounts of energy. The session was brief, but very intense. During that time, a past life of mine was revealed to me for the purpose of integrating those energies into my current embodiment.

I saw myself immediately as a young teenage boy (maybe 13 or 14 years old) on a vision quest. I was sitting in a snowy forest at nighttime, singing to myself. I saw that I was practicing trust, but at the same time knew that I was so cold, and felt alone and afraid. But I sat in trust anyway, and I sang.

I’ve been out here for days and I can’t go home. There’s a feeling like I have to prove something, but I don’t know what it is that I have to prove. There’s an element of not being good enough. No one expects me to bring anything home or succeed. Fox appears to me. Fox of the inquisitive mind, of keen observation, of knowledge.

I channeled these messages from my guides, who were speaking to me as the boy on the vision quest (and inviting me to integrate these messages into myself as Michelle):

“‘Too clever for your own good,’ Fox Child. You ask these questions that challenge the system, and so people think you do not believe. They think you will not succeed. People view your questions as a challenge to what they hold dear, and so you are cast aside. But it is not out of malice that you ask these questions. It is out of love and it is out of exploration. When we say it is out love, it is not out of love for the system, but it is out of love for knowledge and love for Truth. And so, Fox Child, we invite you to continue to ask your questions and to trust that the system in which you are succeeding is not necessarily the system into which you are striving to fit. The reason that you feel alone and the reason that you feel cast out from this Tribe is because you are of a new process, a new energy that does not fit the old beliefs. And when you question them out of your love for Truth and out of your love for exploration and inquisition, it is viewed as harmful, and it is viewed as malicious and disobedient. The reason no one expects you to succeed is because you are asking all the “wrong” questions. And so you, yourself, brought on this vision quest. You yourself thought it would be helpful. And yet, there is an expectation when you return to your tribe that either you will have heard nothing because they believe that you do not listen. When they tell you things they believe that you do not listen, and so they believe that you will not hear if Great Spirit speaks to you. They think that maybe you will have learned your lesson and that you will obey and that you will listen.

“But just because you are not accepting what they tell you as absolute Truth doesn’t mean that you are not listening! You must always continue to ask your questions, Fox Child. Because when you ask, you show your love for Truth. And you understand that Truth is an ever-changing entity that does not exist in a static Universe. Truth belongs to no one. This might feel very isolating to you because other people work in service to established ideas. Your tribe exists in service to itself and in service to its established identity. And when you ask your questions, they feel threatened and they feel unstable and they feel as though you are challenging their established identity. They do not see that your inquiries come out of love for Truth itself, rather than an idea which was established by others, long ago. Maybe there is some sadness there for their own lack of discovery of personal Truth.

“And so, at times it may seem a lonely path. At times you may sit out here, in the cold, by yourself, feeling that no one will expect you to succeed and no one supports you. Oh, but Fox Child! We see you, and we love you, and we see that you ask these questions in service to Truth and in service to Love. And we support you. We know that this is not an easy path that you have chosen. There are times when you will not feel us here, watching you. That is because there are times in which you need to know what it feels like to be alone. And yet, we encourage you to keep asking these questions because your work does not go unnoticed and your work does not go unacknowledged in the cosmic context. Oh, Fox Child! We will see that no harm comes to you through this dark night. We will see that you are surrounded and protected, though you will not know that we are there. You will not know, and you will feel alone for now. And you will experience this dark night of the soul as though you were completely on your own in this forest of snow. And you will witness only the Fox, your fellow Truth-Seeker. He will be your only companion for this dark night. But no harm will come to you, and you will sit by your fire. And you will sing your questions.”

These messages ring very true for me through my exploration of my work and of living in service to Spirit through the pursuit of Truth. I’ll be sitting with this information and integrating these energies, and perhaps later I can expound further upon the implications.

Many thanks, also, to Fox. I look forward to getting to know you.

A Love Letter to My Medicine Family

Originally published on Eagle Song December 22, 2015.

Dear Tribe,

Happy Solstice! I am so grateful to take this time to reflect on the past year and its lessons, and on the people with whom I exchanged beautiful energy.

Thank you so much for the times we danced together, laughed, cooked amazing food, dressed up in costumes, drank tea and talked about the Universe and sat in hot springs until we felt like we were dissolving into infinity.

Thank you for sitting in the forest with me and listening to the rain, nerding out with me over communication and human consciousness, serenading me with beautiful songs and feeding me chocolate.

Thank you for witnessing me in my grief, offering me reflections on my process, being amazing mirrors for my own growth and awareness, teaching me about Power and Love and living your own journeys so fiercely that it inspires me to do the same. Thank you for showing up to talk about the hard stuff with me.

I am so happy to hold space for your process, to reflect with you on your journey, to hold you as you cry, to read your words, to crack jokes all night so you can laugh for a moment and forget your broken heart. I am happy to hold ceremony for you and offer you healing.

I love journeying with you into your own darkness, helping you discover your demons and shine a light on your deepest fears. I will always be there to share my insight, offer my intuition or be a sounding board. Tell me your stories, share your epiphanies and bare your hearts. I love watching your soul sparkle as you speak your Truth.

This past year has been particularly magical because of my amazing Medicine Sisters who have shown up in all the most beautiful ways. Never before have I had such a strong reflection of the Divine Feminine from so many powerful women.

I am also so grateful for my Medicine Brothers and their embodiment of the Divine Masculine.

This is also a dedication letter of sorts. As I continue on my path and step more completely into alignment with my role as a Shaman, there is a necessary acknowledgement of purpose and commitment. As a friend told me, a Shaman doesn’t choose to become a Shaman. They do so because it’s the only way they know how to heal themselves. And once they pass through the Shadow realm and come out the other side, a Shaman’s life belongs to their tribe.

The work that I am doing now is the work that I will be doing (in some form or another) for the rest of my life. So many thanks to my amazing Tribe–you make it so easy to commit to you! And that’s exactly what I’m doing: I commit to supporting you, my Tribe, in your health and well-being, especially in regards to your Spiritual journey.

I hold so much gratitude for my Medicine Family. Thank you for seeing me. I love you, I love you, I love you.

Many blessings,

Michelle

Solstice Darkness

Originally published on Eagle Song December 21, 2015.

Tonight marks the Winter Solstice. This is a personally significant holiday for several reasons. Not only is this when I celebrate the New Year, but four years ago today (on the Solstice in 2011) I received my Shamanic Initiation. Add to that the perfect container to call in the darkness to do some lovely Shadow work–this is a very Shamanic holiday.

Last night I attended Solstice Dance for the third year in a row and spent some time taking stock of the last year. I felt considerable distress when I noticed some similar themes of what was going on this time two years ago, last year and now. And as I danced, I thought, “Has that little actually changed? What the fuck am I doing that this is still a main theme in my life?”

But of course, things have changed. This is one of those examples of the Cycles of Power: after all, everything is cyclical and we live in a spiraling Universe. So even though it seems that around this time every year I revisit themes of power, love and wounding, each year I do so with a new level of understanding, awareness and comfort of working within the darkness.

Two years ago, I remember my big Solstice revelation was centered around the idea of “It’s okay to not be okay.” Using darkness itself as a healing tool was relatively new to me, and by that time I had already been going through Underworld Initiations for at least six months. Accepting that I didn’t feel happy and shiny all the time was a big step for me.

Last year, one of the main threads of darkness was working through healing my relationship to relationship itself. I held three consecutive days of some form of ritual and I worked as hard as I could to move through the darkness so I could come out the other side and be done.

And I’m still not done, because the Underworld Initiations have continued. (And according to my astrologer friend, they probably will for about another year, until the end of my Saturn Return.) But I’ve reached a place, after spending the last two and a half years or so working through some level of wounding and trauma and challenge, where I’m totally okay with hanging out in the darkness. And even though this Solstice is helping me confront some of my deepest fears, prompting crises of purpose and inspiring new levels of pain, I finally know how to welcome it.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been saying “I feel like I’m dying.” I’ve actually been able to feel parts of me shriveling in the presence of intense emotion and energy. But it occurred to me last night as I was dancing that I didn’t really know what parts of me have been dying. Given the trajectory of my path thus far, it seems like a good thing. So I decided that I would dance my Death. As I danced, I called upon Pluto and Persephone, Lord and Lady of the Underworld, to bring me my Death. I asked that all the parts of me that were ready to go move with Death to be guided into the Underworld. I also asked that, if the next year will continue to bring Shadow work, Pluto and Persephone stand with me as guides through the darkness. (Owl also showed up for me yesterday when I was teaching Reiki Master class, so I danced with her as well. She is another entity who has offered to guide me through the Shadow.)

Even though it initially felt like I was in a similar place as I have been for the last two years, so much has changed. The mere fact that I am now completely comfortable calling in the deepest darkness available to work through my own wounding is new within the last year, and I can attribute this ease in working with the Shadow realm to the last several years moving deeper and deeper into darkness with myself and others. This particular Cycle of Power has offered me some wonderful reflection about my growth in all areas of my life, and I am grateful to embrace the Darkness as my ally for transformation. This has been a long process of Death, and I’m happy to learn everything I can until I’m ready to be reborn in the Light.

Artwork by Veronica Gutierrez

Even Warriors of the Light Must Work in the Shadow Realm

Originally published on Eagle Song October 1, 2015.

Between the Autumnal Equinox and the Lunar Eclipse, last week offered plenty of opportunities for review of the last few months.

I had a really challenging summer, and I know I’m not alone in that. Starting right around the solstice, I found myself confronted with manifestations of the Shadow Realm in every facet of my life:

I faced the fear of losing my home when the lease ended on my house and my landlord became completely unreachable.

I broke my heart ending a relationship with someone I love dearly, then faced the emotional turmoil of beginning new connections while still moving through the pain and sorrow.

I grew increasingly alarmed as I watched my savings account dwindle to almost nothing as I barely worked for three months.

I butted up against antiquated, dogmatic ideas that directly challenge my work and the manifestation of my life purpose.

I suffered two rounds of a dry, grief-based cough that lingered for weeks and drained me of my energy.

I spent sleepless nights feeling as though I was being shredded into millions of tiny fragments as the energy ripped through me.

And yet, throughout it all, I knew that I was fine. I was able to surrender to the Shadow work completely, knowing that every challenge was temporary and within my capacity. I am so proud of myself that I was able to move with grace through one of the most intensely difficult periods of my life thus far. And after all that, I still have my house, I am building new, loving connections, my calendar and bank account are filling up, my physical body feels healthy and vital and my conviction in my work and my path is stronger than ever.

This is truly the path of a Warrior of the Light: to move through the Shadows with grace while practicing radical trust. I know that every step I take for myself ultimately puts me in a better position to facilitate the same journey for others.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so happy and grateful to do this work, today and always.

An Offering for Elephant

Originally published on Eagle Song September 14th, 2015.

Elephant

Wise mother, North-holder, tribe guardian.

Thank you for blessing me with the wisdom of your medicine. I am so happy and grateful to feel your thick-skinned feet teach my small human form what it means to pulse with deep Earth vibration. The rhythm of your walk and swaying of your head echoes in my own heartbeat, and I feel my dance slow to match your deliberate strength.

Feminine sage, keeper of knowledge, partner of accountability.

I surrender to your teachings. I trust that my embodiment of your energy works in highest service to Self and Spirit. I thank you for your guidance in returning to the wisdom of the Mother, creating the Sister Tribe, building community based in vibrational and emotional intelligence. I hold in my cells the memory of safe passage to water and the oasis of the Divine.

Delicate strength, discerning pleasure, fine detail.

I embrace the sensitivity and dexterity of your complex trunk! I spin and whirl in perfect precision, savoring soft strokes and sweet, sparkling sensation. I am safe. Thank you for teaching me that, even in great expansiveness, no detail is lost. Your luxuriant eyelashes offer their evidence.

Earth ambassador, beloved teacher, honored guide.

I am grateful to remember the infinity of connection, even in the empty moments.

Animal Guides: Spider

Originally published on Eagle Song September 3, 2015

About a month ago, Spider announced herself in my life in a somewhat startling, then very beautiful way.

On the night of the last Super Moon at the end of July, I brought all my crystals outside to soak in the moonlight. I joined them on an air mattress and was sleeping relatively peacefully, until sometime in the middle of the night when I awoke to feel a spider bite my top lip, right in the center. In my half-asleep, bewildered state, I announced to the spider, “That hurts! Who does that?!?” I rolled over, already feeling my lip swell under my fingertips. I managed to fall back asleep fairly quickly, thinking that the spider had some nerve biting me (on my lip, no less) while I was minding my own business, sleeping.

The next morning, my upper lip was swollen to several times its normal size. I endured a few hours of talking strangely and drooling a little bit, but with my magic natural detox, my lip looked pretty much normal by midday. I filed the incident under “Unusual, but not significant,” and moved on.

Two days later, I participated in a traditional Native American dance ceremony. At some point in the late morning, I noticed some very tiny spiders appear on me. I escorted them down to the safety of the grass, only to discover more and more baby spiders show up throughout the next several hours. They appeared as if out of nowhere to crawl on my body and my clothes, and I gently transported them to the grass and nearby plants where I wouldn’t accidentally smoosh them with my movements. I asked both of my dance neighbors on either side (about 5 or 6 feet away) if they had any tiny spider visitors, and I felt surprised when each of them told me that they were completely spider-free. Apparently there had just been a hatching immediately over my head. The rain of baby spiders continued through the early afternoon, and while I thanked Grandmother Spider for sending me her grandchildren and tried asking her what I was supposed to learn, I was sufficiently distracted by the dance ceremony itself (read about it here) and did not have enough attention for an answer.

When I eventually did get to meditate with Spider energy a few days later, the information that came through resonated deeply with me:

Spiders are the weavers of life. Through their weaving, everything is connected. They help form the bridge between the past and future, the subconscious and conscious, male and female, waking and dreaming life, physical and spiritual realms. They embody infinity, and their webs’ spiral shape represents the First Cosmic Key of the Universe, from which all other forms manifest.

Research from outside sources revealed that Spider is the keeper of ancient languages and alphabets, and that the geometric shapes found in a spider’s web became the first symbols of written language. Spiders are storytellers! How cool is that?

It blows my mind that I could be so deeply connected to Spider without consciously knowing that I work with her energy. Maybe that’s why she sent one of her children to bite me in my sleep, on my lip, infusing me with a strong dose of Spider medicine to aid in my own storytelling of weaving the bridge between human and Divine realms. (I even use the term “Thought Spiral” when I’m describing the long, multidimensional path an idea takes when it pulls together many seemingly unrelated concepts that ultimately connect to form a complete and cohesive picture. Thank you, Spider.)

All that said, working directly with Spider medicine has not felt completely intuitive to me. Some animals (generally mammals and birds) are so much easier for me to jump right into a very embodied understanding of what it means to access their energy. Maybe it’s partially due to cultural conditioning, maybe it’s because their movement and body shape are so unlike my own, but I definitely need to sink deep in order to fully honor this guide and do her justice.

That’s partly why I’m so excited to teach my Animal Dance workshop next weekend in Portland, OR. While I guide others through the process of discovering their Animal Totems and moving into a place of embodied understanding, I plan to do the same with Spider. I am so grateful for the opportunity to facilitate this journey! Working with my own Animal Guides has been a rich, truly educational experience that helps me discover more and more layers of my own consciousness and personal evolution. I can’t wait to help others access the wealth of knowledge and powerful wisdom available to them from their Animal Guides.

If you would like to register for the workshop, please do so here.

Workshop information here.

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