We are all connected – We understand that all life has the same source, and that we are all part of a unified field of consciousness; all life is connected and interrelated.
Everything has a spiritual dimension – When we act in the spiritual dimension, we affect the physical dimension; when we act in the physical dimension, we affect the spiritual dimension; healing in the spiritual dimension heals the physical, emotional, psychological levels of our being.
The personal is cultural and planetary – Seeing connections between personal wounding and cultural and planetary systems and traumas is essential to our work as multi-dimensional earth beings living in specific bodies and cultures in this time. Many spiritual healing programs neglect the realities of cultural and systemic violations and how they affect the Earth, the family and the individual. These awarenesses will be part of the foundation of The Soul Healing Way, informing all aspects of our healing work in community.
Transformation requires altered states of consciousness – Altered states of consciousness are keys to unlocking the power of healing in the Spirit Realms. We’ll use breath, rhythm, and music to shift our consciousness and enable movement into the Spirit Realms for connection with Spirit and for healing.
Overview of Three Years
As human beings, we go through various stages of development from the womb to 12 years of age and beyond. The first 12 years of our lives are crucial to who we are physically wired to become as adults. Successfully navigating these developmental stages allows us to become fully embodied, grounded, independent and healthy relational adults who are empowered to live into our potential and life purpose. But when these stages are interrupted, when we don’t get what we needed in the womb, as infants, as small children, however well-meaning our families were, or when cultural or social factors influence what is possible and not possible for our young lives, and when trauma disrupts our lives early – all this re-directs the flow of our lifeforce away from our potential, our purpose, so that as adults we do not feel the freedom and power of living our best lives.
Additionally, we live in societies and a planet riddled with social inequities, environmental dis-ease, and increasing toxicity at all levels of our existence. It is urgent that we re-imagine how to live in balance and harmony with each other and all life.
The Soul Healing Way is designed to lead participants through a three-year journey of reclaiming our freedom and power to live our best lives in relationship with each other and our planet.
Year One: I Come to Get Me
The first year of the program is the heroic journey from womb to adolescence; what didn’t go right for you during those years? What were you missing? What didn’t you get that you needed, and you’re still missing, needing, seeking? Through specific shamanic journeys, energy medicine meditations, embodied visualizations, storytelling, and a community of witness, we will re-generate the young child ego, transforming it so that it can better face the deeper transformations of year two.
These journeys and meditations are powerful medicine; that said, they are also gentle, and enact a slow transmutation of the old into something new. This is why we need a three-year timeframe to allow a gradual and gentle process of change. You do not have to know what your ‘story’ is, and we won’t spend time in that story – shamanism invites us to take our intentions for change into the spirit realm and invite spirit to meet with our unconscious to bring in the medicine for change that is most needed. In other words, we will not be dredging up the past, but calling in, with the help of Spirit, the childhood of your best dreams.
Year one is a nurturing, gentle, sacred and loving time that allows you to be the nurturer and healer of your inner children – of your own precious child self. Year one allows us to go back into the cocoon to re-imagine and re-configure the foundations of our self.
Year Two: Healing the World in Us
We cannot really change our lives as long as the young child ego is hurting. So many people move towards change – they take a workshop, they drink ayahuasca, they go to therapy – but as soon as scary feelings, images, thoughts, begin to rise, they stop. And then repeat a while later, when the same thing happens. They say, “I think I need something different,” or, “I didn’t like that therapist” when what they are really saying is, “I don’t want it to be so hard, to be so scary, to feel so bad. I don’t want to deal with all that stuff from my past.” And so the cycle of their pain and suffering continues because it truly is too hard to meet. The reason it is too hard to meet is that the young ego did not get what it needed to be strong enough to deal with conflict, to withstand the discomfort of big emotions, to be sturdy or grounded enough to face what is scary or uncomfortable or unspeakable. There is a ‘can’t’ instead of a ‘won’t’. A ‘can’t’ means we really are not able to do something, not because we don’t want to, but because something in us is not capable at this time. The more we heal our child ego, the more strength and capacity we have for facing the scary stuff of healing the hurt of the world that lives in us.
Year two brings us to the hurt of the world that lives in us, usually buried inside the stories we carry and live out: I’m not good enough; I can’t stand up for myself; I don’t trust people; I’m not loveable; I don’t have the right to exist; the world is out to get me; and other hard hard stories. And importantly, through our shamanic and alchemical work, we learn how to release these stories, and make space inside ourselves for ourselves. Year two takes us on a journey of liberation.
Year Three: Healing for the World
Sometimes people say, isn’t this work a luxury? Real change comes from changing structures, policies, getting out into the streets and protesting, doing something. The Soul Healing Way response to this is that there is no either/or – both are necessary. Specifically, if we do not do this work too, of changing our inner structures, the outer structures will continue to manifest the conflicts and distortions we carry around inside us.
This is why we must strengthen the child ego, clear and transform the hard stories generated by personal and cultural traumas, and become reconnected to our multidimensional selves and the unified field of consciousness – the sacred web of life – in order to be able to carry out healing of our world.
We cannot imagine a new Earth if we are stuck in the hurt of the old one. By repairing our connections to the Earth, we can retrieve spiritual technologies that enable us to heal and transform human social structures and bring healing to the sacred web of life of which we are all a part.
There is very little in our mainstream Westernized and colonized social landscapes that encourages us to get altered and retrieve the parts of ourselves that we need in order to bring the power back on inside us and in the world. What do I mean by power? The power I am referring to is a primal one: the power of connecting to our multidimensional selves, of remembering our connections to the Black Void, to Original Being, to the first beginnings when we ignited and became light that became flesh. Power as visceral connection to all life. Power as the force that moves us to live our dreams, speak our truths, stand up on behalf of ourselves and each other, give birth to what we have not yet imagined, and do all those things necessary to co-create a just, joyful, sacred, wild, and sustainable world.
Year Three brings us face to face with the hurt of the world outside ourselves and through continued transformational work, including healing of cultural traumas and ancestral lineages, we will bring together all that we have learned in order to lay hands on our cultural and planetary woundings. Year Three we become healers of ourselves, each other, and our world. Year Three we co-create a New Mythos for the New Earth.
What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is a profound spiritual healing technology whose roots are ancient. Like many ancient earth-based spiritual healing technologies, it works through the use of altered states (usually generated through drumming, singing, and dancing, as well as plant medicines) to shift patterns of behavior and thinking that are unhealthy and make room for new ways of being that are balanced and healthy, increasing our physical and emotional and spiritual vitality.
The word ‘shaman’ came into Western language and culture from the Tungus people of Siberia. Russian anthropologists studying in that region in 1552 encountered healers there known as ‘saman’ – one who knows, one who sees in the dark. An even more precise meaning is ‘one who is raised’ meaning one who enters an excited or ecstatic state of being in which he or she is able to see visions and heal themselves and members of their community. The word saman or shaman then began to be used across the field of Western anthropology and eventually became synonymous with healers across cultures.
The core characteristic of one who sees in the dark is the use of altered states to access realms of consciousness usually inaccessible to us during ordinary daily activities. Those with the gift of easily moving back and forth across states of consciousness, from ordinary to extraordinary realms of consciousness for the purposes of healing and bringing balance to human and more-than-human communities have traditionally been called by many names: healer, witch, magician, curandera, witch doctor, medicine woman and medicine man, sangoma, and many others. In the West and beyond, the word ‘shaman’ has become widely interchangeable with all of these terms.
Shamanic practice has existed in all continents of our planet at some time in our human history. During the Bronze Age period of social development in the West (4000-800BCE) technological changes brought huge shifts in social structures and social imaginations. The ability to create weapons on a massive scale, to arm men, and go to war in order to amass wealth and build up empires led to instability and suffering and a movement away from earth-based spiritual technologies and religions to monotheistic religions and patriarchal and colonial social structures. Shamanic practices throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, along with the religions and peoples who practiced them, were suppressed, often through violence sanctioned by religious establishments and governments. And yet, this oldest of healing technologies survived and continues to thrive.
At its core, shamanic practice works on the premise that everything is alive, everything is connected, and everything is sacred. It is a living, breathing spiritual technology that emerges out of human beings’ connections to our bodies, to all of Nature, and to the worlds of spirit. For this reason, there are universal structures and practices, and also culturally specific practices and teachings.
The Soul Healing Way uses universal structures and practices, while also co-creating with Spirit practices and teachings that are specific to this time and the communities called to this work. The Soul Healing Way also synthesizes many teachings from ancient forms of alchemy to energy medicine systems to contemporary child, personal, and transpersonal psychologies, all with a view toward meeting the specific needs of our times.
The Soul Healing Way Vision
The Soul Healing Way is not a religion; it is a healing program and mystery school that seeks to remember us to our multidimensional selves, our ancestral lineages, and to re-connect us to the Earth wherever we are living. We seek to be inclusive and respectful of all religions. And we especially honor Indigenous peoples everywhere who are the keepers of thousands of years old spiritual technologies and wisdom, knowing that it is their survivance that has remembered many of us to our own Indigenous roots, however near or far those roots may be. European colonization has done immeasurable harm to Indigenous peoples everywhere. It is our prayer that by remembering, and by healing self-in-community, we can join together – peoples of every continent, culture, and religion – to re-weave the sacred web of life, and to bring balance and reverence back to our relationships to the Earth, to each other, and all of life.