Becoming the Visionary Shaman
I believe that we are all born with a powerful shamanic spirit. Like the rest of the natural world that we are so deeply related to, we are given many wonderful shamanic gifts from our Divine Source. One of the most powerful gifts given to us from the Creator is the inner knowing and wisdom that informs us when it is time to let go and to die and be reborn into a whole new level of consciousness.
I accepted many years ago that I am on earth in part to assist and guide others in connecting to their shaman within, particularly now as we are moving into the Aquarian Age and everyone can open to their inner shaman. We can open to our inner shaman by utilizing tools like Shamanic Breathwork, which helps us to learn how to develop the nonlocal mind in order to avail ourselves of ancient wisdom as well as to receive the fertile downloads coming in from the future realms of consciousness.
To access the nonlocal mind means being able to access different periods of time and different places with our thoughts instead of merely being able to focus on the here and now. The nonlocal mind is not restricted to past, present, or future events but can travel between all three realms. It is the field that prayer, miracles, visions, and revelations draw from, including the sense of déjà vu. The laws of synchronicity are active in this kind of shape-shifting reality, and cause and effect are not what they seem to be in linear time.
According to many of the great spiritual traditions–Hindu, Buddhist, esoteric Christianity, and some indigenous teachings–everything already exists and, in a manner of speaking, has already happened on some imaginal plane of existence; everything already is. I refer to this as Isis = is is. Events are not going to happen, nor will they happen some day. However, because of our innate need to focus on times and events sequentially in order to have a “human experience,” we are created and designed to see the past, present, and future in a linear space-time continuum. They are self-styled reference points that we have collectively created so that we can exist in a spatial reality where our life lessons are learned, and synchronistic occurrences congregate to give us clues about the truth of our powerful shamanic natures.
Some of us know how to gaze into the future to read the Akashic Records, which are variously described as a cosmic library or a kind of supercomputer whose esoteric data includes everything that has ever happened in the cosmos and everything that ever will. Psychotherapist and author Michael Newton has written extensively about his experiences with clients who, in a state of deep hypnosis, have been able to access these records in order to make decisions about their own life’s path.
Visionaries like Buckminster Fuller and others such as Henry Ford and Albert Einstein could easily draw upon this energy. Barbara Marx Hubbard, a well-known spiritual evolutionist, refers to this energy as the imaginal cells. The imaginal cells are the very valuable part of us that already have an existence in another realm. They are the seeds of the future that are constantly downloading into our human energy fields and into our human levels of consciousness.
You might say that the imaginal cells represent our human potential, but it’s actually more substantive than that because our imaginal cells already exist within the matrix. If we can tune in to them we can open ourselves more easily and allow them to come in and create who we are meant to be more quickly. They will do this over time anyway–with or without our consent. However, when we consciously invoke them and actively surrender to the process of change, we accelerate the process so that we can bring in our newest incarnations in a much more rapid fashion and thereby speed up our evolutionary process as it pertains to consciousness and making the quantum leap.
Walking in shamanic awareness in the Aquarian Age is not necessarily about knowing the “correct” order for calling in the four directions or the “exact” number of stones to be placed in the medicine wheel, or the “right” way to behave in a particular ritual or ceremony. Awakening the shaman within is much more about learning how to heal oneself by knowing oneself–the light, the dark, no difference–and through this awareness awakening the inner wisdom keeper and shaman.
The inner shaman is not only interested in further evolving powerful spiritual traditions by respectfully honoring what has been but also being able to stand on those teachings as foundations while continuing to dream the dream forward in an upward spiral of spiritual wisdom. It is time to ask ourselves what the twenty-first-century shaman looks like and take a long hard look in the mirror while we are listening for the answer to our question.
When we learn to accept our multidimensionality we become responsible for our creations in the world of time and space. In so doing, we actually become co-creators with God, living out our destiny as universal humans and actively co-creating the future with the Great Mystery. At this point, no matter where we find ourselves in this vast universe, at last we will know that we are and always have been home.
edited by Itzhak Beery
Baby, I Was Born This Way
Linda Star Wolf
I was born into a loving family and grew up with the good, hardworking, salt-of-the-earth Christian folks of rural western Kentucky. Although there was fundamentalism, there was also an innate closeness to the land and family. I spent most of my childhood outside with my grandmother Mammy Jones. Mammy recognized my overly sensitive nature and psychic gifts and treated my “strangeness” as something to be proud of. She taught me that it was part of God’s gift to me. She protected and cultivated my gifts, helping me see, hear, and interpret the world around me with shamanic eyes. She showed me the connection between the spiritual world and the natural world. Mammy Jones infused me with her own special brand of faith that even though I was different, I was special.
Mammy also taught me to connect with the dream world. In the mornings as we ate breakfast, she always asked me about my dreams. We talked about what I saw and what it might mean. A few months before my twelfth birthday, I saw Mammy’s death in a dream. It terrified me and I didn’t want to tell anyone. I was afraid that if I spoke it, it would come true. The following morning at breakfast Mammy sensed that I was upset about something and eventually got me to talk. She assured me everything would be okay. A few weeks later she became quite ill and her health declined rapidly. She eventually agreed to go to the hospital, but she never came home. My beloved Mammy was gone.
The loss of my grandmother was not only a shock but it became a huge psychic wound for many years. I secretly blamed myself for her death, believing that somehow seeing the vision of her death in my dreams had made me responsible. The pain of losing her was insurmountable. Although I knew my parents loved me, Mammy Jones was the person in my life who really saw me for who I was.
As a teenager I couldn’t deal with my gifts without Mammy to guide me, so I wandered in the underworld for a long time. In my confusion, hurt, and grief, I ignored my sensitive nature as much as possible. I developed several dysfunctional patterns for dealing with life, including addiction to substances, which resulted in a near-death experience before I was twenty years old.
The addictions turned out to be blessings in disguise, eventually leading me to a path of soulful sobriety in my late twenties. I found that I was a natural wounded healer. I became an addictions counselor, but I sensed there was something more than what was being offered in mental health and treatment centers for these folks who were a lot like me. I understood that many of them were using substances to block out emotional pain and repress sensitive spiritual souls. I was determined to discover what that “something more” was–not only for me but for others seeking lives that were addiction free, yet not restricted to the status quo.
This yearning led me to a path of radical transformation, reclaiming my lost soul parts through the healing power of breathwork and eventually entering the shamanic path. Through breathwork journeying I began to feel a call toward Native American, Mayan, and other indigenous teachings. A Cherokee friend and teacher encouraged me to listen to a guided journey every day with the intention of finding a grandmother spirit who could help me heal my grandmother wound and give me the guidance to truly find myself and walk my path. During one of those journeys, a Native American grandmother I had never seen before came into my vision. She held my head in her lap and stroked my hair, calling me Gentle Star Wolf. I saw her face as clear as day, and she felt incredibly real. When I came out of the journey, I was not sure if she was someone real whom I needed to find in this realm or if she was a
guide from the spirit realm.
It was to be several years until I tracked her down in the physical world–or perhaps it was she who tracked me down. One day I traveled to the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in upstate New York. As I got out of my car, Seneca Wolf Clan Grandmother Twylah Nitsch opened the door to her back porch and walked toward me. Taking hold of my shoulders, she looked penetratingly into my eyes and said the words that would change my world forever: “What took you so long?”
I looked back at her in shock. Even though there were others close by they ceased to exist in that moment. There was only the two of us, suspended beyond time and space. The whole world went into slow motion and eventually I found my voice, saying, “It would have helped if you had told me your name and where you lived.”
“You were supposed to use your Wolf nose, eyes, and ears to sniff me out,” she said with a wry smile. Then she added, “I gave you a name. What is it?”
I answered shyly in a questioning manner, “Star Wolf?”
Her face lit up and she said very firmly, “Yes. That’s right. Now come on inside and let’s get to it.”
There have been many shamanic moments of death, rebirth, and wisdom given to me during this life journey of almost sixty years. But my epic, “no turning back” moment came that day on Grandmother Twylah’s porch when time stood still and I looked into the eyes of the woman whom I had seen in my vision. Up until that point I waivered back and forth between faith and doubt about my mystical experiences and psychic gifts. When I met Twylah, the worlds collided and all doubt fell away. From that moment forth, I was able to embrace my shamanic spirit and calling.
Bio: Itzhak Beery is an internationally recognized shamanic healer and teacher. He was initiated into the Circle of 24 Yachaks by his Quechua teacher in Ecuador and by Amazonian Kanamari Pagè. He has also trained intensively with other elders from South and North America. The founder of ShamanPortal.org and cofounder of the New York Shamanic Circle, he is on the faculty of New York Open Center. The author of The Gift of Shamanism, he lives in New York.
Shamanic Transformations edited by Itzhak Beery © 2015 Destiny Books. Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com
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An excerpt from the Preface of Visionary Shamanism
by Linda Star Wolf and Anne Dillon
Foreward by Barbara Hand Clow
“It is time not only to heal the past but also to learn from the future.”
Nut, the sky mother goddess of ancient Egypt, woke me up one morning before sunrise while Jupiter was still very bright in the dark night sky. I felt Nut’s shimmering presence downloading powerful information into my energy field. She arched her beautiful, indigo blue, star-filled body over me as I lay in my bed, caught in between the worlds, only half awake. Nut conveyed her message of sacred purpose to me through electromagnetic waves that filled my mind and heart with many strong images and emotions. Over the past year I’ve repeatedly heard the same inner message: “It is time not only to heal the past but also to learn from the future.”
Many people write, teach and talk about releasing past programming. But the time has indeed arrived for humanity to give equal attention to our future programming. This future programming is held within our archetypal DNA as well as our physical DNA and can be even more compelling than our past programming, once we surrender our ego’s agenda and open to our soul’s true purpose.
Make no mistake about it, the future self is very real, and many alternative realities are available for our imaginations to grab hold of. The imaginal selves, which together form the perfectly realized archetype of who we are really meant to be, exist in conjunction with the past selves but they do not always manifest in our current existence. When we begin to actively feel their pull within us, they are moving into our present life. In other words, our imaginal selves are eager and ready to be born into the world. They need our conscious cooperation to come into being, and as a result of their emergence, we will grow in self-awareness and wisdom.
Without the assistance of our imaginal selves, our development will consist of a long succession of woeful experiences. Suffering is very real on our planet. Genuine pain is all around us: in war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan; in countries where environmental disasters have left millions of people without food or shelter; in situations where disasters resulting from human error have trashed the environment. The world around us is a reflection of our inner state of being.
As we collectively move into the new eon, we need to open to a much bigger vision for our future. This is an evolutionary shift that has been predicted by religious, spiritual, and shamanic traditions for thousands of years. The common prophecy has it that a time would come when we would need to wake up and see that we are all connected and a part of the world’s greatest challenges and opportunities for transformation. As we collectively shape-shift our consciousness away from addiction and into planetary service, we will begin to live and give from the fullness of our sacred purpose, simultaneously healing the world around us as we heal ourselves.
The earth and all its beings are calling out to the heart of humanity to heal its self and open to a larger reality. This is not a time for staying half asleep but for fully awakening and taking creative action in our lives. Staying stuck in the past is about addiction; opening to the future is about embodying the full measure of our energies of love and sacred purpose.
My personal spiritual commitment is to continue to rid myself of the immaturity and selfishness that blocks my soul’s true purpose. My hope, my prayer, and my faith is that we will all awaken from our deep slumber before it is too late. It is time not only to imagine a new Earth, but to create it. We must each find the love in our hearts that will inspire and motivate us to fulfill our unique role in helping to reshape reality. We begin by taking responsibility for changing ourselves and helping to open the portals in order to birth a higher love and wisdom, or, as the great master Jesus said, create Earth as it is in Heaven. It is time for humanity to shape-shift into its future self now!
Linda Star Wolf is the founder of Venus Rising Association for Transformation, Venus Rising University, the Shamanic Breathwork™ Process, the Shamanic Ministers’ Global Network and the author of several books on shamanism. Visionary Shamanism: Activating the Imaginal Cells of the Human Energy Field, published by Inner Traditions / Bear & Company, is now available in stores and on-line. Star Wolf will return to the Sanctuary at Sedona in December to teach Shamanic Egyptian Mystery School. To learn more please visit: www.shamanicbreathwork.org
Breathe America ~ Breathe Sedona is a FREE day of Visionary Shamanism and Shamanic Breathwork™ journeying on September 16, at the Sedona Creative Life Center, led by the founder of Shamanic Breathwork™, Linda Star Wolf, and sponsored by Venus Rising Association for Transformation and several Shamanic Breathwork™ practitioners who recently graduated from Venus Rising’s Accelerated Training program at the Sanctuary at Sedona. To register or get more info for this free event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 602-605-0082.
What Is Visionary Shamanism? by Linda Star Wolf
Visionary Shamanism and Shamanic Breathwork™ are powerful tools for activating the Imaginal Cells in the human energy field in order to expand our consciousness, become more aware of our inherent power, and take responsibility to do the inner work required if we want to use our power in a good way to create real and lasting change in the world. When there is an activation of consciousness, our evolution is actually accelerated and a quantum leap can be made. We really can’t afford to evolve slowly right now. There are far too few resources for the many people living on the planet. It’s going to take a quantum leap to give birth to a new wave of consciousness and a new paradigm that is ready and primed to enter into our human forms during these highly transformational times.
Visionary Shamanism and Shamanic Breathwork™ activate and integrate ancient shamanic wisdom with the new paradigm downloads that are coming into individuals around the world today. As human beings living in the modern world, we still have much to learn from indigenous teachings in terms of understanding the cycles of nature, living in sacred reciprocity and developing a deep connection with pachamama. The wisdom of the trees, also known as the Standing Ones, the mineral kingdom, the plants, the animals and all our ancestors live within us, in our bones and skin, in-forming us. At this point in our spiritual evolution, we are discovering that we can get our own messages from deep within our DNA, without necessarily having to go to a shaman in remote places of the world. We are awakening our capacity to walk between the worlds and access information from many dimensions. In order to make the evolutionary leap that is required of us at this time we must commit to learning how to open up to our Shaman Within, activate the imaginal cells of the future and then embody our future selves in the present. One of the greatest lessons we are here to learn at this time is that we are the ones we have been waiting for. We are all just beginning to wake up and realize that no one else is going to heal us or heal our planet. This is our sacred work and the sacred activism of this new era.
Visionary Shamanism is not just about going into an altered state and getting a vision. Sometimes when people are drawn to expanded consciousness, whether it is breathwork, plant medicine, or some other form of altered states work, they are looking for visions of light because they are disenchanted and overwhelmed by the intense energies we are all experiencing on Earth during these shamanic times. But getting a higher vision for our planet is just the beginning. While it is incredibly important to think outside of the box and open to our future selves, it is equally important to heal the past so that we can embody these visions. Carl Jung said, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.” True spiritual maturity involves not only having a vision, but then also knowing how to bring that light into the darkness and into form. We do that by clearing out the obstacles in our psyches that have kept us small, stuck, disempowered and disconnected from our own bodies, minds and spirits.
If we plant a seed in place where there is not enough sun, water, or good soil, it will not flourish. Due to the level of unconsciousness still very present on Earth at this time, most of us are like seedlings that were planted in the shade, in depleted soil and were not watered enough. Most of us were not given the support found in nature’s ingredients to help us flower. The good news is that when we face the psychological dilemmas of our past, even past lives, and nurture the younger parts of our selves that may have felt threatened, rejected or unloved, we naturally begin to flower. When we do the inner work to remove the blocks to our wholeness, a natural downloading of information happens that allows us to be the change we want to see in the world.
New cutting-edge processes like Visionary Shamanism and Shamanic Breathwork™ help us to embody our visions and to become the flower of life. All we really need is the sacred space and healing power of the breath to access these natural altered states, expand our consciousness and discover that the answers we are desperately seeking already live in our own hearts and psyches. It’s all within us and will unfold naturally if we are willing to take the time to do what is most important at this time: remove the blocks to remembering who we really are! We are the ones we have been waiting for and this is our time. Stop what you’re doing and Breathe, America!
Linda Star Wolf is the founder of Venus Rising Association for Transformation, Venus Rising University, the Shamanic Breathwork Process, the Shamanic Ministers’ Global Network and the author of several books on shamanism. Her next book, Visionary Shamanism: Activating the Imaginal Cells of the Human Energy Field, will be released in December 2011 by Inner Traditions / Bear & Company. Star Wolf will return to the Sanctuary at Sedona in December to teach Shamanic Egyptian Mystery School. To learn more please visit: www.shamanicbreathwork.org
Awakening the Shaman Within
An Interview with
Linda Star Wolf
Breathe America. Breathe World. Stop, look and listen, not from the ego, but from the Shaman within that’s connected toour deeper soul purpose. And it’s not too late.
Linda Star Wolf, founder of the Venus Rising Institute for Shamanic Healing Arts and the Shamanic Breathwork process, has been creating the foundations of Shamanic Breathwork in her three decades of service work. Her latest book, Shamanic Breathwork: Journeying Beyond the Limits of the Self, relates the story of how she came to do this work, how it evolved over time, and how it is changing lives.
Shamanic Breathwork is a breathing process and journey. The process itself seems to magically take you where in consciousness you need to go for greater healing and transformation. The mechanics of it uses the healing power of circular breath to chakra-attuned music. It’s typically done with a facilitator and a group. The facilitator does focused bodywork on the group during the session. At the conclusion, she helps participants integrate their experience into the outer world by allowing them to talk about it. Star Wolf also encourages the creation of art including mask-making, drawing and writing about the journey.
“This journey is geared toward bringing transformation. It’s about bringing what’s going on beneath the surface to the surface. We’re seeking to bring the unmanifest to the manifest. Our memories get trapped in the cells of our body like a Kodak moment. The breathwork experience can be about healing our past, past lives, or we can be in a totally blissful ecstatic state with connection to a higher power or nature,” says Star Wolf.
One of the primary purposes of Shamanic Breathwork is to bring to our sacred purpose to our conscious awareness by removing waking-life obstacles. “The only thing that stands in the way of a seed growing is it not being nurtured. All things are growing toward the light (of our true being).” Star Wolf feels that whatever wounds that have happened to us in childhood or even in utero are important. These wounds cause patterns in our psyche and physical body that begin to block the True Self. “It’s never too late to till the soil and remove old patterns of dysfunction. Shamanic Breathwork opens us to our deeper sacred purpose that each of us came here with.”
In this Age of Aquarius, personal accountability is key; we must fi nd our sacred purpose ourselves. “We’re leaving behind the Piscean Age where we looked to a guru, sage or shaman to help us heal or do it for us. It’s time for us to become the adults on the planet. We need to grow up and acknowledge our Divinity. So, instead of looking outside ourselves for the mother ship to show up, we must take responsibility for our own healing. We understand there is no one or no thing that can heal us. Instead, we step into, ‘I can honor others – Shamans, medical doctors, alternative practitioners – but my healing is my responsibility.’ We need to stop giving our power away.”
Surrender is a necessary part of our healing journey. If we don’t surrender, we won’t change. If we don’t give up our ego identity and attachment, we can’t transform ourselves and the planet. “We’ve developed a shadow that gets hidden in our unconscious. So much is in there,” says Star Wolf. “We need to look in and see the light and the dark. If we can’t surrender the ego’s control, we can’t honor our gifts and we can’t know who we are in our wholeness. We can’t heal, transform, or bring our sacred purpose to the world. We need curiosity, open-mindedness and trust.”
Star Wolf sees things starting to shift. People are beginning to wake up. “What I see in my groups now is that there’s a quickening in the DNA. Something inside our evolutionary patterns is growing; we’re gearing up to produce fruit. Surrender is more organic now. People used to wait until they had a health challenge, addiction, or lost a loved one to surrender. Not anymore. Surrender is about opening and trusting and letting go and learning from wisdom rather than woe. We are learning to be proactive and open to flow. We’re learning that we can surrender and we don’t need such a strong ego anymore.”
Four Corners Magazine