|Symbolic objects on a special cloth graced the center of the room.|
|This is one of the drums used during our weekend. Several participants brought their drums and shakers for intervals of sound and movement during circle times.|
|Power animals, often called totems or guides in shamanic practice, happen to line the ledge under sky lit windows above us.|
|Behind the copper structure, a visible example of how energy shifts electrical currents, just as our energy can shift everything around us.|
"Grounded in nature, shamanism is compatible with beliefs that see human beings and the Earth as dependent upon each other for health and well being." from www.spiritpassages.com
Scientific concepts such as Quantum Physics, DNA research, and light as a fundamental fabric of the universe were some of the ideas at the core of 2012 Apocalypse Not, a weekend of shamanic learning and journeys led by Allie and Evie of Spirit Passages and True North. During the workshop we explored how we define reality in terms of time and what our 5 senses find tangible. Yet the reality is that we can see and hear only a tiny slice of what exists! For example, raptors can see infrared heat trails which is why an eagle or owl can pounce down accurately to catch prey buried in snow or earth, invisible to human eyesight, and why dogs can hear frequencies inaudible to the human ear. Because something is not within reach of our senses does not mean it doesn't exist. We have the capacity to reach beyond our ordinary ways of understanding the world. In Evie's words, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". A shaman's role is to get beyond usual physical perception and work with information we often call metaphysical, and similar to the quantum researcher, explore something beyond what our senses can perceive.
In our journeys, we investigated and experienced multiple dimensions of time and reality. This might sound odd, but think of time as like radio stations or online streaming sites. They all exist at the same time but we choose which one to tune into and when. Just as we can change what we hear "next" by changing the frequency, we can also alter our next experience. For a visual way of thinking about this, imagine living on one facet or tip of a diamond. Yet the diamond has multi-facets and your consciousness could turn to any one of them for a different experience. In one of my own journeys I was shown how a mirror or a camera lens even changes the view or experience of a moment in time. Think of yourself now where you are, then put a mirror in front of you and notice what's behind you and on your periphery. If someone simultaneously snaps a photo you will see yet another view of that same moment. All of these things look somewhat different and may tell another version of what's happening, but it is still all at once. What we perceive is not all there is!
A powerful part of the weekend's learning came from studies of DNA and how DNA shifts as a result of feelings. In controlled studies, containers of DNA were held by individuals who were very good at recalling and feeling emotions. When the participants engaged in recalled feelings of anger, fear or anxiety, the DNA strands twisted or wound tightly upon themselves, while when the individuals felt compassion, happiness and thankfulness the DNA formed a natural, spiral "staircase". It appeared in multiple studies, measured by the same equipment, that the fundamental structure of DNA was affected by emotional states. In our experience, this is why we can walk into our homes or our workplaces and "feel" when something is wrong or someone is experiencing negative emotions. The tightly wound DNA also connects to the idea that stress and illness are interrelated, as strain and difficult emotions interfered with the healthy, normal pattern of DNA structure.
In terms of emotional health, relaxed DNA helps us respond (accessing higher intelligence) rather than react while those DNA twists or cramps, biochemically deny us access to the upper brain. In a practical way, when we experience stress or anger, remembering anything positive, something we're happy about or grateful for, can help DNA relax and we can begin to know how to respond better than impulsively react. which I guess is why we are often told to take a few deep breaths before acting on emotions. Another huge implication, of course, is how much we affect each other by our thoughts and feelings, and even beyond our local "group", how much we impact on a global level. Like the containers of DNA impacted by emotions, we are sending energy and information through space and time. Everything we do and feel is being communicated in a much greater way than we realize.
So how did this relate to the end of the Mayan calendar and 2012? Well the dates coming up, most notably the Winter Solstice of 2012, is a source of concerns, anxieties, and general darkness for some who believe it could be the end of the world or some other great disaster. There's a good deal written about it, prophesied, and speculated and as the time comes close there's likely to be media that generates feelings, opinions and fears. A shaman's role has always to been to work on behalf of the community, to provide for spiritual needs. Our work and commitment is to transform experience "on behalf of all people, plants, animals and resources".
I hope I'm communicating this clearly and I plan to provide some links and book titles to back up this information should you decide to explore further!
Allie and Evie are beginning a new session of 2 year Shamanic INITIATORY Training in the spring. Information and process for application is on their website now. I would encourage you to pursue any individual or group session with them at True North in Falmouth or at their Spirit Passages workshops offered. I began about 8 or 9 years ago with Introduction to Shamanic Journeying which is offered frequently and I have done a variety of individual and groups sessions since.
Enjoying the return of some late afternoon daylight (4 pm on January 31st) as we approach Groundhog Day, a turning point leading toward spring!
for more info:
The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot,
The Isaiah Effect by Gregg Braden
The Institute of Heartmath