My First Journey Training Experience

Having been drawn to a deeper sense of being throughout all of these learning experiences and healings, I felt a powerful attraction to attend “The Way of The Shaman”, a basic shamanic journeying workshop offered by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies taught by Myron Eshowsky. I am not a “workshop” person and at the time making the commitment to attend meant that the money might possibly be misspent if the illness did not allow me to attend the entire training. But I felt strongly that this was the training I had waited for all of my life. This was the training I so desperately longed for since those lost teenage years of past life memories and the search for spiritual guidance. In anticipation of this long awaited spiritual step I devoured the book “The Way of The Shaman” by Dr. Michael Harner, founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies.

Dr. Harner of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and his staff teach the concepts and journey techniques of what he terms “core shamanism”, that is, the fundamental methods of shamanism minus the cultural elements. In chapter four I describe in detail how to journey, but briefly for the sake of understanding, a person relaxes while listening to steady drumming or music, and enters into an altered state of consciousness. As the body and mind relax, brain waves shift into theta state, the state of deep relaxation. One journeys inward to the world of the soul self and Spirit Teachers, to a reality that is real and happening, just outside of our daily perceptions. Inner truth and knowing are found in this sacred place.

The following is a description of the incredible spiritual connection and personal healing that happened to me as a result of this training. In the first journey to the lower world I connected with my power animal, an incredible source of personal power that has been missing since my late teens. I was very still and patient in my journey, something I am not in ordinary reality. I felt at home and connected, again, something I was not in ordinary reality at the time. For the first time in many years I was in a place that I belonged. I journeyed into the Earth and felt her protection and nurturance. I sat by a mountain lake quietly, “just being” for some time when my power animal approached me with discourse. He was angry that I had wandered from my life path and had participated in activities that were self-destructive. He angrily informed me he was forced away by alcohol and dishonorable actions. He expressed his desire to assault me as he was so angry but wanted to re-connect with me so he controlled himself. I was amazed but knew all of this to be truth. I expressed my regrets and my desire to re-connect with him. He asked me to honor him by doing less and being more, to spend time “being” in his environment, to drum daily and to walk the path of connectedness. Then, we just were. We shared energy and essence. He showed me how to BE. Many different kinds of birds called out to be acknowledged. My power animal informed me the cause for my headaches was thinking too much. He told me carrying so much in one's head was not healthy. Feel more, think less. My heart ached from expansion so much so that I actually rubbed the area on my physical body. The drumming vibrated my heart and seemed to open my soul. The whole room vibrated with the energy of the drum and the Spirits. There were many Spirit shamans present, drumming their healing and sharing their power. I was reluctant to return with the callback. I had found my home. What I did not know at the time was that I had also found my power.

The journey to the upper world was as profound as the journey to the lower world. I was carried on the back of an Eagle who shape-shifted into a hawk and then a raven, taking me through what appeared to be a layer of water like an ocean. Dolphins and whales surfaced in the water and I came out into a jeweled city. Central to the radiating city was a park area where an upper world Spirit Teacher, a gifted ancient shaman, met me. Another teacher appeared, a Celtic female Goddess healer dressed in robes. Telepathically I asked if it were possible to have more than one teacher and many more appeared. Spirits from many times and many paths all acknowledged that they were accessible to me if I asked. I was ecstatic. So I took advantage of the opportunity and asked them to heal the chronic fatigue immune deficiency. To my dismay they said “no, that was mine to heal”. Their role was to support, teach and empower me. My life mission is to be on this spiritual path of utilizing and learning about energy. My healing path is to be a shaman. The illness is my initiation and awakening, my healing is to be the conduit to Spirit, reaching out to help others connect and heal. I saw that it was like the “Mission Impossible” choice. If you choose to accept this mission, great learning and healing will happen. You will also have to overcome your fears and limitations. If you fail to accept this mission or discontinue walking this path, illness will be your consequence.

That evening upon returning home I was not as fatigued as I thought I might be. On the contrary, I was super energized and headed out for an exhilarating five-mile run. And this has been the case since connecting with my power sources. I feel more energy flow through my body than I have ever felt, even before the illness. It is not always a burst of energy but is often a subtle energy that flows up through my body making me feel alive!