well, it wasn’t a road trip…

but it was kinda interesting.

Since I’ve been studying herbalism, I find myself spinning off in lots of directions. I’ll come across a reference to drumming, Native American medicine wheels, tarot, shamanism…and of course this means that I have to check it all out, which is why I’m probably going to take longer to finish my correspondence course than anyone in history.

anyway…

So I was googling something about shamanism and I came across a local shamanic drumming/journeying circle. wow. People do this in Paoli? So last night, with dear Krys, I took my first journey.

Now, I don’t get a lot of this stuff. I mean, I’ve spent the majority of my adult life thinking in a purely rational, scientific way. I don’t believe in god, devils or angels or those who claim to talk to them. I’m dubious about ghosts and I’ve found no evidence that we go on in any form other than carbon after death. The universe works according to laws and so do we. Behavior, even at it’s most bizarre, is lawful.

but then again…

This way of looking at the world is extremely limited. Some things just can’t be measured and relationships, whether they be personal, biological, chemical or something else entirely, are just too complex to be understood when you only look at them through the lens of scientific method. I suppose you could chalk up all the magical thinking, the mythos, pathos and “oh wow!” things in the world as by-products our overly large frontal lobes, but I think that’s a cop out.

Then I come across string theory, the theory of everything…and I think, hmmm…this stuff sounds an awful lot like what shamams are talking about…it’s all relating…dimensions, alternate realities, energy, vibration, communication between plants, animals, and even us confused, arrogant, disconnected humans.

maybe there is something more…

So, what the hell…I’ve decided to let a little mystery in and broaden my outlook on the world as I know it.

But this is really hard. I don’t know how to “let go.” I don’t trust enough to loosen my grip and let the rational go. So, my journey was very difficult. I had a lot of trouble finding a way in. But…something was going on. Whether it was in my head or somewhere else, I don’t really know. It was a little frustrating in that no one spoke to me. I got the feeling that they (whoever, whatever they were) were disappointed that I’d been gone so long. I had to go it alone and find my own way, which meant I just sorta wandered aimlessly, climbed a strange tree and did a little body-gliding down to the ground. I did meet up with a very large and ancient elk. He let me ride on his back, but he didn’t speak to me and he was so very serious that I had no idea what was expected of me or if there was a place for me at all. Maybe I wasn’t quite “there.” I never truly felt disconnected from my body on the floor.

back to regular ol’ linear time…

The drumming was interesting. One woman had an amazing frame drum that looked to be about 3 feet in diameter. Very cool drum! Lots of drums all beating out the same (or nearly the same) rhythm has a cool effect physically. My innards were starting to vibrate in sync with the drums which was very pleasant. I enjoyed the “whale” song cd that Aisling played…I do believe it’s one of her compositions. Aisling leads the circle. She’s a shaman, musician and web-designer. She’s very down to earth and is one of those people who seem to make easy connections with others. And, she has amazing hair. I liked her a lot. There were about a dozen people there, including Krys and I. The group, as a whole, seemed very welcoming with a nice, collective sense of humor. Almost everyone shared their experience, which was fun. I didn’t think I’d have the nerve to “share,” thinking I’d be too shy/embarrassed to say anything, but I did. I guess I’m just not convinced that I’m over my horrid shyness and fear of speaking in front of others. I don’t quite believe I’m actually getting okay with myself and no longer putting excessive stock in, or handing over my power to others.

I just might do it again.

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