Tag Archives: shamanism

Phytolacca americana

so, i went to a shamanic drumming circle tonight. i met up with a womanish being who gave me recipes to address my chronically recurring ear infections. i asked her who she was and she said, “i’m terrible, i’m wonderful, i’m Poke.”

this is not a surprise. poke has surrounded my house on 3 sides. i’d call that a blatant attempt to get my attention.

so tonight i met the spirit of Poke, and she is terrible and wonderful and i’ll do as she tells me. maybe i’ll even get the hearing back in my left ear.

sacred stones

Many years ago, I found a stone among my possessions. I don’t remember ever finding the stone. I don’t remember anyone gifting me the stone. I have a vague feeling it may have something to do with my sister, but then I always feel that way.

Anyway, the stone is about 3/4″ in diameter, black with raised, jagged markings that look like glyphs of some sort, but not really. I thought it could be fossilized something or other, but that thought never felt right. It is much heavier than it should be — it feels like iron. No one I’ve shown it to over the years has been able to tell me what it is.

So tonight, I had my first appointment with an acupuncture / plant spirit medicine healer to try and address the chronic, recurring problems I’ve been having with ear infections and bad back pain. I left work, worried that there wasn’t enough time what with rush hour traffic to get to his place in Manayunk by 5pm. The radio said traffic was backed up on 76 from 202 to Girard Avenue. Strangely, I made it to Manayunk in 15 minutes with 45 to spare before the appointment. So, I decided to take a walk and see what was around. I walked about a half mile or so and then turned around and walked back.

Manayunk is definitely a cool place to shop (if one is into shopping). I think I could almost enjoy xmas shopping there….very unmall-like, but expensively trendy. Anyway, when I was a half block from the office, I decided to duck into a crystal shop to waste my last 15 minutes.

The shop was long and very narrow, more like a hallway than a store. There was a young black man in ethnic garb behind the counter, which was barely more than a glass fronted desk. He was talking on the phone when I walked in and continued his conversation while I perused his rock collection.

Amongst the sizable, shiny crystal offerings was a plain rush basket full of dull stones. They were gravelly looking, round rocks that stopped me in my tracks. I picked one up. It was too heavy and felt like iron, and I thought of my rock. I held one out to the man and asked what it was. He got off the phone and said, those are shaman stones. They call them moqui marbles. I described my rock to him and he said, “You have a boji stone. They are rarer than moqui marbles. You are very lucky.”

When I got home, I googled “shaman stones” and found examples of my rock.

I am indeed very lucky.

take a look: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boji_stone


the thing that Aisling said to almost everyone was to pay attention…

I’ve been noticing some things since the drumming/journey session, mostly that I’ve been very irritable and impatient.

not that that is a remarkable thing

I *feel* the energy in my body moving, most notably when I give myself reiki at bedtime or when meditating or in shavasana. But, all I have to do is *think* of energy and I feel a tingling sensation inside and outside. At night, when I place my hands on my heart chakra and hara, I immediately move into deep space…almost stuporous. I find I do not want to interact with anyone at the moment, and when I do, it is less than satisfying.

i want to sleep outside

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.


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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