Hi Gorgeous Souls,
This week I wanted to share about the Shamanic Spiritual Immersion Retreat recently held in Rishikesh, India. A powerful transformational, life-changing retreat on so many levels. Shamanism at its core is a pattern disrupting belief system. Using ancient processes and practices to access the spirit realm, a deeper connection to self and for healing. As one of the earliest spiritual teachings known to man, Shamanism has impregnated and contributed to a number of well-known philosophies and teachings around the world. Teachings such as psychology, yoga teachings and philosophy, meditation, mindfulness, reiki, neuro-linguistic programming and many other modalities. Shamanism was prevalent in every culture on this planet at one time or another. It may have been known by a different name, however, the teachings and connection to the spirit realm stemmed from primal man’s experience and synergistic existence with the planet, the elements, the stars, sun, moon and nature and all her beings.
We spent an exhilarating 10 days together, piercing through layers of ego and self-belief, acknowledging and releasing patterns, recognising triggers, overcoming fears and surrendering to the rituals, ceremonies, teachings and processes of Shamanism. We opened the doorway to the spirit realm which allowed for healing, clarity, connection and guidance.
Grateful to have been able to facilitate a full moon ritual at the retreat. Commencing with a water ceremony for inner child healing, a fire ceremony for releasing ‘old’ patterns. Culminating in a primal dance, celebrating and connecting to the lunar energy of Ida, our sister moon which sits in and provides us with ‘grandmother’ energy of wisdom, tolerance and clarity.
Our daily schedule commenced at 6.00am with a beautiful healing herbal transfusion, a mixture of Ayurvedic herbs formulated and prepared as a tea, honouring self as we partook of this divine brew. Each day embraced movement through yoga, individualised for each participant together with teachings and practice activities for connecting to our primal self, through primal movement. Days were filled with teachings and practical exercises on Shamanism, meditation, yogic philosophy and Ayurveda. Included were cultural excursions around Rishikesh. A 3 hour respite was set aside each day to enable all participants to spend time resting, honouring self and processing daily retreat material.
Rishikesh by law is vegetarian and ‘dry’ (no alcohol allowed), and the birthplace of yoga tradition. You can quite literally and palpably feel the energy connection in the people you meet, the animals, the land, through ceremony, Mother Ganga and the mountains. This is a transfusion of ancient energy that permeates into your soul. Coupled with the primal ancient teachings of Shamanism it allows for a congruency within self to release any stories or patterns that no longer serve you.
One of the most memorable aspects was seeing the transfiguration in all retreat participants from the first day they arrived, day 2 to day 10. The noticeable difference in their thought patterns, speech, actions and belief system. There was an actual physical change in how they looked. A lightness, as when a burden is released or a heavy coat has been taken off and dropped to the floor.
As the work within is ongoing, I am continuing to work with each of them helping them to transition back into their ‘normal’ lives. Supporting and guiding them as they are incorporating these teachings and processes.
When our belief system is challenged, we resist. Long established patterns become disputed and disrupted. Our value system is triggered.
We are protecting ourselves, preserving our ideals and the standards and principles we live by. Any challenge or disruption to this belief system affects us deeply, to the core of our being.
From ancient times the lion has been the embodiment of strength and raw power. In Shamanism, the lion symbolises a guardian and protector. By nature, this spirit guide teaches us about determination, focus, control, pride and leadership.
The lion resides in masculine energy and draws from the left side of the brain which governs the right side of the body. The lion embodies logic and the analytical mind. His mane depicts the sun. The sun, solar is masculine energy.
Do you feel exhausted all the time? Mentally, emotionally and physically?
Are you too busy pleasing and doing for everyone else, including your family that you don’t have time for yourself?
Have you ever told yourself ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m not beautiful’, ‘I’m worthless’, or ‘I hate myself’?
The crow has been misunderstood throughout the ages. At times its significance has been marred by ill-conceived beliefs and ideologies. The crow is a magnificent creature. It is the bringer of life and transmutation and represents transformation and rebirth.
We live in a world of duality, of things seen and not seen. Remember those childlike qualities of imagination and magic. The ‘friends’ we played with that no one else could see. Have you ever watched a child when they meet someone for the first time? Either they are intuitively drawn to them or sometimes there is hesitation. A child trusts and believes in the unseen world without any thought that it might not be real.
A Shaman believes that spirit animals are our guides into the spirit world. They are protectors, wisdom gatherers and communicators of ancient knowledge. Have you ever noticed how certain spirit animals appear in your dreams or when you are in a deep meditative state? They can appear in complete or partial form, a mythical creature from ancient times such as a dragon or unicorn. Spirit animals can also be a combination of two or more different species of animals, such as quadrupeds like Pegasus or Griffin. Or with a partial human form like Ganesha or Minotaur.