WALK A SHAMANS PATH
By Rebekah J Simpson
Walk A Shamans Path
Copyright © 2015 Rebekah J Simpson
All rights reserved.
This book is dedicated to my sons, Harley and Jessy. You have been the greatest blessings in my life. I love you and thank you.
To all my family including my beautiful Mother, Vickie Simpson for bringing me into this world and raising me to appreciate nature and the natural ways of healing.
To Jeremy Lowe, my love and life partner for never giving up on me even through my darkest times, for showing me unconditional love and for being my best friend through it all.
Dedications also to all my teachers throughout my life and my Shamanic studies, Annie Lawrence and Jerry Red Eagle for taking me in as an apprentice and teaching me the healing arts. Also for helping me to trust and to believe in myself. Artie Looking Hawk, Mario Cruz, Annie Hummingbird, Howard Smith and Alfred for offering such amazing sweat lodge ceremonies. To Ron McLain and Arlene Phelan, Judee Hallee, Lise Germaine, David Singing Bear, Jesse Kalu, Jim and Sue Graywolf Petruzzi, Don Coffey and Laura “Many Winters” Mountain. Royce Taghon, and his Father Johnny Ray Watching Eagle, a Blackfoot Elder, for their love and support and for the time they walked with me on this sacred journey. Alan Smith who I spent nine amazing years with, thank you for being such a good role model for my boys. Samantha and Becky Hofer for always being there for me and helping me stay positive, to Rick Cohen Meaghan McCue, my “Sistah” for also always being there for me. To Sarah Wadsworth for always being there for me as a true friend and for all of the amazing times we spent in nature exploring the homes where our ancestors lived many moons ago. To Aleta Marie, Lisa Gal, and Tyson Shelly. To Angie and Oscar Carillo, my Spirit parents and Grandmother Anke Otto-Wolf for being there to life my spirits in hard times.
Also to all of my friends who have followed my blog for the past couple of years and watched my adventure videos.
To all my relations including all of the two leggeds, four leggeds, the finned ones, the winged ones, the unseen ones, the stone people, the tall standing people, the plant kingdom, mineral kingdom, and even the bug people.
To all those interested in walking the good red road. And finally to the Creator and the Great Spirit for my life. Aho Mitakuye Oyasin
1 My Childhood
2 The Awakening
3 Life Coaching
4 An Intense Year of Study
5 The Call to Sedona
6 Burying the Hawk
7 The Move to Sedona
8 What is a Shaman?
10 Spiritual Healing
11 Accepting the Gift
12 Leaving Sedona
13 The Vision Quest
14 A Spiritual Death
15 Coming back to life
16 A Fun Summer
17 What’s Next?
This book is a journey of how I came to be the person I am today. How all of my life’s events have led me up to this point and how I’ve come to understand how the world works through the physical and the unseen.
This book also describes my practice and understanding of natural and spiritual healing through Native American and spiritual teachings.
This is a personal journal of the events in my life that sculpted me into who I am today and why it was certain that my destiny was to accept the responsibility of being a medicine woman and to…
WALK A SHAMANS PATH
Prescott Arizona August 2012. It started with a series of events. I had been asking for a sign, an answer, or some type of vision of what I was supposed to do because recently I felt I was lacking in purpose. It seemed like my life had been put on hold.
It was mid-summer in 2012 and today I was going to go hike around the nearby lake and find a place to meditate and pray on this. It was early morning and the water was still. The air was calm and the sun was shining through the damp branches of the pine trees. It had rained the day before.
I parked on the north shore of the lake and was going to hike all the way around, and I didn’t care how long it would take me. It was a small lake so I knew it would only be about an hour or so. As I started on the trail I already began to ask questions as I was walking. I found that walking or hiking is how I meditate best. Some people can sit for hours, but I find that answers and solutions come to me easier when I am moving.
What am I supposed to do, how can I achieve a feeling of having more happiness, inner peace and purpose in my life right now? Great Spirit, please give me a sign, please answer my prayers!
As I was walking I repeated this prayer as if were a mantra. I was now half way around the lake and I realized that I was no longer praying, but now just enjoying my beautiful surroundings. Almost as if I were now just allowing and expecting the answer to come.
There was a shortcut that went across what appeared to be a dried up portion of the lake. Since I was not in a hurry I decided to take the long way around, imagining if that part of the lake were still there.
Somehow, I managed to get off the main trail and onto, what appeared to be, an animal trail. I am known for this. If you ever go on a hike with me, we will at some point take a detour and leave the main trail. I’m an explorer at heart.
I felt that my inner GPS was leading me in the right direction, but I defiantly was not the main trail anymore. There were tree branches hanging down far enough that I had to duck to get through. I heard a noise to my right, I looked and it was a small garter snake! We both froze and starred at each other for a moment. I wasn’t afraid because I knew it wasn’t poisonous and as a child growing up in Camp Verde Arizona, I was used to seeing snakes, if fact, when I was about eight or nine, I kept a four foot long Bull Snake as a pet. After years of studying Animal Messages, I knew this was a message of action. To have a Garter Snake cross your path means to act. To act on as many ideas as possible but do not become over stressed. This is not the time to sit on ideas. Inspiration flows. But what was I supposed to act on? I needed a clearer sign.
I knew the answers were starting to come now so I continued on the path. Just a short distance ahead I looked to the left and saw what appeared to be a corner of a stone room that had fallen. Could it really be? I took a few more steps pushing the branches out of my face, then I saw another partial wall. I detoured off the trail, again, and climbed over the berm of rocks to my left. When I got to the top, I was stunned in amazement. I was now standing at the edge of the mountain in an ancient Indian village. There must have been thirty to forty rooms! All collapsed of course, but what an amazing discovery. There were corners and parts of walls all around me. It’s like I had stepped back in time. I thought, Does anyone know about this?
I stayed for a while and took a few pictures on my smartphone. I even found a few petroglyphs on a rock nearby. I was in my element. I always love hiking to ancient ruins every chance I can get, but discovering one was a blessing. Was this a part of my prayer? Is this a sign? Is this what I am supposed to do? Still a bit confused I decided to process the event that just took place as I continued around the other side of the lake.
I loved going to these ancient places because it gave me a sense of peace. I felt like I was walking among the spirits of my ancestors. When I would mediate and pray at these places, I felt a sense of amplification and that answers and solutions would come easier. It was as if the ancestors knew I honored and respected the old ways and they were there to support me. I feel so blesses to have been born in the southwest where these ancient places were in abundance.
Now half way around the other side of the lake heading back toward the north shore, I saw several baby ducks and a momma duck. I stopped to take a closer look and rest. I was admiring the way she interacted with them. Then shortly after feeling like I was becoming a part of the duck family, I began walking again I heard what seemed to be Native American chanting and drumming coming from the direction of the ruins. As I looked back, it stopped. Did I really just hear that? Then I thought, yes… of course I did.
At one point during the intense part of my Shamanic studies, I was taught how to listen to the land. It could reveal it secrets just by listening close enough. I was first taught to lay near the area and put a small stone on my forehead, it would tell me everything about what had happened there. I used this ancient technique many times until I just became a natural at it. I got to the point where I could just stand in an area and connect with it. So yes, I do believe I heard the chanting coming from the direction of the ruins. It seems that it was the ancestors way of letting me know that my prayers were being herd.
The hike around the lake seemed to happen so fast and before I knew it I was driving back home, but the signs continued. I was about a mile from my house when I saw a huge hawk gliding above just in front of me. I was only going about twenty five miles per hour. This hawk seemed to be guiding me home. It even turned onto my street and once I parked in my driveway it circled above me for a moment then flew off. Was this another sign?
Most Natives believe that animals were the messengers from the Great Spirit to teach us how to live and help guide us on our human paths. One ancient tradition is that we each have our own Animal Spirit Guides or Totem Animals, and that they come to us when we need answers or guidance. Hawk has been one of my guides since I can remember, and just as the eagle is the messenger to the Great Spirit, the hawk is the messenger to the people. What was it trying to say? Be open to receiving a message? Okay, I’m open, I’m open!
That night I crawled into bed, and as I usually do, read for a little while. All I ever read are self-help books and lately I’ve been reading mostly books on Native American history, Shamanism and Native healing. I was so close to finishing the last pages of “A Man among the Helpers” by Salvatore Gencarelle. Even though I don’t know the author personally, I have met him and feel like we’ve had many of the same experiences throughout our lives. The ending of his book was amazing and inspiring. What a great way to end this day, I rolled over shut off the light and fell asleep.
The next morning when I was getting ready for work it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had to write a book! It was to be like a journal of my life and experiences into Shamanhood, natural healing and how I’ve come to understand the natural laws that govern our lives, this planet and our universe. I already had the name picked out, I had it all along! Almost a year ago, I created a personal blog to record and share my insights and crazy adventures and this was also to be the name of my book, Walk A Shamans Path. That was the answer. This was the message I was supposed to receive! It seemed like I had to finish reading Sal’s book before I would have the ah-ha moment. My head was spinning, I was so excited and it was so clear that I wanted to get started on it right away! But no, I had to go to work. Arggg. Work always seemed to get in the way of my adventurous life.
On my way to work I slammed on my breaks to avoid hitting the truck in front of me. He was avoiding two deer attempting to cross the four lane highway. There wasn’t a lot of traffic that morning so they were able to cross unharmed. What startled me the most was that only three months earlier I had hit a deer, or you could say the deer hit me, on the same stretch of highway. This was a devastating event for me because first of all the last thing I wanted to do was hurt an animal. Second, I had just started driving my new car that day. It did a lot of damage to the car and there were shards of glass all over the inside, but I escaped completely unharmed. I guess the deer did to because it was nowhere to be found.
On a spiritual note, the deer was one of the most common animals of the Shapeshifter and part of me knew that it was a messenger from the spirit world that was trying to get my attention. The message of the deer is all about gentleness. Was I not being gentle enough with myself, or others?
But why all of the sudden was I having so many encounters with deer? I knew I had to pay very close attention to this and then I remembered that deer’s message says to move gently into new areas. Follow the lure to new studies. Practical pursuits bring surprising rewards.
Okay, so I knew that it had something to do with writing this book. Practical efforts would mean that writing this book could take some time and I shouldn’t rush it. In the past, I’ve been known for wanting things to happen RIGHT NOW! If you were to ask my mother, she will tell you that I’ve been saying that since I could speak. None the less, that message was clear, I will take my time writing the book, and I will finally finish something I’ve started. Now, no more encounters with deer please! At least not when there is a vehicle involved.
The day seemed to go by so slow at work because all I could think of was getting started on my new project. My ego wanted to tell everyone, but my subconscious said not to mention it until it was complete. What was this all about? And of course, I asked for another sign. The good news is that I was getting good at paying attention to the signs when they came.
That night I had a dream of a red fox. I was looking after it and even holding it at times. I noticed that it was a new mother and in the dream I was trying to get her back to her pups.
Dreams were very important to me and I knew that they were guidance from the spirit world. In Native beliefs, there is no difference between the dream world and the waking world. They also believe that we should not try to interpret our own dreams but that we should ask others to help us understand them.
The next morning when I woke up, I looked in my Animal Message books to see what this message was from fox. It said situations are shifting and magic is afoot. Do not reveal much of your plans. Look to what might be camouflaged around you. Hmmm… interesting that I would have this dream right around the same time as I was to begin my book. So I accepted this as a message and told very few people.
So my prayers were answered and the vision was clear. I had to write a book.
I began to research a bit about writing a book, and days later I started writing. My story starts some time ago…
When I was very young I had some big ideas. Since I can remember I always wanted to be a teacher. I remember pretending to be a teacher with my little sister on the weekends. Not too sure she cared for it, but at least she played along. Funny because she is the one who got good grades in school and was a whiz at math. Not my favorite subject. None of them were my favorite subjects. All I wanted to do was go outside and play in nature. Many times I sat gazing out the window wondering what the world was like outside of this boring classroom. I did like my Art teacher though, Mr Mac at the Camp Verde High School. He seemed to catch my attention on this subject. I ended up drawing a lot when I was younger. It was a way for me to express my thoughts and feeling, since I wasn’t very good at talking to people about them. In fact I was the quiet one, I didn’t talk much at all. I was however, a good listener, watcher and observer. I would often enjoy listening to other people’s conversations. In fact, I still do. The reason some people are not good listeners is because their ego gets in the way and they feel the need to say something, to make themselves worthy, to feel important, or to make themselves look good. Imagine if more people would just listen.
Growing up I always seemed to fall into a leadership position no matter what I was doing. I was strong minded an determined to always be the best at what I did. I remember at one point when I was eight or so, people would always ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. After thinking about it for a while, I decided that I wanted to be a Prophet. Yes, quite a big stretch for an eight year old, but that was what I wanted to be and I was determined. I really enjoyed watching documentaries on prophets, ancient history, and anything related to the paranormal. Also, my mother was a very spiritual person and encouraged my ideas.
Speaking of paranormal, sometimes weird things would happen to me and they seemed so crazy that I wouldn’t dare tell anyone about them. One strange thing that happened a lot occurred during the night. I would wake up paralyzed. My eyes were open and I could see all around me but my body wouldn’t move. I would try to scream but there was no sound. Then as this would happen, I would start breathing really fast and eventually wake myself. The as I got older and was in a relationship I would have to train my partner to wake me up when they started hearing me breath fast. It started when I was very young and continued through the age of thirty four and I’ve not had it happen since. I still could never figure out why that happened, I’m just glad it stopped.
I grew up mostly in nature and playing outside. We lived a simple life and as a child I didn’t know any better that we were considered a poor family by others. Also, as a child I didn’t know this type of judgment. I was a free spirit. I loved everyone and everything. I always had food, shelter, and love from my Mother, so I felt I had everything I needed. My Father was not there, apparently he had left my mother when she was pregnant with me. I still wish to this day that I could meet him. I only know his name, Mitchell Garrett, and that he lived in Oregon.
It seemed that as I grew older, and was more exposed to judgment, control, and manipulation, I would eventually pick up some of these bad habits myself. But not as much as most people and eventually I would let go of a lot of this old conditioning and return to being a non-judgmental, non-controlling person. Life is so much easier this way.
Also, when I was younger, I would spend a lot of time by myself discovering things and trying to figure out how the world works. Often I played with bugs, snakes, lizards, other desert animals and I especially loved watching birds. I also spent a lot of time climbing trees and swimming in the nearby creek. There were some nights I would sleep outside under the stars and gaze at them for hours. I also remember many times where I would watch the clouds for hours and make shapes out of them.
One of my other favorite things to do as a child was make leather medicine bags. Not sure how I got into this but I loved it! I hung out at the nearby craft store a lot. I would always be looking for feathers and things to decorate my art. I also made dream catchers, bracelets, necklaces, choker’s and other ceremonial type objects, and I only used natural pieces to decorate them. I never had a desire to use plastic or metal beads. I remember only being about eight or nine when I developed a passion for this. I still do it today, quite often in fact. As I was making something, I was putting a prayer into it, and most times, I already knew who I was going to give it to before it was finished. This all happened naturally for me and I never had any training as to what I was creating. I must have seen someone wearing these things or saw them in pictures or books. It could of also been because of where I lived. Camp Verde had several trading posts and stores that had these things. There is a lot of Native History there.
Adapting to Change
We moved a lot when I was younger between Arizona, California, Oregon and Nevada always ending up back in Camp Verde Arizona and never really being stable in any one place for very long. My Mother was a traveler and apparently loved constant change. Must have been the nomadic blood that runs through our veins. Even though I never knew my Father, I did have several step dads, none of which I really felt that special bond. Our little family consisted of my Mother, younger sister and older brother. My three oldest brothers had already moved out. I guess we just adapted naturally to the constant moving, changing schools often and having to make new friends.
As I got older and was on my own, I continued this pattern and never really felt stability anywhere I was. As an adult I moved from Camp Verde to Crown King Arizona, then Tulsa Oklahoma, Prescott Valley Arizona, Miami Florida, then back to Prescott, Arizona in 2001. Here I would stay for a while then in 2009 I moved to Sedona Arizona and in 2011 I moved back to Prescott Valley Arizona. I stayed here until July 2013 when I moved back to Sedona then back to Prescott Valley in September 2014. Finally I moved back to Sedona in February 2015 and decided that is where my home will always be. I must have been destined to be a traveler like my Mother and very much like my Native American ancestors who were nomadic and also moved a lot. Funny, because at this time I didn’t know I was part Native American. I actually didn’t know what I was until later.
None the less, life was so fun as a child except for the times when I had to go to school. I never really was very good at it. Not long after I turned fifteen, I dropped out. Not because I didn’t care for school but because I was going to birth my first child! Yes, I had got pregnant at the age of 14 and was to become a mother at the age of fifteen. It wasn’t my intention, it seemed to just happen that way. I was not sure how my Mother was going to react, but when she found out, she was very supportive. There was never any thought of abortion. These were the cards that were dealt to me and I was going to play them the best I knew how.
At this time I had to grow up fast and learn how to become a parent and a survivor. Four years later at the age of eighteen I had another son. For the most part, I raised them both on my own but I had some help from family and friends. I was in a couple relationships who helped also, some more than others. But I always put my children first and no man would ever come between us. I love my boys.
Around the age of seventeen, I decided to do an independent study on the brain and mind control. I wanted to know more about telepathic communication and levitation. I read somewhere that the average human uses only ten percent of their brain. Well, I wanted to know what the other ninety percent was for so I began my studies. I read every book I could get my hands on at the time related to the subject. I took a lot of notes and created a chart. I really learned a lot and I began to actually communicate telepathically and levitate things until one day. I had a dream that I had to discontinue my studies at this time and go back to living a normal life until the necessary time would come that I could begin to use these super human powers again. The beings in this dream seemed alien and specifically said, You have to stop practicing this at this time. There will be a time when you will be doing this again, but not right now.” Then they said, “You will know when it’s time. We will be back on the second race.” That’s all they said, but it kind of scared me so I stopped everything in my tracks.
At one point my friends started calling me a witch and thought I was going crazy. I started losing touch with my family and I felt very alone during the time of these studies. So I took the advice from the aliens in my dream and stopped the whole thing, I tore up my notes, threw them away and didn’t mention it again…. For a while.
Even though I decided to stop studying and practicing this it would still happen naturally. I would catch myself reading people’s minds and knowing what they will say even before they say it. I was even answering peoples questions before they asked. There are also moments where I will think of calling someone and the phone would ring, and it was them. Now I recognize this and have better control over it.
A Scary Lesson
Shortly after that we moved again. I was living in a small travel trailer with an ex-boyfriend and my first son Harley, he was only three at the time. Life began to get really difficult to deal with, the physical and mental abuse, and the drugs. Makes me sick thinking about it. Honestly, there were times when I just wanted to end it all. But I knew I had something more to live for. What would happen to Harley? My boyfriend at the time was becoming physically abusive and got into drugs really bad. Most days I stayed home pregnant with my second child Jessy and barley any food to eat. Every Wednesday we would walk or catch a ride to the local church just to wait in line for an hour to get a free box of food. We didn’t have a vehicle and when we did, It never was running. So I walked a lot in my teen years pushing that stroller around or carrying Harley on my side.
Soon before I gained the courage to leave this relationship and move out of town, Harley was playing with a lighter and caught the trailer on fire. I was at a friend’s house when I got the call. The trailer burned to the ground and everything in it was lost. Except for Harley, They managed to get him out just in time. My boyfriend was working on the car out in the yard and left Harley, three years old at the time, unattended inside the trailer.
Why did that happen? Wasn’t life already hard enough? I remember my boyfriend brought some bones home about a week earlier. He said that he and a friend were hiking at some nearby Indian ruins where he found them. He put them in his pocket and on the way home they got crushed. He emptied the pieces into a dish on the counter and forgot about them. I also remember years ago an elder telling me to never touch bones or skulls from these place. That I would be cursed out of disrespect for disturbing the ancient spirits. I know now that I could be affected by other people’s karma just by hanging around them. Something told me to get those bones out of the house, but I didn’t listen.
Growing up in Camp Verde, my best friend Sarah and I use to hike the ancient cave dwellings and ruins a lot because there were so many of them and it was fun to explore. I knew a lot of people who would go hunting often and find the coolest arrowheads and other artifacts. This all reminds me of one of my favorite sayings…
Life is continuously providing us with messages and information. When we do not listen, then the messages become lessons. When we do not learn, the lessons become problems. When we do not address the problems, they become crises. When crises are left unresolved, they create chaos in our lives. Just imagine how life would be if we learn to live on the levels of messages and information.
Finding my Place in the World
Finally, at the age of twenty I packed up the kids and moved away. I was going to start over, a new life. First place I moved to was a small town in the Bradshaw Mountains of Arizona called Crown King. The population at the time was seventy five full time residents. I spent three and a half years there. I met a new boyfriend and settled into my new life comfortably. Still something was missing, many times I took off on the quad to the top of the mountain to pray. I would just sit there for hours by myself and wonder what my life was about. Everyone rode around on three wheelers and quads in Crown King.
Eventually I started doing what every “normal” person does and got a job. Over the next few years I just tried to survive in this crazy world. I tried to find my place in every job I could. I worked in construction clean-up, a fast food restaurant, in a cafe, I was a cook and a waitress. One time I tried to open my own gift store, that didn’t go very well because I wasn’t very grounded and couldn’t stay in one place very long. I volunteered at the local fire department as a lead firefighter and I was very good at it until I had a scary experience in a simulated structure fire. I was more concerned about my life than saving the lives of others, and I didn’t want to put anyone in danger because of this. Then I got into retail and worked for a few larger companies. I even worked for the Yavapai County Sheriff at one point. Still, none of these were nourishing my soul. I still felt like something was missing. It didn’t matter how much money I made, I still wasn’t happy.
I would often beat myself up about not being able to stay at one job very long. I’ve also learned that I had a hard time with commitment, at least to a job. In relationship, I was very committed. I was so envious of those who went to school, got and education and eventually ended up in a career that they would retire from. But to me that seemed to boring. I needed constant change. Later one of my elders Ron “Talking Bear” McLain, told me that all of these experiences were a good thing and that they were shaping me into who was supposed to become. All of it was meant to be and to not be so hard on myself about it. That made me feel a little better, and that all this time was not wasted, but I was still hard on myself.
Over the years I would occasionally talk to friends about my spiritual outlook on things. This has always been a part of who I am. One day in 2006 a friend suggested that I watch a movie called “The Secret”, and that it would help explain things for me. Little did I know this would be the beginning of my Spiritual Awakening. Everything changed after that.
I was so interested in finding out why I was being guided to watch this movie that I went out and bought it right away. Everyone was gone for the day, my boyfriend was off to work and the kids were off to school. It was my day off so I was going to give this movie all of my attention. I got a hot cup of coffee and went to close the blinds when I looked up into the sky and saw a cloud in the shape of a white buffalo. It was so perfect and the only cloud in the sky. I ran to get my camera but by the time I got back I was now just a normal looking cloud. I took it as a sign that was just for me and continued onto what I was doing. I popped in the movie and snuggled up on the couch.
It was all about the Law of Attraction, how to get the perfect job, the perfect partner, the car you want, and how to become rich. It says that whatever you give attention to most, you will manifest into your life, good or bad. This reminds me of an old Native story… An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, & ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, & truth.” The boy thought about it, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?” The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”
Tears came to my eyes when I learned about the Law of Attraction. It was so validating for me. I always knew that this unseen force existed but I didn’t know what to call it. I felt like my eyes had opened for the first time. I realized that I had the power to change my life in any direction that I wanted. Then the questions came pouring in. If I could create anything I wanted to be, do or have, what was it then? This was the beginning of my “spiritual awakening”, I was thirty three years old.
Using the Law of Attraction
I started researching and digging for what I wanted to do for work. I knew I wanted to do some type of spiritual work or holistic healing but I didn’t know where to start. Maybe a hypnotherapist, I thought so I started searching the internet for somewhere that I could get some training in this area. Instead of hypnotherapy, I came across a school that offered a Life Coach certification. The more I read into this, the more I wanted to do it! But the school was over a hundred miles away from where I lived. It seemed unattainable and unrealistic to travel the distance twice a week for six months. But the idea of becoming a Life Coach hovered in the back of my mind, I could help people and make a lot of money.
At the time Harley was about fifteen and was being home-schooled. I was so busy with work and caught up in other things that I didn’t realize he had to take his AIMS test in person. We had just missed the opportunity for him to do the test in Prescott Valley, near where we lived and the only other way for him to take it was at the library in Mesa Arizona. Days later we arrived at the library and the attendant said it would take most of the day for him to finish and if he didn’t, we would have to come back the next day. What was I going to do for six hours while he was testing?
I thought about the school that offered the Life coaching and knew it was nearby, so I looked it up and found that it was only two miles away in Tempe. So I traveled there to check it out and when I arrived someone was available to give me a tour of the school. This just seemed to fall into place like a synchronistic event, like it was meant to be that we missed his testing in Prescott Valley and had to go to Mesa. Something was guiding me to look into this more seriously.
After talking to the school’s academic counselor about the Life Coaching class, I decided to sign up. It just so happened that the classes were to start the following week. I managed to work it into my schedule and attended every class for the next six months. I never missed a class and was late only once by fifteen minutes. Finally, a school that I enjoyed being in. I felt like I was beginning to live my life on purpose. The energy of the school and the people were so positive and uplifting. This is when I figured out that I best thrive in a high vibration environment. When I was in this type of environment I felt complete and didn’t feel like something was missing. It was a feeling I was looking for all these years not something physical. What an ah-ha moment!
Over the next six months I learned so much. My idea of what a Life Coach was very different from what it really was. I thought I was going to be some type of counselor, get all dressed up nice and tell people the best way how to live their lives. It sounded somewhat intimidating since I had to have all the answers and I had to be right. In fact, it was the opposite, instead, I learned that each individual person subconsciously knew what they had to do for themselves and that no one could tell them what to do or how to do it. So immediately the pressure of me having to have all the answers dissolved. There was a learning curve though, I had to be reconditioned from the idea of telling someone what to do to one of asking. I know I never liked being told what to do, but if someone asked me, I would want to help. It’s a more inviting way of communication. Empowering not dis-empowering. During this course we had many practice sessions that helped me integrate this new concept and understanding. It became so easy and made so much more sense, it just felt right.
Life Coaching is all in the asking. A Life Coach will never tell you what to do, they may offer you advice but ultimately, they know that only you know what you have to do. A Life Coach just helps you figure it out by asking some powerful questions then helps you create a realistic action plan and follows up to hold you accountable. I always thought of myself as a natural motivator and when you help someone understand their “why,” then that is what motivates them. I would also help them to visualize the outcome they desired, to create it in their minds and express the emotions of already having it. This is the Law of Attraction at work.
Learning to listen
Something very important I learned during the Life Coaching course was how to listen, how to let people tell their story and I learned how to pay close attention to what they were saying. I learned how to have a real conversation where you take turns talking, really listening to each other and acknowledging what they said, then speaking when it’s your turn. So then, I tried really hard to listen to what my friends and family was telling me. I began to use it everywhere.
I know too many people that I like but have a hard time having a conversation with. They don’t really listen to what you are saying, and before you are done speaking, they start to speak, not even acknowledging what you just said. That’s so frustrating to me and it makes me feel like they really don’t care what I am talking about so most times, I would just stay quiet and let them talk. I become the listener. They may not be doing it on purpose, it’s probably just how they were raised. There is a saying that we have two ears and only one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. I was beginning to believe this was true.
I also realized that each person has a different path, a different history, culture, and beliefs and that no two people were exactly alike. We all have different desires, interests, and an idea of who we are, what we want to do, and why we want to do it. I had no place to judge. When letting go of the mindset of control, we learn to allow, and all of the sudden, it makes everything okay. Accept others for who they are no matter if you agree with them or not. I learned to honor another’s path.
Also during this course, I learned several powerful tools and exercises to help people on their path. Two of my favorites were written exercises. The Wheel of Balance and More or Less. The wheel of balance separates sections of your life into different categories. Relationships, money, career, heath, etc. Then it looks at each one and clarifies if you are where you want to be. If not then it looks at what it would take to get there. The most important parts of this exercise is the action plan and the follow up.
The more or less exercise helps you look at what you would like more of and less of in your life. Then after you have two long lists you narrow them down to the top three. Then, again you would create a powerful action plan and following up to see how far you have come. They say that measurable results are the best results.
I learned how to do Guided Imagery. Guided imagery is a mild form of Hypnotherapy and worked well with Life Coaching. It all about getting a person relaxed and quiet enough to connect with their subconscious mind. Sometimes you would lead them and sometimes they would lead, but you were always there to hold their had so to speak. I’ve used this on clients and have seen them have many incredible breakthroughs. Later I would learn to use this as a part of the Shamanic Journey and Soul Retrieval.
The Mirror exercise was one of the most powerful and most difficult for me to understand. This exercise says that all relationship is a mirror of our relationship with our self. That what we experience in life is a reflection of our core beliefs. For example, if someone is judging us for how we dress or what we drive, then this is a reflection of how we are judging others. The mirror exercise also says that people come into our lives for one of three reasons. One, to reflect something back that we think or believe about ourselves, two, to show us something that we like or dislike about ourselves, and three, to give us some bit of information or support to help us on our path.
I enjoyed Life Coaching so much that I wanted to teach it! So I would spend the creating a curriculum that could all be done on-line. I completed the website and the curriculum in 2011 and it was on its way to the accreditation stage, then something happened. I was being pulled in another direction. People in my life started to tell me that they didn’t see me Life Coaching in the way that I thought I saw myself doing it. Instead they saw me doing Shamanic Healing work and that was a form of Life Coaching. I didn’t understand this at all, I was only seeing in black and white at the time. I had spent so much time investing in my plans to be a leader in the Life Coaching community and have one of the best curriculums and online schools in the world.
Now completely confused and feeling no motivation I prayed on this. It seems that they were seeing something that I could not. So I put the curriculum in boxes, shut down the website and sat in the dark for a few years. Now what?
AN INTENSE YEAR OF STUDY
During the time I lived in Humboldt, I started studying many things. I was now fascinated with trying to learn as much as I could about the natural world of healing and understanding. I don’t know how I learned so much in such a short period of time. Looking back, I realized that I was not very present for my family at the time, I had my head in the books.
My First Sweat Lodge
In 2008 I was invited to an all-women’s sweat lodge ceremony. I had never done one before but was very interested so I asked Sarah, my best friend to join me. The women were so inviting and pleasant to be around. In the lodge there were four rounds of prayer and ceremony, drumming and even some moments of silence. It was pitch black dark and extremely hot. The fire keeper would bring in the stones and we would welcome each stone as it came in and offer it sacred herbs and then some water that would create massive amounts of steam. Each round they would open the door and let cool air in. It was so refreshing. About four hours later we exited the lodge and had a potluck feast.
Now 2015, I have attended several sweat lodges and each one was slightly different. My favorite of all would be the one in Canyon DeChelly with Howard and Alfred. A traditional Navajo ceremony.
After this I wanted to learn more about Native American ceremony so I began by search.
I also studied Kinesiology with Dr. David Hawkins. It’s a form of muscle testing to discover the truth. Somehow our body just knows the truth and through this technique, I learned how to help people know if something was right for them or not. I would even use it on my children to find out if they were telling the truth or not. Once they saw how it worked, they were convinced that it would at least give them away and from then on they would always tell the truth.
During this time I also became fascinated with learning more about the universal laws, particularly the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction says that we attract into our lives what we focus on and give attention and energy to.
Some of the other Universal Laws that I studied include the Law of The Law of Pure Potentiality, The Law of Giving & Receiving, The Law of Karma or Cause and Effect, The Law of Least Effort, The Law of Intention and Desire, The Law of Detachment, The Law of Dharma or Purpose in Life.
I began to study each law and apply them into my everyday life. I began to realize that this stuff works when you understand it.
THE CALL TO SEDONA
Half way through the Life Coaching course I felt a strong calling to go to Sedona Arizona. Not far from where I grew up in Camp Verde. I knew it was a very spiritual place and that I might find some kind of healing work there. If anything, I could start offering my services as a Life Coach.
I was still living in Humboldt at the time, but everything was telling me to go to Sedona. Signs were coming from all directions, on magazine covers, the television, even people were talking about Sedona in line at the grocery store. I would be stopped in traffic and the vehicle in front of me was a Kia Sedona. What was this calling to move to Sedona? How could I leave the nine year relationship I was in and having just bought a house three years prior. Also, at this time Harley was seventeen and living in a foster care home because things were just getting too difficult for all of us. Also at this time Harley’s daughter was born and conflicts began to arise between him and the baby’s mother. Yes, I was a grandparent at the age of thirty three but I wasn’t allowed to be in her life at the time because of the conflicts. So it would be Jessy and me that would move because my partner had no desire to move and besides, we starting to having many differences at that time. It seemed that relationship was coming to an end anyway. Nine amazing years were coming to an end. A very sad time as well.
The Owl and the Shaman
One night I was lying in bed reading and my partner was already asleep. I was spooked when I heard an owl just outside my window. It was an eerie sound that sent shivers down my spine. I thought about it for a moment and knew that in some cultures to see or hear an owl meant death. I knew it could also mean the death of an old way, relationship or situation. I didn’t want to believe it meant the death of my relationship but the truth was being forced on me.
That night I had a dream that the wash just in front of my house in Humboldt was flooding and rose up all the way to the house. Somehow I manage to float on the water and under the nearby bridge. The bridge seemed to be a portal because on the other side I was in Sedona. I was coming to the edge of the water where a man was standing almost as if he was waiting for me.
As I got closer I noticed he was dressed in Native American regalia and was some type of elder or Shaman. He was waving me to come to him and as I approached he dissolved into the red rock background. It was if he was one of my spirit guides telling me it was time to begin my spiritual path. Later I recognized this elder to be Chief Two Moons.
My Prayers were Heard
At night I would pray often. Great Spirit, why am I supposed to move to Sedona? And right away I got an answer in the form of a voice in my head. “You are needed there at this time.” Needed there at this time, what does that mean I thought? Since I was getting answers, I asked again, why Sedona? And the voice said, “You will know when you get there.” Great, so I am supposed to give up my life , pack up everything, and move to Sedona on a whim and trust that everything is supposed to be okay. That didn’t seem so easy to me. I was taught as a child not to listen to the voices in my head. But this time something felt right about it. No, it wasn’t going to be easy, but I had to do it.
For a while I tried to ignore it, but the signs kept coming. The universe kept nudging me to make this decision. My nine year relationship was growing cold and seemed to be losing the warmth it once had.
Meeting Annie and Jerry
Then one day my partner said , “I know you are looking for some type of healing work in Sedona. It just so happened that I mentioned it to my boss today and he said that his Mother and step Father offered healing retreats in Sedona and that they were possibly looking for some help”. So he gave me the number and I called the next morning. I spoke with Annie Eagle Woman. We were on the phone for almost an hour. I loved her gentle energy. I explained how I got her number and that I was taking a Life Coach course and wanted to start doing some type of healing work in Sedona. She was very interested and so we met in person the next day at her retreat in Sedona. Shortly after that I started working for her and her husband Jerry Red Eagle. They were an older couple and had many years of holistic and spiritual healing under their belt.
Little did I know at the time that Annie and Jerry were to be some of the most influential teachers in my life. They taught me so much. First they let me start practicing my Life Coaching with their guests that would come for three day and week-long retreats. These people came from all over the world for personal healing and to find more clarity on their life’s purpose. It was an honor to begin my practice whit such amazing people.
EFT and Hypnotherapy
Annie was a certified hypnotherapist and EFT (emotional freedom technique) practitioner, and incredibly amazing at it. Her and Jerry actually had their own school in California where they taught holistic healing. They had sold the school and moved to Sedona about five years prior. She began to teach me these techniques to incorporate into my work. Since I was taught guided imagery as a part of the life coaching course, the hypnotherapy came easy for me. Guided imagery is a mild form of hypnotherapy. When under hypnosis, you just fall into a deeper state of relaxation. This allows the practitioner to communicate with the persons subconscious to reveal the truth of what is happening in their particular situation.
EFT works with the physical body to release blocked emotions by tapping on specific energy meridian points on the body while saying a particular mantra.
After about a year of working with Annie and Jerry, and completing my Life Coaching certification, I finally decided to move to Sedona. In February 2009 I packed up everything and said good bye to my relationship and the place I called home.
Animal Medicine Cards
Another thing Annie taught me was how to read the Animal Medicine cards. They are not tarot cards, but they are used as a tool to help people find guidance. She let me use her set until I could afford my own. Then one day while still attending the Life Coach training in Tempe, I was early one day and spent some time in the school bookstore. There I found the Animal Medicine cards! I took it as a sign and bought them. I began to use them within the Life Coaching and it worked well. I learned so much about animal messages, meaning and power animals.
Later I would also begin to use other card decks for myself and others. Today I use not only the animal medicine cards but also the Sacred Path cards, the Lakota Sweat Lodge deck and the Natures-Speak Oracle cards. I found that when used right they would work in magical ways to give exactly the message that the person needed to hear.
Annie and Jerry also taught me how to do a “vortex tour” as part of the package they would offer to their retreat guests.
When I was about six or seven years old we lived in Oregon and one day my mother decided to take my brother and sister and I to this place called, “The House of Mystery.” This house was built on a vortex site. After traveling for about two hours down this dirt road with huge green trees on both sides we finally arrived at this little house built on the side of this hill. I was so excited to see what the buzz was all about that I jumped out of the car before it was even stopped.
An immediate disappointment and now a deeper sense of curiosity consumed me because they were closed. We did look around a bit though and I could feel some interesting things happening to my body. I literally had to walk at a slant to keep from falling over. I also noticed that some of the plants in the beautiful garden were growing funny. The leaves would grow upside down and some of them looked like they were inside out. Okay that was strange, but my brother heard that if you pour water out in a steady stream it would fall at a slight slant to the ground, so we tried it and it did! Wish we had more water because that was fun. Shortly after that we moved back to Arizona and have never been able to return since.
After learning what I could from Annie and Jerry, I began my own study about vortexes. I want to be as knowledgeable as possible to offer a good tour. I read all the books I could find and just began to go to the different hot-spots in Sedona to feel the energies.
What is a Vortex?
Here’s my best description…
I had been doing vortex tours in Sedona since 2006. I have read many books and listen to several talks and lectures on the subject. I have worked for several tour companies, some large, some privately owned, all great. I have had several shaman teachers that all gave me some insight to vortexes, Where they are, how to find them, what type of a vortex it was, etc.
When I am out on tour, the things I get asked the most from visitors is, “Where is the vortex?” They are looking for a spiral shaped formation that is supposed to be coming out of the ground. At least that is what they look like on the local “to do” maps. Some of the “New Age” folks in Sedona may refer to them as vortices.
The truth is, you can’t see a vortex at all, it is something you feel. It is a place where the energy is more concentrate and can easily be used for healing and also to manifest something in your life.
They say that at a vortex site the veils between the physical and spiritual worlds are very thin. Because of this we are able to find more clarity, get answers, find our purpose, get in touch with our spiritual guides and an overall clear direction in life.
Just as our bodies have energy meridian lines that connect to each of our organs, the earth has ley lines that connect to these power centers all over the planet. Yes, there are vortex “hot spots” all over the planet. Some of which I know are in Peru, Hawaii, Egypt, Stonehenge, Bermuda Triangle, and Airs mountain in Australia. These power centers could be felt by the indigenous people and they knew there was something special about these locations. Each one is used for similar reasons; prayer, ceremony, healing, manifesting, etc.
There are 5 main vortex sites in Sedona (depending on where you get your information from). Airport Mesa is a very masculine vortex, Indian Gardens vortex is very feminine, Boynton Canyon and Cathedral are balanced and very neutral. Bell Rock is also a balanced vortex. Really all of Sedona is one big vortex and there are several hot spots where the energy is more powerful. My favorite is a balanced vortex at the Wind Tunnel Caves near Poco Diablo Resort on Hwy 179.
Juniper trees in the area are very sensitive to the vortex energies and tend to spiral and twist as they grow. Some say that the more twisted the juniper is, the closer you are to the hot spot. Also, within my shamanic studies they say that the Juniper is one of the highest vibrations of tree. This must explain why they are so affected by the energy. The Juniper is also a powerful healing tree; you can pull so much energy from them. I know of where at least five healing juniper trees are. One at the Wind Tunnel Caves, one at the Hopi mound in Boynton Canyon, one along Upper Loop Rd and one at Airport Mesa, and one near Montezuma’s Well. When I tell people about these trees they want to touch them and sit in them for hours. Almost everyone can feel the energy immediately.
There are three types of vortexes, masculine, feminine and balanced. Masculine vortexes work with the physical body. They are also magnetic, empowering, and represent strength through action.
Feminine vortexes work more with the non-physical, emotional self. They are also electric, calming, relaxing, and represent the wise and intuitive inner voice.
At a balanced vortex you may not feel anything but immediate bliss.
We all have masculine and feminine energies within us. The key to understanding more about ourselves is to know how to balance these energies.
Everything is Amplified! Yes, that is exactly what I mean, everything is amplified and everything happens much faster here in Sedona. I didn’t know why I was guided to move here until I got here.
My Customized Vortex Tour
Later I customized my own vortex tour and offered it through my own tour business that I started in 2009.
During this journey we would visit one of Sedona’s most powerful vortex sites. I would teach you how they were created, their spiritual and the scientific aspects, how the indigenous Natives of the area used them for healing and how to use them for whatever purpose you may need at this time.
Then we would do a Medicine Wheel Ceremony to give thanks for all that we have, and to show gratitude and appreciation for all of nature. We would drum and sing sacred songs for forgiveness and to release any fear, anger, or resentment that may be blocking you from experiencing inner peace. After this ceremony many would claim to feel more balanced and a deeper connection with nature. Some also claimed to feel a light tingling sensation. This is a result of raising your energy and vibration.
We would do a Sage Clearing (Smudge) to clear any negative energies and to prepare us for the ceremony.
Next we would do a Healing Meditation that I also called a Shamanic Journey at a very sacred place near the healing waters of Oak Creek to fill ourselves with love, light and abundance. Sometimes, depending on what happened during the journey, we would do some deeper healing and clearing through a Soul Retrieval.
Along the nature walk we would often see some native animals and I would teach you what Animal Messages they bring to us and how their medicine can help us on our walk through life. The natives believed that when we see a particular animal or insect, they are offering us their “animal medicine.” We will also see many native plants, we teach you how the natives used them for many different purposes. Discover who your Animal Totems, Power Animals, and Animal Spirit Guides are.
Learn the history and geology of the area, and how the local natives used different plants and vegetation for healing and medicinal purposes.
This journey was a great way to experience Sedona for everyone including individuals, couples, families, groups, skeptics, first timers and children.
Later I started offering other tours to sacred places like Hopi, the Grand Canyon and Canyon DeChelly.
Sedona the Sacred Land
The indigenous tribes that settled in the area did not live right in the heart of Sedona which is the Tlaquepaque, uptown, and west Sedona area. They all lived on the outskirts of Sedona. This is obvious because you won’t find many ruins in the main parts, but you will find several caves, pit houses, and other dwellings all around Sedona. I figure because the Shaman or Medicine Man of the tribe was the first one to listen to the land before settling there. The Shaman was the member of the tribe that could talk to the land, and was very in-tune with nature and could bring messages from Great Spirit. They knew that this particular part of Sedona was “Great Spirits” land and should only be used for healing, prayer, and ceremony, and they should not live there.
Today, over fifty percent of Sedona’s population resides in the exact place that the indigenous knew knot to live.
Living in Sedona is not easy, I know from experience. I’ve lived here since February 2009 and it has been a roller coaster ride! I was born in Cottonwood just twenty miles from Sedona and raised in the “Verde Valley.” Yes, I’m a local native, but I have also lived in Oregon, California, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Florida .
Sedona calls you in when she wants you and spits you out when it time to leave.
Most of the people that live in Sedona were called to move there by a strong inner voice and not just because of it beauty. They feel a deeper calling or connection to this magical place.
BURYING THE HAWK
The last few days before the plans to move to Sedona were complete, I had an earth shattering experience with a Red Tailed Hawk. Driving back and forth to Sedona for work, I would often see hawks so my eyes were often gazed upon the skies. I also learned that the Hawk was my totem animal.
I was driving back home from Sedona one day and only two miles from home I noticed a huge Red Tailed Hawk lying n the side of the road. I pulled over to observe it and noticed it had just been hit by a car and was still warm. I knew I couldn’t leave it on the side of the road so I put it in the floorboard of the car and drove home.
That night I couldn’t sleep, wondering what to do with this protected bird. I thought I could give it to my best friend’s mother who was half Hopi and half Navajo. Maybe she could use the feathers for something. Then I thought no, this was for me to handle. I had to burry this hawk as a sign of leaving the old me behind before the move.
The next morning, I drove to my best friend’s house in Camp Verde, I needed someone to talk to regarding this spiritual situation. I couldn’t just talk to anyone. I was becoming very emotional. This whole situation was more than it seemed. It represented a major transition in my life.
I told her I wanted to bury it and release its spirit. She then handed me a shovel, a bag of sage and a small stone bowl to burn it in. I somehow knew where I was going to perform the burial and releasing ceremony. I had such a spiritual connection with the Verde River that ran through Camp Verde and the Verde Valley. I found a place to park and took off hiking up a nearby hill, where years ago I had found a large stone with a petroglyph of a man.
I found a hidden place between trees and started to dig. I dug a hole about three feet deep and laid the Hawk in there gently, tears were pouring down my face. I started to sing a Lakota song for forgiveness as I lit the sage.
Suddenly I felt lighter, as if a huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders. I was cracked open to my core in preparation to begin a new life.
THE MOVE TO SEDONA
The move to Sedona was easy and smooth. My now, ex-boyfriend was nice enough to help and very supportive. We ended the relationship on mutual terms and remained friends for a while until it seemed to completely dissolve, and the past nine years were a faded memory.
Even though I had been working in Sedona for the past year, I still felt like a stranger in a strange land. Why was I here? Why was it so important that I move to Sedona, why was I needed here at this time?
The Wizard School of Sedona
In addition to working for Annie and Jerry I was going to start my Life Coaching practice. I found a room to rent in one of the town’s most popular “psychic centers.” I asked them if I could offer my life coaching in a place full of psychics and they said yes, you will fit right in. Since I offered animal card reading and was developing my intuitive skills, I agreed to rent the room and was excited to get started.
I lasted two weeks there. This place was full of so much bad energy and angry, controlling and manipulative people. I ran into gossip, backstabbing, and shadiness from other readers in the building. I could not believe that some of these people who called themselves healers and psychics were such fakes!
After talking with a few locals about my experience with this place, they explained that it was the ‘wizard school” of Sedona and most readers, psychics and healer are filtered through there first. It was sort of an initiation into the dark side of Sedona. Yes, there is a dark side, a balance of real, authentic healers and there are those who ego is just in it for the money.
After that experience I decided to run my practice out of my home and I started to do a lot of coaching over the phone.
Trying to fit in in this new town, I decided to start attending local events. The first one I went to was at Tlaquepaque. A flautist was to perform a free half an hour show. I picked my seat right in front and began to relax as he started playing. He was amazing. Jessy Kalu was a local celebrity who played beautiful Native bamboo flutes. He created the sounds of some of the local animals through the flute, the coyote, quail, hawks and other interesting sounds.
It seemed I was able to finally relax for the first time since the move. I had a peaceful grin stretched across my face through the whole performance. Once it was over I wanted to buy one of his CD’s and continue this experience in my car and at home. When we met, he looked at me as if he saw something interesting and finally said, “wow, you are a powerful medicine woman.” Me, I thought, a medicine woman, what was that?
Anyway, I was honored to be referred to as such a thing by a well-respected local person. I bought one of his CD’s and still listen to it often.
The question pondered my mind over the next few weeks. What was a medicine person and why did he say that I was one of them?
Then I thought one has to be Native American to be a Medicine Woman, at least that’s what mainstream society lead me to believe. So I went to my Mother and asked if we had any Native American blood, Little did I know, we did and it would be the first time she would ever talk about it. She said that no one really talked about it in the family because little over one hundred years ago, Native American were being killed by the US Calvary. Even though it was years later, the fear was still running in our veins and the secrets were being kept. She went on to tell me as much as she knew about our Native ancestors. They were Blackfoot and Crow on my Father’s side and Blackfoot and Seminole on my Mother’s side. It was my Great Great Grandmothers who were supposedly full blood but because they were so afraid of being murdered, they didn’t have any records. Other pieces of my heritage were supposedly French and German.
So my journey began to find out who my real father was and who my ancestors were. Well it wasn’t that easy, and I got nowhere and no answers. So now, I can’t prove I’m part Native American but that’s okay, I feel it in my heart and I just say, “I’m red on the inside and white on the outside”.
Now back to living in a new magical, spiritual place where I would start my training to be a Medicine Woman.
The Transformation Begins
I started to wonder again, what was this calling to Sedona all about and when would I find out why I was supposed to be there?
Soon I starting getting many signs that I needed to downsize. Downsize what, I thought? And the voices were back telling me that I needed to start simplifying my life. I was being guided to get rid of everything I owned. Well almost everything. I started to give things to local thrift stores, have yard sales every weekend, and everything else went to a consignment shop. I went from living in a fully furnished two bedroom home to living in an old eighteen foot RV with Jessy. It was quite an experience to purge so much stuff at one time, but I guess that was part of my transformation.
I began to go through so much personal change that I had to put my life coaching practice on hold for a while. I just couldn’t work with others and focus my attention on them when I had my own stuff going on. It seemed like I was being stripped to my core in order to find my true self. I was experiencing my own healing process. I began to work with Shamans and all types of healers and psychics. The real ones of Sedona started to show up and somehow they felt drawn to work with me and help me through this. I learned so much from having other people perform their healing on me that I started to pick up and use these amazing healing techniques on my clients and people I took on tour.
Over the next two and one half years in Sedona, I worked with hundreds of people looking for healing and a spiritual experience. I learned so much from them. Through helping others heal, I was healing myself.
My calling to Sedona resulted in my ultimate transformation through healing and learning many different healing techniques and practices that I would eventually sculpt me into who I am today.
Me, a Shaman?
One day I was at a friend Lise’s house in Sedona, one of our other friends Judy was there and Lise was expecting one of her friends to show up. Someone I haven’t met yet. We were all sitting in the back yard when this lady showed up. Lise introduced us to her, Judy as a psychic and me as a Shaman. What, I thought? A Shaman? I looked at Lise with confusion then to Judy, she shook her finger at me and said, “claim it!” I said okay, just to agree with them and not make this situation all about me. Last thing I wanted to do was be put up on some pedestal as if I was better or higher, or even more important than anyone else.
I set with that for the next few days, I even asked some of my teachers what they meant by calling me a Shaman. My teachers told me that sometimes people would refer to a person as a Shaman if they offered spiritual healing in a particular way. They also told me that I should never call myself a Shaman. Now I was even more confused! My friends and family were referring to me as a Shaman, but I could not call myself one. What would I call myself then? Who am I and what do I do?
Later, I started calling myself a Medicine Woman and a Shamanic Life Coach, but I would never call myself a Shaman.
WHAT IS A SHAMAN?
From what I have learned, a Shaman is the spiritual leader and natural healer of the tribe. Also referred to as a Medicine Man or woman, Native Healer, Spirit Walker, Sage, Visionary, Mystic, Prophet, or a Holy Man or Woman. They are the ones who can walk between the physical and spiritual worlds as a communicator for the great spirit.
The term Shaman is widespread and loosely used to describe a spiritual healer, especially in Sedona where everyone’s a shaman. LOL. The term may be over used but for the purposes of this book and for those who don’t take it too seriously, I will use it here.
There are several different types of Shaman. A shaman can either be a man or a woman. Some cultures will call a man a Sha-man, and a woman a Sha-ma. In more modern terms, both are referred to as a Shaman.
A true Shaman is not likely to claim to be a Shaman or any other title that would set them higher than anyone else. But the people in their tribe, family, business, or any other type of group, clan or community will tell you that he or she is their Shaman. Shamans may claim to be a Shamanic Practitioners and study shamanism. Just as a true healer will not claim to be a healer, they will be more likely to claim to practice healing work, or call themselves a healing practitioner or facilitator.
Some Shamans find it difficult to live in modern society. They prefer to spend more time in nature studying the animals, the weather, the elements, and all natural things. Spending too much time in modern society could throw the Shaman off balance, and they could ultimately loose, not loose but forget their unique talents, gifts and direct connection to creator. It can never be lost, medicine people are born that way. After all, when you practice something you get better at it. When you stop practicing, you begin to forget it.
What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is the oldest spiritual practice known to humankind. Shamanism comprises of a range of traditional beliefs and practices concerned with communication with the spirit-world. A practitioner of shamanism is known as a shaman. There are many variations of shamanism throughout the world, but several common beliefs are shared by all forms of shamanism. Shamans are intermediaries, or mediums between the human and spirit worlds. They are capable of entering supernatural realms to obtain answers and solutions to the problems of their community. Someone would come to a Shaman for guidance, healing, clearing, answers, clarity, direction, and to treat illnesses.
Shamanic Healing and Practice
Shamanic Healing is a natural way of bringing your mind, body and spirit back into harmony and balance. With the assistance of the earth, animals, the drum, rattles, feathers, crystals and prayer, you can learn how to heal yourself. Anyone can learn and practice the healing techniques of Shamanism.
There are many different forms of Shamanic or Native Healing, different Healers will use different techniques, tools and medicine to assist their patients. Some Shamans may help remove illness and disease, physical pain, bad dreams, ghosts, etc. Some are also teachers who can help you find your spiritual path.
Characteristics of a Shaman
Some characteristics of a shaman may include: teaching through being an example, they are humble and practice humility and can recognize when and how they can be in service in every moment and situation. A Shaman will often be found in nature, taking time to be in silence knowing answers are found within self, or in nature. They trust their inner guidance and learn to watch for signs and act on them accordingly.
They practice moderation and will always honor another’s path regardless religion and differences in beliefs. They may expresses unconditional love for their self and all relations and Practice non-judgment of self and others. A Shaman will take care of and heal their physical self and can facilitate healing of others. They will keep a clean and simple environment and generally practice living on less. Other characteristics may include knowing and studying the solar cycles and plan ceremonies, activities and other events accordingly. They study and understand the elements and the natural laws of the universe.
One would also go to a Shaman to help them understand their dreams. The Shaman would be able to explain how the dream is used as guidance in the physical world.
A Shaman will always speak the truth even if it hurts, but it’s usually in a positive form knowing that the truth will bring us more freedom. They look for the good in everyone and every situation and bring more focus and attention to that.
A Shaman will study and practice herbalism. They know the medicinal properties of plants and herbs and use them accordingly in their practice.
Some shamans practice the art of shapeshifting. This is an ancient technique that allows the them to alter their physical self into anything they wish. In history it was most common to hear about them turning into bees or deer. Not much is known about this mysterious subject today.
A Shaman can speak to the animals and interpret their messages. Many Native tribes believe that the animals were the messengers from the Great Spirit, and if we learn to watch and listen to them, they could help us understand all of life.
As always a Shaman will continue to study and learn to become a better teacher, they will never reach a point where the think they know everything. If that ever happens, then they are no longer a Shaman.
And most of all a shaman would have a good sense of humor and so you that not everything has to be taken so seriously.
Tools of a Shaman
Some of the tools of a Shaman may include: Sage, braids of sweet grass, cedar, lavender, blue corn, drums, rattles, prayer feathers, stones, bones, a taking stick and a staff or spirit stick.
Sage is best known for smudging ceremonies. This practice is used for cleansing, clearing, and purifying negative energies. Scientific studies have shown that sage, when burned, gives off negative ions. Negative ions are known for clearing mental blocks and work with the non-physical, psychic self. These are the same ions that you would get from standing at the edge of the ocean and breathing it in.
Blue corn is one of the most unique corns found in the Southwest and is a symbol of life by the Hopi.
The drum is one of the most important tools of a Shaman. It is used for meditating, vision quests, shamanic journeys, healing and breaking up old patterns and negative energies. It is also used for grounding, centering, calling in the spirits for ceremony, and of course, dancing. The deep, earthly sound of the drum represents the heartbeat of mother earth, loving, giving, and nurturing. It brings us back to the comfort of being in our mother’s womb, safe, secure, and surrounded with unconditional love. The heartbeat connects all of life and reminds us that there is no separation. The plants, animals, stones, trees, fish, stars, plants and the universe are all one. There is only one universal heartbeat. The drum is also considered the centerpiece of a powwow. It’s like the earth is round and everything in that circle, it touches.
Places you might find a Shaman
There are many shamans walking the earth today, they are all over the planet. Some don’t even know that they are a Shaman yet they are practicing Shamanism every day. You may find these healers and shamans near vortex sites, sacred sites, and where the earths ley lines connect around the planet. When you are looking for a Shaman, all you have to do is put it out there and you will always be guided to the perfect one. Just as the saying goes… “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
CEREMONIES AND RITUALS
Healing was conducted through ceremony and prayer. Ceremony could last anywhere from an hour to a year depending of what type of healing had to be done and it was also important that the person being healed was ready and invited the healing. The more open to the healing the person was, the faster the healing would take place.
The Medicine Wheel Ceremony is one of the most powerful ceremonies I have ever experienced. The first time I was introduced to this in 2006, I was in training. Since then I have guided hundreds of people through the wheel and witnessed amazing healings. I have studied and searched the world for all teachings of this sacred wheel and have found that many indigenous cultures have been using it as a symbol of life and the sacred hoop.
In 2011 on November 11th at 11:11am I was guided to hold an all people open medicine wheel at the top of Airport Mesa in Sedona. So I put the invitation out there and over sixty five people showed up. Part of me was a little scared to hold a Medicine Wheel Ceremony with so many people but between Bear, my partner at the time and I we did a good job. We went on to offer this again in 2012 on November 12 at 12:12am and it turned out even more amazing than the last one.
Bear said the opening Lakota Sioux prayer and I said the Four directions prayer…
A Lakota Sioux Prayer
Aho Mitakuye Oyasin….All my relations. I honor you in this circle of life with me today. I am grateful for this opportunity to acknowledge you in this prayer….
To the Creator, for the ultimate gift of life, I thank you.
To the mineral nation that has built and maintained my bones and all foundations of life experience, I thank you.
To the plant nation that sustains my organs and body and gives me healing herbs for sickness, I thank you.
To the animal nation that feeds me from your own flesh and offers your loyal companionship in this walk of life, I thank you.
To the human nation that shares my path as a soul upon the sacred wheel of Earthly life, I thank you.
To the Spirit nation that guides me invisibly through the ups and downs of life and for carrying the torch of light through the Ages, I thank you.
To the Four Winds of Change and Growth, I thank you.
You are all my relations, my relatives, without whom I would not live. We are in the circle of life together, co-existing, co-dependent, co-creating our destiny. One, not more important than the other. One nation evolving from the other and yet each dependent upon the one above and the one below. All of us a part of the Great Mystery.
Thank you for this Life. –Aho
More about the Medicine Wheel
A Medicine Wheel is a ceremonial tool used now by many spiritual people all over the world to perform rituals that honor the four directions, the sacred hoop of life, the animals, the sun and moon, Mother Earth and Father Sky, and many more aspects of the natural world. A lot of what I learned about the medicine wheel comes from Sun Bear and others teachers from Lakota, Hopi, Yavapai and Cherokee.
Some Native Americans believe that “Medicine” is anything that deepens your relationship with the Creator and the Great Spirit.
The wheel is a circle divided into four directions, the east, south, west and north. Also a symbol of astrology, each person is represented somewhere within that circle depending upon their birth month and day. That placement is associated with a special moon, power animal, totem clan, healing plant, color and mineral. I explain this more in detail in the Animal Totem section of this book.
At the wheel, we say a prayer for releasing, forgiveness, gratitude and abundance. We will also say the Four Directions Prayer. When we speak out loud to the universe we are stating our intentions and this is very powerful. I’ve seen miraculous things happen, some of which most people won’t believe or even understand.
Before entering the wheel in the East we will offer some kind of herb or prayer. This is an offering to let the spirits know the we enter with pure hearts and leave any ego or negativity outside of the sacred wheel. Cornmeal, tobacco, sage, cedar, roses and many other natural gifts are offered before going into the wheel. Offering something before we enter the wheel is a good practice. It is said that before we enter any sacred space or even just going out into nature for a vision quest to pray or seek answers, it is good practice to offer something at the “door.” Just as some tradition will do, going to see someone at their house, they will offer a gift. It’s also common practice to smudge yourself before going into ceremony.
I’ve worked with children from the age of three all the way up to the elderly and they all seem to have something to pray about.
The prayer we hold is not tied to any religion, it includes all living things such as the Creator, the Great Spirit, the animals, the four directions of the universe, our ancestors, and other things that bring us closer to nature.
The sound of the drum and rattle is healing and has been used for thousands of years. Some receive healing just from the sound and some receive a vision during the ceremony.
The medicine wheel dates back thousands of years originating from the Lakota Sioux. Today, Medicine Wheel ceremonies are becoming more popular and can be found all over the world. As the teachings spread to different cultures, it is a bit modified, therefore not every ceremony will be alike. Each will be a bit different and that’s okay.
In the Medicine Wheel I will drum and sing songs for forgiveness and gratitude. We offer our blessings and prayers to Mother Earth and Father Sky, to Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon, to the four directions and the animals that represent them.
Most people experience a lightness and tingling sensation. Some don’t want to leave the wheel because they feel so connected a sense of true security that they are afraid to leave the wheel and loose it. This is a feeling and an experience that can be done at any time and in any place. It’s all about raising your vibration and your energy.
The medicine wheel represents the many cycles of life. The circle is representative of life’s never ending cycle (birth, death, rebirth). Each stone or spoke placement in the wheel has a different meaning.
Over the years I’ve been assisting people from all over the world to heal past wounds, physical, emotional and spiritual. I never know what to expect with each one and they are all different. No matter what you want to do from heal physical pain to an old emotional wound, the medicine wheel can help. It can help release negativity that we may have been carrying around for a long time and in most cases we don’t even realize we are carrying it.
The term “medicine wheel” was first applied to the Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming, the most southern and one of the largest in existence. That site consists of a central circle of piled rock surrounded by a circle of stone. Then lines of stones travel out from the central core of rock and its surrounding circle. The structure looks like the wheel of a bicycle.
The Medicine Wheel can take many different forms. It can be an artwork such as artifact or painting, or it can be a physical construction on the land. Hundreds or even thousands of Medicine Wheels have been built in North America over the last several centuries.
We traditionally move around the wheel in a “sun-wise” direction. This helps to align with the forces of Nature, such as gravity and the rising and setting of the Sun.
Meanings of the Four Directions
There are many different interpretations of the Medicine Wheel. Each of the Four Directions (East, South, West, and North) is represented by a color, such as black, red, yellow, and white, which for some stands for the human races. The Directions can also represent:
Stages of life: birth, youth, adult, and elder.
Seasons of the year: spring, summer, fall and winter.
Aspects of life: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical.
Elements of nature: fire (or sun), air, water, and earth.
Animals: Eagle, Bear, Coyote, Wolf, Buffalo and many others.
Ceremonial plants: tobacco, sweet grass, sage, cedar
The East is held to represent the mind, air, the color yellow and yellow skinned people, learning the groups to which people belong and the infant.
The South holds the heart, fire, the color red and red skinned people, and the child.
The West holds the spirit, water, the color blue or black, and the black-skinned people and Adulthood.
The North represents the final life stage in the wheel, being an elder and passing on knowledge to the next generation so that the wheel may start again just like the circle it takes after. It is also associated with the color white, representing the white hair of the elders and the white skinned people.
The concept of the medicine wheel symbolically represents a nonlinear model of human development. Each compass direction on the wheel offers lessons and gifts that support the development of a balanced individual. The idea is to remain balanced at the center of the wheel while developing equally the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of one’s personality.
Lessons and gifts from the EAST, the place of first light, spring, and birth, include: Warmth of the spirit, purity, trust, hope, unconditional love, courage, truthfulness, guidance, leadership and a capacity to remain in the present moment.
Lessons and gifts from the SOUTH, the place of summer and youth, include: Generosity, sensitivity, loyalty, romantic love, testing of the physical body, self-control, gifts of music and art and the capacity to express feelings openly in ways respectful to others.
Lessons and gifts from the WEST, the place of autumn and adulthood, include: Dreams, prayers, meditation, perseverance when challenged, balance between passionate loyalty and spiritual insight, use of personal objects, sacred of life’s meaning
fasting, ceremony, self-knowledge and vision.
Lessons and gifts from the NORTH, the place of winter and elders, include: Intellectual wisdom, the ability to complete tasks that began as a vision, detachment from hate, jealousy, desire, anger, and fear, the ability to see the past, present, and future as interrelated.
These are all different teaching from all corners of the earth, and as you can see they each slightly differ from one another. Therefore in creating and performing a Medicine Wheel Ceremony, there is no wrong way to do it. So dance, sing, shake the rattles and beat the drum as it all will help you on your personal medicine path.
Four Directions Prayer
Standing in the East: Thank you Thunkaslia (Creator), Wankan Tanka (Great Spirit), Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Ancestors, All of our Spirit Guides and our Animal Spirit Guides for bringing us Wanbli Galeshka (the Eagle) in the East. We ask that you lend us your strong eyes to be able to see our lives from above.
And where Grandfather Sun rises every day to warm our bodies, gives us light to see, and grow our crops. We thank you for the abundance that you bring us.
And the spring time that brings us new beginnings to express our unique talents and creativity.
Standing in the South: Thank you Thunkaslia (Creator), Wankan Tanka (Great Spirit), Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Ancestors, All of our Spirit Guides and our Animal Spirit Guides for bringing us Heyoka (the Coyote) in the South.
Help us learn to balance work and play, to awaken the child within and return to innocence. Show us how to laugh more and have more fun, and to not take life too seriously and to recognize this.
Standing in the West: Thank you Thunkaslia (Creator), Wankan Tanka (Great Spirit), Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Ancestors, All of our Spirit Guides and our Animal Spirit Guides for bringing us Matho (the Bear) in the West.
We ask Bear for strength and courage in our adult lives to face our fears and difficult situations with ease. Help us to turn this fear into excitement so that we may live our lives to the fullest.
We also ask for the ability to know when to go within to seek answers and for spiritual guidance. And to trust that we can always find answers in ourselves and in nature.
Standing in the North: Thank you Thunkaslia (Creator), Wankan Tanka (Great Spirit), Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Ancestors, All of our Spirit Guides and our Animal Spirit Guides for bringing us Tatanka (the Buffalo) in the North.
We ask to remember the day when the buffalo roamed freely upon this land. And when the early people saw that and knew that all of their need would be met, and they would have everything that they need right when they needed it. They saw abundance in everything and did not know of lack. Help us return to that time.
Teach us to honor and respect our elders, the ones who came before us and have lived many years. Show us the old ways so that we may carry on the traditions of our ancestors.
Standing in the Center: Thank you Maka (Mother Earth) for being here for us two leggeds, and for all of our relations. Help us to respect you more and spend more time with you knowing that we can always find true security in you. Help us to walk lightly among your sacred body and appreciate all living things and all of creation that we share it with. Aho Mitakuye Oyasin (All my relations)
Hetchetu Welo! And so it is done!
Some Ceremonies include the sweat lodge. A sweat lodge was made of willow saplings and buffalo hide or blankets. It nestled close to the earth which suggest that when you entered the lodge that you were entering the womb of the Earth Mother. And when you exited the lodge, you crawled out on your hands and knees like a baby. The lodge was purifying, like you had been reborn and re-entered into the earth with a new vision and understanding. So as the hot stones were brought in, you would sweat out negativities and detoxify. Giving these back to the earth. The singing and the beat of the drum would help the cleansing process.
The Pipe Loading Ceremony
Taught to me by my elders Jim and Sue Graywolf Petruzzi…
About being a pipe carrier
The pipe holder stands holding the bowl of the pipe in his left hand, the stem in his right, pointing the stem to the East. He sprinkles a small amount of tobacco on the ground as an offering to Mother Earth and The East. As he loads a small pinch of tobacco into the pipe, he will say something like: “The East is Red. The East is where the Morning Star rises, the Star of Knowledge. Red is for the Rising Sun which brings us a new day and another chance to learn. We thank the Great Spirit for each day we are allowed to live upon Mother Earth under Father Sky, Tunkashila. We pray for Knowledge, for from Knowledge comes Peace”.
The pipe holder faces the South and again gives tobacco to Mother Earth, continues to load the pipe, saying something like: “The South is Yellow. Yellow is for the color of Spring and the warm south wind, and the yellow hoop. While we load this pipe, we give thanks for our strength, growth, and healing that is brought forth from the south wind. We use this as a time of planting so that the seeds may grow into a new life.”
The pipe holder faces the West and again gives tobacco to Mother Earth, continues to load the pipe, saying something like: “West is Black. West is where the Sun sets. West is where the Spirit Helpers live and black stands for the Spirit World. We will all go to the Spirit World and we will all know one another and our deeds. We seek our spiritual wisdom in the West and pray for help from our Spirit Guides”.
The same is done for the North: “White is for the North. The White Giant covers Mother Earth with the white blanket of snow. White Buffalo Calf Woman, Ptecincala Ska Wakan Winan, came to us from the North. We stand here seeking endurance, and health from the North”.
The pipe holder now touches the stem to the ground, saying something like: “Green is the color of Mother Earth. We are all part of Mother Earth, each rock, each four legged, each two legged, all creatures, plants and minerals. We are all related. We respect our Mother Earth and protect her”.
The pipe holder now holds pipe above his head with the stem up at an angle, perhaps at the Sun or Moon: “Father Sky in union with Mother Earth are our true parents. Father Sky gives us energy for our lives and heats our bodies and our lodges. We are thankful for Father Sky”.
The pipe holder now holds the stem straight up: “Great Spirit, Creator of us all, Creator of all things, Creator of the four directions, Mother Earth, and Father Sky, we offer this pipe to you”.
Now the pipe is lighted, and passed around the circle sunwise from east to south to west to north, returning to the east, each person free to offer a prayer or saying if they choose. On completion of its journey around the sacred circle the pipe is capped with sage or bark, and separated, the stem from the pipe, set aside in its pouch until it is smoked again. The typical pipe pouch has separate compartments for the pipe and the stem so that they do not touch when not being used in ritual ceremony.
The story of the White Buffalo Calf Woman is also quite relevant to understanding the Pipe Ceremony. To the Native Americans the birth of a white buffalo is a symbol of rebirth and world harmony.
White Buffalo Calf Woman
One summer, long ago, the seven sacred council fires of the Lakota Oyate, the nation, came together and camped. Every day they sent scouts to look for game, but the scouts found nothing, and the people were starving.
Among the bands assembled were the Itazipcho, the Without-Bows, who had their own camp circle under their chief, Standing Hollow Horn. Early one morning the chief sent two of his young men to hunt for game. They searched everywhere but could find nothing. Seeing a high hill, they decided to climb it in order to look over the whole country. Halfway up, they saw something coming toward them from far off, but the figure was floating instead of walking. From this they knew that the person was wakan, holy.
At first they could make out only a small moving speck and had to squint to see that it was a human form. But as it came nearer, they realized that it was a beautiful young woman, more beautiful than any they had ever seen. She wore a wonderful white buckskin outfit, tanned until it shone a long way in the sun. It was embroidered with sacred and marvelous designs of porcupine quill, in radiant colors no ordinary woman could have made. This wakan stranger was Ptesan-Wi, White Buffalo Calf Woman. In her hands she carried a large bundle and a fan of sage leaves. She wore her hair loose except for a strand at the left side, which was tied up with buffalo fur. Her eyes shone dark and sparkling, with great power in them.
The two young men looked at her open-mouthed. One was overawed, but the other desired her and stretched his hand out to touch her. This woman was Lila wakan, very sacred, and could not be treated with disrespect. Lightning instantly struck the brash young man and burned him up, so that only a small heap of blackened bones was left.
To the other scout who had behaved rightly, the White Buffalo Calf Woman said: “Good things I am bringing, something holy to your nation. A message I carry for your people from the buffalo nation. Go back to the camp and tell the people to prepare for my arrival. Tell your chief to put up a medicine lodge with twenty-four poles. Let it be made holy for my coming.”
This young hunter returned to the camp. He told the chief, and the people, what the sacred woman had commanded. So the people put up the big medicine tipi and waited. After four days they saw the White Buffalo Calf Woman approaching, carrying her bundle before her. Her wonderful white buckskin dress shone from afar. The chief, Standing Hollow Horn, invited her to enter the medicine lodge. She went in and circled the interior sunrise. The chief addressed her respectfully, saying: “Sister, we are glad you have come to instruct us.”
She told him what she wanted done. In the center of the tipi they were to put up an owanka wakan, a sacred altar, made of red earth, with a buffalo skull and a three-stick rack for a holy thing she was bringing. They did what she directed, and she traced a design with her finger on the smoothed earth of the altar. She showed them how to do all this, then circled the lodge again sunwise. Halting before the chief, she now opened the bundle. The holy thing it contained was the chanunpa, the sacred pipe. She held it out to the people and let them look at it. She was grasping the stem with her right hand and the bowl with her left, and thus the pipe has been held ever since.
Again the chief spoke, saying: “Sister, we are glad. We have had no meat for some time. All we can give you is water.” They dipped some wacanga, sweet grass, into a skin bag of water and gave it to her, and to this day the people dip sweet grass or an eagle wing in water and sprinkle it on a person to be purified.
The White Buffalo Calf Woman showed the people how to use the pipe. She filled it with chan-shasha, red willow-bark tobacco. She walked around the lodge four times after the manner of Anpetu-Wi, the great sun. This represented the circle without end, the sacred hoop, the road of life. The woman placed a dry buffalo chip on the fire and lit the pipe with it. This was peta-owihankeshni, the fire without end, the flame to be passed on from generation to generation.
She told them that the smoke rising from the bowl was Tunkashila’s breath, the living breath of the great Grandfather Mystery.
The White Buffalo Calf Woman showed the people the right way to pray, the right words and the right gestures. She taught them how to sing the pipe-filling song and how to lift the pipe up to the sky, toward Grandfather, and down toward Grandmother Earth, to Unci, and then to the four directions of the universe.
“With this holy pipe,” she said, “you will walk like a living prayer. With your feet resting upon the earth and the pipe stem reaching into the sky, your body forms a living bridge between the Sacred Beneath and the Sacred Above. Wakan Tanka smiles upon us, because now we are as one: earth, sky, all living things, the two-legged, the four-legged, the winged ones, the trees, the grasses.
Together with the people, they are all related, one family. The pipe holds them all together.
“Look at this bowl,” said the White Buffalo Calf Woman. “Its stone represents the buffalo, but also the flesh and blood of the red man. The buffalo represents the universe and the four directions, because he stands on four legs, for the four ages of creation. The buffalo was put in the west by Wakan Tanka at the making of the world, to hold back the waters.
Every year he loses one hair, and in every one of the four ages he loses a leg. The sacred hoop will end when all the hair and legs of the great buffalo are gone, and the water comes back to cover Mother Earth.
The wooden stem of this chanunpa stands for all that grows on the Earth. Twelve feathers hanging from where the stem – the backbone – joins the bowl – the skull – are from Wanblee Galeshka, the spotted eagle, the very sacred bird who is the Great Spirit’s messenger and the wisest of all flying ones.
You are joined to all things of the universe, for they all cry out to Tunkashila. Look at the bowl: engraved in it are seven circles of various sizes. They stand for the seven sacred ceremonies you will practice with this pipe, and for the Oceti Shakowin, the seven sacred campfires of our Lakota nation.”
The White Buffalo Calf Woman then spoke to the women, telling them that it was the work of their hands and the fruit of their bodies which kept the people alive. “You are from Mother Earth,” she told them. “What you are doing is as great as what the warriors do.”
And therefore the sacred pipe is also something that binds men and women together in a circle of love. It is the one holy object in the making of which both men and women have a hand.
The men carve the bowl and make the stem; the women decorate it with bands of colored porcupine quills. When a man takes a wife, they both hold the pipe at the same time and red trade cloth is wound around their hands, thus tying them together for life.
The White Buffalo Calf Woman also talked to the children, because they have an understanding beyond their years. She told them that what their fathers and mothers did was for them, that their parents could remember being little once, and that they, the children, would grow up to have little ones of their own.
She told them: “You are the coming generation, that’s why you are the most important and precious ones. Some day you will hold this pipe and smoke it. Some day you will pray with it.”
She spoke once more to all the people: “The pipe is alive; it is a red being showing you a red life and a red road. And this is the first ceremony for which you will use the pipe. You will use it to keep the soul of a dead person, because through it you can talk to Wakan Tanka, the Great Mysterious. The day a human dies is always a sacred day. The day when the soul is released to the Great Spirit is another.”
She spoke one last time to Standing Hollow Horn, the chief, saying, “Remember: this pipe is very sacred. Respect it and it will take you to the end of the road. The four ages of creation are in me. I will come to see you in every generation cycle. I shall come back to you.”
The sacred woman then took leave of the people, saying: “Toksha ake wacinyanktin ktelo — I shall see you again.”
The people saw her walking off in the same direction from which she had come, outlined against the red ball of the setting sun. As she went, she stopped and rolled over four times. The first time, she turned into a black buffalo; the second into a brown one; the third into a red one; and finally, the fourth time she rolled over, she turned into a white buffalo calf. A white buffalo is the most sacred living thing you could ever encounter.
The White Buffalo Calf Woman disappeared over the horizon. As soon as she had vanished, buffalo in great herds appeared, allowing themselves to be killed so that the people might survive. And from that day on, our relations, the buffalo, furnished the people with everything they need — meat for their food, skins for their clothes and tipis, and bones for their many tools. -Unknown Author
The Shamanic Journey
One of the most common rituals I use in my healing practice is the Shamanic Journey. It is a type of meditation exercised in order to receive guidance, answers, solutions, information, and visions from the spirit world. Most Shamanic cultures believe there are three primary Spirit Worlds, The Lower World, Upper World and Middle World.
The Lower World is the realm of nature, animals, trees, plants and rocks. Here lies the root of our deepest thoughts and emotions. This is where we meet and connect with our Power Animals. This type of vision is usually reached by some form of tunnel that leads into the earth. This is the best place to start for beginners.
The Upper World is the spiritual realm that connects us with the universe, planets, stars, our ancestors, and ascended masters. Here we find our teachers and guides. This type of vision is usually reached by following a beam of light starting at your third eye and following it out into the universe. Some will climb through the inside of a very tall tree or ladder. The Upper World can often seem very ethereal and can appear to be very bright and can go from light pastels to a soft gray.
The Middle World is the place where we live and breathe. This world overlaps the world of the seen with the unseen and the dream world. This is where we can travel back and forth through time. Here we can also look for lost or stolen objects, perform long distance healing work and to find the souls of the recently deceased in order to help them cross over into the afterlife. This is also a good place to have a conversation with someone like a co-worker, friend, or family member to discuss matters. You can reunite with an old friend or communicate with someone who has already crossed over. In the Middle World we communicate with the Spirit that lives in all things. This is where the Shaman becomes the medium between the spiritual and physical worlds. This type of vision can easily reached by a simple walk in nature or passing through a doorway.
Reaching an Altered State of Consciousness
The constant beat of the drum or shaking a rattle are the most common tools used to assist us in a successful Shamanic Journey. Studies have shown that this continuous rhythm affects our brain in such a way that allows us to more easily experience a vision.
The Helping Spirits
The helping Spirits are the guides of the Shaman and can assist us in the healing of individuals, the community and Mother Earth. The most common types of Spirits who work in partnership with the Shaman are the animals, the plants and trees, the elements such as wind, the stone and mineral kingdom and humans who appear as teachers. The Spirits who appear as animals are more commonly known as Power Animals or Animal Spirit Guides. They provide us with strength, protection and support. The Plant and Tree Spirits can provide help with very specific issues. Shamans and Medicine People have been using the help of the Plant and Tree people since the beginning of time for healing. The Spirits that appear to us in human form are usually messengers and can act as intermediaries between us and the universe. They have compassion for our pain, confusion and suffering, therefore they gladly volunteer their help.
Often, right after a Shamanic Journey, I would continue with a Soul Retrieval because the journey would bring up something that needed healing from the past.
Also using Guided Imagery I would take the person back to a time when they would first remember the event, pain or trauma. Then Help them realize at what point they gave their power away to try and survive the event. From there we ask that part of the soul to be returned to the body so it can heal and live in balance. Whatever it may be, must people usually carry these destructive patterns or habits on into their adult lives not really knowing why they do it or where it came from.
What is Soul Retrieval?
Soul retrieval is a trauma release technique that can assist an individual in healing past trauma or negative beliefs. A soul retrieval happens when the lost part of the soul returns safely and completely back into the body and integrity are restored. This can be done by the help of an experienced facilitator who can walk between worlds and works with the helping spirits.
Symptoms of Soul Loss:
- Blocked memory
- Apathy (lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern)
- Emotionally unavailable or withdrawn
- Cannot receive or give love
- Lack of motivation to live life or suicidal thoughts
- Clinical depression
- PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Feeling Guilt or shame
- Lack of purpose
- Prolonged grief
- Anger and hatred
- Negative beliefs (Example: everybody lies, people are stupid or i’m not good enough)
What causes soul loss?
Soul loss occurs when there is a loss of personal power. This usually happens involuntarily and as a result damages the soul by the negative influence. Essentially, the soul will recognize when something traumatic is about to happen and it will leave the body in order to protect itself and maintain its integrity and it may not be able to return safely back into the body. Situations that may cause soul loss include:
- Prolonged Stress
- An accident
- Loss of a loved one
- Extreme fear
- Negative influence
If soul loss is left unresolved for long periods of time it can create very serious emotional, spiritual, mental and physical problems including severe panic attacks, illness and disease.
The Solution: In many cases, a soul retrieval can be very successful with only one session. Depending on how long the situation has been left unresolved will determine how far it has spiraled out of control and into the many areas of ones life. Like the ripple effect, when you through a stone into the middle of a pond it will create many ripples that move outward. Eventually, when no stones are thrown, the pond will become still again. Soul loss is comparable to someone that keeps throwing stones into the pond, not allowing the pond to calm, creating chaos in ones life. A soul retrieval will identify where the rock originally came from and correct it from that point. Then you can experience that peaceful stillness and balance once again in your life.
To the Plains Indians, everything in the world served a purpose in their lives. The sun, the mountains, the animals, the rivers, the trees. Everything in a warriors natural environment had a connection to the creator and therefore was fill with its own mysterious force. God or the Creator or the Great Spirit was not separate from the earth. This meant everything was sacred. The many rituals and ceremonies of the tribe connected its members to the earth and everything in it. As well as to the creator of all things. As a result, the plains Indians believed that they could through ritual, directly connect with the Great Spirit and the spirit world.
There are many different forms of Spiritual Healing. Here are a few that I have learned…
The Vision Quest
One of the most important rituals for every warrior was the vision quest. The quest lasted from two to four days, and included fasting, staying awake, and crying for help from the spirits. Some vision quests are performed in a dugout pit in the ground then covered with blankets so that it blocked out all light. In some cultures, they would go on the “long walk” usually to sacred mountain near their village. They would go with no water, no food and brought only their prayer items. They would stay on the mountain for four days and four nights, a full moon cycle or until they’ve received their vision. No matter how they sought out their vision it was their belief that they would receive an answer or a vision if they went into a quiet place long enough to let go of the everyday task, conversations, and business.
Another important part of Native American belief was that the animals were the messengers from the Great Spirit. They believe that each animal had a different message or lesson that they could teach us or that could help us on our human path. This is also known as “Animal Medicine.” The natives believed that anything that could help us on our spiritual paths was called “medicine.”
Some of them that have presented themselves most in my life are the Raven, hawk, dragonfly, spider, praying mantis, wasp, and the bee.
When we are seeking more balance and answers in life, we may call upon the animal spirit guides as the ancient Native Americans once did.
Have you ever wondered why a stray dog wandered into your yard, or a hawk flew past just in front of you as you were driving? Do you collect pictures or figurines of pigs, dolphins, or frogs?
These are all gentle messages from the animal spirit world offering you insight and clarity to your daily tasks and challenges.
To see a list of these animals and meanings, go to www.WALKASHAMANSPATH.com and click on “Animal Messages.”
There are also animal medicine cards, somewhat like a tarot deck. This is how I began to lean what each animal meant.
One could receive an animal message in a dream, which I do a lot. Just pay close attention and try to remember what was happening in the dream then it could explain what the message was that the animal was trying to give you.
For the most part one would receive messages from animals in person. Some examples that I’ve experienced are, having a coyote cross the road right in front of me, this could mean to beware of the trickster. To make sure that I am not being fooled by someone or it could mean that I may be fooling myself. Coyote can also mean to just have fun and don’t worry about things or the situation at hand.
I’ve also had many hawks fly near me or circle above me. The hawk is the messenger to the people, like a spiritual teacher or messenger from the Great Spirit.
Recently, I was sitting on my front porch when a humming bird flew right up to me, looked at me for about five seconds the fly off. I had enough time to ask it what it wanted and what was its message. The humming birds message is about “Renewal”, and that dreams and new joy are within reach, also opportunity for accomplishment, along with promising success and renewed health.
I studied and practiced animal medicine so much that now all my friends and family will contact me to find out what it means when they see something.
Ever since I was a little girl, I was always fascinated with birds. I loved all animals but birds caught my attention the most. Even today I am still watching the skies looking for hawks, eagles, of whatever fascinating feathered animal I could find.
I didn’t know it at the time but throughout my youth and into my adult age certain animals have been offering their medicine. It was like they were offering me their gift to use throughout my life then to use with my clients. It was like my medicine powers were slowly being given to me.
Somewhere between fifteen and seventeen I had an encounter with a raven. Little did I know that this mysterious bird would become one of my Animal Spirit Guides. I was walking along near town and came across a large black feather lying on the ground. Since I enjoyed making Native American artifacts, I was always looking for and collecting these types of things to decorate them with. As I leaned down to pick it up, I felt an overwhelming sensation of power and energy and right when I touched it, I heard the loud caw of the raven calling out to me. As I picked up the feather and looked up, there he was sitting just above me on a light post. He was looking down at me and there was a dead silence, almost as if were starting into each other’s eyes and making some kind of sacred bond.
I also had a great horned owl offer me a feather once. At the time I lived in Camp Verde in a small travel trailer near an old abandoned house. There was an irrigation ditch nearby and lots of very tall cottonwood trees. Sometimes at night I could hear them screeching and moving around in the branches, I even seen two of them once playing with something on the dirt road near the house, they stood tall like small children. One day I was sitting outside in my lawn chair making leather crafts and I got up to go get something. When I arrived back at my chair there was a large black and white feather lying on it. I picked it up. Looked up into the trees and said thank you. It was so beautiful, I think I ended adding it to something I was making at the time.
At one point I was driving from Humboldt to Cornville to work at Annie’s home office. I did this for about a year. One day I was coming up their driveway and noticed a huge feather. I stopped and picked it up and brought it to Annie and Jerry. Jerry said that it was a gift from the bird and that I was meant to keep it. Turns out that it was another owl feather. Also the next year on my birthday, Annie and Jerry gave me a prayer feather wrapped in red leather. This too was an owl feather.
Two years later on the morning of my thirty fourth birthday, I stepped out of my RV to find a huge Red Tailed Hawk sitting on the fence only fifteen feet from me. It looked at me but didn’t fly away. I froze and stared at it for a while wondering why I was receiving such an amazing gift on my birthday. This was my animal totem according to most animal totem astrology charts. Eventually, I understood its message, it was telling me to remember who I was, the teacher, and that I was to share all of what I have learned about Native Teachings and Natural Healing. What a gift.
In April of 2015 I was living with my mom for a short time in Verde Lakes, Camp Verde. I was guided to hike the old Indian caves near where I grew up. I hiked almost all the way to the top of the mountain when something said not to go any further that day. So I listened. I hike a lone a lot so I really listened to the inner guidance to avoid danger. As I was heading back down my intuition guided me to take a smaller trail. As I got close to the bottom just ahead of me on the trail was a huge great horned owl feather. I stopped suddenly and just stared at it. I looked around and asked Creator if this was a gift for me? I heard a huge, YES! So I gently picked it up and start saying wopila, wopila, wopila (thank you). Then I asked, what is the message of this gift and I heard, you have earned the right to teach. Then I held it to my heart as tears of gratitude welled up in my eyes. I continues saying thank you over and over again as I walked home.
“In the beginning of all things, wisdom and knowledge were with the animals, for Tirawa, the One Above, did not speak directly to man. He sent certain animals to tell men that he showed himself through the beast, and that from them, and from the stars and the sun and moon should man learn.. all things tell of Tirawa”. – Eagle Chief (Letakots-Lesa) Pawnee
What is your Animal Totem?
In order by birthday, Totem Animal, Clan, Direction and Element:
Dec 21-Jan 19 Snow Goose/Buffalo/North/Wind/Winter/Elder/White/Cedar/Mental
Jan 20-Feb 18 Otter/Buffalo/North/Wind/Winter/Elder/White/Cedar/Mental
Feb 19-Mar 20 Wolf or Cougar/Buffalo/North/Wind/Winter/Elder/White/Cedar/Mental
Mar 21-Apr 20 Hawk/Eagle/East/Fire/Spring/Infant/Yellow/Tobacco/Spiritual
Apr 21-May 20 Beaver/Eagle/East/Fire/Spring/Infant/Yellow/Tobacco/Spiritual
May 21-Jun 20 Deer/Eagle/East/Fire/Spring/Infant/Yellow/Tobacco/Spiritual
Jun 21-Jul 21 Woodpecker/Coyote/South/Earth/Summer/Child/Red/Sweetgrass/Physical
Jul 22-Aug 21 Salmon/Coyote/South/Earth/Summer/Child/Red/Sweetgrass/Physical
Aug 22-Sep 22 Bear/Coyote/South/Earth/Summer/Child/Red/Sweetgrass/Physical
Sep 23-Oct 22 Crow or Raven/Bear/West/Water/Fall/Adult/Black/Sage/Emotional
Oct 23-Nov 21 Snake/Bear/West/Water/Fall/Adult/Black/Sage/Emotional
Nov 22-Dec 20 Elk or Owl/Bear/West/Water/Fall/Adult/Black/Sage/Emotional
There may be variances depending on different tribes. I recommend you research both, then you will know which one is you. The astrological animal may not be your own personal totem animal. Use it instead as an additional helper.
Snow Goose: The large white snow goose travels great lengths, some as far as 5,000 miles, during its yearly migrations to and from its nesting grounds in the North Arctic. As a totem, Snow Goose people will often go to great lengths to make their aspirations a reality.
They have clear ambitions, and their imaginative minds, strong determination, sheer energy, and bubbling enthusiasm can make the seemingly impossible become attainable for them. Their persistence and determination often makes them successful at attaining long-term goals that they have set out for themselves. Snow Geese will spend hours picking insects off of each other.
Snow Goose people will often do ordinary things extremely well, sometimes to the point of perfection. These perfectionists can also sometimes be nitpickers, letting small and insignificant matters bother and frustrate them. When they feel that they’re not getting their goals accomplished quickly enough, or they perceive an obstacle, even a minor one, in their path, Snow Goose people often have a tendency to become despondent and depressed. Snow geese travel in large flocks, sometimes numbering in the thousands.
Like their totem, Snow Geese people are usually very social and enjoy being in the company of others.
Otter: Otters are known for their playfulness, and thus, Otter people are friendly, playful, and love to have fun.
Like their totem, Otter people are usually very helpful, considerate, and compassionate towards others and are often involved in charitable activities. They are very giving and throughout their lives they will spend a great deal of their energy working to benefit the Earth and its inhabitants.
Otters have a strong sense of family and are very passionate and devoted to their loved ones, and will mourn the loss of a mate for a long time. They love being parents, and are exceptionally good at it, and are very nurturing towards their cubs. Otter cubs stay with their parents for much longer than those of most other wild animals.
Just like their animal totem, Otter people are also usually very devoted and loving towards their families, and may have difficulty letting go of their children when they decide to move out into the world and be on their own.
Otters are great organizers and keep their living areas very neat and tidy. Otter people are just the same and will often feel ill at ease and uncomfortable if their living and working environments are not clean and orderly. Otters are intelligent, creative, and inventive. As they float in the water on their backs, they place a rock on their tummies to use as a tool to crack open their shellfish dinners. And you can bet that Otter people are just as intelligent, creative, and inventive as their totem animal.
Wolf: The Native Americans regarded the wolf as an intellect in both mind and spirit, a keeper of knowledge, and a great teacher, as well as a guide to the sacred. Those born during the Big Winds Moon are most often intellectuals, like their totem, and are usually hunters of knowledge, especially with regards to philosophy, religion, and anything else that they feel might bring meaning and purpose into their lives.
Like the wolf, they are often very good with handling children and make excellent teachers. Wolf people are usually quite intuitive, and can often quickly discern the intentions and attitudes of others, even when they are hidden.
Both wolves and Wolf people have a need to have a well-defined territory. For Wolf people, this territory not only includes their home and work spaces, but also their relationships with others. Wolves are very social animals and companionship is important to them. Usually they partner for life. And so it is too for the people with this totem.
Wolf people are usually quite sensitive and, for them, a break-up can be devastating. These people often have difficulty handling their emotions. They feel vulnerable if they express them too freely, yet become depressed when their emotions are repressed. Their emotional imbalance may cause difficulties in their relationships.
Hawk: Like the falcon, people born during this moon are fearless hunters, always in search for something new. New places, new experiences, and new ideas are their prey.
These people, like their totem, have the ability to reach great heights, though sometimes, however, they can lack the patience, concentration, or persistence to be able to see things through to the end. Although they begin each new endeavor with great enthusiasm, they can easily get bored or distracted and, therefore, will quickly change directions and leap onto the next new thing that comes along, leaving the other endeavor behind never to be finished.
They may have a whole trail of unfinished projects behind them. To combat their tendency towards boredom, Falcon people may have several different projects going on all at once. Even so, they may still eventually lose interest in all of them and dive into something new that piques their interest. Falcon people, therefore, are often good at starting things, but not so good at finishing them.
Beaver: People who have Beaver as a totem are hard workers. Just like a busy beaver, they keep themselves busy whether it is at work, or at home, or at play. They have no trouble keeping themselves occupied. Even when it seems that there is nothing that needs to be done, Beaver people are creative and will always find something to do, even if it is just changing, adjusting, tweaking, or rearranging things that they have already done.
Keeping busy helps to make Beaver people feel comfortable and content as well as giving them a sense of security. Beaver people are also persevering and patient and so, if they have their minds set on something, they usually end up getting what they want.
They are quick to learn and are readily adaptable to new things, though they also have a tendency to want to make things fit to themselves rather than the other way around. Sometimes so much so, that it may get to the point where they end up reorganizing the lives of those around them. But they usually don’t do so selfishly, but rather with the intention of it benefiting all those around them as well as themselves.
Deer: Deer people are fast-movers on every level. Not only do they move fast physically, but they also talk fast, think fast, and their emotions tend to change quickly. Due to all of their fast-moving, they are likely to often bound from one topic to another, from one idea to another, and from one project to another, many times failing to accomplish what they had set out to do.
They are resourceful, however, and have an eye for beauty, and so they are capable of making something beautiful out of something simple. Deer people often have a short attention span, as well as a tendency to interrupt conversations because their minds are always racing, a part of the conversation might set their thoughts off on a tangent, and then they will want to express those thoughts immediately, thereby not allowing the person who was speaking to finish what they were saying.
However, they are also intuitive and sensitive and are usually compassionate and understanding towards others. Deer people often have an uncontrollable wild side to them which can sometimes make it difficult for others to understand them and for them to even understand themselves. With all of their fast-moving and occasional wildness, Deer people are often unorganized and easily lose track of time.
Woodpecker: To Native Americans, the rhythmic pecking of the woodpecker reminded them of the sound of the shaman’s drum. The people who have Woodpecker as a totem also tend to be musically inclined. The Natives saw that the woodpecker not only did its pecking out of necessity in the search for food, but that they also pecked for the sheer joy of it. Woodpecker, then, as a totem can teach people how to feel and express joy.
Woodpeckers take great care with building their nest and raising their young, and so too do those with this totem. Woodpecker people find their greatest joy in building a comfortable, harmonious, and happy home for themselves and their children. They are usually excellent parents, and sometimes have difficulty with letting go of their children when it is time for them to leave the nest.
Close relationships are important to Woodpecker people, and they can become very unhappy or even bitter if they do not have someone towards whom to direct their love, energy, and devotion.
Sturgeon: The sturgeon is a symbol of strength and longevity to Native Americans. Like salmon, sturgeons swim upstream to get to their spawning grounds. So sturgeon have the strength to swim against the current and the ability to survive despite hard times, and so too do those whose birth totem is Sturgeon.
Sturgeon (and Salmon) are very graceful swimmers, causing very little disturbance as they move through the water. Water is the element of the emotions, and so it is one of Sturgeon people’s life tasks to learn to master their emotions and to swim gracefully through their lives causing little friction or disturbance.
Sturgeon people can be resistant to change which can cause them a great amount of emotional upset. Demands that are put on them by others can also be a source of emotional upset and a lot of stress for Sturgeon people.
Bear: Bears are independent and self-reliant, and so too are those whose birth totem is Bear. These people are usually slow in acclimating themselves to change, and will often retreat to their dens for a time, where they can feel comfortable and secure within the familiar.
Bear people are constructive and have a knack for fixing just about anything, from repairing a broken down car to mending a torn relationship. These people are usually quite gentle, like their totem animal, and handle their relationships with much tenderness and understanding.
The Native people regarded the Bear as a dreamer. People with this totem often love to daydream and have a vivid imagination. Sometimes they can get so wrapped up in their daydream that they become unable to distinguish it from their physical reality, which may cause others to think that they are liars.
Raven: Ravens and crows like to be together in numbers. They travel together, eat together, and live together. Raven people have this trait as well, preferring the company of others to being alone and on their own. They feel the happiest and most secure when they are with others. They work best when they are in a group, and are extremely loyal to any group that they are a part of, and like the Raven, they are always ready to defend it when necessary.
Like the birds, these people are often cautious and wary which may make it difficult for them to make decisions. They are often indecisive and slow to make up their minds, preferring instead to remain neutral rather than to choose one side or one thing over another. However, once they have made a decision, they will act on it with conviction.
Since ancient times, the Raven and Crow have been associated with magic and mystery, and have been regarded as the guardian of secrets. Almost like magic, Raven people often have an uncanny ability to turn their wants and desires into realities. They are also usually very good at being discreet and keeping secrets.
Snake: Because of its ability to periodically shed its skin, the snake represents transformation, change, and renewal. And those born with Snake as their birth totem are inclined to shed their skins by way of making dramatic, and sometimes drastic, changes in their lives from time to time, letting go of their current ties and attachments, and starting again anew. They may make sudden decisions such as to quit their job, or change their occupation, or sell their house, or move to a new city, or totally reinvent themselves. Sometimes, however, they make these changes at inopportune times, thereby causing unnecessary upset and suffering to themselves as well as to others.
Change isn’t necessarily always easy for Snake people, but they are adaptable to anything that is new to them. For Snake people, their lives are usually a lifelong transformation. They may start out making changes that are for purely selfish reasons.
As the Snake person goes through life, their selfish changes will usually eventually transform into more constructive changes which benefit not only themselves, but others as well. Snake people may also start out as insensitive and hurtful towards others, but then their ability to wound will usually turn into the ability to heal. Snake people can be especially helpful to those suffering from alcoholism or drug abuse.
Owl: Owls have large eyes and keen eyesight which enables them to see and catch their prey in the darkness of night. Owl people are very observant as well with very little escaping their attention. They have a keen eye for detail as well as a deep insight into whatever they find of interest or importance. The owl is associated with hidden wisdom and the Moon, which is the light that shines through the darkness.
Owl people usually have very good intuition, and may often find that they become aware of certain things before it becomes obvious to others. Though they are drawn to the esoteric and mysterious, they are usually able to keep themselves grounded in practical reality. From time to time, Owl people may feel the urge to disappear into the darkness like their totem animal.
They may become quiet and withdrawn, and may even feel the need to be alone and will thus avoid being in the company of others. They may even suddenly break away from a situation or project in which they have been deeply involved. Because of their sudden withdrawal, Owl people may appear to others as antisocial. They might be and feel misunderstood by others and, during these times, may inadvertently hurt the feelings of those around them.
Spirit Keepers or Clan Animal
The Spirit Keepers are Spirit Beings responsible for teaching us the power of their respective Directions. When we are born, the Great Spirit assigns a particular one to us, like a Guardian Angel, to Guide, Teach, Protect us, and to serve as a Team Leader. There are lessons for us to learn from ALL of the Spirit Keepers.
Of the North Wind is The Sacred Buffalo (Dec 21 and Mar 20)
The Power of Buffalo is renewal and purity. It is new life enclosed in death, new growth protected in rest. The Season of Buffalo is Winter, whether that “season” be about the time of year, the time in a person’s life cycle, or the time-phase of an idea. The animal totem of Buffalo is also White Buffalo, whose Medicine is Prayer and Abundance. The color totem is White (purity, balance). The time of day represented is Night.
Of the East Fire is The Eagle (Mar 21 and Jun 20)
The Power of Eagle is illumination and wisdom. The Season of Eagle is Spring, a time of awakening from Winter rest, a time of vitality, purity-of-energy. The animal totem is Eagle, whose Medicine is Spirit. The color totems are red (vital energy) and gold (enlightenment). The time of day represented is Morning.
Of the South Earth is The Coyote (Jun 21 and Sept 22)
The Power of Coyote is growth and trust. The Season of Coyote is Summer, a time of rapid growth, maturing, testing wisdom and helping it to grow. The animal totem is Coyote, whose Medicine is Trickster (a variance is that some believe that the South Direction animal totem is Mouse, whose Medicine is Scrutiny). The totem colors are green (growth, healing) and yellow (intelligence, natural wisdom). The time of day represented is Mid-Day.
Of the West Water is The Bear (Sep 23 and Dec 20)
Also Chief Council of all Spirit Keepers, and whose Power is strength and introspection. The Season of Bear is Autumn, a time of strength gained from knowing yourself, a time of stability. The animal totem is Grizzley Bear, who is also Chief Council of all Animal Totems, and whose Medicine is Introspection. The totem colors are blue (spiritual strength) and black (looking within). The time of day represented is Evening.
Some of the animal astrology information came from the teachings of Sun Bear and Wabun Wind.
Another Spiritual Healing practice that I studied was how to diagnose a person’s physical problem with an emotional cause.
The more I worked with people, the more I discover that all their physical problems have a non-physical diagnosis. For example a friend of mine says she has a kidney infection. I remember her telling me once that she felt one coming on. I looked at my notes and explained to her that this particular problem stems from “bottled-up anger that hasn’t been dealt with.” She knew right away what it was. I offered a little bit of coaching for her and within ten minutes she knew what she had to do. Once she took the right action and released the anger, she healed very quickly. I’m not sure it will be this easy for everyone, but this offers a good place to start!
Here is a list that I have been putting together for a long time now, some I figured out on my own and some collected from others studies…
Acne: Refusing to like and accept yourself as you are
Addictions: Lack of self-love and avoiding to face your own fears
Aids: Guilt related to sex and/or sexuality
Alcoholism: Inability to accept yourself and/or your circumstances
Allergies: You or someone else is getting in between you and your own self power
Alzheimer’s Disease: Refusing to live your own life
Ankles: Ankle pain may mean one needs more pleasure in his or her life. Take some time to pamper yourself or spice up your love life. Indulge a little bit!
Anorexia: Afraid of being rejected and lack of self-love
Anxiety: Refusing to live in the present. Anxiety is an expression of fear.
Arthritis: Lack of self-love and self-acceptance
Back Pain (Upper): Yearning for understanding. Lack of emotional support can manifest in upper back pain. Maybe one does not feel appreciated, or they are holding back feelings of affection. If one is in a relationship, maybe have a discussion about feelings. If one is single, it might be time to branch out.
Back Pain (Middle): Overpowered by guilt
Back Pain (Lower): Financially unstable. Lower back pain may signify someone has financial worries. Try to sit down and focus on managing money better or hire a financial planner. It might also be time to ask for that well-deserved raise.
Baldness: Lack of trust in life and wanting to feel in control of every single aspect of your life
Blackheads: Anger outbursts
Blood Pressure (Low): Embracing a negative attitude to life
Blood Pressure (High): Accumulation of emotional problems
Bone Problems: Rebellion towards authority
Bowel Irregularities: Not wanting to let go and/or feeling stuck in a particular situation
Breast Problems (Left): Refusing to taking care and loving yourself
Breast Problems (Right): Over-protection and inability to love someone
Breathing Issues: Feeling unable to handle life
Bronchitis: Bad family environment
Bruises: A punishing attitude to oneself
Bulimia: Hating oneself
Burns: Unbearable anger
Calves: Emotional tension, stress or jealousy may be the cause of calf pain. It may be time to let go of any big stressors in one’s life or to dump the jealousy.
Cancer: Extreme hurt and/or grief possibly related to past experienced issues
Cholesterol: Inability to experiencing joy in life
Circulation (Blood): Feeling stuck and/or lacking ideas and positive emotions
Cold Sore: Not wanting to face life, problems with speaking up
Colds: Unable to handle too many things and/or issues
Cough: Feeling a deep need to make a point
Depression: Feeling hopeless
Diabetes: Yearning for something which is no more in your life
Diarrhea: Running away from someone and/or something
Dizziness: Being ungrounded and/or lack of focus
Ear Issues: Unwilling to hear
Elbow Issues: Not wanting to accept recent changes. Arm and elbow pain may mean a lack of flexibility. Maybe one is resisting the natural changes that are occurring in their lives. Try shaking things up and going with the flow. Attempting to fight change only brings trouble.
Eye Cataracts: Unable to look eagerly towards the future
Eye Issues in Children: Closing their eyes to current family problems
Fainting: Not wanting to cope with current situation
Feet Issues: Not wanting to move forward. Depression can lead to foot pain. Try something new or adopt a pet. Find something that gives joy!
Feminine Issues: Conflict with feminine aspects of yourself
Fibroids: Feminine ego being hurt by partner
Finger Issues (Thumb): Feeling controlled and/or always worrying
Finger Issues (Index): Going against authority and/or guardian/parent. Pointing too much at others.
Flu: Too much negativity
Gas: Hidden concerns
Grey Hair: Stress
Gum Issues: Unable to make one’s mind on important life issues
Hand Issues: Unable to handle things that should be dealt with. A lack of friends or reaching out may cause pain in the hands. Try making new friends or going to lunch with work associates. Spend some time actively meeting new people.
Head: Headaches or migraines can be brought on by the stress of day to day life. If one gets chronic headaches, they need to take some time for themselves. Not just once, but daily. Relieving the body of stress may help to ease any head pain.
Headache: Criticizing oneself
Heart Attack: Focusing on material aspects in life while enjoying nothing in the process
Heartburn: Being devoured by fear and feeling unable to go with life’s flow. (See also indigestion)
Heart Issues: Dealing with life issues through anger
Hemorrhoids: Not wanting to move on
Hip Issues: Feeling unable to take important decisions. Fear of moving, change and waiting to make a big decision. Make the changes one needs and move on. Also, make a choice and stick with it!
Impotence: Anger bottled up towards a past partner and/or harnessing sexual guilt
Indigestion: Anxiety related to a recent/current/upcoming event
Infection: Anger and/or irritation about a particular situation
Jaundice: Feeling or being prejudiced
Kidney Issues: Bottled-up anger that hasn’t been dealt with
Knee Issues: Unable to be flexible with own ideas. Knee pain may also mean that one thinks too highly of themselves. Spend some time volunteering and remember that all people are mortal. No one is free of imperfections.
Leg Issues: Not wanting to move forward. (See also calves)
Leukemia: Lack of excitement in life
Liver Issues: Resisting change
Lung Issues: Fearing life and feeling unworthy
Menopausal Issues: Feeling unwanted
Migraine: Fears related to sex and/or letting someone into your life all the while feeling pressured by someone
Nausea: Rejecting something
Neck Issues: Contrary to popular belief, neck pain does not mean kids are driving one crazy. Pain in the neck signifies the need to forgive. It may be forgiveness of another person or even forgiveness of one’s self. It is important to think about the things one loves about themselves and others to fight this pain. Also Refusing to see another’s point of view.
Overweight: Needing emotional support and protection due to insecurity
PMS: Rejecting feminine aspects within yourself
Prostate Issues: Sexual guilt and/or pressure
Seizures: Wanting to run away from life
Shoulder Issues: Shoulder pain is a sign that one may be carrying a heavy emotional burden or carrying other’s issues onto you. Basically, they are shouldering everything. Try to think of ways to solve this emotional problem or share the load with trusted friends or family.
Sinus: Feeling irritable towards someone in particular
Skin Issues: Feeling threatened by someone
Slip Disk: Feeling lack of support from those around you
Sore Throat: Inability to express your true feelings about something/someone
Snoring: Feeling unable to move on from old patterns
Stomach Issues: Feeling malnourished
Stroke: Not being allowed to deal with own emotions
Teeth Issues: Unable to think through important decisions
Thyroid Issues: Feeling humiliated and/or repressed
Tumors: Drowning in remorse
Ulcers: Feeling you are not good enough
Urinary Issues: Anger
Varicose Veins: Being in a hateful/uncomfortable situation
Individual cases may very. This information is suggested causes only and is not a clinical diagnosis.
ACCEPTING THE GIFT
Accepting to the path of a medicine woman was not easy. I didn’t ask to have this title and I certainly didn’t take a college courses to learn everything I’ve been through. This path was chosen for me from some higher source and it took me years to finally accept that this is who I am. Sometimes I feel like I am still trying to accept this. Many people would tell me that I had to surrender and accept it but I wouldn’t listen, I thought I was going to be some successful business owner who dressed in black and went to meetings all day. I wanted to be rich and have lots of money and travel the world.
I’ve lived through many hard times and have been in some very dark places. I’ve nearly died several times and sometimes wonder how I made it through to today. But something must have wanted me to live and to teach what I have learned. So I gave in, humbled myself and decided to accept this as a gift. I chose to walk the rest of my life in the shoes of the spiritual teacher.
Most people have one shaman that they learn from during their apprenticeship, but I had many teachers and also learned through being in nature and listening to the Great Spirit. I’ve read many books on the subject and anything else I’ve wanted to learn, I searched the internet and YouTube. If there was something I wanted to learn or know more about, I would find it.
The gift of Naming
Along my path I would be working with people and something would happen that gave me the guidance to give them a new name. In tradition it was an honor to be able to name someone. Sometimes our name was given to us by another and sometimes it was given to us by the Creator. Here are a few that I’ve named: Talking Bear, Medicine Bear, Many Winters, Marie Walks Between Worlds, Two Hawks Flying, Far Walker, Ray Watching Eagle, Dreamwalker and Angie Ravenheart.
Now I just have fun with it. Throughout each day or when someone does something silly I will name them according to what’s happening. One time when we were preparing for sacred counsel we loaded the pipe, it was only a small nine inch pipe that my friend had. So as she was loading it I introduced her as , Smokes Longpipe.
I also love to make funny words up. One day my friend asked if I would feed the horses that evening. It was quite a process to feed four horses, I had to first lure them into their stalls with grain then grab the wheelbarrow and load it up with hay. After feeding them I also had to clean up the poo from that day. So she said if I didn’t have much time I could just chuck them hay. I laughed and said Chuckem’ hey.
Chief Two Moons
The name Two Moons was given to me by Creator in August of 2008. Little did I know that this was also the month of a blue moon which I found out means there were two full moons in one month. I did a meditation to find out what my “Spirit Name” was and all I kept hearing was, Two Moons, Two Moons. Coming out of the meditation, I thought, That’s interesting, why Two moons. Never heard of it before. So I accepted it and moved on with life. About a Month or so later, I had a dream while living in Humboldt, near Prescott, that it began to flood in front of my house. Somehow I was on a small boat and now floating along with the currant. I went under a bridge and emerged into an unknown place where I saw a tall Native American Chief standing at the shore. He had a simi-smile or smirk on his face and a huge feathered headdress. He was waiving for me to come to him. Then I noticed in the background, red rocks. I knew then that this was Sedona.
Still I didn’t know what this meant but I did start to see signs everywhere that I should go to Sedona. I tried looking online for anything associated with the name Two Moons and found nothing. I began to use the name and called myself, “Rebekah Two Moons” even though it sounded weird and kind of hokie. But I went with it.
Years had passed and all of the sudden in 2012, my partner at the time had bought a few used documentaries from a local video store that was going out of business. One of them as the Trail of Tears. It was hard for me to watch this, there was so much pain and wrong-doing to the Native Americans when the white man came. But something caught my attention, they began to speak of a Chief Two Moons that fought with Crazy Horse and Black Elk. This was the first time I had heard his name! I was so excited to learn more about it. Again another google search and nothing.
Then shortly after my fall from grace in 2013 which I later explain in this book I stopped using the name. I was working at a trading post in Sedona Arizona and was looking through the posters of Native Americans. I was trying to find something to put in my empty home. Then I saw him… Gasp! There he was! He was real! Chief Two Moons (1847–1917) This was the same man in my dream from 2008. He was a Northern Cheyenne War Chief standing six foot four inches, Two Moons was best remembered through his courageous exploits as one of the nine warrior chiefs of the Fox Warrior Society who fought against Custer and the seventh cavalry at the Battle of Little Big Horn. He is credited as being the only Cheyenne to have carried a repeating riffle during that battle. Following the surrender of the Cheyenne to General Miles, at Fort Keogh. Two Moons was chosen as one of their principal chiefs. The photograph I was looking at was taken by Edward S Curtis in 1910.
So I ended up buying the small postcard sized and took it home and put him on my mantelpiece above the fireplace. The very next day I got a call from the Arizona State prison that my son Harley’s parole was being revoked and he was going to spend the next six months in prison. Just to catch you up on the story… Harley had just turned seventeen and his girlfriend was fifteen. They seemed to be a happy young couple until one day. They were at a party and decided to have sex as any couple their age would do. All was fine until Harley broke up with her. She got so mad an d told her parents what had happened. They flipped their lid and decided to press charges on Harley. Well the court won and he was sentenced three and one half years in the federal state prison then when released he had to register as a sex offender. Sigh…. Another moment in my life where I could have just died.
As it were, Harley ended up in Florence south of Phoenix, a three and a half hour drive from home. I tried to visit him once every two months or so. He seemed to be okay and made friends with the people on the “yard” who were also in there for bullshit reasons and stayed away from the real sex offenders. Finally the day came where he was able to be released on parole for 6 months. Now having to register as a sex offender we had the hardest time finding a place for him to stay. My landlord said no, and everywhere we went they said no. No one wanted a sex offender to live in their house. They didn’t even seem to care about his story. He would never hurt anyone! But it seems that society is so conditioned as to what a sex offender is. And the courts, they really need to wake up.
Finally we found him a place at an old dump of a motel in downtown Phoenix. That place was so scary. Thugs and drug dealers gathered out front. Was I really going to leave my soon here? The truth was that I didn’t have a choice. I just prayed as I left. Great Creator, please watch over him, keep him safe, and please, return him home someday.
He was fine for a while than he had to move to another motel. He managed to make friends and get access to the internet. He made a Facebook profile and was just trying to have a social life in the real world online because the real world outside was depressing, cold and scary.
Well the authorities found out and arrested him for being on social media, I guess It was a part of his parole contract to not be online. That’s when I got the call that he was going back to prison, as a mother, I just cried and as a medicine woman, I prayed for my son.
Now back to the story of Two Moons. After buying the postcard and placing it on the mantle, that night I had a dream. Harley and Chief Two Moons was walking out of the mist towards me. Harley looked happy. Two Moons said, “I am watching over your son at this time, he is better off in prison now than where he was at the motel.” Harley nodded in agreement and they turned around and walked away until they disappeared into the mist.
I remember feeling a tremendous heavy Burdon lifted and letting out a deep sigh of relief. I knew then that Harley was okay and I was able to let it go. But right then I knew that my connection with Chief Two Moons was real and that he was also watching over my family. But why me? Was I supposed to call myself Two Moons or did I just conger up a Native American Spirit Guide five years ago? Either way, I now felt a deeper connection with this Cherokee Chief. I did a meditation and asked him If I was to call myself Two moons and I got a strong reply that said, “yes”! He also said that I was him and that I was to finish what he started out to accomplish over one hundred years ago. So what was I supposed to finish?
This I find so funny still to this day, when I was a child people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Without hesitation and a serious look on my face I said, “a prophet.”
I began studying Nostradamus, Jesus and other prophetic leaders. I just found this type of thing fascinating.
Around 2008 I began an independent study of all the prophesies regarding the year 2012. I wanted to know what the hype was all about and what was going to happen. I wanted to be prepared. I studied the Hopi and other native American prophecies, the Inca, the Mayan, I’ve read books, watched documentaries from all over the world and finally came to an understanding about the whole thing, at least for myself. The world was not going to come to an end. But yes, something extraordinary was going to happen for sure.
I concluded that we are entering a new time, the fifth world. One that would include a more spiritual perspective. We were going to begin to remember who we really are and start to live our lives more on purpose. I was ready for this, because it seemed that the world as it is, was getting nowhere fast. Things were going to get worse before they got better.
Technology and Social Media
Have we forgotten who we are and where we came from? Not too long ago we did live from a more spiritual place and honored our natural environment.
Today, technology has gone so far as to separate us from the physical world to a digital world. Things have speed up so fast that we have forgotten to stop and look at the roses, let alone smell them. We have drifted away from peacefulness and harmony. We need time in nature order to heal. This is part of why I think there are so many illness and diseases bringing us down.
I admit it, I love the computer, it can be very useful, and my smart phone…. Not sure I could live without it! But we have to find some kind of balance. What if some of the prophesies were true? What if giant solar flares did wipe out all electronics? Then we would be forced to go back to the old ways. Knowledge through experience. I’m not saying that will happen, but I like to think what if and how could I best be prepared.
I knew not to go into the fear, that it would be the fear itself that would ruin us. Instead, I began to separate myself from technology, electronics and social media as much as possible and still live a modern life. I went from spending about four hours per pay on my computer or phone to only minutes a day. That opened up so much more time. In fact one of my new year resolutions this your was to spend more time in nature.
After living in Sedona for just over two years now (January 2009 to May 2011), the voices were back. I was now being told that I would soon be leaving Sedona. WHAT? Leave Sedona, how would that be possible? Not knowing what I will do or where I would go, I just surrendered to the signs. I had built up my tour business pretty good and was also working for someone at a women’s clothing boutique.
Also during this time I had finished writing the Life Coach training curriculum and had plans to launch it online.
In January 2011 I reconnected with an old friend from Prescott that I would fall in love with and moved in with him in May 2011. I was still traveling to Sedona once or twice per week to do tours while trying to hold a job in Prescott.
Everything was fine for a while then it seemed like I was living in two different worlds. One ruled by the spirit and one by the ego. Every day was a struggle. There was so much negativity happening all around me that I just wanted to go and hide from the world. Eventually I had to find a balance and learn to live in both worlds. I had to learn to forgive easily and not to look too deep into things. Also, not to get caught up in other people’s drama.
My partner at the time was encouraging me to follow the spiritual path and focus my attention more on the tour business. So I did but I didn’t know that would soon separate us.
THE VISION QUEST
In June 2013 I needed to do my own vision quest, I needed answers. So I called up Sarah and said lets go camping. Jessy and his friend ended up coming with us. Sarah suggested a remote place near a small creek by Sacred Mountain. We set up camp, I fell asleep. I remember waking up form an interesting dream and seeing the shadow of a huge spider o the outside of the tent. Everyone was still asleep so I called Sarah’s dog, a Queensland Heeler to come with me to go find a place to pee downstream. Once we returned to camp I made a small Indian fire and warmed up some coffee. It was still early, barley light and still a bit chilly in the shade. I sat back in my chair thinking about the dream I just had. I was lying in a hospital bed and my family around me. My sister Heather stood out the most. She handed me three large tablets that had foreign writing on them. Ten a large yellow butterfly came flying toward me and I put out my had. It landed on my hand and I was amazed thinking that it was so cool for that to happen. Then I woke up and saw the spider shadow.
Then I was staring over at a large tree trunk and saw an old man’s face. I had been seeing this a lot lately. So I asked, “ Who are you?” It answered, “I am your father.” I was like yeah right. I never knew my real father growing up so I was skeptical. Then it said, I am one of your ancestors. So then I could relate to that. No It had my attention and said, “You have to be strong Rebekah.” I was like what? Why? And no answer. So I pondered for the nest few moments while I drank my coffee.
All of the sudden I sensed the sun about to come up so I walked up the little dirt hill to the road. The small dog was still with me. I stood and faced the sun as it started to rise. I put my arms out to receive the warm rays and welcome the new day. Then I heard a strange loud sound that came from behind me. It was sort of organic and mechanical, I was looking for some camper that had moved in overnight. I looked and looked until I saw it. I was standing in the middle of an animal trail and about five hundred feet away was a full grown mountain lion. We locked eyes for what seemed like forever then… I realized I was staring at a real mountain lion! I went into fear mode and ran back to cam, exactly what you aren’t supposed to do. I woke everyone up screaming and yelling, “Mountain Lion!”
Now that everyone was awake we went back to the location of the mountain lion and saw huge paw prints in the dirt. It appears that it had been following me all morning.
Once we collected ourselves and calmed down a bit, we started out on our hike to the top of sacred mountain, a Hopi ancestral location where there are ancient dwellings and pieces of pottery all over the ground. It was a fun spiritual day.
Later that evening everyone said their good byes and headed home. Once arriving home I told Watching Eagle what had happened. Watching Eagle was a Blackfoot elder that lived with us at the time, and also my partners dad. I highly respected him and valued his thoughts. He said the animal came to me to bring me a message ad that I had to go back to receive the message. I was certainly not willing to go back there in person so I asked him if I could do it in a Shamanic Journey and he said yes of course. So I did. I set up the space and started drumming. I visualized the moment when I first saw the lion and how intense our stare was. Through the Shamanic Journey I was able to release any fear and become present. We stared for a while then it began to walk toward me, I just stood there. As It got closer it began to rub it face and shoulders against my legs as if it was letting me know it was friendly. Then it sat in front of me and said, “I am your new guide, you need to become me, do as I do.” I thought , okay, and accepted the new animal as my Spirit Animal and thanked it for the gift.
I began to learn all about the Mountain Lion. It was a powerful feline animal that was feared and hunted by man. But in many cases it was respected just because of what it was. So I had to learn how to respect myself and others and also to demand respect for others. The mountain lion only took what it needed to survive and nothing more, it didn’t just hunt for fun and was not wasteful at all. It represented leadership and showed it young how to live by being a good example. I learned to become this animal and surrounded myself with its medicine.
A SPIRITUAL DEATH
A few weeks after seeing the mountain lion I went on an archaeology dig with the Verde Valley Archaeological Society to an ancient Anasazi site in Dove Creek Colorado where I stayed for four nights. It was now July 2013. The first night was interesting. I remember the smell of sage in the air, the sagebrush was all around. Sage being a tradition medicine plant, I felt like I was surrounded with prayer. I set up my tent and fell asleep. I had a dream that there was a huge centipede under my pillow and I tried to kill it with rocks. The next morning I looked up the message in my animal medicine book and it said to be aware of pitfalls in relationships. I sort of dismissed it because I thought all of my relationships were great at the time.
The dig was an interesting experience, my team was assigned to a large kiva (an ancient ceremonial pit dug into the ground) that was later used as a trash pit. I found a turquoise pendant and a large amethyst stone, several large pieces of broken pottery and some other little bones and things. I remember feeling like I was doing something wrong by disturbing the ancient ones past so I prayed to Creator that I was there to learn and to carry on the knowledge to future generations. I meant no disrespect.
It was an interesting week and I missed my partner and was ready to come home. Everything seemed fine until the morning of the next day. We were sitting on the front porch and he look at me with despair and had decided to end our relationship. For a moment I didn’t know what was happening, I thought we would be together for ever. But he was serious, and it was real. He told me the reasons why but I didn’t want to accept it. I was crushed and felt like I had gotten punched in the heart. I cried for days just trying to understand what was happening, I didn’t eat for like two weeks. I shut down my tour business, moved back to Sedona and for three months I sat in my house alone, sad, angry and confused. I started getting rid of everything I owned until I had almost nothing left. I almost felt like my life on this planet was complete.
Then I was going to shut down my website and was doing a little research online and reflecting on how far I had come with the business. I then discovered that I was being verbally bullied and attacked by some hate group that said that the work I was doing was wrong and I shouldn’t be charging for “Native ceremonies.” Calling me a new age fraud and a plastic shaman. They attacked me on Facebook too, there were quite a few of them. I thought, who are these people that want to wipe my face off the planet?
I did some research on their website and discovered many of my good friends were listed on there too. Good people doing good work and they were also being slandered by this hate group. They even seemed like a cult.
All of this was happening at the same time. It was so sad for me to think that someone wouldn’t want me to do the good work I was doing. I understand not charging for it but how would I eat, pay the rent and bills? How would I put gas in my car? I had to charge. Still today there is a battle about charging for healing and ceremony so I just started accepting donations instead of charge when someone wanted healing.
I tried so hard to get them to take me off of their website but they were mean and persistent. At one point, they had me so scared that I wouldn’t leave the house and sat behind locked doors for weeks. One of the reasons that I was so scared was because two of my good friends that were on their site came up dead. I thought, was I next? Could it really be this bad? I was so scared that I started to change my identity, my name, my email, I even changed my phone number and acted like Rebekah Simpson didn’t exist. I felt scared and dead, lost and hopeless.
2014 was near and I was still just laying low and not doing much of anything. I got a job and went to work as normal people do, the rest of my time I sat in my quiet apartment, burned sage, prayed, and made medicine bags and leather crafts.
About this time Jessy, my youngest son, had just turned eighteen and moved out. I started to think I was really alone then. I remember trying to find comfort in alcohol and looking for another man to replace the last one. What was I doing? I was trying to hide from facing my fears. To be okay with myself and to be okay with being alone.
I was just passing time and felt like a piece of cotton falling from the sky, slowly, blowing around in the wind with no direction or purpose.
COMING BACK TO LIFE
Finally, around May 2014 I started to live again. I made new friends and began to have a little fun and set some goals. I had this crazy idea to quit my job and go live in a tent out in the desert. So, that’s was my plan. By June I had quit my job, bought a nice tent and packed the truck with everything that I owned. I managed to spend two nights camping when my dear friend Meaghan asked me to come help her run her new bed and breakfast in Sedona. So I did, it was a fun summer of going to the creek almost every day, riding horses and hanging out with new friends. Life was fun again. I worked very little and had a ton of fun. Then in August, my ex came back into the picture. He wanted to get back together and of course, at that time I did too, it just felt right. SO by September I moved back to Prescott and everything was fine for a while.
Days went by and I felt like something was still missing in my life. I still felt pulled to Sedona. I became unhappy again and could see why. So I turned to Judee, my amazing psychic friend who helped me see what I was missing. Of course it was the spiritual path that I was missing. I was trying to play dumb and just fit in with society again. Also, I found myself trying to be someone else and live my partners lifestyle which I learned was way too fast for me and full of a lot of darkness.
Many prayers again to see the truth day after day until finally in February 2015 I decided to end the relationship and move back to Sedona. This time he was devastated and he even thought I was doing it for payback! But no, it wasn’t that at all. I just needed to find me again and return to the spiritual path. Sedona was my safe place to do that, after all it was my home, where I was born and raised.
Luckily I had many friends in Sedona so I always had a place to stay. I then took the time to start working on the Life Coach training again. I wanted to teach! I also put together the Earth Medicine practitioners training and organized the Sacred Southwest journeys.
I got another job at a place where people come to get off of prescription medication. I learned a lot about it including nutrition and detox. It was a great place to work for a while. About three months in I started feeling like I had too many limits as to what I could do with these people. I wanted to do my Shamanic and spiritual medicine work with them but was not allowed by the owner. So I quit and went to live with Meaghan again at the BnB. I stayed there for about two months then found myself getting house-sitting opportunities and had the honor of staying in some of the nicest homes in Sedona.
This is when I began focusing more on my healing sessions for income rather than working for someone else. My description of a Shamanic Life Coaching Session…
Feel good now! Begin the healing and discovery process to create the life you want. Heal from years, even lineages of past trauma, guilt, pain, depression, fear, anger, anxiety and other negative aspects that block you from experiencing peace and balance in your life. Learn who you are, your purpose and unique creative abilities. Working with Rebekah is safe, fun, educational, healing and empowering. Are you just starting your spiritual path? Need answers, direction or understanding? Rebekah has been helping people find healing, spiritual guidance and understanding since 2006.
Rebekah’s sessions may include…
Sacred Land Journeys, Shamanic Life Coaching, Medicine Wheel Ceremony, Shamanic Journey, Soul Retrieval, Drum Healing, Sacred Path and Medicine Card Readings, Ancestral Teachings, Healing with Nature, Earth Lodge Ceremony, Smudging, Energy Clearing and Healing, Spiritual Diagnosis and Understand and heal genealogical memory (DNA memory), Each session is different, customized and unique as each person is on a different path.
Then I went on to create the Shamanic Life Coach Training. Here is my description of the training…
Learn how to empower yourself and others. Our online Shamanic Life Coach training is based on the core principals of Shamanism and Life Coaching. As a certified Shamanic Life Coach you will learn a well balanced practice that encompasses the core fundamentals of Life Coaching and Earth Medicine.
Shamanism is an ancient practice that may involve communication with the Spirit world, shamanic journeying, power animals, breathing, drumming, smudging, reaching deep states of consciousness through meditation or prayer, spiritual healing on all levels, receiving visions and balancing the spiritual and physical worlds. The word “Shaman” comes from the language of the Evenki people, a Tungusic tribe in Siberia, that means “one who sees in the dark.” It is a word that was adapted widely by anthropologists and very commonly used now in the spiritual healing world.
Life Coaching is the art of empowerment and will help a person find answers, solutions and direction from within themselves. Empowerment is the art of self-determination and acting on ones own independent authority that will result in an accomplished state of self-responsibility and self-confidence.
Rebekah’s education and experience has inspired her to blend and merge these two modalities and create one powerful spiritually grounded training.
This training is for those who are interested in learning more about natural healing with the earth and ancient ancestral practices. Learn these sacred Spiritual teachings to heal yourself, use in your current healing practice, or just to receive the knowledge and experience for your own personal growth.
There are many ways to learn more about earth medicine and spiritual healing including books, classes, workshops, attending events and of course spending time with a Shaman or Medicine man or woman. The key is to practice what you learn. Then you become a practitioner.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Rebekah J Simpson received her first Life Coaching and Corporate Coaching certifications and training in 2007. Since then she has been practicing and teaching the subject in the community and online. In 2009 Rebekah began blending the life coaching with modern day Shamanism, Earth Medicine and natural healing. Her in depth studies and experience has inspired her to want to teach what she has learned so more people could help others in need of healing and direction. Rebekah has also trained with experts such as Jack Canfield and Tony Robbins and spiritual growth teachers like Deepak Chopra, Ecart Tolle, and many other shamanic healers, medicine men and medicine women. Her passion is in life coaching, spiritual growth and continued education.
Rebekah is committed to empowering and supporting individuals to create a more successful, fun, valuable, and creative coaching business. She is inspired and motivated to help others discover their own mission and purpose by providing personal, professional and spiritual growth through Life Coaching. Her intention is to provide the best training and support for Life Coaches.
WHAT IS LIFE COACHING?
Life Coaching is an exciting profession that can provide many opportunities to help individuals discover and achieve what they really want. We need support to survive and thrive in the game of life. A Life coach can challenge individuals to accomplish their goals at an accelerated pace.
Coaching is the act of empowerment and expanding one’s awareness through asking powerful questions and leveraging their gifts and talents much faster than they could do alone. The coaching process addresses specific personal or professional transitions in the client’s life by examining what is going on right now, discovering what obstacles or challenges there might be, then choosing a course of action. By creating a relaxed atmosphere and bringing the client to a comfortable and relaxed state, the coaching process helps clear the mind of all emotions and activities from the day so the client can be receptive and open to possibilities.
Life Coaching is a rewarding career that can provide many opportunities to help people discover and achieve their goals. People need support to survive and thrive in life. Life Coaches support and encourage their clients to take action based on their wants and needs, without passing judgment or holding anything back.
The coaching process addresses specific personal projects, business successes, general conditions and transitions in the client’s personal life, relationships or profession by examining what is going on right now, discovering what obstacles or challenges there might be, and choosing a course of action to that will give them measurable results.
Life Coaching teaches you to connect your head and your heart in a way that transforms your passion for your dreams into action for your life. Coaching is like having a personal trainer for life!
“Revolve or Evolve?” Sometimes life can be tough, and a person doesn’t know which direction to go. As a result, they keep revolving in circles and have difficulty moving forward. A Life Coach will help the client find clarity and motivation to take action based on their wants and needs. By the end of a session, a client will feel better, become excited, motivated and have a clear view on what steps to take to achieve his/her goals. With a follow-up session, the Life Coach will check-in with the client to see if they are following through with their action plan.
Life Coaching is about self-growth and taking your life to the next step. Life Coaches may use several transformational tools and exercises to help their clients find clarity including Hypnotherapy, Guided Imagery, written exercises, affirmations, and role-playing. To help a person visualize the possibilities of what they really want, a life coach will bring them to a comfortable and relaxed state. This helps clear the mind of all emotions and activities from the day so the client can be receptive and open to possibilities.
Life Coaching is profoundly different from consulting, mentoring, therapy, or counseling. The core belief of life coaching is that the client has all of the answers within themselves. Life coaching may briefly cover the past and pinpoint the problem, but they will quickly move on to finding a solution. Then together, the coach and the client will create a realistic action plan.
Life coaching does not fix people or tell a person what to do, judge them, make suggestions, or rescue someone from their current position. A Life Coach may offer suggestions or share their experience, but only with the client’s permission. Remember that the session is not about the coach or their story. Sometimes we like to tell our own story or share our opinion, but not in life coaching. It is about the client’s story and what they think they need to do. It’s all about helping someone move forward, knowing they have all the answers within themselves.
Life Coaching can include a wide range of topics, have a look at theses examples…
- Spiritual Growth
- Money and Finances
- Time Management
- Business Success
WHO CAN BE A LIFE COACH?
A Life Coach is someone who has a passion for helping others by working with the client to create a clear action plan to achieve a specific goal and support personal growth. By training the client to listen to their true inner guide, a Life Coach can reflect back to them in such a way that helps the client see what they need to do. A Life Coach will bring out the very best in others by challenging them to accomplish their goals and dreams at an accelerated pace and facilitate their ability to find a spiritual perspective within everyday life situations.
A Life Coach knows the client has all the answers to every question or challenge deep within them, even if those answers appear to be unclear, concealed or hidden. The coaches’ role is to listen carefully then acknowledge what the client said. Next the coach will ask specific questions and use powerful tools to help the client find answers within themselves.
Accountability is one of the most important aspects of coaching. It is the obligation of an individual to account for their activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. Often a client really wants something but they don’t want to take the necessary action to get them there. A coach will hold the client accountable to their action plan in order for them to get what they want and measure the result of the action.
“What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little or no consequence. The only consequence is what we do.” ~John Ruskin
WHAT ARE SOME BENEFITS OF BECOMING A SHAMANIC LIFE COACH?
- Help others achieve happiness and success
- Stress-free work
- Be your own boss
- Make your own schedule and hours so you can spend more time doing the things you love
- Make the income you desire
Adds credibility and value with clients
- Builds confidence and a higher self esteem
- Be a leader in the Life Coaching Profession with access to powerful tools, tips, training and support team
The benefits of becoming a coach can help your own personal growth. Becoming a Life Coach teaches you how to impact not only your client’s personal, professional and spiritual development, but your own as well. By helping others, you help yourself. Anyone can benefit from experiencing Life Coaching Training, whether you pursue coaching as a profession or use the skills of coaching as a compliment to what you are already doing. Life Coaching empowers all.
WHAT IS EARTH MEDICINE?
Earth Medicine is any form of holistic healing using the earth and natural energies to bring your body, mind and spirit back into harmony and balance and deepen your relationship with yourself and your creator.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THE EARTH MEDICINE WORK?
Anyone who is experiencing any of the following physical or emotional symptoms…
• Repeating old patterns
• Self-doubt and lack of confidence
• Feeling lost
• No direction
WHO IS AN EARTH MEDICINE PRACTITIONER AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
An Earth Medicine Practitioner is someone who practices earth medicine and can help others by:
1. Identifying the symptoms
2. Pinpoint how and when the problem started
3. Get to the root of the problem by identifying the physical and emotional connection
4. Spiritually diagnose and find a solution to the problem using strategic intervention techniques
6. Choose and conduct appropriate healing methods, tools and exercises
7. Create an action plan for continued healing
Each session will be different, customized and unique as each person is on a different path.
DETAILS ABOUT THE TRAINING…
In this training you will experience and practice several life-changing exercises that will help you clear blocks and old limiting patters and create a self-fulfilled life that only you can imagine. During this training you will learn…
- How to start your practice as a Earth Medicine practitioner
- Practice and learn how to follow the eight step process when working with clients
- Many different healing techniques, tools, exercises and teachings to assist your client
- Create your own unique way of working with your clients and build a solid practice
*Being a Shamanic Life Coach does not mean you have to know how to do all of the healings and ceremony’s, it’s a continuous art of learning and finding available resources and connecting with people who can offer them.
*We do NOT use any drugs such as ayahuasca, peyote, marijuana or any other mind altering substances during ceremony, healing and prayer to reach an altered state of consciousness.
This course is great for everyone! Leaders, teachers, parents, managers, counselors, therapists, you name it!
This course will add more value to your life. Guaranteed.
Our course is designed to be simple, fun, and effective. You will receive a thorough in depth core Life Coach training curriculum, including theory and practice that covers everything you will need to begin your coaching practice.
There are three sections of the course, the introduction, the exercises, and marketing.
1. The introduction teaches you the basics of Life Coaching, what happens before the session, how to conduct a powerful Life Coaching session and how you can find and utilize all of our resources.
2. We will share our most powerful coaching exercises and Earth Medicine practices with you. Then for your assignments, you will use them with your practice clients.
3. We teach you all the basic marketing tools and techniques that you will need to build your business online and in person.
Here is an outline of the curriculum…
ORIENTATION AND INTRODUCTION
Introduction to Shamanic Life Coaching
Benefits of Becoming a Trained Coach
Free Intro Session
Before the Session
How to Conduct a Basic Life Coaching Session
Eight Step Process
EXERCISES AND TEACHINGS
Smudging and Energy Clearing
Prayer and Intention
Becoming the Hollow Bone
Seven Step Breakthrough
Communicating with the Spirit World and Walking Between Worlds
Balancing the Physical and Spiritual Worlds
Guided Imagery Introduction
Guided Imagery Vision
Guided Imagery Facing Fear
Guided Imagery Future Self
Guided Imagery Earth Lodge Fire Ceremony
Animal Totems, Power Animals, Animal Messages
Wheel of Balance
Importance of Ceremony
Medicine Wheel Teachings and Ceremony
New Moon Fire Ceremony
Boundaries and Respect
Security and Insecurity
Independence and Co-dependence
ANTS Transforming Automatic Negative Thoughts with NLP Neuro Linguistic Programming
Control vs. Approval
E+R=O Event + Response = Outcome
Finding Answers from Within
Inner Guidance and Intuition
Full Moon Gratitude Ceremony
Sacred Space (alter, place to meditate)
Silence – Stillness and learning to listen
Sound Healing with Voice, Drumming and other natural instruments
Healing with Stones and Crystals
More or Less
Working with the Elements
Need Right Now
Teachings of the Purification Lodge
See Be Do Get
Health (Physical and Spiritual) Nutrition and Exercise
The Four Agreements
Twenty-one Day Manifestation Mantra
Relationship Coaching for Couples and Families
Relationship Coaching for Developing Communication and Listening Skills
Medicine Tools (Arts and crafts may include making a prayer bundle, walking staff, talking stick, medicine bag, drum, rattle, medicine necklace, dream catcher, paho or prayer stick, sage or herb bundle, feather or prayer fan and many others)
Extractions (removing dark energies)
Creating a Website
Internet Marketing and SEO
Creating a Business Card
Coaching PaymentCoach Evaluation
New Client Checklist
Coaching Business Tips
- Additional Coaching Exercises.
- Ready to use Forms such as Client Information, New Client Checklist and a Coaching Contract.
- Tips and training on Marketing your Coaching Business including Internet Marketing and Local Marketing.
- Tips on Accepting Payment and Example Payment Plans.
- Example Coaching Sessions like the Free Intro Session, Basic Session, and Follow-up Session.
- Coaching Tips, Suggested Reading, Quotes for Coaches and more.
- And once you graduate you can get listed on our “Certified Practitioners” directory.
- Retake the course or any class at anytime.
- During your training, you will also have the opportunity to get personal coaching from us.
ARE YOU READY TO BECOME AN AMAZING SHAMANIC LIFE COACH?
Enroll now at www.WALKASHAMANSPATH.com
After creating my idea of this I then took a little time off to make sure I was on the right track.
Shortly after that in September I went on a spiritual journey with some friends to Canyon DeChelly and Mesa Verde. This would be my second time to Canyon DeChelly and my first time to Mesa Verde. There were Angie, and her husband Oscar, Anke and me. When we arrived at Canyon DeChelly I stepped out of the vehicle and the cutest puppy came over to me. I started petting it the it gently grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the area where the sweat lodge was. I fell in love with this puppy and asked Howard, the camp host at Spider Rock about him. He said he was a stray that showed up five days earlier. I asked if I could take him home and Howard said yes. I was so excited! This puppy stayed by my side the whole time we were there. I named him Sage because he would always lay by the sage brush near the hogan we stayed in.
Moments later we all jumped in Howard jeep and he took us down in the canyon on a guided tour, it was amazing. Then we had to head back up to camp before the full moon came up. It just so happened that it was also the night of an eclipse where the shadow of the earth would travel in front of the moon. We spoke with some local Navajo people and they said they did not look at the eclipse, that it would bring out there shadow stuff. So of course we watched the entire event. It was beautiful. We sat around the fire making smores the went off to our Hogan to sleep.
The next day we traveled to all of the different lookout points in the canyon. We started at Massacre Cave and the Place where Two Fell Off. As we approached the edge of the canyon Angie started breathing heavy and got really emotional. Anke stayed with her while I went to the edge and read about what happened there.
When I was about fifteen or so, I had a dream that I will always remember. I was in a factory or some large building then I started walking toward the back door. Just outside the door was a a beautiful landscape for miles. I took off my shoes and began walking across the field. Far ahead I could see a canyon wall and some Native American ruins in the lower part of the cliff. As I came closer I saw a small girl maybe five years old just to the right of the ruins. She was the only one there. As I got closer I could see her face, she smiled and waived for me to come closer then she said, “come home”.
A the time I didn’t know where it was ad I had never heard of Canyon DeChelly. Years later I was at work and some customers were traveling to this place called Canyon DeChelly. I asked where it was and they said I should look it up on the internet. This was in about 2003. So I looked it up at the first image that came up was of the White House Ruin, the only one you could hike down to without a guide. Tears welled up in my eyes and goosebumps (truth bumps) crawled up my arms and legs. I knew this was the place in my dream and that I had to go there someday.
In September 2011 my boyfriend at the time “Bear” took me there and we stayed for three nights in a Hogan. We hiked down to the White House Ruin and I felt like I was home.
I found out later that that little girl was me. So when Angie starts feeling sad and scared at that location I knew then that we had a connection. We both had past lives there. She was my mother and I watched from the bottom of the canyon as she grabbed one of the soldiers and took him over the edge. “The Place where Two Fell Off”. As a young child I didn’t know what else to do after I saw my mother fall to her death so I started running. I ran so hard up the canyon until eventually I came to the White House Ruin when Oscar would find me and adopt me as his own. He said I would just hold onto his back pocket but I never spoke. Now Angie and Oscar are family to me. I love them dearly.
At the next lookout we stopped to buy from the local Natives selling jewelry and crafts. I was shopping when Oscar said, Look, look, come look! I ran over and in the sandstone earth there was a child’s footprint, Oscar said that was left there by me when I was running.
The next day we continued our journey to Mesa Verde in Cortez Colorado. Another place that felt like home. At one of the stops I was able to walk among the old ruins at Spruce Tree. Here they allowed tourists to enter a sacred kiva. I said a prayer and asked if I could enter and I heard the spirits say yes, you’ve been here before. So I waited for some clueless tourists to move so I could climb down the ladder. The entire event became a prayer and ceremony for me. I descended into the dark hole and sat in there for what seemed like forever but it was really like three minutes. I visualized what it would have been like eight hundred years ago. It was so intense and spiritual. Then I opened my eyes and realized there were tourists crowded inside the kiva, quickly coming in and out. I wish for that moment I could have had the whole moment to myself. It was powerful for me.
After this spiritual journey, I felt more confident in tacking action on the training program I had created.
Jumping ahead to December 19th 2015, I get the best Christmas present ever! Today I got to meet my 6 year old granddaughter. I held her when she was born but after that I wasn’t able to see her. My son and the mom got in an argument and that was the last of it. I tried so hard just to see her but no. It was not her will. So I prayed a lot and just handed it over to Creator. If I am meant to see her and be in her life then it will happen when its suppose to. Years had passed and all I got was a few pictures here and there. Then a few days ago I find out my son and the mom are working things out and he called me to invite me over to meet her. Tears and gratitude overwhelmed me. I guess you just don’t know what it’s like to be a grandparent until you can hold them in your arms, watch them play and be there for them when they fall.
Now December 2015, its winter here in Sedona and I thought… what a good time to finish my book. And so It is.
A FUN SUMMER
In February 2016 I attended a new moon ceremony held by a good friend Kim McDermott. There I had a vision of getting a white wolf by the next full moon. I was really wanting a dog at least for companionship. I began looking at rescue centers online and they were quite expensive and way out of my budget at the moment so I kind of just let it go.
February 21st 2016, the day before the full moon I would look at my Facebook page and saw a friend request from Jeremy, someone who I really didn’t know but ran into several times in the past two years. I accepted his request and the next day we decided to meet at the creek. I see him get out of his truck and out jumps a big white wolf! What the?
Later that night we decide to go to the local pub for a drink. After a few games of darts and some foosball I decided it was time for me to go home. I had a lot of fun and was was becoming very attracted to Jeremy. I believed he was sharing the same experience. While I was saying good night to him, I opened up my truck door and Nala, his wolf jumped in and made herself comfortable in my passenger seat. I didn’t know what to think! Was she trying to hook us up?
Yes, she was. She choose me and i’m glad she did. Jeremy and I were locked at the hip since that day. I had found my new best friend. We had a lot of fun adventures and decided to go camping ad live in a tent together all summer. We traveled all over norther Arizona and even went to Idaho and back.
In August 2016 we moved to Sedona Sacred Rock BnB, the business my friend Meaghan owned. We helped out there and Jeremy really loved it. I on the other hand was becoming unhappy and wanted us to get our own place. Jessy moved in with us and it became too crouded and we had no privacy.
I did enjoy the time I was able to begin working with the horses though. I would work with some of the guests and learned how to do soul retrieval using the horses as my helpers. It was amazing. They are so powerful.
Receiving the Sacred Pipe
In September, my dear friends and spiritual teachers Jim and Sue Graywolf brought a retreat from Colorado and asked if I would be a part of the ceremonies. Of course I would! I was so excited to see them. On the third day at the medicine wheel we all gathered around and Jim asked me to sit in the middle. I thought that was strange, that’s not how we do it. He said its okay, just sit there. I knew something was up.
Jim started to announce how far I’ve come on the red road and that it was time for me to be acknowledged. He was holding something in his hands that was wrapped in tobacco colored leather. It was long and thin. Then I looked at Sue and she was also holding something, but it was wrapped in red trade cloth. At that moment, I began to cry. I knew what was about to happen. I had never thought in a million years that I was to become a pipe carrier. And so began a powerful and difficult initiation.
The move to Colorado
Things only became worse. Jeremy and I would begin to have regular arguments and I would cry a lot. I was lost in my own head and started to become very depressed.
So we decided on moving to Colorado thinking that would help. Just to get away from everything and everyone. On December seventh we packed both of our vehicles and left with only two thousand dollars in our pockets. We went east through New Mexico then north to Manitou Springs near Colorado Springs. When slept in the back seat of my truck with Nala just to save money and stay warm. It was six degrees below freezing when we arrived. It was beautiful but cold!
Rapidly things started to go south and I became even more depressed. We couldn’t find a place to rent, and the arguing was becoming too much for my spirit to handle. I was picking up on a lot of negative energy from the area and somehow knew we weren’t going to be staying there.
So we decided to head over the Rocky Mountains in the middle of winter toward Montrose CO. We made it safely and rented a room at a local motel. Finally a warm good nights sleep. It seemed like a cute little town where we could begin our lives together. The next morning we got up ad went to the office for free coffee and doughnuts. We had a pretty intense conversation with the owner. We told him what kind of works we were looking for and was trying to feel out if the town would support us. Jeremy was an amazing builder and do do or fix anything. I was a spiritual healer looking to bring what I had learned in Sedona out into the world. The motel owner laughed and told me there were sixty three churches in there safe little town and that I would be badly judged as a doing witchcraft! Are you kidding me? At that moment Jeremy and I looked at each other and walked away, left town and didn’t look back.
We ended up driving south toward Durango hoping that would be a nice town for us to finally land in. The drive through the snowy mountains on the million dollar highway was the most beautiful drive I had ever done… and the most scariest. The cliffs went hundreds, maybe even thousands of feet down and there was no guard rail. Every few miles I would see an “avalance area” sign and the road turned white at one point.
Well that evening on December tenth we made it to Durango. We fell in love instantly. It was perfect until…
We went to a local pub to get some dinner and a beer to relax after that intense drive. Sure enough if we didn’t get into another argument. This time, I was done. I would rent us a room where we would sleep in separate beds and I left the next morning for Arizona. I didn’t care anymore. I lost all hope and felt another spiritual death coming on.
Jeremy couldn’t believe what was happening. He really didn’t see it coming. He was devastated and didn’t understand why I was leaving. That morning, in the rain, we separated all of our things that best we could and I left. I was exhausted and just needed peace and quiet and a place to rest. At midnight that night, I finally arrived at Harley’s house in Camp Verde. From there I moved back in with my mom. Even though she loves me very much and tried to help me, I still couldn’t find peace. I cried every day sometimes to where my eyes were almost swollen shut. I was having multiple panic attacks every day and started drinking a lot. I was contemplating suicide.
The days didn’t seem to get any better. Day after day, I just did what ever I could to breath. I was feeling so much physical and emotional pain. My thoughts were so clouded, I could even think straight. I had forgotten my dreams, my goal and why I was even here.
Jeremy would text me every day to tell me he loved me and would let me go that easily.
The Second Coming Back to Life
Finally I slowed down the drinking around the middle of January. I had applied for a job that I thought I’d really like at a teen girls boarding school. I waited days and days for them to call me. I almost lost hope.
The stress of living at my moms with my eight year old nephew and my sister getting out of prison in a week made me decide to pack my truck again and go sleep in the desert. Of course it would be the year where it would rain every day. I was so annoyed. Having to get out of my warm truck to go pee outside was not making things any better.
Finally I got the call. The girls school wanted an interview. It was about thirty miles from where I was staying out in the desert behind the jail in Camp Verde. I had to ask for money from the local church’s for gas. Thank God for that. I went for the interview and got the job but I had just enough gas to last me a few miles. So I ended up sleeping in my truck on a dirt road behind the school for the first couple of weeks. I slipped one day and told a co-worker. The next day she told me to call her friend where I would eventually rent a room.
I was still very depressed and tried hard not to show it. I was now having panic attacks and ended up at the local psych hospital. I needed help. I missed a few day of work. The doctors put me on several different meds just so I could function at work. All I wanted to do was just be able to sleep and go to work. The meds helped a lot even thought the side affects were making me have nightmares, blurred vision and dizziness. I was afraid of becoming addicted so I started to take myself off of them. I was only taking them for about two weeks.
Day by day things started to become easier. The anxiety and panic attacks were less and less. I was feeling better and now re-building my relationship with Jeremy over the phone. He ended up in Oregon and got a good paying job. He realizes now why I left and I realized how much he really loves me and cared about me. Now we are taking our time to do things right before moving back in together.
Its now March 2017 and I currently I spend my days off hiking and working on my website. I just launched the Shamanic Life Coach training online and hope to get a few students by April.
I feel alive again and now realized why I had to go through these hard times. A lesson in appreciating who and what I have in my life.
I will not give my power away so easily anymore…
Well, I’m not sure, especially given how my life changes so often. I do know one thing that is certain and that is change. I will just keep giving my attention to the school and continue to wach it grow. Id love to eventually have my own place in Sedona and open a school there. I just feel like I belong there and that I always have.
To see where I am and what I am currently doing, just follow my blog at www.WALKASHAMANSPATH.com
A special thanks to all of the people whose work I have studied and has influenced me…
Sandra Ingramin the Shamanic Journey, Bobby Lake Thom, Sal Gencarelle A Man Among the Helpers, Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, The Matrix, Peaceful Warrior, Conversations with God. Edgar Casey, Dr. David Hawkins and the study of Kinesiology, James Redfield The Celestine Prophecy, Abraham Hicks the Law of Attraction, Tony Robbins, Sun Bear, Wabun Wind and more.
Stephen Henderson Photography www.makiamysticalart.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Its seems silly t write this section because the entire book is about me but here goes from a third party point of view…
Rebekah is dedicated to re-integrating the ways of our ancestors back into our world today, when everything was sacred and treated with honesty and respect. When spirituality was practiced on a regular basis and not separated into different groups, one being better than the other. When everyone had a deeper connection with the earth, the animals and Wankan Tonka (the Great Spirit). When all life was in perfect balance because we respected the natural laws of the creator. When you could safely drink from any stream of water and nothing was wasted.
Rebekah, among many, believe that we can return to this time and heal the wounds of the past. She also feels that it is part of her purpose and calling to help reconcile and bring healing to the past between Native Americans and White man.
She is passionate about teaching and educating others about Native American Spirituality, history, natural healing, exploring and studying Native ruins of the Southwest, and healing Mother Earth.
Rebekah has another vision, one that her school might support financially..
It is a documentary film project that she am working on…
The idea of “Ancestors Return” came to her a long time ago, first in a dream then started to become my reality.
Only a few years ago she started to realize that she was receiving messages directly from the ancestors. They began to give her messages and direction on how to return to the old ways and what she must do. Rebekah first started to notice it when she would go to the ancient home sites of the ancestors and begin to meditate. Sometimes she would ask them questions and as she sat and listened quietly, they would speak. Most of the time they would respond with short direct answers. Sometimes she didn’t get an answer at all and sometimes, they would get her attention by saying, “we have a message for you.”
The guidance she am getting is that she is supposed to travel to as many of the different reservations as she can in Turtle Island (North America) and interview the wisdom keepers of the tribes on what we can do now to start returning to the old ways and to honor the “Red Road” of Creator. This film will not be a “bash on white man” documentary of the past but instead focus on solutions and what we can do now.
Another concept of Ancestors Return is that Rebekah believes we carry our ancestors DNA memory within us and every third and seventh generation, the memories start to resurface. Whether its to heal the past or the future, she doesn’t know for sure. Probably both.
Meanwhile, you might find her hiking among the red rocks of Sedona and spending time in nature. Rebekah hears the elders speak when she sits quietly at the sacred sites. She says, “It’s my medicine.”
To learn more about what Rebekah is up to now, you can follow her blog at…