No shamanic healing sessions for moi :)

Monday 11 August 2008

You know, dear blogger, how I like to go finding truth outside of the bounds of Christianity. It's this love I have of seeing God spill forth in the unlikeliest of places ... in people of other faiths, in people of no faith, in the midst of black suffering (oh, the mystery, the mystery, the abject bloody beauty of that. How do we stay together in one piece, contemplating that? God in the midst of our suffering. My goodness ...

I decided today to not go to the shamanic healing session. I was feeling very excited about it, but at the same time there was a small niggle that built up over the days. Why am I doing this? Do I really need a group of people I don't know hovering over me and going on spiritual journeys on my behalf? Do I not feel already that sometimes I give my own power away when feeling vulnerable, inadvertently - the shadow side of my strong personality, this willingness to follow the leader, a rather subtle thing that remains largely unneeded most of the time when my rather strong opinions are in force :) But nevertheless there, still. How strange it is being in a body that is so paradoxical. Still, it keeps things interesting :) Who wants to be easily understood? Would take all the fun out of everything :)

So I swallowed my pride and rang my art therapist this afternoon. Told her I wouldn't be going for the abovementioned reasons, and a few I didn't mention. How do you explain to someone who is not a Christian that you are not entirely sure that what they are doing doesn't have a dangerous dark side element to it? Well, I mean you can, but this is a woman who is doing transpersonal work with me, who is helping me work through my fears. I would be concerned my thoughts about possible demonic elements would not simply be to her a manifestation of some sort of fear that I don't hold. I have enough fears for us to work on without one that doesn't exist being there :)

Last week, I tried to get there, to the session we had planned. It took me 40 minuts to get from Yarraville to Richmond because of roadworks on CityLink. I was so frustrated I was in tears. At the time I thought it might have been those selfsame dark forces trying to stop me from going somewhere that was going to be a good, healing thing for me. And really, who knows? This was why I decided to do this. I know it appears to be a rather occultish demonic activity, having a person going on a visionquest on your behalf. I'm sure a lot of the time it is. However, I have this strange idea that sometimes God asks us to go places that just simply do not make any sense to our rational minds. I think the good/evil dichotomy is not a sword we always wield well. In our endeavours to have a nice easily sussed out world, we slather labels on things, and they stick. But sometimes something is good, and sometimes something is bad, and the proof is in the timing, the God pudding.

But in the end, I just wasn't sure enough of all of this, I couldn't get rid of the niggles. Began thinking that maybe if God really wanted me to venture into such strange and dangerous territory (I am not adverse to venturing there if asked to do so) he would give me large neon signals (well, which often translate as very small, almost indistinguishable-if-the-brain's-droning-too-loudly, voices). In the end I was praying that something would happen so that one of the others couldn't make it. In the end, I ended up swallowing my pride and calling up Maggie and explaining to her that I didn't feel comfortalbe with giving my power to other people I don't even know. She was, as always, generous and kind and lovely and affirming and so yes, now I feel empowered for speaking my own truth.

And so I guess I am relieved. And feeling the need to go back and swim in God. Some days he feels so very far away, I can forget that he is even there. Indeed, I don't feel it necessarily a bad thing to forget about God for hours at a time. It just amazes me, when I come wthin a coo-ee of the hem of his garment, how I ever could, though.

""Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you."


  1. first of all--love the new look of the site!

    second--listen to those "niggles"!

    i love that you "feel empowered for speaking (your) own truth!" who knows...maybe that was the healing you needed? oh, this crazy journey we are on!!!

    happy swimming!!

  2. Ooooohhh pretty! It's lovely around here!

    I'm proud of you for listening to the niggle. I, too am entirely OK with finding truth outside the bounds of Christianity....but the niggle is there for a reason and should be heeded. Often the timing is just off, sometimes it's just not to our benefit. Whatever.

    But it's hard, especially when the niggle doesn't measure up to logic, or worse, when it disallows us something we want.

  3. Last time I was around shamans was during my two trips to Guatemala. The time spent in Chichicastenango
    during some of their ceremonies was a pretty freaky/fascinating.

    Go with the niggles.

  4. I didnt want to say anything before coz i thought youd think I was judging etc.. but to me, thats no different to letting some pastor or priest or pente psycho (forgive me pente psychos:) give you "a word from the lord."

    Its not so much the demonic aspect, though that gives me the willies too, but the fact that we let people speak over our lives with an authority that they have no right to. We need God to speak into our lives through other people, but that right has to be earned, through relationship not bestowed from on high like some monarch...

    And for mine, people with a REAL ability to speak Gods truth into our lives, are the ones who can call us on our shit.

  5. Lucy - yeah, I love this template too. Although I'm doing the 3D version of you guys sitting aroundmy loungeroom (ie kicking the pair of undies lying on the floor under the couch, and poking the dst bunnies into the corner) - I'm thinking, "Hmm, needs more spacing between these comments" while I'm talking to you :)

    But anyway, yes,speaking my own truth. This is such a big deal for me. It's one of the things I'm learning. INdeed, it was one of the reasons I started doing art therapy (always wondered if that fear is what also clams me up when writing fiction ... but I'm suspecting inherent laziness is a large factor also :)

    Erin - I agree. Still, even if it's something you want, having the niggle there, even in a small way - well, it just kinda takes the gloss off. Not that every decision I make I have to feel 100% comfortable - I don't think life works at all like that, especially not life in God :) But yeah, there's niggles and there's niggles. Which is where intuition comes in :)

    Kent - ooh, that sounds interesting :) I must say, there is definitely something compelling about them. But no ... I don't think I shall be venturing forth into that territory. I'm quite relieved I'm not now, actually.

    Monk - no, I wouldn't have thought you were judging. It definitely felt like a "word from the Lord" kind of situation when I thought about it a bit more and it was just like - why? It runs deep in us humans, this wanting the answers and hoping to find them in others. Yes, the differences between the relational approach and the "Lord's anointed" approach are the difference between Christendom and velveteen rabbit real :)

  6. Haha - interesting. Two female, two male commenters. Both females commented on the new look of the site, neither male did :)

  7. Well, not to break the pattern... Nice look ;-)

    As to the shaman meetings, like urbanmonk, I hesitated to say anything, but I am relieved you are not going. I asked papa to guide and protect you. ;-)

    Some years back, I spent some time dabbling in the fringes of Wicca and some New Age things. There was definite demonic activity. Even in my totally upside-down disoriented state, God let me sense what was going on. And had me quietly pray to stop some of it. But during that period, I opened myself up for a lot of unnecessary hassles, spiritually speaking. My stance on it now is, go in if God leads, else don't go. ;-)

  8. KG - it's interesting you said you hesitated to say anything too. I was kinda hoping that people would say something if they felt like it was a discomfort thing. Maybe I should have specified that last week :)

    "Go in if God leads, else don't go" - yeah, baby. Sounds good to me.

  9. Sue, the new lay out is great, it's the friggin small text that is killing my 45 year old eyes that have been screaming for reading glasses for a couple years now :)

  10. There you go old man. Is that better? :D

  11. Ahhhhh, that is better but one larger would be appreciated :)

  12. groovy new webface you got goin' there

    i love what Monk said about who should have the right to speak into our lives

    and find it interesting that a common thread was hesitation to speak into yours, even though you had asked us to

    one of the biggest crimes organised religion has committed is teaching us that only the 'ordained' or those with official titles in the church have authority

    which is why there are so many spoon fed babies in the pew - who've been there a lifetime - it absolves them of any personal responsibility to develop their own skills in "speak lord for thy servant heareth-101"

  13. I saw you stopped by my place, sista... The dirty song "I will be right here" was by Richard Marx(!) I'm afraid....Ohhh boy...
    Anyway, love the new layout! Very nice indeed. I'm glad you listened to those inklings of the Spirit... Beautiful, lovely verse you included at the end : )

  14. Hmm... like Kel said, it is a hesitancy born of seeing the gifts abused. My former pastor actually used the gifts of prophesy and interpretation of tongues to manipulate a woman in the church that he was giving marriage counseling to - to get her to do what he wanted - and to manipulate his wife to submit and put up with it.

    Sooooo.... I am a little shy about saying you should or shouldn't... I trust Papa will help me, in this process of healing, to come to a place of balance and safety in this area again. But I can pray and ask Papa to guide and protect. And He is expert at that. '-)

  15. Kent - get some glasses :)

    Kel - yes, that is a very interesting subject. It segues really nicely into this post I have bubbling away on the susie stove actually. Yes, I have a major, major problem with 'experts'. Where have the experts got us, huh? Not trusting ourselves, and not anywhere so glorious, for all their expertise :)

    Manuela - oh, yes, that's right. But Richard Marx and Bryan Adams - well, both kinda the same, right?

    KG - Yes, I really understand that hesitancy to say "you should". In fact, I HATE those words. if ever you want to get me to do something, say "You should" at the start, and then say the opposite at the end :) Pisses me off. But there is a difference between "you should" and voicing concern, methinks. I trust he will help me come balance too. Thanks for your prayers - muchly appreciated :)

  16. I really should be in bed but I just want to say that Richard Marx is way worse than Bryan Adams!

  17. To be totally honest, I wondered the same thing about your art "therapist" but didnt want to say anything. Not that Im saying its a bad idea. You obviously felt that it was working for you. But as an artist, I dont like the idea of "experts" teaching you how to get in touch with your creativity. Especially when you have to pay for it. If I had my way, all art therapy would be free. There would be no "therapy" just people finding their own way, and being empowered with knowledge where necessary... People always say, "oh, I dont have an artistic bone in my body." I say, Bullshit. Everyone is a creative being, they are just not digging deep enough. I dont think we need experts to teach us about art. Except perhaps in a technical sense, but even that drains it of vitality for me, which is why I ditched art school after one semester:)Look into the philosophy of the expressionists. Rebel:)

  18. Monk - Yeah, I totally get where you're coming from, and I battle a lot of the same things. For example, at the moment I am feeling a bit ambivalent about taking clay classes. I don't want someone standing over me telling me how to do it. But then again, I also don't want to spend years doing basic stuff that people could teach me over a few months. So I think I will take clay classes, just to get the basics really, and then discard everything I have learnt afterwards :) but yes, I have issues there too :)

    I'm not sure if you get the idea of art therapy. I don't go see Maggie so she can teach me how to get in touch with my creativity - although conversely, one of the reasons I did start going to see her was because I felt blocked creatively in certain ways. But tons of people go to see her for all sorts of different reasons that have nothing to do with their creativity. Art is the medium, not the focus. Art is used instead of sitting there and having to intellectualise all your stuff which is, you will agree, a real blast :)

    I have problems with being told what to do also. But this woman is so warm and accepting and wonderful, she just gives me some stuff and sends me on my way with as little interference as possible. It's really cool.

  19. I will throw my 2 cents in and say that every time a christian mentions feeling definite demonic energy coming from Wiccans I find it hilarious. As a whole the larger percent of the "fluffbunnies" amongst them are completely useless, and have no connection with anything.

    From the rest of them, how do you identify that presence you noted as demonic? Did they introduce themselves to you as such?

  20. RE your shamanic thing...I don't think it's because I'm afraid to tell people what to do, it's because I'm afraid to tell God what to do. Who am I to say how God works for you? All I am supposed to do is to remind you to listen to the spirit's niggling, because he can tell you what to do.

    So like a good friend I decided to go back and read some of your older stuff and wanted to say don't forget your blogiversary (at least at blogger) is coming up soon. I didn't even know you used to have a myspace...I'll have to read some of those, too, one of these days....

  21. Geday Wanderer and welcome :) Are you talking to me, or to KG with your question?

    Erin - okay, that's an intersting take and one I hadn't really thought of much. I agree totally that telling other people what to do is such a dicey situation, and we've all been burnt by it. And encouragement toward listening to the spirt is the best encouragement of all, but I think there is also room within relationships to be able to make suggestions, and if they are of the spirit they will carry the extra weight. But sometimes I think suggestiosn and encouragement from outside can help identify the spirit's promptings. I've got milling around in me all swillish thoughts about groundednes within oneself and community. I am really wanting to get into community with other believers. I've been saying it for ages. I know I have been away from those situations for several reasons. I feel like the time is perhaps, possibly, coming to an end where I am so isolated. Perhaps. Which could mean two years down the track, you know God's weird timing :) But yeah ... I really didn't t want to head back into community until I was much more comfortable with being in my own skin, and centred here, and I feel like that's happened a lot. We'll see.

    Thanks for the reminder of the blogiversary :) Do you wanna come to my blog party? We'll have ether balloons and ether punch and ether pin the tail on the donkey :)

  22. Monk, Sue said it right when she explained that art therapy is not about teaching people how to make art, or even how to be creative, it's an experiential way of giving voice to issues we are dealing with

    in my experience it's way more effective than the talk therapy you get with a standard counsellor, psychologist etc as the subconscious mind works in symbols - so it cuts through the crap and gets to the heart of things very effectively

    i can also vouch for the art therapist under scrutiny as I have witnessed first hand her work in many settings
    if she was doing it for the money she would have given up ages ago, cos the money aint' that great!
    she is the one person on the planet of whom I have thought "I can see Jesus in her" and I aspire to develop the qualities she has

    and now that i've done my "speak up for people in their absence" routine, i will bow out of the discussion ;)

  23. Yeah, I know that. I wasnt dissing the therapist in question, merely talking in a more general idea sense.

    I actually agree very much so, that art/poetry cut through the crap very much. You see things in art that come direct from the subconscious. I see it on mine all the time... I guess my ideal world would be one where this can happen as a free exchange, though. Where the power of art is not in some special realm, but grounded very much in the everyday.

  24. Sue - I was responding to KG's comments about "definite demonic activity" but you can feel free to give your opinion as well. It is your place after all.

  25. Monk - I agree, creativity for everybody. It's our God-given right as God-given beings :) Art can be the carrots arranged in the fridge (when I'm feeling particularly creative ... or loopy :)

    Wanderer - Well, I'm not sure about KG's experience so I won't go there and I don't really think that Wicca and shamanic stuff are the same, so I'll let KG comment :)


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