Going it alone — Wise Women
This topic is twofold , as going-it-alone encompasses being a woman, and being a shamanista. The events in life have brought this shaman here today sharing her story with you. Most of my life I have been going-it-alone, with spirit at my side. The road I have traveled traversed potholes, road blocks, dead ends, totaling out, and renewal more than once, over a long period of time. Yes, once in-awhile there were others on the road for support. Nevertheless, they were short timers and I still had to fend for myself. Going it alone, the lessons can be tough, but rewarding too. Anytime unanswered situations arose, inside there is this voice telling me “listen you need to …, or don’t do that… or way to go…, or WAY TO GO!” My friend, my guide, and my confidant are always there. I go it alone, but with my allies, spirit, and myself.
I knew early that my intuition could be developed, and it was hereditary. The ancestors were trying to connect and fortunately, Auntie could see that encouragement and training were needed. The first years she performed this task, until my free spirit had to go on its own. Trust in Spirit. Looking back no more, forging ahead I continue to go it alone.
Going-it-alone for me meant literally leaving the nest at a ripe young age of 13. There were other reasons for leaving home, not a story for this time. Spirit and the allies were my companions as I journeyed back and forth cross-country twice in ten years. As a young woman, the experience was at times terrifying. Although at that time, I would not have admitted it to anyone. Spirit kept me alive through those years, on some close calls. I still knew that the intuition would help me, but without the support, I tended not to listen to the allies. For a span of time, life was an illusion while hormones and California dreaming occupied my mind.
art Transformation HKD (cc) 2009 Flicker
The power then began to surface through my creativity—art and writing. I started yoga, and meditation, the deeper into the spirit realm the more I connected. The journey would begin again. I found all my tools, and added to them working with spirit and my allies. Going-it-alone.
In my travels, I met new people, and made acquaintances that were pagan, and began learning that what I was doing was considered shamanism. Interest led to learning about “Shamanism” by reading books, and taking workshops at local pagan gatherings. With approximately seven years of study with Bekki Shinning Bearheart, and Crow Swimsaway completing the “Intensive” in 2007 now I am going-it alone.
When faced with events or situations most women have a support system of one kind or another on hand, a mother, friend, or sibling. There is someone there for support, or to help on a project, and others looking for support often confer with the wise woman.
The wise woman, shamanista, if she has been an apprentice once consulted her mentor. Now on her own, she must go it alone. If gifted (selected by spirit), or hereditary the call to be a shaman has come directly from spirit. These shamans often have a calling others may lack. A shaman cannot be initiated unless they have received the call in visions or in dreams, or through near death (illnesses).
Training for going-it-alone begins with the first step into independence a person takes. Taking that first step without the support of someone or something was such a wow feeling most children do not even realize what they have done. Those individual steps of freedom are the shifts that lead us to becoming self-sufficient individuals.
A shaman learns to be resourceful, and depends on spirit and her allies when in need of feedback while working independently. Not long ago, a hedge witch lived alone and worked independently with her herbs and brews, much like the wise woman or shaman. These women would learn the craft of herbalism and healing primarily from linage. Sometimes chosen by spirit, and taught by spirit, the wise woman would use the herbs and plants with only the advice of spirit.
Years of study gave these people a look into other states of reality. Guided by spirit, through some of the toughest realms in the ether, each of these wise women has endured the death experience and returned or lived through unspeakable traumas.
Is Shamanism a mental state, a psychological problem like Schizophrenia, or manic? Shamanism is a mental state however, shamanic journey is a mental state brought about simply by an energetic shift, also known as ecstatic trance. When a shaman goes into trance, their mental state is at another level of consciousness for example, the lower world. Shamans reach this state of consciousness in several ways, drumming, rattling, listening to music or repetitive rhythm, humming or singing, rocking, dreaming during sleep, dancing, or plant spirits.
Women have experienced going it alone through history because more often than not, they were misunderstood. Man fearing the blood and birthing powers that women possess, wanted to dominate and control this, and the tribe. Women were isolated from the rest of the tribe when their menses came because men feared their power (and mental state), at this time. Today “shamanism” is like a fad for some, as it appears to give people powers and control over others. Authentic shamans are powerful energetic masters, and healers. The power that people have when accessing the spirit world can be dangerous. It is important for a person to become skilled in their knowledge of the spirit worlds.
Potential shamanistas, may already experience trance states but need guidance. Having a linage, near death experience, or suffering trauma are good indicators. Seeking out answers from a qualified shaman is a great place to begin.
Am I qualified? Yes, I am qualified. My teachers, my allies, and the Great Spirit know, and guide the work. Trust in spirit.
Creating Sacred Space–
Whenever working alone, having routine (ritual), and space (altar), that are safe (private) is important. The sacred space needs to be undisturbed by others, the space needs to be private. The shaman has set their altar or mesa. The shaman, calls for protection when working, grounding, and shielding, creates the ritual.
There are times when the shamanista works alone. For example, the client cannot be present or, the shamanista is doing personal work, and doing shamanic work in the dream world.
In everyday life, alone time is important. Not always being connected to the tether of security, meeting with potholes on the road and having flat tires. Experiencing the true independence of going-it-alone has the value of lessons in reality.
Shamans work alone with the plant spirits, and earth allies while in nature, and commune with their own allies. Exploring healing possibilities, new herbs, and replenishing what they have used, each action is a ceremony.
The shaman makes space; time alone for journey work the intention is set. The shaman can create a space within their space, but still needs the space. Overcrowding is invasion of the spirit realm, lurking there in the background, it hangs waiting to pounce and intrude. The shaman creates a sacred space; with barriers, intrusions are not welcome. An intention is set.
Shaman dance by a member of the State Chukchi-Eskimo Ensemble Ergyron (NPS photo by Greg Gusse).
Ground, Center, Shield… the shaman goes in alone. Only the shaman can enter the energetic realm of spirit. Going-it-alone, the shaman traverses one plane or another, moving through the veils, looking, talking to plant spirits, animal spirits, everything is alive once through the portal… the intention is set… the shaman rides the rhythmic sound…drhum…drhum…drhum… and on drha..alone.
Stay tuned…. Imbolc is approaching fast. The full moon is not far off and there is so much more to share!
Love and light my dears…