One of the most efficient and productive ways to gain access to “The Voices of the Ancestors”, is via shamanic circles. These circles can last 1 1/2 hours or more and can often be experienced as week-end workshops.
The circles focus on our, as individuals and a group, formation of clear intentions; as to what is working us towards enlightenment, towards personal integration! We can gain clarification of this via the use of a talking stick where our individual stories are shared and honored.
At the same time we are distilling intentionality we are also learning how to “let go” into the vast Spiritual Vortex of resources such that our clear and developed intentionality may be addressed by the Ancestors.
With respect to our Ancestors we are not talking solely about our genetic ancestors but also our power animals, totem animals, guides, teachers and medicine from plants, nature, mineral, fire, earth and water. The elemental natures of reality. All that precedes us has Ancestral merit!
Of importance is our ability to surrender, to relax into the experience and to stay present in our bodies while our soul-selves are gathering information and wisdom from the totality of Life.
Specifically, aside from intention setting, we build an altar and empower this through our calling on the Elemental nature of Our Ancestors, the elements of fire, earth, water, mineral and nature to come and be with us. We call on specific relatives, on our familiars and friends, on our familiars, power animals and “pets” from this side of the veil and the other, to help us on our paths.
We use shamanic drumming, saging, prayer, visualization, group grounding and connecting to further empower our circle.
A talking stick is used for sharing and educational purposes.
The main function of facilitators is to “hold the center” keep the individuals focused on their own path and monitor the “cross-talk” or “problem solving” customs which tend to engender co-dependence and dependencies. We all have the abilities to provide our own resources; we just need some tools and guidance. Our intention is to empower us as individuals and as a Shamanic Circle Group.
A central aspect to consider is our ability to “come into the Now”. To regain “ordinary reality” after venturing into the lower worlds or the upper worlds; or, indeed, even into the past or the future. Such shamanic travels can be very un-grounding and upsetting. The need is to know how to let the intensity of these experiences go yet remember the messages and resources.
A central focus of this work has to do with “soul recovery”. Bringing home those pieces of ourself that have been traumatized out of our bodies and either come and go at will, by association or are “lost” and must be found by sleuthing with the help of our cultivated other reality resources. We are, very often, unawares of the beginnings of the loss, due to the powers of shock and denial. Our guides responding to our intentionality find what we has been lost.
Remember, we are not just our Selves, but a collection of Soul parts. The more integrated we are the more present and powerful our Selves can be!
Readings and resources:
Michael Harner, The Way of the Shaman
Sandra Ingerman, Soul Retrieval and Welcome Home
Hank Wesselman, The Bowl of Light, Spirit Walker, Medicine Maker, Vision Seeker.