Altar Work: Soul Retrieval, Part 2

Drum, Journey and Heal, a True Story

In Part 1 we introduced Soul Retrieval as a cure for the loss of energy caused by trauma or shock.

We said a practitioner of soul retrieval, a “shaman” perhaps, or a person who uses shamanic techniques, performs a “journey” to retrieve the lost energy/consciousness. The goal is to restore a person’s energy and vitality.

Melba came to our altar one day. After talking some we saw a hole needed to be filled.

“Soul loss,” I say to Melba.

She gasps, “What?”

I explain things happened when we were younger and parts of us stay behind, parts of our essence, through frights, sustos, accidents, nightmares and life’s troubles.

In the old days more practitioners practiced soul retrieval, but now everybody wants things instantly. “Soul loss is why our ancestors invented the limpia, the cleansing. To prevent soul loss.”

I explain the “journey” and say, “I won’t talk to you again until I finish. Then I will blow into your chest four times and then into the top of your head four times. Then I’ll tell you what came back.”

I salute Spirit and put my “blindfolds” on, a woven shawl that’s been part of our medicine for 30 years.

The Drum is our vehicle. I play hard for some minutes, letting the beat guide me and calling for my totem. Today I invite the Jaguar, Ocelotl.

She comes from behind, full jaguar form, and runs for the entrance to the Cave. One could say it’s a mental cave, one I see in my mind, but we’ve been so many times, it somehow seems like much more. I follow.

The entrance is wide, so I run behind Jaguar to our choices. There are doors, passages, gates, some lit up, some dark, some soft grass, some hard rocks.

We choose a tiny entrance, a small door. As we arrive at the door it disappears and a muddy hole opens, oozing an invitation to go that way. We step in and do a long, fast, slide in and down.

We slam into a rock that stops us cold. Jaguar lands on her feet. I’m against the rock.

We see the rock is actually a boulder and needs to be dislodged.

I reach in my medicine bag, also more real than just a mental construct. I bring out a thunderbolt. I have to throw fast. It burns. I throw it at the center of the big rock.

The rock blows, but the pieces come back together into a light, a beautiful round orb of light above another cave. This entrance is well lit and is tall enough for me to walk upright. Jaguar trots forward and the cave winds around until we come to a small hallway inside a house.

The first thing we notice is a baby’s crib with a baby in it. A couple is standing at the foot of the crib. At this moment, anger flares in the man. The raised hand lands on the lady, who I now know is Melba. She bounces off a dresser standing behind her and already dazed, doesn’t realize she’s walking into the final punch, right in her stomach.

Melba doubles up and falls to the ground, but now the scene begins to disappear as I receive the information that Melba was 21 years old when this happens.

Not wanting to lose anything we found, Jaguar and I return the way we came. We follow the winding cave back to the boulder we blew up, then back up through the oozing mud to our original entrance.

I know the answer, but I ask Jaguar, “Do you have Melba?”

Jaguar can’t talk the way humans do. I see the answer in her golden eyes.

“Ok,” I say and remove my blindfold as Jaguar disappears into me.

Gracias,” I say standing and leaning over to blow into Melba’s chest. Melba raises her head and I cup my hands an inch above her chest. I blow four times as Jaguar goes through Melba to deliver the 21-year-old Melba we had retrieved.

Young Melba reunites with Now Melba. I blow four times again over the top of Melba’s head.

“Thank you, Creator,” I say, stooping over Melba to look in her eyes, “Abre los ojos, hija.”

Melba blinks her eyes open and there I see young Melba. “Welcome home,” I whisper.

Melba smiles. Her face shows lighter than before we started. Good. I give her a glass of water and ask her to drink it all before we end. I then recount to her the events of our little journey.

Melba remembers young Melba and remembers that scene. She had to go to the hospital, was unconscious for some days. It was the first time her now ex-husband, Rodrigo, had hit her.

I say, “That 21-year-old lost her hopes and dreams. In that moment, they went away.”

Melba nods and I know she understands on some level, and now we need to bring this thing fully into the present, in some physical way.

“I want you to get a birthday cake, nothing fancy. It can be for just you or you can have family and friends there. Put a number 21 candle on it and sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself to welcome young Melba home.”

I follow with the speech about “things that appear to be silly or frivolous,” such as this birthday cake. I explain how “silly” in this world can be a powerhouse in the invisible worlds, and so forth. I tell her we are looking for two things to happen.

“First you should be having some memories of that time. They won’t hurt as much now. They just come so you can release their sting, so you have to let me know about that, OK?”

She agrees.

“Second, you should feel more energy when you face some of your difficult moments, those moments you hate but you can’t avoid. You receive more energy so that you can deal with the harder parts of your life in a better, more harmonious way.”

Melba has been a customer now over ten years and our work goes way beyond that original healing.

MAKE ART

FIND SUCCESS, PART 2

A Secret of Success as Good as any other

Factors of Success

Success, we said in Part 1 of Finding Success, is simply making life better, leaving the true definition of success to you. We broke it up into factors.  

Factor 1: the “you” factor is everything. When we say success, we yell from the rooftops, “You.” You define it, you feel it and you find it.

Factor 2: The How – Path to Success – is a multiverse. The question is choosing the path, among the many that can and do work, that leads to your success.

But the path we choose, we said, especially familiar to those of us who have reached for success more than once, will challenge us and will, at least part of the way, have a painful face to it.

“What’s on the outside is a reflection of what’s on the inside,” we said, and all the angst and glory that comes with realizing the truth of that.     

Factor 3: Our personal opinions aside, human potential has proven over and over again to have no limits. If we can focus on the utter reality of that, then success can maybe get a Happy Face.

About that, one day all the Faces, the Pained Ones and the Happy Ones, hosted a big dance at the gym. Everyone was there.

There were the Painful Faces, Sadness, Terror, Anger, Wounded and Confused, and all the Happy Faces were there, Joy, Courage, Nurturing, Healing and Clear-eyed.

Pretty soon Healing was dancing with Confused, Anger was holding hands with Joy and Terror was trying a strange new dance with Clear-eyed. Good times, it seems.

Dances always start this way but then everyone remembers their Label, Name and Definition. That, of course, brings that nasty old Judgment into the picture. Joy knows she’s well or believes so anyway. Anger knows he’s upset beyond reason, and figures that’s what the world is.

Unfortunately, the labels we judge upon ourselves wind up defining us. Years later the dancers’ faces are many times the same as they were at the dance, either Happy or Sad, the Judgments solidifying the labels like concrete.

We human beings are creatures of reason and naturally we want to know why this happens or that happens. And yes, we have to make judgments at times, like it or not. It’s good to understand about our successes and failures, but these definitions and judgments overdone have stopped the dance, worse, they’ve stopped our personal dance from time to time.

Now the band is silent; the boys and girls are staring at each other across an empty floor. If we could hear minds, we’d hear things like,

“I’m too fat,” or “She’s so fat,” or

“What a dumbass I am!” along with, “Look at that retard.”

Guilt-blame, guilt-blame, etc. Know the pattern? 

We human beings put ourselves into boxes like that, don’t we?

As we get older our Judgements get more sophisticated, so we say something like, “It’s time for me to accept that I’ll never accomplish this…” or the ever popular polarity of that negative, “If these idiots would only listen to me, I’d be the boss, and then they’d see.”

No matter what direction our ego may take us, the thoughts and especially the judgments are quite limiting, aren’t they?

Definitions and Judgements Compromise Our True Power

We have a True Power? Yes, and I’ll give you a hint. It flows better than it sits.

We know about that power in the healing arts. It’s used in religion and magic as well. Whole industries, in fact, exist to help control this power. Conservatives and liberals know what it is. Even the President knows how to tweak this power.

Human emotions move mountains, oceans and skies, change worlds, create worlds and the list goes on. Emotions are one of the biggest differences between humans and other life forms on the planet.

At the same time, though, emotional discontent and entanglement are one of the greatest sources of our discontent. A blessing-curse dynamic.

Whatever we define as success is full of that emotional blessing-curse, isn’t it? By the same token, imagine if we could really harness the blessing power of emotions into our lives. What a Merry Christmas that would be.

The last few years the idea of Emotional Intelligence has taken form in psychology and self-help. We looked at some of that research and truly, this is a good thing, a promising development in education.  For one thing it provides an alternative to what we hear most of the time: control your emotions.

I wish I had a dollar for every time some person or organization communicated that to me.

Emotional Intelligence helps us understand and harness our emotions in rational, functional ways and that can only be good.

However, before we get too excited about the idea, we’re not really qualified to teach you about Emotional Intelligence, a method and technology out of our reach. We simply suggest it as another path to success from which to choose. Emotional Intelligence caught our eye because it has much in common with some of the things we were taught about emotion.

In learning healing, we are taught about feelings, but not in the context of defined emotion. We were shown feeling just as it shows up in our body, before we put a name on it and point blame at a cause.

For example, when a person comes to our altar, we talk about the issues that bring them here. This elicits feelings and we try to spot the feeling in the body.  

Feelings are electrical or magnetic or electro-magnetic: science. They are in constant flux as these types of energies should be. Once we put a name on them, we begin to constrict them, limit them, push them down, around, get control of them.

Our teachers took great pains to show us that when it’s feeling, it flows. When it’s an emotion or a judgment, it’s got edges and boundaries. Keep it flowing.  

Long story short, when we can catch feelings much can be done to simply move them without condemnation and without hurting anyone. This brings healing.  

For instance, when the sincere desire of the patient combines with the feeling of being healed, wow, we do see results. Some very real energy moves on behalf of the patient!

After a long while we saw this enough to realize that feeling, its very essence, is a major component of success.

That’s when the paths to success we chose started bearing fruit.  

In other words, Finding success is directly related to finding the feeling of success. When you can focus more on what you want, how it feels, and less on the need of it, you can make incredible progress.

It’s not always easy to find that feeling and keep hold of it. We believe that whatever you have to do – imagine, fantasize, pray, make ceremony, do penance – is worth the effort!

Feeling it, you see, feeling it strongly, without affecting anyone’s world except your own:

Adds to the path you’ve chosen or helps you find the right path. Some might say it’s the magic ingredient.  

Releases many of the emotions trapped in your organs that have slowed you down,

Can change pained faces into happy faces or simply neutral faces.  

Only you can decide if the effort is worth the prize but bringing feelings into the picture can and will change the picture. No matter what path to success you are following, if you bring feelings to it, your feelings, success will come.

Make art in your walk to success, sisters and brothers.

Next, we’ll look at Finding Healing, a close cousin to Finding Success.

MAKE ART

 

  

Ceremony: Roles

The Main Ingredient

If you just joined us on this little read about Making Ceremony, here’s a little review:

From Ceremony: Can Making Ceremony Help?

“Balanced, intentional ceremony by one individual or a group can change things beyond our expectations.”

“If you’ve tried everything already to make the changes you want and it hasn’t panned out, then please, consider ceremony.”

From The Power of Ceremony: Circle

People who Make Ceremony – the Circle, the Four Elements, the Roles and the Purpose – exercise some control over their lives and find a place to help community/family do the same.

“We can dazzle you with all kinds of evidence behind that statement, but there’s nothing like you finding out for yourself.”

“We’re preparing for a custom-made Fall Equinox Ceremony, September 22, 2020 to benefit the world and a Personal Ceremony to Find a Job.”

“We’re sharing how we’ll be doing the Fall Equinox Ceremony where we live, and how you might do it where you are.  And we’re working on a fantasy job-seeking ceremony so you can devise your own real ceremony.”

Today: Roles

I imagine you’re beginning to see how the four parts of making ceremony come together. In talking about Purpose, Circle comes together. How it should look and be comes into our active mind. In gathering the elements, roles become clearer. As you determine the steps, the person for the role shows up.A very natural process, really.

Could Making Ceremony be an inherent human skill we don’t use enough?

Like so many activities we put our hands to, the strength, sincerity and eventual success we find in ceremony is all about our role and how we play it. Specifically, it’s you we’re talking about.

Fall Equinox Ceremony, September 22, 2020 to benefit the world.  

Now you have a space for the Circle, on location or online. You have the Elements that define the Circle and mean something to you. And, as evidence of your attention, your Purpose is more defined than when you started.

Who’s coming to this ceremony? Who can’t attend but offers moral support? Who, also, will you think about as you perform the ceremony?  

Of course, you can do it by yourself too, and still get results – up to you.

ABOUT ROLES FOR THE EQUINOX CEREMONY

You are the leader, the primary, conductor, facilitator, priestess, as well as the financier and the janitor.

By the way, if you’re going solo, the Elements of the ceremony will take a greater role in moving feeling through the circle. We’ll talk more about that in the next article, Ceremonial Structure.

Let’s say it’s you and three friends. If the Circle you’ve devised is something like ours, you likely have the Four Winds present and marked.

Paul could stand opposite you in the West to represent and speak to the Winter Nights coming our way. Mary could be in the South representing the waters and the nurturing side of the Mother. Fred makes sense in the North, for strength facing the coming times. You are at the East, the door, the Sun and the emcee, too.

If you only have two friends, you can go for a triangle within the circle – You, East, Paul North West, Mary South West. If it’s just one other, you handle water, she handles fire.

Be free and creative. It doesn’t matter if you miss something, or forget something, or simply can’t do a certain thing. Honor your roots and blast past them. What matters is your intention and your feeling. We are at your service, should you have questions.

ABOUT ROLES IN THE PERSONAL JOB CEREMONY

I’d imagine you’re doing this one alone or with a business partner, perhaps. If there are others with you then follow the guidelines above. However, there is benefit to having only one role to coordinate.

You can pour your heart in it through the Elements. When you do that you increase the odds that you’ll succeed. We call it moving feeling through the circle.  

As in the Fall Equinox Ceremony you have a Purpose set and defined, you have the Circle location and you have the Elements.

Remember our fantasy model: You are a 2020 Engineer and you want to work for Come On 2020, Inc. Hopefully you’ve made your own substitutions by now, so it’s your Elements we’re talking about.

Since you don’t have Paul or Mary with you, your elements – the Triangle, the Ruler, the pad of graph paper – will bring detail and enhancement to the feeling of already having that job.

The Triangle, for instance, could mean that your career is back on track. Take a moment to feel that – not the lack, which is easy to feel, rather feel the having of it.

Perhaps the pad of graph paper symbolizes your creativity. You might remember some past glories, or again, feel that you’re finding solutions and moving the Come On 2020 Project forward.

In the Elements Part of your ceremony you’ll pause at each symbol, and feel how it feels to have it, at whatever level you can feel it!

More on that Sept 16, 2020 in Ceremonial Structure next article. If you don’t have the complete picture of your ceremony, this article with provide a little more fine-tuning prior to our Fall Equinox Ceremony Sept 22!

MAKE ART

Intentional Breathing: Let’s Do This!

Knowledge is Power, Only if Applied

At this point in our Intentional Breathing series, we’ve brought light to meditation myths and have said that the power of intentional breathing is a basic, built-in tool for the human struggle.

And, remember this? Intentional breathing basics?  

Concentration. Breath in and out through your nose, full nasal.

Reduce Anxiety. In through your nose, out through your mouth.

Energy. In through your mouth, out through your nose.

Sleep, Feel Better.  In and out through your mouth, in a comfortable position.

We challenged you, in that first article, to try any one of these intentional breathing basics for three minutes, just to see if it created any kind of change for you.

Most readers who tried wanted to see if it really is easy to get a shift in a bad moment. Most also don’t want to be students of meditation since they are already students of other choices they’ve made. They want to be sure the possibilities of intentional breathing are really part of their own inner technology.

There’s so much study on the subject of meditation it makes one think it’s only for a few. However, the whole point of our series on intentional breathing is that everything you need is in your breath and body.

The study and practice of meditation is a good thing and I’m glad all the research has been done on it, but vast amount of its success hasn’t been experienced by people who write things down. They are too busy breathing what they want.

We shared the simple breathing techniques we describe above. Then in the last article we talked about Warrior Breathing, so you’ve seen a range of what’s possible.

Today we are going to stretch those three minutes to eleven (11) minutes. In the process we’ll provide a simple blueprint that you can adjust as your breath tells you how!

Sometimes it takes practice to decipher the messages in our breath, but trust us. Do this 11-minute routine and in 30 days you’ll tell us what your breath tells you.

BLUEPRINT

Choose a need: Concentrate, Reduce Anxiety, Energy or Sleep, feel better. This is your Intention.

Determine Inhale and Exhale, time (count) and intention of each. This is the Breathing that fills the intention.

Set 21 days or higher. Many go with 30 days on an 11-minute commitment like this, but 21, we hear, helps a new habit take hold, maybe replace an old one.

Remember and Apply what you can about what your breathing shows you about your thinking and the situation you’ve presented to it, for 21 days.

For example:

Need: Johnny chooses Energy because between the hot air of the desert and the hot air of the boss and another worker, eight hours at work feels like sixteen. He can take eleven (11) minutes by himself here, on a break. If that meditation stuff works, this is where he needs to see results.

Someone told Johnny that eleven is the number of a Master, so he decided to go eleven minutes. He also grew up thinking sevens (7) are lucky.

Determine Inhale and Exhale: He inhales through his mouth seven seconds and exhales through his nose for seven seconds.

Johnny may not be at this job for 30 days so he’s going for 21 Days.

During these days Johnny was able to see things differently. Slowly he began to see that so long as the boss and his buddy didn’t come after him personally, then their issues were just that, theirs.

He found that so long as was performing his tasks, neither one of these people had the right to determine the quality of his day. In remembering the insights that came during those 11 minutes, he was able to apply something of value.  

Johnny did have trouble focusing for that long, having never done this breathing thing before. He took the classic advice, however, given across the planet to beginners: When distracting thoughts come, accept them without judgment, let them go as soon as you can, and continue the breathing count as best you can, without judgements of your abilities, until you finish.

One more short example:

Sarah has issues at home, a divorce in the making with all the dramas playing out: custody, the house, alimony and child support. She feels she has all that under control but cannot allow this to ruin her career. It’s literally the future for her and the kids.

Lately she’s been late, when she’s never late, been mistaken where she doesn’t make mistakes. She needs her focus back. She chooses Concentration, inhale and exhale through the nose and decides to do the 11 minutes for 30 days.

She chooses to do her meditation right after her morning shower, about 45 minutes before she leaves to work. She’ll sit naked on the mat and set the timer. When she’s done, she’ll zip off to work.

She has some friends who are into numerology and they are touting the numbers thirteen (13) and nine (9), for harmony, strength and purification. She decides to inhale for a count of thirteen (13), then exhale for nine (9).

About five days in Sarah remembers something she read about athletes improving performance through visualization. She finds that seeing herself, imagining herself, shine at work helps her put out the distracting thoughts and actually practice focusing.     

Sarah’s 30 days did bring some stability to her situation (application), enough she wants to keep intentional breathing going. What she may not realize consciously is that, simple as this is, she is performing a warrior’s meditation we link above.

You know we want to hear from you, questions, suggestions, whatsoever. Our next article to enhance and advance Intentional Breathing will look at the pros and cons of Religion.

MAKE ART

Hemp and the Three Chronics

Sleep, Stress and Pain Or Why Things Don’t Work

If your eye is catching the CBD, Hemp and Marijuana ads you’ve likely heard testimonials about one of these three chronic illnesses of our times.

After you deal with sleeplessness for a while, you know there are causes, much more detailed than “can’t sleep,” causes that underlie your insomnia. We can call it stress, but clearly, it’s deeper than that, especially to the one suffering.

Pain keeps us awake also, but what brought the pain? Injury? The stress of the job? A broken heart? We say we’re feeling a little stress to a co-worker. We may or may not have someone to tell that stress for you is the deep hurt caused by…

These Big Three Chronics dance with each other, don’t they?

Can you imagine how many products exist aimed at these big three and how long they’ve been around, evolving, devolving, and back?

New, better, faster products keep coming out because whatever it is, we’re using isn’t working like as promised (and there’s big bucks in the sale, of course).

We all live with that, so onward, but the damage to the other big three, body, mind and heart demands a look at the sources of sleeplessness, stress and pain.

Actual medical causes of the chronics fall into areas like the organs, the nerves, the digestive system, the respiratory system, circulatory system, endocrine glands, high blood pressure, heart disease, lupus, and on this medical level, this list doesn’t begin to cover it.

Outside medical definitions however we find causes in two other equally huge areas, namely, our emotions and our mind.

How many emotions, for instance, do we simply swallow, deny because one situation or another doesn’t allow us to express ourselves? What about when we don’t swallow the emotion but express it in terrible ways?

And pain? How does the pain affect your mental acuity? Or the actual ability to do the job? What does the pain keep you from and is there some emotion in that for you?

Unsettled emotions and mental discomfort are cause, too, aren’t they?

Allow me an oversimplified comparison. If the electromagnetic current in our cars doesn’t flow right, neither will our travel plans. The body’s a bit more complex, but same principle. If fuel and power don’t work well, then parts of the car (its organs, per se) go out.

Engine, fuel and a smooth-running motor for us are body, mind and feeling good. When we are running well, body, mind and heart have harmony. When we’re stalling, something’s off.  

The causes of the three chronics, and the complexity they reveal, help to explain why so many medications and supplements don’t work like they’re supposed to.  

In terms of hemp and CBD, like other supplements, one hears,

The combat vet, “Slept like a baby first time in eight years,” after using X CBD.” Or

Regarding Product Y, “My friend tried it, and well, she said nothing happened for her.”

I imagine you’ve heard and shared some of those stories and in a large part the next couple of articles will be talking about making your story a good one, specifically opening a way to improve your results with supplements and meds.    

You know our story. We named our altar after hemp.

We are beholding to science and in the current environment even more so, however most medical treatment separates body, mind and heart. If it’s mental, see a shrink; emotional, see a priest; in your body, call the doctor.

Making hemp work, like making anything work, is really a whole operation, holistic, a full circle operation, fully staffed office, so to speak.

Let’s say, I have back pain, need to see a back specialist, but I’m having to work and also happen to have a teenager going upside down right. Or, have you heard about the diabetic who waited too long to check his feet? Each one will have a story of what was happening in their lives when X happened.

Each situation pushes on the other, doesn’t it? For many of us living that way cycle is almost the norm!

GOOD NEWS!

While there are obstacles to healing in our particular situations that we can do nothing about, there are certain parts of our healing that we can indeed affect, to bring things our way, or at least more our way.

We found a word that really helped us put it all together, a way to describe the condition of our body, mind and heart. Under that word we find the big three chronics we described above, in context of the real big three – body, mind and heart.

As per Oxford, Homeostasis, “the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.”

For the moment, let’s say it like this; Homeostasis speaks of a most special balance! We find that talk about pills, memory and prayer can happen in the same conversation. We believe it one of the most holistic, whole-istic, full circle, frameworks – mental-contextual – we’ve ever heard! Of course, it helps hemp work better, but it helps anything you’re doing work better as well.  

Hemp and Homeostasis, 9/9/2020.

MAKE ART

Altar Work: Soul Retrieval

Magic or Science?

When I first studied soul retrieval from a western education point of view, many Native People, myself included, were being very suspicious of what any anthropologist, archeologist, or other western expert had to say about us or to us. It’s a long story but considering that group of “experts” began robbing our graves to study our bones, we have some questions when they show up with shovels and clipboards.

What made one particular anthropologist stand out from the other suspects, for a few of us, was the fact that he explained in the written word what I had experienced and witnessed from our oral history and life experience.

Words like “shaman, shaman’s journey and soul retrieval” were quite foreign to me, but when Dr. Michael Harner, author of Way of the Shaman, explained what I was witnessing in words the mainstream culture might respect, it made a big difference in my life.

On a conceptual, deep-belief level and in functional ways, this vocabulary allowed me to work in areas where our traditional ways are not respected or valued; it gave me vocabulary to deal, as it were.

Maybe this modern science, I thought, might understand some of our ancestors’ science.

I recommend reading from Harner, and also reading one of his best-known students, Sandra Ingerman, to patients considering having a soul retrieval. Ingerman was in the early generation of psychologists who saw the “science” in ancestral shamanic cultures enough to actually become shamans, and enough to help support our fight to not only preserve, but to live our traditions.

At this altar we define Soul Retrieval this way.

CAUSE: A trauma, shock, fright and/or time unconscious equal a momentary loss of consciousness. This consciousness doesn’t always come back to current, useful, consciousness.

A hard example is 10-year-old who witnesses the death of a parent. The consciousness of that child – dreams, goals, curiosity, puberty on the horizon, all that – steps away so the child can withstand the moment.

Modern psychology knows that happens, that in an impossible moment our consciousness simply opens a way for us to survive.

Like most of the children who witness a parent’s death go on, grow up, spouse and children. He heals more or less, but

EFFECT: Consciousness can never really be lost but it can be experienced as lost, become inaccessible, in other words. Ten, twenty, even 50 years later the person feels “something missing,” chronic frustration, perhaps, at never hitting the mark, lousy relationship patterns, stalled career, etc.

People, it seems from our experience, who seek “soul retrieval” usually, in some form or fashion, connect that “something missing” with the concept of soul retrieval, though what they find may not be called soul retrieval.

We feel that maybe the healing concept is so old it’s in our DNA and it’s good to know there are many ways to bring pieces of our soul back, when a person seeks healing.

I don’t know any human anywhere who doesn’t suffer trauma, shock, fright or loss of consciousness during their lifetime. Haven’t you? Rich, poor, pretty or ugly we all have those moments.

Back when human beings were facing grave dangers on a daily basis the shamans saw that perfectly strong, brave people, rocks of the tribe, could one day turn to mush, overcome by fear, trauma or shock. One can be overcome by fear even if we don’t think we were scared, even after one wins the fight, even if one fought fearlessly!

So, when you had to drop the basket of fruit to run from the panther, you simply were not yourself during that run. Dreams about the cute guy, thoughts about being found out for something you shouldn’t do, and of course, evening plans went out the window. You, runner, are not yourself.

So, our runner sleeps it off, tells and story many times growing up, and then comes into a mid-life crisis.  

CURE: A practitioner who journeys in mental/spiritual places through drumming and other means asks Spirit what part of this person needs to return. To be more accurate, we’re not talking about a complete soul, we’re talking about millions of moments of consciousness strung together into our memory. In other words, it’s pieces of the soul, pieces of consciousness that go away.

The lost piece shows up in the journey, usually with an age or time period attached, and with some detail that the practitioner could not have known.  

The journeyer “blows” the lost piece into the patient and tells the story of the journey. If the story connects with the patient and practitioner in some way, then we have a healing coming.

Next time we’ll breakdown a soul retrieval – the journey, the blowing in, the healing connection and the follow through. Meanwhile, questions or comments, we’re here.

MAKE ART

FINDING SUCCESS

WHAT IS IT? WHERE IS IT?

The skill of finding something clearly motivates human evolution. If we can’t find it, we won’t have it. Duh. Getting better at finding makes life better, no doubt.

Let’s use that, in fact, as our definition of success for the purposes of this article. Success is making life better.

Factor 1: the “you” factor is everything, or everything is in “you,” or something along those lines, right? I mean, “making life better” is clearly too general for your or my definition of success.

So, I’m sticking with “make life better.” You open you for what success means to you.

Who am I to tell you what success is? For that matter who is anyone to tell you what success is? And that includes parents, spouses, success coaches and pharmaceutical ads on TV. Who, really, tells us what success means in our hearts and minds?

When we say success, we yell from the rooftops, “You.”

You define it, you feel it and you get it.

Factor 2: The How is a multiverse. The question is choosing the path, among the many, that leads to your success. Is it the Law of Attraction, the Prayer of Jabez, Napoleon Hill, the Seven Laws, 10 Laws, 12 Laws of Abundance, one or another modern success coach, any one of those?

Some of us can answer yes to some or one of those methods of success, and some of us must answer no to a long list of methods that never seem to work.

Why? In one of the many paths to success we have studied and tried there’s one specific piece of instruction, a phrase that has stayed with us. It has given us hope, and nausea, in cycles. Feels good at certain moments, feels like hard-truth-in-the-face at other times.

“What’s on the outside is a reflection of what’s on the inside.”  

When debtors are camped out in front of your house and there are as many trucks as there are demand letters, it hurts deep to say it’s a reflection of what’s inside, worse, to realize it is a reflection of something.

That’s the Painful Face of success.

I hear the question, “Does success have any other face?”

And that question, which I’ve asked too many times, comes from where? From the inside of course, a learned attitude, one could say. But let’s get back to the question.

Yes, success does have another face and it all revolves around a concepts that we’ve all heard since the first days of school. It, like our little reflection phrase, also has good days in our mind and bad days in our attitudes.

Potential, actualization, realization, “use less than 10% of our brain power,” “get it together, if you believe, you will achieve, ask and it shall open,” the magic, the power, the unfathomable potential. Heard any of those?

If you read each one of those above, and you have some knowledge of them or other ways to describe what we could do, you had to have felt some pros and cons along the way.

Feelings, remember, are key in this quest, key. We’ll talk more about that in the next part of Finding Success.

Factor 3: our personal opinions aside, human potential has proven over and over again to have no limits. If we can focus on the utter reality of that, then success can have a Happy Face.

A generic, and somewhat silly definition of success, a little more defined than make things better: Success is making the Painful Face into the Happy Face. Simply, how do you feel better about you?

We’re going to focus part two of this article on the relationship between the Painful Face – loss, agony, failure – and the Happy Face – we are truly incredible beings. How do the faces dance, fight, why, how do they come to peace with each other and realize they’re on the same side? Your side.

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Making Ceremony: Elements

Strengthen Purpose and Fill The Circle

We appreciate your eyes on this process, whether you’re simply reading along or actually participating in the process of Making Ceremony for you and the world around you.

We’re preparing for a custom-made Fall Equinox Ceremony, September 22, 2020 to benefit the world and a Personal Ceremony to Find a Job. We’re sharing how we’ll be doing the Fall Equinox Ceremony where we live, and how you might do it where you are.  And we’re working on a fantasy job-seeking ceremony so you can devise your own real ceremony.

We make ceremony with four components: Purpose, Circle, Elements and Roles. We’ve talked some about Purpose and Circle already and have something working with that. Now we add Elements to the mix.

Fall Equinox September 22, 2020

Fall Equinox Ceremony prepares us for Winter 2020, and there’s no need to dwell on the fact that we do indeed have a very uncertain winter coming our way. We’ll put our Circle at a local state park, using four stones and four feathers to map out the Four Winds, the first Elements we chose.

Inventory:

a.) Four (4) Grandfather/Grandmother Stones, East, West, North, South

b.) Feathers (4-8) – direct lines to Creator, to place in between the Winds

c.) The Sahumador, smoker, to hold the Fire which brings Truth and our connection to the invisible forces around us

d.) A Skull to emphasize how alert we are to the changes happening around us

e.) Flowers to say we want to enjoy it here before we have to go

f.) Paho Stick, a prayer feather tied to stick, to be thrown, to send our prayer

g.) Symbol of the Sexto Sol, the Sixth Sun, to illustrate we are praying for good change.

Job at Come On 2020!

We listed our Elements for the job ceremony in our last article, but let’s give them a little more meaning:

Inventory

Square – order, purpose

Rectangle – the ability to expand, evolve

Circle – harmony, protection

Triangle – firm foundation and dynamics

Ruler – a tool used to make the above shapes correctly

Pencil – a tool used to make the shapes visible

Pad of Graph Paper – a record of the work you do with shapes

Timecard – the value of your presence

“Come On 2020!” Sign

Focus: The Symbols Must Be Yours

You can replace each item above with your own symbol. Whatever your choices, they, in some way, mean something to you. This “meaning something to you” is big power in making ceremony.

You can do a little research if you like, ask somebody, reach into a trunk and pull out the first thing that hits your hand. How you do it here is less important than why!

Even if you don’t participate in these ceremonies, just going through this step will bring you gains.

Should you accept the challenge, develop the relationship you already have with the symbol and focus on what you want.

For instance, say you choose a Harvest Basket for the Fall Equinox Ceremony. Many of us grew up with those baskets around. Sometimes only the decorative basket had any food. Sometimes baskets were full all around.

Use the past only as a reference point to the future you want. I can’t say it enough, this ceremony is about what you want, less than about what you need.

If you choose a pencil for the job symbols, focus on what you could do at your best, even if you haven’t done it to your satisfaction yet.

Quick Story: For many years, in the daily ritual opening of the altar, I had the habit of talking to Spirit about the stuff we needed: car payment, more hours at work, etc. You know the song.

One day I went to this ritual and in very clear terms I was told that Spirit knew exactly what was lacking because that’s all I ever talk about. Spirit could repeat it back to me.

“So, what do I do then?” I asked.

“Tell us what you want and see in your imagination what that looks like, how it feels.”

Next time we’ll talk about Roles, but before we say goodbye, I imagine you’re beginning to see how the four parts of making ceremony come together. In talking about the purpose, Circle comes together, comes to our mind. In gathering the elements, roles become obvious. A very natural process, really.

Could Making Ceremony be an inherent human skill we don’t use enough?

On a strictly mental level, or using mind and body, symbol work makes things move!

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Intentional Breathing: The Warrior

If You Want to Get Something Done

If you’re one who has stayed away from meditation and things like that, our title might be, “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” But if you already know the power of breath, this could be, “Taking it to the next level.”

Warriors come in all shapes and sizes. Some carry weapons, others carry feathers. There always seems to be some kind of war in the third dimension, but wars are also happening in other dimensions, as in the mind or soul.

It’s a predatory world we live in, beautiful, powerful, yes, but predatory. Warriors, their attitudes and ways are integral to life on the planet Earth.

When the challenges of life come, many times we have to go to war, and many times that war is within ourselves.

Our warrior, serving as an example, sees opportunity in a simple but powerful fact; there’s neither war nor peace, without breath.

She knows breath does quite a bit, yet she notices everyone takes it for granted, unless of course, they’re having trouble breathing. Our warrior also knows that she has complete access to the technology of the breath, being that she’s breathing at this moment.

The warrior learns through her observations that one can do more with breathing besides surviving, learning to relax or lowering the heart rate.

This warrior, in particular, has an impossible housing situation which has gone on too long; something has to change. She knows of another warrior who has a life pattern that better change before it kills him. Many other warriors are also out there, looking for love and success, yet banging up against walls.

Through the obstacles we all face our warrior learns that intentional breathing advances the skill of any warrior and therefore furthers the cause of any war. She puts it to work.

Warrior breathing traditions, knowledge and secrets go back a few thousand years before Christ. Good breathing has to be a major factor in battle, quite pertinent to the situation, wouldn’t you agree?

The Samurai and the Aztecs come to mind: fierce, both tribes. The Samurai had generations of breathing knowledge around them, saw the need and fine- tuned the skills to what we call in modern times, the zone – ultimate calm within, while fully engaged physically.

The Aztecs, similarly, drew from the Toltec/Mayan wisdom and practice of the breath, going way back. Even our ancestors’ war cries were timed, intended breathing. Among other things our war cries created the illusion that there were too many of us to fight, with some success.

If you look up “warrior’s meditation” you’ll draw so much you won’t know where to start. We’re reading two warrior meditation books right now that tell us dozens of ways to approach the technology of breathing.

We’re also working with a Toltec Mexican meditation that is one of many meditations with intention. I refer to this meditation in several articles and we’re working on a class because it is so effective. You can imagine, the number of warrior meditations are as vast as their needs.

From our experience, having studied and applied much of this technology, we want to present an understandable core of warrior breathing so that’s if it’s something you’re interested in trying, you have a reference point.

CORE STEPS IN WARRIOR MEDITATION:

INTENTION

PREPARATION

ACTION, then learning how to do all three

SIMULTANEOUSLY

Warriors have goals, good ones or bad ones, all have goals, intentions and motivations. When this can come into focus, like carving an arrowhead out of a chunk of flint, then we have Intention.

Whether it’s strategy or drill to prepare for a swim meet, or learning the ins and outs of specific meditations, the warrior prepares and practices. And here’s where all the traditions meet: she prepares and practices to such an extent that it’s inborn, automatic, instant. Preparation.

At every step of the way the warrior engages with the material, be it climbing a hill or working on wider peripheral awareness. Who ever heard of a warrior who doesn’t act? Action.

These three steps in a linear form are necessary, no doubt, linear thinking can kill a warrior when she’s in action. There’s no time to remember what the guidebook said, only time for decision and action.

At the time of action, the three steps must happen in a circular, dynamic form, simultaneously.

The ability to use breathing to better your station in life is in your hands. Engage in any way you like, or the best you can, but engage, act. Stay with it long enough to know for yourself. If you’re called to the warrior’s way, don’t hesitate.

Engage with us and we’ll give you ideas, recommend books, tell you success stories. Let us know if you want to know how our warrior, above, solves her housing problem. Email us at facilitor@hempcredible.org and check out the Intentional Breathing category in Dialogues.

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SPIRIT HEMP

What if you could make anything work the way it’s supposed to?

Premise. Healing has four dimensions: body, mind, heart and will. We focus attention mostly on the Body, what we can see and measure. Known science is strong here and rightly so, but Mind, Emotion and Will bring as much, and sometimes more, in the dynamics of healing.

In almost any healing, plants play a role. One must wonder if science or healing would exist without them. Science and tradition, both, tell us plants are the power to survive absolutely anything we will ever face on the planet, anything.

We’ve never been herbalists at this altar, sorry to say. However, a power/spirit plant from anise to peyote is always functioning in our circle, for us and those who come here, plants are foundation. 

The plant in question here is named hemp, cannabis, marijuana, aka nowadays CBD. The little plant and I have had a long relationship, but I didn’t understand the level of healing it offered until I couldn’t walk.

“Physician, Heal Thyself…go with what you already know,” was our first message.

Among other things that means we have to dig deep, go face our True Self. “True Self, how can I do this? The altar is closed, I’m down, can’t handle my load.”

True Self said, “You need to change it inside first.”

That also means many things, but here it was pointing at intentional breathing. I needed structures destroyed and rebuilt, at every level, simultaneously.

Enter Toltec inheritance in the form of a 168-day warrior’s meditation, one that I should have done in younger days.

I hit that meditation hard, in serious pain at the beginning, but slowly, those structures started to move in the right ways.

Second time through this meditation I found hemp oil. I had begun walking on canes already and functioning at 60-75%. The oil and I put the cane away and visits to the doctor/therapist turned more effective.

The hemp oil has helped my legs, my back, my blood pressure, and a hernia operation, but more than anything else, the hemp helped me with my mind, which was highly affected by my emotions.

It gets my attention when my motivation moves beyond handling the pain to something approaching expansion. By the time I was on my third long meditation I was opening back up.

I give great credit to the meditation, as you see, and the hemp. I haven’t stopped invoking the healing going on two years.

Isn’t that a combination of spirit and science? Or could we say a combination of Body, Mind, Emotion and Spirit: Wholistic?

The relief I found brings the responsibility to pass the word. I did find a quality product, but does the product and company deserve all the credit? Does sharing my healing mean pushing one product?

On the other hand, does the meditation deserve all the credit? Is that the only meditation in the world that works?

We really can’t speak of hemp science without the meditation aspect and vice versa. We have all experienced the disappointment of a product’s promise and we all know about prayer that isn’t heard. Is a combination of spirit and science a better way to assure success?  

Here’s a little blueprint for anyone who might want to try Spirit Hemp. In Making Ceremony (link), which is another way of saying, invoking the healing in this case, we structure our approach through Purpose, Circle, Roles and Elements.

Purpose    

Compose your goals. What do you want hemp to do for you? Boil it down to under 10 words, something you’ll memorize after a few days of using hemp this way. Healing intention on meds, supplements and food is nothing new. We speak our intentions, our need to heal.

Circle

Your hemp oil is likely in a circular container and now the Circle is significant. The Circle has countless uses but here it represents the harmony of healing. Nothing extravagant, it can be a small space in the medicine cabinet, a place where you can keep all the pieces, hemp, goals, candle, whatever.

Elements

What symbolizes healing for you? A caduceus, a rabbit’s foot, a pharmacist’s mixing bowl? Maybe a picture of health, one you cut out from a magazine or maybe one you draw. One symbol is enough but if you like number work, three symbols would work for dynamics – positive movement in your healing, or four symbols would emphasize harmony.

Roles

I’m thinking you have the only role in this work, but if your situation is such that family, mate or friends could help, then consider it. They don’t all have to come over and take it with you, but if they’re thinking about you, hoping for the best, then it will help.

 

Your role: at your Circle, take a breath, slow the noise in your mind down a bit, try stop things for a second; your healing is worth the effort.

Honor your religious/spiritual background if you like. Invoke God or Goddess in the way you believe. The no religion way is good. Either way, simply state your goals, clearly, with or without emotions, although emotional emphasis does provide extra punch.

Anything you are inspired to add to Purpose, Circle, Element and Roles in this endeavor will empower your effort.

Love to hear how you feel after 30 days of trying this. It’s enormously powerful and really doesn’t take much, especially if you’re seeking healing that isn’t coming from elsewhere.

Our website has some more information available at hempcredible.org/spirit-hemp both on the meditation and the hemp oils/CBDs we use.

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