The Unseen

It’s been a long while since the gardens at Casa de Enchanted Seashells were honored by the presence of a four-legged child. When we had a completely empty nest, there was supposed to be a lot of travel and other fun but that didn’t really happen, at least not in the way I had happily anticipated.

This was my beloved Bandit…Bandit in a box

…and my beautiful Border Collie boy –Victor at age sixteen, enjoying his senior years at what was to be his last Christmas before crossing over the Rainbow Bridge, sitting in the place of honor because he deserved it.

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Lately, something odd and mysterious has been going on here.  I’ve discovered tennis balls and other toys that simply seem to randomly appear out of nowhere, some even in the middle of the lawn, as if a game of fetch was still in progress.

See?

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There’s a monogamous pair of coyotes that visit me on a regular basis and I have a wildlife camera set up to record their activities, so I know the balls don’t come from them, although that’d be super cool if they were bringing me gifts to thank me for my vocal support regarding coexistence with wildlife, instead of vilifying and murdering them.

But…

My yard is completely fenced in–not that coyotes care about that–but to emphasize the fact that a normal domestic dog roaming the neighborhood couldn’t possibly find a way in, and certainly not with a ball in his or her mouth.

I like to think it’s the spirit of my Victor sending me a gigantic message that he’s still chasing tennis balls and he’s up there with Sabrina and Stella Rondo and Beowulf and Tovah and Bandit and Misty and Tawny and Blackie, all my beautiful children who were so very loved and cherished during their lifetimes and beyond.

Here’s my most special part wolf, Beowulf, and a MUCH younger me.

I was part of a covert rescue operation and bottlefed him every two hours. I was his mom and he was my perfect boy. We were inseparable. Soul mates.

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Yup, I really do miss them all so very much.

But where do the balls really come from?

The Beauty and Healing of the Shamanic Experience

According to Awakening to the Spirit World by Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman, “Shamanism is the first spiritual practice of humankind and dates back tens of thousands of years. The fact that this spiritual practice of working in relationship and in partnership with the helping spirits is being widely used today speaks to the potency of the work.”

Shamanism is a practice that involves a practitioner who reaches altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with a spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world.

Hold on a sec…yes, you’re on the right blog, I’m still Princess Rosebud, still Enchanted Seashells haha, just doing a little ENCHANTED exploration with the spirit world in addition to gluing seashells to any available surface. With a nature. land, and animal connection, how could it be anything but good, right?

Let me clarify…I’m not a shaman. Did you think I was? Nope, but I met an amazing woman who is a shamanic practitioner,and I’d like to share her story and my experience with you.

I met Carmen in January. I had undergone an emotional and total body 10.0 earthquake, a tsunami of pain that ruled my life so unbearably for a couple of months until I was so devastated that I was literally unable to function (I’ll tell you all about it when I can.)

A very good friend suggested that I seek out the support of a shaman for healing from these deep heart wounds.

Always a skeptic, I was so far out of my mind and spirit and soul that I would have reached up to the sky to pull down a star if that could have helped me work my way out of depths of despair.

Serendipity, divine guidance, luck, coincidence…who knows what it was, but I found Carmen located in my own little town and booked an appointment.

I had no preconceived ideas about what to expect. I didn’t even Google “shamanism”–I don’t remember how I drove to her office.

I walked through the door with shoulders hunched, tears streaming down my face. There was a candle burning and the scent of sage. I don’t remember filling out her information form…why are you here, and later I saw that I had written, “to save my life”.

Between bouts of sobbing, I told her what had happened to my world; it felt like a death but no one had died. I felt like there was something strangely wrong with me; not a medical issue, although I had absolutely suffered some health issues due to this seismic shift-but more internal, cellular, organic. I felt like there was a toxic or malignant entity inhabiting my body, causing me an incredible amount of despondency- I was tormented.

What is a shamanic journey?

In shamanic practice it is believed that part of the soul is free to leave the body. There are various times the soul might leave the body, during dreaming or to protect the soul from trauma. When a shaman is initiated onto the shamanic path, they usually learn how to send their soul forth intentionally, on the soul flight which is commonly called a journey or the shamanic journey. In early shamanic societies, many shamans were initiated because of having a near death experience. Death being an experience when all of your soul leaves the body, the near death experience is thought to teach an individual to travel with the soul.

The shamanic journey occurs by shifting awareness or consciousness in order to allow part of your soul to leave the body. The drum or rattle is frequently used. The slow repetitive rhythm shifts the individuals “rhythm” so that he or she can journey. Just the way a soothing song can help an someone achieve a calmer state. The rhythm of the drum puts you in the right state to journey. The drum beat used is very close to the frequency that is measured from the earth, and has proved effective for the majority of people. [From https://www.shamanlinks.net/shaman-info/about-shamanism/the-shamanic-journey/]

I’ve learned that everyone’s journey is different. Mine involved an out of body and trance-like dreamy experience —  meeting my spirit guides and my spirit animal (a wolf, of course), and a feeling of release of toxins and pain–and a sort of rebirth. I felt as if I was physically still in the room and simultaneously travelled away from my physical body. When Carmen brought me back from the journey and I regained my awareness of the present moment, I felt completely changed from the person who had walked in two hours before. Lighter, less burdened, less desolate, less weighted down by a thousand ton boulder crushing my heart.

Are you asking yourself if I exaggerated or if it was as intense as I’ve shared? Yup, it was, and even more so.

And all I know for sure is that I felt better walking out than I had walking in, and for the most part, that’s stayed with me, along with a renewed sense of purpose, and maybe even healed a bit.