I have been thinking a lot about teaching shamanism recently. To be honest it is a subject constantly on my mind. I am possibly obsessed with thinking about it. It is definitely my passion. My daughter and I were sitting at the dinner table today. She is sixteen. She, like my son who is almost eighteen, never ceases to amaze me with her wisdom and her understanding. I am reminded in saying this that when they were both born it was so apparent to me that they were the teachers. I knew instinctively that it was only by listening to the clear signal they brought from source and doing my best to help them stay connected with this that I would be able to honour the privilege of being their mother. I knew that they would help me to find my way home. And they have.
So my daughter was asking me what I had done today. I told her about the journeys I had made that morning, working with Ash, working with the earth element I had been guided to work with moving towards the graduation with this years' s 3rd year group of the Creative Shamanism training. I told her about the messages from buffalo and then the journey to Chiron who had come through first as Anubis and had shown me his role as the masculine aspect of all initiation. Then how the flower of life that my shamanic teacher friend and astrologer Terry has guided me to work with alongside Chiron had come through as the wholeness template and how this was administered by my very own Scottish Bride. I told her how I could see how the different archetypal parthenons were resonating Her comments were - doesn't it all just come together as a jigsaw mum? Yes! I exclaimed. It's the jigsaw piecing the mystery together isn't it? I can think of nothing more fun than working with mystery.
When I think about teaching shamanism I think about the old mystery schools. How we each know that mystery and how as a shamanic teacher, just like as a mother of a new born, our job is to allow it to come alive in each of us. I think about how easy it is to do this work when as a teacher I truly believe that everyone does know and that the shaman - meaning she or he who knows - is within everyone - and we find a way of setting a course with nature for a process to tap into this. One of the best things I have done as part of my extensive shamanic and constellation training is take a four year MSc in pluralistic counselling. Pluralism has at its core principle that any form of therapy works to its best potential when an individual is given the permission and the resources to follow their own way. The training of Creative Shamanic Practitioners and Artists works in this way and equally our job as practitioners is really about supporting the people we work with to find their own way.
These ideas run through the teaching manual I am putting together for the Creative Shamanism Teacher training which will begin next year.
So the photograph above is of one of my dear teachers who takes the guise of a second year student - 'little Carol' as the group call her. I worked out last time we met that I was 'big Carol'! Anyway Carol is amazing. But one of the things she keeps telling me is that what she appreciates about working with me is that I never tell her she has done something wrong and I never make her feel stupid. To be honest, how could you? Carol is Wise beyond words - but I think what I hear from Carol that I so need to hear is that the path of love and belief truly does help people flourish and open up in a way that brings a new mystery alive. Flowering and tenderness come to mind.
I also have another teacher - student who remembers my channelling of Vulture Woman in a piece of Shamanic Theatre yelling 'Cut the Crap' at her as being the most transformational moment for her. Love and belief is also about truth, relevance and rightness too I know.
Teaching shamanism. That's my theme for May and June: To really dive deeply into the work of the students I am teaching and also to get out the new Creative Shamanism course details, the next two Foundation courses - one on line and one in Fife - and the Storytelling and Teacher training courses. Oh and also to send out some articles and get a couple of books out there. Watch this space!
Thank you everyone who helps me unravel and educate this mystery through into life. We are all working steadily together on an amazing project on this planet in these times.