Tag Archives: Spiritual sociology

Tips in Finding a Spiritual Teacher or Shamanic Healer

Effective shamanic teachers are doors for us. They embody the personal work they have done and the intimacy of their relationship with their helping spirits. They create a safe place for us to do our work and manage group dynamics in a way that allows everyone to share freely.

Healing is an art form. Each healer’s techniques grow and flower over time as they are taught by their experiences, human teachers and spirit guides. Because of this, each healer may present their Way a little differently. Some specialize in Divination, some in beautiful co-created Ritual, some may have learned from Native American culture, some are rooted in Celtic Shamanism.

Finding a teacher or healer that is good for you may be a confusing process, so here are some tips that may help you along the way. In all cases, listen, listen, listen to your own sweet heart.

Boundaries: A good shamanic healer or teacher has excellent boundaries. This means that they will not ask you to do anything you are uncomfortable with. It also means that they will be very clear on what is expected of you in your role as a student or a client.

Accessibility: A good teacher is available to answer your questions during instruction. They do not try to make things sound more mysterious and powerful than they are. They are also comfortable with not knowing everything about how the universe works.

Deferring to the Spirits: A good healer or teacher will never tell you what they think is “wrong with you”, what they think you need for healing or interpret your journeys for you. They will honor your unique relationships with your power animals and guardians.

The first thing a shamanic healer does when encountering a client is go on a diagnostic journey to find out what that person needs and how to go about helping. This is a safety precaution to take the healer’s ego out of the picture and enable them to be a good “hollow bone”, allowing Spirit to work through them for the benefit of others.

A good teacher knows that all they can do is show you the door through teaching  – that it is you who must walk through the door. They know that no one is going to find their own Way through imitating them. Expect to be encouraged but run from those that want you to put them on a pedestal.

Compassion: Love heals, not techniques. If you do not feel heard or cared for as a person, do not work with that healer or teacher.

Safety: What is most important is that you feel safe with the healer or teacher you have chosen. If you find yourself coming home from sessions feeling smaller and more insecure than when you came in, something is very, very wrong. If this is happening on a consistent basis, you do not need to have a reason to leave. All you have to do is listen to your gut and go. Figure it out later in the safety of your own home, with people that love you.

Sometimes our sacred yearning is so strong, that we rush to sign up for every session we see, forgetting that important steeping time between classes. It is good to stop the brain sometimes and ask the heart: Is this what I yearn for? Or do I really yearn for a circle to practice what I have already learned? Or do I yearn for community? Or was there a different class that matches my spirit more closely? Or? Or?

Take your time. The real learning is happening inside of you, the real practice is today.
Blessings upon your path.

Tasara

Happy Martin Luther King Day. May we Be the Change that We want to See.

Shamanism is a Path of Love and as all in paths of love, it requires the kind of courage that our leader Martin Luther King had. Shamanism is not about how far you can get out there to meet the spirits but what you bring back for your community, how skillfully you can bring it back and how effectively you can deliver the medicine with love. It is a path with concern for the health of community.

This is why I encourage you, even in the rooms where spiritual people go to seek peace, especially there, to speak your truth.

In the alternative spiritual subcultures, spiritual people can sometimes be so afraid of conflict that silence opens the door for the old illnesses of the dominant paradigm to take root in our sacred settings. But believe it or not, conflict is a sign of healthy community. Conflict allows deep passionate differences to be clearly seen. Without it, there is no true growth. In political and spiritual circles alike, it is extra important for people to be aware of the value of conflict because in political and spiritual circles, conflict is inevitable.  Why?  Because in both politics and spirituality, if we are true to our path we are being motivated by our deepest values. When our deepest values are crossed, it causes strong emotional response. It’s kind of like math.

If you have tried to speak your truth and experienced being shut down with words like “you are being negative” or “you create your own reality”, don’t let this push you into a place of self doubt.  Even if you were not entirely correct in your words, that sort of response only means that you are pushing up against people’s fear.

Every movement, whether spiritual or political comes with its rhetoric. When the rhetoric is used without context or insight, it becomes dogma. Dogma is often used to control others. The rhetoric of positive thinking and positive speaking has become dogma in many corners of our subculture and our nation. It is sounding a lot like the old “don’t rock the boat” of other oppressive cultural ribbons of the past.

Conflict is a place where people are outside their comfort zone, in a place of vulnerability and risk. It is when social interactions are not all tied up in a bow over a neat package. It can be scary, a place with high stakes, where bridges are easily burned…or deeper understandings made or where trust and growth can be forged. Without this risk we cannot learn about each other.

This is the practice of love. Love for the self requires speaking one’s truth. The cantankerous process of speaking one’s truth is more healing than the silence of covered wounds. Don’t let anyone pacify you with that “everyone has their own truth” dogma (remember that dogma is good rhetoric used in ungrounded and out of context circumstances, often as a way to wield power). We have a common truth, too. We CO-create our experiences together and in order for us to live together we have to negotiate. Truth is “what is” and if “what is” is not working for all, rather than shut each other down, why not break the box open? What’s the worst that can happen? Burned bridges and the old familiar isolation? Isolation is the prison of the developed countries. It is long due that we break out of that prison.

Have faith. Courage was explained to me as not a circumstantial thing like bravery but a way of living. Take heart. Truth is inevitably more healing than the silence of covered wounds. The courage to be oneself will allow others to do the same.

None of us has this stuff down all perfect. This essay is not perfect. It’s just a draft. Perfection is the enemy of love anyways-we all, so beautifully imperfect. We are going to make mistakes. We are going to wish we were able to say things differently. I do. But better to say something imperfectly than to not say it at all. There is not enough time to worry about being liked. If we are silent we will drown.. as gay activists around the world know too well, silence is death. Death of the soul and for many death all around.

Thank goodness we live in a country where speaking does not mean death. This gives us extra responsibility to speak when so many others cannot.

Let’s co-create our realities for common cause to bring more love and healing in the world for everyone, not just our friends and people like us. Let’s tune in today to the massive power behind the speeches of Martin Luther King and allow ourselves to be infected with that fire, to be inspired to do whatever it is that we are called to do.

much love,

Tasara

FaceBook: Psychic – Socio – Political Intrusions

(Written by someone who has real live friends who tease her about the fact that she won’t accept their “Friendship Invitation” on Facebook.)

People have been having a field day lately with Facebook and it practice around violation of privacy.  They are slippery around how they design the UI, ever changing, ever deceptive, hard to find controls..

There is another, even more elusive aspect, which I think also needs to be noted.

The Battle in this Country is for the Mind.
We sit at our computers, seemingly alone, or next a handful of people. This physical reality makes it natural to put our guard down. But we are not alone. We are connected with hundreds, thousands of breathing, living humans on the other ends of their computers. Because everything happens in cyberspace, cyberspace becomes

an extension of our minds. We are quiet, typing away, our bodies unmoving, information and emotions rushing through us like the natural conduits that we are.

It is the last frontier, our minds. Everywhere you go there is some sort of marketing trying to influence your mind. It’s either politics, religion or open your wallet. First, foremost and always, it’s open your wallet.

Facebook is the pop culture of online social networking systems, designed to create and maintain shallow relationships temporal, fleeting messages that one must keep up with in order to not miss a thing. We are addicted.

Facebook is the physical manifestation of Addiction, designed and controlled by people who want something from you. Everything about it designed to hook, hook, hook and keep you there. Mind-numbing games, hope of lost or new love, a platform for attention and countless emails in your box bringing you back, one click away.

Finding the many little preferences that turn off all these various features with hooks takes far more thought and time than most people are willing to spend. That is the whole point. You are not thinking. Actually, you are supposed to be focusing on something else (like your job). You are not thinking, so it is easy to let seemingly unimportant things slide… or slip in. Facebook is not important, we know but then why do we allow it to occupy so much of our minds? It blows me away that there are human beings paid to use their precious passion and creativity to come up with such endless ways of generating community spam.

Never forget. The goal of Facebook is not to create community, to enhance culture, to support the arts ..it is to make money. Never, ever forget that. It is no big brother.

Lack of personal boundaries
One classic aspect of addiction is lack of boundaries – in relationships with addicts or use of mind-numbing operatives.  The entire premise of Facebook is to have lots of people we barely know in our intimate mental space as much as possible.  In some ways it’s like become a psychic overnight and becoming barraged with information that may or may not be meant for us. We are privy to things we don’t want to be privy to, things that may upset us or bore us or make us want to respond. The point is, we are wasing energy on things that are not life sustaining.

We also have access to the movements of people’s activities, events, rsvp’s.it’s kind of like sanctioned open snooping. It’s not really snooping because people are sharing. Some things could not be turned off if we wanted to turn them off. This takes away from our precious energy, time and creativity thinking about things that we truly care about, preventing those good things in life from being able to grow. Like weeds in the garden.

In normal human relationships and daily existence, there are lots and lots of people that we don’t really want or need to think about every day. But on Facebook, there they are. They wanted to “connect” and now they are in our field as often as they post. If there are unresolved issues with that person, there it is. If they narcissistically talk about themselves all the time without commenting on anyone else’s posts, there they are. If they are people best left in the past, the past comes back. We are being encouraged to have unwanted and often inappropriate intimacy.  Why do we keep these people on?, we ask ourselves and go back to our coffee.

The guise of intimacy as a hook.
Those who become enchanted with the specter of real human connection with more people may find themselves over-sharing. They may be over-sharing for other people’s taste but more importantly, they are over-sharing for their own self comfort as well. Over-(self)-exposed creatures tend to go through period of cutting tons of friends out to gain a sense of psychic privacy….which leads to another thing.

“What’s on your mind?”
Is that a question that you ask people you don’t know very well?  They why are we answering it to a platform of hundreds of people? And why that question? What other questions could there be? How would it shape the communication and human interaction that happens up there? How about “What do you love to do?” “How are you going to save the world?” “What are you working with?” “What do you need help with?”

Friend
Words have power. Over history, governments and political parties have misused.. twisted words to change public consciousness and response to those words and ust them in a different way.  During times of war, words are often stolen from the peace movement and redefined and deployed to mean something else. This weakens the original use of the word.  Peace-keeper, friendly fire, collateral damage, preemptive war.

This is not new stuff. This is marketing. Take an image or word that invokes human emotion or attachment to and attach it to something else.. a product. Embed both deeply into the subconscious.

This “Friend” thing is the trophy hook of Facebook. To use the word incorrectly is the first and most powerful way of bending one’s consciousness to being fooled in some subtle way that all these people are actually friends. But deeply, we cannot change the meaning of the word Friend. Which makes these connections seem so .. personal in some hard-to-put-your-finger-on, creepy, subtle way.

Some people have a hard time saying No in real life. This can get out of control with friend invitations on Facebook. For me, if someone has 2000 friends, I’m like – no way. If they look interesting and are in my town, I refuse their friendship but ask them out for tea. I’ve had plenty of people get upset with me but no one has come out for tea.

De-Facing ‘Friends’
The HOOK is the guilt about letting go. We let go of people all the time in our minds but on Facebook it is not silent. It’s public. Eventually the other person knows and even though it’s not personal, it’s personal.  So rather than being honest about who we want in our cyber-consciousness, we let them hang on.

Hence the Hide button. You can hide those annoying people who are constantly on the verge of reporting their next nose picking but they still pop up!  Everytime one of our other friends comments on their post, there they are.

Why don’t we have control over what and who pops up? Why?

There are solutions. Read ahead.

Make your Own Facebook Policies
OK, Facebook is a big sucking psychic octopus…of time, energy, thought, creativity and focus, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It can be used for community building, appreciation of our loved ones and warm regards but only if we take control of how the information flows.

I got a little freaked out with too many connections so I came up with a way to cut them down and do as much I could to not make it personal. I am a community organizer and wanted to push all the wider connections to my Facebook “pages” where the information flow has to be more intentional. Hey, maybe people will actually talk about the things we supposedly have in common with somewhere! Let’s see. I posted a warning that I was cutting community connections. Then after I did, I put on my profile the following:

“HERE’S HOW I PLAY THE FACEBOOK GAME:
If you want to follow my work, thanks! See pages (list of Facebook pages with my public activities). If you want to be my friend, call me, meet me for tea or be a pen pal. Love Is Stronger Than FB.”

Shortly afterwards one person removed themselves from both of my pages, I assume upset that they had been “defaced” but it was only one. That seemed pretty good. Anyone who is really my friend would have called if they were upset.

What else happened? My world instantly gained a mental and psychic peace I had not felt in a while. I am infinitely grateful to myself for taking care of myself and not looking for approval or asking permission first.

I’ve spent a few hours in the FB account settings, too, really thinking about what I want to be public to whom. It’s worth it. I found that we DO have control over which of our own interactions pop up on other people’s walls. Look up Settings>Applications>Wall>Advanced

Behind the Curtain
OK you know this but maybe it’s time to pull out of our subconscious the fact that everything posted IS saved. And don’t fool yourself thinking that the company does not use, sell and lend that information to all sort of parties, including the gov’t.  To delete posts on your wall through history, you have to do it One by One. I am a moderate poster, averaging one a day and it took me an hour or so to wipe my wall.

So if you ever want to cancel your Facebook account (which is a feat of it’s own if you can find the preference), you might want to delete your stuff. If you don’t, they won’t. That’s for sure.

by Tasara

A Street Guide to Attending Summer Festivals/The Shadow Side of the 2012 Movement

This is a multimedia piece, which is why it is in the pdf format.
You can get here: http://www.littlelight.info/FieldGuide.pdf

Please share this freely, but please…pass the link to this page, not the PDF.

There are two sections:

1. Spiritual Checklist for attending the summer festivals
2. The Shadow Side of the 2012 Movement

by Tasara

There’s No Such Thing as A Muggle

There is no such thing as a Muggle. It’s a plot device created by a woman who wanted to create an us/them dynamic in her book to make one group seem more special than another.

But it’s a lie. There is no such thing as a Muggle.

We are all so magic.
It is in our blood, this ancient blood that has been passed from womb to womb for thousands of years. There is no muggle, only gorgeous, magical people unfolding to various degrees all around us, all in their own good time.

To be around a rose brings the emanation of rose into our beings.
To be around a moonflower…. around a pixie…. a saint… a lover…a passionate craftsperson.
We are affected by the forces around us and not all of us are living in uplifting environments.

We all have passion whether flowing freely or locked within. We all have love.
We all have the power to make things happen in the world around us.

There is no such thing as a muggle and the word being used in the way I have heard is used is not any better to me than other names people have been called over the centuries in this country. Names that most of us would not stand to hear our friends use.

May we all learn to see the brilliant, beautiful souls of others. May it become it easy to hold others with love and light. To see the barriers, the fear, the anger and not take it on, but rather soften the air around those who are lost in stress…. and beam a little.

I love it when people can do that for me on the days that I need it.

There is no such thing as a Muggle.

by Tasara

What Goddess Would I Invoke?

goddessWhat goddess shall I invoke to heighten the goddess in me?
Will I pick a temptress or fine lady like Persephone?
Will I call on a mother to keep me safe and strong?
Will it be the Great Isis who’s led my path for so long?

What if I sing to the water nymphs who love to laugh and play
just like I do when I am in the river for the whole day?
Or the wild tree one with the smile of fun, whose glimpse has become so rare
that no one knows her story or how she came to be at the fair.

No, I think I’ll call on the one I know that has been here since I was born
I’ll call on the Goddess of Me with my silver horn.
She is no aspect of anything, she’s the whole package for sure.
From dark to light, fair to blight, the one that will always endure.

She was born from a human named Judith, who rode horses across the plain
and a Pa named David who could think of nothing but flying his next airplane.
She came from the woods of the great northeast and traveled across to the sea
where the mountains are high, the ravens do fly and there she threw out her TV.

That’s who I will call, it’s nothing at all and bigger than I could expect.
To honor myself, (not a book on the shelf), a mystery too deep to inspect.

by Tasara