Denise GuerringueShamanism

“The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.”

Everything is Waiting for You
–David Whyte

So here we are, together, in the place between what was and what will come to be. It feels to me that January is a time of our standing on a threshold, an “in between” place. The wheel of the year is coming ’round to laying to rest the last round of last year’s life, to allowing to die what has lived out its use. And the new year, the infant waiting to emerge into the world, is still sleeping, still growing, still imagining what it will become. We who think in the shamanic way tend to view thresholds as places of great power; standing here, we can gather ourselves and prepare for whatever we emerge into on the other side of this passage.

There is energy for emerging that is gathering now; energy for being born into life–for the first time, for the second, for the 6oth or 80th. In the shamanic way of understanding the year, we will welcome Spring on Feb. 1. We who live in a scientific, technological world, wait until Spring evidently arrives before declaring it the new season.  But if we are able and willing to tune into the energy of this Earth, to feel into the bones of it, to sense the stirrings of spirit and life itself, we know that the seeds of what is to come are stirring now; the seeds of what life presents next are dreaming of what is to be, what is to come.

Are you joining in the great dreaming of becoming? Like me, have you spent some time this past season trying on old costumes from your life, old ideas, old stories? Did you put them on to see if they still fit, but to find that not only do they not fit, but they are worn threadbare, with shiny knees and worn and torn cuffs? Like me, are you ready (gratefully, carefully, seriously) to release the old costumes, roles, assignments and illusions of your life? Are you ready to reap the energy of the world’s Spring in order to fully fund your own?

David Whyte in his poem Everything is Waiting for You reminds us that the paths to our release, the paths to our growth, have shown themselves to us our entire lives. I believe this is so; I can recall so many times in my life that the solution to a problem that’s arisen over and over for me suddenly becomes obvious. And it also becomes obvious that the solution (like Dorothy’s solution for returning to Kansas) was there all along, waiting for me to be able to see it.

So, a first challenge is being able to see through all of the old stories we hold in order to discern the way. My best way of discovering what is obstructing my view of the stairs I need to climb is to ask in a shamanic journey: What old story/belief am I holding that is in the way of my emerging fully into life? What is in the way of my progress that I am not seeing? Then, I ask: What are the first three things I must do in order to take that apart? If you aren’t a journeyer, you can ask this question as you enter into meditation, or ask for a dream that will reveal this information to you. Be sure to have a journal nearby, no matter your method, so that you can write down whatever wisdom is gifted to you. Freed of what prevents us from climbing the stair to our higher being, we can begin by taking those first three steps.

A second challenge to our becoming is our willingness be with our fear. Most of us are so cowed by fear, so unwilling to allow ourselves to feel it, that we allow fear to mold and shape the possibilities of our life. We transform our fear into something more “acceptable,” like anger; most especially anger. And then we find that we are just too darn angry to go around opening those inviting doors; I have important things to be angry about! The first step to opening those doors that have always beckoned is creating a space for fear to be with us as we walk. A first step to making that space is to understand that fear is merely information; our job is to take that information in, adjust our plan to minimize risk, and move ahead anyway. To help myself make fear my companion, I settle into a shamanic journey with this question: What fear is in the way of my opening the next door to what am becoming? What fear is under THAT fear? And what fear is under THAT one? When I can see the simple fear that is at the heart of my hesitancy, I then can ask: What is the first thing I can do to make an ally of that fear? And the next? And the next?

One final thought to consider as we prepare to emerge into what we are becoming: What would I be like if I were willing to acknowledge and embrace my own divinity? Who would I be, if I allowed the flame of the divine to grow in me? What would I become if I allowed my own Light to become so large, so bright, that it escaped all the bounds of who I have believed myself to be? My third journey in this effort would be to ask to see a vision of that being I could become. And then to hold fast to that vision as my inspiration for releasing old stories, for walking with my old fears, so that the stairs and doorways to my becoming open to me.

As the seeds of my becoming dream within me and within the earth, I am looking forward to these things emerging: a more robust schedule of shamanic workshops; monthly Constellations workshops; the start of a 2 year program in Shamanic Healing Practice; and work exploring and developing the intersections between shamanism and Constellations. I am looking forward to making a place for all of these.

Let’s become the bigger beings, the higher Selves, that we truly are this year. Let’s emerge into the new way together.