Monday, September 20, 2010

Walking a Shamanic Path

Once or twice a year, I go to one of the many workshops. retreats or Gatherings with my teachers, Lisa Foss Tardiff (Okwaho Lablanc) and Gerard Peyrot (Natza).  The last retreat was in the Rocky Mountains at a retreat near Golden, BC in June of 2010. These events are always exciting, mysterious, and challenging, as we explore Traditional Aboriginal Dreaming, Shamanism, community and the Medicine Wheel. 

As I prepare for the Great Gathering of September 2010, I find myself reflecting back  upon my journey that brought me this far....

I met Lisa in 1991 when I lived in Montreal. I was teaching the Medicine Wheel at the time and our connection was destiny in the making. It makes me realize that there are no accidents and we meet who we are supposed to meet when the time is right.

Lisa fascinated me because her connection to Spirit was so tangible. And she was a great Dreamer. I didn't understand much at first, but over the years, I have experienced and learned so much from her about Shamanism and Dreaming. She showed me the Medicine Wheel in ways that I never knew existed/

 I would not be where I am today without her and Gerard pushing me, encouraging me, bringing awareness of what I need in order to grow (breaking illusions), and helping me to become more conscious of my attitudes, words and actions. They showed me my strengths and weaknesses with no judgments or expectations on their part.

I have journeyed with so many parts of my Inner Community on my personal wheel that I feel full, blessed and proud to be who I am and where I am at on my journey. The lessons continue, but the wheel spirals ever forward with accumulated wisdom and experiences being added to my medicine bag.  The rewards of this path are incredible, if you are willing to do the work on yourself to bring balance, awareness and sacredness back into your life. It is challenging on all levels, it is not for the faint of heart... but each step makes you stronger. 

This path is not for everyone, it is for those who feel the call. It is not easy to bridge the gap between Western and Shamanic; it takes a huge leap of faith, trust and determination. Some walk with us for awhile and leave wiser and happier, having gotten something that they needed. Others come and fall hard because it is not what they expected and they don't understand our ways, our language, our beliefs and values. They may get angry and lash out. Others just realize it isn't for them and go off in another direction. Unfortunately, there are also those who take and don't give back, they take the teachings and misrepresent them as theirs! This is deceitful and harmful to all involved. They are not living what they are teaching.

Some are those who are attracted to Shamanism because of  the Dreaming, Soul Retrieval, Totemic realities etc.... They like the mystery and magic, the language and the rituals or ceremonies. All of these can be found in many New Age Shamanic groups... to a point... For those who want to go deeper, the mountain is high and steep, the journey is long and challenging. It takes courage, determination, brutal self-honesty and many lessons in letting go of expectations, judgments imbalances, guilt, shame, jealousy and so on..... 

For me, walking a Shamanic path means continuously striving to walk in balance and integrity with humility and humor. It means not taking myself too seriously, but also being real about who I am and where I am at. It means being committed to my path, my teachers and medicine partner. It is about doing my best to follow the dreaming, to grow, heal and learn, and to give back however and whenever I can. It also means letting go of those who I love who choose other paths and trusting that we are all where we need to be. 

I may have stumbled and fallen many times on this bumpy road, but I keep on going, picking myself up, and becoming wiser with each passing year.

This year, I am celebrating 19 years of consciously walking this path, although I am beginning to realize I stepped onto it long before... But each step has brought me closer to my Self and to Creator. 

I am indeed grateful for all the forces... Spirits, teachers and friends that have crossed my path over the years. Becoming an Elder on the Red Road, means that I can sit back a little and revel in the glory of my accomplishments. I can be here as a guide for those who are just stepping onto the Red Road, by sharing my stories, experiences and wisdom with them - for those who want to listen.

As I look at all the adventures I have lived, I believe that I have been fortunate to live a rich and full life. I have come a long ways from the lost child that I was. I have learned to trust when there is nothing to hope for, to persevere when it seems that the entire universe is conspiring against me or when I am in deep pain and sorrow, to stand in my truth when others are hurling accusations my way. I've learned to not let my ego rule my actions.

I have learned to do my own inner work quietly and thoroughly, and to not judge others, for I too have stumbled along those  side roads that took me nowhere. I too had to find my way back. The Red Road is off the beaten path, it is rugged and narrow. It is a path for Spiritual Warriors willing to carry the burden of truth in spite of the consequences. In the end, it can give you everything you ever wanted and more. 

I find a deep peace within me that feels solid. I also feel a sadness for the loss and separation that occurs as the Wheel brings challenges that many are not able, willing or ready to handle. But in the end Spirit guides us all to where we need to be.

I feel the end of a chapter in my life and a pause before turning the next page. I don't know what is around the corner, I can only see the next step in front of me. But I've lived long enough now to know that if you walk with Spirit, Spirit takes care of you.



WampumBlueRaven said...

Hello Mary Rose,

Nice to see you writing - I have been reading your blog checking it regularly... I really love your blog ... its so full of love, trust and confident... if vibrates off the pages. It inspires a quiet confidence.

Thanks for the words...

I will write soon,
take care

Wheelkeeper said...

Thanks for reading and commenting Wampum. Sometimes I wonder who I am talking but I love writing, it is a way for me to see where I am at. I find it soothing and healing for me.

Take care.


Wapeyit Malsom said...

19 years -- Time does fly.


Cougar-D said...

I really enjoyed this blog entry. It sure speaks to many people who are seeking to experience and learn many sorts of things.
Thank you

Wheelkeeper said...

Thank you Cougar for your post. It is good to have feedback. I hope that whoever reads this post gets a little better understanding of this path.

Lisa,It is amazing how much time has gone by since we first met.

I think of a 19 or 20 year old and how much they've lived and learned... and multiply that by 3... and see how much experiences I have under my belt thus far... and possibly another 20 or more to go........ It seems like each decade is a blink of an eye, yet when I make note of all that I've lived in each chapter, my life is very rich and full!

It's a good feeling!

Wheelkeeper said...

I'm off to see the Wizard... the wonderful wizard... of Carignan, Quebec. I'll be back in mid October with more stories.


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