TWD: Daryl, black

Intro & Spirit Stuff

Hello, shamanism! Is anyone still here? (I am crossposting my intro from allpaths, so apologies if you see this twice.)

I'm an old LJ user who has started over with a fresh journal, and I'm sad to see that most of livejournal seems to be dead. I'd really love to make some like-minded friends and connect with others! I've moved to a very rural area, and no one around here shares the same spiritual views as me. I've always been a happily mostly-solitary practitioner, but I'd at least love some place to swap experiences and ideas.

I guess I'm kind of a Christian-y pagan. Or neopagan, I guess it might be called. I grew up Christian and keep the holidays my family/culture celebrated. I like Jesus and think his teachings are right on, but nothing else from the Bible really resonates with me. Maybe some of the psalms, since I'm a poetry fan. I've been having a lot of personal yuck lately, especially with regards to depression & general emotional/mental darkness, so I'm trying to get back to my spiritual center. It's hard when I'm all alone in a new, very conservative area. There are no circles, no metaphysical churches, no UU classes, nothing but Baptist and Catholic churches as far as the eye can see. Which is great if that calls to you, but it doesn't call to me.

I get my spiritual well filled in nature! I've always felt a particular call to trees and Grandmother Moon. I'm really into shamanism. My primary totem is Wolf, but I also often work with Owl, Turtle, and Buffalo. Others move in and out of my life as needed. I've been a Reiki Master for about a decade now, and I really enjoy energy and healing work.

I guess I have a buffet-approach to my spirituality, as I tend to try anything I'm drawn to and use whatever feels right. Before I moved here, I did some Buddhist study and meditation classes, and I really enjoy meditation when I stick with it. I've slacked there, but that's one of my goals for the new year. I've worked with stones and crystals before, though that kind of fell by the wayside when I discovered shamanism. I did tarot and intuitive readings in my teens and early twenties, but I haven't done it since. I've also done angel/gods/goddess work, Akashic records, manifesting, a year of Wicca study (not for me – I'm much more free-flow in my pagan approach), and we keep a fairy garden and give gifts/offerings to the fae.

I have tons of spiritual/religious/new age books that I inherited from my mom & grandma when they died. I've not read through most of them, but that is also on the to-do list in the upcoming year. I plan to work through all of the books in my house which I haven't read (or haven't read in years), keep what speaks to me, and give away/yard sale the rest. I hope to share my renewed spiritual journey on my journal. It'll help keep me on track if I have someone to share this stuff with.

Other spiritual topics that I'm interested in learning about but know nothing about right now: lucid dreaming, astral travel (unless shamanic journeying counts?), reincarnation/past lives, other religions, yoga, tai chi, sacred poetry, developing psychic ability/mediumship, and herbal healing/essential oils.

Not-necessarily-spiritual topics I'm interested in: whole foods/healthy eating, healing from past abuse (I use TWs & spoiler tags), getting fit (I'm so floundering, but I'm trying), organic gardening, conservation/animal husbandry, survivalism, equal rights, genealogy, writing, fanfic/fandom/cosplay, art, music (listening & discovering new, not playing – I have no musical ability, myself). There's more stuff in my profile if you're interested.

I hope to make some new friends &/or get some good dialogues going! Thanks a bunch.

(no subject)

Last night I dreamed of three black-and-white animals... a skunk (being carried off by an eagle), a loon, and a black and white striped fish which tried to attack me. All black and white, close together in dreaming. Skunk is land, loon could be air (especially since it was stretching skyward and waving its wings), fish is water. No fire. Thoughts?

A meditation for Samhain

I invite you now to close your eyes, and take some long, slow breaths. Fill your lungs with the crisp Autumn air, scented with apples and wood smoke and the dying of leaves. Leave behind your everyday cares, your unread emails and unanswered phone calls; leave behind your worries; leave it all laying here.

You are walking down a long, wooded dirt road this Samhain day. The air is redolent with the sweet smell of pine and glowing with the slight warmth of the afternoon sun. Tall trees surround you on either side as the trail winds deeper into the forest. Small birds twitter and call, and a chickadee follows you, flitting from tree to tree in curiosity. Your gait is steady and strong. Dry fallen leaves crunch under your feet, gold, red, brown, adding a light counterpoint to the sound of shoe on gravel. The road rises slightly, gently, not taxing your legs at all. You make your way up the small hill and there, on the right, you find an old wrought-iron fence. Inside its confines stand gravestones, ages old, some leaning, some fallen, many covered in moss and overgrowth. You step past the open gate and explore within.

The long grasses make swishing noises on your trousers as you pass, heading toward the foremost stones. Some are white, some light gray; all are carved in plain lettering with dates over a century and a half old. This is a forgotten place; there are no flowers, no sign of care for the landscape or the inhabitants of this plot of earth. But it’s not sad, for all its neglect… just waiting, quiet.

You bend before the first stone, brushing away the accumulated debris, and read the names and dates inscribed. A plain name, a brief lifespan. A husband and wife, dead within months of one another, as though they could not bear to be parted. Beside that, another stone with the same surname; children, three of them, all gone before they grew into their teen years. What sadness for loving parents. Your heart goes out to them all, those who went before and those who must carry on. As you examine other stones, you find that most of the people buried beneath did not live overlong.

You move on to a larger stone and recognize a local name, one that adorned street signs and storefronts of years past. Someone of that noble history lies here, here in this small and unregarded gravesite. Did these people parent the more famous ones, or did they somehow lose their glory and were buried here, far from the town where they lived?

Your musing is interrupted by a crow, calling from a tall oak tree just outside the confines of the cemetery. It mantles its wings, looking at you, and calls again. You smile, thinking how appropriate that a speaker for the dead is present at this moment. You straighten up and put your hands to the small of your back, stretching out the kinks from so much bending over. As you look out over the landscape, the crow calls once more, and flies down to mere feet of where you stand. It cocks its head at you, opens its beak… and quite suddenly blooms into a tall woman in a long black cloak. Startled, you step back, drawing in a breath, but as your eyes adjust to the change, you can see there is only kindness in Her dark eyes. She holds out a hand, beckoning you, and you find yourself moving toward Her. Taking the offered hand, you are led to a back corner of the cemetery and without speaking, She gestures toward a stone nearly hidden by the long grass. Looking down, you see your own name inscribed there.

“Impossible!” you say. “How could this be?” Fear stirs within your heart, and you shake your head in denial. The Lady takes your shoulders in Her hands, and gazes into your eyes, and you lose yourself within them. You see only your own self reflected within, your face, your mouth, nose, eyes. And then you see other eyes, brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes, gray; the eyes of an infant, gazing back at you. And you come to realize that you are looking at yourself, at your selves, from deep in the past and far into the future. Never the same eyes, but always recognizably you own self, your same pure spirit.

Slowly you come back to yourself, your eyes meeting Hers once again, and the Lady smiles, squeezes your shoulders gently, and releases you. You look again at the gravestone and see a stranger’s name inscribed, but perhaps it’s not so strange anymore. Bemused, you turn back to the Lady… but She is gone. You hear a crow in the distance, and wonder…
  • vafud

Shamanic faith

Just a quick question, do you people feel Shamanism is a religion (spirituality, spiritual path etc) in its own right or is it a role one can have inside different spiritual groups (pagan, Native, etc).

The main difference is that under the first definition, there should/would be shamanic lore, explenations and frameworks that fit all under the name shaman. The latter would suggest that shamans could have different explenations and interpetations of similar activity's and perhaps even entity's.


I've been digging through a lot of books lately on Shamanism, and a couple of things I've seen come up have been a little contradictory. One piece of information says that a 'real' shaman will never call themselves such, and another speaks out against false modesty. I can see the point behind both sides, but it's a bit puzzling. I am drawn very strongly toward this path, and to me that's what being a shaman is: a path that is chosen, not a self centered proclamation. I'm comfortable with referring to myself as a shaman simply because no other word describes the path I have chosen in life as aptly, and while I dislike labels, it's the most accurate description. I don't see Christians, Wiccans, or any other group avoiding calling themselves what they feel they are. I don't claim to be an expert or even particularly good at shamanism, but as with everything else in my life I am always learning more.

Am I wrong? Have I missed some key point or reason somewhere?
I seem to have a knack for awkward or frustrating questions at times, but if I don't ask then I have no way of knowing. My guides haven't been really outspoken on the matter, although the one answer I have gotten was something like "You can no more change your spots then a leopard can change his", though it wasn't quite in words.
  • Current Mood
    curious curious


Today the Shamanic practioner I have been studying under came to my house and performed a ritual called the Inca Death Rites....

I feel so incredibly exausted and refreshed all at the same time.


"That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest." (Henry David Thoreau). I deeply enjoy watching birds and listening to their calls... the sound of a brook running over stones... the designs of sunshine in my husband's eyes... the rare times my son laughs... the smell of woodsmoke and baking bread. Yes, I think I'm pretty rich. And you?

Dismemberment Journey

I come to you, naked, unadorned, calling to be torn asunder. I stand in the dusty savanna, open-armed and waiting.

Slowly he comes, pad-foot, tail high, striped back arching. He prowls and stalks and I am his willing prey. My throat is open to him, my flesh ready. A paw lashes out, razor-tipped, rending me deeply. I fall. Then he is upon me with tooth and claw, tipping, tearing. Finally, belly distended, he has eaten his fill of me, and surrenders to the waving grasses.

Feeling safe, the vultures descend and continue the tiger's work. Slowly I am deconstructed, bite by bite, broken down into my component parts. Bodies mantle and flap as choice bits are fought over, and I am further reduced. Enter the insects, flies and worms to take their share, and I am in their bellies. My bones bleach in the hot sun and are scoured by the blowing sands. My essence is scattered and absorbed by earth and water. I sink into grass and tree roots and drift into the pollen-laden stamens of flowers; I fall onto the river and am taken in by fish. Falling through the glassy stillness, I am stirred into mud and ingested by mollusks, and then by the otters that eat them. I merge with the sleek young water diver and feel the pulse of the river and slide down the muddy banks. At twilight, I enter the warm depths of the den to dry by my body heat and slip into dreams.

And there, out in the nighttime sky where I am lost in the firmament, encapsulated in joy at such freedom. The stars burn around me, illuminating the silver strand that connects me to Home. I follow that gleaming cord back to my body, back to the earth, slipping inside pores and breath. Reentry is smooth, and I feel clear, clean, and calm. I have once more come clear of the unneeded pieces of daily debris and nodes of negativity. Grateful am I for the dismemberment. Grateful am I.

Perhaps an odd question...

Has anyone ever had a Power Animal move on, spiritually? As in leave the Lower World to another form of experience? Mine apparently has, and I am a bit sad about it. I would not hold her back through my own selfishness. I'm in no rush to find a new PA, though... I'll just hang out with my other Helpers and Teachers for now.