Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Red Stone

First Published Friday, November 12th, 2006 on

Someone from another site has asked me why I use the Red Stone for my logo? The short answer is that it symbolizes a value that is fundamental to my worldview.

I had taken a workshop at Elk Island National Park (near Edmonton, Alberta). A local Shamanic practitioner holds an annual retreat to teach people how to get in touch with the natural world and the non-ordinary reality, (some people refer to this as the Spirit Realm).

The weekend was full of rituals and celebrations and we did half a dozen exercises that were geared to increasing awareness, trusting intuition, and opening-up to a broader definition of spirituality.

For me, the most significant activity was this:

We were asked to wander away from the camp and dowsing with a pendulum, find 7 stones - 4 to represent the directions and 3 for any intentions that came to mind while we were undertaking this task. We spent the next hour or two gathering stones, thinking about the presence of Spirit in all things and anticipating what would happen next, (the Red Stone was not one of the stones I found that day).

When we returned, we were asked to prepare the stones by washing them and decorating them with paint and then blessing them with rattles and incense, (I chose not to paint mine).

Next we were given a demonstration on how to do "Intuitive Readings" by listening for the symbolic messages that the stones would reveal to us. Then finally, after the demonstration we were asked to pair-off and start doing readings for one another. This step, of course, made many people uncomfortable or at least brought-up doubt, but I was moved to embrace it.

The Red Stone was the first stone I added to my original set of seven. I found this lovely red stone when out walking with my children, but had some strange feelings about arbitrarily adding it to my "Spirit Stones." So, I carried it around with me as I tried to discern what to do. I also had questions about how I would discover the meaning of the stone, because I had had an intention in mind when I found each of the others.

Within a week or so, I realized that I should include it with the others and I decided that because of the redness, it would stand for "passion." But when I started doing readings with it I discovered that it really represents something more like "motivation" and that it actually has 3 subtly different meanings, the most powerful of which is "the best outcome for all concerned."

I feel completely at ease doing these readings and I now understand that I have a gift. In the intervening two years have done more than a hundred readings and people are continually impressed with the information that is revealed to me by the stones and through intuition. The original set now consists of 12 stones, two bones, and a little metal wedge, (and I use another set of six stones for energy work).

Interesting to note is that one of my closest friends and a man who is quite clairvoyant recently said to me that "I sense there is a Shaman archetype emerging through you
" (me). It's a weird thing for me to comprehend, but I'm trusting that by following this path, I am indeed moving towards that intention - "the best outcome for all concerned."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Want to Develop Your Psychic Abilities? Just Start.

Everyone has psychic abilities. We all occasionally, "know who's calling" a moment before we pick up the phone, or read someone's "thoughts" by saying exactly what's on their mind. Some people may be more "gifted" but everybody can train themselves to get reliable answers.

The problem is, our world distracts us. Our cultures and families muddle-up our internal ways of knowing. We come to mistrust ourselves and we learn to rely on outer signs and indicators for our direction. The opinions of friends and family, concerns about status or income and our responsibilities to loved ones all tend to 'colour' anything that feels like inspiration.

When we are at our best, or "in the flow," we are better able to plug-in to our higher consciousness. Therefore part of my practice is to do something to either "psyche" myself-up or calm myself-down so I have a better channel open to my psychic skills. I might wash myself in Chi energy, spin seven times while clapping my hands over my head, or focus on my breathing for a few minutes. All of these can bring-on an altered-state of awareness.

The next challenge is practice. As with all skills, regular practice will improve your results. I recommend a few simple exercises to my students. Try these:
  • Everyday before you check your mailbox, guess whether you have mail; predict how many pieces of mail; or guess the cities of origin.
  • If you listen to radio, guess the next song you'll hear or the next word.
  • Use a pendulum, Urim & Thummim, or flip a coin to decide which route to take to school, to guess the outcome of a game, or to make other choices.
If you use these exercises daily you will open-up again to your inner knowing and your psychic practice will yield better results.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Shaman Soup

The late, brilliant alternative thinker Terence McKenna spoke eloquently about the shaman's role in society. Many videos, articles and interviews are available which present McKenna's thinking and experiences. These ideas have helped me reflect on my own path.

The shaman is someone who has... stepped outside the confines of learned culture and learned and embedded language, into the domain of what Wittgenstein called "the unspeakable", the transcendental presence of the other [to gain] knowledge which can be brought back into ordinary social space for the good of the community. So in the context of ninety percent of human culture, the shaman has been the agent of evolution, because the shaman learns the techniques to go between ordinary reality and the domain of the ideas. This higher dimensional continuum is somehow parallel to us, available to us, and yet ordinarily occluded by cultural convention (out of fear of the mystery). And what shamans are, I believe, are people who have been able to de-condition themselves from the community's instinctual distrust of the mystery, and to go into it, to go into this bewildering higher dimension, and gain knowledge, recover the jewel lost at the beginning of time, to save souls, cure, commune with the ancestors and so forth and so on.