Posts Tagged With: Carl Jung

A Shaman Perspective

A Shaman Perspective

Author:   Crick   

Have you ever found yourself walking on a single thread across the abyss of your mind?

And then falling off into the depths of your spirit?

This is a common event for a shaman.

For the most part, those who hear the calling of the wounded healer will have experienced a near-death experience at some point in their lives. I personally believe that such an experience ignites a deep insatiable curiosity to seek out answers not readily available within the mundane world.

As a student of shamanism, a journey that began in 1999, I also believe that many of the Great Mysteries of life reside within the depths of our being. It is this belief that lends itself to seeking out the answers to such mysteries through deep and personal introspection.

In essence, a shaman is a spiritual healer. But before one can begin to heal others, you must first attempt to heal yourself. And since such a healing is never a complete success, the term ‘wounded healer’ comes into play.

During this healing process of the individual spirit, one must be prepared to undergo a complete change in personality. Ones emotional and mental outlook will be altered for life. During this journey inward you will be expected to embrace your Shadow Self.

Carl Jung, a noted psychologist once said, “That when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and are torn into opposing halves.”

So it is with those who follow the path of the shaman. The shadow self is a collection of feelings, thoughts and experiences that are dark and negative and are stored deep within the psyche.

To become a spiritual healer, one must be willing to take a perilous journey inwards. And once there, to have the courage to face the shadow self and to come to understand and to embrace it. This lends itself to a balance within the soul.

When we try to balance the scales too far one way or the other then physical, emotional and mental illness are the result. A shaman learns to harness the dark energy projected by the shadow self and to balance it with the light energy that is projected by the ego or conscious state.

In order to do a healing, a shaman will follow a single thread of energy back into the abyss to see what is at the other end. Once there they can see what caused the problem to begin with and begin the healing process.

I would like to point out that one of the side effects of traveling the path of the Shaman is that it tends to make one extremely honest with oneself and those around them. Some folks may think that this is a very positive result. However it is not always so. We live in a society where subterfuge and dishonesty are the norm.

For instance how many of you have grown up with the adage “if you can’t say something nice to someone, then don’t say nothing at all”? This may seem like good advice but in all honesty (grin) it takes away from the polarity of life. Life is not all sugar and cream and to better appreciate life and indeed to grow spiritually we must be aware of this fact.

This brings us back to the lessons of how to balance the Shadow self.

There are many tools available to one who follows the path of the shaman. One of these is called a Soul Retrieval. This is where it is believed that due to a traumatic experience of either a physical and/or emotional event, which a part of the soul has broken away and is floating around either in this realm or perhaps in an alternate realm. The departure of this piece of the soul can once again lead to physical, emotional and/or mental deficiencies.

And so either the Shaman or in some cases the patient, seeks out and attempts to encourage the missing piece to return. I say, “encourage” because we cannot force the missing piece to return. The events that caused this event to occur must be addressed as part of the over all treatment.

An example may be that one was sexually abused as a child and a piece of the soul broke away. The trauma associated with the abuse must be addressed as part of the Soul Retrieval or the missing piece may refuse to return to its original place within the soul.

An alternative to this practice is called energy extraction. Sometimes a profound experience will leave a residue of energy within our soul that is not in tune with the rest of our spirit. A shaman performing an extraction will connect with their spirit guides or their animal totems and isolate and then remove the opposing energy. This operation allows for ones spiritual balance to return and thus lends to a healthier life both physically and spiritually.

Another tool or experience used by the Shaman is the Vision quest. This is a very personal experience where one seeks out a vision that is specific to the individual. This seeking is done through a variety of methods such as fasting, ingestion of certain herbs, physical deprivation, mental/emotional preparation and so forth.

During my first Vision quest, the spirit of my second son who had passed at birth appeared in a very vivid way. But he appeared as the age he would have been had he still been living within this realm. I won’t go into details of course, but the experience had a profound effect on my thoughts and emotions. I have never had such a lucid connection as I did during that quest. My personal understanding of what we know as life and death was expanded beyond my wildest dreams. As already mentioned, a Vision quest is a very unique and personal experience and will be so for each individual who undergoes such a trial.

Of course the path of the Shaman is not for everyone, even less so then the path of Witchcraft being open to all who seek it. But for those few who are able to withstand and indeed embrace the rigors of such a life, well, there is little that I can say, for you already aware of the spiritual rewards that await you within the abyss.

Amongst these gifts is the ability to connect with the spirits of plants and animals. Such ability is invaluable to one who seeks to become a spiritual healer. For many lessons are learned through such connections. A belief in animism is a basic tenet of shamanism.
There is also the ability to travel the threads of life to alternate realms. Within these realms one encounters wise teachers who are willing to impart their wisdom to such a seeker as a shaman.

There is much, much more to walking the path of the wounded healer, but I hope that this brief look into such an exciting path may inspire someone to seek what may be the path for him or herself.

Blessings

Crick

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Today’s Quiz – Which Elemental Ruler Are You?

Which Elemental Ruler Are You?

Are you a fiery Queen of Wands or an emotional King of Cups? A clear-thinking  King of Swords or a practical Queen of Pentacles?

The great psychologist Carl Jung knew that the Court cards of Tarot show  types of energy systems inside each person. The pictures on the cards are  symbols that express the characteristics of a particularly active energy in us.  Take this fascinating quiz to see which archetypal energies are dominant in you.

Answer the questions, then total your “yes” answers to determine which suit  is strongest for you.

Are You a King or Queen of Swords? – AIR

1. Are you  independent?

2. Are you aggressive?

3. Are you goal-oriented?

4. Are  you curious?

5. Do you have a quick wit?

6. Is your mind full of  thoughts and ideas?

7. Are you a perfectionist?

8. Do you become bored  without mental stimuli?

9. Do you have a tendency to become very involved in  a theory?

10. Do you like to be in a position of authority?

11. Are you  interested in spiritual and philosophical problems?

12. Is the discovery of  new things of vital importance to you?

13. Does your sense of “reality”  depend on a rational order in your mind?

14. Do you have little interest if  other people support, praise, or condone you projects if these projects seem  rational to you?

15. Do you have a need to have reality completely figured  out?

Are you a King or Queen of Wands? – FIRE

1. Do you have a high  energy level?

2. Do you act before you think?

3. Do you thrive on change  and become bored easily?

4. Are you enthusiastic?

5. Do you love to  express yourself in communication?

6. Are you a warm and loyal friend?

7. Do you trust yourself and others?

8. Do you have deep inner  convictions?

9. Are you charming and well liked?

10. Do you support and  encourage others?

11. Do you have a courageous spirit?

12. Do you  concern yourself with what others think and feel?

13. Does your sense of  “reality” depend on what you feel?

14. Do you often need praise to keep  working on a project or job?

15. Are you sympathetic?

Are you a king or Queen of Cups? – WATER

1. Are you refined and  sensitive?

2. Do you often see things differently from others?

3. Is  reality a struggle?

4. Are you vague and somewhat aloof?

5. Do you have  difficulty understanding money?

6. Do you possess wisdom?

7. Do people  come to you for advice?

8. Are facts and details unimportant to you?

9.  Are you emotionally honest?

10. Is it of prime importance for you to  understand yourself?

11. Can you keep working on a project you believe in  without support from your environment?

12. Are you very aware of the  positive and negative in you?

13. Do you consider small talk irrelevant?

14. Do you prize connection to others?

15. Do you wish others were more  sensitive?

Are you a King or Queen of Pentacles? – EARTH

1. Are you  conventional?

2. Do you have a quiet, industrious nature?

3. Are you  practical?

4. Do you value the work ethic?

5. Do you like routine?

6. Do you feel most comfortable discussing daily and worldly matters?

7. Do  you tend to remove yourself emotionally from conflict?

8. Are you complacent  or laid-back?

9. Do you accept nature and its ways?

10. Is  respectability very important to you?

11. Do you have a realistic  understanding of money?

12. Do you like to create a comfortable material  environment?

13. Are you very accepting of others?

14. Are you concerned  about the details of daily living?

15. Do you live in the “now,” in the  present moment?

 

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Quiz of the Day: Which Elemental Ruler Are You?

Which Elemental Ruler Are You?

Are you a fiery Queen of Wands or an emotional King of Cups? A clear-thinking King of Swords or a practical Queen of Pentacles?

The great psychologist Carl Jung knew that the Court cards of Tarot show types of energy systems inside each person. The pictures on the cards are symbols that express the characteristics of a particularly active energy in us. Take this fascinating quiz to see which archetypal energies are dominant in you.

Answer the questions, then total your “yes” answers to determine which suit is strongest for you.

Are You a King or Queen of Swords? AIR
1. Are you independent?
2. Are you aggressive?
3. Are you goal-oriented?
4. Are you curious?
5. Do you have a quick wit?
6. Is your mind full of thoughts and ideas?
7. Are you a perfectionist?
8. Do you become bored without mental stimuli?
9. Do you have a tendency to become very involved in a theory?
10. Do you like to be in a position of authority?
11. Are you interested in spiritual and philosophical problems?
12. Is the discovery of new things of vital importance to you?
13. Does your sense of “reality” depend on a rational order in your mind?
14. Do you have little interest if other people support, praise, or condone you projects if these projects seem rational to you?
15. Do you have a need to have reality completely figured out?

Are you a King or Queen of Wands? FIRE
1. Do you have a high energy level?
2. Do you act before you think?
3. Do you thrive on change and become bored easily?
4. Are you enthusiastic?
5. Do you love to express yourself in communication?
6. Are you a warm and loyal friend?
7. Do you trust yourself and others?
8. Do you have deep inner convictions?
9. Are you charming and well liked?
10. Do you support and encourage others?
11. Do you have a courageous spirit?
12. Do you concern yourself with what others think and feel?
13. Does your sense of “reality” depend on what you feel?
14. Do you often need praise to keep working on a project or job?
15. Are you sympathetic?

Are you a king or Queen of Cups? WATER
1. Are you refined and sensitive?
2. Do you often see things differently from others?
3. Is reality a struggle?
4. Are you vague and somewhat aloof?
5. Do you have difficulty understanding money?
6. Do you possess wisdom?
7. Do people come to you for advice?
8. Are facts and details unimportant to you?
9. Are you emotionally honest?
10. Is it of prime importance for you to understand yourself?
11. Can you keep working on a project you believe in without support from your environment?
12. Are you very aware of the positive and negative in you?
13. Do you consider small talk irrelevant?
14. Do you prize connection to others?
15. Do you wish others were more sensitive?

Are you a King or Queen of Pentacles? EARTH
1. Are you conventional?
2. Do you have a quiet, industrious nature?
3. Are you practical?
4. Do you value the work ethic?
5. Do you like routine?
6. Do you feel most comfortable discussing daily and worldly matters?
7. Do you tend to remove yourself emotionally from conflict?
8. Are you complacent or laid-back?
9. Do you accept nature and its ways?
10. Is respectability very important to you?
11. Do you have a realistic understanding of money?
12. Do you like to create a comfortable material environment?
13. Are you very accepting of others?
14. Are you concerned about the details of daily living?
15. Do you live in the “now,” in the present moment?

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Your Ancient Symbol Card for October 3rd is The Phoenix

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

The Phoenix

The mythical, endearing Phoenix has long been a symbol of rebirth, renewal, and coming full circle. Tired in both body and spirit the aged Phoenix combust into flames and from its ashes is reborn. The Phoenix does not indicate change so much as it does renewal and revitalization. It denotes the completion of a cycle and beginning anew.

As a daily card, The Phoenix suggest you are at a place where some aspects of your life have reached the end of a cycle. Your energies may be weakened from use and stretched over too many arenas to be as effective as they once were. As a result, now may be a good time for you to take a step back and allow yourself time to revitalize both your physical and spiritual self.

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Witchcraft 101: The Beginning Practice Phase (part 2)

Witchcraft 101: The Beginning Practice Phase (part 2)
Author: Wren

Since its inception, the Witches’ Voice, has been barraged with email asking the simple question… “How do I become a Witch”? Although, it has never been the mission of the Witches’ Voice to actually teach Witchcraft we find ourselves constantly shocked at the aweful responses the Teenage Witch or new seeker receives from many that “claim” themselves “elders” of the craft. For this we apologize. We will never preach or claim to “have the answer”.There are indeed many paths and many ways, it is our goal to give you the tools to  and what to look out for.

Part 2…

The Beginning Practice Phase…

Greetings and Welcome Back to Witchcraft 101! Before you begin this next section, perhaps it will be helpful to do a little summation. If you have been working through the “Interest Phase” and the “Exploratory Phase”, you will probably now be familiar with the following concepts and have some rudimentary knowledge in…

The basic history of Witchcraft and its cultural origins.

Some of the different Traditions and Ways that Witchcraft is practiced today.

The basic ethical guidelines, such as the Rede or Law of Three.

A basic overview of karma and reincarnation (or transmigration).

An understanding on how Magick works.

Deity Names and Aspects.

The Elements and correspondences.

Basic Tools of the Craft and their use in ritual work.

Some divination, visualization and meditation techniques.

Folklore and Mythology.

Great! This is the foundation from which your continuing studies will build and grow. Along the Way, you will stop often to ponder about new materials and visions. Remember to go slowly and to reflect much on what these concepts personally may mean to you. Again, it is very important to allow these new ideas to become integrated into your spirit. This is the only way that they can become “real’ to you. They become a part of who you are and how you think and feel. One of the ways to help this process along is through “practice.”

THE BEGINNING PRACTICE PHASE:

Chances are pretty good that you have already “dabbled’ a bit with some of the techniques of ritual work. Even if you have only begun this in your mind, you are beginning to feel the stirrings of a desire to actually DO the workings that up until this point you have only been reading or hearing about. Where do you “begin”? Do you dig through your books and find a ritual that appeals to you? Do you have a specific need in your life right now? What have you put into your Journal or Book of Shadows that you have underlined as important or particularly relevant? What do YOU feel?

You will notice a lot of emphasis on “feelings” throughout these articles. What do “feelings” have to do with all of this? Well, Carl Jung said it much better than I ever could:

“Feeling informs you through its feeling-tones of the values of things. Feeling tells you for instance whether a thing is acceptable or agreeable or not. It tells you what a thing is WORTH to you….It is, like thinking, a rational function.”

BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING:

Look for SYMBOLISM-The subconscious mind works through pictures and symbols. This is why the “inner” work that you do is the starting point of all Magick. Look over your magickal tools and objects. Choose one or two at random. Touch them. Hold them in your hands. Close your eyes. What are they “saying” to your inner self? What images do they bring up and what memories do they unlock?

You are using your IMAGINATION-You are not “making things up” when you are using your imagination. At least not in the sense that most of us have been lead to believe. If you have ever been reprimanded for “day dreaming” in class or at the dinner table, you may have to re-learn and “give yourself permission” to unlock this powerful tool again. Allow yourself some “flights of fancy” time each day.

Imagination is the ability to use your mind creatively. The word “creative” is linked with “creation”. In a very real sense you are creating what you imagine. Just as a sculptor has an image of a work in his or her mind and then seeks to unlock the image from the physical materials at hand, so you create magick from the images that surface as a result of your meditations and desires. Have you used your imagination today?

Now put the symbolism and the imagination together. What symbols came into your mind and what did your imagination do with these images? Ask a question and see if the images change around or become more clear. Don’t be surprised where you may end up. Your subconscious mind is a very rich and fertile place. It is the ‘playground’ of your spirit where anything is possible. And if you “wake up” with a start and realize that you have just spent 20 minutes in reverie, you are really getting the hang of it!

The next exercise will be your first step from the mental/spiritual into the physical/spiritual realm. This is where you begin to actually DO THE WORK. You will start slowly and build on each previous step. Do not rush this process. This is very important. Let me explain a bit.

Do you remember as a child a favorite story that you never grew tired of hearing? You knew the entire book by heart. Part of its “magic” for you WAS knowing the entire story by heart. And remember how you would correct the reader of the story if they tried to skip a part or changed the words? The story for you was a ritual. The retelling of it the same way over and over was important to you. Because there were no surprises or changes, you could relax and really get “into” the entire tale in your…gasp!…imagination. (Don’t tell Grandma, but she was actually your first “Witchy” teacher!)

The gestures, tools and workings of your beginning ritual practice should be exactly the same each time that you do them during your Beginning Practice Phase. This repetition trains your subconscious mind to remember what is coming next. The subconscious is like the child who wants to hear that story the same way over and over. The “ritual”-repeated over and over- provides a safe and comforting setting for both your imagination and the symbolic elements to expand and grow. You’ll have plenty of time to “get fancy” later on.

The Practice Phase Do’s and Don’ts…

DO The BASIC RITUAL OUTLINE something like this:

Cleansing the Area.

Preparing the Altar.(nothing too elaborate, just a few of your favorite tools). Lighting the candles.

Casting the circle.

Welcoming the elements.

Welcoming the Deities.

Stating the Purpose of the ritual.

Magickal workings or devotions.

Raising the Energy. Releasing the Energy.

Grounding.

Thanking the Deities.

Thanking the elements.

Closing(or sometimes called opening) the circle.

Eating snacks!

There are many simpler or more elaborate ways to do a ritual. Many Traditions have their own formats as well. But if you know how to do this basic ritual, you will pretty much be comfortable in any open Circle that you may attend.

DO BEGIN! Start at the beginning of the above list. Make notes on each step in your journal as you begin to plan your ritual. How will you cleanse your working area? Salt and water? Besom (broom)? Incense? What will you place on your altar? (Making a list first insures that you will not forget something….”Matches, anyone?”, is the most classical “oops”!).

DO… Take time to sit quietly and center yourself before you begin. Be honest about your feelings. Are you excited…scared….nervous? That is normal. This is important stuff and not to be entered into lightly. O.K.? Now you can begin, but…

DO… Tell the Old Ones that you are “practicing’. Although They already know this (and They are ready to help you), it will be reassuring to YOU to state this in case you end up feeling that you may have “done something wrong”. You haven’t. You are “practicing” and practice involves a certain amount of trial and error. No one ‘upstairs’ is laughing at you.

DO… Perform each step slowly and carefully. Let the symbols speak to your inner self. Take time between each step to feel how the ritual has affected you and changed your surroundings. As you ground, listen for answers…listen for advice…listen to yourself…listen to the phone ringing because you forgot to take it off the hook….

DO… Listen. We ask for things and then we often do not take the time to listen for the answers. Write everything down. Doodle impressions in the margins. These symbols may be important later.

DO… this same basic ritual over and over and over again. Rather than becoming boring, you will probably find that it becomes MORE meaningful each time that you do it. And your inner child’s subconscious mind will be loving it! (Thanks, Grandma!)

DO…  to repeat the first Phases again. We are all constantly learning and going “back to basics” is always a good idea.

DON’T… worry about what you will say. Say what is in your heart. Use simple language-remember that “child” thing?-and DO remember to take deep breaths in between sentences. You want to ‘alter your consciousness”, not lose it!

DON’T… take any oaths or make lifelong dedications to the Old Ones. You have not made that decision yet. You are still trying to discover if Witchcraft is the right Path for you. This is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make in your life. Give it the respect and consideration that it deserves.

DON’T… be afraid. All those Hollywood movies may have made you a tad nervous about beginning actual ritual practice. Nothing like that will happen to you. You have done each step slowly and with much forethought. It is only when someone tries to go into places for which they are unprepared that the situation can get unpleasant. That is why teachers emphasize the NEED to go slowly. You HAVE taken the time to prepare yourself and done all the steps in order, haven’t you?

DON’T… do the ritual either too often or too little. Formulate a regular schedule-say once a week- and stick to that for a while. If you really desire to do something on a daily basis, a simple candle lighting ritual in the morning or evening will do just fine. Begin to think about Moon phases, Holidays and other times to do ritual Work. Witchcraft is based on the “rhythms’ of Nature and that will be the next step…

 

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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for July 10 is 57: Gentle Penetration

57: Gentle Penetration

Hexagram 57

 

General Meaning: The general situation here points to subtle penetration. Reeds bend softly in the wind, symbolizing flexibility and endurance, symbolizing quiet, relaxed effectiveness in action. A gentle influence is at work, but just as the wind is ceaseless in its efforts, so too small forces can persist to produce lasting results.

Gentle penetration bodes well for new relationships of all kinds. Just as a summer breeze slowly penetrates the woods to cool the forest, the brilliant ideas of gifted leaders or the sincere feelings of warm-hearted lovers slowly penetrate the minds and hearts of others. In personal relationships, a gentle beginning is often linked to a long-lasting union.

When employing a force that is weak but persistent, careful aim is necessary, for only when a small force continually moves in the same direction can it have much effect. In human affairs, this kind of influence comes more through strength of character than by direct confrontation or seduction. It’s important to have, and stick to, clearly defined goals. Maintaining a strong vision and following a steady course of least resistance often brings good fortune.

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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for June 20 is 12: Standstill

12: Standstill

Hexagram 12

General Meaning: A state of standstill is a state of decline. Confusion and disorder prevail. Inferior elements are on the rise, while the powers of clarity and creativity are waning. In such times, the wise take shelter in their own integrity and quietly remain faithful to their highest selves. Retreat from public activities and common exchanges until the time once again favors assertive action.

During periods of stagnation, inferior elements can rise to power. When the inmates are overrunning the asylum, summon up your fortitude, hide your worth and withdraw. Concentrate on your personal affairs with a quiet dignity, even if that means giving up short-term rewards.

Desiring to change a situation too quickly often creates extra conflict. By accepting hardship, while striving to maintain integrity, you are preparing for future growth. A seed of prosperity is often hidden inside the husk of misfortune.

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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for Monday, June 18 is 35: Easy Progress

35: Easy Progress

Hexagram 35

General Meaning: The general situation is one of easy, natural progress. That which had been weak is now steadily rising up, and by gaining a prominent position, becomes a stronger force. The image is the light of the rising sun, which at first appears dimly through the mists. But this relatively weak light later radiates with powerful clarity once the sun has reached a high position in the sky.

Progress is made when those in subordinate positions create harmony with those above, and in so doing create a natural means for their collective talents and abilities to blossom. It is by recognizing and riding with the natural course of events — by hitching our wagon to the rising sun, as it were — that we advance our position and earn respect.

Goodness in human nature is like the dim but beautiful early morning light. It can easily be obscured — by greed, hatred and other forms of self-absorption — just as the morning light can be swallowed by fog. Be reminded that progress is achieved most effortlessly when right action is taken without concern for immediate reward, and when the path of the weaker elements aligns with the strong.

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