I return to Husband from my first shamanic experience with burning eyes. "Things are going to change around here, and it isn’t going to be easy. I hope you aren’t too scared.”
“You kidding? This is exactly what I love about you.”
His words still resonate today. My transformation isn’t exactly what he signed up for, but it’s never been boring. Or, as promised, easy. We experienced monumental peaks and valleys these past twenty years. His own #trauma is often triggered.
About two years into this work, a friend and I drive to Mentor’s weekend workshop. Intense time spent navigating the #spiritworld, meeting #spiritguides, working with #spiritanimals, and retrieving soul pieces for others.
Mentor’s rhythmic drumming eases us into the #shamanicjourney. My grizzly mama calls. I drift into a portion of the spirit world, a wooded area filled with wildflowers, where she sits patiently. The first spirit guide I meet is a skinny old man with whispy white hair and a toothless grin. He never speaks, only cackles with glee. Grizzly encourages me to trust, so I follow him as he walks on water into the middle of an ocean and points into the dark waters. We sink together. Whales sing as we go deeper and deeper.
The journey ends before we reach the bottom.
After snacks and conversation, Mentor announces we will retrieve soul pieces for each other. Everyone looks uncertain. We absolutely cannot go into the spirit world using ego energy, which some of us are still learning to leave aside. This seems a gargantuan step.
“Hold your intention in your mind,” he says. “Trust your spirit animal and listen to their guidance. Don’t you worry too much. You might feel like you’re getting nowhere, but that’s never the case.”
My journeying partner flashes a confident smile. She’s been at this far longer than me.
We lie down next to each other, listen to the drumming, and enter the spirit world. I return to the ocean depths. Downwards, until I reach the bottom. Where a giant clam swallows me whole.
It’s dark in here, but snug and safe. My spirit guide lights a match. The round features of his face glow in the warm light. His toothless grin fades.
“This is going to be rough.”
I blink. The giant clam is gone.
In a field of long grass three men hold me down. A giant silver bear at my side roars. But the men don’t see or hear it. They take turns…no matter how much I scream. No matter how much I fight.
It reminds me of nightmares I’ve endured for years. Three men looming over me. Harassing me as I sleep. Breaking into my home. Laughing at my tears. But I can’t reach the phone, or remember what to dial if I get to it.
The drums stop. I gasp for breath and sob on my blanket.
My partner gives me a hug. She didn’t see the trauma, only the soul piece she found at the bottom of the ocean. A foetus. A piece of me from before I was born.
But I have never been gang raped. Mom is very open about her experiences. She’d have told me if that happened to her while she was pregnant with me.
Mentor brings a box of tissues and sits. We explain what we both saw, I describe the assault. I wasn’t watching from a distance. It was happening to me. My partner and I wonder if it’s from another lifetime.
“Well, shamanism agrees we live far more than one life, but we only bring wisdom from one life to another. Not trauma. You are whole at conception and your whole self comes back together at death. Far more likely this is from your #programming. An experience from which your ancestress never recovered and is passed down through the womb, from mother to daughter.”
That night, I dream my eye falls out and rolls over the page of my diary.
I’m exhausted the next day. The rest of the workshop goes by in a blur. I can still hear my screams, feel myself fighting with everything I have. Most of all, I see the giant silver bear roaring and rearing in my defence.
This isn’t mine to carry. Silver Bear wants me to know that.
Husband listens to my experience and suggests a pizza. He doesn’t realise how much getting this soul piece back is going to affect our marriage and all my other relationships.