An Astroshamanic Workshop…

Astroshamanic Quest for Manifestation: Shining your talents in the world: March 11-18, 2017, workshop at the Findhorn Foundation, with Franco Santoro

My personal experience: Michael Bohoskey

I had no idea what this meant when I first read it. Sounded like one more new age flashcard, a glossy title for a feel-good escape from a world of painful entropy. But I was drawn there, to Findhorn, at this time, on those dates, for a reason, and I trusted his eyes, ecstatic and haunted in the same glance. He’d been to places my soul understood. He was an ally. But just to make sure, I bought his first book on Amazon, for a penny, plus shipping, and I read it before I left for Scotland.

There are so many components to this journey. The actual travel experience, the workshop itself, the cast of characters, the Findhorn community, and the land and seas and weather. And then again, my personal journey of dreams, spirit connections, and multidimensional shapeshifting, as I crafted intentions and gave them form through metamorphic dances and movement.

The recipe for manifesting and shining your intentions and abilities is fairly simple. Begin with allowing full range to your wild imagination. No limits. Let your deepest, heartfelt, higher minded imagination expand and run free. We are dancing the Sun energy here. We began here with finding our inner sanctuary, our power place, which will be our reference place for setting intentions and expanding beyond the limits of our ego driven personalities, into multidimensional awareness, or what I call Soul space.

So, you imagine your highest intention, then you act it out, you dance it out, ground it in your body, in your breath, your heartbeat, in nature. That’s step two. It’s like testing your hypothesis, according to Franco. Does it really work for me? As I act it out and move my body and feel it taking shape? It’s a chance to check it out before “submitting it for publication”.

The third and final step is manifestation, taking action. And there are ways to do this.

It’s simple and yet not so simple. There are layers here to look into. For instance, we begin with wild, uncensored imagination, to open the psyche for amped up life energy flow, and we learn later that this is to connect us with our multidimensional power source, which will actually be the fueling station for the more specific and practical intentions we desire to manifest. For if we use very abstract and vague intentions, the outcomes, according to Franco, are usually disappointing. Practical, measurable intentions are more easily achieved.

And there is something else. On “moon-day” we danced the shadow. What does that mean? Well, the moon is an invitation to enter the unconscious, the lower worlds, if you will, and meet with the energies of limitation and denial. This is a crucial component in doing “real” work here, and not just new age fantasy hallucinations.

If we didn’t have shadow, self-limiting, negative programmed beliefs, we would naturally be creating and manifesting positive, spirit rich and heartfelt, joyful realities, 24/7. But we’re not doing that, for the most part, save a few enlightened beings assisting here on this planet.

So here I found Franco very creative. His thoughts go like this: Negative programs, usually unconscious, demand attention and energy. If I’m hooked on an old wound and am triggered with anger say, or fear, or shame or whatever, a lot of my budgeted energy flows down that drain. Let’s say I have such and such amount of energy in my life budget. I want to create something positive and wonderful, but 85% of my budgeted energy is feeding my shadow issues and wounds etc. I’m too busy putting out internal fires and chasing my demons that there’s nothing in the tank for my dreams.

Now there are lots of different approaches as how to work with the shadow. One thing that most agree upon is that it’s not a good idea to ignore it. Deny it and it just festers and grows, and oozes through the cracks of consciousness at the most inappropriate times. The more I fight is and push it down, the uglier it gets. Not a good idea.

This workshop is not a therapy session. I liked that, and yet it took us as deep as we wanted to go. It’s like we were cradled in a loving, powerful container that stretched out over eight days as a tapestry of ritual, movement, conceptual retooling, and archetypal natural cycles of earth and body. His integration of astrological wisdom and shamanic journeying, and his utilization of music and movement and archetypal energies in grounding our multidimensional experiences was masterful, in my opinion. He was gentle and yet emphatic, clear and yet flexible, Virgo organized and yet unattached to outcomes.

Scorpio intense and yet wistful and encouraging. What’s not to like here?

This is a man who though highly sensitive in spirit and pure of heart, has not allowed the coarse density of third dimensional human mass consciousness to beat him into submission. He’s kept his soul alive and awakened while managing to put together this remarkable template for healing and visioning.

So, its not therapy. What then to do with this shadow stuff? Well, we recognize its existence, and its hunger for attention, and we decide that we will create a ritual that acts it out, in a way we control, which then satisfies its need for conscious connection, making it less likely it will burst into our life in unconscious and inappropriate ways.

So, Moon-day we danced our our resistance, our fears, our whatever blocks to the rising Sun of our imaginations and highest intent. And of course, Franco chose chthonic, lower chakra, intense music to get us moving in that direction.

And here’s the wonderful twist for this ritual (moon dance). Rather than view it, however horrific, as something evil, or ultimately negative, we instead embraced it as shit to shine “compost”. In other words, we take the dark, bowel releasing residue of our unconscious crap,and give it to Mother Earth to be transmuted as fuel to grow our intentions. We do this because we are physically made of the Earth and energetically we are supported and grounded and revitalized by the Earth.

So now, this dance of shadow becomes a ritual that supports our manifestation of our dreams, an ally, rather than something to fear or avoid.

Our workshop started Saturday, Saturn’s day, perfect for setting the structure and grounding the exhibition. And Sunday was the full moon. And in northern Scotland it blazed through the clouds like a huge floodlight. I remember not sleeping much, or well, that week, and that particular night, as well as the next, getting up at 3am and sitting on a bench facing the moon and feeling the silent thunder of its pulsing, blazing reflection of light, and having a smoke to ground me.

We were twelve, in this workshop. Perfect for representing the Zodiac, not to mention twelve dimensions in our universe, twelve realms of consciousness in each dimension, twelve major meridians for twelve bodies, etc, etc. You get my point. It was symbolically rich, and added to the power of our movements.

One session we were given musical tracks to move to and feel and imagine, twelve of them. Each was frequencied to represent one of the zodiac signs, but we weren’t told which was which. We were to experience each one and then write about it, and then Franco told us what they were. It was fascinating. My mind wanted to guess. Is this Gemini? Taurus? Pisces? But when in my head I couldn’t truly feel through movement and vibration what the music portrayed.

So I chose to just feel it. And whenI did guess, I was wrong 90% of the time. Some signs really engaged me, energizing me, or triggering me. Others didn’t move me at all. It was interesting to me that the earth signs Virgo and Taurus were two of the most powerful energies I danced, and that my deep intent for this workshop was to fully ground my soul essence in nature, having spent lifetimes feeling separate from both my God-essence and the earth. Capricorn was a card I drew at another session as an ally card. More of that practical, grounding energy.

There were so many varying rituals we traveled through that offered mini epiphanies and gifts of insight. And yet nothing was rushed. Always free time to reconfigure, reflect, integrate, walk to the ocean, lean against a tree, or grab a chocolate at the cafe. And always Franco’s breezy, lilted, Italian inflected speech, offering wisdom with wit, and a twinkle in his eye inviting us to take the scorpio plunge into the “other worlds” of our multidimensional souls.

You can google Findhorn Foundation to find out about the center and programs and the area. Lets just say that I felt like I was home. It’s a Scottish thing. A large DNA component I didn’t know I had until recently. I fantasized about links golf and peat smokey single malt, neither of which I had time to indulge in. But I did learn the proper way of making porridge, with just a dash of salt, and quite a bit more from my Scottish roommate, who never complained about my evening snorts and sleep walking, though he did laugh about it.

I was drawn to Findhorn with a deep soul desire, and a practical goal as well, and I found both unfolding in the garden of my being as the week progressed, in a structured and yet non-linear fashion. While dancing forth the Sun, I envisioned myself as a powerful evergreen rooted in the golden orb of my higher mind’s pure intelligence and unconditional loving essence, with my soul family dancing about my trunk with lyric ease and joyful tranquility. This was my power place that anchored the enactments of more practical intents I later brought to the alchemical processes of manifestation.

In my evening dreams I witnessed my internal resistance to expanding my imagination, as teeth clenching upon the balloons of light bubbling forth from my inner core. My dead mother appeared in a visitation, wanting access to my energy, as a last attempt to suck my libido in old cords of dysfunctional agreement and emotional and mental wounds, and I “composted” that energy into compassion and realized a metamorphosis so powerful it brought me to tears when I shared my experience with the group.

I danced forth a ritual within my psyche that saw the blessing of my life as a man by a “healthy” mother, through a progression of rescripting events from infancy to adulthood, with my dead mother actively participating.

Before even thinking about this place I had a dream of meeting a beautiful woman and blending with her ecstatically on every level. She looked at me and said “My name is Emma, and I’m from Scotland”. I shared this with my eleven companions and got ribbed mercilessly. “Have you met your Emma yet?” They asked.

But Emma was my anima, my feminine inner half, and the culmination of a lifetime journey to heal the wounded feminine within me, and my mother, herself abused, dark, and dangerous, has been my greatest teacher in reflecting this wound back to me.
During this ritual I experienced the healing of my relationship to the “mother” and a release and blessing to finally be free to then meet and wed to this “Emma” who came me when I descended from the hill where my blessing had occurred, and merged with me in a ceremony of endless white lotus flowers falling gently from the sky.

This healing for me was neither abstract or practical, or maybe both, but it was the culmination of years of intentional healing, and a freedom I have longed for.

So I’m grateful, and I managed to effect a manifestation utilizing Franco’s template that went beyond my imagining.

And as for my more practical goal? Gracefully it came into perspective and became more manageable and less urgent, and thus more doable.

There was magic for me in this journey, in the way each of us became blended with the intentions and souls of others, as egos melted and deeper, multidimensional energies flowered, pollinating one another’s dreams. And everything we did was routed through the powerful cycles of nature, with a peaceful, reassuring awareness of appropriate timing and rhythm to all acts of creation. A season for planting, a season for germination, a season for harvesting, and a season for dying and rebirth.

I loved it. Thumbs up. Five stars.

Grazie mille. Thank you Franco Santoro.