Blessed Way of Passion
Astroshamanic Healing Touch / Soul Retrieval
Friday, 7 April 2007
This is the third time I am running the workshop ‘Blessed Way of Passion’, and the first time it is taking place at Easter. These are the days of passion, and this makes it more appealing to me. Each workshop has been different. A feature of astroshamanic work is that each workshop is unique, even if it has the same title, because the people are different, I am different and the time is different. I also get bored of doing the same thing, so I like to create opportunities to discover something new.
Why this title? It came out of the blue and fit what I wanted to express. The idea was to create a workshop in which it was possible to allow passion, strong emotions, and whatever else is identified with passion, to be honoured and given space. Finding out how certain impulses and intense feelings can be used for healing purposes has been my greatest discovery in shamanic work, as well as realising how certain spaces I go into throughout my life can be used for creating healing and for generating blessings. And at the same time I discovered that there was also a part of me that kept forgetting about this and still went into despair and hopelessness. So it was a way for me to respond to the part inside me that suffered loss and despair, and to reach out to that part and say to it, ‘I understand that you are very powerful and my aim is to find a way to connect with you’. Another thing that characterised this workshop was the emphasis on the physical body. There are many ways of doing shamanic work. Basically, there are a variety of workshops that deal with each aspect of the way in which astroshamanic work can be expressed, and I wanted to create something that focused mainly on the physical body, and in particular on those dynamics of the physical body that most human beings have lost….
I’d like to give you a brief definition of shamanism and astroshamanism. Using the term shamanism doesn’t mean so much to me, because there are so many varieties of shamanic work that serve so many different purposes. Shamanism is quite a recent academic term created by anthropologists 200 years ago. The general idea of shamanism is that it considers different realities beyond the reality that most human beings acknowledge as real. This is the reality in which we have names and identities, and where we are considered to be the owners of a physical body that is defined in space and time. Shamanism considers the wider perspective. It considers things that are happening in the ordinary reality, but also takes other levels of awareness into account. It includes states of consciousness that all human beings experience when they dream or have fantasies, as well as states of consciousness that some people purposely go into in order to access other realms and dimensions. The anthropologists who started studying shamanism 200 years ago acknowledged that it is the most ancient and widespread 11111111. They did not consider shamanism so much for its healing implications but more for the information they controlled regarding the origin of 22222222 of human beings. They discovered that although there was no historical connection between different cultures, the references and the cosmologies were the same.
In the past decades shamanism has been the object of research by other scholars who started from a scientific perspective, and then, by delving into this work, discovered that there were healing implications. Therefore, in the past 40 to 50 years, it has been revived. And now it’s part of the mainstream in the New Age movement due to the popularity of certain authors like Carlos Castaneda and Michael Harner. Today there are many people who work with shamanism. There is also a new definition regarding shamanism: neo-shamanism. This term is now used more for healing and the expansion of awareness. In the past, tribal cultures used shamanism in the way we use medical doctors. But the people who went to the shamans weren’t concerned with the method that the shaman applied. There is now a new trend in healing that allows the person to be aware of what is happening. So rather than having the shaman ‘fix’ things, the trend now is to find it out for myself, to move into these expanded states of consciousness myself and discover on my own whatever I want to explore.
Another experiential assumption of shamanism is that everything is connected, everything is linked. There is nothing that is isolated or separated. Therefore by investigating one aspect of life I can gain understanding regarding something else that is apparently not connected. So the experiential belief is that everything is connected. I would like to stress the experiential aspect, because shamanism doesn’t involve belief or faith. It is very pragmatic. So what is used in a healing is not based on doctrine or dogma, but is a result of direct experience. Thus what is used in a healing is unique to a given situation and person. However, shamans have had to adapt to belief systems in order for their activities to be tolerated and to avoid persecution, which has happened at certain times in human history. Hence one of the attitudes of shamanism is considering what is common knowledge, what is officially acknowledged in the ordinary reality, and finding a way to do this work without challenging the ordinary reality.
What is the ‘astro’ in astroshamanism about? I use the term astroshamanism because I started with astrology. I actually started with shamanism when I was a child, but I didn’t have a name for it at the time. By studying astrology I began to learn more about shamanism, although I didn’t know it was shamanism. And when I discovered shamanism, I found many connections between the two. What are the connections? Astrology for example has the same assumption that everything is connected. But also, more importantly, was to discover that in ancient times astrology was the mapping of other dimensions. Shamans would go into other realities and then would map their discoveries on an astrological chart. Just as we today have atlases and maps to find our way around a territory, there used to be maps for the non-ordinary landscape. For me it was important to discover this, because I then began to use astrology as I do today. Instead of interpreting a chart, like I used to, I use a chart as a map in order to journey. Astrological maps don’t portray the actual territory, yet they nevertheless can provide some clues and inspiration.
With astroshamanism, astrology becomes a mapping structure to support the experience. I wish to stress that no previous understanding of astrology is required. It in fact helps if you have no previous knowledge of it. Astrology is not used intellectually, but rather instinctually. Actually, one of the things that triggered my interest was to discover that all human beings have an astrological understanding even if they never studied astrology. This was one of my major discoveries. Twenty years ago I was using a method called experiential astrology, which is based on setting the chart on the floor and allowing the person to move into the different signs, without providing any explanation. By allowing the person to stay in one position, for example Aries, that person would express the Aries quality. I used this method with people who didn’t have any clue about astrology, and I realised that they were perfectly capable of expressing the different energies. I realised that there was something here that was not intellectual.
As I said before, everything is connected according to the shamanic view and experience of life. So with a physical body I am linked with all the possible dimensions. I can move into other dimensions, yet these dimensions are already mapped in the body itself. The body is like a keyboard that can allow me access to whatever exists at all levels. Hence the blessed way of passion and astroshamanic touch uses the astrological map, yet also uses the physical body, which is itself an astrological map. Each area of the body is related to a zodiac sign. Astrology is the art of creating correspondences. Whatever exists can be traced back to the signs and planets in astrology. In astroshamanic touch the body becomes a map to access ecstatic states of consciousness. The method is quite grounding and pragmatic. By exploring it in this way, I can become aware that my body is more than what I acknowledge officially. And in this way, astroshamanic touch is linked to the discoveries in quantum physics and science.
Blessed Way of Passion
Astroshamanic Healing Touch / Soul Retrieval
Saturday, 8 April 2007
One of the basic assumptions of astroshamanic touch is that the physical body is a micro cell of whatever exists in the universe in the past, present and future. So, by starting from the body, I can connect with anything. All the possible physical bodies I can think of and have met in my life, and whatever exists on the physical level, in nature, in the mineral, vegetable or animal kingdoms, are contained in my physical body. This is not simply an assumption. It is also basically scientific. My body did not grow in isolation, as a separate, split entity. It is a result of a constant interaction with the environment. It came from the compost, the recycling of life. All the cells of my physical body are the result of this on-going process of transformation. Hence the physical body contains whatever I can see in the physical environment. By tapping into this physical reality of the body itself, I can connect with anything. The obstacle here is that there is a part of my mind that has a hallucinatory perception of the body, which is what causes the main problems in human life, as I see it. Actually all pain and suffering is caused by this distorted perception of how things are and how physical life is. This part of the mind, which is called ego, personality or separated identity, is based upon the belief of identifying with the body as separated from whatever exists around it. That is the ordinary identity that is linked to the physical body. But it is not linked to its interactions with the environment, but is a split identity, a split part of the whole.
Hence, all suffering and pain, as I see it and we can see shamanically, is the result of a belief in the view that sees everything as separated. There is no way pain can be released if this perception continues, because pain is the driving force of the ego, of the separated identity. This is what provides stress and gives power to the separated identity. The more I go into the separated identity, the more I am going to experience pain, even though I may have the conscious purpose of running away from the pain. The ego tries to stay trapped in the pain and is nourished by the pain. I call this identity the ego or the Human Arbitrary Configuration (HAC), the ego. This is a term I prefer because at times there is an ego that pretends not to be an ego. The ego tries to fool itself, so I created a new denomination that
I soon may have to change, as everything is very soon contaminated by the ego whenever it is given birth.
So why ‘arbitrary configuration’? Because it is is the result of a choice to be separated. The fact that it is arbitrary doesn’t mean that it is negative. When I speak about the ego, it doesn’t mean that it is bad. As long as there is a choice about being separated, as long as I am aware that I am identifying with HAC, or the ego, that is fine. Problems arise when I am not aware of this choice, when I become a victim of the ego. The problem is not whether I am separated or not separated. The problem is when I am the victim of a situation that I am not aware of having created myself. Basically, the shamanic way is traditionally described as a way of power, yet the power is based on the possibility to make a choice to be separated or not to be separated. Both choices are ok, as long as I am free to make those choices.
Things are not as easy as such. In my life, as a result of this strong pull of the separated identity, I often feel like a victim, that there is no choice. This is escalated by the fact that this situation is triggered by fears and very strong emotions that are difficult to deal with unless I try hard and unless I have a deeper understanding. This understanding cannot only be mental. It involves the secret or the power of dealing with strong emotions.
In astroshamanism, the physical body is linked with whatever exists within and without, contrary to the ordinary perception that sees it as separated. With my body, I can connect with anything. Yet there is something I need to understand: when I talk about the physical body in shamanic terms, I am not referring to the one we can see with our eyes. This is not the body at all. It is the result of our belief systems which are based on separation. Most human belief systems are based on the belief in separation and see the body as as single unit detached from the environment.
When you fall sleep you won’t see anything with your eyes at all, you enter into a totally different world. This is not given much importance in ordinary life. But even if you keep your eyes open and begin to relax, after a while, things may start to get a bit out of focus. People who naturally have an out-of-focus sight wear glasses in order to adapt to what has been officially declared as reality.
Others who don’t share the official focus for other reasons may try very hard to see whatever everybody else sees. When I am not focused on anything that is happening in the so-called reality, I may begin to see other things. I may not really be interested in seeing the difference between objects. If I am aware of those moments, I may begin to see things more jellyfish-like. What I see begins to melt with the background. That’s another part of reality, another way of seeing things that doesn’t serve the official reality, where everything is to be identified. I wouldn’t be able to operate in ordinary reality, or HAC, if I were not able to distinguish things.
Another characteristic of the ordinary reality is that everything has a separated identity. This goes with our language. When I said that what I see is the result of what I believe, then the software of what I believe is made up of language. That’s the human language we speak. Most human languages spoken nowadays, in the past 3000 years, support dynamics based on separation. Everything we see is the equivalent of a dictionary. Everything has a name: candle, car, carpet. Therefore, whenever I see something, I immediately have a label for it. There is no time to really understand what it is that I am saying because the label comes first. When there are things that don’t belong to the dictionary, alas, these things are not seen. They are not identified as they do not pertain to the dictionary, to the software I have. I may see these things at times, yet as soon as the software goes into action they will be annihilated because there is no space. They are cryptic messages, and I don’t have the tools to identify them with my conscious mind. With my unconscious mind I have a greater chance to access all the information that is not processed by my ordinary mind. And the body is a major tool to obtain this information. Because although my mind believes that the body is separate, and my body does its best to comply with what my mind believes, the body cannot help being connected with whatever surrounds it. The body is constantly receiving enormous amounts of information that is not processed by the ordinary mind. It can’t help doing this, even though my mind may be preoccupied with labels.
I retrieved some memories from my childhood about learning words. In order to learn words, my parents gave me 8-sided cubes with images of things and the corresponding words on them. I was more interested in playing with the cubes themselves and looking at the colours and the images than the words, the codes. But after a while I became fascinated by the symbols, letters and fonts. To me it was a secret language. For example, I could see the image of a dog, but I couldn’t read the word for it. So I was playing with this, and thought there was a great mystery behind it all. Yet it was a real effort for me to distinguish between things, to identify them as separate.
I would look at a candle, a candle holder, a table, a flame, a wick, a flower, and see it as one thing. Discriminating between these objects was an absolute mystery to me. I saw them as a whole.
One thing happened that created a ‘cube crisis’. I asked my parents what the name for the thing was that triggered most of my interests and that was of great importance to me. I asked them what the word for ‘void’ was. I was puzzled by the fact that there wasn’t a cube called ‘the void’. My father didn’t understand. After much explanation, he came up with the word ‘nothing’, which for me was the most powerful of all the possible things that could be described. But it seemed to create embarrassment whenever I talked about it. To cut a long story short, when I was a child, as most children do, I would see many things in this nothingness. Whenever I drew the adults’ attention to this nothing, I would receive the label ‘nothing’. There were so many things in this nothing. Later I began to understand what it meant in the HAC sense.
The key to understanding the functioning of the multidimensional, physical body is in this nothingness. The nothingness actually veils something that could create a crisis in my belief system of separation. With our ordinary sight we don’t see it. But even though we can’t see it, we can feel it, and in fact we feel it all the time. And the eyes are not the only part of the body that can see. The eyes are just two little dots. If you cover your eyes, you don’t see with them anymore, yet something continues to happen in your body. There are many other parts that can see. One of the reasons why most parts are covered is because they could see a lot. The only thing that is available is the face. When I think of somebody, I think of the face. It’s the way in which I identify people. The identity of a person comes when I see a picture of a face – not the picture of someone’s foot. In the face there are all the devices that support our perceptions of life, which have been domesticated to see in a certain way. Even if the rest of the body is covered, it still manages to see and perceive something. There is a way in which information seeps through anyway.
So, even though I don’t see what is in the void, I can feel it. What are the feelings that are related to the void? Any emotion I may feel. I could actually see it if I had a different belief system. Supposing I feel very sad now. The ego would conclude: I am sad, or I am sad because of this or that. Actually, any emotion is the result of something I see. At the moment there are 19 physical bodies present (referring to the participants in the room), but there are also emotional bodies that are not hooked into our bodies. They are free and independent and I don’t see them. So when I feel an emotion, I identify it as my emotion. It’s the same as with ghosts and ideas – they could be seen. Some people have the capacity to see those things in detail.
So in shamanic terms, whatever is experienced is part of reality. There are certain things I can see with my eyes, and if I can’t see them, I can feel them. One of the major arts at this level is to stop identifying whatever I feel or think as ‘me’. The ego is insatiable, voracious, and devours and identifies everything with itself. Whereas the way in which the web of life functions, there is a whole network, and this ‘me’ is just a channel. Emotions come, anything comes, but they are not me. Or they are me as long as I am everything. Problems arise the moment I block things, when I identify with something. Emotions move, yet in most cases they are blocked by human beings. If I am sad I become a sad person. I just feel sad when I say ‘I am sad’. This creates a block. And this process is amplified by the fact that most people believe in this and identify others with what they express. That creates a conspiracy of identifying with blocking energies.
One of the things in astroshamanic touch that I would like to stress is to be very careful with what the eyes constantly do. The eyes are very dangerous in shamanic work. That’s why most shamanic work happens in darkness with eyes closed. Most of the damage that is done in human life comes from the eyes. The eyes have the capacity to label things, judging things according to a given configuration or programme. At the beginning it’s very difficult to do the healing work, to release this belief system if the eyes are at work. That’s why darkness is created, or eyes are kept closed so that I can retrieve the capacity to see in other ways. This takes time. First I need to retrieve the experience of what I am not seeing and learn gradually to disconnect the belief system from the eyes and start seeing in new ways. That’s one of the reasons why the eyes are kept closed in most circumstances during astroshamanic touch, and when they are open, great care is needed.
Something that is typical in many shamanic traditions, and is at times regarded as primitive or superstitious, is the evil eye, called malocchio in Italian. It is something that is quite popular in southern Italy and is based upon the belief that if someone looks at me in a bad way, I am going to be affected. One of the things that triggers malocchio is envy. If someone looks at me with envy – envy being a typical feature of separation – it is going to affect me. I could get ill. So in southern Italy, like in Naples or Sicily, when people meet they tend to complain about things like their health so as not to tempt the evil eye.
The evil eye happens spontaneously, it is not done on purpose. There is an advanced version of the evil eye, called fattura in Italian, which means purposefully damaging someone. I do something consciously in order to create harm. It’s a conscious evil eye, something that is done in rituals. But the most dangerous form is the one that happens unconsciously. Most pain and suffering is created in this
unconscious way and happens through the eyes. Most of the damage is created by things we are not aware of. This is one of the reasons why the eyes are kept closed in astroshamanic touch.
Another thing regarding astroshamanic touch is that by closing the eyes, I lose the identification with where I end or where someone else begins. By closing my eyes I open up to what I sense and feel around me. And as a result the body also relaxes and begins to open up. The body is no longer constricted to the ordinary vision. The body begins to feel and experience something else, and gradually I may be able to venture into an alternative configuration, which has to do with unity and the identity I have beyond the separated self. The aim of this work is actually to connect with this other identity. There is the ego identity, and there is another identity that acknowledges something bigger. I call it the core multidimensional identity, CMI.
CMI is a central identity which is based upon a multidimensional perception. Multidimensional means that I consider different layers of reality. The fact that this reality is a result of a belief system doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. Problems arise when I am stuck here, when I am the victim of this reality and cannot go elsewhere. Hence much suffering comes from this. And considering the fact that there is evidence that this physical body has a date of expiry, because people die, being stuck here is not particularly pleasant. Even if I am having a good time, I know that I am going to die. There is a kind of deadline, and as a result there is also fear. And often, when people die, they suffer quite a lot. The reality based on separation is run by this fear, unless I find another way out, or find another kind of identification. The multidimensional identity is a part of me that exists here but also has the awareness of something else, of other parts of me that exist in other realities. The purpose of astroshamanic work is to reawaken this awareness, to retrieve the awareness of the multidimensional body, the part of us that can journey to other places. Yet the belief system that is currently at work on the planet in most cultures is that there is only one reality.
With astroshamanic touch the purpose hence is to start from the body, and then begin to look for gateways. This is a very glamorous word for portal or stargate. These are entrances into the multidimensional realm. Points that allow me to link with a wider identity. These points, like a door, allow a connection with another environment. So if I am in environment 1, and there is another door in environment 1, then I can go to environment 2. So that implies that in this separate reality there are gateways that allow me access to other dimensions. These gateways may be shut, or maybe it’s like in an Egyptian pyramid, where something that looks like a wall suddenly opens when you move a brick. At times it’s just an ordinary door, and it seems so obvious that nobody would feel that it’s a portal. The aim is to find portals here in this reality. That’s why astroshamanic touch starts with the body itself and in particular with working with the hands. Once I know where the portals are I can move into other realities and return. I can discover new passages to other realities.
Another thing that is important in astroshamanic touch is the power of the imagination. This is not a fantasy. The imagination is the result of what I don’t see with my eyes. It is what I see with my inner eye. Anything at all that I can imagine exists here. And I could see it if only I were strong enough to believe in it, and if there were enough people to believe in it as well. So the power of the imagination allows me to connect with the multidimensional realm. And the aim of astroshamanic touch is to allow the body to directly experience
things that belong to other dimensions that are connected with my imagination. For example I can imagine I am a king, an emperor, an animal, or anything. We can all imagine this. Everything I imagine has a link with the body, and the body can actually experience whatever I imagine, as long as I allow it to do so.
Shape-shifting is also related to astroshamanic touch. This is one of the most ancient and glamorous shamanic practices. It is allowing physical matter to change at will, according to what I decide to be as a direct result of the imagination. This is illegal in our reality. It is not allowed, and as a result I have lost the capacity to do it. Nobody teaches it. The aim is not for us to transform into pigs, or any other animal. The aim is to realise that by remaining in my physical body, I can have the experience of what it means to be a horse, simply because all the elements of whatever exists on earth are in my body. And there are parts of the body that I don’t use anymore because they are not coherent with my being a human being. This can be reawakened and experienced. Actually, some of these parts are still used by certain tribal people who have kept that connection. These parts were used by human beings thousands of years ago. That’s another thing that can happen in astroshamanic touch: we can retrieve certain parts.
Another aspect, which is one of the most pleasant things, is entering into a state of ecstasy. This is the basic purpose of shamanism. One of the most prestigious books written about shamanism is Shamanism -The Art of Ecstasy by 33333333, who is probably one of the greatest authorities on shamanism. In his view, shamanism is a way of bliss, of ecstasy. The ecstasy comes from feeling at one with all existence, yet not intellectually, but in a physical, vibrational, orgasmic way. The aim is to feel orgasmic with the body. Astroshamanic touch is hence aimed at triggering a lost sensuality, which I call the sensuality of the void. There is a constant sexual intercourse in nature. This is happening at all times, even if my brain thinks otherwise. When I practice astroshamanic touch, I can enter into this orgasmic feeling, and if it happens, it is totally ok. It is a very empowering experience and is one of the most important things for me. I had many devastating problems with sex when I was young, which resulted in times of total chastity, not having sex for two years, even punishing myself for thinking about it. I was in a very fundamental Christian community between the ages 17-19, where sex was considered a mortal sin. Then I would go from one excess to the other. So I felt there was something powerful here. I wanted to run away from it, then I got sucked back into it. I felt that the moment in which I could find an answer to how to use this energy would be the moment when I could say that something has happened in my life. I swore that I would find an answer to it, because I had so many painful moments.
I believe that one of the most powerful things that can happen sexually is feeling freedom, of not feeling dependant upon anyone. One of the most devastating things for me was being dependant on someone for sex. The moments that were most insightful for me were when I would experience a sense of cosmic energy by being on my own. It was not masturbation. It was a sense of not feeling dependant on anyone. I could experience love and ecstasy for no reason at all, just out of the blue. This was one of the most powerful experiences for me. If this could continue, if I could manage to find the key to go into that, well, that would be absolute freedom for me and others. I could relate to people without being attached to them. I could be loving out of my own generosity, out of abundance and not out of being dependant on somebody. And basically, in working with shamanism, although there is still a lot of work to do, I’ve seen ways in which this can happen. They are not fantasies. I regularly have problems accessing that, yet I know that there is a path that can take me there. And that’s the basic purpose of astroshamanic touch, to tap into these areas of unconditional love and ecstasy from which I can heal. And even if it doesn’t exist, there is a part of me that still wants to work towards it. I can’t imagine a better way for this world and the planet to be – to have access to this unconditional source of energy and to share it with other people. This is where the intention behind astroshamanic touch comes from. I believe it is the aspiration of all human beings that live on this planet.
The elements of astroshamanic touch are simple. It can be very complex when it goes deeper, yet it starts in a very simple way. This involves the awareness of three stages as well as the employment of two hands. So we will work with two and three in the beginning, and gradually expand to four and eight, twelve, and so on. Three is a very powerful number in most shamanic traditions. It provides a key about orders. The characteristic of our reality is that it consists of two polarities. Black and white, right and left. Everything is in binaries in our separated reality. It’s based on conflict, on opposition. That’s what keeps this reality alive. So whenever I move into the three, I create a portal. The three is a mystery. The holy spirit is represented by the number 3, and is the only one without a clear identity. The father and the son have iconic images, but not the holy spirit. It is a bit of a mystery. It is connected with the third polarity and also with the void. I can identify polarities like man/woman, yet there is something else that is neutral and is difficult to identify according to my belief system. That’s the key. It’s not that it’s more important than the other two, it’s just that it’s the lost element. When there is an exchange between two people in astroshamanic touch, they are not working as two, they are working in as three. Astroshamanic touch involves the participation of the void. It involves the third party. And all crises in human relationships are the result of having left out the third party.
There was a popular political philosopher in the renaissance, Medici period in Florence called Niccolo Machiavelli. He was very popular because he developed strategies for politicians and dictators. His strategy was that in order to rule, the prince (he wrote a small booklet entitled The Prince) had to make sure that there were always two parties in conflict with each other. He would support both to a certain extent, but always remain in the background. As long as two polarities were fighting with each other, they would remain so involved with each other that they didn’t have the time nor the awareness to see what was happening beyond the conflict. The aim of this work is to find ways to uncover the things that keep me from taking part in the main action. If I invite the awareness of the third polarity, if I allow the void to participate, I can become aware of what the main action is. Our language is binary and cannot describe what the third polarity is. Hence I can only come to understand experientially what it really is.
There are three stages. One is called the intent and is connected with my conscious nature. Therefore it is identified with any wish that I may have, with anything that I consider good. It doesn’t matter whether it belongs to the ego or to the multidimensional identity. It is whatever I consciously want, whether bad or good. The second stage has to do with whatever I left out. It is usually the other polarity. Whatever is left out is usually something that I am aware of, yet the tendency is to project it onto other people (‘I am good, she is bad.’), or to internalise it by splitting myself into two parts, one that is good, one that is bad, thereby creating a conflict with my two natures. This conflict takes a lot of energy. Most of my life has to do with dealing with these two parts. Hence the strategy of shamanic work is to give these two parts space. There is no way I can connect with the third part if these two parts are so noisy. First I allow these parts to express and to spit out whatever they want to say until there is some silence. Then the third polarity can emerge. Hence it is strategic for working with the three stages to give space to each part so that in the end the third polarity can come. The third stage is less noisy. It is actually quite silent. For every person things are different, yet the purpose is to allow the three to work together, to create a connection between them.
I would now like to open up to some questions before we go into something practical:
Question 1 is about allowing the expression of the third stage.
Response:The third stage has to do with integrating whatever is happening. The first stage is the intent, it is what I want. The second stage may be what I don’t want, or what I don’t want to see. Fears, or anything that doesn’t belong to my conscious self. Things that I am in conflict with and that disturb me. The third part doesn’t come in a coherent process. Often this is the result of the integration of the two. Once the two have been expressed and identified, then there is space for healing that allows the emergence of the third party. This process is related to different states of consciousness. The first two stages are related to ordinary states consciousness. The third state is related to an expanded state of consciousness. It is a very slow vibration. There is no way that I can connect with the multidimensional unless I put the two polarities together and acknowledge them both. If I am involved in the conflict, I don’t have a way out via the third party. That is why, with many shamanic techniques, the purpose is to acknowledge both polarities, even though their expression may in fact escalate the conflict. But the point is to acknowledge them, to allow their expression. And then, without fixing anything, the emergence of a third configuration takes place. It’s interesting to see how often epiphanies, visions or ecstatic experiences come from moving through times of pain, terror and fear. If one manages to go there and accept it, instead of trying to run away from it, then spontaneously a totally different landscape will emerge. Instead of experiencing this area of darkness, which happens when the second stage comes randomly, shamans look for it on purpose. They consciously choose to go into these spaces. They experience this energy and thus another awareness is triggered. Shamanically, the area of darkness is the fuel that allows the access to the other dimensions. It’s the composting bit that can contribute to the emergence of another reality. This is very important.
Question 2 is about the ego.
Response: In my perception, the point is not whether to go into the ego or not go into the ego. Being able to move freely between the two is important, to have liberty of movement to move between the ego and the non-ego. The ego wants to keep separation at work and creates very advanced tricks which at times involve fighting against the ego itself. In fact there are 12 types of ego. The Aries ego is the easiest one. That is totally me, the honest ego. But when it moves into Pisces, it’s the most sophisticated type of ego because it denies the ego, the I-part of the ego. The point is to be able to circulate freely. There may be moments when it is good to be in the ego, when being separated may serve a function. What causes pain is when I get stuck in separation and I get fearful. The aim is to move freely between the three, so they can all express themselves.
Question 3: Is it more difficult or easier to obey social rules when you learn move between different states?
Response: Each reality serves a purpose, and being multidimensional means acting according to the reality in which I am. There are certain things which are not comfortable with certain realities. If we play soccer, it doesn’t make sense to say, ‘why don’t we touch the ball with our hands?’ and thus create problems. The rule of the game is not to touch the ball with the hands. I can choose to play another game like basket ball, but I have to go into another environment, to the basketball court, in order to play this game. One of the arts for shamans or healing operators is to be double or triple agents. We pretend to be a waiter or a teacher, and then we do other things in the meantime, we obtain information from other realities. That is the art. In contrast, the ego plays only one role, exists in only one reality. Like an actor, a shaman can play many roles, but he doesn’t confuse it with roles he has played in other movies. Problems arise when I create confusion between realities and I operate in the modality of one reality that has nothing to do with the reality that I am in. If I get confused about my role my environment may react accordingly.
Take the best position possible, allow the body to dictate how you are going to be in this room, either by lying down or sitting. Take a moment and consider how you feel physically. Withdraw your attention from all that is happening outside and take a moment to see what is going on physically. Most of you have been here for 24 hours, which is a whole cycle. Usually, after being somewhere for this length of time, the body has had time to adjust. The body has lain a foundation of integration in one place. Certain parts of the body are activated at certain times of the day. It’s like a watch that moves two times in twelve hours within one day. Similarly, all the parts of the body are covered twice in 24 hours. Once I have stayed in a place for 24 hours I am fully integrated and can move into the third polarity.
Take a moment to claim your space in this Cluny environment. Sit, lie, be here in any way that is good for you. Having been here for one day, your body has started to begin a relationship with the physical environment and also with the unseen environment. Let’s just acknowledge all that is happening. I invite us also to be aware of our breath. Breath is actually the major evidence that the body is connected to the void. By breathing, we take in things that are outside in the nothingness and allow it to circulate. Simply acknowledge that by breathing you are becoming a part of this environment and that this environment is becoming a part of you. One of the most powerful ways of connecting with multidimensional worlds is simply by breathing. As we breathe, the breath moves throughout the void that exists in the body, which is 99.9 %. Breathing is an acknowledgement of the emptiness within you.
Be in this space for a while. Then I will begin to introduce other elements. And as we breathe, I invite you to allow movement of the breath throughout all parts of the body. Sense the movement of breath throughout the organs and tissues. Allow breath to flow in and out. Observe this process.
Then gradually I invite you to be more involved with breathing, not only observing and being aware of it. Actually accompany your breath. Allow more participation, invest more energy into the action of breathing, follow the breath, stalk it. Also allow it to become deeper and more expanded as a result of your involvement. Become your breath, allow it to become your identity. As you continue to breathe and become breath, you can regard your body as the container of this identity, which is now breath. Sense also how the physical body is touched by the air.
Now I invite you to gradually become aware of the edges of the body; whatever touches the surface of the body. The closest void that you can perceive right on the edge of your body is the skin. Continue to breathe and sense the inner and outer edges of the physical body. The inner edge contains all the inner void, the outer edge borders the outer void. Allow the body to become the mediator between the inner and the outer void. Allow the body to be the subtle membrane between the two. The edge is the bridging point between the two realities, inner and outer void. And as you continue to breathe, I would like you to become aware of the openings through which the outer and the inner connect. Acknowledging the most obvious opening and also less obvious openings. Become aware of the areas of your body that are more at work in the process of bridging.
And after this period of awareness, I invite you to allow all beings and energies to be awakened and activated. So far your attitude has been neutral, and now I invite you to connect with any idea or feeling that may come up. Open up to anything that is good for you, anything that triggers passion in this moment right now. Continue to breathe.
Now allow for the circulation of your intent, whatever triggers passion. Now there is a choice. You leave the space of neutrality. Instigate change, choose to support something that you feel strongly about. Allow your whole body to open up to your intention, including the inner and outer void. Allow the light of your intent to illuminate your being. I invite you to increase the involvement with your intent, to move the water of your being, allowing breath to move the water and your emotions.
At this point I invite you to allow your physical body to respond to your intent, whatever it is. Move into your body. Stretch yourself and align with your intention, so that any movement that you do is an expression of the intention. You may change your posture. The aim is to allow your body to become a representation of your intent. Hence, I invite you to choose a posture that best expresses your intent. You can also lie still. Now your body becomes the communicator of your intent. And as you do that, notice what happens in your body. Are there any developments? First send out the message, then you may receive responses. Allow your body to be totally engaged with your intent. I will amplify the intensity of the sound as you amplify the intensity of your body and you communicate your intent in your own way.
Now I am going to decrease the sounds until there is only the sound of the environment, and I invite you to stay with whatever has emerged and adapt to this new sound environment. In the next couple of minutes I invite you to identify your intent. You can change things. Acknowledge what you are passionate about. You don’t need to share it but I invite you to simply feel it. Give total space to what you are passionate about and you decide to activate in your life.
So in a while there will be a new sound. When the sound starts I would like you to open your eyes and use your body to express the intention. The only thing I invite you not to do is damage objects in the room or interact with other people. Be on your own, with your own intention, move any way you want through the room. The invitation is to fully express your intention.
Now I would like you to find a partner as you continue to remain in this space. Face each other. Connect with your intent, and stay with your intention and your body. Close your eyes and begin to communicate your intent, keeping the eyes closed. Use your body to do this. I am going to touch some of you. And those who I touch will become the… (cut)
The intent is whatever I like, whatever is good for me. It is whatever I decide to focus upon and is a result of a choice. It is not something that I am forced to do.
There are two categories of intent. One kind of intent is one that is clear to me: for example, to be in a relationship or to live in a house by the sea. In this category I know what I want to focus upon. This can be short-term or it may take longer. We can also look at intents according to the process of realisation, but we are now just talking about intents that are clear to us.
There is another kind of intent that is not clear. If I don’t know what I want, then the intent becomes a question and is ‘What is my intent?’. This creates a focus. The idea is to use both. On the one hand, I focus on what I want, and on the other hand, I leave the door open and allow anything to emerge that has to do with what may really be my intent. My perception of what I want may be limited, and this attitude allows things to flow.
In the beginning it is important to work with something that I am passionate about in this moment. The aim of the intent is to create passion and energy. I use my initial intent as a bait, and later I may want to redirect my intent in another direction. Therefore, it isn’t important what the intent is. The desires I have are often a symbolic representation of something that is veiled. We use these symbols as a bait. As long as I am alert I can direct the intent in another direction.
There is no need to waste too much time on defining the intent. Some people don’t know what to choose and remain blocked for a long time. The challenge of the intent is when it confronts me with the risk of failing. It isn’t a failure, but the ego sees it as a failure. I fail if I remain blocked. A mistake will not block the intent. If I move and make a mistake, then I can redirect it on the right course of action. One of the things when working with astroshamanism is dealing with all the desires I have, even if it doesn’t make any sense according to my higher self. Whatever creates passion is something I need to face in order to see where it leads. Once I know the itinerary of the passion, I have uncovered a grid, and I have released the block to a portal. The energy can flow and I cannot be disturbed by that wish any more. Many of our wishes become obsessions because they are never honoured and haunt me until I find out where they lead.
With this type of work, the intent is used as energy. The energy can be redirected towards something that may be higher. So this work is very experiential. It is not based upon a belief system that has defined what is right or wrong. It is tested on the spot. I can discriminate between my responses due to my conditioning and what emerges from the experience.
When there is a very strong wish and intent, there is also a part of me that is afraid of that intent because it could unveil precious information regarding who I really am. The ego is afraid to take certain risks because it aims at keeping things the way they are. Hence when I am confronted with something that I am really passionate about, on the one hand I feel the attraction, on the other I may feel a lot of fear. This is an indication of energy and power. The way in which I can identify reservoirs of energy is through deep desires, wishes and cravings.
In the beginning it is best to work with an intent that I feel safe with, and not one that triggers a lot of emotion. The latter are best left for more advanced work. It is good to deal with something that I can pursue without much trouble, something that 51% of my being can support. This is tantamount to connecting with a force that can support me, and that shamanically is called spirit guide, power animal (although it is not necessarily an animal) or core multidimensional identity.
So the first step is to connect with an intent, something that I want or something that I want to know (‘What is my intent?’), and also to connect with a force that is beyond my little mind, called the spirit guide, which can give me a wider perspective. When I have these two ingredients, spirit guide and intent, then I can do the work. If I just have the intent and don’t connect with the spirit guide, I remain stuck in my own conditioning. I would remain in a kind of vicious circle where nothing really happens. It’s the connection with the spirit guide that can create change.
So how does it work with astroshamanic touch? The intent and the spirit guide are not visible. They are part of my imagination. The help that is given to make them more understandable in this physical reality is to identify them with parts of the body. You may have experienced this already during the exercises we did. We defined a part of the body as representing the intent. This is an arbitrary decision: in our case it is the right hand. It has nothing to do with the right hand itself. It could just as well be the left hand. It simply allows a group of people to have a common signifier for the intent. Thus we create a common language.
Defining the right hand as the representation of the intent can be very powerful because it allows something abstract to be grounded in an area of the physical body. Whenever the right hand touches something it can transmit the intent. Instead of moving with my body unconsciously, I can move with awareness, and when I am aware I can allow my intent to express itself and create power.
There is a guide associated with the right hand and another one with the left hand. We use the right hand because it is the easiest to start with. The stage of the intent, and the guide that is associated with my right hand, is the one that is closest to my nature, my personality, and the ego. It is a bridge between my ordinary identity and something else.
There are many guides, as there are many multidimensional parts of me. Some of them may be quite scary because they are so different from the way I am now, so I don’t start with them. One of the things that creates a block to my multidimensional self is fear and terror. The fear is that I may go far away in order to connect with a spirit guide. I may become afraid that I will fall, collapse and never return. This is a scenario that the ego creates.
So what is missing in the connection with multidimensional realities are portals and gates that are closer to my reality. I start from where I am now. I can go anywhere as long as I know my starting point and where the path to my destination is. And if I move too far away from what I am, I can quickly return to my ordinary identity even if I have ventured into areas that I am not comfortable with.
The first stage, the stage of the intent, aims at uncovering these portals. I focus on what I want and connect with an ally, which is a force that is totally supportive of my intent. There are certain things that I may not want but which may be very good for my multidimensional identity. However, I don’t start with these things. I can know more about the things that scare me once I have faced the things that I am willing to work with. This way I work with something that is good for me, rather with something I can’t really feel, or something that other people have defined as the ‘right’ intent.
Question about the intent:
If I don’t know yet what my intent is, I can look into the past and trace back something that provided pleasure. My intent is based on my direct experience of something that gave me a feeling of empowerment and enjoyment. We wouldn’t be able to survive if we didn’t have these moments of beauty. Memory is very powerful. It is one of the most important shamanic techniques. If I manage to connect with a moment in my life in which I was happy, then I have found a portal. I then only need to find out how to trigger that moment again. From a shamanic perspective time is a line through which I can move. There is no limitation into time. If I was happy in a moment in my life, that energy is still there, and I can create an electrical grid. It works like electricity. I can be cut off from an electrical source of power, and as a result there is no light. But the moment I trace that source of power and create connections with wires I can have light, no matter how far away the source of power is. Yet there is a belief system that states that what is past is gone forever. This is one of the greatest lies that has ever been told. So it is ‘illegal’ to go into the past, or it is labeled as being nostalgic. But by being nostalgic I can actually tap into the power I had, say 20 years ago, and then allow that power to arrive here in the present. This is one way to help find the intent.
Question about sounds:
There are various states of consciousness that are activated by sound. For example, talking has a deeper frequency than the frequency of ordinary reality. Most sounds heard in human reality such as electrical sounds help sustain a perception that allows us to see reality as it is. And as a result reality remains the same. There are certain sounds that trigger another type of vibration. The drum is one of them. It introduces the 4th dimension, which is the realm of emotions. Drums can trigger all kinds of emotions, blissful as well as quite disturbing emotions. People react differently. There are basically three types of sound. One type of sound brings me closer to my intent, and allows me to connect with something that is powerful for me. This is the first stage. Then there are sounds that allow me to connect with the edge, the area of the threshold, the area that is in between: where I am now and where I am at a wider level. These are sounds that create strong emotions, often of fear, terror or disturbance. They have to do with the second stage. Then there are sounds that connect to the third stage and are at a higher vibration.
The shamanic itinerary – this is described in all shamanic cosmologies – starts from this world, where I feel safe because I know the environment. It may not be a good place, but even if I am uncomfortable here, I know it and I have a sense of security. That is the first stage of the shamanic itinerary. The second part involves moving into an area of crisis. This is the second stage and relates to the lower world. From the lower world I find my way into the higher world. It is not linear, it is circular. The way out is by facing what is denied. So when moving into this type of work, the key is that all energies are useful. It is not important what kind of energy it is, but rather what I direct it towards. If I want to go to Rome and am here in Scotland I have an itinerary. In order to get to Rome, I may have to cross countries that I don’t like, and which may be very disturbing to me. But there is no other way, I have to cross those territories. However, before moving into uncomfortable zones, I need to make sure I am protected and supported. This is what is important in the first stage. The journey through this dark area may be very easy if I have the right protection. It doesn’t mean that I have to suffer. Suffering comes from not being protected, and there is a tendency not to look for protection because I don’t believe in spirit guides, or part of me doesn’t trust the guide yet. Problems develop mainly when I go alone. That’s why it is essential to connect with a spirit guide that can support me before I move anywhere in the shamanic world, especially into uncomfortable areas.
So the invitation is to connect with the spirit guide and to only move into spaces that are dangerous if you feel protected. You don’t have to demonstrate that you can move through darkness. The most important thing to demonstrate is that I can protect myself. Protecting doesn’t mean accommodating though. It involves wanting to change something. If I am happy about how life is for me, if I have all the answers, then there is no need to do shamanic work. I can ask for protection, yet there will be a challenge involved. It is a challenge that I decide to pursue. It is my choice, I am not the victim. It is my choice to connect with the spirit guide. The guide doesn’t come to me. I need to make a request for the guide to come to me. And I am not dependant upon the guide to choose me or not. It is not a revelation or blessing, a receiving of the holy spirit out of his grace. It is my initiative. This is a way to make sure that I am dealing with a guide that has integrity. There are many guides, many unseen beings, entities, disincarnated spirits. Being an unseen being does not necessarily qualify that entity as being good. There are many entities that don’t ask permission in order to provide guidance. They just come and tell you what to do. Most people obey. Some of the greatest tragedies on this planet are due to people listening to this kind of guidance, for example to kill someone. So the guide that I am looking for is the guide that I have invited, a guide that doesn’t invade me. This is a guide based on my choice. I need to remember that I have this power because the entire relationship with this guide is based on power. It means that when I need support, I need to call upon the guide without expecting the guide to come to me. It is my initiative. And my right hand reminds me constantly of the guide. This can make it easier.
Question about the higher and lower worlds:
The higher world is a space that is beyond the game of security and danger. It is unity and relates to the third stage. First I see things as split – bad/good. The third stage allows you to see everything as connected. It’s like with the body. The body is a part of the same unit. At times I may forget this, and I may sense that one part is struggling with the other, yet everything is connected. I can see that the parts of my body are connected because they are visible. It is more difficult to see the connection between things that I see as separate. First we acknowledge the separation. We connect with the part that is powerful and that we support and like. You may become aware that whatever the left hand represents may not belong to the intent. They don’t have to be united. They can be totally split. Yet, magically, experientially, once they are acknowledged, they begin to work together and after a while, unity is created. And then a whole vision comes. But for the time being we are dealing with the first part and the practice of connecting with the spirit guide, which is stage one.
How does it work? You are going to take a comfortable position. I suggest lying down. Then I will invite you to connect with something that you have experienced as empowering in your life. It can be something big or insignificant, as long as it was enjoyable. It doesn’t matter if you felt good about something that most people experience as negative. This way you will start vibrating with what your body has experienced as powerful. This is how you start to align with your intent. It is out of this recapitulation, this scanning, that you will begin to tune in with the vibration. Then you can take some time to acknowledge what intent you will decide to focus upon in this exercise. It doesn’t have to be the ultimate choice. You can choose again. If you don’t get anything, and if you want to know what your intent is, it can be a question. But there must be an element of passion, otherwise it won’t work. So either there is something that you are passionate about, or you are passionate about knowing what your intent is.
Once you have identified an intent in the past and in the present, the next step is to make a direct invitation to your spirit guide to establish a connection. Each one of us may have a different understanding of a spirit guide. It is your experience of what can support you that is powerful. Try not to force your guide to take a certain shape. It needn’t be an animal. There are only few shamanic cultures that used animals, and the reason why they used animals is because their life was full of animals. Animals were part of their ordinary life. The basic shamanic assumption is to use whatever is available in life. A guide may appear as a computer if I mostly live in that kind of an environment. So just open up to what comes to you without prejudices. The important thing when connecting with a guide is that I feel comfortable and not threatened. And if I expect to see an eagle or a buffalo, and a washing machine appears, I may be disappointed. Take a moment and experience the vibration. What happens to your body? If you sense your heart warming up, if you feel unconditional love, I invite you to go with the washing machine. But if you smell the washing powder and all the chemical smells and it disgusts you, find something else. You can also ask your guide to use the form and the shape that is comfortable for you. Guides can shape-shift into anything. Spirit guides number one are like very caring parents who always try to find ways to please the child. And once the connection with the guide has been established, the invitation is to open up to whatever comes from the guide. If nothing seems to happen, I invite you to monitor what happens while you keep repeating to yourself that nothing is happening. It is not possible that nothing happens, unless you are dead. The spirit guide does not necessarily have to be represented visually. I can also feel or smell it. There are five senses, and they can all be used for connecting with the guide. At times the ego likes to use the weaker sense so we will become disappointed when nothing seems to be happening. At first we need encouragement from the sense that is the strongest.
This technique simply involves establishing an intent based on the past and bringing it into the present, and asking for a connection with a guide. In the end we will allow that connection to be established in the right hand to the point that even if you didn’t get anything at all, at least the right hand will be the representation of the guide. So it’s a win-win situtation. The aim in the end is to allow anything that you have experienced – buffalo, washing machine – to be connected to the hand. We will allow the hand to express the intention.