07 Oct Shamanic Energy Medicine for Treating Trauma and Other Contemporary Afflictions, Part 3: Rings of Consciousness, Shamanic Journeying and Multigenerational Imprints on Consciousness

In this third blog of the series on Shamanic Energy Medicine for Treating Trauma and Other Contemporary Afflictions, I go more deeply into the perspectives behind and tools used for working with clients presenting with symptoms of PTSD, depression or anxiety.  This builds upon the second blog in which I...

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06 Aug Shamanic Energy Medicine for Treating Trauma and Other Contemporary Afflictions: Introduction

I have a mission to make contemporary western shamanic energy medicine relevant and understandable to practitioners in mainstream clinical psychology, psychotherapy, medicine, and science.  This desire has grown out of my personal journey as I sought healing from chronic anxiety, depression and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress...

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06 Aug Shamanic Energy Medicine for Treating Trauma and Other Contemporary Afflictions, Part 1: Keeping an Open Mind

This is the first blog in a series called Shamanic Energy Medicine for Treating Trauma and Other Contemporary Afflictions in which I seek to make contemporary western shamanic energy medicine relevant and understandable to practitioners in mainstream clinical psychology, psychotherapy, medicine, and science.  In this first blog, I provide a brief overview of what shamanic energy medicine is and how it can be applied. One day many months ago, I was cleaning my house and listening to a radio program on the problem of post-partum depression in women.  The researcher being interviewed had done a study of a large group of women who had experienced depression and more mental and emotional imbalances following the birth of their child.  These were women who otherwise had been happy to become mothers, loved their babies, and prior to their pregnancy and birth, had never had any serious problems of a psychological nature. One of the women told the researcher that a few months after the birth of her beloved daughter child, she suddenly started to have compulsive and horrible images of killing her daughter.  They would appear unexpectedly, such as one time when she was standing looking from bleachers down into a skating rink.  She suddenly had an image of throwing her daughter onto the ice and killing her.  Eventually, she told a social worker who referred her to therapy. She also was prescribed anti-depressants.  The researcher commented that she would need monitoring and support from drugs. I stopped vacuuming and said aloud to the room: "She needs a shamanic energy medicine session!"  I knew that in a single session, these disturbing images and feelings could be banished without long-term talk and drug therapy.  Hearing her story made me resolve to find a way to  make shamanic energy medicine and ceremony relevant to contemporary medicine, psychology, and recovery from trauma. I want to reach out to readers who are themselves practitioners in alternative and mainstream medical and therapeutic practice and who are interested in new and alternative ways to address various physical, emotional and spiritual illnesses and imbalances.  I believe there is a role for this contemporary therapeutic movement particularly in the treatment of trauma. This will be the first blog in a series on the topic.  
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06 Aug Shamanic Energy Medicine for Treating Trauma and Other Contemporary Afflictions, Part 2: The Science of Transgenerational Trauma

In my blog entitled "Dreaming Violence into Peace, Part 1", I shared that I had recently had a series of violent dreams which seemed to presage the beheading of the American journalist, James Foley in August, 2014.  That series is a call to all of us to understand how deeply we are impacted by violence and to dream together a new vision of peace--even if our immediate lives lack direct conflict.  This blog is also relevant to Dreaming Violence into Peace, but extends the topic to be useful in particular to clinical and medical practitioners working who wish to understand the impact of transgenerational legacies of trauma from the perspective of shamanic energy medicine.  In the first blog of this series, Shamanic Energy Medicine for Treating Trauma and Other Contemporary Afflictions, Part 1: Keeping an Open Mind, I provide some basic definitions and introductions to shamanic energy medicine and energy healing, in general.  In this blog, Part 2, I discuss contemporary scientific perspectives on transgenerational transmission of trauma, behavior, environment, and epigenetics. 
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19 Jun Meeting Puma Marca: Save the Mountains of Peru

Some people love the ocean.  I love mountains.  I have lived in and near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia for the past 30 some years.  They have taught me a lot--about endurance, faith, presence, spirit, hope, and love.  Whenever I strike out on a hike up and around these ancient beings, I connect to a transcendent yet grounded presence.  My troubles fade as I open my heart to a consciousness greater than my own.  I feel loved and taken care of.  I know I am part of the landscape of forests and streams, red quartz and shale, caves and crevices, Mountain Laurel and Solomon Seal, box turtles and deer, and the ruins of ancient, Appalachian farmers' homes. This deep mountain love has been true for as far back as I can remember.  Hence, when I discovered about 8 years ago that the indigenous peoples of Peru believe that the mountains are sacred beings who source and advise them, I was not surprised. I was happy and inspired.  Here was confirmation of something that I had long experienced intuitively but which the society I grew up in never gave credence to. When I finally was able to visit Peru this year, I was most excited to meet the Andes mountains, some of whose names I knew by heart: Ausangate, Salkantay, Huana Lipa, Huana Wari, Sacsaywaman, Illimani, and, of course--Macchu Picchu.  
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13 Oct From the Onion to the Red Rose: Spiraling Inward to the Open Heart

It is not uncommon for we spiritual seekers in the western world to want to leap to wholeness,  transcendence or enlightenment (whatever one may call it) in one fell swoop.  We want the spiritual highs of ecstasy, open heartedness, awesome visions, and lightness of being quickly and we want them to last forever.  We hope that somehow by engaging in daily spiritual practice, we will leap over or finally get past the messy, conflicted and conflictual human condition.  Another common belief is that once we have "dealt with" or fully "healed" some deep wound in ourselves, we will never have to return to that issue again--ever.  Ever, ever.
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08 Oct Dreaming Violence into Peace: A 3-Part Series

I woke up one night in 2014 from a terrifying dream in which I was trying to deter members of my community from allowing a nuclear bomb to be delivered and exploded in our midst.  It was one of those lucid dreams--strangely real. Please be aware as you start reading that there are graphic descriptions of violence in this post.  I had this dream while sleeping safely and comfortably at home in the pastoral backwash of central Virginia in the early 21st century United States.  I do not want to scare or offend anyone, but I do want to bring home the fact that the violence in our world, both past and present, affects each and every one of us in profound and often invisible ways.  As a healer specializing in trauma transformation and educator in higher education and other realms on the outer and inner dimensions of violence, I am deeply concerned about the escalation of war in the Middle East and other areas of the world--including in my own country.  If we are to stop this or at least make sense of it so that future generations do not make the same mistakes, we must each be brave and face the truth. Therefore, I hope you will read on even if some of it is painful and horrifying to read.  In the end, I suggest how we can take action in our own lives both individually and in community.  I invite you to walk with me hand in hand as I work to transform the wounds of our ancestors from millennia of violence and abuse in all forms.  
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