Discover Your Roots Through DNA Testing

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WHAT IS INDIGENOUS?

Being indigenous means being an original inhabitant of a particular place. Some indigenous people still live on the land that their ancestors were born on while many other indigenous people have migrated through multiple regions over tens of thousands of years. All of our roots can be traced back to single point in Africa. And we may have even originated off planet. Through migration and dispersion, people have migrated to inhabit the entire globe. Most inhabitants of North and South America are recent immigrants but were indigenous to other parts of the world. The point is, that all people are indigenous if they follow their roots far enough back through history.

Some people have inherited documented family histories or are born into a culture that has strong tribal or cultural affiliations. They are fully conscious of their physical identity. However, many people’s histories have not been recorded. Many, especially in the melting pot of the United States, have no information about their roots.

Many in our modern culture are now suffering from feelings of being out of touch with tribal ties and community, emptiness due to loss of ritual and ceremony, and disassociation with deep spirituality. These souls are looking for something to fill these voids. Many latch onto the practices of other indigenous cultures that are still in touch with their spirituality.

However, utilizing modern technology, there is a way to discover one’s hidden or lost indigenous roots. Follow these roots back far enough and you will most likely find a tribe or tribes that you originated from. Discovering these roots and researching these cultures will enrich one’s sense of belonging. You may even decide to add some old traditions, customs, and rituals to your modern life.

Being Caucasian, I became curious about my own roots. From word of mouth within my family, I had suspicions about my origins but no definitive proof. I wanted to know what indigenous blood I actually had. So I took DNA tests from three different companies.  The results indicate that my recent ancestors are all from Western Europe. Therefore I began to research tribes of Western Europe. Below is a map of major tribes in Europe. I add it here to illustrate my point that we all have indigenous roots, even “white” people.

European Tribes sml

The major pre-Christian spiritual traditions in Western Europe include Asatru, Celtic, Druidry, Heathenry, Paganism, Witchcraft, and Goddess worship.

All humans have tribal ancestry and genetic indigenous memory. However, many have lost touch with their indigenous soul. Western society is suffering from soul loss; a disconnect from the indigenous soul. That indigenous soul part has been displaced by patriarchal monotheistic religions. People are awakening and finding themselves starved for connection, ceremony, and rites of passage. It is now time to retrieve those lost soul parts through cultural affirmation.

The only way to save our future on Earth is to resurrect the tribe, re-indigenize the soul, and de-colonialize society. We must move from a Eurocentric consciousness to an Indigenous-Ecocentric consciousness or life on this planet will perish.

My next article will be about what characterizes an indigenous soul and how it compares to a soul that has lost its indigenous consciousness.

DNA FACTS

DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, is a double helix found in all of our cells.

DNA sml

99% of DNA is the same in all people. A soul inherits only half of its parent’s DNA; 50% from mother and 50% from father. A mother always passes down an X chromosome to all her children (both males and females). A father only passes down his X chromosome to his female children.

A mother can pass down the X chromosome with or without recombination. Without recombination, the X chromosome is from one maternal grandparent. With recombination, the X chromosome is a mixture of both maternal grandparents. A father always passes down the X chromosome without recombination.

Therefore, your DNA can differ significantly from your siblings.

DNA contains the following information:

  • Biological genetic heredity from ancestors.
  • Characteristics of ethnicity, haplogroup, migration paths, and geographic origins of ancestor line.
  • Biological sex chromosomes. (Not what determines gender identity.)
  • Predisposition to health issues or genetic anomalies.
  • Karmic imprints.
  • Astrological imprints. (DNA is a snapshot of the pattern of the solar system at birth.)
  • The Akashic Record of all lifetimes of the soul.
  • Physical home for the Higher Self and the Source/Creator/Great Spirit connection.

DNA TESTING

There are four main DNA tests available commercially. They are:

Y-DNA (Y Chromosome)

  • Traces male ancestors’ ancient migration paths from Africa
  • Identifies haplogroup and migration paths of paternal line
  • Since Y chromosome is required, if you are genetically female, you will need to have a male sibling get tested to identify the paternal line

mtDNA (Mitochondrial)

  • Traces female ancestors’ ancient migration paths from Africa
  • Identifies basic haplogroup and migration paths of maternal line

atDNA (Autosomal, 22 pairs non-sex chromosomes)

  • Identifies ethnic percentages and origins

X-DNA (X Chromosome)

  • Used for academic population genetics studies, extended forensic studies, and siblingship studies

There are four main companies doing DNA testing. The following is a list of what they offer:

23andMe www.23andme.com

  • Detailed breakdown of global ancestry, see if some of your DNA comes from Neanderthals
  • Find and connect with DNA relatives
  • Option to upgrade to add health reports for an extra cost

Ancestry DNA www.ancestry.com

  • Uncover your ethnic mix across 26 regions worldwide, including 9 unique regions of Africa
  • World’s largest consumer DNA network—over 3 million people and counting
  • Connect with distant relatives and new ancestors you never knew you had

Family Tree www.familytreedna.com

  • Interactive tools to find DNA matches, trace lineage through time, and determine family connections
  • Discover roots with the most comprehensive DNA ancestry test kit database in the world
  • Find distant relatives and connect with our DNA test Family Matching System
  • Family Tree DNA is the testing partner for National Geographic Genographic Project

DNA Tribes www.dnatribes.com

  • Tests autosomal STRs inherited from both maternal and paternal ancestors for the most detailed and comprehensive genetic ancestry analysis available
  • Our test compares your DNA to over 1,200 ethnic groups and 32 regions exclusive to DNA Tribes®
  • Algorithms updated in April of 2015 with over 80 new populations including Greenland, Netherlands, Poland, China, Somalia and Ghana and representing approximately 30,000 people

All testing kits are available to purchase from their respective websites. All kits, except DNA Tribes, are also available from Amazon.com. The kits are mailed to you, you collect your sample (either saliva or a cheek swab), then mail the sample to the company. It can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks to receive your results. Results are available on your personal account page on the company’s website.

The National Geographic Genographic Project also does mtDNA and Y-DNA testing. (https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com). However, they do not give results of ethnicity-ancestry.

I was tested by DNA Tribes and Ancestry DNA. The ancestry results did not match at all. DNA Tribes was reporting ethnicities that my family was not aware of (predominately Eastern European). Ancestry DNA was much more in line with what we knew of our family tree (predominately Western European). So I got tested by a third company, 23andMe. The results from 23andMe were very close to Ancestry DNA results. In addition, 23andMe gave additional interesting information such as what percent Neanderthal genetic material is in my DNA. For an additional cost, they will also test for health issues that may be inherited.

Ancestry DNA has a feature that assists you in finding relatives based on the results of your DNA testing. I did not pursue this as I am not doing genealogy of my family tree.

Below is a chart comparing the four companies. Bottom line I recommend 23andMe and/or Ancestry DNA.

Chart of DNA Test Comparisons

23andMe Ancestry DNA DNA Tribes Family Tree
Cost $99 $79 $119 $90
Sample Collection Saliva Saliva Cheek Swab Cheek Swab
Maternal Tree (mtDNA) Yes No No Additional Cost
Paternal Tree (Y-DNA)* Yes No No Additional Cost
Ancestry-Ethnicity (atDNA) Yes Yes Yes Yes
X-DNA Partial Matches No Unknown Partial Matches
% Neanderthal Yes No No No
Health Info Additional Cost No No No

*Paternal Tree requires Y (male) chromosome

DNA DAY

National, International, and World DNA Day is celebrated on April 25. It commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 and the discovery of the double helix of DNA in 1953. The first DNA Day was celebrated in 2003 and is now organized by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).

RECOMMENDED READING

Blaine T Bettinger – Guide to DNA Testing & Genetic Genealogy

Nancy Hendrickson – Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com: How to Find Your Family History on the No. 1 Genealogy Website

Dr. D. Barry Starr – A Handy Guide to Ancestry and Relationship DNA Tests

Spencer Wells – Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project

 

QUOTES

With DNA, the ability to find out a lot more with a lot less has increased our ability for identification. –Patricia Cornwell

We are spiritual beings whether we want to admit it or not, and inherent in our DNA is a design to return us home – home to our true essence, our greatest self, our limitless self. –Debbie Ford

It’s good to know where you come from. It makes you what you are today. It’s DNA, it’s in your blood. –Alexander McQueen

Our own genomes carry the story of evolution, written in DNA, the language of molecular genetics, and the narrative is unmistakable. –Kenneth R. Miller

We are in worldwide ecological and social crises. Only a return to the indigenous soul can save us. –Miranda Moon

Some of us have buried our humanity deep inside, or medicated or anesthetized it, but every person alive today, tribal or modern, primal or domesticated, has a soul that is original, natural, and, above all, indigenous in one way or another. –Martin Prechtel

These two-legged will be called the Rainbow Tribe, for they are the product of thousands of years of melding among the five original races. These children of Earth have been called together to open their hearts and to move beyond the barriers of disconnection. The medicine they carry is the Whirling Rainbow of Peace, which will mark the union of the five races as one. –Jamie Sams

All of today’s DNA, strung through all the cells of the earth, is simply an extension and elaboration of [the] first molecule. —Lewis Thomas

Life is a DNA software system. –Craig Venter

It turns out that every person alive today can trace his or her ancestry back to Africa. Everyone’s DNA tells a story of a journey from an African homeland to wherever you live. –Spencer Wells

Antigravity, teleportation, time travel, energetic DNA evolution and consciousness transformation could create a world few of us ever even dreamed of. –David Wilcock

Copyright © 2017 Drake Bear Stephen. Except where acknowledged.
www.DrakeInnerprizes.com

Sacred Activism: A Guide to Awakening Your Inner Activist

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WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Earth’s Dark Night of the Soul

There has undoubtedly been a shift in the world. I never used to follow politics or even the news. Now I am checking headlines periodically throughout the day. The subject of politics and current events has also filtered into practically every conversation I have. Even the flavor of my Facebook page has changed. Gone are the videos of cute animals and pictures of people’s meals, replaced by critical current events and calls to sign petitions and join protests.

Yes, we have talked about beginning an ascension or evolution period since before 2012. But I don’t think any of us imagined that it would happen like this. We didn’t imagine the world would turn so ugly. We didn’t think it would seem humanity was taking a huge step backward. We have entered into the Dark Night of the Collective Soul.

Last November, when the results of the election became known, I was stunned but not really surprised. I had a deep foreboding in the pit of my stomach weeks before the election. Despite all the protests, all the prophecies, and all the polls, the far right, with a platform based on corporate greed, repression of social rights, and an intent to deconstruct the environment and every US institution, won the majority of congressional seats and the Presidency.

So, what is really going on? Are we really regressing to the Dark Ages? Or is it possible that a Death and a Birth are occurring simultaneously on our planet? Are all the theories of a dying patriarchy and the rise of the feminine to usher in the Age of Aquarius or the Golden Age true or are they a false hope held by desperate wishers?

Andrew Harvey

Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism, believes we are in a simultaneous death and birth process.

“This Death is the birth canal of a new Divine Humanity; that the Birth is already happening; and that Sacred Activism is the force of Divine Love and Wisdom in action, the Birthing Force of the new human.”
-Andrew Harvey

He has identified seven characteristics of the Death: environmental devastation; population explosion; growth of fundamentalism and religious terrorism; nuclear proliferation; corporate mindset, greed, and control of the media; and technology combined with the hectic pace of modern life. His seven characteristics of the Birth are: our current crises and our response to it; use of creative technologies; new forms of democratizing media; a mystical renaissance; evolving philosophy of nonviolence; the return of the Divine Feminine; and the Divine blessing the Birth of the Divine Human.

Just as a serious accident or illness becomes a wakeup call for us to get to work on our personal soul, what is happening in current events is a wakeup call for the collective soul. The efforts of the far right to deconstruct our institutions and constitutional rights will shine a light on just how corrupt government agencies and their office holders have become. It will create a chance for us to clean our house.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
The Shadow is Calling Us

There are various commentaries that have helped me come to a deeper understanding of what is happening now and why.

Steve Dinan

Steve Dinan, in his book Sacred America, Sacred World, says that the cultural roots of the governing class in the United States is mostly from white European culture.

Dinan describes the Hopi belief that there are four races and they are represented by the four elements: the yellow tribes steward air, the black tribes steward water, the red (Indigenous) tribes steward earth, and the white tribes steward fire. Based on this, he says that the United States national psyche has an excess of fire that leads to war, competition, violence, and arrogance. Some indigenous cultures, including the Hopi and the South American indigenous people, have prophesied that when the people of the world unite, the world will come into balance. Many believe that now is that time.

Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra said that Trump’s rise to power represents the United States’ shadow. Indeed, there is much horror in this shadow, including wars and colonialism; enslavement of black people; genocide of the Native Americans; Jim Crow laws that perpetuate racism; Jane Crow laws that perpetuate sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. We all must acknowledge our shadow. A part of the healing work involves asking for forgiveness for any atrocities that we or our ancestors have committed. To facilitate this, we can create our own ceremony or follow the process of Ho’oponopono. Colin Tipping, in his book Radical Forgiveness: A Revolutionary Five-Stage Process to Heal Relationships – Let Go of Anger and Blame – Find Peace in Any Situation, also has some great forgiveness processes.

Read Deepak Chopra’s full article on the shadow here: www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/americas-shadow-the-real-_b_10319848.html

Sandra Ingerman

Sandra Ingerman, a well-known shamanic teacher, also says that current events are due to the shadow arising for healing. Her suggestion is to feed the world with love. She says we ride a different energetic wave than the dense collective when we focus on our work. This work will help create the “new world”.

“Evolution is occurring. All initiations involve dismemberment, disintegration, illumination, remembering, reconstruction, and re-emergence.”
-Sandra Ingerman

Read more by Sandra Ingerman here: www.facebook.com/sandra.ingerman.7

Jose Stevens

According to the Michael channel, there are 5 ages of souls that incarnate on Earth. They are: Infant Souls, Baby Souls, Young Souls, Mature Souls, and Old Souls. In addition, each age has 7 distinct levels. Jose Stevens, author of the Power Path website, says that the world is in the process of moving from a young soul level to a mature soul level. He has identified Trump and all of his cabinet members, which he calls the “wrecking crew”, as being baby and young souls with only two being early level mature souls. There is no one there to represent the older souls which may be a large portion of the population.

Stevens explains how the ancient Mayan mystics predicted that change goes through the following phases:

  1. Extreme polarization, struggle, confusion, chaos, protesting and mini revolts.
  2. Final revolt by the masses, the old order crashes.
  3. Renaissance, renewal, transformation, freshness, and freedom.

Now in our country, the old school refuses to die away without a fight and people have become polarized as a result. Stevens predicts that this polarization phase will continue about another 20 years and that the renaissance period will not begin until 36 years from now.

He also discusses the 250 year period that it takes Pluto to orbit the sun. He says that hardly any nation states last more than this 250 year period. It has been 240 years since the United States was born in 1776. The United States’ Pluto orbit will be completed 2024.

Jose Stevens has written five articles about the election and Trump administration on the Power Path. You can read them here: https://thepowerpath.com/category/articles-by-jose-stevens/

Read more about the soul ages here: www.michaelteachings.com/soul_age_index.html

Read more about the soul levels here: www.michaelteachings.com/soul_age_levels.htm

Joan Parisi Wilcox

Similar to the concept of soul ages and levels, the spiritual people of the high Andes recognize eight steps on the stairway of human consciousness, numbered from 0 to 7.

Just as a kindergartner cannot comprehend college level material until they have experienced, grown, and matured, souls must ascend the stairs of consciousness and progress through the soul ages.

Joan says the most common stair for the people of the world is the 3rd. This level of consciousness is characterized by single-mindedness, identifying with one tradition/group/belief at the exclusion of all others even needing to “show” others the way.

Joan places Trump on the 2nd stair. This level of consciousness is characterized by group mindedness, black and white thinking, us-versus-them mentality, and latching on to one truth at the expense of all others.

Many if not most older souls are on the 4th stair most of the time. This level of consciousness is characterized by autonomy, choosing and standing up for one’s personal beliefs, and respecting others’ personal beliefs. A sacred activist works at the 4th level.

“Our activism should display [our level of consciousness]. There is no place for attack rhetoric, insults, outbursts fueled by frustration, or violence in word, thought or deed at the 4th level. Resistance can be non-violent, communication powerful but respectful, emotion tempered by virtue and compassion, and action for change motivated by community-building rather than enemy-bashing… [We should be] bridge building rather than bridge-burning.”
Joan Parisi Wilcox

Read Joan Parisi Wilcox’s full article “Birds of Consiousness” here: https://qentiwasi.com/2016/05/

The Great Council of Grandmothers

Sharon McErlane, author of the Great Council of the Grandmothers series of books, channels wisdom from the Great Council of Grandmothers. Nadia den Aantrekker says that the Grandmothers have told her that we have entered into an age of destruction called the “Kali Yuga”. Kali Yuga, the “Age of the Demon” or the “Age of Vice”, is the last of four Yuga stages in the Hindu scriptures. This is the age furthest away from God/Creator/Source/Great Spirit and is necessary to destroy “evil” before the Golden Age arrives. The Grandmothers say that the Earth has suffered too long from an excess of yang and insufficient yin. They tell us to stand strong and suggest that we hold Sacred Space by being in service to others.

Read the full article about the Great Council of Grandmothers here: http://netoflight.org/2016/11/14/2016-november-14th-after-the-u-s-election-2016/

David Korten

David Korten, in his book The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, says that we are at a fork in the road. We have the opportunity to transition from the past 5,000-year “Era of Empire” to the “Era of Earth Community”. This period is called the “Great Turning”. The Era of Empire that includes domination, competition, and colonialization has reached the limits of sustainability for both the Earth and its inhabitants. Modern technologies provide resource support for grassroots organizations to organize and facilitate the Great Turning.

Joanna Macy

Joanna Macy, in her book Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work that Reconnects, defines the Great Turning as the shift from the industrial civilization to life-sustaining civilization. She says that our current economic system, based on growth, consumerism, and hoarding of wealth, is no longer sustainable for Earth and its inhabitants. The Great Turning is gaining momentum as people awaken to alternatives to massive consumerism and rape of the Earth’s resources. Her personal guidelines for the Great Turning include: Being in gratitude, not fearing the dark times we are in; daring to vision; getting involved; and acting our age, “all 15 billion years of it”.

William Strauss and Neil Howe

William Strauss and Neil Howe, in their book The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny, identify a pattern in Anglo-American history over the last 500 years and 25 generations.

A saeculum is 80 years or the approximate length of a generation. Within it are four 20-year turnings. When complete, the cycle repeats itself. Our current 80 year cycle includes the following periods:

  • 1st Turn – The High characterized by mostly peace and prosperity: 1945 to 1963 (post-WWII)
  • 2nd Turn – The Awakening characterized by social upheaval and changes: 1960s and 70s
  • 3rd Turn – The Unraveling characterized by unrestricted commerce and economic boom: 1980s and 90s (the Reagan years)
  • 4th Turn – The Crisis characterized by economic collapse and fear that can result in war: Began in 2008

Therefore, we have about 10 more years until The High returns.

Read about The Fourth Turning by Debilyn Molineaux at: www.bridgealliance.us/the_process_of_change_part_i

Carl Johan Calleman

Carl Johan Calleman, in his book The Nine Waves of Creation: Quantum Physics, Holographic Evolution, and the Destiny of Humanity, describes how Mayan creation waves work. They are based on the Mayan Long Count calendar. New civilizations are created at the peaks (called days) of the sine waves and civilizations collapse in the valleys (called nights) of the sine waves.

We have just entered into the 7th night (a valley) of the 6th Wave of Creation. When a night begins, the light on the Western Hemisphere, is lost and civilizations in the Western hemisphere lose power. During night in the Western Hemisphere it is day in the Eastern Hemisphere, therefore, power may be shifting to Russia or China.

Calleman believes that Western civilization’s increase in nationalism, zenophobia, sexism, and isolationism is due to the influence of the 7th night. The 7th night will last approximately 400 years and could include political chaos, economic downturn, dictatorship, and/or a failed war.

However, on the bright side, Calleman says there is a distinctive difference between the current 7th night and the preceding ones. New waves, the 7th, 8th and 9th, have just activated. Every higher wave has a frequency that is 20 times higher than the lower one.

The 7th Wave is in a night that ends in 2031 and will be characterized by a rise in global collaboration and an end of nationalism. By then, children born when the 9th Wave was activated in 2011 will be 20 years old. They, and those born after 2011, will use their unity-oriented consciousness to influence the world.

The 8th and 9th Waves are oscillating quickly between days and nights. The 8th Wave supports the feminine and resonates with the right brain so it is important to expand women’s rights at this time. Right now it is in day, hence the success of the Women’s March, but on September 27 it will go into night, which could be a very difficult time.

Our ultimate destiny is to rise to the highest 9th Wave. People resonating with the 9th Wave will be manifesting unity consciousness during its peaks.

Read Carl Johan Calleman’s full article here: http://calleman.com/2017/03/01/entering-a-dark-age-and-what-to-do-about-it/

Here is a summary of the important dates that have been prophesied in the above commentaries:

  • The Great Turning is happening now.
  • The current day of the 8th Creation Wave will end Sep 27, 2017.
  • The current presidential term ends in 2020.
  • The next presidential term after that ends in 2024.
  • The United States’ Pluto return will complete in 2024.
  • The United States will be 250 years old in 2026.
  • The Fourth Turning of Crises will complete in 2028.
  • The current night of the 7th Creation Wave will end in 2031.
  • The United States polarization will end in 2037.
  • The 36 year struggle to the new Renaissance will end in 2053.
  • The 7th Night of the 6th Creation Wave will end in 2417.

Yes, it seems that these theories support our feeling that we are in dark times. But they also provide hope for the future and a bright light at the end of the tunnel.

WHAT ARE WE TO DO?
Sacred Activism is the Answer

Wikipedia defines activism as “efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, economic, and/or environmental/ecological reform or stasis with the desire to make improvements in society.” A major form of activism is protest, which is action that expresses a specific viewpoint about a particular social, political, economic, or environmental/ecological circumstance. Protests can take many different forms that will be discussed in the next section.

“Excluding diversity divides us.
Embracing our diversity unifies us.
Worlds with walls perpetuates war and hate.
Opening doors creates peace and love.”
Drake Bear Stephen

A grassroots movement is “bottom up” activism or action that begins at the local level and rises to a regional, national, or global level. Astroturfing is an action that appears to be grassroots but is actually sponsored by a corporation or think tank. The more corrupt the government becomes, the more important it is to create real progressive change through grassroots organizations. The internet and social media has given us the tools to communicate and organize like never before. Like-minded people are coming together in communities to stand up and have their voices heard. Paul Hawken, in his book Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World, believes there are over one and maybe and many as two million organizations working towards ecological sustainability and social justice.

Sacred activism adds a layer of spirituality to worldly activism. In other words, activism is a preoccupation with our earthly ego and the physical world because we are currently walking a journey on Earth. However, a part of our soul, call it the Higher Self, is living in the spiritual world. A “wholistc” soul will integrate the earthly soul and spiritual soul into daily life activities. This integration broadens perspectives and opens the heart. Using wisdom from the spiritual soul during activist activities brings love and light onto the earthly plane.

Activism = Promotes Political + Social + Economic + Environmental Evolution

Sacred Activism = Promotes Political + Social + Economic + Environmental + Spiritual Evolution

And sometimes revolution (through peaceful protest) needs to promote evolution!

Paul Hawkins describes sacred activism as having three interrelated branches: social justice issues, environmental activism, and the fight of indigenous peoples against colonialization.

Social justice is the fair and equal treatment for every individual in a society, which includes wealth distribution, opportunities, and social privileges. The United States Declaration of Independence valued social justice in a democratic society as shown by the following words:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [humans] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Subsequently the Constitution and its amendments confirm and expand on these human rights. Basic human rights include personal and political freedoms for all.

The Triangle of Disempowerment consists of the three roles: victim, rescuer, and bully. And clearly, we can identify who is playing what role in the news these days. But it is unhealthy to be in any of these roles. The goal of self-actualization is to step permanently off of this triangle. I created a Triangle of Sacred Activism, which has three new roles that a sacred activist can be in: activist, enabler, and soul light. These roles can overlap or be played simultaneously by the sacred activist as they work for progressive evolution and consciousness raising.

triangle-sacred-activist-sml

WAYS TO AWAKEN OUR INNER ACTIVIST

There are two key points I feel certain of:

  • Everything is happening just as it is supposed to.
  • Our souls chose to be here for what is happening at this time.

The only real question is, what role do we play in what is happening?

The first thing for us to do is to fully experience all the emotions concerning current events especially if they include anger, fear, frustration, disappointment, despair, hopelessness, sadness, grief, judgment, and even hate. We are human and we are here on Earth to feel the complete continuum of emotions. Besides it is never healthy to repress feelings as they will go into shadow and surface with a vengeance later on.

The next thing we can do is then raise our perceptions to a higher level, the spiritual level or the soul level where the Higher Self resides. As we tap into the Collective Conscious, we can see a much bigger picture of what is really happening. We can also call on the higher emotions like love, acceptance, compassion, joy, serenity, understanding, forgiveness, and optimism.

Finally, we should outline a plan of action from a position of neutrality. We must determine what role we want to play in the course of events happening now. I know from my experience after the election that two things immediately made me feel better:

  • Doing activities that I felt I had control over. Part of our grief over current events is the overwhelming feeling of disempowerment, that we have lost control. Getting involved in activities that you can control helps re-establish empowerment.
  • Join communities of like-minded people. There is comradery and mutual compassion in groups that will help lighten the feeling of being lost, loss, and aloneness.

There are many ways to be an activist and many activities that activists can be involved in. Currently, there is a grassroots movement to “Resist”. Although I understand the intent behind the word, I do not like the negative aspect of the mantra. I have been in search of a replacement that is a more possible mantra. My friend, Kirk Prine, did create a beautiful mantra, called “Rise Up Lovingly”. You can see this slogan on merchandise at https://shop.spreadshirt.com/FleshandSpirit/

Here is a list of nonviolent forms of direct action that an activist can employ:

Artistic and symbolic displays Fund raising Raasta roko (blocking auto traffic with their bodies)
Bannering Get out to vote activities Radical cheerleading
Blockades Hosting house meetings Rallies
Blogging and social networking Humor & satire Recusancy
Boycotts & buycotts Hunger strikes Rent strikes
Build community Information distribution Samizdat (distributing censored materials)
Bully pulpits Lawsuits Setting up social centers
Candle lighting Letter writing Sick-ins
Ceremonies Lobbying Silent protests
Chanting Lockdowns Sit-ins
Civil disobedience Lock-ons Slow downs
Conscientious objection Lockouts Soapboxing
Consumer courts Marches or parades Speechmaking
Culture jamming Motorcades Street theater
Dancing Nonviolent resistance Strikes
Demonstrations Occupations Talking with pedestrians or walking door-to-door
Destruction of symbolic objects Peace camps Tax resistance
Die-ins Petitions Teach-ins
Dramaturgical demonstrations Phone-calling Vigils
Emailing Picket lines Walkouts
Flag desecration Press conferences Whistle blowing
Food & housing cooperatives Protest graffiti
Formation of tent cities Putting up posters

Here is my list of actions that a sacred activist can employ:

INWARD WORK

  • Heal your shadow
  • Maintain a daily spiritual practice that includes gratitude
  • Ask for forgiveness – Conduct forgiveness and reconciliation ceremonies
  • Educate yourself – Learn about social issues, environmental concerns, and current events
  • Empower your inner feminine
  • Live Green – Connect to Mother Earth and practice sustainability
  • Practice population control
  • Vote with your money – Boycott and buycott
  • Vote with your vote – About 48% of eligible voters did not vote in the last election

OUTWARD WORK

  • Volunteer – Be in service to others
  • Find community – Unite
  • Donate money to social justice and environmental protection organizations
  • Support microlending – www.kiva.org
  • Protest – Make calls, sign petitions, write letters and emails, march in rallies
  • Shine your love and light into the world
  • Create safe, sacred, and inclusive space for others
  • Combat poverty
  • Acknowledge that we are all related – Work towards global unity and a planet without borders
  • Support and empower others on their journey
  • Teach, write, and speak – Build bridges
  • Use your creativity – Create a painting, song, dance, poem, article, or film
  • Advocate for social justice, equal rights, and environmental/ecological sustainability
  • Care for animals and protect endangered species

Here are some additional resources:

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RECOMMENDED READING – NONFICTION

Anne Baring – Soul Power: An Agenda for a Conscious Humanity

Kimberley A. Bobo, Steve Max, Kim Bobo, Jackie Kendall, Midwest Academy – Organizing for Social Change

Adam Bucko & Matthew Fox – Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation

Michelle Bollinger & Dao w. Tran – 101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed US History

Adrian Brooks – The Right Side of History: 100 Years of LGBTQ Activism

Carl Johan Calleman – The 9 Waves of Creation: Quantum Physics, Holographic Evolution, and the Destiny of Humanity

Stephen Dinan – Sacred American Sacred World: Fulfilling Our Mission in Service to All

Andrew Harvey – The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism

Paul Hawken – Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World

Steven B. Herrmann – Spiritual Democracy: The Wisdom of Early American Visionaries for the Journey Forward

Dennis Johnson & Valerie Merians, ed – What We Do Now: Standing Up for Your Values in Turmp’s America

L.A. Kauffman – Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism

Christopher Kush – The One-Hour Activist: The 15 Most Powerful Actions You Can Take to Fight for the Issues and Candidates You Care About

Michael Lerner – The Left Hand of God: Healing America’s Political and Spiritual Crisis

April K. Mills – Everyone is a Change Agent: A Guide to the Change Agent Essentials

David Nicol – Subtle Activism: The Inner Dimension of Social and Planetary Transformation

Chris Saade – Second Wave Spirituality: Passion for Peace, Passion for Justice

Randy Shaw – The Activist’s Handbook: Winning Social Change in the 21st Century

Gene Stone – The Trump Survival Guide

Stephan A. Schwartz – The 8 Laws of Change: How to be an Agent of Personal and Social Transformation

Sita Venkateswar – The Politics of Indigeneity: Dialogues and Reflections on Indigenous Activism

RECOMMENDED READING – FICTION

Margaret Atwood – Handmaid’s Tale

Ray Bradbury – Fahrenheit 451

George Orwell – 1984

Aldous Huxley – Brave New World

QUOTES

It is time to get on with many tasks that await us today. At stake is the sustainability of our species and the planet as we know it. Issues such as resisting the spread of empire, advocacy of the use of condoms in a time of AIDS, birth control advocacy in a time of population explosion, equitable distribution of the world’s goods, the use of clean and renewable energy, the importance of community life, the elimination of poverty, the creation of good work, the defense of minorities including gays and lesbians-all these call to us. –Matthew Fox

I mean that humanity has come to the moment when it will have to choose between trying to play God, with the catastrophic results we see all around us, and trying to become what all the true mystical traditions know we can become-one with God through grace in life. This is a dangerous and yet wonderful and hopeful moment because if enough of us can choose the latter, the birth of a wholly new kind of human being, and so of a new world, is possible. –Father Bede Griffiths

What fills me with hope is that millions of human beings are now, in the fire of our current crises, waking up to the need for inner and outer transformation, making possible the quantum evolutionary leap I have been describing. The time for the Birth of Sacred Activism on a global scale has arrived. Everything is now at stake and everything is possible. –Andrew Harvey

The Divine is longing for human beings to turn up in this active spirituality, and when you do-it’s been my living experience-you will be guided directly by dreams, by synchronicities, by books that fall off shelves, by people that you meet because there is a mysterious power in the universe that is longing for this next evolutionary leap in humanity which can only be done through Sacred Activism, through really putting love into action. And when a person-however tremblingly and however afraid-takes the first step, the universe rushes to meet that person and to shower that person with everything that they could possibly need. There will be tests, there will be ordeals, but in those tests and ordeals you will receive direct guidance from the Beloved, because the Beloved has willed the birth of another kind of humanity and once you already know that and align yourself with the powers of the birth, those powers will sustain you and invigorate you and point you in the direction in which your life was meant to go. –Andrew Harvey

Global spirituality works to sustain a sacred community on earth by bringing the voice of the spirit to matters of common economic, political, ethical, and religious concerns. As engaged practice, global spirituality is an orientation toward life that is concerned about the sacredness of, and reverence for, all human and nonhuman life; deeply committed to how social, political, religious, and economic institutions can be in service of the divinity of the world; and founded on the locus of the spirit, where there is absent a sense of “I” and “mine.” –Beverly Lanzetta

There is an alternative to unrestrained corporate globalization: it is the globalization of Spirit. It then becomes possible to ask the relevant spiritual question: how do we shape globalization in a way that maximizes ecological sustainability, enhances our global responsibility to reduce suffering and promote health and ethical well-being, and increases our capacity to see our unity with all other human beings and our part in the Unity of All Being. –Rabbi Michael Abraham Lerner

Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. –Margaret Mead

Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul. –Thomas Paine

A tour of any bookstore today reveals that the “spirituality industry” is alive and well. Seldom do [those books] address the intersection of spirituality and injustice and oppression. A privatized spirituality is a cocoon spirituality, incapable of assisting persons to be involved in the challenges of political and social life. Indeed, it may well be not only a distorted spirituality but a heretical one, if it fails to locate itself in the midst of the suffering of the world. The energy of the mystic experience radiates out to others, not only encouraging them to embark more intensely on their own journey, but also to learn that one’s relationship with God has social implications. –Susan Rakoczy

Blessings and gratitude to all those who are passionately serving humanitarian causes, advocating for justice, and being activists for love’s dream. You are the real and abiding heroes of our world. You are the ones we admire. We respect your spirit. We honor the compassion and wisdom of your hearts. You embody the model of a spirituality in action-an engaged spirituality that will usher in the possibility of a thriving and sustainable world. –Chris Saade

A chick isn’t born without cracking its eggshell; a snake doesn’t grow without shedding its skin, and a butterfly doesn’t exist unless a caterpillar first unmakes itself. Change isn’t easy. And during change, there can be a messy transition as the old morphs into the new. –Joan Parisi Wilcox

Copyright © 2017 Drake Bear Stephen. Except where acknowledged.
www.DrakeInnerprizes.com

Cultural Appropriation: When Is It Appropriate?

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FLAVORS OF CULTURAL APPROPRIATION

I became interested in researching cultural appropriation because many of the shamanic practices I have learned over the past ten years have come from various cultures other than the one I have grown up in. I wanted to examine if what I was using in my practice was ethical.

I found through my research that there are many flavors of cultural exchange, which include the following variations:

Appropriation is defined as the taking of control, or possession, of property including intellectual property, for one’s own use. Cultural appropriation, which more precisely could be called “cultural misappropriation”, is when the dominant culture borrows, uses, or takes the characteristics of or intellectual property of a minority culture. To misappropriate is to appropriate dishonestly for one’s own use. To expropriate is to take possession of something quickly and forcibly. Most importantly, when something is appropriated by the dominant culture, it is done so without reciprocity or permission.

Assimilation is reverse appropriation. The minority culture takes on the customs and values of the dominant culture. This is usually done in order to survive and most of the time is forced upon the minority culture by the dominant culture or the dominant culture’s religious authorities.

Colonialzation is cultural appropriation in its most extreme form. It is the subjugation of a minority culture and the taking of pre-populated land by a dominant culture for the purposes of exploitation and profit.

Acculturation is a transfer of culture from one group to another.

Culture-sharing is the sharing, interaction, and intermingling between cultures. It is a shared activity and is inevitable in our non-homogenous world, a world that is continuously shrinking as population increases.

Syncretism is a practice of fusing different belief systems, especially when the beliefs of the dominant culture are overlaid on the beliefs of the minority culture. Examples of syncretism is found in Celtic Druidism, Santeria, Voudou, Candomblé, and indigenous Mesoamerican and Andean culture, where the Catholic saints have been merged with the deities of the now subjugated culture.

The dominant culture is almost always Western (mostly white) and the minority cultures that are most commonly appropriated from are African, Asian, Native American and First Nations, as well as other indigenous tribes and people of color worldwide.

EXAMPLES OF CULTURAL APPROPRIATION

Cultural appropriation involves ideas, symbols, artifacts, or other aspects of culture. The seriousness of the appropriation is based on a continuum from virtually harmless to extremely harmful. Some of the examples below, such as appropriating artefacts and sacred ceremonies, are very serious ethical infractions and some seem very minor, such as eating a burrito if you are not Mexican.

Western culture is an amalgamation of many cultures. Some cultural aspects cannot even be traced to their original source. For example, the Christian religion appropriated many customs, especially for Christmas and Easter, from pagan cultures. Many straight people have adopted characteristics from gay and trans cultures. Some cultures, such as Buddhism, have freely shared their traditions of meditation and other activities.

Being an indigenous soul and a member of a tribe is in our DNA, but modern Western society has stripped these concepts away from most people. People from the Western world are starved for spirituality, hungry for meaningful ceremony, and searching for a community they can connect to. I believe this is one reason that so much is being appropriated from Native American culture, which has retained its spiritual roots throughout the long history of abuse by Western society. And so, understandably, Native Americans do not give permission to have their culture appropriated because of the long history of genocide they have endured.

Below are some examples of how culture is appropriated:

Spiritual Beliefs and Systems Example: The term “shaman” was appropriated by anthropologists from Siberian cultures and has become a mainstream term defining a specific type of healer/mystic/medicine person in non-Siberian cultures.

Spiritual Ceremony Example: White non-Native people running sweat lodges or the Boy Scouts doing Native American dancing.

Art & Archaeological Artifacts Example: Hiram Bingham illegally exporting to Yale University enumerable items from Machu Picchu.

Plants Example: Corporations that take plant medicine from indigenous wisdom to sell for profit without sharing revenue with the indigenous people.

Music Example: Rap or Hip Hop music performed by white artists, white rock n’ roll, jazz, and swing artists taking musical style from black musicians.

Performing Arts Example: White people belly dancing or twerking. White minstrels painting their faces black for entertainment purposes.

Dress and Decoration Example: White people wearing dread locks, corn rows, “gang” fashions, feathered headdresses, saris, bindi dots, turquoise squash blossom necklaces, quill earrings, or henna tattoos. Decorating with dreamcatchers or in the “Oriental” style.

Food Example: Eating ethnic food such as Thai, sushi, burritos, etc.

Speech Example: Adopting slang or accents of non-white minority groups.

Sports Mascots Example: Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins, and Florida State Seminoles.

Commercial Capitalism Example: Jeep Cherokee, Winnebago Campers, Urban Outfitters Aztec designs on clothing. Winnebago campers trademarked the word “Winnebago”. The Winnebago tribe is prevented from using their own name to market anything.

Media Example: Disney movies romanticizing figures of other cultures such as Pocahontas. Disney even tried to trademark the Day of the Dead until they had to withdraw the proposal due to protests.

Holidays Example: Wearing Halloween costumes that portray minority cultures such as Indians or witches. US citizens celebrating the Mexican Day of the Dead with costumes and skull painting but stripping away the intent, which is to honor dead ancestors.

Tattoos Example: White people getting tattoos of Celtic, Aztec, or Maori designs or Chinese characters.

Other Example: Doing yoga, meditating, or taking martial arts.

PROS AND CONS OF CULTURAL APPROPRIATION

Just like power and energy, culture-sharing is also neutral. It is the intent driving it that can make it positive or negative.

The positive aspects of culture-sharing are:

  • It fosters cross-cultural understanding.
  • It creates a new hybrid culture, hopefully adopting the better part of multiple cultures.
  • It is a natural evolution process of humans.
  • It promotes mutual admiration of others’ cultural perspectives.
  • It is a mutual exchange that occurs willingly by participants in right relationship.
  • It is a mutual exchange that is done with reciprocity.
  • With increasing globalization, it is inevitable.
  • It promotes empathy, education, and respect for diversity, free speech, and free exchange of ideas.

The negative aspects of cultural appropriation are:

  • It strips the object or custom of its meaning, significance, or sacredness.
  • It disrespects the members of the originating culture.
  • It robs minority groups of the credit they deserve.
  • It reinforces stereotypes of minority groups.
  • The appropriated objects or customs are taken without permission.
  • Profits from the appropriated object or fashion is redirected from the minority group to the dominant group.

Maisha Z. Johnson posted the following reasons why cultural appropriation is considered unethical:

  • It trivializes violent historical oppression.
  • It lets people show love for the culture, but remain prejudiced against its people.
  • It makes things cool for white people – but too ethnic for people of color.
  • It lets privileged people profit from oppressed people’s labor.
  • It lets some people get rewarded for things the creators never got credit for.
  • It spreads mass lies about marginalized cultures.
  • It perpetuates racist stereotypes.
  • White people can freely do what people of color were actively punished for doing.
  • It prioritizes the feelings of privileged people over justice for marginalized people.

Read her full article here: https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/whats-wrong-with-cultural-appropriation-these-9-answers-reveal-its-harm-hesaid/

CULTURAL APPROPRIATION CHECK LIST

Researching this article has really opened my eyes. There are things I have bought and things I have done where I was completely unconscious of the possibility that I might be “stealing” something from another culture. I am glad I am now at least aware of the issues and I can consciously evaluate what I consider would be inappropriate appropriation. I believe each of us must establish our own value system. We should all take the time to develop our own set of “rules” regarding what is appropriate and what is not. It is not for me to tell you what your moral system should be. I may even be guilty of doing something you think is inappropriate.

I have, though, compiled a checklist that can be used to evaluate when cultural appropriation may be appropriate. It is always important to separate your earthly ego and search your heart, soul, and conscious for the best answer. The appropriateness of instances should be evaluated on an individual case basis since the details of each instance will be unique. Below my list, I have included suggestions from other authors.

Appropriation Checklist:

  • Become conscious of everything you are doing.
  • Always recognize and respect the source of what you are obtaining or use.
  • Always seek permission and practice reciprocity for obtaining or using from any source.
  • Determine the intent of what you are obtaining or using from another culture.
  • Determine the context in which you will be using something from another culture.
  • Educate yourself about other cultures. Learn what is sacred in these cultures.
  • Explore your own ancestors’ cultures. Learn about your own cultural roots.
  • Don’t purchase mass market cultural items but instead buy from the source, thus supporting minority cultures.

Jenni Avins created this list of dos and don’ts of cultural appropriation:

  • Don’t dress up as an ethnic stereotype.
  • Pay homage to artistry and ideas and acknowledge their origins.
  • Don’t adopt sacred artifacts as accessories.
  • Remember that culture is fluid.
  • Appropriation is no substitute for diversity.
  • Engage with other cultures on more than an aesthetic level.
  • Treat a cultural exchange like any other creative collaboration—give credit and consider royalties.

Read her full article here: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/10/the-dos-and-donts-of-cultural-appropriation/411292/

Katie J.M. Baker’s article quotes Susan Scafidi, author of Who Owns Culture? Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law, as saying that to determine if something is cultural appropriation to consider:

  • Source: Has the source community either tacitly or directly permission to use this element?
  • Significance or Sacredness: Is the element an everyday object or is it a religious artifact?
  • Similarity: How similar is the appropriated element to the original?

Read her full article here: http://jezebel.com/5959698/a-much-needed-primer-on-cultural-appropriation

The Unitarian Universalist Association adopts spiritual rituals from many different cultures. They have done diligence is determining whether they are appropriately acquiring these rituals. As a result they created a comprehensive list of questions to guide in the decision making of appropriation. Some of those questions are:

  • How much do I know about this particular tradition; how do I respect it and not misrepresent it?
  • What do I know of the history and experience of the people from whom I am borrowing?
  • Is this borrowing distorting, watering down, or misinterpreting the tradition?
  • Is the meaning changed?
  • Is this over generalizing this culture?
  • What is the motivation for cultural borrowing? What is being sought and why?
  • How do the “owners” of the tradition feel about pieces of the tradition being borrowed?
  • If artifacts and/or rituals are being sold, where does the money go?
  • Is this really spiritually healthy?
  • How can we acknowledge rather than exploit the contributions of all people?

For a full list of questions, read: http://www.uua.org/multiculturalism/introduction/misappropriation/23371.shtml

In summary, if you want to culture-share, do it with respect, reciprocity, relationship, and permission.

Copyright © 2017 Drake Bear Stephen. Except where acknowledged.
www.DrakeInnerprizes.com

Earth Medicine

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WHAT IS EARTH MEDICINE?

In the Native American Tradition, good medicine is anything that is healing to the body, mind, or spirit.

Earth medicine is a two way energetic exchange between humans and Mother Earth. It is about Mother Earth healing us with her energies and it’s about us healing the damage that has been done to Mother Earth. Earth medicine is the only solution that can save our future on this planet. Mother Earth will endure but humans may be shaken off her surface in the near future unless there are drastic changes made in our living habits.

We all need to be living in right relationship, which is the law of reciprocity or karma in action because what goes around comes around and what we do unto others is what will be done to us.

In this article I present the idea of Earth as a living, sentient being. I also present the most fascinating concepts associated with Earth as Medicine. An earth based religion (EBR) focuses on worship of the divine through Earth, Nature, and the gods and goddesses associated with them. EBRs include Asatru, Druidry, Paganism, Shamanism, Shintoism, Wicca, and all Indigenous Spirituality.

I am a member of earth-based spirituality.
My congregation is everything on Earth.
My place of worship is everywhere on Earth.
My times of worship are every minute of every day.

While incarnated, we are made from the substance of Earth, we are an inseparable and integral part of Earth, and we are influenced Nature, by the moon’s movements, by the sun’s rays, and by planets moving direct or in retrograde. Our entire existence in this life is owed to Earth and Nature. Our obligation of right relationship is to treat them with love and respect and protect the sacredness of their beings.

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GAIA & MOTHER NATURE

Nature is derived from the Latin word, natura, meaning “birth” or “character”. Mother Nature, also known as Mother Earth, is an anthropomorphic representation of nature that gives the mothering characteristics of birth, nurturing, and regeneration to Nature.

Prior to the rise of the patriarchy, goddesses were worshipped for their fertility especially in relationship to agriculture. Between ancient Egypt and ancient Greece, correlating with the rise of the patriarchy, the Earth’s gender changed. The ancient Egyptians believed Geb was the Earth Father while Nut was the Sky Mother.

Gaia is a compound of two words: Ge, which is pre-Greek for “earth” and Aia, which is Indo-European for “Grandmother”. In mythology, Gaia was a Greek goddess of the Earth. Her Roman counterpart was called Terra Mater. She was Mother Goddess or Great Goddess. She also existed in many other ancient cultures including:

  • The Akkadian goddess Kubau was the Mother of Life
  • The Hurrian Hepa became Hebrew Eve (Heva) and Phygian Kubala (Cybele)
  • The Norse Jörð, Hlöðyn, Fjörgyn, and Fjörgynn personified the Earth
  • The Irish Celts worshipped Danu
  • The Welsh Celts worshipped Dôn
  • The Hindus worshipped Dana
  • The Lithuanian Gaia was called Žemė, the daughter of Sun and Moon
  • The Māori worshipped Papatuanuku
  • South Americans in the Andes worship Pachamama, which translates as Mother Universe (pacha means “world, space-time, or universe”). She presides over planting and harvesting.
  • Mesoamerican cultures had Tonantzin Tlalli, which means Revered Mother Earth
  • The Indians had Gayatri, who was the Mother of all Creation
  • Southeast Asia & Thailand’s Phra Mae Thorani was Goddess of the Earth
  • Wiccans worship Gaia as the Goddess of the Earth
  • Neopagans worship Gaia as the Goddess of all Creation

James Lovelock proposed the Gaia Hypothesis in the 1960s. This hypothesis states that the biosphere and the physical components of the Earth form a complex interacting system that maintains life. In short, Earth is a single living organism.

The Gaia Hypothesis, also known as the Gaia Theory, is the Western scientific label for what indigenous peoples have always known: that the Earth is a living conscious organism and that we as humans are Earth’s relatives and thus a part of the web of life. The Western patriarchal view is that Earth is inert, thus dead, and can be exploited by humans.

Thus the organisms on the Earth, especially humans, have altered its composition. We are at the point now where the alterations are overcoming the Earth’s ability to adjust the biosphere to maintain life. The history of evolution and ecology show that the Earth’s attempts of equilibrium have sometimes undergone rapid changes, which have caused extinctions and perished civilizations. Climate change is one of the symptoms we are now experiencing.

The present population of Earth exceeds the Earth’s capacity by 50%. This means that it now takes the Earth 1.5 years to regenerate what we are using in a single year. This is absolutely unsustainable.

David Fideler, in his book Restoring the Soul of the World, lists the following startling and scary facts:

  • Human population never exceeded the level of 1 billion people until around 1800. It now exceeds 7 billion.
  • During the 20th century human population quadrupled. Experts believe that Earth cannot support another population doubling.
  • Between 1975 and 2000, total material consumption in the United States grew at more than twice the rate of population growth.
  • During the past 50 years, humans have consumed more resources than in all previous history.
  • If everyone on the planet lived like an average resident of the United States, a total of 4 Earths would be required to regenerate humanity’s annual demand on nature.
  • Habitat destruction has contributed to species disappearance at rates about a thousand times faster than normal.
  • Forest cover has been reduced by 20% to 50% worldwide.
  • Half of the world’s wetlands have been lost in the 20th century.
  • 37% of freshwater fish species and 40% of amphibians are threatened or have become extinct.
  • 24% of all mammal species face extinction in 30 years.
  • 70% of biologists believe that we are in the midst of the fastest mass extinction in the Earth’s history.

SPIRITS OF THE EARTH

Besides Gaia and Mother Nature, Mother Earth has other spirits associated with her. Every place has a spirit. This is a naturally occurring energy that oversees the life force of place. Here are the major ones:

Spirits of a Place There are specific masculine and feminine nature spirits that are present at our birthplace. Our feminine nature spirit resides at a place of emergence closest to our birthplace, such as a body of water, a valley, or field. The masculine nature spirit resides at a large hill or mountain closest to our birthplace. We remain connected to these spirits throughout our lifetime even if we move away.

Elemental Beings These beings are associated with a particular element: air has sylphs, fire has salamanders, water has undines, and earth has gnomes.

Devas Deva is Sanskrit for “body of light”. A deva oversees the elemental beings. Overlighting devas are responsible for overseeing regions or areas of land.

Little People There are many types of little people. Some have intentions of supporting Earth and its habitants and some are mischievous or have less than desirable intentions. Some types of little people include: brownies, dwarfs, elves, fairies, fawns, goblins, gremlins, leprechauns, nymphs, pixies, sprites, and trolls.

Masculine Spirits of Earth Gaia, Mother Earth, and Mother Nature also have some masculine counterparts. They include:

  • Cernunnos or Herne the Hunter – a Celtic horned god associated with male animals, fertility, and vegetation.
  • The Green Man – a god of vegetation and plant life.

SCHUMANN RESONANCE

The Schumann Resonance is the heartbeat of the Earth. It is a measurement of peaks in the Earth’s electromagnetic field between the surface and the ionosphere.

In the 1950’s the Schumann Resonance averaged 7.83 Hz, the frequency of OM. This frequency is under 20 beats per second compared to 50-60 beats per second that power everything in our world. Since 1980, the Schumann Resonance average has increased to a 12 Hz average and sometimes spikes as high as 16 Hz. This means that time feels like it has sped up.

The Schumann Resonance is so important that NASA developed a Schumann Resonance generator for astronauts in space. The best way to get in synch with it on Earth is to lay on the ground beyond the grid of electric and telecommunication networks.

Our brainwave frequencies correlate to the Schumann Resonance as shown below:

  • 7.83 Hz – Alpha/Theta, relaxed and dreamy
  • 8.5 to 16.5 Hz – Alpha with some Beta, cognitive awakening
  • 12 to 15 Hz – Sensory-Motor Rhythm frequency (SMR), awakened calm

So a shift in our consciousness occurs as the Schumann Resonance increases. This also correlates with the weakening of the Earth’s magnetic field over the past 2000 years. One source I read said that an old sage from India described how the Earth’s magnetic field blocks memories of our origin. It was put in place by the Ancients so that souls could learn without remembering the past. The reduction of the Earth’s magnetic field is now allowing more memories to flow across the veil.

NEGATIVE IONS

Electrons are emitted from water molecules, then combine with oxygen, to create negative air ions. Most outdoor places contain 1,200 to 4,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter. Over 100,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter exist at waterfalls and oceans. Pine forests also contain high levels of negative ions.

Negative ions induce alpha brain waves, which creates a higher awareness level. This creates a calming effect, benefiting meditation and concentration. Negative ions alleviate depression and stress, boost energy, and serotonin levels.

Positive ions are high in polluted and indoor areas. A high concentration of positive ions causes depression, tiredness, tension, irritability, migraines, nausea, and breathing difficulties. On the west coast, winds that blow westward, usually in the fall, contain a high percentage of positive ions.

So if you want to experience a really big hit of negative ions, visit Niagra Falls, where 5.5 billion gallons of water spill over the edge every hour, or take a week-long ocean cruise.

NATURE DEFICIT DISORDER

Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) was introduced by Richard Louv in his book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. It is not a medical diagnosis but a concept that children, by spending more time indoors, are becoming alienated from nature. In his followup book, The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age, Louv extended the concept to include adults.

There are many reasons for nature deficit disorder such as the rise of electronic communications, disappearing open space, less emphasis placed on the natural world, and parents’ fears that keep children safe inside the home.

Alienation from nature has been found to be correlated to diminished senses, attention disorders, obesity, negative emotions such as depression or anxiety, and behavioral problems. In addition, nature knowledge deficit, which is a lack of understanding about the natural environment, has caused a big reduction in stewardship of the Earth.

There is a coalition called “No Child Left Inside” that is working to get children outside into nature. Adults with NDD need to take responsibility for reconnecting with nature. Further along in this article, I will introduce various ways to do that.

EARTHING

“Earthing” is the term used in Europe for what is called “grounding” in the US. We are grounded when our bare feet are touching the Earth. During this process the Earth’s negatively charged electrons transfer to our bodies through our skin. These free electrons are antioxidants that neutralize positively charged free radicals that cause inflammation.

Throughout most of history humans walked barefoot and slept on the ground. However, in modern society, we no longer walk barefoot but wear shoes that insulate us from the Earth’s energy. Plastic, rubber, or composite soles do not conduct energy. Leather soles usually make the feet perspire and energy is conducted through this moisture. If you cannot go barefoot on the Earth, the next best alternative is to wear leather moccasins.

Research indicates that Earthing has the following benefits:

  • Reduces inflammation and chronic pain
  • Improves sleep
  • Increases energy
  • Lowers stress
  • Relieves muscle tension and headaches.
  • Speeds healing
  • Reduces jet lag
  • Protects the body against EMF (electromagnetic field) energy

Earthing should be done daily by walking barefoot, lying down, standing, or sitting in a chair with your feet on the ground for at least 30 minutes. The ideal location is on damp earth or at water’s edge.

The Earth has a north polarity and the bottom of our feet have a south polarity. If you experience headaches or disorientation, your polarity might be flipped. Try rubbing the smooth side of a stainless steel spoon on the bottom of both feet to bring your body’s polarity back into balance.

VIVAXIS

Vivaxis is our life axis, our umbilical cord to Earth. Vivaxis is a sphere of energy created at our place of birth during the last 2 months of pregnancy. This is the location we connect to Earth’s energies. We remain linked to this place throughout our lives no matter how far we travel from the point of birth.

The Vivaxis connection can become harmed, polluted, distorted, or damaged by chemicals, EMFs (electromagnetic fields), and lightning. A disturbed Vivaxis connection can make us ill. But by channeling (aligning) ourselves in the direction of our birthplace, we restore our health by putting ourselves in phase with the Vivaxis energy.

The Vivaxis connection was discovered by a Canadian researcher, Fran Nixon, in the 1960’s. She states that the most effective healing occurs when our magnetic energies are properly aligned. In order to align with our Vivaxis, Nixon describes a channeling technique that first uses dowsing rods to find the channel, then standing in the channel to absorb the energy. Before the channeling is started, a neutralizing process should be completed. Since this process is too complicated to describe in this article, I recommend reading Judy Jacka’s book, The Vivaxis Connection: Healing through Earth Energies.

I believe that we can ask the spirits of our birthplace to aid us in tapping into our Vivaxis bubble.

FOREST BATHING

The concept of forest bathing originated in Japan in the 1980s, where it is called “shinrin-yoku”. It is a visit to a forest. While there, volatile substances, called phytoncides (wood essential oils) are inhaled. These phytoncides are antimicrobial organic compounds derived from trees. They resist insects and slow fungi and bacterial growth. Pine and oak trees give off lots of phytoncides. The benefits of forest bathing include:

  • Boosted immune system
  • Improved mood
  • Increased focus and intuition
  • Accelerated healing
  • Increased energy level
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced stress

FRILUFTSLIV

Norway has a similar concept to forest bathing called “friluftsliv”, which translates as “free air life”. Henrik Ibsen introduced the concept of friluftsliv in his 1859 poem On the Heights. Friluftsliv is a longing to be outdoors, exploring and appreciating nature. It can include sleeping, camping, hiking, photographing, meditating, playing, or dancing outside. Friluftsliv is connection to Mother Nature both a physically and spiritually.

MONUMENTEERING

Monumenteering is the process of visiting a sacred place and getting to know it, especially on a mythic level. Paul Devereux, in his book Re-Visioning the Earth explains the process of monumenteering. Here is a summary of the steps to creating a mythic relationship with a sacred site:

  1. Choose a sacred place. You may feel an energetic connection to a particular place. There are many books available to assist you, such as Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations, Sacred Places North America: 108 Destinations, Sacred Places Around the World: 108 Destinations, Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations, and Sacred Places: Sites of Spiritual Pilgrimage from Stonehenge to Santiago de Compostela,
  2. Say the name of the place out loud a few times. Notice what comes up.
  3. Research information about the place and study photographs of it.
  4. Energetically journey to the place and see what comes up.
  5. Physically visit the place. Use all your senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, feelings and emotions) to get to know the place. Take photographs. Sketch. Sit and just be there.
  6. If is non-harmful and nonintrusive, go into the vicinity of the place to take a blade of grass, a leaf, a pebble, or a small handful of soil or sand.
  7. When home again, put the photographs and items together in a special place. Before going to sleep, go over the material. Repeat this until you recall having a dream about the place. Journal these dreams and keep with the other items. Continue until you feel no new information is arriving.

TREE WHISPERING

Tree whispering is connecting and communicating with trees, plants, and other beings of nature. Through this process, we are able to receive wisdom from elements of nature which have their own intelligence. We empower our connection to nature as we feel the life force of a tree or plant. The general steps to developing a connection with a tree are:

  • Develop a respect of trees and plants as life forms.
  • Approach the tree. Feel its energy. Establish harmony with it. Ask its permission to touch it.
  • Open a dialog with the tree. You can ask questions or just listen for wisdom from the tree. Answers will come to you in the perceptual mode you are most attuned to. You may experience:
    • Inner seeing through the mind’s eye
    • Inner hearing of the little voice inside
    • Inner knowing through “gut” feelings
    • Inner feeling through heart-felt emotions
  • Ask the tree if it would like to receive healing energy from you. Being in right relationship means that the tree is healing you as you interact with it but also you may send the tree healing energy.
  • Give gratitude to the tree for your interaction and for its being there, supporting you and the environment.

For more information about tree whispering, read Jim Conroy and Basia Alexander’s book, Tree Whispering.

ECOSEXUALITY

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Ecosexuality can be defined as a new sexual identity that encompasses multiple expressions, such as:

  • Environmentally conscious individuals whose green living extends to their sexuality including acts of skinny dipping, masturbating in nature, or making love to Mother Earth.
  • Partnering with the Earth and treating the Earth as an intimate partner, including marriage.
  • The use of ecological and sustainable sexual products including condoms, birth control meds, sex toys, and lubricants. For more information refer to Eco-Sex by Stefanie Iris Weiss.

Ecosexuals identify Mother Earth as Lover Earth. There are as many as 100,000 ecosexuals already existing around the world. Ecosexuality helps develop ethical relationships with Earth and fosters environmental activism.

An ecosexual wedding is a ceremony where individuals commit to a place in nature, an ecosystem, the Earth, or the solar system. Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens, married the Earth in 2008. Since then they have officiated weddings where they and other ecosexuals have married the sky, the sun, the moon, snow, soil, and other natural entities. They also published the Ecosex Manifesto in 2011. For further reading in ecosexuality, refer to Anderlini-D’Onofrio and Serena Gaia’s book Ecosexuality: When Nature Inspires the Arts of Love.

May Day, May 1st, has been designated as Ecosexual Coming Out Day. May Day is also associated with Beltane, the pagan fertility festival, and with dancing around the maypole.

Many gender identities and sexual orientations have adopted flags to symbolize one’s unique identity. I couldn’t find one for ecosexuals so I designed one. It includes the sign for ecology that was created by Ron Cobb in 1969. The symbol was formed by combining the letters “e” for environment and “o” for organism to form a symbol like Greek letter Θ (theta).

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ASTROCARTOGRAPHY

Astrocartography is a map of the world that your astrological birth chart is overlaid upon. It shows where each planet was angular (rising, setting, on the zenith) at the time of birth. These maps can assist you in determining the most harmonious place to live.

Astrocartography is also known as locational or relocation astrology and astrogeography. Astrogeography was developed by Don Neroman in Europe in the 1930s. Jim Lewis of the United States developed and popularized astrocartography maps in the 1970s and 1980s. There are several online sites that can provide a map for you based on your birth chart.

Astrocartography maps can be used to plan relocation or travel. Depending on where your planetary lines fall, your life may be easier or more difficult. As a generalization, the most favorable lines are Sun, Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury. The more difficult lines are Saturn, Pluto and Mars. Some individuals do well while others do not on the lines of the Moon, Uranus and Neptune. Your choice of which line to visit or live on should be related to your goals and desires for this lifetime. For example, matters of spirituality are my highest priority in this life, so I am living on my Neptune line. If love and relationships were your primary priority, you might choose to live on your Venus line. Likewise, if communication were your priority, you might choose to live on your Mercury line. There are astrocartography readers who are proficient at interpreting maps with your birth chart. If you are serious about relocating, I highly recommend getting a reading from an expert.

The influence of a planetary line can be felt approximately 400-700 miles of either side of the line however the strongest influence is felt within 200 miles. If no line is near you the closest line can have a secondary effect on you. There can also be secondary influences based on latitudinal crossings of two planets (called parans). If there is neither a primary or secondary line, it is unlikely you will stay very long in such a location. Again, using myself as an example, I was born in Ohio but there are no planetary lines closeby, therefore, I moved away when I was 18. My physical moves were done unconscious of astrocartography at the time, therefore it supports that idea that we end up where we are destined to be.

If you have experienced tough times your entire life, you may be living on an unfavorable planetary line. Perhaps you were meant to live on this line for karmic reasons. If you are contemplating a move, perhaps you have worked through that karma and are ready for a change. Moving does not change your core issues but it does give you a fresh perspective.

GEOMANCY

A form of divination using the Earth is called “geomancy”. The word “geomancy” comes from the Greek word geo for earth and manteia for divination. The Arabic name for geomancy is ilm al-raml, which means the science of the sand. Geomancy is a method of divination that interprets markings on the ground (Chinese), how handfuls of dirt land when tossed (African), interpreting the topography of the land (Korean), or sketching random lines of dots in the sand or on paper (Arabic and Western Occult). This form of geomancy uses 16 figures created from random marks. Geomancy is also living in harmony with the Earth and the practice of it involves feng shui.

MEDICINE FOR MOTHER EARTH

Mother Earth has the ability to heal us and in the relationship of reciprocity, we can provide healing for Mother Earth. If you are a skilled healer or shamanic practitioner, you might consider using the techniques described below.

Places that most need healing are:

  • Damaged or abused land
  • Land with energetic imbalances
  • Places where violence or accidents have occurred
  • Places that have entities or heavy energies

Just as the human physical body can hold body stories and is surrounded by an energy bubble that holds imprints, the Earth also can be imprinted with energetic occurrences. Imprints may be positive or negative. Working with the spirit of place can neutralize negative imprints and balance energy.

It is extremely important to research the following issues if you are considering undertaking any form of healing for Mother Earth:

  1. Discover both the energetic and physical aspects of the place.
  2. Learn the history of the place.
  3. Examine how the place affects people.
  4. Obtain permission from the owner or steward of the place.
  5. Find out what the spirits of the land recommend as a healing intervention and when it should be performed.

A healing can be done directly by visiting the place or through distance healing by using a map. Healing interventions may include the following:

  • Grief rituals include recognizing and expressing grief where a traumatic event has occurred as well as facilitating any requests for atonement or forgiveness from the spirits of the land that is required before healing can begin.
  • Psychopomp services include assisting entities to move to the light or an alternate location in astral space.
  • Transformation work includes introducing light and love to balance heavy energies. For more information refer to Sandra Ingerman’s book, Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins.
  • Soul retrieval for the land or spirit of place. Soul retrieval is returning power to a place that has been lost due to trauma or abuse.
  • Energy balancing includes balancing the elements, balancing energy flows along ley lines and in sacred places, and inviting the nature spirits to return to a location.

Christina Mark provides this general outline to performing healing work:

  • Grounding – ask to be fully earthed in your body.
  • Attunement – ask to be attuned to the energy of the land.
  • Protection – ask for protection for your own personal energy.
  • Permission – ask for permission from the owner and then from the land itself for the work to take place.
  • Observe any impressions and listen for any information during the healing.
  • Allow the work to follow its own natural order.
  • Close down from healing mode when the work has been completed.
  • Permission – give thanks for the permission which was given and for the work that has taken place.
  • Protection – ask to be returned to your own circle of energy.
  • Attunement – ask to be returned to your normal state of consciousness.
  • Grounding – check that you feel fully earthed in your body.
  • Pass on any relevant information to the owners of the land.

EARTH MEDICINE ACTIVITIES FOR HUMANS

Besides engaging in activities described above, here is a list of additional activities that will help connect you into the energies of Earth Medicine:

  • Create a natural altar that honors Earth
  • Press flowers
  • Collect stones and shells
  • Paint and decorate rocks and shells
  • Work with clay
  • Make prayer/medicine/spirit sticks & wands from sticks
  • Sketch nature and create a nature journal
  • Greet the sun in the morning by singing, prayers, or chanting
  • Dance under the moon
  • Wish on stars
  • Hug Mother Earth by lying face down belly to belly with her
  • Meditate, chant, pray, sing to Mother Earth
  • Transmit Reiki to Mother Earth
  • Communicate with and get to know Nature Devas
  • Build a medicine wheel and/or labyrinth
  • Pay attention to messages from rocks, flowers, the sky, water, and other natural elements
  • Have a dialog with Mother Earth by opening a hole in the earth and closing it when done
  • Grow plants in the garden or in pots

Copyright © 2017 Drake Bear Stephen. Except where acknowledged.
www.DrakeInnerprizes.com

 

 

How to Conduct Drumming Circles

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INTRODUCTION TO DRUMMING CIRCLES

A drum circle is any group of people playing drums and percussion in a circle. They may also use: movement, dance, voices (chanting, singing, poetry, spoken), and other devices. The drum circle is an end in itself rather than preparation for a performance. The drumming is improvised and co-created by the participants.

Drum circles can be used for: team building, recreation, wellness, education, celebrations, spirituality, or personal growth.

Drumming can provide the following benefits:

  • Reduces tension, anxiety, pain, and stress.
  • Releases negative feelings, blockages, and emotional trauma
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Induces synchronous brain activity.
  • Produces natural altered states of consciousness.
  • Creates connectedness with self and others.
  • Synchronizes us with the natural rhythms of life.
  • Provides a secular approach to accessing a higher power.
  • Keeps one in the present moment

DRUM AND RATTLE INFORMATION

 Drums

A shaman’s drum is the typical type of drum used for spiritual drumming circles. It is a frame drum that has an animal skin stretched over one or both sides. If one sided, the back side has a handle to hold the drum. The drum is beat with a stick called a beater. These drums are usually 4” deep and up to 30” in diameter. Other types of drums that can be used are: tom toms, congas, djembes, bongos, and bodhran.

The drum can be used for calling in healing spirits, purification, power dances, extracting negative energies, calming anxiety and agitation, and as a divination tool.

Most drums sound best when the head is struck about halfway between the center and the rim. The tone at the center tends to be harsh with few overtones. A ringing tone works best for journeying and a more strident tone helps facilitate extraction work and the power dance.

Generally, the larger the drum, the deeper the tone. Also the thicker the hide the deeper the tone. Hides used on drums are generally one of the following (listed from highest to deepest tone):

  1. Cow: medium weight; light color; rougher texture
  2. Elk: thinner, lighter weight
  3. Buffalo: thicker hide; darkest color
  4. Moose: produces the deepest sound; lighter color than buffalo

Commercial plastic headed drums are available that retain their tone in all weather and do not need to be tightened like natural hides do. They cost considerably less and are “vegetarian” for those who don’t want to own animal hides.

Store the drum in a warm, dry place. Natural hides tend to loosen and stretch in different types of weather especially humidity. The drum head can be restored by heating the instrument slowly in front of a fire, using a hair dryer, or warming it on a heating pad. Don’t heat it any hotter than your hand can tolerate. Heat and dryness could split the head.

Clean your drum by rubbing it softly with a slightly damp cloth. Once in a while, the rawhide on the drum will benefit from a very light coating of Neatsfoot Oil compound on the back surface and on the cords.

Honor and respect the drum by not displaying it ostentatiously, by keeping the drum face up when setting it down, setting it down on a textile, and by smudging it regularly.

When a drum is new, it needs to be awakened. A relationship will develop with your drum and you will discover that your drum has moods. You will get spiritual benefit and guidance from playing your drum regularly. The following list of procedures will facilitate a good relationship with your drum:

  1. Smudge it with sage.
  2. Run your hand over the skin so that your oils will moisten it and wake it up.
  3. Play it gently at first.
  4. Journey to the spirit of your drum and meet the animal it was made from to say thanks and begin a partnership of healing work.
  5. Journey to the tree who gave the wood for the frame.
  6. Journey to the beater.
  7. Journey to the spirit of the drum itself. Ask your drum to be your sacred partner. Ask for an opening symbol to be shown to you that you can draw on the skin each time you drum.

Rattles

Known as the voice of the spirit, rattles are used for: ceremonies, healing, cleansing and purifying, soul retrieval work, visionary work, and to gently call ancestral spirits. (The drum is not normally used to call The Ancestors lest they be awakened in a sudden, loud manner.) A shaman’s rattle possesses strong powers and should be kept in its own special medicine bag. Rattles can be made from many different items such as: turtle shells, snake, buffalo testicles, rawhide, gourds, deer hooves, and horn. There are many different items to make the rattle sound such as: seeds, crystal chips, pebbles, and bone pieces.

Other Instruments

Besides rattles and drums, other instruments that can be used are: flutes, whistles, conch shells, fiddles, clappers, tambourines, and clappers as well as singing and chanting.

DRUMMING CIRCLE STRUCTURE

A general outlive of a drumming circle session is listed here:

  1. Smudging (see more below)
  2. Opening sacred space (see more below)
  3. Checking in (passing the talking stick, see more below)
  4. Jamming (informal drumming session)
  5. Journeying (optional, see more below)
  6. Jamming (informal drumming session)
  7. Closing (passing the stick again)
  8. Closing sacred space
  9. Social (optional)

The above is just a suggested framework from which you can design your own circle. Your drum circle can be structured in any way that you wish. One structure that I particularly like is called a Medicine Wheel Drumming and Prayer Ceremony and is outlined in Jim PathFinder Ewing’s book Finding Sanctuary in Nature: Simple Ceremonies in the Native American Tradition for Healing Yourself and Others. This ceremony recognizes the 4 directions by including 4 rounds of drumming allowing the energy of each direction to come in and facilitate prayers. It is similar to a sweat lodge without the sweat.

Being an informal jam session, drum circles do not play established songs. Drumming is started by one player beginning the rhythm and the other players chiming in with complementary rhythms. It is good to designate who the leader for a session is. This can be rotated among members or remain the responsibility of one of the more experienced drummers.

The following drum circle principles were created by Christine Stevens:

  1. It is inclusive.
  2. There is no teacher. The drum circle is led by a facilitator.
  3. There is no audience. Everyone is part of the musical experience.
  4. There is no rehearsal. The music is improvised. Spontaneity thrives.
  5. There is no right or wrong. It’s about much more than drumming.

It may also be fun to add some drum circle games to your sessions, such as the following:

  1. Play your name on the drums. It can be done in call and response, or to start a groove.
  2. Use Simon Says to call out rhythms or things like “Simon Says play the drum 2 times.” “Simon Says play the drum with your elbows.”
  3. Invite the group to jam until someone comes into the center and facilitates a stop. That person says one thing they’re celebrating and then go into another jam, waiting for the next person to recognize their personal cause to celebrate.

CLEARING & PURIFYING (SMUDGING)

Smudging is the burning of herbs or incense for cleansing, purification, protection of physical and spiritual bodies, banishment of negative energies and creation of sacred space. Smudging releases the energy and fragrance of the herbs and botanicals so they can heal, cleanse, and purify. Great respect must be given to the process of smudging for a relationship is being formed between you, the plant spirits, the Ancestors, and Great Mystery.

Typical herbs and incense used for smudging are: sage, sweetgrass, cedar, juniper, tobacco, palo santo, bay leaf, cypress, copal, fennel, frankincense, hibiscus flowers, lavender, lemongrass, mugwort, mullien, myrrh, orris root, osha, pine, fir, hemlock, spruce, pinon, rose petals, uvi ursi, yerba santa.

There are “smudgeless” forms of smudging that can be used in environments where people may have sensitivity to burning herbs or incense. One method is to use Florida water as is common in South America (I will demonstrate). The other form is to use rosemary or bay laurel branches to “whisk” the physical body with them.

The process for smudging with herbs is:

  1. Light smudge stick and wait for it to smolder, letting the smoke start to rise, it carries your prayers to Great Spirit.
  2. If using a smudge bowl, rub your hands in the smoke to cleanse them. If using a smudge stick, use a feather to direct the smoke.
  3. Scoop the smoke:
  • to the 4 directions
  • downwards to Mother Earth
  • upwards to Father Sky and Great Spirit. You may also offer to the moon, sun, waters, winds and universe.
  • over the left shoulder to the spirits
  • over the right shoulder to the ancestors
  • to the head, so you will think good thoughts
  • to the eyes, so you see the truth
  • to the throat, so you will speak in truth, in kindness, and in non-judgmental ways
  • to the ears, so that you will truly listen and hear only the truth
  • to the heart, so you feel connected to all living beings in a loving way
  • to the solar plexus, so your emotions connect with the Earth Mother
  • [if a woman] to the womb, so your life giving energies go out into the world in balance and harmony
  • under the feet to the dark side of your soul and to walk in peace
  • breathe in the smudge, visualizing the smoke purifying your body from the inside
  1. Say a little prayer asking the powers that be to remove all negativity and unwanted energies. Here is a sample prayer: Great Spirit, may my prayers travel up this smoke to you, that you may bring blessings and peace. I give thanks for all the blessings received.

Opening Sacred Space

Opening sacred space, also called “calling in the directions”, calls in the Spirits that are willing to support and fuel your intentions as well as protect space during ceremony where all will be connected to the divine.

Begin with any cardinal direction that you desire. North American native traditions usually begin in the East honoring new vision and the dawn.  Some Celtic and Scandinavian traditions begin in the North, referencing the North Star and Big Dipper. South American traditions begin in the South as a reference to the Southern Cross (Chicana). Usually six directions are called, the four cardinal directions plus Mother Earth and Father Sky. Some traditions add a 7th direction that represents the Within, the Center, or Parallel Dimensions.

Using rattles, whistles, conch shells, drums, and Florida water, greet each direction. Then the caller of that direction invites the spirits to join the sacred space. Usually when sacred space is open, candles are lit or a fire is built.

After all ceremonial work is finished, it is important to close sacred space. Gratitude is given to the spirits of each direction and they are released.

Talking Stick

A very nice custom to use when doing a check in at the beginning of circle is the passing of the Talking Stick. A Talking Stick is used to give the floor to one person at a time to speak uninterrupted. The stick reminds the speaker that Great Spirit is listening to the message as well. If the speaker feels they cannot honor the Talking Stick with their words, they should refrain from speaking. All people must listen and not interrupt the individual holding the stick. The stick is passed to each individual in the group so that they have a chance to say their piece. Many items can be used as a talking stick including a stick, feather, peace pipe, wampum belt, shell, or some other sacred object.

Journeying

Shamanic journeying is a very ancient technique that has been practiced by healers, shamans and medicine people all over the world for at least 40,000 years in many cultures on every continent.

Journeying enables one to mindfully send their awareness into the hidden realms of their own consciousness to connect with inner wisdom, receive healing, receive answers to problems, or to discover information that can facilitate personal growth and understanding.

A shaman is one who can go into an altered state of consciousness at will. While in this altered state, they make a conscious choice to journey to another reality, a reality which is outside of time and space. This other reality is composed of 3 realms: the lower world, the middle world, and the upper world. These non-ordinary realities are inhabited by helping spirits and guides. The shaman is able to establish relationships with these spirit-guides and to bring back information and healing for the community or the individual.

Shamanic journeys are always undertaken with a specific purpose in mind. The classic way of entering the spirit world is by using a steady rhythm of drumming. The drum is known as the horse that the shaman rides into a trance.

Shamanic journey drumming is a 180-cycles-per-second beat that approximates the frequency of the Earth itself. This induces the theta brain wave state of altered consciousness.

Not all drumming circle participants may be experienced journeyers so journeying is optional. If the group does journey they can do individual journeys or they can journey as a group on a common theme. Spirit Canoe is ceremony where shamans journey as a group. Spirit Canoe originated in the Coast Salish culture of western Washington. They ride in an imaginary canoe to travel to non-ordinary realities. The journey is accompanied by singing, drumming, and rattling. The traditional purpose of a Spirit Canoe ceremony was to recover power for a client. Today the ceremony has been broadened to include journeys to the spirit world for various purposes.

One suggestion for a new drumming circle is to have the group journey to retrieve a totem spirit for the circle. A totem is a spirit being, animal, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe. The word totem comes from the Ojibway word dodaem and means “brother/sister kin”. People from the same clan have the same clan totem and are considered immediate family.

LINKS

Effective Core Shamanic Drumming Circles http://shamanism.org/articles/article14.html
Drum Circle Facilitators Guild www.dcfg.net/
Drum Circle Magazine http://drumcirclemagazine.com/
Village Music Circles http://drumcircle.com/
Living Drums (purchase drums) www.livingdrums.com

RECOMMENDED READING

Sacred Drumming by Steven Ash and Ash Renate
The Shamanic Drum: A Guide to Sacred Drumming by Michael Drake
Shamanic Drumming: Calling the Spirits by Michael Drake
Drum Circle Facilitation Book Building Community through Rhythm by Arthur Hull
Drum Circle Spirit (Facilitating Human Potential through Rhythm) by Arthur Hull
The Art and Heart of Drum Circles by Christine Stevens
The Healing Drum Kit by Christine Stevens
Sacred Beat: From the Heart of the Drum Circle by Patricia Telesco and Don Waterhawk

Copyright © 2016 Drake Bear Stephen. Except where acknowledged.
www.DrakeInnerprizes.com

Fire Ceremony

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GENERAL FACTS ABOUT FIRE

Fire is the force that produces heat and radiates light. Fire connects us to the ancestors, the stars, and the Creator of All That Is.

Fire is a powerful transformer. That is one reason that it is often used in ceremony. Transformation by Fire is sudden and total. Fire is both a creator and a destroyer. It must be controlled in order for us to benefit from it. Fire consumes oxygen and material and transforms them into light, heat, smoke, and ash. Transformation burns away the old to provide space for the new to appear.

Fire is most yang of the four elements. It represents the South, Summer, High Noon, the Masculine, and Youth. Fire is found in triangular or pointy-shaped objects and the colors red, orange, and yellow. In Asia, Fire is represented by the Vermilion Bird.

The elemental of Fire is the salamander. Commonly known as St. Elmo’s Fire, salamanders were thought of as glowing orbs of fire bursting with immense energy. They are said to control emotions such as passion, anger, and love.

The archangel of Fire is Michael; the angel is Aral; the ruler is Seraph; the king is Djin; and the astrological signs are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.

Fire is represented by wands or swords in the Tarot; flint by the Aztecs; a mouse by Native Americans; the lightning bolt by Hindu and Islamic faiths; an axe by the Scythians; an apple bough by the Greeks; and lions and ravens by the Christians.

The gods and goddesses of Fire include: Pele from Hawaiian tradition; Brigid, Bel, and Lugh from Celtic tradition; and Kali, Sita, and Agni from Hinduism. Agni is Sanskrit for “fire”.

Just like us, Fire has a light side and a shadow side. The characteristics associated with Fire on the light side are: action, assertiveness, authority, boldness, cleansing, consumption, creativity, energetic, enlightening, fertility, forceful, illuminating, lively, masculinity, passionate, power, purification, reflection, renewal, sexuality, untamed wildness, warmth, and will.

The characteristics associated with Fire on the shadow side are: anger, commanding, destruction, feisty, eruption, explosion, impetuousness, lust, temper, and war.

FIRE CELEBRATIONS & HOLIDAYS

Below are the recurring Fire ceremonies conducted within different cultures:

Chanukah The Jewish Festival of Lights, is observed for 8 nights. Candles are burned in a menorah. On the first night one is lit. Each night an additional candle is lit until on the last night all 8 are lit. The 9th candle is called a shamas and is used to light all the other candles. Late Nov to Late Dec

Homa (Homam, Havan, Yajna, Yagya, Havan, Agnihotra) In Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, this Fire ceremony includes kindling and consecrating a sacrificial Fire, invoking of one or more divinities, and making offerings while saying prayers and mantras. These Fire ceremonies are performed to let go of patterns and obstacles, express gratitude, petition for success, and for healing or purification.

Kwanzaa Kwanzaa, the celebration of African heritage, is observed for 7 nights. Candles are burned in a kinara. There are 3 red, 3 green and 1 black candle. Each of the 7 candles are dedicated to one of the following principles: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). Dec 26 to Jan 1

New Fire Ceremony The Aztecs celebrated every 52 years when their 260-day ritual and 365-day civil calendars returned to the same positions relative to each other. All Fires were allowed to burn out. A new Fire was lit during a ceremony from which the people rekindled their personal Fires.

Pagan The wheel of the pagan year is celebrated with 8 festivals. Traditionally there was always a Fire at these celebrations. (Dates shown below are for the Northern Hemisphere and would be reversed in the Southern Hemisphere.) The Fire Festivals are:

Imbolc, Brigid’s Day Many candles are lit to celebrate the return of the sun. Brigid is the Triple Goddess of Fire. Feb 2

Beltane, May Day From the Irish Gaelic Bealtaine, which meanings Bel-fire (the Fire of Bel, Celtic God of light). Beltane is celebrated with bonfires, feasting, dancing around the Maypole and lots of sexual energy. Renewal and purification rites are performed by jumping the bonfire. The Celtic herds were driven between two bonfires to purify and protect. May 1

Lughnasadh, Lammas Honoring the Celtic Sun God Lugh. Aug 1

Samhain, Celtic New Year Since the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest at this time, scrying by viewing the flames of the candle or Fire is an excellent way to connect with the Spirit World. Oct 31

The Seasonal Festivals based on the solar calendar are:

Spring Equinox, Ostara, Eostre Fires are lit at sunrise to welcome the new spring. Mar 21

Summer Solstice, Litha, Midsummers Night A celebration of the Sun God, traditional herbs are cast into the bonfire and people dance around the flaming pit and jump the Fire for fertility, luck and a prosperous harvest. Jun 21

Autumn Equinox, Mabon Fires celebrate the harvest. Sep 22

Winter Solstice, Yule, Saturnalia Welcoming the return of the Sun God, the yule log is lit. Dec 21

FIRE CEREMONY

Fire is alive and has a spirit. So when we conduct Fire ceremony, it is important to recognize Fire as a living organism. Call on ceremonial Fire for the following reasons: banishing negativity, courage, energy, protection, purification, renewal, sexual matters, strength, and transformation.

Fire ceremony is one of the most powerful ceremonies there are because Fire is a powerful transformer. Fire ceremonies are common in almost all spiritual practices and across all ancient and native cultures. Smoke from Fire takes the intentions from the offerings to the universe so that they can be manifested. Fire ceremonies are traditionally held around a holiday, full, or new moons. However, any time you have an intention or a need for a ritual, Fire ceremony can be performed. In the past, Fire ceremony was conducted by an experienced medicine person after extensive training. This tradition no longer holds true. Anyone with pure intention and open heart can lead a Fire ceremony, whether for individual use or for a group.

Fire ceremony can also use the following representations of fire: candles, a storm, and stars.

Here are the natural steps to creating a sacred fire:

  1. Place kindling in a square and then build a short teepee of wood over it. Fill in with paper and kindling as needed. Use natural Fire starters and avoid commercial lighter fluids.
  2. Designate one or more Fire keepers, who will tend the Fire throughout the ceremony until the embers die out. Each Fire keeper writes their name on a piece of paper and places it in the unlit wood.
  3. Place tobacco on the unlit wood.
  4. Add a pinch of sacred ashes from a pre-existing collection. In the shamanic tradition, cold ashes are collected after a sacred Fire has burned out. These ashes are added into a collection of ashes from many sacred Fires. The bits of charcoal in the ash may be affectionately referred to as “the bones”. Ashes can also be handed from shaman to shaman as the collection grows. When lighting a sacred fire, a pinch of the ashes are added.
  5. Open sacred space or call in the spirits from the directions, whatever is appropriate for your personal tradition.
  6. Light the Fire.
  7. Feed the Fire. The Fire is made friendly with olive oil or other offerings (see list below).
  8. Sing Fire songs or chant while waiting for the Fire to become friendly.
  9. Approach the Fire to put your personal offerings into it. The Fire will transform your intentions into light and smoke allowing them to go to Spirit. Come to the Fire without fear and with an open heart so that the heat and flames will not harm you.
  10. Another stick can be used for global prayers, a prayer for Mother Earth. The stick can be passed so that each participant adds their prayers. Then the stick is offered to the Fire.
  11. At the close of ceremony sacred space is closed and spirits from the directions are released.
  12. The Fire keeper stays with the Fire until it is embers.

Here are a few common rules of Fire etiquette:

  1. Always walk clockwise around a Fire.
  2. Never throw trash into a sacred Fire.
  3. Never put anything in the sacred Fire without getting permission from the Fire keeper or Fire leader.
  4. Always insure that the Fire area is safe. Make sure that sparks will not ignite surrounding brush, grass, bushes, and trees
  1. Never douse a sacred Fire with water. Dirt to smother the Fire can be kept nearby in case of an emergency.

FIRE OFFERINGS

Making offerings to Fire helps affirm our intentions. One way to create an offering is to use sticks about pencil size. Create a desire for each of the sticks you have gathered, whether it be manifesting something, banishing something, or gratitude for something. Call up the feeling around each of your desires and blow one into each of the sticks. Place the sticks into the Fire and watch them burn.

Below is a list of additional offerings and what they are usually associated with. To make an offering, simply blow your intention into a pinch or handful of the offering. Then throw it directly on the fire.

3 Sisters: Corn, Beans, & Squash seeds. Corn is for sustenance and gifting back to the earth what we have been given. Beans are for protection and represent sacred places or places of emergence. Squash is for honoring the Plant People.

Bee Pollen: For transformation, fertilization, sweetness, and nourishment.

Cedar: Purify, cleanse, or decrease negativity. Induces psychic powers. Attracts money.

Copal: For purification, uplifting spirits, protection, spirituality, and attracting love.

Cornmeal: For protection and abundance.

Juniper: Purify, protect, create sacred space. Aids clairvoyance. Attracts good energy & love.

Lavender: For peace of mind and inner calm.

Lemon Verbena: Increases power in spell workings, purifies, increases sexual attraction.

Petition Paper: Write your desire, affirmation, prayer on a piece of paper.

Prayer Ties: Tobacco-filled cotton squares tied on a string that hold prayers, intentions, and affirmations.

Pine Cones: Symbol of growth.

Popcorn: Jumping between the worlds. Kernels of truth popping into awareness.

Rosemary: Protects against evil and cleanses.

Rose Petals: For good luck in love, psychic powers, healing, and protection.

Sweetgrass: Brings in positive energy, calls spirits, ancestors.

Tobacco: Amplifies prayers, provides healing & purification, allows communication with spirits.

White Sage: Purifies, drives out negative spirits, thoughts, and feelings.

FIRE DIVINATION

During Fire ceremony, you might see messages as you observe the fire. There may be images that you see in the flames. Look for indications that have a particular meaning for you and the circumstances you are in at the present time. Below is a list of some characteristics and what they might indicate. However, like in dreams and other divination techniques, it is always best to interpret the events with your own meanings.

Is the Fire hard to start? This may indicate more effort is needed to manifest your petition or it may not be the most auspicious time to have a Fire ceremony.

How quickly does the wood catch fire? This may indicate Fire’s receptivity to your petition or reason for ceremony.

Does the Fire burn very slowly or does it go out? This may indicate your petition will be very slow in coming to fruition.

Does the Fire burn more to one side? This may indicate love may be in the air or that your situation may be one-sided.

Is there a lot of crackling, hissing, popping? This may indicate Spirits are trying to communicate.

Is there sparking? This may indicate that your petition will be fulfilled.

Is there a distinct hollow in the flames? This may indicate an ending of a problem bothering you.

Does the Fire suddenly roar up into the air for no apparent reason? This may indicate an argument or explosive drama may soon occur.

Do sparks fly up aggressively into the air? This may indicate important news is on the way.

Do 3 bolts of flame rise up and burn separately? This may indicate a momentous event will occur soon.

Do the flames burn high? This may indicate that power and energy are going into your petition.

Do the flames burn low? This may indicate that obstacles are being removed before your petition is manifested.

Is the Fire strong? This may indicate your desires are moving toward manifesting.

Is the Fire weak? This may indicate you are facing strong opposition.

Are the flames flickering a lot? This may indicate the presence of spirits.

Are the flames jumping? This may indicate bursts of energy are being transmitted.

Do the flames look like a rainbow? This may indicate that the energies being produced are very strong.

Is the smoke moving toward you? This may indicate your petition has been acknowledged.

Is the smoke moving away from you? This may indicate perseverance will be needed for your petition.

Is the smoke moving to your right? This may indicate you will need to be patient and success comes from using your head.

Is the smoke moving to your left? This may indicate you are too emotionally involved with the petition and in danger of subconsciously sabotaging your petition

FIRE SONGS

There are many songs that can be sung around the fire. Songs not only feed the Fire but knit the community connections into a tapestry of sacred space. Here are just a few recommended songs. Most of these can be downloaded from Apple iTunes.

Brooke Medicine Eagle – “Mother I Feel You”
Donald T. McMahon & Pam Mc Mahon – “We Circle Around”
Elliot Diamond – “Nitche Tai Tai”
Kate Marks & Friends – “Earth My Body” & “Wani Wachialo”
Kinlen Wheeler and Scott Johnson – “Long Tail Feathers”, “Fly Like Eagles”, & “Infinite Sun”

Copyright © 2016 Drake Bear Stephen. Except where acknowledged. www.DrakeInnerprizes.com

Head, Heart, & Hara: A Checks & Balance System

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INTRODUCTION TO THE 3 CENTERS:
HEAD, HEART, & HARA

The human has three primary soul centers, which are also energy centers or centers of awareness. These are the head, heart, and hara.

The United States constitution provided a checks and balance system by forming three branches of government: legislative, executive, judicial. This was done so that there would be no possibility of an autocrat ruling the country. So, too, do we have an internal checks and balance system within us. They are the head, heart, and hara.

Most often we rely on the head to legislate what actions to take. We rely on the heart to execute those actions because without passion, we would not take action. And we rely on the hara to provide judgment on our action as it sends physical signals from the body as feedback on our actions. Ever feel butterflies, queasiness, or irritable bowel symptoms? These are all emotions generated from our gut.

By tapping into all three centers of awareness, we provide the best possible support to ourselves especially in the decision making process. When all three centers are balanced, our intuition works at its highest potential.

How many times can you remember someone telling you to pay attention and think it through (focus with your head), or to follow your heart, or to rely on our gut instinct? The highest level of awareness requires us to access all three centers equally.

THE 3 CAULDRONS

When we find concepts that exist in multiple cultures, especially those that date back hundreds or thousands of years, it gives added validity to the truth of the concept.

A poem called “The Cauldron of Poesy”, written in the 15th century by Amergin and to Nede Mac Adne, identified three centers of the soul, called cauldrons. These three cauldrons were incorporated into the cosmology of Celtic Druidry. The three cauldrons are:

Cauldron of Knowledge (Coire Sois) – Located in the head, this is the source of the highest spiritual and artistic inspirations. At birth it is in the inverted position. If a person becomes spiritually enlightened, it turns to the upright position.

Cauldron of Motion or Vocation (Coire Ernma) – Located in the heart, this is the source of vision work, and skill. If a person has no gifts or skills, it is inverted. If a person becomes aware of their skills, it is tipped on its side. If a person becomes trained in a skill and is enlightened, it turns to the upright position.

Cauldron of Warming (Coire Goiriath) – Located in the belly, this is the source of physical and constitutional health and strength. At birth it is upright in all people and stays upright throughout life with the potential to be fully filled.

In the upright position, the Cauldrons are capable of holding much more knowledge and wisdom. The Cauldron of Vocation and the Cauldron of Knowledge can be turned by either sorrow or joy. There are four forms of sorrow that occur within a person: longing, grief, jealousy, and hard travel. There are two forms of joy: divine joy and human joy. Human joy has four forms: marriage or sexual delight; good health; vocational prosperity; and success in effort. Divine joy has two forms: delight in the blessings of the Gods/Goddesses and eating at the Well of Wisdom.

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THE HEAD

When we use the term “head”, we are really referring to a few piece parts. The head includes the mind, which represents logic. The head also houses the sixth and seventh chakras. The head is also the home of the Third Eye. The Third Eye has been called by various names throughout history, including the “Inner Eye,” “Mind’s Eye,” “Eye of the Soul,” and “Eye of Reason.” Almost all Hindu gods and goddesses, as well as many humans, wear a bindi between their eyebrows, which is a physical representation of the Third Eye. Even the single horn of the unicorn represents the Third Eye and was adopted as a symbol of an illumined spiritual nature. When you are able to see with the 3rd Eye, you feel expanded perceptual abilities, increased sensitivity, increased sense of peace, and a higher consciousness.

The head is also the home of the pineal gland. The pineal gland is a pea-sized gland located between the cerebral hemispheres in the brain. The pineal gland got its name because it looks like a tiny pine cone. It has several functions but most importantly it is known as our spiritual or intuitive center.

Here is a process you can use to stimulate or activate your pineal gland:

  • With your eyes closed, stare at the tip of your nose, then raise your gaze to the Third Eye.
  • Visualize the opening and clearing of your pineal gland.
  • Tap your Third Eye three times to inform and seal.
  • Avoid fluoride, which is believed to calcify the pineal gland.

THE HEART

When we use the term “heart”, we are referring not only to the fourth chakra but there is an energetic center called the “assemblage point” in the chest area.

The assemblage point is the primary place that the energy body connects to the physical body. The assemblage points is in the center of the chest at the nipple line and the ideal entry angle is 90 degrees, or perpendicular, to the body. The assemblage points is about a quarter to a half inch in diameter.

To find your assemblage points, stand up and look straight ahead. Use the tip of your index finger of your left hand to press firmly into the tissue in a four inch circle in the center of your chest. You’ll know you’ve found your assemblage points because it will likely be very tender or painful.

The position of the assemblage points affects our physical and psychological health. When it is correctly aligned we are positive, happy, and healthy. When the AP is out of alignment we are anxious, depressed, lack energy, or are unwell.

If the assemblage points is out of alignment, it can be shifted back to its optimal position. If you feel that your assemblage points is off, find an energy medicine practitioner who is trained in relocating assemblage points.

Carlos Castaneda believed the assemblage points was a shaman’s portal to “the place of silent knowledge”. Shamans shift their assemblage points in order to perceive different worlds where they can gather power to solve problems.

THE HARA

When we use the term “hara”, we are referring not only to the second and third chakras but there is an energetic center in the belly area. Eastern culture has specific terms for the concept of the third awareness center called the “hara” or “dantian”.

Hara is a Japanese word that means “sea of energy”. In Chinese, the name for the hara is “dantian”, which means “elixir field” or “energy center”. The Sufis call it the “Kath”.

The Hara is the center of the energy body. It can be in slightly different places for different people. It is approximately 1½ to 3 thumb widths below the navel and about 2 thumb widths inward from the skin. There are three acupuncture points at the Hara: the Gate of Origin, and the Sea of Qi, and the Stone Gate.

The hara should be soft and relaxed above the navel but full and firm below it. For most beginners, the hara starts out big, about the size of a baseball or basketball, but as a person learns to consolidate energy, it gets smaller. The health and power of the hara can be increased through: meditation, visualization, breathing techniques, tantra, martial arts, shiatsu, yoga, acupuncture, and QiGong.

“Soma-psychology allows us to distinguish three distinct levels of human communication. Soul and spirit, divided into three distinct spheres: a mind sphere with a verbal thought skin as its surface, a body sphere bounded by our sensory and emotional skin, and an inner soul sphere of our overall soul and spirit. These three spheres also correspond to the three main centers of awareness in the body, the head, heart and hara.” –Peter Wilberg

We actually do have a second brain in our gut. It is called the entreric nervous system, which governs the gastrointestinal system. The enteric nervous system can operate autonomously from the central nervous system and has the same neuropeptides found in the brain. More than 90% of the body’s serotonin and 50% of the body’s dopamine are in the gut. The second brain can inform our state of mind through physiological signals, such as “butterflies”.

As a fetus, we were fed nutrients through the navel. After birth, we feed on energy through the naval. In Inka cosmology, the spiritual stomach is called the “qos’qo”. It is the central receptor of living energy in our body. Through the “belly eye” we connect directly to the energy of Earth. Thus, we have an energetic umbilical cord that maintains our connection with Mother Earth.

You can locate the qos’qo by feeling it with your hand. You can also open or close it at will. Learning to use the qos’qo is an important part of mastering your energy body. As a master, you know how to cleanse the hucha (heavy, dense energy that does not serve you) from your energy bubble, called a “poq’po”. A master can also eat and digest heavy energy (called “hucha mikhuy”); perform saminchukuy, which is a process of pulling in sami (light, refined energy) through the crown chakra to the poq’po; and perform saiwachakuy, which is a process of pulling earth energy through the base chakra to the poq’po.

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PROBLEM SOLVING WITH THE 3 CENTERS

Most of us are much more familiar with accessing the head and heart for decision making. However, in Western culture, we are not as familiar with acknowledging the hara. If we don’t access the triad of head, heart, and hara, then we aren’t using the full range of our capacities. The head brings logic, organization, and planning skills to the table. The heart brings emotion, passion, compassion, and love to the table. And the hara brings instinct, intuition, and action to the table.

When you are processing any issue or question, call your head to stand front and center in your consciousness. Ask your head what it has to say. Write the answer down on paper. Then thank and release your head. Next call your heart to stand front and center in your consciousness. Ask it what it has to say. Write the answer down on paper. Thank and release your heart. Last, call in your hara to stand front and center in your consciousness. Ask it what is has to say. Write that answer down on paper. Thank and release your hara. Now review what all three said. If there is a decision to be made, there can’t be a tie within a triad. You will know how you really feel about the issue if you agree with the three or if you disagree with the three. And remember, there is also your Higher Self that can be consulted. But that is the subject of another article.

Copyright © 2016 Drake Bear Stephen. Except where acknowledged. www.DrakeInnerprizes.com

The 3 Ds of Dealing with Traumatic Memories

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DEFINITION OF TRAUMATIC MEMORY

Trauma is defined as a negative psychological reaction that is a direct result of an emotionally stressful experience such as abuse, injury, or combat. Each individual has a personal definition of what is traumatic for them so that what may be considered non-traumatic to one person is felt to be very traumatic by another. Therefore, the details of a trauma are not nearly as important as developing healing solutions to incidents that are perceived to be traumatic. It is not ethical for a healing practitioner to try to remove or change traumatic memories of their clients. However, there are some tools that can assist trauma survivors to reframe unpleasant past memories

THE 3 Ds

Healing is facilitated, not by changing the past, but by changing the perception of what happened in the past. I developed a process called the 3 Ds, when working with trauma survivors:

  • Discover – Identify the original trauma. Trauma can surface as memories of past occurrences that go back as far as early childhood or even to past lives.
  • Defuse – Use of various techniques to work with the after-effects of trauma.
  • Develop – Creating a new reaction when the original traumatic memory is triggered. Install an anchor that activates a switch toward the new reaction.

DISCOVER

Traumatic memories may be conscious or they may be buried in the subconscious. However, there events that trigger these memories to surface. It is important to have a plan of action for when this occurs.

Be able to identify when a traumatic memory is triggered and be familiar with the symptoms of trauma. Short term symptoms of trauma may include hypervigilance, hypersensitivity, nightmares, mood swings, anxiety, phobias, amnesia, addictive behaviors, fear, or self-mutilation. Longer term effects may include chronic fatigue, chronic pain, depression, disassociation, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosomatic illnesses, or immune system problems.

The subconscious stores long term memories. All memories run along a network of neurons in the brain. The more often a memory occurs, the more the network connections are strengthened. Each time this pathway is traveled it becomes more deeply embedded in the mind. Beliefs are then created from this memory pathway.

A metaphor that illustrates this is that of a train running down a track. Each time a subsequent event triggers a traumatic memory, a train carrying thoughts and emotions, travels down a track to reach a specific reaction. This track is the neurological network in our brain. The more often the neurological network is traveled, the deeper the pathway becomes embedded or “hard-wired” in the brain.

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DEFUSE

Defusing a traumatic memory includes deconstructing the traumatic incident and desensitizing the effects of the trauma. Some very effective techniques that hypnotherapists may use are:

  • Employing desensitization techniques to remove the emotional charge of the memory.
  • Doing an inner child rescue.
  • Creating a protection entity such as a power animal, angel, spirit guide, or super hero.
  • Creating a “peaceful place” that is an alternative to the “painful place”. This virtual safe place is created from a favorite place in nature.
  • Working with the sub-personalities to develop an inner support system.
  • If there is a perpetrator, understanding their motive during the trauma.

DEVELOP

A new destination (reaction) to the traumatic memory is created. The thoughts and emotions associated with the new destination should foster self-love, self-esteem, and self-empowerment.

If a new reaction is created, one that is desired more than the old familiar pattern, there is a new destination for the train to travel to. In order for the train to get there, though, there has to be a switch installed on the track.

The switch is a physical anchor, such as touching the body at a specific place. Identify a place on the body that is not usually touched. As the new reaction is visualized and felt, touch that specific place on the body. This new feeling becomes associated with the action of the touch. The next time the traumatic memory is triggered, the simply touch this place, recall the feeling of the new reaction, and the train now travels the new track. In this way the switch does double duty as a decision point and as a break state.

An additional aid in this process is to identify where the track of the traumatic memory exists in the consciousness. Then visualize the installation of a switch and a new track.

In this way, the old memory is preserved but there is a new reaction available as a new destination. The more often the new pathway is traveled, the stronger it will become until it is eventually “hard-wired” in the brain. The old track always remains but the train now travels down the new track.

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RECOMMENDED READING

In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness – Peter A. Levine

Trauma and Memory: Brain and Body in a Search for the Living Past: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Working with Traumatic Memory – Peter A. Levine

Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma – Peter A. Levine

Quick Steps to Resolving Trauma – Bill O’Hanlon

Copyright © 2016 Drake Bear Stephen. Except where acknowledged. www.DrakeInnerprizes.com

Art Medicine: Creating & Consecrating Spirit Crafts

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INTRODUCTION TO ART MEDICINE

What is Contemporary Medicine?

Medicine is derived from the Latin ars medicina, meaning the art of healing. Contemporary medicine treats, diagnoses, and prevents illnesses, diseases, and injuries primarily with medication or surgery.

What is Traditional (aka Indigenous or Folk) Medicine?

Traditional Medicine (aka complementary and alternative medicine) incorporates knowledge about plant, animal, and mineral-based medicines, spiritual therapies, and body manipulation techniques that has been developed over many generations. Indigenous Medicine is usually transmitted orally through communities, families, and individuals. Many indigenous communities have specific roles for healers such as shamans, medicine persons, witch doctors, sorcerers, magicians, witches, psychics, yogis, kahunas, seers, and midwives. According to Native American beliefs, Medicine is an inner power that is found in both Nature and all individuals. When determining is something is good, the question, “is it good medicine” is asked.

What is Earth Medicine?

Earth Medicine is a spiritual method of healing Mother Earth. In reverse, Earth Medicine is also the healing of humans by Mother Earth as they walk, lay, and pray on her surface. Earth-based spirituality honors all aspects of Nature and view Nature as a source of universal consciousness and energy.

What is Shaman Art?

Shaman art is art created by shamans for shamanic practices. Shamans use art for various reasons such as:

  1. To create a supra-normal atmosphere for spiritual healing rituals.
  2. As sensory triggering mechanisms to expand consciousness and/or induce shamanic trance states.
  3. To access the higher self and to reprogram the powerful instincts of the lower self.
  4. To create representations of Spirits.
  5. To create symbolism as a means of interacting with the Spirit World.

Shaman art includes: costuming, masks, sculpture, carving, petroglyphs, painting, sandpainting, bodypainting, tattooing, piercing, scarification, creating talismans and amulets, writing, metallurgy, and crafts. Performance arts include: illusionism, clowning, fire-walking, drumming, music, and dance.

Two beautiful concepts of shamanic art in use are:

Navajo Sandpaintings These sandpaintings are created by a Medicine Person for healing or blessing ceremonies. Sandpaintings are created on the floor of a hogan. When complete, the client sits on the sandpainting where they are chanted over. The sandpainting is a portal for spirits to come to absorb the illness and take it away. The sandpaintings are begun, finished, and destroyed within a 12 hour period.

Tibetan Buddhist Sandpaintings These are mandalas that the lamas create with colored sand over a period of days or weeks. Their subsequent destruction is then destroyed and in so doing heals and blesses the environment and all living beings.

What is Art Medicine?

Art Therapy is a form of art medicine that is used in the mental health profession. The creative process enhances the mental and emotional well-being of individuals. The product of art therapy is used as a diagnostic tool with an individual’s subconscious. Art therapy uses art materials, such as paints, markers, crayons, clay, and sand tray.

I have coined the term Art Medicine as a form of art that is used in Energy and Earth Medicine practices. Working with Art Medicine provides powerful medicine in the following ways:

  1. The process of creation is healing.
  2. The creation process focuses intentions for manifesting, affirming, banishing, relinquishing, or gratitude.
  3. The product can be used to heal others remotely or when given as a gift.
  4. The process can be used as ceremony or ritual.
  5. Using natural materials honors Mother Earth, Spirit Guides, and other spiritual entities..

The product of art medicine is ceremonial crafts or spirit crafts. These items are created from natural materials that will be used for sacred or ceremonial purposes. These items can be placed on altars or in Nature, they can be buried, burned, or released in water, depending on the intent of the creator.

Most medicine people create their own sacred tools because these tools amplify their personal power and focus their attention.

It is a Native American belief that in order to gain the attention or blessings of the Higher Spirits that you offer a gift that will delight them. The more work and effort put into an item for offering, the more inclined the spirits are to bless the request put to them.

RITUAL & CEREMONY

Although used often interchangeably, there is a difference between ritual and ceremony.

Ceremony is a formal act of ritual, protocol, or convention. According to Steven Farmer, there are 3 types of ceremonies:

  1. Healing Ceremonies – Performed for healing physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual wounds.
  2. Transition Ceremonies – Mark rites of passage in a human life or are initiations into new phases of life.
  3. Celebration Ceremonies – Observe recurring holidays, events, and celebrations.

Ritual is a set of actions performed for their symbolic value. Rituals provide form for ceremonies or procedures for rites. To design a ritual, answer the following questions:

  1. Who do you want to participate?
  2. What will you use to in your invocation?
  3. Where will you conduct the ritual?
  4. When do you want to perform this ritual?
  5. Why are you doing this ritual?
  6. How will you accomplish your intention?

All rituals and ceremonies will follow this basic pattern:

  1. Set intention.
  2. Select a time and location. Purify yourself and the location. Make an offering.
  3. Establish protection and invoke sacred space.
  4. Perform ritual or ceremony. Include statement of intent.
  5. Give gratitude.
  6. Release the sacred space.

A ceremony can include 3 specific components:

  1. Separation – The beginning of a ceremony is when something is left behind and something new is about to begin. It is separating from the past.
  2. Transformation/Threshold/Initiation – The middle of ceremony is where release and renewal occur. It is experiencing the present.
  3. Incorporation/Integration – The end of ceremony welcomes and introduces the new identity into the world of daily life. It is future-testing the transformation.

As you progress through the art medicine projects in this course, you will notice a certain repetitive theme. The flow of each project is the same process:

  1. Set your intention before you design your craft.
  2. Focus your attention as you create your craft.
  3. Give gratitude when you are complete.
  4. Let your intention go and let it flow to the Universe.

The entire process of creation is a ritual itself. The product of your creation can be used in ceremonies and other rituals.

CONSECRATING YOUR CRAFTS

When you first come into possession of a sacred item, either through constructing it, purchasing it, or being gifted with it, it is necessary to consecrate it before using it. Consecration involves two steps: cleansing and energizing. Cleansing can be done by any of the following methods:

  • Water – Place under running water or dip in the ocean.
  • Crystals – Lay on an amethyst or quartz cluster for 24 hours.
  • Earth – Bury under the earth for 24 hours.
  • Sound – Tibetan singing bowls, tuning forks or ring bells can be used.
  • Smudge – By burning dried herbs and waving the smoke over and through it for 5 minutes.
  • Sun & Moon – Energize in sunlight and moonlight for 24 hours each. The Universe’s energy is enhanced at these times: full moons, blue moons, new moons, eclipses, solstices, equinoxes, and specific astrological aspects.
  • Salt or Crab Apple – Soak in a non-metallic container filled with water with some purifying sea salt or crab apple Bach Flower Remedy and place in the moonlight 3 days before the full moon. Sea salt can be mixed with water or used dry.
  • Herbs – Bury in a cupful of dried herbs. Suggested herbs for this are: rose petals, sage, frankincense, myrrh, clovers, daisies, comfrey, and sandalwood.
  • Pendulum – Hold a clear crystal pendulum over it and pass the pendulum in clockwise circles 9 times. To cleanse, pass the pendulum anti-clockwise 9 times. Keep the pendulum well charged and positive by holding it under cold clear running water and then leave it in water steeped with rose petals, over which a cleansing and empowering incense, such as pine, and a white candle flame have been passed.
  • Visualization – Hold your item in either hand and say these words: I will and command that this be self-cleansing. Visualize the negative energies falling away and natural, pure, energies remaining.
  • Reiki – Infuse with Reiki energy (if you are an attuned practitioner).
  • Florida Water – Spray or blow Florida water over the item.

I perform these steps together in a consecration ritual that involves sitting in front of a lit candle and:

  1. Cleansing the item: Smudge with white sage, Florida water, or cigar smoke.
  2. Energizing the item: Blow my intent into it. Breath is a powerful form of prayer. Infuse the item with Reiki (universal life force energy). Offer the item to be blessed by Mother Earth, Father Sky, the 4 Directions, the Ancestors, my Spirit Guides, and the 4 Elements. Say some words that set the intention of the item.

Each action is performed with the specific intent of the item in mind at all times. It is appropriate to finish with words of gratitude to all the Spirits. The item should be kept on your altar or in a special covering. Covered items are only exposed when it is time for them to be used in ceremony.

No one, at any time, other than you, should touch your sacred tools. Their touch may change the energy with which the item has been charged. If the item is touched, you need to repeat the cleansing and energizing process again.

The item that is being cleansed and charged should be used as soon as possible and after that as frequently as possible. This keeps the power connection alive.

FINDING MATERIALS

The best way to source materials for your creation is finding them in the natural world. Everything in the universe vibrates at a specific frequency. When choosing your materials, hold a variety of alternatives in your hands and see which one feels right for you. Different materials will feel right for you at different times, depending on what you are constructing and for what reason.

Material that will want to be used will “call out” to you. Find them by going into a meditative state, walking along with a specific intent of being open to finding objects, and they will pop right out to you. If you believe you have found an item, open a dialog with it. Ask its Spirit for permission to be used in your sacred tool. If the item gives you permission to take it along, leave an offering of gratitude.

  1. To make an offering, hold your gift in your hand and present it up to Father Sky.
  2. Present your offering to Mother Earth to show appreciation.
  3. Hold it out to each of the 4 directions.
  4. Leave the offering while voicing your thanks and intention.

In the North American Native tradition, tobacco is most often used offering, while the Celtic tradition uses salt or whisky. The offering can be anything that has special meaning to you and is in harmony with your magic: flowers, stones, coins, bee pollen, cedar, copal, cornmeal, juniper, lavender, rosemary, rose petals, sweetgrass, white sage, or something specially made such as bread or cake. If nothing is at hand, use your own spit or some of your hair.

The most important part of creating your sacred items is intention. The entire process of creation should be done in a sacred and meditative state, constantly repeating the intention for the item you are making.

Besides getting material from Nature, shop at your local craft and hobby stores as well as online.

ART MEDICINE ETHICS

When creating the intention for art medicine projects, remember the following rules:

#1 RULE: PERFORM NO WORK ON ANY OTHER ENTITY OTHER THAN YOURSELF UNLESS YOU HAVE INFORMED CONSENT! When you do have informed consent, only practice positive medicine.

#2 RULE: It is never ethical to pray for an outcome to another individual’s situation because you are violating their free will and you do not have the ability to judge or intervene in their soul’s journey. Even if you are praying for them at their request, use the words “may this [request] be to their best and highest good.” The best way to support another individual is to share your talents and tools to assist them on their healing journey.

#3 RULE: If you are working on the behalf of a client’s request, ask: Would you please give me permission for my spirit guides to access your spirit guides so that I can bring down the information for your highest good?

#4 RULE: When creating your personal intentions, affirmations, and prayers, add the words, “let this be for my Highest Good.” Trust your Higher Self to know what is the best medicine for your soul’s journey.

A COURSE IN ART MEDICINE

I have develop a course in Art Medicine that draws from many cultural sources, such as pagan magick, witchcraft and wizardry, African hoodoo, and Native American crafts. Comprehensive handouts include subjects such as: Introduction to Art Medicine; Ritual and Ceremony; Setting Intentions; Creating Petition Papers and Sigils; Consecrating Ceremonial Tools; Personal Concerns; Optimal Times to Create; Correspondences of Color, Numbers, and Woods; and Reading and Supply Resources.

The course begins with a guided meditation journeys to a past life where the student has been an artist or craftsperson. The talent from that life is brought back to enhance the creative journey of this lifetime.

A series of projects in the course include creating: Amulets and Talismans; Bath Salts; Candle Dressing; Corn Husk Dolls; Crystal Grids; Fairy Affirmation Kits; Fire Throw; Jizos; Magick Wands; Medicine Bags; Mojo Bags; Paper Skulls; Prayer Beads; Prayer Bundles; Sacred Herbs & Oils; Spirit Sticks; and Spirit Traps.

This course supports personal journeys and transformations, as well as providing skills to create products that can be used as gifts, tools that can be used in sacred ceremonies, and product ideas that can be used for your personal business. No artistic talent is required for these projects. Just bring your intention. This course is available in person, over Skype, individually or in a group setting. If you are interested in getting on the wait list, please contact me.

Copyright © 2016 Drake Bear Stephen. Except where acknowledged. www.DrakeInnerprizes.com

Anatomy of a Soul

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SOUL PSYCHOLOGY

The field of Western psychology is one-dimensional in that its focus is limited to individual’s present lives in the 3rd (physical) dimension. Although Western psychology is very effective in what it does cover, its shortcoming is that it does not take into account the fact that we are multi-dimensional beings.

Our souls have lived multiple lives in many different dimensions. In fact, as we will explore in this article, our souls are living in multiple dimensions at this very moment.

Soul psychology includes all aspects of the soul, such as past, future, and inter lives; karma; life lessons; other dimensions; spirit guides; and soul groups in order to assist clients realize their highest potential. Methods used include past life and life-between-lives therapy and working with spirit guides. Soul psychologists support clients as they work on their soul history, soul imprints, soul lessons, and soul inclinations (passions and gifts). In addition, the soul psychologist helps clients process their interactions with others in their soul sphere of influence.

To read about the different dimensions referred to in this article, please access my blog on “Dimensions of Consciousness” at: https://drakebearstephen.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/consciousness-dimensions/

SOUL AND SPIRIT

Often, spirit and soul are used interchangeably and can have different definitions based on the culture defining them. Spirit is action energy. It is our divine connection to the Source. It activates purpose, mission, and evolution opportunities. Soul is identity energy. It contains consciousness, memory, personality, and ego when we are incarnated. When embodied, we are spirit, have a soul, and live in a body.

Holographic energy can create a whole universe from each individual part no matter how small or distant the part is. The part contains the whole and yet is clearly distinguishable from it. In a holographic universe, every moment (past, present, and future) exists simultaneously. Every place is connected to every other place. Every particle contains the full awareness of every other particle. The soul is holographic. The part of an incarnated individual that resides in the 3rd dimension is just one part of a greater soul that stretches across multiple dimensions.

Ian Lawton, in his book The Big Book of the Soul, describes soul consciousness as holographic. He says that a soul is simultaneously the individual aspect of Source and the full holographic representation of Source. Therefore the Soul is a part of Source but retains its own free will. Every individual consciousness is a part of Universal consciousness. He says “All is in each and each is in all and all is in Source and Source is in all.” This is how we are all related.

In this article, we will focus on the anatomy of the holographic soul.

Many cultures believe that an individual has multiple souls. In many cases, one of the souls is associated with the body and the other one can leave the body (free soul). Each of the different souls has a different destiny after death. Among many northern Asian peoples one soul remains with the corpse, one soul descends to the underworld, and one soul ascends to the heavens. Following is a list of how some different theological belief systems view the soul:

Animism – Everything has a soul.

Apapocuva Guaraní of Brazil – A gentle vegetable soul comes fully formed from the dwelling place of the gods and joins with the infant at the moment of birth. Soon, a vigorous animal soul joins the vegetable soul. Upon death, the vegetable soul enters paradise and the animal soul becomes a fierce ghost.

Buddhism – Humans have no permanent self. Anatta means no-self or no soul.

Chinese – A human has two souls: an ethereal hun (spiritual soul/spirit that leaves the body after death) and a p’o (physical soul that remins with the corpse). The p’o is linked to the dead body and the grave, whereas the hún is linked to the ancestral tablet. Chinese traditions differ over the number of hun and p’o souls in a person. Taoism believes in 10 souls, sanhunqipo (3 hun and 7 p’o).

Christianity – A human has a body (soma), soul (psyche), and spirit (pneuma).

Egyptians – Souls reside in different parts of the body. An individual can have up to 10 souls, which include: Ren, Ka, Sheut, Ib/Ab, Sekhem, Aakhu, Khaibut, Khat, and Sahu. At death, the Ka remains in the tomb and the Ba ascends to the spiritual regions.

Eskimo – A human has more than one type of soul. Some believe one is associated with respiration and the other accompanies the body as a shadow.

Hawaiian – There are 3 parts of the soul: Aumakua (Superconscious Self), Uhane (Conscious Self), and Unihipili (Subconscious Self).

Hinduism – There are 25 coverings wrapped on a soul: Iccha avarka, Linga deha, Avyakta sharira, Avidya avarna, Karma avarna, Kama avarna, Jeevacchadaka, Paramacchadaka, Narayana rupa avarna, Vasudeva rupa avarna, Sankarshana rupa avarna, Pradhyumna avarka, Anniruddha avarka, Anniruddha sharira, Vasudeva kavaca, Narayana kavaca, Anandamaya kosha, Vignanamaya kosha, Manomaya kosha, Vangmaya kosha, Shrotrumaya kosha, Chakshurmaya kosha, Pranamaya kosha, Annamaya kosha, and the Gross Body.

Hungarian/Baltic-Finnic – Humans have a dualistic shadow-soul called Itse.

Jainism – Every living being has a soul. The soul (Atman) is categorized by its liberation state. It can be Liberated (having attained Moksha) or Non-liberated (exists in either human form, in the form of another living being, in heaven, or in hell until the birth and death cycle is complete).

Kabbalah – The human soul has 3 basic components:

  • Nefesh is the “animal soul” or “lower soul” and represents instinct and personality. At death, the Nefesh remains in the grave.
  • Ruah is the “middle soul” and represents intellect and the conscious. At death the Ruah ascends to the terrestrial paradise in accordance with its merits.
  • Neshamah is the spiritual portion of the soul or the “higher self”. It is the power connection to the Source. At death, the Neshamah goes back to the Divine world or Divine Mind.

Plato – A human soul has 3 parts: Logos (mind, reason), Thymos (emotion, spiritedness, masculine), and Eros (desire, feminine).

Q’ero of the Andes – When a human dies, their body goes to Earth, their wisdom go to the mountains, and their energy goes to the stars.

Rudolf Steiner – A human has 3 stages of soul development: the Sentient Soul, the Intellectual (Mind) Soul, and the Consciousness Soul.

Siberia and Mongolia – A human possesses at least 3 souls: the Suld, Ami, and Suns. Some groups, such as the Samoyed, believe there are 4 souls in women and 5 souls in men. These extra souls are not permanent, like the core 3 souls that all Siberian groups agree upon, and the extra one or two souls gradually dissipate after the death of the physical body.

SOUL COSMOLOGY

Our souls are multi-dimensional. This means they exist in multiple dimensions concurrently. There is also a soul “hierarchy” that supports our soul’s journey.

Our incarnated Soul, in the form of an energy body, overlays the physical body. The energy body is attached to the physical body through the chakra system. However, the incarnated Soul is only a small part of our total soul energy.

The Oversoul is an intermediate level that exists between the incarnated Soul and the Higher Self. The Oversoul does not incarnate. Its function is to coordinate multiple soul journeys. For example, the soul can be having multiple experiences in different dimensions simultaneously, including parallel lives on Earth. The Oversoul keeps a bird’s eye view of all of the soul’s activities.

The Higher Self is the intermediary between our Soul/Oversoul and the Source of All That Is (aka Creator, Great Spirit, God). It is the individualized essence of Source. It is called by many different names, such as: I Am Presence, I Am That I Am, Pure Being, Love, Essence of Life, Cosmic Consciousness, Universal Mind, Atman, and Monad. The Higher Self holds all knowledge and wisdom. It knows all that the Soul has ever experienced. The Higher Self is the highest point of consciousness within the Soul. It is totally and irrevocably one with the Source of All That Is. It is the source of our intuition. The Higher Self, representing the Eternal Self, is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, infinite, wise, loving, light, free, and indestructible.

Being holographic, the Oversoul and Higher Self are aware of all the Soul’s fragments as well as the Soul’s wholeness simultaneously. When a Soul is ready to incarnate, it works with the Oversoul, Higher Self, and its guides and mentors to create a life plan for the upcoming life.

Our conscious minds are tapped into the Soul level that is incarnated on Earth. The Oversoul and Higher Self can be accessed through the subconscious or superconscious mind. Deep trance, shamanic journeying, and meditation can open these portals. Much of the communication between the Oversoul and our other Soul Parts occur while we are asleep. Sometimes, when we first awaken after sleeping, there is a period of time that bleed-through of awareness from the other dimensions can occur.

By acknowledging and listening to our Higher Self, we expand our perception to view a much bigger picture than what our everyday incarnated consciousness provides.

The whole of eternity is present in each moment.
When I live my life one moment at a time, one breath at a time,
I live from my Highest Self which is one with all.
I am a child of the one light, a bridge between heaven and earth.
When love flows across that bridge, miracles happen.
–Joan Borysenko & Joan Drescher, On Wings of Light

The Layers of the Soul:

Soul Layers

The Cosmology of the Soul:

Soul Cosmology

SOUL RELATIONSHIPS

Below is a list of different relationships that the soul can be a participant in:

Member of a Soul Group: Every soul belongs to a soul group. A soul group is a group of souls who come from the same soul family and soul origin. Often soul groups reincarnate together on Earth. Sometimes only a part of the group incarnate at the same time. Individuals in the same soul group have the same soul purpose and can have similar feelings, thoughts, and inclinations. When an individual is incarnated with members of their soul group, they feel deeply connected.

Soul Mates – Soul mates are souls that have had many lifetimes together. Their purpose is to help each other grow, evolve, and process karma. Soul mates play many different types of roles such as siblings, parents, children, best friends, co-workers, teachers, and romantic partners. Soul mates feel a deep connection through friendship, love, intimacy, and sexuality or they feel intense resistance, loathing, and even hate. A soul can have many soulmates in a lifetime. Soul mate relationships can be brief or they can last for an entire lifetime.

Twin Flames – If is a popular belief that when souls were first created and began their incarnations on Earth, they were split in two, creating the twin flame or twin soul phenomenon. In addition, many believe they were split by binary gender (male and female). This leads many people to believe that they must find their “other half” and be reunited in order to become whole. I, personally, do not support this concept, mainly because it fosters the belief that our souls are not good enough by themselves, that they are incomplete. Sri Ram Kaa & Kira Raa, through communication with Archangel Zadkiel, define 4 different soul groups which supports the belief that twin flames exist for some but not all souls:

  1. Union Souls: These souls were birthed as one but split in half when Atlantis deconstructed. They are seeking to reunify with their other half (twin flame). Union souls experience many marriages over multiple lifetimes.
  2. Omni Souls: These souls were birthed as one and have never split. They feel complete without a partner. Omni souls experience temporary relationships.
  3. Dual Souls: These souls were birthed as one complete soul but have another counterpart (twin soul). They are whole as individuals yet find greater connection with their counterpart. Dual souls, while looking for their twin, can find earthly fulfillment without their counterpart.
  4. Multi-expressional Souls: These souls were birthed as one soul but have the ability and desire to express in many ways. Multi-expressional souls often practice polyamory and may find it difficult to stay in a committed relationship.

Parallel Souls – Parallel souls, also known as parallel lives, is one soul that is living multiple lives in the 3rd dimension simultaneously. Technically all lives are happening concurrently because in other dimensions, there is no time-space continuum. Time is not linear, it is a frequency. So past, present, and future lives are all happening at once but at different frequencies. A parallel life is two or more lives happening concurrently at the same frequency.

Soul Transfers (Walk-ins) – In this process, a new soul merges into an existing incarnated body and the original soul leaves. This is always done with agreement between the incoming and outgoing souls. The human self may not be aware of this transfer because the agreements are made on the soul level and the incoming soul assumes the memory of the outgoing soul. In addition, the incoming soul agrees to take on the karmic responsibilities of that body’s life. The incoming soul is usually more evolved than the outgoing soul. Many times the soul exchange takes place during a traumatic situation. The advantage to the incoming soul is that they can activate their mission right away instead of waiting for the physical body to grow through infancy and childhood.

Soul Braiding (Walk-alongs) – In this process, a new soul merges into an existing incarnated body but the original soul does not leave. This is usually a short term or temporary situation. There are different reasons why a soul may want to “borrow” an existing body such as they may never have been on Earth before and want to test it out or they may come in with special abilities in order to carry out a particular mission.

Soul Entities – These disembodied souls have crossed over through the death process but remain in the 4th dimension (the astral plane). This happens if the soul is not ready or willing to “pass through the Light” to the 5th dimension. Instead, they desire to live vicariously through a body that is still incarnated so they attach to a physical/energy body of an incarnated soul. Disembodied souls that become entities can be divided into two categories: the “lost” (souls may not realize they have passed or feel they have left the physical plane with unfulfilled agendas) and the “fallen” (souls that have less than desirable intentions when attaching to an incarnated soul). A host is an incarnated individual who voluntarily shares their body with other souls while retaining their own consciousness and sense of self.

Starseeds – These are beings from other planets, star systems, or galaxies. The motivations for starseeds to come to earth are usually to help Earth’s evolutionary transformation. Starseeds have an awareness of galactic consciousness. New starseeds have had few or no previous lifetimes on earth and may have a difficult time adjusting to Earth’s environment. Typical starseeds may have lived 5-50 life times on Earth but retain some of their extraterrestrial abilities. Old soul starseeds have had hundreds of life times on Earth. They are often spiritual teachers, shamans, prophets, light workers, healers, and leaders. Technically speaking, all humans are probably starseeds if their lineage is followed all the way to Source.

 We have calcium in our bones,
iron in our veins, carbon in our souls.
and nitrogen in our brains.
93% stardust, with souls made of flames,
we are all just stars that have people names.
–Nikita Gill

Wanderers – These beings are souls from other planets or dimensions, who come to Earth with a specific mission. Often this mission is helping prepare humanity for coming changes. After completion of the mission, they return “home”. Technically speaking, all souls are Wanderers because they experience many realities simultaneously. A soul’s ultimate “home” is the return to higher consciousness as sparks of light and the eventual reunion with the Source of All That Is.

Our Soul Relationships:

Soul Relationships

Copyright © 2016 Drake Bear Stephen. Except where acknowledged. www.DrakeInnerprizes.com