Contact Info --

Email us --

Our Other Blogs --
We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.


Spiritual Backpacking and Shamanism

Last weekend was our two-day "Way of the Shaman" workshop.  It was a full weekend, packed with new experiences and new information.  I ended each day feeling drained, weary, and a little punchy.  The torrent of information left me unable to make much sense of what I'd learned.  I knew that it was going to take me some time to process and sort.

We learned and practiced a number of techniques, and while I understand that listing them here will not mean much to our readers, I feel like I need to acknowledge what was offered by the presenters as a beginning point for my own practice.  We learned and practiced:

  • JOURNEYING (Upper and Lower worlds) 
It is all very interesting, and I found myself alternately diving deeply into the awareness of this bit of reality that I am sometimes only peripherally aware of... and then falling into an analytical frame of mind, evaluating each experience like the science geek I can sometimes be.  From time to time, as the workshop progressed, and I listened to others describe the intricacies of their fantastic visions, I wondered if I was perhaps not "doing it right."  Where some described journeys full of talking wolves and beautiful, strong, young Native American "teachers," I saw simple stone fountains and plates of sweet grapes.  Standing out in the parking lot of the hotel where the workshop was held, singing the morning sun song, seemed a lot like public humiliation play, and trying to "dance my power animal," was only difficult because I had to try not to giggle hysterically. 

OK.  I'll admit it -- I am and earthbound, skeptical, prosaic, old woman. 

I appreciated the instruction in techniques for accessing that "other" reality, but I am not interested in living life there.  I am glad for tools and practices that help me live better, day by day -- but I expect to do the vast majority of that living right here in this world; this reality.  Power animals and spirit helpers / teachers are welcome to the party that goes on in my head.  I'll take all the help I can get.  In the final analysis, however, I am responsible for me and I'll make my decisions as best I can.  

The best, and most useful parts of the weekend for me?  I "heard" quite distinctly that I need to relax; to avoid rigid patterns; to keep my heart light; to go with the currents and tides; to listen more deeply; to keep myself grounded and steady and stable; to practice simplicity; to approach others with gentleness and compassion.  

Rattles and drums?  Soul songs?  Spirit canoes?  Rock divination?  Spirit guides and power animals?  Talismans?  All of that seems like infrastructure to me -- bridges across the gap between here and "not here."  I am glad to have been shown another way to move between the realities, but I find I am not absorbed or enthralled.  Intrigued, yes.   Open to the possibilities, yes.  I am.  I think all of this can just fold into my days and my nights; add another dimension to my experience of my world; enrich my life.  I am not interested in living in the realm of "non-ordinary" reality.  I want to learn to be fully present and engaged with this reality.  The days are each precious.  Life is truly a good gift.  I don't need a spirit ally to convince me of that one.



  1. dance my power animal," was only difficult because I had to try not to giggle hysterically.

    Honestly swan - that bit had me laughing out loud!! ohhhhhhhhhhhh i so understand what you are saying..........

    i remember a workshop the teachers had to take on reality therapy (many years ago)

    most of it I could swallow and even participate in - BUT - when they asked us to scream primeval screams - I found myself fidgeting - watching/listening to others taking part with great enthusiasm. When the animators approached me and told me to scream - I sat for maybe 2 minutes looking at them - running a number of answers around in my head - but finally - stood and quietly left the group, I discovered I had no screams inside - and could not /would not participate in the humiliation of trying to find one... shrug...

    You at least stuck it out and tried :) good for you !!!

  2. At least you went and learned a bit take the parts that are useful to you now and dismiss the rest (is that possible or frowned upon?).



Something to add? Enter the conversation with us.