Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shadow Work

A poem by Fiona Crystal Woman, a Shamanic Priestess

How do you catch a shadow?
Grab it by the leg, pin down the shoulders, stare it in the face?
How do you make a shape out of smoke,
see the back of your own head, go to the end of the rainbow?
I stare into the mirror and see a mask,
Carefully constructed to hide, camoflage, and shape-shift
All the pain, all the secrets, and the vast, gaping abyss of the unknown.
How do you catch a shadow? Who are you, anyway?

I am the child sent away from the table,
Scolded for speaking out of turn,
Shamed for being sexual,
Made to be sexual against her will.
Sent to the office,
Passed over for softball,
Not chosen for the school play,
Shunned at recess,
Bullied in the hallway,
Crossed off the popular list,
Left standing alone at the dance.

I'm blacklisted for being too fat, too skinny;
too active, too lazy;
too mean, too friendly;
too different, too perfect, too hungry.
I'm brushed off as boring, homely as a fence, nerdish, deliquent.
Called liar, cheater, thief, sneak, squealer, cry baby, dense, slow, show-off.
I'm the child who's beaten, ignored, scrutinized, exploited, overlooked,
laughed at, abused, ridiculed, and painted into a corner.
I'm relegated to the cellar with rats, spiders, cockroaches, and worms,
The cellar door slammed shut, locked tight, and covered with a rug.

And yet . . . and yet,
My roots dig deep into the earth,
Wrap around nuggets of gold.
I'm filled to bursting with energy.
I want to grow!

Open the cellar door,
Wipe the cobwebs from my face,
Hold the cup of water while I drink,
then wipe the drips from my chin.
Pick me up,
Scrutinize me gently,
Set me on your lap,
Caress my unwashed hair,
See me with new eyes.
Love me unconditionally.
Then set me down.

How do you catch a shadow?
I stare into the mirror and see a mask.
The mask cracks,
And I gaze into the eyes of the Goddess.

by Fiona Crystal Woman (Paula Hamm), April 17, 2011
Paula Hamm has sought spiritual meaning in life since childhood. At age 18, she entered an order of Catholic nuns, the Holy Names Sisters. After nine years, she left the religious life, married, and raised three daughters. In midlife, she began to study and practice Native American spirituality and shamanism. In the 2003, she began the Shamanic Priestess Process, led by Linda Star Wolf and Anyaa McAndrew. In that process she found a vehicle for spiritual growth and community, as well as a connection to Venus Rising, breathwork, and shamanic healing. Paula is a Shamanic High Priestess, a Priestess Process Facilitator, and a Level II Reiki Practitioner. She has a BA in English from Marylhurst University in Oregon and an MA in English from University of Illinois. She is an instructor in the Education Department at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Oregon, where she focuses on preparing compassionate, competent educators.

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Star Wolf's Welcome

My journey in life has been a spiral path of wholeness that continues to move through cycles of change taking me through many symbolic death and rebirth experiences, which I refer to as “shamanic portals of transformation.” I have learned more than I ever thought possible through a process I will share with you in my future writings, called the Shamanic Breathwork™ process, and the five initiations process called S.H.I.P. Once I have made sense of the lessons on my path and discovered the bigger picture, I am ready to pass on and share both my stumblings and my leaps along the way. In my own spiritual quest, I have always appreciated most those who shared their struggles and victories in an authentic way. That will be my humble attempt within the context of this blog.

I believe that we are all indigenous to this earth. I respect all my relations, whether they be human, animal, plant, mineral, visible or invisible ones. We are all related by the great web of life and sent here from the great beyond. Everything we say and do touches all parts of this magnificent web of creation. If I treat myself or anyone else unfairly, we are all affected in some way. Fortunately, the converse is true, as well. I am not perfect. If I am honest and have humility, I can admit that I will make mistakes as I seek to further evolve my conscious awareness. I can also make living amends by striving to change my negative thoughts and behaviors, and live from a more open-hearted connection to others and to myself. I have learned over time that all the changes I seek in the outer world must begin by looking within myself first. I have also learned that it is imperative that I have the courage to be honest with myself and to look at the “shadow” side of my personality. When I have had the courage to truly know myself better, the light and the dark, I have found the inner strength to change my life and shape-shift myself into the light of my true soul’s image.

From time to time I will share different programs and events that are being offered through my non profit organization (Venus Rising Institute for Shamanic Healing Arts) in my blog, as well as photos, videos and teachings, etc. But the main purpose of this blog is to provide an outlet to share the inner musings of my shamanic spirit and journey, and to hear yours as well. I look forward to connecting with all of you who intuitively know that you, too, are a valuable part of the shamanic process of conscious co-creation and evolution on the planet at this time. We each have a role to play and a soul purpose in the drama unfolding in our world today. Together we can create a better place for all beings on earth to live and leave a powerful legacy for those who are yet to come.

I believe we will all be remembered by future generations for the choices we make during this time of huge evolutionary change. In the words of the wonderful poem, “Summer Day,” by Mary Oliver, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

In Love, In Service, In Gratitude,
Star Wolf
Feb 2nd 2009