The Work That Makes Magic
As a person who practices Shamanism, I’m never at a loss for company or friends. There is always a spirit or two hanging around.
Power Animals go with me everywhere. Ancestors are usually around to back me up, too. And there is always the presence of Spirit in my blood and bones.
It’s the same for everyone. Every human alive has Power Animals, Spirit Teachers, Ancestors, any number of Guides, and whatever Deity (or Deities) they choose to follow.
As we’re raised, we’re told that certain things aren’t real. We’re fed into a school system that espouses psychology over animism. We come out of those schools (more often than not) believing that the most important things in life are monetary success, and being a “productive member of society.”
Getting It Back
And while those are great things (and I have no problem accepting money, believe me), is any of it really of any use if we’re not finding and living a life of passion, power, and purpose? I would also call this a life of service, because passion usually leads to purpose, and genuine spiritual power is a result of living that purpose out.
But so many people are lost - walking around like zombies, just doing the day-to-day without any kind of real fulfillment. I’ve seen it. Hell, I’ve been that person.
As we grow up, and we end up in that world of have-to’s and to-do lists and bills that need to be paid, we lose our sense of Connection - to each other, and to Spirit.
You may not like it. You may fight hard against it, the way one of my friends has in the past. But the fact is: we’re all connected. And the longer you live a life centered in your spirituality, the more likely you are to come to that conclusion.
There’s no reason to divide against each other because you believe in Irish gods who have their own unique personalities, but your neighbor believes in the Great Spirit of Indigenous North American lore. Continuing to divide ourselves this way, and denying our connection by the web of life, is just furthering the political agendas of those who would see our kind decimated. (But that’s a bit of a different post, I suppose.)
It takes work to get that connection back. It takes inner work.
Everyone who comes to me usually wants one of three things: to find their Power Animals; or to work with their Ancestors; or to have Spirit Teachers they can go to for great advice.
And that’s fine, but without doing the inner work - without becoming the Hollow Bone - we don’t enter into a life of service. (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if service is beneath you, leadership is beyond you). So not being in a life of service, we flounder around wondering about whether our passion is aligned with our purpose. And if it isn’t, then there’s a lack of genuine spiritual power. And living in that kind of lack leads us right back to zombification.
Real spiritual power - the genuine, authentic kind - doesn’t remain locked up inside you. It flows through you. Genuine spiritual power changes the lives of people around you just because you happen to be present.
But having that requires being a hollow bone.
Becoming A Hollow Bone
Becoming the Hollow Bone - the pipe through which Spirit can flow and speak and serve - is not an easy task. It’s not a one-time thing, and it takes regular repetition of the same inner-work-stuff over and over again.
One of the things I do regularly is explore self-limiting beliefs. And more often than not, those are rooted in fear. And I can only find that fear by exploring my memory for where it might’ve originated in my past.
I’m going through this process again now because I want to become more the hollow bone.
Recently, in doing this inner work, I’ve uncovered the fear that nothing is going to be okay.
It’s really rooted in the fact that my childhood was so unstable. Because I had a paranoid schizophrenic Mom, we bounced around a lot. We moved in and out of my grandmother’s house, and we were evicted from multiple apartment complexes and duplexes because Mom couldn’t keep a job (so no rent money). Sometimes, there wasn’t even furniture, and quite often there was no food. Of course, no matter what, I was always told, “It’s going to be okay.”
But it wasn’t okay. It was never okay. There was no stability. So I learned to trust that - even when people said it was going to be okay - no the fuck it wasn’t.
I had to release that distrust and fear. I had to forgive my past, and the thoughts that held me in place (rather than moving forward). The fact is that Mom couldn’t help it - she was unmedicated and suffering from an illness.
In the world of the Shaman, that illness is seen as having a spiritual root cause. It could’ve been a spirit attachment, or a spirit that inserted itself into her energy body. Or it could’ve been a lost piece of her soul because of her own past trauma. But whatever the cause, I can only own what it was, own how far I’ve come since then, and own who I want to be next.
I have to acknowledge and realize that Spirit is not my physical birth mother. Spirit doesn’t have paranoid schizophrenia. I can trust Her.
That deep level of work is what will enable me to move forward in becoming even more of a hollow bone for Spirit to flow through.
It requires deep exploration on the inside. It requires us to take a hard look at ourselves as humans. It requires us to dig deep and recognize that the only way forward is forgiveness - for ourselves, and the people who harmed us. We don’t forgive for them - we forgive for us, so that we can have peace, and live with more power, passion, and purpose.