I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Catherine Skye Knot recently. This link takes you to Episode four and five of the podcast.
I trust you may find helpful medicine in this interview to add to your recipe of wellness.
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Catherine Skye Knot recently. This link takes you to Episode four and five of the podcast.
I trust you may find helpful medicine in this interview to add to your recipe of wellness.
Without imagination, the world would be incredibly bland, grey, beige and boring. It would be filled with grey boxes and grey-clad people. There would be no art, no sciences, zilch creativity.
In the halls of perceived madness, too much imagination is unhealthy and when it takes over and the person loses insight, it is categorised as Hallucinations; seeing or hearing something that is not there. However, the person seeing or hearing whatever it is, it’s definitely there within the experience, as they themselves can see it, hear it feel part of it. To them, it is indeed there. It may be not what it seems and one’s reaction to it can bring challenges and risks, but they do see it, they do hear it. So the definition to me is quite misleading.
Imagination is defined as; The faculty or action of forming new ideas, images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. The ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful. The last sentence resonates with me the most.
“The ability of the mind to be creative and resourceful.”
I always introduce the concept of imagination to others, as a doorway to other dimensions. Unless you are ripped open and fly into non-ordinary reality so fast you can’t think, the way to move into the multidimensional landscape is primarily ‘through’ the imagination and indeed the ‘senses.’ Shamans of old would use the drum along with their inner vision to navigate the hidden landscapes that the normal folk could not. Without an inner vision, they could not travel and some used plant medicine to enhance that vision.
The beauty of Contemporary Shamanic tools learned in line with the traditional guidelines of journeying is that you can head out into these landscapes, navigate the terrain and the encounters and then return back to this ordinary reality and use what you have discovered and experienced to assist you in enriching your daily life.
One of the primary issues that people find when they move in deeper into this inner dimensional world beyond the sanctuary, power animals and the lovely stuff, is that they will get lost, lose their grip, and go mad as they look deeper into their psyche and wounds. The path of Shamanism is not new age, it’s ancient and powerful and it deserves that respect.
And ex beloved of mine was very practised in the Shamanic lore and landscapes and probably one of the main reasons we stayed together for so long was that we spoke the same language (other than the plant medicine which was not my pathway) He would often wake up in a cold sweat being chased by ugly things in his dreams, over and over and over again. I did not journey him as we kept those boundaries quite strong. Your partner should not become your client so to speak. But I was always surprised he didn’t go into it Shamanically and dive deeper into his inner darkness to unpack it. On reflection, I am sure this had something to do with his emotional challenges in life and resistance to healing.
You see I am a deep diver, always have been. It’s not that I don’t want to cruise at the top of the ocean on the wave, its that I have always gone deep liking it or not. Fortunately, spirit also taught me how to breathe underwater and float to the surface again. That’s the way I learn.
I remember once when I was in Shamanic Training and heading into an atrocious other life experience. Back then they were referred to as ‘Past lives’. Nowadays I prefer to call them ‘Other lives’ and move beyond the linear viewpoint.
I recall moving through into the life that I found myself in and having the inner witness aware enough to be an ‘observer’ of the acute pain and rage. The life was filled with heavy deep running emotions, ones that would normally bring me to my knees and shatter me, but with my teacher holding space and being the best navigator I could ask for, I moved through it all and out the other side. Then with my imagination in tow, we cleared the debris within the spirit body of that life so I no longer carried the burden of it in this particular incarnation. Was this horrible life my imagination? Well, at the beginning as I was listening to her voice take me to the tree and into my sanctuary, yes I am sure it was and then as I travelled to where I was meant to heal, the vision that arose in me, I didn’t like, nor did I want. What did I have to do with this picture, this movie I have found myself in? I couldn’t relate at all. I’m not like that! In nightmares, I have now the ability to wake myself up if it gets too much or I don’t like where it’s headed. In this journey as a conscious willing participant, I could say stop! No more! I don’t want to go on! Get me the hell out of here! My teacher would have supported me if I was stubbornly determined, but being a curious being that I am and her being such a great guide, I wanted to know more about my part in this story, why would I do such a thing? I trusted the process, breathed through the fears and by the end with the cleaning up of the wounding, which my teacher was an absolute master at, the shadow imprint of that life was lifted.
When I came out of it after a big release cry, some grounding food and a cup of something warm, I wrote it all down as I find writing a brilliant reflection tool. As I wrote, I knew that this was not my imagination. Too many details, unexpected twists that I didn’t see coming, too many links to other things that I had no idea of and more importantly if it was my imagination I would have pushed for a different adventure to be created.
My imagination was the boat that took me to the shore of that life which had such a profound and life-changing impact. The imbalance that I always felt between my view of my ‘good self’ and ‘bad self’ was dissolved and from then on when I met something dark, be that an entity or thought-form I no longer ran from it and if I did feel scared, the fear was soon diffused and transformed.
The other week I was suffering from an upset stomach and felt awful emotionally. I refer to it as ‘Falling down the hole.’ I was weeping a lot, my eyes were stinging in pain, totally sound sensitive and irritable all at the same time. I am very impeccable about clearing myself after clients so I thought it was just my own stuff.
Having my stomach being so upset did not help my headspace. I threw everything at it, backed off on any foods that would exacerbate the yucky feeling, but nothing seemed to work. I was under a black cloud of depressing sludge, highly sensitive and desperately wanting to be completely alone. I do get the irony of that in these current world circumstances but on my own, I am better at sourcing the origins of where things originate. I went drumming and for a moment I thought it lifted but after about ten minutes the dark sludge-like feeling returned.
Mornings are when I get my best downloads/inner messages for my own wellbeing. They seem to ping inside me between sleep and wake. The following morning a ping sounded off. ‘Sit and go within.’ I was still feeling horrid and my stomach squelched upon movement hence not being in good mind for sitting in insightful meditation and the tears were close to brimming over yet again.
After a small breakfast, I had the house to myself which is a rarity. I lite the candle, burnt the white sage, called my kin in and sat in receptivity. At this point, yes I used my imagination to help me open up, so I looked and felt for anything that was ‘yucky.’ Instantly I saw a dark shadow hovering over me, much like a cloak of black. Didn’t analyse just observed. Then I checked my psychic body and from the nape of my neck, I saw dark black metal claws burrowing into the open hole. Metal to me has always represented invasive shadow energy. I have learnt this over time in my encounters with unbalanced beings. So I moved in to clear it. I have mentioned before that this hole is often where shadow debris gets in. Mine for some reason that I have yet to grasp stays permanently open, always has. I have tried various things but it seems unnatural for me to close it. I am looking into that further now. Anyway, with the claws being released and returned to the source, via intent, acknowledgement, breath and yes imagination, for the otherworldly tools I may use to help release them, a very long dark eel-like thing flipped out. As I pulled on it and burped repeatedly, it showed itself to be a cross between an eel, an octopus and a giant slug. The burps kept coming as I removed this creature being, sent it back to the source and checked that nothing was left from it. Another ping message came to my insightful state. “You may feel somewhat bruised emotionally for a while but it’s now gone.” Then I checked in to where I attracted this Octyeelslug thing from. And zoom, I went straight to the origins and got the answer and what I had absorbed. You see as much as I clean myself psychically I am fundamentally an empath and am often of service to people who have suffered deep wounds. Most of the time I can be in my space with them but occasionally my inner empathy chip gets triggered and then I am open to taking some debris on.
It’s not their fault how it manifests in me. Once I absorb it, it’s then my responsibility. They didn’t send it to me, they just didn’t know what to do with it themselves. As a Contemporary Shaman of my particular bent, my path is to literally transform what comes through me. And that’s exactly what I had to do. Transform the yuck feeling in me and release it. Without my imagination, I would never have been able to trust what I saw and experienced to work with it. Without my imagination, I would have been stuck with the darkness above me and the yuck plugged into the back of my neck and it squelching around my belly.
That particular inner journey work took me 15 minutes tops. I got up and was fully released. I could feel my self, my vibration my peak state again, I was still a tad sensitive but as the day went on it completely eased. A day later I went to see my Herbalist/ Acupuncturist (yes he is working but in full accordance with the hygiene rules we have here) and asked him from an Acupuncture perspective about that point at the back of the neck. He said it was the C7, a very powerful point and that the meridians that spread out of it affect the whole ‘Immunity’ of the body. And in my mind, the immunity of the spirit. I had a cupping cup put on that spot before the rest of the treatment and with my centre of awareness returned, I moved into that point consciously. There was no debris there in any way. It was clean, and now it was getting some much needed soothing. I love cupping, other people think I’m nuts….ha! Go figure.
If I did not trust in my imagination from the early days of experiencing such invasion by shadow energies I really don’t feel I would have been able to release my self from it and the other horrific shadow encounters that I experienced.
Imagination on its own is fine, but it’s the navigation skills that one really needs to go hand in hand with it. Without that, you can be open too many impressions and visions and without knowing how to work with them safely you could do more harm than good and get yourself into a right energetic muddle.
My imagination helped me to create the original ‘Meditation for Sensitives’ in my first book, The Bridge Between Two Worlds. A Shamans view of Schizophrenia & Acute Sensitivity. After all these years, it still works, still proves itself every time. I clearly remember sitting on my bed in the room of the old haunted house (Yes it was fully haunted, but that’s another story) and being so bloody tired that the invasion just wouldn’t stop. Putting my back against the wall, not that I knew then but that hole at the C7 point always felt vulnerable. I trusted in what arose, what I saw, what I experienced. What did I have to lose? I was already going mad. Were they hallucinations? Seeing and hearing things that were not there? No, they were very real to me, I might not have been able to see them fully in this 3D world but when I closed my eyes….they were right there in my face, harassing me, tormenting me and invading me. And the voices came mostly when my head hit the pillow eyes open or not. I met them on their own turf (in non-ordinary reality) and learned the best way to negotiate for my own well being in that realm. That took some imagination. And the proof was that it worked. I was set free enough to then find my way to the teachings that have deepened my abilities, refined my recipe of wellness and held space for me ever since.
Imagination is not a dirty word. It’s the key to the door, use it along with good navigation tools and you will always find your way through the toughest times.
If you want to learn how to navigate better, book a session with me on Skype or Facetime.
(c)Odette Nightsky 2020
This time in history is like no other. Unlike previous generations, we have not had to live through world wars where all countries are involved. Humanity is facing a different kind of war with this virus pandemic. Many have become fearful and greedy. People are selling rolls of toilet paper for at least $300 a pop, fights are breaking out, people are feeling vulnerable like never before as so many things have shut down, been put off, and mere survival is becoming paramount for many. Some governments are helping those affected, others are not. Regardless, everyone is facing it, together albeit in social isolation.
So what do we do with this new experience, these limits which are enforced for everyone’s wellbeing? How do we manage the collective impact that is keeping many awake at night?
I can only speak for myself, but in my view, this had to happen in a world that has become so deeply disconnected in so many ways. We needed a bit of a wake-up slap to get us to reconnect on a deeper level, and the slap is a huge one even for the young who think of themselves as superhuman.
Cultivating your inner world
This is where I feel the practice of shamanic techniques a real gift. Over the years of journeying within and using the tools of inner world connection and clearing, I have built up this inner link which is a blink of an eye away when I need it. The inner resources feel infinite and nourishing. Its something that all of us can access if we give it time and dedication.
The well of abundance is full on the inside the more I connect. I don’t pray, I don’t plead for help, I simply choose to connect. I imbibe in the inner waters of the sacred, just by being present within my sanctuary and learning from what comes forth and trusting in what I need to learn from. The other day I went into my sanctuary and cried with happiness at the connections with my kin. My inner child, her little hand touched my face so gently, it was so real. Tears dropped down my cheeks. One of my animal kin who I had not seen for a while (some go and come back depending on one’s needs) flew in and their sound echoed through me like say a singing bowl might do close to your ear. Never underestimate the power of the inner connection and how it can nourish. I encourage you in these times of isolation to feed yourself from within. You may be a parent and or carer like me and me somewhat limited in time but simple things like putting down the social media addiction before you go to bed or when you wake up and give yourself ten minutes of a journey can make all the difference.
Compassion Loving Kindness
There were times in my younger years where I used to get really shitty that others didn’t reach out to me and connect as I always seemed to be the one making sure others were ok. ‘How come it’s always me that calls people!? Hmpf!’ It was all about what I wasn’t getting rather than looking at what I could give…unconditionally. That has been humanities model, what can I get out of this as a consumer. It’s a one-way street mentality. The me, me, me, mindset.
What I discovered was that in giving and caring without needing my own poor me agenda met, the connection vibration flowed easily and it didn’t matter if they reciprocated. The giving was unconditional and nourished me at the same time and they always seemed really touched by my reaching out.
The beginning of the light bulb learning went off when I did a Compassion Loving Kindness meditation retreat (Metta) on the top of a mountain on a beautiful Island in Asia. Each time we meditated we first cleared our minds to then move into the state of self-compassion (Not narcissistic me, me me, love. Let’s be clear about that) then and only then did we intentionally fill our own inner cup to then emanated this vibration out to those in need, be that family, crisis, the planet, animals etc. You see compassion loving-kindness is not being a passive doormat who gives away all their own energy and is then left empty. Compassion loving kindness is becoming a channel of loving life force. So this practice teaches us how to unblock that flow so we can be of service without losing any of our own life force.
Lots of people in the conscious movement are sharing about t sending love out to the world and those in need in these current times of crisis, which is lovely and heartfelt, however, say for example you are in a stressed headspace or you have some fear running round in your mind and your nervous system is quite jittery because of it. You sit with good intention and you think you are doing the right thing by sending, emanating love and healing out there, yet you have not yet brought your own mind to a state of quiet and have yet to fill your own inner cup. What you send out will be mixed with your fear, your jitteriness, your swirling mind. Is that going to help?
Of course, we need to send loving vibrations out there, but we need to clear our own stream first and refill it before we do, simple as that. Do you need to be a Buddhist nun or monk to do that or have meditated for years and years so your mind is as quiet as a mouse? Not at all.
This is where the shamanic technique of ‘Recapitulation’ can come in handy. I love a good complementary blend of practices. When you do some rounds of recapitulation, by blowing out the fear, the stress, the overwhelm or whatever is in the way of the quiet mind, and then breathing your own life force back, you will be able to sit as a clear vessel and fill your own cup so you can then send it to those in need devoid of debris.
Recapitulation is one of the oldest and easiest shamanic techniques that has stood the test of time and can be done premeditation, pre-sleep, on the loo, in the shower, in a parked car, in the bath, while you’re weeding etc.
Below is the exercise from my workbook for you to practice during these times before you move into the quiet mind state pre-filling your own cup and sending your compassion out there, or for any other build-up you want to release.
Remember the situation with the person
In your mind make it as real as you possibly can, with feeling, images and thoughts and keeping this in focus….
Start with you head turned fully to the left, turn your head as slowly as you can all the way to the right, breathing IN, breathing your energy back from the situation with the person.
Then turn you head slowly, back to the left, breathing OUT all the way, breathing out any energy that is not yours.
Continue these head turns, breathing as slowly as you can, IN from left to right and breathing OUT just as slowly, turning your head from right to the left. Notice your breath, don’t force it, just notice if you are breathing more on the IN breath or more on the OUT breath. Are you taking more energy in or giving more energy back? It is not important which of the breaths is the stronger, it is just energy and there is no right or wrong about the situation. Keep turning your head and breathing this way until your breath is mild and gentle and equal in both directions. Then turn your head from LEFT to RIGHT to LEFT with no breath at all, this acknowledges completion of RECAPITULATION with the person. Cut cords with the person and all of the feelings and thought from that time
Practice you’re medicine tools now more than ever in the service of yourself and others.
Plant good seeds within and send loving seeds on the wind to those in need.
As a kid of the 60’s I wasn’t allowed to play with ‘Anger’ any more after the cute tantrums became not so cute. My friend ‘Anger’ would still try to pop up every now and then slamming the door or storming off in a huff, she really helped me express my frustration.
As time went on she was unacceptable and socially inappropriate. She was made fun of and mocked and shamed for appearing. To me, she was someone I could count on to stand up for me when I needed help but bit by bit she became more of a liability for me in my cultural environment and so I chose to banish her to survive. I banished my friend called ‘Anger’ into a deep dark cave somewhere far out of reach. As a girl born from parents who were of the 30’s generation, I had to be a nice girl, I had to acquiesce to my future role as a young ‘lady’ and anger was not part of that programming. So I adapted to please as am sure many girls of my era did. Even though I envied the rebels, I was a programmed pleaser.
She stayed banished when the bullies made my life a living hell as I moved from school to school.
She stayed banished when I was humiliated and ostracised by my peers as an amusement sport.
She stayed banished when eleven girls kept me up all night interrogating me, trapping and surrounding me in my bed while accusing me of stealing when they knew all along it was another girl in that gang using me as a plaything to flush her out. They had planted something in my bag while I was in the shower and were like relentless hyenas.
I vaguely recall even being invited to have a cup of tea with them after. I sat in with my knees to my chest sipping at the cup in traumatic numb bewilderment. I didn’t even drink tea! Being the pleaser still….
I recall the next day with clarity as I listened to my friend’s anger, burst out of her banishment. I stood small on the landing at the elite boarding house across from the large tall girl from the night before as she told me of the truth of the framing.
The realisation of total unjustified injustice, snapped me open. My friend ‘Anger’ could not be silenced any longer. She arose like a volcano from the banished deep and shouted the place down for all to hear (small people sooner or later learn to garner a loud voice simply for survival if nothing else) Swear words were spat out like those of a bogan pub brawler. Not ladylike, in any way! The big girls eyes bulged wide with shock.
Instead of being proud of myself for standing up, all I could think about was where was the courage of my friend ‘Anger’ the night just gone….Why didn’t she give them a good shouting off, or scream for help or swear at the top of her lungs when I needed her the most, when I was terrified of being eaten alive by those hyena’s? I mean I was not guilty of any crime.
Upon reflection, the key to the trigger was the injustice, finding out I was an innocent prey toy in their agenda. What they did was wrong. Big time.
The girl that was the thief had befriended me as a new border. That night as they all entered the room she sat on the ground next to me, unleashing interrogation hell as did the others. I never found out if she felt remorse. She was thrown out of school soon after for her crime as apparently there was a lot of stealing going on. On the landing where my friend ‘Anger reappeared, the big girl tried to say sorry but the volcanic fire was way too hot. Anger told her where to stick it in no uncertain terms.
That was the first time I recall my shadow friend coming back in full swing. I think to be honest the power of her outburst scared me. I was left shaking and in tears and although I finally stood up for myself, I wasn’t sure what my friend ‘Anger’ was capable of anymore as she was pretty full-on. Some of my thoughts were pretty dark and vicious…what if they were let out, what could she, I be capable of?
It took many years to learn that the shadow friend I had banished wasn’t all that bad she was just sick to the back teeth of being ignored, not by others…..by me.
I didn’t know how to integrate her, accept or befriend her. I was on that trajectory of being a pleaser and I so wanted to be liked more than anything, due to my deep insecurities.
So my friend decided to transform herself into the invisible Ice Queen. Hardly any cruel words were ever spoken but if they were, they were sharp as a knife and penetratingly cold as the dead of Siberia’s winter. The ice was protecting me from harm so no-one could come close. My friend ‘Anger’ was doing it all because it was her job to keep me safe no matter what. Volcanic was too scary, so she morphed into ice, for me. I felt her arising in me but I couldn’t see her, she was invisible remember?
I can tell you that both volcanic anger and ice anger have the same lethal vibration.
Then came the day when I saw her as she had truly become.
A therapist asked me to draw what I thought my anger looked like as I was being triggered by my partner’s behaviour and resentment and unfairness was cycling round and round in my head with no resolve. I surrendered to the process and let myself draw. What came out of the drawing was an image that I don’t need a piece of paper to remember….its forever imprinted.
I drew a skinny, bitter, long-nailed nasty mouthed woman. Standing in the centre of a barbed wire fence and cursing anyone that would hurt me. Swear words of viciousness and protectiveness were written close by. It was everything I deemed ugly and cruel.
When I was a kid she was stubborn, bossy and strong-minded. I see her standing with her chin and chest out all proud of her tiny self, but she was also full of love and joy and adventure and held no ill will. I have always been a person that does not like unfairness on any level and my little friend had transformed into this bitter nasty protector that wasn’t going to let anyone get close enough to hurt me, ever! Silly because she couldn’t really protect me from the hurt I just got frozen in it instead.
It took me a good while to realise that the reason she became this way was because I had shoved her into the dark for so long out of fear. It wasn’t my fault that she was banished to the dark cave, it was how I was programmed via what behaviour was acceptable. My parents didn’t know any better and they were only trying to instil principles of kindness and respect, even though they negated to realise that the other emotions are is also as vitally important to a happy and healthy disposition.
When people ask me how to deal with a difficult emotion like anger, my answer is always the same. The only way through is by making friends, whether you are an Ice King or Queen or a Volcanic exploding Dragon.
In meeting and embracing my friend anger fully, she now feels accepted, respected and relevant. Do I take her advice when she goes off and wants to say awful things, well no, but I take time and listen to how she is feeling, I will write her purging words in my private journal without any judgement – devoid of any censorship. When she does rear her head I know it’s like a train crossing signal, she is feeling protective of me feeling hurt and I assure her I will take good steps to communicate and work with my feeling safely one way or the other. I will never banish her again, she is part of my gestalt, my whole self. And believe me, by experience I can tell you it has helped ENORMOUSLY.
I have more of that inner friend of the early day’s qualities. I still walk with my chin up and out and my chest lifted. And if I feel strongly about something I will communicate it in a way both myself and others can handle. I still get mighty riled up when I see injustice and unfairness but I accept that that’s part of who I am and it has also lead me to my path of service. My inner child is happier, safer. I am no longer afraid of my protector like I used to be afraid of the dark. There are no caves to hide in any more and I know how to melt the ice.
I am a work in progress as we all are.
Pick up a pen or a paintbrush and say hello to your protector and see what comes. Use what I have reflected on in this piece to help you access your inner shadow friend. When did yours turn up? Why do you think they were needed and when did you lose control of the friendship? What’s the best way to negotiate with them when they want your attention.
Begin the dialogue now
They are waiting
For many years this country has been nicked named ‘ The Lucky Country’. The term was actually a derogatory joke, but it was taken on and flipped into a positive as we were advertised as the land of the bright blue skies, beautiful beaches, abundant nature with an optimistic ‘G’ day mate’ attitude. As I sit her with the windows closed due to thick orange smoke and read and watch the devastation in this country of Australia I can feel the collective grief as heavy and thick as the smoke is outside.
These fires are now worse that the Amazon fires and California fire’s put together. Millions of animals are dead, the land is scorched so badly that regrowth in some areas won’t happen. And we have more of this apocalyptic disaster yet to come. The firefighters and community front line workers are our humble hero’s while our current prime minister is being ripped to shreds, and deservedly so, but that’s another subject and at the moment it won’t help reading my righteous rage.
What I find coming up for me in this devastating heartbreak is… Gratitude. Gratitude, when I see a video of someone on a bike giving a desperate koala a drink who is hanging on to their leg for dear life, gratitude to the dog and the firefighter that helps find the injured koala’s and other animals in the ravaged bushland, gratitude to all those donating from overseas and here at home to the firefighters. Gratitude to the man who saved a family and their dog on a boat from a flame that was going to wipe them all out, gratitude to the people that come and rescue the horses who will die otherwise, gratitude to the fire chiefs that are doing an amazing job in leadership, gratitude for the app called ‘Fires near me’ that keeps me posted on how close the fires are, gratitude to people giving up their caravans or a room for others who have lost everything, gratitude for water, the air-conditioning that others do not have on the burning days of over 40-degree temperature’s which are becoming more common, gratitude to my friend who paid the firefighter’s lunch bill yesterday, gratitude for our neighbours that have put my elder mother who I care for, and myself into their fire plan.
I could go on and on. Every day I see or read acts of kindness. Terrible times can bring out many feelings…. Grief, anxiety, fear, anger and hopelessness. It can also bring out the best in people, often those on the ground facing things front on, who ask for nothing in return. I myself am donating to the care of injured animals. as I am so deeply grateful to those caring for animals that have been burnt as I just can’t do that, my heart would shatter into a million pieces. Gratitude to those who can and do.
I sit here in deep gratitude for everyone doing their bit to help.
I am not one who relates to the concept of prayer, so if you would like to help, please donate where you can and envision good consistent rainfall that nourishes the land.
Mental health issues are more talked about between the younger generation nowadays than they have ever been. Those of us over 50 who I refer to as the egg crackers slowly started to bring it out into the open often at great risk. Before that, it was shut down into a steel box and shamed. Due to the publics ability to share a great deal of personal information via social media, we are inundated with more information about these issues. Public perception is changing bit by bit with more public figures speaking about their challenges, however, there is far more criticism about peoples sensitivities than there ever has been and far more suicides due to being harassed online. Internet trolls are like a virus that can erode anyone’s soul. So although people are speaking up about living with mental illness ( what I refer to Acute Sensitivity) the negative feedback and need for more dirt is more prominent than it has ever been.
Trolls in folklore, originating from the northern lands of Scandinavia were seen as ugly creatures and unhelpful to anyone other than their own kind, especially those known to be of ‘ One God” persuasion. Later they were seen more as ‘ Nature Beings’ as they were born and grew from the rocks of the earth. Like those of the fey they were otherworldly
and misunderstood in being protective of their landscapes. So Im not sure they would be too pleased to be included in the vicious internet trolls of modern-day, however, the language that internet trolls spew out is indeed incredibly ugly. And like those of folklore and those of the internet, they both tend to thrive in the dark. Light is their enemy. In folklore, they would turn to solid immovable stone. The internet trolls lose their power by being exposed.
We all have our own versions of internet trolls within us. They are our ugly thoughts about ourselves. Like for example the other day I was flicking back through photos of myself and I was quite mesmerised because I never perceived myself as pretty or beautiful. I was taken aback at how I could see the shining beauty emanating from me and I really liked the face that I was looking back at me. This has been one of my greatest troll take downs. I built on other things, like kindness, character, humour, sensitivity smarts, compassion etc but the ugly duckling mentality was still in there, in the dark, hiding.
And as the universe would have it, today I passed an elderly greek man who I often meet on the street of this neighbourhood and have light and funny conversations about history with. I have nicked named him ‘The King of Greece” as he believes everything comes from the greek! He said to me, Hello, pretty! Such a sweet compliment. All the other girls were always pretty and I was just ‘cute’…the inner trolls made havoc with that. I have never considered going to the plastic surgeon or getting botox or any of that stuff to make better of my looks or every would and creeping towards 60 years old, I am loving myself, my songlines (scars and wrinkles) more and more. This comes from changing the way I deal with my inner troll. The ugly voice inside saying you will never be as pretty as they are.
Inner trolls test where you are at with yourself. Whether it’s a negative voice or thought-form. Inner trolls are your inner critics, inner abusers. And you know what they need? Like the Trolls of old Norse fey lands, they need to be brought into the LIGHT of conscious understanding. Inner trolls hide inside the shadows of our minds deep down in our subconscious. We tend to keep them there as they are ugly, but the thing is that the ugliness is like a virus to our soul.
There is this great Ted talk by a feisty, ballsy and sensitive woman called Constance Hall. She speaks about how she dealt with relentless bullying by internet trolls. She is very honest about how it took its toll on her and like all victims got brought to her knees. What stopped her was someone who loved her deeply and helped her have faith in herself again, to be able to retrieve the love inside her that the trolls had ripped asunder. What she learned from it all was that kindness is the best antidote to dealing with trolls. She is absolutely right. I was a victim of horrendous bullying at many schools and I have to say kindness has been my staple antidote, along with a strong sense of no bullshit boundaries.
To me, kindness and healthy self boundaries are the light. Trolls can’t thrive in the light. So it’s up to us as individuals to keep our light shining especially when it comes to our own inner trolls. You know that saying, that you can get many compliments but one criticism will floor you and you will fester on it for ages? Well, that’s your inner troll at work. Internet trolls are sad and lost people stuck in the dark with only bitterness and bile to live on. It’s a pretty shite life truth be told. Our inner trolls are somewhat the same. They don’t know what else to feed off but the shadows we have locked away.
So here’s what I do that helps me get perspective
This will take some time to unlearn the troll way of thinking but bit by bit you will see that the troll becomes more in your control rather than you being at its mercy.
The greatest challenge is not so much what others say about us but how much we repeatedly imprint it over and over again into our own psyche.
One of my favourite Buddhist stories is of the two monks
and I think it’s relevant to share it within this subject.
A senior monk and a junior monk were travelling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.
The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.
Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his journey. The young monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.
Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”
The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”
The younger monk has a bit of an immature troll attitude, finding fault without seeing the bigger picture. That what we do within our own minds. We feed the immature troll that finds fault rather than choosing to be kind and compassionate towards what arises.
It’s about training the mind to be a tool rather than a troll.
I invite you to move into some dialogue with your inner Troll in a creative way and shine the light into the cave of shadow, ignorance and fear. It may seem scary at first, so just do it little by little at your own comfortable pace. You will be glad you did.
(c) OdetteNightsky 2019
Shamans had an understanding of the soul from the very beginning much further back than any other spritual path of humanity. Maybe that wasn’t the word they used but by all translations from the Tungus across the other indigenous tribes on earth, it is and always has been interpreted it as the ‘Soul’.
Etymology of the word
soul (n.1) “A substantial entity believed to be that in each person which lives, feels, thinks and wills” [Century Dictionary], Old English sawol “spiritual and emotional part of a person, animate existence; life, living being,” from Proto-Germanic *saiwalō (source also of Old Saxon seola, Old Norse sala, Old Frisian sele, Middle Dutch siele, Dutch ziel, Old High German seula, German Seele, Gothic saiwala), of uncertain origin.
What is not mentioned is the Siberian Tungus origins of the word. Which is where the term ‘shamanism’ originates.
The soul is the primary core teaching of shamanism in its therapeutic sense. Everything is understood from the souls perspective. Be that illness, death, birth, depression, madness, relationships, conflict etc.
There is a knowing via experience that the soul journeys through multidimensional landscapes and this is not limited to time or space. One of those landscapes includes the human lives we experience here on earth.
This is where the bridge between Buddhism and Shamanism differs greatly. Buddhism doesn’t believe in the existence of the soul. They believe in the transference of energy from one life to another but not as a soul travelling through many life times. Which I find totally perplexing to understand no matter how much I have read on it. Buddhists believe in reincarnate but it’s not the soul that moves from one life to another, its just seen as energy. However there is a sense of knowing in the energy, a sense of memory. For example I have read and seen much on the reincarnation of lama’s and the tests they need to go through picking items from their other lives to confirm they were the old lama from years back, but no its still not the soul memory doing this. So what is it? Is it just the left over memory that jumps on board to this energy wave? It perplexes me no end. Both Buddhist and neurologists say that they still cannot define what ‘consciousness’ actually is but they are sure it’s not the soul. Um…sorry that just doesnt make sense.
This is where I break off. I know the souls journey to be true via my own personal experience and by journeying others. This would be a great debate to watch between Shamans and Buddhists. Shamanism was merged with Buddhism in Tibet and there is a man referred to as the State Oracle who goes into trance and tells the Dalai Lama what they see. Did he throw out his knowing of the soul to adapt to the Buddhist belief? I still have so many questions. I like a lot of what Buddhism has to offer regarding the practices that really help to balance the mind, however what I am left with is…..Why cant consciousness be the soul?
When I feel into my consciousness beyond my ‘Self’ It’s like my inner witness, the part of me that is connected to the source that just IS.
Most people think the word ‘Soul’ comes through religion because that’s often where they hear the term, eg the everlasting soul. In their belief the soul is created by a male god and when you die, you go back to god, if you have been good and repentant for being born a sinner. Otherwise you head down to the fiery furnace or are left stuck forever more in limbo. Terribly fear based concepts in my view.
Shamanism is the earliest path of understanding of the Soul (Consciousness)
When I have experienced other lives and fully walked through them in journeywork and also experiencing between life and death realms its a lot easier to cognitively understand mainly because shamanism is based primarily on knowing through experience rather than just blind belief.
The way I learned was not the shaman doing the work or so called healing. I was guided into a life (I had no idea which I would be experiencing), and through all the significant events including death and after death. There is this element of being the witness to the experience. And no matter how horrid some lives were, there was this calm observer within me watching without conflict. It had no agenda, no judgement. Just watching the life and death and then back to Great Mystery as powdered starlight. I have healed the deepest of wounds this way and I have to say its been a wonderful enjoyable adventure even with the tears that might come. Its like I released dense debris each time and the proof for me was the issue did not resurface again in my life.
Some people think that if you believe you’re a soul and you will traverse many lives you won’t work hard in this one because you have more chances. I dont know about others but for me it makes me work harder. In knowing that I am a soul experiencing a human experience this time round, I work my arse off! Sure I may have more lives to come but this life my ID is Odette Nightsky and while I am here in this form, this life experience I will do all I can to explore this personality and see what I can do to clear any debris ( this life and other life wounding’s or blocks) to make way for the next journey wether that be in human form or not. Personally my ego wants to be a spirit guide going around helping others, but hey, who knows? One can dream 🙂
I see us as a souls journey through lifetimes. And like stars in the sky we are always connected to Great Mystery in whatever stage of the path we are on.
So knowing that we are spiritual beings living a human experience makes living here much more palatable in my view. We are more than our flesh, our ego.
My soul came here for a reason. In my early years my ego was in charge as it had to find a way to adapt. The ego is good at that and its important we value its survival instincts. As I have said before I knew nothing other than I was going to be a theatre actress for the rest of my life and them BAM! My ego cracked and shattered. It needed to. It was horrid and at times terrifying but it needed to be broken, basically because I wouldn’t listen any other way at that time in my life.
My soul had to evolve and to do that I had to be cracked. For a good many years I lived in what I term ‘between worlds’. I was not in my body at all due to past wounds and hated being here on earth amongst what I perceived people only interested in the superficial life. So I did what I could to escape by leaving my body as much as possible. I resisted being here a lot but it didn’t work. My soul made and agreement to come here and follow my calling. A calling I had no idea about till much later. In looking back the signs were all there, but I didn’t want to look, or do the work. I just wanted to escape back to wherever the hell it was I came from. It was all too bloody hard! Sooner or later I was compelled to listen and it was the black hole of madness that woke me up. (Gifts come in the dark as well as the light)
You see the key thing is within the shamanic soul based path is you can live in BOTH worlds harmoniously. You just need to know how to shift in-between them and hold your own in staying grounded. Fly out fly in with conscious intent. I mean you never really fly out all together until death but boy can people fragment out. PTSD, trauma, heavy alchohol or drug abuse, any kind of blinding escapism that helps you not be here because its just too bloody painful.
I remember in the early days when the cracks started to show. My legs would just shake on their own. I mean not a little tremble, fully bouncing up and down type shaking and I had no control over them no matter how much I tried. Little did I know it was my way of leaving my body to escape confrontation.
Now I know how to bring myself back in and it rarely occurs anymore. If it does I heed the signal. My body is sending me messages, the good survivor that it is. It’s saying ‘Hey, just wanna tell you you’re splitting off right now, warning, warning.” I can then tune in to the upset and call my fragment in after clearing it from the trigger. Works like a charm. My go to medicine. If I don’t have time to go in deep. I do some rounds of recapitulation (like a mini soul retrieval) which I highly recommend to do as lead up practice to Soul Retrieval journey work.
All my other lives have led to this one. My lessons, my wounds, my learnings. My soul has traversed many lifetime experiences and some so dark, so horrid that I cried at what I could be capable of. I remember at the end of my training when I journeyed through a life were I was not a victim to being burned or tortured, or ostracised (which was common), I was the abuser, a murderer. I saw how I had become like that but my ego jumped in after the session due to the guide not being my teacher but a student in training and I threw up in disgust at what kind of person I was. I bawled my eyes out in deep shame. My teacher took me back in again and I was able to heal that shame, guilt and disgust. Now when I think about it, there is no charge at all. No upset. I am clear from it. I have learned and evolved from that life and in clearing it, the gifts and insights I kept are so valuable. We all have that potential. The path of the souls journey is a path of recalibration and balance. So we must meet all parts of our ego. That is why the old shamanic initiation of is being ripped apart is so well known in this field. The ego dissolves at critical speed. I have learned over many years that I don’t need to be ripped apart at critical speed. I need to walk the gentle path, the nurturing path to balance. Some people can’t shift without the critical speed, like when I walked the terror of madness. I chose to learn the hard way. I was alway so very hard on myself. Later learned how to clear the hard, mean unforgiving side to make way for the gentle path.
One other life journey was so rich, so deep, so good I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay in that life and not return. It had everything I wanted. My teacher asked me what that life as that particular woman felt like. I said it was like a bright beaming sun, strong and powerful. I felt the bone brace across my chest and I was connected to the tribe and was not going to leave it. My wise teacher didn’t push me. She just gently investigated more and more until she asked me what did Odette feel like energetically compared to this woman. I dropped in and felt this soft gentle river flowing through me. It was like drinking cool water when you’re so very thirsty. I immediately understood the power of the river and how it could adapt and move and be strong at the same time. I let go of the power I felt I needed and the bone brace across my chest, and kept the natural gifts and knowledge that came from that life. It was going to be way too hard to fit a Native American warrior woman into the body of a Celtic faerie.
So how do I stay in both worlds? Well, by being conscious of where I am in my psyche and what is arising for me. I am big at inner dialogue whether that be with my inner child, my inner teen, my critic, my protector etc and consciously pull myself in when I feel I am too far out of my body. That helps a lot. I often fly out with awareness for a little while, go down the shamans tree, check in on my inner child and the state of the sanctuary, be alert to the little changes etc, say thankyou to those that were there, intentionally call myself back to my earth suit, write it out and then get on with my ordinary reality life tasks.
Like the other morning. I journeyed to the Shamans Tree across the field and there were white doves in the tree branches and in the nooks of the tree trunk. I saw a cat near the door and pick it up, vibe wise all felt very benevolent on checking so I attempted to take it into the tree. The cat then has a bit of a hissy fit and I step out again. After putting it down it transforms into a tall African man, a Sangoma (shaman). He sits down and pulls out some white cloth on the ground and invites me to sit ( I psychically check with my personal Sangoma that I call on for physical healing who lives under the earth and he says all is ok). The tall African then throws small bones, beads and shells and looks straight at me then asks me to stand and smokes me clear and then says its safe to go into the tree. You see I had been dealing with stomach upset issues and since then it has been so much better. Then inside the sanctuary a baby elephant appeared with its mother, new to my sacred space and connected to the African who was happy to stay outside the tree. This journey is inside me like little seeds while I get on with my daily life. It nourishes my inner world while I walk in the outer helping others to learn how to nourish theirs. This is my soul optimum path and I am am a willing participant.
I am a very logical practical person on many levels here in ordinary reality but I can turn within at a moments notice and tune in to the non ordinary reality space. My sessions with clients are often a combination of my practical self and then turning my head, my vision inward to hear and recieve from the other side. I sense my soul in connection to what I do in life nowdays. It has no personality, no ego, no hunger, need, polarity of right or wrong or judgement. It is the core of me, beyond the me…. that is connected to Great Mystery. I use the term Great Mystery because when I feel into the source that is in connection with my soul essence….it is the stars in the sky, the galaxies, the universe. It has no ID. It just is.
This world is a crazy place. Being a conscious soul (well as much I am able), I know I have come here for a reason and intend to make the most of it. I am so grateful for the earth suit that was given me and for my tenacious personality to be able to keep pushing through and thriving but i know that when I leave this body, this ID goes with it and my soul will go on till it becomes one with the stars.
We are all souls living a human existence. It’s up to us to make the most out of the journey here on earth while we can.