Category Archives: Journey

My Christmas Gift from Turehu

Christmas 2014

orbGiven the solemnity and joy for many people on this particular holiday—at least for those who actually celebrate it as a Holy Day—I thought that it might be good for me to do some yoga, meditation, and ceremony of a sort. It is a day of renewal and in many ways represents the true New Year. So as my wife and son, Anna and Kivi, continued sleeping, I got up determined to do some “traditional” shamanic journeying on this Christmas Day.

[Please note that what follows is a lesson for me regarding following my own path to truth. Neither I nor any of my spirit guides have any intention of criticizing other shamanic paths. The point, rather, is to embrace all paths that lead to truth while being true to one’s own truths. May all beings prosper as they follow their appropriate paths. By the way, I love drumming but have just never been called to engage in it in my own practice.]

My intention on this day was to follow through with the advice that the Grandfather Tree in the forest on our ridge had given me about a week ago. On that day, as I was walking ceremoniously (and what for me could be called “shamanically”) through the forest, I was drawn to the Grandfather Tree along with some other spots I am often called to, although not always all together on the same particular day.

As I leaned into the tree with my forehead pressed against it, the Grandfather began addressing me. He began with his usual greetings and friendly words and vibrations—I rarely hear much more from him, although I often feel that I have gained some energetic wisdom during each of our visits. But suddenly and unexpectedly he said, “You need to undergo a shamanic journey.” Surprised, I asked him to say more.

“You need to undergo a shamanic journey. A journey involving soul retrieval. Long ago in a distant lifetime you lost a key element of your soul, and now you need to get it back. During this journey you will meet with a being who will offer you an object embodying your lost soul part. You must accept this object, swallow it whole, and then you will be restored after many lifetimes of deprivation and suffering. This particular Karmic trail is coming to an end.”

I was surprised to receive this advice, or, perhaps, more wary than anything else. For I had never done a journey for a soul retrieval before. And beyond that, I have always had more confidence in my shamanic work for others than for myself. I am often too self-conscious to see things as clearly as I think I should when it comes to helping myself, and so I often end up feeling a bit frustrated after doing some personal spiritual task.

drumA few days ago I tried to do such a soul-retrieval journey for myself, but with only partial success. I put on some shamanic drumming music and, after my ritual yoga and pranayama workout, lay down on my yoga mat and closed my eyes. Initially things felt great. I eased into the drumming rhythm, the heartbeat of the worlds, and quickly drifted into a dark and cloudy sleepy kind of space. I could tell that what was being prepared for me was a kind of projector screen, a backdrop for the visions that might come to me in this alternate dimension.

Soon I saw a faint glow in the center of my visual field. The glow grew a little in size but not much in intensity. At a certain point I noticed that within this growing glowing circle there was a winged being—an angel. I tried to make direct contact with this angelic being, but after a few seconds it began shifting shape. It then slowly dawned on me that the angel had changed form into the crocodile-headed humanoid god of Egypt known as Sobek.

sobekI have seen several classical Egyptian figures in my visionary journeys in the past few years, but never Sobek. In this visionary state I established an energetic communication stream with him, but I never heard him speak any clearly identifiable words. Eventually I simply drifted off into a dreamy, floating sleep, feeling wrapped in a warm and dark womblike atmosphere that seemed like an opiate haze. After twenty minutes of this comfortable, indefinite slumber, I awoke and realized that I had gone on a dream journey, but one that evidently will have to wait before I achieve any kind of enlightenment and meaning from it beyond the beautiful sense of comfort. The key point was that no being, not even this Sobek, had offered me anything that I recognized as an object that I should swallow in order to retrieve my lost soul energy ball. So I knew then that I would have to try again to journey into the proper environmental conditions for a successful soul retrieval.

Days went by without a good opportunity for such a journey when Christmas Day arrived. I woke up early and decided that my first gift to myself would be to attempt another retrieval journey and hope for better results at Christmas.

As in my earlier attempt on the day when I encountered Sobek, I began with my usual opening up preliminary exercises—yoga and pranayams—and then lay down on the carpet in our yoga room. Again I began to slip into a dreamy fantastic space, comforting and opiate in tenor. I called on my main spirit guide, Turehu—in her words, a “fairy of the highest order”—and asked her to accompany me on this journey, hoping that in her presence I might better stay awake and draw this figure to me who would offer me my lost soul ball. She began helping by speaking to me about the benefits and drawbacks of my previous attempt at soul retrieval. And then fairly quickly she stopped and suggested that this particular method of lying down with closed eyes might not be my proper journeying mode.

“What do you normally do when you journey, Gabriel?” she asked.

I told her that I usually sit in a yoga position on my meditation pillow and drift off into the Otherworld in that posture.

“Then why,” she asked, “are you lying down on the floor with your eyes closed when this is not your usual method?”

I had to admit that I was doing so because I had recently been challenged concerning my personal shamanic procedures, the suggestion being that I should follow more “conventionally-accepted” methods. This was, in fact, why during my earlier attempt at soul retrieval I had taken the corpse-pose and the drumming background as my approach.

Acknowledging that there is immense power in shamanic drumming, Turehu nevertheless then suggested that I take my usual position, given my success with that procedure, and ignore the criticisms, however well-meaning. So I got up and sat on my meditation cushion and immediately entered the Otherworld.

I could now see Turehu there, standing to my left—an indefinite yet beautifully warm human-shaped glow. Like the other fairies I have seen, Turehu is not at all some small flower-like being as we see in Disney movies but actually a humanoid form that is larger than the typical human. The typical fairy, as they have presented themselves to me, is seven to eight feet tall. And so this was how I saw Turehu on Christmas morning.

With Turehu at my side, I then peered into the mist of the Otherworld—the “Mists of Avalon,” as I now call it—that has come to characterize my current state of visionary encounter. I waited, hoping for the being that the Grandfather Tree had predicted to appear and hand me my soul orb and ask me to swallow it in order to repair my fragmented state of being. I again saw angels coming and going in the glowing center of the visual field, but none came forward to offer me anything.

At a certain moment a realization shot through me like a bolt of lightning. “Wait a minute—I have been waiting for some new, strange being to greet me. But what if the being I have been waiting for is Turehu herself?” As soon as I became conscious of this question, I also knew in my greatest depths that this was the truth. Here I had been waiting for some new being to approach and introduce itself when all along my beloved spirit guide Turehu was there by my side with a brightly glowing orb in her left hand.

orb2“It has been you all along!” I shouted, and Turehu smiled. She reached her left hand out to me, offering me the glowing orb.

retrievalI slowly and ceremoniously accepted it, lifting it from her hand and carrying it to my mouth. As soon as I placed the orb into my mouth—it appeared to be about the size of a billiard ball but with no noticeable densely material mass—I felt that lightning shooting once more throughout my being. This is a frequent experience when I encounter power beings and enter into an energetic continuum with them. But this was probably the most beautiful intense electrocution I had ever experienced. It shot throughout my whole physical body and soon I felt it shooting throughout my etheric, astral, and mental bodies and well. After a good thirty or forty seconds of this spirit energy charging through my being, I saw the orb slowly pass down through my esophagus, my stomach, and then take its place in the hollow pit in my Third Chakra, just below my sternum. It fit itself perfectly into this chamber and then its glow intensified and flowed throughout the various levels of my body, from physical to causal.

Turehu, now standing directly in front of me, then placed her hands on my shoulders and looked me square in the eyes.

“You are whole now, Gabriel. You are once more reunited with your soul essence. Over time you will come to learn in detail how you initially lost it and why it has taken this many lifetimes for it to be returned to you. But the main point for you to recognize is that you are now whole. You are complete. And nobody else’s definition of you matters unless it fits with the truth of yourself that you know in your very being. You now know what is true for you, what is your very own truth.

“This is why the traditional journeying posture would not work for you. That posture and the definitions that go along with it are appropriate for some shamans. But your own version of shamanism is growing out of your very being. That is the only appropriate method and definition for you—the one that comes from your connection to your Higher Self. This, in part, is what it means to be whole, to be complete.”

In tears I thanked her. I slowly opened my eyes and embraced a whole new Christmas Day and a whole new me.

Showdown at Cahokia Mounds

[I originally wrote this report of an experience at Cahokia Mounds in November 2012. Given that I have been again drawn to Cahokia for a variety of reasons and have as a result experienced new things, I am posting this older spirit journal entry in order to provide some explanatory background to the stories I am now recounting.]

November 8, 2012

I feel the need to recount my last experience at Cahokia in part simply to record the information of that day, but also because I know I have been avoiding confronting what happened then and what it might mean. I’ve been avoiding it because it involves ego issues for me that I am uncomfortable with. Getting to the point, the event was a kind of Matrix-movie dramatic showdown between the forces of Life and the forces of Death, and I was playing the leading role as the hero shaman who saved the day.

This has become an issue for me again as Melchizedek (one of my guiding spirits) has been urging me to step up to my identity and my calling, to accept the power that I know I have, and yet I am uncomfortable with appearing to be sunk in some ego hero drama. It seems, though, that rather than coming to some kind of balanced understanding of who I am and what I need to do, I keep getting caught in this see-saw back and forth between denying myself any power at all and seeing myself as the all-powerful savior of the movie. And Cahokia itself draws this out of me because it is there that I am most being called on to take a stand, not simply to understand the past but to correct it.

So to the story of that day: on October 2, 2012, as I was driving back to Athens, Ohio from Lawrence, Kansas with the goal of closing up the house so it could be ready for a buyer to move in should it sell while I am in Finland, I stopped by Cahokia again. I was called to do so, but I had no idea what the plan might be. I wasn’t aware of any new mound to explore or situation to take into account. I just knew that I needed to go there. So I did, despite the fact that I was also eager to make good time on the fourteen-hour drive back to Athens.

As soon as I stepped out of the car into the moody, rainy afternoon, I knew that I needed to walk between the Twin Mounds. I still didn’t know why. As I approached the mounds I felt a growing sense of anticipation, knowing that there was a large host of spirits gathered here for this very visit and that I was somehow going to be involved in something big. I walked up along the southern end of Mound 60 (which Anna and I take to be a male energy mound) and entered into the space between it and Mound 59 (which we take to be a female energy mound).

As I entered into the space in between the mounds I could feel the combined energy vortex there growing in intensity. At this point I found myself quickly shifting into the consciousness of what I knew was one of my former selves—a shaman who had lived and died at Cahokia during the critical time of the take-over by the sacrificial priests. With reassurance from my Higher Self, I gave this shaman permission to use me as his vehicle for this action.

I immediately knew everything about this former self who was now controlling my body, speech, and actions. I knew that this shaman-priest was very powerful but that he was now confronting the power of a rising class of sacrificial priests who were converting the mound powers from structures of love to structures of death and mind control. As with many other early communal experiments in democratic spiritual societies devoted to superconscious development of the Power of Love, this Cahokia was facing its destruction and conversion into a technology of death. I was the shaman representing the losing side, the advocates of Love Power. But I was now here to turn the tables and bring back the Power of Love.

I—I will now speak of the shaman in the first person, given that he and I were now unified in action and that this was a lesson for me from a past self, even though I was watching the entire scene as though I were a passive observer watching a movie—I walked solemnly and powerfully to the power point where the vortex energy of the two mounds converged. I raised my hand to the west and began drawing in the energy from Mound 59. Then suddenly and completely by surprise, I found myself shouting prayers to the mounds in a language I have never heard before. I continued to speak this language, shouting out sacred orders and incantations of some kind throughout the rest of my time at Cahokia.

Next I turned my face to the east towards Mound 60 and began taking in that mound’s energy. Two whirlpool columns of light shot up from each mound high into the heavens. During all of this thousands of voices were cheering me on, shouting “Gabriel! Gabriel! Gabriel!” I then found myself turning my face northward and drew in the energy from Monk’s Mound, the massive earthen pyramid that draws most tourists to Cahokia. As I did so, a whirlpool column of light shot up from Monk’s Mound and then arced downwards towards me. The power point between Mounds 59 and 60 was now triangulated by this addition of energy from Monk’s Mound. Suddenly a massive tower of light shot up from my power point high into the heavens, illuminating the entire quadrant of the planet in the midst of the rainy overcast Illinois sky. This was accompanied by the increasing sound of cheering voices coming both from other past inhabitants of Cahokia and from a host of spirits and fairies.

Throughout this drama of energy and light I was still clueless as to what the whole show was about. Things started to get a little clearer, though, when I found myself turning my whole body around to face the south—where Mound 72 lay in the distance, secluded from the greater community of mounds. Mound 72 had been revealed to me during an earlier visit to be the site of the sacrificial priests, all of whom were represented by the figure of the Birdman of Cahokia, the honorary priest whose corpse was found by anthropologists with its bones lying among the skeletons of dozens of women. This particular mound had become the primary embodiment of the sacrificial turn at Cahokia.

While initially a figure that commands awe and fascination (and today is the official Park icon), the Birdman in the end represents the power of the bird of prey turned against the innocent. In order to enhance their own status and power and prestige, the shaman-priests here began a culture of ceremonial sacrifice that converted the site’s Power of Love into the Power of Destruction. Now here I was, with thousands of shouting spirits by my side and in the skies above me, solemnly and powerfully marching southward towards the representatives of the Powers of Destruction at Mound 72.

As my shaman-self continued marching confidently towards the mound, my watching self was getting pretty nervous. This was shaping up to be some kind of major confrontation, a battle between the forces of Love and the forces of Destruction. While this was all very exciting, I was at the same time a bit embarrassed at playing such a Neo-type role in this drama. Who am I, after all, to be drawing such attention to myself, with throngs of spirits and followers shouting in support as hosts of fairies sang their songs of anticipation and praise from the surrounding woods? I was both thrilled and embarrassed to find myself unexpectedly cast in this messianic role. I was also uneasy with the thought of the impending violence that promised to be unleashed in this righteous confrontation.

When I arrived at Mound 72 I circled around it from the west and then the south, walking to the southeastern corner of the mound. This is where I had sat months before when I originally received the vision of the blood and sacrifice that the mound had always represented. Now I saw that it was my intention to challenge this figure of destruction. This was to be the initial showdown in my attempt to turn the tables once more and raise the Power of Love. The shouts and songs echoing around grew in intensity.

I raised my arms into the sky, staring intently at the center of the mound, seeing the Birdman of Cahokia ready for attack. I began to open my mouth to shout, expecting this to be the onset of the great battle. I leaned my head back and shouted, “Birdman of Cahokia, bearer of sacrifice and destruction, representative of the Priests of Death, I am here to tell you that we love you! We are here to welcome you into the Circle of Love where you have belonged from the beginning. Forgive yourselves for the destruction you have created and unleashed upon the world. Forgive yourselves for the rape and the murder you have conducted in the name of all that is holy. Join us in this Circle of Love!” I was absolutely stunned by this speech. This was not what I had expected at all. Here I was, nervously expecting the beginning of some battle of Armageddon, and what I witnessed instead was a call to Love and self-forgiveness.

The Birdman of Cahokia was clearly just as stunned as I was. He drew back into his mound, not sure what to make of this surprising turn of events. All around me the fairies of Cahokia were singing and cheering, thanking me for finally returning and beginning the Great Turn of Love. I looked deep into the woods into the heart of the fairy throngs and smiled. I knew that I had finally stepped up and had accepted my calling. I knew that now I had finally embraced the Shaman of the Circle of Love who I had always known myself to be but had never dared to acknowledge.

Just at this moment, I looked back northward at the space between the mounds. A deer ran into the space from the same southeasterly direction in which I had approached Mounds 59 and 60. The deer ran right to the vortex power point where the light funnels from the three main mounds had converged. It stood there, facing Monk’s Mound, surrounded in intense light. And then it turned and looked directly at me for what seemed like a full thirty seconds. I thanked the deer for consecrating this event. At that point it turned and ran off towards the north, disappearing from view as if it had evaporated before my eyes. I felt truly blessed at this sight.

I marched back towards the Twin Mounds as triumphantly and gloriously as I had marched down to Mound 72. I spoke with the spirits of the trees as I passed. I returned to my car, looked back briefly at the Twin Mounds, and then pulled back out onto the street to continue my trip to Ohio in the gathering rain.

Elk-Buffalo-Mastadon Vision

June 3, 2014

My shamanic journey yesterday (Monday, June 2, 2014) proved to be quite provocative, and I will try to recall the details and significance of it here.

elkAfter our usual preliminary chants and pranayama exercises, Anna and I went off into our own visionary and energetic experiences. I immediately felt the energetic rush that signals the address from a spirit entity with whom I might communicate. As I melted into the energetic communion, I noticed that this communicative experience was not simply a verbal and energetic exchange—my usual experience—but a dreamlike visionary one as well. I saw and felt myself walking or floating through a mountain meadow surrounded by steep spruce forests rising up at least a thousand feet from the high meadow valley. The meadow was a rich grassy plain.

I noticed that I was walking along with some other creatures of some sort but was not trying to make out who or what they were as the guiding voice narrated the significance of my experience. The voice said, “You are surprised to find that the foundation stone of your practice is still here beneath you when you thought you had melted it into your being.” At this point I saw a stone rectangular slab about two feet by three feet wide and a foot tall, the kind of stone slab that serves as the front doorstep for many old farm houses here in southeastern Ohio, stones carved out of the local landscape.

I suddenly shifted out of the dreamlike flow, telling the being speaking to me that this must all be too dreamlike, that I should snap out of this dream and gain better focus. But the voice told me that this dreamlike experience was exactly what I needed to experience rather than some more purely intellectual verbal exchange. So I relaxed into the dream vision and let the spirit voice continue.

He went on with the narrative. (I have a sense of the entity being male, but I had not yet sought the being’s identity other than my recognition that he gave off an atmosphere of calm assurance and comforting wisdom.) “You are surprised that you have not yet melted your foundation stone into your being and your practice, and you find yourself standing on this stone, comforted by its stability.” With these words I saw myself standing on the stone, yet the stone, curiously, was moving along with the procession through the high mountain meadow as if carried by some liquid or airy flow. Perhaps the stone was suspended on a magnetic field that allowed for its hovering motion.

The voice added, “You see around you the antlers of thousands of Elk,” and once he said this I noticed thousands of white sticklike things rising up from the ground. I only now recognized them as antlers rather than old tree branches. “You are walking through the ancient Elk graveyard, which is very sacred ground, and you are re-establishing your ancient connection with the Elk Spirits.” Aha, I thought, this is exactly what I feel, although I had not before now been conscious of this strange yet familiar feeling of belonging and kinship in this cemetery landscape.

antlers“You are happy to be reunited with your Elk family, and it is here that you find yourself still drawing from the power of your foundation stone. Your Elk family are in fact Buffalo, and you now see your ancient connection with the Bison Spirits of the Planet.” As my Spirit Guide said this I saw the elk transform into buffalo as I walked among them in the procession.

buffaloAt this point one of the large buffalo in front of me turned and faced me in a gesture of recognition and address. I acknowledged the buffalo and then felt myself morph into a buffalo, my head growing large, long, and heavy, my eyes dropping to the sides of my skull, and my nose dropping down to form a long, low snout. (I had had this same morphing experience about five years ago in another visionary experience, which was my first shape-shifting experience that I can remember.)

I realized then that it was the Buffalo who had been speaking all this time. As he spoke I felt the comforting assurance of being in the presence of an ancient soul connection. The Buffalo continued, saying “I give you your pearl, your precious Inner Gift,” and he slowly handed the large pearl, the size of a mango, over to me. As I reached out to accept the pearl I saw that it was emanating an intense and comforting light and energy. But before my fingers even reached it I saw it transform into our Taos Stone, the sacred stone we had retrieved two years ago on a previous spirit venture. The buffalo spirit said, “This is your sacred Foundation Stone, the inner pearl of your being, and you are now ready to reacquaint yourselves with its power.”

As I took the stone from the Buffalo Spirit he transformed into a mastodon and said, “Of course, your true path lies with the mastodon spirits, those with whom you walked this earth so long ago.” I then saw all of the Elk-become-Buffalo of the procession now shift into Mastadon spirits and I felt a deep soul memory of knowing this spirit plane very intimately. I remembered my Mastadon vision of two years ago in northwest Missouri and realized that this, too, is a deep part of my soul memory now making itself available to me on this current spirit path.

mastadonI embraced the Taos Stone, knowing that very soon it will begin to unlock its secrets and I will once more know its powers and its purpose in our lives as Anna and I move forward on our path. I felt an overwhelming sense of belonging and purpose and began crying in gratitude for this precious gift of myself back to myself. The Mastadon Spirits and the sacred terrain of the mountain meadow retreated from my visionary space and I was once more sitting with Anna meditating in our living room, thankful for this moment of what Carl Jung would call sacred individuation, the homecoming of a crucial part of my being that has before now lain hidden in my unconscious field of experience.