Archive for August, 2017

Since 2003, I have been leading people on their own modern shamanic journeys. I call them modern because in other times only shamans journeyed and they usually did it only for others. Today, as humans evolve, we are being asked more and more to take responsibility for our own spiritual growth and experience. In this evolution, some of us are also being asked to become our own shamans rather than abdicating that responsibility to anyone else. Hence, now we have the opportunity to visit the surrounding spirits for guidance.

What happens during a Journey?

The facilitator, perhaps me, drums a steady beat while leading a guided meditation. Sometimes there is just the drum and you go on your own meditation with some thought or intention, such as meeting a guide or totem animal. The beat of the drum allows your conscious mind to concentrate on something, which allows the subconscious to speak through images.

Benefits of a Journey.

Most feel a deep peace afterwards. Additionally, journeys give you the opportunity to ask your soul, or spirit guides, for guidance in your everyday life. This gives you a new understanding and perspective on your life. The modern shamanic journey is valuable for all people that are interested and willing to get to know their own self at a deeper level. Sometimes this happens by dialoguing with your soul, which is a facet of ourselves that we often silence regardless of its innate intelligence. Other ways are by giving voice to the guides that surround you. They share guidance always, yet they are unable to make you choose to follow that “advice.” The modern shamanic journey is one way to quiet yourself enough to hear what they want you to hear.

Shamanic Reiki.

There is another way to experience healing. A Shamanic Reiki session is a time to recieve the healing energies of Reiki while allowing your body to speak. In today’s modern age, we tend towards regard the body as a sort of inanimate object. We know it needs care and maintenance, but it doesn’t have much to say. In reality, it carries and holds wisdom. It knows what’s really happening for you, probably better than your thinking mind does. With Shamanic Reiki, we allow it to speak in order to gain clarity. For instance, you may have a shoulder issue, we would travel into the place that most calls to you (may be the shoulder, may be a different area) and name whatever is there hanging out. Something in a shoulder might be feelings of carrying too large a load, being overwhelmed or some emotion that is stuck in the shoulder. Once this has been named and acknowledged, it often has served its purpose and is able to move out and with it the symptoms. Clearing our bodies, is one of the most effective ways of clearing our minds.

What is a Pet Journey?

Have you wanted to deepen your relationship and understanding of your pet? I have begun a new project of creating individualized pet journeys (perhaps they will have a more elegant name in the future.) The benefits are the same as above, but we journey to dialog with your pet, preferably with s/he nearby although it can be done anywhere as your connection is beyond physical presence. I travel to your home or barn so that the animal is able to remain relaxed and comfortable. We do the guided meditation with the drum. This gives you the opportunity to shift perspective for a deeper understanding of and bond with your pet. One client said this about her experience;

“I Love Katrina and I enjoy doing any work with her! I always leave feeling grounded. Journeying with Katrina always helps me to see things differently in life and help in my journey through life. In working with my dog Miley in this way was very helpful. It gave me a much better understand of Miley’s needs. Miley is an anxious dog and needs a grounding force to help her maneuver through her life. So when we go for walks I center myself and help her to feel safe. In doing the journeying with Katrina and Miley I realized Miley was not sure this was her forever home so myself and my family have worked hard to let her know she is here to stay! Thank you Katrina for a great experience and helping me to understand Miley on a much deeper level!”

Full Moons.

Every full moon, I facilitate a modern shamanic journey. The location and attendance is always shifting. What remains true is the genuine experience of soul-level peace. In August the event will be held outside at the Saratoga Spa State Park, where we are surrounded by the wisdom of the trees. Keep in touch to find out where future Full Moons will be held. It is a great way to start your inner journey.


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My favorite place to write is anywhere outside. So, now I am on the front porch wondering how to put into words the concept that is circulating through my system. To my left is a tree with red berries that my niece call ‘bird berries’ for good reason. Much to my chagrin, this particular bush is starting to push out the lilacs as it grows. Yet, once the berries are out, I cannot imagine taking the tree down, for chickadee, tufted titmouse, cedar waxwing and especially robins love it. This year, a robin built a nest right in the middle. What seemed like overnight the eggs became fledglings. Today, the babies are out of the nest on branches in their home tree. One grabbed a berry with her beak, staring at it while seemingly considering how to maneuver the food into her mouth without dropping it. Finally, she lifted her head, opened her beak and bam in it went. While this bird had no knowledge of me (that I know of), she showed me that when something seems potentially too big to take in, you will only figure it out by just going for it. While I believe that nature and wildlife are always “teaching” us, I do not think that is their primary purpose. That baby robin is living as a robin, doing what robins are hardwired to do—grow, eat, procreate, scatter seeds, sing and whatever else that I’m unaware of. Yet, because we are in the same place, at the same time, the baby was able to show me something I needed to see, simply by doing her thing. This is either because of the natural synchronicity of life or because we all find our own meaning in what we see. Perhaps a combination of both.

Some believe that we all mirror each other. I have written about it myself, mostly in relation to the animals in my life mirroing me. Eventually, it felt like a disservice to said animals by neglecting their free will and individuality. This isn’t the best example but for instance, that bird was not mirroring me, yet it did show a wise teaching needed in that moment. While we affect each other in every interaction, just as chemicals react when mixed, it may be that what we call mirroring is the sight of our own unclaimed traits—for the better and worse—in the other. You could say then, that it is our perception that appears as a reflection. This information is useful in deepening our understanding of ourselves, but it shouldn’t be confused as the actual other person or animal.

What if instead of seeing others as mirrors, we choose to see them clearly for who they bring to the moment on our shared journey of life? How does that change the way you see the other, as well as their behavior? Again, we affect each other energetically. Yet, as I see it, we are both individuals AND an integral part of the “One.” Just as my heart, lungs and skin are completely separate entities with different functions, they make up one human being. When each organ is working properly in its own way, the whole unit thrives. To broaden it, the earth is the body and we are all working parts of that organism—individualized and integrations of the whole. Which means that all others are also individual and integrated. Can we see them clearly for that?

It seems a human need to be understood. Yet, it’s important to remember that we don’t need to be the same to experience that. I spend more time with animals than people, my dog is snoring next to me now and my afternoons are spent with a horse named Tom. All this time allows me to practice being with and loving others that see life completely differently than me—literally and figuratively. We have the same basic needs of food, shelter, family and friends. Yet, beyond that, every guess I have of what they are thinking and feeling is interpreted through my human filter. I have no grasp what it is like to have smell as my primary sense like my dog does. Nor do I comprehend what it would be like to have almost 360-degree vision as a horse does. I can imagine both, yet again its going through my human filter of understanding. Regardless, I try to observe their behaviors objectively, so as to understand them as they truly are. It has been years of releasing the desire to couple with my animals by trying to be similar; either by asking them to follow my human priorities or by trying to emulate their species. I came to realize that because of the clarity it brings, we are more connected when each is true to their own nature. This has spread to my relationships with humans, in that I am more appreciative of people for being genuinely themselves, whether that is like me or not is irrelevent. This takes a lot of clearing and is always a work in progress. For me, clearing means staying neutral and free of expectation. Put another way in the words of Don Miguel Ruiz “Don’t take anything personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.” Perhaps Pema Chodron’s words are also helpful; “The truth you believe and cling to, makes you unavailable to hear anything new.” That includes beliefs about other people, for good and bad. Stay true, my friends, get clear and stay true. Ultimately, that is all I’m saying.


photo credit; Deborah Neary


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