by Mary Louise Chown
Hearing a story is like listening to music, the words falling off the teller’s tongue, onto our ears, and into our heart, setting thoughts and memories in motion. Stories are heard in the deep heart’s core and answer the burning questions that we all have. Who are we? Where did we come from? Who do we love? What have we forgotten that is important to remember?
Editor's Note from Michael Williams: In this article, storyteller and mediator Mary Louise Chown reflects on her therapeutic work with story and children. She states: "Children especially need the experience of listening to stories and discovering connections with their own lives. This can strengthen their spirits for when they meet hard times, such as illness or death, or any kind of sadness or disappointment."
by Sarah Finlay
The Wine Spirit is an ancient being who has been brought into ceremony and shared her knowledge and healing with people since pre-historic times. (My sudden reflections on the significance of wine in the Christian sacraments began to take on a whole new meaning.) My plant spirit guide, continued to explain that the mind altering medicinal plants might be seen on a hierarchical ladder…
Editor's Note from Peter Clark: Ever wonder why alcohol is referred to as “spirits”? One possible answer to that question is contained in this article written by Sarah Finlay. The shamanic worldview holds that all physical forms have associated spirit aspects. Some physical/spirit partnerships have stronger affect on us people than others. This article puts forward a fascinating theory about the spiritual effects of alcohol, and how our awareness and intention is vital to our health in conjunction with the ingestion of the physical/spirit substance.
by Joan Clark
Tender, loving care" are the words that I write on the bottles of lavender that fill my laboratory. Lavender is a plant spirit medicine that exudes the qualities and essence of the Divine Mother energy. It is a beautiful, elegant, powerful, loving essence that is always ready to nurture and care for our bodies, minds and spirits...
by Edmond Wollmann
Every year in the month of October, before the calendar turns over to November, we get on our masks and costumes to encounter the ‘spirits of Halloween’. Why?
Masks cover the hidden and are created to represent and convey the camouflaged concepts behind them...
by Jade Wah’oo Grigori
I will begin this article with two fundamental descriptive definitions of Spirit and Soul. So very often I hear people speak of Spirit and Soul interchangeably; at other times I find that when discussing Spirit and Soul we are using fully different references, resulting in confusion...
by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD
I remember when I was a kid and used to see shows and medical exhibits on how awful primitive medicine was and how wonderful our new "scientific" medicine is. The exhibits would include Aztec skull cutters to make holes to let out evil spirits, leeches, snake oil salesman, and such. We may have moved past some of these (well, instead of leeches we have lab blood-drawing stations), but as we see, historically, the wheel continues to turn...
by Gretchen Crilly McKay
I am a sangoma. What does this mean? A sangoma is an African traditional healer who merges with her ancestors for the purpose of healing. It is a spiritual calling, not a chosen profession. An apprentice sangoma, called a thwasa, studies with a mentor for approximately two years and must learn how to prepare herbal medicines (muti), how to interpret dreams, how to incorporate spirits, how to diagnose illness through divination with bones, and how to heal both physical and spiritual illness...
Editor's Note: Having personally had the privilege of working with Gretchen in the past, I can attest to her amazing abilities and skills as a shamanic healer trained in the African heritage.
by Arvick Baghramian
Shamanism is humanity’s oldest spiritual practice. But what do we mean by that? And what do we mean when we say that we are spiritual or trying to live a spiritual life? Spirituality has always been one of the focal points in my shamanic workshops...
Editor's Note from Sue O'Callahan: Arvick's book, The Magic of Shamanism, is a rich exploration of shamanic healing and traditions. This article is an excerpt from it on spirituality and how through shamanic journeying we deepen our understanding of personal and universal truth. She shares how the symbolic messages communicated during journeys help us transcend internal obstacles and limitations.
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