An Astonishing Shamanic Journey for Healing
One week before I was to take a shamanic journeying* online workshop with Isa Gucciardi (Foundation of the Sacred Stream), we were instructed to journey for a guide who would assist us in our practice during the workshop. (This was a refresher course, as I became a certified depth hypnosis practitioner with Isa back in 2005, where I learned the practice of shamanic journeying to facilitate clients' healing).
So, back to my pre-work assignments! In my 10 minute journey for a "service guide", accompanied by a drumming recording provided by Isa, I arrived before a beautiful, statuesque woman dressed in an emerald green gown, holding a scepter, with 4 golden pillars around her. I “got” that she was German and something like a priestess or queen - she appeared regal, elegant, and strong. She told me her name was Matilda. I couldn’t help but go immediately to Google to search for "German queen named Matilda", and this is what I found:
St. Matilda (895-March 14, 968) became the queen of Germany after marrying king Henry I. Together, they had five children, three sons and two daughters. St. Matilda was known for her generosity to the poor, and her love of prayer.
When King Henry died, he left their son Otto to succeed him as king. However, their other son, Henry, also wanted the throne, and revolted. St. Matilda helped him to get the title of Duke of Bavaria. A few years later, Henry and Otto became angered at their mother because she was using large amounts of the money she inherited from King Henry I on charitable works. She resigned, and left the rest of the inheritance to her sons. She went to live in a country home, but later when her sons had difficulties on their own, they begged for her forgiveness and for her to return. When she returned, she continued to build many churches and monasteries.
In the next pre-work video, we were instructed to journey for a guide to assist us in working with “power loss” (who would assist us in doing a healing journey for one of our classmates). What came to me was a regal and fierce guard dog, a German Shepherd. I found that odd because I don’t have any associations or particular interest in German Shepherds, and thought that, of all the totem animals that might have appeared, this would not be one of them! I concluded that the dog must belong to Matilda and gave the matter no more thought.
On the second day of our shamanic journeying workshop, we were randomly paired up with one of our 39 classmates, to receive insights through a 10 minute shamanic journey. This is to say that I, as the assigned "journeyer", would listen to the 10 minute drumming recording, “travel” to my service guide (in this case, Matilda) and see what helpful impressions might come for my assigned “client”. At the conclusion of the recording, both I and my “client” would share whatever impressions came during the journey. After asking for insights on her difficult childhood, Debra laid down on her bed in a receptive frame of mind, while I journeyed, just letting my imagination flow.
At the conclusion of the drumming recording, I proceeded to tell Debra what I had seen: I journeyed to my guide, Matilda, and I saw a little blond girl, about age 4, looking up at her. Next to the girl was the German Shepherd barking fiercely in protection against someone standing behind her. The dog barked so fiercely that I was a actually frightened. Then I found myself inside a womb and saw the image of an egg, and then a sperm. (I assumed this was Debra). I followed the sperm which swam to my left (which for me means the father’s side, or lineage). I followed the sperm back 3 generations of men, from her father to her great grandfather. I saw that her great grandfather had a very rough life and that he’d been orphaned. I saw him having to be very scrappy to survive, stealing things, hiding, and scraping by. The word, stealthy, came to mind. He survived, but he became hardeneed, and was later a very harsh parent due to his life experiences, and that harshness was passed down to Debra’s father who had also been very rough with her as a child. It’s as though something that was necessary for survival was still being practiced 3 generations later, although it was outdated and no longer necessary for survival. It felt as though Debra was also living stealthily, still trying to avoid danger, by living very still and quietly, while longing for healing from her childhood wounds. I was also shown, “The Sound of Music”, with Julie Andrews standing on the grassy hill, singing and moving her body in dance (in liberation from the Nazi's whom she and her family had escaped). Then I saw the movie, “Heidi” which I associated with the German Shepherd and also singing. I felt that what Debra needed to heal herself was to sing and dance without inhibition, and to be barefoot on the earth.
When I was done speaking, Debra said, “I have to show you something.” She reached out of the video frame, and then held up a black and white photo of herself as a blond 4 year old kneeling next to her German Shepherd, Heidi. (I had forgotten to tell her about the movie, Heidi, that I’d “seen” in my journey!) Debra told me that she had several German Shepherds while growing up, and she believed that Heidi was her guardian angel. We discussed my reading and in fact, her great grandfather had lost his father at age 14, and had to take over his business to support the family, and it had been a very difficult life. Everything else was also spot on.
When we explored the idea of healing through singing and movement/dance, she said she had just started singing and knew it would be a part of her healing journey and that she wanted to bring dance and movement into her meditation classes but had been reluctant/embarrassed. The reading seemed to support her in doing this, however, as a kind of liberation from her inhibitions, which had been deeply forged during her childhood, trying to “fly under the radar” of her father's wrath. During the drumming journey she reported that she had strong sensations in her feet, of them stretching and feeling really good, and I associated this with the image of Julie Andrew’s bare feet on the grass as she sang and danced.
Both Debra and I were gob-smacked at the accuracy of the reading. And what are the odds of my being matched with the woman whose dog and angel companion had come to me a week before class? A coincidence? I think not!
*According to Isa, "The Shaman has been described as a hollow bone. He or she enters an altered state or light trance, clearing out his or her personal ego space to make way for spirit to use him or her as a healing tool. In this way, the Shaman is a channel for higher consciousness. The spirits that Shamans work with are described in all shamanic cultures as compassionate beings, very similar to the Judeo-Christian description of angels. Although some people may resist or question the concept of healing spirits or divine spirit, it is not necessary to believe in this idea to experience healing with the drum."