My first shamanic journey in this lifetime occurred early in 2001. I was drawn to a workshop taught by an old acquaintance from my art gallery days. Under another name Renna was a former art critic who’d traded in her respected critical writing career for a path of healing and teaching after she overcame breast cancer. She’d studied extensively with Sandra Ingerman and had told me fascinating stories of workshops she’d attended where participants actually changed the ph value of poisoned water with thought, intention and ritual, very much like the work of Masaru Emoto.
There were a handful of participants at this workshop, just enough to fit into the small backroom of the metaphysical shop. Renna explained the process of journeying and what we were to expect in meeting our animal guides. We were all thoroughly saged and instructed to lie on the pillow-filled floor as she began to drum and guide us through the journey.
Shamanism has always held a sense of familiarity and remembrance for me, a comforting connection to the Earth and Divine Source. My life at the time was filled with new discoveries; it had only been 3 years since I’d “awakened” to my new path and had so much going on in my life that I didn’t know where to focus.
The most memorable “power animal” that appeared to me in that initial journey was the falcon. I was shown a sky filled with small birds, seeing the panorama through the eyes of the Falcon. “Vision,” said the Falcon, the effect of so many small birds flying about was dizzying and confusing. “Focus,” said the Falcon as my vision was now focused on one bird. “Execution,” said the Falcon as I felt Falcon zero in on that one bird in the sky of many. It was an important message to me, “vision, focus, execution,” that we can attain all we desire as long as we can “see the big picture,” “focus on one aspect at a time” and “carry out the action necessary.”
After that one workshop I journeyed often in meditation, always comforted by the messages and often healing past wounds. On one beautiful spring day in May, I rode my bike to a secluded, woody spot by the canal. I sat upon a grassy bank and journeyed back to a night when I was four years old. I heard my mother screaming at my dad, a near daily occurrence in my childhood. As I lay in bed clutching my ever-present and much beloved Yogi Bear doll, I was overcome with the feeling that I must try to protect my dad, try to get her to stop screaming at him. I rose out of bed screaming myself, lifted Yogi over my head and smacked his head full-force over the black lacquered arm of the olive green chair by my bed. The next thing I remember, my mother is yelling at me, “Look what you did to Daddy!” And I see him hand-sewing Yogi’s silly grinning head back on to his stuffed body.
My heart went out to my four year-old self, so brave in trying to “save” her daddy, she couldn’t, and only brought further wrath upon herself. Then it was as if I had summoned my future self to comfort my past self. A beautiful lady in white, a falcon perched on her arm visited that four year-old's bedroom and held the crying little girl, the little girl stroked the feathers of the massive bird and it became a memory. “You can’t protect your father, these are his choices,” said the lady in white. A burden seemed lifted from my shoulders and a sense of peace engulfed me.
At 6am the next morning, I got the phone call that informed me that my father had taken his life. I cannot help but believe the prior day’s journey was to prepare me for this ultimate challenge, my greatest fear manifested.
I had little time in the ensuing 3 years to journey or to take care of myself, I was too busy trying to hold the world together for so many others that I neglected myself and my grief. After my most recent heartache, I truly felt parts of me were missing, a fractured soul. I remembered my friend Renna and the phrase “soul retrieval” kept playing in my head. Then a fellow psychic in New Orleans advised me to get a soul retrieval, she said something about “being eaten by the bear,” a form of shamanic death and rebirth that humorously brought visions of Yogi the Bear and his picnic basket back to me. I called Renna the next day to arrange a soul retrieval.
The experience was empowering and healing, much like a form of psychic surgery. I saw and felt the shaman removing the cords that had been binding me, relighting the “fire” of my heart center and returning to me my “missing parts.”
I'm truly grateful for Renna's work and for her sharing her knowledge and experience with us here on Soul2Soul.
Love & healing light,