Saturday, October 1, 2011

What is a shamanic retreat?

I have just returned from a four day shamanic retreat, and while I had originally planned to write about the spiritual meaning of door knobs, the journey into the other realities ate all my time, as if I were serving to each minute a feast of giving blessings, re-committing to my spiritual teachers, and receiving blessings.

I cannot answer the question yet, "What is a shamanic retreat?" I am still waiting and not watching the pot that is my journal as it continues cooking. I know it took lots of letting go to get off the map. While it feels good to return to my Journey Oracle card readings, and painted frame drums, and shamanic art--I realize I have been in a landscape inhabited by the Other, the place where the torrents of ritual and sacrifice cut deep channels though my comfortable paths.
I wanted to be guided by these lines from Antonio Marchado:

Mankind owns four things
That are no good at sea--
Rudder, anchor, oars,
And a fear of going down.

Of course my cultural and personal version of these four: my anxieties, expectations, skills and fears accompanied me, yet I do think I mostly let the ship of the spirit world carry me. Turns out I got to sail on a beautiful boat.