Thursday, August 31, 2017

How to set a group intention

I have been part of a shamanic mentoring group for many years and finding the intention for our group’s work is a kind of shamanic work in itself.  I have been reading “What the Robin knows” by Jon Young.  In the introduction, he says that every living being has "a purpose, a mission, a life strategy, a set of gifts, and a set of weaknesses". I thought I would do a different kind of Journey Oracle reading this week, and apply these 5 categories to an oracle card reading for finding an intention for our group’s work.


This is the oracle card I drew to represent the group’s purpose.  I see a face streaked with red, perhaps blood.  The face appears made of stone to me.  The red eyes are looking left—which to me means toward the spirit side. The expression is more determined than alarmed.

Oracle card #35 is the Hunter’s Full moon of October.  It represents finding balance, slowing from growth, protection and release.  Why is this the oracle card of our group purpose?  I receive a hint when I read the Oracle statement for this card: enter at your own risk.  Shamanic work does require balance and protection; a determination to go into the blood pulse of a situation, rather than stay on the surface of the story. 


This is the oracle card I drew to show the group’s mission.  I understand a mission is more overarching than a time- and place-based purpose.  In this oracle card, I see a horizontal figure, reaching down into water and up into fire, with a yellow power center covering most of the body. 

This is the oracle card of the Summer Solstice.  It is the energy of the South, Fire, Birthing. What a powerful life force for a group of women who have been together for many years.  This Oracle card asks a question.  Two questions, actually.  Have you graduated?  Why not be both? What excellent questions to begin our work together.

This oracle card represents our group strategy for accomplishing our purpose.  I see other-world flowers growing through confusion toward the light.  In the same way, I believe we will grow through initial confusion about why we are together and what we are to do, arriving at a light of resolution.

This is the oracle card representing the Moon.  Its qualities are deepening relationships, the cycles of flow, entering the dark.  I especially feel a resonance with the deepening relationships among us.   The Moon’s oracle card also asks a question: Are you creating a hollow space?  My first impression of “hollow space” is of a safe space to inhabit, rather than a space that is lacking and needs filling.


This is the oracle card of our group’s gifts.  The horizontal figure has its right arm under water and seems to be climbing out and up into a clear space.  The heads of two black birds with large eyes are calling to the figure.  There is a sense of concentration in the image. 

This oracle card represents the Ash tree and brings the qualities of initiation, patience, expanding awareness.  We certainly cultivate the strengths of patience and awareness.  I wonder if “initiation” refers back to the question of the Summer Solstice: Have you graduated?” This oracle card has a message about strength: endless dancing.  It is so heartening to be with women who keep showing up, year after year, always willing to ask what needs doing.


Oracle card #7 represents our group’s weaknesses.  I see a strange, parrot-like bird, rather sad looking, surrounded by lots of red. 

This is the oracle card of the Rowan tree and brings psychic protection, boundaries, integrity.  Psychic protection is so critical in this work because it is difficult to sometimes know what needs protecting. Ourselves?  The other?  And often it is the integrity of our boundaries that is the protection.  These are strong messages for paying attention.  This oracle card also has a message for the group:  spirit journey work

In a way I can’t explain, it seems that this message is our intention, our way to strengthen our commitment—do spirit journey work.