Monday, December 22, 2014

My Shamanic Journey Log (Spirit Animals) P.S. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

It's the Winter Solstice, a time to look back on our lives and set our intentions for the future. It's also a new moon, another great time to sent intentions. I really debated whether or not to post this log publicly because its VERY personal. I'm sure there are things here that only I will understand but I thought, what the heck. I've always had a deep reverence and love for the nature and Shamanism has always given me a spiritual connection to this part of me. The following are some notes I took based on some recent shamanic journeys I had. The first one goes back, almost twenty years. The last one goes as far back as last Sunday.

            I went running in the back trails and couldn’t help noticing the ravens again, speaking so loudly in their eloquent caws and clicks. One flew so low, I fell in love with the graceful way it glided and its gorgeous shimmery plumage, blacker than night. I watched how they met and flew, dance and mated. One would let out five caws and I’d here another answer back with five caws. Then seven caws, then four, then four, then seven, almost like the syllables of a poem. Even the clicks and trills had a symphonic rhythm.

            The ravens have appeared to me so much in the past few weeks, I decided to go on a shamanic journey and see if they were trying to tell me something.
            The first time I went on a journey to find my spiritual animal totem, I was about twenty years old. My friends and I journeyed through the Malibu national forest protected land until we found a sand cave that we visited when we wanted to connect with nature. The cave was never the same each time we saw it. It was made of sand and was full of carvings. It had a hole on top and many ashes in the middle where people had bon fires. You could tell by the types of carvings on the inside of the cave, that it attracted all kinds. My friend always sealed the hiking trail with some kind of “magic” spell so no one would bother us. Strangely enough, no one ever did. On the night of the shamanic journey, my other friend brought his own hand made drums. The beating of those drums would lead me deep into my subconscious and out into the unknown.

            He beat the drum during the meditation and I found myself going into some opening in the ground where I saw many animals. Before the journey, I thought that maybe the tiger would be my spirit animal. I really enjoyed the tiger style when I studied kung fu and some of my friends called me “tigress” but I was open to anything. I passed many animals, giraffes, dear, squirrels, even a lioness that felt very maternal but who told me I wasn’t ready for her yet. I kept asking each one of them if they were my spirit animal. When I saw the eagle, I didn’t have a chance to ask it anything because it grabbed me by its claws and swooped me up into the sky before I had a chance. I was told that I could ask my spirit animal anything I wished to know but first I relished in its flight and watched the figures beneath me grow smaller and smaller. I saw the lights of the city and its many hills and valleys. The view was amazing and humbling.

I decided to ask the eagle what would happen if I fall. Suddenly, it let me go and I sped to the ground. When I hit the grassy bottom hard, I laughed and thought, “that’s all?” Then the eagle picked me up again. “How far can we go?” I asked. I think the beat of the drum had changed rhythm somewhere in the background and my whole psyche was on the brink of something. The eagle took me up, past the sky and clouds, I found myself in outer space, surrounded by darkness and stars. The eagle just kept going, took me all the way up to the sun which blazed in its enormity and indescribable light. Then, the eagle left me there and went away. Strangely enough, I was not afraid. I was awestruck but fearless, floating there in the middle of the cosmos, experiencing the magnificence of the universe and my minute place within it.

This was the gift of wisdom the eagle brought me. This was the power that gave me the courage to journey by myself to the other side of the country, pay may way through school through odd jobs and pursue my dreams. The eagle can see the big picture and that ability to step outside myself and above any pettiness that might cause me to lose my way. It helped me survive the ghetto without ever losing site of what I wanted. But sometimes, the eagle can be a bit of a hermit and hold itself to a much higher standard.


Fifteen years later, a mother with a family to raise, I wanted to reconnect with my animal totems. I knew there was more to me than the eagle and I was curious as to what spirit could help me in my circumstances. My friend, who led me through the first shamanic journey years before was also married with his own family. We no longer had the freedom to journey into the woods late at night on a whim, but he still offered his spiritual services in the guise of a CD with shamanic drums recorded on them. I played the drums and found myself diving deep into the ocean.

It was the whale who drew me there and we swam together, side by side. She felt so warm and compassionate, unlike the strong, intellectual eagle whose plane was everything in the air and above. That whale took me into a dark voyage deep into the reaches of my subconscious, a place so deeply personal I can barely describe it. I’m sure I wrote about it and maybe that journal entry is buried somewhere in a box with my other writings. I must say, the realm of the ocean was scarier than the realm above the earth but with the whale by my side I was not afraid of what I had to face deep within myself.
I did manage to write two books under the guidance of the whale, so dark and sensual, yet, so maternal and warm.


Five years later, I’m seeing ravens everywhere and I know I have to learn what they are trying to tell me. I do a search on youtube for spiritual animal drumming. I only have a bit of time, being a working mom. I find the perfect video, a woman with a drum and she leads me through it while I sit in a cross legged position in front of the screen.

I remember it as if it were yesterday, because I just did it yesterday. Lol. First I went into the underworld and found myself entombed in the plane of the spirits and of nature. In my first shamanic journey, I approached each animal cautiously, politely asking them if they were my spirit animal. This time, I reconnected with each of them as if they were long lost friends. I rolled in the long grass and scurried with the bugs. I ran on hands and feet with the dear and rolled with the playful coyotes. I waved “hi” to the whale as it swam past me in the ocean. I knew they were all part of me in some form or another and after all these years, I have become comfortable with this.

It’s the wolf that catches my attention, its eyes burning with a ferocity I relate with and it walks by my side, promising me that it will protect me no matter what. I was always the cautious type keeping my space and analyzing things keenly before approaching. This mentality has kept me alive, especially when I was young starving artist living in the ghetto.

Then the raven finds me, cawing and chattering as it does in real life. What is it trying to tell me? We walk through the realms, past the animals and I’m aware that I’m not in the air on in the water. I’m on the ground, being protected by the wolf and the raven is telling me that there is some way of living in between the worlds without having to constantly split off my personality. Maybe she’s also telling me that I need to learn to communicate better as being either deep in the ocean or high above everyone has cut me off from the rest of mankind. This is probably the hardest thing for me to do, live between the realms and something about the raven is teaching me that there are realms between realms that we can’t even see, ways of shifting through atoms and jumping between universes. The wolf is telling me that this is a dangerous endeavor because I can no longer hide in my subconscious or escape into the stars, observing mankind from the outside. Yet, I’ll be okay because the wolf will never let anything happen to me.

I know the raven is a messenger between the dead and the living and there have been some strange deaths lately. I do remember getting a reading done when I was young and the raven came up as my spirit animal. I think its teaching me to find the intuition I had as a child, something I learned to suppress because I feared its power. I know the raven has always been here, even as a child. I wish the journey could have been longer but it was a timed journey and I found myself coming back to reality as we know it. I’ll definitely be exploring more of what the raven is trying to teach me. Lord knows they’re everywhere. The moment I step outside, there is always one in site.


When I told my son about this, he looked up the youtube video and wanted to try it so we went back to the underworld. I saw the raven and the wolf again. The raven was trying to tell me something. It liked to talk in its own language and I think it was saying “look look. There’s something important you’re not seeing.” When it flew it didn’t pick me up. I flew behind it, knowing my own way of taking flight. I flew into the sky and realized I didn’t need the raven. I flew into the minds of some of my friends.


Yesterday I went to the trail where I do the sprints, surprised that the ravens didn’t greet me as soon as I entered the trail. As I ran, I could feel the spirit of the wolf near me. I thought that it would be funny if I suddenly saw a wolf though there aren’t any wolves in these parts. Strangely enough, a lone wolf appeared. It stood about fifty yards away. I gazed at it, admiring its beauty. At some point our eyes met and it turned away. I started wondering if this wolf really did come out of the woodwork. We get coyotes around here, but I don’t think we get wolves. A bunch of other dogs started to show up with their owners and I continued with my workout. The dogs started to play with each other and I saw a woman standing alone with her dog on a leash. Was that the wolf I saw?

I asked her what kind of dog it was and she told me it was a Czechoslovakian wolf dog. When I remarked of its beauty, she told me that it had problems. “Like what?” I asked. She told me it liked to be alone and didn’t like other dogs and people. Yet, as the other dogs played and I stood there in front of it, the dog seemed perfectly calm. I never heard it utter a sound.

When I got home, I decided to do another shamanic journey, still a bit disappointed that I didn’t spend enough time with the wolf. I found a drumming meditation that didn’t involve a guided voice and put myself in another trance.

This time, as I journeyed into the underworld, I feel myself growing younger. I open a door in the middle of the woods and see it is a child’s hand that is opening it. I can’t be more than five years old now. When I go down, I find myself in a dark place, a cave of sorts, similar to the real cave where I did my first journey. I see the raven and the wolf, but first I walk by a sleeping tiger. In another corner, there is a dark beast, so dark and large, I can’t describe it specifically. I recognize it from a journey I went on many years ago. This was once the beast that (according to an old meditation) represented my fears and anger. I fed this beast and tamed it a long time ago. It sat there, murmuring in a deep growling noise. I walked up to it and it opened up, so I stepped inside. I went inside the beast.

Only the raven went with me. It didn’t pick me up as the eagle had. It merely stayed by my side as I flew and floated inside the large cosmos that made up the innards of the beast. It insisted that I could do all the flying myself. Unlike the eagle, it didn’t show me the view from up high or take me into the atmosphere of space. It started showing me the realms between the worlds, the different dimensions and astral planes. I saw myself as a child seeing myself as an adult and saw myself as a child seeing my adult self visit my adolescent self to tell me about my future husband and even to warn me about hurting him and I asked the raven which future self is this? The raven said that it was never a real future self, but only the future self my child self interpreted to be a future self back when I could see the future. But the child could only see things from her very inexperienced perspective. Still, I entered this journey as that child, the only one who could still parallel universe travel and I asked the raven about other astral realms and it started to take me to a blue part of the sky. I think we entered a square to get there. I wish I can remember or describe what was there but I can’t. The raven flew me through times, through perspectives, through between worlds and as the drum started calling me back, I found myself flying back from the beast which I viewed with much greater respect and affection. I was back in the cave, trying to ask the raven one more question before I had to go back. I asked it why the tiger was sleeping and as I approached it to wake it up, it stirred and for the first time. I was hesitant, wondering if it was ready to wake up and wondering what it represented. But the drums called me back to this world and I had somewhere to go anyway.

Looking back on the last journey, I feel a lot more at ease with a power I always feared in a strange way. It became clear to me, more than ever, that there is nothing to fear. There are only things we don’t understand, but once we understand them, there is no more to fear. It’s out in the light. We fear powerful predators such as tigers but once we understand their place in the order of the world, that fear turns to love and admiration. We fear the parts of ourselves that are capable of anything because we are attached to the insecurity of fear. At least, that’s how I see it. There are ways of looking at things that can give us perspective. When I was young, I stepped outside and saw the world from great heights. Then I went into the oceans and into my own soul. Then, I decided to look in between and see how it’s all somehow connected. I have to remind myself that I’ll always have this ability to stand back and see the big picture. I’ll always have the ability to go deep within. There will be times in my life where I might be confused about my place, times between phases where I might not know what I want. I have to remember my ability to meditate and go on journeys and I’m pretty sure that when that regal, powerful tiger wakes, she’ll be unstoppable.

"We meet ourselves time and time again in a thousand disguises on the path of life." --Carl Jung


  1. I'm adding this as an afterthought rather than create a whole new blog on the subject. I went back and talked to the tiger. The tiger basically shows me that I can be her anytime I want and nothing can hurt me, curse me or take advantage of me. But it also means that I am connected with a higher power, one that surpasses fear and pettiness. She invited me to be the great person I was always capable of being. She also ruled the land, reality really. Nothing can harm me here.
    The raven taught me how to go into other people's minds. She also told me that one of the greatest problems people are having is a disconnect from the source of our power.
    It also ushered me back to the forest, back to the life energy that connects us all as one divine consciousness and urges me to never lose sight of it and to always protect it in a world where people are forgetting and shunning the natural for the digital. In the forest, I sense the trees and the leaves and let them grow all around me and on me. Suddenly, I feel as if the trees themselves are my spirit animals and they surround me with a sense of healing energy and I feel very maternal and moved to protect the earth itself and all the people in it, especially the ones I’m close too.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. The other day I told a friend about some artwork I did years ago that was lost. He asked if he could see some of the artwork I used to do. When I went back through my old archives, I found a drawing of a panther and behind it, a journal entry from 1996.
    I realized, after reading this that I used to talk to spirit animals way before my first meeting with the eagle in the woods. Some of it went:
    I had a dream that there were wild panthers and lions in my house. It was dark and their eyes reflected the little lights that lingered in the air. Wild would be the best word to describe them for they weren’t like the cats you see in the zoo that are locked up with their survival needs tended too. These cats would pounce on an elephant if they were hungry enough, though I would be much easier prey. I could tell that they were wild, not because I could see it in them but because I could feel it. Animals give off auras just as humans do and these animals are especially strong. It’s hard to explain the dream, another subconscious demonstration of what my psyche is capable of. I was telepathically asking the cats to do something for me, something only they could do. I wasn’t doing this through words but through vibrations, trying to project to them a feeling just as they were presenting a vibration feeling to me of their power. The feeling I got from them was something like, “maybe I’ll do this for you and maybe I won’t but watch out because I’ll kill you if I want and I won’t think twice about it.” I was helpless in their power, a mere beggar.
    On an added entry I wrote that someone had been threatening me and I wondered if I dared release the cats. But even then, I understood the lesson of karma and the painful cycle of revenge.
    Today, I delved into my subconscious and realized that the tiger is only powerful when tamed by the wisdom of the birds, who see things from a distance and encourages me to make rational choices. I always knew the cats were there, in all my journeys yet it was never them I came to for council. They want what they want and will stop at nothing to get it, even if that something isn’t the best thing for me.

  4. Very revealing and well written. Always know there is a friend in NY who still embraces his animal. And it is available to anyone in need.
    Namaste ' Re.