Faced with a health crisis, I looked for not only possible emotional reasons for this surprising event, but for alternative ways for healing. I discovered shamanism.
I found out things I never knew about these mysterious people and their ways of looking at reality. The shaman lived on the edge of community life for healing the tribe and individuals in it. It was the beginning stage of imagination, creativity, and consciousness facilitated by the shaman’s interior into the netherworld where spirit visitors were met in various animal forms, offering their instincts for a troubled situation.
Shamanic religions and practices are the oldest healing practices on earth. They are the ancient roots of all modern psychotherapy and religion, and yet they differ in that they do not use belief systems for their healing work, but rather are trained, usually through their own personal initiatory crisis, whether it is mental, emotional, or physical, so they can be permeable vehicles through which the etheric and spiritual realms are contacted and expressed for healing. The use of dance, drum, mask and ritual, dream and imagination, art and astrology are some of their techniques to stimulate intuition. All of these evoke the unseen world into shapes, colors, and images that are used for their healing. Carl Jung explored many of their practices and assimilated them into his modern work with clients as they explored their dreams leading to a relationship with not only the personal but also the collective unconscious for healing archetypes.
Since my search for the meaning of this crisis was intense, I found myself willing to do anything to answer my questions. So I chose to be completely vulnerable to get to the truth. After 12 hours in a tent with two major shamans, one a man, the other a woman, along with musicians, a drummer, and a person who tended the fire, they extracted physical as well as mental toxins from me. They set verbal intentions, making it clear that the way had been made clear for me to receive a new liver. And from this earthy, indigenous practice, my surprise was to meet Mary Magdalene as the spirit who would guide me through my liver transplant. Here, heaven and earth met!