Saturday, October 22, 2016


The four directions belong to everyone and there are in fact six directions if one includes above and below. In Native American tradition the directions are key to spirituality and also are honored when the initiate goes into the wilderness for a vision quest and returns to the elders and tell his or her story. The tradition has been adopted by the West which has raised concern amongst indigenous Americans but the directions were also described by Isaiah after his vision. The Zohar says that a river arose out of Eden forming four rivers and four winds and the details of all six directions and how they link to the Tree of Life is a big part of Kabbalistic understanding. 
Native American tribes vary in their descriptions of the Four Directions in relation to color, season and the power animal in that direction as well as other polarities. We can all make the directions  our own to connect with the elements and Nature's polarities. 
The one below is adapted from Foster and Little who run Vision Quests from the School of Lost Borders in Bishop. I have included the Archangels as described in Kabbalah for each in the figure below. The colors and animals differ in Kabbalah. We can call on the Archangels for help and guidance according to their inherent nature.
Each direction has a color, an element, a season, a chakra, a power animal and an archetype. When used in the Southern hemisphere the seasons, colors and power animals also will change. Choose the animal that speaks the most to you for that direction and that phase of your life. 
Kabbalah adds; four rivers, four winds, four archangels and the four beings - 
Still, Growing, Wild and Talking. 

We travel the wheel clockwise from;
Summer in the South the place of the child. The element is earth - in Yoga the first, survival chakra (but fire and the Talking Beings in Kabbalah.) The angel is Rafael who represents healing and cleansing.
The archetype of this direction (Angeles Arrien) is the Healer since it is often the Wounded Child of the South who becomes a healer.
Fall is in the West whose color is black. It is the dark night of the soul of adolescence when hormones are raging and there is much confusion. This is the second or sexual chakra and the element of water. (In Kabbalah the element is earth and the place of the Still Beings.) 
The most fitting animal is the bear that hibernates since this is the adolescent period of gestation and of "becoming" who he or she is meant to be.
The archetype is the teacher probably because this phase is critical for the adolescent in terms of having a roll model, elder, teacher to guide them to the North and eventually to the East.
The angel is Gabriel who represents strength and courage.
The North represents winter and the Warrior or leader archetype since it is the Warrior who must lead the tribe. The element is fire and the third chakra. (In Isaiah's vision it is water and the growing Beings.) White is not only the color of Winter but also the color of a spirit warrior since the true leader of the tribe must also be a person of spirit (in some Native American traditions represented by the white spirit buffalo.  The angel is Uriel - light, mystery, illumination.
The East is the place of the Visionary or Elder which can take many forms; shaman, musician, dancer, artist, guru, healer etc. The color is gold the color of Spring and the rising sun (as opposed to the West - the setting sun.) These are the upper chakras.The element is air  and higher up ether.  The angel is Michael who is loving kindness and "shining" and the Beings are Wild.
In African tradition this is also the grandfather or grandmother who is the spirit teacher to his or her grandson or daughter. When the elder dies he or she may also become a spirit guide to that child. Sometime later the deceased spirit reincarnates as a child to begin the circle again.

Meditate on the songs if you like whose links are below and formulate your own understandings of what the directions and all their polarities may mean to you. This is best done in nature and will evolve over time. Look at that particular phase of life and chakra where there may be blocks and issues that need to be addressed and released.

There are three songs to meditate on that apply to the directions. They came in dreams during my numerous stays at Tshisimane the healing center we once had in the far north of South Africa in the pristine bush of the Soutpansberg mountains. Highlight the link then click on it to listen and see where the sounds take you.



Sunday, October 16, 2016


The Ancestors are very much in favor of an embodied active meditation. Many favor yoga asanas and Tai Chi over passive mind meditation but if we go into nature or wilderness (which is closest to the Garden of Eden archetype) we can experience the multiple polarities it has to offer and easily find what Buddha called "the middle way." Nature is a room with many doors and windows to spirit; up/down, light/dark, wet/dry, happy/sad, terrified/tranquil, hungry/satiated, thirsty/quenched... It fulfills and completes all the energy shifts embraced by the sun and moon channels of the chakra system.

"Active, is not an emptying of the mind kind of meditation. It is to reflect and focus until one is lost in the thought of imagining or sensing and until one becomes one with it..." The Ancestors

With this in mind it is not difficult to get into an alfa state of consciousness which can lead to what I call "Wilderness Rapture."
The link to the song below may assist in this type of meditation in  nature. 
The longer we are in the "Garden" the more likely rapture will occur (four to five days is ideal.) Frequently we do not realize how relaxed and harmonious a state we are in until we actually come home when it is not uncommon to experience a "Reentry Depression" for up to three weeks. 
This journey can be done anywhere where we can immerse in the Earth Mother. She is feminine and so she responds best to an inwardly directed attention where we have as little as possible separating us from Her. Choose the place thats suits you best; a cabin in the woods, by a lake or at the ocean or a retreat in a pristine area...
Keep it simple, find the access that is in your comfort zone, walk alone or in silence, attend to needs not wants and leave cameras, novels, ego and alcohol at home. If you go with a group or companion be sure they have the same intention. Do it all for its own sake without attachment to outcome, making the whole experience a meditation.
Remember the lessons in non attachment of Harrison Owens; "Whenever it began was the time it was meant to begin, whoever was there was meant to be there, whatever happens was meant to happens and when its over its over."
My experience is that it pays to be in the moment with the event - one cannot go back and try to recreate how special it may have been. 
In this way we can attend to the Four Beings and the elements illustrated in last weeks blog (and below) in the best possible way.
We need to embrace all the elements and beings; sit around the fire,  gaze at the stars and moon, swim in a river, lake or ocean, walk in the rain or mist, burn incense, sing, drum, dance, sleep or meditate on the earth, breath the clean air consciously.
In other words relate to all the Soft Fascinations; scenes, sunsets, scents, aromas, sounds (bush mantra,) entrain to the daily/monthly/seasonal rhythms and allow nature to meditate us!
When we do this we open up to the Field, increase our intuitive powers, realize a richer and more informed dream world and come into closer recognition with our archetype or who we truly are.

This type of experience will of necessity involve the three phases of the hero/ine's journey. 
SEPARATION where we separate from our usual state of existence.
THRESHOLD or the journey itself when we may face some psychological and even physical fears that need to be overcome.
INCORPORATION where we take what we have learned and bring it back to help heal the planet and the Beings who dwell here.
Fear may come up but without fear there is no growth.
This week I am including a song to meditate to with an active, imaginative type of meditation. As many of you know these songs come to me in the dream time and though they may lack a professional voice they have strong vibrational essence and are arranged by an talented musician in South Africa who knows how best to arrange them to enhance their vibration.
Click on this link and when the little hand shows click again.
If you have problems hearing it e. mail me at
Its tricky to put it on as a link but should work


Next week we will talk about the four directions as another way to tap into this power.
Those who are interested in nature as spiritual practice can down load the pdf from my web site www. which is a summary of the book Inner Passages Outer Journeys (now out of print.) You may be able to get it on Amazon or borrow a copy from my office.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


There are three phases of the trance state (related to Kundalini) that have been recognized by research workers. These have been described especially, but not exclusively, in those taking mind altering substance or plant entheogens (mind altering plants taken in sacred ritual administered by a shaman.) These phases are:
1. Entoptics which are basic shapes such as wavy lines, chevrons, circles, stars etc. These occur due to chemical release of phosgenes around the optic nerves in the eye.
2. Construals, when these shapes come together to form mandala like shapes and other designs (see figure below of Chumash rock art at Painted Cave in Santa Barbara county - the Chumash used sacred Datura.)

3. Therianthropes which are figures seen in rock art around the world depicting the shaman shape shifting from human form into animal form. (See figure below showing the shaman's feet and face beginning to assume the shape of an antelope.)

Is it even possible for a shaman to shape shift and if so?; 
Is that person just assuming the animal's behavior? 
Can he or she be giving others the illusion of the animal while still being in human form? 
Is it actually possible to transform into that animal?
 Ancient wisdom confirms that even the last option - which does not seem at all feasible - is possible.

The ancestors teach that; 
"we are all one but not the same" 
and all Beings (Still, Growing, Wild and Talking) 
are comprised of the same elements and animated by the breath of the Creator. Each Being has a different vibration and in order to communicate with the other Beings we have to slow down to their specific vibration. Ancient wisdom also confirms that long ago we were able to easily do this. Certainly it is still a talent of indigenous peoples, especially hunter-gatherers.
According to the Law of Correspondence; as above - so below. As is the atom so is the D.N.A., as is the D.N.A. so is the cell, as is the cell so is the body, as is the body so is the universe.
If we look at D.N.A. and the sun and moon energies of the yoga chakra system we see that energy moves as a spiral up these channels. D.N.A. is plastic as evidenced by spontaneous remission of diseases that have defied the best that modern medicine has to offer. Moreover,  Bushmen trance dancers can handle fire with impunity which makes one wonder if with trance, the vibration of the cell is approximating that of fire, and their cell protein is not denaturing. 

There is a Druid saying;
If we look at the chakras we see that there is a hierarchy of elements as we ascend up the chakras reflecting refinement of vibration as we move Kundalini up into the upper chakras. 
First chakra-earth, 
Fourth or heart chakra-air 
and then above that ether emanating from the Divine breath that animates us all. 

In the Four Directions described in Kabbalah ; 
the Still Beings are of the Earth element,
 the Growing Beings are of the Water element, 
the Talking beings are of the Fire element 
and the Wild beings are of the Air element. 
This may be because the latter are more pure than we are and not motivated by ego, self-cherishing and acquisitiveness as many of us are - they are just doing what the Creator asks of them. According to Credo Mutwa, a powerful Zulu Sanusi or prophet - birds have an especially advanced form of spiritual power possibly because they have mastered both flight and song.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

This weeks blog is on spiritual practice and Kundalini 

Yesterday I gave a talk on the Kundalini, the governing spiritual principle of the cosmos and both during the discussion as well as at the breaks there seemed to be some confusion around what constitutes spiritual practice and how best to conduct it. It was clear that some form of regular, sustainable and enjoyable spiritual practice was key to moving Kundalini energy and enhancing ones spiritual vibration up the hierarchy of chakras from earth (the most grounded,) to water, fire, air and ether or spirit. This practice need not necessarily be esoteric or Eastern based to qualify. 
Essentially anything done for its own sake which puts one in an inner state of awareness and induces a relaxation (parasympathetic) response can be effective.  
An embodied spiritual practice can be more powerful for many of us as per the scriptures; 
"From my flesh shall I behold God."
This could be drumming, playing a musical instrument, dancing, painting, walking on the beach, all being done not to perform or look good but just to "be."

There is nothing wrong with having more than one modality of practice depending on ones intention. A form of meditation that connects one to spirit guides may be quite different to another that elicits a relaxation response. Passive meditation is mostly for improving ones state of being, active meditation can help us access the mystery and connect with the Creator. Active sensory meditation is also a way of programming our subconscious more positively around around the time of sleep.

What we are trying to do here is some way of increasing our vibration or moving Kundalini so we can access the "Field" to gain more inner peace, glean intuitive information and enhance our brief sojourn on the planet. Some of the benefits include; increasing episodes of synchronicity, superfluidity (or being in the "zone" or an alfa state,) a richer more informed dream life, a deeper connection with our spirit guides, enhancement of our Inner Healer and a more magical existence.

There are many other manifestations of the Kundalini phenomenon including; feelings of oneness, transcendence, intense love, vibration and tingling moving up the spine as well as heat. 
Maslow described some of these as peak experiences. At the end of the day, however, Kundalini is about subordinating ego to the higher Self to realize an ever increasing movement towards "Becoming" more of who we can be for ourselves, other beings 
and the planet. This can also be described as the hero/ine's journey.

This diagram below summarizes the simple but difficult obstacles we have to overcome for these kind of "realizations" and to access non local information in the Astral or even the Causal realms.
Spiritual practice is key to mobilizing the feminine serpent energy. In this way we can manage the sensory urges of our lower three chakras and the blocks that reside around:

Ego and self-cherishing
Desirous attachment to "stuff"

Hence, with opening of our heart chakra and love, we move energy up above the diaphragm into the higher chakras by:

 Being in the present moment
Realizing the truth of who we are and our destiny
An increasing awareness of the profound spiritual principles that can assist us on the way

Saturday, September 24, 2016

This is the last blog on Primal Wisdom and what we have lost

We have spirit guides and ancestors on the other side of the veil between worlds that respond to petition. The best way to ask is with the following mantra.

Intention with courage and passion will invoke a response but because the other side is "timeless" we should not expect an immediate result. 

Attention implies attention to the details of the petition otherwise; "be careful for what you wish for...!"
Because of free will we cannot be vague about our requests.

We must take Action, we cannot just think about it once or twice for it to materialize and action is best taken in the form of a ritual.

A ritual is a "Container," - in a way a password - for a wish and will carry the intention more easily into the spirit world. Its useful to have a sacred container in the form of an altar to do the ritual. The ritual itself can be very simple such as lighting a candle or incense or making an offering. The altar can be as elaborate as we care to make it. Bigger solicitations may require more intense rituals. Rituals also have a more powerful affect on our subconscious which also has a lot to do with how things will actualize. 
Your guides may then say; "Wow, she really means it!"

The Ancestors advise

 The veil is semipermeable and some have readier access to the other side than others in terms of acquiring non local information but not necessarily in having their requests realized. Spiritual practice, opening the heart, and releasing pride are all factors that come into play. Non attachment to the result is important since attachment to outcome may have a "stickiness to it that will be counterproductive. So in simple terms one should: 

Get into the Field with some form of meditative technique
Be detailed about what one wants
Make it for the greater good and for the sake of others other than oneself (subordinate ego to the higher Self)
Release completely to any attachment to outcome which implies having faith

In sangoma circles containers often work through the law of Signatures or Similars. " 
"If things resemble one another they can effect one another."
Red in many cultures means danger but also is a color of protection. Plants and animals that are brightly colored, especially if red, warn us that they may be toxic. Poison oak leaves are often red in color, the castor oil plant which contains the deadly ricin may have a red stem and red seeds at certain times. In a way this is a message from the Great Spirit to be careful. Similarly wearing something that is red, using plants that are red (or even a special red wine) by imbibing them (if safe) or bathing with them is a message and request to the spirit world or a container for protection.

Castor oil plant.

And after all is said and done remember to Affirm, Repeat!

Containers for giving thanks such as offerings in any shape or form give a blessing or signal to Spirit that we are grateful.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

This is the 2nd blog on Primal Wisdom and what we may have forgotten or put aside

Last weeks blog talked about placebo and nocebo as well as the spirit world who can intervene on our behalf. But we must ask to receive and continue to affirm because of the cosmic law of free will. 
Apart from placebo, which is a love response, and its opposite nocebo which is generated by fear, there is also the distant NON LOCAL effect of healing or hexing - either love or fear induced (see figure below.) These effects operate whether we know about them or not, believe in them or not.  
There are now numerous double blind studies showing that distant or remote healing works even if the patient does not know about it (no placebo involved.) There are also studies done by the C.I.A. and Stanford university proving that remote viewing is real. This can be extended to distant or remote diagnosis by shamans, psychics and now what are politely being called, "medical intuitive." If distant effects that are positive occur then the same must be true if they are negative.
There is a common misconception that a hex only works if you believe in it. Hexes work more powerfully if you believe in their power but they work all the same, often in more subtle ways such as; anxiety, depression, bad luck, trouble with relationships, being accident prone, bad dreams or waking up feeling you have been "invaded." 
Guilt will aggravate the power of a hex. In indigenous societies if one has seriously wronged somebody else and are hexed a curse can even be fatal. 
Einstein said of the Field; 
"Our knowledge is the knowledge of children. We will know a little more than we know now but the real nature of things we will never know, never!" 
Most is unknowable but there are secrets and passwords for entering this realm of intuitive information. Spiritual practice and the nurturing of our vital inner, feminine spiritual energy or Kundalini is the passport to Field entry. 
All Southern African indigenous tribes believe in a primal force that is feminine that resides in the lower belly and is key to spiritual power and fertility. This force is best activated by drumming and dancing. It becomes manifest in the Domba or python dance of female initiation among the Venda people in the far north of South Africa. The python in many tribes also is a good omen from the ancestors which comes in dreams or awake time to empower. 
The mamba on the other hand can mean something odious, like a hex, is afoot.
Remember that the Field like the internet is value neutral and must be for free will to operate. Hence like and dark both exist in the Field. 
Rumi affirmed this; "Out there beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a Field. I will meet you there..."

We have to be careful of our words especially if we are in positions of power like physicians or shamans. A negative prognosis can be a medical form of hexing. An individual is not a statistic and no-one knows the power of his or her Inner Healer, the extent of their spiritual practice or belief system, their contact with God or their spirit guides. Hence the Ancestors say the power or prayer, belief, faith, trust hope is more definitive than the words of doom or gloom or a prognosis. We should avoid those who, even if unconsciously, hex us with their speech.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

This weeks blog is the first on a series of Primal Wisdom
 What have we Lost
 (topic at a recent Shamanic Conference in San Rafael)

Sangoma healing works mainly through three mechanisms:
The Power of Placebo
Distant or Remote Healing
The fact that many Plant Medicines also have pharmacological properties apart from their spiritual effects

Placebo or the power of belief to help and heal is a key tool of the sangoma (Zulu for shaman.)
We know from double blind studies that a placebo (dummy medicine) will do the job 30% of the time. A charismatic sangoma can increase placebo often as much as 80%.

The cosmology of the spirit world is complex. No doubt advanced spiritual seekers can obtain information directly through the upper two chakras via out of body travel and other methods. For most of us, however, who are not so enlightened, spirit guides or ancestors are vital. I use the two terms interchangeably because frequently a "foreign" spirit guide is someone who loved us in a past life and love never dies - they still want to help. 
The countless Causal realms are the spheres of perfected souls who retain free will and do not have to reincarnate, although they may choose to. Most of us do not usually communicate with this source of higher wisdom. Most of our information, not localized in space and time, is coming from the Astral of which there are also countless vibrations. 
Spirits in the Astral have lost the power of free will and cannot act independently. Their Karma is cut in stone but they can operate as guides through the free will of the living. We help them by allowing them to help us and in a sense "lift them up" by allowing the to do service from the beyond. They can complete work that they never completed in their prior lives with our help and permission. We return the favor with gratitude, respect and love.

The ancestors live in the moment since there is no time on the other side. Einstein confirmed that; 
"The distinction between past, present and future is only an illusion albeit a stubborn one."
Free will is the cosmic law and free will is always in the moment in the spirit world. Hence we have to keep  affirming what we want. They need to know if we are committed to it and whatever "it" is must be very specific. We cannot ask them what to do with our lives or what our destiny is. We have to find out for ourselves with their guidance.  We need clarity and the right questions to get their answers. 
Because of free will their wisdom below confirms that they cannot help us unless we and they have absolute certainty. 
The other cosmic law (also because of free will) is that we must ask to receive, and keep asking since the request is always in the process of "becoming."