Category: The Spirit World

The Doorway

Hello again everyone. I’ve got a bit of an unusual one for you this time. A couple of family members are staying with me at the moment, and one of them has been having some interesting experiences during the night. In the doorway of the guestroom, specifically.

Doorways are interesting things – they represent a transition from one space to another. And not just in ordinary reality. They metaphorically also create a transitional space between our physical reality and other non-physical realities.

Maybe that’s why closet doors are so spooky.

My family member (who readily agreed that this should be my latest blog post) has been having some interesting experiences for a while now, but they’ve gone up a notch here in my house. It started with seeing a ball of light moving around the doorway one night, then that light moving around a phantom ‘circuit board’ floating in the door another night.

But the most, shall we say ‘exciting’ incident was the night they saw a 5 foot tall figure in a red spacesuit standing in the door, holding a glowing light in one hand and reaching out towards them with the other. I asked if they’ve seen anything since, and just got the reply, “I’m not opening my eyes now.” 😂

So, I went on a journey to find out what was happening. Here’s what I learned.

As I set my intent to learn more about my family member’s recent experiences, I found myself being lowered into the earth on a rickety metal platform suspended by two iron-link chains. I descended for quite a long time, with virtually no light in the tunnel around me. Just a faint blue glow from the surrounding stones.

After what seemed like forever, a small alcove appeared ahead of me, so I stepped off the still-descending metal platform and peered into the darkness ahead of me. I could see something in a crack in the wall at the back of the alcove, so leaned forward for a better look…

…and jumped as I saw a massive eye looking back at me! I mean, this thing was huge! Bigger than my 6’4″ frame. And it was like the bright blue iris was made of crystal.

The eye swiveled away from me, and I had the sense I was supposed to keep going further down the tunnel I’d been descending a moment before. Turning back, I saw the metal platform was long gone. Never an elevator when you need one.

Which is when the rocky floor of the alcove gave way below me. I found myself falling into a smooth rocky tube, with just a trickle of water flowing along the walls. Think waterslide. With an 85-degree drop. And a few loops. Good thing I hadn’t had breakfast yet!

After a thankfully short trip, I was flung out into the bottom of the main tunnel, splashing into dark, murky water. A gentle current pulled me out of the tunnel and into another, larger chamber.

A chamber filled with a giant foot.

Crawling up out of the water onto the shore in front of the massive foot, I looked up, and up, and up… my eyes taking in the shadowy form of a humanoid form well over 100 feet tall. The only discernable feature up at the top was, you guessed it, the giant eye I’d seen earlier.

“Uh, hello!” I called out as I waved up at the giant.

“Hmmm,” it rumbled back down at me. More of an acknowledgement than a question. “I am The Being,” it said after a moment.

“Right, okay, that doesn’t explain as much as you might think,” I replied, confused. But I pressed on. “I don’t suppose you know anything about the experiences my family member has been having lately?”

The Being let out a low, rumbling laugh, then said, “I see many things.”

Fair. Slightly creepy, but fair.

And then a rectangular doorway just appeared in the ground beside The Being’s foot, dull blue light spilling out of it.

“You will find your answers here,” The Being explained.

Not needing to be told twice, I walked through the door and into a pitch-black darkness. Summoning radiant light into my left-hand as a make-shift lamp, I saw I was in a narrow tunnel. But this one was different. There were cobwebs everywhere, and I could see… yep, skeletons in rectangular alcoves lining the walls. It seriously looked like a set from an Indiana Jones movie.

I swear, I spent more time in this journey just wandering (or sliding) through tunnels than any other. It definitely left the impression of having wandered far from our ordinary reality.

After a few minutes, I came out of the maze of tunnels and saw a square reflecting pool about 20 feet across, with four Egyptian columns at the corners. The interesting part was how it was floating in blackness, just connected by a thin bridge to the end of the tunnel I was standing in.

As I walked across the thin bridge, I noticed an old man crouching by one of the columns. It seems he heard me too, because he called out with a thin, wispy voice, “Yes, yes, come!”

I realized it wasn’t just his voice that was wispy as I approached him. He had long, wispy white hair and a wispy white beard. And his thin body barely filled the dirt and dust covered overalls he was wearing.

Sitting down beside him, I leaned back against the column and just observed him for a moment. Maybe it was the surroundings, and the fact he was fidgeting with some tools on the floor, but he sure looked like a crazy old archeologist.

Then he pulled up, still crouched, and showed me an earthworm that he was holding in a set of tweezers.

“Yes, yes, you see there? Yes, very interesting,” he said, rushing through the words. It’s like he half-knew I was there, but was so distracted with his work that he was talking to himself as much as to me.

“Um, yes, that’s very interesting,” I said, watching the earthworm wriggle. “Who are you?”

“Me, me,” he muttered as he started patting his overalls with his other hand, evidently looking for something in one of his pockets. “I’m the Collector.”

The Collector. And The Being. Lovely. With clarity like that, I can almost retire and let this shamanic stuff take care of itself.

“I was told you might know what it is that my family member has been experiencing lately.”

“What?” he said, looking vaguely in my direction and holding up the earthworm again. “Oh yes, yes, yes, I can do that.”

And then he started pulling the earthworm towards him, and I had this momentary fear he was going to eat it. But he seemed to pick up on that and smiled as he pulled a glass vial out of one pocket and carefully tucked the earthworm into it. “Oh, don’t worry, don’t worry, I collect things. Nothing to fear.”

“So, about these ‘visitation’s my family member has had lately,” I reminded him. “Who are these spirit entities?”

The Collector looked at me directly for the first time, his watery old eyes giving me a piercing stare. With a smile that seemed to dare me, he asked very clearly, “Are you sure you want to know?”

My instinct said today wasn’t the day to go down that particular road. And I trust my instincts.

“Okay then, can you tell me what they want?” I asked, both curious and feeling a little protective.

“Oh, yes, yes. They are curious. Yes, curious,” he responded, back to his rambling, half-aware behaviour. “This person is new to them. They want to see how this person will react. It’s an experiment to them. They are very curious. They don’t mean any harm.”

This is when I realized why the Collector had been waving the earthworm around in my face. It was a metaphorical part of the answer. Apparently my family member has attracted the interest of some curious entities. Entities that may see humans much like we see earthworms. Give the earthworm a little poke and see how it responds.

Even if they don’t mean any harm, these evidently aren’t compassionate spirits like my guides. Compassionate spirits don’t experiment on other beings. And, human-to-earthworm… that’s one hell of a gap in power. In short, beings to be cautious around.

“So what can my family member do about these entities?”

“Tell them to stop. Or behave themselves. Or ask the spirit guides to help,” the Collector rattled off quickly as he stood and started walking towards the thin stone bridge I’d crossed a few minutes before. Leaving all of his equipment strewn on the ground in front of me. Absent-minded archeologist much?

I wasn’t sure how much a human would listen to an earthworm, but our intent is a powerful force in reality. And we all have our own spirit guides, whether we know them or not. It’s one of the things I find the most comforting about the universe – we’re never on our own.

I was about to stand and follow the Collector, but suddenly the column gave way behind me and I started falling backwards.

Right into a giant hand.

The Being.

Sprawled out in the palm of it’s hand, I looked up to see the giant crystalline-blue eye looking down at me.

“So, are you one of these entities the Collector mentioned? Experimenting on my family member?”

“Hmmm,” it rumbled. Which I took to mean yes.

“Well, can you tone it down with my family member?” I demanded. “They didn’t seem to mind the glowing lights, but it’s going over the top now.”

The Being was silent for a moment, and then replied, “Not for you to decide.”

And that’s a very good point. Except for a few extenuating circumstances (like when someone isn’t able to make decisions for themselves), it’s not for a shamanic practitioner to decide what other people need. Or don’t need.

But each person has the authority to decide that for themselves. And the Collector had given me a couple of tips to take back to my family member. They can either ask, or demand, these entities behave differently, Or if they give me further direction to intervene on their behalf, I can have a follow-up chat with The Being, or whoever else.

At that moment though, I just nodded in understanding at The Being. Who swung his arm out wide… and dropped me back in my physical body.

He’s polite if nothing else.

Well, that was unexpected. And rather interesting I think. It certainly highlights that we’re far from alone in the universe. It’s also a reminder that, whatever comes our way, we have a degree of agency in our lives.

Ordinary reality is messy, by design I think. But in non-ordinary reality we have the sovereignty to decide how other entities interact with us, and how we respond to them in turn. And we always have the support of compassionate spirits. We just have to ask.

Until next time,

Eric, your shamanic guide… into the unknown.

Who are the Little People?

Recently a client asked me “Who are the little people?”

If you’re not familiar with the folklore, there are stories from around the world of little beings, often less than a foot tall, with the ability to disappear into thin air. They’re known as fairies or elves in the northern European traditions, or the pukwudgie from the indigenous lore of eastern North America, just to give a couple of examples.

And don’t go thinking Tinkerbell from Disney. Oh no. These little people are known for being mischievous tricksters. But hey, who can fault them for having a good sense of humour? In some stories they’re also helpful (leading lost travelers to safety), and other times being downright dangerous if they’ve been offended.

I’ll admit I’ve got a personal interest in this topic. When I was very young, apparently I would talk about a little person who would come into my bedroom at night and talk with me. None of which I remember now. Dagnabbit!

So, here’s what I found out…

Intention set to find out whatever I could about the little people, I closed my eyes and settled into non-ordinary reality.

And found myself leaning out over the edge of a cliff! While standing in the middle of a waterfall!

“Woah!” I cried out, cartwheeling my arms backwards, trying to get my balance. And then I felt a firm tug on my red coat, steadying me. Breathing a sigh of relief, I looked over my shoulder to see my spirit guide the Magician standing behind me, his hand firmly grasping my collar.

“Oh, hi,” I said as I turned back to towards the lush green valley ahead of us, leaning out again for a better look. “Beautiful view!”

“Will you stop screwing around,” he replied gruffly, in full Gandalf-mode. And with another tug he pulled me back from the precipice (I can’t help but feel there’s a deeper metaphor I’m missing here – leave a comment if you’ve got any thoughts), spinning me around to face him.

We stood there, facing each other, stream raging around our feet before crashing over the side of the cliff. And, for all his gruffness, I could tell the Magician was trying to suppress a grin behind his bushy beard. I can’t speak for anyone else, but my spirit guides subtly encourage my sillier, child-like qualities. 😊

“I’ve been asked to learn more about the little people,” I explained to him.

“You know they don’t like to be disturbed, right?” he replied, giving me a pointed stare.

“Well, what can we learn without disturbing them?” I asked, undeterred. To which the Magician just rolled his eyes and said, “Follow me.”

He turned, leading me out of the stream, up a grassy slope to a dirt trail. That went straight up the side of a mountain. Figures. As we trudged along, it got steeper and steeper until we were climbing a vertical rockface. As we neared the top, the Magician launched himself up into the air with a push of his arms, landing on the peak of the mountain. He’s spry for an old guy of 13 billion.

Not wanting to be shown up like that, I launched myself upwards, cresting the top of the mountain…

…which I’d badly misjudged. I overshot the very narrow peak and started careening down the steep slope on the other side!

Maybe age and experience have some advantages over the impetuousness of youth. Possibly.

“Don’t worry, you’ll find what you’re looking for down there,” I heard the Magician holler behind me as I slid faster and faster down the mountain, heading straight for a small lake in a little green valley below. “At least that should make for a soft landing…” I started to say. When my foot hit a stone, flipping me in the air. Slamming me face-first into the shallow water.

You may have noticed a recurring theme in my journeys about not taking myself too seriously.

“Hello there,” I heard a soft feminine voice say from ahead of me.

Propping myself up on my forearms, trying not to splutter, I looked up and saw a quintessential fairy sitting on a rock in the water ahead of me. She was about 3 inches tall, with wings and a faint golden glow surrounding her.

I’ve encountered beings that look like fairies a couple of times before in my journeys. But with all the other mythological things I’ve seen, I’ve never stopped to check if they were literally the fairies from folklore, or spirit beings just taking on that appearance. Here was my chance to find out.

“Hi,” I replied, settling myself into a lotus position in the water. I mean, my dignity had already fled the building. “You actually are one of the little people then?”

“I’m one of their emissaries, yes,” she said as she rose into the air on her fluttering wings.

“Thank you for seeing me…” and then I remembered another tidbit of European folklore – that the little people are supposedly offended by the words ‘thank you.’ I sat still as the fairy flew over to me, hovering a few inches from my face. “Ummm, sorry if I used the wrong words there…”

She smiled indulgently at me as she began to circle around the left side of my head, evidently inspecting me.

“Oh, don’t worry,” I heard her say from behind me, “we’re not really offended by that.” She came into view again to my right, head resting thoughtfully on her fist as she tried to decide what to make of me. “But it’s good that you’re polite.”

On instinct, I raised my right hand level with my head, palm facing down. With a smile of delight, the little fairy sat down gently on my outstretched fingers. “Oh, that’s even better! Now, what can I do for you?”

I explained to her that I’d been asked to learn more about the little people. Whether they really existed for one, and if so, who/what they were.

In response, the fairy gracefully rose into the air and beckoned for me to follow her. We walked a little way into the increasingly narrow valley, coming to another small waterfall at the far end of the shallow lake. Despite being covered in shadows, this end of the lake felt very inviting.

As we walked deeper into the shadows, I started to make out thin, glowing golden lines. They formed a web filling the valley. And each line connected pairs of glowing nodes – the nodes themselves being centred on different objects in the valley. Trees, rocks, the waterfall itself. Even to me!

“This is beautiful! What am I seeing?” I asked, staring in awe at the glowing three-dimensional web.

“The nodes represent the consciousness at the heart of ever manifest being,” the fairy told me as she hovered beside my head.

“And we,” she continued, pointing at herself, “are the lines.”

Okay, that was unexpected. I love the unexpected!

She explained to me that the little people are the energy lines connecting every discrete being in reality. They’re the flow of energy between everything. What’s more, they themselves are conscious beings, albeit quite different from our form of consciousness. Our human minds sometimes interpret them as little humanoid people – like all spirit encounters their appearance is a subconscious agreement between the spirit’s intention and the imagination of the person ‘seeing’ them.

Having learned this, I asked how we should interact with them.

“For the most part, please don’t disturb us,” she said earnestly. I was left with the sense that actively trying to interact with them can disrupt their essence, especially if it’s not done carefully.

“Who we are and how we behave depends very much on all of you.” And I knew she was specifically referring to humans.

“If you’re warlike, we will be warlike,” she said with a fierce look on her face. But she followed up immediately with “If you’re peaceful, we will be peaceful too.” And I was pleased to see her face take on a more relaxed, friendly look again.

“It’s who we are,” she continued. “We’re connected to all of you. We are a reflection of the energy you put into the world.”

I knew that in some folklore it was appropriate to leave gifts for the little people, so I asked if that was a way to support them. And if so, how to go about it without disturbing them.

The fairy explained that physical gifts themselves weren’t important. But the heartfelt energy associated with leaving the gifts could make a big difference to them. Anything that is offered with friendly, loving intent to the little people will infuse them with positive energy. Nothing physical is required, so something like a Love and Kindness meditation directed to them would be a powerful gesture. One that would imbue the entire surrounding area with positive energy, seeing as how they are the energetic connection between us all.

“I appreciate you sharing all of this with me,” I said while giving her a quick bow of respect.

She smiled back at me and said with a wink, “Thank you for listening.”

And then with a snap of her fingers, a trap door opened up under me, sucking me down with a bunch of the lake water. I may have let out a “Oh you’ve got to be kidding me!” before getting trapped in the ensuing whirlpool.

Which is when I landed in a sauna. Yeah, a wooden sauna. With the Magician sitting across from me wearing swim trunks, sandals, and sunglasses.

“Get what you need,” he asked?

“Yeah, and then some,” I replied while shaking my arms to try and get some of the water out of my coat.

“Great, now sit back, relax, and let the sauna dry you out,” he said, leaning back to soak up some of the healing warmth. And role-modeling that peacefulness the fairy had just told me about. That’s spirit guides for you.

There you have it! For those in doubt, or who hadn’t heard of them before, the little people do indeed exist.

And I think this journey is a good reminder for all of us, myself included, to keep in mind the impact of our thoughts and feelings. On ourselves, our friends and family, and the (conscious) energies that bind us all together. 😊

Until next time,

Eric, your shamanic guide… into the unknown.

The Spirit of the Valley

Today I want to tell you about a place that’s very special to me. Which gives me an opportunity to explain another shamanic concept – places of power. And don’t worry, today’s blog includes a short story about a journey I did out there earlier this week. 😉

It’s important to understand that when shamanic practitioners talk about ‘power’, it isn’t some sort of power over others. It’s about powering up our own internal energy to gain wisdom and healing, so we can help do the same for our clients.

There are places scattered all over the Earth where the connection between our ordinary reality and non-ordinary spirit reality are stronger. Where ‘the veil is thin.’ Mine? It’s a small valley with a waterfall deep in the Canadian Rockies.

I say ‘mine’ not because I own it. That’d just be silly. Rather, it’s a place of power that seems to have adopted me.

I remember the first time I hiked out to this valley to see the waterfall. It was late in the afternoon, I was on my own, and there was just one other couple out there when I arrived. I sat on a rock and enjoyed the view while they took some pictures, but it was getting late as they left, so I turned to go as well.

And then this thought popped in my head – if this other couple was leaving, I’d have the valley all to myself if I stayed. An opportunity to connect with nature all by myself. Yes! I remember spinning about and running back to the waterfall like a carefree 5-year-old, huge grin on my face! 😊 Looking back, I think my childlike innocence got noticed.

I think I made a friend that day.

It took about a year before I made my way back to this valley (keep in mind it’s buried in snow half the year). It was late September, the vibrant golds and yellows of autumn filling the mountains, the snow already starting to fall. Given the lateness of the season, I was yet again the only one hiking into the valley. Just the way I like it.

So, I was sitting on a large, smooth granite outcrop at the base of the waterfall while eating a snack. And then I caught something out of the corner of my eye, a little way back down the valley. A black shape… for a second it looked like a black deer running away from me… then… no… it was a raven flying straight at me, just a few feet off the ground!

The raven swung around my back and then hovered in a wind gust just above and to my right. Our eyes locked as it hovered there. I remember uttering “oh, wow” over and over. The raven was so low as it hovered, if I’d stood up, I could have touched it. And then it completed its circle around me and started flying away behind me. I looked down for just a second as I stood to turn and watch it go… but it had disappeared.

I have never, before or since, seen a raven in the valley. There’s nothing large enough for ravens to eat. Heck, there’s barely any animal life up in this valley. But it’s worth noting that I have several shamanic connections with ravens, including Raven being one of my power animals.

I think something was having a closer look at me that day.

The third year I went out to the valley on a statutory holiday, so it was uncharacteristically full of people. But I didn’t mind, just happy to be out there again. I was sitting on the same smooth granite outcrop, portions of the waterfall coming down to either side of me, while I ate my snack – bison jerky and jalapeno-cheddar potato chips. The lunch of champions.

In some traditions it’s appropriate to leave a food offering to the spirits, a gesture of respect. So, I took one of the larger chips from my bag and placed it beside me on the granite while I whispered a few words to the spirits of the valley to let them know the offering was for them. I looked back into my chip bag, snagged a couple for myself, and looked back down… the chip I’d left was FREAKIN GONE! It had only been a few seconds!

Remember, there are no little mammals begging for food up at the waterfall. There are no little birds. There was a light breeze, but it would have blown the chip straight ahead of me where I would have seen it. And you’ll have to trust me. I. Looked. Everywhere. And couldn’t find it. It had disappeared from right beside me in a matter of seconds!

Believe what you will, but I giddily realized that my offering had been accepted.

Since then, I’ve connected with the Spirit of the Valley, which itself is an amalgamation of the many individual nature spirits that dwell there. It’s not a ‘compassionate spirit’ like the ones you’ve read about in my blog so far. It’s a nature spirit connected with the physical reality of our world.

Just like with people, you’ll meet all types of nature spirits. Some are friendly and kind, some not so much. They might like one person and be annoyed by the next. Lucky for me, I’ve developed a friendship with this nature spirit.

But I also promised you a short story about the journey I did for myself out in the valley earlier this week. Here you go!

Alone in the valley yet again, I settled down on the granite outcrop and closed my eyes. And found myself in the non-ordinary reality version of the valley. It looked identical to the physical valley. Except for the 20-foot-tall spirit being lumbering towards me. 😊

The Spirit of the Valley, as I call him. He looks like he’s made of a mix of granite boulders, grass and living tree trunks. From a shamanic perspective, everything has a spark of spirit consciousness in it. Every plant and animal, every rock, every drop of water. And the Spirit of the Valley is their collective representative in this valley.

As he reached me, he hunkered down and leaned on the granite outcrop, looking for all the world like a bartender ready to listen to one of their patrons.

“What can I do for you, my friend?” his cheerful voice rumbled towards me.

“I’ve been struggling with some strife at work for months now,” I explained, talking about my mundane day job. “It’s really been stressing me out, even though I’m trying to make things work. Is it worth staying?”

I didn’t really say more than that. One of the handy things about spirits is that they can read us like an open book. See what we’re thinking, and our memories. Which is great for getting nuanced answers to questions. But you have to get used to the fact there’s really no such thing as privacy in the spirit world (don’t worry, the spirits never divulge my client’s personal thoughts to me 😉).

“Hmmm, I see…” the Spirit of the Valley said as he stood. Then he waved his arm, drawing my view out to the valley around us.

“This whole valley is full of strife,” he said. And I was filled with an understanding – different types of plants were competing for space, bugs competing for food, even the waterfall competing with the rock in its way.

“But it creates a harmonious whole, don’t you think?” the spirit said, beaming at me like a proud father. And I had to agree, the valley was incredibly peaceful and beautiful. Even with all that strife. Maybe even because of it?

“What you need to do is find your still point,” he said, looking down at me intently.

“A still point within me?” I asked, thinking of the stillness we can find within ourselves during meditation.

“Sort of,” he replied, “but not all still points are equal. You must find your optimal still point amongst the strife. Then it won’t really matter. The strife will just be noise.”

It’s an interesting distinction. He explained that it’s both finding the still point within myself as well as being in a certain place / role within my organization. The right combination of the two will let me make my optimal contribution to the ‘harmonious whole’, and then the strife that’s been stressing me out will just be in the background. I’ll be aware, but grounded so that it won’t really bother me. Maybe in those circumstances I’d even see it as part of the creative energy needed to grow.

“I love that idea, but how do I find my optimal still point?” I asked.

“You’ll know when you’ve found it based on the feeling in your body,” the Spirit of the Valley told me, pointing a huge finger at my torso.

Before the journey ended, the Spirit of the Valley also gave me a healing to help alleviate some of my stress. As he reached out with his right arm, branches shot forth from his fingers and formed a sphere around me as he lifted me into the air. And then I heard a low humming reverberate through me. It started to grow in pitch and intensity. For a second it almost sounded like an air-raid siren! And then… it resolved into that THX sound they used to play before movies. Which was remarkably calming.

The branches around me receded, and I dropped back to the ground. Then flames started shooting out of the sleeves of my red coat that I’m always wearing in my journeys. Damn it looked cool. 😎 I don’t understand exactly what the Spirit of the Valley did, but I certainly felt better.

With that, he lumbered away, telling me to enjoy the valley for as long as I wanted. Which I did.

I hope you enjoyed learning about my place of power. It really is special to me. In a way, it’s like my home. It’s been a pleasure to share a bit of it with you.

If you’re ever walking somewhere and you notice a little buzz, a lightness to your step, stop and feel into it. Maybe it’s a place that’s calling to you.

Until next time,

Eric, your shamanic guide… into the unknown.

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