Humanity’s Role on Earth

Hello everyone! For this journey, I decided to revisit a question I started to explore as part of a recent shamanic workshop: “What is humanity’s role in the Earth’s evolution?”

I specifically set the intent to visit the spirit of Mother Earth. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you may remember she made a brief appearance in another of my posts about… ummm, mushroom people. Yes, you read that right, mushroom people.

Honestly, this is one of my all-time favourite journeys. And I’ve done quite a few over the years. But what I experienced today really resonated with me. So, without further ado, here’s what happened. Enjoy!

Intention set to visit Mother Earth, I settled onto my cushion. Even before I closed my eyes I felt a sense of downward motion. So, when I opened my eyes to non-ordinary reality, I wasn’t surprised to find myself, still sitting cross-legged, on a platform slowly lowering itself down into the earth.

You’d think it would be dark, but there was a soft glow emanating from the rocks, growing brighter the further down I went. Then the platform gently stopped in a large cave, nestled somewhere deep in the earth’s crust. Ahead I could see a small table with two chairs. And Mother Earth sitting in the far chair wearing a light brown business suit, of all things.

I stood and walked over to sit in the other chair as Mother Earth picked up a tea pot and started pouring a dark brown liquid into the two cups set out on the table.

“Here,” she said, passing me one of the cups, “this is one of my herbal blends. I think you’ll like it.” And she raised her cup in a cheers gesture before taking a sip herself.

Compassionate spirits sometimes offer me food and drink like this, always with some sort of healing properties. So I happily took a sip, noting the (unsurprisingly) earthy tone.

As an aside, if you’re doing your own journeys, it’s important to only accept gifts like this from compassionate spirits. Just like in ordinary reality, don’t go accepting things from strange spirits you’ve never met before. And if you’re up on your fairy folklore (the real lore, not the sanitized Disney stuff), you know sometimes that can lead to a world of trouble!

As I sipped my tea, I sensed someone leaning over my shoulder. I looked up to see one of the Mushroom People from the journey I linked above. This one was wearing a classy waiter’s tux while holding out a silver tray to me. With a single biscotti on it.

“Oh, you should try dipping that in the tea,” Mother Earth said encouragingly, “it’s so good.” How could I refuse? I took the biscotti, nodding thanks to the Mushroom person, and dunked it in my tea. And she was right, it tasted great.

Okay, you may be wondering at this point what any of this has to do with the role of humanity in earth’s evolution. I’ll admit, I’m not entirely sure, but every part of a shamanic journey has meaning. If nothing else, I think this gives you a little taste (pun intended) of Mother Earth’s personality. Which in turn will give you a hint as to what’s important to her.

“So,” I asked, “what can you tell me about humanity’s role in your evolution?”

“Hmmm,” she replied thoughtfully, “evolution is a tricky term. I have a growth cycle just like the rest of you.”

And then, as sometimes happens in my journeys, I was filled with the ‘knowing’ that evolution implies a steady path forward. But she specifically said she had a growth cycle, which includes creation, existence, and death/transition. So she was inviting me, and all of you, to think about the idea of life and evolution differently.

As I considered that, Mother Earth stood and walked to the nearby wall of the cave. With a wave of her arm, the scene of a green, grassy field emerged. Almost like a giant high-definition monitor had appeared in front of us.

Rising from my chair and walking over beside her, I asked what she was trying to show me. Instead of explaining, she took my hand and we walked through the monitor into the grassy field. That’s not abnormal in non-ordinary reality, but it was still an impressive trick.

Standing there, I watched the tall grass wave around me in the light wind. It was an incredibly tranquil moment.

Mother Earth turned to me then, saying, “Rather than asking the role humanity plays in my evolution, ask yourself ‘how am I part of the world?’ instead.”

I immediately started to say something about being part of the global ecosystem, but she gently shushed me and said, “No, don’t intellectualize it. Feel the question.”

So I stood there, closed my eyes, did my best to quiet my mind, and let the question sink into me. How am I part of the world?

“I am creativity,” I blurted out suddenly. It came from somewhere deep inside myself. And I don’t think I meant just me. Per her question, I think that was an answer about humanity.

“Good,” she said softly, her words flowing on the wind rustling the grass around me. “You all think of yourselves as discrete beings. Separate consciousnesses. And you each do exist. But you’re not separate the way you think you are.”

I felt Mother Earth rest a reassuring hand on my shoulder. “What else?” she asked.

Sinking deeper into myself, her hand the only thing keeping me anchored, I followed Mother Earth’s question.

“I am colour in the winter,” I heard myself say.


But this image held me so strongly. Me, in my signature red coat, this beautiful splash of colour in a winter blizzard. An upwelling of happiness just flowed through me. Unlike the creativity that apparently is characteristic of all humans, this part was specifically about me.

“Oh, I love that!” Mother Earth exclaimed. My eyes snapped open to see her gleefully clapping her hands together as she did a little jump in the air. And I realized we were standing in a snow-covered field now. Me being the brightest point as far as the eye could see.

Can I tell you what being colour in the winter actually means? Intellectually, not yet. But it feels ‘right’. It’s a powerful metaphor – the true language of the spirit world. So believe me, it’s something I’m going to be feeling into going forward.

Resting her hand on my shoulder again, a huge smile on her face, Mother Earth went on to explain, “What you all don’t understand is that you are part of me. And I’m part of you.” Well, that’s significant. I know the idea of all life being connected isn’t new, but in this journey I was feeling it. And it’s not just all life. All manifest ‘things’, including rocks and water, are connected.

“What that means to your original question,” Mother Earth continued, “is everything you think and do, every moment you create, influences me. And through me, every thing and every person in the world gets influenced.”

Okay, that’s worth taking a moment to unpack. What Mother Earth is saying is that every thought, feeling and action we put into the world is transmitted to her, and through her. Again, this isn’t an original concept. But for me it drove home how everything we do directly influences everything and everyone else in the world!

Mother Earth nodded, picking up on my thoughts as only spirit guides can. “You asked what role humans play in my evolution. You are all creators, unlike any other being that’s part of me.”

Resting both her hands on my shoulders, and looking me squarely in the eye, she continued. “If you continue to create unconsciously, to react without understanding, you’ll create random chaos.” And you have to admit, there seems to be more than enough of that going around right now.

But she smiled as she continued. “Instead, if you are conscious and take care in what you create, even in your thoughts, you can manifest something amazing. All the more if you consciously work together.”

She was reinforcing the idea that, if we are all consciously self-aware and compassionate, our collective creativity can change the world for the better. And from a shamanic perspective that’s not limited to humans. Imagine what we could do if we consciously aligned our intent with all of the beings (animals, plants, fungi, inanimate matter) that makes up the Earth? What could we achieve?

I don’t want to risk making that sound too easy. It’s a lot of constant work to be mindful of our thoughts, feelings and actions. To create rather than destroy.

I suspect we’ll never get it perfectly right – we’re only human. But, every moment is an opportunity to create something positive. Let’s make the most of each of those moments we can, and not berate ourselves for any missed opportunities.

Mother Earth gave me one last smile, then blew me a kiss of autumn leaves that started whisking me back into my body. As I flew away from her I started to say ‘goodbye’, but somehow I understood that our constant interconnection (human and Earth) meant there really is no such thing as goodbye.

So, instead, I said a heart-felt ‘thank you.’

That journey impacted me quite profoundly. In the best possible way. I can only hope I’ve done it justice in how I’ve related the story to you. If you’ve got any thoughts or questions, please do leave a comment.

Take care, my interconnected friends on this great growth cycle of the world.

Eric, your shamanic guide… into the unknown.

Holding Compassion When We Disagree

Of the journeys I’ve posted on my website, this is perhaps the one that’s had the most lasting impact on how I approach life. The messages I received continue to gently push me into a ‘new way of being.’ And it all came from asking my guides this question: “Given all the strife and discord we see in the world today, how do we still act with compassion for common good?”

As I closed my eyes, I found myself sitting in a snow-covered field with a blizzard raging around me. I didn’t think about it at the time, but in the context of the rest of the journey, I’d say this was a metaphor for the strife and discord I’d asked about – both in the world, and in our reaction to it.

But I love snow. I’m weird that way. So, I sat there for a moment enjoying the weather. Until I sensed a presence off to my right. Looking up, I saw my spirit guide, the Magician, standing next to me, his stereotypical wizard’s cloak and hat whipping about in the wind. He motioned for me to follow him, so I stood and we started trudging through the knee-deep snow.

After a moment, I started to make out what looked like spots of firelight in the distance, and quickly realized they were windows in a wooden lodge. Out in the middle of the otherwise barren tundra. As we made our way towards the lodge, the Magician leaned over to me and said, “You’re in for a warm welcome here.”

As I swung the door open, warm air and the pleasant smell of a wood fire greeted us. Followed immediately by peals of laughter. Stepping in, I saw almost two-dozen people sitting and standing at various tables around a stone fireplace with a roaring fire. Men and women were laughing and joking while enjoying a drink or a meal, and a few were playing some sort of dice game at the foot of the fire.

Off to the left, a woman behind a bar saw us entering and hollered for us to hang our damp cloaks by the door, take a seat and that she’d be with us in just a moment.

Seeing a wooden table and two seats nearby, the Magician and I sat and got comfortable. And I do mean comfortable. Everything about this place radiated warmth. The fire, the rough wooden walls, the candle sconces shining light into every corner of the room. And especially the laughter of the people around us.

“They won’t even ask you your name,” the Magician said to me as he got settled in his chair. “It’s an ancient tradition, you know, not to ask who someone is or why they’re travelling until after they’ve been fed and offered lodging for the night.”

The Magician went on to say they offered this warmth and comfort to other people regardless of their beliefs, gender, ethnicity, and so forth, because they put more value on the things that made them alike than the things that made them different.

“That’s just common decency,” I replied.

The Magician looked amused, and retorted, “Yet, how often do people in your world offer that to each other? Hmmm?”

I, well… hey! I indignantly thought about all the examples of people around the world offering each other help and support in wars and disasters. So I said as much to the Magician.

Which is when the woman from the bar came over and placed two pints of ale in front of us. I reached into my pocket to find (or conjure up) some money, but she waved my hand away saying, “Don’t you worry about that, we’ll sort that out in the morning. I’ll be back with your meals in just a moment.”

After raising our mugs in a hearty-thunk of a toast, the Magician replied to me, “People often react well in a crisis. But that’s not all you asked about. Do they always do so well?”

Fair point. What prompted my question was as much the discord we’ve seen over things like vaccines and pandemic mandates, or the increasingly extreme differences between political parties. Let alone the systemic bias some people suffer from daily.

“Okay,” I said, “what would you recommend?”

Which is when two plates of sausages and mashed potato, with a wedge of cooked tomato, got placed in front of us. Did I mention I can taste and smell in my journeys? And oh boy did they smell good!

As the Magician started digging into his meal, he waved around the room with his fork. “You see these people, all carousing together like long-lost friends? Most of them have never met before. Some of them might be bitter enemies elsewhere. But here, in this refuge from the cold, they play games, tell stories, share a meal. The kinds of things that bring people together.”

It was a lovely scene, these people just sharing the simple things in life together. But it still seemed too simplistic to me.

“Okay, I love that idea,” I said around a mouthful of mashed potatoes (don’t judge my table manners, it totally fit the vibe of the place). “But there’s some pretty crazy stuff happening in our world. Are you saying not to stand up for our beliefs?”

“It depends how. Fighting causes the other side to fight back harder,” he replied.

And suddenly I found myself in the middle of a huge protest, people yelling and shouting as we marched down a street. I could have been a protest over any number of things. But what I felt… was this raw, aggressive energy directed outwards at everyone else. It wasn’t pleasant.

And just as suddenly I was back in the lodge, with the woman from the bar putting two decadent, whip cream covered desserts in front of us. You’ll just have to trust me, they tasted great.

“Remember, the only thing you control in your life is your actions. And your reactions,” the Magician said as he dug into the dessert, getting whip cream all over his beard. “You can’t control what others do. Each of you, in your world, needs to pursue what you think of as right, while letting go of the need to prove to others that you are right. Or worse, trying to prove that they’re wrong.”

He went on to explain that if we ever wanted to have mature debates about our beliefs with other people, we first needed to build the foundation of ‘common humanity’, as he put it. The simple trust and respect that I was watching play out in the lodge. Treating people as friends even when we disagree with them.

“One more thing you should consider,” he said, “is that sometimes the most powerful tool you have may be to say nothing.”

I’ll admit, I struggled with this one. There are beliefs and causes that I hold dear to my heart. To say nothing about them… well that would seem like giving up. Failing the cause. And all the people I want to help.

The Magician let me sit with that for a minute, digesting the thoughts. And the food.

And then he said, “It’s not about saving the world. It’s about learning to be a better person in the world.”

Huh. I’m not sure about you, but for me that perspective is a radical shift in thinking. One I’m going to have to sit with for a while. And yet, deep down something feels very right about it…

As I sat, the woman from the bar came and cleared away our plates. And the Magician pulled out a pipe and lit it, smoke drifting everywhere. I must have looked shocked at someone smoking indoors, because he just said, “Don’t worry, it’s herbal.”

And that’s it. Unlike some of my journeys, I didn’t come away with a definitive answer this time. That may be because it was a pretty big question. But it did offer some good food (pun intended 😉) for thought. I hope it generates some interesting reflections for you after reading it.

Until next time!

Eric, your shamanic guide, into the unknown.

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.

Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

A friend of mine recently asked me a question – why do bad things happen to good people?

This is an age-old question that humanity has been wrestling with for a long time. Without any satisfactory answers. Some would argue that the difficult and painful moments in our lives are part of a grander plan that we can’t comprehend. Others would argue that it’s all random chance. And others that it’s karma (though my understanding is that’s an oversimplification of the concept).

Going into this journey I didn’t have any answers. Just a few rough ideas, based on things my guides have told me previously. And what I got… well, this one gets into some deep ‘nature of reality’ stuff. Have a read and see what you think.

As I opened my eyes onto non-ordinary reality, I found myself standing on a castle wall, looking out over snow-covered mountains. Grey clouds were hanging overhead with small pockets of blue sky peeking through.

This might sound dreary to some of you, but it’s my favourite place in non-ordinary reality. I call it the Frost Realm. The realm of clarity and focus. And from what I can tell, where my soul was created a long, long time ago.

I’m quite familiar with this castle too. It’s the home of my spirit guide the Frost King. I know, I know, not the most original title. But it conveys a lot of meaning to me. And I saw him standing a little further down the wall, waving for me to join him. He’s hard to miss, being my height (6’4”), his blueish skin offset by a fiery-orange beard and hair.

So I walked over and joined him leaning against the stone railing as we looked out over his domain.

“What can I do for you?” he asked me kindly.

“A friend of mine is hoping I can find out why bad things happen to good people.”

“Oh, that one,” he replied with a slight nod that said he understood the depth of the question. “Here, come with me,” he said, motioning for me to follow him along the wall to a nearby stone tower.

As we approached the tower another familiar figure walked out the door to greet us. The Mother Goddess – the first individuated consciousness that emerged at the dawn of time. And a mother-figure to every spirit being and mortal that’s come along since. But she’s quite down-to-earth, appearing to me as a woman in her early 40s with shoulder-length brown hair, wearing a comfortable cotton medieval dress. And she’s a fan of lattes. 😉

As we approached, the Frost King greeted her and gave a brief bow. Not of deference, but friendly respect. She smiled and clasped him on the shoulder before ushering us both into the small tower.

I walked into the dimly lit room, which was empty except for a stone dais about 5 feet across in the centre. As the Frost King and Mother Goddess both walked up to either side of me, a complex hologram flickered into place above the dais. And I mean complex!

A sphere was suspended in the centre, with what must’ve been trillions of dots in various orbits around it. I couldn’t possible ‘see’ that many dots, but I knew that was the scale of what was being represented. And lines connected the dots, forming all sorts of interconnected patterns too vast to really comprehend.

My guides told me that the sphere represents source consciousness (or whatever name you would like to apply to it), and the dots are every individuated consciousness in the universe. And remember, from a shamanic perspective, everything has some level of consciousness. Even a rock. So I’m definitely underestimating when I say trillions of dots.

The lines between all the dots reflect the complex web of relationships between everything and everyone. And I was filled with the understanding that the actions of one conscious being inherently have an impact on many, many others. Intentional or not.

This is at least part of the answer to the question. We’re incredibly interconnected. It’s not only our actions or behaviours (our goodness or lack thereof) that determines what happens to us in our lives. We are impacted by those around us, sometimes in indirect ways that we can’t perceive.

“But don’t confuse the patterns you’re seeing for a plan,” the Mother Goddess cautioned me.

I looked away from the hologram to find her focused gaze on me. And then she reminded me of something she’d told me several years ago.

“The source is conscious, but not in a way you understand. It’s almost like it’s dreaming us. And even we,” she said, referring to the various gods, goddesses, angels, and ancient spirit guides I’d met, “have never been able to discern a plan or purpose for existence.”

Building on that, the Frost King added, “All manner of experiences are playing out over time. Which means some beings will experience more hardship than others in any one lifetime. And not always a consequence of their actions and choices. Nobody is being judged.”

“But some people experience some truly horrible things,” I replied with a questioning tone, trying not to think too hard on some of the awful things that have happened, or continue to happen in the world.

“Yes,” the Frost King replied with a determined intensity in his voice, “and this is why it’s so important that each of you take responsibility for your actions in your world. For your thoughts and feelings. Each of you have the ability to make choices to support each other through tough times and painful experiences. You can’t prevent every bad thing from happening, but your choices can reduce suffering.”

“And even create joy for each other,” the Mother Goddess added. “Each of us is accountable for our behaviour. No one else.”

It’s hard to underscore how important this is. If there’s no cosmic accountability, its incumbent on each of us to take on that responsibility ourselves. Not accountability for the state of the whole world, but certainly for our personal contributions to it. And looking at the state of things right now, I think it’s fair to say that as a species we’re not doing that nearly enough. I know I’m not. Yet.

The Mother Goddess continued, “This is why we,” and I knew she was referring to all our compassionate spirit guides, “decided that pursuing the advancement of consciousness is the only meaningful purpose to our existence. Building the capacity of all beings to make self-aware, compassionate choices that will collectively reduce suffering.”

Given the web of interconnections in the hologram projected before us, this made sense. The more that each of us make compassionate choices, the fewer ‘bad things’ we’ll deliberately or accidentally impose on others.

Even then, I don’t expect that will eliminate painful experiences. Not at all. None of us will ever be perfect or be able to anticipate all the consequences of our choices. Not all painful experiences are the result of another person’s actions. And painful experiences are also sometimes powerful growth opportunities. Critical to create space for the self-awareness that builds empathy and compassion.

But wouldn’t be a wonderful thing if we could reduce the amount of suffering? Or at least be there fully for people when they need us?

I don’t know about you, but this was a lot for me to take in all at once!

I think my guides knew that too, each of them giving me a hug. The ultimate gesture of connectedness with each other in this vast, challenging cosmos. 💗

Then the Mother Goddess gave me a gentle push, my body turning into a wispy cloud, and I floated back to my body in ordinary reality.

Yeah, lots to ponder there. I don’t claim that this is the definitive answer to the question about why bad things happen to good people. You may have a different perspective based on your own experiences or beliefs.

But my guide’s message about the importance of being accountable for our own choices, about considering the impact of our actions on others, is something deeply important.

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.

Basic Shamanic Healing… and Fungus

I’ve been doing a lot of shamanic healings in my practice this month. Well, okay, I’ve asked my guides and/or my client’s guides to conduct quite a few healings. A shamanic practitioner’s role is to ask for healing on behalf of our clients and hold that intention throughout the journey.

Today, I thought I’d ask my guides if there’s any sort of shamanic healing practice each of you could do on your own. For yourself or others. I’m aware of a couple techniques, but my blog isn’t about me being a talking encyclopedia. It’s about telling stories!

So, I set my intent to learn about a basic shamanic healing anyone could do without any formal training.

As I opened my eyes to non-ordinary reality, I found myself standing in a lush green forest. A low-hanging mist clung to the tops of the trees, letting the diffuse glow of the sun gently spread out across the forest floor. And this wasn’t just any type of forest. I was surrounded by spruce trees.

So, it was hardly a surprise when my spirit guide Spruce (the oversoul of every spruce tree that ever was or will be) walked up beside me, gazing at the same peaceful view of the forest. Side note – spirit guides can appear however they choose to us. Spruce appears to me as a young blonde woman in a white outfit, though never the same outfit twice. She’s constantly reinventing her style. 😎

I explained the purpose of my journey to Spruce, and she took my hand and led me further into the forest. After a moment we came to a small grassy clearing amongst the trees, and sat down facing each other.

“Put your hands in the earth,” she told me. So I did, easing my fingers into the damp ground, working my fingers through the soft soil. I felt the slightest spark of energy ‘zap’ back into my fingers. The energy of the earth itself.

“Breathe deeply,” Spruce continued, “just focus on your breath, letting the tension flow out of your body.”

This is a standard meditation technique, but something about having my hands at the top of the bare earth… it just felt easier to let go of my thoughts, my stresses, and let my breath flow.

“Now all you have to do is ask Mother Earth to infuse you with healing energy.”

“Oh sure, just tell him all my secrets,” I heard another woman’s voice tease, just a few feet away from us.

Opening my eyes, I saw a middle-aged woman with long brown hair standing at the edge of the clearing, smiling at us as she poked at the grassy earth with her right foot.

And, as often happens in my journeys, I just ‘knew’ this was Mother Earth.

Spruce, still sitting across from me, eyes shut in a meditative state of calm focus, cracked a slight smile but continued on as if she hadn’t been interrupted. By the whole damn planet.

“Picture a white halo, a glow, around you as you ask Mother Earth to send you healing energy,” Spruce told me as I promptly resumed my own meditative position. “Or you can picture the white halo around another person, a family member, friend or a pet. And ask Mother Earth to offer them her healing energy.”

Now, I really do need to emphasize something here. Shamanic ethics 101 says you never impose a healing on someone else without their permission. We mere mortals can’t see all the variables. Can’t fully understand what another person needs. It’s not our place to decide for them, no matter how noble our intentions.

There are exceptions, such as with pets that can’t speak (in ordinary reality… long story…) or people who aren’t in a state to provide consent. But notice the word Spruce used. Offer. Not send. Offer means you’re leaving the recipient with a choice to accept or reject the healing at a subconscious level.

After Spruce finished taking me through this demonstration, Mother Earth walked over to us, sensing my thoughts about consent. She explained that they were showing me this technique because she, Mother Earth, is acting as an intermediary for the healing request. She’s able to discern who is willing to receive her healing energy, and who isn’t. Something I found very comforting, coming from the spiritual essence of the world we all live on.

But it never hurts to just ask someone’s permission for a healing if you can. 😊

Still, doing a basic shamanic healing for yourself, or offering it to someone else is as simple as this:

  • connect with the earth,
  • focus on your breath to calm your thoughts, and
  • visualize a white halo around yourself or another being and ask Mother Earth to infuse them with healing energy.

Easy peasy!

Mother Earth also explained to me that you don’t have to be in a forest to do this. Being in a spruce forest is where I feel most at home and relaxed. For you it might be a grassy field. Or your own backyard. What matters is being in a peaceful place where you can connect with the ground, without concrete or steel in the way of the connection.

Having learned this new technique, Spruce and I stood. I looked at her and Mother Earth, wondering if there was anything else they had to tell me.

Which is when the trap door opened under my feet.

Like it always does. Almost every damn journey.

There should be a law.

But I wasn’t putting up with it this time. Oh no! As I careened down the tunnel, roots sticking out of the damp clay and soil, I pushed my legs out into a V-wedge, my feet digging into the earthen tunnel walls, stopping my fall.

I looked up the tunnel and shouted a defiant, “Ha!” Just in time for a big clot of earth to land smack in my mouth.


Wiping (and spitting) the muddy earth from my face, I saw Spruce and Mother Earth looking down at me from the tunnel opening. And Spruce had a shovel in her hand. Seriously?!

“What are you doing??” I hollered at her.

“Shoveling the hole shut, dear,” she said, trying to suppress a grin. “Anybody could fall in.”

“Somebody damn well did fall in,” I muttered to myself.

“Just go down to the bottom,” she encouraged me, “it’s good for you.”

Easy for her to say. She doesn’t keep falling down these stupid things. But there wasn’t anything else for it, so I unstuck my feet and let myself fall. At least I’d controlled my descent this time, so I landed solidly on both feet after a few more seconds. 

I looked around myself, and saw tunnels heading away from me in multiple directions. I also noticed I wasn’t alone. There were people… well, beings… well…

Yeah, they were Mushroom People.

Big mushroom cap heads with eyes, on top of humanoid bodies.

Not sure what else to do, I started walking down one of the tunnels. A few of the Mushroom People started following me, while I passed more lining either side of the tunnel. More and more… Mushroom People.

Soon enough there were about 50 of them surrounding me, not doing anything, just staring at me. And I thought to myself, why mushrooms? In a healing journey… ahhh, nope!

“Okay, listen up everyone,” I announced, projecting my voice throughout the tunnel, “I’m not a licensed medical professional. I am not going to be recommending magic mushrooms to my readers. Nor freaky fungus, or any other clever pun you’ve got up your… …you don’t have sleeves, do you? Well it doesn’t matter! I’m not getting sued for recommending any psychedelics on my blog!”

Feeling I’d established a firm boundary between myself and any impending lawsuits, I just stood there, waiting.

“We just wanted to say hi,” one of the Mushroom People to my left said quietly.


Well. That’s different I suppose.

“We don’t get no respect down here,” another one called out.

I wasn’t feeling guilty for my outburst at this point. Not really… ish.

“Yeah, you all think we’re gross fungus,” another one called out at me.

“Except morel mushrooms,” a fourth one said, “they’re really good in stew.”

This led to a lot of mushroom-capped head nodding and humming of agreement. Gourmand mushrooms, commenting on where they taste best. Typical journey…

But it turned out there was a point to all this. I’d been aware before this journey that fungus create interconnections between the roots of trees, feeding information and nutrients between them to sustain forests.

What I didn’t know is that fungus/mushrooms create energy channels across the surface of the entire world. So if you’re asking Mother Earth to offer a healing to another being, they’re the ones who transfer the energy.

More importantly, they want us to know how supportive they are of our healing and personal growth. That they’ve got our backs. And to stop thinking of fungus as gross, given all that. 🙃 Seems like the least we could do.

I expressed my gratitude for their help and support, which seemed to satisfy them. They’re a pretty nice bunch of people, actually. And they even gave me a gentle push home, back to my body in ordinary reality.

So there you go! A basic shamanic healing technique, should you choose to try it. And hopefully a new appreciation for mushrooms. Which you should buy from a store – some are poisonous if eaten, so don’t go pick them yourselves! [Another lawsuit averted 😉]

Until next time,

Eric, your shamanic guide… into the unknown.

Doors and Hallways

Hi everyone! Rather than coming up with a specific question for this post, I thought I’d try something different and said to myself, “I’ll just go in and see what my guides want to tell me.”

Kinda like throwing spiritual spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks.

The results? Uhhh… I’ll let you judge for yourself, but the title will make sense at the end. And today’s journey picks up on several themes that emerged from one of my previous blog posts – Reconnecting with Joy. So that’s worth a look if you haven’t read it already.

Anyway, here’s what happened…

The instant I closed my eyes, I saw my spirit guide Green Dragon standing in front of me in his usual cartoony child-like form.

“You’re too serious,” he declared, and struck a heroic looking pose, arm outstretched.

Okay. I’m being generous. It looked more like that John Travolta pose from Saturday Night Fever. But I’m sure he was going for heroic.

And then the floor dropped out from underneath us. And we fell. One of these days I’m going to do a journey about why I fall through so. Many. Trap. Doors!

To his credit, Green Dragon held his silly pose the whole way down. While grinning. No doubt because I was spinning wildly out of control the whole time. Slamming repeatedly into the walls of the massive tunnel. Dignity? Overrated. Apparently.

So I was grateful when I did a belly-flop into the ground at terminal velocity.

But it’s a shamanic journey, so that’s about as dangerous as it ever was to Wile E. Coyote. I stood up, brushing off my red coat as Green Dragon came in for a perfect landing, Travolta style.

Then it got weird.

The bottom of the tunnel opened into a big room carved out of dark stone. With big blocky windows carved into the walls, looking out onto a bright blue sky. But that wasn’t the weird part. Remember the Disney pink elephants? Apparently from Dumbo, according to The Great Google.

Well, over a dozen of those pink elephants started marching through the chamber, banging on huge shamanic drums as they passed us. Then there was the heavy-set Valkyrie, singing opera. Trying to hit the highest notes you have ever heard! And then a rabbit flew lazily through the air.

Note to self – this is what happens when you start a journey without a clear question.

Green Dragon grabbed my elbow (he’s only half my height) and dragged me as fast as he could to a set of stairs along one of the walls. We scrambled up and onto a causeway overlooking the chaos.

“What the heck is all that about?!” I exclaimed.

“That?” he said, looking down, then back up at me. “That’s what your brain looks like on an average day. It’s insane!”

He did add that most people’s brains look like that. Full of non-stop, frantic activity. Most of it not that useful from the look of things…

I peered over the other side of the causeway and was surprised to see a totally different scene. Me, lying on a floating air mattress in the water, wearing the loudest Hawaiian shorts you’ve ever seen. With the shadows of a bunch of sharks swimming below me.

“Jump in the water!” Green Dragon yelled at me, as he leapt off the causeway.

Uhhh, sharks? Whatever. I jumped off the causeway, splashing into the water and sinking a few feet below the surface.

Which the sharks noticed. I’ve very rarely been scared in a journey, especially one led by a compassionate spirit guide. But let me tell you, seeing a bunch of 10-foot Bull Sharks surrounding you, snapping their jaws just inches from your face. That is scary!

With a blast of force from my hands, I propelled myself out of the water onto the (now empty) air mattress. Green Dragon was just a second behind me, landing on the foot of the mattress.

“And that??!” I asked, catching my breath.

“Those were your self-critical thoughts,” he replied, as if were obvious. And I suppose it was in retrospect.

“Okay,” I said, “but other than the human mind being a crazy place, what’s the point of this journey???”

Keeping in mind (pun intended) I had only myself to blame for getting into this mess.

Green Dragon waved his hands around, and I saw our environment had changed again. We were still on the water, but now we were in the middle of the ocean. No room, no causeway, and thankfully no sharks. We were just floating in the middle of the wide-open ocean on a calm, sunny day.

And we weren’t on an air mattress. We were in a small wooden boat with a rudimentary sail.

“Check the name,” Green Dragon said to me with a friendly wink.

So I leaned over the back of the boat and checked the name plate.


Oh. My. God.

If you’re not familiar with Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea books, that name won’t mean anything. But if you are… it’s the boat the wizard Ged uses to traverse the world across multiple books. For me, Ged is the ultimate role model of what a wise wizard / magician should be (even more than characters like Gandalf). He learns his lessons the hard way at first. But he becomes a compassionate teacher who knows when to lead, and when to follow so he can enable others to reach their full potential.

So being on a spiritual version of his boat was quite an honour.

“You need to let the cosmic ocean take you where it will,” Green Dragon said softly. “You humans keep trying to force yourselves down whatever path you think is right. But you’ll never be happy that way. Let the current take you. It knows where you need to go. Better than you do.”

Green Dragon explained to me that the human brain, and its ability to solve problems, was only intended for occasional use. But we use it almost constantly in our society.

“It’s like if you were walking down a hallway. You can just walk. It’s a hallway. You don’t need to overthink it.” Green Dragon said, pointing at his head. “But if you came to a locked door? Then you could use your brain to figure out how to open it. And then keep walking.”

I thought back to the start of my previous journey about Reconnecting with Joy, and how it started with the spirit guide Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄 pouring a bucket of cold water over my head because my brain was overheating.

Green Dragon explained that the more we become calm and grounded, and observe our thoughts rather than react to them, the more we’ll be able to discern the doors from the hallways in our life. The best argument for mindfulness meditation I’ve heard yet.

“Right now you people see everything as a door,” he said, somewhat disapprovingly. I couldn’t argue with him. But that also means there’s an exciting opportunity for all of us to see more hallways, and rest into walking down them. Experiencing them as we go.

And so, I settled down beside Green Dragon in Lookfar, and we let the current of the cosmic ocean carry us wherever we needed to go.

It was quite peaceful.

Until Green Dragon started singing. Loudly.

All part of the hallway. 😉

Yeah, so, that happened. If you stuck through it with me, I hope you found some useful nuggets there. And a laugh or two. I know I did.

Until next time,

Eric, your shamanic guide… into the unknown.

Reconnecting with Joy

Hello everyone! For this post, a friend gave me the following question to journey on: 

“Given all the sadness in the world, how do we reconnect with our inner joy?” 

I’ve discovered that while I’m journeying on someone’s behalf, I’m connected with them. And that influences the nature of my journeys. 

So you’re in for a treat this week, because this means we have a special guest star! My friend’s pink unicorn spirit guide, Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄 (there’s always a unicorn emoji after her name – it’s a thing). Remember that everything in a journey is also a metaphor, and everything about Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄, including her name, speaks volumes.

Without further ado, here’s the journey. Enjoy!

I settled myself in my basement studio, focusing my intention on my friend’s question about reconnecting with joy. I opened my eyes onto the non-ordinary reality version of my studio…

… just in time to see Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄 pour a bucket of icy cold water over my head!

“What was that for!” I spluttered, feeling the cold water role down my back.

Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄 dropped the bucket she’d been holding between her teeth and simply said, “Your brain was overheating. You think too much.”

Yeah, okay, guilty as charged. And I can vouch that overthinking things – because we’re usually overthinking ‘problems’ – is a good way to get disconnected from our inner joy.

But let’s be honest, there’s also a child-like joy in dumping water on people’s unsuspecting heads.

I stood, shaking the water out of my hair, when Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄 exclaimed, “I can do that!” She pulled a massive industrial hair dryer out of… you know, I don’t want to know where… and blasted me in the face with it! And I do mean blasted. My hair was bone dry in less than a second, and matted straight backwards from the sheer force. Good look. Not.

A woman chuckled behind me, and I turned to see my spirit guide Spruce leaning against the far wall. “I figured I should come along,” she said. “Someone has to keep the two of you out of trouble.”

I explained to her that I was exploring how we can reconnect with joy, and Spruce smiled while snapping her fingers. Opening up a trap door right under myself and Ms. Fuck It Bucket. 🦄 And down we went!

I’ve been getting a lot of trap doors in my journeys. Almost every friggin’ one these days. Apparently they symbolize accessing hidden knowledge. But part of me thinks my guides just like pranking me.

So, I crossed my arms and let myself fall. Until I realized something. I’d fallen first. Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄 was above me. Oh crap.

I looked up and saw her scrabbling with her hooves at the sides of the tunnel as we fell, rapidly yelling, “Trying to stop! Trying to stop! Trying to stop!”

Looking down I saw the ground rushing up towards me, and I slammed down feet first. Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄 plummeting straight towards me!


Spruce floated gently down after us as Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄 staggered back to her feet. Me? Well, at least my upper head and nose were still out of the mud. After a brief struggle, the two of them managed to pull me out of the ground.

I must’ve looked like a disaster – covered in mud, hair blasted backwards… and it struck me that this was also part of the answer on how to reconnect with joy. Not caring what I looked like, or how I was presenting myself. I looked how I looked in the moment. I was who I was, mud and all.

So I didn’t bother trying to clean up as Spruce led us from the base of the tunnel to a busy city street. One of those transitions that just happen as naturally as breathing in a journey. We walked along the sidewalk as cars and trucks whizzed by. I couldn’t help but notice that Spruce looked completely calm despite all the noise and distractions. Mindfulness – another hint. 😉

Crossing the street, we came to a small plaza overlooking a larger plaza below. Which was filled with a community fair full of vendors and circus games. “Yes!” shouted Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄 as she raced down into the crowd. Spruce and I followed at a more sedate pace, looking at the different vendors. But I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure how this was answering the question. 

Spruce started to explain, but Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄 ran up to us wearing a dozen different necklaces around her neck and horn, including a couple of diamond ones. “What do you think?” she asked earnestly.

“I think,” I said jokingly, “if you catch the sun right, you could blind someone with those.”

“You’re right, too much,” she said as she shook her head and sent most of the necklaces flying. Then she darted into the crowd, calling back that she was off to find a cheeseburger. I laughed as I watched her go, thinking how she’s always snacking on something. But then I also thought, she wasn’t holding back.

I turned to Spruce, still feeling like I wasn’t getting the whole message from this journey. She snapped her fingers again, and suddenly we were on a darkened stage, black curtains all around us.

“Who are you performing for?” she asked, staring intently at me.

I stared back for a moment, unsure how to answer. But given the previous message about not worrying how I was presenting myself (mud, hair, etc.) I understood the deeper question. Who, and why, was I presenting myself a certain way to others. Why wasn’t I being myself? And that not being my true self would block me from fully accessing my inner joy.

Which is when Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄 poked her head through the curtains. “What are you guys doing in here? It’s boring. The party’s out there,” she said, gesturing with her head behind the curtains.

But she walked in to join us. With a knowing look on her face, Spruce asked Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄 the same question. “Who are you performing for?”

Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄 just stared at her for a second before saying, “I don’t understand the question.”

Spruce cracked a wide smile, and I was filled with a sudden ‘knowing’. It wasn’t that Ms. Fuck It Bucket 🦄 hadn’t understood the question. The premise of the question was completely meaningless to her. She wasn’t performing for anyone. She wasn’t trying to be anything other than who she was. And as I hope you’ve gotten a sense while reading this journey, she’s well connected to her inner joy.

As she trotted back out through the curtains, I contemplated the fact that I had understood the question. I’m not always being myself. I’m performing for someone.

I immediately looked out to the audience to see who I was metaphorically performing for. And I was really surprised to see a bunch of wooden dummies sitting in the chairs. None of them had any faces, clothes or distinguishing features whatsoever.

And then I had a realization that floored me. They were faceless because they were a blank canvas for me to project my own expectations onto. My own shadow fears and desires.

I am performing for my inner critic.

I remember cradling my real-world head in my hands while still in the journey. I know this isn’t a new concept, but experiencing it first-hand like that? I was stunned at the absurdity of it all. And the truth of it. I… most of us aren’t being our authentic selves because we’re trying to satisfy this ever-critical task master.

And if we’re putting all that energy into performing for our inner critic, but still feel like we’re falling short of our own expectations, then we’re distracting (heck blinding!) ourselves to opportunities to connect with our inner joy.

Spruce didn’t offer any simple fixes to this challenge. But there are plenty of resources out there, like shadow work and coaching. And the more we see our inner critic and stop performing in an endless attempt to please it, the more we can start being ourselves. And I daresay stop taking ourselves so seriously. 😉

The more we do all of that, the more we’ll naturally find the joy in ourselves and the world around us.

I thanked Spruce for this bit of wisdom, and walked through the curtains in search of Ms. Fuck It Bucket. 🦄 And true to form, she’d found a 4-foot-tall tub of popcorn and was hauling it over to me.

“I’m glad I’ve got friends like you to learn from,” I said to her as she dipped her head into the tub.

“Me too, Magic Boy, me too,” I heard her say from under three layers of popcorn.

And, reflecting on the lessons of the day, I grabbed as big a handful of popcorn as I could and stuffed it in my mouth in one shot.

There you go! I hope you enjoyed reading this little adventure, and found the bits of wisdom useful.

Until next time,

Eric, your shamanic guide… into the unknown.

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