Why am I writing a blog? I want to explain to my friends, family, and colleagues what I am doing and why. I am partly doing this for myself as well, of course I am, to clarify what I am doing and why, and how it relates to the rest of my life, how it fits with what I've been doing all along. Clarifying the connection between early music and shamanism and also building the bridge between the non-rational work of shamanism, on one hand, and my cognitive, rational self, on the other.
Shamanism? What is that, actually? Travelling into non-ordinary reality to retrieve a lost part of someone's soul, and return it to their body? What can she mean?
A heron rises fron the reeds, its wings beating awkwardly, gracefully, its curved flight taking it to the island at the middle of the pond. What is my kinship to this bird? Or to the owl which hooted each night as I set up my tent, on my cold February pilgrimage around Loch Ness?
There were some obviously exotic and impressive parts of my shamanic studies: spending four days in complete darkness, blindfolded; digging a grave for myself and lying in it all night; travelling to Peru and drinking traditional mind-altering plant substances under the guidance and tutelage of the shamans there, with their unbroken connection to generations and generations of ancestors. There were inner journeys which require my belief system to shift radically to accommodate my own experience. There is the on-going process of letting the energies of the spiritual world flow into, and enrich, and heal, and change everyday reality.
“Drop”: my teachers first and most often repeated instruction. Drop: into another state of consciousness. Drop: my awareness from my head down to my heart, from seeing with my eyes to perceiving with all of myself. Drop: into that 90% or more of myself, like the iceberg below the waterline, that is purely animal. Drop: into the realm where I am not only connected to everything that exists: I am part of it and it is part of me. Drop: in full awareness of who I am, at the same in consciously releasing my ego and its needs to separate, explain, and control. Drop: into the present moment.