Jan Engels-Smith

Articles by Jan Engels-Smith. Please feel free to share on social media. We have provided buttons at the bottom of each article.

LightSong’s Practicum on Telepathic Communication

We are shifting into a wonderful era of expanded consciousness. You are invited to participate in this shift the LightSong way with a virtual Practicum.

Saturday, July 11 to Wednesday, July 15, 2020

LightSong School of 21st Century Shamanism and Energy Medicine is a school that specializes in teaching classes on core shamanism, energy medicine and the mystery school traditions.

The LightSong Practicum is the example of living the teachings that we experience in class. Not only is it a template for 21st Century Shamanism and Energy Medicine™, it is a model of change and growth, an example of humanity and the art of loving each other. This event provides an opportunity for the community to come together to listen, learn and support one another in the energies of the New Earth.

For the past 15+ years, the Practicum has focused on the ascension of the earth. Yes, the earth is a living being that evolves just like the rest of us. This evolution began being documented in 1986 with the first harmonic convergence. This is a process that includes all of the Milky Way Galaxy.

2012 was a turning point year. Many people know it as the end of the Mayan calendar, however it was much greater than that. On a cosmic scale the constructional matrices of energy that were imposed on humanity, such as oppression, limitation and outside authority were dismantled. In 2013 a new Star Gate opened that allows new energy matrices to be interfaced with the Earth.

Since the mid-2000s, the Practicum has been held deep in the rain forest outside Tillamook, Oregon. Our support camp ranges from 60-100 people working with the intentions specific to the ascension process, with the cornerstones of unification, collaboration, support and love. In this high-vibrational container we experience miracles and instant manifestation. We have become masterful at this process.

This year, with the events happening in the world, pertaining to the pandemic and social distancing, we thought we may have to cancel the Practicum. However, the Spirits were adamant that this is the opportunity they have been waiting for to take us to the next level, to become ascended, quantum humans. The training at this year’s Practicum will center around holding focus in the midst of distractions, while being bombarded with the fear and uncertainty that infiltrates our daily lives.

That said, we will move forward with our Practicum this year on a virtual platform utilizing Zoom.

The Spirits also said, “Cast the nets far and wide,” to enable people to attend who are interested in raising their frequencies. Following this direction, we are reaching out to the community with this call to action. This allows us to reach many more people who wish to be in alignment with the ascension energies. You can join us whether or not you are currently attending classes at LightSong.

I would like to share with you a true story that I learned last year that encapsulates many of the sacred teachings since the beginning of time. The story takes place at Machu Picchu in Peru, which is a sacred site. There were dangerous fires burning and a high probability that this sacred site would be damaged or lost completely.

The council that oversees the management of Machu Picchu decided to call in shamans to help put out the fires. All the shamans but one immediately went out to work with the elements–drumming, dancing, singing, journeying–all the things shamans do. One particular shaman, a woman, asked to have a wikiup built. A wickiup is a small, one person sweat lodge. She entered the lodge and stayed for a day and a half in the dark. The fires stopped burning.

All the other shamans knew that it was something this woman did, it was not their ceremonies that put the fires out. They asked her, how did you make the fires stop burning? She replied, I found where I was out of alignment in myself. When I brought myself back into alignment, the fires stopped.

The era of giving your power over to an outside authority is over. The binding constraints that have kept you small, limited and incapable energetically have fallen away. It is now time to live without these constraints emotionally and mentally. This transformation is both personal and collective. Like the Tarot card of the Tower, there is a breaking up of the world systems. Government, economics, and a world based on greed is falling away. Our goal is to become a world based in service, collaboration, unification, support and love. This is an ascended state of living.  Or living in alignment with how we want the outside world to be.

This year, for the first time, the Practicum is available to all people who are called to attend, regardless of where in the world you are. We are beyond excited!

The magic and potential of the virtual experience will blow your mind into expanded consciousness!!!

If this calls to you and you would like to register, please contact the LightSong office right away. There will be materials, videos, and teachings made available to you to help get you up to speed.  info@lightsong.net

If you want the outside world to change, you have to look inside. The outside world is a direct reflection of the inside world.  

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The New Earth and Your Life

In the current state of our world, with rampant fear, anxiety, depression and stress levels out of control for many people, we seek new answers and new ways of being. 

In times such as these I turn to my teachings from the spirits and try to see the current situation from a greater perspective:  A spiritual perspective.

I review these teachings:

  • All things work for the divine evolution of humanity, as well as my own personal evolution.
  • All beings are loved beyond measure and I trust in this love.
  • The reasons for individual experiences are as varied as there are people, however I consider that growth is happening for all. 

And I contemplate these questions:

  • Where am I in my growth process? 
  • What is happening to me and how can I see it with new eyes? The eyes of my true self.
  • Am I being asked to find joy even in adverse conditions?
  • If I am not in joy, what do I believe about my current situation that is pulling me out of joy?
  • What is my current frequency of vibration and what am I attracting because of that vibration?

It is important to understand that you don’t have to solve all the problems, you just have to dream of the new possibilities. Focus on the things you love in life instead of the things you are worried about. Your only job is to hold the vibration of what you dream as possible in all of its vibrancy and delight. This is the role of an activist for the New Earth. 

Many people think that they understand the concepts behind manifestation and then become frustrated because their life isn’t changing in the way they would like it to. They say their affirmations, they create their dream board, but they don’t take a look at what they really believe about their worth or their ability to deserve. 

All of our beliefs are broadcast from our chakras, which create much of our auric fields of energy. This broadcast then attracts to it situations in your life that match your belief system. You are creating your life from your beliefs and you can’t change your life or manifest what you really want until you change some of what you believe.

What most people don’t realize is that beliefs are choices. You can actually change your broadcast, by deciding to believe differently.

All of your actions are rooted in your belief system. Although most of your beliefs were formed as a child, you still have a choice whether to follow them. If you do not like what you believe, you can change it. As an adult, you have full control of your beliefs. To change, however, you must take a long, scrutinizing look at your particular belief structure and understand why it exists and if you want to continue embracing it.

I have found that personal work can be facilitated greatly in group discussion because it stimulates questions, helps you define and find clues within yourself of why you manifest as you do and why the world looks a particular way to you. 

I invite you to explore yourself with us by applying the tools introduced in ReCreate YourSelf: Become a Quantum Human and Live in True Freedom. Here we teach you to uncover your current beliefs and create new ones to support the New Earth that is being birthed. We will be a powerful team of manifestors coming together in self examination, knowing that the outer world is a reflection of our inner world.

If you resonate with this call to action, to be in service in a new way, please join us for this life-altering live online course beginning Tuesday, May 5th at 11am Pacific Time. 

To register now go to: https://lightsong.mykajabi.com/offers/xxUGWC3u/checkout   

If Tuesdays at 11a does not work for you, you can still comment on the content, or submit your questions to be answered during the Q&A sessions. In addition, the course itself consists of a downloadable video that includes all the teachings and is yours to keep. No matter what your situation, everything will be recorded so you won’t miss a thing!  

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Protect Yourself – Empower Yourself – by Jan Engels-Smith

“No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke, 1756

The intent of this article is to help you develop energetic immunity which will bolster your immune system and put you on a trajectory for well-being. 

We are living in an extraordinary time. There is a consistent broadcast of doom and gloom. All of us are exposed to the mass media hysteria of this pandemic. We have come face to face with turbulent times of isolation, governmental holocaust, chaotic weather patterns and environmental distress. This hysteria is epidemic and has a negative effect on your physical immune system. Repeated negative thoughts, such as anger, worry or depression, puts your body into stress overdrive triggering a flight or fight response. This overdrive uploads cortisol and adrenaline hormones into your blood stream. These hormones can contribute to mental health symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia.

I am not saying this to alarm you or for you to toss caution to the wind, I am asking you to become aware of how you are responding to this global broadcast, and how that response is affecting you. 

It is time to pause, breath and notice. 

The spirits have entreated me to instruct people in the ways of processing, confronting and overcoming fear. Here are some facts about fear:

Fear is ego-based. Fear creates a constant stream of stories in our minds.  Many of the elements of these stories use tiny bits of information—some from the past and many from a distorted sense of the future—and blend them with fear to convince us that this story is true. The story may create a case for scarcity or issue judgments or narrow our sense of possibilities. Fear magnifies these thoughts and becomes so compelling that we are convinced that its endless chatter must be true, so we act accordingly. Fear then becomes self-perpetuating. Our failure to resist and control fear results in our failure to act and, in our distorted sense of reality, we “prove” to ourselves that the fear is justified. We commit ourselves to a downward spiral creating failure and that failure multiplies our fears. 

The first effort in overcoming fear is to reframe the story with conscious intention. We must intentionally break the bonds of fear through our awareness of our spirituality, our unity with the universe and the power that this awareness creates. As we are being summoned by evolution to move into higher dimensions, we simultaneously can unleash the power of being at one with the cosmos and fear can be relegated to lesser significance and will cease to dominant our lives. It takes perseverance and diligence to break the bonds of fear; however, it is a necessary function of ascension and one that cannot be overlooked.

Conscious intention to engage with the world from a positive position starts the release of DHEA, a hormone in your body that holds keys to unleash parts of yourself that have laid dormmate and overridden by cortisol and adrenaline. When you connect into the positives, you will experience reduced anxiety and depression, increased energy and vitality, faster healing, the ability to focus, improved sleep, enhanced flow, ease in your day-to-day activities, inner balance, clarity in your thoughts, and you will create your life accordingly.  

So, lets together as a community tap in and start with positive intention for change, safety and empowerment.

During a meditation I was told that every person that is born holds the full capacity to change the world singlehandedly.

In following meditations, I received a download of information. This is an extremely brief description of the Creation Laws, which were at the foundation of the download. The Creation Laws are primary in comprehending our power as human beings and claiming our empowerment as individuals. Both are essential for our evolution and the energies of today. Because of what I have witnessed as an energy medicine practitioner, these laws form my beliefs and much of what I have highlighted for several years in my teachings. My guidance has been insistent and consistent that I don’t only understand the Creation Laws myself but that I live by them and teach them. The Creation Laws are easiest to understand in a creation story.

Every culture has creation stories at their foundation. I am offering you a creation story here to help understand the Creation Laws. Even though it is mystical and metaphorical, my story explains the Creation Laws that govern the universe and all that we know. Creation stories are not intended to be logical or scientific, they are designed from the right side of the brain that houses imaginative explanation and creation. For example, one Native American creation story implies that the land we refer to as North America rides on the back of a giant turtle, referred as Turtle Island.

My Creation Story: 

In the beginning there was The Breath of Creation.

This breath filled man and woman on the Earth.

Through the breath of creation, man and woman on the earth were given charge of being the creator beings of the all the universe. This gave them great joy and great power. They could create anything they wanted or could imagine—anything physical or nonphysical. Thus, they colored their world with stars, galaxies, planets, moons, trees, streams and rocks. They created an exquisite world of beauty, texture and diversity. They also created the unseen worlds of faeries, devas, giants, gods, spirits, intergalactic beings and all the unseen forces of the universe. They developed profound relationships with their non-physical creations.

And, just to make things interesting… they created good and evil.

Individually, through free will, you choose to create the good or the evil. You will never lose this choice. The choice will determine all of existence. At any given moment you can choose differently.    The End.

Beliefs, Feelings and Thoughts

Although your emotions might seem to be thrust upon you; your beliefs, feelings and thoughts are choices that you have the power to exercise or not. And, your beliefs, feelings and thoughts generate those emotions you are experiencing. You can choose to create positive or negative experiences in your life. You will never lose this choice. The choice will impact all of your existence and radiate outward into the universe.  

Positive feelings and thoughts attract positive energies and create realizable affirmations that enrich our lives and promote constructive changes. In the same manner, negative feelings and thoughts attract negative energies and prevent us from achieving the better opportunities that we seek. Constant attention to seeking benevolent outcomes rewards us with wonderful and munificent gifts, often beyond our greatest wishes. 

But how do you reach for the positive or have an optimistic view when the broadcast on the news is so dismal? Fortunately, a wonderful component to energy is that it responds to you almost immediately. It only takes about16 seconds to change your energetic broadcast.

By focusing on high-vibration feelings and thoughts, such as gratitude and appreciation, you can shift your broadcast to a positive frequency. The trick is… how long can you sustain this broadcast to build momentum for the positive energy? 

The Feel Good Challenge

Asking myself this question, and knowing that I needed something to help sustain these feelings, led me to create, among other things, the Feel Good Challenge. The point of the challenge is to assist you in changing your broadcast to a positive flow. Each day I write an inspirational message that I support with 5 positive words. I then ask you, “what words can you find to support this message?”  You write in your words. You can also read the positive words others are writing. If this process takes you about 4 minutes each day or 240 seconds you are well over the 16 second mark for change! You will have been immersed in positive frequencies which in turn change the hormone levels in your body and put you on a trajectory of positive outcomes. The challenge is a free service on Facebook. (A private group.)  

This is a service that I offer to you. It is free, easy and fun. I invite you to use this to make a difference in your life. Protect yourself with energetic immunity, and empower yourself with conscious intent. Sign up today and be part of a community of well beings making a difference in the world.   



Free Webinar: The 3 Essential Keys to Living as a Quantum Human

Another offering, that is coming up this month on April 15 (with an encore presentation on April 18), is a free Zoom webinar called, The 3 Essential Keys to Living as a Quantum Human. My colleague, Karen Hefner, and I will guide you through steps that will allow you to reconceptualize yourself as an energetic being, full of positive potential and possibilities. Our intention is to help you shift your perspective and allow you to experience personal empowerment beyond your wildest dreams. 

Here is the link to sign up for this free webinar: https://lightsong.mykajabi.com/living-as-a-quantum-human

You will also learn about our upcoming 7-week, live online course that begins on May 5th titled, ReCreate YourSelf: Become a Quantum Human and Live in True Freedom. 

All of these offerings are designed to empower you, remind you who you are, and ignite passion, joy and empowerment in your life. Join me and empower yourself!


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Practicum season 2020

Welcome to the Virtual Practicum 2020!

You are invited! Please join us for this year’s Practicum commencing on:

 Saturday, July 11th – Friday, July 15th, 2020

So it begins! We invite you to gather as a community as we excitedly and joyfully start to build our Practicum container. At each meeting you will experience valuable teachings from Jan and all directions of the Leadership Wheel. Your telepathic connection with the questers and each other will deepen as we weaving our hearts together in circle. It takes open hearts, willing hands and great blessings from Spirit to create the Practicum experience. This is an event of selfless service and profound growth. Please join us!

What to do next:

To attend practicum this year we need the following forms filled out and turned in to the North at the next Pre-Practicum meeting. As soon as you do so, we will add you to the 2020 FB group.

Register – No payment needed at the time of registering. Click here.

Waiver – Please click on the link, print out the form, and bring them to the next meeting or mail them to Amber Jane Arquette 4336 S.E. 76th Ave. Portland 97206. Click here.

Opt-in to stay connected, get updates, reminders, Practicum magic! Practicum newsletter: Click here.

**Getting these forms in ASAP greatly helps the whole team in our planning efforts, supplies and food. And after you register we will add you to the FB group and a free Super Soul meditation from Jan!


Click here and find you copy of our Practicum Manual. This is your resource for all things practicum!

Please take some time and read through it and realize that the information is extremely pertinent regardless of being on the physical land. If you have any questions please email the North at North.practicum@gmail.com.

We are your resource and are available to you!


Your North supports for 2020:
Amber Jane Arquette, Cydney French, Hope Myers, and Kat Parker



Practicum Manual 2020
Schedule of Events
The beauty of Practicum.
Blessings from the North,
Amber Jane, Cydney, Hope & Kat
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Ed Smith Obituary

To my beautiful, loving, outstanding community.  It is with a broken heart that I announce my husband Ed’s passing.  He died on January 12, 2020 while I was away from the house. I have received numerous open-hearted loving cards, calls and correspondences.  I feel incapable of answering these but please understand that I know I am wrapped in your arms and heart. I appreciate the outpouring beyond words.  

We will have a celebration of life for Ed on April 11 @ 12:00 pm at Lewis and Clark college ~ Smith Hall.  It will be a potluck. I know most of you only know Ed through me but still want to express yourselves in a tribute to him and our love. The gathering will be to join hearts in ceremony and community. 

Ed was my “everything”.  He was one of my greatest teachers and heart advisors.  If I know anything about love it is because of Ed.  

One of the things I hold most preciously is that Ed and I were always kind to each other.  We spoke to each other with love and respect. We laughed a lot! We valued each other and what each of us stood for.  A love affair in its most sacred expression.  

For those of you that knew him you are lucky.  For those of you that didn’t maybe you can feel into the words in his obituary and get a sense of what an amazing human being he was.

Ed R. Smith

12/30/1942 – 1/12/2020

Ed Smith was a dedicated Husband, Father, and “Papa” who always found more pleasure in giving than receiving. There isn’t a single individual on the planet who loved his family more. A real humanist, Ed always saw the goodness in others; believing in the value each one of us possess. He approached all of life’s problems with a level headedness to be admired, and would always seek to help his family, for which he was very proud, with their day-to-day challenges.

An avid reader and lover of politics, he started his mornings reading the paper cover-to-cover so he was up to date on the news of the day. He also loved completing the New York Times crossword puzzle; particularly enjoying the end of the week as the puzzle gets harder. With a background in English and British Literature, he occasionally submitted editorials to the Oregonian that were always published (he claimed to have a perfect record.) He surrounded himself with an impressive library of both books and cinema and enjoyed discussing their stories with family and friends; his personal collection from The Library of America alone could be applauded. A Mensa member with an IQ in the top one percent of the population, Ed really was a literal genius. He never, however, belittled those with whom he spoke and could ignite interest in all topics of discussion. An exceptional intellectual, his preferred method of communication was through compassion and kindness. Ed’s erudition of language served to communicate his thoughts of moral concern, and while speaking and writing he always championed for the underdog and their basic human rights. A diehard liberal democrat, Ed could often be heard explaining the incompetencies of politicians placed in office, stating “Democracy, although a risky and often messy form of government, is far preferable to a system that limits the choices of the populace.”

Ed was a funny and playful guy. No matter how serious the conversation, he was able to solicit a joke or a pun that would bring smiles and laughter. He adored playing with the kids and entertaining friends; often leaving a group declaring his signature departing phrase, “Glad you got to see me!”

Ed loved to travel and emphatically shared that love with his family; taking them all over the world to experience a multitude of cultures firsthand. As a liberal educator, Ed refused to believe that learning should be limited to the confines of a classroom. While traveling, it was he who would insist on staying where the locals lived. He was fascinated with witnessing others’ way of life and taught his children to honor and respect them equally. Ed and his wife, Jan, frequently traveled internationally.

Having worked 43 years in the field of education, Ed embodied everything it was to serve as an educator. Ed shared his passion for education and was solicited to speak at several educational conferences presenting the keynote address at different conferences all across the United States. Ed was awarded the Oregon Association of Central Office Administrators Achievement of Excellence Award in 2006.

Ed also had an exceptional palate; his passion for cooking and love of food seemed to never be quite satiated. His devotion for creating complex dishes knew no bounds as it was his favorite craft to share. He could often be found in his kitchen, “cookin’ up a storm” as he would say. All whom were lucky enough to dine on his cuisine held his food in high regard. Every holiday it was not uncommon to enjoy carefully constructed multiple course meals, all cooked from scratch by Ed. Often including at least three different homemade pies. Ed could bake, cook, and grill a meal fit for a king. He’d tell you “it’s simple enough”, but you’d never find his recipe as he never really had one; making it up as he went, guided by his taste buds.

He was a treasure, a true gem that was highly valued by all who met and interacted with him. Loved and admired by many; he will be greatly missed. Ed is survived by his wife of 35 years Jan Engels-Smith, his eldest daughter Alexandria Engels-Smith along with her children (Cohen, and twins Miro & Jocelyn), and his twins: son Grayson Engels-Smith and daughter Lauren Finley. He is also survived by his twin sister, Betty Smith in Texas. 

Quotes and sayings by Ed 

“Life is an adventure of endless possibilities. Dream well, laugh joyously, and love deeply, and the simplest events in life will become everyday miracles.” – Ed Smith

 “However ill-defined the journey or indeterminate the destination, dream of unknown possibilities. To “know” what one wants to do and where one wants to end are the limiting factors and provide a measure of failure. Be true to what you value and to yourself and a life well worth living will emerge and give meaning to our existence. Love and joy await.”   – Ed Smith

Ed’s response his son Grayson about Grayson’s reading of Paradise Lost. “Life is essentially a series of tragedies that we navigate between desperation and hope waiting for the morning sunrise after the stormy night. Pessimism? Cynicism?  Or the motor of the faltering human condition? Is it reconciling this moment or an imagined future? If it is both, there is no need for an explanation- for there is none.” – Ed Smith 

Some of Ed’s favorites: 

“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” -Thomas Jefferson

“Many people consider the things which government does for them to be social progress, but they consider the things government does for others as socialism” -Earl Warren 

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Constructing Your Shamanic Dream Team

By Jan Engels-Smith
Art by Margie McMahan

It has long been know that shamans work with spiritual allies.  The belief is that these allies are what give the shaman his or her power for healing and miraculous results in moving energy.  The allies are intimate companions of the shaman. These allies are honored with offerings of food, flowers, tobacco and other gifts as an expression of respect and appreciation and to establish a strong relationship that creates a strong bond between the shaman and these accommodating allies. 

The most common shamanic allies are power animals and spiritual teachers.  (For more information on this subject see my previous article titled the “Mystery and Magic of Power Animals.”) In this article I will expand on the use of allies in shamanic work and refer to very specific usages of allies for everyday living. 

There are three worlds (upper, lower, and middle) in which a shaman typically journeys in an altered state of reality.  The allies found in these worlds often vary in form and nature. In the style of shamanism that I teach, the upper and lower world allies are benevolent and these two particular worlds are havens of compassion and generosity.  These worlds and the information obtained from allies in these places can be confidently assumed to be safe and loving. You can trust the information will be of the highest good. However, the middle world in which we live is very different and one can expect to find conditions that are not always conducive to easy support and benevolence.  In this world there is a range of diverse good and evil and indifferent conditions that may or may not provide the spiritual sustenance that we are assured of in the upper and lower worlds. We as humans can not trust that every individual we encounter will act for our highest good or well being; thus, we have different needs to consider for our safety in our daily existence. 

Much of what I will discuss was learned from Betsy Bergstrom, a friend and colleague of mine and an incredible shamanic practitioner.  

There are four major allies in the middle world that can work to assist you in your immediate reality, although their origins can be traced to the upper or lower worlds.  When journeys are done to obtain these allies the intention of the journey is that these beloved friends will work for your care in the middle world. The protection and gifts they bestow are immeasurable and I will refer to these four as the “dream team.” Whether you are a shamanic practitioner or not, you can call on this team for assistance.  Once you have established a strong relationship with them, you can use this team throughout your life. 

The first member of the dream team is the body protector. The body protector’s job is to protect you and your possessions.  This protection is available to you in any situation in which you may be involved in your daily life—driving your car, getting onto a plane, walking into a crowded room or in any place or at any time you feel that you need protection. The process of using this ally involves the ally merging with you and embodying you with their protective properties. This predetermined combining of energies is mutually understood between you and your body protector and is part of the intention that is set in the initial communication between the two of you.  A typical intention might be, “I am asking for a compassionate, loving spiritual ally to come to me from either the upper or lower worlds that will be my body protector in the middle world. This ally will merge with me and take care of me upon request. This ally will stay with me and become part of my non-physical team that is compassionate to my needs as a human living in this unstable dualistic realty.”

Typically, a shamanic journey is done to meet this trusted ally.  If a person is not adept at journeying, guided imagery or meditation can also be used.  Once the ally appears, the participant would ask, “Will you be my body protector protecting not only my physical body but also all my possessions?”  An agreement, a spiritual contract, is reached and the ally takes on the role of protector. This ally may be present in the middle world but because he originates in the upper or lower world, he can be trusted to meet the expectations of the contract. These spiritual allies don’t lie or make false promises.  This journey, guided imagery, or meditation will envision the participant and the ally merging, and the powerful energy of the ally becomes a protective force in the human. Often there is a noticeable sensation that takes place within the participant that recognizes this joining of life forces. The participant can then refer to the ally as my body protector. The form the ally has is in the spirit realm, such as a bear, eagle, native elder, etc., will dissolve in the merging.  Although there are many sources one may draw on for this protector, the body protector becomes present in the middle world and immediately accessible for support.

The second ally is a gatekeeper.  Gatekeepers have been identified throughout history in many cultures and are often present in mythological stories.  One of my favorite examples of a gatekeeper is from Norse mythology and is depicted in the recent film Thor.  Heimdall is the gatekeeper standing on the rainbow bridge and denying access into the city to any unauthorized beings.  Gatekeepers are all seeing and all knowing and have exceptional authority and powers. Another use of the gatekeeper in spiritual practice is to serve to regulate energy that might impact us.  We are exposed to all kinds of frequencies of energetic vibrations in our daily life. Some of these frequencies are good for us and others may be seriously harmful. The gatekeeper’s job is to distinguish among these energies and only allow energies for our well being to enter into our energetic fields.  Even good energies can come through too intensely and cause discomfort and the gatekeeper serves to regulate the intensity of the energy that affects us so that it might serve our greater benefit. For example, those of us that practice merging with great forces for empowerment sometimes have trouble handling the intensity of some of the powers with which we seek to merge.  Training the body to hold higher frequencies of energy is part of the development that is needed for energy medicine or shamanic practitioners. The power of these energies is often not taken into account by those practicing or dabbling in energy medicine protocols and the person can feel exhausted or “blown out of the water” from an experience. My allies jokingly used the analogy of one who has a 120 circuit being plugged into a 240 outlet. Imagine your hair standing straight up and feeling blown apart.  

Being around people or energies that are too chaotic may create difficult energy fields.  I have difficulty going to public places such as mall where the combination of noise, overstimulation in advertising displays, and the frenetic energy of shoppers often will leave me headachy, tense, and out-of-sorts.  My gatekeeper’s job in this environment is to dial me down—closing down my chakras so I don’t absorb the chaotic energies into my system. Your personal gatekeeper has a full-time job given the nature of our hectic lives.  

The procedure for meeting your gatekeeper is the same as that described for the body protector—state your intention clearly and create a positive relationship. A typical intention might be, “I am asking for a compassionate, loving spiritual ally from either the upper or lower worlds to come to me that will be my gatekeeper in the middle world.  This ally will merge with me and take care of me upon request. This ally will stay with me and become part of my non-physical team that is compassionate to my needs as a human living in such an unstable dualistic realty.” Once the ally appears the participant should ask, “Will you be my gatekeeper, performing all the various roles for which a gatekeeper is responsible?”  An agreement, the spiritual contract, is agreed on and the ally takes on that role. Again, since this ally is usually from the upper or lower world the participant can trust this contract and trust that these spiritual allies don’t lie or make false promises. Also, in this journey, guided imagery, or meditation, the participant allows the energy of the ally to join or merge with him or her.  Often, as with the protector, there is a noticeable feeling that takes place within the participant that reinforces this joining of life forces. The participant can then refer to the ally as My Gatekeeper.

The third ally is the Angel of Neutrality.  This ally comes from the angelic realm and has the role of alleviating judgment. That role alone can be a full-time job with humans! Some people feel that the angelic realm is part of the upper world; however, I do not.  I see it as a separate realm that holds a group of beings—angels—that have various jobs and abilities. Most of these great beings are dedicated to humans and to their well being, protection, and evolution. 

A great shamanic or energy medicine practitioner will have the gift of envisioning health, well being, or divinity in the person with whom they are working. If this is difficult for you, the practice of using an angel of neutrality can be extremely beneficial. This non-judging ability can create miraculous things in a healing session.  If we all practiced this way of looking at others we would miraculously change the world and the human condition. The Angel of Neutrality keeps us neutral, not judging good or bad but allowing, accepting and unconditionally loving each event or person that we encounter. Energetically a judgment alters that which we judge, just as in quantum physics the observer alters the results of an experiment.  The practice of non-judgment or neutrality has tremendous benefits for us all.

The procedure for meeting your Angel of Neutrality is the same as that described for the previous two allies but with a different intention. A typical intention might be, “I am asking for a compassionate, loving Angel of Neutrality to work and join with me in the middle world.  This angel will merge with me and take care of me upon request. This angel will stay with me and become part of my non-physical team that is compassionate to my needs as a human living in such an unstable dualistic realty.” Once the angel appears the participant would ask, “Will you be my Angel of Neutrality helping me to stay neutral and non judging?”  An agreement, the spiritual contract, is reached and the Angel of Neutrality takes on that role. Since this angel is from the angelic realm and the angels in general are here to help humans, the participant can trust this contract. Also, in this journey, guided imagery, or meditation the participant allows the energy of the Angel of Neutrality to join or merge with him or her.  Often there is a noticeable feeling that takes place within the participant that reinforces this joining of life forces. The participant can then refer to the ally as my Angel of Neutrality.

The fourth and final ally of the dream team is your true self.  The true self is the part of you that is unwounded and unwoundable.  The true self is divine. Technically speaking if you lived always in your true self you would have no need for any of the other three allies.  You are unwoundable, so there is no need for protection; you are divine, so chaotic energies would have no effect so there would be no need for a gatekeeper; and the true self carries no judgment, so there would be no need for an angel of neutrality.  Your wounds make you vulnerable, expose you to negative energies, and create the judgments that you hold. The true self is the part of you that lives in an actualized state of your full potential. Unfortunately, this part of you is the part that is the most buried and unavailable throughout your life.  The understanding of this self merits possibly a lifetime of understanding and practicing; however, he or she is part of your dream team and if recognized through practice and spiritual development has the potential to bring you closer to your own divinity in a subtle but potent way.

Ask for your true self to appear.  Envision your perfect self. Perfect body, mind, personality, persona; all the traits you wish you embodied.  The only stipulation is that this being needs to be YOU, not the Christ, the Buddha, or some other revered master.  Ask to merge with this version of you and feel what if feels like to become yourself.

The practice of merging with this dream team daily or even several times through daily repetition will have amazing effects on your consciousness. You will be using the gifts of non-ordinary reality in your ordinary world.  The blending of these two realities is part of the New Earth, the new reality that I envision our future to be. Empowered, loving, unlimited humans enjoying life to the fullest.

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A Powerful Declaration to the Universe~Talisman

In the Northern Hemisphere, Winter solstice is the longest night and the shortest day of the year.   This day marks the death period, the turning point from darkness to light.  The day is recognized and accorded special significance in many cultures. Often it is designated as the North on the medicine wheel of life. This dark time is indicative of a time of release, to let go of the old self, and to prepare for new beginnings—the new growth of spring. Rituals are performed in order to enact this time of release.  The period of darkness extends from December 21st Solstice to March 21st. This is a perfect time to let go of the old and to bring in the new. Whether it is the winter solstice, the first of the year, or any time during the cold winter months, the time is right for the psyche to respond to a releasing and reclaiming ceremony.

During the change from one year to another is the only time of the year that so much of the world is on the same page energetically, which I actually find quite amazing since one of the hardest things to do energetically is to have agreement amongst people, especially worldwide.   This like-mindedness creates a massive wave of energy, more than you could ever muster on your own, no matter how elaborate the ceremony you are conducting. It is the largest possible amount of energy coming in from around the world.

One of the laws of energy is that the more energy that is added to something the greater impact it has and that like frequencies of vibration actually gain in mass, density and volume as they accumulate. This cumulative force creates an enormous thoughtform.  With intention you can wield this thoughtform to work for your advantage. Thus, ceremonially we can capitalize on the wave of agreement throughout the world, that it is a good time to let go and to declare something new for yourself.

Rituals are performed in order to enact this time of release. Rituals help us to feel the experience, to have an actual tangible event locked into our memory. Rituals also help us to focus our intention and with focused intention miracles happen. One of my favorite rituals is that of creating a Talisman.

A Talisman is an object which is created to hold an aspect of an individual. Many people are trying to rid themselves of a belief, an attitude, a characteristic, a behavior, or even a feeling about another person that has burdened them—whatever is making their life less than perfect. From a shamanic perspective the making of a Talisman is a powerful procedure to perpetuate the release process. In fact, the Talisman becomes the object of release. This is the incredible power of the Talisman; it isn’t just a symbol of an attitude or belief, but it becomes the attitude or belief. This all comes about through focused intent and learning how to imbue power into an object.

I highly recommend that you intensify the power of your Talisman by designing and constructing a Talisman using great care and intent.

To fashion your Talisman, I suggest you go out into nature. Have in your mind your intention and ask Spirit to help you. Take a walk and start to collect sticks, grass, flowers, leaves, and other objects that you can put together into a talisman. You might create a Y shaped talisman, one side representing release and the other side representing what you want to gain or create. As you are crafting your talisman you want to imbue it with energy.  To instill the positive energy you seek, hold both the images of what you want to release and what you want to declare in your mind. I suggest that you release what you wish to divest yourself of and what you wish to bring into being individually and separately, going through the imbuement process twice. Imbuing can take on many forms. Shamanic imbuing is done by physically transferring energy into your object or talisman. You can blow it in, dance it in, drum it in, rattle it in, or by any combination of actions. The point is to transfer from you the suffering or pain that you feel from whatever you want to release and move it into the talisman so the talisman now embodies this feeling and becomes it.  The suffering has now transferred out of you into the talisman, so that now you are free. The same is true for the transference of the things you wish to declare but in the opposite direction. The talisman then assumes the nature of that which you wish to create and transfers it into your being. In this ritual, the talisman is destroyed by fire. When the talisman is burned there is a great transmutation of energy back to you during the ceremony. Your declaration is heard in the universe and you receive the feelings of this transference. Since I do this ceremony as a community event, I often have my students verbally declare to the community what it is that they declare and then the community parrots that back to them in a strong voice. The receiver is then receiving from the fire as well as from the community the affirmation of their declaration.

When you add in elements such as fire you compound the power of the action.  Calling on the power of the elements has been a shamanic practice since the beginning of time.  Fire is often identified as the element of transformation and transmutation. When things are thrown into the fire with intention the fire then takes from us what needs to be released and transmutes the energy. Make sure that everything on your Talisman is burnable. You can perform a fire ceremony as a community event with a huge bonfire or it can be in an outdoor fire pit, a fireplace or even with a candle that represents the transmutation process. In the case of using a candle, I would write down what is in the talisman on a piece of paper and burn the paper in the candle flame, then bury the talisman in the ground and let the Earth work her magic for you in replacement of the fire.

Working with fire can be extremely exhilarating.  As a community we form a circle around the fire. We all have drums and rattles.  Individually each person steps out from the circle and begins to dance his/her talisman. They dance around the fire, holding all of their intentions in their heart, building energy with their dance.  The community enhances the energy with their drums and rattles. Possibly, there are encouraging calls going out to the individuals as they dance, encouraging them to build more and more energy as they dance. When the time feels right, the person with the talisman will stop at the fire and plunge their talisman into the fire.  The community breaks into chaotic and exuberant supporting sounds heightening the experience for the release process. The person at the center then pauses, gathers his or her thoughts, then declares with strong voice what it is that they wish to declare or claim for them self. We all say this back to them in exclamation.

The sacred smoke will carry the intentions of both release and declaration out into the universe.

As you are constructing your Talisman, bring your total intention and concentration into the fact that the Talisman is your belief. The nature of your object is not what is important; the power and the intention that you put into it is. Do this in silence, in a place where you will not be disturbed and where you can concentrate. Do not share with family or friends what you are intending. Many of us have the habit of breaking the power of the moment by talking about it. You want the power to build inside of this Talisman until you are ready to burn it. When not praying with it, keep it covered, preferably in red cloth. You may wish to keep the Talisman with you for a few days, even sleep with it by your bedside. I suggest that you meditate with it, forming a strong energy of intention. This is another way to imbue your talisman.  You will do this until you feel that the Talisman “becomes” your intentions. Watch for magic, the Talisman can actually start looking different as it shapeshifts into your intentions.

Intention is one of the greatest creative forces that exist in the universe.

Intentions have a profound impact on your brain and your heart.  Forming the intention puts energy into motion, both in the body and energetically in the ethers.  That is why focused intention is so powerful—actually miraculous at times. We witness this power in the results of prayer, of conscious visioning and consciously bringing things into manifestation.   Prayer is focused intention. Masterminding is focused intention, Envisioning is focused intention. When intentions are focused, the power is greater and the manifestation potential is accelerated and magnified.

Acknowledging the miracles that we have all witnessed and received adds power to our intentions.  This is a divine time to say thank you to the helping spirits, power animals, faeries, weather beings, light beings, angels, arch angels, ancestors, descendants, counsels, star and earth beings and teachers. Be sure and thank the fire after the ceremony. Acknowledging the bounty given to you from the invisible realms and holding this appreciation in your heart during this ceremony will enhance your experience.

If you have others that want to share in this ceremony, invite them.  You are creating the aspect of community, like minds coming together in support and a way to intensify the energy. When you add in fire, community as witness, and the emotional impact of your actions, you have an intention that lives on in the Universe!  The power is enormous.

A powerful declaration to the universe!



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The Universes We Inhabit

by Jan Engels-Smith

My life has been filled with changing situations, opportunity, and shifts in consciousness. Where we allow our self to be open and receptive to possibilities, we live in a state of constant learning and expansion of awareness. My training and degree in the hard sciences provided me with traditional knowledge of our world and universe. My degree and training in psychology helped me to explore the intricacies and mysteries of our mind and our behaviors. My experiences with  a Lakota family, where I was adopted by a Lakota elder, added to my understanding of our relationship to the Earth and spirituality. My work with shamanic healing and energy medicine, including the creation of a school for passing this knowledge to others, has freed my mind to engage with the spiritual world and alternative universes. I am amazed at how life unfolds in all of its magic, mystery, and the unexpected.

We live in many realities even in our everyday existence. We might have a work life where our behaviors, attitudes, and interactions differ in significant ways from our family life or our social life or our spiritual life. Obviously, these “realities” intersect but there is also distinctiveness and originality in each of our lived worlds. Imagine then the extension of this analogy into the broader presence of our being in multiple universes where we act, react, and interact in alternate realities—true to our essence and in a sustained reality that is faithful to our true self but unconstrained by limitations of space, time, and possibility. This is the realm of a quantum existence—nonrational, true, and infinitely expansive.

The boundlessness of such universes is the source of unimpeded opportunity, ceaseless joy, and confirmation of the greatness of our existence. The recognition of such truths diminishes and ultimately eliminates the negative impacts of our false sense of tragedy, pain, and emptiness.

Evidences of alternate realities come in many forms and from many sources. People often remember vividly and precisely different events from their past that conflict with the accepted truth or historical record. This phenomenon is so prevalent that it has been given a name—the Mandela Effect. The term comes from the fact that many people recall that they had read about the death of Nelson Mandela when he was incarcerated in South Africa in the 1980s. This well-known leader of the movement against apartheid died in 2013 after leaving prison and becoming the leader of his nation. The vividness of the memory of his earlier death has raised questions about what happened. Many other instances of memories held with great certainty by people across many cultures and in many eras has given rise to the idea that these events, although seemingly contradictory, did occur in alternate universes or dimensions and alternate realities.

I suspect that we all have had the experience of looking for an object where we were certain we had left it (imagine your car keys) only to find that it was not there. After a fruitless search, we return to where we began and the object is where we had originally imagined it to be. We might ascribe this strangeness to our faulty memory and our carelessness but we also were certain that the object was not there until it was there. However, what if had been both there and not there simultaneously and we had been in both places. Before rejecting the irrationality of this idea, consider the following experience I had many years ago.

When I began my career, I worked with many patients who were diagnosed as having dissociative identity disorder, which is characterized as the presence of more than one sense of identity within a single human body. These alternate identities are commonly known as alters or dissociated parts. At the time this was popularly known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). I had the opportunity to work with a doctor from Africa who integrated some indigenous ritual practices into specialized treatment in a hospital setting. These unconventional approaches proved to be of interest to a number of practitioners in the hospital setting and a decision was made to create demonstration sessions with patient volunteers and to have panel discussions related to the observations. One of the members of the panel was Truddi Chase, an American author best known for her book When Rabbit Howls (1987) and her interview on the Oprah Winfrey show. Her life was depicted in a television movie. Truddi brought insight and attention to the event. Doctors and the media exhibited a high level of interest.

I specifically remember three of the patients in the study—one who expressed cerebral palsy as an illness of one of his alters, one who was completely blind in one of his alters with a thick blue film over his eyes, and a heart surgeon who had multiple alters with different personalities. Thorough physical exams had been performed on the first two patients by doctors outside the study. The determination of cerebral palsy in the first patient was based on the deformation of his limbs based on bone measurements and atrophy of muscles. Eye exams were performed on the second patient to determine total blindness. Each of the patients was asked to move into a different alter. The patient with cerebral palsy transformed into a robust and athletic appearing individual with evident strength and energy increases. The blind patient became sighted and the blue film disappeared from his eyes. The heart surgeon did not change physically but his new alter differed in attitude, vocabulary, and posturing. He seemed to take on the persona of a person who lived on the streets.

This experience affected me in profound ways, but it would be many years later that I would come to realize its true significance. I became a shamanic practitioner and along with my experience with my adopted Lakota Sioux family expanded my understanding of the healing achieved with shamanism, the existence of paranormal mysteries, and the significance of the unexplainable. These realms of enlightenment opened many doors for me to expand beyond the artificial limits of our so-called rational condition. Miracles became common events of possibility rather than fanciful imaginings.

The concept of simultaneity references the relation between two events assumed to be happening at the same time in a particular frame of reference and is common to quantum physics. Imagine extending this concept into explaining the “unexplainable.” Dissociated personalities, seemingly contradictory histories of events, déjà vu, simultaneous expression of same thoughts by two individuals at the same time, a predilection for knowing what will happen before it occurs, and other strange unexplained phenomena—all disrupt the rhythms of our rational world and compel us to think beyond our simplistic “proven” conventions.

My curiosity about quantum physics and how it relates to shamanism led me to the realization that many of the unexplainable events that I have experienced could be explained by the existence of parallel dimensions. In reflecting back over my career as a shamanic practitioner, I realized how different my approach to healing was from my colleagues. I was never able to fully understand and name that difference until recently. Now I believe that what I have been practicing all these years is quantum shamanism.

My awakening to this recognition began over two decades ago when I asked the spirits to show me what I looked like to them. They revealed me as having no body or physical form. I was light, sound, and patterns consisting of small particles bouncing around with no physical restraints or boundaries. Because of this realization of “who I was”, I could become “unidentified” with my body when I was doing healings. I could also see my clients in their unbound states. I could actually see them as a radiant being unafflicted by whatever concern we were working on together.  My client and I were two intersecting fields of energy that were disengaged from the confines of the projected affliction. There was freedom, love, nonjudgement, gratitude, and awe. This was a world of high frequency, and magic. A parallel reality where radiance and health existed as the norm.

We exist in multiple forms simultaneously in different but parallel universes. The idea that the blind can become sighted, that tumors can suddenly disappear, that miracles occur may be nothing more than an individual moving from one dimension where one is experiencing an infirmity to another dimension where that same person is simultaneously free of the affliction.

Ancient shamanism often involved trances where shamans assumed different personalities and spoke in mysterious ways as though they were in two places at once. Shamanic practitioners today pass from one dimension to another as they engage with clients. We have long recognized the existence of spirit beings from other realms that guide and assist us in our efforts. The modern practice of shamanism does not necessarily conflict with our current life but only with our limited capacity to see and understand ourselves as sentient beings in alternative universes who can gain the capacity to better comprehend our limitless possibilities.



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Imagination by Jan Engels-Smith

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

Albert Einstein

Often when I teach I find myself moving into an altered state of consciousness and realize that I am beginning to channel my allies that are invested in communicating a message to my students.  I then listen intently to what comes out of my mouth and learn, as do my students, the meaning of the message.  One of these teachings came through recently.  In our gateway class at LightSong Through the Rabbit Hole: Explore and Experience the Shamanic Journey and Energy Medicine, we teach how to journey and meet two of our allies in the spirit world.  A basic tenet of this experience is to convey how to move into an altered state of consciousness that is actually using different parts of the brain.  I have written on the topic of left brain-right brain on various occasions.  In a brief description here, I am using the description from my spiritual allies and it is not necessarily limited to the scientific explanation.

The left side of the brain processes information sequentially and is considered the source of analytical thought. This part of our brain recognizes parts that make up a whole. It looks for an anticipated organization that “makes sense” in the way that we have been trained to think. In processing verbal information, this part of the brain recognizes that one stimulus comes from another, and verbal perception and generation depends on the awareness of a sequence in which sounds or stimuli occur. A left-brain dominant individual might have trouble “making sense” of right-brain thinking.

How then does right-brain thinking occur? The right brain hemisphere specializes in combining the parts to produce a whole. Unlike the left, the right hemisphere organizes things simultaneously and perceives holistically. It specializes in a method of thought that recognizes and constructs patterns and is most efficient at visual and spatial processing. This is our source for processing non-verbal stimuli. We are born right-brain dominant. Dreamers, artists, musicians, and visionaries are often right-brain dominant because what left-brain thinkers see as “non-sense,” right-brain thinkers understand as an alternative way of “making sense.”

Modern Western societies, especially since the time of Isaac Newton and Rene Descartes, have developed a highly analytical and mechanistic approach to understanding the world. They have sought a natural and rational explanation for existence that is highly dependent on observable and scientific phenomena that leaves little room for accepting the possibility of supernatural causality. Spirituality has a lesser status, as such, in left-brain dominant societies.

The Nature of Left Brain Thinking:

  • Dominate in our society
  • Sequential ordering
  • Grounded in logic
  • Cause and effect dependent
  • Linear and defined by past/future thinking
  • Seat of the ego and judgement
  • Governed by rationality
  • Restricted by language
  • Limited possibilities

The Nature of the Right Brain

  • Unlimited possibilities
  • Non-dependent on linear time lines
  • Open to possibilities
  • Promotes unity in all things
  • Capable of nonrational thought
  • Senses beyond the limitations of language
  • Source of creativity
  • Home to the emotions of love and compassion
  • Less valued in modern Western culture

We are all familiar with the term clairvoyance which derives from the French clair meaning “clear” and voyance meaning “vision.” It is extrasensory in that it implies gaining knowledge beyond the restrictions of the five senses. The right brain lends itself to the developing of many forms of increasing clarity that can be obtained through openness and practice. For example, consider the following clarifications of one’s mind:

  • Clairvoyant—clear vision
  • Clairaudient—clear hearing
  • Clairsentient—clear feeling
  • Claircogent—clear knowing
  • Clairolfactory—clear smelling
  • Clairtangency—clear touching
  • Clairgustancy—clear tasting
  • Clairempathy—clear emotion

The shamanic journey involves the full employment of the brain. In classes on journeying, I emphasize that the experience is using a part of the brain that is not utilized much in our left brain society. Journeying allows you to become more whole brained.  Moving into this unexplored area of the brain can be feel odd and untrustworthy to the egoic mind, but we can acquire greater and greater clarity in all of our senses and develop an expansiveness of thought that is not limited by the constraints of the analytical brain. By developing our powers of insight and creativity, we can broaden our vision of the truth of the universe and understand more fully who we are and who we can be.

We live in a time where most people seem to live in fight or flight state of reality, which means you don’t feel safe or capable or don’t have time to feel connected. People are functioning in a survival state of existence.  During fight or flight, it is impossible to access your natural abilities, your inner truth, or to move out of the grip or the ego in the left brain that functions in high gear around survival. We also live in a time of fantastic verbiage and movies that visually explore the use of superpowers and virtually realities; however, this seems to be restricted to a group of Marvel characters that have these superpowers and the rest of us are left dependent on their intervention into our life. As I was speaking to my class I heard myself say, “You too have a Super Power—one of the greatest on the planet.  It is hidden in plain sight and has laid dormant inside of you.  This superpower is your imagination.  The Imagination is the key that unlocks the door into the right brain and into the creation of a new reality.”

The imagination has been denigrated into a meaning of falsity, unreal, or made up. The spirits then went on to explain how the imagination allows us to see into parallel realities of existence, through the veils, and informs us as to what is there.

The imagination can kick start a journey propelling us into this alternative reality that the right brain has access to with all of its functions of the clairs, the non-existence of physical law, the essence of NOW and total and full empowerment of self, to just name a few of the powers we can acquire.  The imagination has roots and expressions in daydreaming, another superpower of the human mind which has also been belittled and vilified especially by teachers as their students would lose focus on their lectures.

Years ago, I was training a group of people to prepare for their vision quest, which is prayer intensive. The participants are literally supposed to constantly pray as they sit for days and nights in the wilderness “crying for a vision.”  The spirits in their guidance to me said, “Tell the questers not to pray.” I was shocked and puzzled at the message I had just received.  The spirits went on to explain that people are notoriously poor at praying.  Many prayers are filled with fear, doubt, begging, uncertainty, and many of the low frequency feelings that prevent the prayer from manifesting.  Instead, I was told, have the questers DAYDREAM.  A daydream is filled with empowerment, visions of grandeur, unlimited possibilities, unlimited potential, magical thinking and of course imagination.  It brings about feelings of joy, happiness, awe, appreciation and gratitude and excitement! These are the feeling that manifest the reality that you wish to produce.

I realize now that imagination is a superpower, daydreaming is a superpower and I can use these understandings not only when I teach journeying to students but in my own life during my prayers and meditation and most of all when I am interacting with my grandchildren!  Kids today understand the language of superpower. They easily engage in developing the superpower of imagination.  Try it out with the little ones and explore and celebrate where they take this ability.  Let’s create a new generation of beings that revel in and acclaim imagination. Let them loose to release what has been captured and hidden in plain site within humans since the beginning of time.

Realize that imagination is a creation energy.  It is a human power and has been used to create everything from a rocket ship to calculus to a hairpin.  It is obvious that man-made objects were conceptualized from someone’s imagination. But what of the stars, galaxies, and lifeforms?  Could these too be from someone’s imagination. The New Earth already exists in its exquisite form of collaboration, unification, health, and wellbeing for all things. We can bring it into manifestation through our imagination by imagining a world that lies within our reach if we have the prescience to envision and accept it.

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Power Animals and How they Differ

Power Animals and How they Differ
By Jan Engels-Smith

LightSong School of 21st Century Shamanism and Energy Medicine, the school that I founded, is based on linking people to their divine connections in the spirit realm. All too often this connection has been lost.  We start this process in the basic journey class called Through the Rabbit Hole.  This is a gateway class that is amazing and is transformative in multiple ways.  Doors open, hearts are healed, and there is inspiration, motivation, enthusiasm and hope.  The feelings that many people have of disconnect are lessened and an awareness occurs that this disconnect is and has been an illusion that our culture and lack of understanding has created.  I teach the class called Through the Rabbit Hole two times a year, usually in January and September.

We start with the basics—connecting you to your power animal.  I was adopted into a Lakota family in 1992.  I learned from one of the elders that the Lakota believe that we are all born with 405 helping spirits assigned to us.  405 is not a literal number but a number of huge qualities.  Very different from “one power animal,” there is a team of divine beings that are assigned to YOU.  Just you.  They are of service to you for all your needs.  These Beings know who you have been, your purpose, and how to help you, and they have magical powers of intervention and healing.  You do not need to know all 405 but throughout your tenure with LightSong you learn about many of them and learn to use and incorporate their abilities into your daily life.  It is a wonderful experience.  Not all spirit allies are animals; however, there seems to be a special bond with the animals for the initial undertaking of discovery that is loving and natural.

I always bring back a power animal for my clients in their healing ceremony. More often than not, the animal that appeared had a special feeling to the client—one of connection.  They often discover a past connection such as having lived on a street named Wildcat Way or that the power animal was a favorite stuffed animal as a child, or that they had lived at the coast during their childhood and talked the sealions daily. I remember there was one power animal that I didn’t recognize when it appeared. It was a bird and I told my client, “This bird is here but I am not sure what it is.”  The bird flew right into my face and said I am a Night Hawk.  My client laughed and said that was one of her favorite birds. Years later this client asked me to perform her marriage ceremony.  The ceremony was outside in a beautiful meadow.  During the ceremony a group of night hawks started circling above us.  My client and I both laughed as the amazing divine connection that nature was vividly displaying for us both.

In the Christian faith, people often speak of guardian angels as beings that are available to provide special assistance in the time of need. In the blending of faiths that I practice, I too believe in guardian angels, but in shamanism there is the belief that we are born with a power animal that serves as an ally throughout our lives; although, we may not always be aware of this formidable supporter. As we grow into adulthood in the West, it is likely that we are not familiar with the concept of a power animal, but these beings are always available if we decide to seek them out and call on them for support.

Children, in their divine innocence, are assigned a power animal at birth and this spiritual helper intervenes to buffer the child from the notorious bumps and bruises that each child is so subject to. Children’s resilience and adaptability is enabled by these divine spirits that keep them safe until they mature. We often lose contact with these divine spiritual beings as we grow up and unfortunately put away “childish things.” Our loss of imagination and dismissal of “magic” as a force in our lives causes us to sever our connections to the spiritual world and to our power animal. Power animal loss affects us in many of the same ways as soul loss, as they are closely connected. In shamanic practice, the restoration of lost parts of the soul is aided by the retrieval of one’s power animal and this spiritual helper sustains us in difficult situations.

The signs of power animal loss and/or soul loss may include:

  • Chronic fatigue, depression, misfortune, faulty or failed relationships, emotional problems or suicidal tendencies;
  • The inability to overcome some emotional trauma from the past such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or distress in childhood;
  • Addictions to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or other debilitating dependencies;
  • Repetitive or major illnesses or a problem with recovery;
  • Shame, guilt, or a feeling of unworthiness;
  • A feeling of powerlessness.

In difficult situations, when we are in our greatest need, the absence of our power animal exposes us to greater danger and the opportunity to heal is lessened without this divine intervention. Fortunately, as we seek to recover from trauma, possibly by seeking out a soul retrieval from a shamanic practitioner, the retrieval of our power animal can help us to fully mend and this spiritual helper can remain with us to sustain our recovery. Our power animal does not cease to exist when he has left us because of our ceasing to believe in him; he has simply bided his time awaiting our decision to seek him out and bring him back to help us.

You may think of your power animal as having traveled from you (although it might be more accurate to understand that you have traveled far from him) or you might consider that he has been sleeping for many years. In either scenario, you have been exposed to debilitating and harmful conditions and have suffered the consequences of facing your suffering alone. If you have entered in a quest for personal enlightenment, healing, and reconnection to the universe, then you would be well served to retrieve your power animal and accept his willingness to aid and abet you in the restoration of your wellbeing, regaining your own personal power, and thriving in your spiritual development.

I would make one distinction in reference to power animals. If you engage with shamanic healing, you may be aware of the shaman calling on a diverse range of power animals to effect healing and to restore wellness in an individual. These power animals are allies of the shaman and assist the shaman both in healing sessions as well as everyday life. The power animals incorporated in shamanic practices often are assisting with tasks that you are involved with. These power animals can come and go without power loss to the individual. These are not the power animals to which I am referring when I speak of your retrieval of your personal power animal. As an example of this, when I was writing my first book Becoming Yourself, I asked for a power animal to come forth in the writing process.  A raccoon appeared.  I inquired from the raccoon what were his gifts that he could offer me during my writing.  He informed me that it was his dexterity with his hands.  He would help me with typing.

Your unique connection to the spiritual world is shaped by your individual divinity and your power animal is specific to your birth, life, and person. In your life you may not have a full awareness of your power animal because you have created a distance between him and you, but you possess the capacity to recover this important ally in your life and the ability to reconnect and draw on his strength. Your personal power animal is important because he is specific to you and, once retrieved, can be one of your strongest allies.   For me, the discovery of my birth power animal took years.  I had many allies by this time that did all sorts of tasks for me, especially in my career of being a shamanic practitioner.  I had a power animal for soul retrieval, my primary healing technique, and one for extractions that I performed regularly. The list is extensive, with various allies that I use for various reasons, but I could never get an answer to my question, “Who is my birth ally?”  I finally had an experience that undoubtedly revealed my birth power animal.  It was powerful, magical and extraordinary.  It changed my life.  I will write about this experience in the future.

The variety of power animals that I access provide different support in different circumstances. You might have one power animal that you call on when you are feeling fear in a frightening experience. A powerful tiger might cause you to feel safer because of the fearlessness of your ally. In another circumstance, you might seek out a power animal that you identify with as providing peace and comfort when you are in need of gentle solace and a relief from tension.

People often confuse power animals with totem animals. With totem animals there is a recognition of a particular animal that most characterizes a person’s own natures or their desired natures. I have a friend who is funny and playful in his everyday habits and he identifies readily with the coyote, which often reflects those same behaviors. An adventurous individual might find that his totem is an eagle that soars to great heights. An individual seeking confidence might discover that his totem is the brave lion. Again, totem and power animals are different.  Our power animal does not necessarily represent parts of our persona.  We do not invent our power animals; we discover them, or they discover us.  To find out their purpose in our lives it is best to ask the animal.  Many people will turn to books such as Animal Speaks by Ted Andrews or the Medicine Cards by Jamie Sands to find out why an animal came into their lives.  Turning to resources such as these can be helpful in understanding the basic qualities of the animal but your best source of information about its appearance as your “power animal” will always come from the animal itself.

There is no better or lesser power animal. The great elephant is not superior to the small prairie dog or even the earthworm. In the great design of the universe, each living being plays a significant role in existence and is equally valued. There is no hierarchy in the spirit world, which is where these allies exist. The earthworm, the honeybee, and the songbird are essential and make invaluable contributions to the continuing functioning of the universe. As you seek out the restoration of your power animal, stay open to all possibilities and you might be surprised by your discovery of this divine ally.

I have known of animals actually appearing in Ordinary Reality when its human was in danger. A client of mine was at home late at night and a burglar tried to enter her house. She instantly asked her panther to protect her. Hiding in her hall closet, she heard the loud, aggressive growl of a huge cat emanating outside the house by the door where the burglar was trying to get in. In moments, she heard the burglar scream and run off. She called the police. After their arrival and their usual questions, she went outside with them. One of the policemen pointed out that her very dusty and dirty car had huge paw prints that started from the hood and went to the trunk. Stunned, she realized that her panther spirit guide had chased the burglar away and left its tracks on her car to prove it! Power animals are the greatest protectors in the spirit world.

We have much to learn about the spiritual realm. The journey provides a format for gathering information concerning your own intention and also for listening openly for what the spirits may want to express to you. I have found the shamanic journey to be one of the most profound ways of connecting with the spirits and one of the richest sources of understanding and awareness.

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