February Illusion


Every illusion begins with a journey into unknown imagined territory. The following tale is one of limitation and self-doubt. Am I worthy? Will I be enough? Will I remember?

So, one day I am having a shamanic journey which becomes a powerful lesson to pass along and is pertinent to this particular time. Standing on the edge of my river without thinking I leap into the canoe, My male ancestor reaches out guiding me safely into the canoe, my female ancestor on the left is shaking her head. Hawk, as the fuide, is in the bow flapping his wings and in the stern behind me are the glimmering crystals, my protection.

I set the intention to ask for an animal for 2017. Way up overhead Eagle flies but I think, “He is not for me.” A feather drops from the sky so I reconsider. Eagle sweeps down and grabs the feather. “If you do not wish it I can take it away,” he cries. Embarrassed, I bow my head and say, “I will gratefully accept your gift, Wise One.” A ferocious shriek erupts from him. I am chastised.

Shiela Baker is a practicing and teaching shaman, a psychotherapist, and a PTSD specialist.

I feel very small and insignificant, so small that I am able to ride on the Eagle’s back. We soar up and up, leaving the earth, as it grows tiny behind us. He trembles; I fear that I will fall off. I can feel him laughing at me and I feel silly. We swoop and dive. It is all very magical. Then abruptly he stops and we hang in the air. Breathlessly I wait and wait and wait. “Remember who you are,” he whispers and I notice that I am in my canoe at the edge of my river. “Thank you,” I shout as I see him far up in the sky.

There are several metaphors in this short saga that serve us well to observe. The eagle, a grand and noble bird, a symbol of the US, drops a single feather. In Native American culture the gift of an eagle feather is powerful medicine and for the rest of us to possess one is illegal.

Eagle medicine is inspirational. Many cultures have myths and legends surrounding the eagle. Eagle is a symbol of freedom, spiritual power and illumination. These birds are able to soar and can see from great heights. Their energy is healing and they are predators who keep the world in balance. Known to hover before striking their prey, they use their powerful wings to glide slowly and silently so as to not be heard. They have tremendous control as well as great vision.

I thought that Eagle is not for me, I was too small and unworthy but Eagle did not indulge my negative fantasy. He was ready to move on if I was not willing to accept his gifts. Swiftly he retakes what he has given and I am left with nothing. Some of us may feel at this time of this year as if the winter will linger, the sun will never return and the chill of the season politically and environmentally will become even more cold. We will freeze exactly as we are. In the dark, frozen. Stuck waiting.

There is no time to waste on self-indulgent behavior for it is appropriate that each of us step into our power and remember who we are and why we are now on the planet. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience, soaring and diving.

But becoming small, humble and fearless all at the same time we can climb upon the eagle’s back. We can rise above the fray away from the tiny earth, able to see a bigger picture. Fear arises and laughter is the response to our situation. As life becomes more uncertain it’s useful to not take things so seriously. Humankind and the earth have been compatible for some time and Mother Earth will see many more species come and go. We are just travellers here. Be brave and be bold! Swoop and dive, spread your wings, it’s all very magical.

Be patient, change is rarely abrupt even if it feels so. There is always something going on behind the scenes that puts the whole evolution into motion. So be willing to breathe and wait, wait and breathe. Remember who you are. The word re-member means to reattach. Re meaning to do again and member as in an arm, leg or idea, something that you are attached to. Remembering brings us back home again, back to where we begin our journey but not the same as when we departed. Changed, we can be the change. We can rise above, feel the fear and do it anyway.

Give thanks. Find five things to love about your body, five things you love about your work and five things you love about your future. Gratitude is the best attitude. Are you ready for the ride? Aho


About Author

Shiela Baker, a practicing and teaching shaman, is a therapist, nurse, PTSD specialist and holds a Masters’ Degree in Dance Movement Therapy. She shares her knowledge in three books. Look for her recent book, Journeys of Transformation, coming this autumn. Shiela has been teaching shamanism since 1997. She uses many tools to help the soul’s evolution and provide relief from trauma including shamanic tarot, the akashic records, soul retrieval with after-care, yoga, shamanic counseling, and home and business blessings. Please visit www.shielabaker.com, or call 206-904-9404

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