It is such a gift, when we get the opportunity to hear from shamanic practitioners who can share their depth of life experience and fresh observations of this profound work that we are all called to. Shamanism moves through each one uniquely... so there are always gems when we get to spend time with each other.
In this video, we welcome you to an inspiring conversation between Barbara, who is on our teaching staff at Shaman College and Evelyn, who is currently in the certified practitioner training.
In this heart-filled interview we are given multiple insights about shamanic practice, healing, spirit helpers, timing, and more as they discuss our 7-week course, Your Spirit Allies.
Please note that registration is open for our April 1, 2020 course.
Hello and welcome to our shaman college blog. My name is Kimba, and today I actually step aside as I am introducing you to a conversation, an exchange between two beautiful practitioners. We have Barbara Clark, who is a teacher and mentor at Shaman College. And we have Evelyn Pierce, who is going through the Certified Shamanic Practitioner training with us.
They are discussing our course called, Your Spirit Allies. And in discussing the course, so many gems come up about shamanism in your life. And especially as Evelyn shares about shamanism within her life. So without giving too much away, I really feel that we have a beautiful opportunity to hear from people who are out there doing this work. And this, I hope, encourages so many of you on your path. Whether you're just starting to embark into shamanism and shamanic studies and healing. If you are well experienced and this is already a part of deep part of your life, you know for sure how beautiful it is to hear from each other! Okay, so thank you again and I'll see you soon.
Hello, Evelyn, welcome and thank you for agreeing to speak with me today about Your Spirit Allies Course.
What initially drew you to a signing up? Do you remember?
I remember when I got the email, I thought, why would I want to do this? Because I was already participating in Shaman College, I had just finished maybe a couple of months before the Shamanism 101 course. And I had begun the practitioners program and was, I think, at that point around, lesson six or seven. If I recall and I thought, why would I want to do more? How is this different? And then when I really read the materials, clearly, I thought, you know what? I'm gonna do what my mentor tells me to do, which is, you know, get some feedback from my spirit teachers, of course!
And so all of the support I have in the spirit world said, "Why wouldn't you want to?" Well, why wouldn't I want to do it? You know, I mean, can you get too much of this?
I'm really attempting in my life at this point because I'm still in a transition in all of this. I'm attempting to leave an old way that I've learned to live and live in a different way. And I need all the support I can get to find out how to do that.
So that that I can be a support to others, so I could help other people become more aware, more in touch more of what they need to be. And so that was my thought processes around taking it.
And then when I signed up, I just felt so great about signing up. And then after the first session, I never doubted that this would be great course. No doubts now. Yeah, So that was my process.
That's really wonderful to hear because I love that you know, you were in two minds. You were being pulled towards that. Your interest was piqued, but at the same time you're thinking, "Well, you know how can I have more?"
But it's about the time management, because obviously you're a student with Shaman College at the same time and in addition to the practitioner training, you signed up for more.
And how did you manage that? Because you work full time as well. How on Earth did you come to fit this into your life?
Well, it wasn't that I found extra time in the day, and it wasn't that anything magic happened with making time. It was just simply "Okay, right now, I'm gonna work on this part of what I need to do right now. I'm going to do this."
It was simply, you know, giving myself a little time to step in a little at a time along the way. That meant that some weeks I was behind in my practitioner course while I was immersing myself in the Spirit Allies course.
It had also meant that some weeks I didn't even read what other people had logged about the Spirit Allies course until we already had our face to face meeting. But I still got the benefit of it. So I as an adult, I made choices. I just took my shots where I could and my deep dives where I could and I participated the best I could and you know, what? I'm still getting things out of it.
It was only about two weeks ago, I went back to some of the notes I made, and I thought, "How did I forget how profound that was?" And it almost all happened over again for me. And that was around some bodywork that we had done.
And that's one of the hardest things for me, too. I think- stay in my body and connected to the spirit of my body. I didn't before this really think of my body is having a spirit. You know, I listen to my body. "Oh, my stomach hurts . Where are you hurting", you know. But now I know that for me, it was a very superficial way. to have a connection with my body. It wasn't really communing with my body.
And that word 'commune' is one that comes up for me a lot about this course. Because I learned that conceptually, I had already experienced a number of things and they were at a deep, experiential level. So really taking that concept and taking it from an intellectual place into a spiritual way of living for me, but communing with it, living with it day to day. Really being in the same space with whatever commune can mean, it was something so much deeper. And so if I'm living in that way, I'm not asking myself as often, "Do I have time for this?"
Oh, yeah, yes. You see, because it all is "all the time", if that makes sense?
And so I I've been greatly relieved from having to march to the clock even though I have a job where things have to start at this time and end at this time. My process is actually very different.
So in answering your question, I'm also talking about a take away from the course. For me, it was of movement into a very different way of living. I think I used this language with my mentor, which was a "game changer", and that's the way I see it was.
Yeah. I mean, it's coming across really clearly when you're talking about it. How just profoundly different the perspective that you have in your life. Actually being and actually living in it.
And what you're saying about communing and communion, I mean that just is so beautiful. And it's so profound because that is, it is more than a dialogue. It's more than just tuning in. It's so much more than that. And you know, to me, that's what the Spirit Allies course really is. It is about bringing your attention to the community, available to you and also your part in it.
But it's a continual exploration of what that means. You know, you're talking about your body as a spirit and the change in perception you have towards your body. That stuff, I mean "game changing" , absolutely!
And anyway, I know that a lot of people will find the- your body as a spirit ally - part of the course just mind blowing because they hadn't thought of their body in those terms.
And it's the change that happens when you do thank the body as as an ally, as something that is not against you, you know? And that is if people just only had that one thing from the course.
And I am agreeing with what you're saying about continuing lessons as well as really wonderful because, you know, it's not just about doing the work at the time. It continues to unfold. Yeah, that's amazing.
Yes, one of the things that I think has continued to unfold for me is an understanding (and I hope I can articulate this) that what I thought of as 'inside' and 'outside' are just, you know, very small constructions in the world.
And I really, thought that, "oh, nature was outside and so out there", because a lot of the work that we do with allies are allies that live in open wide spaces, you know, trees, plants, of course, animals.
But it was artificial of me to think of the outside as being a place where I would go and do some of this. Even though that's true, that's what physically may have happened. But the outside and the inside are the same. This is an example of how my thinking has changed a great deal.
And maybe this is something that so many people watching this will have already experienced. And they'll say, "I'm glad you caught up Evelyn!" But this morning I was seeing the birds and I was watching them outside the kitchen window. But I thought, you know what? They probably know better than I that I'm just standing behind glass, that we're all in this together.
And it's the sense of of really being back in a relation, an ongoing relationship with all of these allies that, in a way can't be broken. I can walk away from it. I can ignore it. I can turn it off in my my brain. But it's really there, you know. And so I prefer now to be awake to it.
I have to say, sometimes it's not always the easier path to be awake to it with everything that's happening in the world that's so obvious. I find now at I feel I'm more sensitive to what I think of as sicker plant areas, plant areas that aren't doing as well in their little spaces. And it's because I think of the things happening globally that we're all being affected by but may not be plugged into. I don't want to get into a 'Debbie Downer'. But I'm just saying one of the outcomes of being open to my allies is open to everything. And it's good and Idon't regret any of that.
Oh, it's an interesting thing, because when I wondered what my reasons for pursuing shamanism or one my expectations when it began, was that it would help me become less sensitive. Energetically, sensitive. I thought my energy sensitivity was making my life very difficult. I hoped that when I became a shaman, I would feel empowered in the way like "wearing armor or nothing could get to me". And of course, you know, nothing like that happened.
What happened is I became far more energetic and sensitive. And what developed was management strategies. And also just an authentic connection - that it changed how I am, you know, how I live my life.
Every week on the media you know you are more sense to the earth is going through these enormous changes, and there's a huge amount of suffering out there. I think even people who are not particularly spiritual are aware of it. There is such a thing as of environmental depression. That's actually a thing - environmental anxiety. I know this because I was speaking to somebody in the local council offices and she said she'd googled it because she she feels it. And she was so validated that it's a thing exists.
I think just even, you know, what you say about the the connection being unbroken, you being a part of everything, whether you choose to acknowledge it or explore it. To me, that is immense because it's absolutely true even for the people who are not particular spiritual. They're still connected, but they're still gonna feel the pain of the suffering.
And what exploring shamanism does for you is you also get to experience the joy.
So what you're talking about - you experienced all this joy even if you experience the pain. But you know you know the same thing if you turn it round. You experience the pain and you're experiencing the joy. The two we could say go together. The material world is suffering, you know, and it's vulnerability, and we share this in the body, when we die, it's not a bad thing. It's not a bad thing at all. I think
I don't feel that it's a bad thing. I I think it's hard for some people to hear, you know. And obviously some people are defended against it all and even force and find stronger ways. But I guess the word 'ally' is so important and and this is, because even in light of what's happening, allies bring us hope. Allies bring us courage, Allies share with us knowledge of ways that we can live. And I think authenticity and whatever has been wrong or hard, or negative to Mother Earth. Is about living in truth. You know, it's living not in truth that I think, is what's harmful.
And so the allies, I believe, bring me truth and truth isn't always the easiest thing to see and do I mean truth with a capital T . Maybe you know they're many of course of them (truths). And I don't want to, you know, talk about relativism and all of that.
You know your truth. My truth. I'm just saying some things are are very much real. Our allies are helping me see that reality. And helping me understand it and live it and even do things in my own small ways about it. So it's been tremendous to be a part of this at this particular time in 2020.
You know, in so many ways, I think sometimes - wow, I wish I could have done this when I was, you know, in 1980 you know, when I was much younger Wow but that would never been well, yeah, maybe it would have been but it didn't happen. Past is the past. It's now, and I need it now. I needed it then, but I need it now. And so I'm really, really grateful to my allies.
I feel that one of the things that's been most healing for me, and it's not a fantasy on my part, it really feels tangible in so many different ways... I feel I have returned. I don't want to say reconnected, but returned to a self that I was as a child. Now I can't totally be who I was when I was two and three and four and five and six. Those years, the precious years before you learn, Um, I think the awful experiences of fear and longing.
But I was able to return in some ways to that pre-fear and longing place. And can I stay there all the time? No, because I'm not two and three and four and five and six anymore. But I was able to return and know that that is such a powerful place to be in. And I hope I can get there even more frequently. And it's all every day. It's a part of my day, it's through my allies.
I'm able to access that, and I want to be clear. It's not a place of innocence. It's a place of knowing the connection. I never once as a child questioned- is the flower not talking to me? You know the flower, it had something to say to me, and it wasn't the words I might have been using when I kissed the flower and said, You beautiful flower, you. I love you, you know. But the flower was there to be loved and was happy to be loved and was showing It's beautiful self. And if that's not an ally, what is?
No, I So I feel like it's helped me on some important return trip on this planet that I'm supposed to take, to have these allies and be able to get there. That makes sense.
It does. Yeah, well, that just sounds so beautiful and to get the sense of return for you - feels like there's a sense of something of completion and what you were saying about doing the course, you know, at this time, it just it feels really necessary that this makes sense to you.
Yes, it does. I Ithink you know, when you look at the components of this course, how Kimba has arranged this so there's a progression. So that you are building from one week to the next to the next in a way that I mean, you could start if for some reason you sign up for it and you start really in week four, you can go back and get the lessons, that doesn't matter.
But if you are able to do it in this progressive way, it's a building process and you kind of pick up this momentum as you go. And I felt that in our weekly meetings, too. When we met each week to discuss our experiences, it seemed like everybody you know, was a part of ah movement. And then we've got so this energy going and it just keeps going, but it builds. And so it was it was wonderful for that to see this laid out the way it was.
Yeah, when when we were asked for feedback, I couldn't say I would do this differently, you know? And I thought about it, too. I thought, Is there a way to make this better? But it wasn't for me.
I love that because yeah, it was. So it's really cleverly done that you don't have to have any previous shamanic experience. You can start with the course, and it just takes you gently forward.
It's just It's so beautifully done. You don't feel at any point you're out of your depth. You don't feel that it's too much and that I don't feel it's too little, it is just so rich.
And what I loved about it was everybody could get, you know, really deep and a beautiful healing experience to that just from the word go. So it was great. And I'd like to ask you, What was your experience of the online community?
You mentioned that somehow you're able to catch up and not always able to keep up with everybody, like on the comments. But you were present at the meetings. How did you find the community aspect?
Well, I think the most important thing for me I did come to all of this, you know, Shamanism - as what I think of as a real green person. I would say green in terms of all the language and the history of shamanism and I really thought shamans were only indigenous people. And there was one in a tribe and I didn't even know if any were living anymore. I mean, I was truly uneducated. Excuse me about it all.
And so, um you know, even before talking today, I have this little moment where I think I'm not gonna know what I need to say, but there's never any judgment.
And so that's what happened. And in the allies course? Well, nobody was sitting there. I didn't feel any way judging me. You know, you're right. You're wrong. Your experiences are your, no one is better. Yours wasn't as good. So there's no pecking order. No, comparison to, you know, compete. I think we were comparing because the comparison was how does this compliment, you know? Well, this is this happened like this and this happened like this for me. And so it was to compliment and bring together all of the experiences. So it was a wonderful sharing experience.
I'm not an online person. I'm just not and so I'm not a social media person. I do have sometimes in my work life meetings on Zoom, you know, because it's the way the world works now. But it's not my thing. I'm 20th century, you know. I'd be fine, probably with a typewriter. I use a fountain pen so it's not. It's not something that I do often, and I felt very comfortable.
And so my experience was comfort not being judged, not feeling like I was in competition when I did read the comments, you know, like I said sometimes after the meeting, that's when I would read what everybody's been talking about. I noticed that some people were having, um what I would call very intense experiences that maybe they felt more comfortable writing about than sharing face to face. That was my assumption. That's just simply assumption, because those same people weren't in the meetings. But other people were responding to them and the writing. Some people were doing both. They were commenting and attending the live meetings. I was attending the live meetings and I think there was one other person like me was only attending live meetings and so I was happy to have the options, and I was really excited to see what was happening for everybody. And I was happy that I could be an eavesdropper to see what was happening for people.
Yeah, I loved seeing the difference of strands of communication because people were in other time zones. So the online meeting time maybe wasn't right for them.
What you say about and people maybe writing about things that maybe more personal and more difficult to talk about. Yeah, that's that and seems pretty much what I got as well, because there was some really intense, deeply personal things that were written about beautifully, and but they might be much harder to share in a group situation, even in a group situation as supportive of this one that we had, and so it gives people options to suit your yourself, then what you're comfortable with, because that's the important thing. You feel that you're comfortable.
I don't know if it's kosher to even bring this up, but I mean for the small amount it costs what you get. I mean, it's like, you know how many meals out, you know, I don't know. I don't even know exactly the cost this time. But, you know, three or four meals out, you know, with friends. And you've got the seven week of immersion and this healing experience. Just Yeah. I mean I'm really working on some of my friends, you know who just are now, looking to see. Can I do this? Who are very, very interested. I say it. Okay. Yeah, great, you could afford this!
Do you know isn't this like the best recommendation? You're saying to your friends, you know, do this and it doesn't cost that much. And it's something that everybody can do because you don't need a lot of experience. You don't need to meditate on the mountain, and you will pick up the guided meditations. You will pick up your skills on the way. Anyone could do this on... and It is reassuringly cheap.
It is a testament too. You know, your ethics, both of you. And all of the people who make Shaman College work. And this is not costing tens of thousands of dollars for people to get something because of you know, it is the work that you want to do in the world. Of course, you wouldn't do that.
I think it really comes across what you got out of the course and just your enthusiasm about it. Yeah, what it's done for you as well. It has been amazing to hear about it in detail, because I was obviously aware of some of how it had affected you.
But to hear how it's a continual process and that is the thing that's just really lovely, I am really chuffed to hear that especially since you have your practitioner course alongside this as well.
Thank you very much for agreeing to speak with me and speaking just so honestly about it. It's been great.
Thank you both so much for everything.
Thank you Evelyn, and thank you for saying that. And thank you for being part of it because we are a community and it's the students who make it happen, you know,
That's what we're all here for. We were students ourselves, of shamanism. It's a wonderful thing to be able to do this, to be spreading good amongst he world you know, in a lot of different places.
For all of our latest articles, videos, offers and online gatherings, please sign up for our email newsletter so that you can join us in honouring this sacred life.
We never share your details with anyone, and you always have the option to update your details or unsubscribe.