Shamanic Transformations

True Stories of the Moment of Awakening

Edited by Itzhak Beery
Shamanic Transformations
True Stories of the Moment of Awakening

Edited by Itzhak Beery

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Pages : 320

Book Size : 6 x 9

ISBN-13 : 9781620554753

Imprint : Destiny Books

Release Date : August 23, 2015

Format : Paperback Book

In this book of remarkable stories, we learn firsthand about the “aha” moments of contemporary teachers with unique shamanic paths--teachers, mothers, social workers, academics, healers, and even rappers--who have all experienced a moment in time in which they were awakened and the shamanic path showed itself to them.
Description

About Shamanic Transformations

Inspiring accounts from renowned contemporary working shamans about their first moments of spiritual epiphany

• With contributions by Sandra Ingerman, Hank Wesselman, John Perkins, Alberto Villoldo, Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Tom Cowan, Lynn Andrews, Linda Star Wolf, and others

• Also includes shamanic awakening experiences from those with unique shamanic paths--teachers, mothers, social workers, academics, and even rappers

How does one receive the “call” to enter onto the shamanic path? What causes some people to change their safe, uneventful, and ordinary lives and start on a spiritual search? For many it is a singular instant, a flash when the mystical reveals itself and the person is drawn into the world of shamanic power. For a few, it is a more gradual awakening, filled with numinous events that build upon one another until the calling of the shamanic path can no longer be ignored.

In this book of remarkable stories, we learn firsthand about the many different forms of the “aha” moment of shamanic awakening, whether they arise from ceremony, near-death experiences, dream messages, or entheogenic substances. We travel alongside Sandra Ingerman, Hank Wesselman, John Perkins, Alberto Villoldo, Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Tom Cowan, Lynn Andrews, Linda Star Wolf, and other well-known shamanic practitioners as they begin their transformations into the prominent shamans we know them as. We experience the real-life shamanic epiphanies of those with unique shamanic paths--teachers, mothers, social workers, academics, healers, and even rappers who have all experienced a moment in time in which they were awakened and the shamanic path showed itself to them.

As each of these unique and beautiful stories of unexpected realization, insight, and inspiration unfolds, we see how these single moments--usually entirely unexpected--are able to transform the individual’s life, clearing their vision and allowing a new consciousness to emerge. As a whole, this collection paints a breathtaking portrait of the intricacies of the shamanic path and the paradigm shift of which we all are part.
Excerpt

Book Excerpt

19
Baby, I Was Born This Way
Linda Star Wolf


I was born into a loving family and grew up with the good, hardworking, salt-of-the-earth Christian folks of rural western Kentucky. Although there was fundamentalism, there was also an innate closeness to the land and family. I spent most of my childhood outside with my grandmother Mammy Jones. Mammy recognized my overly sensitive nature and psychic gifts and treated my “strangeness” as something to be proud of. She taught me that it was part of God’s gift to me. She protected and cultivated my gifts, helping me see, hear, and interpret the world around me with shamanic eyes. She showed me the connection between the spiritual world and the natural world. Mammy Jones infused me with her own special brand of faith that even though I was different, I was special.

Mammy also taught me to connect with the dream world. In the mornings as we ate breakfast, she always asked me about my dreams. We talked about what I saw and what it might mean. A few months before my twelfth birthday, I saw Mammy’s death in a dream. It terrified me and I didn’t want to tell anyone. I was afraid that if I spoke it, it would come true. The following morning at breakfast Mammy sensed that I was upset about something and eventually got me to talk. She assured me everything would be okay. A few weeks later she became quite ill and her health declined rapidly. She eventually agreed to go to the hospital, but she never came home. My beloved Mammy was gone.

The loss of my grandmother was not only a shock but it became a huge psychic wound for many years. I secretly blamed myself for her death, believing that somehow seeing the vision of her death in my dreams had made me responsible. The pain of losing her was insurmountable. Although I knew my parents loved me, Mammy Jones was the person in my life who really saw me for who I was.

As a teenager I couldn’t deal with my gifts without Mammy to guide me, so I wandered in the underworld for a long time. In my confusion, hurt, and grief, I ignored my sensitive nature as much as possible. I developed several dysfunctional patterns for dealing with life, including addiction to substances, which resulted in a near-death experience before I was twenty years old.

The addictions turned out to be blessings in disguise, eventually leading me to a path of soulful sobriety in my late twenties. I found that I was a natural wounded healer. I became an addictions counselor, but I sensed there was something more than what was being offered in mental health and treatment centers for these folks who were a lot like me. I understood that many of them were using substances to block out emotional pain and repress sensitive spiritual souls. I was determined to discover what that “something more” was--not only for me but for others seeking lives that were addiction free, yet not restricted to the status quo.

This yearning led me to a path of radical transformation, reclaiming my lost soul parts through the healing power of breathwork and eventually entering the shamanic path. Through breathwork journeying I began to feel a call toward Native American, Mayan, and other indigenous teachings. A Cherokee friend and teacher encouraged me to listen to a guided journey every day with the intention of finding a grandmother spirit who could help me heal my grandmother wound and give me the guidance to truly find myself and walk my path. During one of those journeys, a Native American grandmother I had never seen before came into my vision. She held my head in her lap and stroked my hair, calling me Gentle Star Wolf. I saw her face as clear as day, and she felt incredibly real. When I came out of the journey, I was not sure if she was someone real whom I needed to find in this realm or if she was a
guide from the spirit realm.

It was to be several years until I tracked her down in the physical world--or perhaps it was she who tracked me down. One day I traveled to the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in upstate New York. As I got out of my car, Seneca Wolf Clan Grandmother Twylah Nitsch opened the door to her back porch and walked toward me. Taking hold of my shoulders, she looked penetratingly into my eyes and said the words that would change my world forever: “What took you so long?”

I looked back at her in shock. Even though there were others close by they ceased to exist in that moment. There was only the two of us, suspended beyond time and space. The whole world went into slow motion and eventually I found my voice, saying, “It would have helped if you had told me your name and where you lived.”

“You were supposed to use your Wolf nose, eyes, and ears to sniff me out,” she said with a wry smile. Then she added, “I gave you a name. What is it?”

I answered shyly in a questioning manner, “Star Wolf?”

Her face lit up and she said very firmly, “Yes. That’s right. Now come on inside and let’s get to it.”

There have been many shamanic moments of death, rebirth, and wisdom given to me during this life journey of almost sixty years. But my epic, “no turning back” moment came that day on Grandmother Twylah’s porch when time stood still and I looked into the eyes of the woman whom I had seen in my vision. Up until that point I waivered back and forth between faith and doubt about my mystical experiences and psychic gifts. When I met Twylah, the worlds collided and all doubt fell away. From that moment forth, I was able to embrace my shamanic spirit and calling.
Table of Contents

Table of content

Acknowledgments

Introduction: The Relevance of Shamanism
    
  By Itzhak Beery

1    The Three Stages of Spiritual Unfolding
      By Hank Wesselman

2    Shamanic Impact: From Child to Crone
      By Dana Jefferson

3    Urban Shamanism: Treating Depression Using Shamanic Healing Practices
      By Ellie Zarrabian

4    Shamanic Ecstasy
      By Alberto Villoldo

5
   The Call to Service
      By Sandra Ingerman

6    Raptor Medicine: A Portal to Shamanic Beginnings
      By Thomas J. Mock

7    A Mountain’s Light
      By Ginny Anderson

8    Journey about Love Doctoring
      By Katharine Weiser

9    A Most Extraordinary Vision on the Power Path
      By José Luis Stevens

10    Into the Red Path
        By Julián Katari

11    Mount Everest
        By Jan Engels-Smith

12    Rappers Don’t Go on Meditation Retreats
        By Bezi

13    Moon Struck
        By Mama Donna Henes

14    A Lifetime of Awakenings
        By Tom Cowan

15    Encounters with an Ally Plant
        By Carol L. Parker

16    Call of the Ancestors
        By Phillip Scott

17    There’s Been a Whole Lot of Grace
        By Reverend C. Ayla Joyce

18    An Experiential Journey toward Trust
        By Julie Dollman

19    Of Mountains and Men
        By Rebekah Brandon

20    Shamanism in the Amazon
        By Deborah Goleman Wolf

21    A Visit from Apó Lákay
        By Lane Wilcken

22    The Non-Dualism of Shamanic Psychotherapy
        By Joseph E. Doherty

23    Baby, I Was Born This Way
        By Linda Star Wolf

24    Shapeshifting: From Dying to Apprenticing
        By John Perkins

25    A Doorway Called Africa
        By Misha Hoo

26    Sacred Journey of a Lifetime
        By Holly Gray Schuck

27    A Pathway to Transformation
        By Raymond Nobriga

28    Shamanic Awakening      
        By Nadiya Nottingham

29    A Luminous Re-Membering
        By don Oscar Manuel Miro-Quesada

30    My Shamanic Initiation: The Fire of Transformation
        By Mona Rain (Smith)

31    The Power Animal Experience
        By Debra Fentress

32    Pandora’s Box
        By Wendy Whiteman

33    Sacred Place
        By Peter Brown

34    The Awakening of a Medicine Woman      
        By Katherine Gomez

35    Warrior Wisdom
        By Colleen Deatsman

36    Spirit Chases Me
        By Randall Sexton

37    Shamanic Impact
        By Niramisa Weiss

38    Pine Spirit Medicine
        By Rita Baruss

39    Communal Song and the Art of Healing
        By Elizabeth Cosmos

40    Temples of the Earth
        By Zacciah Blackburn

41    Direct Dialogue with Mother Earth
        By Michele Gieselman

42    The Calling
        By Michael Drake

43    The Gifts of Shamanism
        By Pamela Albee

44    The Story of a Bear
        By Leon Sproule

45    The Soul Union Community
        By Johanna Lor Rain Parry

46    The Slow Build of a Shamanic Path
        By Lewis Mehl-Madrona

47    Northern Lights
        By Lynn Andrews

Epilogue: Back Where It All Began
       
By Itzhak Beery
Author Bio
Itzhak Beery is an internationally recognized shamanic healer and teacher. He was initiated into the Circle of 24 Yachaks by his Quechua teacher in Ecuador and by Amazonian Kanamari Pagè. He has also trained intensively with other elders from South and North America. The founder of ShamanPortal.org and cofounder of the New York Shamanic Circle, he is on the faculty of New York Open Center. The author of The Gift of Shamanism, he lives in New York.
Reviews

Reviews

Book Praise

Book Praise

“This is a great book to have on your bedside table or to read while waiting somewhere or just stealing a few moments on a lunch break. Either as a gateway into your own personal journey or simply for a good overview of modern day shamanism, Shamanic Transformations is a great read. Highly recommended.”
Facing North, Larissa Carlson Viana, December 2015

“A wonderfully inspirational ‘feel good’ book containing self-told tales from many well-known shamanic practitioners on their moment of shamanic awakening… Recommended purely as an enjoyable read for anyone interested in or practicing shamanism.”
Indie Shaman, January 2016


"In Shamanic Transformations: True Stories of the Moment of Awakening,  Itzhak Beery, a shamanic healer, teacher and founder of ShamanPortal.org, has gathered almost 50 accounts of “moments of awakening,” called initiation in shamanic practice. Indeed, several times in my head I’ve called this book Shamanic Initiations. Yet that would be a misnomer, because initiation and transformation are two distinct experiences; the contributors not only recount their initiation, but how it took root and changed them irrevocably"
Spiral Nature, Susan Starr, March 2016
Back Cover

Back Cover Copy

SHAMANISM

How does one receive the “call” to enter onto the shamanic path? What causes some people to change their safe, uneventful, and ordinary lives and start on a spiritual search? For many it is a singular instant, a flash when the mystical reveals itself and the person is drawn into the world of shamanic power. For a few, it is a more gradual awakening, filled with numinous events that build upon one another until the calling of the shamanic path can no longer be ignored.

In this book of remarkable stories, we learn firsthand about the many different forms of the “aha” moment of shamanic awakening, whether they arise from ceremony, near-death experiences, dream messages, or entheogenic substances. We travel alongside Sandra Ingerman, Hank Wesselman, John Perkins, Alberto Villoldo, Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Tom Cowan, Lynn Andrews, Linda Star Wolf, and other well known shamanic practitioners as they begin their transformations into the prominent shamans we know them as. We experience the real-life shamanic epiphanies of those with unique shamanic paths--teachers, mothers, social workers, academics, healers, and even rappers who have all experienced a moment in time in which they were awakened and the shamanic path showed itself to them.

As each of these unique and beautiful stories of unexpected realization, insight, and inspiration unfolds, we see how these single moments--usually entirely unexpected--are able to transform lives, clearing vision and allowing a new consciousness to emerge. As a whole, this collection paints a breathtaking portrait of the intricacies of the shamanic path and the paradigm shift of which we all are part.

ITZHAK BEERY is an internationally recognized shamanic healer and teacher. He was initiated into the Circle of 24 Yachaks by his Quechua teacher in Ecuador and by Amazonian Kanamari Pagè. He has also trained intensively with other elders from South and North America. The founder of Shaman Portal.org and cofounder of the New York Shamanic Circle, he is on the faculty of the New York Open Center. The author of The Gift of Shamanism, he lives in New York.

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