Our Sacred Forest

Our Sacred Forest

“Be like this tree. Each seed you plant in a healing, in a class, in the simple actions of your life, is a gift that will grow into another fabulous tree. And that tree will share its seeds as well. This is how the Sacred Forest will grow.” Your Free Gift, Sacred Roots: Journey to your Ancestral Tree.

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Shamanic Soul Gardening

Shamanic Soul Gardening

Grandmother Sunflower, my wise teacher, said that it was time for me to learn to life garden. The basic idea is to work with your spirits to design a garden in non ordinary reality that is the mirror of your life. It is not representational. It is not symbolic. It IS your life, reflected in the Spirit world. You can create your garden by living, and you can create your life by journeying and gardening. Really.

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What to expect in Shamanic Healing

Carla Meeske
Carla Meeske

These Shamanic Animal Healing Clinic cases remind me again of what shamanic healing really is - engaging the Compassionate Spirits to bring healing and wisdom to those seeking help. When we ask, "Did this healing work?" Our first thought is to judge the healing against our specific request. I suggest we see the bigger picture. When you receive a quality shamanic healing you can expect your healer to hold a clear and focused intention for the outcome you seek: to engage very powerful Spirits, to stand witness to the Spirit's work diagnosing the spiritual aspects of the issues, removing intrusions and blockages, infusing the client with Spiritual guidance and Power, restoring soul, light and love. However, just because we set the strongest intention and do the work with incredible focus, we may not get the result we requested. We have asked wise and compassionate Spirits to intervene on behalf of the client, and they know what is really needed. Their idea of the best outcome  may not be exactly what we were envisioning.

A good shamanic healer sets a very clear intention, and calls in specific Spirits to help. We may even BEG for that outcome and we should, because to get a miracle, you have to set your teeth with determination!  The Spirits respect that. They too have a singular determination to help us through the trials and suffering of life. Sometimes a shamanic healer will simply set the intention for "the highest good" and just channels energy. But usually the session has a very clear intention, and we work hard with the Spirits to achieve it.  And then, when the session is finished and we have closed the circle, we let go of that outcome. We trust that Spirits know what is really needed, and that they will stay with that client long after the session has ended to help bring it about. Sometimes we DO get the miracle and WOW is that exciting!

Denise shared this testimonial with me after her husband's healing session at my home. His mouth had suspicious sores, which the doctor said were cancerous. It was just a matter of the biopsy to prove it. The Spirits were very strong and clear. It was a joy to do this session. (See more testimonials )

When I asked him how it felt he stated “as soon as I walked out of Carla’s house I just knew the cancer was gone, so I never thought about it again”....I wanted to give you an update to celebrate!  My husband went to the specialist and wouldn’t you know …….. they can’t find anything in his mouth! The same doctor who carried on about all the cancer treatments [because he saw evidence of mouth cancer] was now just speechless…..The puss and sores in his mouth started clearing up right after the session with you… and by the third day they were completely gone!  THANK YOU CARLA FOR SHARING YOUR AMAZING GIFT!

What a thrill is was to get this note! But it isn't always this clear and clean. Sometimes the healing outcome is not as obvious. Maybe the healing was really to restore soul and release old encumbrances. And even through the client may not get the outcome they were seeking, they become empowered and can start to fix themselves! or maybe the outcome is to come to peace with the reality of our frail physical forms, or our lost relationships, or our animals departure, or whatever. The Spirits are very good at guiding us to our serenity.

So if the Healer should not be judged by the outcome, then what SHOULD you use to judge a healer's quality (and you should indeed do this).  Their preparation. Their training and their clarity with describing the Spirits and the work. Your intuition telling you that the Healer is not laying a personal trip on you, or showering you with their personal knowledge and advice, but rather, the healer trusts the Compassionate Spirits to lead the session, to do what needs to be done, even if it is weird and unexpected. The Healer TRUSTS the Spirits. This is how you can tell you are in good hands.

The bottom line in shamanism is this - your healer is NOT doing the healing. The Compassionate Spirits are. The healer is a Hollow Bone. That person has devoted many hours to become a clear, strong channel - a very clear bridge to Spirit. They set their egos aside and do the work unencumbered by their own ideas and judgements. It is not easy to be this person. It takes a lot of experience in shamanic reality, including learning healing techniques, and receiving personal initiations. And it takes the perpetual grace of the Spirit Guides the healer works with.

Spiral Riding - a sweet connection

Spiral Riding: Healing co-created conditions All of us in close relationships have mirrored conditions. Human/dog, mother/child, people/people, dog/dog: you name it, if there is a close bond there is overlapping energy and its manifestations. I call these co-created conditions, and my mission is to find shamanic ways to heal them. My teachers have just given me some new Spiral Magic to use to heal them.

I have been very intent on improving my riding, and it has been hard. Old habits are difficult to change. I know that we are mirrors to our horses. Where we are stiff so are they, and it is our job to induce the change to softness. Lyra came to me to teach me and she is one stiff pony. To help her and me, I did a variation on the Spiral Ceremony. It felt very powerful as I was doing it, but the proof came the next day. She was soft as butter! When I rode her my Teacher instructed me to merge with the spiral again. All the stiffness melted away! She became round and happy, reaching into the bit, lifting her back, and floating in all her gaits. Just like that.

Now to repeat it with consistency. Yah sure you betcha.

I am teaching this technique, and many other Spiral Medicine techniques, in my workshops this spring. See the calendar page for details.

End of life perspective

I just talked with a cat who died last week. This cat said that the body is amazingly tenacious. She was commenting on the pain and suffering that we so often have to go through at the end. She said, "Well what do you expect? To have a body that will stay strong through all of the attacks and tempests life brings means that it will be strong in trying to stay alive at the end. It is the price we pay. Fortunately after you finally die it is easy to forget the pain and just relax again. EVERYONE has to go through it. It is part of the deal of being born. Oh well!" She never expected euthanasia and couldn't imagine blaming her person for not having a Doc at hand at 3:00 AM.

She was pretty philosophical. Her last hours were rough, according to her person. It was an interesting lesson!

Overcoming the I Cant's when you are learning to journey

If you are having trouble getting started in your shamanic journey work because your mind wanders, or you have thoughts that you can't do the work - here is something to try: Set up a basket, jar or container in your room, and you put all your reservations and disbelief into it before you begin journeying. You can get it back later when you are done, or you can ask the spirits to transfigure them. Sometimes our I can'ts come from a belief system that is in conflict with the work. The person might need to think it all through and find a common ground, but the belief system is really so subliminal that it is hard to put a finger on it. So this basket method can help, because you may really WANT to take the things back and work with them later. I have met many beginning students who feel that their catholic upbringing sets them at odds with shamanic practice, and they struggle to get started because of these inner conflicts. But there is a Sister in Flagstaff who teaches shamanism from a catholic perspective, and it is fabulous work. So maybe we just need to set aside our I can'ts and belief systems, and just concentrate on phenomena, and let the thinking part come later.

Sallie Rallies On

Sallie Rallies For Love

NC was worried about Sally, an older dog who was having difficulties. Sally barely got around, walked stiffly, and needed help getting into the car. Also, she has been experiencing some skin problems and food allergies. NC would like to find out how she is feeling. What can be done to make her happy and more comfortable? What does she think about dying, is she scared? NC asks: “Do I need to think of having her put down yet or does she still have a lot of life left?”

Carla’s journey for Sallie:

“I took her on a trip to the upper world where she saw the place she would go and met the dogs she will be with. She was THRILLED and hardly wanted to come back. But she really wants to be with you for more time, so she came home. When her time finally comes the lead dog spirit will come to her with a special crystal collar and ask her to come with him. She will tell you by not wanting to get up at all, nor eat. She will look at you with loving eyes, just to say she loves you. You will know the time is right. She may actually just pass in her sleep. She loves you very much. Sally is in a good place emotionally and will let you know when it is time for her to go – so you can have a lot of comfort in that. When you feel it is time – IT IS!”

NC is happy when Sallie rallies:

“I just wanted to let you know Sally is doing great. She has a lot more energy and gets excited about going for our morning walks again. She is eating good and her quality of life has really improved. I am sure it is a combination of no longer fearing death, her new diet, and perhaps just knowing how much we love her.

It is we who are honored by your help. We will always be grateful!”

Case Study: Helping My Beloved Bud Cross Over (As Told by Student Debbie Decker)

Deb Decker shared this incredible story of love and healing for her kitty as he transitioned. It is so true that our connection to them helps them as they move from this plane to the other. And the blessing of being able to stay connected to them in a healthy way really is the best of the best. Thank you Deb for sharing this wonderful story!  Carla

"When Bud--my beloved international-winning Havana Brown show cat that I helped bring into this world--was diagnosed with liver failure, I worked very hard with Carla and my holistic vet to first try and heal him. But the damage to his liver was too great from the tainted food he ate (it was kitten food on the Menu Food recall) despite his young age.

We all knew that he would soon leave us and I had one choice: to help make Bud's transition as peaceful as possible for him, and with as little guilt on my part for not being able to save his life.

Bud was what I called an "ugly ducking". I was there with Bud when he was born on September 3, 2006. From day one I started to talk with the babies (six little brown kittens!) and found that each had it's own "voice". Bud was the shy one who ended up displaying his "Siamese roots" by eating holes in my wool yoga blanket, toys and other non-cat-food items. While the others went off to either a show home or pet home, I had Bud--who was a roly poly "ugly duckling". He was short-legged and had a round little belly. Now looking back we know it was the food that bloated out his liver. When the food recall was announced to my horror I had the packets of food with the tainted lot number. This was the type of kitten food I raised his mother on so my litter was raised on it too. He was a picky little cuss - except for his taste in wool, string and hair - so the only thing he would eat was the pouch food. In other words, his poor liver was getting nothing but poisons when I thought he was getting a nourishing diet.

After he got off the food, he slimmed down into a "gorgeous swan" and soon became the youngest of his breed to claim the # 1 alter worldwide! And then while at the large international show, he got sick. And it was down hill from there.

It was through journeying that I learned from Carla at workshops that I was able to help Bud--and myself!--to get through all of this. I always journeyed with Bud before a show, and sometimes during a show if I felt he had a "question" or needed some help with a situation (i.e. a cat at the show, a judge, maybe that new fangled toy he saw!). He was really a funny little boy. A true showman....and a diva! He won the hearts of many judges, breeders and exhibitors. Oh, and spectators too. We'd be at a show and he'd say in his cute little voice "what is up with that cat crying?" So journeying with him as a kitten had allowed us to have an open communication during his (short) life. And that also allowed us to move through his illness, and eventual transition.

When we realized he would not make it, I journeyed to help him with this. He was young, and he loved his mama Gwendolyn so much. He didn't want to leave me either. But he sure didn't want to leave his mom. Gwendolyn, Prissy (an old dog that had passed away years ago) and Spatz (my first cat that Carla met!) were there to help out. Bud was not ready, and it took a while for him to realize that his life on earth was really meant to be short, and he had bigger things to do once he crossed over.

Three days before he was to pass away, I heard him clickity clack into the office (I didn't trim his nails at the end...why?) and then his sweet voice say "I know it's almost time..." then he jumped into the window and watched the Blue Jays and Cardinals eating suet and seed. He turned his big eyes at me and said "I love you, and I'm ready."

The morning of December 6, 2007 I woke up. He was in his bed, but I could tell he was not doing well. So I put him on the bed...Gwen crawled up next to him and started to bathe him...and I put my hand on his side and started to journey. We called circle and not only did my power animals come in, but his angels, guardian spirits and power animals came in too. And then my cats and dogs who had passed over, including his three sisters who had died at the ages of 3-7 days. His sisters were crystal keepers and they brought a gorgeous crystal for Bud. Prissy -- my old Schipperke who was so fat she had to have a Mallard duck to fly around on in the heavens--brought the mate to her duck for Bud to ride when he was ready to cross over. Spatz was there to help along with my grandmother. And Butch, my old Angora who was a head in the crystal palace, showed Bud that he was to do healing work on animals, and help lost animals get home. He had a wonderful mission ahead of him. And as Butch said with his Cheshire smile "You'll be the best cat in the biggest cat show ever!"

With that I heard a long sigh....and I opened my eyes to see Bud gone. I wrapped him up, held him, blessed him, and told him to soar on the back of his new winged friend and I would see him. (Spatz also informed me Bud would go through a 14-day transition period so he could adjust to his new role and spiritual body.)

Although I still miss the little diva....by journeying from the first sign of illness through his transition, I know that Bud has a bigger role to play. He has shown me his healing work and it's funny to hear Prissy (who still works with him) jump his butt because he's just doing a young brash "kid thing". I know I now can call on Bud to help out at the shows (he still comes and hangs out and calms his mom down if she's in the ring) and he has even helped me and the other cats and dogs.

Knowing he is happy, and is playing a role in helping others, has given me a sense of peace. I didn't carry--nor do I carry--the guilt that I fed him food (that I thought was good for him! who knew it was poison for my baby?) I still cry at times, don't get me wrong! But the minute I do I think "why?" and then I'll hear him say "because you like to stroke my chin".

So you know what I do? I close my eyes, and meet him in our favorite place next to a gorgeous, babbling stream....and I stroke his chin."

Shamanic Exploration

carla personShamanism is as old as mankind. It is a way of walking, hearing, seeing and being that connects us to the world beneath the world, the spirit that is inside, outside, enmeshed in and parallel to the ordinary world we perceive every day. We begin a shamanic path by studying the ancient pathways that connect the worlds and teach us to work with spirit. Thanks to Micheal Harner and the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, these old worn paths, overgrown by modern culture, are being steadily cleared. Every day they grow more visible to us and are now fairly easy to follow.

Modern shamanic teachers take people first along the wide and clearly marked paths to teach them to journey. Think of the first few miles of a major trail right after the tail head. It is like a super highway and is populated by people of all types. Further into the forest the trails diverge and become less traveled, more rugged, and more adventuresome. Today's shamanic teachers have cleared these paths for you into the specific areas of their interest: Celtic Shamanism, Shape Shifting, White Table, Animal Healing, Soul Retrieval, and so many more fascinating arenas.

I have opened paths that are about healing our Animal Partners (dogs, cats, horses etc) using shamanic methods. In my trainings I apply common shamanic techniques to animal clients. But I do so in a way that is unique to the trails I have uncovered. Over the course of 10 years of concentrated journey work and attention I have been taught a way of working shamanically that is very powerful, and is especially beneficial for working with animals and their people. I teach this method through telelclasses with the Animal Spirit Network, and through workshops worldwide and private trainings.

I am not sure exactly what cultural traditions I am following when I do my work. I am not much of a scholar. I am an explorer. I ask the spirits to show me how to achieve big results. I ask them to explain the cosmology of the world to me empirically: through shamanic journey experiences, results in my clients, and parallel experiences in my students. The results are profound for me and for my students. (By the way I enjoy taking workshops and connecting with other shamanic teachers. It is so exciting to learn the paths they have been shown, and to see if and how they overlap with the ones I am following.)

Here are the themes of the shamanic exploration I am embarking on today:

Sacred Mask Logo

Spirals and the Nexus of Creation: At the center of the spiral is a place of brilliance. The place of creation itself. A client in that spiral can experience a transfiguration that explodes away the old and rebirths in pure divinity. The secret is in the preparation and the ceremony. I have two workshops that explore this : Healing in the Spiral of Time and Sacred Animal Masks. Sacred Animal Masks is offered in Phoenix and Chicago Spring 2008.

The Power of Ecosystems: This started with my desire to communicate with reef life (all the critters, not just whales and dolphins). Communicating with reef life opened up a new revelation for me in the power of using ecosystems as healers for clients and for the earth herself. As a result I see the earth totally differently today than I did even a year ago. I am currently exploring ecosystem work with my advanced private students. I will be birthing it in a week long workshop on private Caribbean sailing boat cruise in 2009. (Yes, we will swim with Dophins!)

Animal Tribes: Domestic Animals are very dependent upon their connection to their spirit tribes. The spirits tribes facilitate the death and dying process. They bring super powerful healing power. They give the animal a point of reference in the world. They hold any soul parts that were not fully committed to the body at birth. The tribal stories are the animal's mythology, critical to the animal's self concept. I am forever exploring these tribal connections and teaching about them in my trainings. There is more to this story too (there always is). Our power is a function of our connection to our tribes. Our tribes are our loved ones here on earth, our ancestors, spirit family, power animals and their tribes. We will be connecting to our Power Animal's tribe in the Mask workshop - see the page links!

Please browse www.spirithealer.com to learn more about me, and www.spiritlearning.com to find out about studying with me.

My trainings are guidances. Your teachers are the spirits. Together we explore paths that are well worn, but over grown, and we rebirth that knowledge for the whole world!

In Spirit and Love - Carla