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Shamans have always worked with the power of intent and vision. In our modern world, science validates the "felt" and "known" wisdom of our forebears with two quantum concepts: that parallel realities exist alongside the one we see, and that everything is a possibility until an observer chooses one outcome. 1

Knowing this is reassuring to me. When I witness the morphic resonance of a flock of birds, when I see or feel fields of energy, and when I step outside of time and space in visionary states, the validation of science enhances my courage to explore.

Beyond my personal courage, however, the existence of parallel realities carries essential meaning for shamanic work. The existence of parallel realities means that vision and healing in one place can affect the rest of the web of interconnections. It means that every effort to vision a positive future affects both the individual and Gaia consciousness. It means that the outcome of events is affected by what we believe, dream, vision, and intend.

Quantum physicists describe the space where everything is a possibility as a vacuum or "Zero Point" field; mystics refer to the void, or that which is empty but full. All agree that most of the universe, including our own bodies, is more space than matter. I suspect that most shamanic practitioners have experienced this space-void-field, yet haven't had the scientific background or a common language that would let us describe this space.

I suggest that it is in this space-void-field of unlimited possibilities that we can most powerfully birth our visions and let them take form in the world. I know that it is in this space-void-field that Medicine for the Earth practitioners work to transmute toxins of mind and of matter. 2

Applying Medicine for the Earth Practices

A group of us around the country--anyone who has taken a Medicine for the Earth class and wants to participate--has been using Medicine for the Earth practices to transmute toxins regularly for about three years. We do not meet in person, but journey to a designated location in non-ordinary reality, as did shamans of old. We are given a specific "time" to meet, and have learned that in the space-void-field, intention is enough: when this-world schedules conflict, we can journey ahead of or after the others, and still meet together in non-ordinary reality. We also meet on the new moon, the time of beginnings, to draw on the workings of the solar system to empower our intentions.

The process of transmutation employs dismemberment, transfiguration, and entering into divine light and vibration to focus intent and healing. When we transfigure, most of us journey to connect with our source energy, enter the internal void, and become light. We tone to hold the energy of the transfigured state, and to let our energy travel into the world as vibrational healing. In the transfigured state, we generally experience each other as light beings: we feel/see energy rather than identifying specific people.

While our new moon group focuses on environmental toxins, some of us have also explored using Medicine for the Earth practices to respond to political/social/cultural issues. We have worked, for example, in Iraq after the US invasion in 2003, Guatemala before the 2003 elections, and the US before the 2004 elections. These explorations have generated an understanding that transmutation can be applied to states of energy in the world without conflicting with an individual's right to choose healing. States of energy, or energetic toxins--what's known as "heavy energy" in the Andes--include everything from feelings like despair, fear, and anxiety, to verbal expressions of rage, to physical expressions of violence. Transmuting states of energy involves the same process as transmuting physical toxins in the environment.

Our explorations have also generated a shift in our understanding of non-ordinary reality. Those of us trained by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies were taught that there are numerous worlds, and that we each enter the non-ordinary reality we need at a particular time. I believe that is true; and it is also true that we can intend to enter the same world (parallel reality) and work on the same issue together.

Transmuting Heavy Energies in Guatemala

In August 2003, friends in Guatemala were worried. One of the Presidential candidates, Rios-Montt, had been a major orchestrator of death squads during the 1980's, so the heavy energies of retribution, violence, power over, and conflict for everyone in Guatemala before the elections were exacerbated. They invited us to gather to seek healing for all Guatemalans--indigenous, Ladinos and Europeans--for thinking clearly and without fear.

Four of us met, transfigured and in our divinity at the Central Park fountain in Guatemala City to work together in non-ordinary reality. We were aided by earthquake; joined by earth, air, and water, as well as indigenous shamans, old ones, and dogs; and saw circles of radiating light and balls of light spreading as we worked together to transmute heavy energies.

In our second gathering a month later, our intent was to "transmute pain into peace" in Solola, the home of Lake Atitlan, three volcanoes (Atitlan, San Pedro, and Toliman), and three indigenous groups (Quiche, Cakchiquel, and Tzutujil). In our journeys in September 2003, both the lake and volcanoes entered into the healing process with us. Images of drum and heartbeat, water and waves, heat and energy, and earthquakes, crevices, and lake bottoms threaded throughout our journeys (see below). Again we were joined by indigenous people. This seems of particular significance.

These two sets of journeys showed unusual coherence in the experiences of the journeyers. They also show the power of vital healing traditions and shared vision: many indigenous beings, sacred places, and elements joined our group of Medicine for the Earth practitioners in our work to transmute energetic toxins. (Healing and ceremonial traditions in Guatemala remain relatively intact, so that some Presidential candidates attend ceremonies and healings during the campaign!)

Guatemala Journeys, September 2003

Our intent was to "transmute pain into peace." We met at the lake and its three volcanoes on September 11, 2003, El Dia de La Vida, the beginning of a new Siglo (260 days) and the end of the old, just two months before the elections. Verbatim journeys follow. 3

G: I joined you all on the shores of the lake. We were directed to encircle the lake and then start drumming. Soon the lake became a big drum and it was like we were beating on it as well as our individual drums. We looked up and found that the original inhabitants of the area were on top of the three volcanoes also beating their drums. This beat not only brought us all into a transfigured state but it also transfigured the lake. Soon our light moved into the hearts of all the people of Guatemala. We could see the light in their hearts...some light was very bright and some quite dim. We just stayed in that state, trying to bring light and love to all.

J: My strong will/intent was to start at the top of the volcanoes but it wasn't to be. I was pulled very hard down to the bottom of the lake and had to work from there up. My toning was very guttural. In the village of San Pedro at the foot of that volcano, I in my divinity was ghostlike to the people. I toned in the space between the people of the village. When I was taken to a coffee plant next to the town, I was shown a beautiful, red coffee bean growing on a plant. This bean grew, and grew and grew and became redder and redder and redder and Earth was proud. Next I went to the crevice between Toliman and Atitlan volcanoes. Here I saw Earth in crumbled bits, with stones and rocks. The sound was that as described by people who say they hear an earthquake coming (I have never witnessed this sound in ordinary reality). The healing came in the form of colors of sky-blue pinks. Next, the Lake grew up to the crevice and covered it, but did not yet touch the two ends of the water. When the Lake covered the crevice, the volcanoes uttered an orgasmic sound; the water in the crevice was something they were yearning for. With higher toner and much concentration, the two ends of the Lake joined together and became waves.

L: After stating my intent to bring harmony and balance to the Department of Solala, its land, peoples and all the living beings there, I transfigured and was immediately at Lake Atitlan. As I circled above the lake, I requested permission from the spirits there to work and asked for their help. I was soon was directed to watch the volcanoes. As my toning continued, I saw the volcanoes inhale what looked like soot-filled air. Then they would erupt in a fury of lava and ash. Then inhale and exhale over and over again. My sense was that they were transmuting negativity. Indeed, it seemed as though they were the focal point for clearing negativity from that area. I also sensed that there were many indigenous people joining us in directing energy to this process. I saw us all as glowing lights/energy/vibration. Once the volcanoes had cleared a certain amount of negativity, I realized that the lake was covered in ash. I watched to see what would happen to the ash, and as we continued to emit light/energy/vibration, the ash slowly disappeared and the lake was again clear. As I was watching all of this, the similarity to the Tibetan practice of chod struck me.

M: I flew down the west coast, across the sugar cane fields, up the back of the volcano collecting threads and rivers of pain. Your lights were dancing up and down the shore. We collected the heat/energy of the volcanoes and deep light in the lake to help us transmute. We pulsed with breath, light, and energy. Rivers of pain rolled down the road to Solola, hung like dense fog in San Lucas Toliman. It was very dense everywhere, and I realized that this density was not just Guatemala, it was the pain and fear in the world. I begged the earth to devour the pain, kept returning to breathing the light energy as a focus (this journey was as difficult for me as the journeys to the World Trade Center after 9/11 to cleanse toxins). I kept hearing that the earth is strong and people draw energy from her; and the sorrow is overwhelming.

S: I received the information that happiness, pain, fear, peace and even knowledge come in waves, and that waves would be the tool to transform pain into peace during the journey to Solola. I first saw a lot of individual eyes. I then saw water coming in huge cascades from the volcanoes onto the lake. The three volcanoes with their arms extended and intertwined, danced around the lake, and with their beat and pace formed rhythmical waves. I went into the bottom of the lake and saw a huge hole that connected the lake and the center of the earth. The energy made its way through the lake to merge with the rhythm of the volcanoes dance. The lake became quiet and parted in the middle forming a large crater with yellow light. I was instructed to dip in all of the 22 departments [like a state in the US] of Guatemala. Each department jumped into the crater and when all were done, everything was very quiet and the only thing present was an immense love for Guatemala that filled my heart.

In a follow-up journey a few days later, one of the participants saw a great golden white light rise from the bottom of the lake and thread up the roads, into the villages and mountains, carrying forth the pregnant possibility of pure light, with this message: "The earth, the lake, and the people are holding the light, allowing the parallel reality of radiance to nourish and shine."

Affecting the World

The weavings of the world are too complex for us to fully know the effects of our actions, even while we do understand that it is who we become that changes the world. With this in mind, we marveled at the commonalities in our journeys--the deep resonating sounds (drum, orgasmic, earthquake rumbling, guttural toning); light emanating from the center accompanied by waves of energy; and the participation of lake, earth, volcanoes, and elements.

It was also interesting for all of us that Rio-Montt was defeated in the November elections. In the December runoff, candidate Colom, a Maya Shaman spiritual guide, received 46% of the vote; Berger, the other candidate, won with 54%.

"The best example of the energy shift [after our journeys] was the massive voter participation at the polls," wrote a friend from Guatemala. "I have no doubt that the guiding spirits and the journeyers helped to transform fear into peace. After the elections, I did sense the power generated by the understanding that we can make things happen. However, Guatemala is plagued with so many problems, that soon after the elections we were back again face to face with poverty, criminality, depression, skepticism, and our ever-present inability to dream...we need an ongoing spiritual work to balance the energies..."

Our Dialogue about Intent

We who meet in non-ordinary reality on the new moon have had fruitful internal discussion about the appropriateness of healing people without their permission, and whether/how to apply healing to political situations. These have led to the refining of our intent and the principles we apply as we work:

* We keep in mind the interconnectedness of all things and the mystery of the universe.

* We ask for spirit guidance (our own as well as the spirits of the land where we meet) in each situation.

* When we transfigure, we know and intend that our spiritual light and vibration affects energy, which in turn may allow the energies of people, water, emotions, or toxins to change their nature (transmute).

*We work for "the highest good."

* We keep trying to share our work and learn from each other, knowing that we are all connected in our divinity.

There are enormous satisfactions in doing this work together. We spread (in ourselves, each other, and the world) seeds of peace, hope and renewal; we experience and strengthen our threads of interconnection; and we get to use, for good cause, this work that has profoundly changed and healed all of us.

1. See The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe, by Lynne McTaggart, if you are interested in learning about the science of our interconnected universe.

2. Medicine for the Earth practices are based on Sandra Ingerman's writing and teaching about the ancient principle, "it is who we become that changes the world." See Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal & Environmental Toxins by Sandra Ingerman. NY: Three Rivers Press, 2000. Both book and workshops detail specific practices, journeys, and ways of shifting consciousness into the place of unlimited possibilities. For Kirlian images of soil and water transformation, as well workshops and teachers worldwide, see

3. I am including only one set of the journeys for space reasons. The full article was first published in Pathways Newsletter, November 2004. To read the full article, you can download a PDF of the Newsletter.

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