Part One: Into the Mountains
It wasn’t the first time I had met them at the isolated farm, reachable only by driving down a dangerously steep gravel and shale road in Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains; we had gathered here three times before for long weekends of intensive shamanic work. As the car bumped slowly down the road towards the farm, I wondered whether or not we would become shamanically attuned enough this year to create the incredibly powerful shamanic healing energy that a solid women’s shamanic circle can inspire and support. During the year since we had last gathered, we had each dealt with difficult life situations on many levels, so much so that my apprentice and I had made no definite study plans for this year’s Intensive like we usually did. This year, we decided, we would leave things entirely up to the animal spirits and shamanic energies with which we would be working to guide the weekend’s work, and we would not plan ahead which animal spirits or shamanic energies those would be. Instead, we would discover, by means of shamanic scanning during our initial talking circle, which animal spirits and energies wished to work with us on dealing with the residual shamanic malaise we were feeling, and on restoring us shamanically. Towards that end, we had planned two days alone together at the farm before the others arrived, to do our own personal shamanic healing work and begin building energy to welcome them. By the time they arrived, laden with enough additional food to take us through the weekend without having to leave the lush forest surrounding the farm for supplies, we had already entered the deep levels of shamanic reality that were to characterize the events to come. Stay tuned for Part Two!