by Grandmother Ann Dickie
In the tarot deck the fool, full of unlimited potential, is at the beginning of a journey of self-discovery. He is innocent of the dangers he faces, but has the courage to step into the unknown.
How did I, in my early 60’s, get started on this path of shamanism? Did Spirit lead me? Soon after my husband and I moved to the Sunshine Coast, I went to a woman’s weekend retreat called Chakra Dance. During the retreat, we went to a sweat lodge. I had never been in a sweat lodge. Saying prayers in the dark steamy lodge that represents the womb of Mother Earth felt so powerful, I wanted to learn more.
At another weekend workshop, everything I heard about the path of shamanism sang in my heart. Honour and protect the Earth and all living creatures. Nurture our children. The Universe is a living entity. Everything is connected because everything contains the stuff of stars. Do nothing to harm the children- meaning everything on earth: all humans, animals, plants, air, water, soil, rocks and even bugs!
During those first teachings, my negative inner dialogue ran full speed. At the time I thought I had never done anything right and made a total mess of relationships, especially with my husband and children. Round and round in a litany of negative self talk. For months, I didn’t know why I kept going back to this shamanic path for instruction and ceremony. Honestly examining ourselves at a deep level is hard and painful. Over and over I vowed I wouldn’t go there again. But some inner wisdom knew that what I needed to do was heal myself. Does that sound selfish? All about me? Not so. To heal ourselves we need to sift through all the old life experiences no matter how painful. Rake it all up till we find the gold. When we heal our own hurts and learn to honour and love ourselves we are much more capable of giving love and compassion to others because it comes from a place of freedom.
My teachers say that when we heal ourselves, we heal our ancestors seven generations back, and we heal the next seven generations forward. The fool’s healing journey has led me to a life of creativity, love and joy. There are many paths that lead us to God, Allah, Great Spirit, or whatever name you choose to call the ineffable Sacred Mystery. Which one sings to you?