By Susie Ekberg
Q: Is there anything fun going on around the area this summer? I’m bored.
A: Okay, so here’s the deal. You can go out and do the same things every summer – Detroit Lakes has got some good things going on, Zorbaz is hopping, camping is fine, but I think it’s time we shake things up a bit and talk about some OTHER things you might try this summer. But there’s no way I can possibly talk about ALL of the fun, different things around this area in just one column, so I’m going to dedicate the next few columns to talking about alternatives, then highlighting them with brief interviews of practitioners in the area, ending with a mini intuitive reading for the interviewed practitioner. Sound like fun? Well, let’s get started. First up is (drumroll please): shamanism.
I heard about shamanism over 20 years ago, and was intrigued. Over the years I’ve done some work with it, and although there are several practitioners in the area, I chose Jeanne Troge to talk with, because I have the most experience with her, and know her to be full of honor and integrity. Jeanne and Brenda Mason run Brigid’s House in Park Rapids, a store and center for various fun and fabulous classes and workshops.
I asked Jeanne about the history of shamanism, and she told me that although no one really knows exactly how long ago it started, it’s estimated by scholars to be at least 30,000 years old if not older! According to Jeanne, the basic principles of shamanism are the belief that all things are interconnected and we cannot separate ourselves from nature, the belief that all things are alive and have a spirit, the belief that all illness has a spiritual root, and a belief that direct revelation is possible through the shamanic journey and our helping spirits.
I asked Jeanne about the practicality of shamanism during these current intense times. She told me that “reconnection with the earth is so needed at this time. We all know that being in nature heals us. We have learned that walking barefoot on the earth for half an hour a day stimulates our immune system. Drumming at 220-260 beats per minute puts one in an Alpha or Theta brain wave state, producing relaxation and revelations.The shamanic journey allows us to directly access spiritual information which is empowering and provides helpful information.
“The role of shamans is to keep balance and harmony in the world. The ideal is to always be filled with our power so that we are living our life from a heart that is clear-hearted, open-hearted, strong-hearted and full-hearted. Shamans can work on healing the spirit of a place and/or the land where tragedy has occurred. Shamans worldwide are now currently working on the oil spill to learn its teaching to us and to help to heal the pollution it is causing in our world. The role of the shaman is to help the community. Our changing times are calling us to come together in community, to solve our problems together.”
When asked about any personal stories she’d like to share, Jeanne said, “In 1989 my 19-year-old son died in a car accident. For the next four years I felt this intense grief that kept getting worse. A friend suggested I get a soul retrieval. Synchronistically, I had just read an article on soul retrieval by Sandra Ingerman (A soul retrieval addresses soul loss that occurs from trauma). I had the soul retrieval done and over the next few weeks I felt the heavy grief lift from my shoulders, I felt my self-confidence return, and I started re-engaging back into life. I was so excited about this I knew I had to learn more, and that is how I got into practicing shamanism.”
That’s a little introduction to shamanism, so how about a little reading on Jeanne herself? The first thing I see when I look at Jeanne is a beautiful green emanating all around her. The green is all about healing and love, for sure, and it’s tinged in gold around the outside, which speaks of a high spiritual energy that she possesses. I also see a bright sun around the back of her head, which means she’s very open (and intelligent!), and is interested in learning more. I’m also seeing that integrity is very important to her –- making sure that she gives 100% all of the time, and remains as objective as possible. Clarity in communication is also important to her, as is evidenced by the beautiful light sky blue energy around her. Balance is also a key component in her life –- how to achieve it, how to maintain it, and how to pass that knowledge on to others. Her life is her journey.
So now that you’re interested, I suppose you’re wondering how you can learn more about shamanism? Jeanne teaches an Intro to Core Shamanism class which discusses the principles of Core Shamanism, helps you to meet a power animal, and teaches you how to journey. She also offers two year trainings in Core and Celtic Shamanism and numerous other shamanic classes.
Some good introductory books to check out are: “Way of the Shaman,” by Michael Harner, “Shamanic Journeying,” by Sandra Ingerman, and “Shamanism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life,” by Tom Cowan. “Animal Speak,” by Ted Andrews and “Animal Spirit Guides,” by Steven Farmer, are excellent books on working with animals and the messages they bring to us.
Some helpful websites are: http://www.shamanism.org, Foundation for Shamanic Studies website; http://www.shamansociety.org, Society for Shamanic Practitioners website; http://www.shamanicvisions.com, Sandra Ingerman’s website; http://www.riverdrum.com, Tom Cowan’s website (Celtic shamanism); http://www.shamanportal.org, great website for discussion of shamanic topics; http://www.earthdrummer.com, Jeanne Troge’s website; http://www.brigidshouse.com, Brigid’s House website.
I’ve worked with Jeanne on several occasions, and it never ceases to amaze me how much my own Vision and Work blend together so well with Jeanne’s Work. Although my strength seems to lie in the unseen world “out there” and Jeanne’s Work is firmly grounded in the beautiful earth energy, I think it’s beautiful to see how all the energies are able to weave together to create one harmonious picture. If you are bored this summer, I would definitely suggest a visit to Brigid’s House and Jeanne.
If You Go
What: Midsummer Festival 2010
Where: Brigid’s House, Park Rapids, Minn.
When: Sat, June 19, 10am-5pm
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