Writing and Shamanism


I’m teaching a one-day workshop in Seattle November 1st called Shamanism and Writing.

I wanted to offer an explanation of how shamanism might work to help writers explode open their creativity, how it might help them figure out a plot or a character in their novels, how it might show them where to go to find support for their writing.

First, an explanation of what shamanism is. I’ve taken this explanation from the shamanic expert I like the most, Sandra Ingerman.

A shaman is a man or woman who uses the ability to see ‘with the strong eye’ or ‘with the heart’ to travel into hidden realms…The shaman divines information for the community. Shamans have and still act as healers, doctors, priests and priestesses, psychotherapists, mystics, and storytellers.

…Everything on earth is interconnected and any belief that we are separate from other life forms including the earth, stars, wind, etc is purely an illusion. And it is the shaman’s role in the community to keep harmony and balance between humankind and the forces of nature.

One shamanic technique is to do a journey (a deeply spiritual creative visualization) to meet spirit guides for information and healing. I believe our Writer Archetypes and our Ancestors are our creative guides. I believe if we set a greatest and highest good intention, and are humble, we can access these archetypes and ancestors with amazing assistance in writing our novels and memoir.

As Ingerman says, as storytellers we are healers of the planet. Shamanic guides want to help us succeed as the historical chroniclers of our ‘village’, as the storytellers who make sense of the world. Information and assistance is readily available, as long as we are open, humble and willing to receive it.

In the Seattle class, I will teach a basic journeying technique that participants can use on their own after the workshop. I have found that when I engage the spirit guides with my artwork, things start to shift in my external world in unexpected and very positive ways.

Let me give you an example. I did a journey to ask for more empowerment around my visual art side. I have a woundedness around the visual art that I won’t explain here, but this fragility has made it difficult for me as a visual artist. I went on the journey and met an Ice Queen. She was frigid, ice blue, alabaster white. She jangled when she walked. She was stunningly beautiful. She took me to an all white frozen room. It was an art studio.

“This is yours. Use it half for writing, half for painting, if you want,” she said. I looked around in awe. The walls were covered with ice. The windows frosted. I could see my breath.

“Touch the walls,” she said.

I did. As I touched, the ice melted. The walls grew a warm color. Then the windows. A touch defrosted them and the green flowering trees showed through. The room was pulsing with organic colors after I’d finished touching everything.

Within a month of this journey, I rented my first art studio. It happened against impossible odds. I was on a long waiting list. I was nowhere near the top of the list. I could afford it. I did 14 months of art in that space, art that melted a heart stuck in past trauma.

Come take the class and watch your writing and your life open in ways you never thought possible. Here are the logistics. (Please note that because of the financial crisis, I am offering a payment plan of $50 per month, paid via PayPal.)

What: Writing and Shamanism
When: Sunday, November 1, 2009. 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Where: BodySong Healing and Arts Center, 943 N. 89th Street, Seattle, WA 98103
Cost: $200 if paid by October 15th, $225 if paid on the day. Credit cards accepted via PayPal.
Contact: carolineallen@aol.com, 978.228.6617
Coaching site: www.artofstorytellingonline.com


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