Tuesday, February 28, 2006

New Moon Meditation for Tuesday, February 28

Othala Grove Spiritual Center has linked with Spirit Unity Ministry in offering ritual, meditation, workshops and classes.  
Here now is the current meditation as written by AmeyaSpirit.
We hope you will join us astrally at 9 pm EST tonight in this work.
New Moon Meditation for Tuesday February 28
The following poem was given to me in the form of a needlework hanging by my sister, before she knew how firmly,  I walked the path of a Druid, Priestess, Witch, Minister, She credited as being by Author Unknown, though I have since found it on Abbey Willowroot's Star Dust Site. I believe it to be one of the best grounding meditations I have ever done, and I offer it up to you all tonight as a New Moon Ritual Meditation.
Dark/ New Moon is a mystical time, it is the brief pause between ending and beginning, dying and living, it is that timeless pause where it is possible to truly open ourselves to our higher Spirit Selves, an instant in which it is possible to glimpse eternity.
So while we are not currently settled in a physical location that will allow us to come together in body, I invite you all to join me among the stars. 
We will be doing this ritual at our humble hearth, at 9pm on Tuesday, February 28,
Ritual Intent: To seek union with our higher self for guidance regarding endings and new beginnings.  To find our mission of healing, to raise power to begin that mission, to celebrate this energy as it is mirrored in our lives, and to express our gratitude to the universe for the amazing journey we are experiencing.
Calls and Casting: (Please cast your own circle as you choose)
Hail and Welcome to the Guardians and Inhabitants of the 7 directions,  To the Elementals, Ancestors, Guides and God/dess' who choose to come and stand as equals in mutual exchange and protection, Join now our circle, Share Now our Dreams.
A Circle of Equals we now weave, in perfect love and perfect trust, within this circle we are each, leader and lead, teacher and taught, patron and supplicant, creator and created, Deity and mortal... Let any energy form or thought, not present for the highest good of all leave now for this is Sacred Space, Between the Worlds and as such Protected!~
The Meditation:
Be aware of your connection to your body, to your contact with the earth, the energy that flows between you and all that is around you, then open your mind and become all that you already are:
I release my isolation to the StarsBreathing in the Energy that connects all thingsAllowing my body to be caressed by NatureFilling my lungs with eternal BreathFilling my senses with the joy of Being AliveFilling my heart with gratitude for this MomentFinally allowing my Spirit to soar FreeI am a creation of the UniverseEternal in my Essence
In time . . . when my life wanesReturning my body to Star DustHeld in the body of the Great GoddessI will again be the Energy of Life
The Work: While you contemplate this concept allow your mind to truly open to the universe, when you find that you are soaring free, in the clarity of who you are at your creation, ask yourself what work you are to embrace and where that path begins.  Bring your insights back with you as you return to this plane for it is not time to return to Star Dust yet.
Remember who you are, and remember that you are also here, incarnate on this plane, reconnect to the energy of the earth, and to those things around you that you need to be connected to,  make notes in your journal about your meditation.  Come Back here and share your journey if you choose.
Please remember to ground with food, after this meditation.
When you are finished with your ritual, release those who have joined you to return to their places of being with thanks and gratitude.
We wish you good journeys

Monday, February 27, 2006

Soul Retrieval: How Shamans Heal Trauma


"Shamanic journeying is the inner art of traveling to the 'invisible worlds' beyond ordinary reality to retrieve information for change in any area of your life - from spirituality and health to work and relationships."

--Sandra Ingerman

Thank you all for supporting this work by forwarding it to your friends and posting it to your sites.

Soul Retrieval: How Shamans Heal Trauma
JUST FOR THE HEALTH OF IT! The Prophets Conference

Boulder, Colorado
May 19-21, 2006


Shamans look at the spiritual form of illness which might manifest on an emotional or physical level. When I was doing the research for my book Soul Retrieval Mending the Fragmented Self I found that most shamanic cultures around the world believe that illness is due to the loss of the soul.

It is believed that whenever we suffer an emotional or physical trauma a piece of our soul flees the body in order to survive the experience. The definition of soul that I am using is soul is our essence, life force, the part of our vitality that keeps us alive and thriving.

The types of trauma that could cause soul loss in our culture would be any kind of abuse sexual, physical, or emotional. Other causes could be an accident, being in a war, being a victim of a terrorist act, acting against our morals, being in a natural disaster (a fire, hurricane, earthquake, tornado, etc.), surgery, addictions, divorce, or death of a loved one.

Any event that causes shock could cause soul loss. And what might cause soul loss in one person might not cause soul loss in another. Shamans believe that alarm clocks can cause soul loss. I think we all know what they mean.

It is important to understand that soul loss is a good thing that happens to us. It is how we survive pain. If I was going to be in a head on car collision the last place that I would want to be at the point of impact is in my body. My psyche could not endure that kind of pain. So our psyches have this brilliant self protect mechanism where a part of our essence or soul leaves the body so that we do not feel the full impact of the pain.

In psychology we talk about this as disassociation. But in psychology we don’t talk about what disassociates and where that part goes. In shamanism we know that a piece of the soul leaves the body and goes to a territory in what shamans call non ordinary reality where it waits until someone intervenes in the spiritual realms and facilitates its return.

Although soul loss is a survival mechanism the problem from a shamanic point of view is that the soul part that left usually does not come back on its own. The soul might be lost, or stolen by another person, or doesn’t know the trauma has passed and it is safe to return.

It has always been the role of the shaman to go into an altered state of consciousness and track down where the soul fled to in the alternate realities and return it to the body of the client.

There are many common symptoms of soul loss. Some of the more common ones would be dissociation where a person does not feel fully in his or her body and alive and fully engaged in life. Other symptoms include chronic depression, suicidal tendencies, post traumatic stress syndrome, immune deficiency problems, and grief that just does not heal. Addictions are also a sign of soul loss as we seek external sources to fill up the empty spaces inside of us whether through substances, food, relationships, work, or buying material objects.

Anytime someone says I have never been the same since a certain event and they don’t mean this in a good way soul loss has probably occurred.

You can really see how much soul loss there is today as we put money over life. Anytime someone says that we have to kill other life forms for material gain that person must be suffering from soul loss. Anytime someone feels that buying one more car or that gathering material objects will bring happiness that person is suffering from the loss of soul. As you can see we are looking at a great deal of planetary soul loss today as you watch how we behave towards each other and the rest of life.

Coma is also soul loss. But in coma there is more of the soul out of body than in the body. Coma is very complicated to work with today for many reasons. It takes skill on behalf of the shaman to find out which way the soul is trying to go. Does the soul want to reenter the body or does it need help moving on which would lead to the death of the patient? There is a lot to say about this topic and it beyond the scope of this article.

Today there has been a resurgence in the interest of the practice of shamanism. We now have many hundreds of wonderful shamanic practitioners reintroducing the practice of soul retrievals into our culture.

It is interesting to note that as soul loss was so understood in shamanic cultures people who suffered traumas were given a soul retrieval within three days after a trauma occurred.

Today as we have not been practicing soul retrieval modern day practitioners are going back ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years or even more looking for lost soul parts.

Also in a shamanic culture the individuals knew what was out of balance in their lives that might have caused an illness or issue to occur.

In our culture we are unaware of what is out of spiritual harmony that is creating illness. And because often our soul loss happened so young we are unaware of the unconscious patterns we are living out due to our first soul loss. We are always trying to retrieve our soul. And how we do this is by repeating the same trauma over and over again. The names might change of the people involved in our life story, but the story is often the same.

The effects of having a soul retrieval vary person to person. Some people feel that they are more grounded in their body and feel more solid. Some people feel lighter and a joyful way of being returns to them. For some memories of the past traumas might be triggered bringing up a variety of feelings that must be worked through. And for some people the effects are too subtle to notice a change until further work to integrate the soul is done.

As people feel more present in their bodies and in the world they become more conscious of behavior that might be out of balance and disharmonious. When we are numb we might be aware that things in the world are not right but we can easily distract ourselves from feeling a need to change. When we are fully “inspirited” there is no place to retreat to and we are more inspired to change our lives.

I believe that once a person has his or her soul brought back the client now has to do some work. If the person has done a lot of personal work the soul retrieval might be the end of the work. If not the soul retrieval would be the beginning of the work.

Now it is up to the client to look at how to create a healthy life style and attract healthy relationships that will support wholeness and a life filled with healing. How do we want to use the energy that was returned from the soul retrieval and our returned vitality to create a positive present and future for ourselves? And how do we bring passion and meaning back into our lives again so that we thrive instead of just survive? All these issues I call “life after healing” and are crucial to create long term healing after a soul retrieval.

This is vital work for the times we live in. The earth wants her children home and she wants them home now. It is time to come back home again and take our rightful place on the earth. It is our birthright to fully express our souls and create the world we want to live in. And it is our birthright to shine as brightly as the stars above us. It is time to share our light again in the world.


SANDRA INGERMAN, MA, is the author of Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self, Welcome Home: Following Your Soul’s Journey Home, A Fall to Grace, Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins, and Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide. She is the author of “The Soul Retrieval Journey” “The Beginner’s Guide to Shamanic Journeying” and “Miracles for the Earth” lecture programs produced by Sounds True.

Sandra teaches workshops internationally on shamanic journeying, healing, and reversing environmental pollution using spiritual methods. She has trained and founded an international alliance of Medicine for the Earth Teachers and shamanic teachers. Sandra is recognized for bridging ancient cross-cultural healing methods into our modern culture addressing the needs of our times. Sandra is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist and Professional Mental Health Counselor. She is also a board certified expert on traumatic stress as well as certified in acute traumatic stress management.

For more information on her work you can visit her website at www.shamanicvisions.com/ingerman.html

To find a local shamanic teacher or shamanic practitioner in your area visit www.shamanicteachers.com

To find a local Medicine for the Earth teacher visit www.medicinefortheearth.com

Ethics - A Beginning...

Definitions of “Ethics” on the Web:

ethical motive: motivation based on ideas of right and wrong

the philosophical study of moral values and rules

Ethics is a general term for what is often described as the "science (study) of morality". In philosophy, ethical behavior is that which is "good" or "right." The Western tradition of ethics is sometimes called moral philosophy

a set of moral principles or values.

the study of fundamental principles that defines values and determines moral duty and obligation.

A system of moral principles, rules and standards of conduct.

study of right and wrong, good and bad, moral judgment, etc.

the branch of philosophy concerned with evaluating human action. Some distinguish ethics, what is right or wrong based on reason, from morals, what is considered right or wrong behavior based on social custom.

system or code of morals of a particular religion, group, or profession.

the principles of conduct governing an individual or group; concerns for what is right or wrong, good or bad.

The branch of philosophy that deals with issues of right and wrong in human affairs.

Personal code of conduct based on respect for one's self, others, and your surroundings.

A set of principles and values that govern behavior to accord with a notion of morality.

A set of principles or values based on religious and moral teachings. A standard of conduct by which the individual guides his own actions and judges that of others.

the principles or assumptions underpinning the way individuals or organisations ought to conduct themselves.

the study of morality

The process of determining right and wrong conduct.

The branch of philosophy that deals with moral issues. Key questions in ethics include: What is it right (or wrong) to do? Do the intentions behind an action determine its goodness or does the actual outcome of the action matter more? Are there any universal ethical rules?

The general and abstract concepts of right and wrong behavior culled from philosophy, theology, and professional societies.

Pronunciation: 'e-thikFunction: nounEtymology: Middle English ethik, from Middle French ethique, from Latin ethice, from Greek EthikE, from Ethikos1 plural but singular or plural in construction : the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation2 a : a set of moral principles or values b : a theory or system of moral values <the present-day materialistic ethic> c plural but singular or plural in construction : the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group <professional ethics> d : a guiding philosophy

Branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of ultimate value and the standards by which human actions can be judged right or wrong.
The term is also applied to any system or theory of moral values or principles. Ethics is traditionally subdivided into normative ethics, metaethics, and applied ethics. Normative ethics seeks to establish norms or standards of conduct; a crucial question in this field is whether actions are to be judged right or wrong based on their consequences or based on their conformity to some moral rule, such as “Do not tell a lie.” Theories that adopt the former basis of judgment are called consequentialist (see consequentialism); those that adopt the latter are known as deontological (see deontological ethics).
Metaethics is concerned with the nature of ethical judgments and theories. Since the beginning of the 20th century, much work in metaethics has focused on the logical and semantic aspects of moral language. Some major metaethical theories are naturalism (see naturalistic fallacy), intuitionism, emotivism, and prescriptivism.
Applied ethics, as the name implies, consists of the application of normative ethical theories to practical moral problems (e.g., abortion). Among the major fields of applied ethics are bioethics, business ethics, legal ethics, and medical ethics.

From http://www.religioustolerance.org/

Ethics of Reciprocity
"Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love, respect for others, sharing other people's suffering. On these lines every religion had more or less the same viewpoint and the same goal." The Dalai Lama
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Religious groups differ greatly in their concepts of deity, other beliefs and practices. Non-theistic ethical and philosophic systems, like Humanism and Ethical Culture, also exhibit a wide range of beliefs. But there is near unanimity of opinion among almost all religions, ethical systems and philosophies that each person should treat others in a decent manner. Almost all of these groups have passages in their holy texts, or writings of their leaders, which promote this Ethic of Reciprocity. The most commonly known version in North America is the Golden Rule of Christianity. It is often expressed as "Do onto others as you would wish them do onto you."
One result of this Ethic is the concept that every person shares certain inherent human rights, simply because of their membership in the human race. People are individually very different; they come in two main genders; different sizes, colors, and shapes; many races; three sexual orientations; and different degrees of ability. They follow many religious and economic systems, speak many languages, and follow many different cultures. But there is a growing consensus that all humans are equal in importance. All should enjoy basic human rights. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is one manifestation of this growing worldwide consensus. 1,2
In our opinion, the greatest failure of organized religion is its historical inability to convince their followers that the Ethic of Reciprocity applies to all humans, not merely to fellow believers. It is out belief that religions should stress that their membership should use Ethic when dealing with persons of other religions, the other gender, other races, other sexual orientations, etc. Only when this is accomplished will religiously-related oppression, mass murder and genocide cease.

Some "Ethic of Reciprocity" passages from the religious texts of various religions and secular beliefs:

Bahá'í World Faith:
"Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not." "Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself." Baha'u'llah

"And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself." Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

Brahmanism: "This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you". Mahabharata, 5:1517

Buddhism: "...a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?" Samyutta NIkaya v. 353

Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." Udana-Varga 5:18

"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:12, King James Version.

"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." Luke 6:31, King James Version.

"...and don't do what you hate...", Gospel of Thomas 6. The Gospel of Thomas is one of about 40 gospels that were widely accepted among early Christians, but which never made it into the Christian Scriptures (New Testament).

"Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you" Analects 15:23

"Tse-kung asked, 'Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?' Confucius replied, 'It is the word 'shu' -- reciprocity. Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.'" Doctrine of the Mean 13.3

"Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence." Mencius VII.A.4

Ancient Egyptian:
"Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do." The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, 109 - 110 Translated by R.B. Parkinson. The original dates to 1970 to 1640 BCE and may be the earliest version ever written. 3

"One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself." Mencius Vii.A.4

"This is the sum of the Dharma [duty]: do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you." Mahabharata 5:1517

"(5) Humanists acknowledge human interdependence, the need for mutual respect and the kinship of all humanity."

"(11) Humanists affirm that individual and social problems can only be resolved by means of human reason, intelligent effort, critical thinking joined with compassion and a spirit of empathy for all living beings. " 4

"None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." Number 13 of Imam "Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths." 5

"Therefore, neither does he [a sage] cause violence to others nor does he make others do so." Acarangasutra 5.101-2.

"In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self." Lord Mahavira, 24th Tirthankara

"A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated. "Sutrakritanga 1.11.33

"...thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.", Leviticus 19:18

"What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary." Talmud, Shabbat 31a.

"And what you hate, do not do to any one." Tobit 4:15 6

Native American Spirituality:
"Respect for all life is the foundation." The Great Law of Peace.

"All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One." Black Elk

Roman Pagan Religion:
"The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as themselves."

"The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form"

Compassion-mercy and religion are the support of the entire world". Japji Sahib

"Don't create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone." Guru Arjan Devji 259

"No one is my enemy, none a stranger and everyone is my friend." Guru Arjan Dev : AG 1299

"The basis of Sufism is consideration of the hearts and feelings of others. If you haven't the will to gladden someone's heart, then at least beware lest you hurt someone's heart, for on our path, no sin exists but this." Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order.

"Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss." T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien.

"The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own. He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful." Tao Teh Ching, Chapter 49

"We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent of all existence of which we are a part." Unitarian principles.

"An it harm no one, do what thou wilt" (i.e. do what ever you will, as long as it harms nobody, including yourself). One's will is to be carefully thought out in advance of action. This is called the Wiccan Rede

Yoruba: (Nigeria):
"One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts."

Zoroastrianism: "That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself". Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5

"Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others." Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29

Some philosophers' statements are:
Epictetus: "What you would avoid suffering yourself, seek not to impose on others." (circa 100 CE)
Plato: "May I do to others as I would that they should do unto me." (Greece; 4th century BCE)
Socrates: "Do not do to others that which would anger you if others did it to you." (Greece; 5th century BCE)
Seneca: "Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your superiors," Epistle 47:11 (Rome; 1st century CE)

Examples from moral/ethical systems are:
Humanism: "...critical intelligence, infused by a sense of human caring, is the best method that humanity has for resolving problems. Reason should be balanced with compassion and empathy and the whole person fulfilled." Humanist Manifesto II; Ethics section.
Scientology: "20: Try to treat others as you would want them to treat you." This is one of the 21 moral precepts that form the moral code explained in L. Ron Hubbard's booklet "The Way to Happiness."

Exceptions to the Ethic of Reciprocity:
A few religions, such as Satanism and The Creativity Movement have what might be called an Ethic of Non-Reciprocity.
There are some situations in which a strict application of the Ethic of Reciprocity is contraindicated because it can lead to harming others.
Within the Holy Books of many religions, there are passages which contradict their own Ethic of Reciprocity. This usually happens when non-believers are discussed.

References used:
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
The English text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is at: http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html
The text is available in other languages is at: http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu6/1/univdec1.htm
NationMaster.com has an encyclopedia reference that lists many Golden Rules, sorted chronologically at: http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Golden-Rule
"Principles of Humanism," Humanist Association of Canada, at: http://canada.humanists.net/principles.html
This is Number 13 of a collection of 43 sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that was compiled by the great Islamic scholar Yahya bin Sharaf Ul-Deen An-Nawawi. It is is now known as "Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths" See: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~alnur/DOCS/hadith_nawawi.htm
The Book of Tobit is deuterocanonical, i.e. contained not in the Canon of Palestine but in that of Alexandria. It was accepted by some Jewish, Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions as part of the official canon but not by others.