Sunday, June 3, 2012
I attended a Core Shamanism Basic Workshop last weekend sponsored by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. It was held at UC Santa Barbara (the beautiful weather and location was perfect for journeying).
The first exercise we did was divining.
We picked out a grapefruit-size rock from the environs and paired up with a partner.
We posed our own question for divining. Sample questions included: Is this the right time to leave my paid employment to pursue my life's passion? What should I be doing to find my life partner?
Career and relationship questions seemed to be the predominant themes. Also, health-related questions emerged.
We each used our own rock and cosmology to divine the answer to our question.
The first step is to look at the rock and try to find a feature that looks like something else - say, a leaf or a mountain peak or the eye of a jaguar (some of the participants were very imaginative). Then you figure out what that symbol says to you, based on your own associations. For example, the leaf says growth and renewal. Then, you say how that helps you answer your original question. I need to focus on my own growth and renewal in order to...
We work in pairs, so it is our partner's job to see the feature we point out and serve as scribe for the messages we collect.
We pick out four features and their messages and meaning on one side of the rock. Then we turn the rock over and identify another four features with associated messages and meaning, while your partner diligently checks out what you point out on the rock and writes everything down.
Then you review the eight features and their messages and meaning.
Then you put the rock behind your back and answer your original question based on what you saw in the rock.
This exercise was surprisingly powerful and guiding.
Some of us cried at the profundity of the messages. After all, they were our own. That is, they came from deep inside - they were our very own cosmology.
I took a friend out for dinner this weekend and she was struggling with a BIG life change decision. After attempting to look at the pros and cons, separating the forest from the trees and all that jazz, I suggested we use the rock for divination.
It worked like gangbusters. I noticed a peace and calm come over her as she reached her final conclusion. This was a noticeable change from our earlier conversation at dinner using pure logic to decide.
Some people read the runes. Others read tarot or angel cards. We can all divine information for our own lives by consulting the rock and our own cosmology - the deep knowledge and metaphors inside us all.