“. . . when a man comes across something that intrigues him, even though to others it may seem dull and inert, a mere stone, he should suspect that this stone contains for him a spirit. If that spirit calls to him he ought to go and rescue it from its stony prison and make for it a more worthy body; whether in his eyes it seems a precious stone or whether it is that stone of stumbling–a point at issue–which also contains a spirit that will not let him rest in peace until he has redeemed it from its despised condition.
“Esther Harding, Psychic Energy
Welcome to sheldonblog, The Psychotherapist, the Shaman and Energy Medicine, a blog that explores the worlds of psychotherapy, shamanism and energy medicine and their relationships to each other.
For the past twenty-one years I have been a psychotherapist, much in the tradition of the analytical psychology of Carl Jung. Through the years I studied and integrated into my practice various mind-body approaches. For the past several years I have explored the healing practices of shamanism, and for the past 3 years I have been studying with the Four Winds Society in its Healing the Light Body School working toward my certification in Energy Medicine.
The Four Winds Society is an international research and training organization founded in 1984 by psychologist and medical anthropologist, Alberto Villoldo. Four Winds provides a framework through which individuals can learn the ancient art of energy medicine as practiced by the shamans and medicine men and women of the Amazon and the high Andes.
This blog is dedicated to adding another voice to the conversations being held around the world in various formats–conversations that are sharing ideas, personal experiences, dreams, and expressions of art as well as essays and articles exploring the idea that at the most basic level everything is energy–both the physical plane of matter as well as the more abstract plane of the mind, and that by working with these subtle energies as the shaman might, we can restore balance to our energy fields and heal ourselves, each other and the planet. For example, what if the complexes of psychology with their emotional and behavioral expressions are not just words to describe psychological concepts but actual energetic fields vibrating with information that attract to themselves those experiences that match their energy much like a magnet attracts metal filings. So that a person caught in an “inferiority complex” might then attract experiences and situations that reinforce his feelings of inferiority. What if by interacting at the energetic level of this complex we can affect the energetic field in a way that bring greater balance and allows the individual to step out of that energetic pattern and create another life, one bound less by feelings of inferiority. What if by understanding, not only understanding, but also creating the relationships between psychology, shamanism and energy we can dream a new world into being.
In 2008 I dreamed
I am meditating and see an orb. I know it is my orb. As I look closer I see a small image of myself inside this orb. As I look even closer I notice tha I disappear and it is all pure energy. I become aware that this orb is my soul’s next manifestation.
Feeling compelled to paint this dream, I painted two orbs, one with my image and another of pure energy. See Painting 1. At this point the painting was without the cords of energy. That painting didn’t seem finished, yet nothing else came to me to paint. I set this canvas aside, not knowing for sure what to do with it. It wasn’t until 3 years later, after completing shamanic training on “Working with the Sacred,” a training in working with the archetypal energies or energy fields that influence emotional and behavioral patterns that I found myself pulling out the original canvas and was able to finish it. What I saw in this painting, at this time, after taking the “Working with the Sacred” training were cords of energy flowing out from this orb into everywhere, the sky and the sea, as if impregnating or inseminating the universe with its energy. I then see something coming out of the water, out of the sea, as if there was some connection to the energy coming from the orb and what was emerging from the sea. Over the next several month this painting evolved into the following images.
This dream and the active imagination resulting in an evolution of paintings suggest again and reinforce that at our most basic level we are pure energy and energy precedes existence. On this blog I will share bits and pieces of my journey as psychotherapist, shamanic practitioner, energy worker and artist with the intention of adding to the growing framework for understanding the relationship between energy and physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual health. Along the way I will explore ways of interacting with energy patterns to facilitate healing and transformation. I invite you to enter into this dialog.