A while ago, it seems like along time ago now, I was practicing shamanism strictly privately, for fear that I might be branded a loon. I eventually gradually came to realize that the people who felt threatened by spiritual ideas were already put off by me, even if I held back on the label, and to the people I already clicked with, the label just made things easier to talk about. But accepting the label takes confidence, and that confidence took a while to build. This is the story of one of the steps.
So we were a friendly group hanging out in the kitchen, drinking beer, cooking spaghetti with tomato sauce and giving back rubs. Now in our society you usually only touch someone when it's a special occasion, but someone had decided to change that rule and everyone eventually went along with it. Back rubs are so nice! So one of my friends decided it was her turn and I reached out but it felt really uneasy. I didn't want to be rude so started kind of testing the energy with my fingertips and I could feel my subconscious jerk my hands back in revulsion and gasp. Whoa, what was that! Now my subconscious really enjoys her company, but touching her lower back- that's not fun, and tonight's about fun, so there.
Now she had been having all sorts of trouble with various kinds of conflict and was doing impressively well for herself in spite of it all. She was doing some work in politics and had- at least, that's what I thought- decided that the materialistic worldview was the one where she was least likely to have people question her sanity. I didn't push the issue, she knew I think of the world in terms of energy, and I always suspected her to be a closeted witch. So she heard me gasp, and she blurted out- whoa, what was that? What did you see?
Now as a shaman, if someone asks for your help, you can tell, skeptic or not. So I promised to look into it and we went on with our evening. We checked ourselves into a bar later and my friend kept looking at me like what I had sensed in her back was really important to her. So I decided to shifted to shaman mode then and there, scooted up a chair, and checked here out. In shaman mode my subconscious was suddenly perfectly fine with prodding her. It makes sense- if we're having a party, why deal with things that aren't fun? But if we're in healing mode, oh now that same energy is really great stuff to work with, and it was important to my friend, so there. So I reached in, like I'd done many times before on myself and sometimes on family- with the question in my mind, what's going on? What's troubling you? How can I help? What's the cause of this? I found that if you can't change something, if you dig up the root, then you can.
I told her I got a very fundamental conflict that's about the town she and her parents grew up in. I hadn't questioned it at the time, as far as I was concerned, everybody wants to escape their home town and go to the city. But I did know that with her, this went a bit deeper. She'd left for the city as soon as she could, when she was still a teenager.
I got a sense that something really bad had happened. I got a feeling of a rifted community, of mistrust, of people not looking out for each even though they really wanted to. I got that they felt ashamed about how things were but felt powerless to change it.
Then I got a cobble stone road and people being carted off in a horse and buggy some time in the forties. I got a sense of denunciation. Now Germany, the forties, denunciation and carting people off didn't sound good, but I got a sense that this was an example of the place's problems, but it wasn't the root. So I kept digging.
Then I got a situation of two brothers. Fighting. Kain and Abel. Familiy conflict. Nastiness. Brutishness. But also haplessness, bumbling, unnecessary. And again and again, not taking care well.
So we were both stunned. I'd done a lot of symbolic healing on myself, and you expect to get symbols of problems, but this was different. This was very clear, and very real. So we drank up, got the bill, and headed to my kitchen where I fire up the computer and I look up Arnstedt, Thüringen, Germany on Wikipedia. Sure enough, turns that Günther von Kefernburg went to war with his brother Heinrich over succession around 1160 and it dragged on for years. Well, that was that- I'd known all along that spirtual power was real- but now I knew, and so did my friend.
So now I'd found the root. Two brothers had let their sibling rivalry escalate into a senseless war that split their community apart, and it made such an impression on the people there that they never were able to stop recreating patterns of conflict between people they actually really love, and the place just never really recovered. I remembered that bible passage that the sins of the fathers are visited upon sons up unto the seventh generation, and I'd just seen it all play out.
Luckily, with my shaman training, I knew that I could do something about that. If you don't like it, you make a change! So I sat down and I talked to the brothers to figure out what was going on.
Turns out Heinrich never really wanted to be king, he just let his feelings of rivalry get out of hand. The instant he realized that, he immediately dropped his claim and made peace with his brother. I could sense a feeling of, for lack of a better word, whoooooooosh pour over what I had seen, the town, and my friend. I could tell that her alienation was gone, and she told me later that her back pain never came back. I saw her later and she was looking really sharp. I checked in with the Kevernburgs and Arnstadt, and they felt changed.
Now the wikipedia article didn't change. Experience might or might not have noticeably changed for others in town, although I suspect it did for some. But boy did things change for my friend, and for me as well. Now I suspect that if enough of this kind of shifting happened for lots and lots of people, history would find itself a way to be rewritten entirely, but for now that's not important. The improvement happened for her.
My own confidence also increased enormously as a result. Now you could just decide to have the confidence, and that's what I was doing before in doing a lot of symbol healing on myself without expecting to get a lot of external validation. But when validation does come, boy is that nice! But you do have to remind yourself after to do without it again in those circumstances where it isn't necessary for the healing.
Now, did I really travel through time and conduct telepathic diplomacy between two warring medieval aristocrats? Yes! Because my friend feels good now. The rest is details.