What inspired you to write this book?
This latest book is a culmination of twenty years of shamanic journey
work, including teaching individual clients and groups how to go into trance and travel to spirit worlds. I always want to empower readers and in this book anyone can learn how to visit spirit worlds and bring back insights that can transform their lives. I also want to help people to no longer fear death or worry where their departed loved ones have gone. It is a mission of mine to change the way we as a culture view life and death.
What is shamanic journeywork and what are the levels of the spirit worlds?
I define shamanic journey as travel in an altered trance state from this world of ordinary reality to alternative worlds that are non-ordinary. In other words, shamanic journey is spirit travel to other dimensions of reality. The shaman or shamanic practitioner can go into a deep trance state usually by listening to a rattle or a drum. Then they dissociate from their own body and physical reality and journey into an alternate reality that the shaman calls the spirit world. These alternate realities are often called the lower world, the middle world and the upper world, and in each realm the person journeying can engage with spirit beings such as totem animals, spirit allies and higher beings like angels, soul family members and divine teachers.
What is the purpose of doing shamanic journeywork and going to spirit worlds?
For centuries shamans have been going into trance and journeying on behalf of their tribes, meeting with spirit helpers in alternate realities and bringing back information and ways to heal the sick, find food and water, and solve dilemmas within the community. The shaman also augmented his or her own power and did this as well for those who were ill. Today, the average person can learn how to do shamanic journey, usually for personal transformation and to help others. The purpose is similar to the goals of ancient peoples: to ask for wisdom from spirit allies in order to improve one’s life and the lives of one’s fellows.
Why did you write the early chapters about animal helpers in a lower world and spirit allies in a middle world? Why not just write about the upper worlds and a level of heaven?
It’s very important that readers practice doing shamanic journey to the other worlds first in order to invite power animals and spirit helpers to support them in their many journeys. Traveling to the upper worlds is much easier and more fulfilling when readers have animals to carry them and allies to accompany them on their quests. Also, it is helpful to understand the context of journey work in the earlier chapters as well as mythological and cultural information such as the history of The Tree of Life and Jacob’s Ladder before spirit traveling to upper realms.
What qualifies you to write this text?
I have been actively involved in shamanic community since 1993, studying with four major shamans, Michael Harner, Alberto Villoldo, Brant Secunda and Hank Wesselman, doing two vision quests and immersing myself in Plains Indian tradition. I am a shamanic practitioner and use journeywork with most of my clients, teaching them to travel to spirit worlds and even to journey into the world of their own bodies and minds. As a lifelong student of meditation, an ordained minister and energy healer, a hypnotherapist and transpersonal psychologist, shamanism is an additional tool I use for my own growth and transformation for individual clients and groups.
You have said there is no death and we are all immortal. How do you know?
For over two decades I have been going into trance and spirit traveling to alternate realities, to worlds beyond this one. All this time I’ve known that we are souls having a physical experience on earth, and this has especially been proven to me this year after my husband’s transition. Now that Tom is a spirit without a body, I still feel his energy, hear him speak to me and see him in what I call a level of heaven. He looks radiant and full of light, with a youthful, muscular body, long dark hair and a vibrant energy. I can visit him anytime I wish and we meet beyond the sun in heaven, on a white sand beach to the right of a Greek temple where my soul family and divine teachers are. My husband is there with my parents, and Jesus and other guides also share their wisdom with me. Through direct experience of the divine, I know for a fact that there is no death for us as souls; we are immortal.
What is some of the wisdom that your own spirit allies have shared with you?
Every journey is unique and each visit to a spirit world offers different insights. In general, my spirit helpers are always honest and positive. They often tell me that I am on the right track and they are proud of me. At times they share more specific input, whether about my relationships or my work, my health or my spiritual practice. They will tell me if I am not journeying often enough, and when I show up, there are weeds in my sacred place or no helper is there. My allies have helped me to become a much better person through adventures, tests and experiences that show me what I must change and who I need to become. Once when I was being bossy and demanding, one of my animal helpers dropped me into a rushing river. He also left me in his nest to think about my behavior and finally returned and asked, “Are you teachable? Are you ready now?” Very humbly, I answered, “Yes.”
What do you mean by the title of the last chapter, “Bringing Heaven Home?”
The final chapter is about how to use all the insights from the previous chapters to improve one’s life here. It invites readers to look at all the journeys and all the guidance by spirit helpers and apply these teachings to specific areas in the real world such as: healing past life issues, relationships, spiritual practice, self-care, health, professional life, creative expression, leisure and service. The chapter offers readers a way of creating heaven on earth, of establishing a plan to increase the joy, love, passion and purpose of one’s life, letting go of what no longer serves, and embracing what is truly the soul’s calling.