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Grief is rampant in our world. Whether it’s personal grief and loss, or grief for the earth—wars, fires, extinctions, human suffering—it often immobilizes us.
How do we process (or avoid) our grief? Why can some of us move on and some cannot? Is intent a factor? Are there practices that can reliably help anyone shift? Can we let sounds carry our grief away?
When I sat with these questions in meditation, I heard:
“the overabundance of heavy energy in the world may be as damaging as the effects of climate change. “
This shocked me. In these times of great challenge, could our energetic response to human and earth crises truly be impeding our survival as a species?
I decide to journey with my spirit helpers to learn more.
Shamanic Journeying for Insight and Guidance For readers who don’t know much about shamanic journeying, here’s what happens, briefly:
You formulate your intent—what you want to learn, what information or guidance you seek, and the questions you want to ask.
You create sacred space and greet your helpers.
Drumming or rattling to shift into Theta brain waves and maintain focus, you ask one of your power animals or teachers to take you to a particular spirit for advice, information, or guidance. Your power animal guides; you keep asking your questions and observe what you see.
How a spirit appears to you is usually a metaphor, as is whatever advice you receive. (If two people journey to the same spirit, they’ll likely see different images.) The advice is crafted by spirit in a way that you can understand, and draws on our experiences and belief systems for imagery and language.
Afterwards, you try to follow the advice. When you ignore it, the spirits may get very irritated!
A Path Through Grief and Into the Light: Advice from the Spirit of Grief My Q’ero guide takes me up a mountain path, into a cave, and out onto a high ledge overhang. We look down on a world covered with the dark gray fog of grief.
I ask: what do you do when there is this much heaviness and disordered energy in the world?
He says: “We climb high to the mountain peaks that stick out above the fog, and reach for the stars. We fill ourselves (energetically) with lighter, refined energy and try to become beacons of light shining in the fog.”
He demonstrates by taking me very high up on Ausangate, the sacred mountain. We walk slowly because I am not used to the thin air. We open our crowns to let starlight and the filaments of the multiverse rain down and fill us.
I carefully sense and observe the light energy in my body so I can re-member and shine it through the fog as he just showed me. When we walk down the mountainside we appear as two columns of light. He goes off to his village. I keep descending into the fog/dense energy.
One of my power animals appears by my side to continue guiding me. I ask him to take me to the spirit of grief. As we descend I understand that I needed to be in this lightened state before I could meet and face the spirit of grief directly.
The Spirit of Grief appears as a dark blob within the fog, somewhat amorphous, with shifting shape. It is made up of condensed droplets of water, as is fog. Where the energy of grief is denser, the spirit darkens.
I stay in my column of light so I can observe without being overcome by my grief or the world’s grief. I want to be fully present.
The Spirit of Grief says: ”Each person carries their individual grief’s sound, color, and shape. When the energy is dense, it means many droplets have combined. When lighter energy enters the fog, some density can disperse. So each individual’s choice about releasing or continuing to carry her grief affects the whole.”
The Spirit emphasizes that when we don’t express our grief, or hold onto it for longer than necessary, our energy becomes more dense and heavy. Conversely, each time we acknowledge and let grief go, our energy lightens.
I ask, “What about a big grief, like the loss of a child, or partner, or democracy?”
The Spirit of Grief responds: “It’s like any energy you get used to. You have to release it over and over. You have to renew your intent to let go, and practice being lighter. You must let a new story emerge, one that is not fueled by the density of grief.
“Like a habit, it may never go away, but it can become a speck that arises and reminds us, rather than a fog that creates a pall around our lives.
“Every time you observe and remember your moments of feeling lighter, you are imprinting and strengthening your skill in dancing between light and heavy energy.”
The richness and depth of insight in this journey offers us this guidance:
“Like a habit, grief may never go away, but it can become a speck that arises and reminds us, rather than a fog that creates a pall around our lives.”
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