Once a month, I meet with a small circle of well-experienced shamanic practitioners to work together. Wednesday night, we chatted, checked in, caught up, but then went on to the main event: Journeying.
Our format: We begin with personal journeys, connecting with our spiritual guides and asking our personal questions, then we “take requests.”
During the evening’s first journey, my main Power Animal told me, “Ahem! Yes, you! It’s time for a dismemberment!” So, after One Person’s healing journeys, the group drummed for me.
In a shamanic dismemberment, your Power Animals and other spirit-plane allies take you apart, right down to the bone or further, especially removing anything troublesome. Scary, painful? No, but the absolute glee that Power Animals bring to this task can be unnerving. They like taking us apart.
Midpoint, when I’ve just reached the skeleton stage, I stand up and dance. However loose-limbed and shaky, being liberated from ordinary form is ecstatic! But the dancing mood soon departs, and I lay back down for more stripping away. Soon, wind whistles through hollow bones. I’m dust amid the stars. Nada-ness.
And then, I’m re-membered. My Power Animals put me back together, sweetly and with such tenderness, leaving out anything that hasn’t been serving me well. I emerge from the journey feeling… new.
Shamanic dismemberment removes the obvious stuff I’d think to aim for, but also removes the real crap I can’t see clearly: My own limiting attitudes and beliefs. And it really reinforces the bonds of trust between me and my spiritual allies. This is a strange, exquisite form of healing.
P.S. Shamanic dismemberment isn’t for those who are new to journeying. Get some live training around it first.
Image: From “The Dance of Death” by Michael Wolgemut (1493)