If I describe my first shamanic journey on my own behalf, not Coleen’s journeying for me, mediating an entourage of power animals and beings, not her extractions of misplaced energies, not her soul retrieval journeys, but my own journey, not with the powerful bear, or the gregarious wolf or the insightful owl, but with beings I won’t name and with salamander then there’s only this:
Salamander vibrates between animism and naturalism and so even before the Manhattan Project, before digital computers, salamander was and is digital.
Salamander collapses subject and object, figure and ground, living not just in the ground and the water but of ground and water like pouring water into water.
The object has a similar interiority and a similar physicality and this I call digitism.
Last night , Karen, Emma and I drummed for the return of the sun. It’s our Winter Solstice custom, a Shamanic ritual of remembrance and looking to the future.
Well, almost. Last year, through inertia perhaps we didn’t do it. And sure the hours of daylight got longer anyway, but it was a rough year, there was much darkness in our minds.
I think we have to have a more elastic sense of causality in these kind of things. A sense of karma across a continuum of awareness expressed maybe in units of lifetimes, extended in the rebirth of an unaware non-self.
So last night we drummed, around a single candle, instead of our usual fireplace fire, welcoming the four guests, the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, the Spirits of the Place, and the Beings each of us have a special karmic connection to, each of us expressing in rhythm, frequency and volume something as ephemeral as a lifetime, as solid as daylight.