A Winter Afternoon Chat

TwilightFirst, a warm thanks to Kim Gossling who nominated my blog for the Premio Dardos Award, a blogging award that “recognizes cultural, personal, ethical, and literary values in creative and original writing.” I am honored by her nomination. Thank you, Kim! 

I am always pleased to receive acknowledgement for my writing. I also have long had a policy of not accepting awards as I do not have time in my day to do justice to the important tasks that go along with awards.

The other afternoon we visited a friend, who is a fine shaman in her own right. We are all elders now, passing along what we know to others. That said, we also share our knowledge with one another. We’ve always done that, yet it seems to me we do so more easily, and with more grace.

As we watch the sun slide towards the snow banked horizon and a fabulous sunset, our conversation ranged playfully across many topics before settling on spirits that prove troublesome, and PTSD. The first discussion was largely a recollection of past experiences with unhappy spirits, out of which some sense of understanding and compassion grew. Looking back on some of those moments draws chuckles from me still.

The second part of our discussion was about PTSD and working with trauma. Given that most of the Native people we see are living with some form of PTSD this is a large conversation. After forty years of working with trauma I am still stunned by the persistence of trauma in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. The explanation I learned as a young adult was that traumatic events lodge themselves in the dream body and can be passed to others. Traumatized Ancestors who speak to us in our dreams, and perhaps our waking hours, can also pass along PTSD. Last week I chanced upon the abstract for an article about researchers apparently passing  trauma as genetic information through several generations of mice. Trauma is indeed a strong force in the lives of many people.

Trauma is also a force in the lives of many of those spirit beings who find themselves being called “ghosts” by us, the living. Addressing the trauma is often a prerequisite for aiding those distressed spirits. I guess the lives of some spirits aren’t that different from the lives of the embodied. Maybe we can remember that.

14 thoughts on “A Winter Afternoon Chat

  1. Because, at 74 yrs old, I move/live in an amalgam of what you would call spirits, I read this hoping to find any little clue to help me in my treacherous journey…. wish this had been more than a recording of your meeting. I’ll continue to follow on Twitter, however, in the hope that a break through may be in the future.

  2. Wow…Michael…super perspective! I believe that trauma has very far reaching aspects and is remembered at the cellular level. So what you said makes perfect sense! We are all energy and that energy manifests…always…in all ways! Happy to stop by and catch up with you…hope all is great in your world! ❤

  3. Hi Michael, the idea of trauma living in the dream body seems to make sense. I remember Benny Shannon sharing that in a medicine ceremony, he saw images of the holocaust, even though he knew it wasn’t him attending and that he was safe. And Sting spoke of a soldier in the trenches who kept his men safe, and wondered where the vision came from…not his life…at the time, I thought it showed how interconnected we are, and how we have to work for all of us to experience freedom as a part of our own humanity. Thanks for sharing this post.

    1. Hi Nicci, Yes, the struggle to experience, encourage, and share freedom seems central to our human experience. I do not understand much about the mystery of what may be shared experience. Yet it seems to me that those experiences of embodying the life moments of someone else can be immensely informative and liberatory, whether as vision or as cultural exchange (Book, film, theatre, etc.). When we reject those precious opportunities we create more suffering. So we, as you eloquently put it,” work for all of us to experience freedom as a part of our own humanity.

      1. Michael, then I hope you also found your way to calm down again. For me it can take very long time to calm down and find myself again. This time almost two weeks and I still feel it is very close. Wish you the best Michael.

      2. Irene, I have been working on this for a long time. As a I age, I seem to become slowly more residential. I have also learned to try to be more kind to myself, and whatever voices are upset. Slow learning. I hope you find a calm port soon.

  4. By healing ourselves, we go a long way in addressing a lot of those embedded traumas in our ancestral consciousness. I noticed that once I began to remove my blockages and do soul retrieval for myself, that my family members began to experience more success and better health in their lives too. So of course the same could be said for departed ancestors too. Healing is definitely a shared process.

    1. Yes, addressing the traumatized and conflicted parts of self makes an enormous difference in our lives and those of the persons around us. I am glad the healing is spreading through your world.

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