21 July, 2017

Upcoming Public Shamanic Healing Ceremony in Frederick, MD

On Sunday, August 20th, there will be an open public Shamanic Healing Ceremony in Frederick, Maryland. The ceremony will take place in the Tan Building, located at Cricket Manor, a lovely historic farmstead just west of downtown Frederick. This ceremony will offer a range of healing modalities, including Soul Retrieval, Reiki, crystal healing, sacred woods, plants & herbs, TCM Energy Medicine, etc., from 6-7 different professional healers. A large healing grid will be set up in the center of the floor, and attendees will sit in a circle around this main area. Each healer will make their way around the room, providing healing, emotional support, deep insight, Helping Spirit Retrieval, and divination (if needed).

Here are the details:

  • When: Sunday, August 20th, from 11am to around 3pm. Please be on time and at your spot no later than 10:55am, as introductions/explanations will begin promptly at 11am!
  • Where: Cricket Manor (5301-C Shookstown Road in Frederick)
  • Cost: $80 flat rate per attendee, paid via PayPal (this is a fully pre-paid event, you must pay in advance, as we sell out quickly!)
  • What to bring: A comfortable seat cushion, yoga mat, camp chair, etc., as we will be on a concrete floor (there will be AC, huzzah!). A journal and pen/pencil, to write down what different healers may tell you. There will also be a range of books about Helping Spirits, crystals, etc. to write down any insights that these may provide, as you wait your turn for your next healing. Finally, bring food and drink, as there will be a social meet & greet directly after the ceremony ends, where both healers and attendees can share meals, stories, etc!
  • How to prepare for ceremony: A public group healing ceremony is much different from a private individual ceremony, but there are some overlapping similarities. This article may provide some insights, as well as links to other articles on Soul Retrieval and shamanic healing.

My fellow healers and I look forward to working with you, and growing our Community!

30 June, 2017

Dreams about my Dad

Bittersweet dreams of Dad this morning...
I remember arriving back in Flushing (Queens) after a long day of psych clients. I had gotten off the 7 train, and I was walking around my old neighborhood, observing how it had changed for the summer months. NYC in summer is full of Magic, and I miss my hometown greatly...
I had run up the stairs towards the apt on Parsons & Sandford, and saw that the second set of white granite steps had been replaced with a giant community altar, done in the Central American style. Neighbors were placing their wrapped packages inside a carved-out section (similar to the Maya wrapped offering bundles), and I began searching through my purse to add my own offerings. All I had was loose change, and I left two different offerings within the small cache.
After that, I stood up, walked around the crowd, and continued up to the apt. I went through the outer door (never locked), and tried to find my keys for 1-G. They had broken off, and I remember feeling annoyance and disappointment, which brought me into full consciousness in my dream.
Dad was dead, what was living in our apartment?
As I looked closer at the door, I realized that it had been taken off its hinges and reversed. The outer door was now inside, and the deadbolt on the inside was replaced with a new lock. I knocked, not sure of what would happen...
Dad answered the door, and I burst into tears.
He looked amazing. His beer belly was gone, he was standing up straight, hair brushed, wearing a nice sweater with his stonewashed jeans (80's forever, ha ha!). And no nicotine stains on his fingers!
He waved me in quickly, and suddenly I had a suitcase with me. I went to my old bedroom to put it down, but it had been changed into a hospital room with numerous patients bedridden, watching TV. Faceless nurses moved among them, administering meds. Two female supervisors (?), a mother-daughter couple, were in charge of the apartment/now hospital, and they had done amazing things to help my Dad heal from alcoholism, nicotine addiction, depression, and Soul Loss.
I had nowhere to put my suitcase, so all I could do was witness the hustle and bustle of this Afterlife Healing Center.
When alive, Dad attempted to be a Warrior, but Vietnam broke him. He found purpose in becoming a Healer instead (nurse at Memorial Sloan Kettering), before switching to Federal Post Office work. I am so very comforted by the fact that After Death, he is working hard to make sure that other Souls are healing, too.
I miss him so damn much, and I wish that he could have pulled through his alcoholic depression and lived longer. He died when I was 29 years old, way too damn young, and it has forever changed my life. It is bittersweet to see him helping and healing others, opening his home to them, because it's exactly what he tried to do in Life (when he had the capacity for it).

Time to pop open a beer and dedicate it to Him; for his healing and his hard work.

Henry Butke (c) Monika Healing Coyote, 2017

Love you Dad

28 June, 2017

15 minute shamanic drumming video now online!

In the past 2-3 years of teaching shamanic journeying techniques, many of my students have asked for a recorded version of the Pathworking used in classes.

Longer drumming journeys will be recorded soon, but here is a short 15-minute video to help folks Journey at home:

If you are in the Washington DC/DelMarVa area, I would love to work with you in class! Email me today, and I'll add you to my roster (also available via Facebook). For those that aren't local, email me anyways, and I will help you find a teacher local to you (i.e., shamanic referral process).


08 June, 2017

Q & A regarding Core Shamanism, Traditional Shamanism, and Initiations

A few weeks ago, I was asked to respond to different questions surrounding a range of issues in Modern Shamanism today: the apparent dichotomy between "core shamanism" vs. traditional/indigenous shamanism, initiations from priests vs. initiations from Spirits, and how to find an effective Teacher.

I am asked these questions often by different students and clients, and I suspect that many others are as well. Working with the wonderful search engine of Google (sometimes laughingly called, "the new version of the Library of Alexandria"), I can find hundreds of articles about the above-mentioned debates, using both academic and experiential data to inform their theories.

Using my ongoing studies, as well as my seven years of public healing work, I have formed my own opinions as well! Here are some of the highlights from my interview with a new researcher:

Q: "Many scholars have distinguished between traditional shamanism and 'core' shamanism, the non-denominational practice started by Sandra Ingerman and Michael Harner. It's my understanding that while shamans within some traditional cultures voluntarily choose the path, many are chosen by the gods/spirits, and begin their initiation with a "shamanic crisis" that involves seeing visions, hearing voices, having mood swings, and experiencing a lot of the same types of phenomenon our culture would label as mental illness. They are then approached by the elder shaman, usually a relative, and taught how to navigate and make sense of those intense experiences, and use their unique sensitivities to help others. On the contrary, those who practice core shamanism in our culture typically choose to do it voluntarily, without the type of intense and often terrifying initiation that you find in traditional shamanism (at least what I've seen). However, I do think there are people in our culture who are called to shamanism by the spirits, through the same type of initiation found in indigenous cultures. However, because we don't recognize them as such, they are not taught how to use their gifts, and are instead often labelled as having a pathology. What are your thoughts?"

A: "There is a lot to unpack here! Academia presents "traditional" vs. "core" shamanism as a false dichotomy-- each culture has its own initiation practices, and although the rituals may differ, it is always the Spirits that initiate a person. Currently, many different shamans from many different cultures are opening up their practices to the greater world, because there is such a need for healing. Core shamanism was created by Michael Harner back in the 1970's as a result of his meta-analyses across continents. Many basic skills are the same, such as journeying via drum/rattle, working with Helping Spirits for knowledge, etc., but the Spirits know the difference between folks who voluntarily learn these skills to help out friends and family vs. folks who dedicate their lives to healing all who come to them. Core shamanism has taken off in the USA because of the trend away from seeking out spiritual guidance from priests, pastors, and other humans, and instead going directly to the Spirits themselves. That doesn't mean that it's not valid, but it does need the framework of a religion in order to conceptualize the information.
With regards to the symptomology you described, you may want to check out Lukoff's work on Visionary Spiritual Experiences. Shamanic crisis is the death of one's old life, and while it may be a physical near death experience, it can also be the death of the personality structure, etc. There is a significant difference between that type of initiation crisis vs. mental illness, and most of the time, especially in America, it is truly mental illness. Most biological/genetic mental illnesses start around second puberty, 20-26 years old, and personality disorders (as a form of mental illness) are shaped from a person's experiences since childhood to their current age. There are very few truly "indigenous" cultures left in the world, sadly. Within those smaller populations, the need for shamans would start the Crisis much earlier in life (when it was difficult to judge whether or not it was mental illness), because there may have only been one in a community, or one may be near death, etc.  In America, many shamans are called to work in their late 40's and 50's, when there is a drastic life change, or retirement, or the kids have left the house, etc. In that way, the shaman can be born from the "death" of that old life, that old role.  Of course, there are always exceptions to these generalities, but much has changed in the world since Michael and Sandy wrote their books 30-50 years ago!"

Q: "Do you think someone who practices core shamanism and has not had an initiatory crisis could be a suitable mentor for someone called to shamanism by the spirits who has experienced intense visions and altered states (while not in journey)? Or do you think that the best mentor would be someone who also has these experiences and can teach them how to process, understand, and cope with them?"

A: "Just because someone started learning within 'core' teachings doesn't mean that they have not had an initiatory crisis! However, asking a potential mentor such a personal question would most likely be crossing a boundary, as these things are incredibly private. In all honesty, I would evaluate someone the same way one does a doctor, therapist, etc.  What education do they have? How many years experience working with the public? Do they offer any lectures or trainings, to get a sense of their teaching methods?  Essentially, "shaman" is the job title, and each shaman works within different religious frameworks, so evaluating folks until you find one that 'fits' is a good thing!  The Spirits will give guidance through Divine Inspiration, but they can only use the information & concepts within someone's mind (i.e., life experiences, book learning, etc.). So if you are speaking with a mentor that perceives the Worlds via engineering concepts & systems, and you communicate your ideas within the framework of the human condition/archetypes, then that may not be the best fit long-term, but you'll definitely learn something!"

What are your thoughts to these highly-debated concepts in Modern Shamanism? If you are interested in learning more, I will be presenting on this very topic at Free Spirit Gathering, in Darlington MD, next week. Hope to see you there!

11 May, 2017

Online Beltane Desert Healing Ceremony

I returned from Arizona yesterday, and what a change! Dry, hot (90F) weather each day, and now I'm in wet, cold (only 55F) weather. My poor allergies have started again, but I think that's only for another week or two, phew!

In typical wacky-Coyote fashion, I had some technical issues during my time in the Desert. My online healing ceremony accidentally split itself into two parts, and refused to upload in a timely manner. Thankfully, the high-speed internet of the East Coast helped, and linked below are Parts I and II of the Beltane Desert Healing Ceremony!

(Part One, around 32 minutes)

(Part Two, around 28 minutes)

I encourage everyone to make a cup of coffee/tea/juice, switch into comfy clothes, and watch the Ceremony when they have an hour of free time. This healing work can be facilitated whenever and wherever you are, but it works best when you can devote the full hour to it (turn off your phone, and anything else that could interrupt you). If you need to pee, it's perfectly fine to pause the ceremony, but it may have some energetic side effects if you start the ceremony and then stop it before the closing/sealing songs...

This is the second Online Ceremony that I've conducted (see my YouTube Channel for others), and while each one focuses on the different needs within the community, I do not perform Soul Retrieval during these ceremonies.*

I am very thankful to the Spirits of Yavapai County, the Ancestors, and the Shining Ones for their hard work between the Worlds. I look forward to working with additional Spirits of Place (genius locii) during my next online healing ceremony, coming this Fall/Winter 2017. Aaaaoooooooooooo!

*Soul Retrieval is a powerful form of healing/integration work, and can catalyze profound changes. It is best facilitated in the supportive atmosphere of a private ceremony, so that any crises can be addressed in a loving and therapeutic way.

01 May, 2017

Upcoming FREE Online Healing Ceremony

(c) Monika Healing Coyote, 2016

Joyous Beltaine Celebrations to all!

I am conducting another FREE Online Healing Ceremony, via Facebook Live, during my retreat in the Red Rock Desert of Arizona. It will be similar in form and structure to my previous Online Ceremony, and is open to anyone who joins the Event.

All are welcome to attend, no matter what his/her religious or spiritual beliefs. I will sing different sacred songs, to honor the Helping Spirits, as well as divinely-inspired chants (this follows a Druid-style ritual). Attendees are welcome to sit in meditation during the event, or watch the video feed (I will be near the summit of one of the mountains, huzzah!).

Sometimes, spiritual healing ceremonies inspire creative problem-solving, as well as a clearing of blockages. Journaling can be an excellent way to process these moments of inspiration. However, if you notice some difficult imagery, or want additional insight/healing, you are welcome to email me for follow-up services (I will not be able to answer any questions during the ceremony).

Although I am offering this ceremony free to the online community, donations are happily accepted (but not required). If you have a PayPal account, then please use "lonelycoyote@healingcoyote.com " as the email address for donations.

For those who have not attended an Online Event like this before, here are specific instructions:

  1. At 12 noon MST, make your way to the Monika Healing Coyote Shamanism Facebook Page.
  2. A window and/or link should pop up on my Timeline, "Watch Monika Healing Coyote LIVE now" or something similar.
  3. Click on the link or image, and you'll be tuned in to my LIVE online Healing Ceremony!
  4. If nothing shows up by 12:15pm MST, then I am having WiFi problems on the mountains, and will upload the full video recording within an hour or two (once I return to the hotel with full WiFi access).
For those who remember my last ceremony in January, I purposely work beyond Space & Time, so that any/all who watch the ceremony, no matter the time or location, will receive healing from the Spirits.

I look forward to working with the worldwide community for healing and empowerment, aaaaoooooooooo!!!

11 April, 2017

Open Shamanic Journey class on Sunday, April 23rd at Cricket Manor

Hello Journeyers, old and new!

(c) Monika Healing Coyote, 2017
Welcome to the next Open Shamanic Journey group, located in central Maryland. This group is held monthly, on either the 3rd or 4th Sunday. Monika Healing Coyote will facilitate two different guided Journeys, based on current events, astrological energies, personal growth prompts, and/or whatever ideas/techniques the Spirits put into her head!

April's class will be hosted by Cricket Manor, in Frederick, MD. Doors will open at 1:30pm, class runs from 2pm to 4:30pm, and we will close shortly after that. The cost of this class is $30, payable at the time of attendance (either via PayPal, check, or cash). 

We will be holding class inside the Tan Building (area C) of the Cricket Manor complex. Parking will be on the lawn, and there will be numerous signs posted for first-time attendees. The topic will be Ecstatic Body Postures, and how they can facilitate Shamanic Journeys!

There are plenty of chairs, but if you have a preferred cushion or mat that you enjoy using, you are welcome to bring it. Also, please bring a notebook and pen/pencil, in order to write down your perceptions and interactions in the Otherworlds. Our meeting time is roughly between lunch and dinner, but I have found that a small snack in between Journeys helps to ground and center oneself (bring that too, if you need it).

I will bring my Bear Drum and will be drumming for the class. As this is geared towards Beginner-to-Intermediate students, I ask that you keep your own drums & rattles at home (the compounded rhythms make it difficult for newer folks to focus on the meditation).

I look forward to working with all of you, and growing our community, Aaaaoooooo!

Additional Info: This is a monthly beginning-to-intermediate Shamanic Journey group, as well as a place for those that wish a dedicated time/space to interact with their Helping Spirits. The fee is $30, and you don't need prior experience in Journey Techniques in order to attend! I will provided direct instructions during both Journeys, to help newer folks. For those who have never Journeyed before, or interacted with Spirits, or have figured out a Helping Spirit to work with (animal, plant, deity, etc.), here are a few articles that may help: