This was shared in a group the other day, and I want to re-share it, but also open a can of worms. So bear with me.

This shareable thing contains truth. My first impression of it was, “ya- that’s right”, and it made me want to roll up my shirt sleeves and make a fist, like I was ready to get down to business here. But stepping back from that and just observing- it’s tainted with hypocrisy because it points a finger at people pointing fingers.

Many people know, but if you don’t, I came out of Protestantism (Christianity) after over a decade of very intense study and commitment. I mean, it was my sold-out identity in every way. I won’t go into the details of why I left the corporate Church, but suffice it to say that I have an insiders knowledge of the language and dogma of corporate religion (well, at least that one).

I was disappointed, but not shocked to come out of that to find that the very groups of “spiritual” people who so vehemently despise Christianity for it’s rigid dogma and intolerance were often themselves very intolerant and rigid.

It’s unfortunately not hard to be blinded by our own biases and to believe we are pious in our views.

I recently engaged in a discussion about solipsism. It’s something I am sensitive to and can discern readily out of any article or teaching being put forth. I run into it a whole lot, as Jungianism encroaches on neoshamanism, and unfortunately many of Jung’s followers often offer the solipsistic element (or poison) into the mix. As a “spiritual” person no longer tied to dogma, I weigh and examine everything, every belief, every practice, every idea, every statement, when it is asking me to accept or adopt it. Now, shamanic practice is an entirely different thing, and when I’m directly working with people, all of “me” goes to the back-burner as I lean into you and learn your language, your belief system, your values, and your story. I always work with what I’m given, even though I can see layers that aren’t obvious on the surface. I try to tread light and with compassion foremost in my practice. No technique or knowledge or experience can ever exceed the healing that Love offers. So it’s always my steadfast ‘tool.’ But what is Love really, if it’s not leaning in to another to such a degree that we’re paying attention, truly listening, holding them with best intentions with our heart, and allowing them to be fully and exactly who they are?

In this discussion about solipsism I was not surprised to be met with resistance, misunderstanding, and all those things that characterize conflict really. People have a hard time when their beliefs are challenged, even when it’s indirectly.

As the discussion unfolded the idea of “as within, so without” came into the picture. This is a pervasive idea in spiritual circles these days, along with ideas about manifestation, and Law of Attraction (thank you, The Secret, for ruining relationships everywhere). And so I mentioned that I have a hard time buying into these ideas, because 5 year old Aimee who was raped and nearly suffocated to death on that bathroom floor certainly didn’t do anything to manifest that, to project it out from her Shadow impulses, to vibrationally call that to herself.

The answer that was in turn given to me was “karma”, essentially. I left that alone. But I know if I would have argued my position any further, then I would likely be accused of arguing for my “pain body”, or arguing for my “victim mentality.”

Believe me, I have done the work in transmuting a whole lotta shit into gold. I AM not, absolutely not, a “victim.” But I am sharing this because it really brought to light what the pervasive issue is in many spiritual circles- a lack of true wisdom and compassion.

Many of the people I’ve encountered who believe “karma” is a real thing, who believe in reincarnation, also believe Christianity is a rigid, dogmatic religion, and they often have contempt for it. Sometimes this contempt is so strong they barely tolerate a reading of the Scriptures, and this spills over even into any discussion of Christ/Jesus. In their self-righteousness they think they are spiritually superior and not so ignorant like those foolish and blind Christians. Yet they can’t seem to step back and see that their own ideas of reincarnation and karma are just ideas too. Some people don’t believe in reincarnation or in karma. So who is right and who is wrong?

In the end, these are beliefs, or “programs.” And the shamanic path is one of increasingly letting go of belief while embracing an ever-widening scope of possibility.

Sure, some people claim to have direct experience with these things. And I don’t question it. Just as some people have had direct experience with Christ, with the Holy Spirit, with the living nature of the Holy Bible. And I don’t question that either. Direct experience is powerful, and beyond any faith. It’s one of the things I most treasure about shamanism (well, the Michael Harner “core shamanism” brand, anyway)- it’s dogma-free and allows for direct experience to be the teacher.

But for someone to define my experience as an innocent and traumatized child as “karma” is, well, itself a form of abuse really. Not because it’s either right or wrong. But because it’s void of any compassion, any tenderness, any respect for that trauma and the transmutation I’ve done (incredibly hard work) with it, and lacks respect for my truth. There was no getting to know me, or leaning in to discover how I transmuted it, or what my story is around it and how that may have changed or evolved. It was just a direct, piercing arrow, attempting to tell me what my story ought to be, defining for me what my experience was or the lens with which I should view it.  Who has the right really to tell us who we are, why we have experienced the things we’ve experienced (consider Job’s friends here), or how we ought to see and process things in our first-person experiences? And I suspect that compulsion comes from a dogmatic adherence to a belief system that tries to make sense of the world and all the trauma we must endure here as human beings.

But I assure you- we’re not going to find peace or harmony among the human race until we can lean into one another tight, and embrace one another’s differences, whether we agree or not. Another’s belief does not need to threaten our own. We can hold those close to ourselves without needing to judge another or try to persuade them to believe what we believe, and still be encouraging, compassionate, and loving towards them. This, to me, is the heart of shamanism.

It’s interesting that I still heavily lean towards a Christian framework with my personal cosmology. And this triggers a lot of people who judge my “duality” as less superior, less spiritually evolved. A really big part of my experience as a Spiritual Warrior comes from the work I do in helping people extract ‘things’ that are inorganic to the soul.  And so in this line of work there’s no way to escape the duality or the discernment of the boundaries between what is ‘good’ (or wanted) and what is ‘evil’ (and unwanted). A big part of this, for me, comes from also being Initiated Into Darkness. I learned at a very early age what the boundaries were between darkness and light, between malevolent and benevolent intention, and as I grew in maturity, the subtleties in mis-guided (and unconscious) intention too (all that grey area). I would say I am as sharp as an arrow, and as delicate as a surgeon’s scalpel. So we’re not talking blunt force trauma here. But whenever any hint of dualism shows it’s arse through my language or the perspective I’m offering, this is what gets projected onto me.

Some say that until we accept “as within, so without” as a our truth, and accept that the evil we see in the world is a projection of our own mind and heart, we will continue warring and killing one another, trapped in this “us versus them” mentality. They shout, “unity, unity, unity- we are all One.” But do you see the trap? Because out of the other side of their mouth they are cursing those who see the duality, who call evil what it is: evil.

So I can tell you, from where I stand today, that this idea that anyone who buys into the ‘duality model’ of the human earthly experience is a fear-mongering idealogue who is not consciously evolved, and perpetuates violence and judgement, is a total projection. It may have some merit in some situations. But overall, it’s a stereotype. Because here I AM. I don’t live in fear. I don’t perpetuate fear, because I don’t dictate to others what their story is. I allow them to tell me. And if that means they come to me saying they have a demonic attachment, or even possession, I don’t judge them in any way for that. I accept that as their truth, and from the frame of reference they offer me, I try to guide them out of that and into the light. And even as a tried and true Spiritual Warrior, I don’t go about “kicking ass” or waving my unsheathed swords around. I don’t go about encouraging violence or perpetuating a war-like mentality. Yet, from my frame of reference we are in  full-out war- war for our minds, our hearts, and our souls. And I very clearly see my role on the battlefield.

Quite honestly here, the reaction to my sharing about my childhood trauma was sorcery. I call it out when I see it not to sound an alarm, or call any one person out, but because there’s a lot of confusion and misunderstanding (or total lack of understanding) about what sorcery is, and it’s my job here at this time to teach people about this. And that is a karma I accept. Sometimes the best way to teach is through example- providing real-life, tangible examples.

The majority of sorcery is compelled by entirely unconscious forces. There are occasions when an individual is fully conscious and actively employing known techniques of sorcery to manipulate people for their own gains. But this diabolical expression of it is much rarer than the actively unconscious expression.

So how is this example evidence of sorcery? Whenever someone spits out programming (belief) with the intention that you also need to frame your experience through that lens, especially if there is shaming or judgement involved if you do not, sorcery is occurring. Let me state this another way: when someone attempts to assert their belief, idea, dogma, authority, over you in  such a way that does not honor your unique experience and frame of reference, this is sorcery.

This individual who told me my childhood trauma was a result of my karma- does this person know this to be true? As in, Akashic Records true? Or was this just a convenient answer for the ‘problem of evil’ in our complex world? And was this person truly concerned about helping me understand my own trauma, empowering me through it, or was the motivation to quell the discomfort felt when faced with tough evidence contradicting some of the belief systems tightly held by the individual? This raises questions that prompt me to write more in depth about the value of utilizing the Akashic Records in shamanic practice, and I most certainly will soon offer an article on this to The Urban Shaman.

It’s not my intention to call anyone out here or publicly expose or shame anyone. It’s why I am intentionally not providing more specific details. So if you’re taking this personal and feeling defensive, maybe it’s time to take a long, honest look in the mirror and sort that out?

See, I have already transmuted this. I already know my answer. I know why that trauma occurred and why it was necessary. And “karma” is a grossly over-simplified answer that entirely lacks compassion- another potential red flag for sorcery. Maybe I can’t hold everyone to the same standard of shamanic practice I hold for myself, especially if they’re not even in shamanic practice. But I do believe we all are accountable for the sorcery we perpetuate- conscious or unconscious. And we can’t really change what we’re not conscious of. So for me it’s important to point out sorcery when the situation supports that. I do this not from a place of moral superiority or judgement. We’re all learning here. I do this because I literally mean it when I say it’s a big part of my mission in this life, and is tied to clearing some very bad karma I acquired. It comes from a heart to teach, to raise consciousness. And I know it makes me a thorn in the side for a lot of people.

Think of this in terms of power. Is the person you are interacting with trying to empower you, or take away your power? If you aren’t sure, pay attention to your feelings because the emotional system is a barometer for what’s going on.

Now, the thing is, sometimes people can trigger us. They may be speaking a truth we’re not ready to hear. So I’m not suggesting you should patently reject anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, that doesn’t seem to initially ‘resonate’ with you. Any discomfort should lead you back to center- a self check-in of sorts. And before becoming immediately defensive, ask yourself if this external source of information about you, about who you are or what you ought to believe has any truth. Be prepared to do the work to digest it, gleaning out the rich nutrients that may be contained within. And if the conclusion is that it’s not the truth of how you know yourself, then respond from a place of power, your power, and not from a vulnerable Ego defense.

In short, know thyself. The deeper and more committed your relationship to yourself is, the more real defense you have against sorcery, which in it’s essence is a vying for power and control. When you come to know yourself, know your center, your core essence, no one can come and define for you who you are in any way that makes sense if it’s not perfectly aligned. You’ll get better and better at discerning sorcery in that process. And trust me, it abounds. We encounter it daily in our lives. Probably hourly. So this is an imperative work for this time we’re in.