Class: Masters of Shamanism
Final Essay by Rev. Linda Francis
In addition to needing six more hours to finish up the 60 hrs for my Doctors Degree I selected this class because of an experience that I had about eight years ago when I hosted an American Indian Storytelling event and a stranger shown up that had not been invited but said some friends of his said I would not mind.. He was dressed kind of different and I thought he might just be a homeless person that drifted in off the street for when I ask where he was from he told me that he actually had no place he called home but just lived where spirit called him. Needless to say I was a little concerned about having this stranger person in my home for several days. But as other storytellers and friends arrived indeed they knew him by his strange name and seemed to embrace him with warm affections. I pulled a few aside and asked about him to be told he was a shaman and indeed did live from place to place whenever folks offered him lodging. He was very friendly, asking a lot of questions about me and my spiritual life and personal goals. I was beginning to think he was looking for some future lodging seeing I lived alone in this big house and thus still feeling a little uneasy about his presence.
I notice him talking to others who seemed to be discussing me as well and that only made me feel all the more uneasy. When the workshop was over the leader of the group ask about staying one more night that they wanted to spend the day with just me alone. They said they had been discussing my strange Aura and that all had come up with the same feeling about my spirit and my future. I agreed, and was wondering what would happen the next day. The shaman did not stay but left an eagle feather behind for me that he said would be presented by the leader of the group to me the next day.
It seemed they had decided to adopt me into their native family because they felt I had a spirit like their own for both nature and mankind. I was given an Indian name, Rainbow Butterfly and told why this name was chosen, the I was given a rare gift only for Indian's, since now I was one of their own. It was the eagle feather from the shaman. I was told great spiritual blessing would come both to me and from me to others in the future. A medicine wheel was made in my back yard, a totem pole and prayers were burned in little red squares of tobacco. I did not understand it but loved the people and took part all the same.
It was only after taking this class that much of the meaning of what was happening has become real to me. I would encounter great health problems that would make me pray to die to escape but at the same time during all this isolation I became wrapped up in my garden and nature and encounter many spiritual truths in visions and all the more in dreams. I would see things before they happened and think at times I was losing my mind. I would return to school both locally and with this program that I am working on now by Internet, and all my classes and even the books that fail off the shelf at bookstores and I picked them up and started reading turned out to be about healing, teaching and using storytelling to heal. I have master degrees in storytelling, psychology and Rehi healing already and have been using them to heal through story for a long time. Only two weeks ago as this class is coming to an end do I return to study the messages of nature and animals again and what am I told again. The future is here and my time of healing others is growing near as my own healing takes place. After 4 knee surgeries I am out of the wheel chair, off the walker and cane and I am walking without pain for the first time in over 12 years. Yesterday, I walked for five hours, when only a year ago I could not walk over 20 minutes without pain. My inner healing has been about non-judgment of all, unconditional love and forgiveness for myself and others. And it seems that as I have forgiven all those who hurt me in my childhood and youth my own body has healed.
I had not thought much about the stranger that appeared eight years ago and was said to be a shaman until this last lesson. Now, I wonder did this man have an insight to my past and future. Did he see I was going through my own healing so I can helps others, and perhaps give me a special blessing that day.
I appreciate this class in that it gave me more respect for this man rather than seeing him as some "folk character" of history. Although, I would never call myself a shaman, perhaps all that are called to teach, tell stories as healers of spirit, mind body and soul to help our mankind find his higher self have a little shaman kinship.
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