Once upon a time there was this regular, within the medical system, hospital working Physiotherapist, who wanted to become a Shaman.
So she took the basic course in Core-Shamanism and learned how to journey into alternate realities.
That Physiotherapist was me.
— — And then there was this dancer, who had a neat little dance group which performed all over B.C., even at Expo 86. This dance group fell apart and died after 10 years, and the bereaved director of the troupe decided, to become a clown instead. That was also me.
What Does a Shaman-Clown Do?
One nice and sunny day in early spring of 1992 this budding shaman-clown decided to show some appreciation to our friends, the trees.
After all, trees do so much for us, — and mostly without even being asked permission, let alone thanked. What better way was there than giving them a state-of-the-art clown performance. — — All over the hillside.
Thus I donned my very best (and warmest) hobo-clown outfit, painted my face carefully, packed some scarves and balloons and stomped out into the still chilly outdoors.
Occasionally stumbling over those oversized shoes, and singing loudly: “I want to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas !” I slowly made my way around and downhill towards the creek. I hugged trees, juggled scarves, blew up balloons and bounced them around, — only to chase after them when the wind blew them away.
The Sad Tree
A few times I fell on my behind screaming loudly, — and danced with and for little trees. In short, a great old time was had by all!! One tree in particular I went all out for. This one, standing near the creek, had always struck me as looking so sad.
It was a Douglas Fir, an absolutely beautiful tree! But the way it’s twigs and branches drooped it almost looked like the cedar, it’s neighbor to the left. This tree had lots of little Douglas Fir babies by it’s feet, and I went all out for this group, trying to cheer up this sad tree and having fun with the “kids.”
Well, there came the time, that I was all treed out and clowned out and I gradually made my way back up to my mountain house. Did I mention that I live way over yonder in the hills? I declined and turned into regular Gisela again; happy, tired and satisfied with a job well done.
Later I had to go down to the creek again to put some hay out for the horses. I looked for the sad tree, hoping to see a smile ——– and my heart skipped a beat.
In fact I got sick in my stomach: this tree looked at me not happy at all but outright angry! “Didn’t you like my performance?” I asked. “Nope!” This tree was clearly upset.
I asked the other Douglas firs, a somewhat gloomy lot, and they didn’t think it was such a great show; but they were certainly not offended by it.
All the other trees found it just great and had really liked it. And all those little baby-trees? Well they found it absolutely wonderful! — But I felt pretty bad.
Tree Hugs & Making Amens
I apologized to the tree and asked if I could maybe make up for the insult with a dance. “Sure” was the surly response. So I got busy again, put on a long skirt and the tree-mask, unbraided my hair, went back down there and danced my heart out.
After that the tree looked a tiny bit friendlier and I advised him to lighten up! Later I journeyed to the tree, and for a split moment I became the tree and I saw this ridiculous little clown down by my feet and felt most embarrassed by it.
I gave the tree a hug, apologized again, explaining that I didn’t mean to hurt or insult anyone, and was there anything else I could do? “Yes, I need a soul retrieval, please!” — — A soul retrieva! — — For a tree?
Soul Retrivals – Sandra Ingerman
I was speechless for a while. Then I explained that I had read Sandra Ingerman’s book, understood the concept, but was completely incapable of doing it.
But that I had already signed up for the workshop in May, to learn how it’s done. I also explained, that I wasn’t sure at all that I could possibly learn to do such sophisticated shamanic work, after all this was something for very psychic people. But I promised to give it a try, and if I could learn to do this at all, — — he would be my very first client upon my return from California.
May came around, and I set off for California with a heart full of excitement, — — and full of doubt. But lo and behold, Sandy Ingerman turned out to be a fabulous teacher, and I even wound up with a new power animal who knows where souls are to be found. How else would one find them indeed! I thus learned how to find and bring back lost souls.
Finding Lost Souls
No sooner did I get home, I set out to make good on my promise. There was just a small problem: I had learned, “you lay down next to your client , touching shoulder, hip and ankle, then you journey and look for the soul,” only this client was a tall tree!
“Be flexible!” she had taught us, and I journeyed to my drumming-tape on the floor of my greenhouse, — the indoor place closest to my tall client. Thus my first soul retrieval was a long distance deal. I met my power animal, asked for assistance and found myself quickly down there and right in front of the tree in question. Doubts set in!! “Shouldn’t the soul be somewhere far away?” I wondered. “Could it possibly be right here?? And what on earth would the soul of a tree look like!” I was after all quite new at this.
But then I saw a tree of light in exactly the same shape as the Douglas Fir somewhat over to the left of the tree, just where the cedar stood. I grabbed the tree of light, thanked my animal came back and got up.
Clutching the soul and my rattle I quickly hiked down the hill, blew soul into tree, rattled around it 3 times and loudly sang my tree-song. Only then did I notice, that the tree had no branches on the right side almost half way up!
And across from the tree, where I had stood during the journey, was a moss-overgrown stump of a once big tree. That’s when I understood, what had happened long time ago: They cut down a tree, who fell towards a young tree – whose branches on the right side got all knocked of , – kicking his soul out to the left. And there the soul stayed.
The Power Animal & the Chokecherry Bush
On my way back up I discovered a very sick, virus-infected Chokecherry bush. Now much more confident I boldly asked, if he also needed a soul retrieval — “No” was the answer, “but could I have a power animal please?” — — Another speechless moment for me! — — Then I quizzed my animal guides whether this was possible: an animal for a plant? “Sure” they said. “plantspirits in animalform! Besides, if you can have an animal, so can animals and — — plants!” Well, I journeyed out again and brought back a huge big brown bear. And once more I blew, rattled and sang.
Since then I’ve brought back all kinds of souls and animals for numerous trees and bushes, often the same animal for whole stands of trees or bushes.
Most of them looked noticeably healthier the next year. And the grouchy tree is just glowing now. He even looks a bit cheerful at times, — well, as cheerful as a Douglas Fir will ever look.
The clowning didn’t do it but I got him to “lighten up” in the end. To me it proves, that we are really all connected and related, we all have souls and feelings that can suffer — — and that can be loved and healed.
After many years of doing the work now I can truly say, that NOTHING leaves me speechless any more. I’ve helped in the healing of mountains, lakes, rivers, plants and animals and of course, – mostly people.
I never know what the answer to any given problem will be, and I learned to trust the process. Only this way is it possible at all, to do this awe-inspiring and very humbling kind of work.
By Gisela Ko