Shamanic Journey: Courage

The practice of shamanism and the shamanic journey, as a a part of my life study for many years, has brought me hope, courage, and faith innumerable times. Throughout the years, I have rarely recorded my shamanic journeys unless I was participating in a class.  But, I was so personally inspired by my recent "Starfish and the Star" journey that I felt compelled to record it and post it. The journey held many personal metaphors of the very real life journey of my love for my son who passed away in September of 2009 after a very long, arduous illness. May you be inspired, as well.

In my journey, I found myself in the Middle World walking near the water's edge on a solitary beach. I felt a sense of urgency that I was needed by someone who was hurting. Walking and searching, I became aware of the expansiveness of the ocean and the sand which seemingly stretched out for miles. Suddenly, I felt a sense of loneliness and despair; an anguish that was palpable. I looked around, but I couldn't see anyone on the beach or in the ocean for as far as I could see. Continuing for a few more steps, I felt drawn to look down onto the sand in front of me. A small starfish floating in the water was being pushed by the shallow waves, left on the sand, and then gently picked up by the waves again and again. The peaceful, gentle movements of the water and the starfish mesmerized me for a few moments in the journey.

Then I realized the starfish was very ill and was being buffeted by the waves because it was too weak to crawl on its own. My heart aching for the little starfish, I knelt and picked him up and held him in my hands wishing with every ounce of my being to be able to heal him. I cried out to the universe and pleaded with, begged, the spirits to help this tiny creature in need. I wanted desperately to make him whole and well again. As I held him, I began to feel his little heart beating, ever so faintly in the center of his being.

In a halting whisper he thanked me for holding him and caring so much about him. He told me he had been sick for a long, long time, but that he had tried to be the very best starfish that he could. He had pulled himself along the ocean's floor, over the rocks and around the plants and had made friends with so very many sea creatures. He learned everything he could about being a starfish. He told me that one night he had pulled, strained, and painfully crawled up into the shallow waters so that he could gaze up and see the beautiful, bright stars in the night skies that shown their brilliant lights onto the earth and into the universe and beyond. Until that night he had never seen how magnificent the stars were. They had always seemed dim in the moving murkiness of the waters of his home. That night he knew that he wanted to be a star and shine his light on everyone.

bright star in sky
bright star in sky

His voice fading, the little starfish thanked me for picking him up and holding him, because it made him feel safe and warm and loved. Then he spoke no more. His body stilled. My heart ached and I began to cry as I held the little starfish in my hands. Through my tears I watched as the little starfish body began to shine ever so slightly at first, until it burst into brilliance and soared into what had now become the deep night sky. I looked up in wonderment and beheld a new, magnificent star.