Shape Shifting Healing With A Shaman/Psychotherapist
sadness and pain have much to teach us, I also know that the lessons can be excruciating. Past life regressions and readings can shed some light and understanding on where the soul has been in lives past and what it has experienced. I had my share of them. It can also reveal what mistakes we have made that have to be corrected in this lifetime. Knowledge is power as the saying goes but it does not take away the dynamics of the actual learning and working through of the karmic debts that have been incurred.
I have learned that just as we are creatures of habit in this lifetime, likewise do we bring patterns of behaviors and ingrained beliefs, perceptions and ways of relating and dealing with people. When we have developed negative patterns such as manipulation, selfishness, possessiveness and other dysfunctional patterns, they become more ingrained, and likewise, harder to break. What we don’t learn from one lifetime, we carry over into the next one. I learned that I had experienced several lifetimes where ‘love’ was not brought into balance and harmony. Having avoided achieving that balance, I brought, what I call, several bucket loads of karmic gook and sludge to clear out. The task of dealing with human love felt as colossal as Hercules clearing out the dung in the Augean stables. There were times that I felt I would never clear out my karmic baggage or make one iota progress when it came to dealing with and healing from human love.
After the breakup with Mary I went into a major depression. I was tortured by regret, guilt, loneliness and a host of other negative ‘poor me’ emotions. I had written several poems: Alone, Once More and Sadness’ to try and find a creative expression for this bucket of pain that was tearing my soul apart. I would repeat the last line of Sadness, “Tomorrow I shall live again but sadness I shall not know.” Well, what tomorrow is that going to be? I would ask, full of rage and deep pain. Each day grew worse and my depressions became so severe that it became a major chore to get out of bed. However, being the fighter that I am, I fought the fantasies of suicide and the desire to just give up and call it quits.
One reason I quote from the back cover blurb of this book the words, “The call compels the response” is because I have discovered the hard way that such is one of the universal laws that cannot be altered in any way. So, in my desperation I did just that. Just as I had prayed to God, at the age of thirteen, and told him I had to go to college or I would wind up in a mental institution, I made another appeal to the powers that be. “I need help,” I cried in soul anguish. “My heart is ripping apart. I am not sleeping and when I do sleep I am haunted by nightmares. Please. Please help.” As the saying goes God and the powers that be work in mysterious ways. I received a card from Mary the very next day. “I know you are in deep pain and my heart goes out to you, Michael,” it said.
“Please know that I shall always care for and love you but we are not compatible. I know that breakup recovery is difficult. I found a lot of comfort in talking to a psychologist named Briana Smith when I was having marital difficulties before I met you. She is a very compassionate woman, and she cuts right to the chase. She does not sugar coat one ounce and she will not stroke your ego and play any games or poor me or whatever. I suggest you give her a call. As a matter of fact, I have told her that you will be giving her a call. You once said that you would do anything to heal. The healing process is time consuming but it can be done. If you are sincere, please give Briana a call. She comes highly recommended and she has told me she will work with you because you do not have a lot of money. Love, Mary.
I wiped the tears away from my cheeks and took a Kleenex and tried to dry the ones that had spilled on the card. I cried even more as beheld Mary’s handwriting, recalling love letters and cards and poems she used to write me. “I am one f….ed up dude,” I said, and thought about getting drunk. Instead, I picked up the telephone and called Briana Smith. A perky lady answered, saying that Briana was in session with a client but she could book my appointment. We set it for the following Monday at eleven a.m.
I managed to get through the rest of the week and by Monday on the way over I was a nervous wreck. I had thought so many times to call and cancel the appointment but something would not let me. So I just decided to get through it. I could always walk out or finish the session and never return.
Briana was a very pretty lady with long dark hair, an oval shape face and piercing green eyes. She had a nice figure and showed a little cleavage. She had me fill out a questionnaire and then she said, Michael, what do you want to work on?”
“I felt a tug of resistance and said I don’t know if I want to work on anything. To be blunt and honest I don’t know if I even want to live another day.”
Briana gave me a look of sincere concern. “Well, you are here, Michael, so that lends me to believe that part of you wishes to continue living.”
I looked at her, full of despair, then a few moments later I said. “I don’t know if I can live another day. This dark pit is about to engulf me,” I cried, fighting back tears. I can’t deal with this agony anymore. It’s like there is this big black hole deep in my soul and it gets bigger everyday. It’s like a big black demon tearing at my soul. The darkness actually seems to be alive. Sometimes I just pull the covers over my head and hope I will disappear into nothingness. Do you know what I mean? Have you ever felt this way,” I said, looking at her desperately.
“Actually, I have,” Briana replied, softly, gently touching my hand. In time I will share a personal story with you; one that might change your life and help steer you on the road of healing and recovery. But first we have to work on some things. Okay?”
I reluctantly agreed. I wondered if she were just flattering me, but offering to share a personal story intrigued me. I could see no reason why a psychologist would just make something like that up. And also I could not understand why she would offer to share a personal story. It seemed inappropriate and unprofessional to me. Nonetheless, I decided to keep seeing her. We plugged away for three months and then on the first day of March, Briana kept her promise.
“Now I feel that it is time to share a personal story with you, Michael. Ordinarily, I don’t divulge my personal life to my clients but with you it feels right to tell you this now.”
Briana was quiet a few moments. She ran her hands through her long black hair and stared dreamily into space. I lifted my head up and looked her squarely in the eyes. I was surprised she didn’t acknowledge me. She was far away in her own thoughts. I fidgeted my hands back and forth in my lap not knowing what to do or say. I noticed tears dripping down her face. I wanted to take a kleenex out of the box for her, but refrained. “Why is she crying?” I wondered. She’s the psychologist, I thought. I had never seen this side of Briana before. She had always been a sensitive listener but had maintained a professional detachment. Nonetheless, I felt she cared about me and although I didn’t think she helped me much, I always came back.
I jumped when Briana broke the silence. She took a drink of her diet coke then moved a little closer to me. “Pardon me for spacing out like that. It is still difficult for me dealing with that memory sometimes.”
“What memory if I may ask?”
“The memory of my mother. She committed suicide when I was fourteen. She said some of the same things that you said today. She just couldn’t get out of her black pit. She used to wake up in the middle of the night screaming that shadow monsters were eating her soul. Her doctor said that she suffered from delusions and wanted to put her in a mental hospital. She killed herself the day before my father was to take her to the hospital. So you see, Michael, I am familiar with what you are dealing with although the dynamics are different for everyone.”
There was silence for several moments. I looked at the clock. It was time for the session to end. I reached for my coat.
“Don’t you want to hear the rest of my story? You are my last client today. I’m not concerned about time.”
There was much sadness in her eyes. It seemed that she actually needed me to hear her story. I had never seen Briana look vulnerable. As she looked at me she wiped more tears away. “I’m so embarrassed. Please pardon me, Michael. I’m being totally unprofessional.”
“It’s okay, Briana. Psychologists are people too. I’ve often wondered who they go to when they need to talk.”
“Cats are great listeners,” she said, snickering.
I wondered how old she was. She didn’t look over thirty. I also wondered if she was married. She wore no wedding ring. The comment about the cat made me think that she might be single. I did not have the nerve to ask her.
“Back to my story. I was devastated by my mother’s suicide. For awhile I considered it myself. I talked to my counselor at school. She recommended that I see a friend of her mother’s. The woman was quite eccentric and my counselor said that some people called her crazy. But in spite of her tall tales, the woman was known to help people haunted by death wishes, and the dark. She was part Indian of the Navajo tribe. She told me that the woman was a medicine woman, and shaman known as Shadow Chaser. I saw her for several months and she changed my life. I truly don’t know if I could have continued living without some extraordinary help. She gave me a completely different perspective about death and darkness and life.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, becoming more interested in Briana’s tale.
“Shadow Chaser was a shaman and a witch. She believed in talking to spirits and said that we all have spirits we can call upon to help us. She also said there were many levels of reality interspersed within our own; that there is so much more out there and in there-referring to our minds and souls or spirits-than most people are aware of. She talked about perceptual maneuvering as a means to contact other levels of reality. She talked about other worlds and other beings. She talked about many things.”
“Very interesting,” replied. I’ve always believed in other realities as well. So tell me, did you talk to any spirits?”
“That and much more. More on this later. Shadow Chaser also believed in magic. She gave me a black oval stone the last day I saw her. She called it the Life and Magic bringer, and said that anytime I felt darkness enveloping me, to put the stone in my left hand and to rub it. She said the magic in the stone would help the darkness to befriend me instead of torturing me. I was very scared of the dark in those days. She also said that the stone can help make you a shadow chaser.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means that you chase your shadows, or fears, instead of letting them chase you. She would say that your shadows and fears have been chasing you. The way you chase them is by calling them towards you. You stop running from your fears. Instead of shunning and running from the darkness you walk into it. According to her, anyone brave enough to chase their own darkness will be ready to receive its magic, which can be imparted through certain magical stones that have been blessed and given power by a shaman. The stone bridges the spirit realm or world (where shadows and darkness dwell) and the realm of matter. The stone is very powerful and full of magic.”
“What kind of magic? This sounds crazy, Briana, with all due respect. Are you trying to humor me?”
“Not at all,” she said, looking at me seriously. “I wouldn’t do that. I also know that you believe in magic and you believe there is more to reality than most people perceive.” She tilted her head a little closer to me. “And I also know that part of you has always believed there is more to life and reality than what we see and perceive with our physical senses. I’ve wanted to talk to you about the other world, as Shadow Chaser referred to it, for some time, but I didn’t feel you were ready. Today you are. Desperation has opened the door to magic many times. After all, what has one got to lose when they’re that depressed?”
“I want to know about the magic.”
“It’s different for everyone. Anyhow, if you like you may borrow my black oval stone,” she said, opening the drawer and taking out a small, black, velvet pouch. She untied the string and handed me the stone.
“It looks so ordinary,” I said, taking it.
“Looks can be deceiving.”
I rubbed the stone gently a few moments and then moved my hand near my chest. I opened and closed my eyes and then began shaking violently. Briana gently rubbed my forehead with her left hand. The spasmodic jerking ceased. I slowly opened my eyes and looked at her intently.
“Wow, that was awesome, Briana. It felt like my soul was trying to get out of my body.”
“No. It was your spirit sensing the presence of your shadow or darkness. The stone heightens your vision and senses, allowing you to see what is normally invisible. You will meet your darkness soon. It will identify itself and can take on any form. I suggest you hold the stone in your left hand when you feel the darkness about to engulf you. It is time to meet your shadow and let it guide you. Take this stone if you’d like. Let me know next week how things go.”
“This sounds like something from a fantasy book. I’ve always felt they were somehow real on some level if that makes sense and I’m impressed that you already knew that about me as we have not discussed this before. I thought you would just think me deluded or hallucinating.”
“I know and I agree with you. That was one of the indications to me that you were ready to make contact with the other world, and I don’t mean via death, at least physically. You are ready to know more of yourself and to discover the world of magic within you.”
“I will take the stone home, Briana. My friends would say you have lost your marbles if I told them about today’s session but I have no intention of telling anybody anything.”
“It takes time to learn to discern reality from appearances or different realities I should say. Nonetheless the invisible realities are very interconnected and influence the everyday visible one that most people live and exist in.”
“Well you are the first person to tell me that magic is real, and I somehow believe you, especially after this experience with the stone. I might not if that stone hadn’t made me feel so alive. Who knows? Maybe you did something to me; gave me some energy or something. Maybe I did hallucinate and you’re telling this all to amuse me. If so I don’t care. I’ve been dead inside for so long. Ever since my eighth grade teacher killed himself. He shot himself in the head in a barn back in the woods. Everybody loved him. No one could figure out why he took his life. He seemed so happy. I have never been able to let that go. Mr. Peters was like a father to me.
“The stone will help you deal with that old hurt.”
“Maybe,” I said softly.
I want to do a little exercise with you, Michael, with your permission of course. I want you to place the black stone in your hand and I will put my hand over yours. Are you game?"
"Sure." Briana scooted next to me on the couch. I couldn't help but smell the lovely perfume she was wearing. My heart missed a few beats. She just looked at me with a genuine smile on her face. I made myself come back to the moment and took out the stone from my pocket. I placed it in my hand. She gently placed her hand over mine. "Close your eyes, Michael, and let the stone tune into you."
I closed my eyes. Immediately I saw so many lights I feared I’d go blind even though my eyes were completely closed. I also saw the sun but it didn’t hurt my eyes, my soul or whatever I was seeing with. I saw shadowy forms dancing about, jumping in and out of the sun. I thought I even saw a face. I saw dancing flickering sparks of light which merged and disappeared into the sun. I felt like they were known as the sun people and I wanted to visit them.
Then as quickly as the images appeared they faded. Briana must have sensed it because she gently removed her hand and spoke softly. "Michael, what was it like? Tell me what you experienced."
I saw all of these bright lights and faces and I wanted to and visit the sun people. I know this sounds totally crazy.”
“It is not crazy. You were just experiencing a different kind of reality-a more expanded reality, let us say. The stone, with a little help and energy from me, awakened you to what shamans call non-ordinary levels of awareness. In those states all is more expansive. One need not take drugs to expand their minds. Magic also expands it, but it requires a confrontation with the darkness first. It is time to end our talk now. See you next week. Will you be okay?”
“Yes, and thank you for lending me the stone. I’ll take good care of it. You know this was supposed to be my last session. I was going to commit suicide tomorrow but made myself wait until I saw you one more time. For some reason I had to see you one more time. Now I don’t feel like dying.”
“The stone and contact with the non-ordinary levels of shamanic awareness have that effect on people,” she said, giving me an affectionate pat on the shoulder.
“You knew I was going to do it, didn’t you? Is that why you brought the stone today?”
“Yes. The stone told me that it was time for you to meet your darkness. Good bye now, Michael.”
“Goodbye to you too, and to think this beautiful gift and information on magic would be coming from a psychologist of all people,” I said, smiling.
Briana returned the smile as she got up to lead me to the door. “Remember what I said before, things are seldom as they appear; that goes for people as well.”
I felt elated the next couple of days. I had put the stone in my drawer and let it be. By the fourth day my new enthusiasm had begun to wane and the old depression started gnawing at me again. I suffered in silence, smiling at everyone around me and forcing myself to keep up appearances. The day before my session with Briana was almost unbearable. I had visions of black demons gorging on my body then spitting out my soul, which was then engulfed by a frightening abyss which had come to life. I wanted to find a cliff and jump into a chasm.
That night I knew that something was about to happen. I could feel it, but what? “Magic,” I whispered. For a moment my mind told me that magic only happens in stories, but my heart told me what I always knew-magic is real.
The picture of Mr. Peters seemed to stare right at me. I held it a long time. “Why did you have to die?” I cried out. “It was not your time. You left me all alone. You had me. You could have fought the darkness, whatever it was, but you wouldn’t. You could have told us your story and opened up. You just gave up and quit. I hate you for it,” I screamed, throwing the picture across the room. “You are a coward. A big coward. I live with this big stinking god-awful darkness every day of my life. I haven’t killed myself yet.” I wiped tears from my eyes then picked up the picture. The small frame was cracked down the middle. I carried it to my bed and sat down on the edge.
Memories of times with Mr. Peters flooded my mind: how he spent the entire day with me at the science fair exhibition three years ago, the times he took several of us boys camping and caving. How you showed us a few karate moves. I had not been aware of how depressed you had become the past year before your suicide. “If you had only talked to me, Mr. Peters, maybe I could have helped,” I muttered in a tearful voice. “We shared so much. We students were like your family. You once told me I was like the son you never had. Why wouldn’t you tell me about the darkness and what was bothering you?”
“If something ever happens to me, you have to promise me that you’ll take care of yourself,” I recalled him saying a month before his suicide.
“If what happens, Mr. Peters?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Life is never guaranteed. We could all be dead tomorrow. A house could fall from the sky on our head like in the The Wizard of Oz,” he had said, trying to insert some humor.
“The Wizard of Oz is just a movie. Nothing bad is going to happen. We don’t die before our time and it’s not time for any of us to die.”
“You’re probably right,” Mr. Peters said, putting his arm around me.
“What caused the darkness?” I asked, looking up at the photo. “What took his love of life away?” Suddenly I felt panicky. I felt invisible claws clutching at my throat. I fell back on the bed gasping for breath. “Take the black oval stone and hold it in your left hand,” I heard in my mind. It took every ounce of strength in me to get off the bed. Some dark force was holding me down. For a moment I wanted to surrender to the force and die. It would be good to go wherever Mr. Peters was. Life was meaningless since his suicide.
“So, are you going to be a coward and give up like your teacher did?” the voice in my mind said. “If you do you’ll hate yourself for eternity and you will be enslaved to the darkness. To guilt. To regret. To agonizing soul pain. Stand up to the darkness once and for all. Do battle with it and you free yourself from its clutches. Your teacher will be freed too. Come on. Get up and go get the stone! Now!” the voice cried out so loud I felt my head would burst.
I hit myself hard on the chest. My breathing became uneasy. I looked up and saw a big shadow hovering a few feet away. “Get the stone while you can,” the voice commanded. “If you don’t the darkness will swallow you. It will consume and destroy you.”
I jumped off the bed and ran to the drawer. The stone was not there. “It is too late,” I yelled. “It’s gone.”
“No, it isn’t,” the voice said. “The darkness is veiling the stone. Feel for it. With your eyes closed you will draw it to you. Will it to release itself from the shadow’s grip. You can do it.” I saw Mr. Peter’s image in front of me. Phantom hands were grabbing for him but a small glowing light would not let the shadow touch him.
“Mr. Peters,” I cried out. “What is happening?”
“The darkness is after you, Michael. It wants your soul just like it wanted mine. It has not been able to reach me because of you. Your love is what sustains the white light between me and the shadow. It is time to end this battle. You must name this shadow and look into its black eyes.”
“What is its name?”
“Death. Its name is Death. But don’t call on its name until you are holding the stone in your left hand. Hurry now! Time is almost over.”
The phantom image of Mr. Peter’s disappeared. Frantically, I reached around desperately for the stone. I could not feel it. Everything was fuzzy and blurred. I wondered if I were losing my mind. My teeth chattered. I was freezing cold. “I can’t find the stone,” I whimpered, moving away. “I’m so cold.” I closed my eyes and headed back to my bed. I drew the covers over my body, but the chilling air still froze my bones, making me shake and shiver all over. “I can’t fight Death. It is too powerful. I just want to sleep,” I whispered. “I need to sleep.”
Moments later I was startled by a ringing sound. I went to the phone and Briana was on the other end. Michael, Shadow Chaser told me the darkness almost had you in its grip and nearly absorbed your soul. You must live. You can’t give up. You can fight Death. You must. I did and I won. Now my mother is free and your teacher can be free as well. Get the stone, Let it do its magic.”
“What magic,” I muttered, incoherently.
“I don’t know. It’s different for everyone. But do it. Shadow Chaser said your teacher came to you. That is good magic. The stone brought him to you.”
“I thought I was hallucinating. You once said that deep depression can lead to hallucinations.”
“Yes, but this is no hallucination. You have to trust me. Get the stone.”
“I tried. The stone is not there.”
“Yes it is. The shadow’s anger has diffused its form. You can bring it back. Love is stronger than anger and hatred. Your love for your teacher can bring it back. Do it for him.”
“Why should I? He deserted me. Abandonned me. He just gave up. Why should I help him?”
“Because you are stronger than he was. We must stop talking. The shadow is filling you with its rage and hate. It is delaying you. It is making you question. It has numbed your reason. Don’t let it freeze your instincts. It has been torturing you ever since your beloved teacher died. You can’t let it take you. If you don’t believe your teacher’s spirit is alive, then do it for your room-mate, Jake. If you die the shadow will go for him next.”
“Not Jake,” I cried out, not even surprised she knew his name, as I had made no mention I had a room-mate, let alone reveal his name. “I’d kill anyone or anything who tried to harm him. He’s like a little brother to me.”
“If you don’t act real soon you’ll be dead and then you won’t be able to do anything. And the shadow will only be stronger. If it gets you there will be no love to protect Jake from it. It wants your love to melt into hatred. Can’t you feel this? It’s already happening. The light that protects your teacher is almost out. Your anger is growing by the second, while the light dims more and more.”
“How do I know if I can believe you? Maybe this is all a dream or I am going insane.”
“Go downstairs and look in on Jake. You will see this is not a dream. But hurry.”
I ran downstairs into Jake’s room. It was even more chilling there. Jake was sitting up in bed shaking. My eyes protruded, and he looked as though he were viewing a ghost. “Oh, my God,” I yelled. “She’s right.” Quickly I ran back to my room. The shadow hovered over the drawer. With all my might I willed the stone to manifest. “Come to me,” I commanded. “You have to come to me now. In the name of love, come back.” I saw Mr. Peter’s faint image. “In the name of love come to me. Come back to me,” I shouted over and over. Finally, I felt the shadow lift. I opened my eyes and saw the stone. I grabbed it with my left then ran to my bed. “Show me your face, Death,” I demanded. Instantly I blacked out.
“Where am I?” I asked. I looked up. It was pitch dark. “An old man, whose face I could not see appeared. He was carrying my weary body up a mountain. “Where are we going?” I asked the old man. “Please tell me who you are and why won’t you show me your face?”
“Because I am Death,” the old man said softly. “You were willing to look at Death. This is all that it takes. It is not time for you to see my face yet. I have not come to claim you but to lead you up the mountain where life awaits you.”
“But I thought you were the enemy,” I said in a whisper with barely enough strength to speak.”
“So people say, but such is not true. It is people’s fear of me that can destroy them, not I. Death can be your friend. I am your friend. I can teach you many things. I can teach you how to better live and enjoy life."
“I am your friend,” I repeated. Then I woke up. I rushed downstairs to check up on Jake. He was sleeping soundly. I went back upstairs and immediately fell asleep.
The next day I arrived at my appointment an hour early hoping that Briana had no appointments before mine. She came in the lobby and greeted me. “Hello, Michael. You’re early. Make yourself comfortable,” she said, shaking my hand. She had never shaken my hand before, except for our first meeting. The touch of her hand sent tingles all through my body. “I’ll be with you in an hour. This is my last appointment before you. We will have plenty of time to talk. There’s plenty of magazines to read.”]
“Thanks,” I said, looking at her. I noticed that her eyes were different. There was an amber glow I had never seen before. “Maybe I’m hallucinating. She will probably want to put me away when she hears about last night. But she called me last night, didn’t she? She told me to fight the shadow or did I make all of this up, or was this all a dream?”
The hour wait seemed like eternity. “At last,” I muttered when Briana came for me. When she closed the door I spontaneously threw my arms around her. Neither of us spoke. We held each other tightly a long time. When we sat down we looked at each other deeply. I wanted to speak but found that I was unable. Briana finally broke the silence.
“You won, I. You won,” she said softly. “The darkness came for you and you named it and faced it. Death befriended you and revealed to you who he truly is. You can also thank your teacher for his help.”
“So he really was there? I didn’t just imagine or make it all up?.”
“You know that it was very real and yes he was there in spirit form. Your teacher is free now and so are you. You will never have a desire to commit suicide again. You wrestled with Death last night. By calling Death you acquired the power to make him free you. Your courage was stronger than your fear. The darkness cannot touch you in the absence of fear.”
“What is the absence of fear?”
“Did the stone lead me to Death who took the form of the old man who would not show me his face?”
“So what I saw in the dream was real. Death really did carry me up to the mountain to hand me over to life?”
“Yes, but what you experienced was no dream. It was a spirit journey that just happened to take place while you slept. And you are not yet at the summit. Death will continue to carry you up the mountain. Death is your friend now, your guide. For you it takes the form of an old man. For others it takes other forms. Death will appear to you in the daytime henceforth as well as at night. Your journey with Death last night was much more than a dream. Your journey with Death was real on other levels of reality. What seems like a dream is often real on other levels of reality, just as what seems real is often but a dream on other levels of reality. Most people fear Death, but Death is nothing more than Life in disguise. It is also our deepest fears and old hurts that we must confront in order to become free of them. Your deep hurt and pain over the death of Mr. Peters has been eating away at your soul. You had to deal with that. We all need to see past appearances to what is real.”
“I like that statement, Briana. I want to see past appearances.”
Briana approached me and placed her hands upon my head. She blew out several deep breaths and her fingers applied light pressure on various places on my head. She chanted some deep guttural sounds I had never heard. Moments later standing in front of me, Briana had transformed into an old Indian Woman.
“Who are you? What have you done to me? I asked, feeling a bit frightened.
“There is no reason to fear,” she said softly. “I have just shifted your perceptual awareness and am helping you to see with your soul vision. Shamans do this all of the time. You asked to see past appearances. I am granting your wish.”
That made me feel better.
“You are Shadow Chaser, aren’t you?”
“Yes. I am also Briana Harmon.”
“This seems crazy but I feel like I’m someone else too.”
“You are. Rub the stone and ask it to show you to yourself.”
I took out the stone and gently rubbed the stone in my left hand. I could feel myself changing. Shadow Chaser led me to the mirror. Standing in front of the mirror was the perfect image of Mr. Peters. “Mr. Peters,” I cried out.
“No, it is you in another form that you can shape shift into with a shift in your perceptions. You have always wanted to be like your teacher. The stone has granted you that wish. I, likewise, always wanted to be like someone else, like Shadow Chaser. The stone granted me my wish. I told her after a few sessions that I’d like to be like her. She said that could be arranged. She also told me that her time was nearly through on the earth.”
“So now you carry on her work? Is that how it goes?”
“Our work. Briana helps people who would not understand Shadow Chaser the healer shaman. As Shadow Chaser I help people who need more help than traditional psychology can offer. I don’t reveal my Shadow Chaser self to many people. You are the third person to meet her.”
“Why is that?”
“Because most people are not ready or psychologically or spiritually prepared to handle such knowledge. When you spoke of the darkness as though it was a living being, then I knew that you were ready for deeper knowing.”
“Will I be able to become Mr. Peters at will?”
“You won’t literally become your teacher. With practice and training you will be able to merge some of his essence into your own and you will have his strengths and qualities to draw upon. In time as you become an adept shaman you will be able to project his image and those who can benefit from his knowledge will see that projected image. But you will not be ready to be able to do that for some time. Knowledge and power must be assimilated and integrated slowly. I can teach you some things if you are interested. Now that your teacher is free there is much work for you to do. You no longer will feel his fears because there is no more fear. Your love and courage freed him.”
“I wonder how this will all impact me.”
“You will help people. People who have survived encountering the darkness like we have make good counselors. We can empathize with people and we understand suffering and soul agony because we have been in the pit and abyss. We came back and we have merged with our inner reservoirs of power. We are in a position to help others do likewise. We are able to journey to spirit and dream realms and get help from many healing spirits. You will never be the same again, Michael. Your perceptions are expanding and you will be having many more experiences of what are considered paranormal. Your soul is expanding and this will allow you to make many contacts from people in the spirit realm and also people and beings from many dimensions and other worlds. The boredom you have felt will not be around much anymore. You will enjoy your new visitors and learn much from them and you will impart your knowledge and help others.”
“Yeah, that makes sense. I am going to be a spiritual counselor. Briana. I want to help people. Will I ever have my own stone?”
“In time. You have more learning first. Are you interested in becoming my student instead of my patient?”
“Yes,” I exclaimed. No one will have to know.”
“And between you and me I’m not charging you anymore.
“How kind of you. I can’t believe that all of this is happening.”
“The fun is just beginning, I. Okay, it is time to be Dr. Briana,” she said, rubbing the stone with one hand and my forehead with the other. We both returned to normal self.
“What will my other self be called?”
“You think about that and see if something comes up. You can tell me next week.”
“Maybe that old man will tell me in a dream tonight.”
“He just might, I. He just might,” she said, kissing me on the cheek. “I will show you out.”
I was haunted by that last visit with Briana Harmon for a long time. But I knew that it was a valid experience even if much of what happened occurred in the no-time or on spirit and other realms of perceptions. This made it no less powerful or healing to me. I have never since desired to commit suicide and I have incorporated shamanistic healing techniques in my spiritual work. Now I can deal with the hum drum everyday ordinary mundane aspects of life and not feel bored or lonely. For Shadow Chaser taught me that when I expand my vision and perceptions I can go to many realms and be visited by many wondrous, fascinating, beings. Star gazing is no longer a time of sadness, longing and yearning; it is a time of rejoicing and celebrating the light that unites all life, matter and creation.