by Dr. Alberto Villoldo: Shamans discover the past, present and future through imagination…
We are able to converse directly with Spirit, dialogue with the forces of nature, speak with the great archetypes without intermediaries, and become our own prophets and visionaries. Through our imagination we experience our Divine nature, which is hidden by consciousness. Over time, glimpses of our Divine nature and experiences in other realms gives us a sense of wonder and acceptance of our abilities.
Occasionally, we snap out of our comfort zone and wonder whether we are imagining things! Suddenly, like having a bucket of ice poured over you, you find yourself in a cold place feeling disconnected and out of balance. For the western mind, questioning our abilities is a consequence of a culture that tells us that the things we imagine are made up, unreal and unreliable. Perhaps as a child you played in the invisible world with imaginary friends and were scolded to “Stop imagining things and live in the real world.”
Presented this way, it’s no wonder we began to believe we had to choose one or the other! And, if we want to survive, we better choose to live in the world of sight, smell, taste and touch and sound and keep our imagination and intuition under lock and key. Shamans know choice is an illusion created by our egoic self that disconnects us from our true nature. We know that through imagination we open ourselves to who we are beyond the ordinary.
Visionary practices help us reconnect and regain our balance. Open sacred space and your wiracocha and begin your breathing practice, breath of fire, imagine you are connecting to Pachamama below and then to the stars above. Breathing is a master regulator, oxygenation helps to move energy and restore harmony. In times of stress, we forget to breathe deeply, and in fact may find ourselves holding our breath. Then visit your archetypes, connect with each one and ask for messages.
Each archetypal animal exudes a different flavor of energy. In the South, Serpent symbolizes knowledge, sexuality and the healing power of nature. The West is represented by Jaguar, embodying sudden transformation by culling what is dead and dying within us. In the North, hummingbird represents the courage to embark on a great journey despite tremendous odds and provides the guidance necessary for success. Condor/eagle represents the East direction bringing clarity and foresight, seeing into the past and the future so we know where we come from and who we are becoming.
Next, connect with the Gatekeepers of the lower, middle, and upper worlds. The gatekeeper of the lower world is Huascar, Lord of life, Lord of death, keeper of the medicine teachings s/he harmonizes our relationship with our shadow, and gives access to our soul chambers. Quetzalcoatl, Lord of the dawn, both serpent and jungle bird, organizes the middle world so we don’t have to micromanage our lives. Pachacuti, Lord of the upper world, is the keeper of possibilities and embodies circular time, allowing us to see what can be changed before it happens.
Engaging in visionary practices rekindles our imagination and gives access to our highest potential. Are you imagining things? I hope so!