Recently I spent 10 days in the Wye Valley with some incredible women. We were being trained as teachers of Ecstatic Awakening Dance. It was such a joy to be dancing, laughing, crying and transforming in a safe container with people who had such a deep passion for music and dance. New revelations abounded as I dove deep in to the process, big shifts happening for me personally and professionally. We were nourished by the lush green nature of an organic permaculture farm in the glorious sunshine of early April while being fed with love and gorgeous nutritious food.

I love dancing! Dancing is when I feel my connection to source most deeply. As a child I used to dance on my own in nature. Over time I soon lost touch with that part of myself and it wasn’t until my early twenties that I really started to enjoy the dance again. Usually fuelled by drugs and alcohol I would be the one beside the speakers, losing myself in the music, reaching other planes of existence. This however was unsustainable.

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It was a couple of years after leaving Scotland that I discovered Sufi zikr. It was practising this that gave me a deep desire to commune to source through movement consciously. I have tried various dance methods since that time, but it was discovering Trance Dance that truly brought me back home to myself and the joy of dancing. Being able to dance exactly how my body feels to move is one of the most liberating experiences of my life. Unable to see due to being blindfolded allows you to get in touch with your other senses and truly move down in to your body, feeling your way.

Osho active meditations have also been a huge gift for getting in to the body and out of the twittering mind. They have been incredibly transforming in my own practise and are often given to me by my spirit guides as prescriptions for my clients after healing work has taken place. Osho Kundalini Meditaiton and Nataraj are two wonderful examples.

Ecstatic Awakening Dance is like a combination of Trance Dance and an active meditation. There are 5 stages during an EAD session, including a warm up and shake before letting go in to the ecstatic dance, then dropping in to silence and grounding to finish off. It can release blocks and stuck emotions allowing them to move and be released. It is a truly transforming process, whilst having a great dance. You do not wear a blindfold during EAD.
I have been so inspired by my EAD Teacher, Rebecca Hanscombe and my fellow class mates. I have come away from my training full of passion and energy once more. I am ready to share the joy of dance with others.

For a few years now I have been talking about organising a barefoot boogie type dance….just coming for a dance…no alcohol, no drugs…just dance. Leave your shoes at the door and enjoy! Conscious Clubbing. One thing after another got in my way or my resistance crept in. The energy for this is back. I will be starting this next month with some friends. Yippee!

I will be starting my Ecstatic Awakening Dance monthly class at the end of June with a free taster session and we will have our first Dance Friday barefoot dance on 5th June in Lyme Regis. I am also in the planning stages for leading a Trance Dance in July. Sign up to my newsletter to be kept informed of future dates. Click here for more details

With joy,
Rahima

www.rahimaferguson.co.uk

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With a clear intention and certain things in place we can journey to other realms using the Shaman’s Map. We go there to gain insight and receive information and healing from our spirit teachers directly. By creating relationships with our teachers and retrieving information for ourselves we can begin to feel empowered and our lives often begin to blossom and take on new meaning. We see how everything is connected. We see how everything has a spirit and the life force that connects all things.

How do we get there? By shifting our consciousness. We use a repetitive percussive beat to change our brainwaves to theta which puts us in to a trance state. The drum has traditionally been the Shaman’s horse, his transport to the non-ordinary realms. Rattles, bells and other percussive instruments are also great tools to the shamanic practitioner. The aboriginals of Australia use the didgeridoo. Some cultures have used singing and chanting to have the same affect. Dancing can also help us to get there. Sitting by the ocean listening to the waves ebbing and flowing can put us in to the theta brain pattern. Whilst some cultures have used hallucinogenic plants during ceremony as a vehicle, I will not be referring to those in this article. I believe in the west we have abused these plants and I discourage you from using them. We can work with plant spirits by journeying to them.

Once we have shifted our consciousness we can vision and go inside to the otherworld and meet our spirit guides. We may meet our guides in the form of power animals and teachers in human form, nature spirits and mythical beings, gods and goddesses. We can meet Archangels and star beings. It really is unlimited. We travel with the shaman’s map to either the Lower world or the Upper world. There are multiple levels within each of these worlds to explore. The middle world we can journey to once we have more experience and have formed strong relationships with our spirit allies.

From our teachers we gain insights and guidance that we can translate and bring back to integrate in to our daily lives. We can ask them for assistance on any aspect of our lives. We can ask about the bigger dilemmas of community issues and global affairs. This is the path of direct revelation, we go in and get our own answers, becoming empowered and seeing the world with much more understanding and often from a different perspective. We can ask to see the world from our teacher’s perspective, which is quite fascinating and very informative.

Some teachers stay with us for a long time, others come for a particular question, and others for a length of time while we learn a particular lesson or go through a certain life challenge. They are always at hand though, whenever we call, they will come. They want to help us, they are overjoyed when we want to make contact and ask for their help by journeying in this way. Each time we journey we are creating new neural pathways for ourselves and we are helping to raise the frequency for all by opening the portals of light between the worlds.

When we journey we always go with a focused intention, this is what drives us forward. All the information we then experience during our journey has relevance to our initial intention. Our spirit guides speak to us in metaphor, the language of dreams and story. It is for us to work out the meaning. We can be given quite literal information too. It is something that with practice we get better and more fluent in interpreting.

We all receive the journey in different ways. Some of us are visual and see everything, others sense it by feeling, by knowing what is happening. Some people hear their journey. All our senses become engaged and one can often find that if you are very visual in life, you may not see in the shamanic journey. This can change over time and there is no right or wrong way to experience the journey. Each one of us is unique and each one of us will have a very different adventure in the otherworld. The spirits will speak to you in metaphor that you will understand, what is relevant to you, and in a way that is beneficial.

If you would like to read further I recommend reading Sandra Ingerman’s ‘Shamanic Journeying: a beginner’s guide’. It is a comprehensive guide to the shamanic journey.

If you would like to learn to journey you can book with me to learn over a period of 6/7 sessions or you can look for a local to you Practitioner.

with joy,

Rahima

www.rahimaferguson.co.uk

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Power Animals are the loving and compassionate teachers we meet most often in the Lower World. They embody an essence of the divine and are willing and ready to share their gifts with us, should we open ourselves up to them. Power Animals give power and healing to the shaman, they are essential to his or her success.

Power Animals are not a specific wolf, fox or bear that has left their body, they are the spirit of Wolf, the spirit of Fox, the spirit of Bear. They are the spirit of that species. They are with us all the time and act like a guardian spirit, giving us power and protecting us from illness. You could look at them in a similar way to guardian angels.

The shaman gains teachings from his Power Animals by meeting with them and merging with them. Some he will work with for a lifetime, others he may meet for a specific teaching, and yet others he may work with for a certain amount of time before moving on. A shaman believes that we all have Power Animals and may have several over the course of our life. If an animal leaves, he would consider that person to have power loss, to be disempowered. This may cause the person illness or bad luck in their lives.

Power Animals can be any animal, including insects and reptiles and birds. They are not generally domesticated animals, though people can sometimes get a domesticated animal showing up as their ally. Mythological and extinct animals can also serve as Power Animals. The size of animal does not determine how powerul the animals teachings are. A mouse is just as powerful as a lion.

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The gifts each Power Animal brings to an individual can vary and can be very specific to the individual. The language of the Power Animals is one of metaphor and they are using our imagination to communicate with us. We all have very differing experiences, so how our Power Animal talks to us can be very unique. It is best not to use a book directory to look up the meaning of a specific animal because of this reason. We are journeying for direct revelation, for direct experience.

When we meet our Power Animals it is a good idea to honour them in this reality. To make an offering to show your respect for your relationship with your teachers. If for example you had an animal guide who in this reality is on the endangered list, you could donate towards a charity that supports their plight. A wonderful way to honour your animal is to dance with them, find a piece of music that speaks to you of that animal, that evokes their essence and dance. You can merge with them and become that animal for the dance, moving like them and making their sounds. You can draw or paint your animal teacher. Purchase a picture of them and place it somewhere that you will see it each day. Find out about their habits and behaviours, their natural habitats and what they eat. Call on your animal to be with you at certain times of day, when you feel in need of a boost. Meditate with you Power Animal or do a shamanic journey to meet them. There are many ways we can build on our relationship. This builds respect and shows that we appreciate their help and assistance. This deepens our connection to our spirit teachers.

Shamanic practice acknowledges that everything has a spirit and that there is wisdom to be gained by tuning in to this truth. Animals are a part of the whole and have a wealth of wisdom to share with us.

If you would like to learn who your Power Animal is you can visit myself or another shamanic practitioner. You can set a dream intention and ask to meet your power animal. You can set the intention in waking reality and see if you notice an animal trying to get your attention.

with joy,

Rahima

www.rahimaferguson.co.uk

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