Shamanic Practitioner and Arts Counsellor

The Way of the West – Jaguar

Working with Jaguar (or Otorongo) energy has been one of my most powerful shamanic experiences so far. This archetype helps me to explore those dark craggy places that I’m too afraid to look into on my own. In an article related to Ian Bank’s death from cancer, Ian described how to look into the abyss without being sucked into it. Jaguar helps us to see into the abyss and to bring us ultimate peace by facing our fears or shadows , moving through them towards our highest destiny. Facing our fears like this (and it’s never as bad as you think) helps us to find our ‘buried treasure’ of our soul. This then, gives us a greater power available to us in the present.

Jaguar essentially offers us authentic power and peace .  With her Medicine we dive into the depths of who we are. She teaches us the way of grace through the constant practice of facing death and looking under the stones for our shadowy selves. She helps us to mulch any heavy energies around us. Jaguar is also excellent medicine for setting boundaries and using the concept of ‘tough love’ with our nearest and dearest. She shows us how to clean up our river and go with the flow, using pure intention and playfulness to achieve the goals for our highest good. I constantly call on my jaguar medicine to assist cleansing any hucha during a healing session. Jaguar will journey with me underground and go in front of me to check the way is clear or to help digest any hucha . When I call in the winds of the west in the sacred space prayer, I say ‘Mother , sister jaguar, help us walk over that rainbow bridge between this life and the next, showing us that suffering is something we only do to ourselves. Help us to walk with clarity and peace’.

I remember a time when I was really suffering a dark night of the soul. Several things had caused a domino effect in my life, causing me to feel extremely angry and frustrated at my ‘stuck’ situation. My ego thought I wanted to do something but the universe was telling me clearly that this wasn’t the right time. Of course, I didn’t want to listen but this ultimately caused pain and conflict within myself. I became so efficient at judging myself and self- blame that I couldn’t see what  I was doing to myself.

It took some good support from like-minded friends/fellow practitioners and a lot of ‘sitting with’ my situation, using Jaguar to literally track and ‘walk between the worlds’ eating the heavy energy (the hucha) daily from my energy field to get perspective, the process took over six months to clear. People think that shamanic practitioners have it all worked out, this is not always so. We are only here in this role because we have listened to the call from Great Spirit and been able to step up ( or maybe even been dragged to it, through external circumstances). There are always opportunities for us to grow and strengthen our spiritual connection with the world and our communities. In my experience, the lighter and clearer your energy field becomes – the darker and heavier energies tend to be most attracted to this. So, the more experienced you become – the greater the challenges – but don’t let that put you off!.

Some invaluable tools for helping clear hucha and to bring your situation into balance are:

1. Florida water and Palo Santo – a sacred wood from the amazon that has an earthy, pungent smell. Florida water can be made with vodka and essential oils.

2. Dedicating your altar to Jaguar, invoking her daily and learning how to work with her. develop your relationship with her. Ask her what you need to do to be at peace with your situation.

3. Creating a sand painting.  This helps us to see our situation from a greater perspective and channel the greater good of the situation through ‘playing’ with mother nature. Sand paintings aren’t pictures created from sand. They are a living energy mandala created (as much as possible) on the earth, on the belly of Pachamama. Pachamama loves heavy energy, she thrives on it.

Sand paintings are created in sacred space. First – make a circle of twigs or leaves, this is your container for the energy you will place there. They can be created in your garden (preferably not too far away) or your balcony, even a bowl of earth in your home is better than nothing. Then, decide on the main components of your dilemma or block ie – who’s involved, what’s holding you back?. Place stones, shells or twigs onto the sand painting, blowing the essence of the energies present into them . This shows Mother Earth how you feel about this situation. It’s always amazing to ‘see’ the story from a distance. Then, allow the sand painting to ‘cook’ for a period of up to a week. Over this period, frequently visit your sand painting and change things around. You can re-inform the stones and articles in your sand painting with your breath and love as everything starts to unfold and come back into balance. Eventually, there will be more love than fear or pain blown into the sand painting and at this point it appears transformed. They are a magical process and never ceases to amaze me at their simplicity and beauty.

Another very efficient way of clearing hucha in your energy field or from any situation is a technique I learned from Juan Nuñez del Prado and his son Ivan.  The energy technique is called Hucha Miqui and means literally to ‘digest’ heavy energy.

In this workshop there will be a combination of experiential shamanic exercises that will help you to embed the energetic techniques we learn together. We’ll also have time to re-connect with our sacred selves , as well as our shadow selves and with nature through fire ceremony, creative activities and sand paintings. We hope that this will be done with the gifts of humour and grace, if any of you have heard of coyote medicine – this is also the medicine we’re talking of :).

Bearing this in mind, we will be looking specifically at issues surrounding the themes of:

– Boundaries and protection.

– Self compassion and love.

– Our deepest fear and therefore our greatest treasure.

– Huch Miqui and digesting heavy energy.

– Embodying the archetype of Jaguar through movement and drumming.

Here are some testimonials from our previous workshops:

I attended a Medicine Wheel workshop dedicated to the South direction, facilitated by Neil and Ali , who are totally dedicated to the path of Spirit and enlightenment, void of self-importance. Their integrity shines through and I trusted them implicitly, which is essential for this deep, connecting work. I have attended many wonderful, experiential workshops in the last thirty years but this was something  different and of a high nature.  Although it is called a workshop I would describe it more in terms of a deep communion with something that resides within me, awaiting my call. This led me to perceive what I needed to ‘let go ‘ of and what I needed to ’embrace’ if I wished to become more of my inner Truth and Beauty. The most powerful exercise for me was creating my own sand painting which changed and evolved over the weekend. By the end of this time, I had received many insights and knew what was holding me back. It is almost a month since the course now and I have received so many gifts in many forms, in shadow and light, from Sacha Mama. I can unreservedly recommend these  Medicine Wheel journeys if you are intending to let go and uncover your true self. 

Pamela, Manchester 2013.

I attended a two-day course with Ali and Neil and it was amazing. I began it feeling unconfident and lost in my life, unsure of what I was doing and of myself. After two days of beautiful and powerful ceremonies I feel revived, more confident and more at  peace in myself than I have for a while. They are caring, knowledgeable and thoughtful healers / guides and they gave themselves to the course as much as we did. As with these courses the more you put in the more you put out. I thoroughly recommend them. 

K.Torode, Brighton 2013.

We felt it was the best experience we have ever had, I think we both felt we connected with a type of energy and way of being that we had been seeking for such a long time.  We both love nature and ritual and ceremony and were very moved by how simple but strong these were in your teachings this weekend.   Neil and yourself are a powerful force and a really amazing combination for this kind of work, making it accessible to the uninitiated like ourselves and yet keeping that focus and magic and honouring the energy you both work with.  

S and S. Reason Manchester, 2013.

The whole workshop was thoroughly and thoughtfully planned providing fun and challenges in equal measure.  You both created an atmosphere that was supportive, safe and nurturing so that the personal challenges could be approached with confidence and openness. Your experience and deep knowledge of the tradition shone through giving all the work strength and integrity.  A powerful experience in every way!  Many thanks.
D. Adamson, Manchester 2013.

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