For those of you who are reading for Jess’ updates, the physical report is a good one: his head continues to heal, his brain continues to come online (he will be attending school in the fall here in Tallahassee), and his physical therapy has been stretched to every two weeks. My whole brain techniques are being utilized every day, and he is responding to them by getting exponentially better, miraculously so. His medical surgeon discharged him (“He can go play contact sports now…” SAY WHAT????? No thank you!!!) and he has been doing more and more things that he used to do, including some limited driving. The old privileges are being restored an ounce at a time, with stringent testing (by my eye and his) to make sure he is not stressing himself out. This continues to be the main shift…he’s been asked to change the way he relates to life by slowing down and honoring a deeper part of himself. And here’s where my (and his) shamanic knowing comes in.
On May 17, Jess and I made a journey to go see a shaman colleague of mine several hours away. She is initiated in a matriarchal Peruvian lineage that speaks deeply to me; our purpose in seeing her was to have an outside perspective from a shamanic point of view on Jess’ recent injury and recovery. The profound nature of this opportunity and his transformation has not been lost on me (and fortunately, on his father and brother, and most importantly, on himself), so I have been working with him daily in the old ways to facilitate in his reclaiming of his life.
But I was guided to investigate further with a trusted resource; I know when I am asked to go beyond myself to seek counsel, it is because I am missing a piece of the picture, and would benefit from the aide of an outside helper. It is a great gift and blessing to have trusted helpers in my life that I know I can go to when I feel my own limitations.
It was a profound visit. She journeyed on our behalf into non ordinary reality and did some work for us, cleaning and clearing. But perhaps the most affirming for Jess was that he had indeed been initiated as a shaman, brought back down to the old path, the path of his lineage and destiny. The Earth had reclaimed him.
His “accident” was caused by traveling over a thin trickle of water, a line of feminine energy that he attempted to cross very fast on his skateboard. The water caused his skateboard, traveling at approximately 25-30 mph, to lift, slamming him head first into the Earth (in this case, concrete.) The right side of his skull fractured in two places as a result of this intimate, sudden, hard and insistent contact with his Earth Mother, bursting his carotid artery and creating an epidural hematoma. Epi-dural means above or over the dura; the Dura Mater is the leather-like covering that protects the brain under the skull, and literally translates to “Tough Mother”. This “tough mother” protected his brain from further harm as the Earth Mother reclaimed him.
And Jess is becoming a creature of the earth, as he was when he was younger, before he became so caught up in the mind games of his peers and culture, as well as his need to be risking his life to prove that he was indeed alive. He is softer, more mature, more considered in his decisions. His body is becoming more precious to him. He describes his sensory experience:
“As my recovery progresses, I just keep getting more and more present; colors become more vivid, touch becomes more textured, and sound becomes sharper. All of my senses are continuously heightened, and the world around me takes clearer shape by the second.
I know this comes off as vague, but my sense of place in this world and my sense of belonging to the Earth are more and more THERE. When I reach for that sense of belonging, it is at my fingertips, not so far away that I nearly lose my balance trying to reach it.
The world is such a more pleasant, homey place to be; I feel as though I am finally cohabitating this plane with the rest of the world with spiritual peace and rightness. The more my head heals, the more my view of myself heals. I’m parting ways with the perfectionist part of me that finds nothing but reasons to cut myself down when I look in the mirror. It feels freeing, so blessedly freeing, to be able to think about myself in a positive manner. This is where I am, and this is where I continue to be.”
Of course, I am proud of him. As his father says, there is no better person on earth that Jess could have been discharged to once he was medically stable (at 9 days). I have been practicing shamanism for many, many years, and I knew that I was witnessing shamanic initiation when Jess went through this experience. And it’s not over; we will be making a pilgrimage in August to his birthplace in Arizona to reclaim power there (for both of us) during his traumatic (first) birth. Not one to buy in to the average American life, it makes me glad that he is discovering another aspect of life that is so rewarding, so deeply connected to the old medicine of earth and our ancestors. It flies in the face of what society asks us to become when we are embarking into adulthood. The temptation to be what others want us to be is strong; there is a promise of security and belonging if we just give our power to that larger belief system. But security only feels real when it comes from the inside, from our sense of knowing, from our sense of self. Otherwise, the concept of being safe and secure is dependent on outer circumstances, which are subject to change.
The ground beneath our feet is one of the most primal securities we have. Our connection to Earth is something we take for granted, in that it is always there. Like the mother we always wanted, ever present, ever supporting, ever nourishing, ever loving. When Jess got the serious reclaiming from the Earth, he was being reclaimed by his Great Mother, the Mother who is also his mother’s mother, and all who came before her. The Big Mama, the source of his body and blood. The elements of the Earth are what combine in the most amazing, miraculous manner to form our physical bodies; the collective intelligence there is pure consciousness taking form through the Earth’s body. The relationship to the Earth is very similar to the relationship we might have with our concept of God, as a maker and overseer, the larger intelligence that governs the universe. Except that the Earth is distinctly feminine in Her mothering, in her body, in the ways it takes care of us. Of course, there is masculine energy here, as well; there is no physical reality without the polarity of the opposites.
It seems to me that our awareness of the feminine is coming alive in our collective consciousness, something I have been experiencing since the late nineties… a growing awareness that feels like an old, old voice speaking to me from the depths of my being. My son is the latest evidence of this experience. He is a man who is relearning the feminine being-ness through his mind, body and soul. And he will be a part of the change that we are all undergoing as we rebalance our collective human soul.