The Accidental Sorceress

11/30/2013 § Leave a comment

A commentator has asked me to elaborate on my reference to shamanism, so here is a writing about it. The story as described here seems quite unbelievable and fantastic as I write it, but it is in fact 100% true xcept for the name changes to protect innocent and guilty alike.

In the 1990s, I volunteered to work at a crisis clinic that trained non-professionals to assist the clinic’s psychologists.  My work buddy in the class they offered for credit was a Civil Engineer named Don, who was not quite as straight-laced as he first appeared.  We were all given buddies for a 3-month-long project to establish a counseling relationship with each other. As we sorted through how we were going to do this, he told me that he had attended a series of workshops on Core Shamanism with his wife. I was interested in this. And so he agreed to perform a shamanistic ritual to fulfill our course requirements.

Core Shamanism is a program initially developed by Michael Harner and Sandra Ingerman Harner for the Anthropology Department at MIT.  They studied shamanistic practices from around the world, distilling them to discern the common elements they shared, They assembled a shamanic practice based on these common, core elements. Using the scientific tools of the anthropologist, they were studying a world where science, it had always been assumed, didn*t apply. (Michael Harner, The Way of the Shaman)  

Here*s his official link: http://www.shamanism.org/products/index.html

Don prepared a floor in a room in his home for me to lie down on. His Core Shamanism teacher played a hand drum– he was being observed. Just about every ancient people*s shamanistic traditions, I was told, involved the shaman going into a trance state induced by drum-based rhythm. He stood over me, a foot ln each side, chanting and shaking a rattle. I fell into a trance myself and eventually fell asleep, until he called my name, shaking his rattle over my head to wake me up. Then he took my head between his hands a blew into my forehead three times.

Each breath was for a missing fragment of my soul he had recovered and was returning to me, he explained as he helped me up. I had been living most of my life with three portions of my psyche missing.

Soul fragment retrieval is another one of the universal features of world shamanism. According to Harner, soul retrieval is practiced throughout indigenous culture, by the shamans of Siberia, the brujo of Mexico and the voudoin of Haiti, and many more. Shock and trauma wrench pieces of our soul from us, leaving us incomplete; broken. The soul pieces can be recovered and restored, but it requires intention, effort and skill, and the restorative breathe of the shaman. Modern science and medicine perceive and respond to soul fragmentation, disassociative states, PTSD, depression, etc, in entirely different ways, sometimes more effectively, sometimes less.

As we sat in his living room, Don debriefed me on the journey. Going into trance, he visualized slipping out of the window of his living room into a jungle of the Middle World. Shamans universally journey by trance throughout the mythical three realms; the Lower, Middle and Upper– Heaven/Earth/Hell, Asgard/Midgard/Niffleheim, Olympus/Terra/Hades.

In the jungle, Don called on his power animal, Puma; and they went on searching for mine. They found two; I won’t say which. My power animals knew where the first of my missing soul pieces were. He visualized a cloud that led to the Upper Realm. There he found me as a 16-year-old, meditating on a cloud bed beside a Chinese Master in green robes. He was bald with a wispy white beard, some kind of staff, and always laughing. This was my introduction to the being who would turn out to be an invaluable guardian of mine in the spirit realm, my Angel. These Spirit Guides can be invaluable for the recovery of Children of Narcissists, when all other options and benefactors seem useless. I understand that every single person has these Guides; you must be persistent in asking for them.

Don told Chinese Master that he was journeying on my behalf and that I very much wanted to reunite my Soul with this meditating fragment of myself. Fragment said, *I’m not going back there! It*s horrible!*  The Master replyed to him, *You should go, Vic. It’ll be all right.  Your Self is ready for you.* Teenage Vic asked, *If I go back, will my Self let me meditate?*  Chinese Master, who seemed to know something about this, said, *Sure! Vic meditates much more often now. But he very much wants your knowledge and experience.*  Teenage Vic finally agreed, turning himself into vapor which Dan inhaled.

Dan, with the three power animals, now went about looking for my second soul piece in the Middle World.  He recalled a story I told in our counseling
practice session; I was about 5-years-old and my family was visiting my grandparents in Brooklyn, New York. It was a dark blustery autumn night and I was leaning over the kitchen window looking out on the cold windy streets.  Behind me in the warm yellow-walled kitchen, Dad was yelling at me hysterically; why I could never recall. I was thinking how much I would rather be in the cold, dark night than in the warm inhabited kitchen of screaming and terror.

It was there that Don found my 5-year-old fragment wandering like a ghost,
alone, in the endless city streets of the Middle-Realm, Brooklyn Exit. He invited little Vic, who had been wandering in the dark for 33 years, to rejoin me, and then he inhaled the poor lost soul into is lungs.

I cannot tell you that these things actually happened. I don*t know. It was Don*s journey, not mine. But these things I write down are exactly what he told me without exaggeration. And I believe him.

He found a stream that led into the Underworld. There his Animals brought him to a place of great desolation, where they came to a pit. Inside the pit was a whirlwind of twisting air. Inside, he could see a baby within a black baby carriage. Don tried to reach into it but couldn’t. The twisting column of air was a force field, he said, and it was beyond his means to penetrate. So his spirit animals began singing, a song that was heard by Goose, claiming to be my protector.  Goose, a full-on Canadian Honker, taught Don*s animal posse the songs they needed to free the baby. It worked. He reached into the carriage and removed Baby Vic, who he then breathed into himself, returning to his waking state. The shamanic journey had essentially journeyed a guided dream.

Don had never encountered anything like this force field before. *It was deliberately created by someone who knows magic,* he said, ‘*a witch or
sorceror. Goose said it could only have been your mother, or you,for that matter– to protect yourself, if you had any skill in sorcery from a past life. But that’s unlikely. It had to have been done by someone with specific training in witchcraft; it*s unlikely that she came by this ability accidentally.* But in hindsight, I think that*s exactly what she did. Being already a Narcissist, I think she had the right mix of intuition, selfishness and morbidity to imprison me psychically without past training. It is true that she was a close friends in college with the *King* of a witch coven in Arkansas. He and his wife once had me over for Christmas Dinner a long time ago; they were so conventional it is very hard to believe they could have prepped her on soul extraction! I can never decide for sure if she knows consciously what she’s done to me or not. I think not. I think she won’t allow herself to know what she did. I think the easiest way to lie to others is believe in own lies yourself. I think she*s a victim of her own accidental sorcery. I really do. I think she*s still stuck in a force-field of her own making somewhere in the Lower Realms.

For a long time after the Soul Retrieval nothing remarkable happened to me. But the story Don told haunted me. He said that sometimes it happens that way. Reintigration with separated soul pieces can take time, but there is power in the story itself. The story actually can work as a blueprint for reintegrating the errant parts.

Two years later, Mom did something else to me with Witchy ramifications; you can read about it in the article Son of A (Narcissistic) Bitch 3. I went to a shaman afterwards, Don*s teacher with the drums, and she said a soul fragment was indeed missing after the fracas, but rather than get a soul retrieval I should wait until it comes back on its own. The problem, in hindsight, was that without the soul piece reinstated, I couldn’t remember the incident that knocked it out in the first place. Losing the fourth soul piece evidently forestalled the reintegration of the first three.

Then slowly about 4 years ago, or about 16 years after Don’s journey, memories, insights and connections began coming to me at a relatively fast rate. This was the time when I first realized that Mother must be a Narcissist. It was also when my wife of 14 years left me.

Some months after Roxanne left, I was chopping scallions in my home in Japan when I made such a connection. The memory wasn’t rare or buried, and it’s connection to Don*s healing journey was obvious; there was no reason why it took 16 years to put it together, except that my soul wss still recovering from being smashed to smithereens.

I was thinking of the shelf of doodads and knicknacks that Mom krpg in the kitchen over the sink. All of one animal, made of stones, carved in wood, clay, bone; postcards, pottery, feathers, yarn.

*Mom, why do you have so many geese?* I asked her once.

*I just like them,* is all she said.

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