Shamanism & Hollow Bone

I wrote this because I’m pleasantly surprised at the interest that my home community is taking in shamanism. Not only is this exciting for me, but I’m hearing amazing new stories as well! It came up though, that not everyone who has had experience with shamanism knows that it is first and most importantly – a personal healing practice. It must be and it can be. I hope this little article serves someone well.

Briefly, What is Shamanism

Involving altered states of consciousness, shamanism is purposeful and intentional technique, together with Earth-based lifestyle and skilled perception, in pursuit of Hollow Bone. 

In the same way that a child first traces a known alphabetical font before developing their very own writing style, tried and true shamanic technique is taught for the purpose of effective communication with and reverence for benevolent spirits and elements of Earth (to which some might refer as aspects of Self.) Not only does a shamanic practitioner learn to initiate communication clearly, they must also develop shamanic perception in order to clearly decode receptive communication. 

It is the result of partnership between the practitioner and the spirits that ultimately leads to healing. To allow healing truth to flow, the practitioner sets aside their own beliefs which can include “good” or “bad” beliefs about self, origin, purpose, god-figures, and about other people. Also set aside are assumptions which can include what might or should happen, what is a “righteous” cause and what is not. This setting aside often leads to a clearing out – as in clearing out a hollow conduit. Clearing out our beliefs to make room for truth is known as the pursuit of Hollow Bone, and this is what greatly differentiates shamanism from other practices. Healing needs to travel through the Hollow Bone, which the practitioner becomes, and being a Hollow Bone is a matter of continuous maintenance rather than a one and done deal.

It’s not a path that everyone will choose. What many people still don’t know however, is that personal shamanism for one’s own healing is a thing, and it comes with the same criteria as it does for a practitioner by vocation – for good reason. Without an experiential understanding of what Hollow Bone means for oneself, healing cannot reach others through a hollow bone – because it’s clogged!

The Studio Example

Imagine a studio (or community place) with people sitting around on the floor for a teaching about shamanism. A woman walks in, and she wants to learn shamanism. The teacher, who calls herself Shamaness Debbie, immediately approaches the woman to inform her that no matter what she does, she cannot “be” a shaman too. The shamaness wants the woman to confess that she clearly understands this before she begins learning. Shamaness Debbie proceeds to tell her about her own ancestry and how shamanism and techniques have been passed down in her family line. She tells the woman that only she can be “the shaman” and heal people because of her bloodline and that anything she will learn at the studio can’t be used in her (the woman’s) own practice. Well, the woman doesn’t have a practice. She doesn’t even know what “the practice” means. She just read about Hollow Bone in a book about shamanism and wanted to learn more. Because of what she read though, she gets a creep-factor feeling and realizes that the studio probably isn’t the place to pursue Hollow Bone with others. She leaves the place, disappointed. 

Later that day, a man walks into the studio after reading the All Welcome to Learn About Shamanism sign. He sees several regulars sitting on the floor and listening while Shamaness Debbie is already talking. The group waves for him to sit down with them. But what the man hears during the teaching is that the United States is suffering, and that it is the fault of Republicans. The whole meeting is about doing shamanic-work to change the minds of Republicans. But the man, incidentally a Republican, not only feels ostracized and unwelcome, but he did not get a beginner’s lesson on what he had read about the pursuit of Hollow Bone in reputable books. What he experienced was false advertisement, another group with a political agenda, and plain disappointment.

Boundaries vs. Obstacles

Boundaries can orient us as they would for one who is blind and is tapping or feeling their way around a new room – or as they would for any type of explorer. Obstacles often delay or keep us from reaching the boundaries which are intended to aid in our orientation. 

Shamaness Debbie chose to cling to the idea that a political party is an obstacle, rather than seeking her own healing in regard to her perception about an entire people-group. Healing is in the truth that obstacles are created by gunk in the bone – gunk that Debbie chose to keep and to grow. She also proceeded to teach others to cling to the gunk in their bones too. Together, they created more of an obstacle (a delay) for Gerry, who was left with a bad idea about shamanism and the continued anxiety about how he fits in the world. He was hoping to find his true self and his orientation in what he feels is a confusing and troubled world. Where he hoped to be received because of the All Are Welcome sign, he found false advertisement and more despair.

Obstacles, and We’re All Shamaness Debbie, but We’re Also Not

Shamaness Debbie didn’t wake up that morning and think to herself, Gee, how can I contribute to despair today? We all function as obstacles from time to time. It’s part of life and learning, and it’s okay. Sometimes, it even redirects a person to go in the right direction or to the right place (for them).

But, she did choose to cling to the idea that her bloodline and also her methods are superior to anyone else’s. (What havoc supremacy wreaks.) In truth, shamanism is everyone’s birthright. And, the “right method” is unique to each person because of the intimate relationship between the helping spirits (or aspects of self) and the practitioner. 

Delusional about her own status as well as about the perceived threat of losing her status, she confronted each person that came to her establishment in search of healing knowledge. Those who accepted such behavior from her grew more gunk in their own bones. Instead of becoming willing to heal themselves and perhaps others in community (regardless of political association), they built imaginary enemies in their minds and contributed to the great illusion of separation, in the belief of which is the cause of illness.

All is well though. In truth, they’re all well and can know this for themselves. Knowing is a process which can begin the minute they realize that their beliefs are promoting separation and not unity. Broken bones and hairline fractures -or- healthy bones in one piece… It’s not hard to know which represents healing and which represents destruction.

Titles, if not used just to be found by those looking for a service, are just sounds that come from our mouths. But shamanism doesn’t differentiate the mouths that make the sounds. The woman who left the studio seemed to have known this – that healing via shamanism should be her right to practice in some kind of way, and that it doesn’t “belong” to one person or bloodline.


Still, Shamaness Debbie is not a bad person. She’s quite typical, really. She represents all of us because we have free will, and we make choices. Sometimes, we even think about our choices. Having choices means that we all can choose self-honesty and to purposely look for what clogs our bones – what contributes to illusions on a personal level. From there, we can choose to work at cleaning that stuff out and then exploring the vastness of our current boundary – our next level or phase of our existence. 

It’s not a choice that everyone will make. Shamanic practitioners (dire-hard, spiritual truth types) are people who make the choice to do exactly this with Hollow Bone pursuit. But even if one doesn’t adhere to a shamanic path, self-honesty and the expression of it, and clearly defining one’s own current, self-healing intentions can get them onto a path of real growth. And, as demonstrated in “the studio,” that can help all of us!


Disclaimer: This is not about anyone, and I’ve never met a Shamaness Debbie. lol

Published by

Susan George

Susan George

Spiritual Practitioner, Blogger, Creator




Sue George CMMP, CMT, CLC, MML

Freedom Vs. Illusions

A recorded soul-song and some pics included, I share my take on what I once thought freedom was and what I now know that freedom… is.

It is good to define what freedom means to yourself as well as what the expression of it looks like every now and then. In doing so, you can measure your own growth. You can ask, Does my definition allow me to flow with life, or does it cause me to shrivel up and believe I’m in some sort of cage at times?

My recent personal analysis began at an outdoor, public drum circle. I had originally hoped to bring along my djembe and sit closer to the action. But then I decided that it would be a perfect day to bring one of my daughters out for the experience. I do get to go out to drum circles by myself, but I thought she would enjoy the beachside music on a beautiful day. She is an adult, and she has special needs. But she really loves to dance and play along. I couldn’t let her miss the one fair day in a long streak of cold or rainy ones.

We were hoofing it alone that day, and so I decided that bringing my djembe was out of the question as my daughter needs mobility assistance. Instead we brought along a tambourine, finger shots, her mini maracas, and her decent-but-cheap frame drum (which ended up being chucked into the sand more than once). lol

I felt a slight ping of despair when we first arrived at the circle. I’m not much of a spectator. Whether it is music or sports, the idea of sitting on the side bores the heck out of me! I tend to feel a magnetic pull toward being a part of the action. And this was what happened – for only a moment. In that moment, I knew I was getting a personal lesson because this is how it goes.

Had this been a year ago, I probably would have ended up moping around and feeling like I was missing out on something that is clearly a part of who I am. I would have felt oppressed and chained down. But that’s because I didn’t understand the magnetic pull and how it relates to real freedom as opposed to the illusion of it.

I’m in charge of moving my magnet, and love taught me this. The moment I saw my daughter’s face when she understood that we were going to “be in” the drum circle area was the moment I moved my magnet back in her direction. My event was my daughter (as intended). My daughter’s event was a drum circle. Both our events were one. And when I thought of it in this way, I immediately went back in time and contrasted how things were before I became a mom. I remembered the rush to get into the action. I remembered chasing festivals and events and social groups. What I thought might have happened if I missed one…??? Good grief, I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. But if love quenches the need to chase every single event and the need to be at every event was my idea of what freedom meant, then there are some obvious clues.

(Don’t misunderstand me… I’m still going to events.)

There’s never only one layer to a lesson once one begins. We’ve established that freedom is a choice to redirect a sort of magnet. It’s like maneuvering a boat on waves. But there needn’t be an event nor another person to redirect it toward.

My village is… a village. I do not live in a secluded home with only animals as neighbors out yonder.

Without my conscious intervention, my attention can easily redirect to the issues that accompany living in a community – even though community is a favorite word of mine. Go figure.

Rather than feeling as if I was missing out on something, I recently felt like I had to get away from something (my village). But they are the same thing! Going to and leaving from are the same thing. If movement or the concept of changing direction was a stick, any place to go to and any place to leave from are on polar opposite ends of the same stick. (This is a mini lesson in transmutation.)

Anyway, my situation was bugging me, and I didn’t know what I needed. When I don’t know what I need, I sometimes sing a soul song. I experience soul songs in different ways and for different reasons. So, there are some songs that I keep sacred and to myself. But this song, I can share. If you’ve never heard of singing a soul-song, it is basically making sounds without thinking about them at all. As with any shamanic practice, what we think we know gets set aside for a time. You don’t think about meaning or melody, and you actually don’t think “song.” The song could be just sounds and unpleasant ones perhaps. Sometimes a cultural feel or words from foreign or ancient languages come up. Many times, my songs sound Polynesian. Sometimes there are recognizable Hebrew words mixed with Polynesian, Pinyin with Greek, etc. I’ve had clues as to why this might be. But for now, know that no meaning can be found in the sounds- as words or phrases! It is people who assign meaning to sounds and then call them words! But, sounds are their own being, in a sense. The meaning in most soul songs is in the place between the sound and the singer (me, since I’m the practitioner involved).

I recreated this song and muffled it a bit to discourage any kind of translation, which would be wrong. Lol. Sorry.

There are similar uses of languages, songs, tongues, etc. in many cultures and belief systems. For me, the soul-song is shamanic, period. There are soul-songs that I do in a medium-depth, altered state of consciousness. And there are ones like the above that I do in a very lightly altered state as any musician might get into while performing and being careful not to trip over wires at the same time. I do these to quickly hear-experience the message from within myself (higher self) rather then to have a full visual and sensory experience.

What you cannot get from my soul song (because it’s mine), is that the sacredness of my home is always there and that my home never changes. I was reminded that all I need to do is to remember to point my “magnet” toward the home that does not move. Be the home – in a sense.

Yes, I really need a new place to live that is more customized to my lifestyle. But in the meantime, I must live my best in the now. This will always be true. It’s so good that I only spent a couple days out-of-whack spiritually rather than months! But this is a benefit of maintaining a spiritually progressive lifestyle… You get better at it!

Spiritual freedom is attainable, and it helps in any situation. Freedom is also a choice – to point our magnets in the right direction.

Who Are You? How Does It Help to Know Your Answer?

Lets get to know each other. No wrong answers. What’s the most empowering and true-to-you current description that you have for yourself? ❤

We all wear many hats and have many titles. How we *best* understand ourselves and thereby describe ourselves is what leads to empowerment. 

More of a description for this poster at link below…

Who Are You Poster Available:

Swim: Remember Who You Are

How does it help to remember your best self when faced with challenges – that are new to you?

Announcement: Music, Videos, Art, Photography, Writing, Feedback Requests and Discussion, Nature, Shamanism, Mindfulness, Spirituality… All Earth Intern Stuff Is Now on a FB Page

“Riding” Fearless Expression to Healing

A post about the simplicity and normality of spirituality and the personal power that accompanies expressive freedom. Link to video included.

I first want to tell you that there was a time when I would not bang a drum – even if no one else was home. I was closed up, oppressed, and afraid because I had believed lies about myself. I believed that I should reduce my own expression down to null and make no ripples in life, have no signature, and leave no trace of my personality or creativity. It was almost as if I thought that my sounds would cause an influx of negative consequences. For whatever reason people feel comfortable telling me things, I’ve learned that I’m not the only person who has experienced this, and that’s why I’m sharing this drumming video (and probably a lot more things to come).

If I can do it and share it, I’m certain that you can get out of your metaphorical expression oppression closet.

About the Video

In this particular video, I sought to return to a place from the previous night’s dream. It was a Big Dream. Big Dream is a term for a healing dream, a shamanic dream, or a symbolic message-dream, or even a warning dream or an instructional (how-to) dream.

(FYI: You might be interested in my Books page if you want to learn more about entities in altered states, which includes dreams.)

Fearless expression is what we “ride” into our healing when we seek it for ourselves. There was a healing message in my dream. I rode my drum (in shamanism it’s often referred to as a horse) to get a clearer image of the symbolism. If I was the type to wish for anything in the past to be different, I’d probably wish that I understood fearless expression past the age of 10.

Normally, when I drum into a semi-altered state of consciousness, I follow any leads to walk around, to stand on a chair, to dance, etc. Since I don’t possess a camera that would have tracked all that, I stayed in one general area, which was a little hard. But I did stand on furniture a couple of times. lol

If you watch the whole thing, you’ll hear that the beat changes. When comfortable enough to drum without thinking about how well you’re doing it, the beat and your state of consciousness will change – together. There is a point in which I sit because I’m “there” looking at that dream spot more closely.

As with any type of meditation and intentional change in consciousness, there should always be a beginning, a middle, and an end. The end is when you reacclimate yourself to your earthly surrounds.

Comment here, or at The Earth Intern on FB. YouTube comments are disabled. Thanks!

Your Voice Isn’t All About Speaking

A post about wellness through expression…

This post is inspired by a conversation at a recent drum circle. We were talking about skipping in public. 🙂 I’m in!

Finding your voice (and using it) is more than just speaking your truth. It’s more than overcoming fears of public speaking. It’s more than working on good communication. Yet… all those things can certainly improve quickly by knowing this!

So what’s a metaphorical voice, and how can you exercise using it? We’ll take a lesson from the throat chakra, and also from shamanism, though it’s really all one thing.

Very simply, shamanism teaches that illness is caused by a lack of personal, truthful, self-expression. That means that healing occurs through personal, truthful, self-expression. This goes for all kinds of healing – physiological and psychological/ emotional. Truthful self-expression is thee biggest deal.

The throat chakra, also known as the 5th primary chakra, is responsible for your ability to speak your truth, to communicate, and <drum roll> to express yourself. When your throat chakra is blocked or out of whack, you might have trouble with all three of these things. And while all chakras and your whole energy system are important, not being able to speak and express your truth means living as someone else and basically being an actor to your own demise. It is suffocating, and it can cause people to wonder what they’re living for. Think about it. Who would not wonder that – if they are pretending (probably because they think they must, and I know this well) to live as someone else and express themselves as someone else?

But life doesn’t have to be that way. It’s a great idea to go to a reputable energy healing facilitator, perhaps for Reiki, though there are other modes of healing as well. Why not get help making a new start, especially because the whole energy system should be worked in order for that 5th chakra to be well? But if you can’t do that right now, or if going to someone feels too awkward, I propose making your way “in” to that throat chakra through a form of self-expression – specifically, a form that fades away.

Why start with a form that fades away and what might that be?

Unrecorded sounds (it doesn’t have to be music) that you make by yourself is an example. Make some noise and find your rhythms or melodies, but don’t record it! Not yet.

You can make some art, then throw it away, and make some more art again soon after.

You can dance and not record it, sing and not record it, write and not publish it, dress up, dress down… anything!

If you really have issues with speaking and expressing your truth, you’re likely to be uncomfortable, at first, with the result of your own expression. You might not be able to see yourself or hear yourself as the real you. You might think, Oh my god.. did I just dance and yell and skip around the house like I’m ten?

Don’t let thoughts of awkwardness or permanency keep you from feeling good. Safely express yourself, then let it go. Unrecorded. Unpublished. Yet the results linger in your being.

Get used to expressing your truth, and notice how it feels while you’re doing it and afterward. Notice the residual effect because once you start to feel a little closer to your true self, you’re going to want more of that. You’ll understand the difference it makes in self-care, and you’ll be a little more unwilling to go without it. Just don’t show it to anyone yet if you’ve really struggled in this area and you’re afraid. In that case, you need time to be you and to just be in truth with you – without anyone else’s input. It’s your right, and it’s good self-care.


What are your relevant forms of self-expression? Tell us!

A Spring Soul-Soup Recipe

I came up with the recipe on Easter this year. Due to circumstances of schedule and unforeseen things, I neither had time to shop for nor to cook the traditional and expected holiday foods. But I haven’t even wanted those foods for at least 20 years – at least not while celebrating Spring, which is what I do around this time. We have a blended origin-story kind of family. And it seems to usually be difficult for me to work-in the time to celebrate with a dinner, just Spring and renewal. I see a Spring dinner celebration as colorful and light. But it’s even more than that. When celebrating renewal, I’d like to have food that is both nourishing and energizing – food that signifies the excitement and optimism of beginnings rather than the end. I mean, in Winter, hot mashed potatoes and gravy are my jam! But if I’m having a soul ceremony of seasonal food with Spring, it goes a little more like the recipe below. While I’m a bit sad that we didn’t get to see a couple of people this Easter because of schedule stuff and a mild illness too, I really am glad that “all I could whip up” was this!

Go easy on me. I’m not used to writing out recipes for public use.

This loosely-accurate-recipe is for a light miso with chicken broth, carrot-themed soup, which is a great edible bouquet for Spring. Texture is a big part of this soup, especially if you will be eating it same-day. With a flavor similar to won ton soup, the main flavor contributors are from leeks and green onion, miso, ginger, soy sauce, and then a bit of carrot. I add marinated tofu, which contributes to the overall flavor. If tofu is a no-go for you, I gotcha covered with alternate instructions.

Serving is for 6 small bowls or 3 medium bowls. I like serving small, shallow bowls along with a peppery, smooshed avocado and veggie sandwich.

You will need:

3 carrots: 1 purple, 1 orange, and 1 white/yellow (Use just the medium-width part of each carrot. Slice into thin, diagonal pieces for garnish later. You’ll be standing these slivers on top of your served soup. So, slice 3 for 3 bowls or 6 for 6 bowls. Don’t overthink what it should look like. It’s your soup. You just want a thin crunch and burst of color and not hearty forest-stew pieces.)

18 very thin and skinny slices of orange carrot (You want the noodle effect here, but keep them 3-4 inches long.)

1 handful thinly shredded red cabbage

1.5 handfuls bulky-shredded escarole

1/4 c thinly sliced leek (Use equal white as well as green parts.)

1 green onion, white and green parts, chopped

2 Tb fresh Italian parsley (Don’t chop up the leaves.)

1 grated nub of ginger about the size of a finger tip, with skin on (Yes, you can eat ginger skin.)

32 oz low sodium chicken broth (Make sure it’s low sodium or you might be sorry when you add the marinated tofu. If you’d rather go with a vegetable broth, make it a light (non-tomato) and low-sodium broth. But note that the overall flavor will be very different than intended.)

1/2 tsp olive oil (or avocado oil)

1/2 block of firm (not extra firm) tofu, drained (Take the block out of the package. Turn the block on its long side. Slice down the center to form 2 thinner blocks. Place one block on paper towels, cover it with more paper towels, and press down lightly with a plate to remove excess water. Repeat with fresh towels. Set aside. Put the other block back into water, and store in fridge for another day.)

1/4 c soy sauce (or 1/4 tsp if you will not be using tofu)

1/8 tsp ginger powder (or a pinch <1/16> if not using tofu)

1.5 Tb white miso

pinch of salt

dash of black pepper

wax paper or parchment paper for use in the freezer

Dutch oven, or large pot

small bowl and whisk, for blending miso (Put the miso in the bowl before starting.)


1 Freeze-marinate the Tofu: Combine soy sauce and ginger powder in a shallow bowl and stir. Dip all sides of the prepared tofu into the mixture. Discard remaining liquid. Wrap tofu in parchment paper or wax paper and place it flat, in the freezer. Let it be for at least 1.5 hours. (You can do this the night before if you prefer.)

2 Gather: Separate all your ingredients into 3 areas: 1 tofu, miso and small bowl; 2 the carrot slivers garnish; 3 the rest.

3 Sauté: Turn Dutch oven to medium low. Add oil, red cabbage, escarole, leeks, grated ginger, salt and black pepper. Sauté several minutes until tender, stirring once or twice. Add orange carrot “noodles,” and stir.

4 Broth Time: Add chicken broth, green onions and parsley to the pot. Bring to the boil to blend flavors, then reduce to low immediately. (Do not get to a rolling boil.)

If not using tofu, add your small portions of soy sauce and ginger powder to the broth now and stir.

5 The Miso Part: Ladle about 1 cup of the broth and whisk it with the miso in the small bowl. Add more broth if needed. (You need to completely dissolve the miso paste before adding it to the pot.) Once dissolved, pour the miso broth into the pot and stir. DO NOT BOIL the soup again – not even when reheating.

6 Tofu Brings it Home: Cut the previously freeze-marinated tofu into about 30 small squares. Using a ladle, gently lower the pieces into the simmering broth and allow them to warm and to blend with the broth.

7a Serve Now: Ladle your servings and garnish with the multi-colored carrot slivers. Perhaps serve alongside a yummy veggie or mostly veggie sandwich.

7b Serve Later: You can do anything but boil your soup now. You can put it in the fridge, or you can even freeze it in individual serving containers and reheat it with the garnish already in it.

Let me know if you try it or alter it a bit to make it your own! I hope you enjoy. ❤

Meeting the Extract Spirit

A shamanic journey story about human active ingredient, this post is for those who also sometimes struggle with the opinions and perspectives of political or religious people groups. (So all of us.)

Extract: n 2
a preparation containing the active ingredient of a substance in concentrated form:
“vanilla extract” Dictionary .com

A Little Bit of Backstory First

A lot changed for me over the past few years. At one point, I found myself feeling ugly because I was struggling to find that spark in a certain group of people. I thought if I could see their goodness I could love them and stop feeling gross in my heart. I felt that said religious & political group was somewhat of a threat to me. Deep down, I knew that I was missing some kind of realization because I had so often experienced a great sense of oneness with all that is – including humans.

Though it is widely accepted to be opposed to entire groups of people, I have long known that advocating for the separation of people or “calling them out” based on their opinions is not the path for me. Maybe its the right path for someone else. I do not know. But whenever I’ve chosen to voice what’s wrong or unjust, whenever I’ve pointed out wrongdoings or gone up against opposing religious or political opinions, my path has gotten crowded with metaphorical debris. I get blocked because I’m not walking my true path. No matter how angry I may get over the views of a person, a group, or a political party, the only way I can operate in this world while being true to my higher self is to refrain from engaging “the wrong wolf.” I cannot speak, post, or engage in any stick-it-to-em humiliation stuff without the wrong wolf growing and causing more separation, which is opposite unity. I will begin to experience physical symptoms almost immediately. Anyone who begins paying attention to it will notice this in themselves as well. It is the nature of things.

There is a story. In short, it explains that there are two wolves. There is a right-way wolf and a wrong-way wolf. The one that thrives is the one that you feed. These two wolves are in all of us. And while there have been throughout history many people who have successfully combined activism with unifying peace-work, it might be beyond my current skill level to do that using only the right wolf.

In healing work, the healing facilitator works on their own healing first. You’ve heard of healer heal thyself right? One reason is because when the healer learns that the healing is real, it is easy to know that the healing of others is completely possible as well. And it’s exciting to know that truth.

On that same note… To combine activism with peace-work, there needs to be a genuine belief that there can be peace resulting from unity because peace in our consensus world can’t exactly result from calling people names and pointing out faults in perspective. So how do we get to a point of genuine belief that peace and unity (even on a small familial or society level) is possible?

I think the aha moment is likely customized to each person. I do not think there’s one formula or method that would get every person to realize that we are and always have been united and complete. All I can do is share story and maybe spark a thought in one person’s heart.

The Extract Spirit

To tell this part of the story, I will be referring to the people group as Paisley, since I’m looking at my paisley blanket right now.

I took my ugliness feeling into a shamanic state with my spirit guide. My intention was set to Show me how to see that spark in this group so I can love them as I should – as part of humanity- and get rid of this ugly feeling.

I was taken to a plant, and then I was guided into the fruit of that plant. Within the fruit opened a big waiting room filled with Paisleys sitting in chairs. Most of them turned away from me. Then I realized that my daughter was with me, but she was there as a symbol of what I cherish and protect and not as a representation of her actual spirit. The Paisleys were very mean to her. In ordinary, consensus life, it is true that the Paisleys can seem to threaten what I cherish.

I felt a deep anger towards them, and that was a good thing. It meant that I was getting to the root of the problem. Before I got too angry, a tall Paisley representative approached me and guided my daughter and myself to safe place in the room. It was hospitable. It smiled.

It was representative of the cumulative spark (divine light/true self etc.) of Paisley community.

It is the extract, the truth, the eternal truth which does not consist of opinions and illusions and experiential perspectives. It is representative of the same truth that I hold for myself – that I am and always have been whole and one with all.

Duh, I thought to myself.

And then it smiled the kind of smile one might get from a mentor who knows you still haven’t gotten the whole gist of it yet. We talked, mostly without words.

It explained I’m not just the extract of Paisleys, Silly. You wanted to see their spark, so here I am appearing Paisleyas requested!

Mind blown. Duh, again.

Still, when going into the journey with the intention of understanding a people group, I had been separating them from All by my sheer consideration of a separate people group. But right there, in that waiting room inside a fruit, my heart changed and result immediately followed.

It was a healing.

In ordinary life, all my relationships changed in family and in community, and I even found friends in some of the most unlikely places!

I am open to them.

I am open – to them.

I made a choice. I didn’t go attacking with words. I decided to first take responsibility and fix my heart – once I was ready to face whatever issues came up. It was a good call. I highly recommend it.

The sharing of perspectives became easier. I heard, and I was heard. I was no longer blockading communication with that ugly heart-wall that had been taking up a portion of my heart. I am noticing far less threats than I previously imagined. I am finding out that, despite differences in perspective, most people are advocating for something that they truly believe will help humanity.

Imagine someone approaching you with a “solution” that would oppress you. Imagine what might happen if you immediately saw their heart’s desire to make a change for good while they pitched the idea. (Yes, there do exist some people who wake up in the morning and wonder how they can hurt others today, but we’re only talking about passionate perspectives here.)

I don’t agree with every person I meet. Heck, I barely agree with anybody! But I sure like people. I can say I love humanity because of it’s core, its extract, which is more visible now. And it’s quite beautiful. I cannot easily forget that I love it, therefore I cannot easily humiliate any part of it.

Our own personal work changes more and much more quickly than trying to change the minds of others. It’s okay to disagree. But it is my experiential understanding that what contributes to good relationships and even to compromise for good is focusing on The Extract of all life – however we may each define it of course.


Edit: Yes, tell your story. Yes, stand up for what you believe is right. Every once in a while, I share what I believe is a great resource for learning what is effective vs what makes things worse. United States Institute of Peace (USIP), which is unaffiliated with this site, offers courses for the public. I’ve taken some of them in the past, and I’ve benefitted! You might like to check out’s Global Campus. Again, this is an unaffiliated site. I just highly recommend it.

Do you have a story of finding this Extract? Why not share a few words?

Excerpts from The Lightning Project

My copyrighted, unreleased book excerpts are posted here to hopefully get you excited too. Comments are greatly appreciated as I hope to address many questions in the conclusion chapter!

Excerpts and Sampling Text

The Lightning Project Writings on Personal Shamanism

by Sue George

©2023 All Rights Reserved

Excerpts from Preface

“…about shamanic perspective, expression, and personal shamanism for self healing.

Shamanic knowledge and healing responds to our truth in the way that the sky responds to the ground to produce lightning. I will expand on personal truth…”

“Our individual expression of our true self, our own personal culture, is known to be thee medicine in shamanism. It is what helps us to know ourselves as whole, and it is what helps us to maintain the awareness of that wholeness. Does this mean that you must practice shamanism? Absolutely not.” 

“Shamanism includes the highest form of natural perception, a window into that perception, and the things that we perceive. It is also the trust-built partnership via altered states, between the practitioner and their helping spirits and the unique expression of the practitioner’s practice.”

“There is no one book of ultimate belief in shamanism. Rather than belief, it is experience, and each practitioner might write their own book if they are so inclined. Practitioners practice setting all beliefs and limitations aside when seeking answers in altered states. The most profound same-result for every healing practitioner however, may be the constant unfolding of the reality that we have been and always will be complete and that we have and always will belong. Shamanism is …”

“Perhaps most issues we have as human beings and issues we have with environmental resources and conservation concerns stems from the belief that we are not whole and that we must “perform” and “get” in order to belong. But performance which is based on …”

“There comes immeasurable gratitude for life and for our world, and even for past experience, with the practice of personal shamanism. Wholeness is not some bland thing. With daily practice, truth, healing, and wonder constantly unfolds. So how does one assign a one-to-two sentence definition to something like that? How does one assign a definition that would not limit the possibilities and render itself null the very next day? Shamanism is everything – when we are shaman-ic.”

Excerpts from Chapter 1

Q.Generally speaking, what is shamanism?

Q.What is shamanic healing?

Q.Do shamanic practitioners use drugs to induce altered states?

Q.What does a shamanic practitioner do?

…Since we are not talking about vocational shamanic practitioners who practice on others, I will answer the same way for one who practices for themselves. One who practices shamanism pursues…

Q.What does a personal shamanic practitioner look like?

…Those who do shamanic healing work, especially for others, are expected to be well-balanced people who function well in both “the ordinary world” and in “the shamanic world,” and who differentiate between the two while easily moving between both “worlds”…

In other words, a shamanic practitioner is not someone who abandons their shopping cart at the check-out to chase spirits, or who rides their bike into a ravine because they were in a trance, or who thinks everything that everyone says is a message from the spirits. 

Everything does carry messages. Everything can teach. But shamanic states of consciousness are initiated when it is appropriate to do so, and after cleansing and preparation so that there is clarity. It is best for one who practices for their own wellness to aim for the same balanced thought and behavior as one who serves as a shaman or shamanic practitioner by vocation. Why wouldn’t one aim for quality and stability?

If your question is in regard to what they actually wear, everyone is different and shamanism is everyone’s right to practice. Chances are that you’ve seen people who practice shamanism, and they didn’t look so different from anyone else in your community. Though it is common to develop one’s own personal ceremonial look, to make one’s own spiritual jewelry, and other things like that. “The look” therefore, is completely up to the person’s shamanic expression and/or culture. 

Q.What kind of person practices shamanism? 

Q.What does shamanism teach about God?

Q.Is shamanism transcendance? 

Q.Is shamanism dangerous?

Q.What is the result of practicing shamanism?

Q.Does shamanism try to recruit people?

Q.To whose benefit is shamanism?

Excerpts from Chapter 2

“Trisha: Wait, you do that altered state stuff? Really? Is it like, all zen with chimes, or drugs?! Oh God, don’t tell me you’re doing drugs with this thing though Sue.

Sue: Seriously? Look into my eyeballs Tee. (laugh)

I think I know what’s going through your mind right now. Try to go blank for a second because movies and tv mess perception a bit. Also, some indigenous tribes have ways of doing things in their tribe’s ways, and they know what they’re doing. But those ways are not necessarily what’s involved in a non-tribal-specific person’s practice – not in everyday shamanism. 

No, I don’t do drugs and I actually don’t even drink. There is a well-known…”

“Sue: Right. Thanks. 

There are some teachers who maybe shouldn’t be teaching altered states, and also people sometimes just try things that they’ve heard about – without ever seeking a mentor and a safe method. It’s like, if your friend likes reading Psychology Today, and they want to practice psychotherapy on you, you’d say no right? (laugh)

Trisha: I’d definitely say no, especially with some of my friends. (laugh)

Sue: Yea, good choice. (laugh) Obviously, I don’t know the details of your friend’s experience, so I can only give general comments about safe practice when engaging in altered states. Anytime you purposefully go into an altered state, you’re going deeper into consciousness than you are when you’re sitting here talking right now. Some of us might say that you’re really going in or out into “Everything.”

Let’s say that everything and anything exists “in” there. For the sake of time restraints today, just imagine that there are 3…”

“Trisha: Oh my God, haha. Wow. I like the driving analogy. Go on.

Sue: So, if you’re driving on the parkway and you see deer on the side of the road, you don’t stare at the deer and drive into a ditch right? You can sort of think of it in that way (once you get over some shock of the beauty). 

You’d want to know your intention and focus to go deeper into those safe worlds as quickly as possible because your true self and that place of truth and safety is your goal. To be honest, I’ve met many people who hang out in areas of consciousness that they might think are the best simply because they realized they can travel beyond their thoughts and experience something else. Many mystical people describe what is experienced in the middle world (that’s the third world that I’m talking about.) But just because it’s “something,” that doesn’t mean it’s the best thing. And it doesn’t mean they should teach others to get to …”

Reggie: Great. A little scary, but great. I’m heading to med school in a couple months.

Sue: That’s so awesome! You knew you wanted to do this since you were young right?

Reggie: I really did, yes. Not to change the subject, but I noticed a painting on your wall while I was talking with your husband. It looks like one of those shamanic art paintings. Did you do it?

Sue: Yes, and I’m pleased that you assigned it to a known genre.

Reggie: (laughs) I might know a little, but I’m not sure. What is shamanism?

Sue: Shamanism is the best self-diagnostic and remedy resource that we naturally possess. It’s Earth-centered and helps us connect with Nature, including our natural, true selves. 

So, in shamanism, a person understands illnesses to be the result of an illusion of separation rather than the truth – that we are and always have been whole. You might be extra interested in this right now.

Reggie: What do you mean, that changing perception can cure illness?

Sue: A change in perception can certainly lead to wellness. I can tell you that there will always be a need for medical heroes, and that shamanic practice is…”

“…need names… arm, lower intestine, uvula… and you’d call them “parts.” But it would be weird to talk about reality and the whole of existence as having parts like saying you have a safe “guide-part” or received knowledge from “parts.” (laugh) I have a funny image in my head right now.

(both laugh)

Reggie: Haha, sure. Got it. Go on. This is the most insightful and somewhat humorous conversation I’ve had in a while.

Sue: Haha, anyway… It’s a good idea to know aspects – to understand the bigger picture. 

Remember how we agreed about not being able to see the whole picture, and that our rules and ideas about life distort truth? Shamanism is not religious because it is only concerned with truth in original wholeness – which everybody only usually understands in parts – thus we get religions. There can be as many religions as there are people, including all the people who ever lived or will live.

Shamanism is a natural perceptive ability to find …”

So why is this dialogue story here? It is here because it represents the reality that many people do fear shamanism and do have misconceptions about it. It also represents a reality, especially as an ex-fundamentalist. That reality is insightful for those who are truly interested in shamanism. You need to know that beliefs or no beliefs, shamanic perception is a natural perception, and it is your right as well as anyone else’s to cultivate that perception. Also…”

“Maura: Earth-based? Are you into Paganism? I rebuke that. I believe that through Jesus I’m made whole.

Sue: A person who identifies as Pagan can practice shamanism, but shamanism is for everyone. It’s our birthright to be able to connect with our true self, or true nature, so anyone can pursue shamanism and there’s no one single way to practice it, though there are some common practices that make shamanism what it is. But it’s not about any kind of believing or not believing. It’s experiencing our true nature.

Please don’t rebuke things that I’m saying. I don’t do that to you.

Maura: True nature? So do you worship trees and spirits and stuff and not believe in God anymore? Is that your idea of true nature?

Sue: What I do is practice gratitude very often, even for the trees and their wisdom. 

You’re familiar with what your bible says…”

“Maura: I can’t believe we’re having this conversation. I don’t know what happened to you. So, do you feel that you’re equal with God since you don’t feel you have to worship God? That’s blasphemy. It was probably because you read non-Christian books that you got confused in the first place. We are not of this world! We’re strangers here.

Sue: Oh my gosh. I just got a sinking feeling hearing those words again. I am so very thankful to have learned how much I do belong in this world. For the knowledge of and the feeling of being home, I am suddenly twice as glad. And, please remember your perception and terms and definitions are different from mine. It’s like two separate conversations that we’re having here with the addition of many accusations.

When you speak about God, I think I’m hearing God-a-separate-entity-from-me. Am I understanding you correctly? 

Maura: Yes, but the…”

Excerpts from Chapter 3  

“Time and place are illusions. It’s okay if you disagree! But whenever we line up with our personal truth, we see this most prevalently. One way that we experience this is by setting an intention or sending out a question to our spirit helpers (and/or aspects of self and/or the universe, etc.) and using our best shamanic perception to decipher the responses from our own mind-stuff.

For instance, I planned a 3-day project for this chapter. Though I would not begin that project for some days later, I aligned myself with something that is meant to be a part of my personal… “

“When we align ourselves with our truth, we experience our “being.” Our Being is where everything (our movement, our expression, etc.) is. But there simply is no such thing as time and place. For there to be a place, there would have to be no place and at least 2 places, plural. I hope I didn’t pop your brain just now. Trust, you are safe.

As a result of setting intention for this project, much information came pouring in almost immediately. Because ordinary life responsibilities (and enjoyment) are also real and important, I set aside only a little time on available days to journal information for this longer-than-3-day project…”

2/23/23 Day 2 Evening Journal: While making granola in the oven, I looked out to see if there were any snowflakes as snow was in the forecast earlier. I saw 2 sticks in my mind’s eye and heard in my mind’s ear, “Down to Earth.” I’m very excited about this project lesson!

I went about my day, exchanging funny texts about weather with my adult daughter, preparing lunch for my youngest daughter, discussing haircuts with my oldest son, hearing about another garage band that my youngest son knows, discussing the grocery list with my husband… 

In between, I wondered… Do people who don’t know they’re experiencing shamanic perception think they’re having a negative mental health event? If someone else looked out the window for snow and saw sticks, appearing like an image overlay or watermark, would they fear that they were experiencing a symptom of mental illness? I must explain the very obvious difference here.

For me, I’ve experienced these signs (which precede healing outcomes) since early childhood. One time for instance, I was a passenger in a vehicle and got a warning. I heard my self’s voice in my mind’s ear and saw (as an image overlay) a big white…”


If you’re interested in getting a copy of The Lightning Project, be sure to follow this blog for a release date! Artwork is in the making.

Exalt the Barriers

from a partial shamanic state of consciousness

First, for those who are unfamiliar, we all naturally experience states of consciousness. In shamanism, there is what’s understood to be a deep shamanic state of consciousness, and partial states of consciousness.

There are levels of shamanic perception.

I am currently writing a book which will explain more, and I’m loving this partnership with the spirits. Can’t wait to share it. But for now, here is a post about partial-shamanic-state insight from The Sky. Though I practice personal shamanism for self healing, many times there are messages that might be great for all of us. I think this is one of those beautiful messages.

I made my rounds with The Directions, asking what I needed to know to be my best self – long term. They all gave incredible insight. But Sky’s message is the one that I most often find myself bringing up on an almost daily basis.

I immediately saw mammatocumulus clouds when calling to Sky, and I immediately heard, “Exalt the barriers.” (Exalt means to highly regard.) I did not immediately understand the message. It’s not uncommon for me to need to take a jaunt out in Nature with an intention to unravel a message. So I went out to a tiny beach. It would have it that when I was able to take my jaunt, almost-mammatocumulus clouds were there, and I was able to connect with them and understand.

Almost-Mammatus Clouds LOL at Island Heights, Toms River, NJ

Mammatocumulus (or mammatus) clouds appear on the underside of a storm. While they are only a visual barrier in ordinary life, not protection from a storm, they are symbolic of the barriers that I might think are holding me back. Often times, the things that hold me back are the very things that are protecting me from costly or time-consuming mistakes.

For instance, I might greatly desire to spend a morning in Zen meditation. But due to schedule changes, other animated and kind of loud family members are going to be home. This scenario used to annoy the heck out of me. It is a barrier. It might seem like a small and insignificant barrier. But even when seemingly small and insignificant desires are blocked, they may be blocked to prevent bigger issues. If I had turned off my phone to engage in hours of quiet meditation, I may not have answered that emergency phone call! There could have been trouble for more people than just me.

But barriers don’t only exist outside of me (and us) and apply to things we want to do. Sometimes there’s a veil blocking me from understanding something. This too is for good reason. What damage can be caused with knowledge before wisdom sets in! Yikes.

Anyway, the trust that comes with the practice of personal shamanism is the strongest trust that I have ever known. Every time I engage with intention, the trust builds. It doesn’t matter how many times another human being has said to me, “when one door closes another opens” or “trust that you have what you need right now” etc. The advice that finally made an impact was Exalt the Barriers. This is because the trust is there. I know, I know, I know that The Directions and my spirit tribe have my back. When something doesn’t seem to be going my way, the lesson is now solidified in my head…

I don’t know what’s on the other side of the barrier. This side is probably the better option.

I know that they know what I don’t know! And I understand that whatever is allowed to happen (when I relax, trust, and partner with them by exalting the barriers) is better than what might happen if I don’t.

Who knows what might be on the other side of those mammatocumulus clouds? The barrier is a beautiful and compassionate sight. And life has changed again. 🙂

Boots from Grim

I didn’t know I needed them. I had been wearing shoes that were too tight, shoes that were too big… Heck, I even wore flip-flops in the snow. My feet became tired, and my legs became tired. And when my back became tired, so did my will.

I didn’t want to walk anymore.

But then The Grim Reaper just popped up out of the… well out of the… It wasn’t actually dark. Dark would sound more dramatic. But The Grim Reaper popped out of the dusk.

“What?!” I yelled because he wasn’t going away. He was just standing there.

“Put… your… boots… on.”

He told me to put the boots on, and I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. I mean, it was really snowing and the stuff was getting deep out there. I guess sometimes when pain goes too long, it’s hard to think. But cool. So I did that.

Well, sometimes I took them off because I just wasn’t used to walking in them. I was kind of self-conscious because they were really nice boots.
I didn’t feel as nice as the boots. Ya know?

But whenever I took them off, I remembered real quick that it felt better having them on. And, I could actually go places.

So once I got used to how good my feet felt, and how good my legs felt because of my feet, and how good my back felt and… Well I seemed to have had some clarity.
I suddenly realized that I didn’t have to just walk around my town anymore and stay close to home to rest my feet.

So I went with my new boots to places that other people dare not go. I tell you truly, many dare not go.

I suppose that’s the reason why none of those people ever offered me
the right kind of boots.

Based on True