J is for To Journey or not to Journey…

Standard

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project (PBP). It’s the first – and very late – one for the letter J. It is inspired by a post called “JourneyFail” by courageous devotion, another participant of this project.

Here’s a quote from said post:

All of the Internet Pagans (many of whom are incredible inspirations to me) write almost exclusively of their amazing experiences journeying (or crossing the hedge, or slipping their skins, or shapeshifting–choose your parlance)–and almost none of them write about their failures.
Here’s the thing–I suck at it. I rarely experience success with journeying, when I mean to do it.

I also have a hard time with journeying, and when something actually happens, I immediately doubt that it was anything but my own imagination and wishful thinking. In fact, there hasn’t been anything in my experience so far that I would accept as 100% proof that I actually went anywhere else instead of making it all up as some kind of creative daydream.

I have been assured by some authors that journeying is so easy that only very few people really can’t do it, and that the biggest problem usually is not trusting oneself and one’s journeying experiences. This would suggest that I should accept what I saw and felt as real journeys and stop worrying and doubting so much.

Then again, there are descriptions of journeys as going into full theta trance, which apparently is a different state of consciousness than the one described by most core shamanic-influenced authors. Here we have certain images that are allegedly seen by people who go into that kind of trance (e.g. geometric shapes, tunnel imagery) as well as certain physical reactions (e.g. falling down/inability to stay upright, shaking). According to this definition, I may or may not have made an actual shamanic journey so far.

In short: The information about what makes a shamanic journey has been ambiguous if not outright contradictory. The main difference seems to be that most core shamanic-influenced people tend to emphasize how easy and safe shamanic journeying is and how we will always meet a supportive animal spirit first, whereas shamanic practitioners with different backgrounds tend to underline how difficult and dangerous it can be and how we may also encounter truly scary and malevolent spirits. (By the way, I touched on related issues is my earlier post “C is for Choice vs. Calling (and Core Shamanism vs. Classic Shamanism).”)

Which results in me being confused and torn over whom to trust and what to believe.

At first, I used core-shamanic instructions and went off to visit the Lower World for the first time. The first attempt was a complete failure, which I attribute mostly to my incompatibility with the CD I used (it started out as a sort of guided meditation to get people to their starting places and give them some basic information about what to do and what to expect and then eventually switched to just drumming). The second attempt worked so well that I thought I must have made it up. I left huge gaps between my journeys and therefore always felt like I was starting over again every time I made another journey attempt.

Initially, I deliberately tried to avoid learning about specific cosmologies/deities/animals/plants so that my rational knowledge of these things wouldn’t influence my journey experience (or what I took to be my journey experience). It worked okay, but the landscapes I visited never resembled the intensely vivid ones I had read about. Neither did I have any kind of all-senses-heightened experience – I was lucky if I saw or felt anything at all, but I never smelled anything and rarely heard anything but the drums.

That is, my experiences didn’t quite match with what I read about, and so I never reached the point where I had any kind of trustworthy measuring stick for my journeys (or “journeys”?). Since I also never any insights about anything that I couldn’t have known from elsewhere (unlike friends of mine who also journeyed reported), I never really stopped distrusting my experiences. I never knew if it was just my lack of practice, or my lack of innate talent, or something else that kept me from ever being sure that my experiences were valid.

At this point, let me quote another bit of the blog post that inspired me to write my own:

When you practice an experiential or mystery tradition (like witchcraft or shamanism or something similar, from a technique point of view) as a solitary, you start to rely on the accounts of others’ experiences to guide your experiments, to inform your choices for personal testing. So when Internet Pagans focus on their successes, when they choose to only show the Internet Newbies their best possible face, we fail to communicate to others that this is a long and often annoying learning process.

Indeed, I lacked comparison with others in a similar situation. Did others also struggle with the same doubts? Did they feel/act the same as I did when they were doing what they called journeying? How fast or slow a learner was I compared to others, and how much (or how little) talent did I bring to the table? That nearly all of my communication about shamanic issues took place via written text online didn’t make it any easier for me to even sort out who was just telling tales and who actually had experienced what they claimed. Not to mention that I often didn’t even know if we were talking about the same kind of journeying in the first place. It often remained unclear where the differences between guided meditations, daydreams, and deep-trance journeys were, which I guess is partly because there isn’t much useful vocabulary around to describe and properly define these things.

After a while, I also came to the conclusion that the core-shamanic idea of using shamanic techniques detached from any specific culture/tradition didn’t feel right to me. Maybe it was because I read one time too many that one should be firmly rooted in a cosmology before one even attempted to travel anywhere (the analogy being that of not traveling to a foreign country without at least having a map and/or guidebook and knowing a few basic sentences in the language spoken there). Or maybe I really felt a bit lost in comparison to friends who had culture-specific traditions on which they based their shamanic practice (or of which their shamanic practice was a fundamental part). At any rate, I eventually stopped journeying altogether and instead began looking for a tradition that made sense to me and that I felt alright about using, mostly by reading about the ones that are out there.

This is more or less where I am now. I’ve decided to spend some time learning about Northern Tradition stuff and I’m happy to report that I’m slowly learning names and that I can even already tell a few story basics from the Eddas. So far, no deity or other being in particular has stood out for me or demanded my attention in a dramatic way, although I seem to be drawn more to the whole Angrboda-Hela-Jormungandr family of Jötunns and other monstrous beings than I feel drawn towards the “regular” Aesir and Vanir deities. It remains to be seen, however, if this is just my default identification with and love for the outsiders in most stories, or if there is more to it.

The last journey I tried (after about a year of not journeying at all) was what I would call a failure. Perhaps my intent/question was too fuzzy to get anywhere. Maybe it just was a bad day. But I’m still thoroughly unsure whether I should attempt to journey again soon, even if I’m still far from having a map or being able to ask for directions in the local language, or whether I should wait until I feel more at home in the Northern Tradition cosmology. Should I focus on systematically building a basis for my spiritual practice and do things like practicing grounding and centering regularly and try to remember to actually talk to my ancestors instead of just glancing guiltily at the neglected ancestor altar? Or should I ignore the standard “curriculum” and forge ahead and learn by practical try-and-error as I usually do?

In any case, I should definitely make up my mind sometime soon or I will end up doing nothing at all… But how?

Opinions? Thoughts? Ideas?

Advertisements

28 responses »

  1. So great to read about such an authentic process. I’ve posted here before – I’ll own that I teach core shamanism for the Foundation for Shamanic Studies (FSS) – so heavily biased. My 2¢…actually it is quite long so maybe more like a dollar.

    The question of imagination often comes up, I think its really relevant. Consider this: many cultures with active interactions with spirits don’t think of imagination in the same way that we do (we diminish imaginal things as being of our own narcissistic creation with little or no value). An indigenous healer was once quoted as saying: there is no imagination, there is only the spirits. Sometimes our own spirits can conjure images, sometimes spirits we’re connected to can conjure images. I would say the real question is not so much if a journey was your imagination, but rather if a journey was produced only by your spirt or if other spirits were involved. Try getting rid of the word ‘imagination’ for a while and see what that yields.

    Safety and journeying. The FSS doesn’t assume all journeying is safe. They assume that if one is able to make a distinct journey to the upper or lower world your work there will be safe. This is based on decades of experience and learning drawn from many cultures. The FSS does assume journeying comes surprisingly naturally to many people. I would venture that journeying is your birthright and you’re safer armored with it than without it. That being said – I’ve faced some pretty horrific things and suffered life threatening consequences to choices – but only in the middle world.
    Its important to note that Harners book the Way of the Shaman starts out talking about a culture that uses shamanic practices for lethal sorcery. Having sat with him in circle many times I can say for certainty that fifty years of practice have not left him with a rosy view of interacting with the spirits.

    Core shamanism vs culture-based. First I’d like to say that its impossible to do anything without culture. Core shamanism is not detached from culture so much as it reflects modern culture. Perhaps its more accurate to say that core shamanism represents only the parts of shamanic practices that are not tied to place, ancestry, or pantheon. Core shamanism can’t readily replace the shamanic healing practices of indigenous healers, though it does provide grounds for sharing understanding cross-culturaly of many aspects of their work.
    Many people would say that a shamanic practice not tied to place, ancestry or pantheon is incomplete. I’d agree! We modern folk are mobile, rely less on our genetic ancestry, don’t live in tribes, and tend to diminish deities as ‘imagination’. In a way this makes core shamanism a truly authentic practice for modern people. It meets many of us where we are. I believe modern people actually have culture – its nintendo and fast food culture, but culture none the less. What we don’t have is the rich traditions that come from living a life connected to the same place on the earth generation after generation.
    That means that core shamanism is a beginning. It should help us become more rooted to place, reconnect with our ancestors, rediscover pantheons that resonate with us and discover ones that have never been known on the planet before. I know from personal experience that it has helped many do so.
    The truth is we need it all. We need the clarity and inspiration of things like core shamanism, we need the mystery and power of all the worlds traditions. We need to not get caught up in power games about who is write and who is wrong. We need to learn as much as we can, and work to embody it as much as we can, and support each other in authentic, life affirming practices.

    So my question to you is not so much either or, but whats on the menu for today?

  2. Cat, this is a great post. I disagree with Tim above, I dont think that journeywork is easy or your birthright or that everyone can do it. I think journeywork falls under the same category as shaman: its not gonna be everyone.

    On the flip side, I don’t think that meditative journeys are bad or worthless, they allow us to do the work we need to to heal ourselves. Its a complicated topic, thank you for inspiring my post this week. :)

  3. Raan – just a few quick responses. I did not say journeying is easy, but rather that it comes naturally to most people. While most of us (not everyone) can journey, not all of us will do so as part of our path.
    The FSS is concerned primarily with re-introducing a healing modality in its teachings, not everyone who journeys becomes a healer. There are many ways journeying happens in various cultures, not all of them have to do with shamanism. I know many people who’s journey work feeds very different aspects of their lives.
    Thank you for your thoughts!

  4. Tim I disagree. I don’t think that core shamanism gives much to people, maybe a spiritual panache. I don’t think that the average person can journey to NOR and I think that perpetuating this myth means that people are missing out on other modes of healing that do come naturally.

    On the other hand, if you are referring to internal journey work, yes that is natural and comes naturally to most people. But its not Journeywork, big J, traveling to NOR and it doesn’t make people a shaman. That’s a lie that feeds egos and is a disservice to everyone involved.

  5. @ Tim:
    Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate the opportunity to directly talk to an FSS teacher about these things. (That said, I deliberately used the expression “core shamanic-influenced” because I didn’t want to comment only on the FSS.) I assure you my following questions are genuine and not meant to set you up in any way.

    “I would say the real question is not so much if a journey was your imagination, but rather if a journey was produced only by your spirt or if other spirits were involved.”
    Possibly. But how do I tell the difference between one thing and the other? Especially in the case that I may only have experienced the former?

    “The FSS doesn’t assume all journeying is safe. They assume that if one is able to make a distinct journey to the upper or lower world your work there will be safe.”
    How does the FSS (or rather, its individual teachers) make sure this “distinct journey[ing] to the upper or lower world” is what the 20+ people at once who take their classes are actually doing?

    “Perhaps its more accurate to say that core shamanism represents only the parts of shamanic practices that are not tied to place, ancestry, or pantheon. […] That means that core shamanism is a beginning. It should help us become more rooted to place, reconnect with our ancestors, rediscover pantheons that resonate with us and discover ones that have never been known on the planet before.”
    This is exactly where my personal confusion lies. Bear with me, because this needs some explaining.

    First of all, I have come to the conclusion that core shamanism is NOT culturally neutral (I am mostly going by my experience of the FSS basic workshop I took last year here). It teaches the existence of exactly three worlds that are arranged in a horizontal manner (upper/middle/lower). It apparently teaches that the Middle World is the most dangerous one to journey to. It teaches what kinds of animals (e.g. insects, but I also heard reptiles/amphibians, fish and birds) one shouldn’t accept as one’s first guides/helpers. It also teaches specific songs, terms, and with them, concepts of what spirits are, what their relation to us is, and how we can and should communicate with them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these things are necessarily wrong to teach (I know way too little to make any final judgment of that). I’m just saying they aren’t neutral, even if we ignore all matters of “place, ancestry, or pantheon” (which I’m not sure we even CAN do, given the fact that there are no neutral places or people without ancestries, no matter how forgotten or unacknowledged they are).

    Furthermore, since there are specific cosmologies of specific traditions with very different views about these things (e.g. the nine worlds of the Norse/Germanic worldview), I’m not quite sure how to make these two different teachings fit together (and this is where a lot of my either/or comes from). Do I one day convert from core shamanism to, say, Northern Tradition shamanism and simply revoke everything I previously believed to be true? If so, what does that say about core shamanism and its basic concepts? If not, how can I reconcile these two contradictory worldviews in my practice? And if core shamanism is really only meant to be a spring board kind of thing to bridge the time until people have found a tradition they can connect with, why not teach people to connect to the spirits of their places and their ancestors first, before teaching them how to journey in a presumably culturally-neutral shamanic universe to “fetch a power animal” for someone else or do any other kind of healing work?

    Again, I am genuinely interested in your perspective on these things because I’m genuinely puzzled about them.

  6. @ Raan:
    Thank you for adding your perspective to the discussion! I found your own blog post about this a worthwhile read, so here’s the link to it for others who are interested: http://deathcalls.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/pagan-blog-project-when-journeywork-isnt-journeywork/

    I tend to agree with you on the point that there seems to be a difference between what core shamanic-influenced people (including myself so far) call “journeying” and what you, or Raven Kaldera, or my friend Mi-Shell Jessen have described as the thing you do when you do shamanic work. (For the record, I’m not judging of any of these things as better or worse here, I’m just stating that from what I hear and read, they don’t appear to be the same things to me.)

    Perhaps this leads me to my main problem here: The lack of more specific (or maybe just more agreed-upon) language to talk about these things. The lack of clear definitions of what “journeying” even is.
    This may sound like a call for more scientific research, but that’s not my point. I’m well aware that brain waves and other technologically-measured data only get us so far in these matters (and I’m undecided about their worth in this area of exploration anyway). Nevertheless, I believe we need some better terminology to even compare our experiences if we don’t want to end up having to accept everything someone tells us, no matter how unbelievable it seems, as the truth, or having to doubt everything we haven’t personally and directly experienced.

    Because I really don’t get much out of other people’s journey descriptions besides an occasional sense of “wow, that’s amazing imagery” or (more often) “that’s not how my own journeys feel.” Especially not since there is no universally agreed-upon cultural framework that could serve as a measuring stick for these reports. I also don’t get much out of yet another unexplained metaphor-term like “hedge-crossing” or “shapeshifting” or “soul flight” or whatever (as inspiring they are as images). What can I say? I’m too much of an academic to be comfortable with so much vagueness. And I’m too much of a skeptic to accept that “these things simply can’t be put into factual words” as the final word of journeyers of any kind on this.

    So, how many different kinds of “journeying” are we even talking about here? Because I have a strong suspicion there are more than two…

  7. I agree, there are probably more than 2 types of journeys. We havent even talked about astral projection or dream travel or… there are others but Im not awake yet.

    My personal distinction between NOR journey and internal journey is: can I change the landscape? Can I make that rock disappear? Yes? Okay I’m wandering around my own head.

    We dont have a cultural framework or language because the only western concept of shamanism atm is core shamanism. The rest of us are pushing against the tide saying “No thats not enough” but how can we form a language when western culture hangs everything on the framework of academia? How do we make this and these experiences more “legitimate” when there is no scholar behind them?

    Btw I adore Mi Shell, she is so inspiring. But I wonder if specific training in shamanism, like the FSS and Mi Shell’s tribal training, might limit the ability to see journeywork and travel and other things we disagree with. I don’t talk to her so I have no idea. But I love reading her blog. :)

    And I promise, no more snarky tired replies to other people on your blog. Sorry. :D

    Raan

  8. @ Raan:
    “My personal distinction between NOR journey and internal journey is: can I change the landscape? Can I make that rock disappear? Yes? Okay I’m wandering around my own head.”
    That’s very useful, thank you. I shall try out this “measuring stick” the next time I do one of my kinds of journeys (right now I’m pretty sure there will be a next time, and not too far off).

    “how can we form a language when western culture hangs everything on the framework of academia? How do we make this and these experiences more “legitimate” when there is no scholar behind them?”
    The queer academic in me says we just do what we can to establish terms and concepts and academia will eventually catch up. We just need to hold the academics accountable for what they do (which isn’t meant to suggest that one can’t be both an academic and a practitioner). It worked fairly well in many other areas (e.g. women’s studies, queer studies, African-American/Black studies, postcolonial studies…), so I’m mostly optimistic.

    “But I wonder if specific training in shamanism, like the FSS and Mi Shell’s tribal training, might limit the ability to see journeywork and travel and other things we disagree with.”
    I’m not sure I understand what you mean here. Maybe I’m not at my most awake today, or maybe my non-native brain is refusing to compute for once. Could you say this again in different words?

    By the way, I’m hoping Mi-Shell may chime in here eventually, if she has the time and interest to do so. I also hope Tim will come back to the discussion because I’m still interested in his replies to my questions. Especially now that you decided to leave out the snarky, tired replies. ;-)

  9. :) I will try to answer what I can. Other language… here is an example: my training in women’s studies sometimes leads me to read everything in sexism language and see things that aren’t there. I had to retrain my brain to see outside the box I had taught it and to not jump to conclusions. When it comes to spirituality, I sometimes think that our personal training and paths makes it harder for us to see other peoples arguments. I’m guilty of this too. Ego gets in the way (sometimes) and sometimes its just the training we have received that cements our ability to analyze topics. Ever try talking to an evangelical christian? Ever try to get them to admit that there might be validity to anything outside of the scope of the bible? Lol. I actually use my snarky as a radar to see if I fall into this trap of not seeing outside my box. “Okay, I just snapped at a random stranger over the interwebs. Where did that anger come from? Was that me feeling personally attacked for my life and/or viewpoints?” More times than I care to admit, the answer is yes. So then I crawl back and apologize and promise not to do it again.

    I’m working to develop a personal language. So far its kinda gobblty-gook. :)

    My biggest fear here is that a) people miss out on their own unique opportunities and gifts and b) people get hurt and injured from wandering naively into dangerous territory. I guess I shouldn’t care whether or not someone uses certain words to describe their adventures. As my guide Thomas loves to point out “Their doing so doesn’t affect, change or challenge your path in any way. So stop being a brat.”

  10. Raan – Sorry to reply here, for some reason on your last comment won’t allow me to reply directly – so reposting.

    “Tim I disagree. I don’t think that core shamanism gives much to people, maybe a spiritual panache.” I have literally seen this work save lives. As in cure cancer. I think you vastly underestimate its value, the lives its changed.

    “I don’t think that the average person can journey to NOR and I think that perpetuating this myth means that people are missing out on other modes of healing that do come naturally.”
    First off – I don’t think core shamanism limits people from working with other modes.
    Second – ‘average person’ is a modern invention. I think you’re focusing only on cultures where shamans are chosen by the spirits solely through spontaneous events. This simply is not the case. Go to Korea, there is a process for discerning who gets to do shamanic work, but it involves training and discipline. Cross-culturally there is a very broad range of processes for coming into shamanic power. The rules you imagine have more to do with us cherry picking what we want to see.
    Third – journeying is not solely the domain of the shaman. This is really an uninformed stereotype.

    “On the other hand, if you are referring to internal journey work, yes that is natural and comes naturally to most people. But its not Journeywork, big J, traveling to NOR and it doesn’t make people a shaman.”
    First – ‘internal journey’ seems to me to be an unfounded construct. “in your head’ is a western concept, not really born of a shamanic culture. Where is ‘in your head’?
    Second – There are degrees of connecting to spirit here. I think the neo-Pagan community wants clear practitioners who have achieved a high degree of shamanic power and are able to heal. I think thats great. I just don’t thing everything else is ‘in your head’ or just for your own process. There is a LOT of work going on out there that is impacting our world in many ways.

    Finally- Before coming to core shamanism I had spontaneous journeys, suffered near death, chronic pain and other related experiences. Without the use of drugs or core shamanism my spirit has traveled to places I can honestly say were more real than this reality in every way.

    My experiences have led me to believe that the limitations we impose on this work are not the desires of the spirits. Basically – who the hell are you to say what the spirits can and can’t do?

  11. First off – WHAT AN AWESOME DIALOG! Thanks Cat and everyone who is participating.

    “I would say the real question is not so much if a journey was your imagination, but rather if a journey was produced only by your spirt or if other spirits were involved.”
    Possibly. But how do I tell the difference between one thing and the other? Especially in the case that I may only have experienced the former?
    For many the ability to discern comes from experience and practice, usually with other people. It may be that there are things you think of as ‘imagination’ are something else completely. Trust where your process is at, verify through testing/experience with others.
    I think I’ve been using core shamanism (as a client, student and practitioner) for about twenty years now. The quality of my journeys changes time and time again. This really is a huge topic.

    “How does the FSS (or rather, its individual teachers) make sure this “distinct journey[ing] to the upper or lower world” is what the 20+ people at once who take their classes are actually doing?”
    We haven’t lost anyone yet. There are dangers to be had out there, but we’re actually walking around in them every day. I personally know people who have a great deal of training and reject the notion of clear boundaries to be crossed from the upper and lower worlds.
    As teachers we talk to our students, work with them to help them strengthen their process. We are trying to introduce a LOT of people to this work.

    Regarding the issue of neutral. I’m sure you’re right, everything we do is NOT neutral. I believe I was saying modern. There is a very key concept at the heart of this (especially related to the three worlds) and it is distinctly modern:
    Its Michael Harners assertion that (and he’s done a lifetime of research on this):
    The spirit world is real and not simply a function of culture, though culture heavily influences how we experience it. In cultures left undisturbed by western influences you are likely to find indications of access to the upper and lower worlds.
    Many cultures that have been colonized or where religion has diminished the indigenous traditions, once had access to the upper and lower worlds. Precepts against access there (Hell lies below us – so don’t ever go into the lower world), are actually evidence of a dominant culture oppressing a people. The lower world is a healing and empowering place (not just for Shaman), religions that try to control people may try to cut off access to that place.
    The FSS is trying to restore access to those worlds for as many people as possible. This is really a modern concept when you think about it, definitely not neutral or totally culture-free.

    WHAT YOU DO WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF THE UPPER AND LOWER WORLDS IS UP TO YOU – ITS BETWEEN YOU AND THE SPIRITS. Again the FSS is hear to restore a healing modality, we are very interested in shamanic healing. We are NOT here to tell you that if you haven’t been chosen by the spirits you shouldn’t journey or you can’t have very real, powerful journeys. THATS BETWEEN YOU AND THE SPIRITS. We’re trying to resist oppressive thinking, not create a new flavor of it. Maintaining western taboo’s against accessing the lower world ( in the guise of striving for an authentic shamanism ) is not something we do.

    BTW – the request that power animal retrieval not include insects etc is a safety precaution that is based in our Western frame of reference. We do support people in having whatever animal/creature relationship they want, we are just cautious in the beginning workshops.

    Finally –
    “Do I one day convert from core shamanism to, say, Northern Tradition shamanism and simply revoke everything I previously believed to be true?” If you find yourself adhearing to core shamanism as if it were a religion then you’re doing it wrong. Train in core shamanism, follow your heart, follow the guidance of the spirits as it comes to you. Core shamanism is not a tradition or even a way of life. Its a time-tested method for connecting with the spirits.

    “why not teach people to connect to the spirits of their places and their ancestors first, before teaching them how to journey in a presumably culturally-neutral shamanic universe to “fetch a power animal” for someone else or do any other kind of healing work?”
    Because the spirits are the teachers. They live outside of time, and know better than any of us here in body what you need at any given moment. If you’re not ready to do healing work, the spirits won’t show up. If its time for you to work with your ancestors, your ancestors will show up. We are not the teachers, the spirits are the teachers. We’re trying to empower you to discover that.

    PS – the more advanced workshops do teach working with the spirits of a place and ancestor work. They all require the ability to journey! Thats why we have to start there first! Its just an introductory workshop!!!

  12. Don’t worry Tim, I went back and smacked myself over my snarky response to you. I apologize for that.

    I’m not going to argue with you. There is nothing I can say that would add to your knowledge or worldview and I mean that in the kindest way I know how. Good luck on your travels. :)

  13. Thanks Raan – blessings and good luck to you. Hope to sit in circle with you some day – as teacher or student – its all good. Thanks so much for your insights.
    T.

  14. @ Tim:
    Compared to the 20+ people in my basic workshop, your spontaneous journeys and near-death experience and such are pretty exceptional. This is exactly the area where distinctions between core shamanism and traditional shamanism become very fuzzy indeed (at least in terms of who ends up doing that kind of work). I also think we have another case of confusing terminology here, which could be due to an article Raven Kaldera wrote a few years ago where he used the term “core shamanism” for any practitioner who was not spirit-chosen and community-bound in a most serious way and therefore a “classic shaman” (I talked about this article in my earlier post, so please go there for a link and a better summary). Of course there may be students or members of the FSS who are indeed spirit-chosen and community-bound in the way Kaldera described (I really wouldn’t know), so they would be “classic shamans” according to Kaldera’s terminology and “core shamanic practitioners” according to their own (and, presumably, yours). Do you see where the confusion comes in?

    Of course not everyone who takes a basic FSS workshop actually ends up practicing anything of what is taught there, just as not everyone who ever buys a tarot deck ends up reading for other people in a serious manner. Perhaps that’s where our perspectives and therefore our impressions differ, because I’m looking at “everyone” I see being interested in shamanism and taking a workshop here and doing some journeying there, whereas you seem to be focused on your fellow teachers and returning students of the FSS. And what I see are scary amounts of really clueless people who don’t get enough personal mentoring by anyone. And I have no way of telling how many of them end up doing well-meaning “journeys” for their friends and family and then get in way over their heads the first time they’re confronted with someone asking them to heal their cancer or suicidal depression or something equally serious. (To take away the focus from the FSS somewhat: I would say exactly the same about many of my fellow tarot readers who are shocked by the sudden “realness” of it all when the realize that, yes, sometimes the Death card does indeed mean physical death in a reading.) I think my point is that it can be exceedingly difficult for the “uninititated” to sort out who actually walks the walk and who is just dipping their toes in half an inch below the surface and/or who is on some kind of ego/power trip about their work.

  15. @ everyone:
    I have turned off the nesting function for comments because the discussion became rather hard to read. Now the comments are listed chronologically all over the blog. I hope that doesn’t unduly confuse things.

    @ Tim (part 2):
    For many the ability to discern comes from experience and practice, usually with other people. It may be that there are things you think of as ‘imagination’ are something else completely. Trust where your process is at, verify through testing/experience with others.
    Okay, but HOW do I do that? How is anyone going to be able to verify whether I experienced an actual journey or whether I just have a vivid imagination or, at worst, whether I’m just skilled at making it sound as if I put in a drumming CD in the first place?

    We haven’t lost anyone yet. […] As teachers we talk to our students, work with them to help them strengthen their process. We are trying to introduce a LOT of people to this work.
    How do you know you never lost anyone, yet? You don’t keep track of every participant of every workshop, do you? Personally, I have never received the offer of contacting “my” FSS teacher should problems ensue in my future practice, and I wouldn’t have had the contact data to do so (but, to be fair, I know that other FSS teachers offered just that). I have witnessed another participant of the basic workshop I took leave in obvious distress during a journey, and I have no idea if there was any kind of follow-up by the teacher (who was at the time drumming for us and therefore obviously didn’t follow that person out to ask what was up). And during the workshop, I often had the impression that the teacher avoided discussion of the more difficult parts of shamanic practice – which is probably understandable given time limits and participant numbers, but it still left people hanging. Maybe I just wasn’t very fortunate with the teacher who happened to give this workshop, but still ended up being more skeptical about the FSS because of that workshop/teacher that I had ever been before.

    If you find yourself adhearing to core shamanism as if it were a religion then you’re doing it wrong.
    I’m aware that shamanism is not a religion, but I still claim that all kinds of it, including core shamanism teach a specific worldview/cosmology. Maybe I’m really taking it all too literally (and maybe I’m just proving how little I really know about the practice of all this), but it confuses me that most of the time I don’t even know what world I need to go to about my question (and I’ve been taught to clearly set my goal before I take off anywhere). Let me make up an example. Core shamanism (in the FSS sense) teaches that there are three worlds in non-ordinary reality. The Northern Tradition cosmology knows nine worlds, all of which can apparently be journeyed to (although not all of them are equally hospitable, so to speak). For some core shamanic practitioners, the ancestors are located in the Lower World, others claim they are in the Upper World, and Northern Tradition shamanism would say it depends on how they lived and died so they could be in any of three worlds (Asgard, Vanaheim, or Helheim). So where do I go when I want to get in touch with an ancestor, especially one about whose life and death I know nothing?

    And if it’s all up to the spirits who will let me know what I need to know if and when they feel I’m ready, why are there workshops beyond the basic “here’s how journeying works, now go talk to the spirits” anyway?

    And just for the record: I have never been a member of any religion, and I also never had any problems with the idea of a friendly Lower World. Just sayin’. :-)

  16. @ Raan:
    Thanks for the second attempt at explaining – it helped. I’ve also been guilty of tunnel vision of that kind, which is why I usually try to walk around and look at things from several angles. I also have a similar approach of questioning where the urge to be snarky/snappy comes from (preferably before I hit “send,” which is why I consider the opportunity to think before responding one of the best features of blogs and forums).

    I probably already said so in my replies to Tim, but I share your fears, especially the second one. I don’t want to be the ignorant and naive tourist, and I also don’t want others to suffer because someone else has been a ignorant and naive tourist. Which is why I ask so many questions of people who say they’ve been “there”: I want to determine if “there” even seems like a place where I want to go. And even if I decide I don’t want to go “there,” I figure it can’t hurt to learn a few things just in case I’m sent “there” whether I want to or not. (It’s pretty much how I approached drugs when I was still interested in them. I ended up not taking the vast majority of them but I still had a rough idea about how to deal with an overdose of the ones I decided weren’t for me.)

    Your guide has a point there, even though I can still emphasize with the urge to defend terms that are near and dear to one. Especially when one feels that “the others” have the bigger marketing budget and the better PR network, so to speak.

  17. Cat – Really enjoying this – thanks.
    Re: this blog post: http://www.northernshamanism.org/general/shamanism/classic-core-shamanism.html . At the FSS we also use the distinction of classical and core shamanism. I would say that many of the comparisons written by this person are not as black and white as they present. Traditions of shamanic practice can be tied to ancestry, can be entirely schooled (with participation by the spirits), and may or may not involve taboo’s. The reference to the Jivaro is from Michaels book The Way of the Shaman. I would simply shift the basic premise a bit. Re-introducing shamanic healing into a modern society looks different than the indigenous communities we often use as models, which makes perfect sense to me. This is a really important topic, one I love to talk about, but I’ll spare you now.

    The FSS is not making shaman. They are re-introducing shamanic techniques into our culture in a way that makes sense to modern people.

    So in part 1 I read these important concerns:

    How the FSS teaches its students (lack of personal mentoring, cluelessness on the part of students). How would we know if we’d lost anyone?
    You have a really valid point. The FSS has chosen to reach out to as many people as possible. Its their perspective that journeying is not inherently dangerous (based on a lot of experience). As you progress (the two week intensive, the three year program), there is more evaluation of people before they participate and more support/followup happening in the process. If necessary students are guided away from pursuing more training, and supported in their process. Mentoring does happen.
    And as you point out, may who take the FSS workshops will never offer healing. I know one very well know teacher who sees himself as a Nature Mystic who includes shamanic journeying as one of his practices.
    I’ve no doubt there are many others in the neo-pagan community who are much more hands on with mentoring, and really good at it. I started a drumming circle with a fellow student and contacted teachers when I needed help. I sought healing from well known practitioners, I have many people I can call mentors. The Society for Shamanic Practitioners (not strictly core shamanism by the way) http://www.shamansociety.org does have a mentorship program. They have many good people there. We can learn much from the neo-pagan community with respect to community and respecting our elders.
    If you feel your teacher was not available to support you, you should complain directly to the FSS. Also, if you want info on a drumming circle or good practitioner in your area, email me your info.

    Beginners getting in over their head:
    Of course this does happen. We do not tell people to perform soul retrievals after their first basic workshop. My personal feeling is that the ignorance caused by lack of a basic awareness that shamanic journeying can convey is so catastrophically damaging to the world that remaining in ignorance is foolhardy. We can always do more to caution students about biting off more than they can chew, teach them more about boundaries and ethics. But allowing ignorance to continue has its own ethical downside.

    How to know who is really walking their talk. I have a friend and fellow practitioner who’s written quite a bit about this. Scroll down to “How to choose a shamanic practitioner or counselor” after the jump: http://www.lorajanssonshamanicservices.com/?page_id=120

  18. Now for part 2!
    “Okay, but HOW do I do that? How is anyone going to be able to verify whether I experienced an actual journey or whether I just have a vivid imagination or, at worst, whether I’m just skilled at making it sound as if I put in a drumming CD in the first place?”
    You have to use journeying to address issues in your life and in the lives of your fellow practitioners and judge the results. These do not have to be curing someone’s cancer, these can be how to pay your bills or get through a mid-term. Its been my experience that if people journey enough they begin to get a qualitative feeling for where they are at any given moment. Journey on something important, do it several times over.

    “So where do I go when I want to get in touch with an ancestor, especially one about whose life and death I know nothing?”
    You have this amazing Northern tradition to draw on for knowledge and inspiration. You have this new craft of core shamanism to aid you. You are left with a quandary. HOW LUCKY YOU ARE! It is in the grind of places like these that authentic, transformative spiritual experiences are won. There are no easy answers here – again – HOW LUCKY YOU ARE!!! What an honest place to be in.
    Now if I were in your shoes I’d likely call on core shamanism. But (believe it or not) I also LOVE TAROT! Divination is a huge part of shamanic work, I love what so many people have done with Tarot in the last few decades.
    Something I know at the core of my being, I don’t need to journey on it or pull a card. If my wildest, most ancient pagan ancestors were here with me now to advise me as to how I could best embrace my spiritual path, they’d tell me to be creative. They’d want me to be myself, trust myself, take risks and be creative.

    “And if it’s all up to the spirits who will let me know what I need to know if and when they feel I’m ready, why are there workshops beyond the basic “here’s how journeying works, now go talk to the spirits” anyway?”
    You have to remember to knock. There are different ways to approach the spirits, we’re all only human. If you are a dedicated practitioner and are able to devote yourself fully to the spirits, you may not need any other workshops. I have always enjoyed the fellowship and guidance. There is a fellowship and a hunger for knowledge that seems to be a part of some peoples path.

    Finally I would challenge you with respect to your fears. What bad things have happened that you think may happen to you? I want specifics of actual problems that have happened. Not fears of what has happened.

    Thanks again for this dialog. And thanks to my wife for letting me take so much time out this weekend to write this stuff!

  19. This is turning into a fascinating convo. :) I would said that when I do journeywork I have a few stations where I can start any journey, so when I set my intention I know where I want to appear and in what world. Right now I have found I can go to either the 3 basic shamanic worlds OR the 9 norse worlds and so I can show up in Midgard, Jotuneheim or the Middle World by the world tree. So my traveling to visit spirits or ancestors then basically depends on which way I want to head. I think a practice of ancestral veneration is important in this reality, so that the relationship is already forged and it makes it easier to find them or hunt them down. Then I have an intent of visiting Uncle Bob and I can ask my fylgia or spirit guides which way I am headed and they can usually point me in the right direction. If its someone who’s life and death I have no idea about, I start in the land of the dead of the middle world, which is where I find my land of the dead. And I start asking around. And sometimes I never find them. And sometimes a guardian can tell me where they are or are not. The first time I had validation that this wasn’t just my imagination, real validation, I did a bloodwalking for someone out on the east coast. And I had nowhere to start. So I went to my patron Goddess and asked her for her help. And she took me to a special room and showed me almost a scrying bowl and showed me how to trace this bloodline. It reinforced the truth, we don’t do any of this without our Gods and our guides.

  20. @ Tim:
    Thank you for taking the time to reply at length once again (or rather, twice again) and sharing your perspective. And thanks for the offer to provide me with information about drumming groups or practitioners, although I don’t need it right now. I even think I’m done with my questions for you today! ;-)

    I will think about letting the European branch of the FSS know about my experience with this specific teacher. (Another German FSS teacher who came highly recommended unfortunately died last year, before I could take any of his workshops as I had hoped to do. I suppose it wasn’t meant to be!)

    @ Raan:
    Thank you for sharing these insights into your own work. Such concrete examples help me a lot in being able to get an idea of how these things can work (in this case: for you). I now understand that working within one shamanic world view doesn’t necessarily exclude also working within the other.

    I really don’t have anything to add for today, but I’m very grateful to both of you for taking the time to answer my questions and reply to my thoughts. I feel as if a big knot in my mind has now started to untangle (the one about the different kinds of journeying) and – after some more digesting on my part – that this will eventually help me to get out of the confused dead-end I found myself in and to move me toward a renewed journeying practice of my own (and perhaps a better idea of how to verbally and conceptually differentiate what I do from what others do for purposes of clarity and respect).

    I still hope someone else may eventually add their own thoughts or questions, (if you’re reading this a long time after it was written: I’m always happy to revisit old posts, so please don’t hesitate to comment).

  21. @ Raan – thanks for sharing your experience, you have such a vibrant practice. I think sharing about journeying is incredibly valuable and important. It communicates so much. I look forward to a day when our culture is infused with peoples experiences.

  22. Hi Cat!
    My heart goes out to you in your struggle to make sense of it all!

    Where to begin to lend a helping hand?

    it is my long yeared experience with students and fellow Medicine People on the path, that not everyone can go/ see/ find the Spirits in theta trance.
    Journeying as taught by the core shamanic courses springing up everywhere and the way for example the khams of my people went to see and talk to the Spirits is quite different. A drum tape and a quiet corner and 10 to 20 minutes of uninterrupted time is not doing the trick for everyone. However expectations are high – too high in many instances and also the “fake and flunk rate” = the people who pretend and do not really journey at all is high too. Peer pressure in these courses is enormous and I have seen several – 8 or 9 to be more precise, people over the last 4-5 years, that went to them and often a year or so later came out to me and told me, that they were stuck and did not know how to go on at all The biggest problem they came forth with was/is that since “everyone” (or quite a few participantsin these settings) told some phantastic stories of journeys, they either kept quiet and did not share, that for them nothing happened, aside from the “stress to perform” or they just also told some “tale.”
    I even have met a lady, who calls herself a shaman, had gone to several of these courses for shamanic practitioners and said, “Journeying does not work for me, i just lay back and imagine, what I would or could do and that is, what I tell my clients…….
    I asked her, if that works for her. She said yes.
    I asked her, if that works for her clients, if they get better…. she thought so and said something like,”Yes, but one since committed suicide and the other is very sick with cancer and will probably need to be “psychopomped soon”
    – What is that?????? in terms of practice?????
    I told her that I feel this is highly unethical and she said: “Go stufff yourself”

    I think, we have to remember, that the FSS and other such outfits are in essence a business.
    They have wonderful ideas and all, but ultimately they are following a bottom line.
    Fill the course, teach, get the people to take the next course…..
    There is little or no significant personal mentoring, – unless you pay extra.
    I know several people, who went to a well known author and practitioner, But personal time, to answer questions or lend specific advice apart from the circle was to be paid by the hour in 15 minute increments and it was not cheap. Then, when the teacher did not know any further, she “referred” the seeker to another practitioner and the game started again until this person handed her of to the next practitioner…..
    A mutual friend of ours encountered the same practice in England…..
    I also find the practice, to do several short – 5 to 10 minute “journeys” to “source” a specific issue quite suspect. sure, it fits our modern result oriented times, but when I work with someone or go talk to the spirits on someone’s behalf, an hour, 2 hours of journeywork is nothing…..
    I have been asked to do some journey work for the grandson of one of the Sachems of the Longhouse who is VERY sick. I expect that to be between 3 and 4 hours……

    In terms of you exploring the Northern Traditions – how sure are you, that that is, what your Ancestors followed?
    I could “go” and ask- ?????
    Will you with your “background” find community among the followers of the Northern Traditions??
    Or will you yet again be branded as “the outsider”
    I would go deeper into these questions with you, but am not sure, if you feel like this blog is the right venue for that.

  23. Mi-Shell,
    Thank you for taking the time to write such a long reply to me!

    I’m sorry to hear that your reports of the peer pressure factor in these workshops confirm my suspicions. Especially since the teacher of mine basically just told people who dared to say it hadn’t worked for them to keep trying and they’d be successful eventually. And even in a group of “only” 20 people, not everyone is even going to have time to share what they experienced (or didn’t experience) – and I shudder to think what happens in even larger groups of 50 or more (I know for a fact that the FSS offers basic workshops of that size – and for me they still remain one of the more trustworthy organizations, so I’m not sure I even want to think about the problems that may occur elsewhere…).

    I’m deeply appalled and disgusted to read of the “practitioner” who just makes up stuff for seriously sick (and, I assume, paying) clients!!! (I’d be no less appalled and disgusted if she did it for free, mind you.) I really don’t know what else to say about that right now because I’m so speechless with anger and disgust.

    Well, I certainly can’t journey for 5-10 minutes. 30 minutes of drumming CD seems to be the minimum, and even then I need at least a third of the time to even get anywhere (if it works at all, that is). I also need enough time before and after to leave my everyday thoughts behind and prepare myself a little, and to then come back from the journey and write down (as good as I remember) what I experienced. And I still feel I’m often being way too impatient and that I’m rushing things and that I could prepare a lot better. (Not that I necessarily think that you and I do the same kind of journeying, mind you!)

    Frankly, I have no idea what tradition(s) my Ancestors followed. Could be Germanic/Norse, could be Celtic, could be Slavic, could be something else or a mix of all those things… I really have no idea who wandered where and when and what backgrounds they “originally” came from.
    I’m very grateful for your offer of “going” and asking about my Ancestors, and I will seriously consider it. I admit I have thought about asking you, but I’m not yet sure if that’s how I’m supposed to find out, or if that’s even the question I need to have answered most urgently (at this point).

    I’m also not sure that the Northern Tradition(s) will be what I ultimately “end up” with, but right now it seems it can’t hurt to at least learn a few things about them (which for now means mostly reading stuff). I still have many doubts/questions about many aspects of that path, and I’m already pretty sure that I won’t end up being welcomed like a long-lost daughter by most of the people who follow that path. (Then again, I’d say the same about every other path I’m aware of as well, so that’s maybe not saying all too much about the path as such…)

    I’d love to talk more about these things with you, but maybe we should indeed take that conversation over to the phone or private emails for now.

  24. I confess, I left off commenting here because the conversation was already in full swing but just to add that much of what Mi-Shell has posted I also find to be the state of affairs for shamanic teaching here in the West. Although I would agree that most people can and do experience inner journeys to answer their own questions, few are truly capable of going deep into another level where the information and answer to someone else’s problem can be found.

    Core teachings, happily promote that 99% of people can journey, this may be true for themselves but why then are those teachings bundled up with soul retrieval and extraction which is much more advanced stuff.

    I would agree with Raven Caldera too, that only those truly called by Spirit will have the Spirit backup to do the job and while everyone can benefit from learning about a shamanic world view, lifestyle, inner path, connectedness etc, only a handfull will find themselves truly supported on such a difficult healing path.

    Doing lots of practice journeys doesn’t really help either since it is the quality of type of journey that matters. If someone is kidding themselves as in Mi-Shell’s example (and I have witnessed this too) then practice won’t help, nor will it serve to deepen anything which is only on an internal, personal level.

    I can fully understand the comment about ‘good’ journeys happening when they need to and not when I want it to. This has always been the case for me and I also mistook it as a failure on my part. When someone else is in great need and my compassion is such that my whole soul cries out for help on their behalf, THEN the journey happens.

    Western ‘core’ teaching is failing us, I have had many conversations with longstanding practitioners and those who’s integrity I cannot fault. The consensus is always the same, that we have made mistakes in our baby steps, every young and growing thing does, but now we are coming to the point where we must understand that these teachings are not a business, nor are they for our own advancement. Status from writing books, leading workshops, travelling the world giving talks and making a name for ourselves is NOT what shamanism is about. It is a false path which our culture has held up for us and where , unfortunately, I have to agree with Tim Flynn “Core shamanism is not detached from culture so much as it reflects modern culture.”. That in itself is the issue, our western culture is not one to offer a sound spiritual or ethical foundation and therein lies the problem. Once we can move past the contemporary western ethos of fame and fortune then we can start to see what this is really all about.

  25. @ milliecrow:
    Thank you for coming back to add your comments, they are much appreciated!

    I share your skepticism about “practice journeys.” For me, they are similar to “practice tarot readings” in that they unfortunately often just don’t work very well, no matter how much the idea of them makes sense to me. I have the theory that there needs to be an actual problem to read about (or journey about) to get the “real thing” going. And while I can get useful things out of contemplating tarot cards without actually reading them, that doesn’t work with journeying. If my question is vague or too broad ot too complicatedly worded, my journeys are pretty incoherent.

    I also seem to find it easier to journey (or read) for others than for myself, which of course brings up the issue of responsibility: Is it ethically okay for me to journey on a serious issue for someone else when I barely have a clue what I’m even doing? My “solution” to that has been to journey once for someone who was already in the care of a trustworthy and experienced shaman so my results were backed up by what the shaman had found out already during their own journeying (there was all-around consent for this, of course). The other occasion was a series of journeys about a major catastrophe that affected a lot of people and a large area of land. I already knew that I wouldn’t be the only one to try and add her bit to help (which was confirmed during a journey) and that I wouldn’t be able to “fix” the whole thing by myself anyway. So the risk that I would mess up things in a big way seemed relatively small.

    So, how can we learn these things (aside from the “being unceremoniously thrown into the thick of it by the spirits and forced to work our way through it without any human outside assistance” method, that is)? When it comes to reading cards, I learned most of that in a public forum where others could easily have an eye on me and what I was doing. It was clearly marked as a learning environment, so everyone (hopefully) expected a higher level of “misses” than they would with a professional tarot reader. In that environment, I took great care to represent my abilities and level of experience correctly so people knew that I was a newbie. Journeying, on the other hand, is usually not done in public (at least not in the West outside of workshops), so it’s a lot harder to even find an environment that is designed to learn things, with a solid number of more experienced people watching over what’s going on. Even in the format of a workshop series (as offered by the FSS and others), I don’t see a similar environment for learning to journey. If only because there is usually just one teacher/really experienced practitioner at a time.

    I would also say that card readings are a lot easier to verify by others than journeys are, because everyone can look at the card images and see where I got my associations, even if they deviate from any “traditional meanings” (in my readings, I can nearly always tie the information I get back to something in the card). With journeys, that’s not so easy because it’s all invisible. How do you (especially as a non-journeying client/patient) tell that what is described by the journeyer is what actually happened? And how do you tell it’s what came from the spirits instead of the journeyer’s opinion/imagination? At the very least, verification seems a lot more difficult/time-intensive here.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have an easy solution for any of this, either, but I believe it’s important to bring up the difficult stuff, the things that make us feel uneasy, and publicly admit that some things really don’t work very well. Because the problems won’t go away by telling ourselves and others that they’re not that bad (because, “look how much worse it is over there, with these other people!”) or that they don’t even exist in the first place…

  26. I loved this post! And thank you for giving the link to “JourneyFail”, which I also enjoyed very much.

    I have never managed to journey successfully. Or get into a trance. Or hear otherworldly voices and see shadows moving, or control the flame of a candle with the power of my mind. I felt like I never managed to connect to any deity, god, or spiritual guide. Experiences that many spiritual people claim to be easy.

    I thought I was the one born defective. But it’s refreshing to hear that other people have had problems too.

    I have never really experiencedthat state of spiritual ‘connection’ that seems to be common thing amongst those who pursue a spiritual path with some dedication. It frustrated me to the point of making me wish I could be a complete atheist. Instead, I slowly abandoned all religions and began to focus on a rather agnostic/non-theist paganism. Pagan because I make nature a strong part of my spiritual path, but agnostic because I don’t fully understand what is ‘out there’, and it has never revealed itself to me…

    I honestly became tired of feeling spiritually inept, lol! I became tired of forcing myself and stretching my imagination to try to experience something I was not experiencing. I was tired of holding a dagger/wand/symbol/whatever up and invoking entities whose existence I wasn’t sure of – because they never answers me.

    I have a hard time letting go of my consciousness. Alcohol makes me sleepy but never makes me lose myself. Hypnosis doesn’t work for me. So any spiritual practice that demands that I project my soul out of my body and leave my overwhelming conscience behind is prone to become a source of frustration instead a source of enlightenment… *sigh*

    I have shared my failures in my blog too, for the same reason that you stated. I think it’s good for people to know that their spiritual practice may not always be like the Mists of Avalon in the 21st century. I wish I had been exposed to similar examples in my journey, instead of spending years feeling completely inadequate…

    Thank you for this post. Really.

  27. @ Saturness:
    Thank you for adding your voice! I’m glad my post spoke to you, although I still hear your pain through your descriptions. At least you seem to have tried a lot more things than I ever did, so that probably counts for something…

  28. I’m not really sure what I can add to this discussion at this point, but I’m really stoked that my post set it off by inspiring this post. You’re all amazing, and welcome at my blog. Thanks for a great post-in-reply, Cat!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s