“The quality of true humility comes out of the certainty of our own goodness – the knowledge that we are innately powerful. This awareness appeases our need to obtain such knowing from others and sets us free. To know about ourselves, we must go within, acknowledge our gifts, but also feel our deepest pain. Learning to dance with our shadow and loving our own darkness – with true acceptance – disempowers it”

- Dancing Bear

Dancing Bear

Healing Past Lives

When I began my journey into healing many years ago, I met some people who would speak about healing past lives. They would tell me that they were such and such in a past life. I would think to myself “What are these people smoking? – and where can I can I get some?!” Until, one day, such a healing happened to me.

I grew up in a small town just north of Montreal called Mt-Tremblant. It was a very ‘white’ town as there was only one Chinese family who owned the town’s Chinese Restaurant and one or two black persons. It was, at the time, a small resort town of five thousand people and because of that, I grew up seeing only a lot of English speaking Montrealers and Americans. We were never taught about the Holocaust in school and my upbringing was idyllic and somewhat sheltered. However, when I was young, my mother used to tell us stories about how the Jews were persecuted during World War II. It was very abstract for me but I could relate to the concept of being discriminated against because I was singled out as gay just as I began school in grade one.  My mom sometimes spoke of a book called “Au nom de tous les miens” written by Martin Gray – an incredible story of a young Jewish adolescent who survives the Holocaust, then lived a peaceful life with his family in the south of France, and tragically loses his wife and children in a forest fire.  My mom seemed inspired by the amazing resilience Martin Gray represented. His book is a story of how human beings can survive the most atrocious traumas and be able to find meaning and happiness in the world and inspire others. But I never read the book. Until a few years ago – it sat on my parents bookshelves.

When I was a young teenager, I  gave my name and address to a European pen pal organization so that I could correspond with other teenagers from abroad.  One day, I received a letter in the mail from a girl named Silke who was writing to me from Germany.  I was so excited and we started to correspond on a regular basis.  At nineteen, I moved to Montreal and lived in an area called Outremont.  I was fascinated by other cultures and it was there that I saw the first Orthodox Jews.  I saw them walk down the street with their children and I wanted to get to know them.  One time, I saw a Jewish mother with her children and she was trying to bring her baby carriage up the front steps of her house. I was a bit taken aback when she refused my help.  I realized that something in me wanted to connect with them.

During my few years in Montreal, I continued my correspondence with my friend Silke and took German classes at the Goethe Institute.  Languages are easy for me to learn, but German was particularly easy for me.  I had a real desire to learn it but remain casual in my studies.  Silke came to visit Canada and I showed her around. Unfortunately, we did not really connect while she was here, so we kind of lost touch after her trip.

In 1990, I moved to Toronto and went to Ryerson University.  In Toronto, I made friends with a few Jewish people and discovered a bit more about their culture – I also came across the many prejudices from other people who would make comments.  I had not grown up with these attitudes, so I found them hurtful and distasteful.  While going to University I started to read about the Holocaust. There are many books out there, but I seemed to come across and be drawn to many stories about Jewish persecution during the war.  Once I was at the Library doing research on a design project. I randomly picked up a book that was on the shelf.  The book had photos of the Nazi concentration camps and I nearly started to cry in the library.  I could not believe my eyes!   At around the same time, I read ‘Night’ by Elie Wiesel and other books by him and I was beginning to feel such disgust at humanity and anger that I had not really been told about what had happened.

In the mid-nineties I attended my first workshop from the Foundation for Shamanic Studies in Guelph, Ontario.  The workshop was sponsored by a lovely woman named Ellen.  Ellen was Jewish, a poet and writer, and her and I had a nice connection. We saw each other on occasion after the workshop.  Ellen is also a wonderful shamanic healer and she did the first soul retrieval I ever received.  The first one was so profound for me.  I left her house feeling as if I was seeing the world for the first time.  The colors seemed brighter and everything appeared more alive than before.

A few months later, Ellen did another soul retrieval for me.  At the ceremony at her house in Woodstock, Ellen said that she had brought back a shadow, which had left me at three years old. The shadow was a memory of a past life I began to have as a child. The memories were so disturbing that I had given up this part of me so I would forget. I said to her: “I think I need to come see you again, I think the healing is not complete”. A few weeks later she journeyed on my behalf to find out more about the shadow and told me I should come back for another soul retrieval ceremony.  I arrived at her house that day and it was a gorgeous sunny summer day.  I can still remember the sound of the leaves rustling in the breeze outside as we sat on the floor of her living room.  She did the journey and blew the soul parts into my heart then I sat up and I she repeated the breathing of the soul part but into the crown of my head this time.  I nearly collapsed, in tears, suddenly filled with an incredible feeling of grief.  Ellen seemed a bit shocked. I felt a surge of power also, but the grief was so overwhelming.  I sat there and she held me as I sobbed like a baby.    She said I had died in the Holocaust and my soul was never mourned for.  As she said that, I had a memory of being crouched down on the ground and soldiers standing in front of me with their guns to my head. I cried some more. I left her house feeling deeply moved, and although I was feeling a deep grief, I also felt more whole.

A few weeks passed and I would go to my weekly appointment with my Reiki Master of the time, Sheryl.    At one of my sessions, I told Sheryl about the shamanic healing.  She listened carefully but did not make any comments.  Then, during my Reiki treatment, I started to have images of family dinners with people I did not know, images of war and I started to cry as I was so grief stricken.  Sheryl guided me through this and we came up with a name for the returning part. His name was “Jorge”. (My Reiki Master Karen Hill later remarked that when I said the name Jorge with a German pronunciation, it sounds like “you’re gay”!)   As Sheryl had her hands on me she told me about burial rites of Jewish people.  She said that the soul part, although a part of me, was grieving using my body and needed to properly be mourned.  As I lied on the table, she created a ritual for me to put Jorge to rest with a proper burial.

The following week, I went out searching for the various things I was to put in a pouch I was supposed to wear for 3 days, day and night and then bury the pouch in the ground and offer prayers for this past life soul of mine.   Ellen also felt it was a proper course of action.

I started to wear the pouch and nothing much happened at first.  The first night, I woke up, filled with anxiety at exactly two thirty in the morning with a deep dry cough.  I would put my hands on my chest give myself Reiki and the cough would intensify.  It lasted for a half hour.  The next day went without anything notable.  But again during the night I woke up with the intense, choking dry cough. On the last night, I was on a trip and staying at a hotel in Niagara Falls.  Once again, at two thirty in the morning I woke up with the cough and it lasted for half an hour and this time it was really deep and bothersome.  I was puzzled but eventually went back to sleep.

The next day, I went to the Niagara River and stood on the bank in prayer.    I buried the pouch in the ground and offered some more prayers to mourn Jorge and the life he had lived.  It was a memorable moment for me, I can still remember the wonder I felt for this incredible process.

I am not quite sure when the memory came back to me, but at one point, I was telling the story of the pouch and the coughing a few days later, and I  'remembered' being in a gas chamber, crammed in with many other people, hearing screams and then feeling the gas coming from overhead.  I finally understood that I had died in a concentration camp – gassed.   The numbers worked, I was born in 1968!  The realization made me understand many pieces of why I am who I am; my desire to always side with the weak and the vulnerable, my innate knowing of the wrongness of bullying and ostracizing others who are different, the reason why I needed to connect with Germany, the subtle anxiety I felt while I was around Orthodox Jews in Montreal, and later in Toronto, as if wanting to say to them ‘be careful, it’s not safe to show who you are’, my great interest in World War II and particularly, the Holocaust, and finally, the ease with which I learned German.  It all made sense.  Afterwards, I felt a chapter of my life, and past life, had been completed fully.  It also helped me gain an understanding of why I suffered so much from bullying and being ostracized – it was as if I was attracting it to myself.  The cellular memory of the trauma in my body appeared to manifest situations that mirrored deep  unconscious feelings that  rested within me.

De-possession, Spiritual Intrusions and Shamanic Extraction

In the last few years, I have been asked to do extractions and removal of spiritual intrusions more frequently.   I am inspired to write about my experience with such occurrences.

Many years ago, I was working on someone whom I knew well.  As I had my hands on him giving Reiki, a very heavy dark entity started to move through me and I was in a bit of a shock as it came out suddenly.  As it moved out of my client’s body some information about where and when this spirit had been acquired came through and I passed the information onto my client as it came to me.  Then both my client and I felt a huge opening and great light entered him and we both felt a huge shift.  The entity had been with him from a former lifetime and seemingly a companion for many lifetimes.

Later on that same day, a growing threatening feeling filled the air around the place I was staying and I made my client aware of this. I became afraid for my life as if someone was watching me with the intention to kill me.  Both of us realized that it was the entity hanging around.  We both decided that we needed to send it off.  The energy was so threatening that we felt we needed to threaten it back and within minutes we both felt at peace again. It was almost instantaneous and peace filled the area again.

The second most significant removal of spiritual intrusion was during a session I did with a friend of mine at my cottage up north.  Before the session, my helpers had told me to prepare a bowl of water and leave it by my side as I would use it during the healing.  During the ceremony, as I delved more into the realm of spirit and entering my friends inner life, I was shown her being sliced in half, then burned while still being conscious.  The memory of this was haunting my friend on a subconscious level and in the way of her moving forward and truly bringing healing and her soul’s purpose to her life.  Although I was taught to remove intrusion with my hands, my helpers instructed me to ‘suck’ the intrusion from my client’s body and blow the intrusion into the water [please do not try this if you do not have extensive shamanic experience!]. Then I was guided to do a soul-retrieval for her.  After the healing ceremony was complete, I asked my friend to pour the water into the lake while offering prayers of gratitude with the intent that the energy removed transmutes into love and light.  After the healing, a beautiful, peaceful light filled the room. The next day my friend called me and said she had goose bumps moving up and down her legs and arms for the past several hours.  It was as if her body was re-adjusting to more light and a higher vibration. She also said she had some pain in her mid-section that was moving through. The pain subsided after a few weeks.

I had some calls from people who say they are possessed by an entity and they are afraid for themselves and for me.  One person said to me “this entity is very dark and dangerous, are you sure you can handle this etc?” In any healing, I always defer to my helpers, I am not the one who decides.  They are the ones that say if I can ‘handle’ a case or not.  In possessions, I noticed that some people are greatly influenced by the entity and also become identified with the entity. In some case, it becomes a problem that makes them ‘special’ and so in a way, they want to ‘keep it’ and they don’t really want to heal. The other piece for me is fear.  Fear creates an opening that leaches our power.  If we fear an entity, we give it more power.  Dark entities are no more powerful than light ones, it just depends how we empower them in our own lives and we should remember that they are misplaced energy.  Finally, I would only do the work if I had absolute confidence that I am a match for my ‘adversary’. As I would not want to put myself in a place of harm, no matter how much compassion I feel for the person in pain.

Some of the most significant healings that occurred to me by my Helping Spirits were extractions.  Sometimes, my helpers call me and say “it’s time for a healing”.  I will journey to the Lower World meet my Helpers and ask them [or be told!] about what it is that must happen at this time.  Several years ago, one of my Helpers, the one that heals fear, came to me and said: “We would like to heal your heart.  your heart is filled with darkness and bitterness from events that occurred in the past in this life and from many difficult experiences in other lifetimes.  You have often been persecuted and you are holding grudges against society.”  When my helper said that, I felt it to be true and I could see the darkness.  He took me to a stone chamber dimly lit and put me down in a sort of stretcher.  At the center of the chamber was a bright hot burning fire.  My helpers moved the stretched over the fire.  He placed my body so my heart was located where the flames leaped up highest.  He told me to be still and think about the cleansing that was occurring.  As I remained perched over the hot fire my heart started to leach a dark liquid, that looked like crude oil. It burned brightly as it dripped into the fire. After several minutes of this extraction, my helpers would bring me to a healing waterfall where I was showered and cleansed.

Over the years, my helpers did this healing several times.  A week or so after such a healing, I would feel grief and anger move through me and afterwards I felt like I had experienced a deep transformation.

Other extractions my helpers did were to remove spiritual intrusions.  Spiritual intrusions are misplaced energy and can cause a variety of symptoms such as illnesses, hearing voices, negative thoughts, negative feelings and so on.  Once again, I noticed a big shift occur in my life after such healings and most important, I felt the return of inner peace.

When I lived in San Francisco for a year I had an experience of a mild possession.  It got progressively worse over several days and then one night I experienced a sort of madness.  I was curled in my living room afraid and confused.  I called on my friend  Zayin, knowing he had the ability to help me with this work.  He came over immediately and removed the entity which called itself Pain Paul.  He was firm yet very gentle with the entity and it left me almost immediately.  I felt grounded and peaceful afterwards and I also felt light and my mind return to its normal quieter humming.

Spiritual intrusion and possessions are misplaced energy.  It is important to treat all of life, including intrusions and possessing entities, with respect and be honouring of their place in the whole of creation.  When dealing with intrusions it is also important to move forward in prayer and with confidence and not allow fear to weaken our mind.  As we release Spiritual Intrusions, we do so with gratitude and with the intent that they find their rightful place in the World and be transmuted into the highest good into love and healing as the Universe sees fit.  As with any shamanic healing, our prayers and our intent to  heal and be whole  are what drive our healing work.  It is one of the attitudes that helps entice the Spirit Helpers to help us.  If we are sincere in our desire to heal and ask with a humble heart we are sure to receive a blessing from them.

Shamanic Journey in 2009

My helper meets me as soon as I close my eyes.  We travel through the Middle World walking very fast north.  We cross the country and end up in the North Pole where my helper tells me to sit on the ice and wait.  I feel uneasy as I am sitting on the ice and try to resist what is happening but I can’t.  The ice is melting from under me and the water level rises around me until I fall under the ice.  I have surrendered to these journeys many times, so I just let go and fall into the freezing water. I know I am protected in spite of what it looks and feels like.  I hear a great loud bang behind me. A large whale has just surfaced nearby and blew a powerful breath at the surface of the water.  I hear the faint voice of my helper who is still on the ice edge and he yells out to meet him back here at the same spot and to go with whale. The whale tells me to hang on to one of his fins and we swim for a long time under the ice until we come to an opening.  It appears we have somehow resurfaced in the Baltic Sea and whale has brought me to shore.  He tells me “Walk inland, Dancing Bear, walk inland”. I am now alone and all I can see for miles ahead is a still, frozen landscape and a dry cold wind blows and whistles through the small mounds.  As I am walking, I realize that what is under the ice are buildings.  I am walking on top of what used to be entire cities and villages.  I walk alone for what seems like such a long time.  Then in the horizon, I spot small semi-circle ice shapes sticking up from the base of the horizon.  I start to walk faster and in the distance I see Igloos! I am relieved.

As I walk closer, I see a beautiful arctic wolf.  He greets me and tells me to sit in front of the outer rim of the igloo settlement.  There, I wait patiently in silence. The wind blows hard and howls.  After a long wait, an Inuit shaman comes out of one of the igloos.  He nods as a way of greeting me and sits in front of me, across from the frozen fire pit.  We stare at each other and I remain silent.  I know it is best not to ask anything.  Then I remember that I have something to offer the shaman.  From my satchel, I pull some chocolate in bright white and brown packages which appear to be from another world in this place! I also have a fish and some seeds and nuts in a bag.  I put everything in front of the shaman and again he nods at me. We stay in silence a while longer.

Then, the shaman finally breaks the windy silence: “Man has lost his way. His heart is like a giant iceberg, floating aimlessly on a cold, still and empty ocean. He is asleep and although his heart beats, he cannot hear it, for it is buried under so much ice.  You know what I speak of.” I continue to sit in silence and take in what the shaman has just said, listening as intently as I can because I know his words penetrate my soul and heal me.  “I am speaking here of man, not woman. Woman has already begun that journey. Man must go within now and start his journey to the center of himself and reconnect with the vastness, the infinite that lies at the center of his being. As he takes steps on the journey, his heart will warm up and melt the iceberg within rather than the ice on the planet!  The arrogance, foolishness and unconscious way he lives in is filled with delusions and self-aggrandizing aims.  Although he knows better, man thinks he is the center of the universe and that his intellect will save him. But it is not so.”  The shaman pauses, clears his throat and continues: “There are many inner demons he will face on his way to the center of himself.  But he must not be afraid nor let himself be distracted.  It will take great courage – but man has the courage he will need if only he asks for help from the greater vastness of life.  It takes humility to ask for help – but it is the only way. He will not do this on his own.”

Then in a softer kinder tone he says: “And you, Dancing Bear, will you take this message to him?”  “Yes” I reply softly.

I bow and nod to him in thanks for the message and once again I feel healed and transformed from hearing the wise man speak.  I turn around and begin the arduous journey back home. I meet the whale again who takes me back to the hole in the ice where my helper greets me and takes me back to my body. I sit for a few moments, and review in my mind what has just happened.

Shamanic Journey in 2009

I leave my body and journey through the opening in the Earth I normally travel through.  I land in my usual place, where I meet my helpers on a regular basis.  They are all there surrounding me.  I tell them that I would like to be taken on a journey that will bring healing and a loving message so I can share it with others. My helpers agree and one of them walks with me.  We make our way through forests and mountains until we reach a very high mountain top.  Together we stand there in silence, in awe at the view of the mountains all around us and the crimson sunset.  I am filled with peace and appreciation to be able to have such an experience.

I hear a shrill cry in the skies which pulls me from the dreamy state and I turn around and see an enormous hawk flying down towards me.  Before I can even realize what is happening, the hawk has gripped me in his powerful talons and lifts me off the ground.  We fly over the mountain ridges until we come to a depression in the landscape.  As we get closer, I see a fire and a gathering of people. The hawk drops me right at the edge of the gathering and the group motions me to sit down.  “Welcome Dancing Bear.  Thank you for coming to see us.”  I feel very comfortable here with the gathering.  I have been here before. The man to my right says: “The chief would like to offer you a healing. If you will accept, you can perhaps tell the story of it to others.”  I check in with myself and ask my body “Is this a good idea? Is it a good idea to receive the healing that is being offered at this time?”  I feel an opening within myself which means it is okay. And also, in my right ear, I hear the voice of my helper who was with me watching the sunset: “Go and receive the healing”.

The chief shows me the entrance to a tepee and I lie down on the ground.  The chief rattles all over my body and I feel he is lifting some heavy energy from my whole being which is somehow being pulled and stored inside his rattle .  “I am removing judgements others have projected onto you”, he says in a soft voice. He continues and I feel lighter and lighter and even more peaceful than before. Strangely, the chief (I now know is the shaman of this gathering) transforms himself into a kind of dragon and flies over me in a counter-clock motion until the top of the tepee opens up and a very bright light shines onto me, filling my entire being with a feeling of love and acceptance. I experience this as a transformative healing and suddenly, the chief is back at my side.  The healing is complete.  I make a humble offering of two apples to the shaman and thank him.  I leave the tepee and walk back toward the gathering. I thank them and, very naturally, the hawk picks me up again and we go back to the mountain top where my helper is waiting for me.  We walk back to our original meeting place and my helpers reiterate their instruction to share the healing with others.  I agree and journey back to my body.  I feel a little bit light-headed and take a moment to ground myself.

I know this healing will manifest a release in my life. I have experienced them many times.  Every time I have received one of these healings, it normally takes a few days and then some old emotions, usually tears, come out of nowhere. After the tears move through, I generally feel a transformative effect and a new perspective on my life