IScroll down for:
Power animals
The medicine wheel and the iour directions

Two wolves - a Cherokee parable

Introduction to astrology

A question of Spirit

No man is an island

Words of the Buddha

Holiday romances - can they work?

Listen to your heart


Fundamentals of Shamanic Journeying  and Vision Dreams

By Michelle O'Brien

I often hear people say that they do not understand what a shamanic journey is or how to get started so I have prepared some steps to help you. 

These steps are what I personally see as important in experiencing a meaningful shamanic journey.  I have made the assumption that you have already retrieved your power animal.  If this is not the case, then you can use the steps below and set your intention to be ‘I would like to meet my power animal’.

Power animals are great for empowering you and assisting you on your vision journeys.

Everyone’s techniques may vary but the core principles should be the same.

1) Smudge yourself and your room while saying your prayers to the Creator (I use sage and sweetgrass) – remember to ventilate the room to let any negativity flow out.

2) Call in the helpers from the four directions (North, East, South and West) and also from Father Sky and Mother Earth

You have now created your scared space.

3) Lie down and get comfortable – this makes it a lot easier to journey (journey means to meditate visually). You may want to cover yourself with a blanket while you journey as you may become cold.

4) Put a blindfold on or cover your eyes – I find it easier this way.

5) State your intention clearly three times. Your intention should be why you are journeying – do you want to find your power animal?, do you want an answer to a problem?

6) Start drumming or buy a Shamanic drumming CD if you don’t have one, you can also access many drumming tunes via YouTube.  There are many available so just find one that you like the sound of.

7) Enter your special entrance (this may be a hole in the ground, a cave, a tunnel etc).  Do not divulge your entrance to anyone.  This is your secret and sacred entrance to within you.

8) You can restate your intention if you feel that you are getting distracted.

Shamans can travel to the lower world - if you are not familiar with this term it is not a negative place although you can come across negative spirits once in a while.  This is a beautiful place full of wonderful landscapes, beautiful animals and plants.  Always use your intuition.  If something does not feel right, turn away or turn back from it.

When you are presented with negativity it is very often a reflection of something that needs sorting in your own life.

Then there is the middle world – this is more for the experienced Shamans and I will explain at another point in time.  Please do not journey here until you are more experienced.

There is also the upper world where you usually meet your guides and spiritual teachers.

There is also the sanctuary – your very own special place where you can keep your spiritual tools that will be given to you as you become more experienced in journeying.

Never bring anything back with you unless it is a power animal or a soul part which is for the more experienced Shaman practitioner.

9) When you start your journey and you enter your secret location (hole) you may find yourself slipping or sliding down into the earth past tree roots etc.  You may fly down, your power animal may carry you down – there is no right or wrong way – there is only the way that works for you.

You will come out of the tunnel somewhere in a beautiful landscape.  You may see animals.  You can talk to the animals and plants. 

If you see an animal more than three times (at least four times), it is trying to get your attention and this may be your power animal.  It may only show you its leg at times or an eye but if you are sure that it is the same animal, ask it if it is your power animal.  It will come easily to you if it is.

10) Enjoy what is being presented to you.  You may be an observer or a participant.  When you are ready to return from your journey, the drum beat will change on your tape or video etc.  There is no exact amount of time that you should journey for.  I however, usually like to have journeys that last for approx half an hour at a time.

11) When it is time to return the drum beat will quicken – come back the same way that you went down.

12) Now you will have time to reflect – make a habit of writing down your journeys.

13) Remember to close down the four directions and give thanks also the Father Sky and Mother Earth.

14) If you have returned with a power animal, you will need to have it blown into you and sealed in.

Shamanism as with all spiritual work also requires caution.  It is a very useful discipline practiced by thousands worldwide.  But be respectful of it.  

When you become experienced in Shamanic journeying, you can journey on behalf of yourself or others. Journeying can help with healing, soul retrievals, learning new skills, re-discovering past lives, clearing energies, moving souls on or just general everyday advice.

You may find that Shamanism begins to become a way of life for you and it will enhance and add to your life.

Power animals

By Michelle O’Brien

Central to the world of the shaman is the power animal. To the shaman the world is animistic: all of life is inhabited with consciousness and humans can tap into it as a source of power, health and wisdom.

Power animals are guardian spirits, similar to the concept of guardian angels.  We all have them, whether or not we are consciously aware of them.  Children are more aware than adults are, and we see this reflected in their strong and loving attachment to toy animals and pets.  Many indigenous people believe that childhood cannot be survived without the guardianship of these spirit allies.  They protect us, keep us full of power, health and enthusiasm and prevent negative energies and illnesses from entering our energy field. 

The shaman’s relationship to his or her power animal is critical to the success of any healing or divinatory venture.  The shaman draws upon the wisdom of his power animals to conduct his work in ordinary reality. Each animal carries with it a specific quality or ‘medicine’ that belongs to that particular species.  If your power animal is a mountain lion, for instance, you benefit from the characteristics of the entire species of mountain lion.  An elephant power animal imbues one with the overall qualities of elephant. 

Over the course of a lifetime, a person may have more than one power animal.  It is not uncommon for someone to have one or two main power animals, plus other helping animal spirits that may be called in for specific helping tasks. 

Sometimes a power animal leaves suddenly for unknown reasons.  When this happens, the person becomes disempowered and the result is misfortune and/or illness.  The services of a shamanic practitioner can retrieve the power animal for the client in ‘non-ordinary’ reality (assisted by the shaman’s power animal!) and return it to the client in this reality.  Specific symptoms which indicate the need for a power animal retrieval include repeated misfortune/accidents, chronic and debilitating illness, depression and, in extreme cases, a lack of will to live. 

A relationship with one’s power animal is a guaranteed connection to the wisdom, love and abundance of our universe.  A power animal is a gift and deepening the relationship with it is both an honor and a joy.  To discover the identity of your own power animal, (either on your own, or with the assistance of a shamanic practitioner), and the medicine it brings to you, can open up doors of adventure, joy and magic that will change your life.

One of the creatures you might have as your power animal is the buffalo or bison.  This is a symbol of abundance and endurance.

If BUFFALO shows up, it means:
Trust that you’ll always have whatever you actually need. Focus on being appreciative and grateful for all that you have.  Clear out any surplus goods and recycle those items.  Have faith in the natural abundance of life.  Stop feeling sorry for yourself and instead be aware of the extraordinary number of resources you have available. Expand your interests by trying a new hobby, recreational activity or sport.

Call on BUFFALO when:
You’re experiencing any kind of poverty or need reassurance that supplies are plentiful and available.  You need extra determination when you’re pursuing an important goal.  You want to restore your faith in the abundance and plenty of life.  You have an important project you’re about to start. You want help getting through a period of intense struggle and challenge.

You’re confident that you’ll always have whatever you need, and you don’t worry about your supplies.  You’re very generous and willing to share what you have.  You’re very accepting and non-judgmental with others, always trying to see the good in them.  You have a great deal of strength and endurance.  You can be unpredictable.  Once you set your mind on something, nothing will stop you from achieving it.  You are also a tower of strength for people – be careful that you do not become drained in the process.

A Buffalo totem will seek to help you establish a deep connection to Mother Earth and it will ask you to help the endangered species of our planet.  He will bring you strength of character and an independent spirit.  It is the totem of abundance.  Do not push or force, but follow the easiest path.  Buffalo medicine is knowing that abundance is present when all relations are honored as sacred and when gratitude is expressed to every part of creation.  Buffalo medicine is prayer, gratitude and praise. Praying for the needs of all creatures, for harmony and give praise for the gifts you have already received.

Buffalo words - Resourceful, abundance, reassurance, beginnings, strength

You may have an eagle as a power animal.  Eagle feathers are used all over the world as ceremonial instruments and are considered to be the most sacred healing tools.  They are a symbol of power, healing and wisdom.  Eagle represents a state of grace that is reached through inner work, understanding and passing the initiation tests that result from reclaiming our personal power.

Eagle medicine is the power of the Great Spirit.  It is the spirit of tenacity.  It is the gift of clear vision with which one can truly see the things one sees.  It is the patience to wait for the appropriate moment.  It is to live in balance with heaven and earth. 

Eagle’s medicine includes swiftness, strength, courage, wisdom, keen sight, illumination of Spirit, healing, creation, knowledge of magic, ability to see hidden spiritual truths, rising above the material to see the spiritual, ability to see the overall pattern/big picture, connection to spirit guides and teachers and higher truths, great power and balance, dignity with grace, intuitive and creative spirit, respect for the boundaries of the regions, grace achieved through knowledge and hard work. 

Eagle reminds you of your connection with the Great Spirit.  It tells you that the universe is giving you the opportunity to fly above your life’s worldly levels, or above the shadow of past realities.

Eagle feathers are hard to come by as under the current language of the eagle feather law, individuals of certifiable Native American ancestry enrolled in a federally recognized tribe are the only ones legally authorised to obtain eagle feathers.

The Medicine Wheel and the Four Directions

The Medicine Wheel, also sometimes also known as the Sacred Hoop, has been used for generations by various Native American tribes for all aspects of health and healing.  It embodies the Four Directions, as well as Father Sky, Mother Earth, and Spirit Tree—all of which symbolize dimensions of health and the four cycles of life. Four is an important number and represents the stages, seasons and elements etc.

The Medicine Wheel can have many different forms including a physical construction on the land.  Hundreds or even thousands of Medicine Wheels have been built on Native lands in North America over the last several centuries.

Movement in the Medicine Wheel and in Native American ceremonies is circular, and typically in a clockwise, or ‘sun-wise’ direction.  This helps to align with the forces of nature, such as gravity and the rising and setting of the sun.

Meanings of the Four Directions

Different tribes interpret the Medicine Wheel differently.  Each of the Four Directions (East, South, West, and North) is typically represented by a distinctive color, such as black, red, yellow, and white, which for some stands for the human races. 

The directions can also represent:
Stages of life: birth, youth, adult (or elder), death
Seasons of the year: spring, summer, winter, fall
Aspects of life: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical
Elements of nature: fire (or sun), air, water, and earth
Animals: eagle, bear, wolf, buffalo, (and many others)
Ceremonial plants: tobacco, sweet grass, sage, cedar

Contact Michelle via



Two Wolves - A Cherokee Parable

By Marilyn Taylor

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life...

"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. 
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

"One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

"The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. 

"This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, 
"Which wolf will win?"

The old chief simply replied, 
"The one you feed."


Contact Marilyn via



Introduction to astrology

By Lynne Carter

Part six


Mars is the bringer of war, according to Gustuv Holst, who wrote the planet suite.  Yet Mars brings immense energy and drive to get things done.  His nature is hot and dry and spends 74 days in retrograde motion.  He rules the signs of Aries and Scorpio.  He has the need to prove himself.  Mars is our get-up-and-go planet; without it our energy levels would be very low.  His metal is iron.  Mars is the last of the personal planets beyond it in space is the asteroid belt.  The sign you find Mars in, in your chart reveals your desires and your mode of action.

Aries.  Here Mars is in one of its own signs.  This is all about action.  People with this placement can be prone to going head long into situations without thinking about the consequences of their actions, unless Mars is aspected by another planet to slow things down.  They are good at initiating projects but may not stay around long enough to see them finished.

Taurus.  Energy is expelled here in a practical way along with a sense of beauty.  Depending on the house placement is how this will work, ie 4th house, can mean a great deal of time and energy is put into a beautiful home and garden.

Gemini.  Mars placed here indicates mental activity and aggressiveness. Those with this position have active and critical minds and as a rule engineering and mechanical skills.  They love a debate and are not adverse to going to war with words.  If badly placed this can lead to an argumentative nature.

Cancer.  Mars is not well placed in this sign, it can lead to powerful emotional explosions, but a great deal of energy can be put into the family home. A woman with this placement can go to war for her children or become fiercely protective.

Leo. This sign gives energy and drive to creativity.  A great deal of ability can be expressed in the arts, this also indicates acting.  Stability and determination are greater here than in Aries as Leo is a fixed sign. A natural ability for leadership, as the self confidence of Mars in Leo inspires confidence in others.

Virgo.  Mars in Virgo gives skills in craftsmanship and mechanics.  Mars also deals with knives and as Virgo has links to medicine, many surgeons have this placement.  Actions are carefully planned usually with good practical reasons.  Here Mars wants to be an authority in exact detail.  They insist on a well0organised working environment.

Libra. Strong action will be taken in the social context.  There is a sense of social justice and people with this position can go to war for the underdog.  They concern themselves with morality that comes from a realization that unfairness reveals a moral weakness. 

Scorpio.    Here Mars is in the 2nd sign that it rules.  There are strong emotions and desires along with emotional intensity that gives relentless courage and thoroughness in executing their intentions 

Sagittarius.  Placed here Mars can bring strong religious and philosophic convictions.  People with Mars places here can be crusaders for causes they support.  There is a strong love of  outside activities, such as sport.  They like adventure and travel.

Capricorn.  Mars is well placed here, it gives great drive for professional status. They are well organised and calculate carefully to achieve concrete results in terms of money and professional advancement. Usually they have a high degree of self control and discipline, able to take orders, but expect the same discipline and obedience from those under their authority.

Aquarius.  This placement gives a desire for independence to follow an unorthodox course of action.  They prefer to do thing their own way.  If their energy is well directed there can be worthwhile results in humanitarian work.  There can be a danger of discarding the old ways before better replacements are available.

Pisces.   This placement gives strong emotions that arise from the unconscious.  Natives can harbour resentments and repressed anger can lead to psychosomatic symptoms.  They may act in secret as a means of avoiding direct confrontation.  They work best behind the scenes and also favour hospitals or large institutions.

In the next issue we move beyond the Asteroid belt to the first of the larger and slower planets  Jupiter. 

Contact Lynne at


A question of Spirit

Wendy Stokes provided the Wendy Stokes Column for Two Worlds Magazine from 2000 – 2006 and still receives a postbag of spiritual questions. Here are some current topics:

Dear Wendy: What is the difference between a ghost and a spirit?

Wendy: Upon death, the deceased goes through the process of entry to the spirit realms which starts with a review of their life. Then often reported is a tunnel or bridge or transition phase. Then they are usually met by those they knew in this life who welcome them to the eternal realms and a time of healing and further review takes place. These are termed 'spirits' and have made a full transition to eternal life in the spirit realms. 

However, there are those that for many reasons, usually due to the detection of unfinished business during their life review, where they do not fully undertake the journey through the tunnel to be met and welcomed and be healed in the eternal spirit realms. They are often attached to a place usually, in the physical realm where they unhappily enact time and time again, a scenario hoping for a change to occur. These are termed 'ghosts'. A ghost usually wants redress for some injustice or they might just be lost and in need of someone to inform them they are confused, trapped and need clarity and release to get to their loved ones in spirit who will make sure they receive the healing they require. 

Ghostly places can be places of sadness and distress, and rarely places of great happiness. Spend a moment in contemplation of the energies in that place. Light a candle or leave an offering of herbs or flowers for this sad shade, once as alive as you and I am now. Create a link, a rainbow bridge, between the ghost and the heavenly realms so they can see their way to light and love that lies beyond this material world. There are spirits whose work is to carry lost people to their loved ones in the spirit realms (sometimes called a psychopomp). Say prayers for the soul and pledge in that place to seek redress for any grievance the ghost might justifiably have.


Hi Wendy: I am considering starting a psychic circle in my village and have six people interested. We are on a shoe-string for finances, have you any tips? 

Wendy: space clearing, confidentiality, conflict resolution, group policies, dealing with latecomers, opening and closing, giving and receiving feedback, issues of payment to the organiser/facilitator, preparing a meeting programme, etc., need a great deal of thought. Many people contact me because they find meditating, channelling, absent healing (and similar spiritual activities) are very difficult to do alone and are far easier in a group. I have written a book which explains how to conduct a well-run circle. It is titled “The Lightworkers Circle Guide – A Workbook for Spiritual Groups’ and is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle, or from your local bookshop.



No man is an island

By Ada MacKay

One of my favourite religious songs is entitled No man is an island and it is based on the poem by John Donne who said “Each man’s death diminishes me for I am involved in mankind.” To me it expresses beautifully the idea that we are all part of the “World Village” and as such are affected by the joys and griefs of our fellow “villagers.” It is similar to the verse in Romans chpt 12 verse 15. “Rejoice with them that do rejoice and weep with them that weep.” Surely the words are so relevant to our world today. We cannot ignore the sufferings of those in other countries. We cannot think “It’s nothing to do with me” and pass by on the other side.

Through the medium of modern technology news travels around the globe so quickly that we are moved by the sights and sounds. We are there in the carnage of the latest bomb atrocity, we are one of the crowd anxiously awaiting news of miners trapped underground, we weep for the victims of crime and tragic accidents, we share the grief of families of soldiers killed fighting a war and we put our hands in our pockets to send money to help refugees of war-torn countries.

Then there is the other side of the coin “Rejoice with them that do rejoice.” We rejoice to learn of the recovery of a famous person from a near fatal illness, we rejoice with the one who has won the prize or trophy. Their success is our success and we want to shout “Well done, Well done.”

The second line of the song is “No man stands alone” but here I would disagree. There are many people in this world who feel very much alone, especially the old who have no family and who perhaps have outlived their friends. In my working life I was a librarian and I was very much aware of the lonely people who frequently came to the library as it was somewhere to go. There were the elderly male pensioners who spent hours in the reading room and the well-dressed woman who came three times a day changing one book each time. Of course there are plenty of clubs and activities that such people could join but many are reluctant to go without a companion. I think it is up to all of us to keep our eyes open for such “loners” and do what we can to help. If you have experienced loneliness yourself you are more able to help as opposed to those who have always been part of a large extended family. Catherine Cookson, the popular author, once used the expression “The courage behind the mask.” How many in our world hide their true feelings behind a mask?

The words of this song remind me of our second Principle of Spiritualism 'The Brotherhood of Man'. We must forget race, creed, gender, station in life — the whole world is our family and we must share their joys and sorrows as if they were our own.

     No man is an island,

     No man stands alone

     Each man’s joy is joy to me.

     Each man’s grief is my own.

     We need one another, so I will defend

     Each man as my brother

     Each man as my friend. 

If you would like to know more about my thoughts on Spiritualism then read my book “Why I am a Spiritualist.” Obtainable direct from me, £5 including P&P. E-mail me at

Visit my website


Words of the Buddha

By Marilyn Taylor

There is no fire like greed,
No crime like hatred,
No sorrow like separation,
No sickness like hunger of heart,
And no joy like the joy of freedom.

Health, contentment and trust
Are your greatest possessions,
And freedom your greatest joy.

Look within. Be still.
Free from fear and attachment,
Know the sweet joy of living in the way.

from the Dhammapada, Words of the Buddha



Holiday romances - Can they really work and develop into a long term relationship?

Madam Jacqueline receives many letters on Holiday Romances and as this is the season for holidays she has decided to discuss this subject.

I drew the Ace of Wands which indicated a holiday is just what we need to recharge our batteries.  If you’re single then a little flirting can boost your self-esteem, give you confidence and have some fun.

On the other hand getting too serious about a Holiday Romance can ruin a holiday and put you on a downer when you return home.

Remember a few points before a holiday romance occurs and ground rules with your friends.

1)   Make an agreement with your friend if one of you meets someone what will that mean?

2)   Don’t abandon your friends.   (A holiday romance is not worth losing your friend over).

3)   Always make sure you are safe.

4)   Don’t go running off with some guy you don’t know.  Always stay with your friends.

5)   Take your mobile with you if you do.

So you have promised to stay in touch with each other after the holiday; once you are back in England.   Was it just a holiday romance and nothing else or does it have the potential of a long term relationship?

Do you really want to stay in touch?  Could you really have a relationship with this person?

Some people only want the Holiday Romance and nothing else, it may be harmless fun to one party but serious for the other.  If you’re the sort of person who gets hurt then keep the Holiday Romance light.  

People are different on holiday and they may not be the same person once they are home.

Men and women make promises while they are on holiday but once home may forget all about the other person as they return to their normal everyday life.

Keeping in touch

It will need to be made clear if you are in an exclusive relationship or not.

You will need to have trust in each other about being faithful while the other person is out of sight.

Keeping in touch in between meeting up.  It very important to keep the connection going by phone, Skype and or text.

Travelling to and from each

Distant - How far away does this other person live?

What are the travel costs?

Who is going to do the traveling or take it in turns?

Moving forward

When the time is right who is going to move you or him?  Do you really want to move miles away from your friends, family and work.

Can you get work where he or she lives?

I feel these relationships can work but it really depends on the people and their situation.

Last Word

If the other person doesn’t keep in touch with you when you arrive home, put it down to experience and look for someone nearer to home.


Listen to your heart

From Pat Waldock Musham 

Listen to your Heart 
Feel it beating
Open it up and send out your love
While sending it out and touching
Feel yourself illuminated
Illuminated in the power of spirit
As you touch the hand of others
They to will feel it, also feel illuminated

See how easily and quickly you can
Spread the power of spirit
For the power of the spirit is love
It is so easy to love

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