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When I was quite young my mother came to me and said, "I don't think that there is a hell and I'm not convinced that God is as mad at us as they have tried to tell us". I looked at her with the wisdom that we all know that a ten year old possesses and said, "I know". That is where it began. Beyond my understanding at the moment, my mother was about to embark on a life long quest that would lead us both to where we are today. I had been brought up in a Baptist church and had recently felt, "the calling". I still talk about it today. I was there in church, singing. This in itself should have kept me from hearing anything divine, but somehow Spirit got through. Anyway, I felt the call of Spirit and was saved. It was the most profound moment of my life. I felt for the first time a true connection and closeness to God. I wanted more. I needed more. Unfortunately, that was all the church had. Their mission had been fulfilled and from there it was up to me to just attend and say the right words at the right time.


That simply wasn't going to cut it. Having the same disillusionment, my mother began taking me with her to various churches, groups, meetings, seminars and workshops. Anything spiritually based. We looked into everything from Assemblies of God to Zen Buddhism. Each step leading us more toward metaphysics and spirituality and farther away from organized religion. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. Looking back I remember my mother telling me to go outside and play with "my friend". It was my Spirit Guide and fortunately my mother never told me that he was imaginary. We also used to talk to my grandmother when I was a kid. It never occurred to me that it wasn't normal to do that, being that she had killed herself before I was ever born. We just used to sit in the living room and talk to her. Seemed quite normal at the time and still does for that matter.


Then we found The Hilltop Center, Betty's house. Betty Walker opened her home to the public every Wednesday evening to teach metaphysics. It was a place to share and meet people in a safe friendly environment.


There I met psychics, astrologers, channelers, spiritualists and healers and learned something from them all. At this same time we met a man named Hank Rucker. He shook my hand once and told me that I was going to be famous for my voice and that I would be on the air, but not seen. Four years later I began a ten-year career as a disc jockey. Hank also told me that I had a gift and that I would use it to help people one day. I thought he was just a funny old man. That kind of statement was becoming all too familiar though.That is when we met Barb, Spirit Woman. She was a psychic that my mother began seeing. Mom would take me along and we would be amazed at how much Barb knew about our lives. She told us things that there was no way she could have known firsthand. She impressed us every time we visited her. Each time though she would tell me there was something special that I was to do. Finally, one day, I asked her what she meant. She told me that I was a Neo-Shaman and that I would help people in the same way Shamans had throughout time in virtually every culture but that I would do it in a modern context. I laughed. I was just becoming a teenager and although I found all of this quite interesting there were other, more important things on my mind, as you can well imagine. She was unrelenting though. Every time I saw her after that she kept telling me more about my Neo-Shamanic identity.She began to tell me of things that had happened when I was a kid. Filling in the understandings of things I took to be quite normal. For instance, I used to sit on my bedroom floor and put my baby blanket around me as my cape. I could "fly" then.


I would then look down on my self from the ceiling. A full out of body experience that I thought was just a game, but in reality was one of my first experiences with Shamanic Journeying. Barb began to connect the dots for me, all the while telling me that this was my path. my life, and that I must follow it. She used to get migraines and would ask me to just put my hands on her head because it made the pain go away. I thought it was fun because I got so much attention so I did it.


Then the day came that she insisted that I start doing readings for people. I went out and bought a deck of cards and started reading for people out of fun. I was fifteen and really didn't believe in myself as a reader as much as I trusted Barb and was just following her lead. That feeling from being saved in the church returned. I came alive when I would start to talk to people over a deck of tarot cards. The feedback was incredible, and as I noted before, I liked the attention. I began to realize that Barb was right. Although I was the one getting the attention, I wasn't the one giving the messages. The messages weren't coming from me they were coming through me. I was becoming a "conscious channeler" and Spirit was laying down some truths. I found myself talking to people about the most intimate and difficult aspects of their lives. Often speaking about things I had never personally experienced or thought about.


That is when I made the promise to Spirit. I vowed to help those that I could with my abilities and formally committed myself to the Neo-Shamanic Pathway that I have walked ever since.


I returned to Hilltop, this time as one of the core psychics of the group. I also began to draw on the many different cultures that included Shamanic Practitioners. I was amazed at how one experience or teacher led to the next. I learned of soul retrieval and journeying. I was taught how to work with the animal totems and spirits. I developed as an Intuitive and Healer. Through all of this I have developed quite a relationship with my own personal Spirit Guides and have gotten quite comfortable in my Neo-Shamanic identity. Many people take that for arrogance. It is actually a profound sense of being one with the all. That connection empowers us in a way that nothing else can. It is our Spirit that sustains us and through it we are a part of all things. So often I am asked by a client what their purpose in life is. I feel very blessed to know and be living mine.


Granted, I am fond of what a friend of mine refers to as "Shadow's gentle application of wood", referring to an ongoing joke about me hitting people between the eyes with a psychic 2x4 in my readings. Ok, I admit it. I don't believe you can teach empowerment by acting like a wimp. All these years later I am still learning, still trying to grow spiritually. The only work that I do now is my Neo-Shamanic work. I offer readings in person, by phone, recorded on cd or by email. I travel between several states doing workshops and "reading days" in people's homes. I teach people about their Spirit Guides and Animal Totems, and do healings whenever called for. It is challenging and rewarding work. I'm a's what I do.



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