Shamanic journey 1: the sturgeon

To the insistent beat of the drum
I drop out of this world
down tunnels and caverns
to an underground land.
I float in a canoe downriver to a lake
and enter the water.

To the insistent beat of the drum
I grasp a giant fish and am towed through the water
I clasp it to me and feel its rough skin
we surge forward, we rise and fall, we rove
many times with a few flicks of its tail we leap from the water
we twist and turn, we fly in the grey moisty air.

To the insistent beat of the drum
I put my question:
what is my gift to the world, what is my mission?

To the insistent beat of the drum
I hear this answer:
I am powerful in my own element.
Out of it, I am weak.
So it is with you.
What is your element?
That is for you to find and identify.
Your gift is to get into unusual places and report back.
That is also your mission.

To the insistent beat of the drum
I came back.
Now I am reporting.


I think it would be fair to assume that the earliest ‘religion’ in these lands, post ice age, in the mesolithic, would have been a form of shamanism. Most of what we know in terms of what that might have been like stems from reports of hunter-gatherer cultures round the world in more recent times. Plus we can reflect on whatever inner experiences we access for ourselves. I’ve always liked the vision quest type experience, and almost always found them relevant and insightful. Here’s an example of one I did, with the help of a shamanic lady from Settle, who held the space very beautifully for me. The insights I gained then, still seem to me true, relevant and powerful, even several years later.

For a stunning evocation of what mesolithic life might have been like in what is now the UK, see Margaret Elphinstone’s novel ‘The Gathering Night.’

This entry was posted in aug - oct 11 collection. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.