Three months after our journey together, its effects on me slowly trickle into my consciousness. There were times I wished we'd had more formal teachings, though I thought I appreciated all we did experience. I'm understanding, with gradually increasing depth, the extent of all I did learn. The experiences you gently guided us through circumvented my rational mind, affecting me directly through my heart and spirit.
Recently I have become aware that since Chile, I have been very open to divine feminine energy. I perceive (not just intellectually understand) Spirit as the Mother. When overwhelmed with difficult emotions, with energy which would crush me if I tried to contain it, I go out to the woods. I find myself spontaneously putting my bare hands on frozen mud, on melting snow. Pachamama dislodges my heavy energy, drinks it in and diffuses it. She holds me while I give her my tears, I surrender. It is similar to the way my daughter, full of huge emotions she doesn't try to contain, throws herself into my arms, buries her face in my shirt. She relaxes in my body, is renewed by the unconditional love pulsing through me from Pachamama. I too am nourished.
I have always wanted spriritual sisters and mothers in my life. They are with me, offering love and guidance, but physically distant from me. I'm beginning to accept the nurturing of Pachamama, the one who is always present for me. I cannot say precisely how, but our journey together in the mountains has brought me all this. The way I was opened in Chile has, perhaps, made my mundane life here more challenging, but I find I am also given the support and sustenance I need to meet the challenges. Thank you, my dear Sisters.
"Since time immemorial, people have gone to the wilderness to seek guidance and renewal, to let their old lives and old selves die,
to find the conditions where spirit may be rekindled, reborn within them."
Looking from the window of the airplane as we come into the airport, Santiago, Chile is much bigger than I expected. It reminds me a lot of Mexico City from the air. Even from this vantage point I feel my heart expand as I realize I have arrived in Chile, a land I have wanted to visit for a long time. On the plane with me are six women who have had the courage to accompany me on this journey as I not only come to Chile for the first time but lead my first group there. Two of them are women I know the other four are strangers that will soon become sisters. As the plane taxis down the runway, we have arrived and I feel like I had come home.
I have waiting a long time for the opportunity to study with a female shaman. Finding contemporary female teachers of ancient wisdom traditions is not easy. Many medicine women from other cultures are practicing their healing traditions in remote mountains or in the back of their kitchens unaware that sisters in the United States are searching for them. Often there are cultural barriers as well as language barriers. I have always been attracted to South America shamanism and earth based practices. I have studied shamanic practices of the Peruvian tradition with a native teacher who was male and I longed for a female mentor, in the shamanic tradition. When I first saw Luzclara, a medicine woman from Chile, years ago, I knew I would someday study with her in her native Chile.
“Walking the Bones of The Mother”, is an immersion experience with nature, the Andes, the Chilean people and oneself. When I go out into nature and the wilderness I am immediately in touch with my soul, my oneness and my vulnerability. This experience was not only exciting but it stretched my envelop and moved me to new depths of my being. Everyday was a new experience into self understanding. Our guide and teacher was Luzclara, a Chilean medicine women who is an initiated Machi in the Mapuche tradition. The Machi, who are the shamans, are usually women and Luzclara was the first non-Mapuche to be initiated into the traditions. She is down to earth, open and accessible, which made for a deep and intimate experience for everyone. I have worked with Luzclara in Minnesota and going to Chile to work with her was a dream come true for me. To be co-facilitator of the group was an honor.
I often find that when I make a commitment to take this kind of journey things begin to stir below the surface to prepare me for what is to come before I reach my destination. I committed to my own transformation, to support the women I was bringing with me transform and to teaching dream work. Some of my preparation began in my dreams. I asked each woman to begin working with Herkimer Diamonds, the dreaming stone, so we could begin to connect and dream together while we were still at home and so our journey together began in dreamtime.
To give you a flavor for what this trip was about I include the following trip from the brochure we created: ”We will travel to the Chilean Andes mountains to dream with our eyes open during a spectacular ten day journey of healing and ceremony. Our emphasis will be to connect to our Mother and allow her to hold us while we heal our deepest wounds. We will assist you in your healing process touching every level of your being with herbs, sound, water, fire and pure light. You will witness ancient healing ceremonies like the traditional Machitún from the Mapuche people and you will experience how we invite the spirits of the Earth to join with us. You will go through rites of passages that will allow you to leave behind those parts of yourself that no longer serve you and you will have the opportunity to discover those gifts that are waiting for you to have a more fulfilling live.”
It was all of that and much more. We spent the first two days in Chile at cabins nestled in the mountains, by a powerful river. I say cabins, but it was like being in our own private resort, complete with swimming pool, hot tub, wonderful food, beautiful cabins, cozy beds and a message therapist. It was a chance for us to relax from our long trip to Chile, meld as a group and begin an intimate journey together as we prepared for the ride into the Andes Mountains on horseback.
I haven't been on a horse for about 20 years and I am afraid of heights so I was a little apprehensive as we began the ascent into the mountains. After connecting with my horse the fear left me. We arrived at the place that would become our home for the next 6 days after an hour and a half horseback ride. Each women had a small tent of her own in our camp on a plateau in the Andes. As we arrived we were greeted by condors, the largest bird of prey in South America, which we took as an omen and blessing for our stay. Our camp was about a half mile walk from the kitchen, which was a small wooden house with a shelter attached that had no refrigeration. Despite this the food we ate each day was fresh and delicious. On the day we arrived the long table was set for the arrival of queens, complete with wine glasses and paper napkins, in the middle of the wilderness. From our table we could see mountains in every direction.
I was initiated in many ways during the 11 days we spent in Chile, but one particular experience was the most powerful. I have been afraid of heights since I was a child, so I knew it would be a challenge for me to go into the mountains on horseback. I had envisioned narrow paths with thousand foot drops and indeed there were a few of them. I was amazed that after a few minutes on the horse my fears dissolved and I began to trust the horse with my life. On the third day we were in the mountains we ventured out on horseback to a cave where we would have a picnic. We traveled 15-20 miles up into the mountains as we wound our way to the cave.
Once again I was surprised at how I didn’t feel fear and I even looked out over the expanses and down thousands of feet to the river below. The scenery was breathtaking and awe inspiring at every corner. My horse and I had come to an agreement that I would leave the reigns loose so he could navigate the trails without me trying to control him. I felt that the horse had done this many times and knew better than I did what to do. We were riding on a path that was about a foot wide, with a sudden drop that went on forever at my right. We came to an incline that we needed to go down and someone ahead of me said “ remember to tighten the reigns when you go down.” I looked down and to the side and the long drop made me a bit nervous, so instead of trusting the agreement I had with my horse, I tightened my reigns.
As I tightened the reigns, my horse stood up on his hide legs. Something came over me that I can only describe as Divine Intervention as I was sent into my calm, still center. I held the edge of the saddle as the horse reared up two more times and turned in a complete circle as we hovered over the edge of the canyon on the narrow path. I really didn't know what to do to get the horse under control and was afraid if I did anything it could send him the wrong message. I knew that one missed step would send us both over the edge, tumbling to the canyon below, and it could happen in a matter of seconds. Instinctively I knew that if I went into fear it would be a disaster. I stayed calm yet apprehensive at the same time. Soon the lead horseman was at my side and I passed off the reigns so that he could get the horse under control. Anon, the lead horseman had trained these horses the way the Horse Whisper had. To get to where I was he had to gallop his horse precariously along the edge of the cliff we were on. The young horseman who was behind me helped turn my horse around on this narrow path so we were able to slide down the incline and get back on the journey. Surprisingly I was able to move back into the space were I was not afraid so I could enjoy the scenery again. I rode on awestruck by what had happened.
Luzclara and I agreed that this was a huge initiation, as she told me that nothing like this had ever happened before in all of the years she had taken people on horse back into the Andes. For me it was an initiation into my power and ability to trust myself, my experience and not go into fear. I gained a new level of respect for myself, for the horses and the horsemen who trained them to carry riders safely over the bones of the Mother. This experience impacted me on levels that I am yet to express. I also felt that it happened to me to show the others in the group that we were completely safe no matter what happened because of the skill of the horsemen and the training of the horses.
I know this kind of spiritual work well enough to know that the path brings us what we need so we can learn. What happened to me will probably never happen to anyone else because I needed to be at the mountains edge with the horse in order to get in touch with my hesitation about stepping fully onto my path and standing in my power. The lesson was thrust in my face because I needed it. Horse power has a whole new meaning to me now.
There were many experiences on this trip that are hard to put into words. Through Luzclara we experience ancient ritual and ceremony of the Mapuche people. Mapuche means “people of the Earth” and these are people who live as one with the earth and all of the cosmos. The Mapuche people have their own dream practice which highlighted to me the importance of my continuing to support the dreaming and teach others to dream. As a dream teacher I feel connected to the ways of the Mapuche people.
I have been a Kultrun carrier for about a year. The Kultrun, which is a healing drum, is believed to be the quintessential shamanic instrument for the Mapuche people and it is the repository of the Machi’s voice and accompanies her song. During this trip I was able to go through an official ceremony blessing of my kultrun and receive my medicine name. After the the new kultrun carriers finished painting the sacred symbols on their drums we built a fire and made offerings of salt, sugar and native herbs and from the smoke that was created our kultruns were blessed and empowered. Following this we did a sacred healing ceremony called a Machitun, in which we incorporated sound healing. The person receiving the Machitun can have visions, physical sensation and profound healing. I have a deep gratitude for the honor to be able to work with this powerful healing medicine as a kultrun carrier.
I had expected that this would be an adventure of a lifetime and I was not disappointed. Along the way nature conspired to bring us synchronistic events that deepened the experience. Each of us was stretched on all levels that brought us new awareness and transformed us. I will be leading more journeys to Chile in the future for those who would like to break out of there current safety zone and learn how to soar with the eagle and the condor.
I have heard the call of Spirit to attend LuzClara's healing weekends twice. What most impressed me was her energy field. Looking into her eyes as she greeted each of us I could feel the energy of the weekend building.
All of us who were drawn to attend that weekend brought our own healing energy and had it amplified in the Sacred space we created. As a Healer I opened myself to the healing I needed. I let go, trusted Spirit, trusted LuzClara and trusted the space we had created. My healing occurred on many levels, some I had never experienced before. We laughed, we cried, we danced and we held Sacred space for each other as the healing occurred whenever and however it needed to occur.
The quality I love the most about being in circle with LuzClara is that she empowers every single person there. It's not about her and she lets that be known up front. It's about each of us and Spirit and the healing that is destine to occur. She brings the Sacred container and we all fill it.
Honoring all who live in the web LuzClara weaves. Namaste' Bekki
Luz Clara's work is powerful and magical at the same time..she evokes Spirit in a group context unlike any healer I have experienced. The weekend we spent with her was truly timeless and , speaking for myself, it was a truly transformative experience!! I recommend her most highly to any spiritual seeker.
Dr. David K. Banner
Director, MBA program
La Cosse, WI, USA.
Luzclara has studied Spiritual healing intensively while traveling to many parts of the world and is able to blend these experiences into a very powerful approach to her own and others healing, including that of the earth. She represents to me someone who has done their own work on themselves (and continues to) and expresses power in a way that helps others claim their own in a collaborative rather than competitive way. Luzclara creates a very safe space for people to be vulnerable and witnessed by others in a supportive, loving way.
Luzclara is a master of creating healing ceremonies where all are involved and feel not only empowered but deeply impacted by the healing that is witnessed and felt by everyone participating together in harmony and connected with Spirit.
Kathryn Hietbrink LCSW, CMT
School Social Worker and Massage Therapist.
this letter I carry in my heart from few days and steep by steep I transform it from the heart to virtual paper. J
I need to tell you, how important was for me our meeting, and how it changed me. And I please God to find clear and right words to express it.
All time with you here was important and amazing – the meeting in Nalanda, work session in Sady, the individual session, and our treep to airport this sunny, early morning. Just I was a bit sad that in the same time I had the most busy week in my work (because of the festival), so I couldn’t spend as much time with you in Wroclaw, as I wish.
I received so many gifts in our work, so many little-understandings, touching and heart-opening stories, talks, and sister’s experiences. I am so happy that my lovely friends – Ola, Agnieszka, and 2nd Agnieszka were there with me! And also another Agnieszka and Marta could met you in the individual session. It’s really made us much more close to each other and now we feel special connection, what is giving big support and lot of joy. Another big gift was to meet all this beautiful women, specially Lidia, with who I feel some strong connection “from the past”, and we become be very close, as we know each other from always – it’s very strong, beautiful and full of Love meeting.
But what I want to say the most is my gratefulness to you for our talk in individual session. When many months ago Agnieszka told me that beyond group session there will be possible have individual meeting with you, I felt that it is finally time and opportunity to share my “painful story” and once for always to leave it, to heal it, and continue the Way without this heaviness… I was so sure I can trust you totally and tell all, what needs to be heal. As you know, I was keeping my strange-Love-story so many years, and it was really “eating” lot of my energy. I felt like in some close circle and didn’t know how to go out from this – sometimes when we are long time in some situation, we don’t see it clear anymore and we need so much someone, who can see it from outside, and open our eyes. I always trusted my wisdom and inner voice and can not full understand why this one time I lost the guiding, and wanted to force something, what was not good for me, and I ignore many signs warning me against this relation.
After the individual session with you I feel so, SO BIG energetic change, like you really cut some invisible energetic link, what I had with this men from many years. I feel like you gave me back my pure, light energy, pure Love and open heart. I see it and feel in many levels – in my breath, what is now like ocean of silence, in my chakras, what are free, in the sound of my voice, in the movement of my body... I am really in shock, so many years I was energetic prisoner of this “love” relation and I was really not aware of it!!! Even, you know, some periods we didn’t see each other with this man few months or one year, but somehow he was connected to/with me and it blocked me – I felt it sometimes as kind of holding in my chest – kind of scarceness or anxiety. Or sometimes in the throw during breathing, speaking. Now I am so free, so peaceful, and my heart chakra is back full of Love, without the scariness. I am sorry for writing so much ;), but I want you to understand that after 6 years you gave me back my freedom, and now I really feel all my wishes can become the true. Specially this about singing, as my voice is now more free, clear, and when I sing with my choir very high (I am the 1st soprano) I do it without any effort, as never before! Even when I speak, it is much different, and also all the body feeling. All came back to the right place. And even if days are very busy – my work is full of international projects, guests, theater work sessions; and between this I assist in yoga lessons and sing – I feel BIG SILENCE, like I lie on the surface of ocean of Love and Harmony.
Thank you so much for hearing me with so big, open heart! In the morning before the session I was a bit afraid, but when we sit face to face on the pillows, I felt so save, and also so touched that you came here from so far away and I had this gift to speak with you without any inhibition/shame. I didn’t have any expectations what will happen, just was sure I must let some stories go out from me with words. It was like confession to Mother, who is full of Love and understanding, and who – I was sure – will not judge me. Dearest Sister, it was one of the most important conversations ever in my life. The meeting of naked souls, who are in the journey through this word – the journey towards the Light J. If all meetings and conversations will be like this, we’ll have real Paradise on this Planet! J
I remember once you sad, that “THERE” – let’s call it “Heaven” or the place where we came from – is better that here, in body-life. But I am so grateful that you are here for some time now, as we all need you so much! J All your words, stories, messages from your tribe, are already part of us, of me – story about your Mother’s dead, about your friend who had depression, and you took her to your home and took care of her, stories about men-woman relations… Thank you, Dear, for sharing your experience and life-wisdom. I will always remember all of this and try do my best on the Path. And if any difficulties will come, I’ll always have the image of you sitting in
Estoy profundamente impactada y emocionada con todas las experiencias que hemos vivido estos dias en la montana Shasta ... Me siento con una comprension mas profunda de nuestra Amada Madre Tierra ... sorprendida ... con sus manifestaciones, su Energia, sus Mensajes y sus respuestas ... y con un orgullo de mi ser , de mi femeneidad ... de respeto y amor que han incrementado mi sensibilidad y mi conciencia ... y que me han inspirado una nueva manera de ver la vida y de vivirla a plenitud ...
Te agradeszo profundamente tu disposicion en esta tu mision de luz ... porque transformas las vidas de quienes en la obscuridad buscamos el camino ... por largo tiempo ...y anoramos volver a sentir ... volver a llenarnos de ese amor que perdimos ... por el paso del tiempo y las circunstancias ... y que la luz que reflejas nos lo muestra ...
Te honro ... tambien por el amor que irradias ... y el ejemplo que nos has dado .... por tu tiempo ... y todo el conocimiento que nos brindas y sobretodo por tu diposicion al servicio a los demas ...
Un abrazo ... Alejandra