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Sandra Corcoran on 'Shamanic Awakening'

Shamanic Awakening
Inner Traditions

Q&A with Sandra Corcoran on "Shamanic Awakening My Journey Between The Dark And The Daylight"

1. What does it mean from your perspective to have a shamanic awakening?

I feel a shamanic awakening is a shift in personal awareness that has the potential to create a new or different conscious choice in how you wish to show up, and experience life in a more whole, authentic, or centered way. I think that awakening can occur in many and varied ways, not just shamanic experiences. I refer to it as shamanic because of the tools and teachers that led me deeper within myself, opening up a richer and fuller Earthwalk. Working in the shamanic realms created something deeply passionate within, and for me, because I was able to tap well below the surface, into those places where I needed to confront and bring light to my woundedness; I was experiencing healing within myself, and the teachings made that real for me. The work gave me access to where we all have to eventually face our inner victim, our inner bully, our inner shadow, and embrace our inner knowing, inner healer, and greater light of being. The shamanic work moved me past my own limitations that had held me to repetition, continuously influencing the power of the wounds, which I sought so desperately to distance myself from.

However, any woman or man seeking a more engaged or empowered life, has the potential to move beyond their wounds, their status quo, or their reactions to how their past influences them emotionally/mentally; it is a personal choice for change. I do not feel you need to work with a shaman, a healer, a priest, a therapist, a guru, or the like, to take those steps that may move you beyond where you find yourself (that is assuming you are unhappy or dissatisfied with your current Earthwalk circumstances), but they can become worthy guides to help reflect back to you, what you hold within. The shadow self, or those aspects that we continue to bury, deny, or use to bully others, or as an excuse to not change our circumstances, are ours alone to name and change. We think that no one can see them, as we pretend they don't exist, but in actuality our very life is a reflection of that lack of personal balance. Without the desire to want different, or change our life situations, we cannot make that wounded aspect our ally, and as such continue the loop of anger, denial, shame, and sadness we feel. Those issues are there as mirrors of growth, not punishments.

We each have a journey, it's called our life. I sought mine through the shamanic experiences that were offered me over the years. I learned that the loss and deaths I was experiencing, when viewed beyond the pain they created, showed me that there is a ‘greater whole.’ By cultivating awareness that those painful times were part of the fabric of all I was, I embraced them (instead of hating them) as part of my own growth and soul’s evolution. I think we are each a unique expression of divinity here on the earth plane, and though along the way we all have possibly made some bad choices, or had some horrible things happen for us, the best of humanity shares a common goal, and that is to recognize that each time we raise our own consciousness we help raise the consciousness for humanity to new octaves of awareness. This is not a grandiose statement, infact I say it quite humbly. It is the promise we made Great Mystery, the All that Is, God/Goddess, that our own unique expression offers back to Creation another understanding. How we refine the experience of this very defined time/space present incarnation is the gift of having an Earthwalk. That knowledge was part of my awakening.

2. Could you go into your journey between the dark and the daylight and what you mean by that?

I have experienced many deep losses and intimate deaths in my life; whether that is of people I have loved, the end of reality as I had previously known it, or things I made my way through such as divorce, illness, loss of home. In many ways that is not unique just to me, what is unique to each of us is how we hold and face those challenges. Each of those times felt beyond dark, and though I had family and friends, as many of us do during those times, I felt utterly alone. Coming more and more into the light of myself triggered by my indigenous teachers and my own desire to confront those fixed realities became small moments to experience the gift of the rising sun of a new day. Everything is energy, and everything moves in cycles. What I learned is that there will always be a birth, life, death, and rebirth. I stopped hating the experiences, and used them to re-frame both them and myself into a lighter place of trusting eventually that these things were not necessarily happening to me, but for me. That somewhere along the line I had contracted for these encounters to grow my soul. I forgave myself for how I chose to learn those things, and others for being the teachers of that pain.

The hardest path we all must learn to walk is the one that moves from our head to our heart. The heart keeps us connected to life, and to each other, and as such every relationship we have is moderated through our heart. Our hearts, and our trust in that which is beyond our present understanding, can be easily wounded when things don‘t go the way we had hoped for, or planned for, but the lesson it provides assists us to dig deeper into our own potential. Humanity is frail, but life is a beautiful opportunity to grow the Self, as we realize that the only thing that separates us from our self, and from each other, is our fear of standing in the light of all we are.
When I learned that, really learned that, I could accept equally the dark and the daylight.

3. Would you go into your background with working with wisdom keepers and some things they taught you?

I have had the honor of working with wisdom-keepers and elders for the past 30 years throughout North, Central and South America. What brought me to many of them was the death of my first daughter, I did not go looking, but I will be forever grateful for the gift. I started out as a special needs educator, then moved into being a body-oriented psychotherapist using a wide variety of modalities, both current and esoteric. Eventually along the way, I gave much of that up to become a shamanic counselor because of the lessons I was learning and the potential I could see for helping others. I want to be clear that I do not consider myself a shaman. Shamans come from the Tunsic/Tungus region of Siberia, although today it has become part of the popular lexicon. Everyone today is a shaman, and I say that with a sense of humor. In the tradition of the People, one never refers to themselves as a shaman, healer, medicine person....that is a title given by the People in recognition for the work you do within the community. That said I see myself as a shamanic counselor and I distinguish that as using the tools I was taught to help others come into the magic and mystery within themselves.

At their core most of their my mentors offered teachings that reflected similar concepts, and although they may sound simple, their teachings were not simplistic. For each culture, Nature herself is an intrinsic part of expanding our awareness of the world of living energies that surround us: our need be grateful for, and care-take the Earth for all she has offered us. To care for the elemental worlds that inhabit the Earth, for once we alienate them through our ignorance, greed, manipulation, and destruction they will move out of alignment with us-just look at the level of storms-hurricanes, tornadoes, and snow storms that we have been experiencing in the past few years. We see it world-wide with droughts, chem trails, fracking, under water sonar disturbing ancient species, the destruction of our own air supply through deforestation, the disruption of our genetics through genetically modified seeds and over inoculation/medications. That manipulation, superiority and blindness are causing disruptions that will eventually be impossible to control.

The second thing they universally mention is the need to link with our ancestors, our personal family constellations, as they carry the vibration from which we've come to this earth plane. Good, bad, or indifferent it is less about embracing and more about being compassionate with yourself for the contract you chose this time around. Understanding that choice, is another way to forgive and be more conscientious about planting new karmic seeds moving forward. To understand that we chose circumstances prebirth to stretch and grow the higher Self or the evolution of the soul. To realize that although we are each our own unique expression of divinity within these physical templates and personalities, at our core we all come from, and will return to the One, the Absolute, Great Mystery, God, at some point it is all semantics. There is something far greater than our puny fragile human selves and life is a great gift of growing that we have been given; we all have the potential for infinite possibilities because we are part of that greater Whole. Until we understand that we are all one, in a different age and stage of conscious development, we will accuse, betray, kill, and wreak havoc on each other, not understanding that we are ultimately doing that to our Self.

Third I would suggest they all encouraged the recognition and power of the dream time and the need to delve into the shadow self, as each are great teachers within us, as we move forward in our own process of enlightenment. And, finally how we stand in our power. By that I mean the act of personal accountability, gratitude, and the need for personal action to initiate the change we wish to experience. Without discernment and action nothing happens.

4. Lately I have felt drained and dealing with a lot of negative energy and feeling a bit fed up with this world when it comes to surviving the system and the selfishness and greed from others regarding money. Also when it comes to meeting the opposite sex my mojo has felt distant. Shamanic wise what would you recommend to help me reach a state of healing or more positive direction?

I say this with no hubris or judgment, it is infact something one of my teachers once said to me....stop whining, life can be hard, but we make it harder when we don't instigate the changes that would create more happiness. She told me every day when I wake up to ask myself, “Am I happy with where I find myself?” If the answer was yes, then be grateful and reach out to someone who might need your help, even if it is only to give a smile. If the answer is no, look deeper, what do you personally need to be responsible for to be happier. Don't wait for someone else to change it, that;s giving both your power and choice to another. She encouraged me to “just start where you find yourself.” Sometimes this is neither easy nor convenient, but what is the alternative if you wish to experience more lightness of being.

It is true that many people are leaving the planet and dying at this time, and things feel more crushing because we are moving through an incredible paradigm shift that doesn't take place but every so many thousands of years. With over 7 billion people on a planet that simply cannot sustain that many, it is obvious that many souls signed up to experience this momentous time, no matter the cost, and I would hope because of the potential. And with that many people comes greed, abuse, selfishness, manipulation, and many others who are in the throes of ill health due to all the disruptions we are causing in our environment on this rather small planetary body. Seen from the viewpoint that it is the last vestiges of the old, dense encrusted systems dying because they no longer serve or support the highest good-yes it feels like we just want to pull a blanket over our heads and give up....but again, how does that help.

Not trying to psychoanalyze you, but regards your 'mojo': one of the reasons we come here is to merge the sacred marriage of the self. No matter our gender or sexual inclinations, we all need to balance our Divine Feminine (our eros, intuition, creativity, passionate purpose) with our Divine Masculine (our logos, right will, focus and discipline)-we all need both to walk in balance. Maybe the opposite sex feels distant to you Jeffrey, because you are distant from the Divine Feminine within yourself. Maybe ask where you need communication and honest understanding between those two parts of your self. Possibly your DM is too focused every day and there is not enough joy of creating; on the other hand maybe your DF is intuiting you need a change of venue and you are ignoring her whisperings? I don't pretend to know what will re-engage that energy within you, that's your job to discover, if you wish for it to change it. Start a discussion between the two, in whatever is your way (meditation, prayer, a walk in nature); possibly then you can take yourself off the 'cross' and experience that the union your knowledge and compassion provides the Self, is not just about balancing the DF & DM, but is more complete because you allow your celestial self to fully engage your terrestrial self, and bring more or different to your particular Earthwalk. Just saying Jeffrey, you did ask :)

5. What would you like to share with us regarding multidimensional realms and the shaman traveling these worlds?

The multi- and inter dimensional realms that exist beyond, within, and outside of time, space and breath, are as vast as one can imagine and then squared well beyond that. Those realms cannot always be perceived by our senses, but our senses can act as barometers of information. Traveling in those realms is more inner work, than outer work. You access the refined energy of the the higher realms of existence broadening your awareness, when you have negotiated the denser energies you hold in, or against, yourself. That cleansing is a constant life lesson for one doing this work, any work really, for it will help move you past where the ego defines and limits more growth. I think the greatest gift the shamanic experience can offer you, if you allow, is that as you travel those inner and outer cords that keep us attached to the web of life, there is the potential for you to realize those realms are open to anyone.

Since I started working in the shamanic realms close to thirty years ago, there has been a growing body of evidence that our thoughts, emotions and our environment, influence our physiological state, and even our DNA in terms of which genes get turned on and off. Physicists, biologists, organic chemist, neuroscientists, and those in the newer fields of epigenetics and the mind-body-heart coherence-spirit connection are actually supporting the beliefs and experiences of shamanic practitioners¾which is that imbalances in the different energy bodies affect the luminous layers of vibrating energy filaments that make each of us up, impacting our life source energy and our well being. The concept of soul retrieval for example, has changed little throughout the centuries, attesting to its potency as a healing paradigm. It allows the practitioner and the client, access to the multi- and inter-dimensional states of the Self, which is ultimately where we really exist in the expression of Source.

6. What would you like to share with us from the book that our readers might find interesting? A wild card question if you will.

With your permission I am going to go a little rogue here. I was asked a question recently that I think is pertinent, “Do you think that in contemporary society we can be led to believe we need to obtain a certain item (or items) before we can carry out any work and that the monetary value of the tool somehow affects the value of the work?”

There is a vast industry that has cropped up around the New Age, shamanistic, crystal healing, angelic awareness, alternative healing paradigms. Owning the biggest Lemurian crystal, carrying a Peruvian misha/mesa, an expensive set of mala beads, or receiving an eagle feather, does not mean anything if you don‘t understand how to create the energy and work with the energies each is meant to manifest. You need a foundation that goes well beyond a weekend workshop. Knowing how to work with these tools, or having no tools at all to do healing or ceremonial work, and getting results, is the point. As the late Chippewa Teacher Sun Bear said many years ago in a workshop I attended: “If you can’t stand stark naked in the middle of a desert without your rattle or feather or drum and do your work, you are not the power of the work, merely the owner of a beautiful feather.” Even going to power places all over the earth does not mean you will become any more enlightened than someone who doesn‘t have an opportunity to go…..where ever your feet are on the Mother Earth is sacred, and the power comes from taking care of the land around us, and being grateful for all that She gives us. Yes, you can become ‘quickened’ at sacred sites because the energies of thousands of people, for thousands of years, attending to them for similar purposes has imbued those structures with certain frequencies, but only if you are ready to absorb that energy, and not necessarily because you are sitting in front of a pyramid.

We do not live in a vacuum, nor do we live like ancient Egyptians, Incas, or Me-xi-ca/Maya. It is true we have lost something in our fast paced industrialized world, and these ancient traditions have the capacity to give us back a bit of our own light, that many of us feel lacking in the day to day; the expansion to be more aligned with our true nature enriches our lives, while we go about being the very human beings that we all are. The teachings, and what we use to work the teachings, have the potential to help us navigate our current world, and the vagaries of the day to day because as tools they can align us with an ancient cord that has the potential to expand in us greater awareness and deeper knowing, but the implements do not hand us the keys to the kingdom.

7. I am curious to if the wisdom keepers you have worked with have had any thing to share about the star people or anything fascinating regarding the spirit world that you remember. Anything you would like to share?

This is a huge topic. The simple answer is yes, almost every culture has their remembrances of the Star Beings and how they impacted many root races on the Earth, and still do. Tribal and cultural myths and ceremonial practices are full of those connections. A 2010 Gallup Poll revealed that over a 100 million people world-wide have seen or encountered something from off-planet worlds. Even the Vatican has it's documentation from very early times and have observatories just like NASA and other countries around the world. That said in these digital times forgeries can be faked, and there are any number of debunkers and those within governments and huge corporations that hide those facts.

The spirit world is a different topic than the Star Beings, and just as rich. Our reality is not solely defined by that which we can perceive through our normal senses. For example human eyes can only perceive that which is in the visible light spectrum, but some animals can see beyond that to infrared and ultraviolet light. The same holds true for anomalous experiences: some people can perceive the frequencies and wave lengths at which fairies, orbs, ghosts and even UFO vibrate. Not being able to perceive these entities and objects is more about conforming to the consensus opinion of what is real, and/or what those in high places of power wish to feed us, than to what reality actually is.

8. Death seems to be a big bummer for me lately. From losing people to people getting sick and aren't able to be healed. Why do you think we come to this realm of the Earth? Forced or for another reason? S

ee my answer to question 4, I think these are similar....that said:
We are not forced, in my opinion, to come to earth bound reality ever. I think it is a choice we each individually make to further release the karmic seeds we have planted in other lifetimes, or out of love, (if indeed we are One), to fulfill an agreement or contract with another soul to assist their journey. Although I believe at our source we are part of the One, and the One is never separate from us as we co-create new and varied levels of awareness, without a doubt we have come to learn and participate in something that has been evolving for millennium. I don't just think we incarnate here though. I think we have lived many vibrational experiences on other planetary systems, in other dimensions, as other beings, whether that's (within this planetary expression), a different race, color, creed, gender or even the expression or frequency of trees, water, a bird, etc. One of my teachers, Maya Perez told me once, that we are all here at this time to learn how to hold and manifest the higher vibrations of our potential, and that we cannot walk away from the problems that have been created, but to awaken to where we are still asleep to our potential. To this end she said, “In every incarnation, each of us has the capacity to learn to be more humble and to walk in the awareness of the light we actually are. We are here now so that every thought form and action that our souls have experienced since the beginning of time, can be healed.” From birth till death (and beyond) we are all in this together.

9. I have a lot of interesting interactions with the sun where I know its interacting with my soul and body on some level. What is a sun bath?

My understanding is that a 'sun bath' is an energetic communication in which one intends to bring down the sun's energy, through our light body, enlivening our body with the sun's light encoded energy, sending it down into the Mother Earth, connecting the two cosmic bodies of Sun & Earth, and then sending that loop of energy back up to the sun as an act of ayni. Ayni in the south central Andean Mystical Traditions, and the Toltec traditions, is seen as an act of reciprocity. Because the sun is a star, this is an energetic exchange that is good for our organs and aligns us with the light of that which is beyond the corporeal. It's radiance encodes our human form, as our cells are made up of mainly light and water, it helps quicken us. The sun is the symbol of our connection to the Great Central Sun, and is here to remind us of our inner divine spirit and its capacities creating movement within our life. The sun was worshiped by earth-based cultures not as a god but as a fount of living energies, it connects us to the cosmos from which we came and of which we are a part.

10. What are you up to next book wise or projects wise and any links you'd like to share? Thank you for this interview.

I am in the beginning stages of writing another book and it would seem from a recent dream and series of circumstances, there may be another one right behind it on an entirely different topic. Right now I have a full practice with my clients, workshops that I do nationally and internationally, plus yearly sacred journeys, so I am holding some of the writing at a distance until I can have a chunk of time to settle into it. Plus to help market this current book, Shamanic Awakening: my journey Between the Dark and the Daylight, it appears I needed to come into the 21st century and learn more about electronics and social media, for such things as you-tube, radio, digital recordings and the like. I chuckle at that because I have always felt far more comfortable in the ethers than electronics. I thank you for this interview and would welcome any of your guests to be in touch with me through my website, I would respectfully ask though that your listeners not send me their dreams and extraordinary experiences to discuss or decode, that is their work, and I am convinced if they look within they will find the answers, and they'll be better than mine.

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