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Two Sides of the Training Coin: Spiritual Development and Shamanic Apprenticeship

The spiritual development/shamanic apprenticeship pace has been moving at a speed I’d only experienced while living in Peru in active Ayahuasca ceremony. But for a person who is in a life purpose apprenticeship, the training never stops. It takes twists and turns, ebbs and cycles. But it never stops.

We reached some deep core beliefs the other day about the “not deserving of love”/”not good enough for love” fear that so many of us walk around with at the very root of our defense systems. It’s not always accessible, but when intention is set on this work, it usually leads to some version of those core beliefs…



Crumbling Massive Structures: Co-Dependence and Femininity

Man, sometimes it’s hard to fathom how these processes work. But they do. If you want the background as to how the Universe set this space up, click HERE.

My Judgements on “Femininity”

So the pieces that I had gotten so far in this round of processing had to do with my judgement against what I considered to be “femininity” (way deeper than I realized) and deep-seated insecurity protected by a thick-ass energetic structure of ‘rescuer’ archetype applied to relationships (creating unhealthy co-dependency as a pattern.) Also a theme since puberty of chasing and longing for unavailable men.

The femininity piece clarified in a way I hadn’t seen before. I’ve historically prided myself on not being a “girlie girl” (a huge tell in itself) and been one of those “cool girls” who hangs out with dudes, or with girls who are also like that. I have a couple of more “feminine” friends, but who aren’t going to be spending time gossiping and talking about lipstick. Hear the judgement in my words? I wasn’t even thinking those thoughts consciously since they were dug in so far under the belief system.

I also had this longstanding hesitation with owning the fact that I’m bisexual. It’s not so much a cultural fear (since I already live in the fringes and have a strong rebel archetype – plus have many LGBTQ friends), but I couldn’t put my finger on why I didn’t feel like I actually was. It was like I had a sexual attraction to women, but not an emotional one, so I felt like that was false advertising or something…


Personal Spiritual Development Journals Return: The Whirlwind of Accelerated Learning, Healing and Unconditional Love

This last month (during the Retrograde) has been simply wild. Amazing, Vulnerably uncomfortable at least once a day, and still embarrassing. It’s a new approach that is a straight up gift from the Universe. New techniques coming through. New channels opening. All outside of Ayahuasca Ceremony (but held in a container with the Medicine energetically) and for once, the easy, fluid, loving way. But still kind of crazy.

Click the article for the full story, but this shit is wild, and it’s just the beginning. Make sure to subscribe if you want to get notifications, because this might get very interesting 😉


Carbon Bodies

I spent a lot of years neglecting the body and underestimating its vital role in our spiritual process. It’s literally the medium that we experience our lives through – and getting to know its tendencies as an individual is imperative to being able to understand what’s happening for us on a higher plane.

I once heard in Ayahuasca ceremony, you can only go spiritually as far as you can physically. 


The True Gift of Spiritual Friendships

There’s family you choose, and there’s family you’re assigned to (whether it’s spiritually or otherwise is debatable). Then there’s the family that flows.

Spiritual friendships (aka – friendships that have been clearly made manifest from powers beyond are own) are one of the greatest gifts to humanity, especially on this path. Recognizing their true value helps so much. Because this shit is hard enough.


The World’s Best Practices for Integrating Ayahuasca – Kerry Moran, M.A., LPC (

Working with the Amazonian plant medicine ayahuasca presents enormous psycho-spiritual challenges. In my experience as a meditator and psychotherapist, no other process comes close to ayahuasca’s power to activate body, psyche, and spirit, releasing that which has been trapped in the unconscious into the light of awareness. Each moment of bliss in ceremony can be offset by an equal amount of terror; it seems the heights to which one journeys are underpinned by the absolute dregs of experience. It requires a great deal of courage and no small amount of savvy to fathom this, to navigate skillfully through the process, and, especially, to apply the fruits of the journey to one’s life.


Is the Blind Spot of Spiritual Arrogance Slowing Our Process?

I know – the scary, sensitive, defense-producing sound of the word arrogance (especially when it’s aimed at us.) Add ‘spiritual’ in front of it, and many of us are defending the truth of who we are at all cost, down to the very core of our being.

Except – we’re not. We’re defending our perception that someone else can’t see us clearly. That someone thinks we might not be who we really are. Worse, that they think we’re full of shit or (gasp!) that we don’t know what we’re talking about. We’re not defending our spirit (all of our higher selves are badasses and way past that shit.) Let’s be real – we’re defending our insecurity.


The New Deception: the “Sexy, Spiritual, Successful Goddess” – Laura Matsue

“These days women are not only haunted by the usual Matrix images in the media telling them what to look like, what to eat, and how to live (lifestyle porn) but even in the spiritual community women are now being programmed through the whole “spiritual goddess” and “vegan yogi” culture-trends to be another thing: sexy, successful, perfect and of course, ultra-spiritual, demi-gods who are “manifestors of abundance” (who can teach you how to be like them!) along with a whole other bunch of New Age catchphrases that present a new certain stereotype of how the “spiritual woman” should look like, act like, and be like.”


Internal Struggle of the Feminine Aspects: Lilith vs Eve

There’s no doubt in my mind that a cultural shift is happening, bringing the feminine into more natural alignment with the historically masculine-dominated collective. I see it daily in dynamics of relationships, approaches to parenting, and permeating the media. Sometimes it over-corrects to a fault, which happens when any aspect of self is suppressed, suffocated, and has to explode in order to find it’s natural place among all our various pieces of self.


Ayahuasca Emotional Purging (After Ceremony and at Home)

One of the first things people think of when it comes to Ayahuasca ceremony is the purging: the best friend/worst enemy puke bucket, the toilet paper rolls for inevitable eye and nose faucets, the exact path to be taken to the bathroom if it gets really bad. The physical purging is one of the main reasons people are attracted to the Ayahuasca plant Medicine in the first place; not for the fun of it, but for the efficiency in which trapped emotions and energies can leave the body. It accelerates a personal or spiritual process to levels that many of us need, given how much has built up in our bodies in such an out-of-nature’s-sync society.


Shamanism and the Dynamics of Addiction

Why have addictions and the social problems of drug abuse become one of the greatest public health concerns confronting contemporary societies? One might suppose our addictions are simply a consequence of our well-documented biological proclivities to use drugs. Substances are addictive because they mimic the effects of neurotransmitters. Humans use drugs because they enhance the ability of our nervous system and its many higher-level systems to function more effectively—to resist pain, stay up longer, be sociable, enjoy ourselves, relax and sleep, among others. Yet pre-modern people in general did not succumb to addiction; instead, such substance use provided avenues for seeking spiritual experiences and therapeutic alterations of consciousness.1 2

Michael James Winkelman, Ph.D.

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