• Dr. Jill Bakke

Answering the Call

As 2019 ended I was dealing with subconscious issues which were hidden under a layer of thinking “all is well.” I soon found the phrase “I can’t see the forest for the trees” to be more accurate.

The new year of 2020 came into my life with a bang. New Year’s Day began with what turned out to be a hiatus from my daily routine. Time spent in bed with what I originally thought to be a severe cold and sinus infection moved into bronchitis, antibiotics, and heart issues.

I had been struggling with commitments for the holidays, family, my work, and home renovations. Everything came to a halt. Reading hurt my eyes. Even the thought of food made me nauseous. I couldn’t sleep. Being the searcher for wisdom that I am, my first thought was what did I do that caused this? But I couldn’t find the answer; being over-committed was common to me. Yet, I felt that somehow something within me had drawn the illness.

Two weeks later, knowing the end of the bronchial infection lay just around the corner, with my appetite returned and the sleep issue resolved, I began to get the answers I needed from a source other than myself.

I’d always feared the shamanic path and ignored its callings for years. When I made a mask of my face in the 1980s during a master level counseling course, the instructor told us to live with the mask for a week. I immediately decided I wanted mine to be a dark-haired senorita with sparkles on her eyelashes and a rose in her teeth. But the instructor said it would tell us what it wanted to be. My mask, however, wasn’t close to what I wanted it to be. It turned out to be an Indian shaman with a feather in her hair and gold dust in her eyes. During dedication of our masks, I could only admit I was frightened of mine. The teacher asked “Why,” but I had no idea. Still, the path continued to call, and eventually I began to take classes; yet, I did nothing with the information I gained.

During 2019 I finally allowed myself to walk through shaman training for a second time, and this time I listened to the calling of working with energy. Since shamans feel everything comes to us for a reason, I believed that the illness had something to tell me.

Before the illness, a series of dreams of being lost filled my sleep. In one of the last dreams, I wore a red power suit indicating I had what I needed. And in that dream, I finally had keys to a vehicle to get me there. But I still could not find my way. Then bronchitis and its complications hit me. It was only when a friend offered to journey for me, that I found my answers.

My shaman friend was led by the Lord of the Underworld to a dark, burned out forest. (Only this time instead of the usual male guardian of that land, it was a beautiful woman, who turned into a centaur.) Arriving at the forest, my friend was told to do an extraction. As the darkness of the forest went into her crystal, visions appeared of persecutions and deaths: burned at the stake, disowned by my tribe for being a female medicine person, loneliness, being shamed. I was aware of several of the episodes from my own journeys – being drowned, being ostracized, and shamed. No wonder I ran and hid from the calling. What I didn’t know was that the residue of those times still lay in my subconscious and kept me from being comfortable in my new-found (or should I say, “re-found”) leanings.

After my friend finished drawing out the darkness, she said she could see light through the forest and the trees were showing tiny green new buds. The centaur had advice for me – horse medicine, attention to water, and an offer to come work with her.

Horse medicine represents freedom and momentum that is reliable. It can carry someone to any goal, no matter what the terrain. A horse’s energy is fully awakened, fully alive, and cannot be defeated. It can be gathered by daily practice: physical exercise for stamina and mental focus via meditation. I have an affinity for water and knew I needed to drink more water, just not appreciate water in its forms in nature.

I wanted to share this experience with my newsletter readers because all of us have hidden blocks. The work of Carl Jung showed that our shadow energy carries many things that stop our possible achievements from being realized. Energy work can remove them. And there are many forms of energy work, including Reiki, creativity skills, and various native practices. North America’s Native Americans’ practice of working with spirit animals feels normal to me since I was adopted by a real wolf and recently had an owl as a teacher , to help me see deeply in the dark, to the motives behind actions (particularly mine).

We are all brothers and sisters, created by the same source in different shapes and sizes. Each of us share the ability to enter what some consider a magical world. I share my own experience of happiness and blessed care for the path I am on. But any path that has heart for you will achieve the same end.

In the formalized Christian version of creation, however, humans were banished from the Garden of Eden. According to many, we had no way of returning except by the blood of a savior. But the magic lies in the words Jesus gave his followers. It requires we apply those teachings in our lives if we are to find that garden again. Attending to the world with love, gratitude, forgiveness, and applying the golden rule of treating all as we would wish to be treated can help us find our way back to Eden. God didn’t banish us. We separated ourselves by adopting the opposite of those blessed qualities and by denying the divinity we had been given, that facet of being made in His image.

Blessings and Peace. Thanks for reading!


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