A Day in a Life: Memorable Events

In the introduction to The Active Side of Infinity Carlos Castaneda writes that don Juan Matus encouraged him to prepare a special album, a collection of the memorable events in his life, an album that “reveals the warrior’s personality, an album that attests to the circumstances of his life.” (p. 6) Eventually, The Active Side of Infinity became that album. In the recounting of his conversation with don Juan, Carlos has a hard time understanding just what this might mean. At first he protests that every event in his life was profoundly significant. Don Juan retaliates by suggesting that, in reality, there may only be a few events in a person’s life that actually change things for them, that illuminate the path before them. “Ordinarily,” he says, “events that change our path are impersonal affairs, and yet are extremely personal.”

In last week’s blog, I wrote about an out-of-body experience (OBE) that changed my life. It was a memorable and momentous event. This week I pose the questions: Why do we have these moments and what do they mean to us personally?

In Black Elk Speaks, Black Elk recounts a vision he had as a nine year old boy. The vision begins when he hears a voice calling to him: “It is time; now they are calling you.” (p. 21) He elects to follow the voice. Over the next few days he becomes very ill. For twelve days he lies sick, as if dead, but meanwhile he is in another world, receiving a vision. In this vision he is shown that he must lead his people through four ascents, or times of great difficulty. When he returns from this vision he is afraid to speak of it for fear that he will be considered crazy.

Over the next eight years, he receives many messages and he increasingly realizes that he must pay attention to them. He follows the guidance offered; training himself to trust the messages he receives, saving his people and others from death, devastation, and starvation many times. Although he does not speak of his vision, others notice that he seems to have a certain power and it is only when this power can no longer be held back that he dares to speak of his long-ago vision.

This time comes when he is bombarded with calls from the Universe itself, calls that he cannot ignore. The thunder beings from his vision call to him from the clouds. The stars call to him. The crows call during the day and the coyotes call at night. And what do they say? They all say the same thing: “It is time! It is time! It is time!” (p. 164) This goes on for quite a while, until he thinks he must be going crazy. He begins to fear everything. He becomes withdrawn and isolates himself. His parents, noticing his distress, call an old medicine man to their tepee and ask him to see what he can do for their son. By now, Black Elk is so afraid of everything that he cannot hold back any longer; he fears he will die if he does not speak. He tells the medicine man about his vision and everything else that has been haunting him.

The medicine man says: “Nephew, I know now what the trouble is! You must do what the bay horse in your vision wanted you to do. You must do your duty and perform this vision for your people upon earth. You must have the horse dance first for the people to see. Then the fear will leave you, but if you do not do this, something very bad will happen to you.” (p. 165)

Now that his secret is out, the vision can be shared. While the vision is being acted out by members of his tribe, Black Elk looks up into the clouds and sees his vision once again, as he had seen it the first time. He says: I looked about me and could see that what we then were doing was like a shadow cast upon the earth from yonder vision in the heavens, so bright it was and clear. I knew the real was yonder and the darkened dream of it was here.” (p. 173)

What Black Elk discovered was that our fears are leading us. Carlos also discovered this, for when he related a fearful experience, don Juan pointed out that it was indeed a memorable event in his life and worthy of being included in his album.

Jeanne wrote on Monday that this is the time for us to change, that it is here. Later that evening, as I read this account of Black Elk’s confrontation with the Universe telling him it was time to reveal his vision to his people, I could not help but feel that it was a synchronistic, momentous moment, worthy of passing along.

So why do we have these momentous moments in our lives, whether they be synchronicities, experiences, visions, OBEs, voices, animal messengers, or simply our own fears calling to us? I believe, and this has been my personal experience as I have heeded the calls from Jeanne to pass along her messages, that we, as we listen and follow the guidance given, are offered the opportunity to experience that other world, the “real” world, as Black Elk refers to it. By facing our fears we offer ourselves greater access to our own energy too and this, in turn, allows us the confidence and trust to keep opening ourselves to more experiences.

And how do we face our fears? Sometimes all it takes is finding someone to talk to. We work so hard to fight our fears, as Black Elk did, but one day we just know that it is time, and instead of turning away from them again we make the momentous decision to find out where they have been trying to lead us all these years. I know many brave people make that decision every day. And I also know other people, equally brave, who elect to keep the fear in their lives; for whatever reason, it has its purpose for as long as we need it. Either way we are challenging ourselves to have energetic experiences, one of which can be energy-giving, allowing us access to the unimaginable; the other can be energy-robbing, and often we do feel that we might die if we do not find some form of relief from our issues. Black Elk went on to see his vision unfold in reality. Carlos went on to write about his experiences. Both of them changed their personal worlds.

What does life have in store for us and how can we make this lifetime meaningful? Personally, I elected to face my fears, to recapitulate and relieve myself of sometimes crippling habits and behaviors that kept me from listening to the truths of my inner world, rejecting my own visions for many years. Now, I’m allowing myself to take a different journey. I still must face what arises to lead me, but the more experiences I have with Jeanne and my other forms of guidance, the more easily I flow.

I most humbly offer this essay and my own experiences as examples, but also as incentives to keep going. There really is so much else to experience. That other world truly is real, and it is attainable now, which is really what Jeanne, Black Elk, don Juan and Carlos are suggesting. We have access to it; we just have to get beyond our fears. Is it time? If you wish, feel free to respond in the comment section below.

Until next week, wishing you all love, dreams, and visions,

NOTE: The books mentioned in this blog are available for purchase through our Store.

#696 CHANGE!

Jan Ketchel channeling Jeanne Marie Ketchel

Dear Jeanne,
What message of guidance do you offer us today?

I am inclined to speak of the possibilities that are offered to you each day to shift. I speak of the choices you are offered and the opportunities to choose differently, even drastically so. It is time now for each one of you to change, and to do so with consciousness. It is time for change to become the moniker and the arbiter of shift, for until you each elect “change” as the buzzword there will be little to enlighten and bring you forward, either in the world or personally.

It is not enough to desire change, to pretend change, to present change to others. No, it is time to force the self to make some pretty, as I said, drastic changes. This may not be that appealing to you, but if one does not choose consciously to change then the changes that do come will not be appreciated. Often, when change is forced, one is not in a position to either accept or flow, but instead one resists and regrets. But now, My Dear Ones, you must look change directly in the eyes, see it clearly, and make your decisions to move forward with it.

Each one of you has some aspect of life that has been pushing you to get moving and do something about it. Perhaps you are being urged to recapitulate, and that in itself will bring change, asking you at each step to keep moving forward, to not hesitate, to not go back to the old. Perhaps you, your inner self or your outer self, are dealing with emotional stresses that are out of hand and you know you must confront them, but you are afraid of what that means, because you know the truths that lie behind them. You know that in order to confront them you must confront something about the self that is asking you to become different. Perhaps you are getting ready to launch yourself into a new project, a new job, a new life with a new partner, and you hesitate out of fear of what is to come if you make a decision that will force you to change many things all at once. Your fear is your catalyst, your energy encapsulated, and it is also your truth.

Today, I stress the great need for change in your world. Your personal world must change. Each one of you must live differently now. You must open your eyes and take in the truths that dance before you. They are not dancing to please you. They dance to shake you awake. They dance to make you understand, very clearly, that you too must dance and shake up your own world. They no longer dance a dance of illusion, but they dance a dance of power, giving you the opportunity to embrace the power that you let be taken from you, by your world, as you slumber. Now is the time to wake up. This is it! It is no longer something that is coming in time, in a few years or decades. No, the time has come to shake yourself out of your doldrums and become alert to what you must now do.

Your choices are very clear. It is your decision-making that is unclear. But that is only because you must stop using your old means of deciding and use your truth indicator. You must stop thinking so much and listen to your heart, not the heart that sits on your sleeve, but your real energy center at the heart of you. You must listen to the truth of this inner self, and no longer wait for someone or something else to tell you what you must do.

The world is no longer waiting. It needs all of you to change. It needs all of you to bring forth heart-centered change, even though this may cause disruptions, it is nothing compared to what is to come naturally.

Be certain that beginning conscious steps of change within will aid in flowing with the changes without. You cannot stop change, but you can change with it, otherwise you will have lived a life unawakened. That is all I can say on the subject.

NOTE: Should you care to comment, please do so in the Post a comment option below.

#695 Chuck’s Place: WHY BP?

Mother Earth, that mighty sentient being, has resorted to that ancient healing practice of leeching, or blood letting, to cure her wounds. Her BP, her blood pressure, has risen and blown a gasket, as her blood spews forth, poisoning the seas. With all our advanced technological know-how, we cannot cauterize or clot this flow. Bleeding, as all women experience, is nature’s way of cleansing.

The Earth poisons now our food supply. Why? And why won’t she stop? Why is she destroying herself? Frankly, I see no other way for Mother Earth to save herself, other than to create unprecedented destruction.

Mankind has been unable to evolve beyond greed, the true culprit of the wounding of the Earth. Mankind’s most prized possession, his reason, is but a puppet in the hands of his greed. Even in the midst of this unprecedented environmental disaster a judge has lifted the ban on offshore drilling. Our Mother realizes that the destruction must be vast and must impact us at a level we cannot ignore, at a level that forces us to change, to cap our greed, in order to survive.

Mother is providing us with a cure now, a flow, to move us forward. Mother is correcting the imbalance in mankind. This is no longer a problem solvable by reason; reason is no match for greed. Mother is forcing our instinct of self-preservation to confront our out-of-control hunger instinct, which has been allowed to consume and destroy, in the form of hoarding, accumulating, and exploiting the Earth. As this quote from a Wintu woman, in T. C. McLuhan’s Touch the Earth suggests, modern man has lost his connection to balance as reflected in his practices toward the Earth:

When we Indians dig roots, we make little holes. When we build houses, we make little holes. When we burn grass for grasshoppers, we don’t ruin things. We shake down acorns and pinenuts. We don’t chop down the trees. We only use dead wood. But the White people plow up the ground, pull down the trees, kill everything. The tree says, ‘Don’t. I am sore. Don’t hurt me.’ But they chop it down and cut it up… They blast rocks and scatter them on the ground… How can the spirit of the earth like the White man? Everywhere the White man has touched it, it is sore.”

This is now a battle of instincts, instigated by the Great Mother Earth. Man, with his reason, is being put in his proper place, as Mother instinct takes over, with her menstrual flow, to clean things up and reassert natural balance. It’s not in our hands anymore. Mother Earth has taken over her own body. All we can do now is acquiesce to the facts of the destruction and what we need to do to survive. If we choose to continue to manipulate and spin reality, allowing reason to continue to feed our greed, Mother Earth will continue to spew toxins, her own chemotherapy, to bring us to truth. It’s an illusion for us to really believe that we are in control now.

That’s why BP. Mother has sent us a sign, using an acronym we can recognize: BP. Her blood pressure will no longer tolerate our greed. It’s pointless to blame BP; Mother has chosen BP for her own cleansing purposes, offering our consciousness the acronym BP to contemplate. Despite the destruction, Mother does have a sense of humor!

If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.

Until we meet again,


I just wanted to thank Tom for sending us this link to a boy’s story of reincarnation. I think it’s quite important for as many people as possible to see this. In the beginning, the father mentions that the boy tells him that he “chose him” as a father. That alone is very validating to those of us who work in the field of truth-seeking. Here is the link to REINCARNATION.

A Day in a Life: I Asked For It

It seems that this blog, which I began in an effort to highlight how Jeanne’s messages relate and intersect with everyday life, is more or less turning into a blog about setting and awaiting outcome of unbending intent, as the seers call it, at least for now. Over the past twelve weeks I’ve been exploring dreaming intent, in which I had sent out a proposal to the women seers of don Juan’s generation of the sorcerers of ancient Mexico, to come and teach me in dreaming. I was utterly amazed as the nights unfolded and I did, in fact, learn invaluable lessons from those women. That process took place last fall and since then I have continued setting dreaming intent each night that I feel I want to go exploring, and although I do not specifically intend to dream with those women, I know they have continued to lead me on some pretty cool adventures. Some nights I may just want to sleep soundly and dreamlessly and that, too, becomes my intent. On the night of June 2, 2010, right before midnight, I had a most profound out-of-body experience (OBE). It was more vivid than any other OBE I have ever had. Clearly, the shamanic work I am doing and the books I have been reading are major factors in how the experience unfolded and how I reacted to what was happening.

In keeping with Jeanne’s message on Monday of this week, to not hold back, I write today about that experience, sharing it with you not only because it was so profound, but also because it is perhaps the thirteenth step in learning a shamanic practice. Before I describe the experience, I quote a paragraph from The Second Ring of Power, the book I was reading just before going to bed that night. Carlos Castaneda is talking to la Gorda and the women of his own generation of seers about the various stages of learning dreaming from the nagual, don Juan. On pages 269-270 Carlos says:

The final stage was drawing the “attention of the nagual” to focus on the total self. Don Juan said that that final stage was usually ushered in by a dream that many of us have had at one time or another, in which one is looking at oneself sleeping in bed. By the time the sorcerer has had such a dream, his attention has been developed to such a degree that instead of waking himself up, as most of us would do in a similar situation, he turns on his heels and engages himself in activity, as if he were acting in the world of everyday life. From that moment on there is a breakage, a division of sorts in the otherwise unified personality. The result of engaging the “attention of the nagual” and developing it to the height and sophistication of our daily attention of the world was, in don Juan’s scheme, the other self, an identical being as oneself, but made in “dreaming.”

Don Juan went on to encourage Carlos to practice, saying that there are no definite steps for teaching that double, or dreaming self, just as there are no definite steps to teaching ourselves how to be aware in our daily lives; we do it by practicing it from the time we are born. Don Juan also encouraged Carlos to practice without fear getting the best of him. After reading the above quote, I recalled how other out-of-body explorers generally suggest that looking at the self asleep is to be avoided because when attention is drawn back to the physical body it may arouse fear, causing us to snap out of the experience and land right back into that sleeping self. In contrast, I saw that don Juan was actually suggesting that looking at the sleeping self was part of the process in learning to fully “dream.” When I fell asleep that night I merely put out my intent to “see” and to “dream.” Here is my experience, which I will attempt to capture in as much detail as possible:

I wake up and look outside through the sliding glass door of the bedroom. I see what I perceive as an airplane blinking behind the trees in the distance; it blinks quickly and then swings sharply to the left, low on the horizon. As I watch this unusually strange maneuver, I think that perhaps it’s not an airplane after all, but a shooting star. But even that idea does not fit what I’m seeing, because the light doesn’t shoot and burn out, but flies directly towards the deck, which is right outside the sliding door. The light flits about and I wonder if it’s a firefly, but I’ve never seen one this big nor one that zips about so happily, bouncing in the air, its fat body large and bright, a luminous elongated egg-shape, and not blinking on and off like the light of a firefly.

During all of this I am partially sitting up in bed, feeling extremely uncomfortable and awkward, blinking my eyes over and over again in order to clear them so I can see better. I feel very heavy, drugged by sleep, and it’s a struggle to stay sitting up, but something is drawing me to the window. With great effort I get out of bed, still feeling clumsy, as if very intoxicated; my legs don’t work right and yet, somehow, I step over the sleeping dog lying on the floor next to me and make it over to the sliding glass door. From this vantage point, I see that not only one bright light is fluttering and swooping outside in the darkness above the backyard, but more are starting to come from the same spot in the sky. Suddenly, but without fear, I realize that this may relate to what I’d been reading before I fell asleep, that I am “seeing” as the seers see. With that thought I wonder if I’m out-of-body. I recall what I’d just read, that when one can tolerate seeing one’s body lying asleep then one is truly “seeing and “dreaming.” I decide that I’ll turn and see if my body is lying in bed, as don Juan suggested, reminding myself not to be frightened if I see my body lying there, because I don’t want to snap back into it.

I am still feeling very clumsy and think that normally I’d turn slightly and glance over my right shoulder, but that doesn’t feel right in the state I’m in. As soon as I think that thought, I feel myself swing effortlessly around, counterclockwise, in a sweeping 360 degree turn, though I don’t actually move; only my “seeing” moves, as if my eyes can see in all directions. Halfway around, I quickly take in the darkness of the room, that the covers are pulled up, and I see my legs and Chuck’s sleeping form under the blankets, but the top of the bed is in such darkness that I cannot see our heads. When I finish the turn, when I finish seeing the room, I am facing right back out toward the deck and the yard again. I sense my “body” flattened against the sliding door, as if I’m but a thin sheet of cellophane stuck to it.

At that moment, I realize that I’m in my “double,” that I am indeed “dreaming,” and as soon as that thought crosses my awareness the first light-being flies right up to the deck and dances before me. A large egg-shaped luminous creature, about ten or twelve inches in length, it comes right up to the window. Flitting about, it twirls and loops in front of me and, as it begins to fly off to the right, I am struck by how similar it appears to the way I have always perceived Jeanne’s energy, a luminous being with white wings and body, butterfly-like more than firefly-like. As soon as I have that thought, the being flies back in front of me and seems to show me that, yes, it is exactly Jeanne’s energy. It pirouettes before me, flutters its wings and seems to laugh with delight, happy that I’m now perceiving it correctly. I feel its energy, so alive and so vibrant.

As I watch this show taking place, I blink repeatedly, constantly trying to clear my vision so that I don’t miss anything. My mind, however, is still trying to place what I’m seeing, to make sense of what these creatures might be. I have one final thought that perhaps they are luna moths, and just as I settle on that idea, I let it go and pay greater attention to what is happening outside the window. I see the light-beings still coming towards me, pouring out of the same point on the horizon behind the trees, their fat bellies luminously glowing, getting brighter and brighter and bigger and bigger, as they bounce through the air, swooping and dancing towards me.

I stand and watch this beautiful show for a long time, pressed up against the window, blinking and taking in, with a sense of wonder, delight, and amazement, the absolutely serene silent beauty of these creatures, these luminous beings, as they dance and float before me. I’m able to turn and “see” the show to the right and to the left, as well as straight ahead, without actually turning. I’m simply able to “see” in all directions.

As the show continues, I’m fully aware that I’m being given a gift of not only “seeing” and “dreaming,” but also of interpreting energy, that these creatures are showing me what energy looks like, and somehow I understand this. I know that I look like that too, that we are all luminous egg-shaped beings. I know that we are all full of such vigor, potent with energy, that we are energy, that we are incredibly luminescent. I know that we are all magical beings.

I don’t know how long I actually stand there pressed against the window, but somehow I get back into my body, though I don’t remember actually traveling back over to the bed. The next thing I do know is that I wake up, still feeling that drowsy soporific heaviness and I write down in my journal a cryptic description of what I’ve just experienced, not wanting to forget it, but already knowing that I’ll never forget it.

The next morning, the experience remained as fresh and real as it had been the night before. I puzzled over what had actually happened, my mind conjuring up the idea of luna moths again, wanting to settle on some rational explanation for what I’d experienced, but I knew those were not creatures of this world. I still held the truer feeling of having experienced pure energy, coming in a form I could handle, and that truth and that energy has lasted to this day.

This was a turning point. I’ve never doubted what I “saw” and what I felt. My awareness was totally intact, my thoughts were mine; I was always me throughout the entire episode. I truly believe that I received something energetically from those luminous beings during this experience, that I was invited into experiencing my own boundless energy body. I can truthfully say that since that night my personal energy, my physical energy has remained steadily vibrant and glowing. My fears have vanished and I am no longer holding back. This is the world I have worked so hard to enter and I know that I can’t turn back. I can no longer experience or interpret reality in the old way. I humbly report that I learned to “see.”

Try some dreaming. Might I recommend reading a little Castaneda beforehand, or a little Buhlman, then set unbending intent, go to sleep, and see what happens?

Until next week, I send love and energy,

NOTE: Books and authors mentioned in this essay can be found in our Store.