On my morning walk today I noticed several dead moles. I’ve been seeing them for days now, always at the same places in the road, at what I now call The Mole Crossings. I imagine many moles making the trek across the road each night and the cars that come upon them. Invariably one or two moles lose their lives each night. I find their tiny, silent remains when I walk. They look so peaceful, eyes closed, their long sharp claws turned slightly under, done with digging.
Why am I seeing so many dead moles? What is the significance? I can’t help but ask myself these questions because I know that everything is meaningful. The immediate answer to my questions is, as I see it, glaringly right: Recapitulation. Well, you might ask, how did you get that answer and why is it so right?
I see the mole as the perfect totem for doing a recapitulation, the one who goes underground, into the earth. Blind to the trappings of this world it is drawn into the energy of the underworld, where it picks apart, digging and gnawing its way through every tiny morsel of dirt and sand, pushing aside blockages of stone and gravel, working its way around and through stumps and roots on its quest for a place of deep inner solitude. That is very much the same kind of work that a recapitulation entails and the end result is a place of quiet calmness deep within the self. If you want to take a shamanic journey there is none like it.
There are many shamanic practitioners who, acting as seers, will journey on behalf of another and return with insight and information that is meaningful and significant for that other. This is similar to what I do when I channel for other people, seeking insight beyond this world that is specific to that person. I also act as a guide when people come to me for hypnosis, becoming the facilitator to accessing an inherent process rarely made available or even acceptable until it’s been experienced. Once a journey has been experienced, an opening has been created and the spirit wants more. I usually end a session by saying that anyone can do a journey anytime, they just have to learn to let go of their fears—both inbred fears and fears of the great unknown.
I’m not special and I don’t do anything to anyone, I simply offer a means to that opening. The fact that I can go outside of my conscious self and gain insight from sources beyond this realm is in fact a universal human potential. Innate though it may be, this ability is often first encountered and utilized during a traumatic event, as the impact of sudden trauma or intense fear allows it to naturally emerge in a superb act of survival. It steps in and acts as a protective measure but is actually, as I see it, a highly evolved spiritual self who knows immediately how to transcend this reality and thus the event that triggered its emergence.
During an out-of-body or near-death experience people discover that they can indeed leave the physical world, have incredible experiences and safely return to their bodies victorious and triumphant—this is the essence of a shamanic journey. Once undertaken, such an experience remains implanted in the psyche. Whether kept alive and utilized or allowed to sink into memory it nonetheless leaves an imprint and has an impact. It can play out over and over again, consciously or unconsciously, known and strikingly familiar or unknown and completely foreign. It is, nonetheless, alerting the journeyer that at one time an experience was had that was like no other.
Having once gained a shift in perception there is often increased interest in finding a means back to that moment of bliss and insight. This too may be a conscious or unconscious longing on the part of the journeyer. The truth is that once the spirit has awoken—made itself know in whatever transcendent way it needs to use—it tenaciously attempts to remind us of its full potential.
During a recapitulation one revisits the moments of trauma, fear, or even mystical experience that originally gave insight into true spirit potential, relives them, discovering this time around the true meaning of why they were had, what they meant, and what they mean for the future. When our journeying self ventures into recapitulation in full awareness, we are ready to encounter what our past holds for us. Our ability to dig like the mole is also simultaneously awoken, ready to be activated. If we so choose we can become the mole and tenaciously and voraciously eat our way through the muck of the shadowland inside us, the very earthen self who keeps everything buried. If we are prepared to once again transcend this reality and, with our claws of intent, dig in and through our visceral present-day selves we will eventually reach the wide-open land of our spiritual selves.
In our world, to take a shamanic journey may be seen as a strange or unique way to tackle the problems in life, highly suspect in some circles and highly valued in others. But, having gone on many shamanic journeys myself in many different ways, I know that it’s just another description of our innate human potential, offering us access to our ancient selves and the ability to perceive and experience many realities simultaneously. A shamanic journey lets us experience ourselves as energy beings, freed of the fears that bind us to this one-sided, flatly defined world that we live in most of our lives, obediently doing the things that are expected of us.
Electing to take a recapitulation journey, a shamanic journey, must become a conscious choice at some point, for if we are to reach our full potential we must keep our awareness about us at all times. If we continue to fight our spirit, if we refuse the journey it prompts us to take, we will be reminded of it throughout our present life. We are supreme students of denial. We learn how to suppress, repress, and push away access to the knowledge of this potential self for decades, but eventually it will get to us in one way or another.
We may fall into illness. We may suffer broken hearts, literally and figuratively. We may never achieve the peace and calm we know is possible. We may live angry, resentful, regretful lives, always certain that someone else is to blame for our misery. We may stubbornly refuse to face our fears and decide that we just don’t want to do the work of fulfillment in this lifetime. And all of that is okay, because even our spirit is part of that decision making.
But, having faced many of the above symptoms and many more besides, I can say that there is nothing like what we experience as we go through the tunnels of our psyches, our conscious and unconscious minds, and our bodies. Having become like the mole, having dug my way into my darkness, having wallowed in the muck inside myself in a transformative recapitulation process, I can finally say that I live a most fulfilling life, no longer burdened, sad, fearful, traumatized, or afraid to love. I have emerged on the other side of the tunnel of recapitulation, victorious and triumphant indeed, in a new land. It is what I wish for all.
I return to work on my book, the first year of The Recapitulation Diaries, soon to be published, hoping that my journey will inspire others to take a shamanic journey into the self, volitionally, with awareness and intent, allowing the spirit self to lead the way. A recapitulation journey is really a lifetime shamanic journey, for we are always offered moments of insight, like trying to figure out why there are so many dead moles on the road. What we encounter as we walk in this world is meaningful.
I’m always wondering what will appear next to guide me.
Until next time,