Tag Archives: magical pass

Chuck’s Place: It’s All In Body

We must go down into the murky depths of our own reservoir if we are to experience wholeness... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
We must go down into the murky depths of our own reservoir if we are to experience wholeness…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The clinical wisdom of our time highlights the role of the body in psychological healing. To resolve our deepest issues, we must go down into the depths of the body to discover our hidden truths and restore a fluid connection to the wellsprings of our life energy.

For many years, I have spoken about out-of-body experiences and energetic life beyond the physical. Soul retrieval journeys, such as the kind taken in recapitulation, are in fact intimately connected to our in-body reservoir.

When we reenter the scene of an earlier experience in life, we utilize the sensations in our bodies to lead us to the actual event. The body stores all experiences and once we arrive at their gate, in recapitulation for example, we are thrust full-body into what happened to us in the prior experience. In traumatic recapitulation, we may have a full in-body sensation and complete reliving of a long-forgotten experience.

Many visits to hospital emergency rooms actually result from unknown, unsupported, tripping into stored bodily memories of trauma, inadvertently triggered by some associatively related current life experience. Often, after exhaustive testing, physicians are clueless in diagnosing the disturbance, often assuming panic attack. For the patient, the physical experience has been so real and in-body that this explanation seems highly dubious. Nonetheless, what ensues is perhaps a trail of treatments to control panic, which misses the true nature of the symptom: the triggering of a dissociated life experience stored in the body seeking re-association through reliving and resolving the turbulence it holds.

Modern clinical wisdom and ancient shamanic wisdom point the way to the innate, archetypal bridge of bilateral body movement to enable the grounding needed to experience and integrate dissociated parts of the soul that lie in wait in the body reservoir.

In dreaming, we naturally experience bilateral rapid eye movement, commonly called REM, that clears and processes the remnants of the day just lived. In nightmares, we experience failed attempts to naturally resolve traumatic moments. When no resolution occurs, these traumas end up stored in energetically volatile and incomplete states in the body—often a cause of physically distressing symptoms. Chronic pain and debilitating symptoms, even anger and fear of intimacy or conflict, may in fact be trauma related.

Francine Shapiro advanced the instinctive bilateral physical movement that we all use when we dream, incorporating it as a direct method to facilitate the integration of traumatic experience, in a waking state, through the protocol of EMDR. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico discovered the bilateral recapitulation breathing Magical Pass millennia ago, as a means to enable reintegration of lost parts of the self. These inherent and consciously facilitated practices provide the bridge to safely encountering and putting to rest the stored energies of unresolved traumas.

The body stores that which is incomplete, awaiting resolution when the time is right. The body equally holds the key to safely resolving that which it holds, through bilateral movement, whether exercised consciously with recapitulation or in EMDR, or unconsciously in dreaming. Only through fully accessing and resolving all that the body holds will we acquire the energetic wholeness to launch, with completion, out-of-body when it’s time to pass on into new life.

In body,

Chuck’s Place: Leaving an Old World Like The Sabretooth Tiger of Intent

I woke up this morning and turned to Jan: “I just had a nightmare!”

“So did I,” said she.

I was struck by the classification nightmare, not one I really identify with. However, it was the word that came out of my mouth.

As we compared notes, I realized we were in the same dream, though with different props. For Jan, it was the phantasmagorical winged serpent devouring the innocent or foolish. For me, it was the world of people and the devouring power of greed.

In my early waking moments I was being seduced by the mind to attach to intrigues in the world. I watched it happen, but didn’t attach; I held onto my energy. The phantasmagoric imagery of Jan’s dream tempered my interpretation of my own dream. We were being shown an energetic challenge before us and offered the opportunity either to grasp the metaphor and face the challenge within or allow it to project outward onto the world of everyday life.

Jung’s axiom came to the fore: face the shadow within or encounter it without. How quickly, when we attach to the without, is our energy completely engaged and drained. Can we strip away the nightmarish energy, see the challenge directly, and address the needed change? Or must we engage a new drama in an old world?


As we talked about our dreams and came to understand the message, I found myself recapitulating walking out of a Tensegrity workshop that Jeanne and I had attended in 1999 having completed the magical pass of the Sabretooth Tiger of Intent. I provide a link to that pass here. I encourage those who view it to notice the transition back into the human form at the end of the pass. This is how to change: turn around 180 degrees and walk calmly away in a new direction, into a new life.

As Jan and I continued to talk this morning, it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t written my blog! In fact, I hadn’t even thought about what day it was or what I might write about! It became quite evident that the spirit had its own intent that this be my blog message today. And so, I have delivered it!

Carlos Castaneda writes, in The Wheel of Time: “We hardly ever realize that we can cut anything out of our lives, anytime, in the blink of an eye.”

About face!

A Day in a Life: The Sweeping Breath

In my upcoming book, The Recapitulation Diaries, Year One: The Man in the Woods, I describe learning the sweeping recapitulation breath, a Magical Pass. As frightening memories began making themselves known I used it often to clarify those memories as they emerged from the foggy past, as well as to calm the central nervous system. In both instances it was very effective.

In her book The Sorcerers’ Crossing Taisha Abelar writes about learning this recapitulation magical pass as well, first from her mentor Clara and then later from a man she immediately recognized as the master sorcerer. This master sorcerer gave her some valuable advice. When he found her talking to herself while doing the breathing pass, he suggested that she wasn’t breathing properly. She describes this meeting and the suggestion that she breathe like this:

Set an intent and breathe in the morning light

“He inhaled deeply as he gently turned his head to the left. Then he exhaled thoroughly as he smoothly turned his head to the right. Finally, he moved his head from his right shoulder to the left and back to the right again without breathing, then back to the center.”

The master sorcerer also told Taisha: “When exhaling, throw out all the thoughts and feelings you are reviewing. And don’t just turn your head with your neck muscles. Guide it with the invisible energy lines from your midsection. Enticing those lines to come out is one of the accomplishments of recapitulation.”

He went on to explain that “… just below the navel was a key center of power, and that all body movements, including one’s breathing, had to engage this point of energy. He suggested I synchronize the rhythm of my breathing with the turning of my head, so that together they would entice the invisible energy lines from my abdomen to extend outward into infinity.”

Find the key of power

Doing the sweeping recapitulation breath is not all that difficult. In every instance of reading about it I found variations, so it was often confusing, but I stuck with what Chuck had originally taught me, taking the liberty to change the way I did it to suit the intent I set with each sitting. Often I sat for only a few minutes, but I was just as likely to sit and do the sweeping breath for as long as an hour or more at a time.

Once one gets the hang of it and lets the thinking mind go, without getting caught in wondering if one is doing it right, it automatically begins doing its magic. Chuck always told me I couldn’t do it wrong, and indeed in reading and hearing all the many ways in which it was and is taught, it seems to me that just setting the intent and actually doing it is enough. As Chuck says, it’s the intent that matters.

Breathe out the past

So today I leave you with this sweeping breath. Set an intent. Find that key center of power and begin breathing from there. And then see what happens. I found it to be a most magical practice indeed!

Setting intent, finding breath, and sweeping away, I offer you all love and good wishes on your journeys, as I return to the last few days of editing my book.

The Sorcerers’ Crossing is available for purchase through our STORE. Excerpts used in this blog are found on page 132.

#663 Chuck’s Place: The Hen, the Egg & the Golden Psyche

The alchemists, like the ancient Chinese sages who created The I Ching, studied nature to discover the fundamental process at the heart of transformation. They focused on the hen and the egg. Within the egg lies a composition of primordial liquid. Encapsulating this liquid is a tough boundary, a shell. Sitting upon the egg and providing the heat for transformation rests the hen. Thus, the combination of these three elements —prima materia, a sealed container, and heat— yields a transformation of life from liquid prima materia to a solid living chick.

Modeled upon these principles, the alchemists set up their personal laboratories in an attempt to transform prima materia into gold. Jung discovered that the procedures and findings of the alchemists mirrored his own discoveries of the inner workings of the human psyche in its quest for wholeness.

In his own research, through psychotherapy, Jung discovered that the boundaries of the human psyche far exceed that which our conscious personality is aware of. In fact, he discovered that most of what we truly are is largely unknown or unconscious to us. What we know inside ourselves as I, is but one fragment, albeit important (!), of a much greater whole. For Jung, the major purpose in human life is to seek and unify our fragments, to become whole in a complete sense; joining known and unknown parts in a process he termed individuation. Individuation is the alchemical equivalent of creating the gold and, like alchemy, has the psychic equivalence of prima materia in the form of fragments, a sealed container in the form of a clearly defined psyche with boundaries, and heat, which is generated through the containment and amalgamation of one’s fragments into a unified whole. The heat is the intense emotional pressure generated through containing the oppositions inherent in our fragments. Individuation is the outcome of this transformative process where these fragments peacefully coalesce into a unified whole in full consciousness.

The first step in the process is to know our parts. What are they?! Where are they?! The part we know the best is our ego self. It consists of consciousness, attitudes, beliefs, skills, and psychic functions that come most naturally to us, and that we find most acceptable to the world. Then there are those parts of us, those tricksterish parts —feelings, thoughts— so unacceptable to our egos and the outside world that we repress them into the shadow, the darkness within. Then there is our deeply instinctual self —sexual and aggressive energies— that, in our highly refined, civilized self may remain deeply inaccessible to our conscious life. Beyond this, we house the burdens of our families and ancestors and the traits of our genetic line, as well as the archetypal patterns common to the entire human race, at its core. All these parts, many of which we are completely unaware of, exist and influence our moods, thoughts, actions, and reactions in daily life.

Then, of course, there is the multitude of projected aspects of our self, lodged in people, places, and things in the outside world to which we are fully unaware. The first challenge of individuation is to sift through the prima materia, to collect and own the elements of the self, both within and without. We must distinguish the I from the Not I if we are ever to arrive at the boundary of the self, which is our psychic container, our egg, our hermetic vessel.

As we develop the moral courage and psychic stamina to take ownership of our parts, however shameful, frightening, fragile, or unacceptable they may be, we contain them within and clearly define the circle around the self. This is the process of sifting through the prima materia as we withdraw our projections and shed light upon our shadow, holding firmly to what is truly ours. In the process, we may discover “alien parts” that have found their way into our psychic structures, clearly not I. These may be the archetypes, which have so much energy that they can burst through our boundaries and take possession of our egos. These represent forces that we can and must interact with, be schooled and nourished by. However, we must clearly not allow them to take up residence within the boundaries of the self, as they are liable to create distorted ideas of who we are, or create compulsions that we cannot understand, or terrify us with frightening thoughts and images.

In honor of the Lenten season, I refer here to the process Christ underwent in the desert, drawing his line or circle in the sand, casting out the devils, the Not I, from the boundaries of his Self. The shamans teach a magical pass called the lifesaving pass where you stand with feet shoulder width apart, arms extended straight down at a forty-five degree angle away from the body, and swinging from side to side, with hips remaining facing front, allow the upper torso and arms to swing back and forth in a circular motion, using the downward pointed hands to carve a complete circle around the self, which seals in one’s energy. One can also create a circle by sitting calmly on the floor or the ground and make a circle around the body with whatever seems resonant. Within that circle bring objects that symbolize all the known parts of the self, including the most contentious. Representations of compulsions, emotions, beliefs about the self that do not belong within the self should be cast outside of the circle. One might include as well a candle within the circle, representing both the heat and the light of consciousness, which sits like mother hen upon her egg. The psyche itself presents images of circles in dreaming to indicate prima materia that should be included within the boundaries of the self for our contemplation. Watch for those discarded pennies in the streets of your dreams!

The containment function of our hermetic vessel is completed with a seal, a hermetic seal. We seal our psyche by holding onto our parts in full awareness, despite, at times, our excruciating discomfort with the emotions they might generate, such as deep sadness, shame, rage, hate, and, yes, even love. Love often escapes our hermetic seal in a projection of weekend blissful love, spent upon our newly discovered god/goddess, only to have us wake up Monday morning, once again disappointed and deeply disillusioned. We might have been better served containing this energy, which seeks unification within the psyche, in our internal alchemical process of transformation, resulting in deeper self-love.

The containment of the powerful emotions of our opposing parts seek to burst apart the container through the outlets of projection, distraction, acting out, and general self-delusionment. The ability to hold the truths, with all their energies within, is the key here. Let us appreciate the patience of the hen sitting calmly upon her egg.

Finally, the heat. The heat is generated by our ability to keep the container sealed, following the guidance of mother hen. To accept and retain the unacceptable in the self, perhaps choosing not to open another kind of bottle to soothe the tension within, or perhaps to decide not to gossip with a friend about an “unacceptable other,” is to remain calm and patient, presiding over and containing within the facts and energies of the self. This process of bearing the tensions of those inner oppositions results, and here is the magic, in the transformation of our inner fragments into psychic gold.

And what might that gold look and feel like?: True self acceptance, calmness, compassion, removal of another veil as the crutch of another illusion is dismissed, a deeper alignment with and knowing of the true self, and the readiness to enter a relationship from a position of wholeness. This hermetic transformation is the birth of the chick, the inner child of innocence, freed of the tensions of the old oppositions, ready to enter new life.

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

Until we meet again,