This Spring marks the thirtieth anniversary of the very first shamanic workshop I ever taught. Of course I wasn’t alone the doing the teaching. My Spirits were with me all the way. I suppose they were looking at me the way we look at a child who is taking her first steps. And there was one miracle I remember to this day: a woman was spontaneously healed from claustrophobia which had been plaguing her all of her life – cured on her very first journey. Any doubts about shamanism I may have had at the time disappeared immediately. I knew I was on the right path.

Anniversaries are powerful invitations to stop and take stock. I have many reminders from these thirty years: the people I have known who helped me so much in the beginning, some of whom I am still in touch with, some whom I have not seen for years, and some, sadly, who are no longer in the Land of the Living. I think of the many people who have helped me as my steps grew firmer, and those who help me today, and the gifts of love in many forms so many have given to me. All have taught me important lessons about what it means to be a human being. It has been a long road, and when I look back at the path I can’t help but think of The Fool in the tarot deck, whistling along on the mountain path, enjoying the beautiful day, less than a step from the edge of the cliff. I know now that it was not my skill that kept me from falling into the precipice. It was my spirit teachers and helpers, and often human friends, who helped me to keep my feet on the path.

On that very first workshop, one of the participants asked me: “What are the Spirits?” This was an excellent question, and one I had never thought of. “The Spirits are The Spirits” had always been enough for me. Sensing that this would not be answer enough for the person who asked, I said “Please ask me tomorrow.” That evening I asked my Spirit Teacher, “What are you?” My Teacher smiled and said, “You can tell them that we are bundles of the power of the Universe, and we show ourselves in ways you can understand.” And that is what I told them. The participants were happy with that – and it gave me something to think about ever since.

We are all bundles of the Power of the Universe. What a gift this is! All of the bundles, the rocks and rivers, plants, planets and platypuses, bees, birds and bears, hippos, hydrangeas and humans, all of us, are bundles of the same energy – we just look and act differently, expressing different aspects of the same wonderful power. At the same time I know that this Jonathan-bundle is not going to be teaching for another thirty years, but however long I do last I know I am not walking alone and I want to deeply thank all of you who have been walking with me. We’re all in this together, and together we are One.

- Jonathan -