What does it mean to be "shaken by Spirit?" Two weeks ago a friend invited me to her favorite meditation. Led by a physician, I just wasn’t sure about going. I was anxious about it. I decided not to go. My husband returned home from his doctor appointment and said, “You will never guess who I was referred to!” Yes, it was the same physician who was leading the meditation. Clearly, the call to go was bigger than my mind was able to fathom. I changed my mind and went.
At the meditation circle, I experienced “shaking medicine.” After about 30 minutes of meditation, heat moved up my spine and then I felt a very hot flush move into my face, fiery hot. Then my arm started moving as if separated from me, moving of its own will, swinging back and forth like an infinity pendulum motion.
I felt no heat in my hands which often accompanies energy healing and felt that this energy had nothing to do with me. I truly experienced feeling beyond myself or outside of myself, the very definition of ecstasy. I was guided to offer healing from my left hand to the heart of the others present. I held my hand about a foot away from their bodies. Most felt heat. Some had visions.
After thirty years as a healer, alchemist, and seeker, this seemed, in retrospect, to be a peak experience of the long-suppressed Feminine Spirit. Call it Kundalini, Unity, Oneness, Union or Holy Spirit, it changed my life.
As an energy explorer, teacher, and healer, I have had many experiences of vibration, heat, tingling as healing energy, chi, qi, or life force came through me for myself or another. I remembered that my first shaking was last summer, while recording the song “Purple” for my new album, Sacred Where I Walk: Goddess Blessing Songs. I was given the title from within; the song came through. As I channeled the song, letting the music run through me, like water through a riverbed, my whole body began to tremble, then to shake.
I let go and let be whatever the song needed to be. We were recording and had the one "take" to “catch” the song. "Purple" is one of my favorites as it moves between blues and chant impressions of the ecstatic union with the divine. The vibrations in this song and the next “Song for God” can bring listeners into deep alignment with a devotional or mystical state. I wrote off the experience of shaking to the power of the song and promptly forgot it.
When I have new experiences I don't suppress, I research them. I am reading Shaking Medicine by Bradford Keeney, Ph.D., a scholar in South Africa. His study shows that many cultures--from the the Kalahari Bushmen, the oldest surviving culture on earth, to Quakers and Indian Shakers--have treated spiritual ecstatic shaking as medicine. He explains how Western intellectual fear of loss of control has buried this ancient practice in suspicion and shame, and he offers ways to cultivate shaking for self-healing.
My life has been shaken by this second shaking experience. I am taking more emotional risks. I have expanded what I am willing to surrender and am allowing decisions to be handled by Source. I am more keenly aware of where my fears and denial of self have blocked me. And every day new pieces of my own soul-spirit puzzle emerge and fall into place. Something new is happening. I don’t yet know what to say about it, just that I have a heads up that something is coming in this Pending Time….