Here is what I know: everything is sacred, and everything is connected.
This has been an intuitive and visceral knowing for me throughout my life, especially as a young child. I gathered stones, twigs, feathers, broken pieces of colored glass, and prayered them around my small room as if making altars. An ancient wisdom was emerging, but I had no name, no system through which to understand it consciously. It would be years later, in university on the East Coast of the US, that I would encounter writings about shamanism and indigenous Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern, African, and European earth-based religions. When I did, I was enthralled to find there the same essential ideas: the sacred is alive in all things – in rocks, trees, waves, human beings and the stars… we are not separate from the Divine. It permeates everything and exists in and beyond us at the same time.
This is a knowing that is consistent among first peoples and first religions across the planet. And I have come to believe it is this knowing, and practices related to it, that have the power to shift our present paradigm into one of greater balance, compassion, and wholeness.
My journey from child to woman, from the island of Nassau, Bahamas where I grew up to the Bay Area, California where I now live and work, was always about transformation in some form. I became a fiction writer because I wanted to know how people changed and healed broken lives. I found my way to San Francisco many years ago hoping to heal mine. I found Jungian Depth therapy, and healers who guided me on my way.
I studied Tantra for years before encountering the work of Patricia White Buffalo. A long-time teacher and assistant dean at Barbara Brennan’s Hands of Light school, Patricia White Buffalo introduced me to shamanic healing and energy medicine in her 3-year personal transformation and training program Walking the Shaman’s Path. During the program I studied the human energy field, characterology, and hands-on healing. I also studied and became adept at shamanic techniques including journeying, soul retrievals, ancestral healings, elemental healings, cellular healings, and energy clearing.
While on that powerful journey, I began teaching comparative mythology, coming face to face with ancient myths and fairy tales, Jungian perspectives of the psyche and archetypes, the hero’s journey as initiatory rites, and the story as medicine for the soul. I learned that shamanism has existed in a variety of forms in cultures across the planet since the paleolithic age; I learned that ancient Greeks -my ancestors- embodied their own forms of shamanic wisdom and practice. And, I began to see that both shamanism and myths used the language of symbol, the language of the soul, to guide the ‘hero’ on her, his, and their path toward wholeness and freedom.
It was not long before I too was called. I began Soul Healing Arts to practice energy medicine and shamanic healing and to offer it to all who feel called to walk towards their own infinite realms of possibility.
It is my privilege to walk with you.
Helen Klonaris is an energy medicine practitioner, an author, and an educator. She has an MFA in Writing and Consciousness from the New College of California, a BA in Religion from Wesleyan University, and she spent a year of study at the Women’s Theological Center in Boston, Massachusetts. She is most recently a graduate of the 3-year personal transformational and training program Walking the Shaman’s Path and she teaches comparative religion and mythology at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She is the co-editor of the anthology Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices, and her collection of short stories If I Had the Wings is forthcoming with Peepal Tree Press.
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