Print of "Rites of Passage" by Susan Seddon Boulet
— by Rose De Dan —
Several years ago I was struggling to overcome some chronic health issues, the result of several car accidents. I had already traveled the standard Western medical route (without success), and had been slowly working my way through a variety of complementary healing modalities. Some helped, some didn’t.
I decided to call in a Feng Shui expert and see if there was anything I was overlooking in the energy of my home office since I spent most of my daily life there. As an animal communicator, Reiki and shamanic energy healer I knew that sometimes seemingly little elements make a big difference.
When the expert arrived we went over my goals for what I hoped to create in my life, and of course an improvement in my health was at the top of the list.
As we walked through my home together I learned which areas were related to aspects of my life.
It turned out that my relationship corner was smack dab where my desk and computer were, and if that wasn’t bad enough, she said my desk was facing the wrong direction. She felt that instead of my desk facing the windows so that I could look outside and connect with the natural world (which as a shaman I considered an important part of my work), she said it should be turned facing my workspace. We had a bit of a tussle over that one, which resulted in my agreeing to get a mirror to put on the desk for an energetic Feng Shui fix.
And then she pointed out that all the plants that were growing in that area were spiky cactus types. From my perspective as a plant lover I wondered what else would you put in the sunniest, hottest part of the house? But perhaps she did have a point in a symbolic kind of way. I made a mental note to try to find some less defensive plants to add.
But when the expert focused on the health area of my home office was when it got really interesting. With an expression of shocked disbelief she asked, “Do you realize that you have a print of a woman falling down the stairs in your health area?”
I took a step back and really looked at the wall that I passed every day but never really saw, and felt a wave of energy roll through me—this was important.
I found myself looking at a signed, limited edition Edward Gorey print, and yes, in and amongst the many dramas enacted within it there was a woman falling down the stairs. For many years I had felt drawn to Gorey’s quirky, somewhat macabre sense of humor. If you’ve seen the opening credits for PBS’ Mystery with the scenes of Victorian men and fainting women in cemeteries you get the idea.
From a practical perspective the symbolism of a woman having an accident was very clear. From a shamanic perspective I found myself searching into the energy of how I felt about his art. What I discovered was that over time I had done so much personal healing work that its grey darkness no longer appealed to me emotionally. Apparently I was no longer Goth Girl.
I immediately took “Falling Woman” off the wall along with all the rest of his art that was hanging there. It was time to let them go. But what should I put in their place? The wall could not stay bare.
When I asked the expert what she recommended, she responded, “What’s important to you?”
Immediately an image jumped to mind. Diving into the depths of my closet I emerged holding a rolled up poster that I’d had for many years, but never framed. My ownership of it even pre-dated my life as a Reiki or shamanic practitioner.
The print was by the artist Susan Seddon Boulet, and as I carefully unrolled it the beautiful image of a woman merged with shamanic elements of animal and nature allies slowly emerged. The title of the artwork was printed at the bottom in all caps—SHAMAN.
“How about this?” I asked. And the expert countered, “What does it mean to you?”
Tears sprang to my eyes as I replied with deep emotion, “Everything.”
“Then THAT’S what you put on the wall,” she said.
In that pivotal moment I embraced the woman I had grown into. And in so doing, I realized that I needed to walk through my entire space with my shamanic perceptions wide open—to let go of pieces from my past that no longer reflected the person I had become. I needed to carefully check my connection to each item. Did it feed my spirit or was it holding me back?
The energy of what I surrounded myself with mattered.
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing, is an animal communicator, energy healer, and author whose classes and ceremonial work are inspired by wild and domestic animals who have issued a call to action for personal and global healing.