I had the opportunity in August to travel to Oregon to attend the wedding of a childhood friend. A friend traveled with me, and she was curious to see where I grew up, and asked for a tour. I have visited my hometown a number of times over the years, but I generally resist traveling down memory lane by visiting my childhood homes and schools, because these memories bring many feelings, including some sadness.
I imagine that every person has mixed feelings about the places where they grew up. Good times and bad times reside everywhere. I agreed to my friend’s request, and so my mother, my friend, and I, decided to do a tour of Quynn’s past. We were going to do Placed Based Soul Retrievals for my young selves. When any of us go through trauma or hard times, parts of ourselves can get lost or separate for protection. Later in life, we can go back physically, or using the shamanic journey to retrieve and reintegrate these parts of ourselves. My tools were a video camera so I could talk my way through each place, and a smiley face ‘rattle’. This funny little tool, when shaked, makes a hilarious sound that is hard to describe…and ultimately, hard to not smile when I hear it. I chose it because I couldn’t let myself get too serious on this important journey. A journey through time and place to gather up my past ‘little Q’s’.
Our first couple stops included the houses of my pre and grade school years, including the house that had the big tree and treehouse shown to the right. The house looked exactly the same, but the yard, and surrounding area was very different. Also visited were my grade school and the house where my family lived from 3rd grade until I left home. This is the ground where my family broke apart, due to alcoholism and PTSD, so many young Qs were waiting for me in this neighborhood. Don’t get me wrong, I had good times too, especially with my friend Lynnda (seen below), the one who was getting married that prompted this trip. We were quite a pair. However, even while ‘fun’ was had during junior high and high school, soul loss occured. I needed to gather up my unsure and scattered teen ‘Qs’.
Next we traveled from the suburbs to the city to visit homes and college of my late teens and early twenties. Again, ‘fun’ times were had, and I was a wild child back then, mainly due to my own drinking and escaping my own pain. I shook my funny smiley face rattle at apartment after apartment in a few parts of town.
Finally, I found myself at the house where my shamanic life began. I walked outside the bedroom window where I was originally called to shamanize, by being hit on the head in the night. (A bit of a description is at this link). The house looked exactly the same, yet I was so different. I was 25 and 26 when I lived in this house. Now I am 44. So much is different, mainly because of what happened to me in this house. I shook my rattle and expressed my gratitude for my young adult ‘Q’ who was curious and persistent enough to continue seeking. I also asked for any ‘Qs’ who were confused or unsure of herself. I remember feeling that way regularly as I grew up.
I remember my feeling in junior high as I sat on the steps of the school (now a Waldorf School). At this age I felt like such an outsider, such a ‘geek’, and my family life was starting to crack apart, even though divorce didn’t happen until high school. As I sat there, I felt strongly that I did not want to leave any part of me there. I wanted my unsure 13 year old ‘Q’ with me. She won’t feel like an outsider with all the other cool freak ‘Qs’ she now has to hang out with (my current Q being the ringleader of course). :)
I have many of my past ‘Qs’ now. Only a few locations of my youth were not visited, but I have enough for now. We all need some time to learn about each other and figure out how to get along inside of me. While some might doubt that this process is ‘real’, I assure anyone who doubts, to visit one’s past, either physically or spiritually, in a safe space and time, for the purpose of retrieving soul parts, is incredibly healing and empowering. Even if someone isn’t able to visit the actual place, the mind is a powerful ally, and they can visit in the mind and see who is ready to come back.
I have shamanic journey audio tracks (drum tracks and specific journeys) available at the downloads page. For more information about Earth Web Media’s Institute for the Shamanic Arts, go to www.shamanacircle.com