The world of Shamanism is in many ways a world of magic and possibilities. One experiences a world that has no limits as to what is possible. Through her workbook and accompanying CD, author Wendy Halley takes us on journeys to explore all that is enchanted, magical and that which connects us to the various spirit realms.
The area and world of Shamanism has interested me since I first learned about it formally a few years ago. Even before then, I found all the ancient, native or indigenous cultures very fascinating with something drawing me towards the way they understood life, this Universe, nature and communicated with Spirit Worlds.
This is why I was very intrigued to check out Wendy Halley’s new workbook of Shamanic exercises called, The Magical Path: Conscious Dreaming Exercises for Healing & Growth. A few Shamanic resources have become known to me over the past year especially, but recently I am feeling an even bigger attraction to this area. Wendy’s new workbook is just one of such examples.
About the Author
The Magical Path: Conscious Dreaming Exercises for Healing & Growth (with Audio CD) was written by Wendy Halley and newly released at the start of 2011.
Wendy Halley started her formal career as a psychotherapist, drawn to people and helping them with their various struggles. Thanks to a series of powerful random events, Wendy was introduced to the spirit world and took a deep interest in Shamanic and Indigenous studies. Driven by a desire to explore healing possibilities beyond the scope of modern methods, Wendy studied under author, research paleoanthropologist and Shamanic teacher Hank Wesselman. Since then Wendy has published various works and became a teacher and practitioner of indigenous healing methods.
For more information on Wendy Halley or the book please visit: LucidPath.com and you can also get to know more about Wendy and her work, as I had the pleasure to do an interview with Wendy Halley here.
About the Format
The Magical Path: Conscious Dreaming Exercises for Healing & Growth is a workbook consisting of almost 100 pages, and includes a CD. It begins with an introduction and is composed of 3 sections.
In the first section called “Discover”, Wendy shares some of the theoretical aspect of conscious dreaming, and shares several of her own stories and experiences with the spirit world. In this section the reader will cover the following topics:
- Inviting Magic Back Into Your Life
- The Three Souls
- …But I’ve Always Been a Worry Wart
- The Hero’s Journey
- The Conscious Dream
- The Spirit World and Its Inhabitants
- Dream Journey Basics
- Getting Your Feet Wet
- Am I Making it Up?
The second section “Explore” starts with a short introduction to the middle world and then proceeds on with 10 exercises which lead the participant to discover the middle, upper and lower worlds of the spirit realm themselves.
The third section “Heal” invites us to make an intention of what we want to heal or change about ourselves or in our lives and then guides us through another 10 exercises to access our past, present and future self.
The book ends with concluding words from the author, and also includes a glossary of commonly used words throughout the book and a blank dreams & synchronicities section to record or draw any observations or notes we experienced or wish to document.
This workbook also comes with a CD, which is meant to accompany each of the exercises. The CD includes 2 tracks; a Shamanic drum beat and Rainfall track with binaural beats which are used to induce theta brain wave activity.
To ignite magic in our life, to explore all that is seen and unseen and to stimulate the infinite power of our imagination is to me an invaluable part of life! This is why I really enjoy material which can tap into these areas and awaken within us something that we always had, but that which has been buried in most of us for long.
Wendy begins the workbook by sharing that today more than anything, magic is missing from our lives. I so agree. As children we have at our fingertips all the possibilities, and as we grow up, we are taught to abandon the world of magic and imagination so much. We are told “to grow up” and “face reality”. But the most amazing thing as any Shaman knows, is that reality is completely what we make it, and what each one of us chooses to perceive. This reality can be seen as more of the dream world, than the dream world itself! It is truly an incredible field to explore and my being excites at the potential of it all.
To be a close-minded cynic paralyzes the spirit over time. Plus, believing in a world without magic is simply no fun.
Wendy Halley, The Magical Path
I enjoyed reading what Wendy had to share, and getting a better idea of what Indigenous cultures share about the spirit world. The exercises were fun to do and set up to gently guide the participant in an order to which there is a bigger reason. At first, there was of course a bit of hesitation, in whether I am making it up, or whether I am accessing something beyond myself. This is where I was glad that Wendy also covered this topic in a section of the workbook. However, being the scientist at heart that I am, I really made sure to stay conscious about leaving my mind blank often and seeing what would come to me instead of forcing something to happen. Those turned out to be my most powerful exercises, as there was a clear feeling of tapping into something beyond myself.
At the time of writing this, I have not yet gone through the entire workbook of the exercises so I cannot comment on any final “outcome”. While the last “heal” section asks us to set an intention, I personally look forward to using this workbook and these exercises over time without pushing for or forcing any one goal. I am just having a great time taking time out to play in the other realms. It really is fun and I am always in awe of how much magic we can each bring into our lives beyond the physical world! Bottom line this is not the type of material one just reads from cover to cover, or makes a point of racing to get to the end. It would probably be best to weave these exercises into a daily routine like a meditation time, however they can also be done several at a time or when your being calls you to journey into the other worlds. If you choose to follow the instructions and do each exercise alongside one of the tracks on the CD, you can plan for about 20 minutes per exercise. If doing one each day, with 20 exercises, the workbook and one complete healing journey can be done in 20 days.
The CD is a great addition to this resource and I really enjoyed the different sounds, while taking the journeys. I have had an introduction to the power of binaural beats a while back and how much power they have to alter our brain wave action. Wendy states that we can experiment with both tracks and see which one suits us more to do the journeys with. I found some pros and cons to both, which made it fun to alternate. The Shamanic drum beat is great at setting the mood, is neutral enough not to influence any specific visions and powerful for enhancing the experience, but it does not have the same binaural beat enhancement as the 2nd track. The rainfall track on the other hand has the binaural beats which stimulate our brain into the theta wave pattern—the state of our brain for dream time—however hearing the water influenced me to attach to the sound and feel my surroundings in a watery landscape. With practice, I found I got better at focusing on the visions, and leaving the sounds as a background noise for my brain to decode.
In the end, I cannot stress enough that this is a workbook with exercises. It is not meant to serve as a book or thorough resource on Shamanic or Indigenous cultures, ways or rituals. The exercises are simple and very easy to understand and do. There is lots of space on each page to record our experiences after each journey.
To appreciate this work and gain from it the most, I think this workbook will be most beneficial and I would recommend it for those who already have some interest and knowledge into the Shamanic world, visions and journeys. For anyone who is brand new to Shamanism, I would recommend reading a book about this field first before doing any journey exercises to get the most out of the experience. I also would imagine it may be too simple of a tool for those who are very advanced in the Shamanic field.
As for me, I intend to continue my journeys into the different parts of the spirit world, expanding on the magic and enjoying the expansion of my being.
The healing journey is all about getting back to your truth. It’s about peeling back the layers of Ego and exposing who you really are.
Wendy Halley, The Magical Path
The Magical Path is available in major bookstores and online stores. You can get your own copy from Amazon.com (see below).