Wednesday, May 27, 2009

for Ronda and Dani, mostly ... and anyone else who is curious.


Pythagorean perfections: the east facade of the National Gallery, the cool dome over the center of the National Gallery, and the huge, elongated pyramid of the Washington Monument in the distance.

I was never that interested in American history until I landed in Washington DC. But once I was here, I became fascinated with it. The history of the Civil War is particularly alive in DC, surrounded as the city is by battlefields. If I'd moved to Massachusetts or even Philadelphia, I might have become entranced by the Revolutionary War. Who knows?

As is my habit once I become interested in something, I dove head-first into a study of the war, reading as much as I could and visiting the photo archives at the Library of Congress. Believe me, there are a LOT of books about the American Civil War. And Matthew Brady took a LOT of pictures. Wow. I even read Shelby Footes' three volume history, literally thousands of pages long. If I had to recommend just one great book for those not as inspired to read As Much As Humanly Possible, it would be Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson.

In the meantime I began visiting battlefields and that's where my shamanic work with dead soldiers began in earnest. I'm not the only person who believes that the battlefields are haunted. In fact, it's hard to find anyone, even the most rational person, who will say they aren't. It felt to me like the battles were ongoing in a never-ending loop. I tried so many different tactics to unwind those ghostly battle loops, including interpretive dance, chanting while wearing gigantic raven wings (seriously - I did that on the battlefield at Antietam), blasting music from a handheld boombox, forming shapes with postures and poses, crying like a baby and letting my tears fall on the ground and doing "automatic writing."

Back then, I was interested in finding areas of disturbed energy to work with shamanically. It was not good for me, and had absolutely no impact on the landscapes I visited. Also I was frustrated because most of my shaman pals had no desire to place themselves in the middle of Civil War battlefields. At the time I didn't understand, but now I do, I really do!

Flash forward to the 21st century. These days my shamanica is almost always about finding areas in which I feel a healing or harmonizing energy, then dancing in support of that healing. You see, I have gotten smarter, and more humble, as I've aged. Thank God.

My recent work with the Vietnam Memorial is all about the change in the energy there. I used to avoid that place like the plague, it felt so heavy and wounded. But something has happened and it doesn't feel creepy to me anymore. It feels potent in a healing way, as if the stuck souls are now able to move on, right through the wall to locations of healing and renewal. It feels happy down there these days. Wow.

You can't imagine how wonderful it is to know I had nothing to do with the change. Ahhhh. Free at last from my grandiose delusions. That's why I told those dead soldiers in my dream to get their astral asses down to the memorials, because I finally understand that it's not up to me to be the big healer of the damage of war. That's God's job, or something that can only unwind over time, or who knows? But I CAN dance in solidarity with the healing. I can go down to the Vietnam Memorial and smile in happiness and wonder that something has changed.

I do, and likely always will, have such a soft spot in my heart for those ghosts. I don't regret my follies on the battlefields, I don't regret my earnest desire to be of help. Embarrassing to think of my hubris, but oh well. That was then. It's all over now.

OK this is more than enough on this topic. Onwards & upwards to other subjects tomorrow. Enough is enough. Apologies if this was boring or completely impossible to understand. I'm like that sometimes.

38 comments:

lacochran said...

The first photo has great juxtaposition but/and the second photo makes me smile. :)

Natalie said...

Never boring in a million years! You,and your blog are fascinating. I really love to visit you and Jake, and see what adventures you have both been on. :D
Love to you.xx♥

Angela said...

No, it`s not boring, Reya, not at all. And I`m glad you tried to heal those soldiers. They surely felt it and danced along...somehow. I once wanted to spend my summer vacations on a war cemetery tending to those graves, but I was considered too young then. But it is a good task. Lest they be forgotten. They were so young.

Reya Mellicker said...

Angela, I would go with you and tend a military cemetary ANY day. You have so much positive life force you would be a most powerful shaman!

John Hayes said...

I agree--not boring; it seems like a creative act, not in the "performance art" sense but coming from a deep belief & energy.

mum said...

makes total sense to me, Reya - the difference between using one's energy like a sprinkler system to water to make the desert vs adopting a drip system to deliver the energy where it stands a chance to be useful. Aging: one of the benefits of :-)

mum said...

that should read: to make the desert flower, by the way.

ellen abbott said...

Not hubirs, but selfless. But I agree, it's liberating to know that you are not in charge and shirking your duty...or failing.

And both pictures are wonderful.

Mad Texter said...

I'll be in Washington this weekend. Who knows, maybe I'll spot a glimpse of The Gold Puppy walking about.

Reya Mellicker said...

John! You're such a master of language. That's perfectly said!

a creative act, not in the "performance art" sense but coming from a deep belief & energy.YES. I've always said that great orchestral conductors are great shamans. I have a bunch of photos of Leonard Bernstein moving energy in his role as conductor. Wow. Thanks.

And you, too, Mum, and thanks Ellen but I was really full of it for awhile there. My ego was completely engaged. Oh well.

karen said...

Following this all with fascination... thank you x

Verily I go. said...

Your earnest desire to be of help is genuine gifted. Boring you is unbelievable and you being full of yourself, I would guess was cherished too. I like you being here, summing up equations of you and teaching me.

willow said...

I visited Gettysburg for the first time a few years ago, and the energy there was so powerful and dense.

Reya Mellicker said...

Five of us went to Gettysburg full of intention. Once we got there, we all wandered away from each other and had completely conflicting experiences of the place.

Shamans vs. Gettysburg? pfft! Gettysburg kicked our butts and sent us back home, licking our wounds. Oh well.

Meri said...

Gettysburg does have an awesome power that makes body hair stand on end. I've not been there for years, but would like to experience it again now that I'm more attuned to various kinds of energy. And your comment about Bernstein resonates, though I'd never thought of it that way. Doesn't music itself create and move energy?

Reya Mellicker said...

Meri - I think so. Music is vibration, literally. But when you get 80 musicians on stage, all generating vibration, you need a conductor to pull it all together, swirl it into a cohesive shape.

Bernstein was a genius.

Ronda Laveen said...

Oh, Reya. This is beautiful. You have done so much work in this dimension for yourself and others. You are a powerful, dynamic healer. The realms in which we work are not defined by exact science and math. Although, some of those areas are beginning to be proven or supported by such. There is no embarassment in learning a craft.

And in the end, you come back to the basics with the greater understanding that none of the healing we do comes from us, only through. Out here in the West, there is not as much war history. What is here is mainly American Indian. It is all about finding the Light and the way home.

Soon, I will share with you some of my stories. Off to work now! Thank you, Sister, for this beautiful piece of beautiful you.

Blessings

Ronda Laveen said...

P.S. Loved the bit about the Gettysburg Shamanic Ass Whooping. So true. So true.

Butternut Squash said...

Always fascinating to me! I would very much enjoy participating in the dance. Would you like a shaman's purbha from Nepal? I have several wooden purbhas and iron purbhas. The Nepalese shaman bows his head entranced and allows the goddess to climb onto his shoulders for a ride. The purbha contains and directs the energy. If you would like one to try out, just let me know which kind and where I should send it. But, if you use it, I want to hear the story.

Reya Mellicker said...

YES!! Thank you, Butternut. I'll email you right this second. COOL!!!

And Ronda, thank you so much for the affirmation. Can't wait to hear your stories, too.

Lover of Life said...

I'm glad you were able to resolve this issue. I have become so entranced with particular peoples and times that it's almost OCD. I did an American Indian obsession once, and lately it was the Tudor era in England - sparked by The Other Boleyn. Now I'm off on UFO's again.

Reya Mellicker said...

Lover of Life - So you, too, are a shaman and time traveler. Very cool.

I'm just realizing today that there are a lot more of us who are aware of our connection to the larger matrix of energy than I thought. It's really good to know that!

Steve said...

I don't think your desire to heal is hubris, necessarily. And how do you know what you did had no effect? Perhaps your desire and practice helped those conflicted places seem more whole now?

Elizabeth said...

Reya
Fascinating as always
one day we must meet and laugh and also talk about time.
I have just finished a story for children in which time sort of repeats itself (not like Groundhog Day) a bit more spiritual than that.......
I used to be haunted by WW1
love

mouse (aka kimy) said...

your posts could never be boring... as natalie says you (and the gold puppy) are always fascinating!!

at times my I can get very overwhelmed and sometimes even woozy when I visit places like battlefields and the like.... lots of spirits still about, methinks....

I am sure your shamanic work brings much healing energies to the spirits and the place. thank you....

A Cuban In London said...

No, your post wasn't boring, I learnt a great deal. And your first photo has such a wacky (a)symmetrical vibe to it that it's almost perfect. Many thanks and also thank you for that fantastic poem you left me a week ago. Much appreciated.

Greetings from London.

Bee said...

I wonder why the energy around the Vietnam Memorial has changed? (Have you already theorized about this? Sorry if I missed it.)

How awful to die on a battlefield -- feeling all manner of bad things (frightened; jacked up on anger and aggression; and probably dirty and hungry as well). I think that it was spiritually generous of you to try and release (cleanse?) some of that bad energy.

Dani said...

Reya- thank you so much for sharing! I too was once obsessed with the Civil War. Matthew Brady's haunting photos of the dead on the battlefield really are so eerie. Maybe you don't give yourself enough credit- maybe you *did* have some sort of influence??

I think it's great that you have moved on to places with "healing and harmonizing energy"- it seems to be a good change for you.

If you're planning on taking a trip to the Korean War memorial, please let me know, or if you feel compelled to work with the ghosts of OIF and OEF.

Hugs, Dani

Delwyn said...

Hi Reya,

Your last photo is a beautiful opening to the season of summer which I feel that your pshyche has been doing - spring cleaning...bringing in the new...

There is a season for all energies, all obsessions, all passions, all fascinations, all completions and all little deaths....

Reya Mellicker said...

Bee my working theory is that the energy of the concert that took place a couple of days before the inauguration, at that end of the national mall, brought tremendous amounts of healing along with it, both from the performers but also because there were so many happy people out there dancing and cheering. I wondered at the time if that would have any last effect.

I also think that electing a president who is not part of the Vietnam War generation created an energetic shift. It was Obama running against someone who had been a POW in Vietnam. In fact, John McCain was so brutally tortured that he was permanently injured - he can not raise his hands above his head.

The last presidential race in 2004 also included a Vietnam War vet - John Kerry - who also lost.

Who knows what happened - but these are the theories I'm entertaining at the moment.

Thanks Dani!

Reya Mellicker said...

There were so many incredible moments in that concert. Here's Bettye LeVete and Jon Bon Jovi (of all people to sing a duo) singing A Change is Gonna Come. Still brings a tear to my eye.

The "stage" (the platform at the bottom of the steps at the Lincoln Memorial) is just southwest of the Vietnam Memorial. I'll bet the wall was vibrating with the energy.

poietes said...

Reya,
You know, as many times as I have been and out of the heart of D.C., I have never put together those three shapes in the line that your eye caught. Absolutely fabulous.

fern's grotto said...

Just wanted to let you know I’ve nominated you for a Lemmy (Lemonade Award). It’s supposed to be for great attitude/ gratitude, which I think is something behind any great blog; yours is just the way I like a blog to be: well-written, interesting, funny and wackily right on.... As the word verfification I need to type in below says: "herlike". That could only happen on your blog Reya.....

So-here's what I'm supposed to say as part of this: Further participation on your part (your own top 10, links, logo, and so on) is entirely optional; my goal was to send as many readers as possible, who hadn’t already heard of you, your way.

Ronda Laveen said...

I am really looking forward to hearing how you experience Butternut Squash's purbha. Wow! How cool is that!

And what Steve said about this work taking a while is so true. He's a pretty right on kind of guy. When working with souls and the land (Earth) the time frames of reference are so different than ours. They have millions of years and we don't. We just have to keep putting the work out there. Don't you just love it!

Linda Pendleton said...

Reya,
Great post...and far from boring. :-) I like the first photo. You have made an excellent point about the energy from our President's concert. Music heals, and there was so much love there. I love that song, too. And I still play it from one of my blogs posted that weekend. And that is where we are at this time....change.

Your healing energy has probably sent thousands into the light.

Reya Mellicker said...

Fern! THANK YOU! Going to go check it out asap.

Thanks, too, to Linda. Nice to "meet" you.

Hey Ronda, Steve is a GREAT person, initially a blog friend but now also a "real life" friend. He was in the dream with the soldiers, acting as uncharacteristically as I was (smoking, drinking, and playing poker).

Reya Mellicker said...

Poietes: I took the pic from the corner of Pennsylvania and 5th, NW, using the super zoom. Thank you!

Rose said...

Hope you don't mind but I have linked to this post and written about it a little on a post I wrote today. XX