Norma Burton, “Through Wildlands of the Soul: The Shaman’s Way,” September. Norma grew up on a Seneca, Iroquios reservation and has trained onsite with shamans of many traditions: Cherokee, Iroquios, Navajo, Huichol, Peruvian, Tibetan, Japanese and Korean. She leads shamanic workshops throughout the United States, South America and Asia. As a practicing Buddhist, she has developed her own training program in Bodhi-shamanism.
An Equestrian Quest is a unique journey into the far reaches of who we are in relation to our own souls, to nature, and to the Sacred. The journey takes place in week-long or shorter treks into the wilderness, riding from a base camp for a few hours each day, or overnight. Improvisational rituals, vision quests, and guided meditation set the tone for the horse to carry us as soul companion into desert silence and mountain voices. The goal of the experience is a fundamental shift of consciousness.
The Swiss psychiatrist, C. G. Jung, has reminded us that the image of the horse in dreams is uniquely meaningful, because it represents the life force in humans. Its power to evoke awe comes to us from the dawn of humankind. Ancient shamans, who were the first priests and healers, invoked the horse to carry them in their spiritual journeys. In religious traditions based on shamanism, then and now, parts of the soul we have lost are discovered and restored. The literal presence of the horse opens these ancient portals for spiritual awakening.
Horses tune in and know us beyond what other humans can discern – our wounds and fears, our pretenses, trustworthiness, and our relationship to the earth and its extraordinary creatures, including ourselves.