INTERVIEW WITH SHAMANESS DEBRA KELLY
What was your first introduction to the shamanic path?
D: I followed my heart and this is where I landed. I believe we have built in codes of awakening, as if they arrive on cue from higher self. These moments of opportunity that present in our readiness. We get to choose the path that reveals, and perhaps that path is a continuation from where you left off in another life. In 2009 I was invited to the south Florida Ayllu by a member of the community I lead in Fort Lauderdale.
I had no clue what an Ayllu was, what I can say is this: I had been searching all my life to find my way home. Within a year I became steward of that Ayllu and found my first teacher, Don Oscar Miro Quesada, and my entire world as I knew it was never the same again.
Looking back, I remember the feeling of being on the edge of something big in my life, it was like the world was waiting to open itself to me but I could not see it, nor know any part of it until I let go of all that I thought I knew and learned the art of surrender. I believe our past lives are etched in our auric field like a tattoo. If we find our way, there are old gifts of expression standing in the waiting halls, ready to resume in a current timeline. It feels like the Medicine woman that lives in me has had many incarnations on this path.
How has practicing shamanism changed your day-to-day life?
D: This path has pointed me to all the parts I had denied within myself, and in retrieving those essential pieces of my soul, my vista opened to embrace all of life – every form, every nuance, leaving no stone unturned.
I have discovered that I am a ceremonialist at heart. All that I need to know, to see, to feel, and to remember is within reach. I am never alone and have entered a relationship with an entire community of unseen helpers. All of life is constantly speaking to and through me. The more I engage with these realms the more they have to teach me. I have learned a language without words and what used to leave me with so many unanswered mysteries, now fills me with a certain ease from within that does not need to seek outside authority.
Trusting the guidance of my allies and my intuition has become key. Shamanism has empowered me to remember who I am, and what I am here to share. It’s a path of self accountability that supports me in the magic of co-creating all that I can dream into being.
Who has been your biggest inspiration on this journey?
D: There is an underlay of deep old earth based divine feminine that is a constant stream of influence in all that is sacred to my expression. The one that resonates most closely for me is Kuan Yin. She is the reminder of gentleness and compassion for all of life – the world is her pearl. I feel her when I tend to sacred hoop, reaching through me to the hearts of all that lead to one. I feel her as the deep old earth mother, beckoning us to be kind to one another and honor all of life, animate or inanimate. I feel her co-creating with me the sacred expressions of art and design that arrive through my mesa and altar creations, carrying codes of awakening.
What are your favorite ritual objects?
D: There are the ones that are always present, what I would call the standard. These are the drums, rattles, bowls and bells, Palo Santo, Sage, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Copal & Myrrh, Florida water, crystals, khuyas, feathers, sacred textiles, flowers and shells.
There are also ones that are specific to our medicine path that arrive with a story to tell and quickly become our allies. These are the ones that are very personal and what I would call sacred artes. They arrive in a unique way and carry a lot of medicine. One that comes to mind right now is my newest; a Peruvian version of Sheela na gig. She is packed with power and brings tears of healing. She fills the room with incredible force of sacred deep feminine.
As you acquire these sacred artes they are quick to embody spirit allies. Soon they build a community in your home and call to you when they know it is their time to come out and commune. They are great protectors, teachers and guides. I have lots of stories in this exchange and what one perceives as inanimate is quite the illusion.
What do you wish to share by doing this work?
D: Life is an eternal and very sacred dance of dreaming and weaving. My medicine brings deep soul remembering and inspires gardens of community. The path of the heart is not a concept of the mind, it’s not something you learn by reading enough books. It’s something that must be felt and experienced in total surrender to the unknown. In this exchange there is a peeling away of the layers that reveal truth and open us to the universe within.
We share in a pool of vibrational consciousness, and are magnets to what we FEEL, and mirrors to one another. Shamanism is a path that reveals authentically to each individual with no set of rules, only guidelines. Long after I am gone the footprints I wish to leave in the sands of time are seeded with awakening to the eternal, and with that perhaps we will begin to understand how our thoughts, words and deeds ripple through all the dimensions. Intention and awareness sets the stage for all of life as we know it… and every moment is not only a gift but an opportunity to choose how you wish to perceive and proceed.
There is work in being conscious and accountable for the co-creations of our emotions. Awakening is not for the chosen few, it is for those who choose to do the work. Once you become conscious, turning around doesn’t appear to be a favorable option!
What distinguishes you from other practicing shamans?
D: As early as I can remember I have been pulled by sacred design. It is in the textiles and the artes, it is in ancient buildings and architectural details of old churches, it shows up in the patterns of sacred geometry. If you are aware you will notice it in the finest details echoed through nature.
When I saw my first mesa, something opened inside me and I soon discovered this as part of my medicine. The mesa is one of the oldest portals to the invisible realms and an ally on my earth walk. Everything is there to exchange with in this sacred art – guides, totems, elements and elementals, angels, teachers, ancestors and keepers of the Akasha. My work is in bridging understanding of this practice through ceremony and experience, in a way that gently integrates into our every day world.
Energetically, I embody what I would call “deep old earth based divine feminine” in my practice as a distinguishing element. Sound is also key in my work as a shamanic practitioner and facilitator of the sacred hoop. While I am not a musician, I have found that sound is the fastest way to open the portals that connect to the unseen. Sound transcends the human language and creates a bridge that so many can cross into and arrive at a very deep place of awareness. I have never been able to sing on key and yet I have learned to be SUNG by spirit and weave frequencies in that are palpable from the heart space.
What advice would you give to someone just waking up to the medicine path?
D: I can say that the place we meet in ceremony is ancient – it is in our DNA. When you feel the pull of resonance from within, there is most likely something in it for you of deep remembering – an inner knowing that defies the boundaries of human perception. Our thinking minds want to quickly explain and compartmentalize every experience, which can be so limiting. What you experience in my circle is only my version and expression – a truth of deeply sourced and practiced shamanism. I strongly recommend that you allow your feeling heart to be the indicator of your direction; letting one stone lead to the next with childlike wonder. There is so much information out there, yet only your experience will be able to guide you to what is true for you, in the most accurate way.
Listen to your heart, it will never steer you wrong if you learn to tune into that intelligence. There are no rules in this as we are all co-creators of our reality… Well maybe one rule: let LOVE be your compass.
Debra’s website is: www.insacredways.com
Photography by: Leea Gorell
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