Medicine for the Soul in the Wake of Abuse

Jean Chagnon smoke.jpg

Experienced Shamanic Practitioners: please note the deadline for registration for this program is October 2, 2017. On-campus rooms are limited and are assigned first come-first served. Check out this great article by Jean, recently published by Essential Wellness.

In my shamanic practice, I have often wondered how to best serve clients who are survivors of childhood abuse. Although I am not trained as a mental health therapist, it is apparent to me that people who survived abuse as children face challenges that are direct and specific consequences of their difficult pasts. In an effort to be of better service to these clients, I have studied, and I have consulted with my helping spirits, and my colleagues and teachers. 

I'm very happy to announce that I will sponsor one of these colleagues and teachers, who - as a licensed psychologist and trained shamanic practitioner - is uniquely prepared and qualified to teach those in the healing professions who wish to work more holistically with survivors of abuse. Jean Chagnon, PhD, LP has devoted her career to working with survivors of abuse, and is the author of The Art of Inner Listening: Medicine for the Soul in the Wake of Abuse. Jean and I met during Betsy Bergstrom's first training for teachers of compassionate depossession. She is a brilliant, inspired practitioner and teacher. She will present a three-day intensive, Medicine for the Soul in the Wake of Abuse, near Philadelphia, November 16-19, 2017. In Jean's words, "This training will deepen practitioners’ understanding of the impact of childhood abuse, explore the modifications to traditional shamanic practice that are helpful and appropriate for clients who are survivors, and teach healing techniques that will allow practitioners to work at the intersection of soul and somatoenergetic healing." For more information, please click on the link for the application.

 

 

 

 

 

Movements of the Heart

Just a reminder that Open Heart Circle meets at 7 p.m. next Thursday, Feb 23. Our gathering will be for adults over the age of 18 years this month. We will be exploring intimate relationships, through shamanic journey and constellation work. There is a beautiful constellation that facilitates closure with former romantic partners, opening the way for engagement with a new love. If anyone would like to have the group do this constellation for them, please let me know ahead of time. Open Heart Circle meets the fourth Thursday night of the month in East Windsor, NJ. This circle offers a warm welcome and a safe space for those wishing to explore shamanic journey and other spiritual practices that offer direct revelation of spirit. Please bring a drum or rattle, an eye-covering, and a journal. (Drums and rattles are available to borrow, as well.) If you do not yet know how to journey, you are welcome to visit and to get a sense of whether or not you might want to learn the practice.  You are invited to arrive after 6:30 and to make yourself at home. A donation of $10 is suggested, but not necessary. Please RSVP to 609.273.4399 or cindyoconnor.net@gmail.com.

Bringing through Voices of Wisdom and Compassion

Open Heart Circle
Experiences in Mediumship
(no previous experience necessary)
Thursday, January 26, 7-9 p.m.

This past weekend, I attended a workshop by a colleague, Peter Clark, called "Star Fire Merging." This month, Open Heart Circle is inspired by Peter's teachings on mediumship. We'll practice channeling our Gatekeeper spirits; and perhaps our compassionate ancestor spirits; and other helping spirits. Please bring a question or two (personal or community-oriented) on paper that you would like to be asked anonymously of our helping spirits, as well as a head or eye covering. Please RSVP so that I may hold space for you.

Open Heart Circle meets the fourth Thursday night of the month in East Windsor, NJ. This circle offers a warm welcome and a safe space for those wishing to explore shamanic journey and other spiritual practices that offer direct revelation of spirit. Please bring a drum or rattle, an eye-covering, and a journal. (Drums and rattles are available to borrow, as well.) If you do not yet know how to journey, you are welcome to visit and to get a sense of whether or not you might want to learn the practice.  You are invited to arrive after 6:30 and to make yourself at home. A donation of $10 is suggested, but not necessary.

The Color Purple

Many of us have been quite focused on the colors Red and Blue for the past several months, and on the perceptions of separateness that challenge us. What might we learn if we step into the energetic fields represented by these colors, and invite awareness that transcends our fear? What if we step into the field of the color Purple? What invisible chrysalis envelopes us now: and what is preparing to emerge? Join Open Heart Circle on Thursday, December 22 and explore these questions in community through the experiential practices of systemic constellation and shamanic journeying. Open Heart Circle meets the fourth Thursday night of the month in East Windsor, NJ. This circle offers a warm welcome and a safe space for those wishing to explore shamanic journey and other spiritual practices that offer direct revelation of spirit. Please bring a drum or rattle, an eye-covering, and a journal. (Drums and rattles are available to borrow, as well.) If you do not yet know how to journey, you are welcome to visit and to get a sense of whether or not you might want to learn the practice.  You are invited to arrive after 6:30 p.m. and to make yourself at home. We start at 7. A donation of $10 is suggested, but not necessary. Please RSVP to 609.273.4399 or cindyoconnor.net@gmail.com.

Seeing in the Dark with Owl Medicine

Susan Seddon Boulet

Susan Seddon Boulet

We have collectively come into a place of uncharted territory, that many feel as a place of darkness and danger. Throughout time, Owl has been associated with wisdom and the ability to navigate through the night. Join Open Heart Circle Tuesday, November 22 as we invite the power of Owl in planning a personal path for navigating through the time ahead. This circle offers a warm welcome and a safe space for those wishing to explore shamanic journey, a practice that offers direct revelation of spirit. Please bring a drum or rattle, an eye-covering, and a journal. (Drums and rattles are available to borrow, as well.) If you do not yet know how to journey, you are welcome to visit and to get a sense of whether or not you might want to learn the practice.  You are invited to arrive after 6:30 and to make yourself at home; we open circle at 7. We meet in East Windsor, NJ. A donation of $10 is suggested, but not necessary. Please RSVP to 609.273.4399 or cindyoconnor.net@gmail.com.

Open Heart Systemic Constellations Circle Open Invitation

Please join us Saturday, October 15, 2016, 1-5 p.m. for a Systemic Constellation workshop in Plainsboro, NJ. This workshop is intended as an introduction for people unfamiliar with the work - as well as an opportunity for those with some experience. Our work will include a number of interesting and inspiring exercises shared by master Constellation Facilitators Francesca Mason Boring and Bill Mannle. These exercises will help those new to constellation work to understand the process and to feel comfortable with it.

The Center for Relaxation & Healing is tucked into an office park, and can be a bit challenging to find. Google Maps and other GPS services do not always bring you to the location correctly. Please follow the directions on the Center's website! It's important!
http://www.relaxationandhealing.com/contac…/map-a-directions

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to cindyoconnor.net@gmail.com!

Even the stones beneath your feet speak...

Happy Equinox! May this be a time of balance within and without for you. Open Heart Circle meets Thursday, September 29. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and we begin at 7. We will explore the kinds of pilgrimages that we are on. Where is your heart leading you? What does it mean to be a pilgrim? Come with this question in your heart, and bring a rock the size of your heart. We will journey; and we will engage in a Native American practice called "Talking Rock." This is a practice of divination that relies on the willingness of spirit to speak through Nature. Even the stones beneath your feet speak, when you are on pilgrimage! Perhaps you will be inspired to take the rock home, and to paint it with the message you receive from spirit. In any case, you'll be going home with a gift of the season: a small rock painted by my friend, Susan! Bring a journal, a drum, and an eye-cover. $10 donation is suggested, but not required. This is a good month to come if you are not experienced in journeying (and even if you are). Talking Rock is a lovely practice that, once learned, can extend to all our relations in the natural world. Please RSVP if you plan to attend, so that we may hold space for you. I hope to see you then!

Limpia & Guided Journey Offered in August

A reminder that Open Heart Circle meets Thursday, August 25. Several people who have little experience with shamanism will attend this month, so I'll be leading a guided journey. (It's a great time to come, if you've never journeyed before!) I'll also share the practice of limpia (cleansing), as I learned it from Lakota Elder, Carol Proudfoot Edgar. Everyone will have an opportunity to participate in this gentle, restorative practice. Door opens at 6:15 and we start at 7. We meet at my home in East Windsor, NJ. Feel free to arrive early and to get settled. Park on the street in front of the house, and come to the front door.

Please bring a drum or rattle, an eye-covering, and a journal. Wear comfortable clothing. (Drums and rattles are available to borrow, as well.) A donation of $10 is suggested, but not necessary.
Please RSVP to 609.273.4399 or cindyoconnor.net@gmail.com.

Visit to Eastern State Penitentiary August 17

Several colleagues and I have planned a visit to Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia on Wednesday, August 17, 2016. You are welcome to join us. Our intention is to visit, take the 2 p.m. guided tour, and be open to helping spirits who are seeking release.

Eastern State Penitentiary has a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in the country. They have a formal program for people wishing to conduct paranormal investigations. That program happens 9 p.m.-1 a.m. and costs $100 per person. Our plan it to visit during the day, and to pay the more modest daily entry fee. It cost me $13.75 to register online for the 2 p.m. tour on Aug 17, using discount code WEB16. There is a senior discount for those 62+.

We must meet at 1:45 at the prison for the tour; and we plan to meet at a nearby restaurant for lunch at 12:30. I plan to visit the penitentiary in the morning, before lunch, as well.

There's quite a bit of information of their website: http://www.easternstate.org/visit.

Please let me know if you buy a ticket or have questions. If you have not had experience with this kind of work, please do not make this your maiden voyage. If you have had experience, and you plan to join us, please hold the intention that we and our work be safe and effective. I'll ask the rest to, as the Quakers say, "hold us in the Light."

Open Heart Circle Moves to 4th Thursdays

Because of changing family commitments, Open Heart Circle is moving from the fourth Wednesday night of the month to the fourth Thursday night of the month. There are several exceptions through the end of the year (please see below). This circle offers a warm welcome and a safe space for those wishing to explore shamanic journey, a practice that offers direct revelation of spirit. Please bring a drum or rattle, an eye-covering, and a journal. (Drums and rattles are available to borrow, as well.) If you do not yet know how to journey, you are welcome to visit and to get a sense of whether or not you might want to learn the practice.  You are invited to arrive after 6:30 and to make yourself at home. A donation of $10 is suggested, but not necessary.
Our next gathering is Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 7.
Please RSVP to 609.273.4399 or cindyoconnor.net@gmail.com.

Open Heart Circle is held in East Windsor, New Jersey.  Future 2016 gatherings will be held:

  • Thursday, August 25, 2016
  • Thursday, September 29, 2016 (5th Thursday!)
  • No circle in October: Compassionate Depossession training October 27-30, 2016 at Pendle Hill)
  • Tuesday, November 22 (Thanksgiving week!)
  • Thursday, December 22, 2016

SHAMANIC CONSTELLATIONS WORKSHOP SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2016

Even before I was introduced to shamanism, my Reiki practice was shamanic. My power animal came to me as my "Reiki Guide" - and I heard, saw, felt, and knew things that I was directed to share with my clients. I think that this is a fairly common experience, for those finding themselves on a shamanic path. I am finding that my work as a facilitator of systems constellation work is also inseparable from my shamanic practice. Some deep work has been showing up in the constellation circles I have facilitated. This is a testament to the compassion and intention of the circles: they are able to hold the work in a safe and sacred way. However, the experience is not the same as one might expect from a journey circle, and I think it may be wise to hold separate circles: dedicated either for journey work, or for the exploration of a decidedly shamanic experience of systems constellations. This workshop is intended as an introduction to systems constellations, with strong emphasis on the shamanic aspects of the work. I particularly invite shamanic practitioners who may be interested in exploring the Knowing Field.

Systems Constellation involves working with intention for healing with energetic systems. Family Systems Constellation focuses on the energetic dynamics of family relationships, with the intention of increasing the flow of love in a family. Organizational, Business, and Nature Systems Constellation have all evolved from the original work with family systems, and focus on facilitating healthy relationships in the systems as their names suggest.

In my experience, the practice and experience of Systems Constellation varies enormously, depending largely on the orientation and intention of the facilitator. Whether the facilitator utilizes a rigid constructivist approach or an open phenomenological approach to the work, however, I have observed that the Knowing Field (first coined by Dr. Albrecht Mahr) offers opportunities for healing that I have previously associated only with traditional shamanic healing practices. These include experiences of psychopomping, soul retrieval, extraction, uncording, curse unraveling, and compassionate depossession. When we open sacred space with the intention of healing, and open our awareness to engagement with the energetic fields that intimately and profoundly influence our lives, we access many possibilities. I ask that participants, whether experienced with shamanic practice or not, register with the understanding that we will be a community engaged in work that may be very challenging. There is a $20 fee for this workshop. Participants may have an opportunity to bring a personal or professional issue to the group for process.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr…

Open Heart Circle meets April 27, 2016

This month we continue exploring the integration of systemic constellation work with shamanic practices. If you do not have experience with these practices, you are nevertheless welcome to join us.  Please bring a drum or rattle (there are some to borrow, as well). We will have time for one constellation process. If you would like to have the group focus on an issue with you, please be able to articulate the good outcome you seek. We begin at 7 p.m.; please feel free to arrive any time after 6:15 and to make yourself comfortable. Please RSVP to cindyoconnor.net@gmail.com.

OPEN HEART CIRCLE FEBRUARY 24, 2016
This month we'll explore our authentic selves in a new way. We'll experiment with integrating systemic constellation work with shamanic practices. If you do not have experience with these practices, you are nevertheless most welcome to join us. Drums and rattles are available to borrow, or bring your own. A small donation is requested. We start at 7 p.m. - arrive anytime after 6:30 and make yourself at home. Please RSVP to 609.273.4399 or cindyoconnor.net@gmail.com.

The Power of Words: An Exploration through Constellation

Sarah Bastian

Sarah Bastian

Wednesday, December 30, 2015
7-9 p.m. (door opens at 6:30 p.m.)
East Windsor, NJ 08520

Join us for an evening of direct experience of the energetic fields and power of words. We will include an introduction to Systemic Constellations, practice in being a "representative," and several constellations, inspired by leaders in Systemic Constellations work. For example, we will tap into the work of Jamy and Peter Faust, and explore the deceptively simple words "please," "yes," and "thank you," and their power to increase the flow of love in our relationships. Let's step into the New Year with an embodied awareness of the power of the language we use, and with a commitment to choose words that contribute to our healing and growth. Space is limited for this event. If you plan to attend, please RSVP as soon as possible to cindyoconnor.net@gmail.com. No experience is necessary. A donation is suggested.

Cindy O'Connor

Cindy O'Connor

This circle will be co-facilitated by Sarah Bastian and myself. In 2016, I will offer Systemic Constellation workshops for a fee at a location to be announced, scheduled at times other than those dedicated to Open Heart Circle. Sarah will also facilitate constellations in Hopewell, NJ in the New Year. Join us in East Windsor on December 30th, and see if you might be interested in further exploration of this life-changing work!

Sarah Bastian is a Systemic Family Constellation Facilitator, writer, energy practitioner and homeschooling mom to three wonderful children.  She presently holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and a Masters of Science in Counseling.  For the past 17 years she has trained in many alternative healing modalities which contribute and create a foundation to the systemic constellation work she does.  Her intention as she moves through life is to help people raise their consciousness and live mindfully becoming more aware of the vital connection between their heart and their mind. For more information, please visit http://www.awakenedheartandmind.com/.

 

HONORING OUR ANCESTORS WITH FAMILY CONSTELLATIONS

Open Heart Circle will meet at my home Wednesdays, September 23 and December 30. This circle is usually a shamanic journey circle. We will devote these two months, however, to family constellation work. The fundamental intention of this work is to increase the flow of love in a family. I experience the work as very shamanic, but there is no requirement to know how to journey. Like shamanism, constellation work offers direct revelation of spirit. Dr. Albrecht Mahr describes a "Knowing Field" that may be accessed: an energetic field rich with information pertaining to the family soul. Constellation work addresses the transgenerational, or systemic aspects of issues like illness, pain, grief, loss, fear, abuse, and "bad luck." It also recognizes the resources that support families. We inherit many things from our ancestors: hair and eye color, body shape, certain abilities. We also inherit our family's energetic field and, with it, patterns of behavior and experience. Honoring "what is" in a family can open possibilities for healing old constraints.

The session Wednesday, September 23 will be an Introduction to Family Constellations focusing on Honoring our Ancestors. You will have an opportunity to experience connection with your ancestors, going back seven generations. You will also have the opportunity to stand as representatives for others' ancestors. No experience is necessary. 

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to cindyoconnor.net@gmail.com. Open Heart Circle meets at 7 p.m. in East Windsor, NJ. Feel free to arrive at 6:30 p.m., and to bring a friend. A small donation is suggested.

In 2016, I will offer Systemic Constellation workshops for a fee, scheduled at times other than those dedicated to Open Heart Circle.

Constellation Circles offered in September & December 2015

Family calls again in October and November, and I will be unable to lead Open Heart Circle. Susan Davies has generously offered to host the circle on October 28 and November 18 (the week before Thanksgiving). Please contact me if you plan to attend. Open Heart Circle meets at 7 p.m.; feel free to arrive at 6:30 p.m. and to get comfortable.

Betsy Bergstrom recommended Systemic Constellations training to me some years ago - and specifically spoke with high regard for a teacher from Seattle: Francesca Mason Boring. This month I complete a year-long training with Francesca, in facilitating systemic constellation work. About thirty of us have met for three days, once a month for seven months in Ashton, Maryland. It's opened my life to new possibilities. The changes I'm announcing for the remainder of 2015 for Open Heart Circle reflect these important influences on my life and work. 

Open Heart Circle will meet at my home September 23 and December 30. This circle is usually a shamanic journey circle. We will devote these two months, however, to family constellation work. The fundamental intention of this work is to increase the flow of love in a family. I experience the work as very shamanic, but there is no requirement to know how to journey. Like shamanism, constellation work offers direct revelation of spirit. Dr. Albrecht Mahr describes a "Knowing Field" that may be accessed: an energetic field rich with information pertaining to the family soul. Constellation work addresses the transgenerational, or systemic, aspects of issues like illness, pain, grief, loss, fear, abuse, and "bad luck." It also recognizes the resources that support families. We inherit many things from our ancestors: hair and eye color, body shape, certain abilities. We also inherit our family's energetic field and, with it, patterns of behavior and experience. Honoring "what is" in a family can open possibilities for healing old constraints.

The session September 23 will be an Introduction to Family Constellations. Those who wish may have an opportunity to constellate their nuclear family. Participants may also have opportunities to represent others' family members. In this session we will honor our families - adoptive families and birth families - and will not be doing in-depth exploration of specific personal issues. No experience is necessary. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to cindyoconnor.net@gmail.com. In 2016, I will offer Systemic Constellation workshops for a fee, scheduled at times other than those dedicated to Open Heart Circle.

Introduction to Shamanic Journeying

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 1-5 p.m.
 
Are you seeking a spiritual practice that will support your daily life? A practice that can help you realize what you came here for? Shamanic journey is a tried-and-true way of consciously connecting with your guardian angels and other compassionate spirit beings - those willing to offer wisdom and guidance for a happier, healthier life.
 
No previous experience is necessary. Please bring an eye-covering and a journal. (Drums and rattles will be available to borrow if you do not have one of your own.)

Class size is limited. Please submit the fee via Paypal, to reserve your place in this workshop. If you have taken a class with me before, and would like to join this one at half the fee, please contact me.

Standing in Another's Shoes

What might we learn by standing in another's shoes? Systems Constellation work brings a whole new understanding to this age-old question. In an effort to gain experience facilitating constellation work, I invite you to schedule a free, private, hour-long session exploring family or business dynamics through systems constellation work. Connecting with energetic fields - specifically the Knowing Field - is a powerful, kinesthetic, experiential way of gaining insight and understanding into problems we face in our relationships with family and co-workers. The work is intended to increase the flow of love in a family system, and to facilitate healthy and productive relationships in the workplace. Please contact me to schedule a free session (through September 30, 2015) Monday through Friday, 9-5.