What I Learned During My Death Lodge
It was a few months ago I heard spirit tell me to go on a Death Lodge.
I had never heard of it before, but somehow, I knew what it was.
I was at a point in my life where this past year (Feb 2021 to present) has been a lot of tough times…grief, loss and anger. Yet, there was growth, empowerment and change all for the better.
Shamanic rites of passage are a mutherfucker sometimes.
And in all honesty, I did not seek this out… it found me. But I embraced it because I know how the Universe works… and that resisting it would only screw me six ways from Sunday and I would be in a far worse place than I was.
When you do what Shamans call a Vision Quest, you go off, alone, and fast for several day. You sit in a sacred circle or space and you wait for Spirit to share information with you.
However, sometimes those little shits are incredibly cryptic.
I was lucky enough to have a client (Thank You Anne!) who was gracious and was willing to share her special little slice of heaven with me which was on the Loc Courtes Orielles in Wisconsin. I struggled to sleep for several nights already, nervous, because essentially, I was going there to grieve and for my former self to “die”. I am not good at feeling my own stuff. And I learned that the hard way real quick.
I got up and 2:30am so I could make the 3.5 hour drive and be there by 8am to get situated, as I was told to start around 9am. I arrived, unpacked a few things and went and sat on the dock. It was cloudy, chilly and insanely windy, but I sat there watching the waves roll in and foolishly, waiting for Spirit to tell me what to do next.
Impatient, I got up and went inside to grab my notebook to do some journaling. Then went back outside and sat at the picnic table. And…. Nothing. I literally couldn’t hear the voice of Spirit. And I was numb… no… flipping annoyed. I literally had no damn clue what I was doing.
Spirit has told me that I would be visited by a critter. I hadn’t seen anything yet and hours had passed. I went back inside and decided I may as well try to meditate and maybe my lost loved ones had a message for me.
So, I settle into the meditation and then there's a “buzzzzz” in my right ear. That damn dreaded sound of a mosquito. I quickly got dropped into reality and was struggling to control my pissiness. I settled down and tried to reengage with the meditation. Again, as soon as I was settled in the “buzzzzz” sound now was in my left ear. “Fuck it” I said and sat up.
Spirit then said “Visitor”.
“Great” I thought.
(Mosquito is about overcoming the things that irritate you. It says you need to change something. I would come to understand just how much I irritate myself because of my mind).
I did an energy healing an hour later which was a gift from my brother-from-another-mother, which was perfectly aligned for this releasing ceremony.
And then I decided to leave. I was emotional now, and when I am going through things, I don’t want to talk about them, but I want to be where I feel safe. So, I packed up and was feeling like a massive failure.
As I was bringing the last thing to my car a red fox crossed my path, gently trotting from right to left. I felt this was connected to the “visitor” I was expecting, but also I felt it was connected to the friend I had gone there to grieve. Well, the fox is known as the trickster, so, I thought “great”... right decision? Wrong decision? I beat myself up so many many different ways as I just sat there in my car. Then I backed out of the driveway and began the 3.5 hour journey back home.
On the drive I hear Spirit say to me “Is this authentic to you”? I had no damn clue what the hell they were trying to say, and by this point, I just wanted to be left alone.
The next few days I was really sad. I felt like a failure and my desire for comfort derailed my plan. Oh, how wrong I was. I had forgotten how Spirit works.
I ended up getting pretty sick. I couldn’t eat or really even drink. We were to leave to go on vacation, but I couldn’t go, so I was home alone. And the Death Lodge began again as soon as my son and my husband left the house.
I heard Spirit say “Grab your cards” (I am a hoarder of tarot and oracle decks) and I did as instructed.
“This is more authentic to who you are” Spirit said. Couldn’t have agreed more.
And this is what I did for the next 3 days.
There was many tears, a mock funeral for my friend that I never got to say goodbye to so I could process my guilt, and a very sore wrist from all the writing I did.
I meditated, I cut cords.
And I realized A LOT.
Humans are comfort seekers and in comfort you do not grow. Thus, humanity has become broken and has no means of knowing thyself, knowing God truly and has few coping skills. There is little bravery to face emotions.
Adults who have no coping skills are raising children who are reactive and have no coping skills. These same adults imbed their children with their brokenness. The children become broken by proxy.
I realized I don’t really know who I am. I am not sure anyone really can if you don’t look at your own life and what you are trying to run from.
I knew I had vulnerability issues, but they were far more imprisoning than I thought. I realized that I needed to forgive myself for my vulnerability that had caused me so much pain that I didn’t know how to heal.
I realize that there are many dual beliefs I hold that has wrecked my psyche. Many I didn’t even realize were there.
I also realized that I had no idea what the word forgiveness really meant, and how anger is the thing that hallmarked this lack of knowledge. I also realized that I had to forgive myself for an immense amount of crap I did to myself.
I realized I hurt myself the way others have done, only I am more covert about it.
I realized I was insanely empathic before I was even 5 and I embedded beliefs simply from listening and observing others. I also realized that this information imprinted even when I didn’t try to listen.
I also realized I do not speak my truth as fully as I need to because I either put the emotional needs of others first or I am terrified of my own rage and how I could hurt someone.
I do not allow myself to grieve because someone told me to “get over it” and, from that point forward, I told myself the same damn thing, and I didn’t even realize it.
And most importantly, I realized that my wanting to go away and have my old self die was rooted in the rejection of my life and my path. I am who I am today because of what I went through. However, she did not need to "die". I am preoccupied with being "better" and I thought this is how I could do it. She merely needed to be heard so she could be released to make room for who I am yet to become.
So, what I wish to pass on to you is the following:
If you have or plan to have kids, if you do not deal with your stuff, you will pass that on via imprint and inherited trauma. To save our future generations, we must save ourselves.
Put your fucking phones away when you are with people! To see a parent out with their child only sitting on their phones is so dishonoring to the growing hearts of others. We need connection and vulnerability to grow.
Things will never be what you think they are gonna be, even if you’re a damn psychic. Spirit and your Soul are always right, and you will always get what you need. The quicker you realize your human aspect is lesser educated and often the drunk behind the wheel, the better off you will be.
We are all comfort seekers, and this doesn’t always serve us.
Fear and love oppose each other but man, there is a really thin line. Get real with yourselves and ask if what you think, feel and choose to believe is loving or not. If it isn’t, fix it.
Healing is not the love, light and unicorns bullshit the new age movement makes it out to be. Knives get thrown, there are poop flingers and fang toothed monsters out there. And the one you need to be most aware of is the one in your head.
F.W.O.T. (Fuck what others think). Love yourself people. Love yourselves enough to cut ties to people who hurt you repeatedly…. even when everything inside you tells you it’s wrong. It doesn’t matter who they are. Abuse should NEVER be tolerated by anyone. Cutting them off is an act of self love. But understand they are where they are because of their own woundedness. So love them from affair but put up a beautifully decorated wall.
Rebecca Costello, Psychic Medium
Dancing Elk Shamanic Healing