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The most important step in spiritual development is to purchase a blank book or notebook to keep as a journal. Many people prefer to have several books, or find that looseleaf binders are easier to work with. With the journal you will keep track of your progress during meditations and vision quests, write down all of the dreams you remember upon waking in the morning, and keep track of your mental and physical development (changes).


In order to be an effective Shaman you must be able to break negative connections from your past and present life in order to be balanced. Negative influences can be bad habits, negative behavior patterns, or people that are part of your life.

One of the best ways to eliminate negativity in your life, is to just stop thinking negative thoughts. When you find yourself feeling ill will towards a person or situation, depressed, or angry, stop! Reverse that process, think positive thoughts. See yourself in the positive situation you would like to be in, see yourself sending love to someone you are angry at, see yourself in that new car, or signing the mortgage to your new home, see youself in that home, visualize yourself with all of your needs fulfilled. Visualize yourself, your loved one or your pet healed, vibrant and happy. And then learn to be happy about what you do have. You are alive, you have people that love you, or a pet that loves you. Picture and remember everything that you do have, that is good and be thankful for it, be happy that you have what you have, even if it isn't much! I shouldn't need to list "negative" behaviors or attitudes. You kow what they are!

After you have examined yourself for habits, set aside some time to think about the people in your life. Do you have friends or relatives that are always out of sorts, depressed or ill tempered when they come to visit, but leave happy and refreshed after a visit with you? If you think back very carefully you will also realize that you felt drained, depleted or tired after a visit with this particular person(s). Whether you realize it or not, these people are energy vampires. They are zapping you of the energy you need to get through life, and leaving you unbalanced. You must sever your connections with them in order to spiritually progress. This includes family members, parents and spouses. You are the one who chose to start a friendship or relationship with this person, and you have the freedom of choice to end it. You are the one responsible for your decisions.

It's not healthy to be involved in a relationship with an abusive spouse, sibling, parent or relative. There is no excuse for continual criticism, attempting to control you, or cheating you. You must decide whether you wish to continue to be abused by these people or whether you wish to sever any further contact.


Once you have started to change your negative life patterns/habits, you must work on making these changes permanent. Unfortunately, the subconscious mind does not always accept the fact that you truly desire to make these changes permanent. There are several techniques which can be employed to help influence the subconscious. However, the only way to rid yourself of these problems for good is to go on journeys, or vision quests. This should only be done by someone who is experienced in the practice of shamanism. I also suggest Psychological counseling with an experienced professional.

If you are Pagan, Wiccan or a Ceremonial Magickian there are a variety of magickal methods you can use to work on areas of concern. Remember, you should never try to perform healings on "anyone" unless you are balanced.

You can also petition the Goddess to help you change negative traits or patterns. Also ask her to show your the positive aspects of your personality and your life in general. You should always swell on the positive, rather than negative areas of your life.

There are various ways to petition the Goddess, one of them is outlined here: Call on Cerridwen the Goddess of transformation during the Wanning Moon. Take a black seven day candle, pour a little John the Conquerer Oil on the wax, dedicate it to the Goddess and the God, then state your purpose. Concentrate on what negative areas and influences you want to rid yourself of. Do not burn the candle when you are not home or if you are in another room, especially if you have a cat or small children.

The best time to perform the ritual is on during the dark of the moon (The night of the New Moon). You can incorporate this into your regular esbats, or keep them separate if you are not a solitary practitioner.

Cast your circle, Invoke Cerridwen the Goddess of transformation, then light the candle sitting quietly . Meditate on dispelling (releasing) the negative habits or influences as long as possible. Put the candle out, then concentrate on your purpose every night for a few moments until the candle burns down.

Close your circle thanking the deity.

After the ritual you should dispose of the candle drippings through burial away from your home. You should clean the glass holder and recycle it. If you are a city dweller in a place where you cannot bury your wax dripping, then you should place the wax drippings in a paper bag covering them with salt and immediately disposing of them in the nearest trash dumpster. Remember to be environmentally conscious, especially if you live in a coastal area. Never bury wax on the beach where the water will wash into the ocean.

*You may also employ this method using your fireplace a circled fireplace in a Park (which allows you to build fires) or a bonfire at the beach. The important thing is to find a way to dispose of the ashes away from your home.


As Humans we have several bodies outside of the physical self we are aware of. We also have an aura that must be repaired and re-inforced on a daily basis.

The Mental Body - This is a collection of the mental vibrations which make you who you are. When you are off center in your thoughts, opinions, or fanatical in your outlook, it is because the mental body is off center and must be realigned with your physical body.

The Emotional Body - This is the emotional self, both positive and negative. This body changes frequently because our emotions often change frequently. This body projects it's current state of being into your aura, and may cause bursts of color to shoot out.

The Astral Body - When you travel into the astral plane, this is the form you travel in. The astral body is a duplicate of your physical body, with the ability to travel through time and space.

The Spiritual Body - This is also called the "soul or spirit." It is the most subtle and etheric of all of your bodies. This part of you stays with your physical body until death.

One or more of these bodies can get out of line, causing you to feel out of touch or displaced. On the lighter side you may just feel out of it, if you have been jolted out of a meditation, astral journey or a deep sleep. Most of the time you can repair them through meditations. However, you are definitely in need of extra help or in need of another spiritual professional if you have experienced an emotional stressor such as changing/losing a job, breakup of a relationship, death of someone close to you, or you have been ill. In addition, your aura will need to be cleansed by a competent practitioner or by yourself, once you have advanced in your studies to a point where you are able to do this yourself.

To learn more about Spiritual Self Improvement take my Correspondence Course which is available at


Copyright 1995 Cougar SilverMoon
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