Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. I’ve done many hundreds of them now. And if this is new to you and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to batgap.com B-a-t g-a-p, and look under the past interviews menu. This program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So, if you appreciate it and feel like supporting it, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the site. And if you don’t like PayPal, there’s a donate page that explains all the ways of supporting it. My guest today is Sandra Ingerman. Welcome Sandra.
Sandra Ingerman: Thank you, Rick. It’s a pleasure to be with you.
Rick Archer: Good to be with you. Sandra’s down in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a beautiful place. She says she’s lived there for 35 years. And Sandra is an expert in shamanism. I haven’t done too many programs on shamanism and on this series. And it’s funny, when I first started thinking about interviewing you, Sandra, I was thinking, “how am I going to do this? Will I do a good job? What do I know about shamanism? Ceremonies, how can I, I can’t really relate to the idea of ceremonies”. And I thought, “I know it, dude. You were a TM teacher for decades, you performed a ceremony every time you initiated somebody into meditation, and that was really profound and powerful, and transformative. And then the drumming thing, is that I was a drummer. And I can attest to how much drumming can change your consciousness when you’re really into it.” So maybe I’m more attuned to shamanism than I realized.
Sandra Ingerman: Absolutely. Shamanism is a way of life. There’s so much mystery around shamanism right now. And shamanism is a practice of direct revelation. And with direct revelation, that just says we all have the ability to access our own spiritual information without having to give our power away to others. And shamanism is a way of life. It’s about we are nature, and how do we speak to nature? And how do we approach nature? And how do we relate to nature so we bring balance back into the world again. And shamanism is about how we think and how we speak, and the dreams that we put out into the world and how we treat ourselves and other people. And so, what the need is about learning about the practice of shamanism is about how to live on this planet from a place of harmony, peace, love, light and beauty. That’s what the practice is about. And it’s a lifelong practice that we all grow into over our lifetimes.
Rick Archer: When you say it involves not giving our power away to others, do you mean that it’s doesn’t involve intermediaries so much, as some other spiritual traditions might? And yet shamans play a special role in their communities. Do they try to empower people to become shamans themselves? Or is a shaman always going to have some special significance as an intermediary with subtle realms or something?
Sandra Ingerman: The shaman will always have a special role with intermediaries to the spiritual world, but shamanism is a living, breathing practice that dates back 10s to 1000s of years. And so, we’re moving into a different evolution of consciousness. How do we have one shaman who’s the intermediary for America or for Europe or…? So, it’s a time where we all have to step into our willingness to also make contact with the spiritual realms. And what I mean by taking power back: power is the ability to transform energy. That’s all power is, it’s the ability to work with energy and to transform it. And so, every person right now in the world that we’re living in, needs to find their passion of their soul, the destiny of what you have to contribute, without having to look to others that they’re going to save us, we’re all going to contribute every one of us. And so, we all have to step into the role of intermediaries of what’s coming through our own soul, and what’s coming through our own spiritual information that we’re getting, the guidance that we’re getting. And that has always been part of shamanism, is that we all only hold a small piece. It’s the community that acts as an organism together to feed strength into the entire community, the entire organism of life.
Rick Archer: So that’s nice. I mean, obviously, maybe not obviously, but I think you and I would agree that we all have the innate capacity to experience deeper reality, or whatever we want to call it, and you can’t really take somebody else’s experience of it, in place of your own, you have to have it directly, just like you can’t expect to enjoy what an orange tastes like, based on somebody else’s description. But I think maybe we would also agree, and I think this is what you just said, that when that experience is shared by many, something greater than the sum of its parts gets created. There’s a potency to group realization that’s greater than even than individual realization.
Sandra Ingerman: Absolutely. It’s an exponential. I’ve started using the definition of a shaman is a gardener of energy. We work with energy, we tend energy, we tend the garden of life. What are we planting? And what do we need to remove? And when you’re in a community, and growing a community garden, it’s important for everybody to contribute. And the exponential energy of love and care and nurturance, and tending, that goes into life, by the global community, is huge. It’s really huge. And people are craving that right now. They’re craving, where do they belong? And where do they contribute? We all want that.
Rick Archer: We could just carry on here and one thought leads to the next, but maybe we should just learn a little bit more about you first, before we carry on. I was listening to some others of your interviews and so on. Years ago, I heard that there was such a thing as a lightning Shaman. And I guess I was somehow associating this with South America, by people who had been struck by lightning and that that trauma to the system somehow catapulted them into capabilities that define them as a shaman. And so, I was listening to you, a story about your life. And turns out, you’ve been struck by lightning. It’s firstly at the age of seven. And I think it actually happened more than once?
Sandra Ingerman: No, I was only hit by lightning once. And actually, in Brooklyn, New York, of all places, and I was pretty young. And when I came back, I just kept saying, “Mommy, I died, Mommy, I died.” And she kept on saying, “no, you didn’t”. And then I had two other near-death experiences in my life, drowning, where I did go down a tunnel to a beautiful garden. You can see why gardens are so important to me. And heard music that was unearthly. There’s nothing that compares to anything that we’ve heard. I went to a great light once in a near death experience who, who taught me about unconditional love. That there’s no judgement, that I am not seen as being Sandra Ingerman. I am seen for being a light, by Source, and there’s no individualization. I’m not seen as who other people see me as. And that was very big. I was pretty young when I got that.
Rick Archer: Was that your Thelma and Louise experience where you drove a car off a cliff, I think?
Sandra Ingerman: Yeah. Unfortunately, with five other people. And it was a miracle nobody got hurt. Triple A came. We rolled a few times. Triple A came, pulled the car out, we all got back in drove to our final destination.
Rick Archer: Who was that actress who was in Thelma and Louise?
Sandra Ingerman: My memory is not that good.
Rick Archer: I forget. She came to town when Bernie Sanders was here and I was really tempted to go up to her and say, “now if Bernie loses don’t drivers yourself off a cliff.” Anyway, corny Joe…
Sandra Ingerman: But you know, Rick, I wanted to say that is that one of the shocks and the reasons for my near-death experiences was, I didn’t want to be here. Life was too difficult. When I started getting older, not when I was young, I was everything was joy, everything was beauty to me, when I was young. And then, so much suffering, I just saw so much suffering, and I didn’t want to be here. And so, part of my lesson in my near-death experiences, if you don’t want to be here, the universe will take you out. And that was a big lesson for me to get. And that was a big lesson for me and helping too, for me to cure my depression, my suicidal tendencies, was the spiritual realms. So, I didn’t have elders to help me with this. But I had elder spirits, who were able to say, “you need to make a choice, you need to make a choice, whether you want to be here or not.” And so near-death experiences often sound very romantic to people, but they were also part of my healing. They were part of teaching me that I had to make a choice to be fully present in this lifetime. And then my path became, how do I do that? How do I live in a world where I see so much suffering? And how do I bring my original destiny of what I saw was possible into the world that we live in? And so, it was many, my history is many layered, because there were a lot of miracles. But there was a lot of healing that had to happen, too.
Rick Archer: I’ve interviewed Anita Moorjani. And I’ve read a lot of books about near-death experiences, James Van Praagh and Betty J. Eadie and Dannion Brinkley and others, and then they all end up saying something similar, which is that I’m kind of really looking forward to dying because it’s so beautiful. But now I really appreciate life. And so, I’m in no hurry. It’s a joy to be here as well, you know?
Sandra Ingerman: I mean, you know, when we’re spirits, we don’t get to experience the senses. And that’s what Planet Earth is really about. You know that the earth, it’s 4.6 billion years old. And it brings us so much beauty and nurturance. And the wind, which is the most ancient being, brings us these fragrances and the ocean, the primordial ocean where life was born from. Think of all that water brings to our life and the beauty of the stars and the moon and the sun and what we get to eat and what we get to hear in nature, what we get to experience and how we relate to other nature beings. That spirits don’t get to experience.
Rick Archer: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to say that the angels are envious of human beings, because as humans we have such a tremendous opportunity for spiritual evolution.
Sandra Ingerman: That’s true. I’ve heard that many times from many different traditions. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Okay, so you’re seven, you got zapped by lightning and you went through various things. I guess you studied to be a marine biologist for a while. But then I think you decided that you like people more than fish.
Sandra Ingerman: No, actually what happened was I started studying as a psychology major, but my issue has always been the same. I just saw too much suffering. And it was too hard for me. It was too hard on my body, my psyche, my health. It wasn’t physically healthy. And so, I felt I needed to make a change. And so, I studied marine biology, and I got into the world of algae, which is unbelievably fascinating. And, again, my years in marine biology were so healing for me. I was in the ocean every day, and speaking to the ocean and collecting for my research studies. And then, when I was ready to say, I’m ready to learn how to set boundaries and how to do what I’m here to do, that was when I was able to go back and get my Master’s in Counseling Psychology. And my marine biology background really pushed me to look at how we can start to reverse environmental pollution. So, I had these two tracks going at the same time, as I entered into psychology, and as I entered into the practice of shamanism, is how do we heal ourselves? How do we learn how to live on the earth? And how do we work spiritually, to start to heal what has happened environmentally to our planet? And how do we work with that as humans on a spiritual level?
Rick Archer: It’s a good time to hold up one of your books here. “Medicine for the Earth”. This one’s all about how to transform personal environmental toxins. And I’m also very passionate about that whole issue too, because I think that the prospects for the earth are pretty dire. In fact, the government report just came out on Friday about how severe climate change is expected to be. And people are still denying it. A lot of people, but it’s like a slow-moving train wreck or something. Or, Michael Dowd, whom I interviewed, referred to it as a sort of intergenerational genocide, because so many people stand to lose their lives as a result of it and in how immoral it is to obfuscate the issue. Anyway, I’m rambling a bit, but maybe you’d like to respond to some of that before we go on.
Sandra Ingerman: The big issue for me is, is not just all the species and the adults, but we’re bringing all these children, these beautiful spirits into the world, all over the world. And I am really behind all the political movements to protect women’s rights and the right for life. It’s time for us to start talking about the children. It’s time for us to start talking about the children. And we’re giving our children water that has poison in it. We’re giving children food that has poison in it, we’re giving our children air, letting them breathe air that has poison in it, but yet we say we love ourselves, and we love our children. And what does that say about a species that brings children into the world, and doesn’t care for them in the way that they deserve to be cared for? And so that’s the bigger issue for me that we’re just not talking about how, look at all the children and what the illnesses that they’re being born into the world with. The emails, the letters that I get, it’s heartbreaking.
Rick Archer: There’s a couple of interesting issues here. And we’ll keep framing this in a spiritual context. It’s not merely a political thing. I don’t think anything is divorced ultimately from spirituality. But you allude a lot in your talks and writings about the state of the earth and what’s happening, to it, and how dire it is, and your desire to heal it. And you also allude to sort of the condition of the society we live in as a reflection of the condition of our inner life. What’s that phrase you have? As without so within or something of that famous phrase that you quote?
Sandra Ingerman: As within so without?
Rick Archer: I can really relate to that. I mean, I really think that everything, all the technologies and all the good things, all the bad things, everything else is obviously a product of human minds and human hearts. And if there’s a lot of stuff that’s really screwed up, as we see there is then that must be symptomatic of widespread dysfunction in lots of human beings. And so how do you solve it? Do you just tinker with the economics or the politics? I don’t think so. How is that going to change the dysfunction which gave rise to it in the first place? You have to make the change on the level of the inner person.
Sandra Ingerman: Yes. And I think that one of the things that we can learn from shamanic cultures is about the importance of honoring our ancestors. And the reason I’m saying this is that in modern day world, we oftentimes look at, we’re just here now. And when we start to look at our ancestry, and we start to honor how long our ancestors have been here, and everything that they went through, so that we may be here now, that helps us to understand that time is moving. And there’s a future. And we have to also take care of ourselves in the present so that we leave a good future for our children and for the descendants of this earth. And so, a lot of it is about understanding that time, we have a responsibility. We’re not just here for this time. We came through a whole line of ancestors, with stories and the joys and all the lessons that they taught, that everything that they had to go through. And we’re here, and we carry that into the future. So, it’s not an end, we carry our energy into the future, and what kind of energy do we want to carry into the future?
Rick Archer: I mean, there’s such so much short-term thinking in the world. I mean, corporations are worried about the quarterly profits without regard to the impact that they might be having 20 30,40 years down the line, and that, it’s suicidal. I mean, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot in many cases with this stuff.
Sandra Ingerman: So, the question that we’re all asking right now is,” when does the collective wake up”?
Rick Archer: Good question.
Sandra Ingerman: And I say, instead of we keep on talking about what we’re doing, what we’re doing, what we’re doing, when does the collective stand up and say, “enough”? It is now actually time for us to stop talking about what’s going wrong. How do we start to be gardeners of energy and start to work in the invisible realms? And how do we stand up in our communities, and honor all of life, and honor ourselves, and be authentic and share, and share our tools with others? Because people are really looking for tools right now. They don’t know how to navigate what’s happening.
Rick Archer: Do you see signs that we are waking up, instead of collective consciousness is sort of rousing itself from a slumber?
Sandra Ingerman: I see some. I definitely see some, and that excites me.
Rick Archer: The Me-Too movement, for instance?
Sandra Ingerman: Well, it’s more than that. People are starting to talk to the trees. And they’re starting to talk to the spirit of whale and asking, “Whale, what do we need right now to help you?” So, people are starting to wake up to a greater responsibility that we share this planet with all of life, and more people are waking up to the power of unity. But there’s so much of the collective that is still in separation, and division, and that includes the spiritual community. And so, we get lost in the fighting over what needs to happen, instead of everybody understanding that we all have a destiny, have something to contribute, and do your work now. Go in to meditate, perform shamanic journeys, sit in nature. Ask, what is the passion of your soul? What is your destiny? What do you have to contribute right now? And, are you willing at this time? It’s so critical. Are you willing to stand up and contribute in your community?
Rick Archer: You said that when you were younger, you kind of wanted to, you couldn’t face the suffering in the world. It was hard for you to handle that. So, you wanted to go into a profession where you didn’t have to face it. Do you see that now among people who come to you and so on, that people are having a hard time coping with being a human being? And facing the suffering that they encounter?
Sandra Ingerman: Yes, yes. One of the things that I did, which has its pros and cons, was ever since I started teaching, I wanted to be really hands-on with all my students. And so, before the internet, I answered hundreds of letters a week. And then with the internet, you know, I answer hundreds and hundreds of emails, and I looked through Facebook just to see where people are at. And people don’t know how to deal… I’m hearing this every day. People don’t know how to hold the suffering, they don’t know how to watch the death, the destruction, what’s happening to the children, what’s happening to the species of animals of nature, beings, living beings that are going extinct. People don’t have the capacity to hold that. So, I’ve been teaching more about, we also have the capacity to work with a spiritual heart. We are body, mind and spirit. And so, we have a spiritual heart. On the realm of spirit, you know, here we are living in in a dualistic world, Planet Earth, the sun comes up, the sun goes down. But when we transcend to the transcendent realities, there’s only perfection. This is all lessons, we’re all learning, everything is perfect, whatever is happening is fine. And we don’t want to do a spiritual bypass, and just go to the transcendent realms and say, well, doesn’t matter anyway, it’s all perfect. It’s all a lesson. But we do want to start working with that spiritual part of ourselves that knows how to take that suffering, and turn it into light and love, transmute it, transform it. And then, let that share that energy, radiate that energy into the collective, because that heals. And that starts to, as we start to share a loving energy with the collective, it starts to transform the force of destruction that has entered into our collective at this time on the planet.
Rick Archer: So, do you feel like it would be fair to say that if a person is feeling overwhelmed by the suffering, maybe they don’t have sufficient access to the transcendent, they need to enliven that? And on the other hand, if a person is sort of apparently taking recourse to the transcendent, but has a sort of a devil may care attitude about the suffering of the world, like oh, it’s not my business, it’s all an illusion or something, then maybe they need more integration of the transcendent into their human experience?
Sandra Ingerman: Yeah, it’s all about balance, where we are learning as a human species, that we are so out of balance, we have created illness, planetary illness, on every level, body, mind and in our souls. And we need to come back into balance again, and I love to bring people into nature. Nature is healing balm. Nature gives us another perspective, about death and rebirth. Nature teaches us about what shamans have been going through. And we’ve all been going through for 10s of 1000s of years of initiation. We’re going through a planetary initiation right now. We’re going through a death, the death of what is inauthentic, the death of what is out of balance, the death of what does not work, to be a healthy individual on this planet. And in that death process, everything in nature dies, we die to what needs to be let go of, and then we’re remembered, where we are resculpted back into spiritual beings who have a greater capacity to be in balance, to love, to be authentic. And so, nature teaches us about death and rebirth. and that there are no ends, and that we’re in a constant state of dissolution, which leads to a place of illumination. And right now, we’re in the place of dissolution. And we’ve forgotten that nature teaches us constantly that that cycle leads us to a rebirth, illumination, and stepping into our authentic self.
Rick Archer: I have long felt and often said that, it seems that there are a lot of things in the world, institutions and structures that really wouldn’t fit in a more enlightened, more natural world. And you’re talking about dissolution. Do you feel like that there will be a sort of a transition, in which the, the sort of the more natural thing co-arises as the other thing diminishes? Or do you feel like there’s going to be a kind of Hiroshima-like devastation? Not literally, but in terms of just the slate really being wiped clean. And then, to mix metaphors, a phoenix will arise from that, and a new birth, a new Earth will be born?
Sandra Ingerman: Well, that is the question, isn’t it? We don’t know which way it’s going to go. And what my spirits tell me is that the future is created from the present. So, if we want to know what the future is going to be, let’s look at the present. And if we want to change the future, we need to change our present. And so, I’m not so much into predictions, although my ego, Sandra Ingerman, the personality, yeah, I do have my predictions. But spiritually, I do believe that we have an opportunity right now. We have an opportunity. And in shamanism, you can go outside of time, you can journey outside of time. And so, since 2000, in my classes all over the world, I’ve had people journey way into the future, go past Armageddon, go past the destruction and where do we end up? And all over the world, people have been seeing the same thing, that people are living in harmony with nature, that there isn’t really illness. When we ask them how they heal illness, they’re confused by what we’re talking about. But if somebody gets ill, the whole community comes together. And they did come up with working with sound and light to heal that which needs to be healed. And so, we can look at this as the end, the destruction. But if we also say, we’re at a critical point, and we can make a change, I can tell you that what so many people, including myself, have seen is that there is a beautiful future, but not so much technology, cities, corporations. It is about living with nature.
Rick Archer: I was going to ask you about that, because it seems like technology is a mixed blessing. There have been some very good aspects of it. And there’s some really exciting possibilities in terms of alternative energy and healing methodologies and all kinds of things. So, would the kind of natural society you envision, necessarily be devoid of those things, or would they somehow be incorporated, but be kept in proper balance and not sort of destructive as they are now?
Sandra Ingerman: Well, I think balance is always the key. Will technology continue? Again, I don’t know. But we can again, we can look at some shamanic cultures. And there are cultures who don’t need technology, because the plants tell them what their medicine is, and what they can heal. The animals show up and tell them where food sources are.
Rick Archer: But they don’t have necessarily have indoor plumbing.
Sandra Ingerman: To live in harmony with nature. And so, what do you need, when you have all that you need, and you live in an abundant world, so connected, and feeling at one with life? What do you want from technology? Yeah, we want heat, maybe we want refrigeration. And is there going to be a time where that isn’t going to be possible? I don’t know.
Rick Archer: If we envision a world in which we don’t have technology, that would imply that there would be a real devastating wiping of the slate clean, because we already know all this stuff, we know how to build computers, we know how to build electric cars, or solar panels or whatever. And if we actually don’t have those things any more, than either we’ve decided they aren’t any, they aren’t useful to us, or we totally forgotten how to do it, which would mean huge erasure of human knowledge, which I don’t know what that would imply in terms of how that would happen.
Sandra Ingerman: Yeah. It’s a question. I really can’t answer that question. I really, I’m with everybody else. We’re all watching what’s happening. In there, contributing as much as I can to help consciousness wake up. We are too dependent on technology right now. We’re not understanding that we as humans are moving at a faster pace, because of technology, than is healthier for us. And so again, as I shared, I’m so available to what is going on publicly, I am seeing illnesses and sicknesses of just stress related, too much technology, moving too fast. People can’t keep pace anymore. I can’t keep pace anymore. So, when you ask me as a human being who’s struggling to keep pace, I’m saying, I’m not really sure I’m seeing all the benefits of technology right now. My body’s struggling to keep pace. And yes, I understand the positives of technology. But right now, my body is saying it’s too much.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, yeah, which brings up the point, we’ve kind of covered earlier that you talk about soul retrieval and restoring one’s inner strength and so on. Obviously, that needs to happen. But also, there’s an advantage to not squandering it, squandering one’s energies. You see these crazy, we just had Black Friday, yesterday, which is the day after Thanksgiving. And there’s all these stories in the news about these mob scenes, at Best Buy and Walmart, here people are, literally battling each other over the latest large screen TV and camping on the sidewalk for three days to get in there. And, so there’s a sort of apparent craving for fulfillment from things like that, which we know are not is not are not ultimately going to provide it, but people seem to think it will. And so, they’re willing to go through all this nuttiness in order to get the latest gizmo?
Sandra Ingerman: Yeah, well, one of the biggest symptoms of soul loss is feeling empty.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Sandra Ingerman: That you have, you need relationships, you need food, you need substances, you need more cars, more computers, more devices, the next thing, and then you’re going to feel better, if you can get that. And so, we’re looking at planetary soul loss right now. And to me, what really says we’re looking at a planetary soul loss, is how many people actually say the words, I care more about making money than about saving life and saving the planet. And that if you had your full soul in your body, and you were fully present and fully embodied, those words would be impossible to say. Those words would be impossible to say. So, soul is our essence. It’s our life force. It’s that part of ourselves that keeps us alive. And in all shamanic cultures around the world, it’s understood that when a trauma happens to us, a piece of our soul leaves in order to survive the experience, because we can’t handle the full impact of the pain and in shamanic cultures, soul loss was understood. So, when you suffered a trauma, the community came together to support the shaman in calling your soul back to you, so that you can be embodied and once again be a strong member in the community who contributed, because remember, the communities needed every member to be strong and share your unique gifts. ln our culture, we stopped looking at the illness of the soul. And so, people have gone through trauma after trauma after trauma. And so, we’re looking at a culture that’s dissociated.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, what you just said reminds me of a current news story, which is that the Saudis killed that journalist in Turkey, but Trump didn’t want any repercussions from that, because he values our arms deal with Saudi Arabia, billions and billions. We sell them billions and billions in arms. And what are they doing with it? They’re conducting a proxy war in Yemen, that 80,000 children have starved to death in so far. And, there are millions of others in danger of starving its worst humanitarian disaster on Earth. That’s on our hands. I mean, we we’re enabling the Saudis to do that. And what does that say about the soul of the leadership that is enabling that and the soul of our country? That’s the role that wishes to play in the world.
Sandra Ingerman: Right, I agree with you completely. And so, the response that people give me from all over the world is, can’t we perform a planetary soul retrieval? Can we do a ceremony to perform a planetary soul retrieval? And my response to that, and I’m still learning, I’m still evolving. I don’t have the answers. But I’ll tell you my response to that. And I’m not sure, I’m not sure anymore if it’s completely accurate. When you get your soul back, from a soul retrieval, you now have a responsibility to take care of yourself. If you lost a piece of your soul, because you are in an abusive relationship, and you get that soul part back and you go back into an abusive relationship, what have you done? What have you done to yourself? And so, if we bring the soul of the planet back to people who aren’t willing to tend to the soul of the children, of the adults, of the nature beings of the earth, that we return the soul to? Is that enough?
Rick Archer: It will just be lost again.
Sandra Ingerman: It’ll just be lost again. So, for me, it’s about what we need to do, is we need to go out and start speaking the truth. And we need to start talking about that water gives us life, air gives us life, the earth gives us life, the sun gives us life. And we need to tend this earth garden, in the way that we’re called to speak to our communities. We need to start talking about how hate, the energy of hate, just feeds the energy of hate, so that it grows to the place that we’re seeing right now. We’re seeing the energy of hate has grown to a place that now people are electing leaders who will control and kill. So that one feels safe, we need to start speaking the truth and sharing in our communities. And that’s something that is everybody’s responsibility right now. And if that doesn’t feel comfortable, then we need to do our spiritual work so that we are continuing to feed the collective with loving and light filled energies to transform the current energy that we’re experiencing right now.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And I think that brings us back around to a point you were making earlier, which is a lot of people feel despair, over the suffering in the world and kind of impotence in terms of being able to do anything about it. But you just said a minute ago, maybe there could be some ceremony that would restore the soul on a global level. I think it has to be more grassroots. I mean, there’s nothing we could do, and by some handful of us and in terms of some ceremony that’s going to serve, the world is going to wake up the next day and say, oh, boy, my soul is restored.
Sandra Ingerman: Absolutely.
Rick Archer: But there’s no reason for despair or discouragement. Because one can work wonders within one’s owns life and one’s own sphere of influence. And it’ll spread, keep spreading.
Sandra Ingerman: Absolutely. And one of the things I really teach around this issue of people looking at suffering is we’re projecting a lot on to others. And when we pity people, because that’s what we’re doing, as millions and millions of people around the world, as we see what’s happening, we start to pity. And pity is such a heavy energy for anybody to bear. I know so many people who will not share that they’re ill publicly because they don’t want to be pitied. It’s a very heavy energy to share. So, from a shamanic perspective, from a spiritual perspective, we are body, mind and spirit. Our spirit is eternal, our spirit is always flowing, our spirit is always light. So, we can look and see the spirit of these people that our egos are labeling as suffering, and we can see their strength. And we can feed that strength, by instead of saying, you poor human beings or you poor animals, or you poor plants, what we can do is see the strength and start to feed that, so that we can start to bring healing back to the world community.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Good, I won’t even come in like this. You made the point. I think one thing that comes to my mind sometimes, and maybe I suspect that it might come to others, is that you spoke of honoring the ancestors, and shamanism as being 10s of 1000s of years old and so on. It kind of has a reputation perhaps as being primitive, you know, what I mean? And that the cultures in which it was practiced, knew so much less than our current culture, and even of good things like cure for smallpox or ways to grow food so that people have enough and, and things like that. So, I guess the question is, and we’ve kind of touched on this, when we talk about shamanism becoming much more prevalent in the world, are we talking about a regression in a sense to a more primitive society? Or is there a way that it could be incorporated into our modern world? Friends? Here’s a question from Karen and came in Arizona, she asked, “How do you see the evolution of shamanism into the 21st century? What shifts or changes do you perceive?”
Sandra Ingerman: Well, thank you, Karen. It’s a wonderful question. I just want to start with there is no shaman on the planet today, who is practicing shamanism as it was practiced 10s of 1000 years ago. Again, it’s an evolving system. There’s no method it’s there’s no methods and shamanism. It’s all about working with energy. And so now, we are moving into a place of understanding unity. And now we’re moving into a place of understanding that we are spiritual light. And so, the evolution of shamanism is how we can use light to be able to transform the illnesses and, and the ills of the soul and the ills of the planet today. And the evolution of shamanism is about how we approach power, and how we approach each other and bringing back honor and respect and how we carry power. Because in shamanic cultures, they didn’t just connect with spirits as intermediaries who took care of them. They carried their power into the world. And that’s the next evolution is we are learning how to carry spiritual power right now. And we’re learning how, how our thoughts affect everything that happens in the world, and that our words are incantations, and how we shift the chant of our words, the language of our words, so that we’re feeding the health. So, the evolution of shamanism is about standing strong in spirit and remembering what spiritual principles are about.
Rick Archer: So, it sounds like you’re saying that although there may be many time-honored aspects of shamanism, which would still be relevant and would you still practice and so on? It’s not a static thing, it is an ever-evolving thing. So, each new generation might have its own fresh expression of shamanism, perhaps appropriate to the culture and time in which lives?
Sandra Ingerman: Well yes, like the ceremonies have always been a key to shamanism. And I love performing ceremonies. Ceremonies are my passion. And we can’t perform the same ceremonies that were done in shamanic cultures, because the ceremonies were done for the issues that that particular culture was dealing with at that time. So even shamanic cultures that are still strong, the shamans are changing their ceremonies, the shamans are changing their chants, because the times of the planet have changed. And so, our ceremonies, of how we take care of children and how we honor the birth of children, how they come into the world, and how we honor the transitions that we’re going through, and how we, the ceremonies, to give thanks to honor all that gives us life and helps us to thrive and on and on and on. These are ceremonies that are all being changed, to speak to the communities that we live in, and to speak to the times that we live in. And that’s why shamanism has been able to survive, you have to understand that shamanism was a result-oriented practice, if the shaman couldn’t heal the people, if the shaman could not find food for people, if the shaman could not maintain balance between nature and the people, the people died. So, it wasn’t a romantic system. It was,” does it work?” And it’s always been, “does it work?”, for 10s of 1000s of years. And so, we’re in that place now. What changes do we make to our ceremonies, so that they work?
Rick Archer: That’s good. It’s kind of a scientific attitude, really, pragmatic, empirical. You need results, you don’t need… It’s not something that hinges on belief.
Sandra Ingerman: Yes, absolutely. It’s all about what’s happening. But, at the same time, there’s a shadow part of that, that we have to look in the Western culture, because in the Western culture, we see time as a very short period. And so, we perform a ceremony, and we want it to have results today, or tomorrow. And we want it in the time that our personality wants it. But the Earth has been around for billions of years. So, we don’t know when the great result of our ceremony is going to come to fruition. We don’t know how long that seed needs to be tended to and germinated and nurtured until it actually grows into its full beauty. So, it’s ceremony we’re planting a seed that we have to attend to. And we have to understand that growth happens in its own time.
Rick Archer: Yeah, sure. You mentioned spirits a lot. And I’ve interviewed one of the founders of Findhorn and we often have gotten into discussions, we had a whole panel discussion one time on subtle perception, and what may reside in the subtle realms and so on. I think this is something that’s a lot of people have a sense of, very few people have direct experience, of some people may be skeptical of. So, what are you alluding to when you refer to spirits?
Sandra Ingerman: Well, I, I do fully embrace the world of shamanism. And it is understood that there’s source, there’s the Creator. And all shamanic cultures have their creations stories, of how humans and all of life was created into being and then it’s believed that there were beings that once lived on this earth in the form of animals, then insects and plants and trees and gods and goddesses and ancestral spirits, that volunteer themselves to help the human condition, because the spirits are looking from a different perspective. We’re spirits, we are spirit, we have the same power as these intermediary spirits do, but we’re in the game of life. We have these egos and personalities. And we have a very limited viewpoint around us. The helping spirits, we call them helping spirits, compassionate spirits, what people would think of as guardian angels, they have a perspective. And they can say, you need to heal this old wound in order to be healthy, and to live a joyful life, or, here’s the ceremony that will bring more balance into your life, here’s the ceremony to honor the birth of your baby. And so, the helping compassionate spirits can give us guidance on how we can heal, how we can grow up and evolve into who we were born to be, to help us discover our passion, and also to help deal with all the issues that are happening in the world right now.
Rick Archer: Okay, so you’re saying that there’s a subtle realm in which beings reside, which don’t have physical, human gross bodies, but which are just as real as we are, they just have subtler bodies, and that they, that some of them are concerned with our welfare and intercede or get involved in helping us in various ways, especially perhaps, if we, from our side attuned to them and are desirous of their help. Would that be a good little summary there?
Sandra Ingerman: Yes, absolutely. And if we’re in relationship with them, if we’re in good relationship with them. And the land has a spirit, and we can speak to the spirit of the land, and we can become in relationship with the land. And then we get more help, because we’re living in harmony. Where we get into trouble is when we step out of harmony. And the land, the spirit of the plants, the animals, the trees, everything that’s alive, and the ancestral spirits, they teach us how to be in harmony.
Rick Archer: In a lot of traditions, as I’m sure you’re aware, there’s a sort of a polarity, there are good spirits and bad spirits. And in the subtle realms, for instance, in the Vedic tradition, you have the Devas, but then you also have the Asuras and the Rakshasas, and these sorts of beings that are dark or evil. Do you acknowledge that that’s the way it is? And how do you deal with when you’re teaching people to sort of journey, go deep and roam around in subtle realms? How do you deal with the possibility that they might encounter some unsavory characters?
Sandra Ingerman: Well, what I teach is, in when you look in all shamanic cultures around the world, it’s really fascinating, because you see different worlds that are talked about. There’s the Lower World, which has lots of realms to it, and spirits of all different forms that live there. And then there’s the Middle World, and this is Earth, where we live now. And then there’s the Upper World, where there’s also a whole variety of spirits. The Lower World and the Upper World are what are considered the transcendent realities. And so, it’s not really understood that there would be good or bad spirits. When you go to unity, oneness, you’re in source. In the Middle World, what is understood to happen is that when we die, we transcend to the Upper World in shamanic cultures, you might transcend to the Lower World, the Lower World is a good place to be, but not in a Judeo-Christian point of view. So, we all want to transcend to the Upper World, but things happen. And sometimes people get stuck here. We think of ghosts, some poltergeists. They got shocked when they die. They don’t know they’re dead. Or they didn’t want to leave this plane. They liked the material realm. And so those are ghosts, poltergeists, spirits that can make trouble in our lives. And so, when I teach people about shamanic journeying, number one, I get them out of this realm, into the transcendent realms, to meet up with a compassionate spirit. And once you meet up with a compassionate spirit, then you’re safe.
So let me tell a little anecdotal story about that. I moved to Santa Fe in the 1980s or very early 1980s, when I was still new to the practice of shamanism. I had such a strong community in San Francisco, in the Bay Area. I had a hard time integrating into Santa Fe life. I missed my community. And so, I journeyed once. And I said, “what do I need to integrate into Santa Fe?”. And I heard a message from a spirit. I don’t know who this spirit was. And it said, “You need to embrace all spirits.” And so, I did. And I got sick. And a shaman helped me. And then I journeyed to my main compassionate spirit, that I’ve been working with since 1980. And he said to me, when that Spirit said to you to let all spirits into your body, who told you that? He said, “I didn’t.”
Rick Archer: Ah, so some mischief maker.
Sandra Ingerman: So, what I tried to teach people is first we find our compassionate spiritual allies, who can help us identify, especially in the beginning. We learn over time. Shamanism is a life practice. It’s not something you do for a weekend or a day, it’s something you do for your life. And in the beginning, we need our compassionate spirits to help us navigate the spiritual realms. And I teach people how to do that.
Rick Archer: Nice. I remember a story about Amma when she first came to Santa Fe, which I think might have been 1987 or something. And she was staying up at the Schmitz house, who you and I know. And next morning, she came out and they asked her, you know, how was your night? She said, “Well, I was up most of the night giving Darshan to these really unusual beings.” And there was some discussion about what these beings were. And then someone showed her a Kachina doll, and she said, “Yeah, it was like those.” You know, there were a whole bunch of those around here.
Sandra Ingerman: Yeah, well, you know, that’s really interesting that Amma said that, because I had the opportunity to work with a shaman from the Ulchi tradition, which is part of Siberia. And he was about 94 years old when he came over to America. And I hosted him at a retreat center in California. And he was blind. And he was in very ill health. But he wanted to introduce himself to every tree, because in Siberia, trees are seen as the most sacred beings. And he wanted to introduce himself to every tree, and then the invocations that he did before every ceremony, he always said, “Please, excuse me, I don’t know your ways. I come from a different land. I don’t mean to insult you. I am bringing my knowledge to these people.” And so Amma and Grandfather, and people who are tuned in, know that there are spirits that are guardian spirits for the land where we live, for our local communities. And we, we honor them, we first say, “Do I have permission to be here?” And “Do I have permission to do my work, my work might be a little bit different than yours.” And so, I love that Amma tuned into the amazing spirits of the land here, because they’re so strong.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Maharshi used to talk about laws of nature, and how in different parts of the world there are different laws of nature. He was referring to these subtle impulses, or these subtle beings. He just tried to put it in scientific terms. But he said, it can be quite distinct from one place to another.
Sandra Ingerman: Absolutely, because there are different spirits, different cultures, different climates, you know, like people always ask me, “How do you call in the directions?” And I say, “I don’t know”. Because in every culture, directions were called in in a different way, because it depended on where the wind came in from and what the land was like, and the territory and the landscape. And so different places have different landscapes, they have different spiritual powers. I really love in some of my workshops, I teach people how to merge with water and to experience water. And what I noticed is that when I taught people how to merge with water, in Santa Fe, you have to everything in life has to go so deep to find water. And so, if you visit Santa Fe, and you meet the original, you know, residents, people who, you know, were born, their ancestors were born here. They’re very deep, quiet people. But when you go, I grew up in New York, I lived in California, the water is right on the surface bubbly, everybody’s bubbly, extroverted, so we don’t understand how much our own personality is actually sculpted and influenced by the land where we live.
Rick Archer: That’s a very interesting point. I don’t mean to keep referencing Maharshi all the time, but since I was his student for many years, that’s one thing he often said, that you realign with the laws of nature in different places, and it has a powerful effect on the way we are oriented, or the way the way we experience. I’m just going to throw in one more point, when we’re talking about spirits. And that is that, you know, although I presume that most people listening to this, , they might believe it, or they might think it kind of makes sense, or it’s a possibility or something. There are people I know of and some of them as friends, for whom the experience of these things is commonplace, throughout the day. It’s not that they have to go into some special state of consciousness to experience them. They’ll experience them in Walmart, or whatever, and they’re not crazy. That there are just these subtle intelligences, everywhere, and very often are seeing clustering around people, attending to them in some way. So, there’s that whole world, just because we don’t experience something, doesn’t mean it’s not real.
Sandra Ingerman: Absolutely, and one of my challenges has been, shamanism is a discipline. And, yes, I also experience spiritual information, I rarely have to use my drum anymore. I hear messages, I get omens in nature, I bring through beautiful messages during the day, that I like to write down. But we also as a culture, need to learn the discipline of knowing when we need to be here and when it’s okay to speak to spirits. And so, a lot of people as they start to embrace spiritual methods, they start to meditate or do shamanic journeying while they’re driving down the freeway. And so, before we learn how to, that there, we can see spirits in Walmart, first, we need to learn how to be here when we need to be here. And then, first we get the discipline, and then we start to open up to that spiritual information is always available at every second that we need it.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And what you’re pointing to here is that integration, there are certain spiritual experiences, which when we first have them, we couldn’t really be doing anything else, we wouldn’t be able to function properly in Walmart, or driving a car. But eventually, certain things can get integrated so that you can be doing anything and yet, that’s your kind of your normal reality.
Sandra Ingerman: Yes, absolutely. Because everything is about, we’re learning and when we step into spiritual practice, we also need to understand that there’s an evolutionary part of stepping into spiritual practice, too. And we have to honor our own personal needs of what we need to heal before we step into spiritual practice. And what we need to know so that we step into spiritual practice from a place of honor and respect. There’s a lot of the shadow side of some of what’s happening today is spiritual practice is becoming almost like a form of entertainment. And the evolution of shamanism and what the planet needs right now is for us to learn how to approach spiritual practice with honor and respect and understand the sacredness of it.
Rick Archer: Yeah, what you say for some reason reminds me of a point, like to get your comments on. There’s a verse in the Vedas someplace which says, “The riches seek out him who is awake”, and the riches are meant to, that word means sort of the riches of intelligence that are involved in the orchestration of creation. Probably, you know, some of the spirits you mentioned, but they seek out him who is awake, and there’s another experience I had with a friend. And he revealed to me that he was seeing this kind of stuff routinely. And I was in an elevator with him in the San Francisco airport. And I said,” they’re here in the elevator?” And I was curious, and he just kind of smiled, and then we got out of the elevator, and he said, “Well, they just said to me, don’t point us out to people. If they’re meant to see us, they’ll see us “. And I think the point there is, worry more about your readiness, your own ability, or your own sort of development. And then certain things will come along when necessary. Don’t seek out things prematurely.
Sandra Ingerman: Yes, and but it’s really interesting to me, because I am starting to see, I see the shadow side of shamanism be becoming popular. We all know the shadow side of spirituality becoming popular.
Rick Archer: So, what’s the shadow side of shamanism?
Sandra Ingerman: Well, the shadow side is not always understanding the power of the work, and that it’s sacred. And that we can’t go into it just because our ego feels good. Seeing spirits and being able to say “oh, I saw spirit at Walmart” … This is really sacred work. This is really sacred work. And we find a time out of our day to do our prayers and to approach the spirits in a really good way, out of a place of honor and respect, and learn how to be in constant relationship with them. And so, what I’m seeing on the positive side of that, is I’m starting to teach people how to journey, who are stepping in to spiritual energies that they’re ready for. And it was their first association, it was their first stepping into this experience. But they did their personal work, they evolved to a place that they stepped in, in a big way. And I’m reading their experiences. And I’m going wow, this was your first experience!
Rick Archer: We know when you mentioned the shadow side of it. I know in India, there are dark magicians who cast spells on people and so on. I don’t know how genuine they are, but presumably some of them are, and they could be real troublemakers. And then, of course, in the popular culture, we have Star Wars and Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings and you know, stories of people who became powerful, but then became corrupted with their power and use, kind of went over to the dark side, so to speak. So, is that the kind of thing you’re alluding to when you speak of the shadow side of shamanism?
Sandra Ingerman: No, actually, I’m not. But I’d like to address what you just shared. Because this is very important. We, every human being, unless you have a strong spiritual foundation, and are aware of your words and aware of your thoughts. We are doing sorcery every day. Because words are seen in shamanism. You can bless people with your words, and you can curse people with your words. That’s how much power they have. Again, remember, summons only work with energy. So, words have a vibration behind them that are energy. And every time we speak a word, we are putting an incantation, we are creating, we’re creating form in the world. And so, reflect on, let’s reflect on our vocabulary we use during the day. In shamanism, it’s taught that thoughts are things. And so, when I say, “I hate”, I have the right to feel that, I have the right to express that. But am I sending the energy of hate like a psychic dart to another individual, to the planet, to the collective or to myself? if you go to a shaman, a very typical diagnosis that a shaman will give you in an indigenous culture is somebody sent you anger. We don’t know the difference between expressing and sending. So, we’re sending psychic darts and psychic arrows to ourselves, to our loved ones, to the beings we’d love most. And then let’s look at our daydreams. Were always daydreaming throughout the day and a lot of us are feeding the nightmare of what we’re experiencing on the planet through our daydreams. And so, children in shamanic cultures were taught how to use their words, how to transform the energy behind their thoughts, so that they were sharing love and light, and how to work with their dreams so that they’re dreaming a good world into being. And so, look, let’s look at our collective today. What are what are the words we’re using? What are we thinking? And what are we dreaming? Are we blessing or are we cursing? So, let’s stop blaming summons for doing sorcery.
Rick Archer: Because everybody does.
Sandra Ingerman: We’re all doing it.
Rick Archer: I’ll tell you an interesting story. I have a dear friend, who many years ago was teaching meditation down in Louisiana. And unbeknownst to him, some article came out in the paper that was very negative about what he was doing, saying it’s the work of the devil, and it’s opposed to Jesus and all this kind of stuff. And so, he didn’t know the article come out. And so, early that morning, next morning, he was sitting in meditation, and all these really weird visions were coming to him, all this kind of unpleasant, scary stuff. And then later on, he found that this article had come out. So obviously, there are a lot of people in his area that were zooming, shooting out thoughtforms to him. He was picking up.
Sandra Ingerman: Absolutely. And so, I have to teach people. Number one, we want to teach people how to behave in an ethical way so that we’re not shooting psychic darts to others. And we also shoot a lot of psychic darts to ourselves, because we judge ourselves pretty heavily. And so, number one is education. But until we can educate, a lot of my work is teaching people how to protect themselves, in a world that is ignorant to how we’re using energy. And so, I teach people different ways, whether I learned from Chumash medicine woman back in the early 80s, to see oneself in a beautiful translucent blue egg, that allows you to fully participate in the world, but energies can’t come into you that might harm you. Or we can take the high road. And we can see ourselves as beings of spiritual light. And as our light flows through us, as all spiritual masters have been teaching for 1000s of years, there is nothing that can harm you, when you’re in touch with your spiritual light. So, there’s ways to work on a personality and egoic level that makes us feel safe, asking our helping spirits to fill us up with power, so that we’re not impacted by the world. Or we can also step into our full evolution of spiritual power, and understand that as beings of light, that all gets transformed.
Rick Archer: Nice. I want to take a few minutes to ask you some questions that have come in. If people listening to the live interview want to ask a question, there’s a question submission form on the upcoming interviews page on batgap.com. It’s down at the bottom of the page. But anyway, here’s some that have come in, and it would be a little bit random because they’re on different topics. We’ll jump around a little bit for a few minutes. So, the first one is from Mark Peters in Santa Clara, California. He asks, “Can you share some of the soul healing practices in nature you found beneficial? For myself, I found barefoot running and tree touching to have a powerful grounding effect.”
Sandra Ingerman: You know what, what was so healing for me personally, and I like it to teach it for other people, is working with omens, and omens is walking through nature and watching for signs. So, you’re holding a question, a question about making a choice in life. And you’re holding that question, you’re thinking about your choice, and all of a sudden, a rainbow shows itself in the sky. Or the clouds start to part, or a dragonfly appears, or butterfly sits on your shoulder. And what that did for me, as I discovered the power of working with omens in the late 1980s, was it showed me that I’m not alone. I’m not here alone, that the universe actually responds every moment of my life. Every step that I take, if I look, there’s an omen that’s being shown to me, that shows me where to put my next step in life. And if I was going to say, that to me was the most healing thing that has actually happened to me in my life, is I’m not alone. Yeah. And so, nature is healing balm, because when we can lie on the earth, and our heartbeat starts to connect to the heartbeat of the earth, and we start to connect back to the rhythm of life, because technology takes us out of the rhythm of life. And so, when we can connect back to the rhythm of life again, then health is going to come back into our lives again. And being out in nature, whether you walk barefoot, or whether you sit on a hill and gaze out into space, or sit by the water, and hear the beauty of the song of the water, that singing to you, that’s going to bring you back into balance. Again, that’s going to teach you about the beauty of life and what it means to be human.
Rick Archer: Nice. Thanks. Here’s another question from Karen in Arizona. Can you talk a bit about the concept of gardeners of energy?
Sandra Ingerman: Everything that is form, that has manifested as form, first it was energy in the invisible realms. And so, out of that, was called into being, form on this planet, the trees and the mountains and the beings and everything that we manifest in life. And so, when we look behind form, we see that there’s only energy and that means energy can be transformed. And so, with the energy of hate, that we’re seeing in the collective right now, what if we allow our energy of love, unconditional love and our spiritual light to move up into the collective? Does that transform the energy of hate? And I say, “Yes, it does.” And shamans say, “Yes, it does.” And so that’s a place for us where we can start to learn how to work with energy. And so, we are gardeners, because we plant seeds with the energy behind our words, and our thoughts and our dreams. And so, what seeds do we want to plant? What seeds do we want to nurture? And what seeds do we need to remove?
Rick Archer: This last question is very sensitive, but I think it’s worth asking, because I think it’s something that people need to hear. Well, I won’t comment. I’ll just read the question and let you come in. And maybe I’ll have something more to say. But this is Patrice from Council Bluffs, Iowa. As you mentioned earlier, that quote, “If you don’t want to be here, life will take you out.” I have the opposite experience. I’ve often attempted suicide and three times I nearly died, but didn’t. It’s like the universe is saying, you can’t leave no matter how much you want to. This has been frustrating. I know there’s work to do. Yet every time I try, it doesn’t work out, or it gets subverted by different people. What are your thoughts?
Sandra Ingerman: My thoughts are that it’s our soul that decides whether you want to live or die. And that’s the tricky part, of people coming to see a spiritual healer, (the person) who is ill and saying, “Am I going to live? Or am I going to die?” Because it only our soul that knows that. And so, Patrice, what I want to say to you, is that your soul is not letting you leave because it still wants to be here. And that is my response. And that is what I know inside of myself. The universe does not try to keep us here. It’s our soul that knows the next step of our journey.
Rick Archer: Well, you remember we’re talking earlier about how it said in some cultures that the angels are envious of human beings because they have such a precious opportunity for evolution and it’s actually kind of hard to come by. And I’ve spoken with people who had attempted suicide and then who had a near death experience and came back and realize that it would have been a big mistake, and they’re glad they didn’t succeed, because again, human life is such a precious opportunity and we’re here for a reason, or else we wouldn’t be here. So, I don’t know, I just feel kind of strongly about that point. Find out, well, you were saying earlier, find out what your purpose is, find out what lights your fire. You know that you were born for a reason. Find out what it is. And it may not be an intellectual thing what it is, you know, like you don’t have some great big famous mission or something. But tremendous progress can be made in a human body, why squander it?
Sandra Ingerman: Absolutely. And I just want to add to that point, Rick, is that what happens is when we start talking about what’s the destiny of your soul, and what are you passionate about, and the cure, the cure. I worked with a woman who died of AIDS. And the message that I received in the journey was that the cause of her illness was apathy, and that her cure was passion. And what happens when another life form in your body has more passion for life than you do? It survives. And so, we’re living in a culture where we don’t really understand the passion of our soul. And when we look into people’s eyes, there’s no light, there’s no joy. And we have to find what that passion is. But then, when you start to ask people, first, they go,” I have no clue. I don’t even know where to start.” And then all of a sudden, they’re creating something so big. I do this all the time. What do you want to do? I create something. There’s no way to get from step A to step B. And so, what I ask people to do is to look at what is something simple. What is something simple? Buying a new plant, taking a dance, a course and dance, or another language or reading a book that would bring joy to you, to find something simple and work step by step by step. And then you start to get, “Oh, I like doing this. This is something that feels passionate for me. I would like to learn how to sing and then go out in my community and sing love songs into the collective.” It’s a step-by-step process.
Rick Archer: I had a couple of realizations when I was 18, that turned my life around. One was, yeah, life is rough. It’s difficult, but the only way out is up. And you’re not going to blot it out by taking drugs, which I was doing. And because it’s like pushing a beach ball underwater. You have to keep struggling to do it. And it’s just going to pop up again. So, maybe you need to deflate the beach ball, to use this metaphor. The spiritual evolution is the escape, some kind of suppression of our consciousness. And I wish I could convey that to all the people suffering from the opioid epidemic. And the second realization, what was this, I forget it. Go ahead and respond to this.
Sandra Ingerman: I went through, oh, my God, I went through a terrible initiation back in the 1990s. And I wanted to die. I just couldn’t live; I just couldn’t live. And I went to one of my helping spirits, one of my compassionate spirits. And I said to her, “what’s happening?” And she said, “Well, you’re going through an initiation.” And I said,” I don’t think I’m going to live through it.” And she said to me, “if you thought you were going to live through it, it wouldn’t be an initiation.” And what I learned, was that the only way out is through. The only way out is through, there is no escape. There is no easy way, the only way out is through.
Rick Archer: And if you try to escape, you’re going to have to retrace your steps and, go through territory you already have traversed can set you back.
Sandra Ingerman: Right, exactly.
Rick Archer: I remember what my other realization was, which was that you’re stuck in this body, so to speak, and it’s like your vehicle that you’re riding in, and if you damage this body, you’re going to be stuck in a damaged vehicle, and the journey isn’t going to go as smoothly and I was doing things which were damaging my body. And so that’s it, clean it up, clean up your act, take better care of yourself. You’re in this for the long haul and you want to be in a healthy body. And if someone is committed to attempting suicide, I imagine they’re damaging their body in the process. So, it’s really self-defeating.
Sandra Ingerman: Well, I think it’s taking care of the body. In my case, I have really focused a lot on having a vehicle, you know, that could carry spirit. And so, I focused a lot on diet and exercise, and spending time in nature. But I wasn’t focusing on how much I was overextending myself to contribute in the world and how much pain I was taking on. And so, that’s been my challenge has been to learn spiritual hygiene. And I think that a lot of people who are feeling suicidal, it’s not only because of diet, and how we’re taking care of our bodies. Yes, that really affects our moods and what we’re experiencing, but how we’re doing self-care, of how we take care of ourselves emotionally, in the world that we’re living in right now. And that’s a very big piece for all of us. Because people who are sensitive, people who are sensitive, are feeling deeper states of depression, deeper states of suicidal tendencies and deeper states of illness.
Rick Archer: It’s an interesting thing. I mean some very spiritual teachers whom I respect a lot, who are so sensitive that they can’t be anywhere near electrical fields, or Wi Fi or anything like that. And they’re really suffering. They are allergic to everything. So, I guess there, I don’t know the answer, but somehow or other, that one has to toughen up and be sensitive at the same time, culture both.
Sandra Ingerman: I know. I always tease that… This is a tease that I used to say is that my health started going downhill when I started eating a healthy diet because I started becoming too sensitive. That when I wasn’t taking as much care of myself, I had a denser field and I wasn’t as sensitive, and I could, I could actually do more work.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s amazing when you see what some people do to their bodies, and yet they seem to be functional in the world. It’s like if I did that for a day, I’d have to recuperate for a week. And here’s one from, let’s see… Nika, in Queens, not far from your old birth place. She said, (I think it’s a she). “I have heard it’s wrong to journey on other people’s behalf without their permission or knowledge. I have frequently prayed or meditated for healings on other’s behalf without their awareness. Is this wrong?”
Sandra Ingerman: Well, I’ll share with you my perspective, because there are a lot of gray areas in in talking about ethics. But I teach a lot of ethics in in shamanic work, and not all shamans would agree with me. So, I’m just going to say that how I learned, was that you don’t perform a healing without permission, because you want to know that a person wants help. Or, if you start looking into a person’s life, asking a question, like, “what’s wrong with my boss?”, it’s like peeping into people’s windows.
Rick Archer: That’s voyeurism, or something.
Sandra Ingerman: It’s voyeurism. And so, I like to teach ethics about that. And, I had a friend, one of my best friends died a very long time ago. And when I asked him if I could perform a healing on him, he said, “No, this is my illness. And I don’t, this is mine. And I want everybody to give me my space.” And so, when we start performing healings on people, and when we start looking into people’s lives, are we doing that without their permission? And, are we stepping into their destiny? Are we stepping into their right to say that they don’t want this particular healing right now?
Rick Archer: Yeah. And if we are meddling with their karma without their permission, does that have some influence on our karma? If we understand the issue of karma, and we’re sort of taking something on in some way, perhaps.
Sandra Ingerman: Yeah. And so, I think in our culture, we want to help a little bit too much sometimes. And we don’t always respect choices, and that’s something that we do need to respect at this time.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Here’s an interesting one again from Patrice in Council Bluffs. She said, “I had a very profound deep journey over 20 years ago. These days I think about it almost daily. I asked spirit what it means, how to interpret it, but I never get a clear answer. I know it is a future event vision. Am I not getting an answer because I’m not ready for it? Because the interpretation is up to me? Because I’m asking the wrong questions? I’m feeling extremely frustrated. Many times, I’ve had visions that came through later, or that I finally understood years later, but this one has me confounded. What is your experience advice on this matter?
Sandra Ingerman: Well, I think that that’s true for all of us, who work spiritually, is that we start getting information, that we don’t always know how to interpret, and sometimes we’re not ready for it. And sometimes we just need to spend time with it, spending time in nature, doing some journaling, of “in my wildest dreams, what could this possibly mean?” And sometimes, it’s just we’re not ready for the information yet. And we have to accept that.
Rick Archer: Okay, good. Here’s one from Scott in Fort Collins, Colorado. He says,” I am new to journeying.” And you and I have used the term journeying a few times here, but I don’t think you’ve ever really defined it. So, define it when you answer this question.” I’m new to journeying and have been having difficulty visualizing the common methods of entering the lower world, such as climbing down the ladder entering through a cave or hole in the earth. Do you actually see the ladder or other entrances like a movie? Or do you just put the thought in your mind that it is happening?
Sandra Ingerman: Everything with journeying is about intention, and shamanic journeying, when you look at the definition of a shaman cross culturally, you look at the anthropological literature, what you see is that a shaman is a man or woman who through some form of percussion, goes into an altered state of consciousness, and takes sole flight into the non-ordinary realms, where the shaman has access to helping spirits. And so, we’re talking about, the question that we’re talking about right now, is about in the evolution of consciousness that we’re in, where we can all be shamanic practitioners, and we can all travel into the unseen realms, and meet up with helping and compassionate spirits. And so, back to the question, when we journey, we go through a transition. So, here we are in the ordinary world. And we want to now enter into the unseen realms, we want to step into the unseen realms. And so usually there’s a transition, a tunnel going to the lower world or shamans climbed up branches of trees to the upper world, or they climbed up ladders into the upper world. And that was their transition from ordinary reality into the unseen realms. But what I find in today’s world is that a lot of people in today’s world are a little bit nervous about those transitional states or they’re not… There hasn’t been enough practice yet to understand about how to get through those transitions. And it’s really like walking through nature, it’s really seeing yourself climbing up the ladder. And when I teach shamanic journeying, I have people drumming and rattling and physically singing and dancing, because shamans actually climbed physical ladders as they were journeying up into the upper world. And they actually moved as if they were going through a tunnel into the lower world. And so, I find that where people get stuck is in their mind. So, allow your body to just stand, when you journey, and start to move and start to experience yourself moving through that transition, and sing it. Speak it. Imagine it. Just allow that to happen. Don’t get stuck. Or if you really find yourself stuck, use your intention and just will yourself to be in the transcendent realms. Intention is everything.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I don’t know if this is a fair comparison. I shift into a transcendent realm when I meditate, but there’s never been anything visual or metaphorical about it, I just shift into it. And there’s no ladders or holes or anything like that. So maybe some people, and maybe we’re comparing apples and oranges, what you’re talking about is a different thing. But maybe some people just aren’t that visually oriented. And even if they’re doing a shamanic practice, they might not have such vivid visual images as some others might. And yet, they might be able to just as readily shift into a higher realm.
Sandra Ingerman: Yeah, I’m not visual at all. I actually don’t see in my journeys.
Rick Archer: Okay.
Sandra Ingerman: I’m clairaudient. I hear. And I’m clairsentient, and I feel. Shamans when they journey, and friend of mine who is Hopi taught me this, shamans when they journey, they take their bodies with them.
Rick Archer: Their subtle bodies?
Sandra Ingerman: Yes. And so, in shamanism, we’re actually stepping into, it’s as if we’re in a world that we have senses in. But in our culture, I find that our psychic senses, some people developed or have an innate psychic sense of being able to see, clairvoyance. And some people are more auditory, and some people feel in their body. That’s clear sentience. And we live in a visual culture. So, the problem that’s what’s happening is everybody’s trying to be visual, when we have other psychic senses that are available to us. And when we tap into those, we learn how to live our lives better. So, I wonder, why is it when the tsunami happened- I’m not trying to go off track. And I’m not trying to not answer your question. Why is it when the tsunami happened in Thailand, that it was only humans who didn’t know that a tsunami was coming? Why? It’s because we’re so focused on just what we can see with our ordinary eyes. We’re not developing our subtle senses. And that’s what shamanic cultures developed was their subtle senses, that picked up physically and through hearing and through their non-ordinary eyes information that helped them to thrive.
Rick Archer: Yeah, Rupert Sheldrake brought that up in his, in my interview with him last week, discusses in his book, dogs, when their animals are coming home, when their owners are coming home, I meant to say, but he mentioned the thing about the tsunami and how all the animals head for the hills, you know, because they sense that it’s coming. And there are so many examples of that. Anyway, got that screwed up?
Sandra Ingerman: You did great. We all make errors, don’t we…?
Rick Archer: What was I going to say there? Oh, yeah, I think there’s an interesting point you’re making here which is, sometimes people think of spiritual development as just kind of taking recourse to the transcendent, or recognizing that the world is illusory or shifting into a state of Self Realization and all which is fine. But what you’re alluding to is a more holistic development in which we may not only have come to know our true nature, but our sensory faculties are becoming much more refined and developing to encompass a much broader range of perception. And I think that’s definitely a legitimate part of it. And its part that is ignored by some spiritual people.
Sandra Ingerman: Well, what’s happening is in shamanism, it’s so important to learn what your soul song is. And when I try to teach that, people don’t know what I mean, because the only songs they listen to around their devices. They don’t hear their spirits singing. When I say that, all trees, everything in life sings. People go, “wow”! But that’s actually true. If your senses are developed, if your subtle senses are developed, you actually hear those songs. We’re fed, through the media, through TV, through the movies, everything, so we don’t know how to bring up visuals when I tell people, “See, hear, feel, taste, smell the world that you want to live in. What would it look like?” People can’t see that, because they’re used to being fed images. So, we don’t know how to bring up images, songs that are coming from within us feelings that are coming from within us, because we’re used to being fed by the outer world. And so, that’s a real challenge that we’re seeing as people are stepping into waking up to the spiritual realms right now is how do we also wake up our non-ordinary reality senses?
Rick Archer: Okay, a bit of a segue here. This is something, I took away six pages of notes from your books that I thought were interesting. But here’s one that kind of jumps out at me at the moment. Today, people want new material without repeating spiritual practices again and again, to match the feeling of solidity that comes from deepening our work during these times that are so destabilizing. Always going to the next new practice keeps you, keeps us riding the surface waves, which just lead to feeling more destabilized. The key is to grow the deepest roots possible in the ancient ways that hold so much healing wisdom for us. So, do you run into many sorts of spiritual dilettantes in your work, who are coming to your thing, and next week, they go on to something else, in the following week, they’re going to something else? And what do you say to people to encourage them to go deep? You know, that old saying about don’t dig 10 shallow wells, dig one deep well to hit water, but there may also be some validity to the notion of using 10 tools to dig one deep well.
Sandra Ingerman: Right? Yeah. Yeah, what I’m referring to is, we’re addicted to methods. In our culture, we’re addicted to methods. And so, okay, Sandra Ingerman teaches this practice of healing. And well, I got that, I worked with her and I did it. Oh, but I heard about another teacher who has even a more powerful method, I wonder if I should go there. Because it’s the method, we’re looking at a method. And methods have never healed anybody. Methods have never healed anybody, Shamans and spiritual teachers talk about love heals, light heals, the presence of heals, not a method. And so, we’re missing the point. And so, if you do the same ceremony, or work with the same way of healing, or you work with the same Spirit every day, or you visit the same tree outside, every single day, for a year, and speak to it, something happens, that doesn’t happen when you wave to the tree, and then you go and just keep walking and looking at new places, to new territories to visit. And so, it’s repeating the ceremonies, it’s repeating the healing, it’s repeating the communication and the relationship and building relationships. And so, what happened for me is, I was actually doing an interview, and all of a sudden, I started talking about how old the Earth was, being billions of years old. And I felt my body on an earth that was billions of years old. And so, I started to continue to work with that. And to continue to feel the ancientness, the first living being of air, brushing my skin, and going through my hair, and playing in my hair, and drinking water that’s comes from the sea that’s billions of years old. And that brought me a sense of centeredness that I haven’t been able to feel in these changing times. And so, our practices are like that. It’s like being on solid ground, instead of always going to a new territory. It’s being on solid ground, and then we can go deep within ourselves, we can grow deep roots within ourselves.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I’ve heard you talking about neuroplasticity. I’ve interviewed Rick Hanson, who is one of the main scientists in that area. And that is that the brain actually can change significantly over time by doing a certain thing repeatedly. But it doesn’t just change overnight. And I think we all know this from experience. I mean, let’s say we want to become a musician. We don’t sit down, take a piano lesson the next day think, “Well, I think I’ll try violin.” Do that for a day, and, “maybe I’ll be a trumpet player”, because we’re never going to get good at anything. You have to kind of dedicate yourself to something. Of course, you can shop around a bit until you find the thing that really turns you on. But then it takes a sustained practice to really master.
Sandra Ingerman: Yeah. And that’s the key, is the shopping around can be very positive, because all paths lead to the same place. So, find a path and stick to it, find a practice and stick to it. Once you found, “this brings me passion, I really feel good when I’m doing this practice”, it’s going to take you where you need to go to. There isn’t another one that’s more powerful.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And when we speak of neuroplasticity, there has been research using fMRI to show people’s brains who’ve been doing meditation or other practices for a long period of time, it’s a very completely different brain than the ordinary person. So, it really does change the instrument.
Sandra Ingerman: Absolutely. And that’s one of the things where we can really work with our words and our thoughts and our daydreams, again, to create new neural pathways in the brain of, instead of saying, it’s gone too far, it’s gone too far, it’s gone too far, it’s gone too far. Because that’s the path that we’re creating. What about if we create another path? Yes, things are looking so good right now. But we have an opportunity to show up and contribute to the change. I have the opportunity; I have something to contribute. And that’s what’s repeated over and over again, that leads us to a whole different train station, than the train station, and where most of us are going.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And in terms of something to contribute, just to emphasize the point, if you really look at yourself, you’ve been doing shamanism for decades now. And you’ve become a real authority in it through your extended practice and application and attention on it, that to which we give our attention grows stronger in our life. So, there are 1000 other ways that people could contribute, but you found a way that works for you, and you focused on it, and kind of become good at it. So, we don’t all have to be like you. But find something that works for you. And stick with it.
Sandra Ingerman: Yeah, and I’m a real introvert. I actually, this is not natural for me. And so, for my students and friends who say, “I don’t want to do what you’re doing.” Again, we have to find what feels good to us, and what’s our destiny. And so, if it’s being at home, and working on beautiful drawings, or putting more attention to how you cook food and putting love into your food, you are making a huge, huge contribution to the planet. If you’re treating your children with love, if you’re thanking the earth for the bounty that we receive, you are doing a huge service. And so, we have this blown-up idea of what it means to contribute. Contributing is, is being putting love and light into everything that you’re doing, and to work on becoming a presence of love in the world. And it doesn’t mean what you do. The key is who you become, that’s the key of what’s going to create the healing that we’re looking for ourselves and the planet.
Rick Archer: Yeah, we were talking earlier about sort of grassroots and how this planetary transformation, if it is happening is happening from the bottom up, so to speak, from the roots. And it’s not necessarily going to be making the six o’clock news anytime soon, because it’s subtle, but it is worldwide and it’s the result of 1000s, if not hundreds of 1000s or even millions of people kind of realizing that there’s something more and hopping on the bandwagon in development, developing that each in their own way,
Sandra Ingerman: In their own way. And that’s the key, is we all have a very unique way that is going to feed us and how we can be a presence in the world that creates change.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Here’s a question. For some reason you’re talking about staying at home and doing your own thing and I was really drawn again to this question because it’s from someone in Albuquerque, New Mexico and I thought of Georgia O’Keeffe, you know, sitting in silence, making beautiful paintings. But this is from Anastasia from Abiquiu, and you’re talking about omens earlier. And she wonders, “Ravens and crows are often seen as bad omens in many cultures, yet I find them fascinating, intelligent, wonderful animals, and have derived much joy from feeding them. How does one develop one’s own lexicon for omens?”
Sandra Ingerman: Well, first of all, one doesn’t go to look up the meaning. Because every single being on this planet holds the power. We all carry a power into the world. And the mistake that we’re making is we’re looking at other people’s interpretations. I’ve actually never heard that ravens and crows are not seen in the good…
Rick Archer: In some cultures. Yeah, in India, I think they are sometimes seen as a bad omen.
Sandra Ingerman: Okay. And so…
Rick Archer: Although the yoga Vasistha has a story about a divine crow named Bhusundi, who’s supposed to be immortal, and has outlived all the cycles of creation over and over again, so, anyway…
Sandra Ingerman: Yeah, so, for me, it’s about learning how to be in relationship with the being that we’re speaking to, not learning other people’s interpretations. And so, as you start to develop a relationship and start to notice, when Raven and Crow shows up, then you start to develop that when I need a good omen. I’m actually seeing Raven and Crow, and you start to learn that over time that a rainbow feels good, and that when a drizzle comes down, that means you’re actually being blessed. And so, you start to learn your own interpretations.
Rick Archer: Okay, good. Here’s a question that we might use as a as a sort of a wrap-up question because it can send us off on a high note. This is from Katie in Santa Fe; you probably know her. What purpose do you see shamanism serving in this time, where some say we’re entering into the Golden Age or Aquarian Age? How can it be used to bring about the shift in the earth, the energies for the highest good possible for Mother Earth and her inhabitants?
Sandra Ingerman: Shamanism carries medicine. Shamanism is the medicine for our times, because shamanism teaches us how to be harmonious inside of ourselves, how to become beings that radiate a beautiful healing presence in the world. Shamanism teaches us how we can care for the earth, and be tenders of the earth, and for everything that is alive. Shamanism teaches us that life is a gift. It’s a gift and a huge opportunity and not to waste this gift. And as we learn how to be in relationship with our own spirit, with the spirits that live in everything, the spirit that lives in all things, harmony returns to the planet, and that’s the medicine that we need right now. And that’s the medicine that shamanism carries.
Rick Archer: Excellent. You’re a fun person to interview because you speak very eloquently. And you speak in and sort of nice little package of an idea. And then you pause, and then I can ask a question. We could do it again. But I feel perfect balance in terms of interviewing you. I don’t know if you’ve always been that way or if that’s the result of shamanism.
Sandra Ingerman: Well, can I say something about that? I actually didn’t speak until I was four.
Rick Archer: At all?
Sandra Ingerman: Yes. And I never learned really how to speak. And so, all my friends were people who were very intuitive and right brained, and they always knew what I meant. If you listen to any of my sentences, I didn’t know how to string words together that made sense. But people who were with me knew what I meant. And then I taught my very first workshop on shamanism in about 1982 or 1983. And I had doctors and lawyers in my workshops, and they would raise their hand and they would say, do you know that nothing coming out of your mouth is making any sense? And Rick, this has been a 30-year journey for me of learning how to put words together so that I can bring through the spirit of shamanism. It’s been a challenge. It’s been a difficult journey. And so, thank you for what you just said to me.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I’ve interviewed over 400 people. And I think that you’re one of the more fluent and articulate people I’ve interviewed. You have a real knack for, you have a gift for gab as they say.
Sandra Ingerman: It’s a work and it’s actually a work in progress, because I’m bringing through new information right now, and I’m trying to find the right language for it. I’m learning the language of the earth. And thank you.
Rick Archer: Well, not only are you an eloquent speaker, but I’m really buttering you up here. But you’re also quite a writer. You’ve written a lot of books. Here’s one. I’ll just hold them up one by one. “The Hidden Worlds”, “The Book of Ceremony”. We’ve been talking about ceremony a lot. “Walking in Light: The Everyday Empowerment of a Shamanic Life”, and “Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self”. And there’s probably a few more, and there are all kinds of articles on your website, and whatnot. So, I’ll be linking to these from your page on batgap.com, and people can click through and get them out. Some of them exist as an audio book, as well as a printed book, from Sounds True. So, you can, if you prefer listening, rather than reading, that’s available. Anything else you want to say in conclusion, or have we pretty much covered it?
Sandra Ingerman: Well, we have. I just want to say, that I’m still planting seeds of hope. And I ask that you be gardeners with me, and planting seeds of hope, too and planting seeds of love. And Rick, this has just been a real honor. I haven’t watched a show, but I can’t tell you how much I’ve heard about you. Thank you for what you are doing. Thank you for raising consciousness. Thank you for introducing people to so much wisdom, and so many tools to work with. And I just send everybody blessings. And just thank everybody for listening. And thank you for your patience, also, as I’m learning about some new technology I haven’t worked with,
Rick Archer: Oh, even on that scale, you did pretty well. I mean, we’ve had people that we had to spend two or three hours, you know, getting them set up in terms of their webcam and, you know, their microphone and then they’ll disassemble it al. They’ll be ready to start the interview, holding up bits and saying what’s this thing? So, you did okay.
Sandra Ingerman: Thanks. Thank you.
Rick Archer: All right, thanks. And thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching. Well, this is an ongoing series, as most of you know. If you’d like to be notified of new ones, you can subscribe on YouTube. And you can also sign up to on batgap.com to receive an email each time a new one is released. And over the coming month I’ll be releasing ones that have already been recorded, mostly out at the SAND Conference, Science and Nonduality Conference, out in California. But anyway, there’s a page on Bat Gap called the upcoming interviews page. And in fact, so many people have liked it on Facebook that if you do a search in Google for upcoming interviews, that page comes up number one. So that’ll show you what we’ve got planned and there’s a guest suggestion page, if you want to suggest a guest. So, thanks for listening or watching and we’ll see you next week. Thank you, Sandra