Ann Drake Soulwork

Shamanism and Psyche

Author: anndrakesoulwork

Themes from the Energetic Dimension: Remembering Who We Have Been

   A prime time host on Fox News was recently discovered to have described the Iraqi people as “semiliterate people” for whom he has zero sympathy.  Nor did he care for their culture because they “don’t use toilet paper or forks”. 

   I was a Peace Corps volunteer in a Muslim village in Malaysian Borneo where the people did not use toilet paper –it was not available- and they ate with their hands.  When the villagers first witnessed me eating with a fork, they burst into laughter.  They thought it hilarious and ridiculous to put rice on these little prongs while navigating this metal thing to one’s mouth without spilling when eating with one’s hands was so much more efficient.  When I ate at the homes of the villagers, I learned to eat with my hands.  Initially, I managed to get food in my hair and all over my face, but with practice I learned the art of eating easily and gracefully with my hands.  This is one of the many things that was foreign to me. Finally I came to the realization that the rules and rituals of one’s culture are, on the one hand, totally arbitrary and, on the other hand, the fabric that binds the culture together.

   From its inception, the United States has been a melting pot of a various cultures.  Yet there has been friction as each new culture migrated to the US, challenging the newfound identity of the collective consciousness.  One of the reasons for this is that historically we lived in tribal groups with the deep seated belief that our tribal group or nation was the best; living in tribes or small nation states is part of our karmic memories. Throughout the history of Europe, there were frequent wars between and among the various peoples that came to call themselves French, English, Scottish, German or Spanish to name but a few of the cultural identities that fostered tribalism.   Also housed in our karmic imprints are trace memories of our experiences living in other cultures.  When I first went to live in Malaysia, I had repeated flashes of deja vu with waves of awareness floating over me that I had come home. The kindness, love and acceptance that I experience in this remote village far outweigh any cultural dissonance over forks or toilet paper.

   If we allow ourselves to relax our hypervigilance regarding the sanctity of our own tribal identity and open ourselves to the richness and beauty of other cultures, we can allow ourselves to remember the peace and joy of living connected to nature and the inner resonance we experience with certain cultures.  Through struggling to assert our cultural supremacy and ridicule others, we demonstrate our own ignorance and block ourselves from remembering the wisdom from all of the lifetimes that make us who we are today. As we race towards a global consciousness, may we remember and embrace the insights and lessons from whence we came rather than disparage those who are different from us. 

Alternate Facts: Alternate Realities

Since the late eighties, a powerful energetic shift has gripped the planet.  There are varying pathways or frequencies that may manifest from this shift with very different outcomes.  One is that we will enter a time in history in which we are much more heart-centered and care for one another, leading us into an era of peace on the planet.  In direct opposition is the possibility that the apocalypse is near with an urgency to prepare for a war like none other.

Another option is that all will go along as it has for eons and most will not notice that anything has occurred or only feel subtle changes.  There is also a trajectory in which the planet gradually slides into an environment so hostile that it is unsustainable for humans to survive and thrive, resulting in our extinction.

As I ponder the emergence of “fake news,” it seems that we are entering a time in history during which people see and interpret facts based on the reality in which they are living. I was in contact with an old friend who was upset by the riots that occurred the day after the inauguration that were led by Madonna. My perception was that the women’s march was the largest peaceful demonstration in the world; there was not a single act of violence or arrest.  In the past I would have protested my friend’s opinion, but realized it was not really possible to argue the “facts” as we received our news from very different sources and choose to listen to the newsfeeds that re-enforce our beliefs, our own reality.

Both sides of the political divide cry “fake news” to anything that runs counter to what they already believe to be true.  Those that view the apocalypse as coming through a war between Christians and Muslims see a genuine threat behind each hijab or dark skinned man.  The urgency to arm and protect oneself from Muslim terrorists entering the country has reached a frenzied pitch for those who align themselves with that reality.  An alternate reality is that we are moving to a time of peace and equality on the planet; the current turmoil merely exposes all of the institutions, beliefs and practices that block true peace.  I tend to fall into this camp and am heartened by acts of kindness and care such as churches opening their doors to those in danger of deportation.

So what will happen now?  Is there a way to bridge the alternate realities and facts to have calm conversations with one another or are the energetic shifts so powerful that we are moving into different realities from which we cannot come back?  I am currently working on a book, The Energetic Dimension: Understanding Our Ancestral, Karmic and Cultural Imprints, in which I urge us to consider the role that energetic imprints contribute to how we understand and perceive reality.  Perhaps if we open to this understanding, we can find the bridge that is needed to speak to and listen to one another without judgment or anger.


Make America Kind Again

The day after the inauguration of President Trump, millions of women with their friends and families from around the world marched in peace and mutual respect to support women rights.  There were many signs and speeches that touched my heart, but the one that most resonated was that of a girl of around 9 on the back of her father carrying a sign that read “Make America Kind Again”.  In part the kindness and calm of the marches most strongly reflected the inner longing of many to return to a time that when we disagreed, we did so with respect; that when there was a disagreement on policy or politics it did not mean that the other person was an ignorant, immoral person, or, even worse, a traitor to the country.

The primary teachings of all of the major religions of the world extol us to love one another, to help those less fortunate and to show compassion and concern for all.  It saddens me greatly that some have desecrated the precious teachings of the world religions through using them as an instrument of hate and judgment and a call to violence.  We are at a choice point to decide if we want to strive to be our best selves or to allow our personal frustrations and disappointments to be whipped up into anger by politicians who manipulate those frustrations to further their own personal strivings for power, wealth and fame. Shortly after President Trump announced a temporary ban on people coming to America from seven predominately Muslim countries, a mosque was burnt to the ground in Victoria, Texas.  Within four days over a million dollars had been raised to re-build the mosque.  We can strive to be our best selves; we can meet hate and violence with love and kindness.  We can make America kind again.


The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

The underbelly of our political system has been exposed, which affords us a remarkable opportunity for change.  We are in the midst of a huge transformation on the planet towards a more heart-centered, community-based consciousness.  The astrological energetic shift began in 1987 with the Harmonic Convergence and is currently at the apex of its power.  In order for real change to ensue, there must be a radical re-ordering of how we elect those who govern us and what governing entails. Recently the extent to which our political system is not working has been made apparent to all.

The racist, misogynist predilections of the Republican Party found a spokesman for these tendencies in Donald Trump.  Through the vulgarity of his speech and insults, many Republicans have been forced to denounce the man who has given voice to the crux of their principles.  Policies that include, among many things, voter suppression of minorities and the myopic effort to take control of women’s bodies.  The well-known – but rarely articulated – policy from both major parties of pay to play was brought to light through Bernie Sanders’ candidacy and underlined through Clinton’s hacked email in which she stated that she has both public and private positions.  Translated this means that “I will tell the donors one thing and the public another in order to both raise money and simultaneously attract the votes of the masses”.  Almost each election cycle there are leaked tapes from each party that exposes this dynamic such as Romney’s 47% statement and Obama’s guns and religion assertion.  Proof of pay-to-play is illuminated in the gross inequality in our tax system. Through a variety of tax loopholes, Trump is excused from paying federal taxes for years, despite allegedly making billions.  As Trump stated, “It makes me a genius that I don’t pay taxes”.  We all know that the tax code is tilted toward the rich, yet year after year we elect candidates that promise to change this, but who do not. After an exhausting and embarrassing two year presidential election cycle, we are left with the two most disliked candidates in political history. This debacle shines a spotlight on a political system that essentially works for the oligarchy and not for the vast majority of Americans.

As the shift to a new consciousness emerges, that which needs to be changed is brought to light in dramatic fashion so that true transformation can occur.  Many are despairing the state of our political system.  There are those in power or seeking power whose greed causes them to make choices that do not honor or protect the planet.  There are those that disparage women, ethnic and cultural minorities as well as the disenfranchised.  Take heed, though: if we band together to stand up against a system that serves the oligarchy, then the people can prevail to create a system that is fair to all and fosters a climate of respect and empowerment for each citizen.  It is not too late to manifest the country we want and deserve.

Hold the Space

As a psychologist and shamanic practitioner, I have listened, hour after hour, as my clients and students conveyed the anxiety, fear and general unease they are feeling regarding the upcoming election.  “What will happen if Trump wins? Will the right to control my own body be lost, will my right to free speech evaporate?  What will happen if Trump loses?  Will there be violence or even worse a civil war?  Will there be a larger war in the Middle East no matter who wins?” Some talk of feeling slimy and dirty after listening to the debates. Women with sexual abuse histories are triggered by the sexual assault accusations.  Just as many in psychotherapy confront the reality that their family is at times dysfunctional, as a nation we have been forced to face the myriad ways in which our political system does not work.

A general state of unease permeates the country that threatens to impact our general well-being as Election Day approaches.    The energy of fear and uncertainty can lead to a sense of powerlessness and defeat, and may even draw that which we fear.

I would urge you all, however, to hold the space for the vision of what you want the outcome to be.  By this I do not mean to merely focus on your candidate winning.  I am asking you to envision the type of country and government that you want.  Do you want a government that is run by the rich and powerful and has the power to shut down the government or block any appointments to the judicial system, including the Supreme Court, that do not support their self-interest?  Do you want a political system that traffics in insults, lies and dredging up dirt on their opponent?  Do you want a government in which there is no ability to compromise or listen to the ideas of one with whom you do not agree 100%?  This is the government and electoral system that we currently have.  Take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to conjure the image of how you would like the government to function.  What would the tone of the government be, how would you set out to heal the large divide that threatens to tear us apart?  If we all envision what we want our government to be in tone and function, we can establish a strong energetic force that can counter the greed and ugliness that exists today.  If we fall into despair and powerlessness, then we are easily manipulated and exploited.  So, create the vision that you want, combine it with peace and compassion and send it out with your heart into the world.

The Shift Has Begun: Thank You Veterans

As many Americans are in shock over the election of Donald Trump and the appointment of billionaires and generals to run the government, many have missed the amazing events that have happened at Standing Rock.  After months of protests by the Native American Nation and their supporters, the Army Corps of Engineers have temporarily denied a final permit for the Energy Transfer Partners, a company in which Trump owned stock, to finish construction of a pipeline through sacred Native American land.  Prior to this ruling, law enforcement officials from the area have dealt with the protesters with harsh and cruel treatment, seriously injuring people.  As a result of this violence, a group of veterans went to Standing Rock to provide a protective layer around the protesters to prevent and protect protesters from further violent action.

The veterans went beyond mere protection by publicly kneeling down to apologize to the elders of the Native American Nation.  Here is what they said:

We came here to be the conscience of the nation. And within that conscience, we must first confess our sins to you, because many of us, me in particular, are from the units that have hurt you over the many years. We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain. When we took still more land, and then we took your children, then we tried to take your language, and we tried to eliminate your language that God gave you and that the Creator gave you, didn’t respect you. We polluted your earth.”

The veterans began to kneel as Wesley Clark Jr. concluded his statement:

We’ve hurt you in so many ways, but we’ve come to say that we are sorry, we are at your service, and we beg for your forgiveness.”

This statement and action on the part of brave and loving veterans is a clear example of the energetic shift that is occurring on the planet in which we speak from our hearts, we care more about people and the earth than greed and profit, and stand strong and united in community for truth and justice for all.

Dear Veterans, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making these heartfelt amends on my behalf, and on behalf of all Americans that feel shame and grief over the treatment of Native Americans.


Change: One Way or the Other

Change: One Way or the Other


Given the astrological planetary alignment that has pushed us towards change, it is not surprising that although more than a million and a half people voted for Hillary than Donald Trump, the Electoral College will usher in the candidate that promised to “drain the swamp,” shake up the government, and bring relief and support to the common man.  At first glance, it appears that Trump may be further polluting the swamp, but for now I will withhold judgment on this.

Many were stunned and terrified by the election of Donald Trump, but take heart as the change that is so desperately desired may actually be accelerated and actualized by his election.  The planetary shift that is occurring is to bring us to a more heart-centered world in which there is greater understanding and compassion for one another, a greater acceptance of our differences, and a stronger sense of community and belonging.  If Trump attempts to push through policies and programs that divide the American people and engender hate, distrust, and bigotry while ensuring that the economic elite benefit from his presidency – not the masses who supported him – a grass roots movement will emerge to counter these policies and there will be more than “professional protesters” in the street.  Already people are gathering to shift the vile rhetoric of the election and to reach out to those who may differ from them politically to build bridges and foster understanding.  The economic interest of the poor, working class, and middle class are similar.  For years there have been attempts to disrupt this block of voters by dividing people by race, ethnicity, and gender, a tactic that Trump perfected in his campaign.  Perhaps Trump will usher in policies that benefit the poor and working class and bring about economic equality and an end of benefits for the rich. But if he does not, it will be even more apparent that the change we need must arise from the grass roots up, not from the top down.


Politics and the Energetic Dimension

We are in the midst of a powerful period of transformation on the planet. It began in 1987 with the Harmonic Conversion and is currently at the apex of its power. The planetary astrological alignments are similar to the time of the birth of Christ. This energetic jolt has been intensified through numerous solar and lunar eclipses as we surge towards a more heart centered, community based consciousness. Some embrace the energetic intensity and ride it like a large wave. Creativity flows through them as new possibilities for creating the life and world they want feels limitless. Others stand frozen like a deer in headlights, feeling bombarded by the stream of unfamiliar energies, unable to act or find their ground. Still others are deeply disturbed by the energies swirling around them and become destabilized, off balance, and irritable, longing for a time when things were easy and simple.
These wild energies are dramatically reflected in the 2016 race for the presidency as folks strive to find an outer container for the inner tumult they are experiencing. Those who embrace the expansive energy of creating the world they want have flocked to the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. This is especially true for the millennials who hold the future in their hands. For eons the creative potential for change has rested in the hands of the young; fortunately they are aided in their quest with a powerful energetic and astrological alignment for transformation. The establishment wing of the Democratic Party, led by Hillary Clinton, initially sought to hold the middle ground by stressing competency and experience over creativity and change. As the energy around Sanders’s call for a political revolution surged, Clinton began to don some of Sanders’s well established policies that she had earlier chided as being unrealistic. However she still has not been able to capture and convey the positive energy of change. The energetic weight of her ties to establishment policies, her hawkish foreign policy positions and her ties to big money dulls the positive energy of Clinton being the first female president. Her appeal tends to rest with those who are also trying to find their ground in the midst of the powerful energies that are upending their lives; they yearn for predictability, for the known.
For over seven years the Republicans have made it their sole platform to block President Obama’s agenda. Having ground the government to a halt through their obstruction, they felt emboldened by the support of special interests and big money that aspire to maintain their privilege and the status quo. Wanting nothing to do with a platform of “just do nothing”, the Republican electorate rapidly dispatched the establishment candidates. As many ponder the power of Trump’s unorthodox candidacy and his ability to say or do anything that would have destroyed a candidate in previous presidential campaigns, the explanation may lie in the energetic dimension.
Although President Obama is the first president since Dwight Eisenhower to have won the majority of the popular vote not once but twice, the Republicans repeatedly refer to his presidency as illegitimate, which appears to be a veiled comment on his race. Many who have felt disenfranchised from the American dream look for a place to assign blame and have found it in people of color and immigrants. The collective frustration and anger of many may have found a voice in Trump who has thrown political correctness out the window and speaks out loud what the Republican establishment has seeded into the collective unconscious of its followers. Trump does not seem to care about policy or facts, but adeptly reads the energy of his audiences and gives them what they want. Trump, like Sanders, creates an aura of authenticity that is a welcome relief to some after decades of carefully crafted talking points that seem devoid of actionable results. It appears that Trump is appealing to those who long for a return to the fifties when America was admired for being the strongest nation on the planet, there was ample economic opportunity and women and minorities knew their place. Many are drawn to the energy he creates as he promises to take care of them and make them great, but they appear to care less about what he actually says.
The establishment wings of both parties do not seem to understand the energetic power of both Sanders and Trump. In the past, crafting the right message and putting vast amounts of money into the promotion of that message were how things were done. Sanders has a clear well-honed message that has been part of his basic philosophy for over fifty years. He raises money from those who believe in and identify with his message and give to a movement that resonates with their hearts and minds. Trump does not need money from special interests and is free to say whatever he wants. His chaotic, contradictory and startling rhetoric matches the internal state of those who have been destabilized by the frenzied energies swirling about them.
At the onset of the energetic shift on the planet, those who are drawn to understanding and working with energy pondered the arc that these transformational energies might take. Will the Age of Aquarius shepherd in an era of peace, love and respect for all? Will it be countered by those economic entities that control the world economy and squash this momentum by bringing more restriction, oppression and economic inequality to the world? It is no coincidence that the rise of ISIS and the push by the Republicans to take control of women’s bodies are such forces now. The new transformational energies are much more feminine and heart centered. Thus it follows that those who are threatened by this energy for change strive to repress and thwart women. It is bound to be a wild ride, but the energetic power of this transformation is strong and the yearning of the masses to live in peace is profound. It is hard to predict what will happen in the next seven months in the political arena. Will the establishment wing of both parties adjust and prevail in the end or will the momentum for a political revolution of the people and for the people sweep throughout the land? Or will we take Mr. Toad’s wild ride with Trump crashing into one thing after another as we go off the road?


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