Holding a Sacred Pipe

A Tale of Spiritual Activation

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by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted

From Everything to Nothing:
I began my work as a healing facilitator like many, by working with friends and family. I got a deck of Jamie Sams Medicine Cards from somewhere and started reading them. Then, a friend suggested I go to a new age fair and read. I did that but soon realized the cards were just a doorway for energetic work that was needed so I stopped doing card readings and started just doing intuitive readings. That progressed to the point where I realized that words really weren’t needed at all and sometimes got in the way because of each person’s attachment to particular meaning for any particular word. So, I stopped doing readings altogether and started doing hands on healing work.

My progression from healer to healing facilitator:
Again, like so many new healers, I thought I was doing something. I thought I was actively helping to heal the people who came to see me. Spirit let me believe that long enough to train me and get a little confidence built up before showing me that I was doing only one thing….providing energetic support and witness for someone else who had work to do.

This realization help me release any personal push I might have been adding to the energy, and allowed for everything or nothing to be equally desirable results. If a person’s pain went away, it would be due to them having done the work to allow that. If the pain remained or even got worse, it would be due to their resistance to letting go of it. When I took myself out of the equation and released judgment, I was able to be a far stronger energetic presence in the room.

In the beginning, I drew many, many people who were specifically ready to heal childhood trauma. No surprise there, really, as this was one of my own major life experiences and one that I had done extensive work toward healing within myself, with the help of tremendously clear energetic healing facilitators who held Sacred Space for me over the years.

So, for seven years, I worked with the abused and those who had become addicted while attempting to tamp down the pain of abuse to a bearable level in their lives. This part of my journey was like seven years of a cellular and soul level medical school and taught me a tremendous amount about the cellular configuration of compressed memory in the body.

I was feeling quite comfortable in this arena, doing the work I was doing at the time. However, in my personal life, there was massive disharmony that I ignored and pushed from consciousness. I was busy enough to be distracted from the truth of what my body, at a cellular level, knew was ending. Then, everything changed.

Holding the Sacred
A good friend and fellow healing facilitator told me of a free class in West Virginia. It was called Cranial Flight and the only cost was that the osteopath who was teaching it requested a donation, in any amount, be made to a Native American cause.

Free class, free ride with my friend, giving a donation to support a worthy cause, what’s not to like, right? One would think it would be an easy decision but I emphatically did not want to go. I had many excuses…. It was so far to ride. I had so much to do. What is cranial flight anyway – I mean, it sounds cool but…

My friend persisted and I finally agreed to go. We arrive at the free class. We are the only two people there, despite it having been advertised on the internet. Also, despite the entire class being taped, nothing ended up on the tape of that time we spent together. The osteopath said the tape seemed to have vaporized. After what happened during this class, I guess I’m not too surprised.

The Sacred:
Before the class, the osteopath takes us into an office and shows us a very old Pipe. I have not seen another like it, ever. It was heavy, big, black. Age unknown but thousands of years old. A human skull formed the bowl and behind it, a human spine merged into that of a bird with wings. At the time, I didn’t have a thought in my entire head but now, I wonder if that is how the name Cranial Flight had emerged.

I immediately wanted to hold it but my friend says to wait. I look at her, incredulous, wondering why she’s saying that but then, I say ok. We take the class and learn about this cranial work that is nothing like cranio-sacral work. It’s really nothing like anything else either, though it looks similar. During the extremely brief demonstration, I feel something happening through my cranial bones that I’ve never felt in a cranio-sacral session (and by the way, I’ve had incredible results with cranio-sacral work and consider it to be a very valuable healing modality). To this day, I still can’t adequately describe it except to say that I felt the joy of me.

Cranial Flight:
I could write an entire big post on all that happened in that 4-5 hour class, if I could just remember it. It’s like a dream now. You know how you sometimes wake up and realize, wow, I had a big dream … but you can’t remember what you dreamed? It’s like that.

There was shapeshifting and so much energy that I could barely focus on what I was being taught. In fact, I lost focus entirely several times and just watched the energy in the room. Trying to recount it now, I can’t pull much out of the memory banks but I just remember thinking, more than once, where are we? What’s happening? Are we here?

Holding the Sacred:
After the class is over, we are again taken to the office and I turn to my friend, jokingly, and ask if I can hold the Pipe now. She indulges my poke at her and says yes. The instant the Pipe touches my hands, something begins to flow thru me and my friend grabs my arm, planting her feet to help ground me. From what, I know not.

This energetic flow feels like what I would imagine lightning might feel like if it struck and kept flowing, rather than striking and running thru and being done with it. Yet it was thicker than I think lightning would be and filled more of me than a lightning bolt would reach on it’s way through. It filled every cell at once. The energy was full and alive, like electrical water, if that makes sense but no, it wasn’t like that exactly either.

I began to sob from the sheer volume of joy and love I was feeling. I sobbed deeply and loudly and shook from my toes to my head, uncontrollably, the entire time I held this Sacred Pipe. The osteopath left the room and I can’t say how long my friend and I stood there. Then, the osteopath returned to check on me and as we all three stood there, we all three smelled an exquisitely sweet smell. It was gone in an instant but we all smelled it. Then, it was over. As the Pipe was removed, my legs buckled and I had to sit down for a while.

The next time I tried to do healing work after that, it was as if I’d never done it before in my life. It was as if I walked into my house and didn’t recognize any of the furniture in it. No, it was more intense than that. It was as if I walked into my house and didn’t even know what furniture was. A couch….what is that?

It was quite terrifying to the ego self. I had, in seven years, become confident of myself as a healing facilitator. I knew what my spiritual service was, and I was doing it. Now, I knew nothing.

And the walls came tumbling down: Shortly after that experience with the Pipe, everything I held dear in my life was gone. I left my soulmate and our 7 year spiritual marriage, I left my home and the healing center where I had lived and worked for seven years. I left my healing practice entirely and did no work at all for quite a few months. If not for my family, I may have been homeless. As it was, I bought a tiny tin can of a mobile home for $200 and stayed there in it for a year, suffering.

I lost 30 pounds in 2 months, and seriously considered just letting my body go more than once. I don’t mean suicide in the traditional sense that I would have taken a specific action to end it, but I just came close to not eating, not drinking, not sleeping, til I died. My health suffered of course, and part of my healing from this has been physical in the time since.

I don’t really see it as coincidental that September 11, 2001 was right in the middle of all this for me. When something that big happens to a nation, it stirs lives energetically on deep, deep levels. I know I’m not the only one who had deep issues rise for clearing on the heels of 9/11. My own soul partnership ended very soon after.

The Phoenix Rises: I think I chose my birthday quite well. Scorpio is associated with scorpion energies, which is how I lived my life before I awakened spiritually. However, additionally, Scorpio is the sign of the Phoenix rising from the ashes. I’ve done that more than once in my life but this was the time I almost didn’t rise again.

Slowly, so slowly, I emerged from the other side of a two-year dark night of the soul and then spent a third year trying other things, hibernating, exploring dreams I once had, and generally just biding time. I now feel that I’m getting to the point where I might possibly be able to honor the gifts I received from the Pipe. At least that is my intention.

I recently learned about something called Human Design. It’s this set of information that points to humanity having chosen an optimal way to work with reality and it’s based in part on astrology and the I-Ching but also other things I don’t try to understand. When I’m met with a new idea, the thing I go by is whether it resonates, whether it feels like something that might have value for me. I don’t know a lot about Human Design yet but when I watched the video about the 6/3 Generator Human Design, a lot of it spoke to my life. So, I’m exploring it as a tool to help me navigate my world better. Mind you, a lot of what was said in one of those videos was not very flattering. I take comfort in the fact that most of that unflattering stuff was before my 50’s, ha.

Anyway, long story not short enough, if you have an interest in this idea that you may have made some decisions about how you wanted to live life, based on where and when you decided to be born, then bing or google “Human Design”.