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S. Kelley Harrell
 

 

 
 
 

Author of "Gift of the Dreamtime: Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma," in the fantastical memoir, Kelley Harrell tells her story of overcoming trauma and beginning shamanic initiation. Her work appears in the June 2010 release "Engaging the Spirit World: Shamanism, Totemism, and Other Animistic Practices" edited by Lupa, "The Spirit of a Woman: Intimate Stories to Empower and Inspire" edited by Terry Laszlo-Gopadze, "Nature’s Gifts” edited by Smoky Trudeau, and "The Journey of Healing: Wisdom from the Survivors of Sexual Abuse: A Literary Anthology" edited by Marjorie Ryerson. She's published short stories and poetry in various journals, including the Chiron Review. Kelley also writes a column, Intentional Insights: Q&A From Within, which is syndicated with Elle astrologer, Bridgett Walther, and The Oracle (at Global Goddess), featuring essays and reader inquiries on modern shamanism and intuitive living.

Kelley lives in North Carolina with a wonderful partner and their energetic twins endearingly called "The Twinkies." Her open dialogue with souls is recorded at Intentional Insights, and her shamanic practice is Soul Intent Arts.  She is a proud founder of the nonprofit organization, The Saferoom Project,  that provides peer support for adult survivors of child sexual assault, and their partners, friends and family.



About Gift of the Dreamtime



Using shamanic practices rooted in Native American, Celtic, and Aboriginal culture, Kelley Harrell's Gift of the Dreamtime takes us on a spiritual journey--hers, but maybe yours, too--to investigate the psychological trauma and emotional roadblocks that she traces back to her childhood and to past lifetimes.

In a remarkable book that explores her own past as an incest survivor, her bouts with depression, and crippling inability to pursue her dreams, the author uses shamanic practices rooted in Native American, Celtic, and Aboriginal culture. She combines her personal journey with instructions for similar meditations to help the injured child in all of us look at the hurt, understand it in a spiritual context, and forgive both ourselves and others.


Excerpt from Gift of the Dreamtime


She’s come again.

Rather, Simon’s taken me to Her again.

“I stay sick all the time, lately,” I told him. “Can you take me to someone who can help me heal any remaining issues connected to these urinary tract infections, so that I can finally let go of them?”

And so here She is: ugly, old, short, and bent over. A crone as I live and breathe, complete with stringy white hair and bluish complexion. She’s not at all the woman that I met originally, not the angel that I thought She was, and certainly not the Goddess whom I sought to heal me.

The first time I met Her was when I’d asked Simon a desperate question, something about my relationship and pulling it out of the
fire.

He’d taken me to a courtyard at a high level of my upper world, a garden with sculptures, flowers, vines connecting ground to stone such that everything seemed alive, moving. She was pretty then, if you can say things like that about Goddesses. Stern, fixed stare, at least eight feet tall, perfectly fair skin, dark blue and crimson robes...I revered Her with more respect than anything in my life, and She probably commanded it more than anything else ever had. Although I was eternally grateful for the knowledge She’d imparted to me that day, I wasted no time returning to waking. She left me reeling with awe.

I’d never met a Goddess before.

The second time I met with Her, I had summoned Her out of anger.

My life had spun out of control, and I demanded no less than Her energy to tame it. I called to Her, not even knowing who She was, yet fully knowing that summoning Deities in this manner wasn’t very smart. But She came, angry and foreboding. She even gave me what I sought, and I left humbled, understanding that I was to call on Her any time I needed Her intervention. I didn’t know to what I owed that great favor given my impudent behavior. But Her wrath left me so rattled that I vowed never to call on Her again and to never act in such haste, regardless of the state of my life.

I never intended to see Her again, but Simon has brought me here. Before, She looked nothing like the stooped hag that She is now, but I know She is the Goddess from the other journeys. They are one and the same.

Simon says She’s a new guide, but I’m not in the market for a new one. I like Simon quite well, and I tell him this. I tell him, “Thank you, but no thanks.”


“She has things you have need of learning, things that are not mine to teach you. I will remain with you always, but you must walk with Her for now.”

He says she’s a Goddess, and that She is me, pre-Celtic but spanning many cultures, many eras. She is powerful and god-like, of that I have no doubt. I’ve felt Her incredibly stunning energy, both alluring and terrifying. I feel it now, and it’s very foreign to me. It’s not me. It’s nothing I want to be part of. I have enough conflicting feelings without inviting more.

“I don’t understand what you mean, that She is me,” but he doesn’t clarify, just steps back until there are only clouds where he stood.

Now I’m alone with Her, and I have no idea what to do. She doesn’t move to do anything. I’m not even sure She’s paying attention to me as She seems to be in a daze with Her hands held up, palms facing out. She looks past Her hands into nowhere.

I stand back, taking in this new form. Her aura is bright blue and is the only light emanating from Her black robes and blue-ash skin. I
don’t feel that She is good or bad, which is quite disconcerting because everyone I’ve met in the Dreamtime up until this point has
been fairly clear cut in their intentions. I can’t easily dismiss Her, yet I can’t accept Her. I impede myself, and I don’t know why. All I
know is that in Her presence, I panic, and I know that’s a reflection on me more than on Her.

She turns away, and when She faces me again, She’s a beautiful woman. Even Her energy is different now, gentler and I don’t know why how I see Her affects my feelings about her. Don’t care to, really. And I’ve grown tired of observing. I just want answers.

“What do I need to do differently to heal this part of my life?”

“Love you,” She says. She smiles when She says it, which is really strange, considering She was a menacing hag a minute ago. I want to mock Her sincerity but can’t. Either way, She tells me nothing I don’t already know and have been joyfully calling back into my life for months now.

“What else?” I ask.

“Nothing. I am healing you. There is nothing for you to do.”

Passive healing. That’s a new concept. I don’t know what She’s doing, but even as She speaks, I feel better, healthier. She moves in front of me and dips Her hands into my body, tugging, shifting, moving things around, then turns me as a seamstress would turn her model, smoothing out a good fit at each stop. I’m safe in Her care, and under Her touch, my body calms.

I don’t know who She is or what She wants. And even though She frightens me, my life is better when She’s here. I always leave Her presence well. So I’ll accept Her gift. I’ll let this happen. I can let someone else do the healing for me for a change.

©2004 S. Kelley Harrell, Spilled Candy Books

 

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OfficialWebsite of Author, Kelley Harrell

Soul Intent Arts

The Saferoom Project