Heart Wisdom
Healing and Transformation with Penny Winestock, M.Sc.

Shamanic Healing
Ancient wisdom for modern soul growth

by Penny Winestock, M.Sc.

Shamanic healing, the process of transmitting energy and knowledge from non-physical dimensions to assist people in their physical and spiritual healing, has historically been a secret esoteric practice. It had been used only by indigenous medicine people, and like the mystical teachings of most religions, it was passed on through long, rigorous apprenticeship, often over lifetimes.

However, we live in a time when it’s possible to Google the Tibetan Book of the Dead, or any other body of knowledge, from the mystical to the technical. Although information alone does not an adept make, the secrets are out and available to all who seek them. Some who value the depth of the ancient ways see this as a de-valuing or watering-down of their power and the respectful sensitivity needed to use it well. Certainly this potential is important to hold in consciousness while learning to practice the a rt of shamanic healing outside its original cultural circles.

Alongside the massive ‘outing’ of information through the internet, actually preceding it by at least a decade, has been a movement on the part of many native healers to reach out to the broader human community - to teach the skills and the heart of their healing methods to non-natives. This generosity and show of faith in the interconnectedness of all beings comes at a time of massive transformation when we need to share our resources as widely as we can.

I was fortunate to connect with a Cherokee shaman * in the late ‘90’s, who wasn’t willing to ‘cast her wisdom to the winds’ through making her methods available to anyone, but was looking for people with strong healing energy and a soul-resonance with her teachings. She invited me (and I eagerly accepted her invitation) to join a small group that she was training in a specific shamanic technique - Soul Recovery and Extraction. This training, while not equivalent to an apprenticeship of several lifetimes, or even decades, was infused with a condensed potency. It has enabled me to help many of my clients and colleagues to release unconscious blocks and open more fully to their personal power and beauty. It was also a catalyst for deep healing in my own soul, which continues to this day. As we were cautioned at the beginning of the training, those who willingly step into the role of shaman, ask for a ‘big bite’ of healing energy. In asking for this initiation, we also ask to know, release, and transform anything in our own beings that could impede our clarity as a channel for helping others to heal. By volunteering for this leadership role, and accepting the turmoil of losses in old identity, we somehow soften or ease the transitions for those we help.

This ‘fusion’ position of being a non-native shamanic initiate has its blessings. My time and experiences with a native master encouraged me to allow the teachings to unfold freely in concert with my own nature. On the one hand, I lack the kind of knowing that flows through veins and speaks in mother-tongue, but I’m also without the dogmatic limitation that can accompany being raised in a strong tradition. Similar to my experience as a non-Christian living in a predominantly Christian culture, I’ve had the freedom to warm to the purity of Christ consciousness minus any institutional pressures. As a non-native shamanic healer I’ve been finding my way to what feels like the essence of shamanism that transcends culture.

As I understand it, there are two interconnected threads at the core of what a shaman offers. Most traditionally, she allows her being to be used as a conduit for bringing in higher wisdom or divine guidance, and expunging restrictive shadow material from the energetic bodies of individuals and groups. Secondly, she facilitates others to open to and use their own innate capacities to ‘shamanize’, or to connect with their greater dimensions. Unlike spiritual leaders in many traditions, especially the monoth eistic ones, a shaman doesn’t stand in a superior position of holding power to translate universal laws or truths. Instead, in a slightly altered state, she actively communicates with both her own guides and those connected to the person/people she is working with, to bring information and energy to whatever needs healing or transformation. It is understood that every human has connection to wisdom beyond ego consciousness, and that shamans help by adding their own energy, which is sharpened and enhanced by their strong focus on this dimension of life.

When I do traditional Soul Recovery and Extraction journeys, I am given specific gifts or aspects of soul to return to the person I’m journeying for. I report to them as fully as I can on the meaning of these gifts, but most importantly I encourage people to actively receive them through simple techniques that allow more personal meaning to emerge. It’s in the months or years that follow a journey, in the waking and dreaming life of the person for whom I’ve journeyed, that the healing occurs. In the Extrac tion portion of the journey I perform ‘surgery’ on the auric body to remove congestion, usually emotional and spiritual in nature, that precedes physical disease. Here too, the clearing of this material is within every person’s power, and the journey adds light, guidance, and energy to that clearing. Because all healing on the physical plane is a process over time, I offer each person for whom I journey two subsequent phone sessions to help them integrate the journey and its effects, and do my best to accom modate those who wish to book additional sessions, either in person or by phone.

Every individual, and therefore every shamanic journey is unique, but it’s possible to convey an essence through the description of the outcome of one person’s journey. Below is the written report on the SR/E journey that I did for a man in August 2005, with additional commentary (in italics) to help explain the concepts and process. (Identifying information has been altered to safeguard his confidentiality)

The first questions I ask of my guides when I enter a light trance are if I have permission to do the journey, if both Soul Recovery and Extraction are needed, and if so which one should come first.


We began with drawing out white mucous plugs from the pores and hair follicles all over your body.

Sometimes people experience energy or sensation in their bodies where extractions are taking place, and sometimes not. That is not a factor in effectiveness. No one I’ve worked with has experienced pain in the process.

The substance of these plugs is held-in rage that covers deeper grief over losses and disappointments in this lifetime and others. Next, we made incisions in the tear ducts of both your eyes, to assist you in releasing the tears related to this grief. Your tear ducts, pores, and hair follicles were infused with healing, violet light.

From incisions along both of your lower jaws

‘Incisions’ here do not refer to cuts in the physical body, but in the aura – an energy field that extends out from the body for several inches, depending on a person’s state of physical and spiritual health. These ‘incisions’ are made and ‘stitched up’ with ritual instruments – quartz crystal or eagle feather.

we removed metal pins, also manifestations of anger that you’ve carried about unfairness and injustice you’ve encountered but not spoken about. You are advised to go in search of these feelings and that you either speak to someone about them or write about them in a journal, or letter to a confidant, or both. Blue light was given to help heal this area.

From both your lungs we removed masses of gray, smoke-like congestion. More grief. Not only yours, but that of many ancestors, including your parents. White light here for clearing and energizing.

Through an incision in the centre of your chest we were able to see a solid metal shield, the exact shape of your physical heart, surrounding and ‘protecting’ it. This shield has also been with you through more than one lifetime. We removed all but the most inner layer of this shield. It has inhibited, to a significant extent, your capacity to both receive and express love. We left a thin metal film around your heart, as complete removal would have felt like too radical a surgery for this time. This film wi ll ease the loss of this age-old defense, and gradually dissolve when there is readiness. Green light went in here to help clear and open your heart chakra.

The word ‘chakra’ is Sanskrit for ‘energy centre’. More than one eastern spiritual tradition identifies several such centres in the body that exist physically and energetically. The heart chakra is at the centre of the chest, both front and back, and extends out from the body for several inches.

In the centre of your solar plexus, at your navel, was a metal crossbar. This has been blocking the full expression of your personal power, and also creating a great divide between your heart centre and your genitals, your sexual chakra. This has made it difficult to bring together and sustain heart energy with erotic energy, both for yourself and in your intimate relationships. We removed the crossbar and replaced it with red/orange light, which we also spread down through both your legs for strength and g rounding.

Through the bottoms of your feet, we removed congestion from your lymph, circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems. All were left strong and healthy.


We traveled first in the Real World

Shamanic guides see themselves as working in three realms – the ‘Real’ World or this third dimension of physical embodiment, the Light World or the realm of spirit comparable to ‘heaven’ in Judaeo- Christian thought only more inclusive, and the Dark World of deep Earth consciousness. Aspects of soul retrieved from the Real World may originate in this lifetime or others.

to a dark-haired young woman who is a former lover of yours. It’s not clear if she is from this lifetime or not. Her name begins with ‘C’ – Carol?, Caroline? She felt hurt and angry at the demise of your relationship, and has been placing negative energy for you into a small black worry stone. We were able to speak to her about the wisdom of releasing herself, and you, from the energy of this grudge. She was willing and ready to give it up. She gave us the stone and my guides dropped it into the centre of t he Pacific Ocean, where it sank. After that, the woman gave us a long-stem red rose to give you. It is an embodiment of her surrendering the grudge, and of the love that you had together in your best times.

We entered the Dark World and journeyed deep into the earth through the roots of a banyan tree. The great goddess, cloaked and hidden, gave us for you a handful of warm dark earth from close to the core of the planet. This is for you to have and to hold as a reminder of your right to a place on this earth. You once knew this deeply, but there was a wound to this knowing through your immigration experiences. Allowing the earth to run through the fingers of your hands is a pleasure you’re encouraged to indulg e.

We came to your parents next who, like the woman ‘C’, had something to let go of before they could give you their gift.

In Soul Recovery, my guides frequently direct me to living people who are in active relationship with my client. It’s important to realize that we’re interacting with their Guides and their Highest Evolved Selves, not their everyday ego consciousness, So it’s not realistic to expect them to have awareness or memory of the roles they play in the journey.

They both removed large, goggle-like eyeglasses through which they’ve long been squinting at you - through pink lenses. They’ve needed to see you consistently strong and successful as an answer to their fears - as a reassurance that they’ve ‘done right’ in their lives.

These glasses were buried in a deep earth grave. Your mother stepped forward then, and your dad remained present and as erect as his encroaching fatigue would allow. Your mom brought out from behind her back, a picture of the Pieta with an open bleeding heart. This is the real profound love they have for you, without illusions, and their faith in the truth of you - the goodness of your soul that is beyond any choices you have or will make in this life. We brought this back for you, along with the handful of dark earth, the single rose, and the final piece described next.

This piece was given by your sons, with the youngest one in the lead. It is a toy microscope with paper cutout hearts glued to it. Both your boys want you to know that they see the whole of you, in more minute detail than anyone else in your life, and they love you forever.

It may be possible to see, in reading this report, the depth and intensity of both the Extraction and the Soul Recovery. This was the second journey I’d done for this man. The first one did not penetrate as deeply, and that is common in this process. The guides tend to begin on the periphery of a person’s being, moving closer to the centre with subsequent journeys.

SR/E journeys can be done in person, or long distance, with equal effectiveness. The man for whom I did this journey lives in another part of the world so I delivered his journey report by phone and sent a written version by email.

It is a privilege to have been empowered to offer the support and guidance of these ‘classical’ Soul Recovery and Extraction journeys to people seeking healing and wholeness in their lives, and I will continue to offer them to as many as I can. The influences of my shamanic training, however, are not limited to this form. These days, shamanic energy and guidance comes through in all dimensions of my work as a healer & in counselling sessions for individuals and groups; in drumming circles; in healing wor shops and performances of transformational music. It’s everywhere! Every relationship and every activity in my life, from walking to making love, increases in meaning and joy as I dare to open more and more to this energetic support.

May it benefit everyone I know, everyone I touch, all beings.


° Assist you in your physical and spiritual healing

° Release unconscious blocks and open more fully to your personal power and beauty