A few years ago, my Medicine Man and wise teacher, Pete Keshane at Anishnawbe Health Toronto was helping me learn about grounding. My spirit had been flying out of my body for a long time because many traumas had accumulated over my journey and I was just beginning to heal.

Pete gave me his insight into living in the Spirit World while walking on the Earth through sharing his experience:

“I learned to live in two realms. We all do. There is the physical: hard and painful. And the Spiritual; It is nice, peaceful and welcoming. I know that I cannot live there. I need to learn to balance those two even if it’s beautiful there.”

Grandfather BearWhen we are in times of great trauma, our Spirits will leave our bodies, staying just above us to serve as the connection between the spirit world and our physical lives.

The Ancestors teach us that we have each written our stories while we were still in the spirit world: the planet we are visiting, all the characters big and small that we encounter along the way – whether they are the many people who love us and challenge us, the dogs & cats & other animals, the birds, trees, our locations (some of us have quite a few, haha) – all of it!

We write these stories and choose of our own free will to have the experiences we have written into our story. Some people know this as a soul contract.

During 2018, which was a massive year of change for this planet and many many people around the world, I began a very serious Medicine Walk which students of Yoga will understand as a Kundalini Awakening. Buddhists would call Enlightenment. Christians know this as Mysticism – a part of prophecy and a great step toward receiving the Christ Consciousness.

8th Fire BearIndigenous people understand this experience as part of the Healer’s sacred process of spiritual awakening rather than mental illness as the western system has labeled it.

Terms describing this process in the human collective are the transition from the 7th to the 8th Fire or the Great Awakening.

Although all these words are beautiful and have lovely connotations, reaching these places doesn’t come without a great deal of pain and loneliness – and healing doesn’t come without being deeply connected to the Great Spirit and asking for the best outcome that is possible.

In August of 2018, I wrote in my journal a long list of transformational changes that I wanted to have, not realizing the enormity of what I prayed for and how much emotional, psychological, physical & spiritual work making this many changes from everything to my perspective to my daily habits would require.

ShatteringAnd Spirit listened because soon after making that list, a whirlwind of Thunderbird Medicine swept me up and away out of my home and into a time of wandering, testing, and pressure that forced me into the very deepest crevices of my personality.

I went flying very close to the Great Spirit during this time that led me through a process of self-examination, many many prayers (ceremony) every day, learning Native wisdom and teachings and music, meditation, mantra, absorbing the teachings of many faith traditions, going on long medicine walks, feeding the pigeons, sparrows and squirrels. It was incredible and sacred work, a beautiful learning experience.

But it was also physically destructive as this mighty storm caused me to lose my home and connection with many people, both good and bad influences in my life. It caused me to have some pretty rough experiences that I would never have had before I walked through that gateway – while I was still in my safe little cocoon.

Overwhelm-Lightning-OneBut I realized as I was going through it that we need these experiences to help us grow through our attitudes and the choices we make. Each difficult experience in the midst of this great storm served as a gateway for me to decide whether I wanted to check out or keep playing. Because some of the experiences were terrible and painful, and caused me to think about whether I wanted to stay here.

Of course, spending all this time on spiritual and healing activities doesn’t pay the bills and the resulting lack of income from this choice I had made, combined with a big empty nest, and a deluge of teachings and visions sent me into another level of consciousness where I was standing at the gateway of life and death.

This is what happens with trauma.

During times of trauma, we are walking most closely with our true Spirit. Our guides are surrounding us, prepared to help us with whichever path we choose. And it is the health of our relationship with our Spirit self (which is our connection to the Great Spirit) that determines the choices we are intuitively guided to make.

Crow Land

These frightening times in our journey also serve as exit points for our visit to Mother Earth. Our teachers tell us that we have all written/chosen exit points for our lifetimes here. These points may be illness, an accident, or the depth of despair that makes us think of suicide.

Trauma serves as the doorway where we choose the door (portal) to a new dimension that humans call death or choose the heart-based path of life and continue to walk in goodwill and Chi Miigwetch, consciously making good and positive choices. And it is often this decision that leads to higher levels of spiritual awakening.

Some traumas are fast and severe as written by the people who are leaving. But more often, trauma is lingering and when lit like a sacred bonfire during a very intense period of crisis and change, we are given the time to think about our circumstances and whether or not we want to stay here.

If we are walking with the Ancestors, we realize that each of these traumas we write into our experience is an opportunity for spiritual awakening if we allow it.

When we allow the spiritual awakening, our Ancestors and all our guides who have just been standing at the ready are called into service to appear on our paths to teach and help us. That is why it is so important to treat everyone we meet with respect and kindness. You really never know if you’re talking to an Angel or one of your spirit guides.


While we are in trauma, we are not in our “right mind” as the people in our lives believe and our behavior is often very distressing to the people who love us.

But, I have come to believe that when we are in trauma, we are closest to the true essence of who we are. And, this can cause conflict with people who have come to rely on us behaving in a particular way.

When crisis comes, do we respond with nastiness and stinginess, clinging to the things of this material society? Or do we trust in the Great Spirit and surrender ourselves to the process? Do we cling to old, outgrown and toxic ways of being and relationships? Or do we face the painful truth that it’s sometimes necessary to walk far from people for awhile to protect ourselves while we heal and integrate our new understandings and ways of being.

In my crisis, I found myself (not only broke and nearly homeless) giving away a lot of my possessions to neighbors and people in my community. Cooking meals and taking food to people, giving away money. I was completely in alignment with the spiritual side of my self to the exclusion of taking care of the physical aspects of life.

Yet, even in this time of great spiritual connection, sometimes in moments of loneliness and despair, I would think about ways to exit the Earth. Making strategies.

But the idea of taking my own life doesn’t resonate in my soul – for I understand how terrible a grief would be left behind for those I love, especially my two sons Iain and Peter. And it is still sometimes only that little spark of remembrance that allows me to carry on – to my next trauma and its built-in exit points.

When we are on a high spiritual path, those times of light – vision, passion, prayer, ceremony, messages from the Ancestors, Eagle and Creator himself – are balanced by times of equal darkness until we learn this wisdom and learn to practice the discipline to manage those shadow aspects of our selves.

When we hit that low point – the point of the V – we choose. Do we check out? Turn around and climb back up the muddy bank that put us into the ditch?

HelpersOr do we pull up our socks, (put on our big kid undies), fluff out our ruffs and call in our birds to guide us up and forward in a good and faithful way? Most of us will need the help of our ground crew and all our earth-bound totems as well for this is tough and sacred work that requires a lot of medicine.

Every day we make this choice in a big or small way. Through this dark time, please keep going. We need every one of our relatives to walk with us – to help move humanity out of the deep place of the V. The evil ones will continue to tell more extravagant lies in order to muddy the truth until there are enough people walking in the light of truth to overpower their bleak plans for our planet.

Let’s choose well during this time of trauma on our Mother Earth that has also brought so much trauma into the lives of her people. Many will be having spiritual awakenings, and many will be hurting and struggling with pain, addictions, depression and family troubles. Be there for one another. Love one another.

And, let’s get through this gateway together. Let’s choose life, walk away from this trauma, and infuse our New Earth with all the spiritual teachings and new wisdom that we have collected

It is my honour to be your messenger.


Bird Clan Messenger 

It is my honour to receive and share these teachings from my guides and the Ancestors. These are messages received and written to the best of my understanding. If I have made mistakes, I would be grateful for your input. If these messages don’t resonate with you, that’s okay. I wish you well. And if these messages do resonate with you  – welcome to the family.

— kandace keithley, namadaki aandeg miimiiwe gekek kwe  ~ Tsa-La-Gi

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