Stream of Consciousness Blog
The shamanic journey is an ancient method of altering consciousness using a repetitive sound such as a drum beat in order for the shaman to connect with their helping spirits. In contemporary times, people are turning to the shamanic journey to assist them with healing the earth and its inhabitants. In this talk, Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. discusses the shamanic journey and the guidance that is available in the complex inner cosmography of the shamanic initiate. Isa is the author of three books, creator of the therapeutic model Depth Hypnosis, and the Founding Director of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream.
APPPAH Monday Live host Catherine Lightfoot is joined by Isa Gucciardi to discuss Isa’s acclaimed book, The New Return to the Great Mother. Offering a fresh perspective on birthing as a sacred initiatory process, The New Return to the Great Mother confirms the healing implications of this viewpoint with inspiring true stories, and offers up helpful tools and exercises for connecting with the wisdom and power of the Great Mother.
Since 2002, Sacred Stream has provided a place for diverse groups to gather in community. Since the pandemic, our quarterly solstice and equinox drum circles have not met, until now, in this special YouTube Live Fall Equinox Talk & Meditation.
This is the time of year when the veil thins between the world of the seen and the unseen. It can be an emotional time for people and an opportunity to reflect and set new intentions. In this talk, Isa and Laura explore ways of navigating these complex times, answer your questions, and share a meditation. This recording was streamed live on September 21, 2021.
From Tibetan oracle traditions to Christian mysticism, mediumship has long been part of the esoteric teachings of mystery schools. In many shamanic cultures, the phenomenon of medium-ship was an import role played by the shaman who would act as a bridge between the spirit world and the mundane. In this talk, Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. discusses the phenomenon of mediumship and explores the requirements of the shamanic initiate to be able to act as a medium. Isa is the author of three books, creator of the therapeutic model Depth Hypnosis, and the Founding Director of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream.
Plant medicines like ayahuasca, peyote, and iboga have made their way into popular culture as more and more people seek transitory experiences to find healing and direction in their lives. However, the use of plant medicine dates back to ancient Egypt and even earlier and is an important part of many shamanic practices and indigenous cultures. In this talk, Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. discusses how the ingestion of psychotropic plants provides valuable education in the shamanic initiate’s development. Isa is the author of three books, creator of the therapeutic model Depth Hypnosis, and the Founding Director of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream.
Around the fall equinox of 2018, as I was doing the fall garden clean up, I realized that a small California Live Oak had planted itself in the center of the garden at the Sacred Stream Center. I was very excited to have the oak choose our garden, but everyone else was worried that the oak would get too big and block out the other plants. I knew there was no way I would interfere with the oak’s plans, as we are visitors to its habitat – not the other way around.
Only 200 years ago, the land on which the Sacred Stream Center sits was covered in California Live Oak. The hills throughout California were dotted with these majestic trees, which can indeed grow very tall and spread their canopies widely. An oak taking up residence in that patch of ground would have had the flowing water of Strawberry Creek nearby and lots of laurel and bay trees keeping it company.
On this episode, Laura talks with Christopher Tait of Passenger Recovery and Detroit rock bands Electric Six, Belle Ghoul, and Palace Pier. Chris has been with Electric Six since 2002 and has earned a gold record among other accolades. Sober since 2011, he formed Passenger Recovery in 2016, a small non-profit based in Detroit, to help sober artists and crew that are on the road connect with resources for traveling in recovery, including transportation to meetings locally. Since its inception, it has grown into an international organization helping artists worldwide.
Vision quests have long been part of the shamanic experience, particularly as initiatory rites of passage. Most involve undertaking a difficult task and take place in nature and often lead to transcendent life-changing experiences. In this talk, Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. discusses this process of seeking guidance within the world of nature that is found in many different cultures and can be practiced by modern people today. Isa is the author of three books, creator of the therapeutic model Depth Hypnosis, and the Founding Director of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream.
On the Air: Well, Actually… Podcast: A Conversation About The New Return to the Great Mother with Author Isa Gucciardi
Isa is the author of The New Return to the Great Mother: Birth, Initiation, and the Sacred Feminine and I had her on the podcast to share more about how we might implement these incredible tools and perspectives into the work we are doing as mothers, doulas and midwives. Join us as we explore Isa’s background, including her experience during the ’70s and ’80s during the renaissance of home birth, her birth experiences as a medical interpreter, and how her meditation for connecting with The Great Mother has impacted many thousands of women already. I am really excited to have her book to hand out to clients at the first visit, so that she can come to her second visit ready to more explore her relationship with her body, her spirituality, and the initiations she has already been through. All so that we can help her ready and steady herself as she prepares for BIRTH, one of the most intense initiations of all.
Visionary experiences are found throughout history and in every culture. From the visions of holy men and women in the Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist traditions (to name a few) to the prophecies of Nostradamus, Hildegard of Bingen, and Edgar Cayce, visionary experiences are more common than we think. In this talk, Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. delves into the role of visionary experience in shamanic Earth-based wisdom cultures. Isa is the author of three books, creator of the therapeutic model Depth Hypnosis, and the Founding Director of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream.
Dreams have been a source of fascination for people in cultures the world over. From the advanced Tibetan practice of Lucid Dreaming to the contemporary study of dreams and their meanings, dreams offer a window into deeper states of being. In this talk, Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. focuses on the shamanic perspective of dreams and the role dreams play in the development of shamanic initiates. Isa is the author of three books, creator of the therapeutic model Depth Hypnosis, and the Founding Director of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream.
On this episode, Laura Chandler talks with writer, mountain climber, and entrepreneur, Michael Schauch, about his new book, A Story of Karma: Finding Love and Truth in the Lost Valley of the Himalaya. Part travel memoir, part spiritual quest, it begins with his love of mountain climbing and his pull to climb a mysterious mountain in the Himalayan region of Nepal. On that quest he encounters many adventures until one day he finds himself in a remote Nepali village where he meets a young Tibetan girl named Karma and his life is changed forever. The story of Karma is his own karma and that of his relationship to this young girl. The book reveals the hardships of so many Nepali mountain people, lack of access to education, running water, roads, healthcare, and also the joys and indomitable spirit of these remarkable people.
In celebration of the 100th episode of The Birth Ease Podcast, host Michelle Smith and Isa Gucciardi discuss Isa’s new book, The New Return to the Great Mother: Birth, Initiation, and the Sacred Feminine. Isa shares about her experience of meeting the Great Mother while giving birth to her child and how she became an early advocate for birthing women.
Isa’s passion is to help women understand that birth is one of many biological initiations that she goes through over the course of her life. These initiations include our own birth, puberty, menses, the first sexual experience with another person, giving birth, menopause, and death. Birth is the movement of the seen and the unseen and the Great Mother mediates all creative processes. Isa explains how everyone can connect with and perceive the Great Mother as this source of wisdom, creative intelligence, nurturing, and healing and bring this awareness into everyday life.
By Clementine Moss
North Fork, California is the site of the gorgeous Vipassana meditation center at which I have spent a couple of 10-day retreats. On foggy mornings at my home in San Francisco, I often think of the early morning walk to the meditation hall, and the faces of the single yellow daffodils lining the path up the hill.
In one of the retreats, I became fixated on the manzanita trees, their dark red spindly trunks, the light green color of the leaves, the pink hanging bouquets of flower. It is inevitable that the senses become more vibrant when meditating for ten hours a day. The contrasting colors of the manzanita were almost too much to bear.
I fantasized about having a garden of manzanita one day, how it would be to set out a picnic among such a gorgeous color combination. I wanted to wrap myself in these colors and shapes. I guess, really, I was longing to be a bird.
On this episode, Laura Chandler is joined by writer, teacher, and co-founder of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream, Isa Gucciardi Ph.D., and they are talking about her latest book, The New Return to the Great Mother: Birth, Initiation, and the Sacred Feminine. The book is an updated and expanded version of Isa’s acclaimed book, Return to the Great Mother. In this new edition, Isa offers a fresh perspective on birthing as a sacred initiatory process. She takes the reader on a journey to rediscover the transformative feminine power at the heart of childbirth and teaches methods of tapping into this ancient wellspring of power to create a birthing experience that is deeply intuitive and empowering. The book is filled with inspiring true stories, and helpful tools and exercises for connecting with the wisdom and power of the Great Mother.