My name is George R. Powell. I've been in the Facebook group of Shaman Portal for a few weeks now, but have recently been activated on here.
I'm a 30-year-old (turning 31 in July) film composer with a day job (I have quite a handful of feature-length films under my belt but have not reached the point where I can depend on it as a primary source of income). Even though I am a born and raised American, I am 90% Welsh from both sides of my family (so close yet so far).
When I was 6 years old, I had drowned in my neighbor's swimming pool while visiting. What I can recall was that I fell in, freaked out, and started clawing at the wall of the pool unable to pull myself up. After a brief moment, I realized I was breathing underwater and not understanding how that was possible. Then all I remember was being back up on the pool deck coughing up water. I was told, later, that I had been clinically dead for a brief moment before I was resuscitated.
I never thought much of that incident or the fact that, since then, there were several unexplained incidents where I could sense spirits, though at that point my third eye hadn't been opened yet.
That happened on the night of January 23rd, 2000, when I met my first guide. (I was at a Bible camp. I grew up in a very devout Christian family, and grew up blindly accepting the ideology of it, eventually investing myself in that faith (for lack of a better direction, at the time) for about 9 years before I felt myself distrusting what I'd been taught)
From that point on, for the past 13 years, I have been able to see and speak to spirits and have met quite an odd variety (several angels - a few of which gave me their names, a leviathan who also gave me his name, a seraphim who only recently gave me his name, and another bird-like creature who gave me his name. I have also encountered, mostly at the church I went to...of all places: a few wraiths, two sleeping dragons that I did not care to wake up, and that's only to list a few).
Now, having been raised with no other spiritual construct than Christianity, I found myself very confused; not only should I, scripturally-speaking, not even be meeting and conversing with half of the creatures I'd encountered and to do so would have been seen as "playing with evil", but I also had many different spirits on many different occasions identify me as a Bird Spirit.
I left Christianity and the church (for other reasons, but the ones I mentioned above did not help the situation) in 2005 and spent the next 7 years wandering without anything to believe in and struggling with the notion that perhaps I was just crazy and all of this was in my head (even though I knew in my heart that it all was real). Then, I met my partner, Stephen, in 2010, who has never subscribed to any religion/faith yet was fascinated by the vast array of them and did a lot of personal studies on faiths from around the world.
About 2 years after we were together, and the only advice I had to go on was my guide telling me to just "let myself simply be, and my faith will come to me", I finally conjured up the guts to tell him everything I'd experienced (including my drowning as a child, because after explaining the rest, his first question was "Did something happen to you earlier in life where you died for a short while?") He told me that what I was describing sounded like the description of someone who becomes a shamanic practitioner.
So, I'd started doing some research on Core Shamanism (because, quite honestly, my experiences with Christianity and the church left me a little (admittedly) skeptical of when a core belief gets polluted by other ideologies, but maybe I'll get over that eventually...) and the more I read about Shamanism, the more I saw my life being described to me down to some very fine details. I never knew why so many spirits seemed very interested in meeting me and giving me their names, let alone identifying me as a Bird Spirit (which I was most apprehensive about bringing THAT part up to Stephen at first, and was quite surprised when he wasn't weirded out by it).
Despite the spirit friends I've had for a long time, and having recently been given my Spirit Name, and recently had a snake totem enter my life, I still consider myself to be of the rawest class of novice there is. I have only recently explored my ability to heal, and so far have only healed minor aches, pains, and lowered Stephen's blood pressure when it was getting dangerously high (he has had a problem with high blood pressure).
I will say, as a self-proclaimed beginner without a specifically-defined path, that one thing I will likely have to unlearn is my habit of trusting my instinct and experience before blindly buying into any ideologies that are fed to me and question (with intent to learn) whatever I'm told. (lol Sorry, having a faith fail you in your past kinda does that to you... >.>)
Anyhow, if I haven't bored half of you already with this novel of a post, I am very pleased to meet all of you, and I hope to learn from the experiences/advice of others. I still do research various perspectives on Shamanism, taking everything I read with a grain of salt.