Tell a friend
Rate this Article
View Comments
(3 votes)

Transcending the Victim

Transcending the Victim

My healing journey has led me on pathways beyond my imagination. Experiences I never thought possible. Interestingly enough I have always believed anything is possible…. However I have come to see that beliefs are easier to state than embody. Thankfully, Spirit always seems to catch me and see if I really do mean what I am saying….

In 1995 my Mother Sheila Salter was brutally murdered and raped by a Native Man by the name of Peter John Brighteyes. I wrote an article last year about my excitement in discovering that we really can heal anything, even murder, (’Liberating the Victim” as appeared in Mosaic Magazine May 2008) . He was a complete stranger who killed himself in jail after he was charged. Ten years later I learned how to create ceremony with him to free myself of this wound and any karmic attachment I had to him. I was in awe of learning how I had the power to liberate myself . To step beyond the pain of the circumstance and shift into understanding the lessons I needed to learn. Finally be free of my attachment to him. Little did I know I wasn’t totally free….!

As time went by Peter started to show up in my life warning me about situations or people that were not healthy for me. ( He was in spirit form) At first I was a little angry. I remember saying to him, “What the heck are you doing here…we’re done!”. He was unequivocally persistent. I felt hesitant and reserved. How could it be possible to welcome in the spirit of the man who killed my mother as a helper?!

He started to show up more frequently and was always 100% in the information or help he offered. In fact he was so reliable that after awhile I couldn’t ignore the consistency of his efforts or even the light he now carried. I began to listen to his story. He spoke of the woundedness of his people and his culture in this lifetime. He spoke of how he thought he, my mother, and I could help.

My background and training lie primarily in creating earth based ceremony to help people manifest personal healing. Teaching people to walk in balance with all their relations upon the pachamama (mother earth) Be accountable and responsible for everything that each of us creates. Presently I am in training as a teacher of the Inca Medicine Wheel and it is through this tradition that I learned to move out of the victim/blame situation of murder into the path that I am now on. What Peter and my Mother have been asking me to do is bring my story of healing into our communities. The Native community he came from, as well as the one I grew up in.

Peter grew up on the Saddle Lake reserve in Alberta. His childhood was filled with abuse and then he became the abuser. His story is not a pretty one. From torturing a guard at the Grand Prairie jail, to the heinous murder and rape of my mother he walked a path of shadow on this earth that I in no way excuse.

I could have spent my time after Mom died in blame of him. In blame of the Native community. His mother, family, teachers.. There are many places I could have directed my blame. This seemed pointless to me. The deep wounds of our Native Community belong to us all. Though we may have different cultures, we are not separate from each other. This does not mean we are each responsible for manifesting healing in the Native community. Yet all over the globe our indigenous people live in the shadows. What does this reflect anthropologically of our world? Of the value that we give to those who live or have lived in close relationship with the earth.

What do we do? Who is responsible? This is where the truth of healing comes in. Healing is without race, holding certain ethics and universal truths. Each of us are the only ones who can heal ourselves. Each of us have to make the choice to walk in a place of power, or in a place of blame. We co-create our lives with spirit every minute of every day. Whether we are Native, or Caucasian, is irrelevant.

The cycle of blame only creates more victims and powerlessness. What would happen if we all learned to cut these cords. Grieve our wounds and be done with them. Release every ounce of anger, frustration, sadness and heal. These may be our wounds or the wounds of our ancestors. When we carry their wounds we are also binding them to this earth plane and to the perpetual cycle of blame. It is not easy, it is a choice to fully LIVE or simply exist in your body.

Many of the emotions that came up for me in my initial ceremonies with Peter surprised the hell out of me. What was completely unexpected was the transformation to compassion. It was not my initial intent, and caught me way off guard. However the beauty of it is freedom.

I am so used to having Peter around now that I forget it is an unusual circumstance. Next to my mother he is one of my most powerful allies and guides on this earth. I trust him impeccably. This is how Spirit showed me once again to embody what it is I believe. That anything IS possible!

It is my prayer that I may offer this story to any who finds themselves caught or stuck in a wound that just will not heal. I want to be of service in any way I can to those who want to step out of these wounds. We CAN free our selves from our pain and Transcend the Victim.

About the author:
Sarah Salter-Kelly is a ceremonialist, teacher and healer. She is available for healing sessions on her land near Pigeon Lake, or at the Andnow center in Edmonton. She teaches integrative spiritual workshops, guiding people to own their power and medicine. Contact 780-314-9150 or


Rate this Article

1 2 3 4 5



Christine - November 5th 2009 02:16:47 AM
First I am sorry about Sheila. Or I should say Mrs. Salter. (She was my brownie leader when I was a little girl). I am amazed at how things lead us to read or see certain messages when the time is right. I have struggled for a long time with this death and realized today how important healing and forgiveness is. Thanks to your story. Peace Love Happiness

Add a Comment