New Online Class: Trance, Mediumship, & Divination Intensive

 
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Since ancient times, witches, root doctors, magicians, shamans, diviners, and spiritworkers in every culture have been able to skillfully work with non-ordinary states of consciousness – trance states – to receive information, explore different planes of existence, communicate with unseen helping spirits, and re-weave the threads of fate.

This class is especially helpful for:

  • people who are ready to go deeper on their personal healing paths,
  • tarot readers, palm readers, astrologers, and other types of diviners who are ready to sharpen and expand their skills,
  • witches, healers, mediums, magicians, and root doctors eager to engage their helping spirits and the Spirit world more fully in their practices,
  • and artists, visionaries, and other creatives ready to plumb the depths of their internal landscapes toward inspiration and creative expansion.

In this 12-week intensive, participants will:

  • gain applicable skills in multiple forms of trance including dreaming, mediumship, embodiment, shamanic journeywork, and visualization,
  • deepen intuitive divining skills across multiple platforms,
  • meet and develop relationships with personal helping spirits and learn to interpret their symbolic language,
  • learn how to troubleshoot and resolve energetic patterns in our lives and environments,
  • and explore ways of incorporating skillful trancework into their current spiritual practices.

Classes will be held live via online video conferencing every other Tuesday evening (beginning July 11th @ 8-10pm EST) and outside resources (readings, online videos, etc.) will be provided weekly. As the subject matter is broad and deeply transformative, active participation through daily exercises, completion of weekly homework assignments, and participation in the private Facebook group are strongly encouraged.

Khi Armand, instructor, brings a wealth of knowledge to the course from his background as a professional hoodoo root doctor, Houngan Asogwe in Haitian Vodou, macumbeiro in Brazilian Quimbanda, and spirit-initiated shamanic healer. Holding an MA in Performance Studies from New York University and a BA in Ritual Anthropology from Hampshire College, he is the author of Clearing Spaces: Inspirational Techniques to Heal Your Home and Deliverance: Hoodoo Spells of Uncrossing, Healing, and Protection.

Course Fee: $275

(Listen to hear Khi speak on trance and mediumship skills in Episode 24 of On Sacred Ground.)

Register here.

Class size is limited so early registration is encouraged.

What past students have said about this intensive:

"I took Khi Armand's class on Trance, Mediumship, and Divination and it was one of the most transformational experiences I have had. Khi has a way of meeting you where you are in your journey while at the same time encouraging you to push out of your comfort zone. In the process he inspires confidence in your own abilities and gives you the tools to continue to grow and learn long after he is done teaching you. I highly recommend any time you can spend learning with him."

"Working with Khi in such an intimate setting invites his magic and helpers to come into your life to assist the process. There is an abundance he extends beyond experience, and the offerings he gives provide pure, transformative energy.”

“You open pathways and show us how to bring the True Hallucinations.”

"I have a greater confidence in my own intuition and ability to interact directly with spiritual beings."

"I think I would have been even more interested to study with you if I had known the breadth of your studies/worlds because they are deep.”

"I think that is my fave part of your teaching style - you drop pppearrrrlllsss of wisdom that are so exciting, and I write them down with such glee. They just stream out and it's a joy to be on the receiving end of that.”

"I got so much from participating, from techniques on how to apply discernment to new clearing techniques and accelerated spiritual development. Big. Huge. Steps forward."

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Business Solutions & Shamanism

The 6 of Cups card in the Tarot often indicates something from the past returning in an attempt to be resolved.

The 6 of Cups card in the Tarot often indicates something from the past returning in an attempt to be resolved.

From the archives of the City Conjure Blog:

The 6 of Cups card in the Tarot often indicates something from the past returning in an attempt to be resolved.

To me, shamanism is about finding solutions we would probably not find anywhere else. One of my favorite stories from the past few months is of a consultation that I had with a client at the Hoodoo Heritage Festival at Lucky Mojo Curio Co. in Forestville, CA . The client was a young woman who runs her own intuitive consulting practice focused especially on work with the tarot as a tool of divination.

After sorting through the more mundane details of what she could expect this summer, we arrived at this season’s primary lesson for her – structure. Though passionate and creative, like many spiritually-inclined folks, she not only lacked grounding but subconsciously resisted it. I could relate to the experience that being human can sometimes feel dense, heavy, and restricting. Gratefully, there are innumerable tools to remedy such feelings and bring greater grace to physical embodiment.

The lessons around grounding and structure were not new to her; the 6 of Cups card indicated that this season would not only provide a new glimpse of an old pattern, but that it would be experienced within her family dynamic. And this was accurate, she said, as she’d be helping her practical, grounded father manage his business temporarily over the upcoming months. The anxiety she felt about their incompatibility was palpable, borne from a childhood spent under his constricting glare.

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Since she was able to locate a felt sense of that anxiety in her body, we moved right into an emotional clearing session, bringing back a lost childhood part of herself that felt more animal than human, more wild than civil, letting that part know that it was loved and could come along and enjoy the ride. An expanded sense of being instantly came over her as she experienced greater safety in her body and her True Nature. The seeming insurmountability of the lesson eased.

Transforming rigid internal patterns can seem daunting, if not impossible, and many folks don’t know where to start aside from obsessively thinking about ways to avoid or transform them. This is one of many places where allies in the plant and animal worlds can be extremely supportive as they lend us their perspectives – their medicine – to help us make the changes on an energetic level.

Though I’m used to retrieving plant and animal allies on behalf of clients, divination indicated that my client should go to Spirit herself and ask for one of the latter to help her find a new way of not only looking at structure, grounding, and organization, but experiencing it.

She came back to me about two hours later excited as hell.

“I found it! I found my animal ally.”

“Who?” I asked, curious that enough time had passed for a suitable ally to have made itself known.

“I went wandering in the labyrinth and asked for my ally and immediately saw a spider weaving its web in the trees. Spider creates a structure so it can capture the resources it needs to survive and, when its done, can pack it up and go.”

It was so jaw-droppingly appropriate. It comes to mind that spiders can also create multiple structures in different locations to capture those resources and return to them later to retrieve what they’ve caught. Little tending is needed after the initial structure has been built.

This ally was perfect for a woman-on-the-go who wanted to enjoy the openness, creativity, and freedom her chosen career afforded her, but needed to ensure that she wasn’t sabotaging her own interests by a) re-living old childhood traumas and b) not having her basics covered.

Anyone who knows me knows that I talk about plant spirits A LOT, but Animal Helping Spirits are a close second in my life. One of the most exciting times in my work is when I’m in journey for a client and one makes its aid known.

The question most folks ask is: What do I do when I get an Animal Helping Spirit?

The following two episodes of my podcast, On Sacred Ground, address that very question through anecdotes from both my personal life and my practice:

On Sacred Ground with Khi Armand (Ep. 8): Animal Helping Spirits, Part I

On Sacred Ground with Khi Armand (Ep. 9): Animal Helping Spirits, Part II

There are more ways of engagement than even these two episodes suggest, so you can be sure it’s a topic I’ll be returning to here.

Shamanic solutions for our lives and businesses abound and simply require that we that we receive and engage the answers we are given.

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Ancestral Helping Spirits & Being the Black Sheep

So many of us have felt like “the black sheep” in our families. We look at our parents, grandparents, and siblings and feel like we have no context for our personality, passions, and most natural instincts. This can result in us wondering if our real interests and motivations - those things that most embolden us - are actually our greatest flaws and pitfalls.

What a connection with our Ancestral Helping Spirits offers us is a broader perspective on who we are beyond the limited purview of our nuclear family, the interests (and wounds) of our parents, and even what the culture we’ve been born into happens to value during any particular era. Fads and trends come and go but the gifts and talents that make up our personal unique genius have been cultivated over many, many millennia before our arrival. Engaging our Ancestral Helping Spirits reminds us that no matter what we’re being told, we matter, and we hold dear what we do precisely because it was held dear by many of them. 

Indeed, we choose to be incarnated into our specific ancestral lines for a plethora of reasons, and to continue the cultivation of marvelous talents and perspectives is one of them. 

Under a clear night sky in Athens, Greece, a handsome young entrepreneur asks me to tell him something about himself. “One of your closest Ancestors,” I tell him, “in a prehistoric hunter-gatherer culture was a scout, but might also be read by our current culture as having been autistic. When she scouted a new location for the tribe to move to, they’d come, and then she’d disappear yet again for weeks at a time. It was the ever-moving horizon that was what was important to her. She did her job, and after that, she’d just - keep going - much to the surprise of other tribe members.”

He looks at me surprised. “That’s the whole point of the magazine I launched. I’m always reaching for what’s on the horizon. I’m always interested in what’s at the edge.”

"Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will spend it's whole life believing it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

"Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will spend it's whole life believing it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

I’m reminded of the famous comic panel depicting animals from seven different species all being expected to climb a tree. Though it's obvious that the bird and monkey have the greatest advantages, the circumstance that the goldfish is in is almost painfully comical. Being confined to a fishbowl, it's absurd that it's in this line-up at all, held up perilously at the top of a tree stump. Not only does the fish need to be re-membered back to water, its elemental home and proper context, but it needs to be back in the company of other fish. 

 
 

The term “millennials” is getting a lot of traction these days with numerous bloggers and reporters investigating the habits and potential of the most recent generation of adult Americans. In a lot of ways, our collective story about this generation mimics the “black sheep” paradigm. Some are gratefully asking the questions that will best serve this group and the broader society while others focus on pointing blameful fingers for legacies left to them. 

As unique as these times are, they are in many ways like all times before, begging the question of whether or not we will do what we have come here to do and whether or not we'll stand in the way of those who are trying. 

I seriously doubted my own connection to music until resolving the spirit of my great-grandfather, a beloved multi-talented instrumentalist and music teacher. Other artistic forms just seemed a lot more viable for me to pursue. After helping him become an Ancestral Helping Spirit and clearing from my own life the ancestral pattern that been holding him back, music took on new meaning for me and I nearly found myself inundated with information about its connection to the arts I’d been studying.

If we feel amiss in our family - let alone in our society or culture - and it feels like our gifts and unique perspectives are a burden, it serves us to know that there are at least a dozen ancestors in our ancestral line waiting to cheer us on and let us know that not only are we valued and loved, but that that which we feel joy and passion for is not in vain. It was what they felt joy and passion for as well. We are the latest recipients in a relay race of genius cultivation and our engagement with these legacies as they exist inside us is our gift back to them and to the wider world. They can help us fill in the gaps in our understanding of our own belonging not only in this world, but within the context of our families as well.

I journey on behalf an unborn child and express her father’s concerns about the context of her birth to the Ancestral Helping Spirit I’m greeted by. “He’s afraid her being born at this time is going to tear the family apart.” The old man removes his hat and with a twinkle in his eye tells me “This girl is going to bring this family together.” He tells me of the rich gifts of song that she’ll be bringing into this lifetime and how he's just a placeholder for her in-utero. Her real primary Ancestral Helping Spirit was a great singer in the 19th century and it is she who'll be tending the young girl most closely.

I'm shown holiday gatherings and other family festivities where the young woman's gifts will be on display. I'm shown collective fundraising efforts from diverse constituents within the family to get her the training it best serves her to have - all corners of the family rallying around the latest carrier of this gift of song in the ancestral line. I get the visceral felt sense of what this ancestor means and convey it to the child's father.

Not all of us have been fortunate to receive the kind of support the ancestor from the above journey envisioned for his descendant, but that doesn't mean our gifts are any less necessary for the times we've chosen to be born into. It is part of spiritual adulthood in our times to heal the wounded child who did not experience the appreciation and adoration for their unique gifts that they both needed and deserved so that we can come into right relationship with ourselves and no longer carry around the baggage that would keep us from being who we came here to be now.

Through engagement with our helping spirits, we can come to identify our own specific, unique gifts, step into fully owning them, and find the best vehicles through which to share them with the world. This is a path to self-love and to joy.

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Intimacy, Part 2: Going Farther with the Spirits

From the archives of the City Conjure Blog:

I think fear of intimacy is at the crux of a lot of our concerns in the Western world. Racism, sexism, homo / transphobia (and all the others) all shine an eery light on ways in which we’re afraid of engaging not only with others, but with parts of ourselves that we’ve exiled, our ancestors exiled, and that we’re so used to exiling that we’ve long forgotten how vital they are to our personal and collective well-being.

We don’t live in a culture that encourages intimacy with ourselves or anyone else. Intimacy gets in the way of productivity, we’re told. It stifles our constant yang-yang-yang expression and, of course, were we to really stop and be present with our wounds, our deeper desires, and the real longing in our hearts, well – we may get hurt. We may be rejected. We may find ourselves abandoned.

Of course, so sayeth our false selves in an effort to keep us from going deeper, being with what’s coming up, and healing old stories that hold us back from experiencing something new.

Choosing intimacy is like building a muscle – it’s a practice that we cultivate by returning to it again and again in our daily lives. For me, its the glue between my spiritual life and my mundane life, helping me rid myself of even that false dichotomy that sets them apart from one another. That being said, here are a few more ideas that may help deepen the connection between you and your spirits:

  • Be spontaneous. Conversations with my spirits happen at their altars – but also while I’m on the subway. Impromptu libations may be poured outside of a bar and pennies may be left at a crossroads during my commute. When we weave our spirits into our everyday lives and are candid about our everyday lives with our spirits, we’re that much more supported, connected, in-tune, and clear about what is needed for transformation.
  • Ask the deeper questions. Many of us study how to ask helping spirits to help us achieve a task or bring something into our lives – but what is our capacity to listen and enter into deep relationship with them beyond give-and-take? How do our spirits view us and our responsibilities in our process – not just in terms of mundane efforts (e.g. – making sure you’re job searching while doing magick to find a job) but in terms of personal narratives that might be standing in the way of our success. In addition to petitioning your spirits for help, ask them to show you how to get out of your own way and ask them what questions they really think you should be asking them.
  • Say what you’re afraid to say. Growing up in a monotheistic culture, we’ve been taught to relate with the spiritworld in a way that is small and fearful. No matter how long we’ve been practicing animists, this is something embedded in our culture – how TV, entertainment, and advertisements show us as humans relating to “God” / the Divine – and it’s something to keep mindful of as we tread old waters into a new story. This is not to say that devotion isn’t a healthy part of any relationship, but that you here for a reason. You’re a big part of the Big Scheme of Things. So say what you’re afraid to say. Empty your heart out. “Show me why I never get an answer from you. Show me a clear sign in the next three days.” Real intimacy involves push-and-pull, tensions between receiving, not receiving, doubt, frustration, and bliss. If we’re willing to be in the thick of all of these stages with our helping spirits, we’ll find our intimacy deepened – just like a relationship with a lover that might sometimes be on the rocks or feel more questionable than gratifying. Sometimes healthy devotion is paired with a healthy amount of profanity. Throw yourself at them. Tell them you’re doing all you can. When you’re in the thick of it and it seems like your helping spirits aren’t doing their share of supporting you, demand answers. Demand clarity. Give them some offerings and then rail at them. And then, maybe listen, do what they say, and see what happens.
  • Give offerings often. When I give offerings to spirits, I generally tend to imagine them as multiplied a billion times over (something I learned from Jason Miller) and I do find that it makes a difference – there’s something more “full” about it. A practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, Miller is well-versed in the art of giving offerings as, in his tradition, offerings are made constantly to a pretty serious retinue of spirits – both those friendly and familial and those considered hostile to keep them pleased. “If you make regular offerings, sometimes you will not need directed magic at all. The world just returns the favor. Thanks world.” Let’s take a cue from this great sorcerer and give. And keep giving. Don’t have much? That’s ok. A pinch of that sandwich you’re eating is a beautiful sacrifice. Giving doesn’t have to be about money. It’s about willingness to offer. It’s about forging bonds, empowering your helpers to help you, and inviting the help you need in.
  • Get out of your own head. This is a big one, especially in a culture obsessed with empirical evidence, “reason,” and head-based logic. Anyone who’s ever done any type of dream interpretation knows that the spiritworld often speaks to us in a sort of crazy logic that bypasses our logical, reasoning mind and goes right to the heart of things using symbolic language. One of my mentors often comments that the False Self – that part of ourselves so easily fortified in our culture that we see glimpses of in our self-sabotaging habits, inner criticisms, self-limiting thoughts and behaviors, etc. – is as smart as we are and has access to all of the tools that we do. This is one reason why spontaneous acts from the heart are so powerful – they throw the fear and limit-based False Self off its guard so we can really engage beyond the borders it so neatly has us regularly operating within. Hence, sing. Dance. Drum. DoSomethingDifferent. So often its our false dichotomies and over-analyzing that leave us standing in our own way, unable to hear what our spirits are really saying to us about our next best steps forward.

More on intimacy from our good friend, the musician Robert Een:

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