History, Secrets, and Witches
What Is a Spiritual Transmission?
The most common answer: spiritual transmissions—also known as direct spiritual transmissions—are performed during Buddhist or shamanic initiations to bestow secret wisdoms and mystical lineage. That answer neglects an age-old history that has been buried—a history of entirely different transmissions. Suppression of that history has in turn suppressed power.
Hidden history is hidden power.
The personal is political is a maxim yaysaying someone who mentions personal experiences affected by social structures. To get down to nuts and bolts, I need to discuss my own life, starting by explaining my particular style of transmissions.
It won’t do it for me to blather on about the importance of there being different styles of transmissions, unless you know what they might be. And, as I said, that information’s been suppressed. My style of transmissions was basically unheard of until I started talking about it. I’ve met many practitioners, but’ve only encountered a few who do anything at all similar to what I do.
Plus, explanations of shamanism are often best if they start with specific personal occurrences, which allow the more theoretical viewpoints that follow to make sense. So this essay’ll alternate back-and-forth between the personal and theoretical, the former continually providing context for the latter.
Are There Different Kinds of Spiritual Transmissions?
… Upon reading the next few paragraphs, they seem like promotional language because I say what I do for you during a transmission. But I am doing it for you, not for a faceless client who’s no more than a cipher to me. In a hierarchical society, there is no you, only faceless ciphers and a few lucky stars. I care about the people for whom I do transmissions. So I’ll keep the word you.
I was born generating a beneficial field of energy. It adapts to your needs, e.g., personal growth, peace, financial well-being, a soul healing, physical health, joy for your wild heart, safety on the mundane and etheric planes, the strength to get back up when life’s knocked you down.
The transmissions (or call them blessings) do not focus on one benefit only, but bless you as a whole being. They also add luck to your life overall.
I give transmissions during classes, in counseling session, and on their own. During class or counseling, my transmissions do everything I’ve mentioned, as well as deepen the experiential nature of the lessons, increase the serenity, power, and safety of your shamanic journey, foster personal growth, and add luck to your efforts to improve your life.
Both initiations and transmissions during them are a small part of the path, simply a moment. An important moment, a magnificent moment, a spectacular moment, but a moment. And a moment that means far less than what you do with your life and for others after the initiation.
Every moment has its secret wisdom and is an opportunity to inherit holy lineage. I want to support your every moment.
Though I give spiritual transmissions in initiations, I don’t buy into the usual overemphasis on initiations or the related idea of transmissions used solely for initiations.
I suspect there’s a long history of practitioners who gave atypical transmissions like mine, and that few such individuals remain. More about transmissions as I understand them:
Can I Receive a Spiritual Transmission if I’m not Buddhist?
Shamans tend to use transmissions the way Buddhists do: to pass on the wisdom and energy of their particular tradition.
Though I use transmissions to pass on my teachings and lineage in initiations, I also do it in classes, spiritual counseling sessions, and on its own. The life path is my focus. I serve best as a shamanic guide if I walk next to you on the spiritual path when you want my support. I experience us as fellow travelers, walking shoulder to shoulder.
I provide some transmissions not focused on my particular tradition/religion. My Goddess is interfaith. She serves everyone. I try to follow suit. That’s often better because it won’t be about a certain teaching, but about helping you see your own unique path and innate wisdoms.
Hm, I made a false distinction between my transmissions that pass on my teachings and my transmissions that don’t. My lessons include material—e.g., liturgy and cosmology—that help you find your own unique mystical path and wisdom. My transmissions during a class support that.
Who Gives Spiritual Transmissions?
… I’m a Witch Who Does
Spiritual transmissions are primarily known as given by practitioners of Buddhism and shamanism. That is a limited understanding.
Erroneously, transmissions are rarely considered the work of a witch. Witchcraft has been misrepresented. To create prejudice against them, witches have been portrayed as evil, driven by greed and pettiness, doing magic to harm others and reap unearned bounty.
Many cultures that respect shamans use the word witch to denote a practitioner of evil magic.
However, in ancient Europe, witch was synonymous with shaman. I don’t mean the two words were synonymous. The word shaman is not even European in origin. I’m trying to say:
In ancient Europe, practices of a witch were shamanic. There was no sense of differing systems, and thereby no implication that witches were evil. Mind you, modern witchcraft tends to be different from what ancient witches did. Ditto what modern shamans know as shamanism. I and some others practice an ancient shamanic witchcraft.
Misportrayal of witches allows Christian male priests to seem the only kindly religious figure who’ll support your spiritual growth.
The betrayal of witches allows male shamans—and a handful of token women who abide by sexist shamanic paradigms—to seem the only support for gaining otherworldly power in an ethical, well-informed manner.
With arrogant elitism, these shamans are often oh-so-magnanimous for bestowing “power” on you. This is degrading and implies you should be subservient to them because they’re oh-so-special. It’s patriarchy. Often ends up the empowerment blessings are used only for men and the women who sleep with them.
I am special. And so are you. I’ve been given two rare gifts: the ability to give transmissions, and a mom who helped train me to use it. But you and I are fellow seekers. You might need me to give transmissions, but I need you walking next to me, perhaps more than you could ever need me. We’re all on life’s path together. Oppression culture propagates the belief that we’re not equals, and that some of us are less necessary and valuable than others.
Some witches have the same disempowering magnitude as the sexist, classist (-ist ad infinitum) shamans. A class system, whether the classes are marked by gender, race, or anything else, is so much a part of our culture that it appears everywhere.
So I am lucky to have had a mom who was a witch and led me to my own power. I try to do the same for my students and other recipients of my transmissions.
Mom raised me in a traditional Strega family tradition with Celtic shamanism in its lineage. I was raised from childhood to do the work I do, including the blessings.
Her transmissions came from her presence. That beauty is hidden in our culture, that secret wisdom and sacred lineage given by mothers daily, by anyone striving to imitate a mother’s giving, by my ancestors in my shamanic family tradition, and by similar individuals. That ongoing presence of ancestral lineage is so powerful that it threatens patriarchy.
My Fey-touched ancestors have been devalued, their sacred lineage of magic and Fairy secrets spat upon, lied about, so that few might know they exist, so that few might draw on that power to live in freedom, love, and prosperity.
I give You and my ancestors my love.
May your secrets,
handed down to me through my ancestors,
walk with me
For a long time, I didn’t know spiritual transmissions or direct spiritual transmissions are terms for everything I’ve described about blessings I give. Then a student of mine who’s a Buddhist told me.
It also took years to come up with the words I’ve used here to describe what I do. Even the notion I was born a good luck charm took decades to appear in my mind. I think my understanding of what I do when giving blessings—and shaping language to describe it—was so hard to arrive at because witches’ history is suppressed and thereby not a supportive context for developing ideas and verbiage. And, having encountered few individuals who do what I do, and never having had a chance to talk to them about it, there was little in the modern world to enlighten me as to my own practices. Much of the writing of this essay faced decades-long challenges as described in this paragraph.
Mom rests in your arms.
Bless her for everything she managed to teach me
despite burdens laid heavy on her
as a woman and witch.
The littlest care she gave me
must’ve exhausted her
because she had to do it
while fighting for her life and her spirit.
Spent and heartsick,
she passed into your care.
Please give her peace and beauty every day.
She earned it.
Spiritual Transmissions, Celtic Shamanism, the Faery Faith
Spiritual transmissions are part of every culture, contrary to popular opinion. My gut tells me the type of spiritual transmissions I give echo a Faery Faith method of blessing. The Faery Faith was the pre-Christian religion of the ancient Celtic shaman, or witch. I use both terms to describe myself.
You deserve all possible goodness in your life.
You are the beloved child of the Great Mother Goddess.
The Fey Folk believe material happiness is holy beauty. The Magna Mater, Great Mother Goddess, is known as the Fairy Queen in some traditions.
She loves you, holds you sacred, and wants you to have abundance to the max. I often feel Her blessing the transmissions I do for you by contributing Her loving, enormous power.
Her down-to-earth, all-encompassing love returns us to an earlier topic.
Spiritual Transmissions, Initiations, Secret Wisdom
Transmissions passing down the wisdom and energy of a particular tradition during initiation is a small piece of how Mom taught and empowered me by her sheer presence.
To further describe my transmissions will almost be to tell a lie. For one thing, what I do so threatens patriarchy and classism that our language has been constructed in ways that keep me from finding the right words for what I do.
Besides, traditional shamanism is beyond words anyway. I don’t lecture a lot in my classes, but instead lead participants through ritual experiences that guide them to the lessons. When I do lecture, it tends to be more lyrical, a ritual unto itself. But poesy won’t help me right this second. So here’s a limited view:
My transmissions are an energy that fosters being-ness. My transmissions are love. I transmit energy that not only opens doors to material well-being, but that also provides opportunities to embed yourself in Deity—the beneficent, loving, enchanted flow Who permeates all of existence and is the reality beyond existence.
Wisdom is abstract. Being-ness is alive and ever-shifting.
Secrets from the other realms are available every moment.
It’s not my job to decide wisdom should be transmitted, unless you ask for that. During a class, counseling session, or initiation, there’s an unspoken contract that you want to learn, so my transmissions include wisdoms. But other times, when I do a transmission, I hold no “noble” thought in mind that you’re supposed to learn or shape yourself to. The Old Gods tell me to create a transmission that shapes itself to you. If someone needs a new job, new dress, or renewed hope, they will get that, which is wisdom in action.
There’s no merit in a path we’re all supposed to walk. but there is great purpose to energy that supports your particular life journey on both the otherworldly and mundane planes.
There’s great purpose to a blessing that meets you and honors where you are, instead of you having to be so-called “worthy” of a transmission.
The following may seem like a contradiction to what I’ve said above. Life is paradox. When I do transmissions outside of classes and the like, I do offer transmissions about specific powers and wisdoms, such as abundance, recognition of one’s inner and outer beauty, or healing from grief.
Honoring Each Person as an Individual
Most recipients of my transmissions experience it as a truly personal energy from me, including a sense I really care about them as individuals. I often receive emails saying this. I don’t know what I do that provides that sense of intimacy and caring, other than the fact that it reflects my true feelings.
Their reaction might seem odd since I do a transmission even if I know nothing about the person who’s requested one, and they have sent me no item that they’ve touched. (In some witchcraft traditions, a person who wants magic done for them gives an object that represents their energy to the person who’s going to do the spell.)
I’m currently preparing for a three-week long-distance transmission I’ll be giving to a group of my clients. A transmission done outside of classes or a counseling sessions might be one that a client books for themselves, or one for a group. In the latter case, I do a weeklong, month-long, whatever length transmission, and anyone can join the group.
I was happy when a new client who enrolled in the group asked why I didn’t need to talk to anyone before doing their transmission or receiving an object from them. If I understood correctly, the client wondered if they, as part of an entire group, would feel like a nonentity, just one mere person in a horde.
The client’s question is important. Oppressive hierarchy in shamanic groups positions some of its members as valueless non-entities, empty vessels—e.g., with no extraordinary wisdom within—who gain worth only when an individual at the top of the heap magnanimously fills these needy supplicants with gifts. Gods, help us withstand this common betrayal of human dignity.
I explained to my new client that I know each person in the group has their own story, own path, and own special qualities. More important, I think that’ll comes across in the experiences they’ll have during the transmission. I feel we are walking a path together.
The client mentioned the ubiquitous sending of “Divine energy” as a healing/transmission. I could describe my work that way, but only if we frame it correctly and again realize that any description is terribly limited. Shamanism is understood through experiences of it, not theoretical explanations. To pin my transmissions entirely on Divine energy obliterates the possibility of explaining them as personal, intimate experiences for me and everyone else involved. Plus, everything is Divine energy.
And I could just as truthfully say that I do transmissions by getting my dishes washed as I could say that I do transmissions by channeling Divine energy.
I can’t explain what I’m doing instead of channeling some sort of abstract Divine energy that reflects neither who I am as an individual nor who my clients are in their own right. I do know that, during a transmission ceremony, and often during the rest of the day in which the ceremony occurs, I’m in my own personal shamanic journey toward spiritual growth, trying to take care of what’s needed—whether that’s facing inner demons or feeding my cat—to be in harmony with my Gods. A shamanic journey is deeply personal and specific to the person traveling it. I suspect something in that creates the intimate, caring feeling.
Perhaps more important, I try to harmonize with my Gods in all my endeavors. Perhaps the presence of continuing efforts shapes the transmission. What could be more personal and unique than one’s ongoing quest for the Divine, with all its struggles, hopes, disappointments, terrors, joys, triumphs, and failures?
A heart-based interaction between people coming together as individuals is no abstract Divine energy, but both a personal expression of It and the essence of Divinity.
Hm, reviewing what I’ve written about transmissions that honor each person as an individual makes me think about how my transmissions come from my heart, my cells, and my bone marrow. Maybe that too is why my clients actually sense the personal nature of my work, and that I’m giving my all to them, and thus they know I care. … Giving from deep within is presence—even long-distance—as are the other ways I’ve said might give my clients a sense that I care. … Presence is a good answer to what I’m doing instead of relying on abstract Divine energy, though still an incomplete answer. I can’t explain here everything I’m doing in a transmission because it draws on years of training started in childhood.
Reviewing my words also shows how much my transmission process goes against oppressive spiritual formulas, e.g., the insistence that if you accept Christ, your sins do not matter, as if morality could be packaged in a bottle—as opposed to my ongoing journey of trying to be a decent person. The spiritual path demands moral accountability, self-examination, reparation for harm done, etc., not just once but till the end of my days.
I gave one example, but the whole inner process I’ve described being in during transmissions fights oppression, not only for myself but for the recipients of the blessings. The energy I send is coming from me, so would reflect my true feelings and my process. Wow, okay, now I stronger than ever believe there was a point in history when sexist shamans and Buddhists suppressed knowledge of my sort of transmissions.
Everyone has their own way of feeling cared for and seen. Some individuals prefer to be on the phone with me during a blessing. The phone time is the specific care, recognition, and effort they understand and/or need, even if we’re silent during the ritual. That long-distance camaraderie by phone during transmissions occurs during my classes and private counseling. But a person can also book a phone session for a transmission (link for that is below).
How to Receive a Spiritual Transmission
Have you wondered, “What do I need to do to receive a transmission? Do I need to be Buddhist or in a shamanic training?”
For my work, there is no need to attend an event, meditate, or do anything else. Just enroll, and go about your business, while I do the work for you.
There is one caveat. Though I was given a power so big that it shocks me sometimes, nothing I do can help if you’re fixed in the idea that nothing can help.
… Well, that’s not true. My transmissions meet you where you are. If you assume nothing will change, maybe my transmission’ll help that belief shift. Then, if the transmission continues, or you decide to get another one, it can make a difference in your life and support your efforts along those lines, since you’ve come to believe in possibility.
Writing this piece was an interesting exercise, for various reasons. I’d like to tell you one. I knowingly set myself an impossible task in describing my process with transmissions, but the descriptions were necessary to the essay. It’s odd to not have sufficient words for something I’ve done for decades and trained to do for decades prior. It’s frustrating to not have words for something that took years of technical training. I’ve mentioned the blocks to finding the right words, including the fact that shamanism is conveyed experientially, not in words alone, least of all in written words. Plus, many of my abilities are so ingrained by non-verbal, lengthy technical training that trying to describe them is like a bird trying to describe how to fly. The bird just takes flight. It’s a bird, … which points to another similarity. As it was born with flight, I was born with the ability to give transmissions; one’s innate traits are so much a part of one that it can be impossible to fully assign them words. … Perhaps the simple “I was born a good luck charm” is the best explanation, despite all my lengthier ones, LOL. Arriving at what limited words I could in this post has been a thought-provoking journey for which I am grateful. I hope the essay is of service to you.
Dates for upcoming long-distance transmission ceremonies for groups are in my newsletters: https://outlawbunny.com/newsletter/
If you don’t want to wait for a group event, schedule a transmission here: https://outlawbunny.com/2012/04/24/distance-healings-of-body-and-spirit/. To be on the phone with me during the ritual, scroll down on that page to “If You Prefer an Appointment.”
Feedback on my work: https://outlawbunny.com/2012/05/02/spiritual-transmission/
A relevant story from a client: https://outlawbunny.com/2012/03/05/story-about-a-direct-spiritual-transmission/
This brief post, written eight years ago, when I was just beginning to find words to describe my transmissions, explains a bit more about them: https://outlawbunny.com/2012/12/14/what-is-a-direct-spiritual-transmission/