Llyn Roberts, MA is a modern-day mystic and spiritual ecologist. Her work inspires a deep sense of belonging with the natural world. Llyn is a prominent teacher of healing and shamanism who has facilitated sacred journeys to work with indigenous people in remote locations for twenty years. She was initiated by shamans in Siberia, and the Andes in Ecuador, has worked with indigenous elders in Guatemala and in other cultures. She teaches at the Omega and Esalen Institutes, and facilitates online study programs. I am thankful that this radiant being took the time to share with us her wisdom and life work.
Let us begin.
OC: WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S WORK?
LR: My purpose and deep joy is to connect people with nature’s wisdom and her healing forces, encouraging a sacred and responsible relationship with the Earth. I accomplish this through my writings, by sharing what I learn and experience through my own intimate relationship with nature, by offering teachings in shapeshifting processes founded in ancient traditions, by empowering people in Shamanic Reiki, which draws upon nature’s power to heal us, and by encouraging people to get out on the Earth and relate with her nature beings as intimately as they can. There is magic in our world, yet untapped.
It’s widely recognized now, that indigenous shamanic peoples honored the Earth, and accessed the natural forces of the elements to bring balance to individual as well as to the collective. In Reiki, also, healing arises from nature’s energy. All indigenous shamans I have worked with are agents of their change in their communities. They are responsible to maintain the harmony between spirit-cosmos, nature and people. This way of more broadly viewing healing and balance, beyond just the individual, is vital for those of us in contemporary cultures. As we are one organism, inseparable from the Earth, we cannot rid our cultures of the multiple problems that afflict us until we come back into harmony with our natural environment. As we do, we are nourished and enriched beyond what materialistic desires can offer. We discover that the world isn’t what we’ve been conditioned to think it is – everything around us is alive and vibrant, and eager to engage with us. We live amidst great mystery and magic. Yet, first we must honor the Earth and respect the life we share with. Our survival as a species depends on it.
WHAT INITIALLY DREW YOU TO YOUR PATH?
I’ve had a special bond with nature and have had spiritual experiences since I was a child. Growing up religious, I was exposed to powerful Catholic rituals that naturally opened me to the spirit realms. I also had telepathic and vibrational communication with star beings throughout my young childhood. In my twenties, after living in India for a year I studied Tibetan Buddhism and energy healing. Then I went on to study Buddhism with a Tibetan teacher in the US for many years. In my early thirties, I almost died at the birth of my son, which further opened my spiritual capacity. This was not an easy journey, so I sought shamanism as a means to understand and honor what I was going through – and initiation.
The shamanic path is often a challenging one. I’ve had three brushes with death in my life, as well as many ego-deaths. Inherent to indigenous shamanic view is the concept of ‘initiation’. We all have these in varying forms, yet they are most often not seen for the opportunity they present. Of course none of us want to feel like we’re going crazy or to have a near-death experience or life-threatening illness. I wouldn’t wish my journey upon anyone, as much of it has been downright difficult. Yet, as precarious as they are, these challenging times are also opportunities if we regard them as that. They can push us to our deeper spiritual potential. As a Peruvian elder taught in my webcast recently – the spirits are close to us at these times and we can discover more about our purpose on Earth. We may need help to embrace this opportunity and walk the path of why we’re here. These dark nights of the soul are often what identify shamans in other cultures. We need such a context in our own culture. When life ‘falls apart’ we can fall apart with it and feel victimized – or we can use the opportunity to empower, to deepen as a human being and to become more conscious of and committed to our spiritual purpose.
WHAT DOES SPIRIT MEAN TO YOU?
I interpret the general term of Spirit as the intelligent life force that flows through all things and circumstances, and within nature.
WHEN ONE MERGES WITH THE POWER OF THE ELEMENTS, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SENSATIONS EXPERIENCED?
It’s an individual experience, and we can merge on physical as well as subtle levels. For instance, most shamanic peoples apply the elements directly to the body in ceremonial cleansings and healings – applying stones, flowers and plants, spraying or blowing water or aromatic spirit waters or alcohol, and some even engulf their clients in balls of fire to shapeshift imbalance and connect the person to the fire spirit of the sacred volcanoes. They may also take their clients to immerse in sacred springs, or lakes, to circumambulate mountains in prayer, etc.
When we experience the elements on our skin, our senses awaken. Our ability to smell, touch, taste, see, hear comes alive as never before. Life appears more vivid and we feel in direct relationship to everything around us. We feel JOY! We feel ALIVE! Our perceptions shift and what seemed so important often pales to the vividness and richness of our relationship with nature and we are drawn to bring to life more of what honors the soul. It changes people, gets them down to who they really are and makes them feel resilient and strong. It makes us remember who we are and our rightful place in the circle of life. Those of us in contemporary cultures are missing the energy of the Earth and elements that heal us – we need this to stay balanced and to have strong life energy and direction. We are Earth beings in an Earth body – we can only truly know ourselves through our relationship with the Earth. Healing this relationship – between people and nature – is primary, as we depend on the Earth for everything.
In experiencing the subtle levels of the elements, we may intuit and feel and hear and sense or even see beyond the physical, ‘feel’ energies and spiritual presences, receive guidance and ‘knowings’, etc.
HOW DOES THIS CONNECTION BENEFIT OUR WORLD?
Our consciousness shifts when we experience the power of the elements. Remember when you were young and swam in a lake or river, when you got drenched in the rain, when the wind blew fiercely and you felt alive. These experiences open an intimate connection with nature, and shift how we view the world. The more we immerse in the elements, the more attuned to the Earth we become, and aware of our inseparability – which induces a natural ecological mindset. This is what we should be focusing on with our children and in our school systems – opening our natural passion for and relationship with nature.
BEING A WISE FEMININE VOICE, CAN YOU SPEAK ON THE MEANING OF THE FEMININE AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE?
I generally don’t like to separate out too extremely what is masculine, feminine, etc. And it should be clear that what we call the ‘feminine’ exists within, and should be cultivated in both men and women. That said there are undervalued ‘ways of being’ in our culture that we must call back and honor and cultivate. I’ll list some of these – intuition, including the wisdom of the heart and body; the power of the small, invisible as well as the subtle; relating with nature as a sentient being and the invisible aspects of the spiritual worlds; midwifing and honoring the passages of birth, death and aging; allowing space to access and participate with the creative void; honoring the nest and the nourishing aspects of life; applying fierce wisdom when that is called for. There are many more qualities, all vitally important.
FROM MY UNDERSTANDING, YOUR WORK DEFIES TIME AND SPACE. HOW DOES DISTANCE HEALING WORK – THAT A BEING IN ONE PLACE CAN PERFORM HEALING WORK THAT AFFECTS LIFETIMES OR DISTANCE PLACES?
I live in the Pacific Northwest, United States and perform distant healing work with people all over the world, as far away as Australia. From shamanic and energetic point of view, time and space do not exist. When we think lovingly of someone, send a prayer to help our children in a college exam, or feel our good wishes for a friend in the hospital, we are with that person. They are with us. Our energy, sentiment and good wishes surround and impact the person. Thoughts and feelings are energy.
I never ask very much about my client’s predicaments as I receive all the information I need in the shamanic journeys that I perform for them with the help of my spirit guides. Everything is revealed in the journey. It is remarkable to share details that I could not have otherwise known – and, to see the positive impact that the healing process has on people’s lives. I am humbled. I devote an entire chapter to Absentee Healing in the book, Shamanic Reiki.
It’s simple – time and space are not obstacles. We can even send energy into the future, as well as to past situations. We all have telepathic and ‘psychic’ capacities; they may just dormant and need to be awakened. These natural capacities are our birthright, instigated our compassion and the natural desire to help other sentient life no matter where on the Planet, or in other planes of existence. Telepathic abilities are being recognized in the mainstream, for instance. Animal communicators are doing beautiful work with animals they are in direct contact with, and also those that they may distantly communicate with. I love this, as we must go beyond just focusing on people to respect nature and our animal brothers and sisters. We are one whole.
DUE TO THE TIMES WE ARE IN, AS MANY PARTS OF THE WORLD ARE EXPERIENCING ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMBALANCE – JUXTAPOSING THESE EXTREMES, IS THERE A POTENTIAL TO CONNECT WITH MORE UNIVERSAL POWER THAN WE HAVE WORKED WITH IN THE PAST – AS THE ISSUES WE FACE ARE BEYOND WHAT WE HAVE EVER KNOWN? DO WE NEED TO DIG DEEPER TO SERVE AT THIS TIME?
Many of the indigenous people I have worked with have prophecies about these times within which we now live. It is a time of increasing polarity, a time when our Earth Mother is cleansing and awakening, a time when the values that we have built our lives around are seen for what they are as our environments are degraded and chaos pervades so many parts of the planet. Those aspects of our human-created world, that support superficial and selfish gain will not last.
As the Earth moves through her changes we change, too. For instance, I am aware that seismic activity, the eruptions of volcanoes, violent storms, the increase in solar flares – all affect our consciousness. People may see these natural activities, which incur pain and destruction on the human population as ‘bad’. Many indigenous people view them as ‘good’ – as they say that the spirits of the elements are returning and waking up.
The way we define ourselves as human beings on a finite planet must change. The way we know ourselves as material physical beings is also changing. We are energetic, spiritual beings, inseparably from our ‘physical’ aspects. We are one with the Earth and our planet is a conscious being. The world is not what we’ve been conditioned to think it is and this is out there in our quantum sciences. Every day life has not yet caught up with what our new sciences are showing us. But, it will and this is what these times are about.
Spiritually, there is much support and soul direction now, and aligning with the Earth in simple ways, and respecting and caring for her opens us to tremendous support and guidance. It’s very easy for people to get lost in fear and grief about what’s occurring now. We all need to feel our sad and scary feelings, allow them to surface. And, we also can allow our feelings to guide us back to what we came here to do, and who we came here to really be – we can shift this dream. What we do individually affects the larger whole. All shamanic peoples tell us that the dream of life is malleable, and it can change. I feel the Earth is directing these changes now. For some, life purpose is a silent and quiet presence, and others are meant to take very visible action and don public roles. It’s individual. We all have a role to play, we need to feel in our depths what that is and encourage our children to think in these ways, as well. What we give to the world arises form our own deep passion, combined with our skills, gifts and life experience.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT HEALTHY AND VIBRANT?
I have an extremely sensitive central nervous system and have to very consciously care for myself. My lifestyle also supports what I came here to do. I walk 4-8 miles a day and do several kinds of energetic breathing and movement practices from the Tibetan tradition. I also lift heavy river stones (weights), meditate and spend time in nature every day.
I read or listen to material that aligns me with deeper values, to entrain my mind. It must be recognized that our minds are being influenced all the time and we must guard our minds. I don’t have television, but people are being bombarded and brainwashed by the media. We are also being telepathically impacted by thought-forms. Not all of our thoughts are our own thoughts. It’s very important to clean the mind, as we clean our bodies and to feed our minds with nourishing messages and those that, in turn, radiate goodness and balance and hope out to the collective whole. This is such an overlooked issue.
I eat lightly. I do eat some meat, from healthy and humane sources. I eat a lot of dark green leafy organic plant foods, and daily drink a Maya Nut brew and Vitamineral Green, which are both vibrant in life force and support my energy and mental alertness. I’m 58, so I take a 7-herb combination (in lieu of hormones) which supports me well. I don’t eat dairy or wheat or grains. My body has just steered me away from these. I don’t often get a full night’s sleep, as I am semi-nocturnal and have a vivid dream life. I do not have a ‘sleep disorder’. I don’t like that everything becomes pathology in our culture – we need to leave a lot more room for the creative force, which does not adhere to our societal rules and preferences and what we deem as allopathically healthy norms. I feel the muses are awake in the wee hours and they wake me up to muse with them. This feeds my creativity and I believe the spirits and the Earth are very active for us now in the wee hours when things are more quiet and our minds are slowed down – we need to listen to and participate with the wisdom that comes through. This means I nap once or twice during the day. I love my naps! I have created a lifestyle that works for me, and a livelihood pattern that supports it. When I was a teenager I was adamant about desiring to ‘live a creative life’. I have done that, and a good thing as I am so sensitive and unfitting of the ‘norms’ of our culture that any other lifestyle would not only suppress my creativity, it would weaken me, and prevent me from giving to the world what I came to share. I hope these statements support others in finding their true and unique expression.
RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH LLYN
HER BOOKS INCLUDE:
Shapeshifting into Higher Consciousness (2012 Independent Publisher’s Award).