Articles by Joan
1. The Art of Interpreting Intuitive Information
Being an intuitive is like being a detective: you must be able to hold many possibilities in mind at once, searching for the interconnections. Both the detective and the intuitive try to get to the bottom of an incident. Both are investigators. A dream will give some information, a shamanic journey may add to it, then a past life regression seems to be somewhat of a dead end. But like the detective, the intuitive rejects none of the information, for in that very dead end might be the clue that leads to the solving of the puzzle.
Gathering intuitive information can often be polychronic: different parts appear at different times, sometimes overlapping. The information may appear over a long period of time: months, years. An intuitive’s mind must work holistically, as a musician’s mind works when listening to the various instrument lines weaving and blending, starting and stopping in a symphony.
The devil is in the details. In this type of investigative work, rarely does the answer jump out at you. Rather, it’s about looking for themes that are revealed bit by bit in successive episodes of working with the same question. It is like being shown many close-up shots of a large picture, and then finally seeing the picture as a whole.
To gather all the evidence before making a judgment is the heart of both logic and intuition. It requires an understanding of the theme and variation structure, which is so basic to artistic work. To bring the theme back in a new light is the heart of the theme and variation structure. Similarly, sometimes the way to wisdom is to come back to an idea or theme later. To wait to see what something means until it has time to ripen breeds wisdom. This is part of the contemplative mind that is second nature to me – observing, then accommodating. The skill of a healer, and of the artist, is the dialogue between possibility and process.
Joan Forest Mage has been practicing shamanic healing since 1995, and teaches a year-long Shamanic Training Program. She is the founder and director of Life Force Arts Center.