About Rabbit Holes, Shamans, and Yes Virginia, Healers are Real

Our old friend and fellow blogger; Ancien Hippie, is thinking of  writing a new book Let’s encourage him by showing off some stuff that he wants to write about.

  • RabbitHole02

Start with our old friends at Urban Dictionary

Metaphor for the conceptual path which is thought to lead to the true nature of reality. Infinitesimally deep and complex, venturing too far down is probably not that great of an idea.

Taking hallucinogenic drugs can be considered “tripping” down the rabbit hole, but it is also explored through philosophical and existential thinking.

The origin of the term is from the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland which leads into Wonderland.

You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Journey Through the Rabbit Hole
By Vicky Thompson for NCX Radio

To be included in forthcoming book “Yes Virginia, Healers are Real”

 Everyone has the ability to be a 21st century shaman, according to Jan Engels-Smith, author of Through the Rabbit Hole:Explore and Experience the Shamanic Journey and Energy Medicine.

But don’t you have to be a mystic, living in a mountain cave, to be a shaman?

Not so, says Engels-Smith, who founded the LightSong School of Shamanic Studies. Today’s shamans are everyday people who tap into their ability to see, hear and speak through the heart. The shamanic journey is an ancient practice and an inherent skill available to everyone.

So close your eyes, and listen to the rhythm of the drum, mirroring the beat of your heart. Imagine yourself in a sacred meadow, peering into a wide crack in the earth.

Are you ready to journey through the rabbit hole?
Read more.

So close your eyes, and listen to the rhythm of the drum, mirroring the beat of your heart. Imagine yourself in a sacred meadow, peering into a wide crack in the earth. Are you ready to journey through the rabbit hole?

Q. What is shamanism and how can you practice it in daily life as a 21st century shaman?

A. Shamanism is a belief and respect for all life. In shamanism, everything is alive and has an intelligence and all things exist in a good way. You can communicate with all of these different things that live around us, like the trees, the plants, the clouds and stones.

There are also unseen forces that we would call our spiritual helpers, guardian angels, and celestial beings that have great intelligence and knowingness. In shamanism, it is believed that all of these things are able to communicate with us and they do communicate with us all the time. When we tap into these things, our scope of wisdom and information and availability to awareness broadens vastly, opens exponentially into realms that are often hidden from us in our normal daily life.

Shamanism has been around for thousands of years and is one of the oldest known healing modalities on the planet. Human civilization has changed and we need to connect to our daily guidance in different ways than in ancient times. In 21st century shamanism we are individually capable of connecting to our spiritual guides without the need for a human intermediary. We all have an inner shaman and we do not require another to intercede on our behalf with the spiritual world.

The definition of a shaman is someone who sees in the dark with his or her heart. We all have the capability to be able to see through the heart, hear through the heart, and speak through the heart and, therefore, in 21st century shamanism, we are all capable of being shamans. There is a power inside each person that has been suppressed by our modern culture and its release will provide the empowerment that we need to heal and thrive. That’s why I get excited about people learning how to journey and tap into this wellspring of shamanic energy.

Q. When you journey in other realms, many beginners start first with the lower world and the upper world. What are the differences between these worlds?

A. Cross culturally, if you were to study shamanism around the world in all seven continents, you would find core commonalities. One core belief across cultures is that there are many dimensions besides the one that we are currently aware of in our everyday reality. The lower and the upper world are real places, as is the world we inhabit in our daily lives. The beautiful thing about the lower and the upper worlds though is that they are inhabited only by enlightened beings and there is no such thing as trickery or negativity or bad advice. We know that that is not the case with all human beings.

The spirits that dwell in the upper and lower worlds are all enlightened and they are also just love. They are compassionate and pure love and incapable of doing harm or even conceptualizing what harm would be. And so when we are learning how to journey, we would want to learn in such a safe place. That is one of the reasons why we connect with one of these two worlds in the very beginning. These places are extremely safe and there’s no harm that can come to you.

We live, you and I and everybody else on the planet, in what we call the middle world. The middle world is very diverse. In the middle world there exists a spectrum of conditions from good to bad to evil. People may treat each other with cruelty, harm, deceit, lies and betrayal. However, there is also happiness, glee, bliss, joy and a euphoria that people can express. The spirits of the middle world may also exhibit a wide range of positive and negative attributes. In our world we contend with evil spirits as well as guardian angels. Any being that is in this middle realm would have the capacity to exhibit a range of helpful or harmful influence. And so, even though we live here, we don’t learn how to journey here.

Once you learn how to journey and you know how to navigate the realms, it gives you a greater capacity to live your life in the middle world with greater advantages, because you learn how to navigate life at a higher capacity, a greater aptitude with help available to you on any day and in everyday situations.

Q. How can journeying help you to discover your true self?

A. We are very influenced by the world that we live in, which is extremely diverse and  filled with illusions and non-truths. So people, as they age from childhood, lose the ability or forget their truth, their radiance, their magnificence, their connection, their oneness with Source. All of those things become hidden, or disappear or are forgotten. Working with the spirits, especially the enlightened spirits, that are just full of unconditional love, we can restore our true selves.

We do not have role models for unconditional love on this planet but your compassionate, loving spirits can show you the way back to your forgotten true self. The more you interact with them, the closer you get to an understanding of what lies at the core of you being — a perfect form of your true self immersed in unconditional love. It’s brilliant and magnificent, but people have gotten so far away from this truth that to even try to conceive what it is like is difficult. However, the more that you journey, the more you interact with groups of beings that are in this radiance, then the more you start to remember what is inside of you. And this inner light will lead you to start achieving greater connections and a restoration of the beauty with which you were born.

Want to hear more?
Listen here to an interview with Jan Engels-Smith on shamanic journeying.

Radio host and NCX editor Vicky Thompson interviews authors about simple ideas for balancing your body and soul. Need a quick boost?Listen to these inspiring 10-minute radio interviews, and you’ll be renewed and ready to use practical tips for well-being.Want to receive simple tips for living well?Subscribeto the Tune In enewsletter.

Finally some real cool stuff on rabbit holes

Transition symbols in dreams such as a cave, hole, tunnel, or a hallway can lead one into the unconscious and a transformed state. When Alice fell down the rabbit hole she entered a period of confusion and chaos, a place of change and transformation.

“The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well. 

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next.”

–Lewis Carroll

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

The White Rabbit in this story was serving as the archetypal Trickster that lured Alice into the hole that lead to the unconscious so that she could explore her naughty side e.g. her negative, or shadow, side. It was also an opportunity for her to get in touch with her power. A third level of awareness was also offered Alice in her dream that of being able to compensate for her lack of power in her waking world due to her age and sibling order. In this world she was introduced to many aspects of her nature and was able to confront and perhaps accept them. For Alice this dream was part of her Individuation process, the process toward becoming a fully functional person.

Falling itself had a meaning that spoke to failure,or loss of power and control (which would not be an unusual feeling for the youngest child and sister), or the failure to be cautious. As she fell down the hole she said to herself,


“After such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they’ll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn’t say anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house.”

Though she was falling, her descent was more like flying with a sense of independence attached to it. There’s also a sense of regaining some personal control in the process. There’s also a feeling of potential freedom and release associated with transcendant states. One may be releasing from the boredom and restraints of the life they find themselves in.

A hole canrepresent the start of a change—a transformation. Where does it lead?

A well can represent your deepest most transcendent wisdom or information about your unconscious. It can be a view into your depths. What does it reveal?

The cave in a dream often represents inner or hidden issues. It is a part of the underworld, your underworld—the unconscious. What do you find in your cave? What are you keeping hidden? Where does it lead? Are you hiding here? From what?

The Underground—the hidden side of the self, as in where the shadow lies and the depths of your experience. This symbol can also be represented by a Subway. Here sexual desires and unexpressed potentials lie. Graves are also underground and usually refer to the death of something, as in the end of something. Is a part of yourself dead? Often the underground is likened to the Otherworld—the mystical world beyond the veil of reality—where the soul is said to reside and where our spirits are said to live. What we came from and will return to.

A tunnel in a dream speaks to a pathway you may have created into your unconscious, a opening to your innermost feelings and memories. It can also be the way to a birth of something (a rebirth or resurrection of something) as in the birth canal. Where does it lead?


Through small tunnels ancient visitors to the Asklepians of Greece would seek a dream healing by passing through a tunnel into the womb of the earth. Hippocrates established the first school for medical practices on the Island of Kos in Greece. Dream Healing techniques were taught here as well.

Tunnel entry to an Asklepion Dream Healing place in Turkey
Tunnel entry to an Asklepion Dream Healing place in Turkey


A hallway can reveal how various parts (aspects) of you (your house) connect. A hallway can represent a means for the outside world to enter your intimate life. Where does it lead?

This can also be a Corridor—a no man’s land, an in between place, or being stuck in between or being trapped in an unsatisfactory place in your life. Is this corridor leading toward some end, or ending?

The rabbit hole one enters may also represent regression—a turning inward, sometimes to escape from problems, or boredom, or to return to, or tarry in a simpler—more innocent time. Wasn’t this what Alice was doing?

The hole can also be a Pit and represent the Void, a place of emptiness, where feelings of being trapped prevail. In facing the void, when falling into it, we fall into the nothing, but with the potential for everything and the transformation of our imagined limits. Within lies the power for change and liberation. Wasn’t this so for Alice?

Going down the Rabbit-Hole is also a euphemism for becoming enlightened. In the 2009 movie Sherlock Holmes: Holmes for the Holiday, Holmes referred to the rabbit-hole in his process during the case he was on, “Although I went deeper into the rabbit-hole than I intended, I brushed the dirt from my fluffy white tail and emerged enlightened”.

To tumble down the rabbit hole is to fall into the reality of your self and to wake up from your waking dream.

Alice also passed through a mirror into another world previously hidden to her. Though Mirrors can symbolically represent your self-image, or identity, they can also symbolize looking into the unconscious to see who you are, or to see what you’re hiding. What you see may be confusing, or even the opposite of what you thought. This too can provide information. Neuroscientists suggest that there are mirror neurons that fire when certain behaviors of others are observed and serve to aid humans in understanding one anothers actions and are important to both imitation and language development. Might this system be critical to the process of projection i.e. what we perceive as reality? What does your mirror reflect?

Death also can be seen as a transition point from one state of being to another. Often people who have died are said to have passed through to the other side. Perhaps in death one lets go of one way of being in order to be reborn into another. This is why death shows up in so many dreams, not only as a means of coming to terms with our ultimate demise, but as a metaphor for change, transition, or transcendence.

All of this presupposes an entrance (an opening, passage, or a door) which is often seen as a symbol for new experiences, or opportunities, or the passing between one state of being or feeling into another and leading to a new realization. Where does it lead? RabbitHole05thus limiting your access, or progress? Doors can also be entrances to new stages of life. Early in my carreer I had a woman, a bruja, who in a dream invited me to enter into the mysteries of a garden hidden behind a door. I’ve been exploring that garden of the soul, the unchartered unconscious, ever since.

They also suggest transit—a symbol for change (transition). The how of the transit (walking, crawling, falling, riding, running, flying, jumping, dying) can add meaning e.g. walking can signify a confident entrance to the unconscious, while falling can indicate an out-of-control, accidental, and chaotic quality to the transit. Where, how, or what are you transiting toward?


Rabbit Holes, Worm Holes, and Black Holes

A wormhole is a sort of tunnel through space, through which matter can pass. In order to understand what a wormhole is, imagine a rabbit hole in the ground, which has only two openings. If you were to have the ground represent space, then the rabbit hole is the wormhole.

Although you can travel between the two entrances by walking along the ground (space), you could also go between the entrances through the rabbit hole (wormhole). Wormholes could be useful because the journey through the tunnel is, more often than not, much shorter than the ground above it. This may be why wormholes are often referred to as shortcuts through space.

Black Holes may be the remnant of super gigantic stars that have run out of their life sustaining energy and collapsed upon themselves creating a huge density well with super massive gravitational gravity forces that can trap everything including light. These are believed be at the center of every galaxy.

Besides just leading toward other places, wormholes can also be portals into the past, and possibly even lead to different Universes! Some scientists postulate that a super massive Black Hole may very well be a Worm Hole that might lead to other dimensions. Is this what Alice went through?


The symbolism of a tunnel leading from one state of being to another seems to be anchored in reality as well.



Notice how all the above form their own coherence—the internal logic of your dreams also provides information. Dreams are not just meaningless chaos, unless of course you have one that is just meaningless chaos, and that too means something (anyone notice a lack of order or predictability in their life?).

Both the sleeping world and waking world provide information that you can use to interpret and actualize change, or transformation. In the waking world notice what you fantasize about through your imagination, what stories do you tell yourself to entertain or daydream over? What recurrent drama(s) shows up in your waking life? What does this tell you about your unconscious desires and needs? What do your fantasies and stories tell you about your motives? Remember, it’s all about you—it’s all a projection from you.


This phrase can also be said when taking a hallucinogenic, as some suspect Carroll’s novel was really about a drug trip.

School’s starting up again, time to “Go Down the Rabbit Hole” once more. Some sexual connotations.

Other meanings of the phrase:

  • Coming (or going) from one life (stage, phase, chapter) into another.
  • Jumping into something new and stressful. Are you looking where your leaping?
  • Starting school again.
  • Recreating your life. Starting anew.
  • Letting go of the old ways.
  • Walking into something new without any knowledge of how it will turn out.
  • Facing new potentials.
  • Leaping into the unconscious.
  • Change of perspective and sense of reality e.g. transformation of reality (see you tube video below).
  • Entering the unknown—the confusing.
  • Embracing any radically new idea, especially those where there aren’t many (or any) people who are willing to go along with you.
  • Falling into a never ending addiction.

You might also want to explore the Rabbit Hole through this DreamDragon Blog posting: