Surinamese children watching an Aitkanti leatherback sea turtle lay eggs
Jonathan Fields of the Good Life Project and the second horizon-expanding visionary on Jeffrey Davis’ Tracking Wonder 2016 Queststarted his evocative prompt with: A wealthy uncle who you hardly knew passed away and left you a fortune. There was only one condition to ensure that you’d receive it. It was necessary to dedicate all your focus and energy during 2016 on answering one important question.
“What is your question?” was Jonathan's question to us.
The limit-busting intention behind this generous prompt is exactly the kind of thing that would thrill and delight my leatherback sea turtle spirit guide, Aitkanti. Aitkanti means “8 sides” in Creole, the hodgepodge, street tongue of my native Suriname, and refers to the 7 ridges that divide her back in 8 streamlined wedges. In my alternate shamanic universe, however, the 8 refers to infinity or unlimited ∞ possibilities. 7 is a sacred number portal, unifying the above, below, and sacred 4 directions in its center, and is often linked to the Pleiades, the 7 cosmic sisters, a cluster of stars that’s recognized and revered as an ancestral guiding force by people from both ancient and modern civilizations across the globe.
But I’m derailing, in typical Aitkanti fashion. The question that Aitkanti immediately started to answer and that only made sense to me after a week of dreamlike, waking journeys is the following: What do I need to do to fully embody and integrate Aitkanti's expansive teachings and how can they be applied to heal the world?
During the course of this week, I didn't really understand what was happening and struggled to find my footing and usual ground. She took me on highly illuminating dives that went much deeper, longer, and farther out into her dark mystical realms than I’ve ever ventured (that I felt strongly compelled to partake in just to feel better and more balanced). As a result, we scouted the entire perimeter of my soul, and camped out where my true potential, my calling, and her bold vision for our planet’s future meet. A regular deep sea diver, literally and figuratively, I was certain that I'd been surfing through life at my furthest edge.
It was a revelation to discover how much more ground, or more accurately, deep dark sea, I could traverse when she and Jonathan removed the money-related glass ceiling and walls that had limited my scope of possibility.
Along this rather arduous journey, Aitkanti "insisted" that I describe how she guides me from the inside out and bottom up, especially in the beginning. Only after passing this obstacle course, was I spoiled with a top down perspective and spectacular views of her mysterious underwater wonderland. Anything else I tried (using just pure vision disconnected from body sensations) fell flat.
No one I know of has ever written about the extraordinary marvels and divine feminine powers of my critically endangered, magical guide from a shamanic perspective. She is Crow and Coyote in marine form, a trickster and two-spirited shape-shifter in the purest sense. Her physical sex is determined by egg incubation temperature, and her survival highly dependent on our ability to get our global warming/environmental act together in the next decade or two.
Whatever we do to our oceans leaves an imprint on her, making her the spokes-species of the health and dignity of our oceans, our earth, and our integral existence, according to Todd Jones, marine biologist and leatherback specialist. Translated into shamanic terms: she's carrying the damaged shadow of our unconscious and thwarted potential and power, and we are in desperate need of a global leatherback soul retrieval in service of our collective human awakening and wholeness, our planet's future, and all sentient beings.
Conservation efforts are extremely challenging due to her wild, untameable, powerful, and free-spirited nature (the reason why you never see her in a zoo tank. More on this later) and her boundless, dark habitat. For this reason, not much is known about male Aitkantis. After hatching, they disappear in the vast mysterious unknown and never set foot on land again.
Suffice to say, Aitkanti is a devoted keeper of sacred law, and the most elusive magician of the deep blue. Or actually, the deep black. Shaman means “seer in the dark,” which she enjoys doing upto 50 times a day, diving deeper into the ocean’s abyss (unto 1,200 meters or 4,000 feet, gasp!) than all other sea turtles and the majority of marine mammals — dolphins, and most sharks and whales, including the blue whale, the largest animal that has ever inhabited the earth.
Did I mention that her ancestors roamed the earth alongside dinosaurs about
110 -245 million years ago? Her physiology has not changed much at all since entering our oceans some 110 million years ago. Her lungs still breathe the same air that we do, yet she can withstand 200,000 lbs of pressure in 2 C degree waters. Yeah, you read that right. Our ribs and bones would probably snap at about third of that depth. She is a mind-blowing living miracle and her impeccable intuition and utterly unique boundary-crossing physiology defy all conventional taxonomy and norms.
There exists a presence in the ocean, seldom glimpsed in waking hours, best envisioned in your dreams. While you drift in sleep, turtles ride the curve of the deep, seeking their inspiration from the sky. From tranquil tropic bays or nightmare maelstroms hissing foam, they come unseen to share our air. Each sharp inhalation affirms, “Life yet endures.” Each sharp exhalation affirms, “Life will continue.” With each breath they declare to the stars and wild silence. By night and by light, sea turtles glide always, their parallel universe strangely alien, yet intertwining with ours. Riding the churning ocean’s turning tides and resisting no urge, they move, motivated neither by longing nor love nor reason, but tuned by a wisdom more ancient - so perhaps more trustworthy - than thought.
Carl's description may explain why, after many false starts, tiptoeing, hopping, skipping, napping, dreaming, and dancing around Jonathan's prompt, I was convinced that I wasn’t the right person to articulate Aitkanti’s extraordinarily divine existence and powers. I just ended up twisting myself over and over again into a knot, not so much tripped up by notions of conventional success or failure, but by my own high standards of wanting to do her justice. The task felt like trying to capture the magnificence of the Grand Canyon or the Niagara Falls with a polaroid camera. The results futile, trite, cheap.
Jonathan’s brilliant no-limits prompt hit me like a curveball and went straight for my vulnerable underbelly. It felt as if the Universe was poking and messing around with my authentic, intuitive self on purpose. Why? To give me incentive to spill my guts and lay out the inner workings of my body’s intuitive control center.
My rational mind would never have attempted to describe what went on in there without this strong nudge (ok, it was more like a push over the edge of a cliff). This would seem as implausible, ambitious, and ludicrous of a request as asking me to track a breath of oxygen from my nostrils into my esophagus, trachea, lungs, bloodstream, muscles, and organs, and describe its autonomic transmutation and transportation processes as carbon-dioxide until expelled back out of my nose.
But here goes. The first unruly sensations actually started the day before Jonathan’s prompt was sent out. Fellow quester and shamanic healer, Lora Jansson, had beautifully explained the sacred guidance that a triad of animal guides, including Bear, her primary guide, had offered her. She asked me in her comment section what it was like to be married to Sea turtle.
In a matter of seconds, very strong pangs pulsed throughout my heart chakra followed by big waves of tears welling to the surface. Aitkanti was honored that she’d asked, and to my surprise, popped out in the wide open like a Jack-out-of-a-box. She was hungry for greater visibility, and there was no way I’d be able to stuff her back down, nor wanted to, after she'd slipped out. I replied to Lora that I’d have to weave my response into a longer blog piece because she wouldn't let me bring my short answer to a close.
Sure enough, by the next day, the energy had snowballed into a monstrous whirlwind somewhere in its own wordless universe, and the intense parallel feelings that it was awakening in my body had evolved into a churning ache, reminding me of an industrial-sized caramel machine, folding and turning coagulated and stagnant energy in my shoulders and back. I could not control nor release these sensations, even though I’m quite skilled and usually pretty effective in clearing my body, heart, and mind with a quick word purge, meditation, journeying, breathing, mindfulness meditation, bikram yoga, vigorous activity, a jacuzzi soak, and/or my massage chair. Nothing worked.
All this inner turmoil created lactic acid that was gnawing underneath my wing stubs below my shoulders as if it were flesh eating bacteria. A nauseous, fluttery, split feeling in my core — the kind that you get when unable to sleep all night, or that you welcome even at 3 am as you embark on that magical trip that you’ve been planning for months — had hijacked my body. Only it was midday. And I had just returned from that magical trip to the Big Island of Hawaii.
Petroglyph messages from ancient Hawaiians that spoke to me (end of Nov, 2015)
As much as I disliked slowing these uncomfortable processes down to a snail pace, it helped me to capture what I mean with "my body’s intuitive wisdom." Jung refers to this type of embodied awareness of awareness as the “exteriorization catalytic phenomenon,” which basically means being able to read body signals as psychic alerts or parallel signs of "synchronistic" guidance while or before the serendipitous event. Throughout my visit to Hawaii, the sacred feminine, the next generation, and Sea turtle kept appearing and I was aware that these symbols were speaking to my soul.
I sat, rode and wrote through similar body sensations and realized that Aitkanti wasn't asking me to embrace and accept what was trying to surface. I needed to dive down with her to explore it, which finally created a new opening and direction that I could move into. I learned that Aitkanti not only interweaves and infuses the powerful compassionate energies of the upper and lower shamanic worlds into our tangible, imperfect, and contaminated 3 D middle world. She seamlessly merges and integrates all of these realms into her body and was showing me that I could do the same.
It was possible for me, and all of us humans, to do the same: by shrinking and surrendering our minds and grandiose selves into a drop of water and releasing it into the ocean. After I stopped resisting and relaxed into her guidance, I was rewarded with a new and improved version of my shamanic vision.
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of Aitkanti soaring through the water like an eagle in the high winds, feasting on my newborn insights and awareness as if they were delicious bioluminescent jelly-fish. Without a care in the world, her one-track mind flashed me a simple timeless answer to Jonathan’s prompt -- her sleek body following a spiral trail of ethereal, free-flowing jelly-fish dots glowing against the backdrop of the darkest sea. It looked like a pitch-black night sky, the kind where even the most distant stars are clearly discernible. They may already have exploded millions of light years ago by the time their light reached my retina, but that didn't matter.
In this mysterious, timeless void, not only life and death, but all opposites lose their polarizing character, and even normally undetectable bioluminescence of human beings become bright and visible.
My long and strong flipper wings were able to release the dull but intolerable pain behind my shoulder blades after I’d swum and soared in ecstacy next to Aitkanti. An extra vigorous push allowed me to enter her sacred flow, which felt like a mighty river rapid. She tilted her head for me to follow, then nose dove straight down to another deeper and even darker realm where she feasted on an abundance of rare and wondrous gelatin beauties, bioluminescent pyrosomes, colonies of zooids that clump and stay and move together as a whole. They communicate with each other with flickering lights, creating a gorgeous underwater cascade of fireworks.
These big hollow tubes that look like worms with a hole on one end (hmm wormholes?) can become as big as 60 feet and must be the most terrifying thing to encounter by an uninformed diver, even though they are harmless, other than possibly trapping you inside. In a recent dream about a week ago, Aitkanti may have shown me what it was like to swim in one of these wormholes, mysterious stargates or portals between dimensions. I was swimming in the deep ocean, going deeper and deeper into a promising, spiraling abyss with an unfamiliar fearlessness, trust, and curiosity that was exhilarating.
She may also have given me a taste of the insatiable wanderlust that she’s known for and that propelled her to explore all corners of our planet and beyond, which according to Carl Safina, includes our dreams. Even though she doesn’t cross oceans, she can be found as far south of Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, and as far north as Alaska. She is arguably the most widely distributed animal in the world and able to swim 12,000 miles on a single solitary journey at speeds of upto 22 miles per hour at her signature steady pace, inhabiting every single ocean of the planet except for the Arctic and Antarctic.
Suriname and the French Guianas - 40% of all leatherback nesting areas worldwide
In the meantime, the next Quest prompt, What advice would your future self a year from now offer you today? arrived in my inbox. It was provided by creative ingenuity visionary, Tina Seelig, director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. I couldn’t imagine a better future self advisor than Aitkanti. Her simple advice, if put into words, would be: stay on a non-dualistic, mystical path, nourish yourself on a diet of natural light and beauty that reflect your joyful wholeness, and surround yourself with wormholes that allow you to gracefully glide from one dimension to another. If there was such a thing as a “shaman’s diet,” this would be it.
David Lee, the Director of Tortoise Reserve, former researcher at the Florida State Museum, and author of about 400 scientific and technical articles about sea turtles and many other animal species, might get a kick out of the shamanic multidimensional spin that I’ve put on pyrosomes, the deep sea's mysterious wormholes. He had this to say about the leatherback, which, oh yeah, is also the only reptile alive that makes all sorts of sounds, is fast-growing, and highly active throughout the day and night. It may explain why my body spontaenously prefers 3-4 hours of super deep sleep over 7-8 hours without any caffeine or artificial stimulants during these intensely creative and mysterious periods.
Spontaneous creation would clearly be the easiest explanation for this reptilian oddity. This turtle may be our best evidence yet for the existence of aliens. Perhaps leatherbacks are ancestors of unwanted pets dumped off on Earth eons ago by space visitors who grew tired of the turtle’s constant moaning and whistling.
Leatherbacks are not just modern-day unicorns. They are unicorns with wings and highly specialized brains with built-in GPS systems. The unpigmented spot on their head right over their pineal gland, which Descarte referred to as the seat of our soul, works like a third-eye sun-roof, allowing them to detect light from the sun, moon, and stars to determine the length of the day and the seasons to guide their navigational decisions.
They also have magnetite crystals in their brains that allow them to pick up electromagnetic pulses and maintain a sense of earth’s north and south poles at all times, integrating information from the cosmos, earth, and the deep sea like some sort of futuristic multidimensional GPS device. Only it's one of the most ancient, impressive, and mysterious navigational systems in our current world, and it's 100% nature-made.
Aitkanti is signaling to me that she senses and smells our native home, the sacred lands and 200 miles of untouched beaches in Suriname, where she chased the glistening foamy waves, lit up by no other light except the reflections of the dim moon on the ocean. She has returned very 2-3 years to that same stretch of beach where she was born to lay about 100 eggs in 4-8 batches, shiny pearls of wisdom gathered from the bottom of the pitch-black deep sea and brought to the edge where the sea, earth, and spiritual dimensions kiss and frolic all day. Over the last two decades, I’ve done the same, gathering and stringing pearls of wisdom on a shimmery strand until the sacred story line of my book lit up.
Aitkanti showed me that her great exertion and belaboring before picking the perfect beach resembles my creative process as described above, and is a necessary part of the process. She sometimes climbs on, scrutinizes, and rejects a few beaches before choosing the ideal one where the slope, moisture, and length meet her high standards. Only then is she willing to entrust Mother Earth’s sandy warm womb with her offspring, a very risky decision in today’s imbalanced world, especially along the Pacific coasts of Asia where thousands of nests and turtles at rates of 98% have been obliterated in just a decade (Source: WWF, critically endangered species, priority list).
After digging a good size nest, she slowly and patiently seeds mother earth’s womb one white golfball-size egg after another, remaining in trance throughout, completely unperturbed by what’s happening around her. I join her in her creative bliss, salty tears from the deep dive clearing out of our tear ducts and body, and enhancing our electrical conductivity and unique bond. There are few other animals beside us who shed tears. My human mind would normally want to attribute loss, sadness and grief to these sensations, but here in her timeless presence, it dawns on me in a brandnew way that these feelings are the result of awareness - precious soul jewels and gifts - being activated and returned, not taken away.
When she’s all done, she’ll abandon her eggs and return to her tireless, unwavering pursuit of beauty and light. But don’t call her cold-blooded and accuse her of not caring for her offspring, because you're thinking "reptilian brain". Her unbroken matrilineal bond with Mother Earth, the sea, the stars, and the moon, generation after generation, for eons is very palpable. Each wave gently rocks and caresses the earth near her nest and her babies with unconditional oceanic love that will instinctively be passed along and activated in her young by getting out of their way and letting go. And believe it or not, she is warm-blooded. Actually, warm-hearted. She is the only and the largest reptile in the world that is warm-blooded thanks to her thick fatty layers, anti-freeze oils around her body and flippers, and special insulation around her arteries and air-pipes so that when her blood reaches her heart, it’s a toasty 80 degrees F, even in ice cold waters.
She is the poster species of fierce compassion and ultimate trust in wholeness and the universe. Some of my clients have spontaneously sensed her reserved, behind-the-scenes guidance and inconspicuous presence, like an invisible and powerful undercurrent, even when meeting and receiving guidance from their own land dwelling or air-borne animal guides in a journey. They say that working with me feels like entering into vast, sink-or-swim, oceanic space, which can be discombobulating and frightening at first.
But they also sense a mysterious safety net and deep trust that their intuitive instincts will kick in. And eventually, after some initial practice and sometimes floundering, they do find their way through the vast ocean, just like new hatchlings.
Aitkanti's total surrender to all of life and her resolute equinimity, regardless of outcome, don't budge or bend an inch, even when held in captivity. While orcas and other marine mammals have sadly been held in captivity in small tanks, you will never see a leatherback at a zoo or park because she will consistently, all day and night, ram into the walls. Artificial barriers and lights pose the biggest threats to her survival. If she’s not freed from a tank, she will end up with skin lesions and eventually die unless strapped in special protective gear. Her foolish stubbornness may seem radical, extreme, and self-destructive, but her sacrifice and insistence to remain vulnerable have secured the rest of her species their freedom.
That is, if we can hear her message and turn her dire fate around. Toothless, clawless, and covered by a soft-shell that will bleed when scratched, she primarily feeds on jelly fish, never needing to engage in a single fight her entire life. Even at a massive size of 1,000-1,500 lbs and about 7ft (largest found and measured weighed about 2,000 lbs and was 9 feet long), children, mine when just 7 and 11 years, can observe and imprint upon these majestic creatures up-close while they impregnate our planet with their magic.
I look at my nest, and see that I've laid a motherlode of eggs, the culmination of and common denominator beneath all the wisdom I’ve gathered over my life-time, the stream-lined magnum opus of my brand, book, blog, and business as a result of her guidance. If I could chose the moment of my death, this would be as good as any. According to Aitkanti, I did die and am being rebirthed. This is my new beginning, and there a lot for me to do to help spread her message. Our collective lost soul is currently as endangered as her species, symbolizing our alarming and dwindling lack of appreciation for the Great Mystery of life. The plummeting numbers of her species offers the most compelling evidence that no previous natural catastrophe nor dramatic climate change in the past 110, yes MILLION, years have done as much damage as we humans have managed to do to leatherbacks in just a decade with our man-made hazards -- floating plastic, fishing nets, global warming, poaching, hunting, habitat encroaching, pollution, and the like.
Her elaborate global campaign, which was downloaded into my brain in an instant flash, will unfold in 2016 and beyond. It involves finishing my memoir to help activate a deeper layer of Aitkanti consciousness in our collective soul through my personal story and by educating others about this implausible and mythical “walking fossil” with the help of sea turtle conservationists at Galibi and world-wide. Empowering Surinamese children and adults living in Galibi, in the capital, and across the globe, and showing them that Surinamese culture is full of Aitkanti, one-of-a-kind holistic magic and limitless possibility, will strengthen their intuitive connection to her powerful guidance and to our native land.
For instance, Suriname is one of the few places in the world where a mosque and a synogogue have shared the same parking lot and land, harmoniously and with mutual respect, for several decades. My chapter, My First Communion, describes another one of these uncommon scenarios -- a Maroon earth-healing trance dance being held at my Catholic grade school. A sense of pride in their heritage will give them renewed direction to withstand artificial lights and barriers that are not holistic, and gather strength from our long(er) and very impressive history of cultural unity, capable of trumping political and ethnic divisiveness and injustices, when moving forward.
The indigenous Caribs from Galibi, whose fierce ancestors motivated colonists and explorers to name the South American coastal region the Caribbean and the Amazon (watch the book trailer for Amazon Wisdom Keeper for more on this), have been instrumental in protecting and honoring the largest population of female leatherback sea turtles in the world. They have lived for centuries in harmony with nature and the turtles. Their indigeous conservation efforts and award-winning ecotours offered by Galibi Tours, their village captain Wijnberg and the community, are top-notch and world-class.
According to Elizabeth Brown, researcher at the Safina Center, leatherback turtle
populations have increased tenfold in Suriname, which has a 200 mile long, pristine, undeveloped beach on the northern coast. Trinidad has also made an unfathomable come-back in recent years, thanks to the dedicated work of native Trinidadian, Crazy Turtle Woman, Suzanne Lakhan Baptiste, who along with fellow Nature Seekers, turned 5 miles of beach -- which looked like a bloody leatherback slaughterhouse and graveyard straight out of a horror movie throughout her youth -- into a sacred and safe nesting and hatching haven, as well as a source of sustainable income through ecotourism for her family, community, and the rest of her country. She has fought for decades to prove that saving leatherbacks turns them into a turtle treasure that will heal a nation's soul as well as struggling economy. Suzanne's compelling message and overwhelming evidence is powerful enough to inspire countries like Papua, Malaysia, and Melanasia in the Pacific south, where leatherbacks are on the brink of extinction, to follow in Trinidad's footsteps.
California honored the leatherback sea turtle as its official marine reptile in October, 2012, and could also become an important ambassador to catalyze Aitkanti’s spiritual plight and power to heal people, land, oceans, and communities across the globe where her presence is most endangered and in need of restoration. Documentaries, school campaigns, eco-tours, talks, spiritual retreats, collaboration with other conservationists, and girl-rising and empowering organizations across the globe were some of the places and groups that Aitkanti lit up like a constellation of stars, as if showing me how to look at the dark world through her third eye.
I hope that a concentrated, world-wide effort will further illuminate Aitkanti’s ancient perspectives and solutions to our modern-day crises by boosting our intuitive understanding of paradox, sacred feminine cycles, and embodied Oneness consciousness. Especially wounded healers, artists, sensitives, intuitives, wisdom keepers, and the new generation of children sometimes seem to be, just like her, a fluke of nature, because of their ability to remain in their own sacred stream in spite of harmful patterns running through their ancestry, their families, villages, communities, and/or countries. Or because of their ability to do the impossible.
Here are some of the Aitkanti power-filled beacons that instantly bleeped on my radar, lighting up the torches of everyone around them. We can too:
Ocean life lover, Laura Dekker, fought a bitter battle with Dutch authorities for the right to solo circumnavigate the world in her sail boat at 14, a journey she completed in 2012. She documented her incredibly inspiring journey as the world's youngest solo navigator in the award winning film, Maidentrip.
12 year old Eunice Akoth from Kibera, Nairobi's urban slum, recites her powerful tear-jerking poem, My Dream, to the Women of the World, and explains how she supports and inspires her friends to get an education.
Google science fair winner, 16 year Olivia Hallisey from Connecticut, discovered a cost-effective test to detect Ebola. Her comments, "Nothing exists in isolation. What affects one country affects everyone. We have to work together to find answers to the enormous challenges that threaten global health, our environment and our world."
HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality, led by Emma Watson (Harry Potter's Hermione Granger), that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all.
Tree Sisters is a women's organisation growing a global network of TreeSisters to help crowd fund rapid tropical reforestation. They are doing it in ways that honour the value and uniqueness of *woman* in our world - cultivating feminine nature-based intelligence and leadership on behalf of our ecology and future generations.
"A turning point for the world" Dec 12, 2015 - Signing of the Global Climate Change Pact - leaders from 196 countries had been negotiating the pact for four years after earlier attempts to reach such a deal failed. Loud applause shook the large Paris conference hall after French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius gaveled final approval of the agreement. Some delegates started crying. Others embraced. "Together we've shown what's possible when the world stands as one." President Obama.
Aitkanti makes it clear that there are no accidents. My birthplace, leaving Suriname at age 13, my studies, my struggles, my current endeavors, the circles and communities that I am a part of, my book, my calling. All of it was on purpose.
It took a week of uninterrupted, Aitkanti-guided dreaming (despite being in the world in other capacities) to gather up all the information and my insights into this long, stream-of-consciousness blog piece. It came as no surprise that creativity expert, Scott Kaufman of the Imagination Institute entered the Quest scene today to help me to bring my journey to a beautiful close with his prompt: What recurring daydream for 2016 inspires you to do business as unusual like never before?
The answer is dangling right in front of my nose. Although the notion of unlimited resources helped me to go to town and see my dreams in concrete, manifested form, the journey in getting there in due time is just as glorious and needed for my transformation. And while I quest and manifest what I'm ready for, I will continue to daydream, nightdream, walk dream, and trance dream of awakening every single person's inner shaman or inner Aitkanti . . . who is of the world, but not in it . . . or actually, who is of the world and also completely and fully in the world -- a world that she defines according to her own holistic and multidimensional terms.
By embracing and learning to embody Aitkanti’s mythical and healing powers, I envision us tickling and activating the light in others like a huge pyrosome, getting swept up in Aitkanti’s lore and dreams in service of all sentient beings, Mother Earth, and the cosmos until we’ve elevated our human race and the planet to a much needed level of higher consciousness, and our children can enter a new era of peace, wholeness, and abundant wildlife.
I am Loraine Van Tuyl, PhD, CHT, holistic psychologist, spiritual teacher, shamanic healer at the Sacred Healing Well, and ordained minister and space clearing society coordinator at the Foundation of the Sacred Stream in Berkeley, CA. I've also been the co-leader of BRASA, the Bay Area Surinamese Association, coordinating cultural and literary events for the past twenty years. I love helping wisdom keepers, seekers, healers, and teachers rediscover their self-healing potential and carve out their sacred dream paths in service of the greater good. My greatest love, however, is traveling to places where ancient culture and history, sand, sea, and surf meet. My book, Amazon Wisdom Keeper: A Psychologist's Memoir of Spiritual Awakening, will be released in 2017.
Leatherback nesting haven, French Guiana, Aug 2011
A recent visit by a pod of about 50 dolphins with babies (youtube)while swimming in the open sea has topped any wildlife adventure I've been on so far. Dolphins played a key role during my initiation as a shamanic healer 13 years ago. Honaunau Bay, Big Island, Hawaii, Nov 2015
Last year's deep dive with Aitkanti's cousin during the 2015 Quest, Cancun, Mexico, Dec, 2014