a Wing and a Prayer - Following Faith, Intuition, &
Debbie Takara Shelor
now and then a person needs to go on pilgrimage. Mine
tend to be some sort of car excursion. But that certainly
isnt the only pilgrimage possible. Of course when
you start out on a journey, you dont necessarily
know that you are going on a pilgrimage. If you are headed
for some sacred site or something, then that is obviously
your intention. But other times, you are on it before
you even realize it.
A pilgrimage is a truly empowering and
life defining moment or set of circumstances. It is what
the knights used to go on and they always ended up having
to slay dragons in order to continue. Modern day dragons
are always cloaked in the most unusual outfits. And often
your pilgrimage is well underway before you even realize
that is what is happening.
But a pilgrimage is always about the journey
and who you become in the process. And in that regard,
all of life is a pilgrimage of sorts. Heroes are those
who face challenges and look into the depths of their
being and find a skill, a gift, a place of inner peace
that they never knew existed. In the face of adversity,
they not only survive, but they actually thrive. And we
are all given numerous opportunities to prove ourselves
that sort of hero.
I ended up on a pilgrimage with a friend
a few years ago. A 10-day journey from Santa Fe, New Mexico
to Mt. Shasta, California, to Ashland, Oregon, to Gold
Beach, Oregon, through Arizona and finally arriving back
in Santa Fe an entirely transformed individual. It seemed
like a million different things happened. There were enough
stories to fill a book and perhaps one day it will be
written. We had to deal with wind and rain and air mattresses
that collapsed. We found out after driving all day that
the road we were on was washed out up ahead and it would
be 5 more hours of driving to arrive at our hotel. Something
seemed majorly wrong with our vehicle and every time we
got it above 45 miles per hour and hit the slightest pump
in the road, the steering wheel began to shake and then
the entire vehicle. And then there were all the esoteric
and other worldly adventures sprinkled in just for fun.
It was definitely an adventure and we were being called
upon to overcome obstacles and reach deep within. While
we were in Arizona, a friend channeled that we were on
a pilgrimage. We had gotten on our trusty stead and headed
out into the desert to find ourselves. It helped us to
One weekend I undertook another such adventure.
I thought I was going to the International New Age Trade
Show (INATS) in Denver. I thought the purpose was to finally
get to meet my phone and email friend of 10 years, Virginia
Brown, President of the BioElectric
Shield Company. And to get a weekend off from being
a wife and mom, hang out with the girls, get to hear Wayne
Dyer, meet Doreen Virtue, Dan Millman, and numerous other
well-known authors and musicians, and have a great time. I
had no idea I was setting out on a pilgrimage.
On Friday, I was heading north on I-25
and just as I was coming into Colorado Springs my car
just quit. I was doing over 70 miles an hour and the engine
just stopped. It was brutally hot and a thunder storm
was happening up ahead. Oh no. I could see an exit just
ahead and I began packing a few things to take with me
as I hiked to the exit and then I thought I should at
least try the engine again. I was able to get it going
with very little power. It got me to the exit and
off the ramp and then died again at the bottom. Aah yeah
yeah. When it died the oil light came on, so I thought
it was out of oil a very bad thing for an engine.
Then I remembered that Raven had checked all the fluids
before I left. I know he would have checked the oil. Oh
well, it was all I had to go on.
I was supposed to be at the airport in
Denver in an hour to pick up Virginia and obviously I
wasnt going to make it. Now the truly unusual thing
is that two of my friends that were originally going up
on Saturday, at the last minute had to go up on Thursday.
So they were already there. I was able to get one of them
by phone and asked if they would rescue Virginia at the
airport since I wasnt going to make it.
All I could do was follow my intuition.
I looked across the street from where I was parked and
saw a store with driving lawn mowers little tractors.
I thought, wow, they will have oil. So I walked across
the street in the pouring rain. As I got closer, I realized
I was looking at the back of the store and there was an
electrical fence. So I would have to go down the street,
take a left, and turn into whatever this industrial area
was to make my way back to the place Id seen from
behind. Along this journey I came across an auto repair
place. Even more amazing is that it was a Friday afternoon
and they had time to work on my car. We were able to get
the car up to the shop and then for the next two and a
half hours they ran the engine trying to get it to quit.
And it wouldnt.
I believe every moment of every day has
significance. So I was searching for the meaning behind
this series of events. The mechanic started asking me
questions about what Id be doing in Denver and I
began sharing about helping people with their personal
and spiritual growth. I said that our company did some
shamanic things and he asked me what tribe I affiliated
myself with. I laughed and said The Dolphin Tribe. And
then I explained that my husband (former) is native and
does most of the earth based spirituality stuff and I
work in a more esoteric fashion and receive insight through
meditation. It turns out that he is half Cherokee and
has felt disconnected from his heritage. Was that the
reason I was there? Ill probably never know.
A new car part and $125.00 later I was
back on the road. I missed the opening reception for INATS
but met up with Virginia and my friends later and we shared
a meal. I went on to have a completely grand and wonderful
weekend. We drove all over Denver on various errands.
The car ran fine.
I returned Virginia to the airport on
Sunday and was heading out of Denver when the car died
again. No way! I was tired. I had a long drive ahead of
me. It was really hot. And now what?
We have friends that live on the south
side of Denver so I called and asked for a rescue. We
got the car to a local service center who said they could
run a full diagnostic in the morning.
As I review the events, I realize that
the whole thing was about surrender, following intuition,
letting go of preconceived plans, expectations, and flowing
with the magic each moment had to bring.
I got to enjoy their hot tub and then
had a life changing conversation. One of the friends I
stayed with channels Simon, the fisherman who walked with
Jesus. We were discussing an issue that has been perplexing
Raven and I and also these friends. As we discussed what
had been happening, laughing at the similarity of events,
Simon came through to talk to us. It has been about two
years since Ive had a conversation with Simon. It
was wonderful. He explained the dynamics of the issue
and what we could do to make it work more for us.
And then the conversation switched to
something I have been personally working on for the past
two years. I have been struggling with what Ive
come to call the Jesus Myth. Who was he? What was the
truth of him? What is fact and what is fiction? What is
his relationship to me? Was he married? Did he travel
to places throughout the world and go through countless
initiations? Did he have children? Did he continue on
for numerous years? Did the family flea to France? Did
he ascend? Did he even exist at all? The words they claim
he spoke have great meaning for me. But Ive struggled
with why he had to be tortured and killed. I dont
believe Original Source Creator to be the vengeful, vindictive,
manipulative, judgmental male deity described in the Old
Testament. The need for human sacrifice and Jesus being
the only begotten son of God has never worked
for me. The God I know is loving and even Jesus said something
about we are all precious and no one can harm the hair
on the head of something. Yet he became this sacrificial
I have talked with Jesus and felt his
presence since I was a small child. I have had visions
of walking with him during his time. I saw myself as a
small child and it seemed that he treated me like an older
brother would. Whether he was actually my older brother,
or just spoke to all the children that way, I have no
My questions lead to more questions which
lead to more confusion to the point that I had no idea
who or what Jesus was and what he represented to me. This
left a giant hole inside. And recently I received an email
from someone who read my cover story in Maine Well Being.
I guess I mentioned Jesus because he asked me why none
of the other metaphysical writers mention Jesus. So I
sat with the question and was once again faced with my
own lack of certainty.
And then Simon said something and this
spark ignited within me. And then Simon suggested that
I search my own heart and remember the truth of who Jesus
is. I was overcome with so much love I could hardly contain
it. The freedom from so much confusion was euphoric. The
details don't matter. We will never know exactly what
happened 2000 years ago and why. What matters is that
Jesus is love. He is available to us when we ask. And
I am delighted to once again call him a dear friend.
Is that why my car broke down?
The next day I sat at the car repair place
for 4 hours as they did every diagnostic in the book and
could find nothing wrong with my car. So I set off on
the next leg of my adventure.
The car died again just before I reached
Walsenburg. I surrendered. I gave up. I turned it all
over to the Universe. I could do nothing to make the car
work or not work. It was out of my hands. And in that
moment I understood peace to the core of me. I actually
didn't care whether the car worked or didn't work. It
didn't matter. It wasn't significant. I knew I would eventually
get home, some how, some way. But I had no idea how and
that was alright.
The previous 2 experiences with the car
let me know that if I let it sit, it would start up again.
So I let it sit for a little while and then started it
up, drove it over a hill and stopped under a bridge. So
now it could be in the shade and do whatever it needed
to do to prepare for the rest of the journey. I opened
up the trunk and picked out one of the new books I'd picked
up at INATS, sat in the back seat, and read for 20 minutes.
This car is new to altitude. It had spent
its entire life in Virginia and now it was living with
us at 7000 ft. above sea level. The computer on board
was supposed to automatically adjust the timing for the
difference in oxygen available. But my sense is that it
didn't do that. So as I started up the car I envisioned
it surrounded by a cloud that contained higher levels
I thought about what it could use to get
us home and I began envisioning various things coming
up under the car, lifting it up and propelling us forward.
I began with a dragon and saw it fly up under and begin
to fly me and the car home. I sensed the wings and the
feeling of flight. I then switched that image to a manta
ray. Wow, what an amazing feeling that was. It was so
fluid and graceful. It felt great. Then I remembered what
Simon had said the previous evening.
At the show there was a woman selling
a deck of cards related to horses and horse energy. I
picked a card and read the insight it offered. I mentioned
the card to my friends. Later, when Simon began to speak,
he made a direct reference to that energy and advised
me to add wings to the horse and offered new information
about this horse work I had begun. So I switched from
the manta ray into the winged horse, Pegasus. I can't
even describe how fantastic I began to feel.
I literally felt the head moving back
and forth as the horse ran, the hooves gently caressing
the road as they touched, the wings moving up and down
with great power. It was as if Pegasus, myself, and the
car had become one. Every time I went up a hill I would
rock my upper torso back and forth like the head of the
horse moving back and forth with it's stride, I could
feel the legs running beneath me and the wings propelling
us forward. I became euphoric.
There are two sensations I love more than
any other. The first is becoming a dolphin speeding through
open water, gliding, turning, with ease and grace. The
other is the feeling of being a horse running at full
speed through an endless open field. Now I had added wings
so I wasn't even confined by the earth and I felt absolute
and total freedom. It was exhilerating.
It took me 11 hours to get home, not including
the extra 4 spent at the car repair place that morning.
Under normal circumstances it would have taken 6 hours.
I took it easy on the car and on the hills. I had no more
problems with the car. I returned home in complete bliss
- exhilerated by the experience.
A lot of people would have had an entirely
difference experience under similar circumstances. They
might have become horribly upset, angry, depressed, or
who knows what else. But I realized I was on a pilgrimage
whether I consciously signed up for it or not. So I made
the best of it. I came out feeling like a hero that had
attained an entirely new way of being.
When you are faced with a challenge I
encourage you to look at it as the pilgrimage it could
be for you.
I offer you blessings on your journey,
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