360. Animal Power: Discover the Shamanic Gifts & Guidance of the Animal Kingdom w/ Alyson Charles

Alyson Charles

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Shaman and best-selling author, Alyson Charles, reveals the emotional process of creating her first book, Animal Power and teaches us how to connect with our animal allies to expand our life’s purpose.

Internationally renowned shaman, best-selling author, and host of Ceremony Circle podcast, Alyson Charles, went from being a national champion athlete, top-rated radio host, and national daytime television talk show host, to aligning with her calling as a shaman after a traumatic moment provided her awakening. 

Since then, her ability to share ancient, sacred wisdom, divine energy, and be a powerful catalyst for change ignited a global phenomenon. Forbes has called her both “a leading shaman for expanding others into their full gifts and power” and “a full-fledged guide into your psyche,” Oprah Magazine named Alyson’s guided shamanic journey "a top meditation to try," Huffington Post championed her as “a top limit-breaking female founder,” Dazed Magazine named her “one of the top seven wellness accounts on Instagram,” and Marie Claire Magazine selected her for a cover story, calling her "the next big thing." 

Alyson devotes her life to living by the calls and directives of Source, spiritual immersions and expansions, and preserving ancient wisdom practices and traditions, while simultaneously honoring the precise way her Earth mission is to work in these modern times.

Alyson’s shamanic medicine and calling works directly with the wisdoms of Great Mother Earth and Great Spirit/Source (where the name she was instructed to use, Rock-Star Shaman, comes from), honoring the sacred truths of our planet, and supporting the preservation of cultures and rituals (from astral and Earth) that unite humans more deeply with their divine power within, oneness with all that is, our planet, and the unseen realms.

Alyson is often called on to share these teachings and transmission to very large audiences, through various media channels and to the mainstream, in powerfully creative ways. This allows the energies to go to places that perhaps need it the most. She has been a leading pioneer in this work, taking it to places it has never been before.

Alyson’s best-selling book, Animal Power, is available now, she was resident guru for "Best Health Site" Well and Good for many years, where she provided a monthly power animal + energy forecast, she made history by becoming the first person to ever perform onstage in the 25-year-history of the HBO Film Festival (where she guided a shamanic journey for over 10,000 people), spoke and performed live power animal readings at POPSUGAR Play/Ground (the world’s largest ever female-led festival with over 15,000 attendees), was meditation guide for the world's premier art show, Art Basel, shared tips and journeys on Amazon's award-winning technology, Alexa and Google Home, and regularly partners with and speaks at renowned global brands including The New York Times, National Geographic, Forbes, SAKS, ABC Radio, ELLE, SELF, Tory Burch, and others.

Some of Alyson’s most sought-after offerings are her Ceremony Circle Podcast, top online courses on spirituality including the wildly popular and repeatedly sold-out Third Eye Certified, and her conscious relationship teachings, Higher Power Couple, with me. 

Alyson’s Book, Animal Power (published by Chronicle Books), is available now and her Animal Power card deck will be available in Spring of 2022.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Alyson Charles is an internationally renowned shaman and educator, best-selling author, and podcast host of Ceremony Circle. Today she’s here to discuss her new book, Animal Power:100 Animals to Energize Your Life and Awaken Your Soul, that’s been four years (and many lifetimes) in the making. I’m so proud to walk this earth path with such an embodied and evolved being. Today’s conversation elevated my reverence for her as a majestic being who can traverse multiple dimensions and species in a way I have never seen or experienced before. 

Alyson opens up about the exhilarating and exhausting journey of birthing a book in co-creation with the animal kingdom and the 100 contributors (myself included) who each imparted their connection with a specific species. Each animal’s spirit is beautifully brought to life by Willian Santiago – and it happens to be his last visual imprint in this realm. 

We delve into the significance of Alyson’s power animals (which assisted her in her awakening). She shares how you can tap into the powerful teachings of the animal kingdom and unearth the unique messages they’re trying to get through to you. For those who don’t get to witness her at her altar every day, Alyson will close the chat with a live animal calling and reading – a sure-fire way to activate animal energy and bring it into your day, and – hopefully, after tuning in to this episode – your life. 

You can pre-order your copy of Animal Power now by heading to alysoncharles.com/animalpower, where you’ll also be gifted a guided shamanic animal journey and a sneak peek inside the book’s magic. The book will be accompanied by the Animal Power card deck to be released in Spring 2022. 

You can catch Alyson and me as keynote speakers at this year’s Modern Nirvana Conference in Austin, TX, on August 14th, where we’ll be talking about the cosmic codes for divine partnership. 

05:15 — The Premise of Animal Power  

  • The rollercoaster journey of writing a book 
  • Finding clarity and aligning with the right literary team 
  • How a divine animal intervention in Bali diverted her plans
  • The significance of the artwork 

11:44 — Cultivating a Relationship with Animals 

  • How she connects to the other side 
  • The four power animals that saved her life
  • Receiving instructions from the frog 
  • The deer as heart medicine 
  • Learning to let go with the bear as a support system 

29:44 — The Spiritual Nature of Species 

48:41 — The Challenges of Writing a Book as a Shaman

  • The responsibility of being an educator in the shaman space
  • Postpartum exhaustion after birthing a book
  • The power of medicinal names
  • The sacred secrets of shamanism
  • Bridging indigenous traditions with modern society

01:23:57— Pulling Cards & Live Power Animal Reading 

  • The Animal Power card deck (out in Spring 2022)
  • The idea behind pulling cards
  • How her deck empowers your intuition and trust
  • Flowing into your deck
  • Live animal calling and reading

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube.

[00:00:00]Luke Storey:  I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlessly committed to my deepest passion, designing the ultimate lifestyle based on the most powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you. Let's talk about powering animals, Alyson.

[00:00:28]Alyson Charles:  Ok, where would you like to begin? It's a whole big world.

[00:00:32]Luke Storey:  Where I want to begin is the premise of the book.

[00:00:38]Alyson Charles:  Whoa, even that is big. Okay. Well, can I start by sharing where the premise came from?

[00:00:48]Luke Storey:  Yeah, that was one of my questions, too.

[00:00:50]Alyson Charles:  Okay. Because that's what entered in. So, for me, the book writing journey has been a very interesting one, and you, of course, know all about it, but for those joining us today, I've always been a writer. Ever since I was a little kid, a little girl, I've always been a strong writer and had a sense that I would write many books. And then, as I got deeper on my career path, and then when I aligned with my calling, that aspect of things seemed to be getting closer and closer. 

[00:01:20] And then, I started to get approached by different literary agents and publishers when I was living in New York City. And I just think it's important for me to be honest about this process, because I have a lot of friends who are authors, and I don't know, I didn't know that writing a book can be such a journey that brings with it so much. I mean, it's been a very miraculous and blessed, but very harrowing ride for me. 

[00:01:52] And people also didn't tell me that when you get done with the book that you're so exhausted, you can like hardly get out of bed for two months, but that comes later. So, that's why I want to share these parts about my book process and hopes that can be of service for someone else. So, I started taking these meetings, and these meetings went on for a few years. And I just could not get clear on the book.

[00:02:15] And it was really frustrating and very challenging, especially someone who's driven and ambitious, to see all these other people cranking out book two, three, four, fives. These three years are going on and I just am like, I can't seem to get clear on what book number one is. So, that was a struggle and it required a lot of like patience and trust. The next key place for me was finally aligning with the right literary agent team. 

[00:02:43] And I worked with Steve Troha and Annie Hwang, and they felt very aligned for me and they've been incredible throughout the process. And so, in teaming up with them, I started to get clear on what book number one was. Started to write the proposal, started to write the book, and then flew to Bali, a very sacred special place on this planet for me, and it was there, that the power animals came to me, and said, hey, this book you think you're writing, it's a nice enough idea and all, however, we need you to scrap it and it's time to write a guidebook with us.

[00:03:27] So, I live by the calls and the instructions of Divine. I was on board with this, but I needed my agents to be on board. Thankfully, they were. I sent an email, saying, hey, I got a divine download, I need to change directions here, and they said, yes, sounds good. And yeah, the next thing you know, I was fully communing with the power animal world. And it truly is a co-creation.

[00:03:56] I mean, I can honestly say, I personally poured every single drop, an ounce of integrity, and blood, and sweat, and tears, and wisdom, and many lifetimes of energy and wisdom into this book, but I definitely did not do it alone. I definitely, every single day that I was writing, was working with the animal that I was writing about. And as you have seen, but not many others have seen yet, it's also a beautifully illustrated book. So, Animal Power has 100 animals in it, each with an incredible work of art that truly has that animal embodying the healing attributes and teachings that the animal possesses and shares with us. 

[00:04:53] And the artist who did all of that work is, his name is Willian Santiago, and he was from Brazil. And another very unexpected, bizarre, sad, yet beautiful, miraculous aspect of this book writing journey was that Willian passed away right as he was completing the art for Animal Power, and the animals are the last pieces of artwork that he created this lifetime. So, I know there's a lot of different directions we can go from here and I know I didn't share the entire journey, but that's what felt good to come out first.

[00:05:39]Luke Storey:  That's great. It's a great intro. You make "interviewing" someone so easy.

[00:05:45]Alyson Charles:  Okay. Good, because I was going off on a lot of tangents.

[00:05:47]Luke Storey:  I mean, I think because I know you so well, and also, you got the gift of gab, hence your amazing podcast, Ceremony Circle, which I'll give a shoutout to now.

[00:05:57]Alyson Charles:  Thanks.

[00:05:58]Luke Storey:  It's fun watching you do the same things that I do and do them in a different way, especially when you interview a person that I've interviewed or whoever gets to him first, because I'll see your question sometimes on my computer, I'm like, whoa, I never thought of asking that.

[00:06:12]Alyson Charles:  Oh, really?

[00:06:13]Luke Storey:  Yeah. Even just the way you lay out your manuscripts is totally different than mine.

[00:06:16]Alyson Charles:  Oh, funny. Cool.

[00:06:17]Luke Storey:  Anyway, I digress. When you were in Bali and you had this idea, you're working with your agents and you're going to write a book, I think it was about Surrender?

[00:06:28]Alyson Charles:  Yeah.

[00:06:29]Luke Storey:  A spiritual kind of self-help book. 

[00:06:31]Alyson Charles:  Soul Surrender.

[00:06:33]Luke Storey:  And then, you said that you got this message from the animals. What is that? How do you experience that kind of messaging subjectively? Like are you in a deep meditation, or are you just walking through the jungle, and all of a sudden, you have some clairaudient voice? I'm so curious in general, because I watch you at your altar every single morning, and sometimes, other times during the day, too, and I'm like, I wonder what is going on inside her at that moment.

[00:07:02]Alyson Charles:  Yeah. I mean, it can be any of those examples that you gave. If I remember correctly, the one in Bali, so I will preface by saying, I am so equal parts in the unseen world as I am this Earthly world that there is no real separation. I mean, I can make there be a separation, but for me to start communing with ascended masters, or power animals, or any of the benevolent spiritual allies in the unseen realms, it's not like I have to go through some long in-depth process or I like have to have been meditating for an hour.

[00:07:47] I mean, it's literally like we'll do at some point in the of interview, I'm going to give you a really brief live power animal reading. I can connect into that other side in a second. So, I think I was just at the home that I was staying in and had just gone outside. I believe it was in the morning, had my tea, and I just closed my eyes to just take a moment of presence. And that's where the messaging came in.

[00:08:19] I think for that message, it was both visual and clairaudient. So, I could see them and I could see that it wasn't just two or three animals. It was the whole gang, the whole crew was there to help initiate this shift in this big project. And I also feel like by so many of them showing up, it was just like, hey, we're all here supporting this and we're all here thanking you once again for being a voice for us, because really important side note, by the time this moment happened in Bali, I had been working in deep reverence daily with the power animal realm for almost a decade.

[00:09:10] And they were the very first spiritual guides who came in after my divine intervention and spiritual awakening a long, long time ago. So, when my world got completely turned upside down, I didn't know left from right, up from down. Everything I thought and knew myself to be had gotten obliterated. Everything about that previous relationship I was in was obliterated and the veil had been, in a beautiful but rude awakening way, just cataclysmically lifted.

[00:09:45] The first supporters that came in were four power animals. The first was my core guide, which is the Black Panther, Black Jaguar. The next was Frog, Deer, and Bear. And that quadrant, those four power animals saved my life. I mean, that time was such a scary time for me and they all brought in such different medicine, and healing, and support. I truly don't know how I could have gotten through that passageway of my old life and old ego completely breaking down, and this whole new way and this truth within me coming alive. 

[00:10:26] Almost simultaneously, a lot of terrifying things. And those four animals kept me going, kept me alive, kept me feeling some semblance of trust. So, me working with the animals had been going on for a very long time before. And the trust with them from me and the trust from them to me, that co-creation and that dynamic had been developing for almost 10 years.

[00:10:53]Luke Storey:  For those that are new to the concept of power animals or what some people refer to as spirit animals, and this includes myself, too, because prior to meeting you, I never thought of animals as anything other than majestic, cute, beautiful, scary. They all have their kind of attributes. But I didn't ever really contemplate that they have unique wisdom, or guidance for us, or anything that you're going into in this realm. So, when you said you worked with like those four animals, that quadrant, as you called them, maybe explain kind of how in your experience or perception different animals have different attributes that they represent in the spiritual realm that we can take signals from or ways that we can emulate them?

[00:11:48]Alyson Charles:  Right. Yeah. So, they're messengers, and they're teachers, and they are our allies, and they are our brothers and sisters, and we are their brothers and sisters. And so, it's really important to take notice if an animal is appearing to you, whether in your earth walk, like whether in your physical, tangible realm, or whether one is presenting during your dreams, or while you're in a shamanic journey, or while you're doing breathwork, or while you're meditating, whether whatever world it is, if an animal is coming to, that animal is trying to get your attention, because it has some sort of message, or medicine, or healing, blessing to bestow upon you. And so, there are great teachers of presence and conscious awareness. So, for those four examples, the Frog really—and I think I'm going to put Cookie down, she is deceivingly portly and I love little Cookie.

[00:12:54]Luke Storey:  Here, I'll take her.

[00:12:54]Alyson Charles:  But after a while, it makes it hard to breathe. She's a hefty little gal. 

[00:12:58]Luke Storey:  For those watching on video, we're teaching Cookie how to surf, which is why she has a little, what do you call it, wetsuit?

[00:13:05]Alyson Charles:  Well, I call it, I like to think of it as her jammies, her little jammies.

[00:13:09]Luke Storey:  Since we moved to Texas, Cookie got something called hot spots, which apparently is some kind of histamine reaction from allergies. It's the not native to her plants here and stuff. So, we got her little sweater, so she doesn't bite herself and give yourself hot spots.

[00:13:24]Alyson Charles:  Yes. So, the Frog really represents healing waters and emotions, and taking new leaps, new leaps of faith. So, for me, I think that's why I'm actually kind of burping and purging out some stuff right now. That was that time for me. Oh, my God. I mean, there was so much healing to be had, because when that veil lifted, oh, man, I even feel it as I'm starting to talk about it, a very pronounced way. 

[00:13:54] I just was not the person who I thought I was. And when the egoic show got obliterated, and the veil lifted, and I started to see all the denial that I had been living in and all the healing work that I needed to do, I was like, oh, my gosh, this is going to be a long journey. And that's partially why I knew right out of the gate, I was in full devotion. And that's also partially why I spoke my surrender statement to Great Spirit, to my own soul, and to Great Mother Earth. 

[00:14:30] And that's why I've been so committed to the healing path, the spiritual path, and the shamanic path was because I was shocked by what I saw when the veil lifted. So, the Frog really instructed me, baths were a big part of my saving grace at that time, to just soak. And I'm so surprised, I was living in this tiny place in Brooklyn. So, by the grace of God, I just happened to be in an old brownstone that had a bathtub.

[00:14:58] I mean, anyone who lives or has lived in New York, to have a tub, you're living large. So, thank God I had it. I spent almost every day for hours just in those healing waters, putting different anointing oils, and crystals, and speaking with the Frog, and calling the Frog in to work with me for my healing and my cleansing. I mean, crying for hours in there, just clearing out so much pain and anguish, because the instrument for my awakening was a previous relationship that was very daunting, very anguishing, varying levels of dysfunction, abuse, trauma going on for a very long time, almost 20 years.

[00:15:43] So, by the time I got to this place, there was a lot of pain and a lot of built-up pain body in me that needed to be faced, and felt, and loved, and held, and tended to. So, Frog was really my saving grace for that element. And then, the Deer, touching on what I just shared about what caused my awakening, the Deer is heart medicine. It's the way of the heart, the path of the heart. And it's equal parts gentle and like the word ferocious comes in, because the Deer has this ferocious heart power.

[00:16:24] And the Deer just kept urging me to not shut my heart down, and those kinds of moments, you can go, yeah, it's true, because had I done that, yeah, we definitely would not be sitting here today. Yeah, because in those moments, you can really shut down, close off, and decide like, I never want to open my heart again, because what I just went through was so painful. But Deer is who I can really give credit to for keeping my heart open and committing to healing my heart.

[00:17:03] And then, the Bear. Oh, my gosh. They were all such saving graces in different ways. The Bear is that grounding, anchored, full-on lean back into me and let go into me support system. So, there were a lot of meditations where the Bear would be sitting against a tree. So, the Bear would have its back against the tree trunk and it would invite me to sit in its lap and to lean my back against its chest. And its urging was let go, let go even more.

[00:17:39] And it was this first practice for me of truly learning what it felt like in a 100% way to lean back into the support of great spirit of this power animal and to let myself be held through this massive transformational process. And then, the Black Panther, which is my core power animal ally, she has a mystical jungle strength unlike any other. I mean, when you just picture a black Jaguar just walking slowly in the dark through a dense jungle, perhaps with some mist wafting around it, I mean, just from picturing that, you can get the sense of the medicine and the magic of the Black Jaguar.

[00:18:36] And that is a lot of who I am. And she urges to allow your spiritual powers to come back alive. And that was the complete key for me, because a lot of what was causing my demise and the reason I got forced into a divine intervention situation was because I was so staunchly suppressing and pushing against my truth, and my earth mission, and my calling, which is all about having your spiritual powers open. As a shaman, you can't be a shaman without that. And so, I was denying pretty much every aspect of who I truly was until spiritual support came in to wake me up. So, those are some examples of the medicinal attributes and the ways in which the animals come in to help us in very significant ways.

[00:19:31]Luke Storey:  It's interesting that, sometimes, there's, as you described, the Bear leaning against the tree, and then it's inviting you over, it's interesting that, sometimes, they come in, in a visual way like that. I find that fascinating, because I've never, in my life, had any kind of a vision, whether in waking state or a dream that I remember, where there was an animal, in any way, communicating. I think that's why I find this so fascinating in the work you do, even though I know you and we're in the house every day, and walking around in our underwear, doing the dishes, living our normal life, I'm just like, what's going on inside her? Because I don't have those kinds of experiences. So, so fascinated by that. Okay. So, you put ninety nine animals in this book, obviously, there-

[00:20:11]Alyson Charles:  100.

[00:20:12]Luke Storey:  I'm sorry. I always think it's 99, I'm like that cliffhanger.

[00:20:15]Alyson Charles:  That's like you're going to the Jay-Z song.

[00:20:17]Luke Storey:  Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Well, we'll get to that question later, which is like, how the hell do you narrow down, I don't know, tens of thousands of species and some of them are very unexpected, too. Like the tick, you'd think, well, why is the tick there and not the condor, whatever one's not there? But what I want to ask is more about the spiritual nature of a species of animal, in that I think as we know, we have our dog and our cat. Like each of them have their own unique personality that's independent to them, just as people do, but I've heard some spiritual teachers like David Hawkins specifically would talk about the family dog and the family cat, like domesticated animals and how they carry this energy field of unconditional love.

[00:21:04] I think they calibrated it like 5 or 550. If a cat's purring, it goes up in consciousness. If a dog's wagging its tail, it's a little bit higher, too. But the way he described, he didn't use the word power animal or spirit animal, but just the ways in which animals enrich our lives. Let's just say that. And he said that when you look at like an orange kitty, there's just one orange kitty, it's like orange kittiness.

[00:21:30] So, it's like from his perspective, and I want to see where yours align and where it doesn't, but from his perspective, even though there's sort of micro-expressions or aspects of a personality of each orange kitty, fundamentally, there is like one spirit of the orange kitty. Like there is one spirit of the horse, one spirit of the eagle, the shark, et cetera.

[00:21:52] In other words, there's like a unified field, almost like a flock of birds that fly in unison as one organism or a school of fish that each individual fish might have its own attributes, but that breed of fish that all move in that unified field under that kind of attractor field are really just one fish. And I don't know that this is true or not true, I'm just kind of curious when we're working with the lobster or the monkey, is it sort of like, there's just a universal lobster energy, or lobster attributes or qualities?

[00:22:27]Alyson Charles:  There are those universal ones, but where it gets very nuanced, and specific, and unique is, so you know a lot of the work tat I've done and got known for very early on after I allowed my truth as a shaman to come alive was guiding these power animals shamanic journeys. So, with my drum or rattle, I mean, it's a whole process. It's not as simple as what I'm about to say, but at the heart of it, I'm using my drum or rattle and voyaging all the attendees, which sometimes, I've done up to 10,000 people at one time, and I'm guiding them into these other realms to call forward. 

[00:23:14] We set the intention before, so it could be your core power animal that we're calling forth, so you can finally meet it, ask it questions, receive medicinal blessings from it, things like that, or we could be calling forth like the journey I have for people that preorder my book, we're calling for the power animal who most wants to support your life right now. And so, depending upon what we're going through in life, like let's say you're building up to some like massive career presentation and like you're super nervous about it.

[00:23:47] And this has been like two years in the works and you just feel like everything is riding on this like PowerPoint presentation. Perhaps, in that journey, one possible ally who could enter in to support you would be the Rhino. So, where it gets a little bit unique and specific is that when the animal comes to you, if it really needs you to get something, it will absolutely communicate, move, express in a way that makes it feel very unique. I'm trying to to think of an example.

[00:24:25] So, let me tune in to get a very clear example from you. Okay. So, the Crow. The crow, it's a very shamanic totem and it represents a lot of sacred law, the void, transformation, great mystery. And let's say the Crow is coming in, in your shamanic journey to be your guide right now. And it really wants you to wake up to trusting being in the void, when you ask it if it has any medicine that it wants to give you it, it might bite you. 

[00:25:03] It might take its beak, and bite your arm to provide you medicine, and then flap its wings all over you, and it might be, in that moment, a bit of a jarring or a little bit of a scary experience, but it will do and it will sure share its personality in the way that it needs to, to get your attention in the way it knows it needs to, to provide the message that it knows you need to receive, if that makes sense. 

[00:25:29] So, yes, the Crow represents some of those properties that are universal that I just shared, and the same with those four other animals that I just shared. But when you are communing with it in meditation and daily life, when you're talking to it, when you call it forward in a shamanic journey, it will show very unique and specific personality traits in that way.

[00:25:53]Luke Storey:  So, it could be a more individuated expression of that animal, even though, generally speaking, a species of animal kind of has an inherent personality, attributes, gifts, et cetera. Okay. That's cool. That's very interesting. You mentioned the Frog before and you talked about one of its properties being cleansing, and something that came to mind was the Kambo frog of South America, where this is like one jungle medicine I think I would only do one time. I've not gone back for this one, but for those listening, it involves extracting the venom from the skin of this very particular frog. 

[00:26:33] I mean, Kambo with a K, K-A-M-B-O. It's used by hunters in the Amazon and such. You extract this poison, this venom, and then burn little holes in the surface of your skin, and then you rub, well, not you, but a shaman essentially would rub some of this dried venom in those surface wounds to get in your lymph system and has this incredibly powerful purgatory effect. But it's interesting that that animal comes with this something inside it that has this ability to like make you purge like you've never purged in your life and never will. It's incredibly potent medicine.

[00:27:15]Alyson Charles:  Yeah. And I've never worked with that particular medicine in that way, but in my own process that I needed, I was purging in my bathtub in Brooklyn. So, yeah, in different forms and variations, it has that universal teaching.

[00:27:33]Luke Storey:  I wonder if the toad has any of those powers, because in a similar way, the Kambo frog, you have the Bufo alvarius toad of the Sonoran Desert in the United States, and what we call Mexico now, and contains 5-MeO-DMT, which can be extracted in a very similar way, and then smoked to produce, arguably, or at least in my opinion, the single most powerful experience of all time, like not even of any plant medicine, but I mean, just the most powerful experience a human, I think, could experience. What is it about the toad in general? Not the Bufo toad, but is there any particular medicine to the toad that would kind of speak to that galactic life-altering gift that some of them have?

[00:28:21]Alyson Charles:  I could feel, and I don't have toad. I have a Frog in the book and I don't have toad, but let me just feel in. As you were sharing with the messaging that was coming to me was sweating out the old, and then I was getting the visual of how their like chest or throat like billows out with their breath. And there was something about creating new space, a new environment with the breath to really transform. So, those were the two messages coming in. And I've also never done that medicine, so I don't know if what I just shared resonates with you on that.

[00:28:59]Luke Storey:  If it includes the word space, it will definitely apply. Yeah. I mean, creating space, yes, absolutely. Creating as much space as you could possibly imagine.

[00:29:11]Alyson Charles:  Infinitely.

[00:29:12]Luke Storey:  Yeah, infinite space, truly. Yeah. So, that's interesting. Wow. Cool. This is fun. It's just funny when you're kind of around all the time, I never have dove-

[00:29:22]Alyson Charles:  Yeah, we never talk about this.

[00:29:23]Luke Storey:  Yeah. It's just like, oh, she's working on her book. Like how's it going, babe? Good. You making some progress? Oh, you hit a stumbling block?

[00:29:28]Alyson Charles:  Oh, I'm having a breakdown that day.

[00:29:29]Luke Storey:  Yeah. I mean, but I'm not like, okay, what animal are you on? Teach me about it.

[00:29:33]Alyson Charles:  Yeah, we've never talked about it.

[00:29:37]Luke Storey:  Yeah. While we're kind of on the animals, there's a bunch of places I want to go.

[00:29:39]Alyson Charles:  I should have had you do the video journey before we did this interview.

[00:29:44]Luke Storey:  Well, I guess we could go into some of the contributors in the book. I was blessed enough to be one of the contributors. My chosen animal was the Horse, which is not an animal I have a lot of interaction with at this point in life, but I did quite a bit when I was a kid. And so, I was thinking about the ways in which that animal has impacted me and just the energy that I get from them. And I told a little story about that, which was really meaningful to me, because it actually opened up kind of a portal especially of my childhood that I didn't really know was as impactful. As I started actually doing that writing, I was like, oh, wow, there's something between me and horses that's much deeper than I even realized.

[00:30:28]Alyson Charles:  Yeah. And that's been the beautiful thing. I can pretty much say, so yes, within Animal Power, I invited 25 global contributors, shaman, spiritual teachers from all walks of life from all over the world to share about a particular power animal that has really impacted their life and to share a personal story about it. And if I can remember correctly, I think almost every single one of them, when they sent me back their story, they had said something along the same lines of like, wow, I'm so thankful, like thank you again for this invitation to do this reflecting and to do this writing.

[00:31:12] And again, it's such a testament and an example of the power of working with animals and working with the power animal realm, because just in them tuning back in and feeling back into their relationship with that particular being, it opened up a whole other aspect of themselves and expanded them in really unexpected ways. Of course, all very different, but they all shared a similar reflection and sentiment of just what writing a short reflection story did for them.

[00:31:47]Luke Storey:  Yeah, it was powerful. It was really fun, actually, when we were living in LA, and you had some of the contributors, some of the 25, I think, that had already come in, and you were kind of working on those. But then, I remember when you were kind of chasing people down like, hey, the deadline's Friday, did you get your piece? And then, they started to come in and I got to read some of them, I guess, before they were edited and things like that. But I found people's contributions to be really cool. I think that's going to add actually a lot of depth to the book or does. Like I remember reading the Daniel Vitalis one, I think was the Tick, right?

[00:32:22]Alyson Charles:  Yeah.

[00:32:23]Luke Storey:  And I was just like, holy crap. I mean, it was so deep. It was super profound. And you just think like ticks, oh, God, they're these annoying things that you try to avoid, because you might get Lyme disease, and he had this whole reverence for them, and it was just really fascinating. And a Paul Selig. 

[00:32:39]Alyson Charles:  Yeah, I have a lot of incredible teachers. Yeah, Shiva Rose and I have some indigenous contributors. I had to track one Kichwa elder down in the Amazon and have a translator. I mean, getting some of these stories was not an easy feat. But like you said, yeah, it just brings such additional and deep added layers of majesty, and magnificence, and potency, because, oh, yeah, it's hard even to put into words. It's like I can feel it and I'm moving my hands. I can see it and feel it, but it's hard to express. And like Shiva Rose, for example, she contributed the story about the Macaw birds. And she's been so grateful and she texts me regularly, like she now sees Macaws everywhere again. And reopened up.

[00:33:32]Luke Storey:  Really?

[00:33:33]Alyson Charles:  Yeah. At the Airbnb she walked in, there was a huge mural. As she went into the dentist, there was like a Macaw statue. Like everywhere she's going now, it reopened up, this really powerful relationship she had with Macaws growing up as her family was fleeing Iran. And, yeah, you name it, they're really beautiful.

[00:33:54]Luke Storey:  It was also interesting, too, if I'm not mistaken, in the case of Shiva Rose, like you wanted to cover that animal and no one had contributed it, and you're like, I don't know, do you have anything on this animal? She's like, yeah, we had him when I was a kid. There was like quite a few instances of synchronicity like that.

[00:34:09]Alyson Charles:  Yeah, this book is absolutely a living, breathing altar of a medicine book. It is so alive. And essentially, because I was sitting with you a couple of weeks ago when I looked back to the very first email I exchanged between myself and my two agents, because I wanted to see, because people ask me all the time, how long were you writing, how long were you working on the book? And I thought, you know what, let me actually see.

[00:34:33] And it was three-and-a-half years ago that I first started, that I had signed with my agents and started working with them. So, this book was, I mean, of course, many lifetimes in the making, but I was diligently working on it for almost four years. And with every week, month that would go by, the book would just get more alive, more activated, more medicinal, more powerful. And it's not even in people's hands yet. It's available for preorder, which I urge, so you can do that journey.

[00:35:08]Luke Storey:  Oh, yeah. On that note, let's throw the link in there. I'm sure I mentioned it in the intro, but for those little sneakers that fast forward through the intros, I know who you are. By the way, I don't remember I told you, but this episode today is the new format, where I don't run the ads in the beginning of the show. There's different music. It's all chill and laid back, gets into the meat of the conversation much quicker. So, you can celebrate being the first guest of the, after six years, I finally shook up the format quite a bit. So, I'm hoping people will like it. But let's send people to alysoncharles.com/animalpower for the presale. For people that have preordered the book, when is it actually going to arrive in their hands?

[00:35:51]Alyson Charles:  In just about two-and-a-half months, in October, yeah.

[00:35:53]Luke Storey:  Okay. Cool. And if they go to alysoncharles.com/animalpower, which, of course, I'll put in the show notes and you can click right on that in the podcast app, they get to preorder the book. And what happens if they do, something special, right?

[00:36:06]Alyson Charles:  Yeah.

[00:36:07]Luke Storey:  I feel like we're in an infomercial right now.

[00:36:08]Alyson Charles:  Yeah. I know. I was thinking that, too.

[00:36:09]Luke Storey:  And Alyson, what happens if they sign up now? Sign up now.

[00:36:13]Alyson Charles:  So, yeah, you can pick from whatever place you want to order it from. There's independent bookstore options, and of course, Amazon, and things like that. And also, international bookstores are listed there if you are listing from another place other than the US. And then, once you preorder it, there is a form on that same website page, and you just put your receipt number in and you'll get automatically emailed to you the free video, Guided Shamanic Journey that I facilitate, where you can call forward the power animal who most wants to support you at this time.

[00:36:48] And then, you'll also get an exclusive sneak peek, like you'll be the very first people to see a few of the pages from the book. So, you'll see the artwork. You'll get to get familiar with the potent energy of the book, the messages that the animal that I send to you has to share with you. And also, with each animal, there's what I call a power practice. And that is for those who want to really anchor in to the support of that animal and start to develop a deeper rapport. These power practices are different rituals, meditations, and mini-ceremonies that you can do to communicate and commune with the animal to really get that relationship activated. 

[00:37:31]Luke Storey:  Awesome. Thank you for that. I knew there was no way I would remember all of that and be able to speak it to life like you did. What were some of the challenges as a writer in general? I know that you mentioned earlier, like people don't get to see the grind that goes into writing a book. And watching you go through it, of course, I got to see like, wow, this is a lot. And as I'm writing my own book now, I'm seeing like, oh, my God, what did I sign up for?

[00:38:00] And I think mine is, in many ways, not even as challenging, because I don't have all these contributors and all of these kind of hurdles that you had to go through, artwork on every page. And a hundred pieces of beautiful art need to be curated, and then the untimely demise of the artist and things like that. But in a more internal way or even in the logistics or politics of dealing with publishers, et cetera, what were some of the challenging parts in actually giving birth to this baby?

[00:38:29]Alyson Charles:  Oh, goodness. I mean, it's it's a journey unlike any other. And of course, I wouldn't change any of it, because it was the greatest teacher of my career, hands down. Like no question about it. This book journey was my greatest teacher. And I have done a lot. I have accomplished a lot. I have tossed myself into the fires in a lot of different ways over, and over, and over again, both personally and professionally. And this book was a massive initiation. 

[00:39:04] I mean, I think for me, I'm really grateful. I had such a strong collaboration with my publisher. But any time you're writing a book, especially around something that's just so sacred, and personal, and sensitive, for me, I really needed to hold a massive, massive, massive energetic space to hold and carry this book through to the point of birthing, because like I said, it's a living, breathing altar medicine book. 

[00:39:49] And it's rooted, and founded, and based in shamanism, the world's most ancient healing spiritual art. And so, it's a big, wide load to carry and it's a big responsibility. And I think the saving grace at this point, and this is where that trust in divine timing, right? We go back to those three-plus years, where I'm having all these agent and publisher meetings, and I can't get clear on the book.

[00:40:22] Well, now, having gone through the process all those years later, I understand why. It's like I needed to be in such a strong, rooted place within my own being, within the embodiment of shamanism, with the embodiment of my mission in the way the shamanism is supposed to express, and move through me and with me, because I am explaining in this book. I had to write an author's note. I chose to write an author's note to explain what shamanism is and how my shamanic path works, because every shaman's is different.

[00:40:59] And this can be very sensitive and confusing, and often misconstrued subject matter. So, just writing the author's note alone, it was the deepest writing process of my life. I mean, it was exhausting, and just making sure that every word had its purpose and its place, and was of truth, and of authenticity, and of integrity. I mean, it was a very, very meticulous, specific, sacred, deep, and exhausting almost four-year journey. 

[00:41:49] And I guess one thing that's coming through for me to share, because of some of the confusions and misperceptions around shamanism, I've been instructed for many years that one of my duties is to be an educator in the space. And that was, to be honest, an aspect of my work that I really pushed against for a very long time, because there's a big difference between facilitating shamanic ceremonies and guiding people in journeys, there's that side of it, but then to be an educator in the space, it might sound like it's the same, but it's very different. 

[00:42:33] It's a whole other animal, no pun intended. And so, it's a big responsibility. And the saving grace for me is by this point, by the time I'm writing this book, I have such a trusted clear line to Source, such a trusted clear line to God, Goddess, Great Spirit, Great Mother Earth, and the divine wisdom, love, and truth that is me and lives within me. I'm so dialed in to those places that I receive my instructions from and those places that I live from, that I was able to hold the line and carry the space that I needed to carry to birth this book in the meticulous, reverent, and true honoring way, which is the only way I could possibly write and birth this book.

[00:43:27] There was only one way to do it. And because of my clear connection line, I was able to hold that line and hold that space to do it. But it was not an easy feat. I mean, I'm still honestly recovering. I can actually hear fatigue in my voice still. I mean, yeah, I thought something was wrong with me after I turned in the final manuscript after however many rounds of edits, and this is final edit, not final edit to have it truly be done and have it sent off to the printers and like no turning back. I just like collapsed, mind, body, spirit, soul.

[00:44:07] And I remember telling you a lot of times like something's wrong with me. Like I've never felt like this in my whole life. And it was like, well, I'm in the post-partum phase of birthing this medicine book. So, yes, I'm human, and I love to have fun, and I have a goofy side, and I'm very silly, and I have a effervescence and an enthusiasm for life, but when it comes to this work and when it comes to writing a book of this subject matter, it's deep, it's ancient, and it's of the most sacred. And so, it evokes some emotion even as I'm talking about it, like it's a huge responsibility and I don't take that lightly.

[00:44:53]Luke Storey:  Yeah. Writing a book on positive thinking with a ghostwriter would have been a lot easier. You know what I mean? I mean, it's like even when I sat down to start working on my book, I think my first idea was something more like that. I mean, not necessarily working with a ghostwriter, but just like what comes easy to me, right? Like what could I crank out that I think would be helpful to people? The 12 steps to blah, blah, blah, right? And I'm not denigrating people that write books like that.

[00:45:19] I mean, sometimes, simplicity really is the most powerful approach to evolution and change, but that was kind of my first thought. Like alright, I just want something I can crank out that's meaningful enough. But as I've started to go deeper into my process, I'm like, oh, this is a whole thing, man. I mean, if I start going into like revelatory trauma healing, that's very intimate and close to home, and hits other people close to home, and start bridging the gap in addiction recovery, and psychedelics, and things like that. Like I'm being kind of led into territories, where I'm like, no, this is going to be way too hard to do gracefully with thoughtfulness, respect, reverence, intelligence, wisdom.

[00:46:05]Alyson Charles:  And there's also something about the finality of the printed word.

[00:46:09]Luke Storey:  Right.

[00:46:10]Alyson Charles:  You know what I mean? It's like writing a book, authoring a book carries with it a whole different energetic and essence.

[00:46:20]Luke Storey:  It's not like tweeting some shit at someone, and be like, oh, I shouldn't have done that, delete.

[00:46:26]Alyson Charles:  Yeah.

[00:46:26]Luke Storey:  Which I did yesterday, by the way. And then, I looked at my Twitter thing, and it was like, helping people with spirituality, whatever, and I made this really snarky tweet at someone, because I got all defensive.

[00:46:36]Alyson Charles:  You did?

[00:46:37]Luke Storey:  I'd said, Karen won the spelling bee because he corrected my spelling, because he disagreed with me.

[00:46:42]Alyson Charles:  Did you delete it?

[00:46:43]Luke Storey:  No. I just thought, you know what, I'm human. I'm just going to let people see me be sloppy.

[00:46:48]Alyson Charles:  Yeah, that's fine.

[00:46:49]Luke Storey:  I mean, trust me, I've done much worse in my life. I've come a long way. But anyway, I digress. Enough about me and my Twitter games. The point being is I think the subject matter, and the depth, and even the cultural sensitivity around what someone's choosing to write about does have a certain finality to it, right? 

[00:47:11]Alyson Charles:  Yeah. And I'm honoring two huge systems, right? I'm honoring my truth. My mission, I have been assigned by Source, Great Mother Earth, these power animals that came to me to write this book with them, to co-create with them. So, I'm equal parts honoring and holding that, that it is my truth. I am a shaman. This is the path that I walk. This is who I am. I am a medicine woman.

[00:47:42] While also, I mean, there's so much on the other side of honoring, too, of honoring first nations, and the very first humans in Africa to open up the gateways, and to be the first humans on this planet, to know that there are these other realms to work with and commune with. And that part of being here is to interconnect to the oneness of both of those places, and to honor them, and to also remember that it is a huge honor for me to be able to write a shamanic book.

[00:48:15] Because even a friend of mine that I interviewed today on my podcast, Ceremony Circle, she also learns with and sits with a lot of different indigenous elders and teachers, as I have throughout the years, and one particular group that she was sharing about, they, up until like the late '90s, almost 2000, it was still illegal for them to do their most ancient sacred practices, just communing with the fire and working with sacred tobacco in a certain way. It was like literally illegal for them up until almost the year 2000. And so, it's not lost on me that it's a huge honor that I'm able to so outwardly do this work and to be a "public figure" shaman, and to write a shamanic book, and have it be published. It's a really beautiful, honoring thing to have, yeah.

[00:49:17]Luke Storey:  It definitely is. What are some of the preconceptions that you've encountered when it comes to shamanism and things like working with power animals?

[00:49:34]Alyson Charles:  No.

[00:49:34]Luke Storey:  Did you already go deep enough, dear?

[00:49:36]Alyson Charles:  Oh, man. No. I mean, we can. It's just I try it some—sometimes, I just, and we can go there if we want to, I can feel into that, that's no problem. It's just, I don't know, sometimes, I don't want things to come across as like I'm very sensitive to never wanting to sound like a victim or getting into like any sort of whatever, but I guess that that's not really what you're asking.

[00:50:08]Luke Storey:  I mean, like for example, yesterday, maybe I could be more specific. I was looking on Etsy. I wanted to buy like a cool little bag, or a pouch, or something like that. And so, one of the keywords that I used to search was like shamanic, or shaman, or something like that. I was looking for like a little kind of a tobacco pouch or something, right? Because I always lose all my little bottles of pills and potions. 

[00:50:28]Alyson Charles:  All your elixirs, yeah.

[00:50:29]Luke Storey:  Yeah, all my little plant medicine kit. And then, there was a bunch of listings on there that were like Yugoslavian shaman. There were like a bunch of kind of Eastern European.

[00:50:40]Alyson Charles:  Nordic.

[00:50:41]Luke Storey:  Yeah. Like that kind of thing.

[00:50:43]Alyson Charles:  Celtic.

[00:50:43]Luke Storey:  And I was reminded—yeah. There was like Celtic shamanic whatever, and I was like, oh, yeah. Because I think of, if you told me like give me a picture of a shaman, I picture like Shipibo elder from Peru, living in the jungles, serving ayahuasca, and I kind of have like a specific sort of archetype or caricature of that.

[00:51:03]Alyson Charles:  A lot of people, if not most people do. Yeah. So, yeah, shamanism is a planetary practice, and it's my belief that it originated with the first peoples of Africa. And then, as peoples began to migrate, and whether it's the Mongolians or as they started to go out to the different regions of the world, these most sacred, ancient planetary truths and ways also began to migrate out. 

[00:51:41] And so, yeah, shamanism has been revered and practiced on every continent. And there are shamanic cultures and traditions everywhere that you go pretty much. And they're all so different. And that's the beauty of it to me. And I'm just all about honoring, and inclusivity, and unity, because that's what shamanism is. Shamanism is about unconditional love, and oneness, and unity, and non-judgment, and remembering that we are all one and that we're infinite beings all here to learn and trip up sometimes, and sometimes, stumble, but to grow, the whole purpose.

[00:52:31] I call it Earth School. We come down here to learn a lot and to hopefully grow. And shamanism carries and holds within it all of that. So, the other thing that goes with that, so for my shamanism and where the name Rock Star Shaman comes from, which was a download and an instruction I was given very soon after my spiritual awakening, and that I actually resisted, and that I actually did a lot of shamanic journeying around, and called forward my main love and light guide who has ascended Master Jesus's lifetime.

[00:53:09] I called him forward. Once that instruction had been given to me to use that title and that name, trust me, I knew instantly, I'm like, this is bold. I don't know. I don't think I want to use that. But I live by the calls. And so, I just wanted to ensure that it wasn't coming from a place of ego and that this was truly a divine instruction. And in that journey and in communing with Jesus, he was emphatic.

[00:53:35] He was like, this is literally why you were here. This is why you are here. And medicine names, they're very powerful, and this was the medicine name that I was given. And oftentimes, when you are gifted a medicine name, whether it's through a spiritual ally in the other realms or say through an Earth lineage-based tradition, let's say there's an elder in your community who has been given a vision, or in a prayer or in a dream was instructed that it's your time to receive your medicine name.

[00:54:12] And there are specific all sorts of different kinds of ceremonies where the person is gifted their medicine name. And oftentimes, when you're given a medicine name, there is a massive stretch and a massive growing into that name so that you can become the true embodiment of that. And so, for me, Rock Star Shaman really represents how my shamanic medicine and path works. And I work directly with Rock, Great Mother Earth, and I work directly up to Star, which is Source, consciousness, Great Spirit.

[00:54:48] And I operate in that vertical line that runs from Great Spirit Source down through me, the shaman part, through my heart, the Divine wisdom, love and truth that is me and lives within me. And then, straight down into this beautiful, miraculous, ever nourishing, ever providing of all that is planet that we inhabit, Great Mother Earth. I live in that vertical line. So, that's how my shamanism primarily works.

[00:55:16] Those are my anchor points that if I'm living right by them, I'm good. Those are my teachers. Those are my instructors. And then, there are other shamans who, yes, of course, of course, work with Great Spirit and Great Mother Earth, but they have perhaps taken sacred oaths for particular lineages. So, let's say there's a Celtic tradition or the [indiscernible] tradition, which we have been blessed to sit in sacred ceremony with. And you name it, there are countless all across the globe.

[00:55:49] But if you're feeling called to learn from ,and devote your life and your shamanic path to a particular shamanic culture that really calls to you, then there's that way as well. And I've had the good fortune of learning from a lot of those cultures and traditions. But the space I hold as a shaman is very, very, very, very macro. I do a lot of clearing out of old paradigm energetic systems for the planet, on behalf of the planet and on behalf of humanity. I clear those out and make new space for the new paradigm, higher consciousness energies from these other realms to enter in, to anchor in, to birth this new great awakening that we're in. So, why are you laughing?

[00:56:44]Luke Storey:  I just love you. You're awesome.

[00:56:45]Alyson Charles:  There's just so much to explain around it. That's why when you asked, I was like, oh, we're starting to get into a portal that's a big one.

[00:56:54]Luke Storey:  No, I know. And we're both looking at the time. We have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Cleopatra right after we're done here. So, those watching on Instagram, we're going to do an interview about fertility, and birth, and all that stuff shortly after this. But thank you for going there with me on that, because I think it's something that is good for people to understand. And also, I sense in my life, there's a lot of past life influence.

[00:57:20] I have proclivities and attractions towards certain teachings that come from geographic places like India, the first place I ever went on a spiritual pilgrimage was India, the first spiritual teachers that I ever were impressed by, or revered in any way, or learned anything from were Indian folk. And speaking of like a lineage of spiritual name, you think of someone like Ram Dass, who was given his spiritual name and went by it his whole life, right?

[00:57:50] That's how impactful it was. So, he wanted to be, for example, this intellectual psychologist, Harvard professor guy, started doing psychedelics, went to India, met this guru, and he's like, you're not that person anymore, you're Ram Dass now. So, it's like it's interesting how many different things in the ethers can kind of influence what we're drawn to and what our calling is.

[00:58:15]Alyson Charles:  Yeah. And the other last little button that I'll put on that is truly, shamanism, and if you feel called and if you enter into the exploration of shamanic practices, if that is a calling that you feel within your being, and your soul, and your heart, that's a birthright of every living being, both of this planet, and also, of otherworldly. It's a birthright of every living creature, because at its core, at its foundation, shamanism is walking with feet in both worlds, both the earthly and the otherworldly. 

[00:59:12] And we all have the right, we all have the birthright to get to know the planet and to begin to honor, and commune with, and send offerings to, and receive blessings and teachings from the very planet that we're all living on. That is our birthright and it is also our birthright to begin to remember and learn practices that help us connect into and commune with the other side, too, all of the spiritual allies, and beings, and angels, and ascended masters that live on the other side.

[00:59:53] That is our birthright as well. If we feel that call and we so choose to learn how to honor them. It's everyone's birthright. But where it gets very tricky and extra sensitive is if like—so you feel this deep connection with India, and for me, it's like the Persian, and Egyptian culture, and the Bedouin culture. I'm like this ancient desert trekker being. That side of the world is what connects with me most on an ancient level. 

[01:00:25] So, whatever culture it is, if you start to feel a pull to learn their ways, that's where you have to be really, really respectful, and reverent, and honoring, and ask, if you start to go there or work with a teacher that is steeped in those traditions and teaches those traditions, there are oftentimes things that they share, whether it's a prayer, a song, a dance, an offering, sacred ritual, whatever it is, some, they may pass on to you, and you may get their permission to be a carrier of that. 

[01:01:07] But oftentimes, there are things that are not to be carried on or shared on like certain sacred songs that I sit with a group with, and we sing them together, but they're not to be shared publicly and they're not to be passed on to other people. And so, that's why, and I am glad that we ended up talking about it, but this particular portal of the conversation, it's very detailed, sensitive, and nuanced. 

[01:01:36] Because if you are working with a certain culture or tradition, and you have a teacher or an elder who is sharing things with you, you just have to ask them a lot of questions and you have to make sure that you have permission to share certain things on. And the things that I share that are from certain lineages and traditions, I've always been given permission to share them. But 90%-plus of what I share comes directly from Great Mother Earth and/or directly from Great Spirit. And we all have a birthright to learn both of those powerful beings.

[01:02:18]Luke Storey:  It reminds me of learning Vedic meditation. And a sister teaching of TM, people might be familiar with that, and one of the tenets of that lineage is that when you're given your mantra by your meditation teacher, that you never share it with anyone. And I've never shared mine. But if you asked me like maybe on my deathbed, I'd sneak it out, but I don't know. It's just my teacher told me that's the way it works, however many thousands of years this particular style of meditation has been taught, that's the way they do it.

[01:02:54] So, I just never questioned that. There was never any temptation. I mean, that's kind of a very singular or granular kind of tiny little example of that, but I can only imagine if one goes through more extensive shamanic training, there's probably all sorts of different things. Like not just one little mantra, but all kinds of different rituals, and practices, and things like that, and some of them will be more shrouded in mystery. And I don't want to say secrecy, because that implies, it's not universal. 

[01:03:28]Alyson Charles:  A lot of the teachers are called wisdom keepers and they've had to keep things in sacred private space so that those wisdoms and traditions could carry on without them being changed.

[01:03:46]Luke Storey:  I wonder how much of that is due to the rapacious colonialism of these certain bloodlines that came out of Sumeria and Babylon, and somehow figured out how to get weapons, and travel in ships, and go around the world, and just dominate, and decimate, and completely, in some cases, eradicate native cultures. And thinking about the Tibetans, and people in South America, people in Africa, people in India, Native Americans here on this continent, I bet there's a lot of—I'm assuming that some of that protection and sort of holding some of the teachings close to your chest, so to speak, is borne out of these sort of foreign powers coming in and trying to stamp out a civilization or a culture spiritual connection and practices the ways in which they're empowered through those practices, through their traditions.

[01:04:49] So, I'm assuming as a tribe in the Amazon had to recede further and further into the jungle, because of the imposition they were facing, that they had to sort of compartmentalize some of those teachings and keep them under wraps with, as you said, the wisdom keepers to really protect the teachings in those traditions. And I think as we perhaps start to become more worldly as a species, and almost anyone that can afford to can travel almost anywhere, and meet some of these remaining cultures, and learn from them, and I think that's probably where the need to respect, perhaps, why some of these teachings have been held the way they've been held and to really hold them with reverence, because people died to carry them.

[01:05:36]Alyson Charles:  Absolutely. Yeah. Well, of course, it goes without saying, it's not my place to speak from them, but from certain indigenous elders and teachers that I have sat with and learned from, that is often the case, what you just shared. The beautiful thing is, though, with this Great Awakening time, there are a lot of those cultures who are coming out now more again, and speaking out more again, and sharing their ways more again.

[01:06:12] And there are a lot of us, myself included, who we act as bridges between those ancient sacred technologies and this modern world. There are a lot of myself and other spiritual teachers and shamanic teachers that are perhaps based in the US or more like mainstreamed cultured areas where we have these connection points of friends, colleagues, teachers, and these more remote regions who trust us and who share with us certain things or perhaps come on Ceremony Circle podcast, or collaborate and co-create with those of us who are bridges in different ways, because it is time to share, again, these truths and these most ancient wisdoms.

[01:07:09] And the Mamos for example, one of the episodes, I think it was just a couple episodes ago on Ceremony Circle, we talked about that tradition from Columbia. And they have a whole way, from a very young age, they like live by themselves in caves in the remote regions of the Sierra Nevadas in Columbia. And they really stayed tucked away in those caves for a very long time to preserve their ways, their languages, because the Mamos themselves speak languages that only another Mamo can understand. 

[01:07:52] But they were given an instruction not too many years ago where they were told to come down from the mountains, to exit the caves, and to begin to share their rituals to honor Mother Earth and things like that. And I really love them. I have sat in ceremony and ritual with them a number of times and they're sharing again. So, we're really in this very intriguing, powerful time, where these most ancient truths were being reconnected back to them once again. Amen.

[01:08:32]Luke Storey:  Amen. Yeah. I've noticed that with the—it's kind of tough because I'm close to it and have been sort of immersed in it in the past three years or so, but observing how plant medicines themselves have, I mean, if you believe in the intelligence of plant spirits and those that have experienced these powerful entheogens that come in some plants, and some types of traditional ceremonies and such probably do. 

[01:09:00] I can't imagine you would have one of those experience and just be like, ah, that was just some vine. Like there's something going on there that we can't quite explain, yet as much as certain people might want to preserve those experiences, and those plants, and extracts, and things escaping from wherever they come, they're out and they're on the move.

[01:09:24] And one has to wonder, perhaps, if the intelligence of those plants and the people that made ceremony around those plants and sort of discovered different ways to work with them, if they have an agenda of their own, much like the Mamos, the instruction they were giving, like come down off the mountain, and start heading into the villages, towns, and cities, and spreading the good word, and sharing the wisdom that they've been carrying for thousands of years. 

[01:09:47] So, it's interesting to see where we are right now at this point in time that there's definitely, as crazy as the world is getting and seems to be just, in many ways, like the Titanic of consciousness, just bubbling under the sea and going away, there's also this incredibly inspiring resurgence of these ancient wisdoms, and ceremonies, and traditions from all over the world, right?

[01:10:11] Everything. I mean, just look in the past 20 years what's happened with so many of the yogic traditions. There are meditations, well, before COVID tyranny shut many of them down, but meditation centers, and yoga centers, and breathwork centers, and things like this, it's like now more than ever, people are starting to want answers and there are places to go for them.

[01:10:32]Alyson Charles:  Yeah. And we're remembering, I mean, a lot of us are very, very ancient souls, who, in past lives, lived in all different areas of the world. And we carry with us, we are energetic beings. In our light grids, in our light body, in our chakras, in our soul, we carry with us all of these ancient remembrances. And that's why it's so important to devote to daily morning time at your altar, whatever spiritual practices that speak to you to keep coaxing these truths that are already stored within you to come more alive. It's just a remembering. That's all that's happening.

[01:11:16]Luke Storey:  Hot damn. Tell us a little about the card deck before we wrap it up.

[01:11:20]Alyson Charles:  Okay. And then, I have to do the quick-

[01:11:21]Luke Storey:  Oh, yeah, that's right. Okay. 

[01:11:22]Alyson Charles:  Then, we'll close with that. So, yeah, the card deck. So, Animal Power book is available now, as we've shared, and then the Animal Power card deck will be out in the spring. And so, we all have that to look forward to. It's 75 animals in the deck and there's a really cool invocation with each one. So, again, it's similar. It's like the decks version of the Power Practice. It's a powerful communication that you can either speak out loud, or write in your journal, or just say from your heart that basically invites that honors the animal for coming forward. You think it for revealing itself and for its teachings, and you invite that animal to keep working with you to empower your pathway forward.

[01:12:08]Luke Storey:  So, it's a divination deck of sorts.

[01:12:12]Alyson Charles:  Yes.

[01:12:12]Luke Storey:  Okay. Now, I want to touch on this a little bit. Up until very recently, I have never heard of or seen, and maybe just because the people I hang out with aren't this way, but I've never seen a male use a deck, but almost every woman—

[01:12:27]Alyson Charles:  You guys should.

[01:12:28]Luke Storey:  Well, there is one. I found one, one of our mutual friends, but almost every woman I know who's into any form of spirituality has card decks, and almost to a woman pull cards, right?

[01:12:43]Alyson Charles:  Yeah, it's so fun.

[01:12:44]Luke Storey:  So, I watch you do this all the time on your altar, and I don't know, for some reason, I've never really asked you like, what are you doing? What happens? So, what happens when you take that type of deck, and you shuffle them up, and you pick a card? I think we've done it a couple of times.

[01:12:59]Alyson Charles:  Your whole life changes.

[01:13:01]Luke Storey:  But I mean, what's the idea behind that? And will your deck work in the same way, where you shuffle the deck, and I pull the Polar Bear, and then I'm like, oh, shit, I pulled the Polar Bear for a reason. And the one guy friend, I'm sure there are zillions of guys around the planet that do this, I just don't know them, but our mutual friend, Kyle Kingsbury- 

[01:13:19]Alyson Charles:  Oh, he has decks? 

[01:13:20]Luke Storey:  Yeah, the other day, he's like, bro, you're doing tarot decks, right? You're pulling cards. I'm like, not really, Alyson. He's like, what? He's like, oh, you have no idea.

[01:13:28]Alyson Charles:  Kyle knows what's up.

[01:13:28]Luke Storey:  Yeah. And he really, the way he described it to me, I mean, it informs a lot of his decisions and he really works with them. It's not just like a party trick.

[01:13:38]Alyson Charles:  Well, there's all sorts of different kinds of decks. There's tarot decks and oracle decks, and yeah, I prefer to mine as a divination deck, because I'm all about empowering people. I never want anyone to rely on an outside source. I want them to trust, what their intuition—sorry. Cookie is licking me at this time. You lay down here, little girl. We're almost done. I want them to trust their intuition in terms of how they can work with this deck.

[01:14:10] So, I was very specific when writing my booklet that goes with the deck. I'm not telling you, oh, you need to lay out the cards in this way and pull this amount. And there's nothing wrong with that. Just for me personally, with my deck, I didn't want it to function that way. So, have it at your alter, have it at your bed, and just listen to your heart in terms of how you want to use it. If an animal's been presenting to you, of course, go to the deck, pull that card out, read about it in the deck and find out why it's been trying to get your attention.

[01:14:43] Otherwise, you can, one standard way that I do recommend is that you hold the deck in your hand. First of all, when you first receive the deck, I want you to talk to it. If you have some Ceder or Calpol, cleanse the deck, really start to get energetically aligned with the deck, because this is the deck that made its way to you, to your home, to your altar. So, this is your new best friend. 

[01:15:07] And so, once you've done some communing and cleansing of it, and you're ready to pull a card or do a reading, hold the entire card deck in your hand, place it up to your heart, just start to breathe into it. And as your breathing getting centered in your heart, see if there's a question, a specific question that you want to ask that deck. Once you're clear on the question, knock on the deck three times, and then just start to shuffle.

[01:15:36] And then, this is where you just have to trust. The card, if you want to pull one card, two cards, four cards, trust your intuition, but they will reveal. The card will either like jut out of the deck a little bit or fly out of the deck onto the floor, or as you're shuffling, you'll just get a sense, you're like, I'm supposed to read that one. And that's how I like to flow with mine. It's just more intuitive.

[01:15:57]Luke Storey:  And that'll be spring 2022 for those listening, because some people are going to listen to this in 2024, and they're going to be like, oh, snap, it's been out for two years now, she's got another one out. Alright. I think that's it, dear. I've already asked you the final question so many times, so we'll just go ahead and go into what you have to present to us today.

[01:16:17]Alyson Charles:  Okay. I'm just going to do a mini live power animal reading, because like you said, even though we live together, we've never talk about this stuff, really. And I don't think I've ever done a reading for you like this?

[01:16:31]Luke Storey:  No

[01:16:31]Alyson Charles:  Okay. I didn't think so.

[01:16:32]Luke Storey:  I've been missing out.

[01:16:33]Alyson Charles:  Alright. I'm burping, so something good's coming. Hang on. Alright. So, excuse me, clearing out for this reading. So, I'm just going to briefly use my rattle. Before we started this interview, I was already anchored into Great Mother Earth. Already tapped in and connected with my heart. And already connected up to Great Spirit. So, I'm just connecting even more deeply into these three places.

[01:17:05] And with Luke's permission, I want to call forward the one power animal who wishes to come forward at this time, the power animal guide and teacher who most wishes to empower Luke Storey's pathway in life at this time. I invite you forward. Come forward and clearly reveal now. Okay. Beautiful. So, it's already come in. It's this beautiful, majestic bird, but I'm just allowing it to get closer to see if it wants to identify itself specifically, so I can know what type of bird. 

[01:17:55] Stand by. Okay. So, it's an eagle. So, the eagle is here. And the way that it presented and initially came in was it was from a pretty far distance, but it was showing its grand wings and its supreme ability to navigate in the skies, and to fly, and to use its wings. So, I just want you to hold that vision. And it just began to fly closer and closer. And the closer it got, the more I could feel its power and its magnificence. And so, I just want to ask if it has a particular message for you. 

[01:18:37] One second. So, it's asking you to begin to trust yourself to fly higher than you've ever flown before. Stand by. I'm going to ask it two more times. Trust that the winds have you. Trust that great spirit, the winds are carrying you right now. It's about your heart. Stay connected to your heart and the winds. You are about to unlock an intelligence within you that is so far greater than you could have ever imagined.

[01:19:29] We have you, we're carrying you, allow yourself to be held. So, I'm just, in this moment, thanking Eagle for its generosity. I want to thank all of the power animal realm. They always show up live and on demand like this. So, again, just thank you for doing that and allowing me to always trust in you and to know that you're always present. So, thank you, Eagle, for coming forward. Thank you for bestowing this message to Luke.

[01:20:02] I hope you received it into your heart and hopefully will be of service for you. And Luke, you can just know that in this next chapter of your life that you've got this incredible eagle ally to call upon, to just give you that dose of confidence and strength. If, at any point, you feel tired, or weak, or scared for any reason, call upon the eagle to infuse you with this knowingness that you're being held and you're being carried.

[01:20:40]Luke Storey:  Wow. I'm the luckiest guy in the world. I swear to God. After you identified the eagle, and then right before you said the wind, I don't know if you heard that thunder.

[01:20:50]Alyson Charles:  I heard something. I just didn't know what it was.

[01:20:52]Luke Storey:  Right when you said that, it was like [making sounds] this huge Texas thunder, and I had the thought that either everything is random and an accident or nothing is. So, if you got the eagle, a skeptic could say, well, whatever, she could have just thought of any animal, but I think it's much more fun to live in a world where nothing is an accident, including the thunder.

[01:21:19] So, with that, thank you so much, my love. So blessed to spend this time with you, to spend my life with you, and so fun to get to do some of the things that involve your work that we don't really do on a day-to-day basis, just like you don't walk in my room like, Luke, biohack me. You know what I'm saying? Although today, you were like, where's that coily thing? I'm like, you mean the AmpCoil? Yeah.

[01:21:40]Alyson Charles:  Right, that's true.

[01:21:41]Luke Storey:  How was that, by the way?

[01:21:42]Alyson Charles:  It was nice. Yeah.

[01:21:43]Luke Storey:  Did you find it to be grounding?

[01:21:45]Alyson Charles:  I don't know. But I like the AmpCoil. I do like it. I believe in it.

[01:21:50]Luke Storey:  Okay. Cool. I forgot to check in with you. I always like to get the before and after report after I implement some sort of magic technology on someone. Alright. That's it, girl.

[01:22:00]Alyson Charles:  Well, yeah, thanks for having me. I appreciate you giving me the space to talk about the book.

[01:22:05]Luke Storey:  Of course, man. I'm so proud of you, so happy for you. It's been an incredible journey watching you.

[01:22:11]Alyson Charles:  I'm going to pat myself in the back.

[01:22:11]Luke Storey:  Yeah, one thing I thought of, too, is like writing a book is one thing, but you moved after 15 years in New York City to California. I was like, psych, we're moving. We moved to Sedona for a couple of months, at least. I mean, not a full move, but a test move, and then grabbed all of our shit, and moved to Austin, Texas.

[01:22:31]Alyson Charles:  And we also went to Mexico a couple of times. We also went to Florida to Joe Dispenza Advanced Retreat. We also bought a house. I mean, yeah, I was writing my book and card deck in the midst of all of this and the midst of whatever we want to call the corona time as well. And so, yeah, you know what, I would love to close in just honoring and thinking myself as well. I have no shame in that. And I know what I gave to this process, and to this book, and to this card deck. And so, actually, I will give myself a pat on the back. And I am really proud of myself. So, thanks for closing the circle in that way. Feels good.

[01:23:13]Luke Storey:  Yeah, you deserve it.



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