A Tale of Soma, Nature and Transformation
We may stumble upon ourselves in clumsy or organic ways. We may float down streams of learning before we even knew we tumbled into them. We may be visited by a whispering self that had been dormant but is very much part of our soul, and the spirit of its coming is as mysterious as the great riddles of ancient places. I tumbled into writing by accident, because of a call to speak about rune like truths I kept finding under my feet. I knew them with my body and learned to talk about them from my heart.
I live in Northern California on a 20 acre homestead backed up the 40,000 acres of wilderness. I have encountered bears in the woods here a few times and in my dreams often. My family spends a lot of time in nature and I could say our life here is nature based. We have to drive nearly an hour to get to a typical sized town, though the drive is either through pastoral countryside or skirting untouched wild, open oceanscapes. Those of us who are of average means and have a similar lifestyle of concentrating our lives on soul evolution, know we work twice as hard for half the return to live in rural places, yet the solitude has afforded the riches of decades developing a depth and breadth of consciousness studies.
Evening view from the deck
I became a person who writes in these woods. Solitude has allowed my self study to emerge the content of my courses and coaching. At the edge of the wilderness I have written hundreds of pages of course content, musings and chapters of yet unpublished books. Through the magical power conjured by Alexander Graham Bell and the Internet I speak to clients near and as far away as Scandinavia, Down Under in Australia, and Goa, India. The fractaling out of these tools is still in its infancy, with closely growing crystalline formations of connectivity. Our ability to connect through technology is actual, not just virtual, because of the awareness and strengthening reliance on Soma, our energetic fascial connective force, where there is no distance.
Coyotes, Vampires, Hollywood and Vine
I started writing regularly over a decade ago when I wrote a book of short stories for my own amusement answering 13 riddles about paranormal subjects, Fortean subjects to be more precise, like coffee shortages causing New York City to turn into a zombie apocalypse for a day, death by meteor, how Sasquatch got her hair, and the phenomena of being raised by coyotes in the Santa Monica Mountains. My symptoms had erupted and my first story was about a virus catalyzed endpoint to the human race, leaving a few humanoid vampiric mutation and fewer humans. We mostly hear the thoughts of the protagonist go from average to ravenous and possessed by hunger. Most of the action took place in my home town near Hollywood, and in the end the protagonist vampire reclaimed Santa Monica as her natural birthright, hunting the last of the remaining humans from rooftop perches. These tales were my first foray into writing esoterica, through a tongue and cheek mirror, and clearly an opportunity to express darker fantasies, and perhaps a longing to claim wilderness and return to the wild.
Today I write about Archetypal Somatics™, a modern modality with the most important method I have uncovered to develop embodied consciousness. I say uncovered because it is a set of universal truths turned into a usable format for deep and sustainable personal and spiritual growth. Through including shadow material while accessing bodymind and Soma, places in our energetic systems that have been stuck, stagnant, hidden, burned out or deadened can come to life and unfurl new green vines of growth. We are inherently more wild than tame, we have wild things inside of us that leak into our civilized day to day, these are the things I write about, these emergences fountaining and wanting to be in the light. These are the universal truths beneath all of the feet of the world.
Our wild orchard in spring
It feels more and more natural to write today since beginning a daily practice of writing about the symbolic realm and its confluence with energetics. The practice to write for Instagram and post nearly ever day had required my communication to be concise and focused as I verbalizing important concepts from the work I continue to develop and teach in just 2,200 characters. In a sense the slow rhythms of daily writing and the size constraints of so few words allowable, inspired depth and vision while adhering to presence and content. I evolved as a writer over a few years adhering to the format.
Though I’m not a natural blogger the loosened constraints of the longer format and depth available, offers a new portal to learning. With The Amateur as an ally I am brimming with inspiration to delve into the fruitful waters of the unrestrained format and feast here. Topics I care deeply about like magic, disordered patterns of eating, psychospiritual dismemberment, developing our genius or True Star, and decolonization of language and learning, can now be explored with a bit more complexity.
In one of those first short stories called “Sasquatch” was written in the format of a mother posting in diary like entries. She begins to notice her hair growing in wildly, and eventually covering her body. It was the proximity to the wilderness that awakened a dormant impulse and once overtaken she returns to live in caves and become virtually invisible to humans. She has to leave her daughter behind with her husband and the story chronicles her hair growth in tandem with her heartbreak.
Departure from one stage of life to another can be felt in tiny symbols like my choice to concentrate on longer format blogging over shorter social media posts. It may sound trivial but these small deaths are opportunities to transition into a more mature self, perhaps more wild, or deliberate, perhaps risky and fraught with unknowns, calling us to our next version of self, deeper into the wilderness, yet more connected to a larger circle of hearts.
I am instinctually a Medicine Yogi, or more precisely this Archetypal energy moves through me naturally. I was drawn to translate esoterica into easy to taste and absorb bites that fuel awareness of clues to the mystery we collectively share, before starting to write about the same subjects. And I have inherent gifts as a strong and flexible athlete, the prerequisite for what we know about yoga as it is practiced in the west, and I am seasoned a guide of the physical and spiritual yogic path. I have spent decades, and I believe lifetimes, in this role. While working as a hatha yoga teacher and training yoga teachers, I developed an intuitive form of yoga and inner journeys guided by Soma, our energetic fascia. I became devoted to revealing the many layers of reality through bodymind, the true mind that includes intelligence rather than purporting intelligence as superior to Soma, the great web and multi location hub of inner feeling shining in each of us. My students in yoga classes heard the first inklings of the work I teach today, through content you could call dharma (cosmic law), peppered throughout the practice and later more deliberately in my workshops.
Stretching my wings
Writing about things like Consciousness and Soma, or podcasting about those things ( I have become an Accidental Podcaster as well), is a constraint to transmit intuitive informed intelligences, and I have continually invited my readers and listeners to leap into the black waters of their bodymind, like a yogi in a fluid physical journey, through Shadow Stalking and Archetypal Somatics™ the burgeoning field of symbols and feeling meeting in Soma. These practices are experiences in real time where the evolving can occur. This is the body, heart and soul of this work, exploratory practices and deep self study infused with heartedness, shared in my courses and coaching. This is the synthesis of my time as a yogi and my time in the woods.
Monsters into Allies
I have great honor today for my challenges and symptoms which I write about often. The shadows that I have stalked in my daily self study, here in these woods and in my inner wilderness have become allies. Great teachers caution us to be humble in the face of these dragons, ghosts and unknowables, because honor and humility lead to connection where superiority and inferiority leave impasses. These monsters taught me more about this inner work than any other source, as I walk with them and face them in the black pools and dark caves they dwell in. Without my monsters of trauma and pain there would be no Archetypal Somatics™. Monsters become allies, they are part of us like a foot or an arm, to want them to go away is to bypass their medicine, to lose a limb.
Archetypal Somatics™ is continuing to evolve through my inner travels and through those practitioners joining my courses and trainings, it is the confluence of the many rivers and flows of Soma, with the symbolic and patterned worlds we weave, the known and unknown shadows becoming included, we are meeting at the campfire. In exploring the connection of the symbolic with the somatic we continue to evolve and unblock stagnation from trauma, here renamed as Initiation, and instead of “healing” or getting somewhere, we can in this very moment see our monsters as allies and any abysmal issues transform into the precise tools of change, the specific medicine formulated for the person practicing to evolve Soul, the light of the fire illuminating what was hidden in the dark. As initiates, our past becomes our medicine, like herbal bitters, aiding digestion and accelerating composting in the great chi cycles we are anchored to within, our fuel and nourishment. We offer our suffering to the fire and transform.
The Great Work
Misty morning and daisies in the field
My writing and podcast has reached people I would never have come across in physical space. My students and clients find my work mysteriously, organically, through word of mouth, and in virtual space. My calling to teach clients and students the path of becoming magic users, to open to their wilderness, to sit at the campfire in a circle. A true connected web is forming, with practitioners becoming seasoned and skilled at entering the Underworld and non ordinary or myriad, parallel worlds. As Shadow Stalkers, Heart Warriors, Sorcerers, Folklorists of Dreams, and Underworld Guides, we develop the skills to journey, to claim passage rites, to become initiates, and heed the calls from the depths towards our greatest purpose and reason for incarnating. This is The Great Work we are here to accomplish, and it is an honor to be able to reach so many through the mist and myth of separation, to carry the glowing embers of this work together and feel our way forward with our glowing hearts.
I fantasize sometimes about retreating like my Sasquatch character while remaining even more fully connected. I imagine that once this work is fully out there, being practiced and used like a good toolbox inherited from an beloved uncle, on that day I could abandon all technology, I could easily be called forth through Soma, our inner GPS will be turned on and I will be beaconed. In this fantasy future I have a shapeshifter’s cape, a crown made of twigs and a staff that transforms into any material tool necessary for the moment. My hair is silver and full of leaves. I chat with hawks and mice and sleep in logs. I straddle this vision and feel The Calling, like an echo from a past or parallel reality, an epoch where these things are more ordinary. This is wildness matured perhaps, an expanded form of Sasquatch with the gifts of Wizardry.
This fantasy is very near my earliest memories in this life where I communicated with herbs. Mint was my first non human ally, and I peed in a hollow log in my tiny woodland yard at the tender age of 2. The image is also a bit of a hologram of the rural, woodland life I live now. The woods are much bigger, my staff is a mini iPad which I carry from room to room and field to field on our homestead. My crown is a trucker hat with a fish on it, reminding me that I am always expanding the waterline and swimming in the liminality of here and there and everywhere. For the time being I will keep my cape tucked away, stay visible, and reach out through the World Wide Web, while simultaneously vibrating the energy web of Soma, so that those who can feel it will swim their way over the dream bridge to my neck of the pond.
Early morning view from the deck
After writing this piece in the morning I sat outside on our deck and was visited by a California Sister, Adelpha Califirnica, butterfly. We spent about a half hour together, she wandered all over my body and I took a few pictures. It felt like confirmation that changes are afoot or a-wing, and when I listened inwardly to her “voice” I heard “there’s no rush, transformation involves many stages, including the goo stage, rest, trust”. Adelpha means “Beloved Sister”, and as I transition into this next part of the journey, writing more consistently here, I feel welcomed and companioned by this sibling ally. Incidentally I have a more recent herbal ally these days, she is a bee attractor, and indicated for my specific set of symptoms. She grows abundantly all around my home. She is Lemon Balm, Bee Balm, Melissa officinalis, “Melissa”, my twin sister plant.
Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis,
Getting Started on your Journey
Join us in the pond by starting your journey today through Shadow Stalking 101, enroll and get started right now.
Walk with me into the woods in one on one sessions from anywhere in the world, set up a free 20 minute consultation to get started.
If you are interested in beginning a journey to become an Archetypal Somatics™ coach see more details below learn more about the steps to walk into the inner caves of awareness and how to guide others to do the same.
Shadow Stalking 101 A Synchrosoma course and Guide to The Overworld, The Underworld and The Worlds In Between, a foundation in The Synchrosoma Method of Somatic Shadow Integration.
Shadow Stalking 101 is a foundational course in Archetypal Somatics™, Consciousness Training and Soul Evolution. These techniques and practices are a synthesis of my explorations into cross cultural and universal understandings.
Guardians of Manifestation and Truth
Allies in Maturity, The True Self, True Connection and The True Path. (For graduates of Sleigh Your Dragons) email me to enroll.
Course dates: enroll by July 6th. 2021, Live calls Tuesdays July 13 - August 3 10am PST
Through deepening our collaboration with The Guardians we open to our dynamic path of individuation. The course is organized to traverse natural developmental stages of consciousness and as our work progresses our true purpose is revealed.
“Guardian of Manifestation was a privilege to be a part of. It was inspiring and supportive to work with the other students and I felt we achieved a depth of work together not common when working with strangers. Working with Melissa is always transformative, and in this next layer of shadow work, it was even more impactful to work with the GOM archetypes and to feel their influence more deeply.”
“I am so glad that I took a chance on Melissa’s Guardians of Manifestation course. I was kind of amazed that I experienced an equally powerful transformation through working with these materials as I have had working with Melissa in one-on-one, live coaching calls. The coursework is strategically organized to invoke an archetypal process that once started, takes on a life of its own. This path is not for the faint of heart, but for those who are serious about soul evolution, Melissa’s work is the real deal.”
Sleigh Your Dragons Next series dates TBA
6 week and 6 gate transformative journey, is a synthesis of powerful modalities for self revelation. Through deep understanding of how archetypes and shadows work in our lives, we have the ability to mature our soul and co create our mission on earth. Allies of the six gates are The Fool, The Shadow, The Victim, The Hero, The Wounded Hero, and The Alchemist.
”I began the Sleigh Your Dragons course at the beginning of the coronavirus lock down. This was an incredibly fruitful time to undergo a personal study into archetypes, dreams, somatic inquiry, and witness consciousness. Intellectually, I expanded my understanding of the stories that explain and describe my journey. Emotionally, I discovered more passion for life and acceptance of death. Physically, I developed practices to open space for acceptance and compassion with my breath and sensations. Nothing was out of bounds for exploration with Melissa. We laughed, talked about shit, visited the cemetery, went to the ocean… I am grateful for greater attention to the beautiful symbols of the everyday.”
The Wounded Healer Archetypal Somatics™ Advanced Studies and Coach Training dates TBA
This rigorous and advanced course in Archetypal Somatics™ is a journey Through The Wound to soul maturation and becoming an underworld guide for others. We will traverse six archetypal gates over three months, then develop coaching skills during a five month practicum while seeing clients as a coach in training.
The Prerequisite for joining this coach training is completion of my courses Shadow Stalking 101, Sleigh Your Dragons, and Guardians of Manifestation and Truth, as well as 24 weekly coaching sessions with me, a general awareness of Archetypal Psychology and Jungian Psychology, awareness of body centric practices like yoga and Somatics, a daily self study Shadow Stalking practice, and an invitation to join the training.
We will be deepening our use of many streams of study, which we employ in The Synchrosoma Method including symbolic, Somatic, Vedic science, Toltec teachings, and Enneagram, among other individual areas of study.
Learn the art and practice of Archetypal Somatics™
Learn how to guide your clients to collaborate with their personal archetypes, traumas and wounds within a sacred container
Learn somatic practices for being with and healing painful feelings
Gain intuitive skills to aid your coaching
Evolve a self study practice that will inform your coaching
Learn how to use the Hero’s Journey, dark night of the soul, Density Spirals, and other metaphors to guide your clients
Learn how to guide clients to recapitulate the past and explore the future from NOW
Master the art of choice in your waking dream and evolve your vocation
Transforming Disordered patterns with food, eating and body image one on one coaching series. Enroll any time! How to utilize the power of archetypal awareness and somatic integration practices to transform your “problems” relating to eating and body into opportunities to evolve your soul.
Shadow Stalker For Hire transform “problems” in your company, institution, corporation or business into successful solutions. Schedule a free consultation.
“Melissa saved me from giving away half my company - at least a million dollar mistake. She challenged me to push past superficial excitement and to identify what my body’s wisdom was trying to tell me. Thanks to her I have been able to navigate troubled waters in my business and beyond.”
“Melissa has a fine tuned sensor for subtle ways that shadow hides underneath every dynamic. She used her sensor to help me find where shadow had been lurking so I could have more of myself back as I faced my demons in the battlefield of my dreams. My company has blossomed since our work together and I notice I have more creative energy for visioning up new projects and bigger ideas after working with her.”