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Beyond the Wound: Finding Light in the Dark Night of the Soul

In the past years, my healing practice has brought me more and more veterans men, wounded warriors, who have been living for decades with PTSD.

I don't think I experienced such depth of connection to the wounded before. I always had a tender and immense loving compassion for anyone with chronic pain, PTSD, and life-long struggles like depression.

But I feel that my long two years dealing with intense chronic pain and depression have cracked a whole new layer of depth into my soul and my work.

Maybe having to lie down for months on my sofa, unable to put on my socks, sit, or walk without support, has brought me to the deep capacity through the immense lonely struggle to be with this invisible pain.

Maybe having to face the fading friends who could not understand what I was truly going through, helped me see more authentically how those veterans are feeling.

Maybe dwelling on the idea that healing might never come in the ways I wished allowed me to surrender more deeply to the Creator's will.

Maybe when confronted with our deepest pain, the only thing left is to turn so deeply in that we have to sit in the true surrender of our prayers and inner demons.

What I know is that something more invisible cracked. Opened. Arised from that pain.

A level of witnessing and being with pain, self, soul, terror, anxiety, and hopelessness that I had never experienced before.

In those regular times with those ex-marines, I feel I can offer a presence and love that is embodied to the core of myself. Indeed I have my shamanic healing tools, rituals, and the wisdom and guidance of my elders, teachers, and guides, but...


That presence is what has changed everything.

That presence is a portal into ancient powers.

This kind of presence my teacher says arises from the wild féminine archetype. The womb. The original spark of universe creation. The unorganized chaos that is filled with all (and new) possibilities. The being vs. The doing. Like a loving grandmother who knows but stays silent yet fiercely moves within her soul and life.

In the ancient Andean cosmology it is the space of "UkuPacha", the Earth, the body, the invisible. The first step before stepping into fire and action, and will lead to other perspectives, the new visions.


In that presence, the wounded (and the wound) can be seen often for the first time as beautiful beings. As perfect beings. As tremendously filled with light within and around their deepest darkness. The crack becomes the gateway into the deep vibration of Love that makes life and everything possible.

It became clear, as all mystics always taught us, that walking through that dark night of the Soul is not only possible for some but for all. When the compassionate witness is in the room. When the community and family honor the wounds and wounded in a different way. When grieving is allowed and welcome. When we learn how to stop fighting the pain and dance with it.

One man recently told me, "In 15 years since my trauma, I have never seen the light like I am seeing it again now."

We cried together. We heal together. Angell Deer

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