Hello and welcome to The Schapera Show, where Viv and Neil explore this big adventure called Life!
Our guest today is from Cincinnati, and his name is Kenn Day. Hi Kenn, thank you for coming on the show.
Kenn: Hi, Vivien, thank you for having me.
Vivien: Kenn, before I let you speak, I want to tell everyone something about you, if you don’t mind. Kenn is one of the first people that I met after we arrived here in 1991 and we have been friends and colleagues ever since then. Not only is Kenn one of the very few Healers that I trust to work on me, but he is one of three people whom I used to understand what it takes to become a Healer, when I founded FourWinds Academy, and had to formulate a training program. I looked carefully at Kenn’s profile – his background, his skills, his philosophy of life, and his actual lifestyle – and used what I saw in him to understand what layers to provide in order to generate an effective professional in the healing arts. Now, it is my great pleasure to introduce all of you to this wonderful man who has dedicated his life in this meaningful way.
Kenn, can you tell us what you are currently doing in your work?
Kenn: Yes, thank you. I’m now working as a full-time professional shaman, working with clients in my practice Body & Soul with my wife Patricia, passing on shamanic teachings through a series of workshops and by writing about my experiences.
Vivien: Kenn, we both know that there is a whole lot more! Let’s not skip over how you got to this place. You’re qualified in what?
Kenn: I started my academic career in Theater in 1977, at UC/CCM then at Wright State in Dayton. I went back a few years later for the Fine Arts program at DAAP, graduating in 1987. I did a sporadic and informal apprenticeship in Chinese medicine in between going to University and then attended Massage School at SHI in the late 80’s, getting my state license in ’89. I then studied Structural Therapy at the Psychophysical Institute of Chicago I was studying various forms of shamanism and alternative healing from the early 80’s to the present. In 2001 I was introduced to Systemic Constellation Work and threw myself into studying that as well. Patricia and I completed a certification course with Heinz Stark that wrapped up in 2005. I also have certification in Medical QiGong and as a QiGong and TaiJi instructor.
Vivien: Thanks, Kenn, I think your background is significant! And now, let’s return to the topic of shamanism, because that has become your number one identity at this time, right?
Kenn: Yes, that’s right. I have over 35 years of professional practice as a shaman. I’ve published two books, Post-Tribal Shamanism: A New Look at the Old Ways and Dance of Stones: A Shamanic Road Trip, and I’m currently working on my third book entitled Planting the Seed of Shamanism in the West.
Also, I recently returned from a trip to Mongolia where I worked with tribal shamans.
Vivien: Kenn, what was the most important point of learning for you on this trip?
Kenn: Most profound thing coming out of this trip? Biggest impact being on opposite side of the world, was the sense of even deeper acknowledgment and affirmation of what I’m doing shamanically. I took it with a grain of salt (just being nice) when I was told 35 years ago by a Mongolian Shaman who was visiting the US that both we were presenting at, that: “You’re the only person here who is actually doing shamanism.” That was an ego stroke then.
On this visit, it was very clear that the form is very different, like how they go into the spirit realm, but the content/the essence is identical.
When I engage with my spirit mentor, whom I call Grandfather, the way that he works through me feels identical to what I saw there. That was confirming, but I also got higher confirmation: It is one thing to be acknowledged by the indigenous shamans, but then the spirit who chose the indigenous shaman told him that I have 2 ongods.
Vivien: Kenn, what is an ongod?
Kenn: An ongod is … a spirit that works through the shaman.
Vivien: Oh my! So, you got acknowledged by both the shaman and his spirit! That is very powerful. Kenn, may I ask: “Where and with whom were you studying in Mongolia?”
Kenn: Darkhold Valley Northern Mongolian tribal Shamans
Vivien: This sounds like a profound connection across space and time for you, because I’m understanding from what you say that you developed your own process via a mentor in the spirit realm. Is that right?
Kenn: Yes, I have had a lifelong apprenticeship with a spirit that I call “Grandfather.” I was chosen by this spirit to do this work. Only years later, when I was reading a book about shamanism, did I recognize what had happened to me in my late teens and early 20’s … and my thought was: “Huh, maybe that’s what this is called!”
Grandfather kind of looks like a Native American, and just had that idea in my own head. He was laughing at me because I was talking about studying a Native American tradition. He said “I’m not Native American.” Then I thought he was Tibetan, because he introduced me to the phurba. This was in a Himalayan Cave, but he said no, not Tibetan.
I asked: “Where have you incarnated on Earth?” and he laughed. About 6-7 years ago, he told me that, essentially, he comes from a celestial realm. His older brother did the same thing of engaging with a human on Earth about 1,000 years ago, with someone in Tibet.
I have tried in vain to find a physical lineage same as his, but haven’t found it, but the teachings I receive from him are echoed all over the place.
Vivien: How do you use this shamanism to help people?
Kenn: 2 main ways:
One is through working with them as individuals, doing healing and divination, healing trauma and ancestral issues, spirit issues,
Two is through teaching – that is the most impactful. One of the things that I’ve learned is that I expected that only people interested in practicing shamanism will come to workshops. Only 50% are interested in becoming shamans. But when I introduce them to Grandfather’s teachings – sit in circle and connect in to the spirit world together – and begin to weave our souls together to weave a group soul, and build the conscious awareness of the group soul. For vast majority that is the first conscious experience of being an identity that is larger than individual self. This expanded identity provokes development stage shifts within the ego. Forces the ego to take a look at its own sense of self and reevaluate that.
Vivien: Kenn, when I listen to you speaking about this, I get the best feeling of connection. It really comes across so well. I want to go deeper, but before we do that, I think we must go wider and talk a little about your Family Constellation work as well.
Kenn: OK! Yes! But Constellation work is even harder to describe than shamanism. Years after I took the road trip, I led groups of students back to Cornwall. One woman came over to join up with us and she had been introduced to this constellation work. So, she took an evening slot, and did a constellation demonstration and it blew my mind – this is group shamanism!
This is taking the ancestral soul of the client, and bringing it into this circle of people here, choosing representatives, placing them inside this field and then they report what’s going on – that’s it in a nutshell.
We offer an invitation to the soul to move forward to look at something that isn’t being acknowledged, to do some kind of movement that is beneficial for the descendants of the soul.
Vivien: What form does that take?
Kenn: Engaging with the representatives in the field, in order to have them change their focus, come to realization and awareness and thus allow the energy of the field to free up. This is palpable when it happens. When they look and the new awareness registers, everyone feels the shift. You cannot make anything happen, you can only support the soul is willing and able to make.
Vivien: It’s sounding to me more and more like your true identity is “physician of the soul?” Do you mind if I call you that?
Kenn: I’m uncomfortable with how the term doctor is used today. It has become laden with meaning and authority that I feel is somewhat out of touch with the traditional meaning of the word. Though I have said that, if I was living in China, I would be considered a “traditional doctor.”
Vivien: Yes! I certainly understand your point! How about “Soul Whisperer” then?
Kenn: Haha! I’ll have to think about that! Perhaps, “yes.”
Vivien: And Kenn, before we wrap up soon for the commercial break, can you tell us more about your books and where we can get them?
Dance of Stones wrote in 2008 based on road trip through Europe with friend from Germany, adventure of synchronicity, friend was picking brain about shamanism and this became a travelogue and narrative about shamanism. Didn’t want to write just another book about shamanism.
Waited 7 years, 2013, wrote Post Tribal Shamanism. Essentially a text book for the workshop series that Kenn teaches. Taught at Body and Soul in Cincinnati, Detroit – when people can get a group of people together, but not online. Online during the pandemic, amazed at what could be done remotely and it’s so much better in-person. “Experience the spiritual by being together physically.” – insight
Need the grounding of the experience in the material.
Now writing: Planting the Seed of Shamanism in the West.
No publication date in mind.
You can order them through Amazon or other online bookstores.]
Vivien: Thank you everyone, you have been listening to our guest, Kenn Day, shaman and Soul Whisperer, on The Schapera Show, where Viv and Neil explore this big adventure called Life. Kenn has more fantastic information for us, so please join us again after the commercial break.
Vivien: Hello and welcome back to The Schapera Show, where we are exploring this big adventure called Life with fellow-Cincinnatian Kenn Day who is also a Healer, Shaman and Author. Kenn, we’re in the part of the show now where I like to get a more personal take on what you offer, so let’s go back to the moment where you began to own your identity.
Kenn: Indeed, it was only after reading Mirce Eliade’s massive tome on shamanism did I find a context for the experiences of my life. Then it was a matter of turning to the spirits that had been speaking to me and acknowledging that I just might NOT be crazy.
Vivien: Oh dear, Kenn. I think I may still be waiting for that moment for myself!!! Although, of course it is up to us, isn’t it? I mean, it is up to us to own who we are and accept the implications?
Kenn: Yes, I agree. The information is definitely all there, awaiting the moment when we put it all together for ourselves, and that is certainly what’s described as a mega “Aha!” moment.
Vivien: So, Kenn, what I want to ask you now, is whether you can expand some on the cosmic understanding of the human soul that you have developed through working with your spirit mentor, Grandfather, and have cross-referenced with the shamanic studies you have since cross-referenced?
Kenn: Oh yes! Humans have 3 souls, plus Medicine Body, Diamond Body in tantric practice. Same stuff, but retuned it for our western, hyper-individuated culture.
The understanding that we humans have more than one soul is found in all the traditional cultures that I have looked at personally. In the West, we have lost touch with so much, but perhaps the most important part of that is our disconnection with the spiritual aspect of our existence. I don’t mean as in religion, but rather in the sense that we too are spirits – our souls connect us with our ancestors, with the earth, with each other, with so much!
Vivien: And so that is the understanding that forms the gateway of your work? Do you have any uplifting stories of how your work has turned someone’s life around?
Kenn: There was one woman who had been suffering from severe headaches daily for her whole adult life. After her first session, she had relief for a whole day. After her third session, the relief was constant and the headaches did not return. I have had at least three clients who went from various stages of cancer to complete remission. However, there are also cases where, for various reasons, curing the disease is not an option. Then I work to prepare the client for their death and what lies beyond.
While there have been times where there were dramatic transformations during sessions, I see most of what I do as empowering my clients and students to make their own powerful changes.
Vivien: So, Kenn, you’re saying that the real magic happens after the sessions, as people are empowered to have their lives unfold in a completely different way, because they are on a new path?
Kenn: Yes, that is exactly what I’m saying.
Vivien: Can you share some more soul wisdom with us, that can help us with our own experience of self and life?
Kenn: Yes, we in the West suffer from an Invisible Wound of disconnection – from Self, from Soul, from the earth, from each other, from community…much of my work is about addressing this wound.
Grandfather is all about soul. As he expresses it, before we are born, we are part of our ancestral soul – and that is communal. So, our sense of self is communal and deeply and profoundly connected. When we come in to our mother’s womb, we come in with the ancestral soul. With our first breath we breathe in our celestial soul, and the celestial and ancestral soul forge the vital soul which is who we are in this lifetime. Like in Kabbalah the nefesh, the neshema and the ruach – shows up in most cultures – Egyptian, Mongolia, Siberia. Animistic. Animism is the root of shamanism.
Wound is what happens when someone comes from the ancestral soul and joins a culture that is so individualistic like western culture. At a soul level, we are constantly yearning for communion, a state of oneness. And that’s how we also get to the Family Constellation work.
Vivien: That certainly gets me thinking in a more constructive way, thank you. And any other “last message?”
Kenn: Yes, I would like to remind us all that: “Everything is alive and imbued with spirit!”
Vivien: Oh gosh, yes. I can confirm that now that trees, plants, crystals … everything seems to be talking to me these days. Kenn, can you tell people again about your books, where to get them, and also how to find you on the internet?
Kenn: Yes Dance of Stones: A Shamanic Road Trip and Post-Tribal Shamanism: A New Look at the Old Ways are both available through Amazon and other online book stores. And you can get in touch with me through my website at www.shamanstouch.com
Vivien: Well there we are! Kenn, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Kenn: Thank you for having me.
Vivien: You have been listening to Kenn Day on The Schapera Show. It’s time to take a break now, and when we come back, Neil, our resident shaman, will be giving his report from the spirit realm.