I am always looking for opportunities to really learn about what our authors do and get hands-on experience with their messages. In preparation for another wave of promotion in the gift arena for Ocean Oracle, I had a reading with Michelle Hanson to see what they were like. I can’t tell you how spot on the reading was, down to some very particular details. And the shells I chose told her this? I wanted to know how she did that.

So when she told me about her next class on how to do shell readings and to learn about the shells and animals who made them, I signed up.

I’ve never done any kind of readings – and I really didn’t see myself as doing many of them, but I felt the shell knowledge alone would help me in my own shamanic healing work, and help provide another window to the subconscious. It would also help me better understand what her book was all about, and how to use her deck.

In the very first class, I had an epiphany. Shelley said that seashells are the crystals of the sea realm. Those earthy crystals are familiar to us – quartz, amethyst, and so on - and are used in healing and spiritual practices. Shelley said that seashells are also involved in the same areas because they are made up of crystals too. It didn’t even dawn on me to even consider this.  And with that light bulb going off, I opened up in a whole new way to this topic.

I was fascinated by all the information about the animals that made the shells, how they behaved, how they interacted, and how all this influenced how the shells got their names and meanings. Such magic! And it wasn’t long until the shells started to really work on me.

Class 8 was a real opener for me. Most of the shells up to this point stayed on paper in a nice 2D world, just being there for me to read about and look at. Some of the shells in class 8 decided to jump off the page and become a rather 3D experience. During that class, we were looking at the Paper Nautilus (meaning spiritual birth; great awakening), the Green Tree Snail (meaning willingness to change one’s comfort zone), and the Imperial Harp (meaning changing negative behaviors voluntarily or by force), among others.

During that week, I was at a very pivotal time in my shamanic apprenticeship. This was one of the times – out of many – that I had to actively choose to stay on the path despite the challenges and sacrifices involved. I had a particularly hard weekend with my teacher, and all these shells just came to the forefront – I was moving through a great awakening and spiritual birth onto this path (still am!), completely being pushed out of my comfort zone and saying yes to it although I didn’t like it much, and changing all the negative and old behaviors both willingly and also by force because the path demanded it.

I wrote Shelley and said “Woah! Let me know what we’re studying next time so I am prepared for what the shells have in store for me!”

That was my first real experience as to how these shells could affect my life. I do admit that I was a bit skeptical going in (I always am with pretty much anything new), but became a believer after that experience.

I took a shine to the Green Tree Snail. What better symbol of my path than that? But alas, that snail is protected in Papua New Guinea and there seemed no way to get one, except being left one in a will! I had all but given up.

One night during class I was searching around on eBay for some of the spiritual shells we were studying. And guess what popped up on the screen? The Green Tree Snail, being sold in an estate sale, along with shells from my birthplace and other rare shells. I don’t remember what shells we were studying that night, but they must have had something to do with my find. I just about fell off my chair. Needless to say, I entered into a feverish bidding war and literally won the shell in the last second with a bid of $64. Talk about stepping out of your comfort zone to purchase a snail shell for that price!

Other synchronicities have occurred and other healing has happened or is on the horizon: the Tiger Cowrie being used by my daughter to calm her down, the Melon Bailer waiting to rewire my matrix, the Sundial reminding me of patience. The shells now work in tandem with my stones, and the lessons I learn from them continue to accrue.

I am not done with the class, and it has been quite a journey in a direction I never thought I would travel. Not only am I astounded by the small creatures that make the shells and find a new appreciation for them, but I also continue to be stunned at how quickly the shells reveal information and work with me on an energetic and spiritual level.

I’m hooked. And the experience with my online classmates has been so satisfying and enlightening. We seem to be a little family and everyone has so much wisdom and experience to share. I truly look forward to each class night.

If my experiences thus far are any indication, I can tell that the shells will be quite strong teachers on my path. I look forward to more and more falling into place.

If you’d like more information on Michelle’s class, visit her website at www.oceanoracle.com, and of course you can purchase the Ocean Oracle here.

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