About Me

My name is Tiffany and I’m in my late forties. I am Mother, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, and more. I hold the balance between Light and Dark, Formed and Formless. I’m a living paradox who found the gifts of medicine needed for a great reshaping, but they were acquired at great cost in the form of a waking nightmare. Yes, I have the academic credentials to call myself an Ecopsychologist. I received a bachelor’s degree in 2016 from Middle Tennessee State University. I majored in Philosophy because I wanted to know what we think. I minored in Psychology because I wanted to know why we think it. I also minored in Anthropology because I wanted to know how that thinking affects us. I received a master’s in Ecopsychology in 2023 from Naropa University in Boulder, CO.

The foundational premise of Ecopsychology is that humans can neither be studied nor healed apart from Nature (Hillman, 1995). During the program, I came to realize that most of my life fell into the category of shamanic initiation. Writing my thesis on the spiritual implications of extraordinary mystical experiences, “Shamanic Initiations, Alien Abduction Phenomena, & the Return of the Archetypal Feminine: An Experiential Distillation,” took an enormous toll as I unconsciously stared into the Abyss through the writing itself…with no tangible guide to keep me from falling in. Before the paper was completed, the Dark Goddess shoved me in the back and I plummeted into the Underworld through a months-long waking dream that drove me into madness, a near-death experience, the hospital, and far more than I’m willing to share here.

A Waking Nightmare

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I recovered from that nightmare enough to complete my paper and make a big life transition. When I had not only accepted my new reality but excitedly embraced it, She did it again…and again and again and again. I came to realize that my entire life was a long-running series of diving into Hell to come back with some kind of Medicine I needed, a decades-long shamanic initiation process.

It is no exaggeration to say that the gifts and abilities I acquired came from both a metaphorical and literal rape of body, mind, and soul. During the last few years of the journey, Nature sent me the strangest and most unexpected assistants: Storytellers. On the other hand, isn’t the Mother the greatest storyteller of all? The first guide caused a disturbing change of my consciousness through exploration of extraordinary experiences from the perspective of metaphor. The second reminded me of a profound and overwhelming connection to a forgotten child. The third helped me remember that I am both Masculine and Feminine, a being of the liminal, the in-between. The fourth awakened my Primal Nature. And the fifth, through a combination of bliss and torment, annihilated me repeatedly (defying the definition of “annihilation”) until I came to see my most hidden vulnerabilities. I also became host to Sacred Feminine and Nature beings.

Initiated Into the Culture of Storytellers

All of these aids were ultimately forcing me to remember who and what I am. They used a horrifying blend of unfathomable love and ecstasy mixed with deception and cruelty. It is said that a shaman knows the roads to Heaven and Hell; she is one who can die and return to life many times (Eliade, 1975). This describes my experience well. I have been initiated by Nature herself and lived to tell about it. Years of excruciating pain – mental, physical, emotional…forcefully held down in the Abyss for unfathomable suffering to retrieve the medicine to heal myself so I have what’s needed to heal the Storytellers. That is to say, I suffered this so they don’t have to. This, too, is an archetypal journey laid out again and again in the myths and stories of goddesses like Innana and Venus.

My experience may sound antithetical to all you know about what is supposed to happen in life. But consider that the core experience of shamanic initiation is “a profound encounter with death and subsequent rebirth,” and although there are variations in the details of each ordeal, relative to the culture into which one is being initiated, “they all share the general atmosphere of horror and inhuman suffering” (Grof & Grof, 1986). This is an excellent description of my waking nightmare. And in my case, I was violently initiated into the culture of Storytellers.

A New Path

This is why my academic credentials are almost meaningless compared to the qualifications I received through experience as a fully initiated guide on a new path that has emerged during this archetypal shift from the Age of Domination to the Age of Balance. The Mother has returned.

If this resonates with you, come find me. If not, I have nothing to prove. And since my master’s thesis nearly cost me my life, I can tell you it’s worth reading for greater context. You can find it here.