One White Horse Standing


The Four Chambered Heart & the Phantoms and Shadows of Fear

Upcoming Workshops:

Crystal Integration
& Healing Day


Find out more about our workshops, retreats and resources on our website.

One White Horse Standing Newsletter


Hi folks;

There seems to more than a little upheaval in the world. Lots of phone calls with the stresses of unemployment, transitioning family members, and spiritual awakenings. The latter often creates the feeling that the person is out of control and they cannot find their butt with both hands.

A very useful process is to learn about the four chambered heart and the four phantoms and shadows of fear. It reminds us through old stories that fear, doubt, resentment, and the variety of difficult emotional reactions are so common to our selves that we do no realize, as the Ojibway stories of grandfather fear foretell, that we are being tested in our resolve to be fully present to ourselves and the world we are within.

Conscious awareness gets lost in the day-to-day manipulations of time management, people management, and self management. We tend to forget who we are and most importantly, the person we want to be. We create our self moment-to-moment by our action, thoughts, feelings and spiritual presence. Typically, the lack of the last, in the form of little or no conscious awareness and presence, hinders or blinds us to our internal authority to invoke our eternal free-will to create and be the person we want to be.

In the following pages is an opportunity to see how the four rascals of grandfather fear have been a part of your life. I recommend taking the time, an investment in YOU, to complete the exercises. It can be the beginning of a return to clarity and calm within your life.

As a reminder, there is only one workshop this year. It is at Bethel Horizons in Dodgeville, Wisconsin on Crystal Integration. Besides using crystal in a variety of shamanic journeys, a hint to ponder about the workshop is that I see each of you as crystals...hence crystal integration is to bring all of your light body to a new level of integration.

I hope you found this useful. If so, drop me a line in how it has supported you. Also, if useful, pass the gift to others by forwarding the newsletter.

Bountiful Blessings,


The Four Chambered Heart & the Phantoms and Shadows of Fear

Two Wolves

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One is evil-filled with anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego."

"The other is good - filled with joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith."

"This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person"

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked, " Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee replied, "The one you feed."

The Four Chambered Heart

The four chambered heart consists of being fully centered (in our heart) and actively maintaining a strong, clear, full, and open heart. The strong heart means that we have true courage which is based on our internal authority of who we are. The clear heart means that we have removed our personal biases and blinders and developed a clarity about self so that we can see clearly who we are by having respect for self and for others without confusing external temptations that can lead down the destructive path of envy. The full heart is a heart that can love itself, having been nurtured by self, family, nature, and life. It does not measure against a bucket emptied by draining one's source of life by not accepting the innate sense of being loved regardless of circumstances. The open heart means that we can embrace all of life with a sense of wisdom and acceptance. It is an awareness that there are as many stories of what is life as there are people; hence, though we can influence others, we must always be open to them and their evolving story.

Grandfather Fear

In several native American and First Nation traditions, fear is the grandfather of the four Phantoms and the four shadows that prevent our true self from being fully present. The way grandfather fear undermines us is by triggering a reaction that leads to a sense of being under-supported and therefore unsafe either within our self or within the situation. Facing and Conquering the four Phantoms and therefore the four Shadows is the path to a centered, fully present life.

When all four chambers of the heart are fully functioning, an individual is completely centered and can easily see when grandfather fear is playing tricks. A weak heart lacks courage and leads to doubt and shame. An unclear heart leads to envy and judgment. An empty heart can numb a person to believing that if "just one thing happens" one will be and feel loved. A closed heart leads to a loss of life force and a persona that feels soulless to the rest of the world.

The Four Phantoms

The four phantoms of fear are the instinctive responses to a sense of danger to one's existence physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. Over time, particularly during early childhood, patterns of response are habitualized as spontaneous responses to all similar situations. These responses fall into four categories—Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Fawn.

Fight is the typical response of the "cornered rat" or the blind aggressive action often deemed as heroic, where an instinctive reaction consumes and drives the person in an act of survival. In many circumstances, this is an appropriate response for survival. However, it also can be perverted when the instinctive response is under-supported internally or externally as occurs in various forms of abusive situations or in dysfunctional families and systems. Rage, tyranny, and bullying are examples of misguided and misdirected impulses.


While doing a retreat in Montana, one of the participants decided to use the day of "silence and alone time" to sit in the woodland mountains to sunbathe. She walked about an hour into the mountains until she found a wonderful location with some trees for shade, lots of soft, lush grass to lie in, and a panoramic view. She spread her blanket, neatly folded her clothes and placed her camera, journal, and other necessities on the blanket. As she bent over to lie onto the blanket, she looked up and saw a black bear cresting the hill about a 100 yards away. Three miles later, her bikini clad, bare foot body stopped running.

Flight is another common response to fear where rather than direct the aggressive fear driven adrenal dump towards the source of the danger (trigger of fear), the focus of energy is to depart, flee, or vanish. For example, it is common to hear stories of someone who upon encountering some form of danger reports running so fast that it hardly felt like their feet were touching the ground. Moreover, this same process can occur without the body moving, per se. Pete Walker notes that fleeing can evolve into ways to obsessive-compulsively jump into safe activities to avoid the sense of internal anxiety and/or danger. Typical examples are the workaholic, or addictions such as chemical, sex, or love.

Freeze is the natural response to danger often associated with Peter Levine's work on Riding the Tiger. The freeze response in normal situations is to stop (freeze) while all senses heighten—as in a more precise and amplified vision, hearing, smell, etc. During this process, it is often experienced as the world slowing down into frozen frames of time. The freeze response, if fully cycled through, leads to a release of energy like a cold shiver often referred to in rural lore as "somebody walking over my grave". The normal use of the freeze response is to freeze the body and then thaw and release any energy pent-up from the experience.

Peter Levine's work suggests that in traumatic situations, the danger or trauma becomes frozen in the body, like a frozen cellular memory that completely keeps the experience in cold storage such that the experience is never thawed and released. In such cases, it is when the individual heats the cellular memory through physical process or conscious intention, such as therapeutic support, and therefore thaws memory, the cellular reaction is often physical, as in a massive shiver or an involuntary reaction to danger by raising an arm to block a blow or a loud scream expressing the horror...that happened years earlier.

Psychological responses to freezing symptomatically surface in numbing, dissociative behaviors such as sleeping excessively, over-fantasizing through daydreams, or tuning out with TV or medications and/or alcohol1.


As a child, everyone in my family learned very quickly not to cross my grandmother, or to face the immediate oblivion of her narcissistic rage. So long as everyone treated her as a queen, doting to her every need, all was well in the kingdom.

Upon her death, I reminded my mother of the savagery of her mother. In a visceral shift of energy, my mother recalibrated herself with this different perception—the witch was dead—and proceeded to have healing conversations with her brothers and sisters.

Fawn. Pete Walker2 added fawn, the fourth instinctual response to danger or the lack of internal or external safety. Fawn means to act servilely; to cringe and flatter as in to give a servile display of exaggerated flattery or affection. Often animals fawn, especially a dog, where it shows slavish devotion, especially by rubbing against someone.

In many day-to-day situations, it may be wiser to defer to another as one would a boss or superior than to defy. Yet, when the power dynamic becomes abusive, a creative adjustment to an unsafe situation may be to please the abuser and initiate the behavioral pattern of co-dependency. As a result, servitude, ingratiation, and forfeiture of any needs that might inconvenience and draw the ire of the abusive party becomes the most important survival strategy. Maintaining personal boundaries is a near-impossible task as the person is forever in survival mode and unable to distinguish between what is "real" versus "surreal" danger.

The Four Shadows

The four shadows are meaning-making and behavioral responses that evolve from the fear based four phantoms. The four shadows are: inferiority, envy, resentment, and apathy (not caring). They can be invoked individually or severally or sequentially depending on which phantom triggered the shadow behavior and how one responds to the fear-inducement.

A sense of Inferiority (humiliation or shame) prevents us from having the courage to be who we are individually and as a part of community. It is like we have never experienced the sense of acceptance within our self or from others. As such, doubt begins to undermine us because someone has challenged us or something unexpected has occurred that causes us to question our original courage that led to a commitment to a job, a project, a relationship or a way of life. As a result, we will tend to return to some learned behavior that has been reinforced over time. Unless we are able to stay focused, address the source of feeling inferior or undeserving or incapable, re-establish our core sense of self by reclaiming our internal resonance that then provides the courage to move forward.

Envy prevents us from respecting our self and others. It occurs when we have never experienced a sense of wholeness (being enough as we are) and as a result are forever comparing and judging the world according to what others have. Instead of seeing what others have, appreciating it, and then determining to enhance oneself by working hard enough to create similar rewards or skills, we fall into the trap of denigrating the other person. This leads to periods of jealousy, bad behavior towards others, and possibly criminal behavioral. The internal sense of self is unable to accept that internal worth in the form of character, fortitude, integrity are created by accepting responsibility for oneself and not by mimicking others or what others may have.

Resentment prevents us from loving our self and others. Hence, unless the person has experienced a deep sense of being loved in terms of self-love and love from others, the capacity to hold others in good stead (graces) when faced with times of inferiority, doubt, embarrassment, or shame is significantly weakened. Coming from a strong sense of self, where we choose to fully live each moment, resentment will not grow and therefore will not darken and lead to misguided, criminal, or evil behavior.

Apathy (not caring) is caused by a freezing phantom. It prevents us from being generous with our self and therefore with others. Generosity to self and others is a virtue or value of many spiritual traditions. The awareness of such virtue is an deep inner awareness of "being enough" and "having enough". Without this sense of self, it is difficult to be generous to oneself. Moreover, generosity to others is most often jaded with attachments such as "see how great I am" or "see how I am generous" instead of knowing that generosity is simply the "right way" to be. Noteworthy, it is also foolhardy to give more than you have, which typically happens when you do not know at the core of yourself that you are "good enough" just as you are as a human being.

The Fifth Phantom: Facing


Returning to the bikini clad woman, she returned to base camp at the end of the day and told of her experience of fleeing from the bear. She told how she had realized her fear of the bear reflected her life and how she typically flees from any uncomfortable situation. She explained that she had spent the day facing her fears as she slowly retraced her trail to reclaim her belongings.

The fifth phantom involves an alchemical process that draws upon the four fear-based phantoms to create the energy to morph the phantoms into the fully developed four chambered heart. As a reminder, all four Phantoms are fed by the fear (lack of adequate internal support, fortitude, or knowing) which creates a sense of danger or lack of safety and prevents us from claiming our right to exist and to fully be the person that we are. If we are incapable of supporting ourselves to feel and to be safe, the four Phantoms will join forces to undermine our conscious existence through shadow behavior. However, if we are able to draw upon the innate energy of our eternal right to exist, we begin to discover our internal authority to face our fears and to transform them into a strong, clear, full, open heart.



What is your preferred style of response to fear?

Fight...face the fear directly with clear boundaries, swift action, or face the fear indirectly with rage, bullying, threats even when there is no serious threat or danger.

Flight...face the fear with clear assessment and right course of action to move out of dangerous situations, or to allow the fear to force you to leave situations that feel unsafe that may not be (unsafe).

Freeze...face the fear as real and worthy of your extra-sensory perceptions that are released upon the passing of the danger, or to automatically numb-out or desensitize to any situation that feels a little uncomfortable. defer when appropriate as a mean of hierarchical awareness or knowing when to take a stand, or to simply treat the world as completely unsafe except when you give all rights of internal authority to others.

How does your style typically occur in your life?

How has it served you in your day-to-day life?

How is it not serving you in your daily life?

When is your heart strong with courage?

How does it feel?

When does it occur?

How did it serve you?

When have you felt inferior, weak, doubtful?

How did it feel?

When does it occur?

How did it serve you?

When is your heart clear with respect for self and others?

How does it feel?

When does it occur?

How did it serve you?

When have you felt envy, jealousy, condescending?

How did it feel?

When does it occur?

How did it serve you?

When is your heart full with compassion or love for self and others?

How does it feel?

When does it occur?

How did it serve you?

When have you felt resentment, disdain, disregard?

How did it feel?

When does it occur?

How did it serve you?

When is your heart open with generosity for self and others?

How does it feel?

When does it occur?

How did it serve you?

When have you felt apathy for self and others?

How did it feel?

When does it occur?

How did it serve you?

After reviewing your answers to the prior pages, what is upper or innermost about how you approach life?

What have you learned about your self?

What would you like to do differently?

What are you willing to do to make these changes? List them.

How will you know that you succeeded?

Manifesting Your Intention

Develop a written prayer of gratitude for Grandfather Fear and each of the four Phantoms. Tell each of them how you appreciate what they have taught you. End the prayer with asking to be permitted to build the fire of courage in your belly so that you can live without each of them.

Create your Prayer

Prayer makes our intentions conscious for how to be in the world. On the next page, a comprehensive example has been created. I suggest that you use what fits you. Then, vow to say this prayer everyday for 30 days and express further gratitude for how your life is transformed. If you slip, laugh with Grandfather Fear, then start over.


Acknowledging Your Soul Intention


I am grateful to those who went before me for guidance to travel this day's path.

I am grateful to those who are yet to come for what this day holds for me.

I am grateful for the courage of my ancestors that fills my veins.

I am grateful for the love of all mankind that rests in my heart.

Of Great Spirit and Man is what I seek.

I ask for the Great Spirit to be at one with the Man and for the Man to walk as one with Great Spirit.

Acknowledging: The Phantoms of Fear

Grandfather Fear, I thank you for helping me to show-up in my life by teaching me about the four phantoms of fear—fight, flight, freeze and fawn—and the alchemical phantom fighter—facing—that leads to the Four Chambered Heart. I acknowledge that in times of true danger, each phantom serves me well and that in imaginative forms of danger from my past, each phantom does not serve my ability to live my life, yet has faithfully responded to my need to hide behind it. I acknowledge that it is only when I assume full responsibility for my life and face the imaginative fears that they will subside and the four phantoms will finally be able to rest.

Honoring: The Shadows and Stating Intentions

Inferiority and the need to feel victimized, I thank you for helping me find the courage to live my life. Like Wolf and Hawk and the Warrior within, I ask to Show up and be present without preconceived notions, while having the Ability to Take Action and Enforce Boundaries.

Envy and the urge to feel entitled, I thank you for helping me to understand how to respect myself and others. Like Cougar and Raven and the Sage within, I ask for The Ability to Assess, Analyze and Contain, while saying what is so when it is so, without blame or judgment.

Resentment and the need to be rescued, I thank you for helping to me to find the love for myself and for others. Like Black Bear and Owl and the Healer within, I ask for The Ability to Connect and Feel, while paying attention to what has heart and meaning.

Apathy and the urge to blame, I thank you for helping to find the generosity within myself and towards others. Like Buffalo and Eagle and the Mature Man within, I ask for The Ability to Initiate, Support and Create Order while being open to outcome.

I am grateful for the teaching of the four shadows and how they have acted to protect me when I was not strong enough to fully be myself.

Facing: Claiming One's Soul Right

Now, I ask all four phantomstfight, flight, freeze, fawn—to reveal themselves as appropriate to my surviving in dangerous situations and as reminders of how to thrive in my daily life by choosing to consciously live it to the fullest, instead of through the imaginative ghosts from my past.

I ask all shadow behavior—inferiority and victimization, envy and entitlement, resentment and the need to be rescued, apathy and the need to blame—to transform into memories of how I can choose to behave or not, while I seek to live each moment based on the internal authority of who I am and not what the external world thinks I should be.


I offer this prayer to the Great Spirit above and within and humbly ask for divine support to live my life to the fullest and bring honor to myself and my people.





Crystal Integration:
October 29-31

Healing Day:
October 28

The Halloween (Crystal Integration) workshop will focus on crystals and integration at the soul, individual and community levels. In some of the work, we will focus on the light body that is activated minerals (quartz) within the body. Some think that the activation of this light body is what regenerates our life force. Others believe that it is simply an illumination of the spirit. Regardless of your beliefs, we are going to explore this illumination through the creation of a massive sacred space.

Sacred Space

The sacred space will be anchored by an altar of 800-1000 pounds of rocks and crystals. In addition, each person is asked to bring eight (8) pieces of granite that will be used to create individual and intertwining sacred circles. The combination will be to create a massive healing energy to anchor the weekend.


Integration is the process by which we begin to support the chaos around and within us to form a new order. For some, this will be to complete the parallel (or past, if you are linear) life lessons and unfinished business, and/or to heal bleed-through. For others, it will be a return to the center, where the wisdom of internal authority will be rekindled to provide a guiding light for each person.

Bring your Stones including 8 pieces of granite

Each person is encouraged to bring whatever stones or crystals feel appropriate or necessary to support his or her process. In addition, several stones will be provided for use during workshop. Some of the crystals will be gifted to you. Bring eight (8) pieces of granite that will be used to create individual and intertwining sacred circles.

Limited to 26

We have limited the number of attendees to 26. First come, first served.

When and Where will it be held

The workshop is residential and will be held at a beautiful Lutheran kids camp at Dodgeville, WI. You will recieve detailed instructions with your registration. We will begin class at 9 am on each day and end at 3 pm on Sunday afternoon.

To Register: Please send a $100 deposit or the amount in full to Marie Smith, 19126 Campbell Hill Dr, Richland Center, WI 53581. If you have questions, please contact Marie Smith at or (608) 647-2366. The last day for registration is Monday, October 18, 2010. Cancellations received by Friday October 15 will get a full refund. After October 15th there will be a $50 processing fee.

Fee: $525 if payment is postmarked by Friday, October 15, 2010, which includes lodging for Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, 3 meals on Friday, 3 meals on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday. Late registration is $575. Please inquire if you need a partial or full scholarship. There is one full or two half scholarships as soon as we reach 20 participants. There is also a couples discount of $100 less per person.

Herb StevensonPresenter: Herb "One White Horse Standing" Stevenson (Shawnee and Cherokee) has been exploring indigenous healing practices for over 20 years. He has a private practice in crystal energy healing, specializing in trauma-related work. He provides workshops around the country upon request. For more information about Herb and his other classes go



This is a shamanic newsletter and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Any person needing therapeutic support should contact a mental health professional immediately.