Monday, December 17, 2007

Yule Enjoy This

It has been a very long time since my last posting. My apologies to all my readers. This time of year gets very busy, to which I am sure you can all relate. My wife was asking me more about Yule the other day. It made me realize that there is some stuff that folks might not know.

First off, the full moon in December is called the Oak Moon. Why? Well, now that you is because it is named for the Oak King. The Oak King and the Holly King are brothers in the realm of Deity. Twice a year they battle for the hand of the Maiden Goddess. At summer solstice, the Holly King wins the battle and so we begin to have less light from the sun and darkness descends upon the world. At Yule, or winter solstice, the Oak King wins the battle. Thus we have increasing light come into our world. So how does this pertain to our current belief structures? Well, first off, when you look at the myth of the birth of Jesus you will find a lot of similarities to those of other birth stories of other deities. Basically the Son of God (Sun of God) is born. There are a lot of other things involved as well when it comes to the similarities of religious beliefs, but I would like to look more at some of the deeper meanings.

Within us all there is always a struggle between the Light and the Dark. This is an eternal struggle and, for those who think that they can win one over they other, let me tell you that the only way to win this particular struggle is to abandon it completely. The more we try to be only Light, the stronger our shadow side will emerge. The more we try to be only darkness, the stronger our light side will emerge. Jung would love this stuff! Anyway, the thing is to allow both to coexist in harmony with each other, each a powerful ally to the other. So we need to be strong and gentle along with a little wild and crazy. That way we don't drive ourselves bonkers trying to wear a mask that will only fit part of the time and only serve to smother us the rest of the time.

Yule is a time for indulgence. My favorite indulgence at this time of year is chocolate. Why do we indulge? Because our ancestors did. It was a time to celebrate the bounty of the coming year. So eat lots, drink and be merry and full of cheer. We don't have to be gluttonous drunks in order to do this. We just need to give ourselves permission to become less anal about having to show up at the gym (you pick your own personal dogma here!) on Christmas morning to make sure we don't break our routine workout for even a nano second. We can have that little Hershey's kiss and not worry about putting on 10 pounds. We can laugh and have a great time losing weight by laughing with friends, which will make up for any we put on in the last 5 minutes! We can celebrate! CELEBRATE! Now, for all the hyper religious folks out there, I would just like to point out the difference in spelling. It is spelled C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E. Not c-e-l-i-b-a-t-e. That is where the most fun part of indulgence comes into play! Yes, most of Christmas traditions are based on pagan traditions that are about 4000 years older that Christianity itself. So what? This just means that we can all have a LOT in common for a change.

So don't be so afraid of the dark. After all, that is where the true benefits in the difference in spelling takes place! This is also probably why there are so many September babies born the following year.

Okay, so it is late at night when I am writing this and I am just going to post it and not worry about editing. That will mean that I will rely on you, the reader, to comment on it to let me actually know if you did indeed enjoy this posting. What say you?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Solstice Gatherings

Having missed this week's drumming circle, I find myself waiting with great anticipation for next week's Yule Ceremony. The Winter Solstice is a very meaningful time for me. Besides all the stuff about the mystical aspects of what the Solstice is, I find that personally it is a time of joy and light. This was affected for a while after having numerous members of my family (mother, father, mother-in-law and sister) die very close to each other over just a couple of short years. For a while there, I found the Yule season challenging. That is all part of the grieving process. But now I am back to experiencing the light and the joy of this time of year.

I enjoy getting together with friends and family and just visiting or playing board games. I very much enjoy the Christmas lights that are all around the house and the city. I adore the way the moonlight plays off of the sparkles in the snow. These things are magical to me. They remind me that in every glint of snow and in every star in the sky there is a connection with every cell of my body and that I am at one with all of Existence. Every light on the Yule tree reminds me of the endless light within my heart and the connection my heart has to all those around me. I also end up spending a LOT of time blowing snow out of our driveway. This is an arduous task, but it does give me time to think about my many blessings. One of the most delicious things for me is to get on a sled or toboggan or whatever and SLIIIIIIIDE down a hill. I think this appeals to my Otter Medicine. Climbing back up the hill is another story, but well worth the effort because I can then have the thrill of the slide once again!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fire Dance Ceremony

Last Tuesday's Drumming Circle was a Fire Dance Ceremony. Much too cold to do this out doors, so I set up 3 fire cauldrons in the center of my sacred temple, otherwise known as the "Shaman's Hut". We gave thanks into one of the cauldrons, representing the Maiden aspect of the Goddess. Three candles represented the Father, Son, and Sage, while the other 2 cauldrons represented the Mother and Crone. The fire was lit and the circle began to drum, with individuals entering the circle to dance around the fire. What a beautiful sight! Part way through I received the message to "jump the cauldron to the other," which I have never done. But, being an air elemental, I decided to give it a whirl. Lo and behold, I was able to take the flame from one cauldron to another. And then later from that one to a third! We now had 3 flaming cauldron to dance around! And dance we did! It was very healing for all participants. I found myself to be profoundly affected by this experience. It spoke to the "Ember" within me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Drumming Circle

Last nights Drumming Circle was such a blast! Originally it was set out to just be a big jam session, but as usual, we can't just drum. Even if that is our intent some pretty huge healing just happens. I loved having my friends, Trish, Vanitha and Gail there. What a cool combination of feminine energies! My youngest daughter was also there and, to tell you the truth, I had no idea that this little Frog Clan person could play a wooden frog so well! Last, but not least, my nephew was there. This was his first drumming circle and he did so well. Thank you all for attending and bringing such vibrant energies into the circle and into my life!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Vision Quests

I often get the question, "What is involved in a Vision Quest?". The short answer is "Lots of preparation". The long answer is this: Without the preparation involved, you are only going to hallucinate. Hallucinations result when one starves the body of food and water. That is a chemical reaction, not a vision. There are many traditions that include the fasting aspect, and if that is what you are into, then that is cool. I would encourage people to realize though, that this leads to hallucinations, not visions. People also don't necessarily need to attend a sweat lodge to Vision Quest. And, with the preparation involved, they certainly don't need any medicine plants. These are also hallucinogenics. There is nothing a vision inducing plant can bring us that our own receptive minds cannot.

So how does one prepare? To begin with, the energy system of the individual must be strong enough to do a Vision Quest. This means working with the chakras, the auric fields and the meridian flow to release mental, emotional, physical and spiritual blockages that disconnect us from our own inner source. When this is done, the kundalini (flow of energies through all the energetic bodies) is cleared and activated so that you can achieve a receptive state of being. The practice of quiet meditation also helps tremendously.

Sometimes it is also important to prepare yourself by having ceremonial healing work done. This can include releasing toxic energies that bind you, having soul retrieval done, or resolving ancestral and karmic issues. The more you do, the better you will be prepared for the Vision Quest. Needless to say, the preparation can take a lot of time, but it is also extremely worth the work put into it.

The Vision Quest is a time when you receive a vision or visions given by spirit that will help guide you on your sacred path. In other words, it is a moment of inspiration (when Spirit enters us and guides us). With the loving guidance of Spirit, and with the clarity and groundedness of the preparatory work, you can find yourself achieving a much deeper connection to your own inner guidance. We all have inner guidance. Most folks just don't resonate with it. The preparation helps us to resonate well, thus allowing ourselves to open and receive that "inner wisdom voice" that lets us know what the next step needs to be in our lives.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Crystals and Healing Stones

A very dear friend of mine says that she has "rocks in her head". This means that rocks and crystals communicate to her. When I realized what she was saying, I replied, "Me too!" and we have been instant friends ever since. The crystals and healing stones I use in my healing therapies communicate to me when they want to be utilized, how, and for whom. This is a very sacred connection for me. Rocks and crystals never lie. They will always speak truth because they are nature's record keepers. I have also recently had a friend bring me a crystal from Tibet, which turned out to be the "sister" of the one I have carried with me for years which came from northern Ontario and asked me to find her sister for her. My crystal squealed when she saw the one I pulled out of the gift bag. That is so cool when you can, inadvertently, help a family reunion take place in the mineral kingdom!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Earth Honoring

The trees speak to me. They tell me of weather changes, upcoming migrations of animals and birds and of shifts in the energy grids of the earth. I am told that the reason spirit speaks to me is because I am a good listener. At these times I know to keep my mouth shut and use my ears. Because I hear what spirit says, I connect deeply with the earth. She is a living, sentient being and she has needs and provides everything that we, in turn, need in order to live upon her body. Have you ever held a stone or crystal in your hand and experienced a resonance with its energy? This is a communion with the Earth. Some just dismiss this type of thing. Others take note of it with much confusion. Then the rest of us know that this has deep meaning. We respond to her call. This is what responsibility is all about....the ability to respond.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pagan Holy Days

This evening we are celebrating Samhain (Hallowe'en) in the traditional way. We are gathering in circle to celebrate the crossing of the Veil. This is a time that we honor those who have crossed over to the other side of the Veil, as well as celebrate those who are reincarnating back to this side of the Veil. We will also be blessing personal talismans for the coming year.

Samhain is the ancient Pagan New Year. It was traditionally celebrated during the Full Moon of October (the "Blood Moon"), which honored the life force energies. Blood is our life force in our physical bodies, so it became known as the "Blood Moon". It is a time of celebrating the cycles of life, death, and rebirth.

This evening's circle promises to be a large gathering. I feel very honored to be able to lead such an important ceremony for the people.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Inner Vision

People often ask me, because I have the ability to "see" things, how they can develop this type of inner vision. One must first understand that there are some who are born with this gift. Even so, if one doesn't do their work in developing an understanding of the gift and how to use it, then you won't be able to interpret what it is you see. For example, I can see the aura energies and the chakra energies and the meridian energies and so on, but if I had not put YEARS of learning into this ability, I would have been useless in knowing what to do with what I was seeing. So for a person to expect in any way that just by opening up the "third eye" they will have it cased is like telling anyone who can hold a scalpel that they are now ready to perform surgery. Yes, when I said years, I meant it. Too often folks open up and begin to perceive and then place all of the interpretations of those perceptions into the old box of reality. This can create chaos, to say the least.

Meditation, and I mean lots of it, will help to open the third eye and then help you practice the perception of what is seen. The first type of meditation anyone should learn (yes, I just should upon many) is zazen meditation. This involves the "emptying" of the mind through breathing so that clarity of vision and perception can enter the visions.

Vision Questing is also important as it takes one out of the familiar and into nature and tests one's endurance, thus busting up a lot of perception dogma. This makes us experience, instead of expect. When we expect anything, we create that expectation. When we allow ourselves to experience it, then we learn on a deeply intuitive and authentic level.

Energy healing techniques also serve well to help the overall adjustment of the inner vision and the rest of the energy system while the development of the third eye unfolds. This is gentle and gradual and does not usually have anything "erupt" from within in an unmanageable way. The purpose of the energy healing techniques is precisely to allow the unfolding to be gradual, not rushed or pushed.

I encourage folks to start not with one or the other of these three suggestions, but with all of them. When working in tandem with each other, the overall effect of these three different styles is quite remarkable.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fire Ceremony

This week our drumming circle is having a Fire Ceremony. The element of fire is one that represents the Spirit aspect of our being. When we are in a balanced state, we are able to achieve clarity, illumination and enlightenment. Once this is achieved we are able to determine our paths based on our spiritual consciousness. One could use the analogy of the Spirit of the Law vs the Letter of the Law. When unconscious we only go by the letter, or by the "book" so to speak, while moving through our lives. When we become conscious (that is to say spiritually aware) we are able to move through our lives utilizing the Spirit of the Law. So we will sometimes not be able to do something even though logically it makes sense, because on an intuitive and authentic level it just won't fit into our level of awareness or consciousness.

In a fire ceremony, we are able to align ourselves more clearly with our Spiritual Path, or Path of Purpose. This may not be able at times to be clearly articulated, but it will be felt on a deep soul level. We will find ourselves resonating with what is true and right for us, regardless of what the masses of "ordinary" folks may think. This can be truly liberating! I hope that there will be a lot of people show up for this circle gathering, as it promises to be a powerful one. In any case, I know that the folks who do show up are the ones who are meant to be there, and it will all be perfect.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Drumming Circle

Most Tuesday evenings I hold a Drumming Circle in my sacred space, called Transformational Tuesday. This is an opportunity for folks to gather together and share in the circle, as well as to connect with each other and with the world at large through the beat of the drum.

The drum creates a vibrational flow that is extremely close to the vibration of the earth itself, as measured by scientists. This connection builds within us as the sound of the drum moves through our bodies, and then helps us to transcend into spirit consciousness.

I like to combine this with the occasional cauldron ceremony which helps the group set healing intent. Between the drums, the chants, the rattles and the flames from the cauldron, we are able to set up an excellent vibe that travels throughout the universe and back. Positive ripples are always good because, let's face it, the world sends out quite enough negative ones.

This week we are going to be increasing our connections to our Power Animals. I can hardly wait. Although we experience whichever Power Animal or Power Animals that come through, I am personally hoping to connect more deeply with my Wolf Medicine. My Wolf has always guided me straight and true, even when I have wanted to take a more twisty, turning path. She knows the paths very well and is able to get me back home safe and sound every time. I think I sometimes make it difficult for her with my agendas and expectations, but I am learning to let go of these and I am hoping that in circle she will hear my prayers of apologies for beings such a pain at times. I love her scent and the way her fur feels, so soft and so long. And I especially like the spooky look in her eyes. I think I may have inherited that from her, if that is possible.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mystical Moments

Yesterday I was out in my yard in the early morning. As I came around the corner I found that the sunlight was breaking through just after sunrise and the warmth of the light was evaporating the frost that was on the grass. As it did so, there was the most wonderful mist rising all around our yard and house. I just had to take a moment and truly appreciate the mystical aspect of nature in action. I am so glad that I did, too, because a minute or two later the effect was all gone as the frost was burned off.

It was events such as this that the ancients considered to be sacred. I can completely understand why. I fully expected to find nature spirits and fairies all around, but what I found instead was a stillness that echoes in my mind even today and I am sure for years to come. It was such a peaceful moment without a sound to be heard. I feel truly blessed because instead of a bunch of individual spirits around me, I was surrounded by Great Spirit. For a moment I felt as though all else fell away, even my own identity, and I truly became one with Spirit. I think that I will continue to access the memory of this moment as a meditation for a very long time.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Power Animals

While outside chopping up kindling for my fireplace this morning, there was a massive sized flock of Canada Geese that flew over. They were quite loud and, of course, in perfect formation. The medicine of the Canada Goose has to do with commitment. They mate for life and if a partner in a couple dies, the remaining partner does not mate with another. Makes us think about the social structure we screw up when we are hunting them!

The flock made me contemplate the areas of commitment I have in my life. I am extremely committed to my family and to my role as a shaman. Sometimes the two clash a bit, but for the most part I am very fortunate that I have a lovely wife who is very supportive of what I do and the time it sometimes takes from the family. She knows that I have a purpose in the world and that I serve the community at large with the healing work I do. I am very grateful for that.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

October 9, 2007

The next Transformational Tuesday Drumming Circle will be on Tuesday, October 16th from 7:00 to 9:00 in the evening. This week we will be Journeying to our Power Animals. Newcomers are always welcome and we have plenty of rhythm instruments to go around. We always enjoy hearing the unique voice of a new drum, rattle, flute, or whatever. The cost is $12/person. You can email me if you need directions for how to get here at .

Also, I have an exciting new workshop coming up at the end of October!

Healing Sound
Join myself and Evan Janzen for this uplifting and powerful workshop that celebrates sound and its effect on our energy systems. You will experience Singing Bowls, Gongs, Drums, Rattles, Chanting, Whistles and more. If it makes a sound that can be used to heal the energy system, we will have it.

Sound moves through our energy system and moves blocked energies out, as well as brings fresh energy in. Essentially we are energy beings in human form, not humans with an energy system. So sound helps us to improve our connection to who we truly are in the universe. The Registration Deadline (with $50 deposit) is October 19th. The Healing Sound Workshop is on the evening of Friday, October 26th from 7:00 - 9:00 and on Saturday, October 27th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The total cost is $225 (+gst). This is a truly dynamic event, so I hope you all will consider it on your sacred path.

FOR THOSE WHO ARE NEW TO MY BLOG: I also have a website that you can check out at .

Musings for the day:
I spent most of my day raking up fallen leaves, loading them into my tractor-pulled wagon, and dumping them in the bush so that they are off our lawn. Sometimes I wish we could just leave them there because they are so beautiful with all the fall colors. However, they do create mold that my daughters and I have a sensitivity to, so off they go.
While raking, which I find to be a contemplative activity, I was thinking about the cycles of life. I heard somewhere that the green color of leaves is when they are actually well tanned from the sun and the autumn colors are their more natural colors. Then I thought that it would be really cool if, as we came to the end of our cycle of life, we as humans could also turn whatever color or flavor we wanted to. If my skin could do what the leaves can do, I would want to be purple or at the very least a deep shade of red. I really like how close the two colors are. Red and Purple are very close in the color wheel. And they are the two extremes in the chakras, the red being at the bottom and the purple being at the top. When we touch our toes our crown chakras can blend with our base chakras. That is the color I want, the perfect blend.
I love the fact that fall comes along. I see death and decay as sacred. Eventually we all become part of the earth once again in another way and end up feeding the grass that feeds the animals that we as humans have hunted and eaten through our lifetimes. So we are as symbiotic with those animals as we are with the trees, who feed us oxygen and who also get fed back every time we exhale. Is it any wonder we can connect so intimately with plants and animals?

First Entry

Hello everyone! This is my first entry into my blog site, so bear (pardon the pun) with me while I get used to this process.