Thursday, January 31, 2008

Caring for Animals/Caring for Self

We have a few animals around our home. Two birds, a cat, two dogs and several wild birds that we feed through the winter. We used to also have two guinea pigs and several fish. That got to be just too much work. When one begins to resent the work involved more than one enjoys the relationship with the animal, it is time to find them a new home.

The same could be said for relationships. Yes, all relationships take some work and care. But there are some relationships that require much more high maintainence than others. These ones tend to drain the heck out of our energy. We find ourselves twisting into pretzels trying to make something work, anything work, within this kind of relationship and still end up exhausted on a deep soul level. If something or someone doesn't feed your soul, then it is far better to not have it and look for something or someone who does. I have never yet met a person who has made that hard decision and regretted it later.

I find caring for animals generally fulfilling. The relationship between a human and an animal can be extremely magical. For example, it is rare that I don't pick up on my dogs' thoughts that they would like to go outside for awhile. It is also rare that I can't pick up on where the cat is. We have a bit of a telepathic connect. I remember dreaming one night that my dog had her chin on my bed and when I opened my eyes I saw her lips move as she mouthed the words,"I need to go outside and pee right NOW." Suddenly I really did open my eyes and there she was with her chin on my bed. I whispered,"Do you need out?" and she bolted for the door with such speed I knew I'd better be hot on her tail before she lost control of her bladder.

It is man's (by that I mean all human beings for those who are anally politically correct) job to care for the earth. That includes the earth's creatures. This is why we feed the birds outside as well as feed our own animal family. If we didn't do this, they could certainly die in our -48 C weather. As it is, some probably will die. The wheel turns. But if we can help in any way, we certainly will. I was very pleased this summer to find a few deer also utilizing our land as a grazing zone. The only challenge was allowing that while keeping our dogs away from them. The relationship between dog and deer is what it is. The dogs chase and the deer run. Hopefully the deer come back and the dogs get used to their presence in the pasture as much as they did the presence of the horses a few years ago.

I find that caring for the animals, domestic and wild, to be something that connects me on a deeper level with nature. Learning their language is important as well. I have learned to mimic the sounds of each of my pets. I figure if I expect them to understand my language then I had better learn to speak theirs as well. What I am saying could be completely stupid in translation, but at least I am attempting the process. That is all we can do really. If we give it some effort, there is bound to be some good results.

Blessed Be


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Masculine Revolution

Seems to me we need a Masculine Revolution. The only trouble with that is that men as a group don't tend to get organized and network as well as do women when it comes to revolutions. If the revolution has something to do with war and kicking serious butt, then yes, men are all over that. But when it comes to an actual revolution of consciousness, then men tend to preoccupy themselves with the football game and such. I'm a man. I know these things. I have been there and done that, and quite frankly, it got very boring very quickly.

So what the heck do I mean by a Masculine Revolution? Well, we are finding as men that our roles in society are changing radically and rapidly. Our roles as fathers are now not just "providers" and emotionally absent "kings of the castle", but are nurturers and caregivers. We now do things like clean bathrooms. We do these things because they need to be done, not because our wives and live in partners have nagged us to do them. We are becoming more conscious of how bloody hard our mothers worked themselves into the ground while our fathers ignored it and preoccupied themselves with the football game. Don't get me wrong, I love football. But there is a time and a place for everything. So now we no longer "help out" around the house and "babysit" our own kids. I hate it when I am with my children and someone says to me,"So you are babysitting today?" ARRRRGH!!!! I am caring for my children! I am their FATHER! That is what fathers do now days, so get on the same page and know that there is nothing (NOTHING) more important to me than my children. If I were a babysitter, I would get paid to do this stuff. Instead, I am investing my time and energy into being there for my children so that they know what a strong and gentle male is and will hopefully partner up with another strong and gentle male and not just some beer swigging redneck bloke!

In my vision of a Masculine Revolution we change from the inside and thus ripple that change to the outside world. We don't have to take up arms to perform this revolution. We do need to take up a new awareness of what it is to be male. We won't have anything to "prove" about being male. We will grow confidence and self-trust from within. We will have integrity and not be pushed about by society's expectations that we live up to some stereotype role of a male.

A true warrior is someone who will make 40,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for his children over the course of 12 years or until they know how to do it for themselves. For some children this learning curve comes way before 12. For some....well it may be a bit after that, but hopefully not much. A true warrior is present and accountable in his child's life, not absent and aloof. He is there to help his child to learn what it truly is to be a responsible person. That means taking the consequences as well as the praise. Learning how to personally grow is an important part of anyone's life. A true warrior teaches other warriors how to walk through life with love and peace and connection to the world around him. He teaches this to his sons and to his daughters. His sons will learn how to show respect to elders and to their wives and lovers. His daughters will be confident and capable of corporate work, or mothering (the most challenging job she will ever have) or both. There will be open hearts, full hearts, strong hearts and clear hearts involved in every interaction.

I will probably blog more on this, so do stay tuned. Just know that for now, the revolution is happening and it is silent in sound, but thunderous in effect.

Blessed Be


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Castles and Self-care

There are certain things that castles need in order to function. The first thing is a good set of fortress walls. This helps keep out invaders who are full of malice. A castle also does well with a moat. This serves as an additional boundary before one even gets to the walls. If there is a moat, then there also needs to be a drawbridge, which can be lowered when guests are arriving and raised when danger is afoot, or when it is time to turn in for the night. Castles also need a warm hearth, a place to gather around the fire and connect with those near and dear to us. On the walls there is often a series of tapestries that bring color to the gray walls and also serve to keep out drafts. It is also important that a castle has a flag that is raised to indicate such things as when the occupants are home, when someone has died, when there is distress and so on.

As individuals, we also need proper walls. These walls are not just to keep everyone out, but to protect us from those with malice in their hearts. In shamanic terms this would be known as a Medicine Shield. We need distinct emotions that are displayed (emotions are the water element...the moat) at appropriate moments and let others know where we are and if we are approachable. We also need to be able to bridge across our emotions and connect with others when we would like to invite them into our sacred space. At the same time, we need the awareness within to know when it is time to draw up the bridge. The hearth is similar to a warm heart. When we meet the world with a warm heart, we find that the world warms to us very well, for the most part. This allows us to connect with those in our lives who are most important, and to be friendly with others who are around us. The tapestries that we create with our lives weave us into the fabric of others' lives, and vise versa. The communication with others can, as a result, become colorful and beautiful in design. This communication with others also helps to keep us warm in their embrace, and they in ours. Now and then, we also need to pay attention to our "flags" of communication. We need to make sure that we send out the correct signals to others, and don't simply expect them to "know" what is going on inside the castle if we don't have the flags functioning. When we are in distress, we need to be able to communicate this clearly so that others can come and help. If we are available, then we also need to communicate this with the proper signals (or flags) so that others can respond by getting together with us for friendly connections.

In many ways, we as humans are like castles. If we take care of our castles they will keep us safe and warm for years and years. If we neglect them, they deteriorate and fall down. The same can be said of our bodies. And when we pay attention to our own inner signals, they also keep us safe for years. When we confuse the signals within ourselves, then we learn to mistrust them and set ourselves up for many a fall over the years.

So keep your castles in good running condition. Treat them well and enjoy sharing them with others who are worthy. Stay connected with the signals and pay attention to the signals in others as well.

Blessed Be


Monday, January 28, 2008

Free Expression vs. Good Impressions

What is a home? Is it a place where basically we just eat and occasionally sleep? Is it a place that is a sanctuary? Is it a place that we gather with friends? Is it all of these?

I heard an expression used the other day while watching "Yours, Mine and Ours", the new version. The character of Helen, played by Rene Russo, said that "A home is for free expression, not good impressions." This got me thinking. Back in my bachelor days I did the whole, "Couldn't give a flying %$!@^ what people think of my home, I will drop my cloths wherever they may fall and I will clean whenever I get around to it. This was a far cry from the "you can eat off my kitchen floor" days that were earlier on. It was, shall we say, slovenly. But was it free expression, or just laziness and rebellion? I think it was more the latter than the former. Now that I am more of a minimalist that I ever was, my home is more filled with expression than ever, yet it is also simple in nature. This allows the energy to flow well throughout the space.

Now this is not to say that there are not designated disaster zones. My daughter just cleaned up the family room in the basement after 2 weeks of hardly being able to walk from the steps to the computer without stumbling over playmobile villages and creatively designed castles. Now THAT is free expression. But after awhile, even this gets a bit much. I figure if I have to start digging my way to the computer to do my blogging, then something's gotta give. She was very sweet about it. She waited till I was outside snowblowing for 4 hours today and then had at it, not just cleaning up the playmobile metro center (which by now it had become), but also remaking the spare bed, categorizing the DVD's by rating (PG on the far left, then General, then old comedies etc) and designated an old pair of "granny" cushions that neither she nor her sister like to a chair that is going to their grandpa's place. This space looks FABULOUS! I asked her why she cleaned up the playmobile when she could have left it out to play and just cut a path to the computer and she said, "Oh, I'm done with that for now. I have other things I want to play with now."So the free expression room is now perfectly tidy. Mind you....I haven't yet looked in her bedroom!

Although I enjoy having people come into my home and comment on how lovely it is, this is not the main purpose of keeping it tidy. It is a place where my wife and I are able to kick back and relax. When we have a disaster zone in the middle of our living space, we both get on edge and things start going downhill fast. It is like the disaster zone is a magnet for other "disasters" to pop into our lives. So, having learned that we need peace and flow of energy, we do our best to keep it as tidy as we can without being too anal about it. And we do this regardless of what others may think.

Blessed Be


Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Wheel Turns

In almost every tradition there are Medicine Wheel teachings. Some of these teachings will vary from one tradition to the next, but each tradition is correct, each for their own valid reasons. So often I have had people complain about the fact that my medicine wheel is set up "incorrectly" in some way, shape or form. What they are really saying is that they have become rigid in their beliefs and think that their way is the only way.

The thing is that the Medicine Wheel teaches us that each way is valid. There are many paths up the same sacred mountain, and they all reach the top. If you were to look at sacred mountain from above the tip if it, you would find that its cone shape creates a medicine wheel and that the spokes out to the edges are many. Each spoke is a different path so that everyone on Mother Earth is able to find their way up the mountain.

My most recent configuration of the Medicine Wheel (there have been many according to what the wheel - a sentient being - communicates it needs) is that of a spiral. This has by far been the most powerful of all the configurations to date. Some folks who are medicine wheel "experts" don't even recognize the formation as a medicine wheel because, again, they have become rigid in their beliefs of what a medicine wheel should look like. It doesn't have to be a circle with 4 or 8 spokes. It can be a series of circles, spirals, geometric configurations and the like. They can resemble mandalas and crop circle formations. They can be as elaborate or as simple as each person can imagine. But they still are medicine wheels. They can be made of stone, of plants, of crystals, of wood, of any number of materials. And they will resonate with the "creator" of them. I put that word in quotation marks because the creator is the Creator, who is infusing us with the information of how to set one up, where and for what purposes. We become "inspired", or have spirit in us.

I mentioned that my wheel is a sentient being. Well, this is true. It talks to me and I listen. It gives me pictures and I see them. It gives me feelings through my body and I experience them. Basically it connects me in a vast array of ways, and for this I am always grateful. This is why I have agreed to be the caregiver of this wheel. Some day, perhaps someone else will be the caregiver of it. But for now, this is part of my job as a shaman. I am the keeper and caregiver of the wheel. And the wheel turns......

Blessed Be


Friday, January 25, 2008

Vibrational Transmitters

It has been said in many oral traditions that everything we think, say and do will ripple forth for the next seven generations. This also applies to those who don't happen to have children of their own. So how does this work, anyway?

We can understand this more easily when we wrap our minds around the fact that we are vibrational transmitters. Our thoughts, our actions and our words are energies that create a ripple in the pond of universal energies. Spirit then feels this and responds. As it responds, what we have sent out comes back to us, magnified several fold. This is also called "instant karma", which is totally a groovy thing because it means we don't even have to send out bad thoughts at the fool that cut us off in traffic, because that same fool will have some of that negative energy he just created bite him in the keester.

But the way it ripples so long and far (the 7 generations thing) is quite amazing. That is where generational karma comes into effect. What our ancestors sowed, we now reap. And we have to make sure that what we sow is something our future generations will appreciate reaping. After all, we are taking care of the earth for them, not for us. Yes, this also goes into the whole tree hugging thing. If we don't take care of the earth mother, then she won't be able to support us. We may not see that happen in our lifetime, but others will in theirs. This is why we need to respect her and care for her. The future generations are only loaning her to us for right now. It is much the same as an inheritance that is put into the care of a custodian until the child comes of age. It can be used to provide for the growing child, but it does not belong to the custodian.

So it becomes very important to watch not just what we say and do, but also what we think, because those thoughts will ripple out as well. And we want positive ripples to return. This does not mean that we don't slip up now and then. But when we do, we need to replace it with a much more positive vibrational thought. It also doesn't hurt to say "cancel that" to the negative one. Spirit will hear that as well. ;-)

Blessed Be


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Respect and the Art of Forgiveness

This is a concept that has been popping up in my life a lot of late. I have had a number of relationships in which this has been an issue. What I have learned by trial and error is that I need to be conscious of my actions and my words always. Even then, there will be some who will take offense at something I have said or done when the intent was never to harm in any way. Sometimes people perceive things in a way that is unique to their own sensitivities, and thus paint others actions and words with a broad brush that makes everything "offensive". One need only be the only male in a contemporary feminism class to experience that trip first hand!

So how can we be respectful and yet maintain our own personal flavor or style? The only thing I can say is that what has worked for me is mindfulness. When we are mindful of those around us we naturally don't want to offend or to hurt them. So we can then communicate more clearly and delicately while maintaining our own sense of self, our own sense of humor, our own sense of flare. After a while, when we get to know one another even better, we can relax a little and show other aspects of ourselves through our communication styles.

And let's face it, the more intimate a relationship is, the more colorful the communication will get over time. The main thing is to remember that we care about each other. When we accidentally hurt someone's feelings we need to acknowledge it, apologize, and find a way to make amends that will be meaningful to the person who was hurt. If, after all that, the person is still unwilling to forgive us, then it is their problem, not ours. At the same time, I have had the experience of having someone (more than one person actually) do and say some very hurtful things, but then when they apologize there is always a "but" included, which is followed by a barrage of excuses and accusations. This is not an apology. It does not come from the heart, and it is not worth the time of day. Those who have done this habitually quickly find themselves outside of my circle of trust. That is my nice way of saying I kick them out of my life. So we need to be very conscious of how we apologize and make sure we follow through with the amends part.

Now here I have to also mention that there is a particular "philosophy" (shall we say) about forgiveness that forces people to feel guilty if they don't immediately forgive the offender, whether or not the offender has actually owned up to the ill doing, apologized for it, or made amends. I think we all know of which philosophy I write. All I can say in response to that is....what the heck would then motivate the offender to improve his or her behavior if there are no consequences whatsoever???? Turning the other cheek does not motivate change in them. It only sets us up to be kicked in the teeth from yet another angle.

When we make someone walk through the three "A's" of forgiveness (acknowledgement, apology and amends) we help them to grow emotionally into better people. We actually do them a favor by not doing them the wrong favor of forgiving them without the three A's being fulfilled. This will then also be a demonstration of deep respect and caring for the person who has offended, because we are not letting them off the hook. What we are saying to them is that they are important enough to us that we are willing to walk through this struggle with them. And the amends does not have to be elaborate in nature. It can simply be the promise kept that this sort of behavior will not happen again. It can be as easy as "my kitchen floor needs do that for me today and we are squared away." Whatever it is that would be something meaningful in some way to the offendee is the best way. If we, as the offender, don't know what that would be, then ask. Even if they need to think about it, they will at least know that we care enough to want to do the work. And once the work is done, no grudges can be held and we can go on with the relationship free and clear of all the clutter, but enriched by the experience.

Blessed Be


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Custom and Ceremony

Yeats wrote, "In custom and ceremony are innocence and beauty born." I love that. I find that no matter how intense a ceremony is, it births a new being within, one that is innocent and full of potential. There are customs that do the same. And when we observe custom, such as showing respect to others, beauty is abundant in our lives.

I am now doing Shamanic Tea Ceremonies. This is an opportunity, through ritual and custom, to have a special tea, and then have the leaves read. This is an ancient form of divination, one that matches the runes, casting of bones, reading the flames and scrying through the water. The ritual itself is simple and beautiful, and then the reading is powerful and multidimensional.

I have had this training for over forty years. And I used to do this for a living way back. So why did I get away from it? Well, other things just seemed more important at the time. But I am now at a place in my life when offering this service once again is of tantamount importance. Perhaps it is simply the offering of the ritual and the divination process. Perhaps there is something more that it is leading me towards. In any case, I will take the leap. After all, as Edward Teller says, "When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it is time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen; either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly." I am going to completely trust this process. I already know, from the tea ceremonies that I have already done recently, that they are even more powerful that they were many years ago. So there is confidence on that front. But, as with any form of divination, one never knows what one will see. So there could definitely be some adventures along the way. I am an adventurous sort, on!

Blessed Be


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hot and Sweaty

Tonight the Transformational Tuesday Drumming Circle had a Full Moon Ceremony. We did a manifestation (or series of them) for 2008. Interesting that someone pointed out (you know who you are) that there were 8 of us at this ceremony for manifestations for 2008, and that out of the eight there were 4 hoop drums and 4 Jembes (I never remember how to spell that, sorry).

It was a very powerful ceremony indeed with lots of spirits in attendance. Some of them actually touched some of us physically and worked on healing our energy systems. Now is that cool or what?!

I am so grateful to all who came out and helped make this circle a success. Each of you brings such a vibrant energy to the mix, the flavor of which cannot be reproduced by anyone else anywhere in space or time.

Blessed Be


Monday, January 21, 2008

The Body

We have such strange messages about our bodies....too fat, too thin, not toned enough, not tanned enough, not strong enough, not soft enough, too short, too tall, the list can go on and on and on.

The thing is that the body is the temple. It is the only one we have this time around. The temple is for holding. This speaks to a number of layers. From the time we are born to the time we die we all need to be held. It does not matter how much time passes between these two major events. We still need to be held. Our bodies heal faster with human touch. Our emotions heal when we are held. And our bodies also hold our soul energies while we are here. Our bodies are the temples of our souls. This is why we simply need to love it, bless it, and keep it as healthy as we possibly can with the cards that we are dealt. If we abuse our bodies or if we dirty them up with silly stuff, we are abusing our souls. We need to appreciate our bodies for what they are and to celebrate our bodies as something of the Divine, instead of something that is out of "original sin", whatever the heck that is supposed to mean. We all have a piece of God/Goddess in us. That makes our bodies as Holy as any Deity. Our bodies are sacred vessels that house our souls and through which our spirits are able to express themselves.

So for all of us who have ever in our lifetimes had negative messages about our bodies, I encourage a real re-evaluation of the validity of any of these messages as well as a serious infusion of Holy consciousness into who and what our bodies and ourselves really are.

Blessed Be


Celebrations of Success

I was in a store with my family today and my 12 year old found something that she thought she might like to purchase. She is very conscientious about making decisions, especially when it comes to money, so she wanted our opinions on whether or not we thought it would be a good purchase. Yes, it is a very nice object. Yes, it is also something that comes with a sizable price tag. So I told her that if she truly wanted it, and she knew that she had enough money for it without breaking her bank account, and she knew that she would get a LOT of use out of it, then she can feel free to purchase it. But I also told her that she needed to do so without looking back. She needed to fully enjoy the thing and not in any way feel guilty about the buy. She decided to wait. Later today I had to go back into town, so she came along with me and we also went back to the store and she bought it. I was so impressed with her ability to contemplate and to remove herself from the environment of the store so that she didn't feel pressure to purchase something and could then make a clear decision. She loves it and she does not fee guilty in any way. And the best part was that I got to spend some one on one time with her on the trip into town.

All this seems to be somewhat meaningless to some, but I know in our consumer driven world, it is difficult to foster skills that allow us to purchase with responsibility instead of out of instant gratification. Also, this evening I pulled an Osho Zen Tarot card and got the one called "Success". About success he writes:

Welcome it, enjoy it, and share your joy with others - and remember that all bright parades have a beginning and an end. If you keep this in mind, and squeeze every drop of juice out of the happiness you are experiencing right now, you will be able to take the future as it comes without regrets.

This brings to mind how often I have heard people say things like, "Had I only known this was about to happen, I would never have____________" (fill in the blank). Most often the regret has been about spending some money on something that later, in hard times, seems frivolous. I always look at it as a situation where one has done the best one can knowing only what one has known at the time. So what if you lost your job right after your vacation to some tropical location? Did you enjoy the vacation? Good. Now move on and look for another job and stop feeling guilty about having had a well needed vacation. People guilt themselves much too often. And then we wonder why we don't enjoy our lives.

So squeeze every drop of juice out of the happiness you are experiencing right now.

Blessed Be


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Spirit Energy Portraits

Today I have finally finished one of my Spirit Energy Portraits ( and click on Gallery or Spirit Energy Portraits) for a client. I get so revved when I do one of these. They are a beautiful and powerful illustrated interpretation of a person's aura, spirit path, power animals, Spirit Guides, and past lives. I find them to be awesome to create because they are completely an intuitive process that then gets put into action. This is how the masculine and feminine energies are supposed to work together. Most of the time when I am painting them my eyes are closed. I go into a trance state and allow the portrait to basically be channeled through me.

I am equally amazed at the fact that more things come to the surface long after I have delivered the portrait to the person. Images emerge and present themselves on what seems an ongoing basis and each one adds to the flavor of the portrait. This is too cool.

Blessed Be


Saturday, January 19, 2008


Have you ever met a pretender? This is someone who likes to be seen as being one way when in actuality they are something different altogether. I know I have met a few in my life. These are usually the ones who will also try to diminish those of us who are authentically on our path and doing our work in self discovery and healing. Sometimes it is not easy to spot a pretender until you are so far in that backing away is, in and of itself, a major challenge.

But the pretenders are here for a reason (I think). I have found myself to gain great strength each time I have had an encounter with one of these folks. Yes, the lesson is difficult and often painful, but as I move on from it I find that I become stronger within and have the ability to spot other pretenders a lot faster next time. Then these ones wonder why the heck I keep my distance. Well, once one becomes more "real" I have great joy in spending time with them. But until then, I don't want to waste my time or energy trying to be their friend. And, with Otter medicine within me, I find that if you fool me once, shame on you, but if you fool me twice, shame on me. So as harmonious as I am, I also have the ability to discern who is healthy and who is not. Pretenders are not healthy. That does not mean that they can't get healthy. It just means that right now they are not.

Living together and existing together is an art form. Sometimes we can over work a painting and wreck it before it had a chance. Sometimes a paint won't mix properly with the consistency of a different color. Then the texture of the paint and the color of the paint all seem kind of wonky. The same goes for human relationships. Know when the mix is a good one and don't even apply the poor mix to your canvas!

Blessed Be


Friday, January 18, 2008

Arranging my life

This evening I attended my friend, Cathy's, community drumming circle. It was such an enriching experience to see so many smiling faces around the circle as we became at one through the sound of the drums.

My own circle, Transformational Tuesday, is starting up on the 22nd of January for another series of gatherings. We are going to be having a Full Moon ceremony. I can hardly wait for that. I find the ceremonial drumming circles to be so incredibly powerful. I can feel the positive ripples in the energy go out on an endless stream of consciousness.

Those of you who are reading this might also want to check out my website at to get up to speed on some of the upcoming workshops and classes that I am offering this Winter/Spring.

And now on a completely other note, and the reason that I began blogging this evening in the first place: The other day I was arranging a Japanese flower display. As I did so I was suddenly aware that not everyone is conscious of small things like this and their importance in the scheme of things. I arrange flowers, Japanese or otherwise, in a bit of a ceremonial manner. I see this simple act as contributing to the beauty of the world around us. And as I do this task, I am conscious of how every petal and every leaf is also related to the clouds and the sun and the earth. Every plant requires the fertile soil in which to grow and can only do so because of the sun that warms that soil and the clouds that bring it the nourishing rains. We depend upon the same things to survive. And we and the plants also depend upon each other. Our breath alone is an exchange of energy that allows each to nourish the other. So when I am arranging the flowers I am also arranging my life. I am beautifying my environment and I am beautifying myself.

Blessed Be


Thursday, January 17, 2008


Have you ever noticed how some things just inspire you? That is the moment when Spirit is whispering to you, "This could be good....this could be really, really good!" This is when we are living in Spirit - inspired.

I find that those who inspire me vary quite a bit. A few of my friends are also artists of various sorts (you know who you are!) and their work inspires me to keep creating my own art and to just keep going with it. Some friends have been going through some pretty difficult stuff of late, and these ones inspire me to be brave and patient. My oldest daughter inspires me, through her passion for reading, to keep on learning. My youngest daughter inspires me, through her twinkling eyes and fabulous sense of humour, to keep laughing and playing. My wife, well, she is my rock. She keeps me grounded and stable when my world is going a wee bit nuts. She inspires me to be the best I can be and to keep plugging ahead when things sometimes feel like they are pretty hopeless. She also teaches me more about unconditional love every day in how she is with our children.

A lot of people have walked into my heart space over the last (let's just say over 40) years, and some of them have left scars, where others have left footprints. Those who have left footprints will always be in my heart with fond memories. I am inspired by those who have left footprints on my heart to also in turn leave footprints on the hearts of as many people as I can. That is what love is all about, really. It is not about how many people have love you, it is about how many people you have loved.

Blessed Be


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Spirits among us

"The fact that I can't see them means they aren't there, right?" People sometimes ask me this with that expression on their face that tells me that they really want me to assure them that there are no spirits around them that they cannot see. This is simply fear.

I usually ask them, "Have you ever almost sideswiped someone who wasn't there when you shoulder checked while driving?" They nod. "Well," I say, "Do you really believe they popped out of nowhere and were absolutely not there when you looked? Of course they were. You just didn't see them." They then go a bit pale.

"Then what am I to believe in?" they ask, "Especially if what you tell me is true, then what am I to trust as real?"

This kind of conversation happens every day in my line of work. What do you trust as real? Let me see, have you ever seen 1 million dollars? No? Does that mean it is not real? No. It just means you have never physically seen it. I also have not personally seen the Statue of Liberty. That does not mean that she isn't there. What we are to trust as real is exactly what we know in our hearts to be true for us.

Spirits walk among us every day. They sometimes are there to help. They sometimes need to settle things with us before they cross over. Sometimes they are just lost and need our help. This is part of life. It is a part that is enriching if we can just get our heads out of the sand and respond to it. Sometimes we experience a cool chill out of nowhere. This could be a spirit walking buy. We sometimes feel a hand placed upon us when no one is there physically. This could be an angel or a guide or even an ancestral spirit comforting us. And sometimes we simply find ourselves thinking for no reason about someone we have known who has crossed over. It is possible that at this precise moment that person's spirit is right there with us, sending us love.

Besides, is this not much better than the idea that we die, we get put in the ground and everything fades to black??

Blessed Be


Tuesday, January 15, 2008


A friend of mine emailed me this quote from a link - and it reads:

Today the archetype of the shaman is emerging out of the shadowy past and from the murky depths of the collective unconscious into the clear light of conscious awareness. Shamanism is the most earth-friendly system in existence and, therefore, it may be the most relevant path for our age. It is by far the most practical since it evolved out of the survival needs of our species from its earliest times. It may once again hold the keys to our survival as a species. Shamanism is not another religion or system of belief; it is a way of perceiving and relating to the wondrous world around us. It is the original source out of which all the religions and systems of knowledge evolved. As a path of growth, however, it is complete in itself and can provide a powerful foundation for one's life and spiritual practices.

Wow! What a mouthful! I do think that in our distant past every person practiced shamanism. It was a way of living and relating, not a way of thinking or believing. It is a way of expanding our sensory perceptions to include those things that cannot be seen or felt or observed with the normal senses. It is instinctual. That is why it has helped us as a species to survive.

As an example, think of a shaman in the jungle. The jungle is its own environment. It is interconnected with all other environments, but the people in those environments don't know the jungle well. The shaman knows the jungle well. So the shaman knows what plants to eat, which ones to avoid, which plants heal and which ones produce hallucinations. The shaman listens to the trees and the birds and animals and knows what approaches.

Then picture for example the urban shaman. Yes, there are those of us who are urban based. Even the cities need shamans! So anyway, picture the urban shaman at the mall. His heightened awareness allows him to know which places at the food court actually are selling fresh food. He is able to pick up a mitten on the floor, smell it, and carry it to the person who has lost it by tracking the smell. Now, that part is not so easy. Have you ever noticed how smelly the mall can get, especially before Christmas???

My point is, both shamans are producing from their training and expertise, experiences in different, yet interrelated environments, that help them, and others, to survive. We are instinctual and natural. We have our individual sensitivities, but these all work together to create survival and establish a harmony that can exist for everyone.

We are trail blazers, whether we are in the jungle or in the concrete jungle. We have a way of being that transcends the craziness of the world around us and helps us to stay focused and clear. We are here to help mankind and we are here to learn as we go. We actually are everywhere, and every when. And that is the coolest thing!

Blessed Be


Monday, January 14, 2008

Yin and Yang

I have found that in western culture many are ignorant of the concept of Yin and Yang energy. Tell most western men that there is feminine energy in them and you are likely eating a knuckle sandwich! The thing is, though, that this concept is one of the very few that actually make practical sense.

If we own our yin and our yang (female and male) energies, then we are able to harmonize them so that we can carry out our life tasks with integrity. We become much better listeners, communicators, empaths and action oriented individuals. The yin (female) energy is what helps us to understand on a holistic level what we require to spiritually and emotionally grow. The yang (male) energy is what puts into action what the yin understands.

As an example, I was car shopping today. The yin energy let me know which car felt right and resonated with our needs. The yang energy helped keep me centered and focused while making the deal with the salesperson. Both worked optimally in their own time and space. Neither one conflicted with the other or competed for attention because each one was being honored.

Had I only honored the yin energy, chances are that I would have been much too emotionally involved with the car to even care about the financial aspects. I would have simply thought to myself, "Money? Those are minor details. I want the one in white." If I had honored only the yang energy my thought system would possibly have been, "I don't care that it is a nice car or that it is the most perfect car for my family, if they don't give me exactly the deal I demand, I will simply walk." Instead, the process was relatively easy and harmonious. And I very much look forward to driving it.

That is not to say that having that harmony is always easy. There were times today that I had to focus on balancing those two energies in order to get the desired result. This was made easier by the fact that I have spent years doing meditation and self reflection techniques to achieve that balance in advance of today. The more we do in the area of self work, the better off we are and the more easily we can handle the circumstances that life hands us.

Blessed Be


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Meditation vs Insanity

My Osho Zen Tarot card today was the one called Suppression. In the book, Master Osho writes:

It is essential to find a way to release whatever tensions and stresses might be building up inside you right now. Beat on a pillow, jump up and down, go out into the wilderness and scream at the empty sky - anything to shake up your energy and allow it to circulate freely. Don't wait for a catastrophe to happen. ....Insanity is nothing but all these suppressions coming to a point where you cannot control them anymore. But madness is acceptable, while meditation is not - and meditation is the only way to make you absolutely sane.

I found this to hold a lot of truth. There have been many times that I have screamed at the empty sky just to "get it out" and let myself get back into harmony. And I cannot tell you how important meditation is to my well being! I can feel when I have not done my meditation for the day. Nothing feels right and everything feels like it goes against the grain of my personality. I get edgy and irritable and generally come across as quite the crusty old fart when I don't even feel that way or want to be that way or even intend it to sound that way.

I remember when I first took up meditation and told a friend at school that she should perhaps give it a try. She said that if she did that she would burn and go to hell. Her mother was a very religious person and pretty much anything that might have even a sniff of being slightly different (even if it was good for you) was considered to be potentially something that would send you to hell. So I asked her if she ever prayed. She said she did every day because her mom insisted on it. I told her what one of my spiritual teachers told me long ago. I told her that prayer is when we talk to God. She understood that. Then I told her that meditation is when we shut our flapping lips and listen to what God has to say to us. She didn't get that. She began quoting some scriptures and I stopped her and told her that she had just proven my point. She was so busy trying to force her dogma onto me that she was not hearing what I was saying. We were not friends after that. I got used to losing friends because I would share with them and they wouldn't handle it very well. So I became much more selective as to what I shared and with whom. It is much safer that way when you are a teenager. I still do that sometimes, but only because I don't wish to make anyone uncomfortable about information they may not want to hear. But as soon as they ask the question....well, let's just say they better hold onto their seats, because the flood gates do open....wide.....very, very wide!

The thing that I just don't get is the general population who believe that we are supposed to have a relationship with God through prayer (flapping our lips) yet we are not supposed to listen to what God says to us. In fact if anyone were to say that God spoke to them, they would risk being locked up in an institution for the insane. Well, if we have a relationship with God, would God be mute???? I don't think so. Omnipotence does not a mute God make. So go ahead and let yourself trust in whatever Creator you may believe in. Even if you don't believe in a Creator Spirit, trust at least in your own inner wisdom voice. The only way to build that relationship is through meditation. I am not saying that prayer is useless by any stretch. I am just saying that we live in a society of lip flappers who have not yet learned how to listen. So try meditation as well as prayer. You never know. You just might find it to be an enriching experience. ;-)

Blessed Be


Friday, January 11, 2008


A friend of mine emailed me a quote from David Spangler who writes, "Blessing is not a technique we perform but a presence we embody. It is not an act we do to someone or something, but a relationship we form with them that enables us all to be embraced in the presence of an unobstructed world."

My wife calls housecleaning "Blessing the Home", which I think she got from the Fly Lady. Cleaning is a part of blessing indeed in that it sets up a sacred relationship between the self and the body, the home, the yard/land...whatever it is we are cleaning. It is a way of being in sacred harmony with the environment.

When I say to someone, "Blessed Be" I am encouraging them to become the best they can be in sacred harmony with all that is. This harmony is something that requires thought and attention. And if we put all our attention into everything we do, then not only are we in the moment, the now, but we are in blessed harmony.

Blessed Be


Thursday, January 10, 2008


I have been thinking a lot about dragons lately. Mostly because on the astral plane I have encountered a lot more of them. I am also noticing that there are some showing themselves when I am doing energy balancing for people. They are around the person I am working on. Some are aware of them, some just give a strange look when I mention them. That is okay. I am used to the strange looks.

It is not an accident that I am also becoming more sensitive to the dragon lines in the earth. These veins of energy ( some of which stream through my yard and my sacred healing space) are seeming much more powerful in voltage of late. I am looking forward to working more with them.

And also not by accident, a dear friend gifted me with a book on Dragons called Dancing with Dragons. I find that some of the information in it seems a wee bit dogmatic, but most of it is excellent resourse material. So I thank you for that, both the friend and the author of the wonderful book!


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Staying in the Now

It is very important to remain in the now, in the moment. Too often we allow our lives to get completely out of control and we end up living in the past or in the future, not even paying attention to what is right in front of us. This is how we lose our connection to each other and to Great Spirit.

Whatever we do in our day, let's all put our full attention into that. This way we are able to give each thing and each person its due respect. If we eat, put full attention into that. If we listen, put full attention into that. If we walk, put full attention into that. This way we become vessels for Great Spirit to act and speak through us and to us. Stay in the moment, stay in the now.

Warmest Blessings

Trent Deerhorn

Monday, January 7, 2008

Shamanic Journey: Mind

The mind is full of clutter. Most of the clutter has to do with conditions and attitudes we have been raised to think of as real. So the mind becomes a series of gears and pulleys and wheels and really doesn't do it's job. The job of the mind is to be a servant to us. We are to receive information through the mind, but then process it through the intuitive aspects which allow us to flow with the universal and natural energies. Too often we are convinced that what our minds tell us is automatically rationally true. So we allow our minds to run us, instead of allowing ourselves to run our minds. So here is a little exercise for you:

Go into a room alone and record your voice as you freely speak whatever comes to your mind. Do this for 5-10 minutes. Just allow yourself to chatter on and don't worry about what comes out of your mouth. Then put the tape away and listen to it in a day or two. You will be surprised at the rubbish that came out of your mouth and how your mind is actually working in a dysfunctional way.

Now here is a journey for you to take. You don't need to use a drum for this or anything, but you can if you like, or put on a drumming CD. Most journeys take you to the other realms. This one takes you into the inner world of the mind. This is not to say it is the mind's domain. This is YOUR domain. You get to choose what goes on here. So allow yourself to get comfortable and go within. Find a peaceful place in which to do this. Find your own inner place of peace within. Allow yourself to talk with the mechanic of your mind. See what this one is like. Explain to the mechanic that you need to run a different program; one of peace, love, joy, inspiration, strength, empowerment of self and others. To do this the original programs must be deleted in order to make room. So allow the mechanic to delete the outmoded programs of self-doubt and low self-worth. Then install the new programs. See how this changes the mechanic. Then notice how this changes you. Breathe that change through every cell of your body. Know that you are now the MASTER OF YOUR MIND. Nothing can happen in there now without your permission. If anything negative begins to sneak in, you can boot it out. You and the mechanic are now partners in this process. It is indeed that simple. Now come on back and feel the benefits of this journey. And I welcome you to comment on your experiences of this journey and the after benefits of it!

Blessed Be!

Saturday, January 5, 2008


People often give me the blank stare when I speak about karma. "Oh, that's that Middle Eastern mumbo jumbo!" they often say. Well, first off, it is not a philosophy that is exclusive to any particular area of the world. It is a universal concept. It is the law of cause and effect. Quite simply put, if I were to harm you, it would come back to me. If I were to bless you, it would come back to me. When we become conscious of this reality ( and that is where some areas of the world are far ahead of our western world philosophy) we would be able to end all wars. There is no sense in repeating history without taking a moment to learn from it. When we look at cause and effect, free of the concepts of blame, we clearly see karma in immediate action. It no longer matters who did what to us, we know that it will come back to them. So then we are able to look with foresight at every action we take, or every action we don't take, and see what we consciously choose for ourselves and the ripple effect of karma that flows from that decision. It is what responsibility is all about....the ability to respond. When we respond with a compassionate heart, we create excellent karma!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Honoring the Ancestors

Confucius said, "When the dead are honoured and when the memory of the most distant ancestor remains alive, the strength of a people attains its fullest expression."

Today I went on a shamanic journey. Holding a piece of pipe stone in one hand and swirling the rattle with the other, I was taken on a twofold journey through time and space back through my ancestral lines on both sides of my family. Lo and behold, they ended up intertwining numerous times through the genetic history. No inbreeding or anything like that, but certainly a connection every hundred years or so. I found this fascinating because I had never seen the interwoven aspect in any previous journeys. I had only found the individual aspects as they pertained to the issues at the time of each journey. This time I was wide open for all the information (or at least as much as I could handle) to flood through.

While this was happening, I was also aware of the presence of the ancestral spirits all around me in my temple. Some had "issues" they had not resolved with each other, but all were willing to be there for me while I journeyed. The amount of love and support that I experienced coming from each and all of them was absolutely INSANE!!! It brought tears to my eyes and I now know that in many ways, I am also a catalyst for them to heal their own stuff between each other. At the end of the journey, all the spirits entered my heart chakra and radiated throughout my physical being. Then all the light slowly faded away and I felt some of them touch my cheek as they bid me farewell. It was beautiful. I am so honored. I truly have developed a deeper connection and respect for each of them as I integrate their stories within my DNA. Ancestors of all Time And Space, I thank you!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Traditions and Adaptability

My wisdom for the day (I choose one every day from cards, books or from a bin of random ones) is from Chogyam Trungpa, who writes, "We must discover the link between our traditions and our personal experience of life. It is the now - the magic of the present moment - that connects the present with the wisdom of the past."

I so agree with this concept. There is nothing like empty ritual to completely destroy our spiritual connections with our ancestors, our families, our culture. Some say that ritual is the foundation of tradition. I don't agree. I think it is the other way around. Our history has led our people to adopt certain traditions that lead us to expressing them in certain rituals. But history has many loops and holes and twists and turns which continue to unfold into the present. So we need to become adaptable and allow our traditions to hold us steady as our rituals shift with the changing ebbs and flows of the present situations and circumstances. After all, we can no longer survive with the rituals of the ice age. We had to adapt in order to survive. But the essence of what was can still be found in the current traditions. We simply need to look deeply enough. I am also still processing the entire concept, so if anyone out there has something that he or she might like to add for this shaman to also ponder, you are more than welcome to do so. After all, I am adaptable!