Monday, October 31, 2011


Today is Hallowe'en, or Samhain. It is a time when the Veils between the worlds are thinnest so the communication with the Ancestral Spirits can be easy and strong. These skulls (photo by Gail Fulkerson) on my Samhain Drum Circle altar, represent the lines of ancestors that each of us is connected to, and the DNA strands that run through our veins and in the deepest parts of our psyches. Each participant was able to find his or her two lines of ancestors in the form of two skulls. Then we did some bonding and connecting with those spirits in ceremony. It was fabulous and powerful. I feel very blessed that I was able to partake in this ceremony and to provide it for those in my community who were interested in experiencing it.

The skull represents the connection to the crown and third eye chakras. It is a very spiritual image and allows those who are conscious of it to "tap into" realms of consciousness that were experienced by ancestors from way back. That consciousness brings with it challenges and powerful medicines that we can then carry into this time and realm.

I look forward to working with my own skulls and seeing what all they are going to be leading me to remember on a deep genetic level.

Blessed Be

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Freeze Up Moon

The Freeze Up Moon (October 24-November21) is the moon that brings us the ability to go deep within and to discover the mysteries that lay in wait for us. As it waits, we ripen to the point where we are ready and able to take the journey within. The Snake is the power animal for all those born during this moon. It brings the medicine of shedding the old and birthing the new in life. But as the Snake sheds its skin to birth the new, every nerve end is RAW. So it tries to find a crevice into which to crawl in order to let its skin toughen up a bit before coming back into the world, anew. The Snake is the animal of the Earth Goddess. It is able to crawl deep into her womb and discover the deep, dark mysteries She has for us. Snake people often have a 6th sense about them that helps them to understand life from a much deeper perspective than others do. They are also ultra sensitive and can be offended easily if they are in an out of balance state of being.

The Blessed Thistle is the totem plant for Snake People. It cures a LOT of things, from the common cold to some forms of cancer. It all lies in the application thereof, I am told. Copper and Malachite are the mineral totems. They grow side by side in the earth and serve on a number of levels. Copper helps to ease arthritic aches and pains, as many of those are apparently the result of lack of copper in the system. And malachite helps to bridge the gap between the waking state and the dream time state. So it helps for all sorts of sleep deprivation issues, bringing balance back into the system. Having it beside the bed or under the pillow allows its energy to flow to you when and where it is needed most. Malachite can only be made into an Elixir in its POLISHED form, as the raw malachite will emit toxins into the system.

I look at the Freeze Up Moon as a time of doing the work that is needed in order to let go of all the old "stuff" that has been holding me back, thus freeing me up to embracing the new opportunities in my life.

Blessed Be

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011


So often I have felt like I am such a loser because I don't drive a certain kind of car or live in a certain neighbourhood or wear a certain type of clothing. Thank heavens I have lived long enough to understand that these things in life mean nothing when it comes to what really matters.

People get all caught up in what "success" looks like and forget about what it feels like. The ladder to success is actually a series of steps that serve to assist you on your quest to personal betterment. They do not lead to a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow or the end of a legal hearing or the end of a business merger. They lead to personal betterment and lend support along the way. The stairs can be crooked and bend here and there and really who knows where they end up? The thing is that it is the journey that matters and not the destination.

As I have been climbing these steps myself there are a few things that I have learned. There are, so far as I can tell, four different kinds of success. There is Financial success, whereby one gets himself set up financially to never be in want of anything. This only goes so far really, because money can't buy happiness or health. Indeed some folks who are very wealthy admit to feeling hollow inside because they have nothing to look forward to. It is all right there in the palm of their hands.

There is also Personal success. This is the one where we begin to realize that those little milestones along the way matter and that they create who we are to become in life. I remember learning how to ride my two wheeler bike. My sister was helping me. Before I ever put my foot on the pedals she went over the entire bike with me and explained the mechanisms. Then she had me sit on it and held the seat while, in a stationary position, I learned how to balance on it. Then slowly she walked beside me as I pedalled my way down the lane. Softly she said, "You might doubt that you can do this, but I know that you can and that you will be great at it." Suddenly I was on my way and she was no longer having to support me by holding onto the seat. Yes, I wiped out. And yes, I wiped out numerous times in the course of a lifetime of bicycling. But each time I knew that I would get back on and do better. No mamsy pamsy training wheels for this dood! And so I have carried through my life the knowledge that, just when I may doubt myself, I will succeed. This is a form of Personal Success.

There is also Community success. This happens when one works with others on a project and it comes out successfully. Teamwork is learned in this and also knowing that the team has to have a leader and that everyone will, through teamwork, have others they can lean on when they need assistance with their contribution. A hockey player will not be able to score a goal without an assist at times. So the team needs to be people we can rely upon to do their job and it needs to consist of those who will build us up and encourage us so that we can do our best for the team. Community success is also the type of success that holds reputation. So even though someone in the community may be dirt poor, if they are the one that you should go to for help with your car engine or painting your house because they are the best at it, then that is who you go to. The community has recognized this person's expertise and supports that expertise. Being the best artist does not necessarily mean having your work hung on the walls of a gallery. It could mean that you are wicked talented and share that talent by encouraging up and coming artists as well.  I remember when I was told that I would only be a shaman once the community recognized me as such.  Well, for that to happen I had to first recognize myself as a shaman.  Then it was a few years before I would ever hang a shingle to that effect.  I kept it under wraps.  Then my clients started calling me a shaman.  Then a woman needing shamanic healing showed up at my doorstep and said, "Is this where the shaman lives?" and I had to say, "Yes."  I had developed a reputation simply by doing the work.

Then there is Spiritual success. This type goes way beyond anything that any of the other three can accomplish. Spiritual success allows you the ability to look beyond yourself and see things from a much higher perspective. As you do, you are able to move beyond the duality of "good" and "bad" and find the middle ground of "knowing". This is when the pumpkin head that we all are initially gets its eyes, ears, nose and mouth cut open and has the top of its head opened up and all the pulp taken out to make way for the light of the spirit fire within the lantern that has just been created. And with the light of that lantern within us we are able to shine our light out onto everything and everyone around us.

So next time you are struggling to make a mortgage payment or to pay a utility bill, don't be so hard on yourself. Look at what really matters in your life and give yourself credit for the other forms of success that you have accomplished along your life journey. The mortgage will get paid and the utility bill will get paid. It will all be good. Breathe. Take the next step upward on your journey.

Blessed Be
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All We Need To Do Is....Stop!

We've all done it. At one time or another we let our mouths run off and then let something slip that was supposed to be confidential or we accidentally offend someone with the wrong choice of words. It happens. What I wonder about is why it happens?

I have a theory about this one. You see, one of the teachings in shamanism is that we need to use our mouths in proportion to our ears. This not only stops us from saying things we would otherwise not, but it also creates good listeners. It is an indication of a scattered mind if someone constantly interrupts the flow of conversation, regardless of whether the interruption has anything to do with the subject matter at hand or not. It is an even more scattered mind that doesn't allow the conversation to flow in the direction that it is naturally flowing and instead inserts irrelevant things into the otherwise sensible conversation. So a scattered mind needs to insert the self-discipline of two ears to one mouth even more than the calm mind. Sometimes those interruptions are a result of someone actually thinking that they are more important than the conversation or those having the conversation. That narcissistic viewpoint will always, as any narcissist likes, draw the attention back to the narcissist him or herself. So besides the fact that it is downright rude to constantly interrupt and have 10 different conversations at once, it is also self-centred.

I find my tolerance level for such things lessening each day. Maybe this is because I have reached an age where I know that people need to show respect, not just to me but to others and themselves, and maybe it is because there has simply been too many people out there with two mouths and one ear. I have noticed that the two mouths and one ear get folks into trouble daily. Those very same people then wonder why it is that friends and colleagues prefer to spend their time with others. The answer is simple. People tend to like to be with those who respect them enough to listen to what they have to say without interrupting them or changing the conversation. When they don't get that from you, they don't want to be around you.

Have you ever, for example, been on the phone with someone who can't even have a conversation because of all the distractions going on around them in their home? Kids, pets, spouses, ambulances....the list can go on. You find that you are trying to maintain the flow of the conversation when it is obviously NOT the time to be talking with this person. So say goodbye and hang up and call again another time and ask if it is a good time to talk. If it turns out well, it will be. If they say it is but then the distractions continue, say goodbye and hang up.

Or have you ever been on the phone with one person while another is in earshot and calling out to you what to say to the person on the other end of the phone even though they only hear half of the conversation and really don't know at all what is being said and obviously don't care that you are trying to actually hear the person on the other end of the line and their interruptions are preventing that? DRIVES ME CRAZY!! So I leave and go into another room to talk to the person on the phone. The cordless phone is one of the types of modern technology that I soooooo appreciate!

Or have you been trying to tell someone about an event in your day or a conversation that you had and they can't even hear you because they are projecting their view of the conversation verbally into your description of what actually happened or was said? Again, they are making it all about themselves instead of listening to what you are saying. Their responses could easily wait till the end of the story, but no, it has to be all about them and their reactions. Next thing you know, you don't even know where the hell you left off in the sharing because of so many interruptions. For me, this is an indication that the person really doesn't want to know about the event or conversation so, screw it, they don't need to know anymore. You can share it with someone another time who actually has honed their listening skills.

All of this could be avoided if one would simply STOP. Listen to what the person has to say and then respond. Take mental note of what they are saying and the points you want to make when they are done talking and then say each one. Then it will, when you are done, be their turn again. And be conscious of how your words are coming across.  You can't just blurt stuff out that could hurt someone's feelings and then expect them to not respond or, worse, expect them to still like you.  IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY! For example, humour.  Some people think that good humour consists, at times, of putting someone down.  IT DOESN'T.  There are a couple of things about humour that a LOT of people don't know yet.  The first is that it is NOT FUNNY IF YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE LAUGHING.  The second is that good humour LAUGHS WITH SOMEONE, NOT AT SOMEONE.  Admittedly, having grown up in a home where that last one was not understood makes me more sensitive to that than I am to other things.  But this is also something that should be understood simply through the aspect of COMMON COURTESY.

Blessed Be


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Autumn is Here!

I find there are no other seasons that can match that of Autumn. The colors and the smells and the crunch of leaves under my feet all make me feel like I am "home". Perhaps this stems from growing up in a rural area where I could explore autumn with great delight and get completely lost in the revelry of a nature walk. I think it also, however, appeals to my inner artist. The colors especially are what appeal to me.

Seeing this tree brought forth some interesting feelings while I was out for my walk this morning. When I saw it the first thing that came to mind was a tarot card by Master Osho. The tarot card is called "Friendliness" and in it is a picture of two trees dropping blossoms which are mingling around the base of the two trees. The teachings have to do with staying well-rooted and stable and knowing whose space is whose and allowing a "sharing" that is represented by the mingling blossoms. This tree indeed seemed to me to be quite friendly, although there were no other trees close enough to share the blanket of leaves it had already laid around its base.

So, felling compelled by friendliness, I walked up the the tree and hugged it and told it how much I appreciate its gifts. I could feel the tree sigh. Under the canopy of golden leaves the light changed. Everything became a strange color of gold and green, even my skin color changed! The sun was shining through each leaf, creating a stained glass effect on everything that the light then touched. It was delicious.

Although I am rarely out in the wilderness anymore, I do so appreciate the pockets of nature that the city provides with its parks and walking paths. In another park I had to stop and just listen to the rustling of the Aspen leaves. I could have sworn I heard the voice of the Green Man whispering "I am always with you..."

Blessed Be
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