Thursday, December 18, 2008

Welcome to Winter!

Welcome to winter and the North quadrant of the medicine wheel. Depending on our cultural practices, some of us have been in the winter of the wheel since the beginning of November. Other cultures see the upcoming winter solstice as the beginning of winter.

Do you feel yourself turning inward as winter approaches, wanting (needing) more sleep or just wanting to curl up with a good book by the fire? Do you sometimes feel like you want the world to go away and leave you alone or growly as a bear woken from hibernation? No, this isn’t the flu or the winter blahs. It’s a natural part of Circle of Life. That’s right, it’s just part of our natural rhythms. So, relax and enjoy it. Personally, my cycle begins November 1 when I tend to want to hibernate. I carry bear energy, so it's no suprise.

We each travel through the Medicine Wheel or Circle of Life many times. These wheels represent the natural cycles of life, the cycles of the earth, star and all that is. They are cycles of the dark-light, death-rebirth, masculine and feminine. We travel these cycles on many levels – for each life time, each year, each day and right down to each breath we take. Most often we are unaware of these cycles, but as we become more connected with All That Is, we feel the power of these cycles in our lives.

Winter or North in the Medicine Wheel is most often represented by the buffalo. It is associated with the element of earth and the color white. North is the place of endings and beginnings, the time of both the elder and newborns. It is a place is grounding, physical healing, patience and acceptance. North also represents the place of reminiscing, acknowledgment and abundance. North is also the time of the Mother (feminine) and the place of the quiet darkness.

North is a time of slowing down, a time when things seem to be sleeping. Yet, during this quiet time is when the deepest growth occurs. This is the time in the earth when the seeds take in the energy of Mother Earth that allows them to grow when spring approaches. It is the time when Mother Earth takes a rest for life-giving and nurturing. Covered by the blanket of snow, gifted to her by Father Sky, she uses this time to reconnect to the Great Mystery.

Just like for Mother Earth, winter is a time for us to slow down and go within. We have worked all year and the harvest of what was planted last spring has been completed. This is a time to dream. It is during this time that Spirit gifts each of us with a dream that brings promises of new beginnings for spring. Now is the time to nurture the dream like a child in our womb.

I invite you to join me in embracing the quiet of winter. Curl up in a blanket, envelope yourself like Mother Earth and welcome and nurture the dream that Spirit has brought for you this cycle.

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),

Friday, November 21, 2008

Holiday Survival

Now is a great time to introduce you to flower essences. They are wonderful little tools I have in my tool box and that each of you can use as well. In fact some should be in your bathroom cabinet for year round use.

We all look forward to the holiday season with varying emotions. We can swing from the innocent excitement of childhood to the absolute dread of the upcoming family gathering on a moment’s notice. Add to that all the push from advertisers to buy more than we feel comfortable with and the flurry of social obligations at this time of year, and it’s not a wonder we often end up anxious, depressed and stuffing our faces with food (and stuffing those emotions). This year, let flower essences come to your rescue.

What are flower essences? Flower essences are exquisite gifts from nature that act as messengers of inner health and harmony. They are liquid infusions of individual plants . Through the infusion process, the liquid picks up the specific imprinting of the substance that responds to balancing, repairing and rebuilding imbalances on our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. They are potentized, vibrational remedies that derive their beneficial powers from the inherent life forces of the plant. Flower essences act as catalysts in the healing process rather than suppressing or controlling symptoms.Flower essences work on a vibrational level. Each flower has a distinct signature described by its color, smell, shape and when, where and how it grows and blooms. This signature defines the flower's particular therapeutic value. Each flower has a unique energy pattern associated with its signature that directly corresponds to our body's electrical and nervous systems. The plant's energy patterns travel to the parts of our system that are out of balance, overloaded, short circuited or in need of life force energy. The flower essences have the ability to balance and change our energy patterns, opening the door to a new, positive and expanded outlook. For more info on flower essences go to:

Let’s look into the holiday survival kit. The first remedy that one should always have available is either Bach’s Rescue Remedy or FES’s Five Flower Formula. This is my “Don’t leave home without it” formula. I literally carry it in my purse and glove box. This remedy is extremely effective for any type of stress, trauma or emergency. I have used this in so many cases with people, animals and plants.

So, what kind of stress, trauma or emergency might we encounter during the holidays? Hmm… let’s see. There’s the third grade class play that your child (or you) is stressing over, the family disagreements that always seem to arise when loving families gather, screaming kids, barking dogs. It’s the first holiday meal you are preparing for your in-laws, being dragged along to carry bags on Black Friday. Maybe being at the receiving end of dear Auntie’s criticism or the family member that has had one too many and wants to drag up all the ill will since you were two and your inner child is screaming and having it’s own tantrum. These are all good applications for Rescue Remedy or Five Flower Formula. A few quick drops under your tongue and you can relax and let it all slide off your back like a duck with rain.

I don’t want to put any attention on the major things that may call for the use of Rescue Remedy, Law of Attraction being what it is. Let’s just suffice it to say, the this remedy is extremely helpful in emergency situations to keep a person or a pet from going into shock until they can acquire medical treatment.

There are other great remedies for use during the holidays. Chamomile is great for emotional overwhelm. And Dill is great when the kids are in total overwhelm from all that is going on around them. And for the Night Before Christmas when you’re trying to get the little ones to sleep, a combo of Chamomile and White Chestnut with a little Lavender should lull them to sleep or my Sweet Dreams formula. And of course this combo will help Mom in her kerchief and Dad in his cap, relax as well.

For those who take on too many responsibilities during the holidays there is Hornbeam and Centaury. Hornbeam is for taking on of too many tasks and Centaury is what I call my “Just say NO” remedy. And to draw this to a close, for those who seem to feel bombarded with everyone else’s stuff, from Uncle Fred to the masses in the mall, I suggest my Aura Bubble formula. Aura Bubble and Sweet Dreams are available at

I'd be happy to assist you with your flower essence needs. Just email me at

Here’s wishing everyone a calm and joyous holiday season.

Mitakuye Oyasin (A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Computers, Hypnosis and Shamanism

Sorry it's been so long since the last post. Sometimes the shaman gets redirected to the real world of work. I have been revamping our website and expect to have our new shopping cart active by the end of this coming week. The shopping cart had a major trauma and lost several soul pieces that the programmers could not retrieve. Even the shaman we called in threw up her hands and said "No way!" So, we had to start from scratch with a new program and it has been taking a very large amount of my time over the last month or so. You know programs never work the way they tell you they will. (Now that's a perfect segway into today's topic.)

Since we're talking about computers... let's talk about yours. Do you know you each own the most powerful computer available? No, not the one on your desk, the one in your head! That’s right. Your mind is the most powerful computer there is. It stores EVERYTHING you have ever heard, read, saw or experienced. It’s all stored in your personal hard drive.

Throughout your life, your subconscious mind receives and retains, neither accepting nor rejecting, all the messages you receive from your background, plus all the conflicts (little or big) that enter your life daily. When, for whatever reason, the conscious becomes overloaded, the subconscious prepares you for what it considers appropriate action. However, since the subconscious mind does not analyze and accepts all messages in the literal sense, this action may not really be correct for you now. Foot stomping tantrums don't help much when you're 40!

Hypnosis is a tool to help you change your life to what you want it to be. Like your computer, you want to install software that meets your needs. Hypnosis helps remove the old software that no longer functions effectively and install new programs designed to help you create the life you choose.

Habits, such as smoking and food choices, stresses, anxieties, attitudes, or perceived deficiencies take root in the subconscious, creating unstable icons on your mental computer’s desktop. To change these patterns, you have to un-install the old software and icons and replace them with new links that are attached to the new programs designed to meet for your current goals and desires.

The subconscious is also the place where all memory is stored. Traumatic events can be buried or suppressed in the directories of the subconscious. Hypnotherapy and shamanic journeys can help to uncover and bring into the light of understanding the buried information or experience which may be the cause of behaviors that you would like to change. I like to use a shamanic journey to recover the soul piece that was lost during the trauma, then use hypnosis to reprogram the behaviors or unhealthy patterns that have developed to cope with the feelings and emotions surrounding the experience.

Hypnosis is a simply a form of communication that coordinates your conscious and subconscious minds. Once you have agreement between the two parts of your mind, you can visualize and change your reality. It’s like getting new custom designed software for your computer, software that is designed to help you quickly and easily achieve your dreams, goals and full potential.

I do offer both shamanic journeys and hypnosis sessions by telephone, so you don't have to be in Phoenix for a session. Both in-person and long-distance sessions work equally well. We just get to smile at each other face to face and share a hug if you're in my office. So, don't hesitate to call for a long distance session. For more on my hypno-shaman practice go to

The next blog will announce the new website and shopping cart with some exciting new products coming your way in the Shaman's Marketplace. And maybe a Blogger special!

Until next time.

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Just Smile and Nod

Wow! This is all I’m able to say or express at the conclusion of doing a Five Day Shamanic Individual Retreat with a client. I have performed shamanic journeys for others for years and am still amazed by the results….but what is gained and accomplished by an individual in this Five Day Retreat takes the shamanic journey several orders of magnitude deeper or higher or just …WOW! (It’s the only descriptive term I have left!)

Client’s responses ranged from; “This is the first time in my life that I have and feel freedom; this is way more than I expected.” (repeated through out the five days) to “Way cool”, as well as several other attempts at expressing. But a stutter effect just took over and we both just smiled and nodded, as language simply could not describe what was experienced.

The focus of the Five Day Shamanic Intensive-Individual Retreat is to identify and resolve fears, blocks and resistances. The week begins by learning the shamanic journey process and connecting the participant with their personal guidance group. Then the participant performs shamanic journeys on themselves to clear their fears, blocks and recover missing parts of their self. They also identify, clarify and bring into balance various aspects of themselves. Other ceremonies and tools are used throughout the retreat as directed by Spirit. And, as expected by those who know my coyote nature, the retreat also includes a healthy dose of fun and laughter!

At the conclusion of the five days, I ask what the client thinks and feels about their experience. Often I am met a glazed look in their eyes, or their mouth opening and closing…but no words coming out, or a perplexed expression as they mentally try to finds words of expression that do not exist. Clients have expressed: “I have clarity of self!” “I feel so powerful doing this myself!” “I feel myself for the first time in my life!” “I had no idea that I carried that!” “This is so much more that I expected! This is worth 100,000 times the cost! This is priceless!”

So as I conclude a Five Day Shamanic Intensive-Individual Retreat and witness the vibrant, whole spirit in front of me, I am humbled, honored, exhilarated and WOWed!

I am looking forward to the next “5 day” and again being a part of assisting and supporting another person into themselves…after which we just Smile and Nod…Smile and Nod.

So until next time --- Just smile and nod.... smile and nod.

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Popcorn and M&Ms Ceremony

We are often reminded that “It’s all sacred” and this small but very powerful ceremony certainly gave credence to that statement recently.

For several weeks I had been doing some energetic housecleaning and was working (yes, in the truest sense) at releasing some of the limitations I’ve been carrying around for over half a century. I was getting tired of bouncing off the same force fields time and time again. It was time to let this junk go!

Now, it’s not like I haven’t tried before. We all know what that’s like. We release one thing and it just shows back up in a slightly different form – so we rationalize that we’ve let one go and this is a new road block. So, I informed my guides that I wanted these gone for once and for all. And, I asked for help.

Well, after a few nights of strange dreams, that weren’t so strange once I really looked at them, I did some housecleaning in my chakras. Like with housecleaning, the first thing that needs to be done is things need to be picked up. So, like diligent homemakers, my guides paid a visit to my solar plexus area with their trash bags and begin cleaning up the junk I had collected over the years. But, instead of disposing of it, they handed me a trash bag full of stuff for me to take care of.

Of course, being the rebel I am, I asked what I was suppose to do with the trash. Their reply was a vision of popcorn popping. Okay, that’s great, but maybe I’m a little obtuse. Eventually I got it.

Later in this growth expedition, I was shown a red M&M connected to my root chakra. Hmm… maybe I’m just hungry.

Well soon it all came clear and I had my marching orders. The next night was the full moon and the simple ceremony was laid out.

That evening I built a fire in the back yard in our medicine wheel fire pit. It was nice to have company that evening for the ceremony. I had forgotten a friend was coming in from the Tucson area for the night. She was also on a healing journey that day, so we shared the ceremony and bore witness to each other’s process.

Once some nice coals developed the ceremony began. I took my red M&M from the bowl and cracked the hard shell gently between my fingers. This was that shell that I had carried – the boundaries that I kept in place that held me in and kept me from expanding. Once this shell was cracked, it allowed room for movement and exposed the sweetness and richness within. Now mind you, we didn’t remove the shell or destroy it, as some boundaries are necessary, we just wanted and needed more expansion room. After saying our blessings and thanks, we both tossed our M&Ms into the fire.

Next it was popcorn time. We each took our first handful of popcorn. This represented all the limitations that others had offered us over time that we accepted as our own. With blessings, we thanked them and released them to the fire. The second handful represented all our own limits, the ones that we place on our self as we go through life, the certainties of our own inadequacies. Again, with blessings and thanks they were released to the fire.

We then stood back and watched, as the corn began to pop. Some of the kernels didn’t pop. They were simply consumed by the fire, these were those things that probably should have been left by the wayside many years or life times ago. Ideas that were spoiled and had no life. Others broke free and popped their way across the fire pit with great exuberance – bursting free of the limits of the shell and transforming into something totally new and digestible for the souls we are becoming.

When the excitement settled, we thanked Grandmother Moon for holding space for us and witnessing our journey. It was a fulfilling and powerful ceremony. The results are just beginning to unfold for me and there is a tremendous feeling of freedom (as well as a tad of fear) having been released from the limits I have carried for so many years.

Ceremonies can be big and elaborate or as simple as a fire and popcorn and M&Ms. It's all about what works for you. But, never underestimate the power of the mundane things in life when it comes to ceremony, they can often be the greatest tools for transformation.

Until next time --

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),

Monday, May 26, 2008

Our Ritual Journey to Sage Canyon

This weekend we headed for California for our bi-annual sage gathering expedition. It was a fun trip and I remembered to bring the camera to share some photos.

If you check out our blogs from June of 2007, I discussed smudging ceremonies and sacred herbs. Everyone finds the herb(s) that is the most pleasing and effective for them for cleaning and purifying. Our personal “herb of choice” is White Sage (Salvia apiana). We lovingly call it “California White” (sounds like pot doesn’t it… smells somewhat like it too). White sage is the preference of many due to sweeter aroma it has and that it burns well. We also like the fact that it will go out when its job is complete.

Over the years on our treks to Southern California, we have found that white sage grows wild in the south side of the mountains there. As we have sought it out, we found a lovely canyon where we return every couple of years to gather what we need for ceremonial purposes.

The sage is usually mature in mid to late May. After that is tends to get dry and spindly. This year we were right on time. The plants had completed their bloom and were full and sweet.

We always begin by finding the Grandmother plant in the area and asking permission to gather. (Here is a Grandmother plant in the area I was gathering.) When asking permission, we give an offering to the plant. Offerings can be many things, but Gary smokes a pipe so we always have tobacco at hand (the traditional masculine offering) and I carry a bag of blue corn meal (traditional female offering) when we are out visiting Mother Nature. Once that permission is given, we begin to “tune in” to the plants and ask who would like to join us. There is usually a lot of clatter as many of the plants are excited about participating with us for ceremonial purposes. Some plants are excited and happy to give. Others are grumpy or stingy. We just thank the grumpy ones and move on. As we choose and break off the stems we may again give an offering to that particular plant of simply thank it for its gift. This is fun and exciting as the plants are so happy and excited to have us there and to be acknowledged and chosen to full fill their agreement as sacred herbs.

In our gathering we take only what we need for ceremony and give-away over the next two years. And, as we ceremonially gather these sacred plants we are careful not to take too much from each plant, being aware of it’s health and life force. Sometimes plant will want to participate that are not mature enough. We thank them and acknowledge them anyway and ask them to wait until we return.

Once we had determined we had what we needed we began our trip back to the truck. This part is the most fun. All along the way, the sage plants begin calling to us, telling us they want to go too. Sometimes they just yell the “Hey You – Over here!”. If we try to ignore them on our walk they can get pretty loud with the “Hey stupid – I’m talking to you” type thing. Sometimes we will simply acknowledge and thank the plant for wanting to participate, especially if they are up a hillside somewhere. I don’t do mountain goat :) Other times we will stop and take a stalk or two from the plant to add to our sack. I actually had one plant this time almost reach out and grab my ankle as I walked past. I stumbled and returned to the plant to accept its offering.
Here we stopped for one of the "Excited Ones". I gladly collected the offering.
Gary caught my best side as usual!!
We finally made it to the truck and packed our treasure into a tub in the back of the truck and headed for warmer climes in Phoenix, leaving an odorous trail of sage behind us.

From home base, the work/play began. We wrapped each branch of sage with red cotton thread to gather and form it while it drys. After about three hours of wrapping we had a lovely stash of sage bundles. We are fortunate here as our garage has a full attic. Today we laid it all out to dry. It won’t take long with our summer approaching. The attic gets very hot and with the low humidity we have dried sage in no time.

So, our ritual is complete for the next two years when we return to “Sage Canyon” to full fill our promise to the plants that were too small to gather from on this journey.

Until next time –

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),
Debbie & Gary

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Drum making from Tales from Echo Canyon

Welcome to the Shaman's Blog.

Back in April, we facilitated another drum making playshop. This time Gary's sister, Eileen, was in attendance. Besides being our shamanic teacher, she is also a writer, photographer, homeopath and astorloger. Yes -- she wears many hats :)

So, besides birthing her drum, she took many pictures and added this wonderful blog to her blog at Tales from Echo Canyon. You may want to check out some of her photography - lots of great nature pics!

Today, we're plagerizing her blog to send you all the great photos. I've added a couple comments in purple. Thanks Sis for doing all the work for me today -- although I had to upload all the pics to the blog anyway. Thought I'd just get by with cut and paste. Hah - I didn't get any pictures that way! So, I still had to work for it.

For a detailed description of the drum birthing process, see our blog "Birthing the Sacred Drum" from 4/23/07.

It was a wonderful day for April. The nature gods cooperated fully with us that day. It was below 90 and no gusty winds which we get so much of here in the spring.

So, enjoy the photo essay and until next time.

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),


Hi Everyone,

My brother Gary Gent and his wife Debbie teach people how to make a sacred drum. I got to finally go to his class (he lives down in Phoenix, Arizona, but travels the world teaching this class--and many other classes). I went down with my good friends, Yolande Grille, Debbie Noah and Linda Haggard. Here's a running commentary on drum making, should you be interested. It was a great way to spend a day from 10am to 5pm. The fun we had, the laughter, the work, was all wonderful.
Here are some of the participants in the Drum Making Class that I was in. We are listening to Gary and Debbie give an introduction to drum making--what it is and is not.

Here is Debbie Gent, who is Gary's wife and partner. They make a dynamic team and are great teachers. They also have fantastic sense of humor and so we were laughing often.

Here Gary is explaining the cedar wooden 'round' that is where the rawhide Elk skin is placed over it.

Here, Gary is showing what a finished hand made elk rawhide drum looks like. This is what we call a four direction tie. The lace is gathered in four groups and tied off, representing the four cardinal directions.

Here, Gary is showing us
a drum that has 'died.' You can see the cracks in it. He said every drum eventually will give out. The life span of a sacred drum can be very long or very short. Gary's cat drum you see here has been with him for many years. I recently brithed a bear drum and it split on me last weekend. I have yet to journey and find out what the purpose of such a short life was.

Gary and Debbie gathered us out under a nice, shady tent. Here, we chose the elk skin we wanted to create our drum out of. The "Mother Drum" that Gary is playing is for the purpose of us journeying to see if there was trauma to the elk hide. And if there was, to ask for a healing of it before we cut out our circle to create our drum.

Here, Gary is showing all of us how to use a metal device (leather punch) to hammer holes into the wet hide.

Eileen is holding up the circle of elk skin she just cut with a pair of scissors. It is kept wet with water so that it is pliable and holes can be made into the skin.

And here is Linda Haggard cutting a piece of cow rawhide to make the 'string' for her drum. Fun! Everyone had to do it. This group had the lovely experience of cutting their own lace thanks to a fubar by our lace supplier. No one will fess up to who needed this experience, but they were all good sports and made it fun.

Here is Yolande Grill watching as Gary shows her how to wrap and make a handle out of the rawhide to her drum

Here Debbie Noah is allowing Myron to help her with the twenty foot of rawhide 'string' and getting it laced into the holes.

Debbie Gent is leaning down to help Linda and Eric Haggard with their drums. Thanks Sis - you always get my best side :)

Gary is showing Debbie Noah's sister from Texas how to create a handle for her drum.

Here is Anthony and Eric and Linda Haggard in the process of stuffing their beater head with cotton balls. Eventually,this will become a drum beater.

And here I am with my new beater and drum. What a great day and so much fun!

And here's the happy crew with their newly birthed drums and beaters.

And here's Gary proudly beaming at us and showing us a drum that he had made. His cougar shield is behind him.

For those who are interested in Gary and Debbie coming to create a drum making workshop for you, just contact them at:

And be sure to visit their website at:

This is a wonderful family affair, too. Anyone who loves a drum, young or old, male or female, can make one. And Debbie and Gary are wonderful teachers. We sure had a lot of fun on that day :-)

In Spirit, Eileen

--Posted By Eileen Nauman to Tales from Echo Canyon at 5/03/2008 08:08:00 PM

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Celebrate Mother Earth

I know it's been a while since I posted. Sometimes life happens and sometimes I run out of ideas of something relevant to post. Believe me, you don't want to hear my mind's ramblings :) If you have something you would like to hear about, please feel free to drop me any email at

It's been a busy few weeks here in Phoenix, and life is good. The weather is warming up and we hit 98 Monday. We should be cooling back to the 80’s tomorrow. I know, many of you are just beginning to see the snow melt. But, summer in Phoenix, is like winter in the colder climates. We are not as active outdoors during the heat, and spend more time indoors during the intense days of monsoon season when we hit over 110. So, it’s not much different than the winter cold, except we don’t have any white stuff to shovel and the intense heat only lasts about 4 weeks!!

Today I want to chat about Earth Day coming up on Tuesday, April 22. It is sort of humorous in my mind that people have set aside a WHOLE day, to focus on Mother Earth and give one day’s time and effort to undoing how many hundreds of years of mistreatment. At least having the one day, may bring a small change into people’s lives that they will carry with them for then next 364. Every small bit helps.To a shaman, EVERY day is Earth Day. Every day is a time to honor our mother. Mama Earth is our source of life and support, all that is. She literally is the ground we stand on, the food we use to nourish our bodies (note that’s the REAL food we eat), the source of the plants that provide the oxygen that we breathe and the water that we drink. Without her life giving support we, as a species, would not survive. We humans have become like spoiled children, and unfortunately, Mama is now giving to her children until it hurts.

As I am writing, the quote from Chief Seattle came to mind... “The earth does not belong to man. The man belongs to the earth.” In about 1852, the United States Government inquired about buying the tribal lands for the arriving people of the United States, & Chief Seattle, of the Suquamish Tribe, in the Pacific Northwest, wrote a marvelous letter in reply. (Joseph Campbell, 'The Power of Myth') I have quoted the whole letter here, as it is very powerful. It embodies the shaman’s connection with Mother Earth and the connection which most have lost, believing it archaic or blasphemous, but re-connecting to the earth is definitely one of the solutions to the problems we are creating for ourselves.

"Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man, all belong to the same family.

The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each ghostly reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.

The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give to the rivers the kindness you would given any brother.

If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth. This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does it to himself

"One thing we know: our god is also your god. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator. Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

When the last Red Man has vanished with this wilderness and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left? We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother's heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children and love it, as God loves us all

As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you. One thing we know: there is only one God. No man, be he Red Man or White Man, can be apart. We are brothers after all."

Re-reading this letter always gives me what I call “truth bumps”. So, I am going to invite each of you who read this to begin to re-establish your connection with Mother Earth and invite others to do the same. Choose some regular times, like at the new or full moons, the changes of seasons or just any regular time to do healing ceremonies or journey for Mother. If you have not yet met her, during a meditation or journey, go deep within the earth and ask to be introduced to Mother Earth. Allow your mind to flow and observe the awesomeness of her realm. Once you meet her, introduce yourself and ask about her realm. Ask what you can offer in the way of a healing for her. Then ask her what one thing you can take out into the world, as an example, to help re-establish that connection that most of her children have lost. Thank her and let her know that you will be back and continue to help.

This may seems like a drop in the bucket. But, if each of us helps heal our dear Mama Earth in one or two ways, soon the bucket will be overflowing and our Mama will be flourishing.

Happy Journeys!

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),


Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring and The Sacred Garden

Well, we are a week into the spring and here in Arizona the temps are beginning to rise and the world (and allergies) is in full bloom. For many of you in the colder climes, the snow is beginning to melt and the earth is starting to warm up and even begins to show the beauty that has been hidden all winter. It is a time of excitement and anticipation as the days grow longer and we welcome the return to all the activities we enjoy in the warmer days.

I am keenly aware of coming out of hibernation. It feels good to feel the spring sun on my body as I work in my sacred gardens in my back yard as well as my spiritual Sacred Garden.

In the Celtic traditions, your Sacred Garden is a place in the spirit realm
that "belongs" to you. It is a place to rest, recharge, store shamanic gifts, meet with Spiritual Guides and Teachers, etc. Only those who you invite can enter your Sacred Garden. Your Sacred Garden is an inner representation of what you choose to create in your outer reality.

With the arrival of spring, it may be a good time to tend to your spiritual Sacred Garden ... spring cleaning you know. I invite you to take a few minutes to journey to your garden or slip into a meditative space and ask to be taken to you garden, or take a few minutes to visualize your Sacred Garden. Look around and see if you need to do a spring clean up. Are there weeds that need to be pulled or dead plants in your garden? Some may need to stay as they are not ready to be removed yet. Think about creating a compost pile with these weeds. After you remove them, pay close attention to how things change in your life. Maybe some of those things that no longer serve you will just disappear. After you clean up, be sure to plant new plants or seeds for those things you wish to cultivate in your physical reality. Remember the fertalizer you created in your compost pile and fertalize well, for it is from these lessons and weeds that we are able to create a new.

Remember to routinely take the time to return to your Sacred Garden to tend your plants, rest and simply enjoy the peace and beauty of this inner space. As you tend this garden, take time to enjoy the peace and beauty you are creating in your every day life.

Happy Spring.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Shaman as Deathwalkers – Part II

As promised, we’ll continue where we left off before we were so rudely interrupted by Life. We were discussing the role of the shaman as a “Deathwalker” assisting those who are preparing to make their transition to Spirit or those who have already transitioned.

Sometimes when a death occurs, the Soul is caught unprepared. Sometimes the Soul may not understand what happened or that they are dead. This Soul's natural journey back to its spiritual home, is then interrupted. The Soul needs help, it cannot continue the journey on its own. This is where a shaman can assist the Soul to continue it’s journey home.

Recently, I had a co-worker cross over suddenly. It was an unusual incident that had left both his life partner and business partner devastated. They were feeling his presence around the house and being disturbed by this. I asked permission to journey for him and see if he had completed his transition, and he had not. We found him standing in his garage where he had died, looking totally confused. He was glad to see me and asked in his usual fashion what was going on. I explained that he had died and asked if we could assist him to get out of the garage and go Home. He agreed and we asked that any soul pieces that he needed be returned. At this point, we could see the light tunnel being opened and my friend became a happy go lucky young boy again. We asked if he had any soul pieces to return to others before he left. He emptied the pockets of his shorts and asked that We return some specific packages and a bunch of things came from his pockets typical of a little boy. My guides quickly collected the pieces and returned them to whom they belonged. At this point, my friend thanked us and said he was ready. He dove into the light tunnel like he was diving into a pond. He was met there by his guides and light beings and escorted to the upper world.

My most memorable Deathwalking case was right after 9/11. I was asked to journey for someone who had died in the World Trade Center. They had not found her body, but knew she was dead. I entered journey space and asked to be taken back to the towers (We had spent MANY hours there already). We called out the name of the person we were looking for and heard a faint response. We found her buried under some rubble in a stairwell. We busied ourselves to free her and she asked if she was dead. We told her yes and explained what had happened. She broke down and cried and we comforted her for some time. As we began to move out of the towers there were many souls asking if they could come along. Everyone was holding on to each other to follow them out and pretty soon my client in the front began to conga. The whole group became a conga line of souls returning home! As they came along they were each given a basket with their soul pieces and they carried their baskets in the conga line right up to the light world! Believe me it was quite a sight. Everyone was happy and singing like they were at a party, and it truly was a birthday party, as they were all re-born to Spirit. No somber occasion - hmm—I wonder if my client was an Irishman??? Certainly a reminder of Spirit’s humor.

For more on shamanism and death and dying read the article on our website “Death and Dying – A Change”.

Until next week.

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),

Friday, March 7, 2008

Life "Happens"

Wow, I’m so embarrassed that we have had to let this blog slip. But as the title states “Live Happens”. Actually, it’s more like a carnival. There’s the Merry-Go-Round that whirls too fast, the world’s largest and most treacherous roller coaster, bumper cars (as a friend reminded me yesterday) and the I think they call it “The Hammer” – that ride that takes you up way high and drops you from the top. And they best part is we all signed up to get into this crazy place!

My last communication was about death and dying. We have been experiencing this journey over a year of ups and downs with Gary’s mom as she traversed her death path toward re-birth. It was a long, hard journey for the whole family. There was such a mix of emotions as we could only bear witness to her journey. This long journey came to an end on February 28, 2008. Fortunately, with our shamanic experiences we have a very positive outlook on the death of the physical being, but that doesn’t change the fact that we will no longer have our Mom to talk to or hug. The whole family will now begin to relax and grieve after holding vigil for so long.

Besides holding constant vigil for the last eight months, we’ve had the usual mix of life – the "j-o-b" that tends to overtake the time allotted, kids with trauma/drama, tooth issues, and the routine holiday bouts of the flu (mine has lasted two months!). Then there is our shamanic work/play that for me personally gets pushed aside until life settles a little and I can devote my attention to assisting my clients. I like to give them my undivided attention.

If anyone thinks that being a “shaman” exempts one from all the crap life can throw our way – guess again! As you can see, we play same dramas as everyone else. We simply have tools to help us respond instead of react (at least most of the time). This is the goal of our shamanic coaching – to empower our clients to experience life from a different perspective. Soul Recovery helps to bring back parts of our vital energy that allow us to see our world differently. We are able to clear long term patterns in our lives and heal ourselves of our emotional wounds (and physical) that trigger our emotions. We begin to recover our true self and become whole again.

As for the blog, I am committing to making a conscious effort to post weekly. I think I will keep them shorter so that I can keep up when "life happens".

Thanks to everyone for your support and understanding during these trying months for us.

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),