Friday, December 30, 2011

Preparing for the new year

I have a daily meditation book called The Celtic Spirit - Daily Meditations for the Turning Year by Caitlin Matthews. I would highly recommend this book for some daily readings and good food for thought from a Celtic perspective. It cycles through the Celtic Year beginning on November 1 through Samhain on October 31.
The reading for today was quite fitting to what I might suggest, so instead of recreating the wheel, here is today's reading:
Gathering in the Year

It is at the years end that the fisherman tells of his fishing. -Scots Gaelic proverb
The end of the calendar year is the time when we traditionally look forward and make good resolutions for the coming year. But before can do that, we need also to make a summation of the past achievements and mistakes so that we have a sense of the years shape. It may be helpful to wind the year backward, retracing our steps from November back to January. As we go backward, month by month, we can consider the, following questions: What was the major theme of this month? Which events made the greatest impression on my life? What did I achieve? What mistakes do I regret? The point is not to indulge in blame and guilt but to neutrally survey our findings.

Now look back over the year as a whole and make a summation of its overall pattern and effect upon you. What has this year meant in real terms to you? How has it changed the world? Which new figures and influences have come into your life?

Now for the third part of this review. Looking at the year just past, move forward from January to December, asking these questions about each month: What seeds were sown in this month that affect me now? What wisdom have I learned? Which patterns and connections are poised to continue unfolding in the year ahead? Which obstructing or unhelpful aspects of my own behavior need to change? Having made our review, we can now consider the year ahead and lay down pathways of resolution and intention that will help guide our steps.

Make your review of the year as suggested above.

Have a safe and happy new year.

Until Next time...
Mitakuye Oyasin (A Lakota prayer reminding us we are all related)
Debbie & Gary

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Shaman's Yule Journey

Grab your egg nog and cookies, snuggle up in a blanket and get ready for story time...
A Shaman’s Yule Journey
By Debbie Gent
With a little help from Clement Clarke Moore and The Night Before Christmas

Debbie, Gary & Mother
T’was Yule Eve and in circle we sat.
Everyone positioned on their journey mat.

Gary and I were perched at the drum,
Echoing the rhythm of Mother Earth’s hum.

The World Tree before us, we followed the threads
As altered states visions danced through our heads.

I had just settled down to let myself go,
When way out ahead I saw a red glow.

Then the sound of bells rang and made such a sound,
I focused my “vision” to see what was around.

Siberian Shaman
When what to my altered state eyes did appear,
But a little old man and his crew of reindeer.

Closer and closer and closer he came,
And when he got nearer he called out my name.

“Debbie, come on and join in the fun.
Come join my travels to see the birth of the sun.”

I was astonished, there was no doubt,
But my guides pushed me forward, no chickening out.

In the chariot of gold I came and sat,
Next to this spirit so happy and fat.

Questions were running so fast through my head,
“The birth of the sun, is that what you said?”

“The Goddess is ready, the Sun to bring forth”
He called to his reindeer to head east by north.

There in the east was a crowd up ahead
He grabbed my hand, through the crowd he lead.

Before me sat the Goddess, her belly so large
She was ready to push and asked me to take charge.

Without a thought I took her hand
And the song of “push” rang through the land.

“Push Goddess, Push Mother” the encouragement rang
As the voice of her people around her sang.

And with one last push the Sun was born,
With His light, the world to adorn.

Angelic voices announced the birth of the Sun.
I moved slowly back, my job being done.

And as I moved slowly from sight,
The Goddess smiled at me this night.

To the chariot I returned,
As tonight there was still more to be learned.

Shaman Flight by Amanda Clark 
Up to Spirit we quickly flew
To finish our work without further ado.

We gathered gifts of love and prophecy
To carry back to our community.

Our chariot full, we headed back
To distribute the gifts from within our pack.

Mother Drum played the call back sound
And I started down the World Tree to return to the ground.

With our job done, we said our good nights
And my guide and his reindeer quickly took flight.

And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight…
Merry Yule to all and Welcome the Light!

© 2011 Shamanic Connection LLC

Image Acknowledgements:
Siberian Shaman Image Courtesy of
original artist unknown
Millenial Gaia Image Courtesy of
Shaman Flight with permission- by Amanda Clark and
Winter Solstice Sunrise Photo Courtesy of
Shiningwaters at

Happy Holidays to all our friends. Be safe and may the peace and joy of the season remain with you through out the year.

Until Next time...

Mitakuye Oyasin (A Lakota prayer reminding us we are all related)
Debbie & Gary

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Void and the Empty Chalice

Winter has joined us here in Oregon and nightly covering us with her blanket of deep white frost. If there was any moisture in the air, we’d certainly have snow. Since the beginning of Samhain (right after Halloween), I have been slowly moving deeper into my personal cave, covering up with warm blankets preparing to hibernate for winter. For me it’s just instinctive… weather turns cold… hibernate! Give me a snuggly blanket, a book and a pair of knitting needles and I’m one happy bear!

As Yule approached quite a few years back, a teacher of mine, Patricia Ballentine (, explained this to me with the idea of the Empty Cup or Challice.
“Long ago and far away in the land of my Scottish ancestors this time of the year was recognized as the end of Smahian (SOW-en) and the beginning of Yule. It was the season when we had completed our harvest, drawn our animals in from summer pastures, stocked our pantries, piled the wood, and we snuggled in for the winter. Our time was purposefully spent pausing from so much ‘in the world DOing’ and focused more on BEing connected to those in our homes and ourselves.

In the lives of those of us today who still embrace a relationship in a spiritual sense to the seasons of the year and the ‘old traditions’ this is the time of the void (the empty chalice)…the very holy pause from which new life will be birthed from the divine spark of inspiration when Spring draws near. It’s not a time for DOing things and going places, but a time for BEing with our selves, nurturing our integrated aspects of body, mind and spirit and WAITING with a deep sense of trust for what will surely come in due time.”

Yup, I’m convinced, hibernating is hard wired in our DNA! Hibernating is entering the void…But how many of us avoid this yearly draw into the void, into the depths of ourselves and the Great Mystery and spiral into the frenzy that has become the “Holiday Season”? Not only is all the DOing activity exhausting, but we are going against our true nature! It’s like paddling upstream! No wonder we get so exhausted this time of year!

What keeps us from stepping into the void, into the emptiness? Is it fear? Or guilt? Or…? Fear is a pretty big deterrent for most of us humans. But what is it we fear in the void? If you’re reading this, you’re grown up and most likely not afraid of the dark (and who says the void is dark?). Oh yes, there it is…I see it…it’s the fear of CHANGE. Change requires letting go of what we’ve always known and done to allow in something new. It’s unknown and uncomfortable! But with like anything, the more time we spend being “uncomfortable” the more “comfortable” it gets. We learn to trust ourselves and Spirit to unfold a new reality for us. We learn to welcome the gifts and new opportunities that the void brings to us. It is only in emptiness of the void can meaning, intuitive guidance and our truth arise.

Certainly our modern work ethic doesn’t recognize, let alone honor, the idea of rest. We are taught to feel guilt or shame if we are not DOing. BEing, is slacking, lazy and unproductive. Boy do they have it wrong! If we don’t have a place to BE, we can’t dream and grow and invent. These seeds of creation all begin in darkness, in the womb, taking in the energy that they need to grow. The void is that place of silence, calm and rest that we need to grow.

We want to invite you to begin making an annual pilgrimage to the void beginning this winter. You may not want to stay long at first, but it’s okay to take baby steps. Journey to the open doorway of the void if that’s where you need to start. Ask your Animal Guide or other Spiritual Guides to accompany you. Explore that place of potential, the place with no expectations.

If you are working with your Aspects, check and see if you have an aspect that is driving your DOing. Do you have an “Energizer Bunny”, or the “Over Achiever” somewhere? If so, move them to your heart center and let your other Aspects teach them the ropes and how to play well with your group. Then, take your journey into the void.

What seeds are being charged for you? Experience the peace of reconnecting to the Great Mystery, of simply BEing. Allow yourself to be that empty chalice that is simply waiting to become filled with your dreams...The dreams that are ready to burst forth with life as spring approaches. For now, let your cup remain empty and ready to receive them. And don’t forget to return each winter when you hear the void’s call.

So, as we prepare the altar for our Yule celebrations, my chalice remains empty, upside down, with a candle to represent the spark of inspiration that will come through the void. May your chalice also be empty and at rest this Yule.

See you in the void!

Mitakuye Oyasin (A Lakota prayer reminding us we are all related)
Debbie & Gary  

PS- If you're looking for a special celebration for the Winter Solstice (Yule) check out last December's post.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Blessings

As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches and we begin to prepare for our holiday meal, no matter how big or small, we sometimes get lost in the preparation and forget that this is a day of gratitude. 

I've been reading a lot of grumbling on some blogs and Facebook about not celebrating Thanksgiving because of the poor treatment of our Native American ancestors ... But, no matter how it started out centuries ago, Thanksgiving is a day that has been set aside to offer thanks and gratitude to Spirit for all that has been provided to us. So, forget about the Pilgrim stories and focus on the present. Remember, we live in the now.

I know it's been a tough few years for many of us and some days it's a struggle to find something to be grateful for. I always think of a friend who when she was going through a really though time, the only thing she could find to be grateful for that day was the garbage man who picked up the trash. There is always so little kernel to be found each day. So, for at least this day, we invite you to search your heart and find at least one thing to be grateful for. Hmm... maybe we should have a Thanksgiving more often... without the turkey and stuffing of course :-)

So, as we prepare and sit down to eat our holiday meal, no matter whether we are enjoying our own company or the company of friends and/or family, we're offering a few non-traditional blessings for your meal.

My standard, short, sweet and to the point daily blessing -
"We thank the spirits that gave their lives that we may eat and thrive - Aho"

A Thanksgiving Blessing from a Druidic feed this morning -
"Bless the Earth for delivering this food
Bless the Sun for nourishing its growth
Bless the Rain for assuring its survival.

Thanks to the hands that helped raise this food

Thanks to the backs that helped harvest it
Thanks to the hearts that helped prepare this fare.

Let it nourish our minds, bodies and spirits

Let it nurture our thoughts, deeds and creativity
Let it hearten our wisdom, kindness and love.

May our friends, families and loved ones be healthy

May those that are not present and missed be well
May the future be prosperous and happy."

The Blessing of the Stranger -
This blessing is handed down through a friend and it always touches my heart.

Since ancient times it has been a tradition to welcome the Stranger who approached our threshold or crossed our path. The Stranger was seen as the potential bringer of a great gift or lesson…and we recognized that we could well be such to them. Fear was not the foundation of the meeting…rather Love. Perhaps we had completed the harvest and the Stranger was a bard or great storyteller who would provide countless hours of enjoyment for our family as we sat gathered round the fire on cold winter nights. Perhaps they were simply without a meal for the evening and we could add a bowl of soup for them at our own table. And, perhaps we were the Stranger at the door of another seeking a warm hearth and open heart.

Countless Strangers impact our lives every single day…let us pause for a moment and offer to them…our blessings:

"The Blessing of the Stranger:

For all of the hands
That tilled the soil
And planted the seeds
And harvested the crops
And cared for the livestock…
For all of these hands, Strangers to us
We give thanks and we offer blessings.

For all of the hands
That packaged the products
And prepared the livestock
And brought all to market
And stocked the shelves…
For all of these hands, Strangers to us
We give thanks and we offer blessings.

For all of the hands
That are gathered ‘round this table or
That reach out to us from the distance…
Many Strangers once, but friends and family now…
For all of these hands…
We give thanks and we offer blessings.

May we use this food and the energy of
Love and grace
To nourish ourselves and each other
In Body, Mind and Spirit…

Blessed Be and Amen"

If you have a traditional non-traditional blessing, email it to me and I'll post it for others to share, or use to create their own blessing.

We wish you peace and joy on this Thanksgiving Day. Every day, we are blessed and thankful to count you among our friends.

Until next time -

Mitakuye Oyasin (A Lakota prayer reminding us we are all related),
Debbie & Gary

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Honoring Our Ancestors

Samhain (sah-win or sow-een) is the fourth and final fire festival (or cross-quarter holiday) in the Celtic Wheel of the Year.  The veil between the worlds grows thin, as the portal opens into the Celtic New Year, and we begin our decent into the dreamtime.  It is a time of releasing the old, planting seeds for the coming year, deep visioning, receiving transmissions of wisdom, and communing with ancestors, faeries, and the spirit world.  We are reminded of the importance of the season of bone that follows the harvest and precludes the spring – a time of silence, of resting, of the death of all that is completed, and the incubation of that which is to come.

This is also a time for remembering all our ancestors and loved ones who have passed into the world beyond.  Many traditions honor their ancestors at this time. For the Celts, the celebration is Samhian, in the Hispanic traditions it is known as Dia de los Muertos or “Day of the Dead”. The Christian Church incorporated these festivals into a festival known as “All Souls Day”.

In the homes of our Celtic ancestors, storytelling abounded during the long, dark, winter nights; many of these tales were ghost stories about the Otherworld. At Samhain, the gates to the Otherworld stood wide open, allowing the spirits of the ancestors and the Sidhe to walk among the living. Only those in disguise would venture out on this night to confuse the Sidhe, the Faerie kind and the feared, though revered ancestors;  a custom which has been passed down to us as Mischief Night, Halloween and 'trick or treat'.

Respect for the ancestors is still practiced at Samhain in the Celtic world, when the doors between the worlds are open. This is an excellent time to re-connect with our ancestors.

You may consider having a Samhain celebration for your ancestors. Have a meal with their favorite food and beverages. Be sure to set a place at the table for the ancestors. (Don’t dispose of the food at the end of the meal, but offer it to the nature spirits and animals.) Sing, dance and drum for them. And don’t forget to tell stories about your ancestors and highlight their conquests and achievements. Or simply take some time to get to know your ancestors through a shamanic journey, meditation or other form of trance travel and celebrate with them in the Otherworld.

Here are some suggested journeys from a playshop I recently facilitated at the local Druid Grove’s Samhain celebration.  Remember, you should travel with the blessings and the protection and guidance of your spirit guide or totem animal.

Just a note, ancestors may include those of our bloodlines, those of the land where we live, and those of our spiritual kin in a broader sense. Remember, our soul has had many paths and bloodlines along its path.

1st journey – Visit the ancestral grove where ancestors meet in the Otherworld.  Ask to be met by one of your ancestors who you knew in this lifetime. This ancestor will be your guide for these journeys. Your clan will be celebrating Samhain – help rekindle bon fires that have been let go dark in preparation for this celebration. Join in fun – sing, dance and enjoy the food and ale. Have your ancestor guide take you around and introduce you to other ancestors in the grove. Talk to anyone you wish… ask about information on family history or bloodlines. Hear the stories the elders have to tell. Their stories were meant for both pleasure and instruction. They tell us of the Otherworld, this world, our culture and about ourselves. Enjoy the celebration.

2nd journey – Return to the grove and ask your ancestor guide to take you to the ancestor or group of ancestors who you need to meet most at this time. Ask what words of wisdom they have to offer you. If you need advice in some area or some problem in your life, ask and they will be happy to share their insight and experience. Remember, they are repositories for ancient wisdom and they can be consulted about matters to do with you as an individual, with the land, with families and issues of Spirit. Be sure to thank your ancestor for their words of wisdom. If it feels appropriate, offer a healing to this ancestor before returning to your current reality.

Honoring the ancestors is also very important, and can be done in a number of ways. Simply thinking of your own family can be important. You can also make a small ancestral shrine, including a photo of your own ancestors, or use a picture of a site which has strong ancestral associations. The shrine can contain other objects which strike you as particularly symbolic: a flat stone on which you can write messages to the ancestors, a basket of stones or shells taken from many different places. An offering dish of honey, sweet-cake or beer can be placed there also (but make sure you replenish it regularly!)

At your ancestral shrine, make offerings, have conversations, tell jokes (the ancestors like news, gossip and humor) and ask advice. The important thing is to establish a feeling of friendship and rapport across the divide of time and place, not only at Samhain, but throughout the year.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quiet Before the Storm?

Recently we were talking with a friend who is also shamanic practitioner, just catching up and staying in touch.  Our discussion turned to how we were all doing in our practices, and strangely, we discovered that the month of September for us, her and others that we know, it has been 'quiet'.  Even though there is daily life activity, the pervading energy feels like a 'waiting'.  A waiting for what?  It is almost like the collective whole is holding it's breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop, the door to open, the planets to align?

To me, this waiting energy feels more connected with the collective fear of what is coming.  There have been years of opinions published and discussion on the year 2012 in every  media available and has created this waiting fear or anticipation through the collective.  This in effect has every individual holding their breath on some level. Unknown fear is stopping movement in the person’s life. 

That very old saying of 'we have nothing to fear except fear its self' is very correct in this case.  We really don't know what may or may not happen next year. We won't know until whatever it is shows up on our individual doorstep.  Then and only then can we, as individuals or a collective, respond or react to what is presented. 

So, for me, I am not holding my breath (or energy) and will play with whatever is presented....only when it is presented.  I hope others can approach our changing times with the same ease, because we can only hold our breath for so long.

Until Next Time:

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

10 Billion Beats - Drumming with global intention

Sorry I'm so late getting this out. Have had computer "gremlins". I think they are all pretty well under control now. As long as they don't multiply I may be okay.

We have always participated in this event as a drum circle, but this year will just be going it "a deux". Join the energy and spend a hour drumming. For more information: and to see if there is a group drumming in your area.

We hope to see you at that etheric drum circle!

Until next time -

Mitakuye Oyasin (A Lakota prayer reminding us we are all related),
Debbie & Gary

10 Billion Beats
If you don't know what you can't do, maybe you can do anything!

“Are you crazy enough to change the world?” began the first newsletter for 10 Billion Beats in 2009. Since then thousands of people have participated. You are the stars on this map. Crazy!

It’s easy to leave big changes up to “spiritual masters” or “super beings” with powers greater than our own. They have changed the world. Then there are ordinary humans; King, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Mandela, who so completely committed their selves to right human relations that extraordinary acts followed. They too changed the world. That may be asked of us should we face extraordinary times.

Change that which your eyes perceive and behold a different world. Change the words you speak and hear more truth around you. Change the intentions of your heart, and change the world.

If big changes happen to come in the next months as many have predicted, I am very grateful to be part of this group. Carry the positive intent within your heart, listen for the truth around you, and watch for a path of service to those in need.

If nothing happens as predicted, I remain grateful that as we walk the next miles in the same pair of shoes we do so together. With each footstep I will imprint my blessing upon our planet and my fellow beings knowing that I have never walked alone. It’s simply time to be the change we’ve been waiting for.

Just a few hours now until we send our wave of rhythm around the planet infusing the beat with our positive intent. Please post your local event on our social network site at You will have to register on that site (if you haven’t already) to be able to enter your data.

Goodwill ON Livingkind

4 beats per second (or as close as you can come to it) for at least one hour.
Send the intention out to everything on the tone of your drum.
Keep the buzz going. There is still time to tell the world.
Photos and videos after the fact are very welcome.


Carlisle, Geralyn and Brent.


PeaceWeek 2011 - A Free Global Telesummit for Building a Culture of Peace

Today we're forwarding some wonderful information for upcoming events, so there will be 2 posts today.

PeaceWeek 2011   
 A Free Global Telesummit for Building a Culture of Peace

September 15 - September 21, 2011

Grandmothers Drum blue BG

Peace Week
Wednesday, September 21st, 5:00pm to 6:00pm PDT
Prayers From The Grandmothers,  
PeaceWeek Closing Ceremony
with Grandmothers Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance and Mona Pollaca

PeaceWeek 2011 - A Free Global Telesummit
Dear Friend,  GrandMother Beatrice

I'm writing to invite you to celebrate peace with a truly amazing line-up of inspiring leaders and peacebuilders such as Grandmother Beatrice Long- Visitor Holy DanceGrandmother Mona Polacca, , Alice Walker, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Arun Gandhi, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Daniel Goleman, Jane Velez-Mitchell and many more.

It's all part of PeaceWeek 2011, a global telesummit featuring dozens of inspiring peacebuilders -- and it's all for free!GrandMother Mona
This extraordinary event, coming up September 15-21, is the largest virtual peace summit ever created - last year more than 20,000 people registered from 152 countries. This year's leaders will offer profound insights for you to create peace in your life, your family, your community and our world. You'll also gain access to the full library of recordings from last year's summit.
When you sign up, you'll hear about groundbreaking global work from Israel and India to China and many places in between.

Sign up for free here.

Join me and thousands of others from around the world - all of whom deeply care about the future of our planet and the potential for humanity to make a profound shift from a culture of violence to a culture of peace.

I look forward to seeing you at PeaceWeek. And please do share this invitation with friends and colleagues - all are warmly welcome
to participate!

In Peace,
Center for Sacred Studies   

P.S. PeaceWeek gives you personal access to manyPeaceweekinspiring leaders:

Alice Walker, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Arun Gandhi, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Daniel Goleman, Jane Velez-Mitchell, James O'Dea, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Avon Mattison, Kimmie Weeks, Grandmother Mona Polacca, Grandmother Beatrice Long- Visitor Holy Dance, David Korten, Aqeela Sherrills, Dot Maver, Stephen Dinan, Derrick Ashonoran Pandey, Chip Hauss, Hiu Ng, Miki Kashtan, Rev. Bob Chase,g, Steve Killelea, Sister Jenna, Dena Merriam, Rob Fersh, Rita Marie Johnson, Paul Chappell, Brother Anilananda, Kevin Quigley, Devaa Haley Mitchell, Andy Barker, Jenn Lim, Captain Richard O'Neill, Michael Furdyk, PoNurah Amat'ullah, Rabbi Justus Baird, Mary Stata, Sahar Nafal Kordahi, Tzvia Shelef, Orland Bishop, Guy Burgess, Heidi Burgess, Dr. Rick Levy, Julia Bacha, Nick Stuart, David Nicol, Belvie Rooks, Matthew Albracht, Emily Hine, Philip Hellmich.

Series Co-Sponsors:
The Shift Network, The Peace Alliance, Pathways to Peace, Culture of Peace Initiative, Summer of Peace 2012, PeaceDay.TV, TakingItGlobal, The Hendricks Institute, Council for the Parliament of World Religions, Humanity's Team, Alliance for Peacebuilding, Peace X Peace,International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, Times Foundation/The Times Group, Student Peace Alliance, National Peace Academy, The Shift Movie, University of Colorado's Conflict Information Consortium, International Cities of Peace, One the Event, Global Peace Initiative of Women, Intersections, Brahma Kumaris, United Religions Initiative, Praxis Peace Institute, YES!, Just Vision, We, the World, Compassionate Action Network, Rasur Foundation, World Peace Prayer Society, Peace on Earth Film Festival, BayNVC,  Center for Sacred Studies

To see the full email  Click here.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lughnasadh - First Harvest

Wow, can’t believe it’s August 1 already. This year is flying by. Fall will be here sooner than we think.

August first is the beginning of Lughnasadh (or Lammas). This is the celebration of the first harvest. Depending on your traditions, Lughnasadh is celebrated from August 1 – August 15.

The name of this festival is Irish Gaelic for "Commemoration of Lugh".  Lugh is associated with the power of sun and light, and so fires were burned in honor of him on this day. In addition to his associations with light, Lugh is a God of Skill and Craft, a master of all human skills.

Lughnasadh is the first of three harvest festivals, Lughnasadh, Mabon and Samhain.  The Earth offers up her first fruits to us ... a blessing from the Mother and the product of our own hands.  It is a time to celebrate the fruitfulness of  Mother Earth and enjoy the fruits of our labors. 

The celebration of Lughnasadh included the ritual first cutting grain and making it into bread for the harvest feast.  Fruits and vegetables were ripe and ready preserving.  It was a time to celebrate and enjoy the fullness of the Earth while beginning to make provision for the cold months ahead. The people lit fires, sang and held uproarious sporting contests and races.

So, I invite you to join in the harvest celebrations. If you have your own garden, revel in the bounty that Mother Earth has provided and feast. No garden, find a you-pick and pick something decadent, like raspberries, and enjoy. Or offer up some time to a gleaning group to help with their harvests.

Take a hike in nature and the “difficult” trail.  Or do something that would push your boundaries. Challenge yourself in the nature of the God, Lugh. 

Or spend some quite time in the shade of a welcoming tree and take a shamanic journey. Have a meeting with your Guides and reflect on the inner meanings of your personal harvest of the seeds that you have sown in the spring. Which things or projects are ripe and waiting for us to harvest them? What needs more time to ripen?  What new projects would you like to start? And, what (if anything) do you need to do to prepare for completing your harvest? 

It is also a time to reflect on the many talents we have. Like Lugh, we are multi-talented. Unlike him, many of us are not so confident about these talents. So this is also a time to ask yourself:  “What are my talents and skills?  How do I express my creativity?  How do I use my abilities to craft my world ... to add beauty .... color ... richness?  Our skills may include woodworking, designing, creating, sewing and needlecraft, art, music, dance, sports or communication, organizing, healing, parenting, problem solving etc.  Whatever our talents or abilities, this is a time to recognize them and honor them, and to share our recognition of the talents and abilities of others around us.  If you have had an interest or urge to develop a particular skill or creative outlet, now might be the time to make commitment to yourself to pursue your interest.  By offering our skills back to the Universe we enrich both ourselves and our world.

And of course Lughnasadh is a very good time to express gratitude to the Goddess, God and the Earth Spirits for their blessings and gifts. 

Blessed Lughnasadh. Enjoy your harvest!

Until Next Time:

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



Sunday, July 3, 2011

Aspects of the Self – Who’s Driving Your Bus Today?

How many times have we done something totally marvelous, or dumb, rude, mean or off the wall and then looked back and said “Did I REALLY do that? It’s not like me to behave or do…” We treat these actions like someone else is responsible for them, and to be truthful, there is, but that “someone else” a part of you, a personality aspects or archetype. But in these cases, just one aspect is acting (or acting out) in a manor that is not representative of you as a whole.

Through our work assisting others with shamanic journeys and retrieving soul pieces, we have found a group of aspects or archetypes each person carries that have been ignored, stuffed or abandoned along the way. And like a child that is being ignored, they tend to struggle for control so that they can be seen or heard. This is sometimes not in our best interest.

Picture this situation… You’re in a meeting with your boss reviewing a report that you have prepared. The boss is asking questions, courteously, but asking questions about your train of though or information source. How are you responding or reacting?

That’s really going to depend on “who’s driving the bus”. If you are coming from a position of balance, your place of center and empowerment, you will respond courteously and logically to his or her questions.

But… if your Emotional Self is in charge, you could react with anger or feel tears welling in your eyes. Your Critic could kick in and you then begin the old self-talk patterns of “not being good enough”, “can’t do anything right”.

Or maybe your Ego may take over with the “Who does he/she think he is? Who is he/she to question my work?”

Oh, and what about the Shadow? I can picture papers flying around the room as well as some unpleasant words as you stomp out the door. The outcome of that meeting totally depends on “who’s driving your bus today”.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have all your aspects working together in a cohesive group, so you can respond to life from a position of balance and empowerment?

These aspects are similar to Jung’s archetypes. Psychologist Carl Jung described several archetypes based in repeating patterns of thought and action that re-appear time and again across people, countries and continents. Jung believed that we each have all four main forms of archetypes within us, the Shadow, the Anima, the Animus, and the Self. Jung also considered other archetypes, including family archetypes such as father, mother, child and story archetypes like the hero, the witch, the magician, the wise old man and the earth mother.

Medical intuitive and author, Carolyn Myss, identified over 70 common archetypes in her book, Sacred Contracts. She believes we were encoded prior to birth with 12 of these archetypes to fulfill contracts for experiences in this lifetime.

As we work with clients we are finding that there are about 12 or 13 aspects that each of us has hidden somewhere in our energy body. They have been hidden, abandoned or simply ignored. They include the Divine Masculine, Divine Feminine, Mental Self, Wounded Child, The Ego, The Shadow, and The Critic. Each person may have other personalized aspects hidden away as well. By retrieving and integrating these aspects, we become more balanced and whole.

We like to look at this group of aspects as a corporate board of directors working together for the good of the company (the Conscious Self). They are brought together as a cohesive group with the Heart Self operating as Chairman of the Board. But, in this board, each Aspect has a voice in how the “company” is run, with the Heart making the best choices for the conscious Self. Everyone is heard and no one is acting independently or “going rogue”. Now you begin to respond to life from a place of balance and empowerment.

Sound good? Are you ready to retrieve your Aspects and build your board of directors? We offer this work as part of our Five Day Shamanic Intensive Retreat, as weekend playshops or you can join us for our upcoming webinar “Aspects of Self” beginning in September. Just click on the links to find out more about the playshops and webinar.

So, back to our original question… “Who’s driving your bus today?”

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Earth Day 2011

It's funny how we need to pick a day to celebrate the earth... particularly when our ancestors celebrated and honored "The Mother" every moment. They literally "worshiped the ground they walked on".

But let's thank Senator Gaylord Nelson, for beginning the celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd back in 1970. The government set aside another day for us to honor our "Mother". This was, according to Senator Nelson, a way to "put the environment into the political 'limelight' once and for all" (his words). Now, Earth Day, is celebrated in most countries of the world.

As we humans have "evolved", we've completely lost our connection to the planet we live on and the world that we live in. We "think" we're individuals or separate beings.

It's a ridiculous thought when you break it down. Just like our bodies have different cells, fluids and functions... We have a similar relationship with the earth. We are a part of a whole. The slugs, the dirt, the whales, the rivers all are essential cogs, just like red blood cells, neurons and fat cells are a necessary part of your body. If all your red blood cells were to suddenly disappear, you would have a big problem. So what if the all the bees disappeared from the earth?

As shaman, or those who walk a nature based path, we understand that everything has life force or energy and everything is a part of the web of life. As the Lakota say "Mitakuye Oyasin - All My Relations". This prayer is a reminder that we are all connected, all part of that web, each strand connected to the other, forming the whole. You have often heard us refer to the "Standing Ones", "Stone People", "Four-Footed", "Winged Ones", "Plant Divas" etc. They all have life force or energy and offer us support and wisdom.

Many of the "Two-footeds" on this plant simply take the natural world for granted. It simply is and is there for their use and/or abuse. They have the idea that the "Two-footeds" are superior. What a wonderful mind game we have created for ourselves! It's like a video game where on the computer we have "mastered" all. But, Gaia is telling us otherwise, and unlike our video game world, there are no do overs.

But, before I give you some ideas to help you reconnect into the web of life and celebrate Earth Day, let's talk about permission and gifting. Have you ever asked the grass for permission to walk on it or a flower to pick it? Most likely you just assumed that all grass is for walking and flowers are yours for the taking (unless they are the neighbors). Remember that everything has life force or energy. The grass may not feel like being walked on today or that tree may not want to be hugged today. If we honor nature, we must ask permission of the nature spirits and not just blunder in and use or take what is around us.

Next, in the world of the “Two-footeds”, when someone offers us a gift, kindness or piece of wisdom, we have been taught to say "thank you". When someone in the natural world offers a gift or wisdom, we should also say "thank you". Many folks who walk a nature centered path carry with them something to give back to Nature, whether its tobacco, corn meal, stones or herbs. (We have bags of gifting herbs available at Shaman's Marketplace.) 

• If on your walk you find a stone, plant or feather that is calling you and you accept the gift, it is only appropriate to place an offering where you have taken the gift.

• One should always make an offering and ask permission before harvesting from any plant or tree.

• If you find a tall shady tree or a sunny rock to sit with and hear its wisdom, make and offering and ask permission to sit. Then leave an offering for the wisdom when your visit is complete.

• Ask permission to enter a sacred space just like you would knock on someone's door before you enter their home. Be sure to leave a “hostess gift”.

Nature has much to teach us if we approach her with honor and respect. Gifting is our way of saying "thank you".

So, on Earth Day (and every day), here are some things you can do to reconnect.

• Take your shoes off and walk around outside. It's simple and you can do it right now. Your flesh to soil connection will ground you to the earth and re-balance your electrical channels.

• Smell the plants. Go into a park or the woods and just pick (with permission) a few plants and smell them. See which ones smell amazing and which ones smell not as good to you. Your connection to instinct will be revived just slightly.

• Hug a tree. Throw your arm around it and press your heart up to it and feel its life force with your heart. Let your heart beat sync with the tree. Now, let your "roots" flow from your feet, deep into Mother Earth. Then, let your "branches" reach from the top of your head up into Father Sky and reach for the sun. Feel that energy and share in the tree's wisdom.

• Have a conversation with a "Stone Person". Find a rock outside to sit on/with and open your energy body and your mind. Ask what wisdom or message this Stone Person has to share with you. If you don't have a rock outside to sit on, hold a stone in your hand and converse with it. These Stone People have been around for a very long time and contain much knowledge that they are willing to share.

• Look into an animal's eyes. If you have a pet or if you don't... Find an animal, maybe at a pasture or at the animal shelter and look into its eyes. You'll see a wisdom no human would ever be able to rationalize (And that doesn't ever need to be humanized).

• Sit on Mother Earth and drum. Feel her heart beat and drum to that rhythm. (This works indoors too if your weather isn’t up for outdoor activities.)

• Lay face down with your heart and your ear on Mother Earth and hear her song. Allow that song to move into you and become part of you. (This works indoors too if your weather isn’t up for outdoor activities.)

• Make Earth Day a "Gifting Day" - use the idea of gifting to the Nature Spirits with tobacco, corn meal, stones or herbs. Walk around and give these gifts to everything in nature to simply say "thanks".

Just these simple things can help reawaken your awareness and consciousness. That is powerful enough to help make Earth Day celebrations every day celebrations. (And who doesn't like to celebrate?)

Please be sure to forward this blog along to those who could use a "reconnect."

Until next time -

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

Monday, March 21, 2011

Helping Our Animal Companions

Okay, I admit, I'm not the best at blogging. To be perfectly honest, I've had a horrible case of "blog block". (Hmm... this must be the tech update of writer's block.) Gary hasn't been much help either as far as suggestions so I get 100% responsibility for the blog (or lack there of). And, like I've mentioned before on this blog, you don't really want to hear the ramblings in my head... But, if you have something shamanically related you'd like to know or hear about, please pop me an email. I'm open to suggestions. I'm actually writing down a list of ideas when I get them, if I can remember them by the time I get to the computer :-) So, we should be on top of things for a while.

I just completed our spring newsletter so if you want to follow up on the newsy stuff, here's the link. I'm going to repeat the article on Helping Our Animal Companions here.

Also, we're stepping into more current technology and  doing our first webinar in May with The Healing Ways of the Shaman -- Shamanism and Soul Recovery. This is an introductory webinar that explains shamanism, soul recovery and the shamanic journey process. It is open to everyone. So, if you, your family or friends would like to be introduced to shamanism, this is a great way for them to find out more. There will be no charge for this webinar, but we always appreciate offerings. I will send out the email link a few days before the webinar. If all goes well, we will be offering more by webinars in the future. For more on the other activities we have on the schedule or a list of playshops we offer, check out our calendar.

If you haven't checked out our online store -- Shaman's Marketplace, now is a good time. Since you've been so patient with my blog block, I'm offering our blog readers the same special as our clients and regular customers.  Spring Special and receive a FREE bag of gifting herbs with orders over $20 (playshops not included). Special ends 5/30/11. Enter the code SPRING in the discount/coupon box and we will include your herbs with your order.We've added a couple new items and there are some new, hand made smudging bowls in the works from a friend in Phoenix who throws pottery. And, I have some new Shaman's Potions™ in the planning phases. So look for them with our next newsletter.

Okay, now that apologies are made and amends offered, here's some info about soul retrieval and our animal friends.

Helping Our Animal Companions

Many of us have at least one fuzzy, furry, feathered, leathered or finned companion that share our home and heart space. They are our friend, confidant, support, healer and even our "kids" and "significant other". They are simply a part of our family. And, like any other family member, they pick up on our life's situations and can become stressed and strained and acquire physical and/or emotional issues, just like any other member living in a group situation. Things like illness, divorce, death and financial stress affect our animal companions just like they would our children or partners.

Animals also have a soul path of their own they must traverse. Like us, they have specific lessons that their soul must learn in this lifetime. And, like us, some of their paths are not easy. They experience trauma that cause their soul to fracture or split.
So, when we're asked about doing soul recovery for animals the answer is a resounding "yes". We do a soul recovery just like we would do for you. We contact their guides for permission and return what soul pieces are appropriate. Then if required, we are guided through an extraction to clean up their energy system. The only difference is that they don't have to do "the homework". The soul pieces automatically integrate. They don't play the mind games with themselves or have the resistance we do as humans.

It has been our experience that in general, dogs tend to take on the physical or emotional issues of "their people". We have a client with a long term illness that creates a lot of toxicity. Her dog that she had for many years was depressed and had no energy. During his journey, we found him lying next to her in bed and he had merged his energy with hers. He told me that it was "his duty" to take on her illness. We explained that this was not helping her and was even causing more stress because she worried about her beloved friend. He then agreed to separate and we returned this soul piece to him. During extraction we also found energetic cords that he was using to absorb her energy. These were cut and he continued to improve. Releasing him from absorbing all the toxic energies had no effect on our client.

Recently, I was asked to assist another dog who was blind and had developed a cough. Sometimes he would begin to cough so hard he would not be able to breathe. They had visited many a vet, traditional and holistic, and the dog was on medications and an inhaler. In our extraction, we found little green gremlins in his lungs, producing a gas and tickling his bronchial tubes, that was causing him to cough. There really wasn't much change after the journey. After talking further with his people, we found out that this was happening if they were not paying as much attention to him as he felt they should, such as if he didn't get fed when he wanted, and other times he felt ignored. Much like a two year old throwing a temper tantrum. We returned to journey space and my guides gave him a very stern talking to and that he was to "quit pulling their chain". They were going out of their way to accommodate his blindness and that his family was being made aware of his manipulations and they would not work any more. It took a while for the situation to improve because it had become a learned behavior that needed to be modified, but he did improve slowly and there was less attention getting behavior.

One of my favorite "miracle" cases comes from our own household. Back in 2002 our cat, Pharaoh, decided to have an altercation with a car. When I picked him up from the hospital at the Humane Society where he was taken, they weren't expecting him to live. Around his eye was pretty cut up, but there didn't appear to be any broken bones. My vet sent me to a specialist for head trauma. The prognosis wasn't good, but he stayed in ICU. Gary was out of town and I called and his guides began the process of taking care of Pharaoh's injuries. We would get call after call from the vet, telling us that he had fluid in his lungs or that he wasn't recovering. And journey after journey, and extraction after extraction, we would get the "It seems that he's now doing fine" call. After a week, he was allowed to come home. The vet was still shaking his head wondering how this guy survived and was walking. The after effects were minimal and he lived a long and happy life.

Miracles can happen thanks to Spirit and the willing spirit of the animal. Another was 12 year old mare who was having liver and kidney issues and was not eating. She was lying down and would not get up to move. Not eating she had no energy. She was also having some foot issues. Her extraction included removing a coating that was preventing her from eliminating toxins from her system and cleaning her whole digestive system which had hardened. We were then directed to a soul piece that was stuck. Her feet were literally stuck almost like they were glued to the ground and she couldn't move. She wanted to "go home" but wasn't sure of the direction. For her this meant her spirit home. We released her and once she was again able to move, her guides asked her to decide if she wanted to return home to Spirit or to her people in this worldly plane. She decided to stay. When my client returned home from work that evening, before she even called in for the report, she found the horse standing at the food trough eating. She continued to eat and regained her strength. She languished and revived over a nine month period as her soul completed its journey and chose to return Home.

Sometimes though, the healing comes in the form of helping the animal's spirit to leave. Another one of my horses was a rescue with a facial deformity. This was causing problems with his breathing and causing seizures. When we approached the horse for soul recovery he ran. He was confused and said that he didn't want healing. We asked if we could make him comfortable and were allowed to do some extraction work to ease the seizures. We cleaned and reconnected broken energy pathways as we were allowed. Within a few weeks we were informed that the horse had made his transition. The path that he chose for healing was to return to Spirit.

I could go on and on with the many cases we've worked with over the years, from physical issues and illnesses, to "acting out" or other behavioral upsets, to helping someone's companion to complete their earth walk and return to the Mother. From the dog and cat, to the lizard and rat and every pet in between, a soul recovery can help your companion to be at his or her best.

Until next time –

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

Monday, January 17, 2011

Announcing our Grand Expansion Sale

We are pleased to announce our Grand Expansion Sale.

You have been asking us "Where can I get....?" So, now you can one stop shop for your shaman's tools and toys and get 10% off to boot!

Check out our sale flyer at this link -

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