Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Beginning or the End? One Never Knows...

You may have noticed that last week I did not publish a post at all, and this week I am later than my usual 12 pm Wednesday time slot. I am going through some personal transitions and do not feel that I have the ability to keep up with my previous schedule.

I would like to sincerely thank all of the people who have supported my blog thus far, and hope that if I am able to return to regular posting you will return with me.

Until then...

With Love and Gratitute I thank you for support and hope that in some small way I have inspired you to do the best you can to stay positive, support your own healing, and be kind and compassionate to yourself and others.

I will continue to update my Twitter account at if you would like to follow me there.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The importance of textiles

The Q'ero place a great important on textiles because they believe that you can literally weave the energy of your future with colors, shapes and patterns.

Textiles are used in ceremony and in everyday life. They are created to celebrate marriages, welcome new babies into the world, as a mestana cloth when used to wrap a Shaman's mesa, and to help with everyday chores like carrying food, goods and children.

The symbols and colors that appear in the cloth hold a special significance for the owner since they hold the energy that has being sourced for that person. Don Francisco's poncho for instance, which was woven by his wife Juanita, sources the energy of the sun with its diamond pattern and bright reds and pinks. By wearing the poncho, Don Francisco is even more powerfully connected to the energy of the sun.

I was drawn to a new mestana in Peru this year because for me it sourced the energy of balanced chakras. Not only did it include the colors of the chakras, there was a consistency in the pattern that spoke to me. I also really love the repeating strands of swirls which for me illustrated the dance between light and dark (black and white pattern) and earth and spirit (red and white pattern).

My first mestana was very brightly colored as well. After selecting this cloth, I found out that this type of cloth is traditionally worn by young women as a signal to suitors that she is ready to marry. It is hand embroidered and includes the energy of water (the brightly colored stripe of diamonds on either edge), the mountains (the brown triangles in the center) and the rainbow bridge to Spirit (the rainbow stripes intersecting the mountains).    

Other more traditional cloths often contain a symbol called a chuncho. The chuncho figure, comprised of a v-shaped head (sometimes with eyes) connected to a x-shaped body, represents the "wild spirit." Including this pattern in a textile is a way to honor the "wild spirit" that lives in each of us. An interesting modern day link to the chuncho can be found in the logo for Burning Man, a week long arts festival in the Nevada desert which aims to embody the "wild spirit" concept.

This July when I visited the Chinchero Weaver's Community I saw first hand how this tradition of weaving has been handed down from generation to generation and how it still plays a vital role in the lives of the women at the cooperative. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza, which means "at the mouth of the well of the wizards of water," was a completely different experience from Machu Picchu. One of the most surprising things was that along every path there was street vendors which really detracted from the sacred energy of the site. Also, because someone defaced the site with graffiti, visitors are no longer allowed to climb the structures which was very sad. But none the less and I am glad to have gotten to see the Mayan site. Photos of my entire trip are posted on my Flickr account.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Guess who is in Mexico right now...

Why hello there readers...

I have been very blessed this year. In addition to my pilgrimmage to Peru, I was also able to take a vacation to Cancun with David for our 7 year anniversary, which is where I am now.

Unfortunately, I didnt have time to write a more thoughtful blog before I left but we plan to visit some of the Mayan ruins and I hope to be able to bring you some wonderful photos next week.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Clearing Your Chakras in the Shower

We all have energetic centers in our body, called chakras. Shamans believe that these chakras, which each rule specific body functions and emotions, can become blocked.

A Shamanic practitioner can perform an illumination for a client in order to clear the blockage and heal the root cause.  However, for those of you who do not have access to a Shamanic practitioner, there is a simple exercise you can perform in the shower to help keep your chakras clear.

While Shamanic tradition maintains that there are 8 chakras, this exercise focuses on the 7 chakras that exist within our bodies. Each of our chakras is a spinning wheel of energy and when balanced flow in a clockwise direction. When our energy becomes blocked, our chakras may flow in a counterclockwise direction or completely stop moving.

You can restore the energetic balance to your chakras by following these steps:
  1. Starting at your root chakra, place your hand over your chakra and using your fingers wind the chakra in a counterclockwise direction. This will release the blocked energy.
  2. Continue unwinding your chakra until you feel that all of the blockages have been cleared.
  3. Rinse your fingers, and spin your chakras clockwise to restore the energetic balance.  
  4. Repeat these steps until you have cleared your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th chakras.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Profound Journey of Self and Spirit

When I set out on my journey to Peru, I knew I was not simply traveling to another country, I was embarking on a profound and spiritual journey of self. What has been surprising however is that the real work for this journey actually began when I returned home, when I was presented with the challenge of integrating the wisdom I received in Peru into my every day life.

Since my return I have had two marvelous astrological readings. One from Ken Johnson who does Mayan Astrology readings and this first part of a reading from Maridel Bowes who does what she calls evolutionary readings. Both have held extraordinary insights about my nature of my  soul's purpose, something I have been very focused on since my return.

In addition to these readings, and as I noted in my last blog, I have reconnected with my childhood friend Leigh who has inspired me to explore my relationship with Christianity further. One of the key insights I received immediately after returning from Peru is that I am a person who needs a consistent spiritual community. The wonderful thing about Shamanism is it does not exclude me from pursuing God through a specific religious context. Shamanism is very much in line with the belief that there can be many paths to Spirit.

Knowing now that I need a spiritual community and that I have been drawn to Christianity, I must be committed enough to myself to explore what that means (no matter how strange it may seem to my Jewish family) and I am excited to embark on this new relationship with God.

I have also come to realize that I am a person who needs to be completely connected to my soul's purpose in order to be truly fulfilled. I believe that as my journey of self progresses I will discover my soul's true purpose and have the courage and conviction to accept the challenge Spirit laid out for me when I was born. And I challenge all of you who may regularly read my blog, and even those who may have accidentally stumbled upon it (there are no accidents), to accept MY challenge.

I challenge you to seek out your highest truth and explore the reason you are on this beautiful planet. Spend the next week contemplating "How does Spirit express itself through ME?" (or if you prefer alternate wording "How does God express Himself through ME?")

I'd love to hear what you discover.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Power of Forgiveness and Prayer

Last week I tweeted “forgiveness starts with forgiving yourself for whatever real or perceived mistakes you have made.” I didn’t realize it at the time, but in sending this tweet I was a subconsciously forgiving myself for a mistake I made 6 years ago when I pushed away my childhood best friend, Leigh. Later that day, after I had forgotten about my tweet, I wrote her a letter of apology asking for her forgiveness.

Leigh and I on our Senior Skip Day trip to Capitola circa 1998.
To my surprise, she forgave me right away, and allayed my guilt for our estrangement saying that she knew this was the way it had to be for us both to grow. In the past week we have been emailing regularly and I have come to discover that while we have spent the last few years apart, we have both been working on our Spiritual lives in similar ways. 

What has been especially touching for me is that she has shared with me a prayer that helped her to know her true purpose, something I have been questioning since my return from Peru.

This is the prayer:
"I know I was created to do something great. I know I have been given everything I need to achieve this purpose. I am excited to get started - Please reveal it to me."   

I know now that Spirit guided me to reconnect with Leigh and to receive this prayer. What’s more is that Leigh has also been praying with me so that I may be shown my purpose and the messages God has given her to share with me have been equally powerful. 

This past week has shown me the true power of forgiveness – starting with forgiveness of self.

Spirit has given me a truly special gift.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lessons from Huayna Picchu

Li'fen, Tom, Sara, Laura, Lynn and Unmani
I think the moment that “cracked me open” on my recent trip to Peru was hiking Huayna Picchu. It took me right out to the edge (literally and figuratively) of what I thought I was capable of and forced me to dig deep within myself to find the courage and strength to keep going despite my extreme fear of heights.

While I am extremely grateful to all of the people who climbed Huayna Picchu with me and encouraged me, this was still an intensely personal struggle. There were points where I was so scared I cried (more accurately – sobbed), other points where I crawled on hands and knees, and the point at which I knew I couldn’t go any further – after the first plateau just before the final steps to the top.

As I sat on the plateau, I thought about why I decided to climb Huayna Picchu in the first place.

It turns out that this hike wasn’t about conquering my fear of heights. It was about facing my fear and saying “here I am.” Sometimes working through your fear can be more powerful than beating it.
The hike wasn’t about pushing myself to go all the way to the top with the rest of the crowd either.  It was about learning to accept my personal best, not comparing myself to others, and being ok with myself wherever I am.  (An extremely difficult lesson, but one I am slowly integrating into my everyday life.)

And once I realized these things, I heard the mountain say to me “It’s ok to hike down now. You’ve done your best today.” So I did, but now I was hiking the same narrow, slippery steps alone – everyone I had hiked with was still at the top – and I suddenly felt safe. I felt a strong connection to Huayna Picchu, and then I heard the mountain again.   

“Trust your place in this world... You are stronger than you think you are...”

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

This one is for you, James

As I was thinking about what to write about for my first real reflection about my trip to Peru, I decided to cash in on mini-joke between me and James, the first person I met in Peru. At the end of the trip, while we were waiting for my taxi to the airport, he asked me what I was going to write about when I got home. I looked him square in the eyes and said “YOU.” We both laughed but little did he know I would deliver.

I met James on my first morning in Peru, when he sat down at the breakfast table with Kinlen, Wake and me. Kinlen had just told me that the fireworks that were still being set off that morning had been from the Friendship Festival the night before. Fortuitous? I think not.
Another joke
There is something easy about being friends with James…like, we’ve always been friends, and this wasn’t the first time I had met him, only the most recent time I had seen him again. We shared a sort of inside joke in that way.
All jokes aside, the more I learned about James and his life, the more I saw myself. Without violating his trust, I will just say that we both understand the terrible meaning of “extreme grief.”
Reflecting on my own experiences with grief, I know that the relationship we create with ourselves when we heal our deepest and most powerful pain is the most powerful thing we have to hold on to when sadness visits us again.
However, the experience of being present as someone energetically worked through their grief reminded me of what I bring to this world. I bring the ability to know darkness, while bringing light. I bring the reminder that laughing is as powerful as crying. I am living proof that extreme grief can be transformed into extreme joy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Photos from Peru...

In the streets of Cusco
I'm still gathering my thoughts on everything that has happened in the last few weeks. There were some magical and transformative moments I want to share with you.

While I'm working on writing those posts, I thought you would enjoy seeing photos from the trip.

Check out my Flickr Photostream.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Still in Peru...

I'll be returning soon and will have many wonderful blog posts to share with you!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

While I'm in Peru...

Hello Blogger Readers! My spiritual wish has come true - I am in Peru at this very moment! If its possible for me to update this blog while I'm gone I will. However, when I return I hope to update you with many, MANY photos and magical stories. But for now you will just have to enjoy this picture of my cat. The internet loves cats, right? tee hee hee. You can also follow my whereabouts on Twitter using #EmilyinPeru.

Daisy lays around in my Mesa, enjoying the energy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Opening Sacred Shamanic Space

Shamans generally open sacred space, or call to the directions, before ceremonies and Shamanic work. I thought I would share with you the method by which this is done. To call the directions, start facing the South. You may use your rattle or bells and many Shamans spray a Shamanic tincture to bless each direction. Face each direction as you call to it, for Mother Earth touch the ground, and for Father Sun look to the skies.

To the winds of South, land of the Serpent
Wrap your coils of light around us,
Teach us to shed our pasts, as you naturally shed your skin,
Teach us to watch upon the Earth softly, as softly as your belly touches the soil,
Teach us to walk the Beauty Way.

To the winds of the West, realm of the Jaguar,
Oh Mother Jaguar, luminous one,
We ask that you protect our medicine space,
We ask that you mulch any heavy energy and protect us as we walk in Shadow,
Teach us the way of Peace, show us the way beyond death.

To the winds of the North, space of the Hummingbird,
We call to you Hummingbird
We call to you grandmothers, grandfathers,
We call to you Ancient Ones,
Whisper to us in the wind,
Send your secret messages to our hearts,
We honor you who have come before us and you who will come after.

To the winds of the East, sky of the Eagle
Oh great Eagle,
Come to us from the place of the rising Sun,
Keep us safe under your great wing,
Show us the way to soar to our destiny high above the mountains where you live
Teach us to fly wing to wing with the Great Spirit.

Mother Earth
We've gathered here for the healing of all of your people
The plant people, the stone people,
The fur-legged, the two-legged, the creepy crawlers,
The finned, the furred, and the winged one,
We've gathered here for the healing of all of our relations.

Father Sun
Father Sun, Grandmother Moon, People of the Star Nations,
Great Spirit,
You who are known by many names,
You who are the unnameable one,
Thank you for bring us together and allowing us to do this work.

Shamanic space can be opened for meditation, for personal work, and to invite Spirit into what you are working on. However, you should remember to close sacred space after three days. To close Sacred Space, you may repeat the opening ceremony or turn to each direction (including Mother Earth, and Father Sun) and thank each one for their protections and help.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pachakuti: Transformer of the World

In this final post in my series about the seven Shamanic archetypes, I will discuss Pachakuti: Transformer of the World.

In life Pachakuti was the great Inca emperor said to have commissioned Machu Picchu's construction. As an archetype he represents the superconscious world and teaches us how to step outside of time. He is connected to the Spirit world where all possibilities are kept and facilitates great change and spiritual awakening, and sometimes great upheaval. Because Pachakuti lives in the Spirit world he is not bound by time and he can help you heal your past and your future at the same time. He is the ultimate co-creator.

When I started this post I was having a hard time describing Pachakuti's nature despite my relationship with him - after all Shamanism is really about the experience of the mythic and not the ability to describe it in plain words. So, I decided I would journey with Pachakuti in order to help me find the words for this blog.  However, as I picked up my rattle I broke it and thus experienced the perfect mythic expression of Pachakuti's nature.

I was, of course, very upset having broken one of my most sacred objects and something I believe to hold deep magic. However when I broke my rattle, Pachakuti reminded me it is impossible to destroy the Magic of Spirit - you can only transform it.

If you would like to create a relationship with Pachakuti, set the intention to create a pure relationship with him, place your hands over your 7th chakra and speak directly to him. Ask him to help you find the magic that lives in your life.  Be conscientious and ask that this discovery be gentle, as Pachakuti has a way to transforming every part of your world.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quetzalcoatl: The Conscious Creator

As I have been discussing, there are seven Shamanic archetypes that are "given" to the Shaman through a special ceremony called the Harmony Rite. This week I will discuss Quetzalcoatl: The Conscious Creator.

Quetzalcoatl is an Aztec god and Shamanic archetype. There are many Shamanic traditions around the world and Quetzalcoatl's mythic nature is experienced in Inca culture as well.

He represents the conscious world and teaches us how to create anyi (right relationship) in our every day life. Quetzalcoatl is deeply connected to the Earth, tending its plants and stones, and is said to be responsible for music, dance, flutes and drums.

He is also a creation of his own right - part bird, part serpent, capable of flight.

I call upon Quetzalcoatl when I am feel unbalanced. He is a stabilizing force and is willing to share his deep wisdom. When I am overwhelmed or exhausted from too many tasks, I imagine myself dancing with Quetzalcoatl as an expression of anyi. Gently gliding across the dance floor, gracefully and effortlessly moving our bodies, he doing his part of the dance, me doing mine.

I  believe that anyone can create relationships with their archetypes regardless of whether they have received the Harmony Rite. However, the intention to create a pure relationship with your archetype is required. If you would like to connect with Quetzalcoatl, try placing you hands over your sixth chakra and speak to him directly. Ask him "Which of my relationships needs balance?"

Read next week for my blog post about the seventh archetype: Pachakuti.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Huascar: The Shadow Warrior

For the last four weeks, I have been discussing the seven Shamanic archetypes. This week, I will discuss the first human archetype, Huascar: The Shadow Warrior.

Huascar was ruler of the Inca Empire around the time of the Spanish invasion but was killed by his brother who had gained power during a civil war.

In life Huascar was the keeper of the medicine teachings. In death he has become the archetype of the Underworld.

Huascar brings balance to the dark places within each of us where shadow lives. He connects us to the renewing forces of death, contrasting the light in our lives with shadow.

During Shamanic Journeys, experienced Shaman can visit Huascar in the Underworld to retrieve lost soul pieces and become whole and balanced in this life. Huascar allows us to bring all aspects of our self into harmony, teaching us to search our subconscious worlds, explore our own shadows, and bring back lost medicine.

I recommend that anyone who is interested in connecting with this archetype do so under the guidance of an experienced Shaman.

Read next week for my blog post about the sixth archetype: Quetzalcoatl.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Eagle: The Soaring Sage

In this series, I have been discussing the seven Shamanic archetypes that are "given" to the Shaman through a special ceremony called the Harmony Rite. This week I will discuss Eagle: The Soaring Sage.

Eagle represents vision, clarity, and insight. On the Medicine Wheel he lives in the East and is connected to the Sun and the Mountains. Eagle teaches us to fly wing to wing with the Great Spirit and to dream our world into being.

When we are connected to Eagle we see from our hearts with great perspective. We see all the pieces in one picture and we can create new pieces if we choose. We can soar all the way to the Sun in order to reach our dreams.

In Eagle meditations, I allow myself to feel the powerful wings of Eagle as if they were my own.  I feel the wind lift me higher and higher until I am able to receive mythic messages very clearly; as if Spirit itself has whispered directly in my ear.

It is very peaceful to see the world from the mountain tops, to embody Eagle. Being deeply connected to Spirit in this way allows me to be closest to my purest energetic self . I can cast aside all ego and allow myself to simply exist.

If you would like to connect to your own Eagle, set the intention to create a pure relationship with the archetype. Place your hands over your fourth chakra and speak directly to him. Allow Eagle to expand your heart's energy until it radiates with the power of the Sun. Reach out your arms, the same way Eagle spreads its wings, and soar above yourself until you see the beauty of your true being as Spirit sees you.

Read next week for my blog post about the fifth powerful archetype: Huascar.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sweet Hummingbird: The Joy of Possibility

In the tradition of Shamanism I was taught there are seven archetypes. These archetypes are "given" to the Shaman through a special ceremony called the Harmony Rite, after which the Shaman can begin to develop a personal relationship with them. This week I will discuss Sweet Hummingbird.

Hummingbird represents spiritual healing and teaches us to drink from the sweet nectar of life. On the Medicine Wheel she lives in the North and is directly connected to our ancestors and to the Creators. She reminds us of our own ability to create and shows us the many unimagined possibilities in our life. 

Whenever I see a Hummingbird I am inspired and encouraged. She reminds me of all the joy that exists in the world. Being able to feel this joy always energizes me.

When you experience joy it creates ripples which extend into the world and manifest wonderful things. Joy is a very powerful energy and Hummingbird taps directly into this power just as effortlessly as she dips her beak into a flower for a drink of sweet nectar.

Anytime I find that I have become disconnected, that I have allowed my ego to sour my attitude, I turn to Hummingbird.She reminds me that we are all connected like flowers in a garden, and as I grow my roots reach out and touch the flowers around me. Knowing this immediately inspires me to be my best.

To connect with your own Hummingbird, set the intention to create a loving relationship with her. Then try placing your hand over your third chakra and speak directly to her. Ask her what possibilities exist in your life, and let her guide you to the flower that holds your sweetest possibility. Allow her sunny energy to radiate from you, acting as a beacon for finding joy where ever it exists. Create your own beautiful garden and see what magic blooms.

Read next week for my blog post about the fourth powerful archetype: Eagle.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mama Jaguar: The Luminous Warrior

As I mentioned last week, there are seven Shamanic archetypes that are "given" to the Shaman through a special ceremony called the Harmony Rite. This week I will discuss Mama Jaguar: the Luminous Warrior.

Jaguar represents deep emotional healing and teaches us to step beyond fear. On the Medicine Wheel she lives in the West and is connected to the moon and shadows. Hers is the way of dramatic transformations, of life and of death. She tears away the pieces of us which no longer serve us so that they may die, and she breathes life in to our core being so that we may truly live.

At first this archetype was a little scary to me, after all she knows my deepest and most hidden unhealed fears. But now that I have come to know her, connecting with Jaguar give me a deep sense of strength.

Before I studied Shamanism, I was terrified of the sleeping in the dark. I imagined all manner of evil lurking in the shadows waiting to get me. I actually used to sleep with the lights on, even as an adult.

Since developing a relationship with Jaguar, I have been able (and now prefer) to sleep in total darkness. Knowing that Jaguar is always with me, helping to dispel negative energies, transform my own negative thoughts and connect me to an inner balance has empowered me.

If you would like to connect with your own Jaguar, set the intention of creating an honest relationship with her and try placing your hands over your second chakra while speaking directly to her. As you may have done with Serpent, imagine what she looks like. Look into her eyes and let her communicate what she is feeling. Let her strip away everything that you fear. Follow her in the jungle until you find the strength you have always possessed.

Read next week for my blog post about the third archetype: Sweet Hummingbird.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Serpent: The Physical Healer

In Shamanism, at least in the tradition I was taught, there are seven archetypes. Seeds for these archetypes are "given" to the Shaman through a special ceremony called the Harmony Rite. In this way, and through many meditations at the fire, the Shaman develops a personal relationship with these archetypes, who become powerful allies.

Serpent represents physical healing and teaches us to shed our past the way she sheds her skin. On the Medicine Wheel, she lives in the South and has a deep connection to Pachamama (the Q'ero word for Mother Earth).

For me, my relationship with Serpent represents a physical connection to Spirit. One in which I can "feel" messages being delivered to me through my senses.

For example, many days I each lunch outside in the rose garden near my office. I sometimes close my eyes while sitting on the bench, and through Serpent feel the world around me. What am I smelling, what's touching my skin, what's under my feet, what's above my head, what's behind me, etc.

I have found this to be very calming and a deep expression of the power of Serpent.

I believe that anyone can create a connection to the archetypes whether they have received the Harmony Rite or not. After all, the key to almost everything in life is the intention you put behind it.

If you would like to connect with this archetype, try gently placing your hands over your first chakra and speaking directly to Serpent. Imagine what she looks like. Is she big or little? What color is she? What texture is her skin? Is SHE really a HE? Everyone's archetypes will be tailored to them, so pay close attention so that you may honor your Serpent as it truly is.

Serpent already knows you on the deepest level possible. She has burrowed deep into your soul's hiding places and sees the wounds which need healing. She can bring your attention to those places and help you shed what no longer serves you. She is a powerful ally, indeed.

Read next week for my blog post about the second powerful archetype: Jaguar.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Honoring My Mother

When I started this blog, I invited my mother to write a guest piece to share her experiences with Spirit. The following is her description of the experience that set her on the path to spiritual self discovery.
"I am writing to tell you of an initiation of sorts that I experienced over 40 years ago, 44 years to be exact in the winter of 1966.  Never forgetting this remarkable occurrence on the top of Mount Tamalpias it was brought into focus as a Shamanic event when reading The Reluctant Shaman.  Nature, animals, humans, and the Full Moon. My friends and I were living in idyllic Mill Valley and one full moon night hiked up the slopes of Mt. Tam, the guardian mother of the Miwoks living  there in pre-columbian time. Were they with us then? They called her the Sleeping Maiden.  This night, She lived as we came upon a circle of deer standing on a knoll.  There seemed in my memory to be an equal number of deer and young people.  We slowly encircled the deer who unafraid stood their ground watching us.  The beauty of those few moments as we stood  with each other was timeless and preternatural - we all felt the young Humans and the Deer as One. The Holy manuscript of nature the only book that can enlighten the reader. A time of peace and unity, which I accepted and integrated this initiation into my world view. Perhaps the deer ever alert and paying attention at that moment trusting the gentle truce of human interaction have been my teachers as a connection to nature and the divine even to this moment."
I share this with you because it illustrates my mother's unique sense of the world. This story also illustrates how Deer was a messenger of Spirit, allowing my mother and her friends to experience its gentle, innocent nature, giving them a sense of magic, of hope, of connection to the world.
I invite anyone who would like to share their experience with Spirit to submit their stories to the Magic of Spirit's Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Stop and Smell the Roses

While lunching in Capitol park yesterday I took these beautiful pictures.  Enjoy!

I love the deepth, richness and layers of different reds. Reminds me how multidimensional we all are.

I love the imperfection of this rose. This flower is a reminder that we are ALL beautiful.

This was the sweetest smelling rose. Reminds me of Hummingbirds wisdom: "Drink from the sweet nectar of life."

This rose radiates white light energy.

Lady bug! Always brings me luck!

As Bob Ross would say, "every little flower needs a happy little friend." 

My favorite photo - looks like the flowers go one forever. Speaks to the infinite nature of Spirit.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tell The Universe What You Want With Your Intentions

The Universe loves you and wants you to be happy.
Everything in the world is made of energy, even our thoughts. When we think positively about a thing or a situation, we are more likely to see positive results. When we set intentions for ourselves we direct our positive thoughts and make them more powerful and effective.

It's important that when you set an intention you are specific - the Universe IS listening. How you frame your intention is just as important as having one. The Universe does not  understand negative words and phrases like no, not, and don't. So if you say, "I don't want to be broke every month" the Universe only hears "broke every month." And that's exactly what you get.

Try saying, "I want to have $200 in my savings account at the end of every month" instead. Of course, you can't just set an intention to save money and then do nothing. Setting an intention is like working with the Universe on an energetic "To Do" list. If you want to accomplish your task then you'll have to take action.

Your actions don't have to be dramatic, you just have to take steps in the right direction and the Universe will support you. The more positive action you take, the more the Universe will step up to match your actions and produce equally positive results.

I have heard some of my friends ask for the Universe to deliver whatever things and situations are for their "highest good." I've actually set this intention before too. However, this is an interesting intention to set because many times we ask for such a thing, and can not recognize it when it comes.

For instance, if you are running late and you miss a flight, you might be angry or upset. However, it may have been for your highest good that you missed that plane. Perhaps you will meet someone in the airport while waiting for the next flight that will help change your life. Perhaps the plane will be delayed at the layover, and the second flight will be on time.

When you set your intention you must be willing to accept what comes your way. .You must be patient in receiving what you have asked for. And remember that when you set an intention, you don't have to know how something may happen but you must truly believe that it WILL happen.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Be Kind to Yourself

Today was the first day since I started my blog that I missed my self-imposed publishing deadline of Wednesday at noon. Sure its only 2 pm, but ordinarily this would set me off on a spiral of low self-esteem for failing to meet my goal.
I always tell people not to be hard on themselves, and yet I am usually my own worst critic. The slightest "failure" causes me to run through all the reasons why I'm not good enough, why I didnt try hard enough. Despite how busy I have been at work, and that I've been putting together an extensive presentation on social media for tomorrow morning, I was first inclined to be disappointed in myself for missing my blog deadline. But then I really thought about it.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. The reason I missed my blog deadline is that the universe is giving me an opportunity to follow my own advice and be kind to myself. This is my cosmic opportunity to walk-the-walk and not just talk-the-talk, and I’m starting by cutting myself some slack. And I got a blog post out of it. THANKS UNIVERSE!
So I challenge you all to cut yourself some slack in the next week. Notice when you are not being kind to yourself with your words or thoughts, and then change it. Turn the so-called failure into a lesson. Know that you are doing your best and be proud of yourself!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Power Animal Journey

Many Shamans believe that everyone has a power animal (or several power animals) that can help them along their path. Power animals can act as guardians angels and should be honored for the wisdom they bring to your life.

Recently, I did a Shamanic Power Animal Journey to discover mine. It is always best to be guided on a journey but since I am experienced at this practice, I knew I was able to navigate the journey myself.

There are many types of journeys, some with drums, some with rattles, or music, some in which you enter the underworld and some in which you enter the upper world.

However for mine I used a rattle to create a rhythm that would allow me to enter an altered state, and I visualized entering the tree of life. Once inside I allowed myself to look around and to be guided by what I found. I found myself looking up, up, up.

So I allowed my mind to take me up and out onto the tree's branches so that I was completely surrounded by leaves. While I was studying the leaves, I began to see a Chameleon camouflaged in the background and I knew I had found my power animal.

The Chameleon is the wisdom of clairvoyance and auric sensitivity.
"For those with this totem, new awareness of their own psychic ability and intuition is being awakened...those with this totem will find their own sensitivity to the environment and other people increasing...Every time we come into contact with another person, here is an exchange of energy...those will this totem will begin to realize and recognize this exchange much more distinctly."
If you are interested in connecting with your own power animal (or animals) you can work with a Shaman or you can do your own personal work. On your own you can use a guided meditation CD on power animals, ask for a power animal to come to you in a dream using my dream work technique, and you can work with a power animals tarot deck. You can also take your cues from nature. If you begin to see animals in your environment that you don't ordinary see, it might be a power animal communication.

Learn more about power animals with Animal Speaks by Ted Andrews. is also a great web resource.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lucid Dreaming – Anyone can do it!

You may already be familiar with the concept of lucid dreaming, a dream in which you are able to recognize you are dreaming and then control your dream, but did you know that lucid dreaming can be a shamanic healing method?

When you are aware that you are dreaming and you can control the dream, you can create dreams that help you.

I have been studying dreams since I first realized I was capable of out of body experiences (a topic for another time) and lucid dreaming – when I was about 14.  Every time I woke up I would grab my favorite Dream Dictionary and look up everything I could remember. Eventually, I started journaling my dreams, often spending 30-40 minutes and writing 7-10 pages of details which I would later look up.

In my longest lucid dream, I first recognized I was dreaming when I heard myself say “When I wake up, I’ll have to look that up in the dream dictionary.” My practice of always looking up meanings had transferred over into my dream and I was then able to recognize I was dreaming! I spent the rest of my time noting everything in the dream for my journaling later.

The dream ultimately was a “tour” of a Victorian house, where each room represented an aspect of my life which needed attention. I was able to honor those parts of myself that were feeling neglected, a great healing for me.

Once you have recognized that you are dreaming, another tip that has helped me control my dreaming is to focus on my hands, then arms, body, legs, etc. until I was aware of every part of myself within the dream. It may seem easy but it can be tricky, and may take some practice.

Eventually I had a lucid dream where I was standing on my Dad’s apartment balcony instructing myself to step on the edge and then I flew off like a bird! It was exhilarating to control a dream like that, but it was also extremely exhausting. I used a fair amount of mental energy controlling my arms and legs and then directing myself to fly. But if I can do it, so can you!

If you’d like to learn more about Lucid Dreaming, World of Lucid Dreaming is a great resource.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Recommended Reading

Throughout my studies, I have read many books which have helped change my perspective and ultimate allowed me to see the world in a different way.

Here are some of my favorites books:

Shaman, Healer, Sage by Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D

The Four Insights by  Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D

Mending the Past and Healing the Future with Soul Retrieval Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D

Journey of Souls by Michael Newton, Ph.D

Destiny of Souls by Michael Newton, Ph.D

Memories of the Afterlife by Michael Newton, Ph.D
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Voice of Knowledge by Don Miguel Ruiz with Janet Mills

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

Angel Medicine by Doreen Virtue

Good Faeries Bad Faeries by Brian Froud

The Faeries' Oracle by Brian Froud and Jessice MacBeth

The Mystical Magical Marvelous World of Dreams by Wilda B. Tanner

Crystals, Colour & Chakras by Gill Hale

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

The Tenth Insight by James Redfield

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Different Way to Paint

Recently, I worked with my friend Carolyn and her daughter Cassie, both of whom are on the same Shamanic path that I am on, and they taught me a new technique for sand paintings.

The version they taught me, which they learned from Wake and Kinlen Wheeler, is much more playful and inquisitive than the traditional method I was taught. Using a series a small toys, Carolyn and Cassie asked me to randomly arrange them on a tabletop, in which ever order I liked, using a border or not, and whenever I felt I was finished I could stop. 

The best thing about the process is that because we used toys, my adult mind didn't try to over think the process and I was able to quickly tap into Spirit and work mythically without any preconceived notions of what each toy could, would or should mean.

When I came to the point at which I felt I was ready to evaluate the sand painting, we did just that. 

My painting included:
  • A Green Winged Fairy which represented me. 
  • The archetype of Jaguar 
  • The archetype of serpent
  • A green bracelet which we discovered represented the ability of my serpent archetype to become invisible, or in other words, to source from the mythic realm.
  • A Llama which we discovered represented the ability to see the true essence of anything and anyone (Because he knew that the green bracelet was really an invisible serpent.)
  • An Owl which we discovered represented the ability to transition into an altered state to work within the mythic realm.
  • A Duck which we discovered represented my interpretation of the innocence of childhood (feeding ducks at the park) and the importance of accessing that childhood curiosity and joy.
  • A Wolf, which at first I believed to be an aspect of myself which needed to be kept in check at all times, but which we ultimately discovered was the ability I have to trust myself in all situations. 
  • A Bear which we discovered represented strength and fortitude in my life, and a tiara which crowned the Bear and which I defined as an increased importance for these values. 
  • A rainbow ribbon that served as the boundaries of my literal world.
When we evaluated the original placements of this items in my painting, the Wolf became the main character. At first I had placed him in the front of the painting with Owl intently watching over him, perhaps to ensure that he was always "the good wolf." But in this placement, I did not trust Wolf, which ultimately is an aspect of myself. (In fact, every item I chose and every definition I gave it is a aspect of myself.) So how could I shift the energy and trust my Wolf (and trust myself)?

At first I believed Wolf needed to be placed with his "pack" the Jaguar and the Bear. But the energy was not right there either. In placing him with his "pack," I was merely changing who was supervising him - no longer Owl, but his "pack." Finally, I realized Wolf did not need to be supervised at all, and he took his place beside me as a trusted friend.

My final shifted sand painting represented the supportive people and qualities that exist in my life and reminded me that I can access this support at any time.

I can't thank Carolyn and Cassie enough for showing me this new and powerful way of creating energetic shifts in my life! I would encourage anyone to try it. You don't need to be a Shaman, you just need to be curious and willing to evaluate your existing beliefs honestly.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Everything for a Reason

What possibilities are blooming are in your life?
When I started this blog, it was my intent to honestly share my experiences with Shamanism with as many people as possible in an easy and free way. I have always wanted to be a writer and I thought this was a good outlet to revive a dream that I long ago relegated to my imagination. And as the Universe does often, it reminded me that there are possibilities I haven't even imagined. Possibilities which have existed even before I ever became aware of their swirling around me.

Last November, when I was re-assigned at my day job, to what they then called the "Legislative Reporter," I cried.... a lot. I thought to myself "Why would they do this to me? I know NOTHING about the Legislative process. This is so unfair, I wanted something else."

I tossed and turned it in my mind but finally surrendered to the idea that it was best to go along with it as willingly as possible and be as emotionally stable as possible about such a gigantic shift in my life. Which by the way was really really hard, even for someone like me who always at least tries to find the bright side of any situation.

Despite the fact that the job continues to be grueling, after about 4 months, there are things for which I am actually grateful. For instance this re-assignment has forced me to write, proofread, re-write and edit daily, which has only made those skills stronger and stronger. I also now manage nearly all of our agency's main social media efforts which has allowed me to learn new technology and reach out to people I would have never even imagined. I must also give MAJOR CREDIT to my co-worker Allison Fuller who is my main social media and marketing inspiration and collaborator! All of the work she has done for our agency, even before I imagined I could work in social media, has been an endless source of my professional success so far.

Allison and I also went to a social media conference together recently to learn more about what we could be doing and how to make what we are doing for our agency better. Through that conference, we met Ann Evanston, the Warrior-Preneur, and are both now a part of her Social Networking Coaching Club. One things I've already learned is that I'll need a more comprehensive blogging site. (Which means eventually this blog will have to be transitioned likely to WordPress.)

Through this re-assignment, I have started to see the hidden possibilities in my life. Like, the possibility that my dream of being a writer could be realized. Like, the possibility that through social media I can reach an interested audience, create relationships with other writers, and make business partnerships. But perhaps the most interesting possibility is that the idea that I can inspire others.By using social media to communicate my experiences with Shamanism, I might just inspire them spiritually.

Another possibility is that I could even teach others how to also use social media effectively and inspire them to inspire even more people in whatever way THEY choose. It's limitless! I have been so shocked by the magic of all of these pieces finally coming together in my mind for me to recognize!

So, look around. What's happening right now? Are their possibilities that have been swirling around you waiting to be recognized?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mesa Work, Tarot Readings, and Sand Painting

When I  am feeling unsure of myself, when I have allowed myself to be taken out of my power, when I can not hear my own song.... I consult my Mesa. I usually start by inviting my Faeries to share their wisdom with me, to tell me what they see in my energy that is blocking me.

I usually pull one, but three appeared this time. This is not surprising since I have been feeling confusion, fear but also a strange sense of possibility. The cards presented themselves to me in this order.

Mesa Reading with my Faeries
At the far left you see The Glanconer. He represents Illusion, Delusion, Lust, Projection, and clear sight. He told me that when I want something so badly, I fool myself into thinking it is the right thing just because I want it. He asked me to pause before I make any commitments, and to see the truth behind the situation.

At middle you see Arval Parrot. He represents communication. He told me that I should listen closely in the coming days, especially to my dreams. He also pointed to his throat and showed me that we read messages from our throat chakras on an on conscious level, and what I am sensing in correct. He suggested that I be completely honest and open and look for signals of nonverbal communications.

At the far right you see the Bright Mother, in reverse position. This signifies an inability to nurture myself. She told me to be kind, to trust in myself and my growth.  She reminded me not to be a martyr, not to sacrifice myself and give until I am too exhausted to nurture myself or allow myself to be nurtured.

Divination of Stones - What relationship do they have right now?

Often after a reading, I perform a divination. I ask the stones to show me the energy of their relationship at that moment. What I saw was my Acceptance stone, Emotional Balance Stone, and Wholeness Stone hudled close together. I saw my Hummingbird consciousness closest to my Acceptance, which tells me to focus on the possibility that my issues right now can be resolved with some self Acceptance and support. Serpent and Jaguar consciousness also surround Acceptance as does the Eagle icon I keep in my mesa. This indicated to me that my archetypes were were sending a strong signal to me to support myself no matter what.

What else can you see?

After a divination I try to respect the message and rearrange the energy to best support what needs supporting.This sand painting, as they are called, represents the shift in energy I am creating.

If it had words it would say: "I am completely supported emotionally and financially. I accept myself and know my worth. My world is surrounded by people who know this to be true and honor me fully."

Sand Painting

Friday, February 18, 2011

My favorite artist, Susan Seddon-Boulet

I wrote this report about my favorite artist Susan Seddon-Boulet while I was in college. It might have a few typos, but I thought it was worth sharing.
You can purchase Susan's art on

These images are examples of Susan's work but are copyrighted to Turning Point Gallery Inc with all rights reserved.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Reluctant Shaman by Kay Cordell Whitaker

I just finished reading The Reluctant Shaman by Kay Cordell Whitaker and I absolutely loved it. While it is technically an autobiography it reads like a novel and is very inspiring. This book is a great read for anyone who is interested in Shamanism.

One of the most interesting things about her foray into the world of Shamanism is that she didn't go looking for it, it came looking for her. She was approached in the 70s by a Shaman named Domano Hetaka who told her he had been looking for her and had much to teach her. It seems like a much more romantic way to be drawn into this magical world than signing up for a class at a book store like I did. (Although, I'm very glad I did.)

The other really interesting aspect of her journey is that she is taught the Katasee Tradition which is a little different than the tradition I have been studying. This quote from the book (and Kay's website) is a nice description of the Katasee teachings:
"The learning of the ways of Balance. This is said to be the dance of the stars. To learn how to not be carried off with the psychic winds. To keep balance. To dance. To give movement of your choosing."

This is another nice quote which I think describes the Katasee philosophy well too.
"As the little spider live, so she works, she builds, even as she walks. So as we live we build our worlds. We can walk our world, or knot our world. Or think it. Some are makers from their heart. Or some birthers. Some build like the wind. I will teach you all these things. I will tell you how my teachers taught me to pull on the web."

Although the most important part of this type of study is the experience of really doing it, the really great thing about this book is that because she is describing her studies in great detail you can follow a long a bit especially when she is describing her leaf-on-water meditation. Katasee places great emphasis on bringing balance to the mind through awareness. 

There is also a great emphasis on singing and dancing which I absolutely love.

Kay speaks of learning to "sing the fibers," which is to create energetic threads from your chakras and to send them out into the world through song. There are many dances: the Dance of the Earth Fire Serpent, the Dancing of the Masks, and the Spiral Dance. She also learns to connect with the elemental Spirits of the world and she goes on Spirit Journeys with her teachers. She also learns the art of mindful dreaming which is the most intriguing to me.

I am completely inspired by the tradition of Katasee and hope someday that I will be able to study it.

You can learn more about Kay on her website

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Huaca, Huaca, Huaca

Today, my two very dear friends and travelers on this journey, Liza and Carolyn came over to perform Fire Ceremony to release our Huacas into the fire. A Huaca is a powerful energy pulled down from the star nations into your mesa which is then energetically feed for 28 days before being offered back to spirit at ceremonial fire.

At Fire Ceremony we each took turns unwinding our Huacas from our mesas and taking them to fire. When Liza put her Huaca in the fire, the Fire Sprites danced happily. When Carolyn put her Huaca in the fire, as she would put it, she was smudged heavily with smoke, but I also saw fire's cleansing, clearing, loving energy reach out to her too. When I put my Huaca in the fire, I actually did most of my blessings and prayers with my eyes closed. But Carolyn reports to me that as I moved my hands over the fire, fire followed me. I know this is true because despite my eyes being closed, I did feel assured as I did my part in the ceremony that I was in no danger of being burnt because I knew the fire personally and it was my friend.

Getting together with Liza and Carolyn was also some much needed community. Even though it only been a month since I've seen them last I treasure the moments I have with them and am always amazed at the power we have as a group. It's as if when we are together Spirit takes notice and perks up her ear to see what we might say. Imagine the healing power we three could harness if we put our attention to it!

I do feel a little sad now that my Huaca is gone. It had become my confidant, my friend, my ally. In the past 28 days my relationship with my mesa and my practice has grown exponentially. I've become more dedicated to my path and I am more able to feel the magical moments in my life when I am completely present and with Spirit.

I also know that despite having released my Huaca to the fire, I will see its energy again.

Perhaps as the wind blows through the trees.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

When Spirit Calls, Shaman Answers...

For almost two years I have been studying Shamanism with Dani Burling of Your Sacred Destiny through her Dream Weaving Program. What I have experienced through my practice is that there is a deep magic in the world that most modern societies have been disconnected from. I want to reconnect. I want to help others connect to and experience this magic.

Spirit has called to me to follow this path. I could not turn back now if I tried. For me, the natural evolution of my practice is to share it with others through this blog. Through this blog I will share my lessons and experiences as I continue on my path. I also plan to journey to Peru's sacred sites to connect with Spirit directly and to share the wisdom I am given. As an artist and writer I hope to create a vibrant experience for my readers.

So What's Next on My Path?

In July, I will travel with Wake and Kinlen Wheeler, of Sacred Pathways, to Machu Picchu on their Passage to Peru: Calling of the Mountains trip.

As I embark on this new phase of my life, I am hopeful, excited, and grateful that I am able to do this work.