As a kid, on the farm, I had many occasions to spy the handiwork of a weasel, long gone. They are stealthy creatures. We had a rather large chicken coop, which, unfortunately, was not all that rodent proof. One of the ways I knew a weasel had been in the coop, was by the mounds, yes I said mounds, of chicken bodies piled up. Chickens, as a measure of self-protection, climb upon each other to stay safe… the bottom chickens usually died of suffocation, not a weasel. But, for all of its hard work terrifying the chickens, it would take two or three at one time, unless there was a pair, then we would lose a couple more, but generally, they are solitary creatures. Another weasel, somehow, got caught in the outdoor pump, for our old well. [Read more…]
I have had the opportunity lead and host many drumming circles, events and ceremonies. In doing so I learned that to study shamanism is one dimension, to practice it, adds another dimension. Exercises to practice what you have learned, do not need to be super complicated. There are many straight forward and simple ways to incorporate shamanic knowledge into your life.
I enjoy celebrating the equinoxes and solstices. Sometimes, I like my stones to absorb the energy of the quarters of the Medicine Wheel. You may need a mesh bag (like onions or oranges come in) to put your stones and other shiny objects in to protect them from thieving Magpies or other opportunistic creatures. Leave the objects outside for seven days prior to the solstice, to be basked in the change of seasons.
New and Full Moon – I use water created at different moon cycles to aid in different healing work I do. For an Extraction, I use Full Moon water, for a Soul Retrieval I use New Moon water. There are two ways to make moon water, leave it out the night before or leave it out for three consecutive nights, remembering to bring it in during the day. I also add moon water into my drinking water, for an extra boost of the natural energy of change.
Spirit of the Place (geni loci or genus locus) has been recognized as a being to honor by many peoples spanning the globe. In my practice, I have a very specific set of beliefs when it comes to what and who the Spirit of the Place is. These spirits may once have been persons of great mythic qualities who had achieved status in the Spirit Realm. Or these spirits may have emerged directly from the Spirit Realm with the task of aiding and empowering humans, and to inspire, regulate and cooperate with the Elementals. We must keep in mind that the land is the mundane reflection or the essential manifestation in which ALL DIMENSIONS meet.
I am very careful to contact the Spirit of the Place before I do any spirit work because Spirits are much more likely to cooperate with us when we work on the land. The first time you enter into a place to do Spirit Work it is advisable to take an offering, such as cornmeal, tobacco, silver and if all else fails a piece of your hair. Most people I have talked to do not have a problem with offerings for Spirit, some however do. We have grown so accustomed to doing what we wish on land that we automatically assume whatever we do is our own and we have no need or use to connect with the Spirits of the Place. Offerings are gestures of respect and also show that we understand that we are NOT in control of the world around us, rather the natural world around us operates independent of us and we are fairly powerless to do much without their cooperation… whew that feels like a mouthful.
Begin simply ~ Journey to the Spirit of your house, and find out who lives with you. If you have already done that, journey back and find out if you can do anything further for them. This is a middle world journey, depending on where your anchor spot is, will determine how you get to the middle world.
I like to shake things up a bit and rattle all through my house to awaken the energy. I follow this with an appropriate smudge (I love getting creative with house cleansing smudges) to cleanse it and heal it. Some weeks are particularly worse than others, try this after a particularly difficult time and see if you can sense the difference. Or better yet, invite an unsuspecting friend over and see if they notice anything different. It can be very validating for an outside source to comment on your “abstract” practice!
It is a challenge, for some of us, to get out of our heads and into our bodies. To get off the train of “I should” and get on the other track “next time I will”. Practice alert awareness. Keep in mind, all that is perceiving is being perceived. And lastly, don’t forget to breathe and stand present.
Other resources you may enjoy:
- For more on the Medicine Wheel.
- Free shamanic music and drumming.
- Or if you’re new to journey work and wish to develop your own relationship with spirit, get started with journey work here.
- Our Meditations home page.
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The Otter is a wonderful creature. It has long been associated with Women’s medicine. It is the symbol of grace and empathy. Otter medicine takes great pleasure in the success and happiness of others, and will work untiringly to help others achieve that. There is no selfishness in otter. They could never be mean, or self-centered, or self-driven. You will not find an otter who gossips, or who “flames” others, or who is unnecessarily critical in a vengeful way, for the purpose of otter is to support and enhance OTHERS, not themselves.
Otter is also a signal that you need to take more time for yourself to just play and be silly. Lighten up! You must feed otter’s playful side so that she can continue to help balance your great concern for the welfare of others. We lose sight, sometimes, of our own spirit’s need to be lighthearted and to laugh and be childlike. That is a very important element in walking in balance. [Read more…]
Drumming Up Spirit
There are many different reasons we play drums. Perhaps you enjoy the feeling of social togetherness when you drum in a circle. There are two very distinct drumming circles in my vocabulary; one is the shamanic drumming circle, which encourages all participants to drum as we bring up our Spirit Song; the other circle, for me as a drummer, is for pure Joy!! Perhaps you are a musician at heart and enjoy performing for people within a group. You might have a goal of mastering complex African polyrhythms, I know I have tried many times. The key to being able to, I have discovered for myself, is practice. It may be that you simply enjoy drumming, that the rhythm moves your body and spirit in ways that not many other things do in life. Whatever the reason, becoming aware of why can help to ease your state of mind and open you to your own spirit song. [Read more…]
The Long Snows Moon whose guardian is Elk is the last moon on the Medicine Wheel and which places special significance on the importance of the Guardian Spirit. North on the wheel is the place of the four-leggeds, and for me, it is also the Place where the Crystal People dwell. The four-leggeds are the runners, the double receivers. I view them as one foot in each quarter of the wheel, as well as two legs in the Spirit World and two legs in the Human World, that is my interpretation of a double receiver.
The Elk has told me that he is one of the most sacred four-leggeds. He is regarded in some cultures as the Guardian of the Thunder Beings. The Thunder Beings are usually associated with the evening (darkness, the unknown), and although for some they can be very terrifying, they test our strength and endurance. They help us to realize how really very small and insignificant we are compared to the great powers of The Universe. Thunder Beings are the Lightening which strikes the horns of the Elk, he helps it to flow through and transform the energy. He is the greatest receiver of energy; the energy magician, changing and moving the appearance, feel and effect of energy. Elk is the Keeper of Thunder and Lightening. [Read more…]