Shamanism is all about natural and cosmological laws. It is a grounded and practical way of life that connects us to the world around us, and the influences that affect us on a daily basis.
Let me explain...
The movements of the Sun, Moon and Stars affect our daily decisions and actions. We think we are in control of our lives and ourselves but are we? There are many factors to consider. We often act of fear, old dysfunctional habits or patterns, resistance to growth or change, ignorance or unconsciousness.
Right now, these are some of the factors that we are all dealing with Shamanically speaking....
1. On an ANNUAL basis - we are in the Dark part of the year even though we have passed the Winter Solstice and the days are getting longer, we still have a ways to go.
2. We are also midway between the Full MOONS, so we are in the Dark part of the Moon.
4. We are in the Moon of REASONING this month which brings up our fears, and hence the need to be reasonable, practical, sensible and logical.
4. We are in the Healer WIND. Winds are about challenges and the Healer Wind will bring up our wounds, whatever needs to be healed. Instead of getting stuck in them or feeling sorry for ourselves, we can use this opportunity to grow beyond them.
We are moving into the Warrior Wind on the New Moon Friday, January 24th. This will partner up with the Moon of Reasoning for two weeks and challenge us to be strong.
The Warrior Wind is about carrying the burden of TRUTH. It is called a burden because it is about being accountable, honest and bursting through our illusions, obstables and resistance. A tough challenge for anyone, but with the support of the Wind, we can do it!
5. Then there is the bigger picture! We are in an ERA of what we call the Dark Goddess Era. These are 2000 year cycles. This Era is about exploring our darkness and bringing it into balance. It will take time.
6. Last but definitely not least... the biggest cycle of all... the planet is in a MAJOR transition and we are her children, we live on her body, so it affects us all. These are larger cycles that can be hundreds of thousands of years long or more.
7. Not to mention... or to mention... we are all influened by each other, we are collective beings and what we see, hear and observe daily impacts us more than we may realize. We are constantly being programmed and indoctrinated.
Put all this together along with the fear mongering of the mass media and what is going on in the world, our personal challenges etc... and we have a lot to deal with emotionally, mentally and on every level.
And we have forgotten how to be collective. In times of crisis, our Ancestors stood together, worked together, supported each other and cared for each other. We are naturally inter-connected. Notice how people come together in a crisis. But do we need a crisis in order to learn how to work and live together? It seems to be the only way.
We have been conditioned / programmed to isolate ourselves, to be independent or the other extreme, co-dependent... instead of the inter-dependent beings that we are meant to be, or most of us at least.
Shamanically speaking, the world has turned upside down and inside out. Yet the Sun continues to shine, Grandmother Moon continues on her journey across the night sky and Mother Earth continues to nourish and support us, if we let her.
Today I went for a walk and fed the squirrels in the park. I didn't see them, but I felt their presence and I knew they would get the peanuts I was offering. Then I stopped and marvelled at some cedar trees, the greeness of them! They were beautiful, feminine and they stood out so stark against the pure white snow. I was so entranced that I forgot to take a picture. Maybe next time... But I felt a connection to them, their quiet presence and how they mirrored my own ability to survive and thrive in all seasons.
Sometimes all we need to to take a moment to connect with someone or something. It helps us to ground, and anchor. It keeps us in humility, which is the next Moon coming up.... stay tuned...
(I am bringing this post back to the top from the archives as it shows who I am and the reality in which I live).
Awhile back a woman wanted to come to my Medicine Wheel Circles. She said she wanted to support me, but did not want to pay. I wondered how she thought she would be supporting me by not paying. It made no sense to me. She was a counselor. So I asked her, “How would you feel if I came to see you for counselling but did not want to pay?” She answered, “But I have a PH.D.
I was stunned. In that moment, I realized how far I was from Western ways of thinking, how far apart our worlds were. In her mind, she had earned her right to charge for her work, but I did not deserve payment because I do not have a University degree in Shamanism. although she knew I had been doing this work for 30 years, with the blessings and guidance from Spirit, the Ancestors and my Teachers, I might add.
What she doesn’t know is that we don't do 'Certificates" in Shamanism it takes seven years plus years of ongoing real life initiations to become a Keeper of the Wheel and I have been a student initiate for 30 years. I have had initiates that I have trained as well. This woman expected me to respect her work and credentials and I do, but does she respect the work I do, does she see it as legitimate and authentic? I come from a Traditional Shamanic background where we do not follow Western rules. It is time that Westerners listened to Indigenous People and step into our reality for a change.
I have been in her world, but she has not been in mine.
Western logic says that if you are certified by some well-known authority, you are credible, capable and worthy of being paid for your work. But even a University degree does not guarantee you are good at your job. I know doctors, lawyers, therapists, counselors... who I would not pay to go and see, because they are not nice people, not caring or considerate of those they are supposed to care for. I have walked out of doctors offices because they were not experts in their line of work. I have fired lawyers because they did not give a dam about me or my problems, they just wanted my money.
I have no doubt that the woman I mentioned above is very good at what she does, as many educated people are, but having credentials is not always a guarantee that you are good at what you do or that you are a kind, generous or decent human being.
What is the measure of someone’s worth, the letters after their name or the wisdom of experience they embody?
These days many are calling themselves authorities and giving out credentials and certificates. There are still the standard University degrees that are considered legitimate. But who do we trust? In whom, what and where do we put our faith?
A woman once told me that she does Shamanic Journeying, but does it in a way that does not dishonour Traditional ways. “How does that work?” I wondered. “How did she decide where the line was between what is Traditional Shamanism and what is not?” She told me she is not certified as a Shamanic Practitioner. I had to laugh. I told her that we don’t do certifications, we do Initiations.
Would you give Holy Communion to people if you are not a Catholic Priest? Would you administer Hebrew last rites on a dying Jew if you are not a trained Rabbi? Would you teach the Koran to someone if its not your religion? Where does the appropriation end?
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot become a Shaman in a weekend or even a year long workshop! Or any workshop or course for that matter. It is a calling! It is not something that just happens because you want it. You must be chosen by Indigenous Teachers, Shamans, Spirit or the Ancestors. It is too easy for people to say they were chosen by Spirit. There is a disregard for actual live Spiritual Teachers these days.
I was always Shamanic. I was never interested in having a long list of letters after my name. Although I have a University degree, post-graduate training and have done studies in other fields, I always did them for my own growth and healing, not for status or proof of my intelligence or even to obtain a career.
I studied Fine Arts in University to bring out my creativity, which brought movement to my Wheel and opened up a healing journey that led me to my Path.
I trained as a Natural Health Practitioner, a three year full-time program, in order to learn how to take care of my own health and body after a near-fatal illness. I majored in Spiritual Psychotherapy in order to learn to fine-tune my senses and develop my latent extra-sensory perceptions.
A three-year post graduate program in Art Therapy helped me look at my shadow and childhood traumas. It made me ready for Shamanism. I had done a lot of inner work when I came back on Path, after taking a detour to do all these other things, which I now know were necessary for me to get strong, grounded, balanced and humble enough to walk a Sacred Path. But I was never meant to be part the Western world, although I did get a lot of learning and healing from it. And for that I am grateful.
Still when I came on Path, things got REAL really fast! Things that I never imagined possible manifested immediately. I learned that there is no separation between the waking and the dreaming and all that work I did for all those years had just touched the very tip of the iceberg, that is my Soul is complex and progound beyond imagining.
Over the last twenty-five years, I learned how to be collective, how to take responsibility for my actions; how to accept and not judge shadow, how to be more balanced and disciplined; how to overcome social and religious programs and indoctrinations; how to admit when I am in resistance, denial, fear, illusion; how to overcome my own perceived limitations, how to integrate my Inner Community, how to find my Medicine / Power, to honour my stories... and much, much more….
I learned about the three parts of the Soul - Ego, Totemic and Ancestral. I healed lifetimes of issues and Ancestral stories, on a personal and collective level. I connected with Spirit Guides and learned, am still learning... how to navigate the Waking Dream and twenty-four levels of Dreaming, how to value dreams, and how to walk in harmony and balance with Natural and Cosmological Laws.
I have lots of stories of things that I lived that are magical beyond anything I ever imagined possible. And I am still learning as I spiral deeper and deeper into the Teachings, my own Wheel and the Collective Wheel of our community.
In Shamanism there are also tests. We don’t get letters after our names, but we get recognition from Spirit, the Dreaming and our Teachers.
We are acknowledged for our growth, power, wisdom and the life lessons that we learn. The tests come from the Dreaming / Spirit and the Ancestors, they are not imposed on us by our Teachers. The tests are not made up by Humans. We do not sit in rooms and answer questions, do mulitiple choice or write essays. Our tests are called Initiations and they occur in our everyday lives.
There are big and small initiations along the way, but they are always relevant to our story, our journey and what we need to learn in order to grow and heal on a Soul level. Some of them are so intense that we fall hard and fast. But we pick ourselves up, get the lessons and move on. Some people will get stuck in their ego and resistance and will leave indignantly, blaming us for their problems, not realizing that the initiation is an opportunity to change something. Shamanism magnifies things so they are in our face and we can’t deny them. Not everyone is ready for this.
But it is not all about hardships, challenges and initiations. Our strengths, power and gifts are also highlighted. The rewards are countless. We also laugh and tease a lot. I am stronger, wiser, clearer and more confident than I ever was in the past. I know more about my path and purpose that I never knew existed. I have explored my Inner Universe and my Inner Community at a depth I never imagined was possible.
People come to Shamanism for many reasons: for curiosity, for healing, for guidance or maybe because it is a fad these days, or because they are bored or lonely, or because they tried everything else and nothing worked, or maybe they like the phenomena of it (drumming, dreaming, Shamanic journeying, spirit guides, totems etc).
And some come to Shamanism because they are CALLED.
Those who are called know it, they feel the Wheel, they 'get' the Teachings, they are excited about learning, they are respectful, they value the teachings and are willing to give an exchange for what they get out of it. They are grateful. They know they found something unique and powerful. They will pass the initiations because they know it is for them to ascend to a higher level.
We are generous and giving people in our world. We do not deny those who are curious or are in need of healing, but it is good to be honest about why you are interesting in Shamanism, to come with an open heart and mind, not with expectations, demands, Western attitudes, expecting something for nothing, taking and not giving back. If you come empty with openness and integrity and a desire to learn, I guarantee that you will get back much, much more than what you put into it.
And you will be initiated.
As an Initiator, I often test people up front. Initiations after all are about ASCENSION. You can fall into woundedness, arrogance, denial, illusion, resistance, defensiveness, indignation etc… or you can rise to a higher level of consciousness and find new attitudes and behaviours. That is your choice. As Initiator, I have learned to choose carefully who I initiate because there is a contract involved. If the other person is willing to do the whole Wheel, I must do it with them. And I also get tested in return.
So you see, I have lived in your world, but you may have not lived in mine.
Yes, I can respect your credentials and expertise, your skills and your worth.
Can you respect mine?
** The Image at the top of the page shows how much Westerners do not understand Indigenous or First Nation Ways:
1st of all we would never desecrate a Holy Mountain like that by blasting into it.
2nd, we would not carve human images in stone, it is egotistical.
3rd, they did not ASK the First Nations Elders if that is what they wanted. If they had, the answer would have been a firm "NO"
I am getting old, too old for this fast paced world. Not that I don't love life and love the path I am on, but with all the new technology getting more and more complicated, I have no desire to join in the madness that takes us further and further away from our natural essence.
I am an old soul, I remember past lives, I have walked with Spirit my entire life and now I find myself in a world filled with scepticism about anything to do with the supernatural. Yet movies and books abound with myths, legends and superheros.
My son sent me a book called "The Way the World Used to Be". it is a compilation of stories gathered by the author, Vine Deloria, over decades. It contains true life accounts of of miraculous cures, unexplainable phemonema and other magical exploits of Medicine People, Shamans and Sorcerers in America. Some of these stories are eye-witness accounts of early missionaries or other white people who dismiss them as trickery of some kind. Why are they so quick to dismiss what they do not understand?
The "miracles cures" come from a deep and profound connection to nature and spirit, something that Indigenous Peoples across the globe understand.
What saddens me is that the author talks about these things as if they only ezisted in the past. There is some truth to that. With the death of our Holy People and controlled genocide, the old ways have been lost, almost. Yet, I have seen miracle cures and other unexplained phenomena with my own eyes and have been both the instrument and the recipient of such things.
Sometimes it was as simple as asking a swarm of black flies to let me pass and the swarm suddenly dividing in two and making a space for me, then coming back together when I passed.
Other times I have brought the rain or stopped it.
I have witness Spirit manifest in front of me as plain as day.
I have done house clearing where demons and dark energies lingered due to drugs, suicide or murder in the dwelling or on the land.
I have helped my Spirit Ancestors to bring healing and resolution to old stories where they were slaughtered and their children taken from them.
I've helped the dying to pass over in a good way.
I have seen my parents after they died...
On the receiving end, I had a Medicine Man heal my broken toe with a wave of his hands and a few prayers. I've had my teachers guide me towards healing of my own ancestral stories, stories that otherwise would have take lifetimes to heal.
But now, it is getting harder to do these things because the Earth is depleted, the Ancestor Spirits have left and the world we used to live in no longer exists, except in a few sacred places here and there.
Humanity has managed to destroy something beautiful and sacred. To be fair, it is part of the bigger picture of a larger cycle.
Ironically, humans have just accelerated their own demise. Humans are transforming and mutating due to technology, changes in lifestyles and diet and changes in the air and water. We once were apes and we will be something else in the future. I am glad I will not be here to find out what that will look like!
I am not being a doomsday prophet here, just telling it as it is from an Indigenous perspective with the history and wisdom of tens of thousands of years to back me up. Prophecies of these times have been handed down for millenium for our people. We just did not know exactly how it would take form.
It is sad in some ways, but inevitable.
So enjoy the time you have here on this planet, take nothing for granted and find where you belong, where you are called to be. And walk in balance and sacredness as much as possible in this crazy mixed up world. Be brave, be strong, sincere and honest in all that you do. Be kind and geneous of spirit, take time to be with nature and animals. Be the best you can be. Be brave, be strong.
2020 is going to be a time of renewal and re-focusing on sacred ways for me. Since the Blue Moon of 2015, I have been immersed in a difficult and dark Ancestral (past life) story. The people we are closest to are often the most challenging of relationships, because we chose to come back and work something through with them. It takes lifetimes often to find healing and resolution to these stories that also occurred over lifetimes.
Remembering sacredness is not easy when the past is so violent. We are all part of the story of human history, which was often cruel and dark. We may feel a residue of anger, frustration, judgments or worse towards those who we once called our enemies. In this life they can be our parents, our spouses, friends or even our own children. It is no wonder that family or close relationships are so diffucult.
Sometimes it is a matter of finding acceptance and love for one another. Other times it can be about letting go and moving on, breaking ties. But even if we cut ties with someone we can still remain unresolved inside ourselves. We can be seething with anger, resentment. disappointment or many other feelings that keep us attached to the story.
True letting go takes time. We have to examine ourselves and how we create our lives and relationships, take responsiblity for our part in the story. We have to look deeply with integrity at the not-so-nice parts of ourselves and choose to be different. We have to grow up.
In Indigenous traditions, maturity is not about age, it is about attitude, an attitude of gratitude and wisdom gained from the stories we lived. What can we learn from the past? What do we want to take forward into the next decade? What do we want to leave behind? How can we change?
I wish you all the best for the year ahead.
May you walk in balance and sacredness upon Mother Earth.
As we come to the end of a very long and difficult decade, I sit in awe and gratitiude of my own journey. I am blessed in so many ways, my life has been and continues to be rich and full. My love and devotion continues to grow for this path, the teachings, my Teachers and community. Bonds are being formed and reformed, we are growing together.
How many in this world are lucky enough to know who they are on a deep soul level, to know where they come from and where they belong, where they are going in the larger scheme of things?
Many of us have lived many lifetimes and remember at least some of them. The history of humanity is written in the blood of the Ancestors on all continents. We are those Ancestors. Mother Earth has borne witness to our stories. She has nourished and supported us from the time her body was first formed and the first single celled life forms appeared.
I am watching a limited Netflix series called "One Strange Rock". which is hosted by Will Smith. It gives stories of our beautiful planet from the perspectives of six astronauts. I highly recommend this series, it should be shown in the schools. Not only is it beautiful, but it helps us to appreciate the fragility and miracle of life on Earth, our Home.
Humanity took a wrong turn along the way and forgot where our food source comes from, forgot how much we need clean air and water to survive, how long it took for this planet to create the conditions possible for us to exist. And how easily it can all be destroyed.
We lost our connection to Spirit and Nature in this modern world. LIfe for many is now about shopping, driving from one place to another and sitting at computors. I am getting old and my life is mostly behind me, but I still cherish what it left of Nature. To me, it is my religion, but more than that, it is a way of life that sustains my spirit and nourished my soul.
The topic of discussion in our Shamanic community this Solstice was about holiness. What makes something holy? Do we see holiness today in the busyness of daily lives?
The sacred is more important to me than the air I breath, it is the air I breath, the holy spirit inside of me and all around me. When I lose this connection to sacredness, I lose myself. I need to be inspired and in awe of life. I am tired of silly romantic movies or tales of violence with no stories, no lessons or messages to inspire me to be greater, stronger and wiser. I would love to see more stores of heroes and saints, people I can look up to and admire. People who are brave and respect life. I wish to see more stories by and about Indigenous Peoples, Medicine People and sacred ways.
In the end, we are all the hero of our own story. How would you write your own story? Where is the sacred in your life? What do you aspire to be? What do you believe in beyond the mundane? Where do you think you go after you die?
I started on my spiritual journey in my 30's with these big questions driving me forward. I explored every option possible and found the answers and so much more than I imagined. We are writing a collective book on Totems, my teachers and some of us community members. It is important to leave a legacy behind for the generations to come. Who will guide them home in a world that forgot sacredness?
May you walk in sacredness this Winter Solstice, and all the days of your life. If you don't know what sacredness it... ask. Then be open to the signs and messages that come your way. It will come from a sacred place.
It gets really tiring to listen to non-Indigenous people think they know all about Indigenous issues and ways. Those who have maybe talked with some Natives, been to a cermemony or two or did some peyote or ayahuasca in South America.
I could go to another country and participate in their festivities, their religious practices, but unless I grew up there and lived there for years or even my entire life, I would never pretend to know them or their ways. The problem is that once we think we know someone or something, we stop listening and learning.
I don't talk about being Native, I don't broadcast it because my world is so far removerd from the mainstream society that it would take a lot of time and energy to explain even the simplest of concepts. I spent decades learning and teaching Sacred Circle Ways. Unfortunately, I was not brought up with these teachings. If I have a hard time grasping the magnitude of them, how can I expect anyone else to get it? I can't. Western ways permeate all cultures today.
So I stopped teachings and am devoting myself to learning more and getting and keeping myself on path. It is becoming more of a challenge daily with the imablances in and around all of us. The growing darkness, the earth changes and long winter are in front of us. Yet in order to find my way Home, I need to work harder at being conscious, balanced and honest with myself first and foremost.
The truth is that I have a long way to go and a lot to learn. I am blessed in every which way yet I sometimes sabotage my own journey. The choices I make are my own, in spite of all the awareness and support that I have been given. We are all responsible for our own choices.
My prayer these days is to know Truth, to walk in Truth and carry the burden of truth. It is a burden beccause we have to be honest with ourselves at all times. How many of us truly do that?
Nonetheless, I have so much love around me and my Guidance is incredible, I cannot allow myself to fall into darkness. I have to be more vigilant of the negative thoughts that run through my head and see the goodness in and around me, without denying those parts of me that exist, the ones I wish weren't there. There is a battle going on inside of me, but I have been given the tools to win the good fight.
Denial only makes things worse. Denying the Earth Changes will not stop them from happening, it will just be more of a shock when it does happen. Time is ticking and I pray that each step I take brings me closer to Creator, to Spirit and to Home.
How many of you believe in the Afterlife? If so, how do you envision it?
Loved ones have appeared to me after they died. It is always an honor and a privilege to receive a visitation from Spirits. The irony is that if you don't believe in them, the chances are that you won't ever see them. Believing is seeing, it is not the other way around, as some may want us to think. Sometimes these old sayings are not based on fact.
The truth is that we die a little every day. Every time we let go of an old attitude, an attachment to anything - a relationship, a behaviour, a job, old habits, addictions, etc... we die to the old and are born to something new. This may sound cliché and trivial, but if you really pay attention, you see that we need to let go of something to turn our attention to something else.
Our bodies stop growing in our mid-twenties and begin to decline in our 30's. In the past, most of our Ancestors only lived into their 40's. Today we prolong life at all costs, but what about the quality of life? Why are so many so afraid, so resistant to death?
Life is not linear, it is not final. Our Indigenous Ancestors called death "dropping your Robe", meaning they would just drop their bodies... and keep on walking. To them, there was no seperation between life and death. Not if you were in tune with your Soul and the Spirit World.
Science and Religion has make us overly sceptical or indoctrinated us in some way regarding death. Yet science has proven again and again that matter never dies, it is only transformed. Water is transformed into steam, earth is constantly being transformed. Why should humans be any different? Everything has a Spirit.
Even now, as I have stopped doing Medicine Wheel Circles, occasionally I am asked to do one for the community. I am always happy when asked, even if I don't go out of my way to promote them, I will do them upon request. I have entered a new stage of the Life/Death cycle. A huge part of me died when I stopped doing Circles. But another part of me came forth and I continue to walk forward with Spirit guiding me. I follow the Dreaming as much as I am capable. I continue to learn and grow and heal.
I continue to make connections and am working on facilitating a Meetup Group about shared living for women in their Golden Years. Today many women live alone in their Senior years as women tend to live longer than men. Women often live alone in huge houses and are lonely. Not to mention the huge impact we are making on the environment with one person per house and one car per person.
It is time that we returned to community living, to being collective, to circular thinking - if we are to do our part in helping Mother Earth in this difficult time of change. We need to realize that what we do has a ripple effect that impacts everything around us and for generations to come.
All things are born and all things must die. Mother Earth included. She will undergo tremendous transformations as she has done serveral times in the past. Humans did not always exist and we will cease to exist again, at least in the form that we know now. The human brain and body are changing and we don't know into what.
Death is change, change is death. Resistance is futile. The thing is, are we prepared to accept our fate, to face it with courage, to surrender? Or do we fight tooth and nail until the end? Death is the ultimate equalizer.
For me, dying is hard, but death/rebirth has always been a beautiful, magical and miraculous experiece! It has occurred a few times in this life. The after-effect is is the best thing, the Rebirth!
Every night we die, we let go. Every day we are reborn, it's a new life filled with new opportunities and new challenges. When I "died" at age 32, I realized that the body is just a vessel and that we can transcend the physical, we can become pure Spirit.
Death can be scary and difficult, especially if we resist, butt life after death is wonderous. Life goes on!
ENDINGS are always difficult, especially when you have been doing the same thing for 30 years.
In 1982 after a serious illness, I went on a Spiritual quest to find life's meaning and my path and purpose. I have accomplished that task.
I first discovered the Sacred Circle while in Concordia University in 1990. I did a multi-media project that turned out to be a Sacred Circle and that was before I knew anything about them. It changed my life, it put me on my Path, it sent me in search of more magical and profound experiences.
I had so many wonderful, incredible stories to share that I could write a book and I am. I hope to get it done before I am too old to write....
I have led Sacred Circles all across Canada and parts of the United States. I gave lectures, did workshops and helped many find their path and purpose, to find themselves through an Indigenous perspective.
I was a Fancy dancer, a teacher, a student, a servant to the Wheel - a Wheelkeeper. I honored the Wheel and the path of the Ancestors that came before. I cherished the journey and I still do.
But now my journey is about taking care of my needs and preparing for my Journey to the Stars, not anytime soon, but the stages of preparation can take decades. I do not regret anything, I am happy where I am at. I feel so grateful to be who I am, on my path and to have met so many incredible People, Spirits, my Teachers and Shamanic community.
But the Wheel that I knew and loved - no longer exists. It is changing so drastically that I don't recognize it anymore. The New Wheel that is forming is meant for the new Era, the 6th world, which is not my world. I would not know about any of this without my Teacher Lisa and her Partner Gerard being fully connected with the Dreaming.
Now I must let go of all that I know, allow myself to change, grow, heal and find balance and meaning in spite of all the changes or because of it. Nothing is familiar anymore. II must allow the Dreaming to take me through unknown territory and trust that I am where I am meant to be in order to find my way HOME.
And I pray and trust that you are where you are meant to be.
I will continue to write blogs now and again, but will mostly focus on my book and dealing with all the changes in my life.
Keep seeking, keep learning and growing, keep dreaming!
How many of you feel that the Earth changes do not affect you or that there is nothing you can do?
How many of you want to ignore it all and hope it will go away?
How many don't care? How many are scared?
We can put our heads in the sand and hope it all blows over but reality does not go away because we want it to... my Teacher Okwaho once said, that "Reality is that which still exists even when you stop believing in it".
The reality is that life is changing and quickly. The Wheel is changing, things are speeding up and we are all on the same train barreling down an unknown track towards an unknown destiny.
So what do we do about it?
What I have been learning and healing and teaching for over 30 years has been to prepare for my death and yes... resurrection. I am preparing for my journey to the Afterlife.
When I was 32 years old, I almost died of a major illness. I had several surgeries and when it was all said and done I realized that I was not ready to die.
I also learned that the most imporatant thing in life is to find resolution to my stories, to find consciousness and answers to my life journey.
It put me on a quest that led me to my path and purpose.
I remember when the year 2000 was looming towards us and people were panicing about the computors crashing and everything falling apart. I just stood there and witnessed the confusion and fears around me thinking... "I don't need to go start an off-the-grid community or stockpile supplies... I just need to make sure I am ready to die at any given moment."
But... I am still here, we are still here. And I still have a lot to learn and to share, but my time is running out too. I do not have the energy I did when I was young. Doing Circles takes a lot of effort and Dreaming. The Medicine Wheel that my Teachers, Lisa and Gerard have taught me... is straight from the Dreaming. It is not for everyone. But those who feel called will know who they are.
I teach what I have learned and want to continue learning. In the past I did Moonlodges for women because I needed to work on my Moons, or Inner Children as we call them.
I used to teach the Medicine Wheel as a tool for self-exploration from a Shamanic Perspective, as I was learning about my Personal wheel at the time, my Roles, Totems and Fragments, past lives and more. Now I am focused on integrating my life stories and becoming a better Dreamer from a Shamanic Indigenous perspective. I am fortunate to have Master Indigenous Dreamers and Spirit Guides to help me on my journey. The Circles will still teach you a lot about yourself. It is a tool for self-discovery and a way to connect to Nature and Spirit. These are being lost in our Modern world.
Time is running out, not just for me, but for Mother Earth, hence for all of us. We cannot live without her but she can and will live long after humanity ceases to exist.
All we can do is to try to be ready to die in a good way. That is all we can do on any given day.
This is not a morbid thought for me. It is a reality, a truth that many like to avoid facing. Life is not something to be taken for granted, death is not something to fear or ignore until its too late.
My parents left a mess for me to clean up after they died, both the physically and otherwise. Our family stories are passed down from one generation to another until someone does the work to change the script. It is not an easy job when things have piled up for generations.
I do not want to not want to leave a mess behind for my son. I do not want to contribute to the mess we are creating on the planet. Yet because I am human, I am part of the problem. I am trying to be part of the solution as well.
I am not saying we are all going to die tomorrow, but we should live out lives as each day is our last, as much as possible.
Having faced death more than once in my life has given me a clearer perspective in the sacredness and beauty of life. It has shown me how precious, fragile and uncertain things are. We should not take anything for granted. We need to be open to the unknown, to change, to healing and learning, to becoming conscious of ourselves and all that is around us.
I know life it stress-filled these days for everyone. We are living the changes in so many ways. At work, at home, in our relationships, our health, finances... it is all being affected whether you realize it or not. Having lived many decades gives me a larger perspective on things.
How do you stay balanced, strong, brave... and continue going forward with confidence on your journey, not knowing where you are going? How to you trust your Soul's journey?
Today, MAY 12, 2019 is MOTHER'S DAY. It is also the day that the Ottawa River is to reach its peak height, the highest in over 60 years. It has been flooding for weeks now.
Mother is talking to us. Is anyone listening?
Does anyone believe in Spirit anymore?
Do you see, feel, hear the voice of Mother Earth?
Do you believe that she is a living entity?
I have always felt Mother.'s heartbeat, her love, her support, I receive nourishment from her and I give back to her by offering tobacco, a piece of my DNA (hair or saliva) and by walking soflty with respect upon her body.
I also feel her pain. I pick up the garbage that others carelessly and unconsciously toss on the ground. I do all I can to walk in sacredness and balance. It is getting harder to do when the majority of people are going away from nature.
The weather is just going to get worse and we better get used to it. Mother is in survival mode, trying to repair the damage, the abuse and neglect of her children. Humanity has risen from the Earth and will disappear into the Earth again one day. But not before we do severe damage to our beloved Mother.
It's a sad message for Mother's Day I know... but it's the truth.
We all know it, but most prefer to deny, ignore or neglect their responsibility to our True Mother.
How can we help her? We can't, it's too late.
But we can help ourselves to stay safe, protected and nourished by Mother by being connected to her, by caring, and most of all by doing our personal work. Stop ignoring and denying that which you don't want to see, in yourself mostly. Do your Shadow work, resolve your issues. Do your healing work.
Jesus said, if you have an issue with your brother or sister, put aside your offering at the temple and go make peace with your sibling. He said that for a reason. He was talking about being sacred and honorable, in integrity. We can't pray to whatever God we acknowledge, expecting favors when we don't do our part.
Make peace with yourself and others. Heal your story, find resolution to the seemingly impossible stories that you are living, have been living for lifetimes.
Not many will remember their past lives, but it doesn't matter, you are re-living them now.
What people do not realize is that we are one with Mother, whether you feel it or not. We are no different than the trees or animals. We come from her and what we think, feel and do affects her as much as she affects us.
Honor your Mother. Don't dump your emotional or acutal garbage in her.
Show her your gratitudee as you should with any mother who gave you life.
She needs to be appreciated too.
Stop being a consumer, buy only what you need.
Compost and recycle. Buy locally.
Reduce what you buy and what you use.
Use reusable products. Use reusable shopping bags.
Petition the government to protect the environment, petition stores to reduce packaging. Petition animal and human rights causes. Contribute to environmental causes however you can.
Take care of your body, take care of Mother's body.
You may think all of these things will not make a difference, but they will...
They will make a difference to your Spirit and your Soul.
And Mother will notice.
At our Dreaming Circle on Sunday, we went for a Dream Walk and encountered some interesting phemonema. It reminded me of how we see messages from the dreaming all the time but don't realize their significance. But when I related what we experienced to the Medicine Wheel, I told the group that the Dreaming was showing us the GATES on the Wheel.
It made sense since in order to pass through to the Dreaming you need to pass two gates, an outer and inner gate. There are 16 Gates on the Wheel, to the Dreaming. We pass through them all the time, but unconsciously. it is great to have the consciousness, a deeper level of understanding of the world we live in. And what we are living on a grander scale. It brings so much more meaning to daily life. I am so grateful to my teacher Lisa F. Tardiff for these teachings. Without them, i would be lost in the crowd.
Yet I came away from the circle feeling sad... because I realized with my hypersensitivity, how easily I am influenced by those around me and how I no longer have the energy or inclination to initiate people into the teachings. It seems that the gap between Indigenous ways and modern humanity is wider than ever. It takes a lot of time and energy to explain how things work. People who are new to the circles have no idea of what the Sacred Circles ways are about, no awareness of the basic concepts of silence, respect, humility, collectivity and circular thinking.
When I was younger I would be happy to teach the old ways, but now that I am old and the Wheel and the world is changing so drastically.... it takes more and more effort to stay connected to Nature, Spirit and Cosmology. It takes more work to teach the old ways. It is getting harder to follow the ways of the Ancestors.
I don't know if I can keep this up much longer, but I have schedualed a Circle at the Olde Forge on May 17th and a Dreaming Circle Meetup on May 19th, 2019.
One day at a time...
Call the Olde Forge if you want to register for the circle there.
See CIRCLES page on this website for more information on teh May 19th Circle or go to Meetup Ottawa:
***By the way, the Gates we went through at the circles were the Frog and Turtle Gate, which is profound in the sense that the Turtle Gate is going Extinct and Frog is taking its place.
Check out the changes to my Meetup Ottawa group "Sacred Circles and Indigenous Dreaming".
The name is now SACRED CIRCLE DREAMING.
The reason for the changes are:
~ Sacrd Circles are not just about culture, color, race or religion. We were all Indigenous once.
~ The Medicine Wheel is, among many things... a tool for DREAMING, always has been.
~ Dreaming is something that we do both awake and asleep. It is our connection with the Spirit world, nature and cosmology. All life dreams! Humans, Animals, Trees... etc...
~ I am learning with my Teachers Lisa F. Tardiff and Gérard Payrot and our community, how to become a better Dreamer and wish to explore and share this with all of you!
~ It takes a circle of Dreamers to get the core messages from the Dreamtime. You cannot do it alone.
My focus is on Dreaming, but this will still involve learning, healing and growth according to the ways of the Ancestors. There will be more exploration and more movement. You will learn how to navigate through life's mamy challenges.. being more connected, more grounded, more centred and balanced. More aware! Life becomes more meaningful!
~ Dreaming is an art and a skill that needs to be developed and disciplined. There is much to learn and time is short. So join me in this journey, discover your unique Dreamer skills. There are many different kinds of Dreamers. You just may surprise yourself!
Sacred Circle Dreaming
We travel the dreaming with what we call our BODIES: Physical, emotional, mental spiritual and energetic, dreaming bodies. It’s the Soul that leads the way. The three parts of the Soul are Ego, Totemic, and Ancestral. These three dimensions open up the Dreaming to us…(Okwaho Lablanc)
Indigneous Dreaming has its own language. Our Dreams speak to us in a way that may seem strange, silly, nonsense or even scary. We may see guides, lovers, family, friends, strange creatures, villians, enemies or allies, guides and more in our dreams. But how do we know what they are telling us?
There are 24 different kinds of dreams and 24 different kinds of Dreamers. Each Dreamer and each Level of Dreaming has its own reality, a universe unto itself. The Dreaming is separated into Upper, Middle and Lower Worlds and it located in time and space.
Navigating and mastering the complex images and language of the Dreaming takes a Master Dreamer. I am by no means a Master Dreamer but have been consciously exploring the Dreaming for decades now with my Teachers Lisa Foss Tardiff (Okwaho) and Gerard Peyrot, who are Master Traditianal Dreamers.
Dreaming does not only occur at night when we sleep. We are Dreaming between every inhale and exhale, every heartbeat. The guidance and messages are all around us. Yet to decipher them takes time, awareness and an understanding of Dream Speak.
There is so much to explore and learn about Dreaming and it all starts with the Medicine Wheel teachings that my Teachers brought straight from the Dreaming, the Spirit world and our Indigenous Ancestors. The Medicine Wheel shows us how to understand and work with our dreams. By following the way of the Sacred Circle we can go deep into the dreaming, find the lessons and meaning behind what we are living. We can find healing and resolution to our stories. Dreaming is not a quick fix by any means, it takes time, patience and commitment to your own growth. The rewards to following the Dreaming are immense. In the past 20+ years I have grown and healed so much that I am a different person now; stronger, happier, wiser and healthier on all levels. Dreaming has brought beauty and abundance into my life. It has shown me some of my past lives, my amazing Spirit Guides and myself from a perspective that I never knew existed.
Be prepared to enter a different world. Be open to the unknown. The Dreaming is the place of Creation, all things that exist in this reality come from there first and foremost. Not everyone is a Dreamer, but we all dream.
As we explore the Dreaming we learn more about ourselves, we discover our Roles, life path and purpose, our life strategy, our Medicine, what type of Dreamer we are and more. Dreamwork can help find resolutoin for ourselves, our families and beyond. It can help to heal the planet and all life on Her.
Dreaming is based on Natural and Cosmological laws so it also connects us with Mother Earth, Father Sky and All our Relations.
Dreaming is not just for Indigenous people, we are all creatures of Nature and Spirit, we are all Kin. We are all a combinatoin of human, animal and Divine. Dreaming helps us explore all parts of our Soul.
Everything Dreams - trees dream, animals dream, humans dream.
Join me twice a month to explore, live and learn about Dreaming, the Dreamtime, levels of Dreaming, Indigenous Dreaming. Discover your Dreamer!
I belong to a Shamanic Community with teachers who are guiding us HOME! We are spread across the globe and meet online as well as at ongoing workshops with our Teachers. I do not pretend to know it all or to be learning and healing on my own. I am part of a collective of Indigenous Dreamers who are participating in the shifting worlds of today. We have many of us doing Circles across Canada, the USA and Europe.
As an Initiated Keeper of the Wheel and someone who is exploring Traditional Dreaming with a community of Dreamers, I teach what I want to learn, and I share what I know from my own personal experiences lived and learned by Teachers, Spirit and Dreaming.
The last Full Moon (Moon of Metamorphosis, March 20, 2019) was the last Grandmother Lodge that I will be hosting in Ottawa. It is indeed time for major transformations.
Dreaming and the Medicine Wheel is all about movement and change. It is about circular living - collectivity and seeing 36 different perspectives (one for each stone on the Wheel, which is in flux right now).
I have been hosting some Meetup groups in Ottawa, as a way to meet people and show a bit about myself and what I do. So far we have met three times at Oh So Good Cafe in Westboro.
The first time, I laid four small anchor stones on the table, to see what it would manifest. I was not disappointed. It was a great group of people. One in particular was a Trickster type right out of the Dreaming. She was confrontational, disrespectful and vocal, but I am used to handling all kinds of characters and rather enjoyed the challenge. Not to say I would want that experience again!
We also had some Healers, Peacekeepers and Warrior types. I explained to them what I saw in them.
I had made a Dreamcatcher at one of the Meetups, don't remember which one right now (It is an Elders prerogative to forget dates and other such things...lol). I did not know who it was for when I made it, but at the Meetup, I asked who thought it was for them. I purposely framed it that way, instead of "Who wants it?" Of course no one wanted to be so presumptuous as to say it was theirs. Westerners are so polite. I remember my teacher presenting a sacred tool to me once and asked if I thought it was mine. I practically grabbed it. My Soul knew. It was not arrogant or greedy, it was an inner knowing.
Since no one answered regarding the Dreamcatcher, I presented to the one I felt it was for. This persons broke into tears and shared a very personal story, which touched us all deeply.
In the second Meetup, I again laid down a few stones and lit a candle. This time it was during the bad weather in February and only a few showed up, but this gave us the opportunity to go deeper, sharing our stories. At the end, (long story short)... I discovered that my car had a scratch and a small dent on the drivers side. I saw a city bus being towed and instantly went into action... taking photos of the damage and confronting the OCT Supervisor, who took full responsibility and filled out all the forms, even calling the police to come and do a report.
Apparently, the bus had a loose WHEEL! It took me awhile to put it all together. The poor bus driver was in a state of fear and I did not want to add to his burden, so I remained calm and even in good humour. But after I remembered that we were a mere few blocks from where the terrible and tragic bus accident at Westboro Station occurred on January 11th. Three people were killed and two dozen injured. No wonder the Driver was so scared. Thank goodness, there was no one hurt in this one.
Upon reflection, I realized that the Wheel I laid down had magnetized the damage to my car. I vowed to not lay down stones again in such a public place. The Wheel after all, will magnetize what is in the environment. And there is some crazy stuff going on out there!! It literally manifested a broken WHEEL! But it will also bring healing to the situation, once I do the full Wheel with it. As of now, I am still waiting for my car to be repaired next week. But also not hurling accusations or getting angry, was bringing healing to the situation. I am sure the OCT and its Drivers are under a lot of stress, and hurling accusations does not help. The pain and suffering of those killed or injured is beyond imagining.
The last Meetup we had I did not lay down stones. I did light a candle. When I arrived at the café, it was empty except for three people sitting quietly in their own worlds. But by time we got halfway through, the place was packed. This was on a Sunday afternoon. I asked Vicky, the woman who works there, it that was unusual. She said "YES!" She was shocked how fast it filled up. A group of people began shuffling tables around to sit together. It was so noisy that we decided to leave.
I explained to the group that the Wheel attracts people, even if they are not conscious of it and even if I did not lay down a Wheel, the intention was there. The Medicine Wheel or Sacred Circle is an Electro-magnetic force. When I am in my Role as Keeper of the Wheel I am in that energy. So we moved.
We got up and walked a few blocks to Superstore and sat in the empty balcony upstairs where there are a few tables, next to a closed Cooking Class area. I told them to not be surprised if it filled up again. And it did, very quickly! But not before I got them to do some Shamanic Journaling and explain how the waking dream works.
I do these Meetups to show people who I am, what I do and the magic and mystery of the Sacred Circle. There is a lot to share and it has to be experienced. We all have our own Medicine, power and the Wheel shows us what that is. The Dreaming guides us and manifests the magic or phenomena that confirms our connection with Spirit as well as Natural and Cosmological Laws.
Standing out on a clear winter night away from city lights, I feel a sense of awe and humility at the same time. The grandness, the beauty and unfathomable scale of the Universe is mind=boggling to me. Knowing full well that I have no control over any of it and aware that my insignificance is overwhelmingly evident, I bow my head in prayer and gratitude feeling blessed to be witness to such glory. Maybe that is my place in it all, as a witness to Creation, acknowledging Creator's magnificent magical and mysterious work of art.
I miss these nights under the stars now that I live in the city, am too old to venture out on a cold winter night and my eyesight is not what it used to be. So I say to all... take advantage of your youth and health and take time to be a witness to Creation. Don't forget that what humans have built will fall away but the Earth and Nature will remain and renew itself.
Humans have put themselves at the top of the food chain, exalted themselves above all life and as a result feel entitled to do what they want with life. This morning I listened to a radio show on CBC, about how the "Wall" that Donald Trump is imposing on the landscape will affect the wildlife. It will cut off the trail to the Rio Grande River that many animals travel to get a drink. It breaks my heart to think of the ignorance, unconsciousness, greed and arrogance in such an undertaking. When it affects the animals, it affects us all.
What can we do to bring consciousness to people like that? Not much! But I can do what I came here to do, to learn, live and practice sacredness by walking a path of balance, presence, and circular living, knowing that all life is inter-connected and all that we do has far-reaching consequences. Even little acts like recycling and composting make a difference, to me more than anyone else. The act of doing these things, keeps me aware and conscious of how I impact the world around me. It reminds me to pray and ask for forgiveness for all of humanity.
As I stand under the night sky or watch the sun rise or set, I am reminded of my insignificance but also how powerful I am in the sense that I can bring change by the small choices I make in my everyday life. It may not be evident on a large scale, but if everyone did a little bit, we can make a huge difference.
We cannot sit idly by and watch humanity self-destruct, yet we cannot change the tsunami of destruction that is in full swing. We can only be true to ourselves and hope that when we come face to face with Creator, we can say we tried our best. I know that I love Mother Earth and she feels my love, I have tried to walk in balance and sacredness and will continue doing my best at any given moment. I can take time out to look at a snowflake or flower and marvel at the beauty of cartoon and nature while it lasts.
These days I am doing only one Circle a month, the Grandmother Lodge. These circles follow the cycles of Grandmother Moon according to the teachings I have been taught. The Wheel I follow is ancient, older than most and straight from the Dreaming, the Spirit World. It contained the missing pieces that were lost or forgotten since the influx of Europeans to Turtle Island.
There are 13 Moons and we explore them in relationship to our personal stories and other influences that create a unique experience each month. We look at our human, the Feminine and emotional bodies and how the Goddess or Grandmother Moon is guiding or healing us. Each Moon allows us a specific theme to work on and helps us to heal and grow. It is open to both men and women.
On the New Moon is when I would normally do more Medicine Wheel teachings. The New Moon is more about Dreaming, the Masculine, the Winds and challenges that we face on a daily basis. I am not doing these circles at this time but am planning to start again soon. Meanwhile I am hosting Meetups for those interested in meeting in a casual environment to share and discuss Shamanic and Sacred Circles perspectives. Check out my Meetup group in Ottawa: Sacred Circles and Shamanic Dreaming.
This Friday, January 11, 2019, I will be doing a Sharing Circle at:
10 am, at the Pinecrest Queensway Health Centre, 1365 Richmond Road.
It is open to the public and free, but you must register. Please Contact:
Olde Forge Seniors Resource Centre
We are coming into the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year and then the days get slowly longer again. It always amazing me how Natures cycles work. It is beautiful and miraculous when you really pay attention to the sunrise and sunset. In today's world we are surrounded by light all hours of the day and night, so the equinoxes and solstices do not gain as much attention as they did to our Ancestors.
Nevertheless, these occurrences affect us more than we realize and doing rituals like our Ancestors did, helps us to be more conscious of the seasons and cycles and of our own internal changes.
Winter Solstice for my Indigenous Ancestors was about making wishes for the year to come. Many did not survive the harsh winters and they knew the importance of prayer and intention, asking for guidance and support from Creator and Spirit in order to make it through to Spring Equinox.
Today we still follow that tradition. We make prayer bundles, putting our wishes in them and hanging them on trees. It sounds simple but there is an art and a science to making wishes. We follow the Medicine Wheel way in order to manifest them. It requires awareness and cooperation with Spirit.
Wishes do indeed come true, but we have to do our part, be co-creators of our own destiny. The Wheel gives us step-by-step instructions on how to manifest. The laying down a a particular kind of wheel is essential for the path of creation or manifestation. We follow the Dreaming way.
I will be doing a solstice ritual Saturday night, December 22, 2018.
If you are interested, please contact me by Friday.
Otherwise, Happy Winter Solstice everyone!
May you be warm this Winter and filled with happiness, love, health and prosperity.
To read about the basics of what I do, scroll down to the first few blogs at the bottom...
As the days get shorter, and the nights longer, many people suffer from depression. The holiday season can bring stress, financial problems and loneliness.
Survival today is very different from how it was for out Ancestors. Today we are in a constant state of low grade stress. We absorb more information in one day than our ancestors did in their entire lifetime. Needless to say, much of it is useless information and only overloads our brains and stresses us emotionally and physically. How we spend our time is crucial.
Don't you want your time to be well spent? Are we just here to work and survive? What feeds your Soul? These are questions I ask myself constantly. It is so easy to get distracted from our Soul path and purpose. How many of you know your Origins and your Destiny in this life?
The Medicine Wheel and the Dreaming guides my life. Our Dreams are a part of life and a part of us. We use the Wheel to interpret our dreams and our community to get other perspectives, to show us what we can't see for ourselves. Spirit guides are with us all the time.
Many people want to be encouraged, supported, applauded, uplifted, made to feel good... but how many want to grow, learn, heal, discover new alternative perspectives, to change, to become stronger, wiser and open to Spirit's Guidance? How many are willing to let go of their illusions, programs, and indoctrinations. How many are willing to go through the darkness to get to the light?
I recently uncovered a part of me that was stuck for a long time. What we see or feel as mild uneasiness inside of us can be an entire story when seen from a Dreaming perspective. When this Fragment was revealed I was shocked because it explained so much about some of my inner feelings and what I needed to change inside of me. It all starts with consciousness, then acceptance, then willingness to change and grow. It was a long time coming and I was ready, willing and able to make the change.
It may be humbling at first to be confronted with your own shadow parts, but then there is a feeling of freedom and happiness to have uncovered a mystery about yourself that you never thought possible or even considered. Being surrounded by loving community and teachers that do not judge my imbalances certainly helped me to become aware and accept and navigate through the darker parts of my soul. Being able to change takes constant vigilance. It takes willingness and determination.
At this time of year, whatever darkness that arises for you, it is an opportunity to change, heal and grow beyond your own limitations.
May you find your way through the darkness, may you find balance and wholeness!
I've been quiet lately, mostly working on myself. Lots of lessons and challenges coming up, always more to learn and heal. Consciousness is not a given. It has to be sought after, claimed, worked on and re-worked. There is so much we don't see, so much we don't know about ourselves, let alone about the world we live in.
I am still thinking about life and time and death a lot. We should contemplate our own death, not avoid thinking about it. It is inevitable after all, for all of us. Our society likes to shove things under the carpet then we wonder why we are not prepared.
Do you ever feel like time is going too fast or is running out? Do you feel pressured, stressed, frustrated, unhappy, discontent? Life does not often give us what we want or expect. There is a lot of talk about "entitlement" lately, people expecting something for nothing.
That is not going to happen, no matter how much you wish for it. We are co-creators of our lives and we have to do our part, which is a lot, a lot more than we think we need to do, and sometimes it is less than we think, depending on your perspective.
The path I follow is about sacredness, beauty and abundance, but it takes work to get there. It takes humility and complete openness and honesty when confronted with our shadow and shortcomings, imbalances, dysfunctional attitudes and behaviours. It is not fun or easy to look at ourselves honestly and see how we all fall short of the glory of God.
Life is more than striving to be richer, smarter, more successful, more popular, thinner, more beautiful or more handsome.... None of these things are long-lasting, nor do they fulfill our souls desires.
I just know that my soul desire is to be whole, but some parts of me fight against this goal. It takes a lifetime to see these things and most people never do. I am blessed with a strong community and teachers that are guiding me towards wholeness, whether those rebellious parts like it or not. In the end, nothing is guaranteed. Nothing worthwhile comes easily, but the outcome, the consciousness and healing that results from our labours is so worth it!
In the past I had dreams that I had to go through a dark tunnel. I was afraid, but my Guide was there encouraging me, showing me the way. Then just recently, I had a dream where I was at the end of the tunnel, still in the dark but if I was able to take one more step, I would be out of there.
Not to say that my life is finished by any means. I have lots to do before I go. Time is a funny thing, when you waste it, it's gone, and you can't get it back. But when you make good use of it, it is your ally and friend. It allows us to do what we came here to do.
I know it's an old question, but one worth reconsidering, really considering I mean...
What if you knew you only had a few months or a year to live? What would you do? Really! Think about it!
Today I am appreciating how life is so incredibly fragile and wonderfully weird. In spite of all the stresses of urban life, if I take a moment to contemplate the miracle of breath, I can continue on....
Somehow, some of my cellular memories dates back centuries and beyond. When I was young, growing up in a small remote northern town, I was oblivious to the outside world. When I moved to the city in my late teens, I felt out of place. Traffic lights, four lane highways, huge shopping malls, constant noise and passing strangers every day... things many that city-dwellers take for granted, were bizarre to me. My soul belongs in a world where nature is pure and bigger than what humans can build. Our Ancestors lived in tribes or communities and everyone knew everyone else. I was blessed to grow up with a bit of this kind of experience.
Today we are alienated from nature and each other. Yet, the small actions, the small exchanges, the millions of thoughts that go through my head every day, the feelings I allow or don't allow.... all are part of being alive and being human.
I don't want to take any of this for granted. Last night I almost chocked on some food at dinner. It was disconcerting to not be able to breath for a moment. It made me appreciate every inhale and exhale. It reminded me that I can go at any time, all it takes is a few minutes without air. Yet, I don't feel morbid thinking this way. I feel grateful that I am still here and still got some life left in me.
Today I had to deal with getting my winter tires installed, going there in heavy traffic, being told it would take ten hours to get my car back... waiting for a shuttle bus, then being told they don't go to my area and having to rebook my appointment for another day and so on.... We all have these kinds of experiences. I can complain, get stressed or roll with the punches, or....
Or I can stop and take note of the precious moments of beauty and awareness that fall in my lap.
Today I choose to be present to the gift of breath.
I noticed a lot of traffic on my website recently, I hope you are getting something out of it.
I've been re-reading "Writing Down the Bones" by Nathalie Goldberg. She gives tips that inspire me to write daily, whether it's here or elsewhere. I seem to need to write as much as I need to eat, sleep and breath. If I don't write, I feel something important is missing and I lose touch with myself.
In Shamanism, journaling is essential to daily living. It is a time of insight and introspection. It helps us to empty out, to revisit our day, to reveal our inner reality on the outside and get insights and inspiration. The same could be said for any art form - dancing, drawing, etc...
Today I went for a walk to Britannia Bay Park, just a few blocks away. Winter has arrived a bit early, but it's not too bad, the Ottawa river has not started to freeze over and the geese and ducks are still flying around. They usually stay until the water freezes.
I find if I don't get outside to adapt to the weather changes, my immune system is weakened and I get sick. Fresh air and simple walks are still the best exercise for me at this point in my life. It also helps me clear my head.
On my walk, I saw a 3-legged dog and stopped to talk to the owner. He was a young Asian male. He said it was a rescue dog from Greece. The dog was part Dalmatian and something else and very happily hopping around in the snow. The young man was very attentive to his pet. I was amazed at the story. And it renewed my faith in human nature. We didn't get to talk long because the dog took off with his owner in tow. The connection between humans and animals is essential for our souls.
With the onset of what looks like a long winter ahead, I am trying to find ways to keep active. I look forward to the Grandmother Lodges but they are only once a month. I also am organizing Tarot Meetups and tarot classes. And I still do tarot readings by request. I haven't been doing much of my Shamanic practice lately. It takes a lot of energy and I am not well known in Ottawa and am not up to putting myself out there like I used to do in my younger years.
My main focus right now is the Dream class with Lisa F. Tardiff, my Teacher. Indigenous Traditional Dreaming is so misunderstood, it takes a long time to really appreciate how important it is to our daily survival. And how we dream all the time. But the fact is that this knowledge is being lost. The modern world is more interested in superficialities and technology. But I am grateful for the path I am on, as well as the teachers and community that are like family to me.
Life is good. Counting my blessings daily helps me see how much abundance I truly have. I don't need more possessions, I need to breath deeply and see the beauty in and all around me. I need to enjoy the simple things of life. Slow down.
Winter Solstice is coming up in December and I will be back around then to talk about making wishes, if not sooner to ramble on about some other topics that peak my interest.
Be well everyone and count your blessings! My son and his fiancé are in Southern California and the smoke from the forest fires is reaching them. So many deaths, people, animals and trees. It is tragic. My prayers go out to those who are suffering hard times.
Today I got the long-awaited results from a biopsy. It was negative as I knew it would be, but others were worried for me. I tend not to worry about things until they happen, then I look for solutions. I don't see the purpose in stressing myself out over something that I have no control over. I will deal with Life as it is handed to me as best I can.
I also believe in Destiny. I knew I was destined to have only one child for example and I did. I knew I was destined to be part of a larger Shamanic Community and I am. I know I am not destined to die of cancer even though it runs in my family. I don't go out of my way to test fate, but I also don't run from it.
Think of how many things could go wrong in your life that don't. Think of how many times you were nearly hit by a car, or hurt in some way. When the tornadoes hit Ottawa and region on Friday, September 21st, it was during rush hour. Yet no one was killed. I was on my way to a movie at Bytowne cinema, after visiting a women in Ottawa East. We were heading north/west. The wind picked up and I knew there would be a bad storm, and thought maybe I should head home. But something told me to follow through on our plans to see the movie.
When we came out, I had no idea what we missed. It was only when I saw that the traffic lights were out and when we got home to no electricity that we figured it was a bad storm. We soon discovered what had happened.
IF we had headed home instead of going to the movie, we would have driven right into the path of the tornado on Merivale Road where the Transformer was hit. I know that my Inner Guidance directed me to go to where we would be safe. The worst I lived that day was coming out of the movie about "Gaugin" pissed off at another male chauvinist artist who left his wife and children and took on mistresses to satisfy his own needs, using them as muses, making them pose for hours in tortuous position. Okay, I know the women also had a say in it, but in those days the cultural and social programs around gender were strongly ingrained for both men and women.
But I digress... All this to say that if we listen to our Guidance, trust in our decisions, have the right intentions... we will be where we need to be, whether it is in the midst of the storm or on the sidelines, safe in a warm theatre or far away on a deserted island. We are all here to grow strong, to become the best we can be, to heal our old stories, find new solutions to our repetitive dysfunctional behaviours and become more conscious. Otherwise we are just existing, taking up space.
This month is about healing our relationships, be honest with ourselves and being tested. What is testing you? How are you dealing with it?
What are you willing to give up in order to move forward, connect, be open to new perspectives and inter-relate?
Do you believe in Spirit Guides? Do you listen to them? Do you know them?
If you like what you read in my blogs and want to learn more about Spirit Guides, healing, walking towards wholeness, the Medicine Wheel and more... see CIRCLES page for next Grandmother Lodge, and contact me to register.
These teachings are for all who feel the call.
On Saturday, I attended an event called Reconciliation: Re-Membering Creator's First Sacred Pipe".
it was a panel discussion by some well known Algonquin Leaders from this Territory, as well as a few white men with interest in what is happening to Chaudiere Falls, which is a Sacred Site for the Native people. Once upon a time, if seen from above, it was in the shape of a peace pipe. That has been altered by the construction of a dam unfortunately.
This area was once a place of peace where Tribes from all over came to trade, leaving their weapons behind. Even enemy tribes. The falls also contained the 4 sacred elements needed to make a pipe... stone, water, fire and air. And it is located at the centre where four rivers meet, making a Medicine Wheel.
It is a great honour to be on this sacred land but also incredibly tragic that the Sacredness is not acknowledged by the government. Sadly, even some other Algonquin tribes prefer to cash in on selling the land to developers. They say that they will create a park where people can go to pray. Not all Native people understand how it works with Sacred Sites. Once you develop it, the land loses its power. I have seen this happen over and over again in my travels.
The Falls have already been desecrated. They are not as glorious as they once were, having been cut down and damned up.
Many of you who have lived in the Ottawa region longer than me probably know all this. But I am still just learning about the issues involved. It is a complicated situation and the government is very good at ignoring the Indigenous peoples in spite of the nice words around reconciliation.
The closing of Victoria Island which is a meeting place for peaceful Indigenous protests and sacred ceremonies is also another ploy to shut us down. The Trudeau Government has lost our trust, lied to us and there is little hope that this sacred land will be preserved.
It is heartbreaking yet this is nothing new. Indigenous ways will never be understood as along as greed precedes the desire to preserve the environment. I honour the Warriors who fight for these causes, but there is a huge miscommunication gap between Native people and the Canadian government officials. Native people are "too nice", as Lynn Gehl, one of the Elders stated vehemently at the Panel discussion on Saturday. Being nice never got us anywhere. We were nice when we allowed the Europeans to step foot on Turtle Island. We fed them and taught them how to survive. And they killed us.
From my perspective, it's too late to save the planet. We just have to prepare for the worst. Mother Earth is due for a cleanse and we just happen to have over 7 billion people on her back at this time. Humans are responsible for the pollution and overpopulation, but the Earth changes come in natural cycles. We are just accelerating it by destroying the ozone.
We all know this. I am just reminding us that we need to be ready. How do we do that, you ask?
We need to prepare fro the changes the same way we prepare for death, Live our lives the best we can, with integrity, honour, truth, love and courage.
Make every day count, help one another and follow your destiny, your path, be where you are meant to be, go where you are called. Not everyone is meant to be on the front lines. It is good to know where you belong, whether it is doing your best at work, at home or in the community. Be prepared for crises situations like storms, floods and power outages. Keep in touch with your loved ones.
If we can remember who we truly are, Souls on a sacred journey towards wholeness, and act accordingly, we cannot go wrong. We are born and we die, that is how things work.
You may think me morbid or depressive, but I am neither. Death is part of the sacred cycle of Life and it happens to us all, one way or another. The Earth Changes are a fact and have been prophesied by Indigenous Prophets for centuries. We need not be afraid to discuss these important issues.
*Chaudiere Falls, past and present below*
I woke up this morning with the thought, "I don't want to do this anymore, I don't want to be here".
"Where did that come from?" I wondered. I know I've been tired lately and wishing for a vacation from mundane daily chores. In the past I wanted to leave this planet a few times, but this thought this morning came out of nowhere. After being fully immersed in my Dream Classes with my Teacher and community, I have found a new focus on life, a new vitality and new direction. I have a reason to get up in the morning. So this thought was not expected.
I wondered if I was picking up on Cosmology. We are entering the Dark time of the year and according to our Teachings, we are in the southwest of the Medicine Wheel, heading towards the WEST which is about Surrender and Death. We have to die to our Ego in order to be open to the unknown, to Spirit and the Dreaming.
This month, starting on Wednesday, October 24th, we are in the Moon of Inter-Relations for one month. This Moon is about making room for others in our lives, connecting, reaching out, listening and learning about others' perspectives, letting go of our own beliefs, opinions and judgments. It is a death of our attitudes and behaviours, if only for a brief moment. In doing so, we are opening to something outside ourselves, often something bigger than us.
Inter-relations is not just about people. It can be about our relationship with God/Goddess/Creator, with animals, trees, flowers, even with objects such as our cars, clothes, home, a favourite mug or chair.... It is about seeing something from a different point of view. How does that which is not us view their reality? How does it or they view you? There is a spirit in all things and we can access that reality if we try hard enough.
At our Grandmother Lodge last Sunday, I found myself expressing how the Indigenous perspective is lacking in our Modern world, but how we managed to preserve the wisdom of our sacred ways and are still here, if only in small numbers. Now the Earth and all life on her is suffering because of the missing link on the Wheel of Life. The Red Race are the Keepers of the Earth. We know how to live in harmony and balance with Nature and Spirit. But few are interested anymore.
We are not ones to impose our beliefs on others, but we do ask respect for our ways when you enter our territory. When I do Circles, I invite you into my world and generously share the wisdom and teachings that have been passed on to me from my Teachers, Spirit and the Ancestors.
One of the things I believe in is the right to die with dignity when my time comes. Our Ancestors and Traditionalists today do not fear death. It is seen as a natural part of the circle of Life. I don't want anyone trying to revive me when I am going. So the thought I woke up with this morning was telling me that I need to prepare for the inevitable. I have been procrastinating about writing my Personal Directive and my Will, settling my affairs, being ready.... But it is time to take action.
This fact was confirmed this afternoon when I got a phone call from "Dying with Dignity Canada". They are looking for donations but also volunteers. I agreed to join. I think I have a lot to say on this topic and I want to see this law being honoured. Assisted Suicide is now legal in Canada but there is a long way to go before it is easily accepted and implemented by hospitals and doctors at the right time for the right people.
The upcoming Moon in November is the Moon of Surrender. It takes us deeper into the Southwest of the Wheel, where we find the Nomad. It is about change and asks us to let go of what we know in order to enter the unknown. Death is a slow process and begins the moment we are born. We die a little every day. Whether we want to deny, ignore or resist this fact is a personal choice.
Right now at this time of year as the hours of darkness increase and the veil between worlds thins, death is a theme. With Halloween coming up, TV and movies like to focus on fear, terror and torturous methods of dying. But as someone who faced death in my 30's, I can honestly say that dying can be painful enough without making it into a horror show. Some of the medical treatments to keep us alive can be worse than death itself.
Death is not something to fear or to avoid, as if we could... but we need to talk more about it, we need to prepare ourselves for the end, and it is not just about being old. Death can come to anyone, any time.
Are you ready?
How would you like to die?
Would you like to have assisted suicide if you have a terminal disease?
What is it that you fear about death? Are you afraid of suffering? Do you fear the unknown?
What are your beliefs about the afterlife. These are all good questions to ask ourselves.
I have a private group on Facebook called "We're Not Dead Yet". Although it is only for people age 50+. We talk about issues of aging, illness, health, death and dying, the afterlife and more... and often with humour.
If you are interesting in joining, you can message me on FB.
To learn more about assisted suicide and Canadian laws, click the link below: