In the midst of these dark days as we approach the Winter Solstice, it can be challenging to see the light in others and in ourselves. I believe it is because of the lack of daylight in December (in the Northern Hemisphere) that we have historically celebrated the birth of new life/light. Our ancestors created all manner of ceremonies and rituals to dance the Sun back to them. It does give us a boost of hope and peace, doesn’t it…just believing in the return of the Sun and gathering with family while holding fast to our traditions and rituals.
This month, we are featuring a guest blog post by Carrie Bancroft, former student and frequent guest teacher. In addition to being my marketing shaman, she is also a spirit worker and shamanic healer. The following post is about her favorite spirit holiday, the Day of the Dead.
As within/so without! There is no separation.These words describe in simple form the rather complex truth that we are never energetically separate from other living Beings. We live in an envelope and that envelope is called Weather! Our weather is influenced by the amount of sunlight, the temperature of tidal waters, air temperatures, degree of moisture in the air, speed of the wind, the rotation of the Earth on its axis, and the movement of the Earth around the Sun.
Today’s chilly Maine morning awakens me to the truth that fall is around the corner. With each passing year my impression is that summer is more and more brief. The consequent sorrow about its departure is at the tip of my heart. With aging comes the realization that there are limitations to life in a body and the experience of precious Maine summers is not infinite. For readers who do not live in the immersion that is a Maine summer, imagine that feeling of emptiness and loss following an intimate and joyful visit with a loved one. That is the good-bye feeling of the waning summer in Maine.
Without a doubt you have been flooded with information about the upcoming Solar Eclipse. I am not going to add to the deluge of data. Let us all agree that on August 21st we will collectively be turning our eyes to the sky. As a Shamanic Practitioner and Teacher, I would be remiss not to share some insight or wisdom about this cosmic happening with you. My spirit guides have given me a simple ceremony and instructed me to share it with you! This ceremony brings down the power of the eclipsed sun to heal the pain and suffering of all Beings on Earth at this time. I invite you to listen to this month’s podcast where this ceremony is shared.
Truth has its own resonance. Can you feel the truth when you are in its presence? And do you know it when you hear it? When a dance is danced with deep authenticity—we feel the truth in it. And when a song we have ignored for ages suddenly hits us, moving us to tears, it resonates deeply, something true we need to hear right now.
What seeds are you planting in your life? There is so much power in what we set as intentions each day, each month, each cycle of the Moon, each season and each new year.
When things go wrong we have a tendency to blame others, blame circumstances, blame ourselves, or slip into denial that anything is wrong, bad, unwanted or unpleasant. That is part of being human. But, what if the thing that is going wrong is actually the right thing for you at this time? In shamanism, we call these unwanted life events “initiations.” Is that a cop out or is there some value to seeing unwanted events as an initiation or life lesson from which our immortal soul will grow?
I spent this past weekend teaching a roomful of students about the shamanic beliefs around death and dying. We went very deep into the work and explored the ways in which we might be present and helpful with a person who is actively dying.
I have been musing about “time” since I recently celebrated my 70th birthday. What in the heck is “time” other than some random human creation to control us. People talk about “saving time”, but how do you do that?
I don’t have a savings account for time, do you? As far as I can see, time is in constant motion and impossible to capture and likely cannot be corralled and added to a savings account at your local bank.
Where is the intersection where faith, action, spirituality and hope converge? I ask myself this frequently. Some people called to the work of spiritual leader tend to lean toward believing in “unicorns and rainbows”… everything will be ok if I just say it will be…and “la la la” nothing bad is happening. And then there are those of us who believe that spirituality and action actually converge and create a far greater synergy than wishing and hoping without action.
Greetings all, and happy New Year! I'm starting out the new year with a new feature: a guest blog from one of my esteemed shamanic colleagues and former students, Carrie Bancroft. In addition to being my right-hand woman for all things marketing (this site included), Carrie is a gifted shamanic healer who works extensively in the realm of compassionate depossession and curse unraveling. She and I will be co-teaching two courses in early February on those very topics! So check out the course descriptions, and read on to find out more about this utterly fascinating area of shamanic study and healing.
The darkness surrounds us in multiple ways these days. The Sun is farthest away from the Earth during November and December and at the same time we as citizens of the Earth are being metaphorically dropped to our knees by the inner darkness of humans whose true beliefs are now out in the open for us to see, hear and experience. Blatant racism, xenophobia, Islamaphobia, homophobia and fascist thoughts and words have slowly crept into our everyday lives and threaten to become a new norm. How do we as people of good conscience with loving hearts respond to this new reality?
Weather Spirits and whether they are real…that is the question, right? Here’s my take on this topic. First, of all I find it alarming how often people complain about the weather? It is too wet, too dry, too cold, too hot, too humid, too sunny or too cloudy, or too windy…rarely is it perfect!
The expression “The Earth is our Mother” has become a rather cavalier expression and as such has lost its impact on the vast majority of people, in my opinion. The ecology movement of the 60’s branded these words to gather the attention of those who were marching for peace, living on the land, smoking pot and celebrating life in a body! This movement woke us up to the reality that we inhabit a magnificent and beautiful planet, Earth, and she is a living being…and the movement shook us up enough to see that in fact Earth is not an inanimate object… a sort of travelling trash barrel that is there whenever you need to dump something.
How would you describe your God to a person who has never been introduced to the concept of a God? I don’t mean ‘who is God’ from a theological perspective. What I mean is who is your God…and describe your relationship with God? Do you think your account would be similar to many others’ portrayal of this supernatural being…or do you think it would be unique?
My spirit helpers are never at a loss for topics on which to muse. This month they are rich with visions and thoughts concerning the hungry soul! Being 21st century creatures, we are habitually obsessed about filling our hungry bellies and soothing our hungry hearts. And, what of the hungry soul? What do we make of that?
Have you ever had to row a boat to safety with others...or been part of a group where everyone worked in tandem for a serious and perhaps even life-saving goal? Didn’t it feel good to be together in this way. Momentary experiences of being part of what I call a “tribe” stick with us for a lifetime. Why is that?
God (Spirit) grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
- American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971)
Here in the northeastern U.S. we pray all winter, just like our ancestors, for the return of the Sun and the reawakening of the Earth Beings. But what is prayer, really? Can we as mortal beings influence the Sun to warm the Earth again by praying for it to be so?
Several years ago I had the privilege of studying with Ailo Gaup, a Sami Shaman. He was a simple man who wore jeans and a button down shirt, and yet without pomp and circumstance he carried an aura of astonishing power and clarity. I frequently visit my memory of being awe struck by his peaceful power.
While walking the dogs at a beautiful marshy peninsula recently, I was startled by a loud call that sounded a bit like a scream. My first response was fear; it was an unknown sound to me. Could it be a child drowning in the marsh?
s a society, we Americans have narrowed our definition of “normal”. Everyone has to fit into our normal, and at the same time ever-changing, standard of behavior or bear the inevitability of being labeled.
Have you ever pondered what might have happened in your life had you taken a different path at some critical decision-making moment in your life? There are times when it appears that there is little option when faced with a fork in the road.
As a child, did you have an 'imaginary friend'? Or more than one? What did your parents and caregivers have to say to you about that?
Recently a friend of mine was visiting her daughter's apartment in a big city and after arriving home she learned that her daughter's apartment had just been identified as having bed bugs.
I saw a sign out front of a local shop today that read: "The study of circles is pointless". Although I'm sure it was meant as a pun, it did give me pause to the whole question of studying circles and the fact there are many points to be made in the study of circles.
Rapid-fire information floods our minds. We strive to complete goals and acquire knowledge. We tick off things from our endless lists of things to do. This is life in America at this time.