I recently returned from a vacation in the Mojave Desert with Bob and Susan. While there, I came to more fully appreciate why 'vacationing ourselves' and vacating our usual daily lives can be so important if not essential. I think this is especially true for those of us who want to practice shamanism that is fresh, inspired, and signatured through our various healing ways.
Entering Desert's Lightscape
As we came over the high Tehachapi Pass moving down into the Desert floor, the quality of Light changed dramatically as did the Stone and Plant People. Scanning the wide horizon and noticing the Joshua Trees along the freeway, I felt warmth flowing in my body and the thrill I experience each time I
encounter the Joshua Trees. I sometimes imagine that this first "news of difference" must be analogous to what Desert Dwellers experience when first coming upon the Mountains, Waters, and great Redwoods that are the signatures of this area where I live. If nothing else, vacations afford us this experience of Difference and difference itself calls to and wakes up our sensing abilities.
The first few days of our vacation were spent primarily reading, eating, and sleeping! With deeply rested bodies, we began venturing forth and taking ourselves each day to at least one site for exploration of Desert herself. In addition, we spent some time each day gathering ourselves in Circle seeking to understand Desert's nature, connect with Spirits of this Place, and renew our hearts by aligning with the heart of Drum.
Since returning from this
vacation, I have been working on preparations for the SSP June conference on Self-in-Service - practicing shamanism without borders. My work has been exquisitely infused by gifts from the Mojave Desert especially the call to see the shamanic map of the Desert area and to realize the maps we were using were not the territory.
While drumming this morning, in preparation for writing this newsletter, I found myself immediately in the Desert landscape I had wandered two weeks ago. I want to briefly share the aspects of this Desert that spoke to me this morning.
In the 1990's, Bob and I spent weeks in the Mojave - as well as in the Anza Borrego desert. From that period, I carry with me a quiet that is peculiar to the Desert and a sense of the Power of
the old Stone People and the quality of knowledge that seems held by rock and stones... they seem to remember every event that cast any shadow and footprint on their surfaces.
I also remembered the seemingly wide, open spaces absent buildings and people... spaces where one could wander and be claimed by that special spiritual quality known to humans since we evolved. It is a quality often sought by humans as we seek to reclaim our bodies and spirits that have been so sorely challenged with the noisy, high frenetic energy of metropolitan and urban life. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey, written in 1968, was one of my favorites books thirty ago... Abbey describes and speaks to this aspect of the desert indicating why peoples have sought vision and restoration in desert landscapes.
Palm Desert's Living Zoo - the Caged Ones
The first day of venturing forth into the town of Palm Desert was quite addling for me. Block after block of those stores and eateries that can be found almost anywhere in the US if not abroad in other cities of the world too. Streets were as congested as in San Francisco and for a moment, I wondered just where had we taken ourselves to vacation - "Where are you Desert? Where are you who so nurtured me ten to fifteen years ago?"
We had made a list of the places we wanted to experience and the list was basically in order, it seemed, from the least physically demanding to more challenging wilderness. One of our first places was to the "Living Desert Zoo" there in Palm Desert.
I shall never forget the sight of a Golden
Eagle, wings closed tightly to his side while perched on a rung barely long or wide enough to hold his talons. The enclosure so small there was barely room for stretching broadly and certainly no chance of even flight - if he chose, he could hop around on the cage's bottom. This was the animal nearest the entrance and therefore, the first we encountered.
Shortly thereafter we came upon a Caracal. This is a medium-sized, sandy brown cat, with pointed ears tipped with 2 inch tufts of black hair, a slender body and slim legs, and a long tail. They are solitary but may be seen in pairs. Mainly nocturnal, they climb well and climb trees when pursued. The caracal is an expert jumper, often catching birds by leaping to a height of 10 feet and swatting them out of the air. This is the fastest cat of its size. With its remarkable ears, it almost seemed a combination of cat and bat with ears that located
other beings thru echo sounding. The Caracal was off to the side but observing us closely. Approaching the glass enclosure, I whispered, "You are a most magical Being."
Others approached the cage and then Caracal transformed its mouth, bared its teeth, and hissed quite fiercely... almost as if to say 'I may have only this wee space but I shall guard this ground with my whole being..do not come closer." The Caracal did this hissing two or three times and I felt respectfulness rising up within and stepped away to put distance between Caracal and me. Of course, being caged, neither of us were going to get closer to each other but still, the hissing felt near as my own breath and I was thankful Caracal still maintained that sense of Self... that there was still some space, some place Caracal could announce to the
world "this is for me."
As we continued wandering through the zoo, I would periodically go back to Eagle... it was quite clear Eagle had some message and also some suffering that needed lifting.
I think there were two reasons I was so preoccupied with this Eagle for the rest of our vacation - and why this Eagle appeared frequently to all three of us in our daily Desert Circle times.
For the last ten years, we've had a pair of Golden Eagles nesting in the Redwood on the high hill above our house. The first two years these Eagles came, we had been asked to report their activities to a Birdfeeder's store here in Santa Cruz. The owner was involved in a project of releasing and tracking Birds of Prey --- birds that were released in the Ventana Wilderness area (near Big Sur)
with the hopes they would make their homes in this area resulting, too, in new generations of their species.
We've been blessed to note the appearance of fledglings over the years, observe them learning to fly, and the ongoing presence of this original Couple. We've discovered over these years, that one or both Eagles seem to circle round us when particular 'shamanic' people are visiting us or when there is some shamanic ceremony occurring here.
I have learned not to expect or anticipate them yet to be unbelievably thrilled when they fly down from their nest and circle round. It is not unusual, yet always surprising, when one of them comes swooping down to grab a bunny or a Quail in its talons and then disappear. Somehow the screeching of the rabbit or the shrill of the Quail are now associated for me with the beautiful food cycle
Earth offers her inhabitants. We've had visits from coyote Bobcat, Deer, raccoon skunk, and the tracks of Mountain Lion whom we've not seen yet know is near.
With Spring's arrival, all these creatures seem to appear simultaneously and the acres here just vibrate with the rising-up quality of this season.
I thought about all these animals as I observed these other Beings here in the Living Desert Zoo. On the one hand, such a place can offer people the chance to see, in living form, these animals that otherwise they may not ever see; and the hope is that such experiences might lead to both a greater appreciation of all animals and a commitment to protecting their natural homes. On the other hand, I find it painful to see them in human made enclosures that don't even provide space and natural objects that would give them
opportunity to experience themselves in the wonderful bodies with which they were created.
I tried to imagine what difference it might make if those of us in the shamanic community would go to these places where animals are caged (for the education of the public) and offer them our respectful prayers and compassion. As with humans, suffering can be eased when expressions of loving attention are offered. Obviously this does not remove the reasons for the suffering but comfort is one of those primary affections that can ease pain and suffering.
Corridors of Power in the Mojave
After the Zoo, I was eager to go walking and experience the Living Desert. In one of our shamanic journeys, I was shown how the
mountains and the floor of the desert exist in relationship. I saw particular Corridors of Power within which energies move down from the mountains and then spread throughout the desert plain. Equally important there were upward moving Corridors with which energies flowed from Desert Floor to Mountaintops. In several places these Power Corridors were being blocked and/or redirected from their natural inclinations. A Desert Spirit Teacher informed me that one shamanic activity to do while there was to sing my songs into the Corridors; thus a song in which I acknowledged "Power is flowing from the mountaintop to the Desert floor---Power is flowing from the floor to the mountaintop". When walking in the Desert, I began looking for these moving lines of Power and singing to them.
The first morning's walk soon involved coming across other people, and their dogs, on the trail. I felt the need to move away
from them and sing in places less public... I wanted to give more wholeheartedly with my voice. The presences of others made this more difficult so I went apart.
Returning to the trailhead, I came across two stones that wanted to go with me---and as long as we were in the Mojave, I carried them and listened to them. As I was stooping to pick up one stone, that clearly had the shape of an Eagle, I heard a rustling sound behind me... thinking 'rattlesnake' I quietly peered over my shoulder and realized I was in company with a Road Runner. We looked at one another for a few minutes, then Road Runner quickly disappeared into the brush. I have never seen a RoadRunner so close or so clearly.
I recognized that Road Runner was messaging to me that if I wished to experience the Desert's creatures, then I must walk quietly, with thin ears, and
use my peripheral vision. But not only must I remember to walk in this manner, I must remember the many adaptive ways that beings have learned to live in the desert. Certainly camouflage is one of those and esp. for small prey seeking to be invisible to predators and especially to those flying overhead.
Walking that morning, I could sense, too, why excess water from lawn sprinklers here just seemed so deeply wrong. Many Desert adaptations involve learning to endure harsh conditions and those adaptations involve ways for both retaining water and acquiring water. Avoiding heat and retaining/acquiring water are probably the singular challenges to any animal living in the Desert. These challenges were even evident in our behaviors as we took along plenty of water bottles and avoided afternoon sojourns under the Desert Sun.
would we be living in our community... wherever we are... if we observed and learned from the other animals what are the most successful ways of adapting and living in that environment. Always have our ancestors been reminded: "now learn from the animals and they shall teach you..."
Are we listening? Are we learning? And, if so, what stories can we share among ourselves. Just as they are many different creatures and many different forms of adaptation in specific ecologies, so too do we as people have different adaptations... how might we share so that the human community is truly "part of the neighborhood of Being?"
Gifts from Desert
The images gathered to me from our Desert vacation: caged Eagle, captive & hissing Caracal, Joshua
Trees, Palm Tree canyon, immense stone groupings, Corridors of Power, a Desert medicine wheel, Holocaust memorial, golf courses, green lawns, and water running along pavement in some neighborhoods.
And sounds can remain in our bodies just as do images in our mind. When I was walking the desert and tuning myself to her sounds, there was always this low hum like an electrical grid work. I imagine this to be the collective sound of thousands of insects but I'm not sure. Even now while sitting here, I can quiet my mind and re-member this humming.
Throughout our time there, I was reminded how difficult it is these days to "return" to some previously loved wilderness place and not find it dramatically changed by human habitation... marked often by
shops and eateries... having replaced areas of wilderness. I grow increasingly thankful for the setting aside of National and State park or wilderness areas. On this vacation, however, I realized also how much could be done by setting aside park areas within the city. The communal park in Palm Desert had several ponds with birds and turtles, a Holocaust memorial, and a Desert Medicine Wheel... there was something very satisfying in watching both human and Pond creatures at play - in an area large enough that neither threatened the other's sense of needed space.
Since the wild or semi-wild places have been such a profound source for developing my shamanic consciousness, I worry for future generations who might find wilderness less and less accessible. We really must keep our eye on supporting our limited wilderness. This is the kind of issue that prompts the recognition that applied shamanism
intersects with policy and politics. Unless we can be proactive, we shall always be tending to the traumas that occur when applied policies remove habitations of plants and animals with whom we have been enjoined to live in harmony. How we each address these issues will come from guidance we receive. To ignore them, however, is to support them even if indirectly.
Towards the end of our vacation, I found myself remembering specific places, e.g. Blacktail Ranch in Montana, that afforded me, and others, experiences within wild Nature that transformed us. I have a yearning to return to some of these places... to walk those trails with feet saying "Thank you. Thank you." I hear the wisdom teaching that whatever we bless is amplified in health - I want to walk blessing those places and beings who so blessed me. I have already begun making plans to do just this. I wonder if others of us have such
places - whether near us or at some distance - that have shared of their riches with us - challenged us - transformed us - and, if so, how might we now give our thanks and blessing.
On the road home..
Upon leaving the Desert, I also knew that my experiences there were connected both with my personal life and with shamanic work I would soon be doing. Most important to me, was the realization that some daily spiritual practice needed cultivation. Since we've returned, Bob and I have come together, usually at the beginning of a day, to drum and journey. This circling provides for the rest of the day to be spent in tune with the Heartbeat of Earth and the heartbeat of us as partners on a journey together. Our dog, Shamana, clearly soaks in the heartbeat and the arrival of Spirits. As the drums come out, the candle lit, she climbs up on the couch, watches briefly, sighs
deeply, and takes her own resting in the harmony experienced.
I had not realized how profound an influence this practice might have on us as a couple... I hadn't really thought about 'couples' shamanizing together. We are in a Drum Circle that meets twice a month. I am in another Drum Circle that meets once a month. I presumed that these Circles provided the desired and necessary time for permeating our lives with shamanic consciousness.
The living room in which we meet has large glass doors. Through the glass we look out on our birdfeeders and some of our garden areas. Whether at the beginning, during or the end of our circling, we can see this daily tableau of birds, rabbits, and occasional squirrel in addition to Spring plants now blooming. I can easily feel that I'm simply another one of nature's creations rising up in heartbeat
activity with everyone else living within the Land here. What is different now is that I experience our partnership, as a couple, as another of the living realities here.
A few years ago, I went scouting for books that would address: shamanism and marriage, shamanic practice as a couple, or the spiritual journey of a 'marriage.' Given that partnering is among the oldest of human activities, I just assumed there would be extensive writing on this subject. I was not limiting 'partnering' to a marriage between a man and woman but partnering in the broadest sense. I had hoped to find some wisdom ways that I could use as Bob and I were moving through one of the most challenging times in our relationship --- begun when either one or both of us were dealing with health troubles. I could not find such books or material. That doesn't mean they are not out there... it's just that I couldn't
find them if they existed.
The Medicine Wheel and Covenantal Relationships
My primary paradigm is the Plains Medicine Wheel which can be understood through the lens of the Cycles of the Living World -- whether that be the cycle of seasons, individuals, groups, projects, elements, or relationships. From this perspective "all is a circle - all is a spiraling circle - and there are points of entry and of departure". Yet even though there is understanding that relationships move in cycles and have their own unfolding process, there is no specific addressing of the cycle of a partnership and/or a marriage.
I am using marriage to indicate the relationship founded on the
Covenant between two individuals in which they make Covenant to do their individual life's journey in partnership with one another. After thirty years of marriage, I am so delighted we remain curious about one another, support both our relationship and our individual journeys, and are finding some new activities to do together that strengthen and deepen the manifestation of our Covenant.
One gift from the Desert was bringing this daily ceremony of Circling into our relationship. One key learning for me thus far: by beginning our days in Circle together, I hear, see, and witness the Presence of Spirit in Bob the Man, in Bob my husband. I know that I am heard, seen and witnessed in the same way by Bob my husband. That means both of us begin our days with the recognition that Spirit is the One who holds claim on
each of our lives---our individual relationship with Spirit is the beginning, the middle, and the end of our journeys. This also recognizes a certain private, solitary space of the 'other' in the relationship; we exist side by side yet with soul space all around and between us.
I share about this gift from our time in the Desert because there may be others of you in our extended shamanic community seeking to know how to bring walking with your partner and walking with Spirit into your relationship with your partner. I know for me that finding this new activity for couples had four clear steps:
***Going away together (and that may include other people) so as a couple you are not surrounded, held by, and captive to the usual daily routines, responsibilities, and challenges.
***Wander in the Land where you vacation your Selves
Nature is all about relationship and relationship forms will speak to you both consciously and unconsciously.
***Circle, drum, sing, and journey... after releasing the burdens of the road with which you arrived, there is now space within for new feelings, images, and ideas to arise. And thus rested, there is energy for this spiritual practice. Whatever has been hidden or obscured by our daily lives, can now step forth and be known to us. It is important not to do this until you both are ready and you both feel that restlessness that signals "I am rested... what shall I or we do now?" By making Circle and attuning our heartbeats to Place, we give priority to the truly re-newing explorations.
***Arriving home, agree to some form of coming together daily that will nourish, strengthen, and support you.
Because of commitments made earlier, there have been two or three mornings when we were unable to begin our day in Circle. The second time this occurred, I realized how much I missed beginning day's journey with Bob. I felt ragged around the edges, and my sight seemed crusted with sleep debris! After the third such morning, I made a commitment to go through my calendar and to change, if possible, any morning commitments made before going to the Desert. I would try to reschedule them for late morning or afternoon periods.
We are in our third week of returning and I still feel myself in the
phase or cycle of re-turning our marriage covenant.
I know many good intentions and commitments can wither over time.
I know that every cycle in the medicine wheel requires both intention and attention for prospering of that phase of growth. I also know that those Ancient Stone People of the Mojave held me closely and smeared into my
Place of knowing what is involved in enduring. I have made my requests to the Stone People to support and hold and help me endure my intention and attention to this Covenant of Partnership. I carry one small Mojave Desert Stone that now sits on my altar... when direct support is needed or I start to falter, I can hold this rock and be confident that "the stones, they shall speak"
and will speak of an endurance based on joy. For the very life of our marriage - and the joy of our individual souls - is dependent on Circling together and bringing wisdom from the Other Worlds, is dependent on each of us seeing the other with their Soul space all around and between us while holding hands across that infinite space.
Seeing the Familiar with Different Eyes
Two days after returning from the Desert, I renewed preparations for the SSP Conference in June: Self-in-Service - Shamanism without Borders. As I shared in my February newsletter, this conference is taking place in Santa Cruz. The groundwork that Susan Gilliland and I are doing involves both researching the history of this County and going to Places here that might be potential 'sites of tending' for conference participants.
Until taking these
last two days to write this newsletter, my time has been spent completely on these conference preparations. When I agreed to help develop the program, I had no idea of the work involved or of how this work might change me. I just knew that I needed to spend time learning more about my own homeland for certainly I think of Santa Cruz as Home.
I was born here and my Mother left here, with her five children, two years after my birth. I returned here in 1970 right after my graduate work and my first professional job was at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I was aware, as would be any resident, that Santa Cruz experienced many dramatic events since 1970 including the disastrous 1982 Love Creek mudslides, the 1989 Earthquake, periodic fires and flooding - and this is not to account for three different periods that involved serial murders, rapes, and related violence.
In my mind there are two separate categories of so-called disasters:
**the effects from natural events (e.g. Earth's quaking and floods)
**the effects of violence from and upon humans
Regardless of the disaster's origin, both types have left their residue upon the landscape and within the inhabitants of the county. By inhabitants, I don't just refer to the humans living here but all inhabitants, their dwellings and their food sources.
Early research took us to the local paper's archive within which was an article, by a local historian titled: The 10 Worst disasters in Santa Cruz history. That prompted us to start developing our own list and eventually, to start creating our own Map for this County.
I'm absolutely sure that my experience with the Corridors of Power in the Mojave Desert is what led me to
start seeing or perceiving Song Lines here in Santa Cruz. By searching for the Corridors of Power here, I began understanding the relationship between mountains and plain, mountain and ocean, and below the surface, Corridors of Power that we call Earthquake Fault Lines.
Thus far I've had two perceptual shifts in my consciousness that I would like to share. I share with you for two reasons:
1) wherever we live, we each can do this kind of shamanic tracking in our own communities, in our own Land of Home. Even minimal research can enable us to focus our shamanic renewing, cleansing, and healing ways to Places or inhabitants so needing.
2) the most exciting and challenging aspect of this work has been to realize the need for a Shamanic Map of this area. How might one develop a Shamanic Map for any region of the world and,
perhaps, for the Global World?
The Map is Not the Territory
I've always considered shamanism to be the practice of rendering service. And being able to render service includes both relationship with Tutelary Spirits and education of the mind - using all the materials and wisdom gathered from research, books, the internet, and journeys. It is important to continually become a person of knowledge, a person who seeks knowledge, a Student of Life and Living. Thus if conference participants were going to be able to render service to Places within Santa Cruz, then we needed information necessary for acting with knowledge.
I found myself wondering what each of us might learn about our
communities if we took some time to research whether through old newspapers, the internet, interviews with residents, or books.
If we are in a Circle, how might we take time to study the county in which we live, learn both its human and natural history, go to areas that have somehow been traumatized, and see what we might be called to do in such areas. Shamanism without borders is simply a way to indicate moving beyond our usual borders (including paradigms or thought forms), and learning how we might be of service. Doing this includes, of course, understanding what ethical issues might be involved and respecting them. In areas where an ethics platform has not been developed, then it is our responsibility to create one in alliance with Spirit and the best wisdom from our hearts and minds.
There are many areas where the practice of
some intervention or some technology (e.g.computers and/or medicine) was available BEFORE ethical principles and guidelines were created. This in itself is a challenging dilemma. We would not forestall rendering aid when faced with an obvious emergency because we wanted to go aside and make absolutely sure we knew the ethics involved before acting -- this holds a tricky assumption that ethics can protect us, and the ones receiving shamanic help, if we are doing right and following certain guidelines. And I think there is potential hubris for any one of us to think we could even develop guidelines that would cover all the traumatic and injurious events that might arise within the Land and the Peoples. On the other hand, it is incumbent upon us to make sure that we are continually monitoring the basis for any of our shamanic interventions and pursuing the development of ethical guidelines that address issues arising in this spiritually-based practice.
I am curious, too, as to how a Shamanic Mapping of one's territory might itself indicate some areas for ethical considerations as well as inform us as to how we might be proactive in our work. When driving roads, I notice those places where some type of memorial is present - it represents places where traffic accidents have resulted in one or more deaths. Finding such places in our greater community is analogous to seeing the 'invisible' memorials - energies or spirits present that indicate "This is a place of trauma - or a place where unexpected death has occurred - pause here a while and reflect." We might add: "Pause here a while and see if some service of healing is being asked of you or some teaching seeking to find you."
Another reason for creating new and
different maps: as Susan and I scouted various sites, often the usual maps (including our Garmin navigation systems) resulted in our getting lost. Road names had been changed and/or the directions given to us were not the same as the territory in which we were driving. Sometimes the maps simply did not indicate roads we were experiencing or finding! A previous teacher of mine, Gregory Bateson, used to emphasize that 'the map is not the territory.'
A Shamanic Map would intentionally not be the usual territory and would not give directions for driving to and from places. However, it might be a map indicating shamanic flight patterns! And such a map would indicate song lines, impact lines, as well as including, perhaps, the Spirit, Plant, and Animal Guardians that live in various areas of the territory.
Every distinct ecology or Place
in Nature has such Guardian and Spirit Keepers. I might use such a map for locating the Place of the Great Redwood Spirit or the central Home of the Oak Tree People. Special Beings associated with Rivers might be found at one particular Place (or places) between Mountaintop and Ocean as Santa Cruz is a land where there are clear Corridors of Power flowing from Sky unto Ocean.
These various Spirits and Powers might assist us when working in an area within that ecology that has been impacted through traumatic events. At a minimum, we would be developing a Shamanic Map that would inform us as to the dwelling places of these Beings. That doesn't mean they are 'stuck' there and doesn't imply they do not move around for they are not boundaried in body as are we.
Yet I do think that every Being: whether in material or spirit form, has a
special dwelling place from which they come and go. I've no idea as to how this Shamanic Map shall be represented when I am through, but I know it's a project that gives me great joy because I'm integrating all of my own knowing while finding this invisible map and giving visible form to the territories through my drawing of it. At the conclusion, I hope it can me the kind of guide I encountered in a wee bookstore in Ireland.
That guide informed the traveler as to the Holy Wells of Ireland... and these were more than the Holy Wells one comes upon in many Irish guidebooks... so-called invisible Holy Wells were also listed. A few times while using this guide, we came to places where there was no obvious water yet an acute sense of moisture and water spirits. If you have the interest, this is something I'd also recommend for both individuals and Circles. Just
imagine if everyone decided to study their community, their own Homeland, what might happen! We could see a return to our EarthHome selves and we would not need to think or remember to 'give thanks' because our activities themselves would be the BlessingWay.
Finally, and on a practical matter, I want to alert you to a change in my email address. Responses to this newsletter are forwarded to my new address. However, some of you write me other letters using my old AOL email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please delete that email address from your address book! As of April 15, I will no longer be able to access any email sent there.
***My new address is: email@example.com
Blessings and the Joys of Spring,
Note regarding future workshops:
My 2010 Calendar of Workshops can be founnd at my website. The Calendar is under periodic revision so I invite you to check there late Spring and mid-Summer for any workshops added or changed since January. The website includes other shamanic resources.
**Except for the SSP Annual Conference (June), these workshops are limited in enrollment.
Other than the May Women Healers Retreat, all these workshops are for men and women (referred to as Mixed Group). There has been some confusion about this because for several years I was teaching many Women's Circles and some people presumed my workshops were for Women only. I have always felt it is our working together, men and women, that will lead to a transformed world.
Susan Gilliland and I continue to teach together. In addition to working with Susan and Pirkko, plans are underway to teach another workshop (at an animal shelter) with Dan Jordinelli in Los Angeles in mid-Summer.
If you wish more information or to be on a workshop mailing list, please contact the coordinator
Pirkko Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is also available at my website: www.shamanicvisions.com
Carol's Workshop Calendar for 2010
May 7 - 9
Women Healer's Retreat - Santa Cruz,
CA (Fri - Sunday)
June 3 - 6
Society for Shamanic Practitioners (SSP) Annual Conference "Self in Service: Shamanism without Borders" Soquel/Santa Cruz County, CA - for information & enrollment: www.shamansociety.org
July 18 - 23
Bridging East and West: Bear Roams the World
This is a workshop I will teach with Hideki Hamada (Japan) and Cheryl Ban. The workshop will focus on Shamanism and BearMedicine. This Supreme Wilderness Physician is the Tutelary Spirit for both Western and Eastern shamanic peoples. A more complete description of
this workshop will be posted at the end of April.
July 29 - August 1
Sept. 9 - 12
Spirits of Place and Creation of One's Medicine Bundle.
Mixed Group - Santa Cruz, CA (Thursday - Sunday)
Every shamanic practitioner is advised to create a Medicine Bundle. The primary issues are: what is held within the Bundle; how is the Medicine Bundle used, renewed, and named. Items within a Medicine Bundles are primarily received from Nature and certain Tutelary Spirits within Place. During this weekend we will create our individual Medicine Bundles, empower it, and use it in various healing activities.