We Are the Land

We Are the Land -- John Trudell

Crazy Horse

We Hear what you say
One Earth, one Mother
One does not sell the Earth
The people walk upon
We are the land
How do we sell our Mother ?
How do we sell the stars ?
How do we sell the air ?
Crazy Horse
We hear what you say

Too many people
Standing their ground
Standing the wrong ground
Predators face he possessed a race
Possession a war that doesn’t end
Children of God feed on children of Earth
Days people don’t care for people
These days are the hardest
Material fields, material harvest
decoration on chains that binds
Mirrors gold, the people lose their minds
Crazy Horse
We Hear what you say

One Earth, one Mother
One does not sell the Earth
The people walk upon
We are the land.
Today is now and then
Dream smokes touch the clouds
On a day when death didn’t die
Real world time tricks shadows lie
Red white perception deception 
Predator tries civilising us
But the tribes will not go without return
Genetic light from the other side
A song from the heart our hearts to give
The wild days the glory days live

Crazy Horse
We Hear what you say
One Earth, one Mother
One does not sell the Earth
The people walk upon
We are the land
How do we sell our Mother
How do we sell the stars
How do we sell the air

Crazy Horse
We hear what you say
Crazy Horse
We hear what you say
We are the seventh generation
We are the seventh generation

~John Trudell

We are of Water

Waterflow

We are of water,
and water is of us.

When water is threatened,
all living things are threatened.

What we do to water,
we do to ourselves.

Water is sacred,
a human right.

Water is our unifier
because we are all made of water.

~Ruben Saufkie, Sr. 
Water Clan, Hopi Indian Runners

Be Your Own Big Self

It’s lucky for bumblebees – and for us – that they don’t study engineering. If they did, they’d soon learn that they are unable to fly. If they reason the way humans do, they’d soon give up their youthful, unsteady attempts to learn, dismiss their shaky successes as mistaken folly, and laboriously crawl from flower to flower, brushing off any pollen clinging to their bodies and feet as they go, leaving it lying uselessly on the grass. Soon the flowers, unfertilized, would cease to bloom, and the food the bumblebees need to survive would die out – and the bees soon after.

Oh, it’s likely that they’ll find some other sources of food they’ve overlooked in their ponderous flights: some small blossoms that bloom close to the ground perhaps. Yet the end is certain, both for the bumble bees who ignore their gift, and for the plants that depend on them.  Flight is their gift and their birthright, no matter how little we understand the mechanics. That gift has caused an entire ecology of plants to evolve that are dependent on these great, striped bees, and that will wink out if they don’t use their gift of flight to continue the ancient exchange of food for pollination services.

It is part of the human birthright to see with inner vision that surpasses our self-imposed, ‘scientific’ limits. Science is in it’s infancy: People have been using their inner vision to see beyond limits for eons. Don’t question it. Just do it.

If you’ve never done it before it may take practice. And just like learning to ride a bike, there is a moment when you have to let go and trust. But just as in riding a bike, you’ll quickly learn if you are “making things up” or if you are seeing true.

Practice the way a baby learns. Try. Try again. Repeat. Classes make these things easier because alone we tell ourselves it’s impossible. But it can be done, and you can do it.

Just try. “See” the same way as bumblebees fly.

We Have Come to Be Danced

Red Vine Dancing

Red Vine Dancing

We have come to be danced
not the pretty dance
not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
but the claw our way back into the belly
of the sacred, sensual animal dance
the unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
the holding the precious moment in the palms
of our hands and feet dance

We have come to be danced
not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
but the wring the sadness from our skin dance
the blow the chip off our shoulder dance
the slap the apology from our posture dance

We have come to be danced
not the monkey see, monkey do dance
one, two dance like you
one two three, dance like me dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker
tearing scabs & scars open dance
the rub the rhythm raw against our souls dance

WE have come to be danced
not the nice invisible, self conscious shuffle
but the matted hair flying, voodoo mama
shaman shakin’ ancient bones dance
the strip us from our casings, return our wings
sharpen our claws & tongues dance
the shed dead cells and slip into
the luminous skin of love dance

We have come to be danced
not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
but the meeting of the trinity: the body, breath & beat dance
the shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
the mother may I?
yes you may take 10 giant leaps dance
the Olly Olly Oxen Free Free Free dance
the everyone can come to our heaven dance

We have come to be danced
where the kingdom’s collide
in the cathedral of flesh
to burn back into the light
to unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
to root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced
WE HAVE COME

by Jewel Mathieson

On Shamanism: A Perspective

The word  shamanism was chosen by Mircea Eliade for the title of his groundbreaking book, Shamanism, Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, published in French in 1951, and in English in 1964.  He chose it not because the word (from the Siberian) was commonly accepted, but because it was nearly unknown to his audience in the western world, and lacked the negative western connotations of medicine man/woman, witch, plant doctor, etc.

It was chosen again by Michael Harner for his own groundbreaking book, The Way of the Shaman, in 1980.

Most spiritual traditions pass through a period of intense consolidation and integration, which makes it relatively easy to talk about things like Buddhist, Christian, Islam, Jewish ‘beliefs.’ Shamanic practice is a path of direct revelation with modest reliance on ‘received truth’ to guide our paths. There are no texts that are universally accepted.

Shamanism, (still a vital part of indigenous life-ways in many parts of the world, and drawn directly from Spirit and the Ancestors where that connection has been lost)  is a collection of techniques and attitudes/approaches to Spirit bolstered by some shared agreements.

One central agreement is that personal Spirit Guides and Power Animals are available to to guide us.  Another agreement is that everything is alive, conscious, and can be communicated with. We speak to the two-leggeds and the four-leggeds, the winged ones, the rock tribe and the plant people. We send our prayers and words up to the cloud people, to Father Sun and Mother Moon; we send them down to Mother Earth and the tribes that crawl in and under the earth. And we listen for their responses, their words of wisdom, their advice. We two-leggeds do not see ourselves as above or below the others, but as an integral part of this enchanted world in which we live.

 

(for additional thoughts on shamanism, you may wish to read Nancy’s post here.)

Reflections on Flow

Reflections

Magical Elemental Flow

A potent inner tide flows through you. Each wave  is sparked with the divine energy of Spirit. This sacred tide  flows within your core and throughout every tissue in your body; it flows with the essence of you from womb to grave. Elemental flow is the first rhythmic motion within every developing baby; its gentle waves literally ebb and flow baby’s physical body into form.

Even as an adult, the state of your inner tide has a profound impact on the health and performance of  your entire body. Small restrictions in your flow cause problems such as chronic pain, anxiety, palsy, loss of movement, obsessive thinking, hyperactivity, headaches, earaches, insomnia, depression, learning disabilities and even auto-immune disorders. 

The Dance of Flow

If you could take a microscope and peer into your own body, you would discover your inner flow. Every cell in your body is constantly flowing and vibrating. At the atomic level, you are actually made from billions of tiny particles dancing and oscillating in space. 

Each type of atom in your body, from hydrogen to iodine has a signature vibration. This means that each type of tissue within you has its own unique vibrational pattern: lung tissue vibrates in a distinct way. And the vibrational dance of liver is also unique. Bone vibration is different from nerve or brain vibration. And blood and lymph each create a unique dance of their own. Each tissue has its own dance.

“Energy moves in waves. Waves move in patterns. Patterns move in rhythms. 
A human being is just that: energy, waves, patterns, rhythms. 
Nothing more.  Nothing less.  A dance” 
~Gabrielle Roth ”

When your body is hurt, diseased or traumatized, its vibrational dance shifts into an out of balance, distressed state. And the same thing happens in an unhealthy mind, or a grieving heart. Balanced elemental flow is absolutely essential for a healthy, joyful body and mind.

Elements of Flow

“Be humble, for you are made of earth.
Be noble, for you are made of stars.”
~Serbian proverb 

What are you made of? Your body is formed out of elemental earth, air, fire and water. About 70% of you is actually water. But there are also earthy, solid parts of you; your bones are created from minerals like calcium and phosphorous. Your muscles contain potassium, calcium and nitrogen rich proteins. Elemental air provides the fuel that your body requires; your lungs pull in oxygen with every breath. Within you brain and spine, nerves fire to  stimulate the movement of your muscles and the passing of your thoughts. Spirit flows and dances with earth, air, fire and water – and somehow your amazing physical body is magically created.

 Soul Flow

Beyond the physical structures and fluids of the human body lies the mystery of Akasha or Spirit; the magical emptiness. Within us and all around us lies the formless Space where the energy of love flows unbound and unstructured. The potency of every possibility waits for us within this magical Space; creativity and healing flow from this place.

There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Solitary. Unchanging.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao. 

It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.   

~Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

☾ ☽

The Shamanic World

Ponderosa Guide

Ponderosa Guide

Shamanism is the oldest spiritual practice on Earth. It has existed since the beginnings of our human tribe. Ancient cave paintings in Australia, the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa depict Shaman performing rituals tens of thousands of years ago.  “Shaman” is a Siberian word that means “one who sees in the dark”.  

Throughout history there have been many different types of Shaman and practices vary from tribe to tribe. But the hallmark of every Shaman, both ancient and modern, is the ability to intuitively “see in the dark” and travel beyond this physical plane into non-ordinary reality. The Australian aborigines call non-ordinary reality the Dreamtime. The Celtic tribes of Britain referred to it as the Other World. And modern Shaman continue to use ancient methods to enter a deep meditative or trance state and see in the dark, beyond this reality.

Maintaining Balance

Shaman believed in the “web of life” long before modern theories of ecology were formulated; I consider Shaman to be the first environmentalists.  From a Shamanic viewpoint, everything is alive and has a spirit; grass, pine tree, fox, flower, stone and river are all infused and flowing with spiritual essence and consciousness. To the Shaman, Mother Earth is a pulsing, flowing living system where humans are completely interwoven and interdependent with every other form of life. All of life is interconnected; any belief that humans are separate from other life forms is an illusion, according to Shaman.

One of the Shaman’s primary roles in the community was (and is) to maintain balance between the members of the tribe and all other forms of life on Earth. In indigenous cultures, Shaman performed many sacred ceremonies and spiritual rituals for the tribe in order to maintain balance; e.g. blessing every hunting expedition, divining where the tribe should settle or when to plant crops, welcoming newborn babies into the tribe, and helping the dying make their transition to spirit gracefully.

Shamanic Healing

Shamanism is also the oldest form of healing on this planet. Long before antibiotics, surgeries and heart stents, Shamanic healers journeyed into non-ordinary reality to learn about the nature of illness and help their tribe heal. And today, modern Shamanic practitioners such as myself continue to journey, seeking guidance and help with the healing of many different kinds of physical, emotional and spiritual wounds.

Shaman are said to see with their hearts, rather than logical minds. And Shamanic healing practices have a deep spiritual and emotional focus. Psychopomp, spiritual intrusion, soul retrieval, energy extraction, depossession… there are many Shamanic healing practices with odd and intimidating names. These ancient healing practices are designed to help you:

  • locate and release energies from your body-mind-spirit that do not belong there
  • regain power and other energies that are lost or stuck in your past
  • locate and unlock aspects of your Soul or True Self that are frozen or “lost”

Shamanic healing is very effective for understanding and healing painful or traumatic experiences. And because of the Shaman’s focus on balancing the entire web of life, Shamanic healing practices tend to be innately holistic,  integrating all aspects of body, mind, heart and spirit into the healing process.

The Journey Process

A Shaman journeys in trance state in order to perform ‘divination’ and gather spiritual information about your illness and its cause. The shaman acts as a “hollow bone”, becoming a channel for healing energies and spiritual wisdom. You may travel to non-ordinary reality with the Shaman, or they may go alone. During the journey, spirit allies help the Shaman to uncover the cause of the illness. The spiritual helpers may also assist the Shaman in performing any process required for healing during the journey. The Shaman may merge with a helping spirit and/or elemental energies in order to help you heal. 

When Shaman travel into Dreamtime in search of healing, they seek guidance from allies and guides in spiritual form; e.g. angels, ancestors, departed teachers – Shaman call on all sources of wisdom. And the answers may be found in non-human forms as well;  a power animal or totem, a wise old tree, a flower, a gem stone or even a place of power on Mother Earth may hold wisdom that is the key to healing. In the Shamanic world, healing wisdom is found in all forms of life. 

Everything is Connected
Separation is an Illusion
All is One

☾ ✧ ☽

A Guide instead of a Guru…

The age of the guru is over. There is something new in the air, something containing the mixed flavors of Learning, Being, Sharing and Wisdom.

Once learning was the province of children and Masters. That power and logical imbalance continued even when the learners were as often adults as children, but now there is a distinct whiff of something new, something that requires us to set ego aside and move forward together.

When you learn in the company of adults there are experts, but no masters. We accept that each of us has talents and experiences that carry us in different directions, and that we are entitled to respect in our own fields. We cede our authority to the resident expert and offer respect, but not fealty. We do not expect to bury our own experiences or rational and intuitive capabilities, though we may agree to set them aside for a short period while we learn the new language, the new nomenclature of the area we have chosen to explore.

This is an exciting way to learn! With a guide instead of a guru, we race ahead much faster and go more deeply. We free all of our joyousness and let it propel us forward, instead of letting ourselves become mired in hierarchy.

As in all times of change, different models will dominate in different areas and among different populations, but the time is ripe for spiritual learning to fully commit to this path.

Return of Mermaid Girl


Mermaid Girl

Our dreams can help us heal by reconnecting us with aspects of ourselves that we have suppressed, or lost touch with. Below, I share a dream flow experience that was deeply healing for me personally. In traditional Shamanic terms, this is called a soul retrieval journey:

Dream Flow Journey

I lie in my bath, and I daydream about the power of trees in dream journeys. Suddenly, I can see my favorite tree from childhood – the one where I spent hours perched on a branch reading Nancy Drew and King Arthur stories.

In my mind, I go back to that tree on the edge of the cow pasture; I can feel the rough bark and the curve of the branch under me. I imagine myself shrinking and climbing down its roots into the earth. I spiral down the main root in my mind – seeing the dark rich soil. I go further and further down until I find myself in a huge cavern with a slow moving underground river Flowing by.

I know I have traveled this route before – it all looks so familiar. I jump into the water. I wonder about a guide and imagine dolphins – no manatees swimming with me, guiding me. we swim downstream through a series of 3 pools, each a different color.

In the last pool, I see my 7 year old self sitting on the beach with our old dachshund under her arm. I get out of the water crying, I am so happy to see her – she is mermaid girl – the part of me that KNEW she was destined to grow gills and swim away. And so she did.

I ask her to come back with me, telling her how much my life has changed. She is reluctant at first to return to this reality. She didn’t like this place much! We finally agree that she will come back and be my treasure hunter part; she will hunt for stories that I can use in my writing and in my classes. It is the perfect job for her – she adores books; myths and stories especially.

Mermaid girl and I merge energetically. I am ecstatic. I jump back in the water and swim with the manatees up through the pools to the cavern. I climb up the tree roots and fly home on eagle.