Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Visualization Practice

I love to look at this picture. It is high summer here, and I can smell the roses and hear the bees buzzing amongst the flowers. It is a view from Milner Gardens...the house is behind me. Wouldn't this view be amazing to wake up to every morning?

Can you hear the birdsong? The cry of Eagle, as he circles above, searching for food for his young who are snug in a nest high atop a tree in the Milner Forest, reminds me to keep my spirit healthy and alive.

The smell of the Ocean, far below, is sharp and crisp, this day. Sometimes the smell of the water can be heavy, but with the brisk Wind that's blowing, it smells fresh and briny. I can see myself standing at the fence, holding my head back, and letting Wind blow fresh thoughts and ideas into my mind.

Or, perhaps, this is a very warm day, with not a breath of Wind. I want to sink into the soft cool grass, and let Sun do his healing work. On very warm days, my body doesn't ache, and I can transport myself back to summer, if I want.

I've found photos to be an amazing source of inspiration for meditations. And the picture of Milner Garden's viewpoint of the Ocean is one of my favourites. There is such peace here!

With pictures, I can have a fierce Wind, no Wind, a little breeze...it gives me practice in changing my viewpoint. Try it...what can you see and hear? And how do you feel? I'd love to hear about your experiences looking at the Ocean in this picture.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Finding my guides

Finding my guides, when I first started studying with Shaman Elder Maggie, was an exercise on learning patience. I have always talked to the ones who walk with me, but I did not know they could be my guides. I wasn’t thinking, obviously. I’m one of those people who just accepts the world may be a little different for me, and if others didn’t believe…I’d shrug my shoulders. Wasn’t any hill of beans to me.

And once I accepted the fact that having a guided life wasn’t anything new to me( I was already very proficient in asking my guides for aid) it was like the Tower in my Tarot deck…a complete collapse of old thoughts and patterns…a complete change in my life. Suddenly, events, people, places and things were sooo much easier. I asked my guides for help with everything; from showering to help with finances. And my life became better and better. It took a couple of weeks of intense concentration and awareness of the messages which were being sent to me for this new way to incorporate itself into every hour of my daily life.

But I had only a small inkling of who my allies and totems were. So I asked for help from my guides, and I became super aware of my surroundings. They directed me to Spider, who leaves her webbings strung like Christmas lights everywhere in my early morning home. Spider is the creator…the one who spins her silken webs with such surety, inspiration, and patience, making her the weaver of illusion. Grandmother Spider is the animal spirit that I will ask to help me in my journey. It is a good thing I have woken to her call…three times she bit my neck last week. These were not teensy bites, either, but it took me awhile to grasp her message. Spider will help me have a completely new perspective on my beliefs, and my reality. She will give me a clearer understanding on where my niche in life lies. She will centre and ground me in my journey. She’s the dream weaver, after all.

Spider owns the magickal energy of creation, uses assertiveness with her creative force, and uses spiral energy – the links with the past and future. Spider makes a formidable ally, because she also has the guardianship of the ancient languages formed by the geometric patterns found within her web. With these attributes, Spider is considered the teacher of language and the magic of writing. I am trying to “weave magic with the written word” as Ted Andrews in Animal Speak so eloquently puts it, and according to him, I probably have a spider totem.

And, just this morning, as I was trimming back the lavender, I heard the Canada Geese honking and shouting their joy with the day. I turned and looked up…two groups were flying towards me in formation. As I watched, they dipped lower until I could see their tucked up feet, and their round, full bodies, with wings spread wide, as if embracing me. I heard them say, “Happy Journeying,” and I burst into laughter, as I waved and shouted back, “Happy Journey to you, too!”

I felt such a rush of joy when I saw them. It moved me to tears. And I knew then they were sending me a message too. Grandmother Goose tells me it is possible to be well grounded, and still fly to the spirit worlds. She tells me I will have adventures in multiple awareness and imagination, that I have a gift for story telling, and that when I journey, I will have a safe return. Grandmother Goose sent me the questing call, when she flew so low over my head. I will ask her, also, in my dream, if she will walk with me awhile.

My guides have already introduced Grandfather Tree, Grandfather Rock, and Grandmother Parsley to me. But I must ask a couple more spirits. A plant Spirit I take wherever I go is Rosemary. She embodies the spirit of my deceased daughter. The scent of Rosemary…an herb for fidelity and remembrance…brings my daughter’s face instantly to mind. If she agrees, I will take Grandmother Rosemary with me.

And a sea spirit! For many years, I was showered with turtles from friends and relatives on my birthday. I have them still…they are now dotted all over my garden, mostly hidden in the greenery surrounding the pool. Extremely lifelike, they have surprised the odd visitor who catches a glimpse of them.

Turtles are Navigators. Turtle will help me find the shore where I seek to land. He will help me hold my vision, strong and true, in my mind, thereby helping me reach my goal. Turtle carries an immense amount of wisdom…he has lived on earth, unchanged, for 200 million years. And has watched as thousands of other species have come and gone, giving him the knowledge that nothing lasts forever…that the only real death in life is stagnation.

Turtle, if he agrees to join my group of guides, will teach me patience, and will ground me. I live in my intuitive and emotional bodies most of the time, and turtle can teach me to work with rationality in my dreams and visions. Turtle knows how exposed and vulnerable I can feel, and how I can keep to myself, drawing my hard, exterior shell completely around me. He will show me that I am created from parts that I like, and parts I don’t like…together, they make me whole…and I will learn to work with the undesirable parts…to channel them constructively.

Awareness. Turtle is very aware of what is happening around him. He knows that by moving slowly and calmly, he will allow the doors of intuition to open. Turtle’s imagination is boundless…and he will show me that along with daydreaming, I will see new possibilities and the easiest way to reach them. He is very aware of boundaries…if Turtle appears threatened, he will pull into his shell, where he will take time to watch, wait and scout out the situation before re-appearing. He will pull me back when I rush into situations that may not be all they are cracked up to be, and will calm my anxiety when I have to be patient and wait.

When I think about the above, I am filled with a warm rush of joy…some people call it love. These animals and plants feel right for me now, at this time. They will change…other allies and totems may show up here and there, feeding their bits of knowledge to me as we pass by. My awareness of these events grows stronger daily, and my acceptance of their knowledge and wisdom is boundless.

Finding guides, allies and totems will be different for everybody. The Net is filled with sites where information on how to do this is free, just a click of the mouse away. And then the rest is practice, practice and more practice.

And suddenly, the world is a far brighter place.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Recognizing Messages From Beyond

Quite often, when people die, the life they leave behind has some unfinished business. And before they leave on their new path, sometimes those souls will hang around until things are to their satisfaction. In this case, people who are close to the deceased can often sense or see the loved one.

Dreams play a large part in my ability to walk with a departed soul. I have read or studied somewhere that appearances in any way other than dreams by the soul takes an enormous amount of energy. That is, moving an object, ringing the telephone, making sounds or appearing physically takes more energy than appearing in dreams.

So, especially when a loved one dies who is close to me, I can sometimes sense the time of death. At times, I will feel a sharp pain in my skull...always a harbinger of someone's death for me. In my Dad's case, he died suddenly...but it took a very short time after his death for me to be in touch with his soul intuitively, hearing his footsteps, experiencing an upgrade in synchronistic happenings. Now he has shifted his attention, in large part, to my mother...but he has started appearing regularly in my dreams. He gives me his messages...they vary...but his appearance is growing younger and younger.

There were many months of appearances by my daughter when she died. It took an incredible amount of intent for her to keep appearing for as long as she did...and about two years ago, she told me, with tears streaming down her face, that she would only appear once in a while to me. And that is when I was able to let her go...when I knew she was in pain, torn between two very different paths.

I have practiced walking with a departed soul for the very first part of his new journey for a long time, and I am aware of the messages that are sent. But very often, a new way to send a message appears...spirits are intensely creative. One close spirit banged on my daughter's ceiling for hours one night...neighbours heard and complained. But there was nothing to be seen, although we both knew who it was. The phone rang constantly after my daughter died suddenly; but nobody was there...just far off noises.

When the soul returns after death, I am always engulfed by memories and pain. That is the sense I draw on to know the soul is near; and I do everything in my power to reassure the soul that pain alone does not consume me anymore. And that they are free of any unfinished business with me, free to follow their own path without holding any negative, lingering ties to the past.

And then sometimes, I will walk with them for awhile, using the tools I've been given in both Shamanism and Reiki, to comfort and lend support.

But in my Dad's case, he has things to attend to, still. He will only go when he deems it is time to do so, and no daughter of his will ever tell him different. I have found the characteristics a soul departs with don't change just because they have left the physical plane. There is a progression towards where the soul evolves, but it is not immediate.

So Dad is still as stubborn and opinionated as he was when he was alive, just about three weeks ago. He will appreciate my help when he needs it, and not when I think he does.

Ever thus.

Re: Thoughts on my Dad

I am still learning to blog...and most of the time things go awry. Shaman Elder Maggie Wahl's link didn't come through correctly...here it is...http://Come Walk With a Shaman.com. She's great, and has provided lots of free info on her site.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Thoughts on my Dad

My Dad died last Tuesday of a massive heart attack at the age of 77. His death was unexpected; my mother is 84, and he was her primary caregiver for the last twelve or so years. Mom is not mobile, and so now, care workers will stay longer with her, trying to fill the huge hole my Dad left in Mom's life.

I remember my Dad best through the golden haze of childhood memories. He was younger, then, of course, and now that is how he appears to me. It was not long after his death...a matter of hours...before I could sense him. He gave me advice...he wanted me to remain clear headed and balanced. And he wanted Mom to be safe. He wanted her daughters to work together.

Our family is fractured, but I felt, at a time like this, we could put aside our differences and work together. Not so. The negative bodies had attached themselves strongly, and were in a feeding frenzy. It was the first time I actually saw the negativity...I have always had the ability to sense it...and I was humbled and in absolute awe as to how quickly my words were banished by the black amorphous cloud of energy that swept over the room. And in the blink of an eye, my concentration and intent wavered. It was enough to let chaos reign once more.

My teacher, Shaman Maggie (http://Come) tells me I am not the only one that will have to bring the family together. My Dad now has many more abilities than when he was alive, and can orchestrate the meeting of the minds in my family with or without my help. And so it will be.

But Dad continues to appear. It is unusual, at least for me, to see the soul who has passed so often. I can usually walk awhile with a passed soul, offering reassurance and comfort and gentle persuasion to go further on their new path, but my Dad will not go. He was bull headed and very convinced he was right when he was alive. And now, he very much wants peace in the family. I believe he will manage it, too.

As much as he appears to me, in dreams and in meditations, I miss his physical presence. He always seemed so solid to me. Born in Germany, he played the Teutonic male all his life...even after immigrating in 1951, a long time ago, he never lost his accent. And that accent punctuated his personality, strengthened his words, even if he didn't mean them to.

He never liked any of my boyfriends, or husbands, for that matter. Once, when I was very young, I brought a boy of German descent home...it was one of the few times I heard words against his countrymen. And I knew then there would never be any pleasing him with regards to the males in my life.

Dad made me a swing in the backyard. There were two very tall shaved logs, set in concrete deep in the earth, and another for the crosspiece at the top. Two thick long ropes were attached to a plank. And there were the logs that strengthened the vertical posts. It still is the best swing I have ever had the pleasure to use. There will never be another exhilarating moment quite like the ones I used to have pumping so hard, and reaching for the sky with my toes. Because the ropes were so long, it felt sometimes as if I were swinging high enough to go right over the top. But my Dad assured me it couldn't do that...and it never did.

There are so many stories...I am still hearing about the things Dad used to do; or more often than not, things that he wouldn't do...he never minced words. He never knew I had become one of Shaman Maggie's apprentices, but he does now. That is how he discovered he could still contact me. And, true to form, he expects me to listen...and finally, finally, now I will.

I miss my Dad.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Spiritual Travellers

We had old friends of Gray's visit us this weekend...I only just met them a couple of years ago, but Gray has known them forever. I find when friends come to visit, one of the first comments is how this house feels so complete and peaceful...from the mouths of all of us old hippies...it's got good vibes.

And amongst the million things we talked about, is how during the seventies we were into Castenada, yoga, herbs and meditations, and practicing spirituality really hard. Then the children came along, and we all, with few exceptions, got caught up in different rhythms of life. I suppose we sometimes remembered how we used to approach each day, as we worked and brought up children, but it was vague and hazy. And then the old joke...if you remembered the sixties and seventies, you weren't there...would rear up. You'd giggle a little, feel nostalgic for what you remembered was the best time in your life, mourn a little for a different cadence that once surrounded us, and move on.

But we all remember those times, and learned our lessons well. What we practiced so many years ago is coming back to the forefront of our memories. We have the time now, our children mostly grown, and we remember spiritual journeys taken wayyyyyy back then. I love it when I revisit a place, a retreat within myself, where I drew comfort in my early adulthood. The good energy I drew on never dissipated. I had just forgotten it was so easily accessed. It is wonderful to remember that little nugget, and to re-experience it.

And so I have become a spiritual traveller, revisiting those old, almost forgotten ways of youthful idealism. The difference is that I have learned a measure of wisdom I didn't have in the seventies. Applying that wisdom to youthful ideals gives me a broader, much more experienced vision of life's lessons, but the background of the sixties and seventies produced a fertile field on which to grow.

It seems, too, that in the second half of my life, I am finding those people who have the same outlook and beliefs I have. The majority of Gray's friends are mountain climbers...people who faced very extreme conditions many times in their climbs. This experience had an impact on their youthful spirituality, an impact which would continue throughout their lives. It's fascinating to hear the climbing stories. These climbers, experienced as they were, were no strangers to fear. But they faced it over and over.

The more I hear those hair-raising stories, the more I realize that when they climbed, they felt alive, attuned to all the different nuances of nature. They were aware. Their intent was to reach the summit, of whichever mountain it happened to be. Their knowledge of the mountain gave them power and strength. And they had to be, by necessity, the best they could be on the face of those mountains. Other people's lives depended on it.

A difficult path, mountain climbing. And so is life, whether it's the tiniest seed that grows to a huge sunflower or the infant that learns to face his fear over and over as he grows to maturity and beyond.

I went backwards in time a little, this weekend. It's good to remember that I once practiced a new and different way for the times. It makes it so much easier this time around.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Totem Animal.

My totem animal, the one that stays through thick and thin, who is always with me, is the Bear. I haven't seen him in the wild for some time; but he appears to me in other ways...we might rent a movie about a bear, or I read something on bears, or I have a dream about him.

When I was a baby, I had a wonderful stuffed bear that I lost when we immigrated. He was my confidant and my comfort. I was very young when he stayed behind (he was a very big bear, and would have required more stamina than my family had to carry him onto the ship and across Canada) but I never forgot that bear.

Grandfather Bear hasn't appeared to me in the flesh for awhile. I used to live in the country, and there were few summers when I didn't catch a glimpse of him...when the salmon were running in the creek, he was a fairly reliable presence. But I live in the middle of town now, and it would be very unusual if he were to turn up in my backyard! So now I have to work a little harder to have a conversation with him.

For a time, every gift for Christmas or my birthday was bear orientated. I have plaques, dishes, sweaters and pyjamas, charms and pictures of Grandfather Bear. Totem animals are representations of yourself, and bear fits me very well. Bear's medicine gives me the power of introspection...helps me to quiet my mind, enter the stillness within, and gives me the ability to find inner answers. Bear encourages me to discover my natural healing gifts, and gives me the courage to walk a different road.

I am a quiet, thoughtful, meditative person. Sometimes, after a busy day, I can easily see why Bear hibernates in the winter. I seek the cosiness of my warm bed, where I can rejuvenate, just as bear seeks his cave. I try and find the answers to my questions by going deep within, and I feel comfort when I know Bear walks by my side. He is big and wise, warm and soft...and can be very ferocious. Exactly who I need when I venture on a journey...with Bear as my totem animal, there are few beings who will easily threaten me. Even though he is near-sighted, just as I am, Bear is extremely aware, highly sensitive to his surroundings, and I hope that ability is something Grandfather Bear can teach me.

Grandfather Bear is my life totem. I have many other animals that I can call on for wisdom and teachings, and which will change through the course of my life, but Bear is stable and continuous. He represents my basic self, my personality, my spirit. I trust him to bring me safely back from the Inner Worlds. I trust his strength and his awareness, his gifts of being able to survive in severe conditions.

Grandfather Bear is as constant to me as the sunrise depicted in the photo above. He has much to teach, and he shows me a new day and a different way of being. Even when I lose my way in life, I have only to call on him, and he will show me the way.

Friday, November 04, 2005


The photos placed on this blog are pictures of some of my favourite places, plants and people...and don't necessarily have anything to do with what I've written about.

I mention this in case people think the Primulas are Parsley. Or that Sage grows by this pond. Or that the house is mine...in my dreams, it is.

And this blog is all about dreams...

Pretty Parsley...a Plant Ally

I stood on the deck this morning and surveyed my garden. After a thorough watering last night, every leaf on every plant stood at attention, radiating health and abundance. I wondered which plant I should pick to write about, as they are, each and every one, important to me in some way. But I remembered my lesson from Rock. Which plant in my garden was as plentiful as the rock bodies that delineated my garden beds? And by a large margin, that plant would have to be Parsley.
Parsley entered my life at an early stage…my mother did not have enough chamomile to make a poultice for my earache when I was three, so she added Parsley. The scent that I remember wafting from the warm poultice still comforts me, although I realize it was an unorthodox use for Parsley. And still, for me, no meal is complete without Parsley added to it…her green herbal perfume calls to me as much as bacon, or frying onions calls to others…she stimulates my appetite.
Years ago, it was understood that only witches could grow Parsley. Her seed was reputed to go to the devil nine times and back before it would sprout, people said…it took a long time. For me, it sprouts everywhere. I don’t remember planting it, and yet I must have, since there were no plants in the garden when we moved here. However Parsley arrived, she makes herself welcome wherever she grows. She situated herself right beside the rose garden. In my research, I find that planting Parsley beside roses stimulates the health and scent of the rose. Parsley already knew that, of course, and where I used to grow tomatoes, beside the roses, she has taken over the whole bed. I couldn’t bear to tear Parsley out, and so she stayed, growing lushly beautiful, seeding now to continue her ownership of the bed.
There are many properties for Parsley, including protection and purification. Parsley is a diuretic and promotes lust (although I’m not sure if those two properties occur at the same time). The Romans believed wearing or nibbling on parsley sprigs would enable them to drink more wine, and not become inebriated. Raw Parsley cleanses the blood, dissolves sticky deposits in veins, maintains your blood vessels’ elasticity, facilitates removal of kidney and gallstones, treats deafness (and ear infections! My mother knew the old ways!). Chewing parsley relieves bad breath, and helps the digestion.
Parsley is full of nutrients, becoming one of nature’s preventative medicines. It is high in Vitamin B, potassium, and has high iron, chlorophyll, calcium, and phosphorus. It reduces the release of histamines. A powerful Herb!
As I stood and gazed at the myriad pockets of Parsley in my garden, I ran over what I had learned of her in my mind. I decided to pick flat leaf parsley as my Plant Helper, but it did not have the sheer energy and bounce of the curly Parsley. And I couldn’t see the being inside the specimen of flat leaf Italian parsley. I chose the brash, strongly scented curly Parsley instead. And in her, I felt the power she was known for.
I asked Parsley’s permission, and picked a bundle from amongst the umbels of seed and leaves. As soon as I picked from her, the familiar strong green scent enveloped me and a voice told me to sit under Tree, where I do most of my dreaming. When I am told to sit there, it is a force like no other…it is almost as if hands are propelling and pushing me until I sit down. There is no way to resist the force, and after attempting to resist once, I always sit. The only time I did resist, Tree never left me in peace…sitting there was all I could think about doing.
Thus I knew Parsley had something to tell me. I settled myself, and eventually found myself in a leafy green forest. Large green bugs flew and buzzed around me. The trunks of the trees were striped in burgundy and green. A golden light, tinged with green, shone all around. Above me were the familiar seed heads, dropping large seeds here and there on the forest floor. The air was cool and crisp, like a cold, fresh iceberg lettuce leaf…refreshing and reviving. I instantly realized I was in Parsley’s home place.
I walked between the tree trunks, marveling at how large they and the bugs all around me were, as compared to their true size on the mundane level. The bugs paid me no mind…they were busy with their own agenda. They seemed stolid and bumbling, intent on their work, which seemed to consist of alighting upon a leaf and picking it over, and then flying to another leaf, where the same exercise prevailed. I walked on, looking for the being that resided here.
I had a vague sense of a tall, turreted building, and then, suddenly, she was beside me. She was androgynous in looks, wearing a gossamer shirt over flaring white pants. Her face was not human at all. Her headpiece, all in silver, covered her hair. Her eyes were large, luminous and black. I do not recall a mouth, or ears. Her arms and legs were long and lithe, with three tapering fingers on each hand. She moved quickly, as quickly as the hummingbirds that loved to taste her blossoms in my garden. She was the parsley Deva.
The pale golden light engulfed Parsley, and followed her as she flitted about, telling me about herself. She has memories, she said, of a time long ago, when no household kitchen ever considered itself complete without her. Her memories reach far back in time, to a time when animals roamed the earth, and the golden sun filtered down and covered all who lived. She will lend me her memories, if I ask her for them. There are many that will be of benefit to me, Parsley said. She said she will lend me protection, as she has done for the roses in the garden, and has done for humankind for eons, if I wanted it.
All the while she told me these things, she moved…gracefully, looking airborne. She reminded me of Peter Pan, only dressed all in white. I felt comfort in her presence, and love of a different sort…a cooler love than what I’m used to…surrounded me. Her eyes, unblinking and luminous, conveyed her thoughts to me, and I realized I was to say something, although I had no idea what. Stumbling over my words, I thanked her for living in my yard, and asked for protection and knowledge of her memories to help me further on my path. She nodded, and disappeared.
I found myself back in my chair, under Tree. Blinking, I stared at the corrugated bark of our Tree, startled to be looking at the brown trunk, and not the wondrous spring green I had so recently been surrounded by. I looked at my yard, and the whole yard had a grey cast overshadowing it, as compared to the world Parsley lived in. No wonder Parsley fills me with wonder…her green beauty is one of the first plants to greet the new Spring season, and she lives throughout her life as green as she was when she first popped up from the soil. Her green strikes my heart the same way a certain pink…the colour of a New Dawn rose…does, and those two colours correspond with the heart chakra. Those two colours mean home, love and peace to me.
But it seemed very strange, when I returned from dreaming. This is the first time the colours surrounding me in the mundane world seemed to lose their brightness when I returned from a dream. It concerned me for a moment, before everything slowly regained its luster, and lost the dull, grey shadow hovering over my garden. It still worries me a little. It was as if I was looking at a photo that was over developed. And it took a few minutes for the light to return to my garden, although I felt no fear…a little anxiety, maybe. More a feeling of “let’s wait and see what happens” and when it changed again, I thought to ask you for help with this one.
This visit with Parsley took up most of my day. I cannot imagine how much time Shaman herbologists have to spend with the plant spirits in order to know them as well as they do and as many as they know. There are plants in my yard that I could shake hands with…the connection and knowledge of each other is that strong. Sometimes there will be instant knowledge, and I will just “know” what a plant requires from me, but this is the first time I saw a Deva. It is the first time I spoke with one. Her lessons will have to be mulled over and dreamed about…I am happy about the protection she offers me. I am happy that such a joyful, loving plant decided to take up residence right by my back door, amongst the roses and just outside the kitchen, reminding me of the heart chakra’s purpose each and every time I go outside.
This was one of my favourite lessons. I could do it over and over, each time with a different plant. It was extremely interesting, and what Parsley taught me has little to do with vitamins and the make-up of the plant. She is teaching me that she and I are one, and that her memories are mine, if I will only take them. Parsley is teaching me a little more about the Universe.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

White Sage and New Window Shades

New window shades were delivered today. These were not my first choice, and it took me awhile to warm up to them. I think a lot of my negative thoughts about them were because they were new, so I decided to do a white sage clearing. One never knows who or what may have infused these innocent looking blinds with negativity, although I think a lot of my reticence about them may be because I am also in the midst of quitting smoking. But white sage clears a lot of junk quickly, and I intend to smudge myself at the same time.

I find Eileen Nauman's information on Sacred White Sage. She writes of Sage's uses for clearing negativity...our inner and outer selves, our living spaces, and our auras. Sage emits negative ions, she says, just as running water does. Our auras hold positive ions, which are like dust in the aura, making us feel tired or sluggish, disinterested. Kinda like I feel about these shades.

Sage's smoke meets the positive ions, clings and neutralizes them. All I know is I feel lighter after I smudge...like having a shower. So, following Eileen's Protocol for the Use of White Sage. wherein (great word...wherein) the first rule is....you never stop the sage from burning, when the ions have been neutralized, it ceases burning on its own.

I will watch for the smoke's quality...thin, light smoke will tell me the area is fairly clean, while thick, rolling smoke means there are a lot of those negative ions hanging around. When I am done smudging, the rule is to let Sage burn out until it is done. Sage knows what is required and where to go. I will watch to see if the smoke drifts to any particular place, which will tell me that is where the catalyzation of energy or healing needs to take place.

Keeping all the windows and doors closed, I light my Sage wand, and blow out the flames. I want the smoke to tell its story. I have already meditated with my guides, asking for their guidance and help, and I feel their warmth hovering around me. I waft the smoke from the wand towards the ceiling from my feet in each corner and also in the center of each room. I pay extra attention to the blinds. At first the smoke is relatively light, but picks up in volume around the new window coverings. I have left them half open...an oversight..they should be all the way down, so I send a little Reiki to help Sage. After I do each room in the house, I go to the center of our home and send the smoke, which is fairly light by this time, to the ceiling one more time.

I sit and meditate, centering and grounding myself. I thank Sage for coming to my aid in clearing the negativity from the home. Sage is a very useful plant ally, and I intend to keep in her good graces, so I remember my manners. I thank my guides, and then I tend to the sage wand, which is still burning lightly.

Sage knows when to stop burning, and it took her an hour to do so. Every once in a while, a billow of smoke would appear, but mostly it was just light smoke. I watched where the smoke gathered. The smoke billowed in the north bedroom...the guest bedroom...and again, in the entry area to the front room, which also faces north. There are histories from many people in these areas...and it has been awhile since I last smudged. Any negative bodies left behind by others will be taken care of with this smudging.

Even with the wand still smoking lightly, the scent in the home from the smoke is hardly discernible. And within the hour, my body begins to feel lighter, not so burdened with the mundane realities of life. The house feels roomier, less closed in. I know Sage has worked her magic.

Smudging is a very old method used for clearing. So old, it was ridiculed as a pagan rite, and dismissed. As an apprentice to the Shamanistic principles, I am learning to re-member the old ways, and I was shown today how many clues to my life there is in the smoke from Sage. In the chaos that often surrounds our world, I want to remember what I can use, what tools there are, to help me walk this path I have chosen. The tools are all there, they are all free for the taking, but it is taking a lot of focus on awareness. It becomes easier with practice.

And the window shades are free of negative entities.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

An Introduction

This isn't meant to be an esoteric blog; there are plenty of those. Shamanism and its principles can be very difficult to assimilate. These are my ideas on how to work those principles into my life...a life like any other.

I am no different from any middle-aged woman you see shopping at your local grocery store. I live in a small cottage situated on a crossroad, with two addled hounds, one black and one red, and my male partner, Gray. The reason I differentiate on the gender is I used to just call him my partner, until I was asked if I was gay. I'm not.

But after a series of crises and disasters that seemed to happen often in my life...I had the thought that I may be on the wrong path. And so, I investigated all the alternative beliefs, and believe me, there's a lot. But I was drawn to Shamanism, learned as much as I could stuff into my brain in a short period of time, and then decided to apprentice with a Shaman. I believe it was pre-ordained, but I like to think I chose it...and I hear my guides enjoying a good belly laugh! The joke's apparently on me.

Ahhh, you say to yourself. She's not like any woman in the grocery store...she talks with her guides! And I do. In this blog, I will share some of the conversations I have with them, and the teachings they give me. And how do you know the woman in the grocery store isn't having a good long conversation with her guides? It's not as if I go wandering around talking out loud (unless I'm in the garden, of course, and then only if the dogs are near).

I've had some wonderful visualizations, when the time was deemed correct for me to do so. For example, there was the time I tried to find my allies. I practiced and practiced, thought about it, dreamt about it, and even tried to force it, but no luck. I discovered I couldn't control this one...and then that led to a whole long lesson on patience and control...you get side-tracked a lot with Shamanism...one lesson spirals into many others. By the time I noticed I was entirely surrounded by Rock and Parsley, I had a whole lot of beliefs I was holding change. After that I found my retreat...a place where I go to meet my guides, where lessons are learned and journeys begun.

I'm new at Shamanistic story-telling, and I intend to practice writing some stories here. If you read this blog, and I hope you will, please keep an open mind and believe in the wonderful possibilities that are ours, just for the taking. Or, at the very least, acknowledge that I believe them, as do countless other middle aged and not so middle aged men and women, and that my life is a whole lot better as a result. Shamanism is just re-membering the old ways, after all. It's the assimilation of those old ways into my life that I want to write about.