The Shamanic Living Immersion
The Shamanic Living Immersion is designed to meet you where you are at, from novice to seasoned shamanist, as a guide to take your personal practice as deep as you are willing to go.
- take a year walking the medicine wheel
- step into practices of your cultural heritage
- learn to journey & establish your shamanic cosmology
- develop ways of divination and reading omens
- deepen your relationship with the earth
- cultivate tools to transform challenges into medicines
- receive one-on-one healing sessions
- attend fire ceremonies
Registration opens June 1st each year with only 10 spaces available. We start each October.
In-Person in Squamish or Online Long Distance.
Details are at www.ShamanicLiving.ca
The ancient Celtic holy-day known as Imbolc is a welcomed time of renewal, healing, the first signs of spring, divination and of course brings us Brighid - a fantastic feminine deity, both Goddess and Saint, who survives changing religious beliefs and withstands the test of time.
On the Eve of Imbolc, a common practice is to lay your chosen cloth, or Brat Bhride, outside overnight to receive Brighid's blessings of protection. This can then be worn, given as a talisman, or small pieces sewn into clothing. This year I have set out a shawl my Grandmother wove on her massive loom to wrap around family members and close friends who could use a little extra care. Beside the shawl tonight hangs the altar cloth I use at community medicine gatherings to bring Brighid's blessings to our sacred work there. In years past I have set out various cloths to cut and give out to clients, tuck into my children's pockets, and wrap sacred objects in. I was recently reminded in some areas of Ireland it was believed that a Brat Bhride needed to be set out for 7 years before becoming fully empowered, this I will endeavor to do with my Grandmother McDonald's woven shawl. Perhaps you too have a special wrap, soft cloth or even a cozy sweater to hang outside tonight :)
Another common Imbolc practice is that of the Frith, a favorite of mine that is both rooted in history yet allows for personal associations to come through. The Frith is a particular Scots Gaelic form of divination whereby the omens of nature are read through a doorway or narrow field of vision and is often conducted early February 1st, on Imbolc morning. There are a number of old invocations one can recite and some fairly specific nuances to this practice if one looks a little deeper for them that can really enrich your divination experience. Generally the query on Imbolc morning may regard a new venture, a particular situation at hand, to find what has been lost, or to ascertain how much longer Winter weather will last. This weather divination aspect has survived in the West in the form of Groundhog Day. On February 2nd, interpretations applied to the shadow (or lack of) of famous American groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil is a mainstream form of Imbolc Divination predicting the arrival of Spring. Those who are more familiar with Brighid as a Christian Saint may know stories of Mother Mary and Brighid finding lost Jesus by use of the Frith and associate Candlemas with her blessings and festivities.
If you are new to the Goddess Saint, there is so much more to tell. A wealth of history, stories of miraculous healings, long standing temples and shrines, and a beautiful array of professions, people and animals under her care await your discovery. Perhaps you will find she becomes an integral member of your supporting guides.
So on this late Eve of Imbolc, I wish you good health, clear sacred sight, and a happy hearth.
Íslím don diagacht ionat!
Offerings and Medicine Bundles
On the morning after our shamanic journey circles we have an opportunity to anchor our work in beautiful outdoor sanctuaries during Sacred Places, Solo Spaces gatherings. Today I created an offering of seeds while singing prayers of support and blessings of gratitude in honour of the medicine bundles we created last night. Here I share and speak a little of this sweet experience. If you would like to join us next month, come find event details on our facebook group Medicine Gatherings & Online Support
This post is written for The Conscious Goddess Festival - the many faces of the Goddess, in Squamish this June 24 - 26.
As women, we embody different aspects of the Goddess at different times, in certain situations, as we cycle through the month, and phases of life. We have the sweet maiden self, the fierce warrior, a nurturing mothering side, hot sexy vixen, wise, wise crone, so many! There are times we plunge so deep into darkness we fear being lost forever, and times so filled with love and light it bursts from our bodies that simply can't contain it all.
The medicine wheel is a powerful and rich teaching. A compass to orient and guide us. One culturally inclusive wheel that easily demonstrates this wisdom, is of our seasons. It is always the same. Repeating. From the dark, inward stillness of Winter always comes the sweet birthing Spring with an expanse of possibilities. The heat and activity of full Summer action gently shifts into the harvests of Autumn, where the inward focus returns to us with the shortening days. Looking at these energies at play around the wheel of the year, the many faces of the Goddess can be harmoniously placed.
I invite you to explore the Goddesses of your cultural heritage, and the feminine deities or archetypes you are drawn to and create your own personal medicine wheel of the Goddess. Let's begin together:
If you would like more support around how to use your medicine wheel, more can be found HERE
I hope you will join us at The Conscious Goddess Festival this June! I will be holding the Saturday morning ceremony and leading us through a heart centered exercise of connecting with the energies written about in this article. Find information and tickets HERE!
A medicine wheel is a concept in many shamanic and nature influenced cultures and spiritual lineages, used as a map to orient oneself. It allows you to experience the energies (or medicine) present in each direction. It shows you where you are, what phase you just came from, and what awaits you. The aspects of each direction varies by culture and within that, vary by lineage and within that, sometimes varying by individual - but the general concept appears universal. A repeating cycle to get one's bearings and to move through. This has been one of the most powerful teachings I have received - it greatly influences my life and my practice.
The idea is to use your Medicine Wheel to help you mindfully move with the natural energies present at any given time as opposed to struggling against unknown forces. To be able to work with the natural rhythms of the world in a medicinal way. A supportive and healing way. Knowing when it is time to let things rest, or when it is time to rally the troops. When it's time to sow seeds, and when to harvest your efforts. If the natural world around you is slowing down, you may find it more frustrating to be ramping up and pushing ideas forward. But if you wait until the phase with latent energy dedicated to new growth and action, you may find your projects flows effortlessly. You can apply a Medicine Wheel to any aspect of your life, be it your age, your creative process, your spiritual practice, a challenge, or your emotional stages. Generally one moves clockwise around a wheel, this way when "feeling lost" or disoriented, you can find what stage you are at, know what has been completed and see what is coming next. Looking at the Seasonal Medicine Wheel above can be very helpful to begin with as we are so familiar with the repeating seasons of the year. Trees give us a perfect example to follow. In winter they have no leaves, their branches are quiet, sap slows, they lay dormant with their life force energy deep down into the earth. With springtime, tree energy begins to quicken. New shoots, fresh blossoms, birds return with joyous song. There is growth. Summer sees branches full of leaves turned toward the sun, full of life, energy, bearing sweet fruit. Children climb and play in and around. Animals visit and nibble. It's busy and there is a vibrant energy. Come Autumn this energy begins to retreat. Energy dedicated to leaves are no longer the priority. They grow dry with lack of vitality and are released from the places they've known, and become mulchy goodness for something else. Sap begins to slow with the cold. And the energy has returned from the outermost edges and vibrancy, back deep down into the center. Now.... think of all that but with a baby conceived, birthed, growing from maturity into eldership, and finally released back into the mystery where we came from. Now try it with the creative process of a project or idea. See the flow?
Some cycles are faster moving, like the Moon. Instead of a 365 day wheel its only 28. There are many many who align their actions and orient their internal realm to work in synchronicity with the moon. This moon pulls the mighty ocean tides, affects women's menstruation (ehem...moontime) biodynamic farmers pay close attention to this energy, and you may notice that neighbourhoods, people in public places, children and even your sleeping patterns are affected as well. The Medicine Wheel of the Day gives us even faster cycles of rest and activity.
Which wheel is for you?
Each direction of each wheel holds a plethora of aspects related to that phase that all have a natural flow to them. It is that direction's "medicine" and it's available to you! Looking at the samples here of the Seasons, the Lunar, and the Menstrual, you might find similarities among them all. You can get a sense of being able to amalgamate all three into one.
You might find you can identify where cultural deities that you work with would sit. Kali? An Cailleach? Kwan Yin? How about Totem Animals? Solstices and Equinoxes? Elements?
Meditate, journey, consult and find or create a wheel that you can identify with, something meaningful.
As I mentioned above, many cultures and lineages have different Medicine Wheels steeped in tradition and history. I encourage you to look into your heritage, find an elder, research and see if there is a natural resonance there within you. If you notice the tops (or the North) of my examples, you will find a certain similar energy represented there among them all, but your research may show those energies sit in a different direction. You may also find some people start in the East while others start in the North or South. This is the beauty of diversity. This is where you find your Medicine Wheel.
Loving Storm crystal elixir
Does the Trickster keep bringing the “same old” problems into your life? Need to release patterns, habits, baggage or cycles that are no longer serving you well? Changing jobs? Moving house? Need to respond differently to a ‘stormy’ situation?
“Loving Storm” gemstone elixir is intended to facilitate powerful change for bringing in positive energy while supporting your heart through the transition.
Lovingly prepared with:
Fulgurite: Sand struck by lightning and solidified by the intense heat invokes quick & powerful transformation.
The Morrigan: A Celtic deity of Battle who sometimes appears in the form of Crow, this elixir was empowered on an altar dedicated to The Morrigan.
Airts of the North: In the Celtic Wheel of the my lineage, the North is the place of Battle and of the Warrior, but also the calm before the storm. The quiet resting place where seeds of ideas germinate before sprouting into action. The Cailleach lives here, an old woman Creatrix with destructive storm energy, also of Celtic decent.
Citrine: Brings Happiness, Joy and Optimism. Citrine offers courage & self discipline, supports getting tasks done & matters settled. Great for uplifting mood and brings Abundance, good fortune & feelings of Generosity. Helpful with healing emotional trauma, sleep disturbances, and addictions.
Rose Quartz: Supporting with unconditional love, a very soothing and happy stone. It comforts and heals any wounds the heart has accumulated & dissolves stored energy from trauma. The Soul sighs with relief when it senses Rose Quartz energy as it intuitively knows healing has come with gentleness, forgiveness, compassion, kindness and tolerance.
Wild Woman Mystery Card: I pulled the ‘Illumination’ card from this deck and kept it on the altar beside the elixir. Illumination is an Awakening. Your Divine nature. Purifying your body and soul. ”Thanks for giving me every experience I have had...it has taught me what I needed to learn.”
*Excerpts from “Wild Woman Mystery Cards” by Elizabeth MacLeod Find them at www.wildwomanenchanted.com
For those of you interested in Astrology, the planetary aspects also supported this elixir nicely.
Full Moon in Aries: Decisive, forceful, a high-strung and controlling Moon, as well as being spontaneous, energetic, and honest. It suggests an aggressive attitude, quick temper, impulsiveness and brutally direct behaviour, acting with emotion rather than reason, restless and risk-taking.
Mars squares Neptune: lends ability to dissolve old angers and pains. To ”bury the hatchet.” An opportunity to let go of violence or tension caused by differences, and empower those who once felt like victims, a shadow side of Neptune.
Venus Retrograde in Scorpio: to take us into the past for better or worse, of enduring desolate moments, teetering on the edge, and recovering Joy afterward. From this square we may also be able to notice and let go of an old pattern of avoidance and find a new way to face our problem peacefully. Or find that our motivations, our old reasons for doing what we do, also dissolve, and now we need to search for fresh inspiration. - *Excerpt from We’Moon, a fabulous resource www.wemoon.ws
Sun: Created on the Full Moon, empowered overnight & bottled on the day the Sun shifted zodiacal signs - from airy Libra to watery Scorpio. Therefore, latent in the “loving Storm” elixir is the need to complete old business on a high note.
Emotional Charge: During the day of this elixir creation I went through the gamut of healthy emotions related to big stormy change. As the external world heated up I was able to fully embrace Trust and Calm instead of fear, then a short lived & appropriate shake to my core as ‘lightning struck’, followed by an easy regaining of Centeredness and Faith in the process of allowing the Highest Good to manifest as the Universe intends it. A positive internal change had solidified while the external realm makes the big shift for the better.
Shamanic Elements: Guidance from the Cailleach, the Morrigan, the Warrior & Airts of the North for this creation process was incorporated. Transfiguration with Áine, a Celtic goddess of Sovereignty, the Sun, Love & Delight also infused the “Loving Storm” elixir.
A bean feasa of Gaelic heritage shares stories & insights from her animist and 'shamanic' practice on the West Coast of Canada.