My bubble buddy, and new friend at the fine arts centre has watched me patch up "clay fails" and creatively tend to mishaps that would make most potters cringe and scoff. Generally the idea of being so attached to a piece that one tries to save it is relegated to noobs who could use practice in 'just make another' don't waste your time and learn through the doing. Most serious potters tend to toss imperfect greenware into the Reclaim Bucket, or smash Bisqued and Glazed pieces into the ceramic graveyard of mosaic hopefuls and archeologist dreams.
I create with intention but keep very close the knowing the life of a piece may be found short at any moment. But I can't say it is non-attachment, for surely it isn't. One swift movement, jerk of a hand, hidden air bubble, too hot and dry air too soon, too cold air too soon, a poor dip or drip, a fusion to a kiln shelf, catch of a finger nail, an exploding kiln neighbour, ripped out bottom or snapped off handle, each can spell death to a piece, and I will love each for as long as they live just the same.
And just like those parts of ourselves that feel broken or dreams we thought were destined for the reclaim bucket or graveyard - sometimes we can put our perfectionism and consumer conditioning aside and love it back - again and again if we must.
I remember being very small and looking closely at a plastic horse that I had, noticing how the eye paint was askew and there were chunky bits along the mould seam. I knew that no one had touched it when it was being made, no one had cared for it or noticed its details. There was a sad vacancy and I wanted to love that little horse more to make up for it somehow. I hadn't read it yet, but knew Velveteen Rabbits were real.
Perhaps that is why I hesitate to toss so easily into the reclaim bucket, why I slow-cook and hand stitch aspects of my life together. If you know me though, you know I am a strong advocate for letting things die when it is time. Perhaps surprisingly so. But some things quietly call for being loved back to life.
This piece was gifted to me half a foot away from the Reclaim Bucket. As you can see, so far it has been resuscitated at least twice and it certainly isn't out of the woods yet. Some of my pieces hold this story of reclamation with them and I softly wonder if anyone might feel it. If they don't, that is okay. I do.
I didn't hyperspeed this up because reclaiming by way of loving takes a little time - as it should.
Today's podcast guest, Juliette Woods, is an incredible mix of mystic, mother, spiritual guide, creative, and earth spiritualist.
In our conversation we talk about...
We cover a lot of ground in this long-form conversation that feels like a lengthy stroll down the beach on a drizzly day...picking up wise little stones...giving the selkies a wave hello and wink or two...remembering the seal skin tucked away in our own closets.
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You can engage in reciprocity with this show by supporting me - Amber Samaya - on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ambersamaya
I'll Have What She's Having! is a visionary interview-based podcast highlighting the real-life experiences, embodied wisdom, life path stories, and inspirational creative offerings of WONDROUS women. This podcast invites women from all walks of life (and men too!) to meet at the beautiful intersections of our unique lived experiences. Joining together in a quantum circle for laid back, fireside, magic-at-the-kitchen-table, no-holds-barred JUICY conversations about everything from creative projects, community innovations, business, sex, intimacy, relationships, motherhood, grand adventures, dark nights of the soul, self care, intentional life ways, sacred practice, necessary rebellion, and those hilarious *this-legit-happened* stories that will have you laughing. We hope you'll feel at home. That you'll laugh enough that it'll count as an ab workout. That you'll heal and soften a little bit. That you'll feel deeply connected. And certainly, that you'll celebrate each other. Welcome to a podcast where conversation becomes medicine.
For more episodes:
You can connect with Juliette in the following ways:
Marj from Basmati.com interviewed Juliette along with invitation to begin writing for their website. Below are the written and telephone interviews that touch on Juliette's personal path, her private practice, and a summary taking us from her introduction to the shamanic way to where she is now.
5 Questions, Answered from Juliette
Basmati: Describe yourself in three words:
Juliette: Wayshower of Remembering
Basmati: What is the greatest challenge you have overcome/are overcoming?
Juliette: Learning to navigate an over stimulated society as a highly sensitive creature.
That is what I see when I look to the root of all of the more surface layer challenges. I have come to learn my nature is very much like the ocean tide; flowing in fully and bringing up treasures from the deep unknown, then ebbing back into myself, retreating into that mysterious unknown before returning once again.
I am always learning more about how “extra sensory” I am, how to preserve that in a good way and to transform it from burden to medicine. Learning how to embrace this sensitivity and still function efficiently without becoming overwhelmed or burned out, that is at the root no matter what form it is presenting me with.
Basmati: What is unique to you about your work?
Juliette: I think there are 2 things that set my work apart from what I see around me.
In my teaching programs I aim to support the reclamation of a person’s heritage traditions, ones that resonate with each individual rather than give over a set lineage to follow. My aim is to offer a comprehensive structure with room to tailor and fit into day-to-day living, recover forgotten cultural practices, and encourage strong “best practices” for safety.
Another aspect is my background in neurofeedback. I draw on my knowledge of brainwave patterns, “trauma imprints”, and how they both manifest as behaviours or nervous system imbalances. This gives me an additional layer of information and ways of working when receiving clients.
Basmati: How do you guide clients into their own healing/inner freedom?
Juliette: My intention is to always empower my clients by facilitating their connection to personal practices of direct revelation while cultivating a greater knowing of their own medicine ways and innate wisdoms. When someone comes to me for healing sessions, I generally invite them to also attend regular gatherings or teachings as opportunities for experiential learning and offer them free online supports or discussion groups. High encouragement is given to establish personalized spiritual practices that fit into their lifestyle and are informed by an individual’s own cultural heritage. It is my belief these are key supports for self soul tending.
Basmati: What tools have you found least/most effective in your work?
Juliette: The natural world and compassionate listening are strong supportive tools for efficacy in my work. They both create connection, provide a wealth of information, and are soul healing balms.
Least effective - I would say easy access to “too much” information. This ease of such a massive volume of teachings available right now come with the pit fall of not allowing oneself to fully integrate before moving into deeper work. It also provides temptation to seek advanced methods without a proper foundation or with inappropriate timing. If a student’s teacher advices one to wait until they are more suitably ready, a current temptation for many is to find another teacher, or book, or article to tell them anyway. This can create anything from confusion to harmful practices.
This video is a beautiful example of how the medicine gifts we bring to our Healers, Teachers, Facilitators, and Practitioners supports their work continuing for the community.
The dollars we pay is the energy exchange to keep them and their families alive, housed, recognizing their years of training, skills, and continued education, while compensating for their time - much of which is unseen by their clients, students, or members.
Medicine gifts, such as the sacred Peruvian tobacco used in this clearing, may be the only way to ensure certain ceremony or healing work is done. In many lineages, the facilitator is never to purchase such medicines, it must be grown, harvested, or gifted. Such gifts also honours their lineage, their teachers - both spirit and human, and the medicine ways themselves.
Without this gift of tobacco, this particular clearing and the ceremony to the Airts (directions) before it would not have occurred. It is a blessing to the community to receive such, and a sweetness to me to be entrusted and supported in this work. Many of the flowers I use in my offerings, and the herbs used for our smoke cleansing ceremonies have also been gifted during gatherings or even sent in the mail! <3
Don't think this way is only for the spiritual helpers in your community, gift your chiropractors, doctors, massage therapists, professors, mechanics, even your baristas! What would support them in supporting others? What would honour their time and skill?
Working intimately with my lia mala (medicine bundle) is a significant part of my personal spiritual practice and energetic well-being. Over the years of offering the Shamanic Living Immersion, I began carrying a lia mala for the community as well. In this way, each member is able to receive energetic clearing and spiritual healing support via my tending to this bundle.
It is treated similarly to my own, albeit holding different contents. It is brought to sacred places, opened to the healing elements, offerings are made, medicines added, and receives the energy stream of traditional shamanic techniques. It comes with us to each circle and session the SLI members might benefit from. They are welcome work with this energy source long distance or held in their laps as needed.
Working in this way also supports Myself. Before I had received the dream telling me to create one for them, I had been navigating the effects of a large number of people very often "reaching out" to me in unseen, but very real, ways. Healing work and support was being asked of me throughout each day and each night, even into my dream time as members moved through their deep healing processes. Community outside of the immersion program also call on me in this way and I knew I needed to find more effective means to move this work a little more "outside" of myself. Upon creation, the remedy was felt immediately. If you are a Teacher or Practitioner, perhaps this share inspires you should requests for your energetic attention require a different way of holding.
Energy Update for January 2018 is ready! On The Wheel are excerpts from our monthly shamanic journey circles that touch in on the natural influences in our lives that we may, or may not, realize are at play and how we can tap into them rather than accidentally going "against the current" Our circles have grown so big that we have now separated them into 2 offerings each month. The first is for current Shamanic Living Immersion Members and the second one will always be open to the community. This On The Wheel excerpt is taken from the SLI circle - you are most welcome to join us January 20th 2018 where we have 1 shamanic journey before stepping into ceremony for planting our "seeds of intentions" into medicine pouches.
Winter Solstice Blessings to you! We don't have a Journey Circle in December, but I do put out a quarterly newsletter called On the Medicine Wheel that includes an energy update portion (and spiritual practice suggestions, event details, articles, sometimes videos). Here I read from that newsletter.
If you would like to see the steps for a fire ceremony that I mention, here is a link ow.ly/XLLW30hji5y
Journey circle dates are posted here if you would like to join us in Squamish BC, www.facebook.com/groups/3FoldBalance
On The Wheel is the energy update portion of our monthly shamanic journey circles held in Squamish BC. Based on the natural energies influencing us from the seasons, celestial activity, and community collective experiences - this portion of our evenings help us consciously work "with" the natural flow rather than being buffeted about or inadvertently trying to go "against the grain". A short text version of On The Wheel is also included in the 3 Fold Balance quarterly newsletter timed with Solstices & Equinoxes. Please note we are in the Northern Hemisphere - sorry about that southern friends
Many have been called to support and respond to the wildfires in BC these past weeks. We have options open to us ranging from donating money to feet-on-the-ground, hands-on help. There are also many of us who have been working with prayers, healing work, and energetic support. Here I share a guided healing response that all of us can experience and contribute with. This technique is mindful of free will, respects the natural elements, keeps our "ego" in check and makes a measurable difference. You can bring his way of working into your day-to-day living, respond to other events, and include it in your practice, daily commute, or community offerings easily and powerfully. Bless!
A follow up to last year's video, "Saying goodbye to land you love", is a sharing of some of my personal journey and practices with "Meeting new land you love" If you find yourself moving house, discovering new space for your spiritual work, find a landscape that calls to you or moves your heart to start spending time there to begin a brand new relationship - these 16 minutes may support this fostering.
If you find yourself saying goodbye to land you love, here is some of my personal process HERE on the youtube channel that may support you.
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
A bean feasa of Gaelic heritage shares stories & insights from her animist and 'shamanic' practice on the West Coast of Canada.