Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Woman’s Body Sings . . .

My Body is a Temple.
to nurture and dress in finery.

My Body is a Vessel.
A flowing place for the waters of Spirit.
A holding place for the unborn.
My Body is a Temple.

My Body is a Healer.
Crimson cleansing ever renewing
follows the Moon in her wax and wane.
My Body is a Temple.

My Body is a Midwife.
Birthing all that I dream.
My labor is Sacred
and my chosen children are wisely born.
My Body is a Temple.

My Body is a Cauldron.
The Mystery of Orgasm my Alchemy.
Brewing the Magick of sensual pleasures.
Bubbling and boiling with wonder.
My Body is a Temple.

My Body is a Fortress,
impassable and strong
with a wise gatekeeper who knows the face of the enemy.
My Body is a Temple.

My Body is a Temple
Amid flowing veils of gossamer
make offerings of Beauty.
For I am Virgin
and I am FireWoman.
I am vessel, healer, midwife, cauldron, gatekeeper,
and mistress of glamours.
My Body is a Temple.

Listen well.
Remember my Heart.
See me dancing and decorated
in all that frightens you
all that draws you near

              mso/Janet L Zahn

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

~Meditations on My Body~ or ~Remember Who Your Friends Are~

No one else knows the fullness of my story. No one has been with me throughout all the difficulties and joyous experiences, no one has stood by me through the entirety of my experience except my body.

She has been with me through it all. When my son died, my heart refused to stop beating even as I willed it to do so and when my dog was drowning in an icy lake she swam me out to rescue her. She rode waves of pain to birth my children and then was generous enough to feed them.

Every blinding pain and exquisite pleasure has been shared with her.

In my most tortured moments I have been surrounded by her warm flesh and filled by her nourishing breath.

She has allowed me to walk away, to run toward, to stand and fight, to lie down and rest and when my spirit needs to soar and leave her for a time, she waits for me.

Even though I have treated her poorly. Even though I have allowed others to treat her poorly, she is still willing to heal, to cleanse herself and try again.

She has not been able to do everything I have ever asked of her but she has done everything she could. And though she is smaller than many, she has used all her strength when the need was great.

Sometimes I lose touch with her. And these are the times I must reacquaint myself with silence and let silence lead me by the hand back to myself and the deep wisdom, the constant companionship and unswerving loyalty of my body.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ask not for the Universe to be explained to you. Ask instead  for assistance in letting go of the need to understand and simply swim in experience.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Everything in nature is an aspect of The Greater and the Soul Essence of The Greater is Love in it’s grandest and most unfathomable sense.
Love is often gentle and compassionate but in order make space for Light, creativity and new Life, Love can be fierce, even destructive.
Trust in the storms of your heart and let them roar. Let them cleanse you out completely.
The precious moments right after a raging rainfall are the clearest and made of the purest light."

~Sisterhood is about exploring the beauty and pain in each other to help us heal ourSelves. It is about sharing the beauty and pain in ourSelves to help heal Others. It is about laughter, tears, care and compassion.
In our workshops we develop what we call ascended relationships: rising above personality into relationships between women that are supportive, loving and respectful!
~It is also about making a difference in our communities. It is about stepping out strongly and bravely into the world, contributing to healing changes - all the while knowing your sisters have your back!
~A sisterhood circle is a doorway to your own compassionate, and responsible power.

"All women carry within them the power to birth. Birth can take the form of a child, a new job or an idea, a painting, a song, a sculpture… It can also take the form of life changes: increased health, abundance, more positive and sustaining relationships, increased self awareness, freedom from critical inner voices. The possibilities are truly endless. Through accessing, celebrating and activating our natural feminine abilities to create we can transform ourselves, our lives and our part of the world from the inside out using many of the same methods our Ancestors used." ~ m. standing otter/

Primal Relationship

"Coming together in Sisterhood is a spiritual practice, not a religion or a political strategy. Leave those things behind, at least for a time, and step into a primal relationship; one that has existed long before any religious doctrine or party line.
Women in a circle; teaching each other, learning from each other, challenging each other, supporting each other, laughing, crying, telling their stories...
These things are as old as time and Sacred beyond measure.These things create the springboard from which women leap into Life.
These things create the world and can re-create it, again and again." ~m standing otter

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Posts from the Past Repeated

original post date: Tuesday, January 27, 2009

THE MOTHER LODGE: Willows and Wonders

The Mother Lodge has also been called the Purification Lodge*, the Rainbow Children's Lodge, the Stone People's Lodge and the Innipi. It is one of the doorways to your Soul, one of the Pathways Home.

A Purification Lodge* is shaped rather like an igloo. Low to the ground, one must bow down to enter and cannot stand upright once inside. A Lodge is built in a Ceremonial manner honoring all the elements and the worlds of GrandMother Earth for their gifts in making the Ceremony possible. Nearby there is a space for a Sacred Ceremonial Fire to heat the rocks.

This Ceremony, in one form or another, has gone on all over the planet as long as humans can remember. It continues. It will continue.

One starry winter night not so long ago . . .

A small line of People made their way through the dark winter night. Single file and wrapped in blankets they followed a path through the glittering snow among the Trees who stood benevolent watch over The People and The Mother Lodge.

Flickering firelight danced across each face as they came into the Circle to be Ceremonially Blessed.
Several of them shivered, not from the cold but from the feeling of
being surrounded by the Spirits of the Ancestors and the many Blessed Ones who had come to guide them.

As they entered The Mother Lodge each Seeker bowed low, acknowledged their connection to All Things and took a moment to remember that the healing they experienced that night would ripple out and flow over the World like a light breeze.

The People took their places inside the GrandMother Womb of the Earth, and one by one the glowing red hot GrandFather Rocks were brought – inseminating the Ceremony with power, potential and Memory*.

The flap was closed and the water was poured slowly over the rocks as the Sacred Words were spoken and the darkness enveloped them all - filling the Lodge with Mystery. Along with their sight, the smaller self began to fade away and The People joined in purpose and respect.

The Powers were called to, the heat rose and the steam cleansed every pore of every person. All the components of the Ceremony came together to help each individual forge a path through the tangled undergrowth of personality and everyday life to the places where chaos and sadness and even trauma and disease had planted seeds and taken root. The Praying began as did the pruning and the pulling in the Ancient Art of the Give Away, the cleansing of all things that do not give Life.

Deep healing was possible in that space and place for those who were willing to open their hearts to The Mother Lodge and speak deep truths. Clarity and Joy were there for those who were willing to accept the guidance of Spirit without abdicating responsibility for their lives and our world..

The Ceremony, deep and personal, progressed exactly as it needed to for each individual even as they connected to each other in a web of humanity poised to Catch the Dreams of The People.

With Prayers, laughter, tears and song The People found healing together and alone.

When the time came to leave The Mother Lodge and for the Ceremony to begin it’s conclusion The Seekers honored and gifted and fed those who had Kept the Fire and those who had Carried the red hot Rocks. They honored each other for their courage and their humor in the fullness of facing themselves with deep and abiding Honesty.

They ate and drank and celebrated that they were not just walking, talking, two legged, button pushers.

They were, they are , Alive !

A QUOTE . . .

“Our Ancients have always said that they do not know how The Rainbow Lodge heals people. It began to amaze me when I thought of the great men and women who learned from their own experience over many thousands of winters. Little by little, they taught themselves about this Healing Way.

“They also learned that there is no healing in the Lodge if the human does not talk honestly with the Earth Mother. Can there be any greater honesty than that of a child in it’s Mother’s womb? How can I sit with Mother Earth in that Lodge and lie to my Self, lie to Her and then ask Her to heal me?

“The Rainbow Lodge is one of the greatest mysteries I know. She is a Goddess of Healing. She cannot be explained. She can only be experienced.

“Today, many of our people have forgotten her as a place of healing. If they build the willow dome they call it a sweatlodge and use it to be clean. Or they use it for superstitions that enslave the minds of [women and] children. Or the men” she smiled, “use it for competition to see who can endure the hottest steam. [ ] Mother Earth can heal with a single dewdrop.”

Patricia Nell Warren, ‘One Is the Sun’

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Truth of Woman

It is time for women to understand that as Keepers of The Great Round Vision and as Transformers of Energy that our role on this sweet earth is vital, our mission is holy and our responsibility is real. We understand these things better when we come together and help one another. One of my Elders told me that “keeping women separate from each other is the last ‘hold’ of the malevolent patriarchy”. It is time to break that hold for good and step into the Truth of Woman.

Sometimes wisdom is right in front of you...

...cleverly disguised as Life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In this age of weekend workshop "shamans"...

Please watch:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Journal Entry from the year 2000

Mary Standing Otter: This was written based on a short excerpt from my journal. The original notes were written about eleven years ago. It has never been shared in written form until now. It is a weak and brief description of an experience I had in ceremony after days of isolation and prayer:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I had been praying for a long time. There was a GrandMother in the west of the Lodge who seemed to be almost tangible. She was dressed in lavender. I had and have seen her many times before and since. I kept closing my eyes, getting a ‘handle’ on her presence and then opening them. I wanted to see her with my physical eyes, perhaps to prove to ‘rational’ self that she was actually there. I could not. After a time I let go of the need to ‘see’ her. I closed my eyes I relaxed, and I allowed myself to be taken by the hand. Suddenly and smoothly I was out of my body and “landed” in the center of a Circle of GrandMothers. Though I could not see the GrandMothers behind me I could feel them strongly all around me and their presence was crisp, solid and completely unmistakable. They were only the slightly bigger than humans yet somehow seemed to be two or three times larger. I realized their power, influence and presence extended well beyond the border of what appeared as physical form. I felt my own expanded Self, smaller than they but still present. There was no fear, no feeling of weakness or comparison.

The GrandMothers around me embodied so much power each one felt like a force of nature in herself. One, covered in robes and skins seemed to be a mountain, solid as rock and yet filled with all the secrets that can live in caves and dark places. Another like an enormous ocean wave poised at the breaking point and so on…

I was surrounded by incredible power but I felt no fear. Their intention was only to hold me in the delicate balance of their individual forces and help me to understand that I was precious to them, as all women are, and that I had a truth to learn that hopefully I would attempt to pass on. And to the best of my ability to place it in words, this is what they conveyed to me:

“You (meaning myself and my peers) think you have arrived. You think you have gained ground in bringing women to an equal value with men in your culture and time, you think ‘equal pay for equal work’ means something but we tell you it does not. We tell you that you have barely begun. All the success you have rests on a fragile foundation. All the so called respect and rights you have gained are built on a foundation designed and built by men. You are striving to prove your worth to men in a game where they have written all the rules and designed the playing field. This can all fall apart in a moment because it is still their game. Understanding must be rebuilt from the ground up. It must begin in the womb and move forward. You cannot raise Truth, as a mother raises a child, when the Foundation of that Truth is a Misconception.”

“Teach the women, all the women, any women. Teach them about the transformative power of their bodies, about their blood. Help them to learn to leave behind the competition and beliefs that are crippling them. Teach them how to heal themselves from the inside out, to heal each other. Begin to rebuild the foundation so our expansion has a balanced foundation.”

The next ten years of my life would be about bringing these Bits of Knowing alive in myself, they would be about learning how to teach such things to other women by creating a sanctuary in which they could teach and heal themselves.

This was the catalyst for Otter Lodge. It was the conception of Sisters In Circles and I suspect, more to come…

There is much more. This is all for now.

Mary Standing Otter

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What is Shamanism?

Shamanic healing is a spiritual and physical practice based on the belief that all healing includes a spiritual dimension. Shamans use altered states of consciousness to communicate with other realms of reality. The shaman's journey is to help the patient or community to rediscover their connection to nature and spirit and then use that connection for healing and balanced living.

Shamanic Healing is a process that can be used to to unite our body and spirit and heal ourselves. We then become able to live in a more peaceful and aware manner. We gain understanding of life’s changes and events. We become able to restore balance, health and happiness and to be a positive influence in the world.

The essential perspective of the Shaman is:

~ Everything is alive. Everything has spirit and awareness.

~ Energy and matter are the same. Everything is vibration. Everything that exists is an energy system within a greater energy system.

~ Everything that exists is connected to everything else in a web of energy or life.

~ Unseen / inner / spiritual reality affects visible or physical reality.

The Shamanic understanding of health and illness focuses on personal power. Power consists of balance, health and self-knowledge. Disease and sickness results when a person's spiritual power is weakened in some way. Illness is caused by patterns of energy that are harmful for the individual. Shamanic Healing focuses on finding and changing these patterns.

Shamanic Healing works with the unseen to create changes our in everyday reality. It is a method for accessing the spirit or energy field of anything or anyone. Working within this system of perceptions, shamanic healing strives to create balance and harmony of the spirit for the individual, the community and All Things.

It is important to note that anyone can take part in the Shamanic Healing process. It is not a religion or club. It is a method of healing that can and has been practiced by Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Celts, Native Americans and all other peoples on Earth. mso-2008

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dear Friends~

I invite you to also visit Sisters In Circles. A new website designed to help women sponsor workshops in their area that will assist them to form a Women's Group or Sisterhood Circle that will last long after the workshops are over.

"The teachings of the weekends will form the foundation for sisterhood but each Circle will be defined by the women who participate in it. Each Circle will be unique. While we use some language common to Native American Shamanic teachings we also use knowledge from other traditions and some teachings unique to Mary Standing Otter the facilitator of the weekends. This program is not limited to any lineage, tradition or spiritual path. Coming together in Sisterhood is a practice, not a religion."

Friday, March 25, 2011

moment by moment

If I think about my desire to release attachments an automatic list pops up my head of the many things I will have to release one by one. It begins with the most difficult and entrenched attachments and continues with habits and goes on seemingly endlessly.

If I simply practice presence I bypass the list entirely.

I am just here, moment by moment making simple choices and breathing...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

from:personal journal

Last night the Lodge was like a flying saucer spinning through space. Our prayers spun out among the stars and filled the sky with colored lights. Each person had a voice, each voice had a color, each color filled the sky with light blending and bringing white pure crystal into the night sky mirroring the snow on the earth below.

The mirror of earth called us back when it was time. The spinning slowed and we descended back into the winter night. The cold became a factor again, our bodies called out for care and we remembered to live in this world while we carried within us the space of the cosmos and all the potential that danced there.

Food tasted better, laughter was deeper, love came easier, my husband seemed bigger and warmer when I climbed into my bed. All became peaceful.

A rocket ride like that makes daily life sweeter...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Prayer

May I walk side by side with my sadness with the same dignity and grace as I do with my comfort. May I find peace in both. May I walk away from clinging to either.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Respite, Regeneration, Re-Creation . . .

Last night I returned home with a car full of groceries at the end of a busy day. It was already dark. The moment I stepped out of the car I realized I was looking toward the Lodge. I could almost hear the humming as she prepares for Saturday Night's ceremonial extravaganza. I felt her calling as if she were saying I'm ready, anytime now . . .

More and more she calls these days. Perhaps because the world seems to be going crazy around us and so her harmony is more discernable amid the dissonance.

We must not allow the fear and polarization that surrounds us to swallow us down or knock us under - even through the seduction of busy-ness, especially through the seduction of busy-ness. Slow down enough to know your own needs.

Care for yourselves, whatever way you know how, and remember She is here. Calling out in the dark, with open arms. Solace for the heart, balm for the weary Spirit.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Poems on this page...

As you meander around this blog, here is a space to post comments on any of the poetry that runs down the opposite side of the page. Please be sure to note which poem you are commenting on. Thank You

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A thought.........

Today, while chair dancing on the tractor to Carlos Santana, I decided I am content to be a joyful lunatic.

Friday, May 14, 2010


One of the signs of growing wisdom is when you no longer need to say everything you know and can recognize that same ability in others.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Stepping Into the Brighter Self......

When you no longer see yourself as a conglomeration of past experiences and old wounds, you gain glimpses of Your Self as a Force of Nature.

The Self becomes timeless. It becomes an energetic vessel that may or may not contain physical form. It moves through natural and Sacred Law in a simple dance toward Light. This timeless movement of light interacting with light is Sacred Image.

It takes a great deal of Life Force to step from self Concepts into Sacred Image.

Life Force gives us the ability to heal Self, Life and Others. It plays a major role in preventing disease and determining how long and how well we will live.

At this time we do not live in a culture that supports the preservation of Life force. In fact the opposite is true. In order to maintain this vital practice we have to be willing to live ever increasingly outside the box!

A Few Ways to Conserve Life Force Energy

1) Each year, whether we are in the actual Purification Lodge or not, we can set an Intention for the year. We also have larger Intentions that last years at a time and some that last an entire lifetime.

We make thousands of choices and judgments every day, probably millions. We are only aware of a very small number of them. The more awareness we can develop and maintain about these choices the more we can make the choices that support our Intentions and further our growth. Any time we are able to stop the inner process from working at cross purposes; we SAVE life force !

In other words, whenever you catch yourself in a moment of choice ask yourself: which one will better serve my Intention and then trust your gut level knowing and follow it.

2) Honor the Cycles of the Earth.
Your body is a part of the earth therefore it is naturally aligned with her cycles. The culture we live in is not. The calender we live by is not based on natural timing. Holidays are chosen by humans for convenience (3 day weekends etc) vs. alignment with natural cycles. While it is difficult to do so, we actually save energy in the long run if we honor natural timing of the earth, sun and moon as best we can. So while doing a Sweat in the middle of the week (for Equinox or Solstice for example) may make you sleepy for a day or two, over all it will increase your life force energy because it is feeding your body energy at the time it most needs it and is the most receptive.

3) Be Aware of Your Body/Self as a Container
Choose consciously what you will carry with you and what you will leave behind.
There are several ways to work with this:
~De-Amoring: letting go of the patterns of pain that are no longer necessary for your survival. This is done through some types of body work, alchemical ceremony, chanting , techniques of discipline and high level orgasm.
~Let go, give away possessions and “keepsakes” that are no longer needed. Remember that you carry the joy of good times in your body and so you need not save every little momento. Let your outer environment change and grow and it will stimulate your inner self to do the same.
~Let go of painful memories and paraphernalia. Old journals filled with processing negative (Life taking) emotions should be burned or buried as soon as you feel ready to do so. Keeping them around you surrounds you with the energy patterns locked in those words. Burn them !
~Take responsibility ONLY for those things that affect you and that you have the power to change or affect. It serves no one for you to buy into the illusion that you can carry the burdens of others (this includes beliefs, judgments, past events and points of view).
~Take active responsibility for things that do affect you. Make the changes it takes for you to live as peacefully, simply and stress free as possible. Take responsibility for the stress you do accumulate.

Blessings and Vitality to Us All

Friday, February 5, 2010

All In Good Timelessness

In silence lies the potential for all sound.

In order to be silent I must be without inner chatter so I must allow the inner chatter to flow through me. The moment I begin to fight with it, it has won.

I find I must embrace all my inner sound, to sink into my inner silence and carry my intention, not in my head, but in my womb and in my heart.

At the deepest or highest levels of ceremony I allow the Twenty Waves to take me. They take me into deafening silence more profound than any symphony. The questions and the answers become the same thing.

Welcome to dancing with paradox !

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stacked like Tibetan
stones, my prayers preciously
balance on the Earth.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Creating Reality

I remember walking across the meadow toward the cabin I was staying in during a weekend of ceremony. I was a part of a group that encouraged us all to be prepared for Y2K and for the great change in 2012 in part by stockpiling food, water and weapons which I was not. I kept this to myself as anyone who was not actively preparing for disaster was considered to be na├»ve and foolish. I am guessing it was about 1994. I was contemplating my children and how old they would be when the “shit hit the fan”.

It was sudden and gentle, as if I were remembering something I had known all along. This coming change was not going to be some sort of horrible disaster nor would it happen all at once. It was in progress at that very moment and would take many years. It would peak in 2012 but most people would not even be aware enough to notice it. I felt that we were still in a state of flux and the future had not yet been determined. (I did not know it then but I would feel the shift take on nagual form and begin to really kick in about 1998.)

I remember “seeing” it as an energetic chasm opening between two worlds. There would literally be two separate realities existing side by side on Earth – at least for a time.

Those who had the energy level to maintain the shift in the Earth’s evolutionary process would be on one side and those who did not would be on the other. Those on the lower energy side would probably not have an easy time of it. Their world was going to change and the resistance would be very painful and cause many to become ill and die. Also those people who’s bodies were too polluted by sickness, unhealed hereditary weakness and any number of physical and/or energetic poisons would also suffer or choose to die.

Those who were able to maintain a higher level of energy would certainly also experience the changes but would have an ability to flow through it with more grace and less resistance. This is not to say it would be "all beer and skittles for the enlightened”. Change is always a challenge and we are all connected to the whole whether we like it or not.

There is also the very dynamic process of karma and / or soul contracts at work here. There may be souls who have the ability to stay but choose to step across for reasons of their own. It is not ours to try and judge others by the events and turns in their lives.

It IS ours to step out of all judgment and simply get ourselves into ceremony and into a positive loving space as often and as much as possible. Not a fake, blissed out “put on your blinders” space but one that accepts that the world is changing and our job is to affect the nagual as much as possible for the “better” so that the manifestation of these changes, which will begin in earnest AFTER 2012, will be positive in nature.

All things are dreamed in the nagual before they manifest in the tonal therefore every time we can get into a Lodge, a ceremony or a good and holy space it is very important that we do so. The time to change the world is now and it is not so much WHAT we do but HOW we do what we do. Do whatever you do with Joy!

You have the chance to bring in more healing and beauty every day.

Monday, December 28, 2009

To Sweat or Not To Sweat - That is the Question

Time and time again I have heard people say that the reason they are not attending a Lodge is because they are still “integrating” the last one they were in or that they are not “finished” with it. Most often this means that the person is waiting to feel the same as they did before the Lodge, waiting to get back to a feeling of stasis.

The best time to create change is when we are NOT in stasis. When waves of change are already moving through us it is easier to harness the energy and direct it where we want it to go. Within ceremony is the best time and space to align with the Intentions of our highest self and direct the energy of chaos (change) in a direction that will bring the greatest benefit.

Every person needs to find their own rhythm and respect it but your possible growth rate may be much faster than you think. It may not be as comfy and the part of us that wants to maintain the status quo at all costs (even our enlightenment) may rattle it’s chains or set up full time head chatter about slowing down and finding ways to stay the same but movement is natural and brings health and hope.

It is the still quiet voice that speaks in simple statements of Knowing that bring us actual guidance. This voice is present for every one of us. This voice is worth slowing down for, long enough to listen and be guided into our next movement.

Self acceptance in the present moment is the key to hearing the Intuitive Guidance within us toward movement. Enjoy the paradox of evolution.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Upon Waking

When all you know, falls away ...
when all you're certain of turns to ashes ...
when all you have learned flows downstream ...
and every solid thing around you crashes ...
You are Alive.
Pick your moment and explode.
You are Alive.
Drop the yoke.
Put on the Robe.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Listen To The Worlds of GrandMother

Trees talk. They not only talk, they sing. Like a choir they ride the rise and fall of chords on the wind. They sing great masterpieces written by the sylvan equivalents of Mozart or Bach or the B52’s.

I love to listen for each individual voice, pick out the moaners and screamers and get the feel of the sedate older trees that hold the undertones, the bagpipe drones, the solid notes.

I wait for the wind to come and open my voice, to activate my dreams, to blow away the dreams of others that contaminate my ability to hear my own inner Bach or B52’s.

If I listen well, if I listen too long I get carried off in the knowing that each leaf is a voice and I am listening to millions. The sound of the wind and trees communing with each other becomes intimate and even erotic. I am in the place where words no longer matter and tree talk is much sweeter than anything I have to say.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Path Well Worth Walking

Our birth from womb to world was a shattering explosion of light, breath, color, sound, taste, texture and temperature. All at once everything changed in one dramatic exploding moment.

If we choose to make it so, the rest of our lives can be a slow motion explosion where we continually experience one moment of awakening after another. If allowed to continue, layer after layer of illusion will die off and fall away and we will eventually experience The Shattering Place.

In the shamanic tradition of this continent we are taught that with proper intention and continued disciplined effort we can stop projecting darkness and illusion which, whether you are aware of it or not, is the way most of us live every day of our lives. We can reach the place where we know ourselves as Beings of Light limited only by our imagination.

When that day comes you have Shattered the Mirror of Self Reflection. No longer are you defined by any external force. You will have no need for titles or credentials and no investment in the projections of others. The only yardstick by which you will measure yourself will be internal and based in constant present awareness and integrity. You will know yourself by living the difference between self awareness and self definition. You become undefinable even to yourself. You appear to be a living breathing paradox. You finally know yourself by losing the need for self definition.

This is a Path well worth Walking.

Even though the experiences you have will fly in the face of everything you think you know, even though you may seem to teeter on the edges of sanity, even though every relationship you have will change and many will end. Even though . . .

This is a Path well worth Walking.

Listen to your heart, moment by moment it will show you the next step.

Shatter the Mirror

Enter a state of Being where the deepest Love resides.
A Love so vast that :
every act of Love that has ever been,
every song of Love
every poem,
every precious gift given
every loss deeply mourned
every sacred sexual union . . .
where even the grandest expression of Love that you can imagine
is but a tiny spark that leaps fearlessly
from the Great Fire that Burns in the Heart of the Universe
into space and dances in the darkness . . .

This is a Path well worth Walking.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Enlightenment and Laundry

A Journal Entry/1999 updated 2009
In the end of the story, when King Arthur has Percival throw Excalibur back into the Lake, when he gives the divine sign of Leadership back to the Divine, the people are left leaderless and chaos ensues.

We take these stories to mean that in order to have peace and prosperity, one extraordinary human must be leader of us all. That great leaders will shine and be noticed and become our salvation so when we do not have our “King Arthur” we see ourselves as weakened and directionless.

When feeling weak and leaderless we look for other kinds of leaders outside of ourselves. When we don’t find what we want we sue our Doctors, bitch about our Government and make Gurus of every self help book author. We wait for Magick we don’t believe in.

Who is The Lady of the Lake but Mother Life ?
What is The Dragon’s Breath* but the forces of Nature and her Laws?
What is Excalibur but your own body, the fact that you live ?

and who is Arthur but you ?

When The Horned One came into my dreams I mated with him shamelessly because he is raw power. I trembled, not with fear of Him, but with the Responsibility of desiring him and the Knowledge that he would come to me if I called.

I became Eve eating the apple, Mary birthing the force of change into Life, Guenivere holding the fate of the Realm in my hands, Morgaine the Witch* calling forth the Dragon’s Breath* and then I awoke and put in a load of laundry.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Prayer Around The Wheel of Life

Sacred Beauty: I ask for clarity.
I pray that you will guide me into self acceptance.
I ask that you will help me to hone in on my deepest desires and align them with the Song of Creation.

Sacred Healer:
I ask that you will guide me in the cleansing of my heart.
So that I may open my heart to myself and harmonize with the healing of all things.
I pray that you will guide me in releasing all past pains that keep me believing that my heart is not big enough, not grand enough, not strong enough to remain open to the pains of the world.
For my heart is grand , it is strong and it is wisely open.
May I embrace my true Heart’s Desire.

Sacred Bringers of Death and Change
I pray that you will lead me through the cycles that bring me into accepting change as life and life as change. And to accept death, in it’s many forms, as a doorway.
As I cling to the solid constancy of Earth may I also learn to fly.

Sacred Fires of Enlightenment
May I find the courage, the passion and the patience to live my dream among the dreams of others.

May we create a world where Beauty is nurtured, Love flourishes and Healing is not only possible but probable !


When enough humans bring their intention to a single cause there is power. If performed with sincere intention all ceremony teaches us to focus and gives us a way to learn to speak to Spirit from a deep and honest place within.

Ceremony can also move into realms that create a powerful environment for healing. By healing I mean transformation, transmutation, soul retrieval, Karmic clearing, rebirthing, redecision making, loss of physical maladies . . . The possibilities are endless and all can come to Life within Th
e Mother Lodge. Creating this kind of Ceremony requires the science of art and the art of science.

The Mother Lodge is a Magickal or Alchemical Lodge. These Lodges are designed to create an energetic and physical space within which we have the greatest opportunity to Heal ourselves, Life and Others. The term Mother Lodge refers to both the physical structure and the Ceremony.

When designing and orchestrating Magickal Ceremony three essential components must be present. Intention, Knowledge and Alchemy. The more balanced they are - the more balanced the ceremony will be.

All Ceremony
must have a clear Intention. It can be general or specific as long as the participants are united. Ceremonial Intention is a bridge that we have all chosen to cross together while remaining individuals. It is a bridge into healing and transformation if we Intend it to be so.

Intention is strongest when it is clear and focused while remaining fluid and free of expectations of how the Intention will manifest itself. In other words; what’s on the other side of the bridge.

The Universe is expanding. We might say that expansion is a part of it’s Intention. It therefore “wants” us to expand with it. Setting good strong Intention then becomes a matter of aligning our will with that of the Universe, God, Great Mystery, Wakan Tanka. Our Intention should lead us toward expansion.

I have often heard it said that it is really only Intention that matters. The validity of that statement depends on what your personal intention is. If your intention is to experience group prayer or the good
feelings that come from being with like minded people or to feel an emotional high (that many become addicted to) then it is true – intention IS all that matters. If, however, you wish to enter into a true co-creative healing dance with The Forces of Creation – it is not true. Alchemy and Knowledge are both necessary in proper measure.

If intention were all that matters then holding any series of poses with good intention would act the same on the body as Yoga or eating any food would nourish our bodies as well as any other food as long as it was eaten with good intention. There are reasons why Yoga works and we die on diets of Burger King and Coca cola.

Intention is essential but it is not the sole force.

There are few forces more powerful than valid Knowledge balanced by clear Intuition. Both are necess
ary for the creation of Ceremony that lives, breathes, has fluidity and remains stabilizing and strong.

Knowledge is not just information. It is information that you have lived with, tested, even tried to prove wrong and couldn’t. Knowledge is information that has become a part of you and that you have made a part of your life and your Sacred Point Of View*. Information may give you understanding or a new perspective but knowledge changes you on a fundamental level. Your health and/or behavior will change when something that was information becomes actual knowledge.

Knowledgeable people are experienced people.

The old saying ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’ comes from the combination of intention and intuition without valid knowledge to keep it grounded and sane even if alchemy is present . . . especially if alchemy is present. This is why some knowledge is guarded and why many knowledgeable people often expect “students” or “initiates” to earn their learning through self healing. If the “teacher” has integrity, it has nothing to do with hoarding information or gaining power over others. It is because they do not wish to hasten anyone down “the road to hell”. Besides, experience itself is the best teacher and a wise "guide" works to set up situations in and out of ceremony where "students" can teach themselves.

Intuition is the ability to hear the quiet knowing within. You may view this as the Higher Self, Guides or your own Inner Elder. It doesn’t matter what you call it as long as you respect it and realize that in order to trust it you must have healed yourself or at least be able to put your own wounding to the side for a time. Those individuals still rooted to their own wounds, those who still use their wounding to define themselves are not yet in the place to use their intuition in the service of others – an often unpopular truth but a truth, nonetheless.

The clarity of our intuition can be balanced by Knowledge, including a knowledge of alchemy. Remember: Knowledge is experienced in the body, not the head. And there comes a time when Knowledge and Intuition flow together as two streams forming a powerful river. This is known as Wisdom and comes gracefully into your Being when the time is right for you and not a moment sooner. Some people are born with an affinity for Wisdom, some must work hard to gain it. Still, to others, it may not come at all. The reasons are vast and variable.


“Alchemy: 1. A medieval chemical philosophy having as its asserted aims the transmutation of base metals into gold, the discovery of the panacea, and the preparation of the elixir of longevity. 2. A seemingly magical power or process of transmuting.”

This is the American Heritage Dictionary’s definition, as in most definitions it is limited and misses the meaning of the word as passed down by Magicians, Alchemists and Shamans although #2 ain’t bad.

A more comprehensive definition might be: the knowledge and ability to bring elements, both tonal* (physical) and nagual*( spiritual or energetic) together in the correct ways and in the correct amounts so that the resulting whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts, so that a new something (energetic pattern) is formed or born.

Simply put; alchemy is the recipe used for the ceremony. How, when and why are the forces of the Universe brought into the ceremony?

There are ways to do this that are more beneficial than others. Some stress different results. Some are more conducive to healing while some focus on attempting to control natural forces. And sloppy alchemy will not have the strength and effect of ceremonies based in proper alchemical procedure and led by individuals who are actively pursuing their own healing and practicing balanced ceremony on a regular basis ( see paragraphs on intuition above). It may seemingly hold together for a time but it’s orbit will slowly degrade and the Healing Power will leach out like sand through your fingers.

Proper Healing Alchemy forms energetic boundaries that seal the participant(s) off from all influences not deliberately called into the space. It creates a Sacred Space within which it becomes easier to access the deeper Self, easier to Heal and is free of negatively charged chaotic patterns of energy. This kind of energetic space encourages the healed Self to come forward and guide the unhealed Self in the process of becoming whole and genuine. It tilts the scale toward The Light in ways too numerous to mention.

Alchemy functions in both the physical and the metaphysical realms – this has far reaching implications. Alchemical Ceremony happens in physical time and space but it also sets in motion a wave of energy that will flow through a person’s “spirit body” for a period of time and a level of intensity determined by the ability of the individual to sustain it.

Taking all of the above into account we find that the Alchemical procedure used does define the Intention of the Ceremony. And so we find we have come full circle. It seems Intention IS all that matters after all. But it is not so simple as just assuming everything will turn out OK if we choose to remain ignorant, allow ourselves to become sloppy about our spiritual practice and simply hope for the best.

I am aware that much of what I have said here seems controversial and downright politically incorrect to some people. To that I can only say that proof is in the pudding. Alchemy is based in the Laws of this Universe and Law is a constant. If a method is not based in Law it is not alchemical. I would also ask you to stay tuned for the next posting entitled: A List of Things Your Higher Self Doesn’t Care About – I hope it will be fun !

It is also important to note that there is a great deal more to learn about alchemy, magick and ceremony than is in this tiny posting. This is the most basic form of these words. I use them because they are very ancient symbols. They exist within us at the archetypal level which can be tapped into by any one of us to dive more deeply into the Art, Science, Magick and Mystery of Ceremony.

All this said – how does one know when proper alchemy is being observed? How does one know when a ceremony is beneficial and when it is an attempt to manipulate emotions or control people or natural forces? How do I know that Intention, Knowledge and Alchemy are all present and honored?

True Healing Alchemical Ceremony will empower personal growth and individuality while also healing the greater collective. Those leading the ceremony will have little or no investment in defining your experience for you. While there may be surface chaos, it will still feel orderly and relaxed at the same time. You may be nervous or even afraid but there will be an underlying sense of “rightness” about it.

Your will should never be violated – you should be free to leave whenever you wish and The People must be respected at all times and their individual process recognized.

Whatever the specific Intention of the particular ceremony you are taking part in there will be an underlying goal of alignment with natural forces as opposed to the manipulation of them.

Enlightenment never arrives through the manipulation or degradation of other things or Beings but only through the embracing of the Universe as it is and finding our place within it and it’s place within us as limitless Beings.

Monday, January 19, 2009


In a Vision:
I walk along a green wooded path. Stag Deer comes out of the woods and faces me. I am not afraid. He walks up to me and with the tip of his right antler he opens my chest and leaps into me. He looks out on the scene from inside my chest and walks beside me to my left at the same time. Buffalo walks to my right. They lead me to a clear lake where I drink and bathe myself. I then turn to look at the shore standing knee deep in the water as Moose has taught me to do.

I see the Horned God (masculine deity of Europe) step out of the woods to my right and he approaches White Buffalo Woman (feminine deity of N.America) who has come from the left to stand on the shore. They dance perfectly together. There is no music or sound but the dance itself speaks to me and says: “It was never the Horned One’s intention to rape White Buffalo Woman”. Tears fall down my cheeks as I release guilt I did not know I had, guilt for being white on red people’s land. “The child of this union cannot be born until the white people release their guilt and the red people release their resentment.

I remember calling in the directions with Rainbow Eagle and how I understood in that moment that we have all been calling this in since we began to honor the directions, to see differences. The moment a human knew that south was different from north, the dance began. The desire to blend was born and the walk toward Unity started. Each Native American that faced north and called on that power called Europeans to this continent. Each time any Medicine Person, any Magician, any Witch, any Shaman, Priest or Priestess called to the directions we called each other into the Metis (or mixed blood) Way.

Like children we come together and like children we fight over the toys of ownership, rights, ego . . . there is no people who have not been both perpetrator and victim. We stand as equals in the great expanse of time.

This is a Sacred Time. What we have called to for thousands of years is upon us.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


The concept of Tribe has become synonymous with simple mindedness and savagery. It is, in truth, the ultimate in civilized behavior.
I am filled with this concept of the Tribal Soul, the part of us that longs for community, knows it’s deep level importance and carries the blueprint for making it work.

Within us we all carry something called The Tribal Soul.
It is the part of us that protects all children because we know that an injury of any kind to any child injures all children ...
- the part of us that respects those of same gender because we see our own beauty, our weakness, our own experience of living in our sister’s or brother’s eyes, the part that knows that betrayal of our same sex is a betrayal of self in a very real way and impacts those of opposite gender as well...
- the part of us that respects those of opposite gender as great mysterious beings on a road we will never travel in this lifetime...
- the part of us that respects our elders because we know that the real heroes are those who have lived a full and good life without hesitation, who have learned patience, acceptance and how to live in inner stillness, who have learned to lose and win with grace, who have learned to guide without manipulation or force and whether or not our old ones have mastered these arts, we respect them for a lifetime of trying, we respect them because we are trying and know the challenge...
- the part of us that celebrates both the triumphs and mistakes made by ourselves and others with equal hilarity and equal attention because we honor the process of living and know ourselves as one people, one entity within which each and every action impacts the whole...

The great ache that we feel, that we hear in love songs and see in films is not for one other perfect mate but for the Tribal Soul. The disappointment that we find, as marriage settles in to living and the age of 40something rolls upon us, is not just in ourselves, our jobs or our compromised vision but also for the lack of Tribal Soul. There is no one Being, job or static opinion that can fill that place.

Many say knowledge is the enemy. Knowledge is not the enemy - ignorance is. It is the intellectualization of experience that makes us weak and unable to connect to the Tribal Self.

When the seasons reign and people live, dream, make love, birth, grow and die in each other’s presence, when each day we see each other and face ourselves in the eyes of our tribe the connecting web is strong and sensitive. It enables the people to respond to crisis, to revel in celebration, to mourn when needed . . . . to turn together like a flock of birds.

When any
event happens the people must gather to hear the stories. Each must see it through the eyes of the children, the old, the mothers, the warriors, the teachers, the healers and the artists.

We must make time to hear the stories.

The Mother Lodge awakens the Tribal Soul. I remember . . .

Saturday, January 10, 2009


In order to learn to trust our Intuition we must seize a moment when Knowing is present and have the courage to act on it. Only then can we see the Impact of pure Intuition in movement, the Impact of our Knowing brought to life.

The less intellectual knowledge we have about the situation or choice and the more we are working on pure instinct and introspective intuition the more Impactful the experience will be; on our level of self Trust, our Trust in Spirit and on our environment.

Each time you act on Trust alone and learn from it you also polish your character and your ability to hold your own in the face of the energies dancing around you. You become like a smooth stone that when dropped in this small pond we call “the world” causes ripples of energy to emanate out and wash over all things including other human Beings.

This act of listening is called Courage.
The taking of action based on what is heard is called Bravery.
Responding to the Impact of whatever consequence arises from this action is called response-ability.

You have taken the Sacred Opportunity to bathe the world in your Sacred Self. It is a gift and the beginning of truly Understanding who you are and what you are worth to the Universe.


When I was a child in a small town on the shore of Lake Michigan I would watch the Lebanese families, the Italian families, the African/American families, the German families and the few others who still seemed to have a sense of their lineage and their cultural identity. Always they fascinated me and always I felt an odd unidentifiable ache in my heart. As I grew, the ache became a part of my very soul. It claimed such a presence in my being that it became like an organ; like a touchy gallbladder or a trick knee that lay dormant until confronted by a food or circumstance that caused a “flair up” and these ”flair ups” were caused by anyone or anything that implied that sense of lineage or cultural identity.

There was
a small community of Lebanese in our town and there were several old ladies who always dressed completely in black and many of them did not speak English. Still, I would walk as close behind them as I could and listen. I was sure they had some kind of secret knowledge that I was not privy to. I wanted, so deeply, to belong.

My family heritage was mixed and mysterious. My Mother was adopted and knew only her mother’s name, her father a complete mystery. My paternal Grandparents were dead long before I was born. I knew I was of their family and that they loved me but that did not feed my desire for heritage. We were Scottish, Irish, French, Welsh, Native American..... So much had been added into the mix that we were neither soup, stew nor goulash. We were everything and nothing.

I was an American child who’s culture had been stripped away and replaced by television, Barbi dolls, processed food, the scientific method and a strange hybrid religion that was part Judaism, part European tribal culture, part the teachings of a brilliant man called Jesus and part political machine mixed with bits and pieces of other Sacred Pathways. This elaborate conglomeration of rituals and beliefs had by now been dubbed Christianity. And much of the world believ
ed then and believes now that it had sprung, fully formed, from the lips of a few men two thousand years ago – a “new” religion that could save us all. I know true Christian Seekers now but as a child all I saw was a big building and the words meant nothing to me.

When I was very small I much preferred my own company and found a vacant lot at the end of our sheltered street that became my world for many years. I was close to the Earth there. I built shelters in summer and winter and made tools from whatever I found. I felt at home on the Earth; it was her people that confused me and left me feeling somehow homeless though I slept in a perfectly good bed every night, even if it was usually sandy.

For me, it
has always been the Earth that consistantly and constantly carries truth, lineage, history and a true sense of belonging. If we look at our evolution through her eyes we gain a very different sense of history.

Be brave. Be brave enough to Enter t
he Mother Lodge and sit in her lap or enter the stillness of deep Meditation and Become A Rock. Just for a few moments you are not an Amerindian or a Celt, or a Jew or a Muslim or a Christian or a Buddhist . . . just a rock.

If you can
become a rock and watch all of history simply go by you will begin the process of becoming a true Human Being and leaving behind the pain of whatever particular pack of lies you were surrounded by as you grew.

Understand ! I do not call your teachers, your parents, your preachers or your culture liars. Most of them told you the truth as best they knew it. Most of them told you exactly what they believed you needed to know in order to be happy, whole and functional. But they were not as smart as rocks. How could they be? They have been here on the Earth for such a short time . . . and seen so little.


So you want to be a witch*
a bruja*
a medicine woman*
a wise woman
a healer . . . . .

Sit down outdoors with your spine straight and your shoulders back.
Open your chest and clear your throat.
Speak from the simple silent soul place deep in your belly.
Speak to the earth
to the sky
to the wild ones and
to the world.
Speak to the ancestors and say :
Make me a witch
a bruja
a medicine woman
a wise woman
a healer . . . . .

Pull out one hair from your head,
one small symbolic bit of self
lay it on the ground and say Good Bye.
Don’t look back.

Ride the wildest roller coasters
sled down hills that are a little to steep
a little to fast
a little to icy.
Learn to breath when you’re frightened,
sing when you’re tired,
laugh through tears and
comfort a loved one when there are no answers.
Learn to laugh loud and change gears on a steep hill without rolling back.

Get a good car and sensible shoes.
Grow your hair long, brush it often and
bathe in honey, flower petals and sweet oil.

These are essential skills because
Spirit will strip you of pride
so that you may know power.
Spirit will strip you of pity
so that you may reach into any hole,
no matter how deep,
and help another to begin climbing.

Spirit will lead you,
eyes open and hair flying
head long into the stone wall
of your own foolishness and
knock loose the broken shards
of your old self
so that they rattle around in your skull
go liquid and settle in the base of your brain
to drip down through your body
flow out your feet
and fertilize flowers on the footpath.

Spirit will drop you into the lap of trouble
with only one tool in your pocket
And your wisdom will be judged by how long you search
everywhere but there
for just the right cure.

Spirit will furnish you with a sticky page photo album
complete with perfect pictures of every scabby knee,
every broken heart,
every callous word,
every wasted moment,
and it will fly through the pages and flash by your face like an old silent movie
whenever you are about to screw up through arrogance.
Bind it in your favorite color.
Place it with your Holy Books.

Learn to think while you are falling
and believe in Magick* strong enough
to turn the rock surface hurtling toward you to cool water.
Close your eyes,
point your toes,
raise your arms,
straighten your spine,
hit the water clean as an arrow shot
and remember that sometimes the only difference
between falling and flying is the way you land.

So, you want to be a witch
a bruja
a medicine woman
a wise woman
a healer . . . . .

Learn to recognize the enemy,
sleep sitting up,
face everything,
walk away from anything,
pee in the woods,
efficiantly pack a suitcase and
sing a Sacred Self song

Learn to be helpless and helpful
fulfilled and a walking void
a midwife and a funeral director

and then,
you may begin . . . . .


As you meander around this blog, here is a space to post comments on any of the poetry that runs down the opposite side of the page. Please be sure to note which poem you are commenting on. Thank You


GrandMother Evelyn [Eaton] said that “No one cares for a bridge other than to cross it” and sometimes I feel the bridge that I am . It makes me remember a time when I was about 13.

My family went to Mackinaw Island by houseboat and one night I snuck out with 2 older boys. They took me up the hill to Fort Mackinaw and showed me how to climb up onto the roof. From there we could see out over all the buildings and the harbor across the straights. The Mackinaw Bridge was a string of lights connecting the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan with the lights of Mackinaw City on one side and St. Ignace on the other. I remember it now as looking like a diamond clasp that held the earthen robe of GrandMother Earth closed at her watery throat.

The bright lights at either end made the center seem the blackest dark and from that vantage point I could see why a person could live at one end of a bridge and never know what lay on the other side. If you are warm, fed and well lit why walk into that darkness on only a promise or some deep inner illogical prompting ?

I remember that night as I stand in the dark on the center of this "bridge" brought about by The Mother Lodge Journey. Occasionally I sense others around me and sometimes we even brush against each other feeling the momentary rush of familiar human contact.

Out here in the center of dark nothingness it does not matter if the soul we see in the night is pretty or slim or white or black or red or educated or rich or even speaks our language. The touch carries reverence for the willingness to risk insanity - not knowing sanity from insanity - to walk the bridge.

Out here on the dark center of this bridge I look out across time and water. Now and then, for just a moment, I can lock into the eyes of a small 13 year old girl on the roof of Fort Mackinaw. She saw the whole view, She knows where I am and for some crazy reason, I trust her.

Friday, January 9, 2009


When you were born, inside sterile hospital doors, who read the medicine signs ?

Perhaps a crow would have come to the window that morning and cawed 3 times to announce new life and the whole forest would have known you arrived. Perhaps, on the day you were born, a deer would have crossed the meadow to let your Mother know that this child wanted gentleness or a badger took root nearby to say “Teach this one to be strong and to look for meanings beneath the surface, she will need it in her life’s work”.

When I was Midwifing I felt there was “something” there in the placentas. Each one so different that I would stare at them much longer than was needed to be certain they were intact. If I had known about scrying* then, I think I would have laid them out smoothly in a belly sized bowl and dreamed myself inside each one to see if there were any important messages for the Child or the Mother who had both just been born new or anew.

The old arts, like scrying or the reading of Medicine Signs are being replaced by the ‘scientific method’. They are dying. And if people do not know what a Shaman is –they cannot recognize one. If people do not know what a Shaman is – they find it easy to call themselves one.

There are very few who have faced the deep seeded demons of self importance, self pity and life wounds and emerged truly gifted and humbled by it. Very few have died the Shaman's Death and lived to tell about it. Very few who are willing to walk their Wisdom in the world without title or expectations of fame or wealth. And because of this humility those who truly are Way Showers are often missed. They are quickly passed by because they are not on TV, leaders of a cult or card carrying members of The Shaman’s Union with a framed certificate on the wall from the FDA.

And so they often live in poverty and relative obscurity.

For many years I have asked myself what a Shaman is. What is a Medicine Woman?

And after all the asking I think I understand that, when you are healed, when you are whole, when you are fearlessly free to Love, when you make a healing difference that lasts in the lives you touch,
when you no longer care what you are,
when you stop asking,
you simply Become what you Do.