23 December, 2014

Upcoming Grand Crystal Healing Ceremony on Sunday, Jan 4th!

With regards to my previous article on the Holidays, I know that many wonderful and amazing people will be in need of healing for the New Year. There are many ways to invite healing into your life: perhaps focusing on a return of energy after dealing with family/friends, a removal of blockages, a desire to set new goals for the new year, or even a "clean energetic slate" in which to meet the challenges of 2015.

For those that are local to the DC Metro area (or don't mind a bit of a drive, as it's just an hour south of Baltimore), I encourage you to attend the next Grand Crystal Healing Ceremony, on Sunday January 4th, at the Blueberry Gardens.

(c) 2014 Lonely Coyote
The Grand Crystal Healing Ceremony is a public ceremony, open to all who register in advance*, and is an excellent way to receive healing from a number of shamanic healers** (all with different skills sets and Helping Spirits).

A giant grid is created in the center of the Octagon Healing Room, and each participant brings a blanket (or yoga mat or chair) to sit/lay on. The participants surround the grid in the center, sort of like spokes on a bicycle wheel. The ceremony begins with Songs of Invitation for many different Helping Spirits, from all different cultures, and the numerous shamanic healers use this time to go into trance.

When the songs are finished, each healer picks a section of the room and begins working with each participant. Moving in a clockwise circle, each participant receives Personalized Healing from a range of shamanic healers, which can highlight similar issues to be healed, or a variety of blockages that are removed as a whole. As each participant waits for his/her turn with a healer, the crystals/stones in the grid provide subtle healing, too!

Participants are encouraged to bring a Journal, in order to write down the things discussed with each individual healer. It helps to organize thoughts in between mini-sessions with each healer (and healers can sometimes have great difficulty remembering what the Spirits have said to each individual person at Grand Healing Ceremonies!). Books will also be available to look up the meaning of different crystals and stones, if a healer uses them in your healing.

After a few hours (sometimes 2.5, sometimes 3), the healers will return to the center of the room and sing the Closing/Thank You songs, and end the ceremony.

At this time, many different things can happen:
  • The Healers will stuff their faces with food! Yum!
  • Some Healers may have energy to discuss a bit more about different crystals/stones and/or Helping Spirits (animals, deities, ancestors, etc).
  • Participants will also eat food and socialize with everyone (please bring your own food with you-- there are not many restaurants close by...).
  • Students may help to wrap stones/crystals and pack away the grid.
Many of these things will depend on the Healers' energy levels, so please be mindful before approaching anyone with detailed questions!

The Healing Work done in cooperation with Helping Spirits at Public Ceremonies can help in a variety of ways, but is not the same as Healing Work done during individual appointments. A few of the healers who work in a professional capacity will have cards with him/her,  in order to assist with the follow-up work.

Interested? Grand Crystal Healing Ceremonies sell out quickly, so reserve your spot today!

Important Points:
  • The ceremony is from 11am to 4pm on Sunday Jan 4th 2015.
  • Blueberry Gardens has adequate parking, but it is good to arrive around 10:45am to park, claim your space on the healing floor, and use the restroom beforehand.
  • Things to bring with you: Lunch, a Journal, blanket/yoga mat/chair.
  • Payment must be made in advance, via PayPal (no money will be taken the day of).
    • To secure your place, log in to your own PayPal account, click on "Send Money" and send $75.00 to this email address: healing@summary.net  Note: If you have any issues, please email me-- you may not receive a confirmation email from us, but you will from PayPal!
Hope to see you there!

*Again, I cannot stress this enough-- you must secure your place in advance! We usually sell out early and quickly, and cannot accommodate more than 25-30 participants.
**The Shamanic Healers for this ceremony are myself, Caroline Kenner, Literata, Christian Stone,  and a range of current & graduated students from Gryphons Grove School of Shamanism.

14 December, 2014

Holidays, Family Drama, and Emotional Upheaval

In the United States, December is filled with huge amounts of emotion, tension, stress, anxiety, hopes, fears,  and expectations (that are sometimes not filled). The focus is on the Holidays and Family, and that combination can bring past hurts and Soul Loss to the forefront. Everyone is trying to prepare for the "drama" of visiting relatives, many who are unable to see a person as anyone other that who s/he was as a child.

There is a huge divide between the expectation of love and acceptance from family/loved ones, and the reality of family patterns being replayed over and over again. Most of the time it is unconscious (no fault of any relative), but in some situations, relatives can be quite cruel if one does not "fit" into their notions of a "good daughter, son, cousin, wife, husband, mother, uncle, etc."  Psychologically and energetically, this is exhausting and secretly disappointing.

The Spirits have come through in a big way in each and every appointment, to help clients feel loved, cared for, protected, and above all, SAFE. All of us have wounds from childhood and beyond, that are part of Family Shadows. No matter how loving the family, or the relatives, there is always some sort of painful experience that has happened as a result of one not fulfilling certain expectations (and the hurt that comes from the resulting judgment).

Many people are preparing to travel for the holidays, to make the journey "home", and to renew the bonds of family, friendship, and love. The chakras most affected by these preparations are the Ancestral chakra, the Root chakra, and the Heart chakra. Any blockages, any intrusions, any "scar tissue", and any Soul Loss can appear to manifest more strongly, and immediately put a client in a position of weakness when working with these issues.

It can be difficult to remember everything that one has accomplished, and all of the growth and strides made, when one returns home. If you are struggling with these complicated feelings and a desire to be truly seen as you are, and not who you were, then Call Out to your own Helping Spirits (in prayer, out loud or in your head, or by offerings). They want to help, and they want everyone to feel Loved, even if those feelings are too complicated and disappointing to feel during the Holidays.

If you need help with releasing some of the scar tissue, and regaining your energy after the Holidays, then let's work together for Soul Retrieval and Emotional Release.

Remember: You are SO LOVED AND BLESSED by your Helping Spirits-- all you need to do is ask for their help!

And finally, for those who I've met, and for those I haven't: I love you. I love you through all of the pain and the heartache of this month. You are loved.

06 December, 2014

Making Room for Spirit(s) and Showing Gratitude

I've written before about how Nature is compelled to fill all vacuums, which is a philosophy that I have tried  to use proactively. By releasing myself from my job, my ideas about a "normal workweek," and all my expectations, I've been able to re-align my perspective on true abundance, health, and helping the public. In fact, I've been ecstatic to help others find deeper, more profound healing, and not be bound by the limits of the public mental health system! I've also been amazed that by making all of this "room" in my life for this work, the Spirits have come through for me (and clients) in miraculous ways.

It's been a little over four months since becoming a full-time shamanic healer, and I am reflecting back on the lessons learned, and my many gratitudes:
  • I am thankful for the Spirits presence in my life-- all the Ancestors, Nature Spirits, Spirits of Land/Place, Deities, and Unknowable Great Ones. Everything has become so tied together, and the fabric of my practice is much more deeply-woven (and stronger).
  • I am thankful for dearly loved friends and family, who support me in following my desire to do this Work.
  • I am thankful for having the time available to give truly heart-centered follow-up to those in need, and to have the time available for those in crisis.
  • I am thankful for the new connections, new relationships, and new friendships that have grown out of shamanic healing ceremonies.
  • I am thankful for the support of other spiritually-minded folk that help me to succeed.
  • I am thankful for my background in mental health, Reiki, Druidry, magick, music (voice & violin), runes, and crystals/stones. They combine in such an intuitive way for each individual healing, that I wonder if my many years of education and training were Spirits' way of leading me to this path!
  • I am thankful for being my own boss. This was never more true than being knocked out by the damn Norovirus and not having to worry about calling in sick, trying to convince a boss that I really am sick, calling in each day I am sick, and then having to make it to a doctor to get an excuse to prove that I should be paid my earned sick time because I really am sick. <-- always hated doing that
Of course, with the gratitude and reflection, I realize that there are many things that I need to buckle down and work on for my own growth:
  • I need to learn more anatomy. I was thankful during a session that I picked up on a client's possible gestational diabetes issues with a future child (it was a magical "aha!" moment for both of us) but I had to pull out a picture book to figure out where the pancreas was and what Spirits were trying to tell me! Funny but a bit embarrassing!
  • I need to adapt more magickal clearing techniques for self-healing. This "norovirus purge" showed me that even though I prepare for appointments and complete grounding afterwards, it's not enough. This work goes deep, deeper than my counseling work with mental health clients, and so my self-care needs to go deep as well. 
  • I need to expand my knowledge of Deities. Many times, the Orishas, the Lwa, and even Persian deities have shown up for a client, but I know of them by name only (as they are "friends of friends" of other deities I work with). It can be helpful for clients to know Who is taking an interest in them when I have more information.
  • I need to expand my knowledge of symbol sets. The Spirits can only communicate with me via the images and concepts I already have in my brain. If I have more symbols and concepts, then I can receive more accurate information.
I dearly love this work, and I love helping people become more whole, energized, and empowered. I can't wait to see what lessons the next few months bring!

(But please gods, no more norovirus!)

05 December, 2014

Grr! Norovirus attacks, and brings serious reflections

Oh dear gods, what an insanely difficult week of sickness.

I got whammied by the most intense stomach flu I've had since I was a child! Gah!

I've only recently started to feel human again (well, as human as I can feel with lots of Spirits in my head-- tee hee), and this particular "purging" process was rather brutal.

Of course, Spirits sometimes give lessons in rather obvious and profound ways, and I think this painful purge and "re-setting" of my body (coinciding with an interesting dream of my own death a few weeks back) is continuing a process of releasing, intuiting, and clearing that began on August 1st, when I jumped into shamanism full-time.

I am looking forward to exploring this more, especially as I never want to get laid out like this again!

Free Info from Health Dept!

30 November, 2014

Upcoming FREE Lecture in Baltimore!

So few people work with Coyote and his form of "Trickster Medicine" that I am excited to share a FREE LECTURE opportunity with you!

I am unable to upload the PDF file into Blogger (as it is not my flyer), so here is the relevant information:

Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, in collaboration with Kenosis Spirit Keepers, presents "Coyote Medicine, Lessons from Native American Healing"
Thursday, January 15, Noon to 1:15 pm
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,
615 N. Wolfe Street, Room 1020
The Lecture is being given by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD, author of Coyote Medicine and the Coyote Trilogy
This talk is free and open to the public.
To reserve your space you must contact Nicole Pare at Johns Hopkins University, by phone at 410-955-6931.

It may be tricky for some to attend a lunch lecture in downtown Baltimore on a Thursday, but I'd love to see you there!

17 November, 2014

Coyote blabs about the Secrets of Sedona's Vortexes! (Arizona II)

Red Rock State Park, (c) 2014 by Me!
Sedona, AZ is known for its vibrant Red Rocks, evergreen forests, and incredibly blue skies. It is also known in "New Age Circles" for its Vortexes-- areas of energy that can have a profoundly healing effect on the human body, mind, and spirit.

With the length of time I had for this vacation, I wanted to visit the main four: Airport Mesa vortex, Boynton Canyon Vortex, Cathedral Rock Vortex, and Bell Rock Vortex. There are numerous maps to the Vortexes, and I drove my rental car to the furthest one (Boynton Canyon) early one morning.

I began walking up the path, looking for signs to signal when I'd reach the Vortex area. I hiked for a solid hour, retracing my steps and re-checking my map(s).

There were no signs for the Vortex. In fact, after speaking with local friends, I learned that NONE of the Vortexes are labeled at all! It seemed to be a small joke on the New Agey tourists who came to Sedona specifically for the Energy High: no one would tell anyone where the Vortexes were, but everyone maintained that you could "feel" them. Of course, the Unspoken Test was that if you couldn't "feel" them, then you weren't "advanced enough" or "psychic enough" for them... Although I was in Sedona for more than just the Vortexes, it seemed as though I was being tested as well (see below for my Personal Theory*).

Eventually, I put away my map and just hiked for the pure joy of it. I went to the end of a trail, climbed up a small rock face, and sat facing the morning sunlight. Very few people were on the trail yet, and so I decided to close my eyes and Journey to the Spirits of the Land.

Lonely Coyote at Boynton Canyon
 Coyote immediately appeared, and began to introduce me to different Spirits (Hawk, Eagle, Lizard, Owl, Mesquite Tree, Creosote Bush; lots of friends!). We then both looked out into the Sky, and I saw the most amazing and colorful light display emanating from the sunlight. The Desert Guardian Spirit came to say hello, and I made offerings of friendship, gratitude, and pleas for safety while hiking in the area.

After that Journey, I opened my eyes, took a deep breath, and stretched my legs. I stood up, and prepared to climb down off of the rocks. My eyes were drawn to where my butt was:

A surprise within the Red Rock! (c) 2014 by Me!
There were quartz-like crystals within the Red Rocks! Quartz is a stone of communication, and its presence within only some Red Rock structures, but not others, gave me information about the sacredness of different areas of the desert (and hinted at the true locations of Sedona's many Vortexes).

In checking out the other main Vortex sites, I was able to find similar quartz-like crystals. Again, not in any marked areas, and only certain concentrations of Red Rock.
Cathedral Rock area, (c) 2014 by Me!
 I believe that these physical manifestations of quartz within the stone are the true "signs" of Sedona's Vortexes. I was able to Journey while sitting atop lots of different outcrops, and found my visions to be colorful, clear, immediate in nature, and easily communicated.

*But what of my Personal Theory? I think that some small percentage of tourists, desperate for healing and communion with the Divine Nature Spirits, are either "pretending" that they can feel the Energy, or convincing themselves that they can if another person points it out (also known as projection). Additionally, the Vortexes have a reputation, and have developed a Thought Form around them. Some tourists may be feeling the energetic high of the Thought Form of the Vortexes, and not the actual energies themselves. 

I do not understand the "status symbol" of "pretending" that one can feel the Vortexes when s/he can't, especially if many who come to visit are in need of healing. Sadly, it became a bizarre competition at my hotel's spa area...

I hope this article helps those who are searching out the exact locations of the Energy Vortexes (look for the quartz embedded in the rocks!), but are not receiving accurate information from maps or human guides. This was the only unpleasant experience that I had in Sedona.

Cathedral Rock Vortex area (c) 2014 by Me!

07 November, 2014

Raven's Introduction to Sedona (Arizona I)

Sunrise in Sedona, AZ (c) 2014 by Me!
I arrived in Phoenix on October 27th, very jet-lagged from the 3-hour time difference. After driving two hours north, eating lunch, and checking into my hotel, I was eager to nap for a few hours. I closed all the blinds, kept the bathroom window open for fresh air, and laid down on the comfy bed. I set my alarm for 90 minutes, and closed my eyes.


I thought the air conditioning was trying to turn on, so I turned off the unit.


I rolled over.


I had no idea what was making that sound, and got up and explored the bungalow. I looked outside:

Raven in a Juniper Tree
 Raven had come to welcome me to the Desert! Of course, immediately wide awake, I just had to go and talk with Him:

After good conversation, I gave offerings of cornmeal to both Him and all of the Spirits of Place. With His guidance (and nice "croaking" reminders), I gave offerings of cornmeal for each and every trail-head, sacred cairn/marker, "vortex" and whenever I felt Called.*

During my trip, Raven greeted me every single day, and often joined me on my long (4-5 hour!) hikes. He was super-playful, very Tricksy, and rather adept at manifesting Himself physically anytime I was struggling with a particularly difficult Journey or "Aha!" moment.

But what about Coyote? Where was He?

Sadly, I never saw a physical coyote while in the desert (not this time, at least). However, Coyote was present at each Journey, and gave me wonderful insight into the Desert, the Land, and His People. He was able to welcome me my first night, during my tour of the Night Sky. As our group sat on the freezing soccer field (open space needed for the telescope), I heard a giggle, then a yip, then a short bark. My ears immediately perked up, and I had a giant grin on my face. The tour guide said, "Well folks, we seem to have a pack of coyotes near us. Just stay with the group."  I laughed, and then the coyote voices exploded: at least 7 or 8 howled, barked, yipped, laughed, and sang.

Of course, I couldn't focus on anything else, and tears of joy froze halfway down my cheeks.

Stay tuned for the next blog entry, where Coyote tells me the Secrets of the Vortexes!

*Note: My offerings were given just off of the paths of parking lots (most of the time), to preserve to sacredness and beauty of the spaces. Additionally, I was a Guest with these Spirits, and was warned by many Natives to NOT leave offerings at the actual places (it is considered extremely rude and disrespectful by those who are of the Culture, and who work with the Spirits of Place directly).

31 October, 2014

Quick update from Sedona

Happy Halloween!

I've been here since Monday, and am loving every minute!

Raven was the first to greet me. In my jet-lagged state, I heard a croak outside my bathroom. He was staring right at me, head cocked to the side, begging me to get out of bed and play! 

We only talked for a bit, but He's greeted me every morning, and has been with me at every sacred place I've visited.

Coyote laughed and yipped the first night, during my stargazing, but his physical brethren have been super sneaky. The only coyote I've seen is a dead one one the side of the road (of course, I teared up a bit and rolled my eyes). He's got two more days to make contact... although He has been in each of my daily Journeys.

The views are spectacular and expansive,  and my Energy Bodies have adapted to the extra space out here.

A few quick photos before a full update (when I return to Maryland):

26 October, 2014

Visiting the Desert for the Pagan Holidays (and Coyote, too)

In less than 8 hours, I will be on a plane to Arizona, for a week-long vacation.

I have traveled to many different ecosystems in the past 10-12 years (tropical, rainy/British, windy tundra, forest, mountains, beaches, oceans, rivers, creeks, etc.), but I have never been to a true desert.

(public domain image via Microsoft)
 I have packed my rattle and some offerings in between my clothes (too full a suitcase!), and I am so ecstatic that I can't sleep. I want to hike every day, see the southern tip of the Grand Canyon, visit different museums, sit under a clear night sky full of the stars and Milky Way, dance in the Halloween/Samhain/Dia de los Muertos parades.

And I want to hear coyotes howl.

I have worked with Coyote for many years. He began as a silent totem-like animal guide on Journeys (back in 2002) and evolved into a wonderfully sarcastic human-coyote shape-changer (with whom I enjoy many hilarious conversations).

But I have never seen a coyote in real life, a constant joke from the Old Man himself.

We'll see who gets the last laugh, as I have a full week to chase Him down!

(C) MLB  AAAAAaaaaaaooooooooooo!

Stay tuned as I update my blog with photos from my vacation, along with stories of Synchronicity and Shamanism!

20 October, 2014

Healing the Soul during Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde, a phrase that can cause increased anxiety and fear in a wide variety of people.

Miscommunication, bad travels, accidents, difficulty with electronics-- all of it within the domain of Mercury himself, and all of it turning a bit "screwy" when he goes "on vacation" or "to the Underworld (he is a Psychopomp after all)."

However, I've learned that the above-mentioned mishaps don't last too long, and certainly not the entire 3-week duration of His Retrograde phase. After about 3-4 days, things begin to settle down, and Mercury (and other Spirits) are able to help humans with "Re-Writing" and "Re-Editing" different life experiences, energetic connections, PTSD, karmic links, etc.

I've had some interesting and powerful healing appointments with clients during this time. Traumatic life experiences have been better healed, painful ties to past relationships have been remediated, and enmeshed Souls have been given healthier boundaries. Some clients have been able to help heal the Ancestral Line of their families, and other clients have been able to facilitate healing to the Egregore of the "Healthy & Powerful Woman" (these healings help undo the damages of the angry/scared/embittered Patriarchy, and help return Balance to the interactions between all genders).

I am not an Astrologer, but I have loved reading different blog articles about the particular Mercury Retrograde during this month of October. Here's a link to my favorite: Emotional Thoughts about Mercury Retrograde.

The Retrograde period ends this Saturday (October 25th). Let's work together to help heal recurring traumatic thoughts, entangled relationships, and family issues. Please email me for an appointment.

14 October, 2014

Creating a Rattle during the Full Moon Eclipse

What an intense few weeks so far! Mercury went Retrograde (see future post), the Full Moon involved a spectacular eclipse, and the veils between Worlds have felt much thinner (as we approach Samhain).

Since becoming a shaman Full Time (although when is it not full time? Spirits are always on and communicating), I have wanted to create a new rattle to honor my professional work and relationships with Spirits. I made my first rattle back in 2010, to coincide with the beginning of my education. It is very powerful, very loud, and moves a lot of energy very quickly. It has been used in years of Journeywork, individual and group Healings, and many House Clearings.

During the past 4+ years, some of the corn has exploded, and bits and bobs keep falling out during particularly intense ceremonies. It has a desire to "retire" and only "come out" for special occassions-- ha ha!

I began working on a new rattle during the New Moon on September 24th. I gathered materials, looked for different hides/pelts/skins, collected all of my stones gathered at different sacred sites (including special places at Gunpowder Park and Coba), and purchased artificial sinew, an awl, and leather scraps.
Lots of materials!
I began the actual work of cutting the hide and sewing it the day before the Full Moon Eclipse. My last rattle used a particularly strong and tough hide; for this rattle, Old Man Coyote himself wanted to be honored! It was nearly impossible to find a "hard-tanned" coyote pelt, as coyote fur is often used in fur coats, hats, etc. I got lucky, and found an "air-dried" coyote pelt on eBay (the sacred provider of spiritual materials). I created a mock-up of the shape that I wanted, and cut out the hide from the heart-region of the pelt (no better area for a heart-centered rattle of healing!).

So difficult to cut!
Now, in almost 99% of the time, the hide is shaved down, so that no fur remains on it. This keeps the rattle-head hide tough and strong and resonant. For my rattle, I decided to keep the fur on, both for the tactile aspect of it, and just to see what it would look like and how it would sound!

Soaking the fur and hide for the rattle-head
As the evening grew late, and the hide became pliable, I sewed my rattle-head and filled it with sand. This helped to shape it and expand it to its full roundness. I went to bed, and set my alarm for early morning (5:00am!!), so that I could complete the rattle before the Full Moon Eclipse began (at 5:40am).

Zip-tied to keep the sand in!
 I woke up at 5:02am, and went out to check my rattle.

It should have been completely dry.

It was still completely wet. Ugh. The coyote fur had insulated the skin, and it had not dried or hardened at all.

I took the zip-tied rattle outside, poured offerings, and made my prayers and intentions under the Full Moon, right as it went into Eclipse.

Poor camera resolution :(
I replaced the sand with Salt, in the hopes that it would dry out the hide better (sort of Ancient Egyptian), and went back to bed.

When I woke up later that morning, the rattle-head was STILL DAMP, although not as wet as before. I started Googling, to see if the Gods of the Internet would help me figure out how to dry my rattle-head safely.

No results.

I got a little worried, a little anxious, and a little crazy. I decided to "bake" the rattle-head in the Oven!

I followed similar directions for dehydrating meat, and found that finally, the rattle-head was dry and stiff enough for filling!
Almost done!
I put in all of my materials, dried corn, sacred herbs, etc. and began gluing the hide to my driftwood stick. I wrapped the ends with black leather straps, put on another zip-tie, and carefully arranged it on my counter-top to dry.

Each night of the Full Moon, I took it outside to soak in the energy. I also took it out into the Sun, to get a nice balance. And I have begun to use it in setting up Crystal Healing Grids for individual client appointments.

Coyote's rattle is complete!
I look forward to learning more about its power, how it moves energy, and how it puts me into Trance for Journeys!

09 October, 2014

Picture of Crystal Healing Grid-- Crystals to Promote Physical Healing

The healing ceremony on Sunday was fantastic, and very healing for both clients and shamanic practitioners!

Caroline and I focused on Physical Healing (see previous post ), and many clients found pain relief and blockage removal.

Here is an image of our glorious Healing Crystal Grid:

Great pic, D.J.!!
Note the Coyote Pelts on both sides! Aaaaaoooooooooo!

There are only Two more Crystal Healing Ceremonies left for this year, and they focus on healing Lineages/Psychopomp and healing Broken Hearts.

Please email me your interest, as we are limited to 25 clients for each ceremony!

03 October, 2014

Crystal Healing Ceremony for Physical Healing

On Sunday, the next crystal healing ceremony will be presented in our series: Physical Healing.

Although much of my training has been in mental and emotional health, I grew up in a family of nurses, and this informal education has really helped me pinpoint different things during healing appointments with clients.

Physical healing is the most immediate form of healing relief that can come after a shamanic healing ceremony. It forms the basis for pain relief and removal of physical blockages, so that the shaman and her Spirits can begin to work on the emotional/spiritual levels.

Many numerous stones, woods, plants, and other sacred items can help with physical healing, such as carnelian, willow, plantain/all heal, etc.  The concept of Sympathetic Magic appears to be strongest with physical healing items, if one looks at historical documents and folklore.

NOTE: The following descriptions are purely from my experiences in Trance, and should NOT REPLACE allopathic medicine. Please see my Major Disclaimer (to the left of this webpage).

Here are a few of my favorites:

Sacred stones for physical healing

Hematite is a silvery, bubbly stone that has a rusty color when rubbed off. It is a form of Iron Oxide, and is primarily used to help heal disorders of the blood (anemia, inflammation, blood circulation, etc.). It has a secondary use of helping the brain to focus and concentrate when overwhelmed with powerful emotions (sort of like a "distancing" and "mentalizing" effect).

One of my favorites (I love the gorgeous yellow color)! Sulphur assists with metabolic balances, bile, stomach issues, strengthening of bones and organs, and many other wonderful things. It is also highly useful in increasing energy levels and supporting cancer patients.
This stone also works on disorders of the blood (similar to hematite above), but I've found it very useful for organs and tissues, more than the blood itself (i.e., heart, liver, etc).
Calcite is composed of calcium, so I find it excellent in assisting with broken bones, osteopenia, broken teeth, and nutrient imbalances. It comes in a wide range of colors, and I usually use either the white or the golden calcite.
Fluorite has both calcium and fluoride compounds in it, and so for physical healing, I enjoy using it for all sorts of dental issues. In fact, I have a piece by my bed to help combat cavities! Fluorite comes in as many colors as calcite, but I use the purple fluorite mainly for helping mental/ emotional stability, and 3rd eye issues.
This is the Best Stone for female reproductive issues, hands down! If you look at the squiggly lines, they can easily be seen to represent blood vessels. I use this for menstruation issues, pregnancy, cramps, ovarian cysts, cancer, etc.
Deer Antler, Willow wands, Plantain, etc:
As the upcoming ceremony focuses on stones and crystals, I will not discuss these here today. Check back here for a future blog article on other sacred items that can assist with physical healing!

The ceremony is this Sunday, October 5th, and I hope to see many of you there!

26 September, 2014

Fun with Hugin and Munin at the DC Zoo

Last weekend, I visited the Smithsonian Zoo when DC Pagan Pride Day ended. I was parked in a good spot at Dupont Circle, and took the opportunity to visit some Nature Spirits in the flesh.

Sadly, there are no Coyotes in the zoo (cause they are everywhere else!), but I did enjoy talking with the bear, big cats, maned wolf, snakes, flamingos, owls, etc.  One of my favorite areas I visited was the Giant Bird Aviary, because it had no walls or fences (once you are in the enclosure). There were numerous ducks and peacocks, as well as ibises (hello Thoth!), and I enjoyed walking up the path and seeing cute little grouse run ahead of me.

I've been to this particular area of the zoo numerous times, and had my favorites that I liked to visit. I rounded the corner of the sidewalk and heard "Cro--ak"-- I was stunned and stopped moving. Was it a crow that flew in for some free food? Was it a real noise, or just inside my head?


Oh my gods, RAVENS!

I have never seen or heard a Raven in real life, ever. I immediately almost burst into tears, and scooted up as close to it as I could.


Now the tears flowed, because there were two of them:

I stood there, transfixed, for over 20 minutes--cooing and croaking at them both, watching their behavior, laughing as they teased the other birds, cheering as they caught mice.

Ravens are very important to Odin, as they are his Thought and Memory made manifest for Shamanic Journeying and Magic. I have worked with Odin for many years, and honored our relationship with my own version of Hugin & Munin back in 2010:

Odin's great Ravens as shoulder tattoos
The sight of these two huge birds at the zoo opened my heart and mind in a big way, and I feel Them clench Their spiritual claws on my shoulders every now and then, warning me to Pay Attention.

Although I know that there are contrasting view surrounding the necessity of zoos, on that day I was very thankful to have seen a great Nature Spirit in physical form.

What Nature Spirits do you like to communicate with at zoos, parks, etc??

16 September, 2014

Healing the Macrocosm via the Microcosm (a Shamanic Prayer to DC)

Recently, I was in DC for a shamanic healing appointment. After completing the ceremony, and scarfing down food and drink, I walked the city, and ended up at the White House.

the White House, home of the President
I sat on a bench, and watched all of the people walking by. Of course, I couldn't help but think about the terrible state our American government is in, and how badly the People of the USA are in need of healing and support.

I was inspired to pray.

I prayed as I walked around the Oval, asking that Washington DC serve as representative for the entire United States. I asked that the great Goddess Columbia hear my prayers, and that the Spirits of the buildings and monuments hear me, too. And although I could have prayed for the healing of the environment, the increase of brain cells for our Legislative body, the reduction of War, or many other needed things, I am a psychologist and a shaman. I prayed for her People, and their mental health.

As I finished my prayers and offerings, I ended up at the Sacred Christmas Tree. I asked the Spirit of this Tree to hold my prayers. I used the microcosm of DC as a model to help empower the macrocosm of the United States as a whole.

The Washington Monument, as a sacred obelisk, is a wonderful Spirit!
I love this country, and I love her people, and I love working with them for healing and empowerment. I pray that all of our work continues, ripples out, and helps (even a little bit) all that are in need.

I will be at the DC Pagan Pride Day this coming Sunday (21st)-- I would love to see you there!

08 September, 2014

An Enraged Heart Chakra

The most recent Crystal Healing Ceremony was very intense.

Crystals for Psychic Protection
 Caroline and I used many volcanic minerals, such as Sulphur, Obsidian, Pumice, Granite, and others. These, along with other stones, woods, and animal skins, helped us to create a vortex that worked like a volcano. Blockages and intrusions would get sucked in and either go up into the sky via "volcano-like" explosions, or they would get sucked down into the Earth via an "inverted" volcano. It was really cool to watch!

The hero of many of my healings was Vesuvianite, a rock found near Mt. Vesuvius in Italy.

Vesuvianite on Olive wood
This volcanic stone resonates with the Heart Chakra, and helps to release, in a powerful way, pent-up feelings of rage, fear, anxiety, anger, and disappointment. I noticed that it helped many clients, especially women, bring forth and release powerful emotions that either they themselves have clamped down (in order to protect others), or that they may have been blocked from expressing (because others may not be able to handle it). It gives Psychic Protection in an interesting way, by releasing projections put onto the client by others, and allowing the truest Self to come forth (even if that Self is full of anger and rage).

It affects many people differently: some release their anger and tension via laughter, some with tears of frustration. A few feel like a weight has been lifted that they did not know they had, and one even felt like s/he was full of indigestion (that resolves itself in a day).

This stone is a great reminder that not all Healing is peaceful and easy-- sometimes, a primal Scream has to come forth from the depths of the Heart, in order to be finally released and for integration to begin.

29 August, 2014

Next Healing Crystal Ceremony

On September 7th (a little over a week from now), myself and Caroline Kenner will be presenting the next Crystal Healing Ceremony in Ashton, Maryland.

The topic for this ceremony is Psychic Protection and Healing.

Psychic protection has many uses in ritual context, but I'd like to discusses its uses in everyday, practical life. Protection is needed to help one maintain boundaries at work, home life, social gatherings, etc. Psychic attack can come in many forms, both aggressive, passive-aggressive, and unintentional.
  • Aggressive-- this type of psychic attack comes from nasty coworkers, angry partners during arguments, etc. A person who uses this type of attack is specifically trying to hurt another by his/her words, actions, or games.
  • Passive-Aggressive-- this type of psychic attack is a bit more subtle, but quite nasty. People fall under this attack when they are the subject of gossip at school/work, unclear demands from others, or being near persons with terrible boundaries (yelling and screaming one minute, and then all happy smiles and jokes the next).
  • Unintentional-- this type of attack is quite tricky, and has to do with thought-forms.*  Sometimes, a person can be under a type of psychic attack if others do not understand him/her, and so the "idea" and "perception" and "stereotype" about another person is so strong that it prevents people from seeing who s/he really is. An example of this is when families, who have not seen members in many months/years, treat them by the same negative impressions of who they were as children, and not who they are now as adults.
With all that we have to do to maintain our place in American society, we are under constant pressure to maintain our own boundaries of who we are, even if we aren't under constant psychic attack.

One of the greatest stones that can assist with this is Nuummite.
Nuummite Stone
Nuummite's greatest healing property is that it can act like an auric shield, to protect oneself from his/her environment and to help maintain the boundaries of one's own energy. I use this stone in each Healing Appointment, and it always features heavily at each Grand Healing Ceremony.

What are your favorite protection stones?

*Thought Forms: a descriptive characteristic used in magickal/spiritual circles, to denote the presence of energies that build up over time (due to the constant presence of humanity's thoughts and feelings about an object or idea). For example, the thought-form/energy surrounding a doctor's office should be one of healing and comfort and reduction of pain. For more information, please read Ivo's book, Spirit Speak.

16 August, 2014

Lonely Coyote in Ritual Dress

Although I am involved in numerous pagan events and shamanic ceremonies, I rarely have my photograph taken in Ritual Dress.

I love the smirk on my face!

Thanks for the photo, Thea!

15 August, 2014

Offerings of BACON

Last week, Caroline and I worked together to perform a Healing Ceremony for the local Baltimore area, hosted by the wonderful Druids at Cedar Light Grove, ADF.

After packing up Caroline's car, we began the drive to Baltimore City. Driving through both DC and Baltimore traffic, on a Friday, before a gorgeous beach weekend... needless to say, we were quite bushed when we arrived. We guzzled lots of water, and the air-conditioning felt marvelous. Of course, as we unpacked the stones and crystal, our energy levels returned, and we were ready to Work.

The ceremony lasted about 2 1/2 hours (or 3; not sure, as time gets wonky in Spiritual Headspace). At the end, both Caroline and I were Starving (lots of energy expenditure in Healing Ceremonies, and I don't just mean drumming, rattling, singing, and dancing)! We both work with many predator-type Spirits, and a combination of protein & fat (usually in the form of meat) is the immediate craving we share.

Upon running to the Kitchen, I see the most beautiful sight:

BACON! Bacon everywhere! So much salty deliciousness! I yipped and howled in Joy, and scarfed down two pieces immediately. Once my tummy started to relax, I carried many pieces to Caroline. We were silent as we inhaled the aroma and savored each crunch....aaaahhhhhhhhh.

Both Caroline and I (and our many Spirits) were very thankful for that glorious offering, and it helped us power through the long drive back to southern Maryland.

Hail the Mighty Druids and their Offerings!

08 August, 2014

Returning a Soul's "Much-ness"

I had the wonderful delight of working with a dear friend for healing and Soul Retrieval the other evening, and I discovered that the Spirits can sometimes use gaming references, fictional characters, and movie lines to get their point across!

One of the most interesting philosophies about Soul Retrieval is that sometimes, a Soul can "hang out" with other Souls in the Otherworld, and miss its chance to be born into a new body.

The cartoon-like image that popped into my head for this was a Soul drinking with Soul-Friends at a Lounge-y Type bar, and checking its watch and thinking, "Oh damn, I'm late!" It flies through the air to make it to hospital, just in time to watch the birth of a new baby, and "missing its chance" by mere seconds (sort of like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland). <-- This is not to imply that the baby is born without a Soul, it just is missing an additional "layer" that had made the agreement to be born into a certain lifetime. Us humans are comprised of numerous layers of Soul, that have all lived numerous lifetimes!

As I told my friend this story, we giggled, and compared it with some of the interesting facts about my friend's own birth.

Upon returning this Soul Essence to her, she described feeling a weird sensation of being "full" and "filled up." I asked the Soul layer about the gifts that it was retuning to her, and it replied, "I am bringing back more of her much-ness!" (Another Alice in Wonderland reference, yes!)

This particular Soul layer had been waiting to rejoin her whole life, and the connection that I saw in my brain was complete and immeditate. By receiving more of "herself" into herself, she know had more RAM and room available for "spiritual software upgrades."

It was beautiful, joyful, and a bit silly, and I am so happy that the Spirits helped with this! 

05 August, 2014

Full Time Shamanism!

I did it, I made the leap, I made the sacrifice.

I am now a full-time shamanic healer! Wahoo!

It perfectly coincided with Lughnasadh on August 1st, and I have used this past weekend for my own Self-Healing (internal Journey work, wonderful acupuncture treatments, ritual, etc.).

I look forward to working with the greater public for shamanic healing, and to help instill Joy and Laughter to those in need!

(I've had terrible HTML issues with my calendar, but I hope to make it work soon. Please check back for upcoming Healing Ceremonies, Shamanic Workshops, Conferences, etc!)

We are ready for Healing!

03 August, 2014

Funny moments in the realm of Ritual

Or, how Artemis gets my attention when I forgot about Her

This past Saturday, August 2nd, I celebrated with dear friends and loves ones at a UToS Ritual for the Spirits of Cleansing/Purifying.

There are three main pagan groups that I join with for ritual celebration of the Gods/Goddesses, and they are Cedar Light Grove, ADF (Druidry), Fellowship of the Ancient White Stag, ASW (Wiccan), and Universal Temple of Spirits (Celebratory).

During the preparation for the ritual dancing, feasting, and merriment, the host brought out archery tools for us to play with/shoot. Crossbows, Compound Bows, Recurve bows, and one lovely person brought a gorgeous Korean-style bow. I was incredibly happy to play, but alas, all the bows were for right-handed archers (and I am a left-handed archer). Hilarity ensued as I attempted to shoot right-handed bows with my left hand!

The beautiful Korean-style bow was created with no arrow-rest, and so it could be used by either righty or lefty (see images here). I had the most accurate aim with that bow, and so I picked up a wooden arrow, nocked it, drew back, and released "off the hand".

I hit the target, but not without gouging out a chunk of skin and receiving a large splinter!

The splinter was the size of the entire cut! Ack!
Thankfully, it didn't bleed too much, but I could not figure out why I received such a bad wound! I had worked with Artemis the previous Monday (at the Baltimore Bowmen 3-D shoot), and wondered if it was because I had not "invited" her to the current ritual (I had hoped to work with both Freya and Lugh, but maybe she felt excluded??). She kept mum, and the night progressed.

Upon returning home, and unpacking my purse (with all of my Spiritual Jewelry), I realized that I had worn numerous sacred necklaces, but left hers hanging in my Healing Room! No wonder she was upset with me-- I didn't even realize it until I went to put my sacred necklaces back! Ha!

How have Spirits gotten your attention when you've forgotten something important??

09 July, 2014

Offerings to the Kindred in the 21st Century

As I grow in my Shamanic Practice, with Teaching, Conference Workshops, and Group and Individual Healings, I reflect back, and give thanks to my Community and my Kindred.

One of my favorite ways to "give thanks" is by making offerings.

A really wise friend spoke about how Energy follows where money is spent (I'm paraphrasing of course). Really great offerings can be created from something in Nature, food & drink, arts & crafts, Poems, Songs, etc. However, for those of us whose creativity manifests in a different way, or serious time constraints, there are Donations as Offerings!

For my Kindred, I follow a Druid Path, and honor the Ancestors, the Nature Spirits/Spirits of Place, and the Shining Ones (deities).

Nature Spirits/Spirits of Place:

I enjoy certain Non-Profit Organizations, such as the Ocean Conservancythe Sierra Clubthe Nature Conservancy, and others. I set up a monthly donation, and dedicate it to the Spirits.


I enjoy the "Silent Suppers" on different Holidays, and mostly honor Them with food and drink (because The remember the taste and the smell of it). However, I do enjoy giving offerings to "future Ancestors" such as So Others May Eat and Meals on Wheels. I try to focus on local Non-Profit groups, rather than all of the millions of people in need across the world, because I work for my Community (both in public service and shamanism) here in Maryland. And I would quickly become burned out trying to care and donate to all of those in need (in a perfect world, everyone would donate back to their communities, and it would take care of itself).

Gods & Goddesses:

Many deities are interested in working with humans, increasing relationships, and having Their stories told (via myths, books, blogs, etc). The New Alexandrian Library is a massive undertaking by the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel to create a fully-functioning pagan library. What a wonderful way to honor the deities!

How do you give offerings? Are you crafty, or do you prefer donation offerings? By making certain monthly bills "spiritual" does it make it easier to pay them/make them a priority?

03 July, 2014

Rune Journeys

On June 28th, I traveled to Thor's Hollow for an All-Day Workshop on the Elder Futhark Runes.

I've worked with the Runes for many years (since completing the Dedicant Program, as part of  ADF Druidry, back in 2005-6). I was first drawn to them when reading many Norse & Old Germanic myths, and of all of the different Divination systems (i.e., Tarot, I Ching, Bones, etc.), this one works the most accurately for me.

Elder Futhark Runes gifted to me recently
The Runes are used for Divination, Magic, and Medicine/Healing. In this Workshop, led by the glorious and powerful Laurel Mendes, each of the 24 Runes was discussed, along with their symbology in each of the Rune poems. Additionally, Laurel was able to discern additional truths of each rune, through her years of experience in using them in Healing and Divining for others (and UPG, too).

After a few hours of lecture, and a delicious Family-Style lunch, Laurel took the participants on a large Pathworking through Midgard, to Journey to each of the Runes.

We were told to prepare for an hour (to an hour and a half) Pathworking, which involved sitting with eyes closed and picturing the words that Laurel spoke as images in our heads. Of course, one of the major side-effects of working in magical space/time is Time Dilation.

Our Pathworking was a little over 3 HOURS! Whoa!

There were numerous amazing things about this Journey:
  1. Although it was 3+ hours, in my mind (and in many others), it only "felt" like an hour or so. Of course, everyone's butts were numb from sitting, and knees were stiff, but the perception of Time was totally skewed!
  2. The imagery was very powerful-- I was amazed at how many times I saw a landscape in my mind, at least 20-30 seconds before Laurel described it out loud.
  3. Afterwards, when she brought us fully back into our bodies, I was unable to move around much or speak for at least 15 minutes. Those are usually the side effects that happen after a "Spiritual Download" into my brain, and I felt as though the Runes had been "installed" in my system (like in the Matrix, ha!).
All during the past week, as I've pulled a Rune for the Day (to give me an idea of what to expect at work, with family & friends, etc.), the images have flooded my brain with different ideas, and the concepts and relationships between the Runes are much easier to grasp.

This was an amazing workshop, and I am so thankful to Laurel for presenting, and to Thor's Hollow for hosting, and for the community that was created that day. Hail!

26 June, 2014

Healing the Lower Three Chakras (Upcoming Crystal Healing Class)

The next Crystal Healing class is on Sunday, July 6th (from 11am to 4pm).

In the classical 7-chakra system, the first three chakras are the Root, the Sacral, and the Power (solar plexus) chakras.

In working with all the chakras of the body, these three are the ones that usually have the most energy blockages (both self-imposed and from growing up in general American capitalist society).

(from a Ritual to Heal the Lower Chakras, Sacred Space 2014)
There are many numerous websites, books, lectures, etc. given on the Chakra system, and I encourage you to explore them for your own knowledge. But here's a few notes on what I have learned about them during Healing Appointments: 

  • This chakra, located around the base of the spine, usually spins with a bright, deep red color. It is responsible for one's connection to the Earth, to Society at large, and to Family and Community. "Connection" is the buzzword that I usually associate with this chakra.
  • Blockages in this chakra directly affect the entire Energetic Body, and especially the chakra "tube" itself along the spine. If you have blockages here, your whole system can be thrown out of alignment.
  • This chakra, located just above the sexual organs (located just below the hips in the center of the body, similar to the Dahn Jon area), spins with a beautiful sunset-orange color. It is responsible for the physical characteristics of sex and pleasure, as well as creativity, childbirth/rearing, and "what one puts out into the world that will survive beyond death."
  • Blockages in this chakra affect one's comfortability with pleasure/passion, out-of-the-box thinking, pregnancy issues, physical issues with secondary sex characteristics, and "giving birth to something in the physical world" (whether it's a child, a book, art, photography, journals, etc.).
  • The power/solar plexus chakra is located near the sternum, and also sort of near the diaphragm muscles (the ones that power your lungs when you sing). It spins with a bright sunny yellow, and I've learned that Sulphur crystals have the closest approximation to the color. 
  • It is responsible for one's Personal Power (in relationships, in work settings, in Society, etc.) and it is usually strong in those that work with Trickster Energies (persons who are not afraid to be embarrassed and/or laugh at themselves, no matter how serious/important the situation). This chakra is also responsible for effective and strong boundaries when engaging in any sort of exchange with another person or entity.
  • Sadly, it is the one most often attacked by others because of Envy, Jealousy, Hatred, Privilege, and self-inflicted feelings of negativity and despair.

These chakras are the foundation of a Healthy Energetic Body, and can be the foundation of a healthy physical body.

If you are interested in Healing these particular chakras, please attend the next Healing Ceremony on July 6th, from 11am - 4pm, in Ashton, MD (located near Silver Spring, MD). The cost is only $40 for the full five-hour ceremony & class, and the benefits are substantial.

Looking forward to meeting you there!

18 June, 2014

Musings on balancing shamanic work and daily grind

I am amazed at how my practice has blossomed in just two years.

Back in 2012, I graduated from Caroline Kenner's Two Year Program at Gryhpons Grove, and began receiving individual clients at my home. From that moment, I felt like a beacon had been turned on over this website, and my practice has expanded to Group Healing Rituals, Crystal Ceremonies, Soul Retrieval classes, House Clearings/Blessings, and presenting at Spirituality Conferences. I work at home and travel to Delaware, Virgina, DC, and Maryland. My use of Skype allows me to work internationally with clients.

I love doing this work, and I love working with others (and their own Helping Spirits) for healing and connection.

However, I am quickly becoming booked for 3-4 weeks out, and while this is fantastic, I want to learn how to re-balance everything and keep room open for emergency shamanic appointments.

In talking with friends and peers, as well as pulling Tarot Cards and Runes, I've discovered that working 60+ hours per week in the mental health field is no longer feasible for me. Especially as I'm inching towards 15 hours a week for my shamanic practice (can you imagine working 75+ hour workweeks?! No wonder I'm out of balance!). I think I need to reduce my workload in mental health in order to increase my flexibility in scheduling shamanism appointments.

But, it is a terrifying prospect to willfully reduce a steady paycheck in this current economy, and hope that enough balance is retained to be able to pay bills and afford groceries.

Fellow Healers, Ritualists, Astrologists, and Spiritualists: What would you do? What have you done? How do you make it work? How do you find balance?

05 June, 2014

Group Healing Ceremony on Sunday June 22nd!

Hello dear readers!

I've worked with many of you for Healing, and I wanted to inform you of a great opportunity in a few weeks.

On Sunday, June 22nd, I and my fellow Healers will be hosting and facilitating a giant Group Healing Ceremony (similar to this one back in January 2014).

This ceremony is incredible-- a large Crystal Grid is created in the center of an Octagon Room, and each participant brings a camp chair or a mat to sit on (around the center grid). There are between 3-5 healers, and we each work our way around the room, singing songs, performing Soul Retrieval, Chakra Alignments, Energetic "Tune Ups,"  and Intrusion Removal. Each participant is seen by at least 3 healers, if not more.

After ~2.5 hours of healing, it's time to EAT!

Both participants and Healers scarf down food, chat, mingle, and try to process the amazing work that just happened. Stories are shared, and everyone is supported in the work.

Sound amazing? Want to join us?

Please email either me (LonelyCoyote@healingcoyote "dot" com) or Caroline Kenner (mythkenner@aol "dot" com) and we can give you instructions.

This is a first-come, first served Healing Ceremony, and we have to close registrations at ~30 participants.

If you have a PayPal account, you can secure your reservation with a payment of $100 to healing@summary.net  (you will need to login to PayPal and click on "Send Money" to send a payment to that email address)!

Different healers charge a range of fees for different spiritual services, and the $100 is a flat fee for admission. You will have the benefit of a whole rainbow of crystals & stones, and healing from at least three different healers, gifted in working within the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual realms of healing!

I look forward to working with all of you soon!


26 May, 2014

Upcoming Crystal Healing Classes in Ashton, Maryland

Healing Grid of Crystals, Stones, and Woods
Are you interested in learning about crystals, stones, gems, and shamanic healing?

Both myself  and Caroline Kenner (my former teacher) will be teaching together, the first Sunday of each month, at the wonderful Blueberry Gardens center. These classes will focus on different types of healing, and will build upon each other for both healing and learning. The first class is This Sunday, June 1st, from 11am to ~4pm.

Here is the website, on my "alma mater" webpage: Info About Crystal Healing

Many have asked if the classes can be taken separately, or only attend the classes that one wants to/feels drawn to. That's just fine :) 

I'm looking forward to these classes immensely, and I am really looking forward to meeting new people interested in this type of work. Will I see you this Sunday?

If you can't make it, another Large Public Healing Ceremony will take place on Sunday, June 22nd (stay tuned for details)!

19 May, 2014

Honoring the Spirits of Place in Nature (or, Finding your own Sanctuary)

Ahhhh I love this weather!

The past few weeks has been sunny, not too hot or humid, and cool breezes. Sometimes those breezes bring pollen, but everything is very welcome after the long Winter. It was the perfect type of weather for the PanDruid Retreat.

As I've written before, the Land that the retreat is held on is full of Spirits, full of healing, and full of sacredness. However, this year, the Land continued a deep and profound conversation with the Druids on how it wishes to be honored back (with offerings & sacrifice (ghosti, not animal/human sacrifice!)). This honoring of the relationship between the Land Spirits and us humans that live on the Land is extremely important, and continues to fade away as we evolve in a capitalist society (discussion for a different time). 

The amazing John Beckett (named one of the 10 most important Druids!) wrote an excellent blog article regarding the weekend (with pictures!), so I will not re-create it here. I will be writing about the importance of beginning relationships with the Land Spirits, for mutual healing and Sanctuary.

Secret Waterfall in Gunpowder State Park!
In my shamanic healing practice, I see many clients (and even myself, sometimes!) with blockages along the Root Chakra, which usually points to a great instability in working within this American culture, or a difficult living situation, or a disconnect from the Earth/Natural World. I often ask clients about the types of secret places that foster a sense of "Sanctuary" and comfortable alone-time. Many of us don't have a place for that.

Sadly, we don't have a place in which we can "retreat" when we feel crappy, or find an "escape" when we are sick of being around people (and a bathtub doesn't count!).

The greatest and most profound treatment for the healing of this Chakra (if someone can't create a private Sanctuary at home) is finding a retreat in Nature (must be safe, and must be somewhat secluded).

As we all work on increasing our spirituality and meditation practices, this natural, peaceful place will help with integrating the different lessons of our life. Also, Nature has a subtle-yet-profound Grounding effect, releases stress, and is healing for all of the senses.

However, it can be difficult to find a little slice of Nature that one feels safe enough to use as a Personal Retreat. When I lived in NYC, I was surrounded by a different kind of Nature, and my own personal safety was of paramount importance (one cannot relax and de-stress if one is looking over the shoulder all the time!). The Ramble in Central Park became my Sanctuary, and because of all of the crime within that area, I began a strong and loving relationship with the Land Spirits there. Eight years of communication and offerings helped me to always feel safe, protected, and loved.

So how does one find a Nature Retreat for their own spiritual use? Here are a few steps that I follow, when going out into the Natural World:

  1. Upon arriving at a new park, wooded area, playground, etc., lock up the car (or bike!) and make offerings to the Nature Spirits
  2. Say a prayer, or state your intent, out loud*, to find a quiet, peaceful place that you can use for rest and reflection.
  3. Begin your walk/hike, paying attention to how things look, smell, feel, etc. Pay attention to the paths, and what is "just off" of them (be careful for poison ivy, thorns, etc.--> these are warnings from Nature that humans need to give space and leave things be).
  4. Pay attention to when you feel as though you need a rest, or a quick break, or a place to sit. This may be a small intuition that you've found your place.
  5. Carefully clear a place to sit, make another offering to Nature, and just sit & relax.
  6. Notice if the space makes you feel relaxed & protected, or nervous and anxious.
  7. Return to the space when you can (or find a different one), and each time, make more offerings. 
    1. Offerings can be birdseed, water for plants, a song/dance, and my personal favorite, Picking Up Trash Found Along Paths.
  8. Many times, the Land Spirits are wary of humans, because we bring so much pollution, trash, noise, waste, disease, etc. Show your respect for them via offerings, and respect their wishes if you feel like you are NOT welcome in an area.
  9. Eventually, you will find yourself feeling safe & comforted in the Natural Area, and will begin to crave its presence when you feel too stressed, tired, and worn out.
This type of work is invaluable to re-creating the relationships between humans and Nature, and is very healing to the mind & spirit. And anyone can do this!

Meditation Time!
What are your secret Nature places? How do you honor the Spirits of Nature?