Showing posts from 2015

Faery-tale Trickery, a story of the most intense house-clearing ritual yet

Last month, I worked with the Spirits of Place on clearing a very haunted house in Washington, DC.

I had worked with this home and its spirits two years ago, but the particularly nasty spirit evaded me, and re-infected the home after a month (sometimes this can happen when someone dies within the home, and the shell* does everything in its power to remain attached to the property).

Caroline and I worked together, and brought in two other shamans to help. Four shamans working in concert together felt like an army, and I was excited to bring in the "big guns" for healing!

The four of us were trained similarly, but have different hearth cultures. However, many of us resonate with the philosophy of "wrathful compassion", exemplified so well by the Tibetan Helping Spirits. We were prepared to fight for the healing of the land, out of our love for the proprietors. However, the powerful negative entity was also prepared to fight to remain in its vampiric state.

The healing…

Reminder for self-healing during the stressful holiday season!

This month, I've been double-whammied with the flu, for a total of almost 11 days. It has given me strong lessons in flexibility and self-healing, and I thought it would be a great time to re-post my article from July 2015:
Stay healthy, dear ones!
In shamanism, the voice is one of the most powerful tools for healing. It contains breath, moisture, sound, vibration, and words, and it is the medium through which Soul Essence is blow back into the body.

For me, it is my primary healing modality. My sacred songs put me into trance, and I use a diatonic scale to help each chakra find its normal resting state. I sing to distract intrusions, to call out to Helping Spirits, to dispel glamours, and to re-focus my own mind when I'm having a hard time concentrating.

My voice and its care are of paramount importance to my work, which is why it is so incredibly frustrating when I am sick with a head cold. Schedules have to be re-arranged, appointments moved to new dates, and everything goe…

December articles of hope

Happy December 1st to all! It's my favorite time of year soon, Winter-- bring on the snow!

The past few weeks have rushed by so quickly! I had a birthday on the 19th, and celebrated Thanksgiving with my family in Ohio.

For this month, I am preparing a few detailed entries on house clearings, working with transgendered shamanic clients (such amazing energy states!), and keeping hope alive during world crises.

Until then, please read a few of my past posts, that are very supportive for this time of year:

How can I find my own Helping Spirit?

What can I do to support the community during crisis and violence?

How do I deal with overwhelming holiday emotions?

Where I can find my own outside retreat space?

Psychopomp work, death, and grief

How does shamanic healing impact anxiety and panic attacks?

I hope you enjoy the readings, and if you find yourself struggling with painful or difficult emotions, I would love to work with you for healing and Soul Retrieval. Email me today, and let's wo…

Grand Shamanic Healing Ceremony Pictures!

The ceremony this past Sunday was fantastic! So many of students were on point, facing their fears and confidence issues, and the wide range of healers led to fully-realized and powerful lessons for the clients!

Here are a few of the wonderful images from that amazing moment in time...

This is an image of the giant Crystal Grid created in the center of the Healing Space. There was a Nuummite-Void vortex in the center, to help pull off and transmute negative intrusions. Flanking this Void Vortex were two Coyotes, with flaming stones of Healing Fire near their butts, and swords of Stibnite on their noses!

A few close-ups of Himalayan Salt and Arfvedsonite, as well as Blackthorn wands.

A few goddesses were "accidentally" packed, ha ha! Ishtar and Artemis, respectively.

Many shamans wear sacred necklaces to help honor their Helping Spirits.

We give thanks to all of the healers, participants, and Spirits who attended and worked hard! Missed this ceremony? The next one will hopefu…

Persephone Speaks (Guest Article)

Sometimes, a deity will inspire the words and speech of a human, in order to better tell his/her story (and to correct the current mythology!).  My dear friend Caroline Kenner, founder of Gryphons Grove School of Shamanism, had a powerful experience with Persephone, Goddess of Spring and Queen of the Dead.

Here are her divinely inspired words:

I have many titles, which sometimes confuses humans.  Persephone, Kore, Queen of the Dead, Goddess of Spring Flowers…..all these, and more, are my domain.Daughter of Zeus and Demeter, I dwelt on Mount Olympus, the darling child  of all.  My adored husband Hades began to give me sidelong glances as I grew, but I did not notice much.  I ran joyously through the groves and fields, charged with painting the spring flowers in their brilliant colors.As I matured, Hades burned to be with me, and I thrilled to his passion.  He loves both sides of me.  One part of me smiles to see spring flowers and the renewal of Gaia’s creation when the sunny warmth of …

Grand Healing Ceremony scheduled for Nov 15th!

There are many ways to invite healing into your life: perhaps focusing on a return of energy after a stressful start to the school year, a removal of blockages, a desire to set new goals for yourself, or even a "clean energetic slate" in which to meet the challenges of the upcoming holiday season.

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 November 15th, at the Blueberry Gardens.

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…

Upcoming Samhain Public Ritual at the Blueberry Gardens!

Hello Readers!

For those that are interested, there is an open Samhainritual at the Blueberry Gardens. located in Ashton, MD. It will be on Saturday, Oct 31st, from 11am to around 4pm, hosted by the Gryphons Grove School of Shamanism.

The day will be full of stories about our Ancestors, as well as potential Divination groups and general socializing. At 1pm, weather permitting, there will be a Ritual to the Mighty Dead at the small private cemetery. Afterwords, we will share food and drink and merriment until around 4pm.

The cost of attendance is $10, to help offset the rental fee. Please bring a chair or cushion to sit on, your Divination materials (such as Tarot Cards, Runes, Oghams, or others), a pot luck dish to share, and cutlery with which to eat.

See you then!

Interviewing a new Helping Spirit, the Caracal

Sometimes, Helping Spirits can be "in-your-face" when they want your attention!

For the month of October, I've worked with many new clients for shamanic healing. A new animal spirit has been popping up in my Journeys for them, and in my waking life, the Caracal.

The Caracal is from Africa, parts of Asia, and India. I don't know much about them, but I've seen a few at the Smithsonian Zoo in Washington, DC. During the past few weeks, this kitty has shown up in no less than 3 different healing appointments, at the zoo, and even in television commercials for music CDs!

This, friends, is what we call a "Spiritual Two-by-Four."

I started to pay attention to the commonalities of those with this particular spirit helper. So far, Caracal has shown up in Journeys for those with important Scorpio placements in their astrological charts (Note: we are now in the sign of Scorpio (my birthday), so that's an interesting synchronicity!).

Other than that, I've be…

A visit from Thunderbird (Arizona adventures, Part Three)

In Sedona, the largest mountain is known as Thunder Mountain (or Capitol Butte).

In my mind, I've always perceived a giant Thunderbird, wings stretched out along its back, resting inside the rocks. This mountain has terrified me, just as much as the Spirit that rests inside of it. But for this second trip to Arizona, I decided I would attempt to hike around and climb it.

Note: This climb kills many hikers each year. Don't even attempt to try this without the experience and prep necessary. It is very dangerous.

I won't go into the details of how I started my climb, or where I went up and back, or what signposts I used, cause I really don't want anyone to follow what I did. It took lots of prep, many hours of figuring out different paths, and Lots Of Offerings. In fact, almost a whole bag of cornmeal just to the Mountain itself.

Around two-thirds of the way up, the rocks began to change, and so did the energy of the climb.

My fear of heights kicked in, and I was unable to…

A healing journey on Bear Mountain (Arizona adventures, Part Two)

During my trip to Arizona, I offered a new type of healing ceremony to those that showed interest (see post here).

It was the first time I've ever conducted a healing ceremony with the Spirits of Place of Sedona, and I was both excited and a little nervous. Would they respond to my songs? How would I adapt to the extreme energy work after hiking for ~2 hours to reach the summit? Would I be interrupted by other hikers?

Because of my work with Bear Spirits, I decided to work on top of Bear Mountain, in Red Rock State Park. I packed my small egg-shaped rattle, my smaller Mahakala phurba, my bone Runes, and lots of offerings.

Without going into too much detail (confidential appointment), I created sacred space, and began singing my songs to all of my Helping Spirits. When I began singing for the Nagas, a giant white snake appeared next to the side of the mountain! I was so excited, because I never get to seem them as "actual size."  However, the Naga took one look at where …

Arizona adventures, Part One (How I got my ears and tail)

This year marked my second trip to Sedona, AZ (see previous postings within this article).

I was very eager to get out into the desert and along the trails, and to Journey to Coyote and make offerings. I hiked out into the Red Rock State Park, along the Bell Rock trails, and climbed up to almost the top of a high pillar, so that I could look out across the wide expanse.

I made my offerings, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath...
I sent my roots down into the earth through the bottoms of my feet. They connected with the Earth Mother, her fiery heart center, and I drew that loving heat up my roots, up my feet, and into my body. I then stretched my arms up into the sky, and they continued into the atmosphere, further up towards the Sun and the fire in billions of stars. I drew that crackling heat into my crown and down into my body. I opened my senses to the Middle World, and saw the piercing blue sky full of colors, sort of like the rainbows that are at the sides of lens flares. Coyo…

Healing Ceremonies in the Sedona, AZ desert!

During the next two weeks, I will be on retreat in Sedona, AZ. This is my second trip here, as last year was such a life-changing experience (see posts here, here, and here).

The energy of the desert brings a type of healing that I've never experienced anywhere else. With the large amounts of Fire (sun & heat), Air (large, open spaces), and Earth (tough plants and Red Rock), I feel like all of my energy bodies are able to expand out to their full size. There are so few people out here, and I can hike for miles without seeing another soul. This type of "alone-but-not-lonely" vibe helps me to re-connect with all of my spirits, and realign my focus and purpose.

This trip, I want to work with the Spirits of Place (genius loci) for the benefit of my shamanic clients. I am offering a special type of remote healing work: Desert Healing & Soul Retrieval.

This type of individual healing ceremony can be purchased via PayPal online, by selecting a special drop-down option (…

Ancestor Worship

Today is the 5th Anniversary of my father's death.

His death had a profound effect on my life, my own healing work, and my ability to hold the space needed for others to grieve parental deaths. I moved to Maryland and started a new life after his death, and haven't been back to NYC since (although I am terribly homesick).

Miss you Daddy, and wish you were here. What is remembered, lives.

A Tricksy conversation with the Lord of Light, Apollon

Sometimes, I find it difficult to focus and concentrate within shamanic head space, especially if I am Journeying for myself and my own knowledge. Recently, I visited Apollo (Apollon), and he certainly called me on it! It took two different Journeys for me to understand his message...

Artemis met with me and we raced everywhere; running, jumping, skipping up trees, etc. She had the both of us jump up into clouds and sunlight, and then to a large garden that appeared behind the clouds. There were woods that went right up to the garden, and when I looked around, I saw a clearing with some vines, and there Apollon stood. I introduced myself, and he asked me to play some music for him. He showed me his lute, and I began to play. The strings broke. I apologized, and then conjured my violin, and attempted to play for him again. I became more nervous and distracted, and immediately, the strings broke again! He rolled his eyes, invited me to sit down with him, and to calm myself with olives an…

Upcoming Workshop with Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki in October!

New Seed Sanctuary, based in Philadelphia, PA, is hosting Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki for an intensive weekend workshop!

I will be attending the full weekend, to learn more about the Otherworlds and traveling there by the Second Road. This weekend functions like a "Continuing Education Credits" intensive, and I am always empowered and energized when working with her.

Hope to see you there too!

Individual Healing Appointment Room

In working with new shamanic clients, I try to allay any fears and anxieties that they may have. I am very open about my process, and I provide education about the type of healing that is often inspired by an individual healing session.

While this is helpful, sometimes pictures do more than my words can.

 This is an image of part of my Healing Room. Clients are encouraged to lay on the comfy mattress (if able), on top of the White-tailed Deer pelt (Deer helps encourage transformation). Of course, Coyote has his pelt near the feet of the client, to help steady him/her, and to tell me if I'm missing anything while I'm rattling.

I use a sturdy "butt cushion" while working crossed-legged. My knees can no longer take sitting on the hard ground for long periods of time (2-3 hours), and so that particular butt cushion has saved me from many sore joints and muscles!

This image shows many of the crystals, stones, Runes, rattle, drum, and other tools I use for working with cli…

Happy Anniversary to Monika Lonely Coyote Shamanism!

I did it! I made it one whole year as a full-time shamanic healer (and three years since opening my practice)!

Yesterday, I performed a solitary ritual, to honor and thank all the Helping Spirits who have worked with me (and worked with my clients). I follow a Druid path in my personal spirituality, and offerings are a large part of the celebratory work that I do with the Kindred (Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Shining Ones).

I've written about the types of offerings I enjoy giving in a previous blog article. For this ritual, I gave to the Ocean Conservancy (hail Manannan Mac Lir!), Defenders of Wildlife (hail Nature Spirits!), and the Sierra Club (hail the human advocates for Earth Mother!).

Once offerings were completed, I began a Journey to meet with all the Spirits, and to get guidance on my next 12 months of full time shamanism.  Many things were private, but quite a few lessons were discussed, as well as goals for the following year:
Growing my own knowledge and skills throu…

Blue Moon magic with Plant Spirit Shamanism

Happy Full Moon to all!

 Today's full moon is a Blue Moon, which means it is the second full moon within a month. This particular full moon is in Aquarius, an Air sign (the Water-Pourer). Many wonderful astrologers have written about this event (see here and here), and I decided to work with Plant Spirits for my own healing this evening.

 I have struggled with skin issues my whole life, and at 34, I still find it incredibly annoying that I get breakouts and acne. Ugh. When walking through my garden, both Lemon Balm and Rosemary talked with me and told me to make a healing brew with each of them.

I poured Witch Hazel, a good skin toner, over the herbs, said a few prayers, and sealed it up tight. It will stay in a cool, dry place from Full Moon (July 31) to Full Moon (Aug 29). Afterwards, I will strain it, pour it into spritzer bottles, and use it to help cleanse and tone my skin.

What types of herbal remedies do you like to use? Have you ever made one before? How does it compare to…

Council of All Earth Beings Retreat

This weekend, I will be in the mountains of Virginia, learning how to connect more fully with the Earth Mother and all of her creatures.
My skill set and spiritual work surrounds People, and how to empower them in order to go forth more healed in their lives.  But my personal spirituality (Druidry) involves working with the Land and the Nature Spirits, and the connection that comes when social structures fall away.

This weekend will be filled with drumming, singing, self-healing, connection, inspiration, and Silence. I am looking forward to time away from the stresses of modern-day living (i.e., technology, paying bills, etc.), and letting all of the wacky thoughts in my Monkey-brain die down to a gentle hum in the background.

What sort of mini-retreats do you enjoy? How do you re-connect to Nature after long workweeks?

Using the Voice to heal, and healing the voice when ill

In shamanism, the voice is one of the most powerful tools for healing. It contains breath, moisture, sound, vibration, and words, and it is the medium through which Soul Essence is blow back into the body.

For me, it is my primary healing modality. My sacred songs put me into trance, and I use a diatonic scale to help each chakra find its normal resting state. I sing to distract intrusions, to call out to Helping Spirits, to dispel glamours, and to re-focus my own mind when I'm having a hard time concentrating.

My voice and its care are of paramount importance to my work, which is why it is so incredibly frustrating when I am sick with a head cold. Schedules have to be re-arranged, appointments moved to new dates, and everything goes into flux while I wait and see how long it takes me to heal. It always brings great anxiety (as a self-employed full-time shaman), but healing cannot happen unless I am healthy first.

There are a wide range of medical, physical, and spiritual supports…

Pictures from my lecture in Ohio!

Last week, I presented my lecture, Differentiating Mental Illness from Spiritual Experience, in Columbus, Ohio.

A good group attended, even during the holiday weekend, and we spent three hours discussing our own experiences.
For the first time in three years, I was filmed during my presentation. I am hoping to turn my lecture and notes into a DVD, for use in clergy programs, universities, etc. I am starting the process of turning this into a book, which is exciting and overwhelming in its own way.
Here are a few pictures from the workshop, for your enjoyment. Stay tuned for information about the upcoming DVD!

(Lecture held at The Magical Druid, an amazing pagan store on High Street, just north of Main Campus, OSU).

Upcoming Lecture in Columbus, Ohio!

This coming Sunday, July 5th, I will be presenting my lecture on Differentiating between mental illness and spiritual experiences. It will take place at the Magical Druid, located on High Street, in Columbus, from 1pm to around 4pm. The lecture is open to the public, and the Facebook Event can be found here.

I've traveled to the greater Maryland & Virginia areas for conferences and workshops, but this will be the first time I'm heading west for a good 7+ hours of driving! I begin my drive to Ohio early tomorrow morning, and I am excited to spend the holiday weekend working with my friends, visiting family, and conducting healing appointments.

I am very excited to bring this work and discussion to the Heartland area, and can't wait to hike some of the trails at Mohican State Park. I lived in Ohio for about 12 years, and the corn farms and wooded trails help settle my homesickness when I've been away too long. It's the complete opposite of NYC (which fills a di…

Plant Spirit Shamanism: Mugwort

Mugwort is one of the most common magical plants found in the Eastern United States. It grows in gardens, near wooded areas, around parking lots, everywhere!

To continue the theme of Plant Magic and communication this month, here are the insights from Mugwort:
I am very sacred to Artemis, and would like sweat as an offering (when I prodded further, she spoke about sweat as a physical offering from the body, exertion when engaged in nature walks, competition, etc.).Mugwort tea is also sort of sweaty and frothy, so perhaps a sympathetic magical connection? I can help to see the larger patterns of an issue, such as the Mythic Themes of a person's life, because I bypass the "logical" side of the brain and speak in symbols.When compared to Clary Sage, I can find the pattern in disparate elements (Clary Sage is more linear and detail-oriented).I can be used to enhance dreams and dream recall, because I am slightly psychoactive (she then informed me that all plants are psychoact…

Plant Spirit Shamanism: Clary Sage

(see previous posts in the series on Plant Spiritshere, here,here, here, and here!)

In the ongoing heat and humidity of Summer, I am continuing my lessons with Spirits of the Plant World. My garden is a fun mix of planned-out areas and "bird-planted" areas (in which they scatter seed in the fertile earth). Some plants are edible, some are wild, some are hybridized, but all are magical!

Clary Sage:

I was first introduced to the magic of Clary Sage in an essential oil that was gifted to me, named "Concentration."  I loved the smell immediately, and felt the response in my brain-- I grounded fully into my body, and some of the ruminating thoughts and anxieties melted away so I could focus on one specific thing at a time. Ahhhhh what a feeling!

During the most recent Gryphons Grove shamanism class, I rattled and made my way to my own garden, to speak with the Spirit of Clary Sage. Here's what She told me:

"I work in a similar fashion to Rosemary, in that I cut …

How do I find my own Helping Spirit?

Finding a Helping Spirit is usually the first shamanic journey taught in any Drumming Group.*  Many people gravitate towards an Animal Spirit at first, to help them navigate the Otherworlds (although some meet deities or faires first). Different instructions are given in order to figure out who or what your Helping Spirit is, but here are a few tips that have helped me (phrased as if you were looking for your Animal Helper):  Asking the Spirits for the Animal Spirit most needed for your own healing at this time, to help you reach the next stage of your spiritual evolution (sometimes this is the Power Animal, sometimes it's not). Looking for an animal that shows up at least 4 times in a Journey.Seeing an animal in a Journey, and then seeing it on TV, in news articles, pictures on Facebook, etc. Researching a beloved deity's Animal Spirit (like Freya and her cats, as well as all her Hawks) and then Journeying to that Spirit for assistance. Picking up an Animal Spirits dictionary…

Learning about Plant Spirits in Shamanism

This past Sunday, I assisted with the Gryphons Grove class that focused on Plant Spirits and Helpers. A favorite of mine, I was excited to help drum and support the students in their journeys, as well as take a few journeys of my own.

In shamanic work, there is great importance (at least at the beginning of creating spiritual relationships) on asking the most effective questions. The Spirits communicate by using the language and symbols that already exist in our minds, and the most effective questions help us to bypass our Ego and get to the real knowledge.

When working with new Helping Spirits, I have three questions that I almost always ask:
Will you work with me in partnership for healing?Respect the "No" if it is the true response! What healing gifts do you bring to others?Sometimes, I'll ask for the gift of a healing for myself, to help understand the gifts that the Helping Spirits possess. What type of offering would you like for our work together?I follow a Dru…