19 December, 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.

(from WikiCommons)
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 ceremony lasted well over three hours. After the first hour of drumming, singing, yelling, cajoling, and trickery, we all took a break to regroup. We realized that our methods were not working, even with the four of us trying different things.

Grabbing our drums and rattles, we got back into it, going through the whole house room by room. We met in the central living room, and received a spark of inspiration: ask the Faeries for help!

Immediately, the feel of the ceremony changed. Instead of a fight for supremacy in the physical world, there was a vision of a party within the home and outside garden. The Seelie were everywhere, dancing, playing music, and offering drink and food. We witnessed the shell* that haunted the house drink a bit of the Faery wine, and flirt with one of the Elven Men. At that point, the shell* started to loose cohesion, and became part of the Faery Realm. Just like in myth, by drinking and eating things from the Otherworld, the shell was now part of that Otherworld, and could not return.

We ended the ceremony with gratitude for the Nature Spirits, and for their wonderful trickery and healing!

*shell: Ivo defines this wonderfully in his book, Spirit Speak. For me, it is the coagulation of the lower selves after death, when a Soul has not moved on, or been Psychopomped properly. Sometimes, other negative entities can join with shells, making it a very powerful and difficult haunting to remove.

16 December, 2015

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 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 that I employ when I am ill, to help move everything along as quickly as possible:

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
  • Within 24 hours of swollen glands, I make a giant pot of tea, take some Elderberry syrup, swallow a spoonful of crushed garlic, and reduce my stress level by staying offline as much as possible.
  • If that doesn't kick it immediately, then I know I'm down for the count for at least 3-4 days, and begin rescheduling appointments. I hate this part, as my previous experiences working in public mental health have made me feel guilty for taking time off of work (anyone else have that tricky socialized pattern?? Ugh).
  • At this time, I bring out the big guns:
    • Mucinex 
      • I swear that I pray to the Mucinex gods at least once a year. It is the best medication nasal spray for immediate relief from congestion (at least for me).
    • Breath Easy tea
      • I call this my "singing tea" and usually brew it before appointments. It helps open air passages so I can use more breath when singing, and it treats those same passages when I am sick.
    • Peppermint Oil
      • A dear friend who works with plants told me of the magic of this oil. I like dumping a bunch of it into the tub when I am showering, and when it combines with steam, it opens up my nasal passages and lungs very well! Sadly, it's doesn't last very long...
    • Bi Yan Pian
      • My acupuncturist told me about this wonderful blend of Chinese herbs and medicine. In a moment of wonderful synchronicity, I discovered that it was also the main ingredient in the above-mentioned Breath Easy tea!
    • NyQuil
      • Hands down, this is practically the only way I can get restful sleep when I am ill. I am very thankful for this medicine.
During any illness, I stop all magical and shamanic work, even work that I would normally do to heal myself. I consider illness to be a sign of something "out of alignment" in my subtle bodies (that's made its way into my physical body), and if I continued to do any sort of energetic work, I might make everything worse. Also, I get pretty loopy when I'm sick, so I wouldn't be able to tell if what I was "seeing" was real or not!

However, once I'm over the hump, and almost fully healed (around 85%), I will go on a Dismemberment Journey, and ask for healing from my Helping Spirits. A dismemberment is a specialized type of healing given by the Spirits, and can remediate the imprints of most illnesses/issues in healers.  Sometimes, if my Community is available, I will ask others to drum for me and send me love and energy.

To make sure that my voice is finally back and ready for work, I sing scales in the shower, and check the strength of each register. Can I pull in a full breath without coughing? Is my diaphragm strong enough to hold a note clearly for over 20 seconds? Does my voice waver if I add visualization and color to my tone?

I am a firm believer in both traditional and alternative forms of medicine, and I like using them to complement each other when I am sick. What methods have you tried when you are ill? What is your favorite? What never works for you at all?

01 December, 2015

December articles of hope

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

from WikiCommons
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 work on getting your "muchness" back!

17 November, 2015

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...

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
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!

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
A few close-ups of Himalayan Salt and Arfvedsonite, as well as Blackthorn wands.

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
A few goddesses were "accidentally" packed, ha ha! Ishtar and Artemis, respectively.

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
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 hopefully be planned in January 2016, stay tuned!

05 November, 2015

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.

from Wiki Commons
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 spring returns to the land.  The other side of me smiles to see death coming to all plants and animals when their days pass, and cold winds blow from the north.  Hades saw my generative power, a gift from my mother Demeter, but he also loved the dark transmutational might within me, a gift of my father Zeus.  Only Hades understood me, from among all the Gods, and only he truly loved both the floral and the fatal sides of me.
Why would Hades shrink from me because I smile to see frost withering flowers, years etching lines on human faces?  It is beautiful to witness all that is ordered be overwhelmed by chaos, all beings bowing before my grandfather Kronos’ immutable laws of time?  Hades celebrates his father’s cycles of time.  Hades smiles to see bards, philosophers, and all honorable humans arrive in his realm, all dead as doornails and happy as clams, ripe for eternal feasting in Paradise.
We knew my mother would never want me to reign in Hell beside my adored Lord, so we made a pact with Father Zeus before Hades and I eloped.  I love my mother Demeter, but I want my own domain.  I love the spring flowers.  I love the cold autumn winds that wither the flowers, their tender stems rotting to enrich the soil with their deaths.  I swore to Zeus I would venture forth when the chill winds temper to mild spring breezes, to help my Mother once again with Her people, the plants and the crops, to paint the flowers dancingly as Kore each year.
And then Hades met me in a sacred grove.  The cliffside opened to reveal my beloved, standing in the cave, smiling, and beckoning gently to me to come with him at last.  We crossed the Styx in Charon’s boat, garlanded with white flowers.  Even the saturnine Oarsman smiled to see his Lord’s happiness, smiled to welcome me as his Lady.  My love for Hades has never wavered.  Our undying passion is legendary. We are each other’s perfect complement.
When we finally began to sate our passion for one another, I ventured forth to be with my mother once again in Gaia’s world.  Hades and I made up the story about the pomegranate to tell Demeter.  My mother would never understand why I would want to leave her side.  We thought it would be kinder, easier for her, this way, and Zeus agreed.  She is the kind of mother who would prefer to be angry at her son in law than acknowledge her daughter’s independence.   Just as I love and adore my Lord, I also love and adore my mother Demeter.  Embracing the loving sunny warmth of my mother Demeter in spring, and kissing the cold lips of my passionate husband Hades in autumn just come naturally to me.

I feel blessed to share this understanding, and I am thankful to both Persephone and Caroline for co-creating it!

What are your thoughts about the Persephone/Hades mythos?

02 November, 2015

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.

(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 Nov 15th  2015.
  • Blueberry Gardens has adequate parking, but it is good to arrive around 10:30am - 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 $100.00 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 30 participants.
**The Shamanic Healers for this ceremony are myselfCaroline Kenner, and a range of current Year Two students & graduates from Gryphons Grove School of Shamanism.

30 October, 2015

Upcoming Samhain Public Ritual at the Blueberry Gardens!

Hello Readers!

For those that are interested, there is an open Samhain ritual 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.


(c) 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.


from WikiCommons
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!

22 October, 2015

Interviewing a new Helping Spirit, the Caracal

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

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
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 been pretty stumped. There's no entry for the Caracal in any of my animal spirits texts, and online research has brought back slim pickings (a possible link to Ancient Egypt?). But I've gotten the very important message that she wants to work with me and my clients.

When working with a new Helping Spirit, there are a few ways in which I solidify my relationship with them:

  • Grab my rattle and Journey to the Spirit
    • My standby-interview questions are usually these: How would you like to work together? What healing do you bring? What insights do you have into a specific problem of mine? Do you want to be introduced to others, via shamanic classes, or remain private? What type of offerings would you like?
  • Google the Spirit, looking for myths, folklore, images, stories, and other insights
  • Pull Runes or Tarot Cards (or both), asking similar questions as above.
  • Sometimes, when available, I Journey with a group, and we all ask the Helping Spirit similar questions and compare notes (this is great for inter-rater reliability, ha ha!).
I look forward to Journeying to Caracal more, exploring our link together, and figuring out her particular insights!

from Wiki Commons


How do you being working with a new Spirit?

11 October, 2015

A visit from Thunderbird (Arizona adventures, Part Three)

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

From Wiki Commons
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.
(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015

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 move my legs. I froze in terror, and sat down where I was. I tried to ground out some of my emotions with food and water and terrible jokes. I even closed my eyes and attempted a Journey to Thunderbird, to ask for help.

No response.*

The last of my motivation left me. I wasn't going to be able to make it to the top, and I no longer had the energy and drive to push past my limitations. I took a wide view of my location, and tried to figure out the best way down.

I started using the same semi-trail that I climbed, but that disappeared in less than 10 minutes. Suddenly, I was on the edge of a mountain, no clear way down, and no insight from either the Spirit of Place or my own Helping Spirits. Usually, my silliness and good humor get me out of sticky situations, but they were locked up tight by my fear.

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
Thunderbird's silence was a message unto itself. I knew that I needed to dig deep and find my Logical Brain, so that I could make it down safely.

I did, but only after many cuts, bruises, and attacks from spiny plants (thanks a bunch, agave, yucca, and desert holly).

Afterwards, when I made it back to my hotel and calmed down, I tried to talk with the Spirit of the Mountain with my Runes. There were some personal messages about my own Shadow Work, and some teasing about my work with Coyote. Thunderbird still intimidated me, and I understood the lesson that I don't necessarily fit with all different kinds of Spirits.*

A few days later, as I flew back to Baltimore from Phoenix, a gorgeous storm had started right over the left wing of the plane. Lightning flew back and forth between two clouds, building up strength before striking the earth below. It was gorgeous, and too fast to capture on film. I leaned back and looked at the storm via a wider angle, and saw an incredible sight: a Thunderbird made manifest!

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
It was a wonderful confirmation of some of the more private lessons received on that mountain, as well as a good farewell to one of my favorite places. And it was also a gentle reminder to take a wide angle, a long-view of some of my goals, and to not get bogged down by details. I am thankful for the lesson!



*Sometimes, Spirits are not interested in working with humans, or have a preference for only certain ones. It is the height of ego and hubris to think that everything wants to work with everyone, and can be a sign of projection in the mind of the seeker. It is important to respect the "No" or the lack of communication as a sign that perhaps the Spirit you'd like to talk with doesn't want to talk with you.

02 October, 2015

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

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
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.

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
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 we were, and immediately said, "Nope! Too dry, not enough water! Work with Rattlesnake instead!" and disappeared.

I freaked.

I'd not worked with Rattlesnake, and hadn't even Journeyed to introduce myself to her properly yet. I was afraid that she wouldn't come, or work with me for healing and transmutation.

I continued singing the songs, and I noticed that during the Ancestors song, my arm hair stood on end and I feel extreme cold. I looked around, and saw not only my own ancestors (and those of my client), but I saw the Ancestors of the indigenous peoples of Arizona. We looked at each other, and I introduced myself. "A druid? Huh...we're not going to participate in your ritual, but will watch you and see what you are doing."  I thanked them, and felt my nervousness rise even more (eek! Witnesses!).

After the songs, the appointment went in a somewhat usual fashion, and my cell phone recorded everything very well.

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
Remote appointments can be very fun, if done within a sacred space. Interested? Send me an email!

21 September, 2015

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).

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
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. Coyote and Raven both showed giant in the sky, but then flashed away in an instant.
I looked down, and saw a blur of greyish-tan scampering around the base of the mountain. It circled around, then backtracked, moving closer to me up the side of the pillar of rock. Coyote, in animal form, was darting around a self-made maze. I laughed in delight, and he leaped into my lap, turning into his human form, and gave me a big hug (I would have burst into tears, but I was so dehydrated up there!).
After some private discussion and healing, he gave me both ears and a tail, so that the desert would recognize me, and so that I would have an easier time managing my own water and energy levels when hiking for 5-6 hours. It really helped, and I am very thankful to him.

Stay tuned for more adventures in the desert, and pictures too!

08 September, 2015

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 ($115). I will conduct a healing ceremony within Red Rock State Park (most likely near Boynton Canyon Trail, as I had great Journeys there last year). The healing work will include many of the items in a regular healing appointment, with a large focus on Elemental Healing for both the chakras and the numerous energy bodies. I will voice-record the healing, and send it via Google Drive and/or CD upon my return to Maryland.

Interested? Please include your name & a picture in your email to me, along with the PayPal payment, and I will work for you within the desert of Sedona! Note: This is a limited-time offer, only available during my retreat.

06 September, 2015

Ancestor Worship

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

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
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).

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
Miss you Daddy, and wish you were here. What is remembered, lives.

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015

01 September, 2015

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...

from WikiCommons

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 and some wine. I asked him about his insight into "three paths" he discussed via his Oracle a few weeks ago. He responded that I've already Journeyed on it, and that Coyote is the one to give me the most insight into it. I asked if Coyote could join us while we talk and drank, and Apollon refused. Again, I became distracted, and he said, "Go ahead and go, Coyote girl!" I very sheepishly apologized for my lack of attention, and ran back down to my grassy area in the Middle World with Artemis.

Later that day, I attended a MidSummer Ritual with FAWS, of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel. During the meditation/oracular portion of the ritual, I had a second opportunity to speak with Apollon in shamanic head space:

He giggled as soon as he saw me coming, and said, "Ahh back again for another try, are you?"  (When a god laughs at you, be prepared to push through your fears!) He spoke to me about working with him for my own healing after intense shamanic appointments, and teased me too. "You need someone in your life who's not a Trickster!"  
He gave excellent ideas and advice to all participants about jobs and careers ("If you spend your time away from your job recovering from your job, it's not the right job!"), as well as gentle nudging to start up my daily walking meditation practice again. This time, I was able to focus on his words and his energy, and not get too distracted. I thanked him for his offer of friendship, and have started working with him when grounding and centering after shamanic appointments.

Although I have used shamanic journey techniques for 13+ years, I can still be completely caught off-guard by the wonderful and wacky ways the Spirits play games! Have you ever had any embarrassing or mortifying interactions with Spirits? Was it helpful*? Did it strengthen your relationships?

*Note: I do not work with Spirits that play harmful and malicious games within human relationships. My shamanic work is to help heal the Community of humans, and those sorts of games are abusive and can cause psychological damage. I caution anyone who begins interacting with a Spirit that purposefully harms him/her in order to "instruct" or "command" to have a trusted magical worker or diviner to check in with the Spirit's motivations. Soul Retrieval and/or other forms of shamanic healing may be needed to undo the damage.

28 August, 2015

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!

from New Seed Santuary

19 August, 2015

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.

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
 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!

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
This image shows many of the crystals, stones, Runes, rattle, drum, and other tools I use for working with clients. My right hand powers my visions with the sound of the rattle and the drum, while my left hand works healing and magic. I sit facing the client, who is on the mat, and everything I need is directly to the left of me.

The rest of my Healing Room is covered in statues, paintings, altars, prayer flags, candles, bones, masks, certificates, awards, degrees, books, and ritual garb. So many things represent different types of Spirits, their energies, and their offerings.

I love having a dedicated Healing Room in which to work, and I love helping new clients feel comfortable and welcome within the space!

Do you have a sacred room in your home? How about a special corner of a room with a dedicated altar? Do your pets react to the energy in it?

02 August, 2015

Happy Anniversary to Monika Lonely Coyote Shamanism!

(c) 2012-2015, Lonely Coyote
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 through "continuing education credits" such as workshops, lectures, etc.
  • Sharing my insights with the greater public at large (more than just blogging)
    • Setting up mini-meditations on YouTube 
  • Teaching through professional presentations
  • Online shamanic study courses (and creating a monthly working group)
  • Preparing for Teacher Training with Sandra Ingerman
    • Currently on a waitlist, but things may move quickly if I remain flexible in the next year!
  • Working with other healers and setting up regular self-healing sessions
    • All healers need to work on their own healing, and I am hoping to establish some wonderful reciprocal relationships!
  • Outlining and writing The Book, about the differences between mental illness and spiritual experiences. 
    • Of all the goals, this one intimidates and excites me the most...
Lots of new things coming up, and a great way to follow is to both watch this space, and visit my Facebook Page, too!

31 July, 2015

Blue Moon magic with Plant Spirit Shamanism

Happy Full Moon to all!

from WikiCommons
 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.

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
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.

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
What types of herbal remedies do you like to use? Have you ever made one before? How does it compare to store-bought purchases?

(For those interested in more about the Council of All Beings, see this wonderful write up here!)


(And yes, I totally won the Scavenger Hunt!)

24 July, 2015

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.
From Wiki Commons, Shenandoah Mountains VA
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?

17 July, 2015

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 that I employ when I am ill, to help move everything along as quickly as possible:

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
  • Within 24 hours of swollen glands, I make a giant pot of tea, take some Elderberry syrup, swallow a spoonful of crushed garlic, and reduce my stress level by staying offline as much as possible.
  • If that doesn't kick it immediately, then I know I'm down for the count for at least 3-4 days, and begin rescheduling appointments. I hate this part, as my previous experiences working in public mental health have made me feel guilty for taking time off of work (anyone else have that tricky socialized pattern?? Ugh).
  • At this time, I bring out the big guns:
    • Mucinex 
      • I swear that I pray to the Mucinex gods at least once a year. It is the best medication nasal spray for immediate relief from congestion (at least for me).
    • Breath Easy tea
      • I call this my "singing tea" and usually brew it before appointments. It helps open air passages so I can use more breath when singing, and it treats those same passages when I am sick.
    • Peppermint Oil
      • A dear friend who works with plants told me of the magic of this oil. I like dumping a bunch of it into the tub when I am showering, and when it combines with steam, it opens up my nasal passages and lungs very well! Sadly, it's doesn't last very long...
    • Bi Yan Pian
      • My acupuncturist told me about this wonderful blend of Chinese herbs and medicine. In a moment of wonderful synchronicity, I discovered that it was also the main ingredient in the above-mentioned Breath Easy tea!
    • NyQuil
      • Hands down, this is practically the only way I can get restful sleep when I am ill. I am very thankful for this medicine.
During any illness, I stop all magical and shamanic work, even work that I would normally do to heal myself. I consider illness to be a sign of something "out of alignment" in my subtle bodies (that's made its way into my physical body), and if I continued to do any sort of energetic work, I might make everything worse. Also, I get pretty loopy when I'm sick, so I wouldn't be able to tell if what I was "seeing" was real or not!

However, once I'm over the hump, and almost fully healed (around 85%), I will go on a Dismemberment Journey, and ask for healing from my Helping Spirits. A dismemberment is a specialized type of healing given by the Spirits, and can remediate the imprints of most illnesses/issues in healers.  Sometimes, if my Community is available, I will ask others to drum for me and send me love and energy.

To make sure that my voice is finally back and ready for work, I sing scales in the shower, and check the strength of each register. Can I pull in a full breath without coughing? Is my diaphragm strong enough to hold a note clearly for over 20 seconds? Does my voice waver if I add visualization and color to my tone?

I am a firm believer in both traditional and alternative forms of medicine, and I like using them to complement each other when I am sick. What methods have you tried when you are ill? What is your favorite? What never works for you at all?

12 July, 2015

Pictures from my lecture in Ohio!

Last week, I presented my lecture, Differentiating Mental Illness from Spiritual Experience, in Columbus, Ohio.
(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015

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!

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015

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



01 July, 2015

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 different need & homesickness), but is a big part of me as well.  My druidry is attached to that land and the Spirits of Place there, and I look forward to making offerings and communicating with them again.

(c) 2015 Lonely Coyote

26 June, 2015

Plant Spirit Shamanism: Mugwort

Artemisia Vulgaris, Mugwort (from WikiCommons)
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 psychoactive/psychosomatic in some way!).
At this time, Artemis herself jumped in, and spoke about how she uses it to see the larger patterns in life events. "Why do you think I stayed in the woods? I didn't want to be bothered by the 'petty crap'!"  The Morrighan also spoke up near the end of the Journey, and let me know that she enjoys working with Mugwort, too. "I like all the bitter yet psychoactive knowledge plants."

Have you ever made Mugwort tea? What sort of effect did it have on your dreams?

17 June, 2015

Plant Spirit Shamanism: Clary Sage

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

Clary Sage, a beautiful friend! (c) Lonely Coyote, 2015
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 through 'brain fog' and help with focus. Specifically, I help the 3rd eye focus in on spiritual vision, and support alertness and attention to detail. Although I can be eaten, I prefer to work with you as a magical plant, in a carrier oil. When working shamanically for others, place me on both the 3rd eye and the 'hidden eye.'"

"What's the 'hidden eye?'" I asked.

"The 'hidden eye' is located on the back of your neck, on the vertebrae that separate the spine from the brain stem. You don't have eyes in the back of your head, you have eyes in the back of your neck! By putting my oil on both 'eyes', the front and back of your body can work synergistically, so that nothing can sneak up on you during healing."

After her words, I took out my "Concentration" oil and put some on both places. There was a rush of energy, and practically felt my neurons firing in synch with each other!

I thanked her for her lessons, and returned to the classroom space. When I finally made it home that evening, I offered my thanks in person, along with water and blessings.

Have you ever worked with Clary Sage? Many either love or hate the strong scent-- how about you?

Stay tuned for more Plant Spirit Magic!

10 June, 2015

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): 
  1. 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).  
  2. Looking for an animal that shows up at least 4 times in a Journey.  
  3. Seeing an animal in a Journey, and then seeing it on TV, in news articles, pictures on Facebook, etc.  
  4. 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.  
  5. Picking up an Animal Spirits dictionary (such as this one by Steven Farmer, PhD) and flipping to a page randomly.  
  6. Hearing others' stories about their Animal Spirits, finding one you like, and then "choosing" it as your Animal Spirit to work with.

Number 6 is fun, because it puts the power in your hands. Almost all of the Spirits I've worked with and developed relationships, I've had to choose to work with them and find out about them. I know that the stereotype is "The Spirit chooses you!" but they find it incredibly flattering when one seeks them out!


*Drumming Groups are local shamanic journeying groups, and can sometimes be found on Meetup.com and Witchvox.com . If you are local to the Baltimore County area, and would like to join my Drumming Group, please send me an email!

09 June, 2015

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.
(c) Lonely Coyote, 2015


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 Druid path, and fully believe in ghosti when establishing new relationships.
By asking these questions to some of the above-pictured Plant Spirits, I learned about a few specialized skills of the plants with whom I work quite regularly!

Lemon Balm:
(c) Wiki Commons
 "I am a 'Counseling Plant' that uplifts the spirit when people are battling depression, anxiety, and fear. I am helpful when humans needs to verbally process their own grief, and my lemony scent works with honey to create a wonderful calming and stabilizing effect. I can also be made into a healing tea!"

Rosemary:
(see previous entry on Rosemary here)
(c) Wiki Commons
"If Lemon Balm battles depression and compassion fatigue by lifting mood, then I battle both by cutting through the murkiness of a "depression fog" and bringing focus and concentration."

As the summer months continue, I will be working more with the Animal and Plant Spirits of North America and Europe. Stay tuned for Clary Sage, Lavender, Violet, Mugwort, and others!