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!