Meditation

Full Blood Moon Eclipse Magic

Full Blood Moon Eclipse: Friday, July 27 at 1:22pm PST.

This weekend, we get to enjoy the second of three back-to-back-to-back eclipses, which also happens to be the longest eclipse of the century. For those of us in the PNW, we won't get to appreciate witnessing the eclipse visually, but we can still take some time to bask in the energies and set intentions.

This full moon lunar eclipse takes place in the sign of Aquarius: the revolutionary keeper of the Sacred Vision. As part of our I AM Alchemy retreat, we'll be holding a vision quest ritual for the eclipse. Here are some of the themes we're working with as a class:

  • Moving into the Separation stage of Alchemy: stepping back to gain perspective, and separating out the pieces of our sacred inquiry in order to understand and evaluate them all.
  • Moving out of the Black Phase (sacred destruction) and into the White Phase of Alchemy (reorganization/reconstruction).
  • Working with Eclipse magic: playing with energetic polarity and the role of tension and harmonization of duality.
  • Designing powerful rituals to amplify energy and participate actively in the creation process.
  • Claiming our roles as Visionary Leaders of our lives and of the world.
  • Working with powerful planetary correspondences and alchemical calculations in order to align more intentionally to our primary influences.

I hope that gives you some ideas! If you feel called to join us in working Eclipse Magic, please come meet us in the ethers.

Many blessings and happy Eclipse!

Reclaiming My Original Medicine

Original Medicine, Part 1/4

About a month ago, I experienced a profound shift back into myself, which reconnected me with my Original Medicine in a way that I hadn’t even realized was missing. I’ve been keeping quiet about this as I integrate and process, but I’m finally ready to share. This is the first of four installments in the story of Original Medicine that I will share with you during the month of July.

As part of a mentorship weekend with my cohort, I had the pleasure of receiving a session of Equus work from Jesse Johnson. I had looked forward to this for the entire six months leading up to the weekend. I have always felt very connected with horses (both through riding them as a kid and working with them as part of my practice in recent years).

In Equus work, the horses serve as the guides and mirrors of the person receiving the session. I knew that whatever energy and emotion I was feeling would be reflected in the behavior of the horses. These horses in particular were all wild mustangs that had been rounded up by the BLM off federal land in Oregon. Their first contact with humanity had been incredibly traumatic (think helicopters and lassos), but they had since been rescued and gentled under the compassionate care of the ranch owner. I felt simultaneously honored to work with the horses, humbled by their powerful presence and reverent of their pure energy.

Horses.png

Our exercise consisted of working directly with the horses in pairs. My partner and I elected to go first and were matched with a gorgeous black gelding named Kett. My intention for this practice was to simply enjoy myself, to embody and emit my heart light and to connect with my Original Medicine. Our goal was to silently/nonverbally communicate and connect with Kett and with each other. There was no particular agenda to this exercise, but to simply play with the dynamic.

I immediately dropped into my heart space and felt resonant with Kett. I stood next to him and placed my hand on his withers, then issued a silent invitation and started walking. He paced next to me, turning as I turned, stopping and starting again as I walked. I felt completely present, joyful and aligned.

After a minute or two, I felt my thoughts shift to my partner and my desire for her to have an experience with us. Instantly, Kett stopped walking beside me. I tried to gently encourage him to resume our engagement, and even tried to amplify the energy to elicit a bigger response, but he stood resolutely still. I attempted to shift my energy back into my heart but found myself wrapped in thoughts like, “I really want my partner to have the experience she wants,” and “I hope she doesn’t think I’m monopolizing the exercise.” At this point, my partner stepped forward and formed her own connection with Kett. He began to walk with her, just as he had with me.

As I witnessed their interaction, I felt my energy return back into my heart and connected with my partner. I relished feeling her enjoyment of the experience. I then felt our collective three-way energy as both my partner and I connected with each other and with Kett. Together, my partner and I amplified our collective connection and made our energy bigger. Kett began to trot, then to canter around the arena as we silently urged him with our energy and intention.

As we brought Kett back down to a walk and closed the exercise, Jesse asked me what I had noticed and what Kett and my partner represent in my life. I shared, “Kett represents my connection with Spirit and my authentic light… My Original Medicine. My partner represents my Earthly support and physical structures. When all three (Self, Spirit and Earth) are aligned and connected, amplification and movement happens. When I tried to amplify the energy with Kett by myself, it didn’t work. When my partner and I worked together to amplify the energy, it worked and we got to run together. In order to create movement with my light and with Spirit, I need to bring in the Earthly support. Then we had momentum and it was easier to keep it going.”

Since this experience from last month, I’ve been sitting with that question. How am I living in alignment with my Original Medicine? How am I bringing this into balance in all three realms of Self, Spirit and Earth? Are there areas where this is incongruent?

You may recall that, a few weeks ago, I told you that I was remodeling my work and I asked you what you would like to see from me and my offerings. I have taken your feedback to heart and have made adjustments accordingly. This new direction feels far more aligned between Self (what I’m excited about and lit up by), Spirit (my authentic agreement with Source and my Original Medicine) and Earth (how I am offering and expressing this work, and what my community is asking of me). I will be sharing the result of this inquiry in two weeks (on July 18).

In the meantime, here’s what you can expect from July:

July 4 (today): Reclaiming Original Medicine (story and context for you)
July 11: What Is Original Medicine? (information and offering for you)
July 18: Introducing the I AM Project (special offer for you)
July 25: Introducing I AM Medicine (special invitation for you)

Beauty as a Spiritual Practice: The 29 Day Taurus Challenge

What is the "Beauty Way?" How can the Taurus magic of beauty, embodiment and sensuality support our healthy personal practice?

The guiding principle of Taurus magic is, "Beauty as a Spiritual Practice, and Intimacy as an Art Form."

I first began my conscious initiation into the Taurus mystery school about 4 or 5 years ago. This exploration came around the time of my recovering from an abusive relationship and its associated wounds. Practicing the Beauty Way was enormously supportive of my healing path.

But my investigation went much farther than that: as I delved into the Taurus mysteries, I felt my way through a new way of being embodied in the world. For the first time, I allowed myself to fully receive in all ways, and experience visceral pleasure and enjoyment.

Taurus is the magic of the body, and how we experience the world through our senses. When Taurus magic is expressed and healthy, we allow ourselves to live fully in the body, experience true sensual pleasure (sensual=gratifying to the senses), and walk the Beauty Way. Taurus is the magic of receiving and devotion to the Self, simply for the sake of enjoyment.

As I explored the Taurus mysteries, I opened myself up to receive more and more beauty from the world around me. I savored delicious food, I dressed in soft fabrics, I enjoyed full belly laughter, I cultivated rich friendships and I explored Tantra and new practices of intimacy. I indulged in pleasure simply for pleasure's sake. I established my worthiness to receive compliments, affection, money, respect and affirmation.

Walking the Beauty Way has influenced all aspects of my life. Now, I look for beauty not only in the apparent (nature, poetry, love) but in the not-so-obvious: the art of running a business, the musicality of skillful conversation, the taste of learning new words and the texture of new ideas, the elegance of a well-organized home, the beauty of a still mind in total presence... you get the idea.

Artwork by Chani Nicholas

Artwork by Chani Nicholas

How can we witness more beauty in ourselves, in each other and in the world around us? How much can we open ourselves to receive?

Last year, I gave myself a personal challenge to practice the "Beauty Way" during the Taurus lunar cycle. Every day, I made it a practice to find, appreciate and share something beautiful. This led to so many rich discoveries and new layers of gratitude. I was delighted by taking pleasure in my life in a new way! The more I opened myself to receiving Beauty from the world, the more I found myself receiving in other ways, as well.

This year, as we approach next week's New Moon in Taurus, I am inviting you to join me in this challenge! What happens when we look for that which brings us pleasure? How much can we open ourselves to fully receive beauty? I challenge you to practice the Beauty Way with me!

Beauty as a Spiritual Practice: The 29 Day Taurus Challenge

Challenge guidelines:

  • The challenge starts at 4:59am on May 15 (Taurus New Moon) through 12:45pm on June 13 (Gemini New Moon).
  • Join the Facebook group here.
  • Post every day! Or as much as you like.
  • Share a photo or brief paragraph of something beautiful you witnessed or experienced, and what you received from it/how it contributed to your personal practice.
  • To be eligible for prizes, photos must be accompanied by a caption/takeaway. Paragraphs do not need to have a photo (but it is highly encouraged).
  • You can post multiple times per day if you like, but for contest purposes, I will only count 1 entry per day.

Prizes!

  • The person with the most eligible posts (most days walking the Beauty Way) will win one FREE 1-hour session of your choice with me! ($250 value)
  • The person with my favorite Beauty as a Spiritual Practice post will win one FREE 1-hour session of your choice with me! ($250 value)
  • The runner-up participants in each category will each receive one FREE 30-minute session with me!

I will offer examples leading up to the beginning of the challenge! Stay tuned for updates, ideas and start walking the Beauty Way!

Ready, set, GO!

Reclaiming Our Innocent Hearts

What is the role of Innocence in the heart of the awakened Spiritual Warrior?

Let me begin by saying that I have never placed an enormous priority on the value of Innocence. To me, the word has often been associated with the idea of naïveté... ignorant of and unwise to the darkness in the goings on of the world and the human realm. I remember reading William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience in high school English class and picking up on the foreboding undertones regarding the dangers of vulnerability contained in the poems on Innocence. I associated Innocence with childhood, and subconsciously rejected this virtue as synonymous with "unqualified." Especially at the beginning of my professional journey in my early twenties, I was eager to not be seen as “Innocent.”

However, I received some profound teachings regarding Innocence last weekend during a deep meditation ceremony. This gift has since radically shifted my ideas around the quality of Innocence.

Let me share with you some excerpts from my journal about this meditation ceremony:

As I entered a deep meditative state, I began to receive images and information. At first, my guides showed me animals. I connected with (and in some cases, became) a whole array of different creatures, including cats, various kinds of fish, sloths, wolves, foxes, snakes, and so many birds. I noticed as I did so that one quality was ubiquitously present in all of these beings: they lived in Innocence, and in order to connect with them, I also had to be in a state of Innocence. I registered this as congruent with my lived experience of working with animals: in order to engage with animals and connect with them on the heart level and communicate with them psychically, I need to embody my Innocent Heart. I had never consciously recognized the particular flavor of this feeling, but upon further reflection, the energy is unmistakable: being in the presence of an animal (either in the physical or the psychic realm) immediately drops me into my own Innocence.

Following this array of beautiful connections, my guides showed me a series of very dark entities. I saw an enormous, shadowy mask of a being that fed on fear, and I witnessed how these Fear-Feeders cover the Earth, ravenously consuming the energies of human stress, despair, anxiety, anger and loathing… but their favorite food is fear.

I watched this giant shadowy shape with a feeling of detached curiosity. It aroused no terror in me and I felt no need to defend or protect myself. I knew that I was safe. As I regarded it, I noticed at its base the figure of an orange cat walking nonchalantly toward it. The Fear-Feeder had no effect on the cat. I released a gentle breath, and the Fear-Feeder disappeared.

“Fear cannot live in the Innocent Heart.” I heard these very distinct words, and again, I was shown the Earth. This time I saw that the Fear-Feeders easily attached to some people, but not to others. Looking more closely, I noticed that these dark beings hungrily feasted upon the energy of those people who had lost their Innocence, but seemed somehow invisibly repelled by those whose protection came from their Innocent Hearts.

Reflecting on this information post-ceremony, I find myself sitting with this question: What is the role of Innocence in the heart of the awakened Spiritual Warrior?

As a self-identified Spiritual Warrior, I have long associated this archetype with the qualities of courage, resilience, compassion, grace and the ability to fight and be fierce, if need be. The Warrior of the Light must be willing to face the darkness and work in the Shadow realms, though their ultimate power lies in peace.

Until now, I had never attributed the quality of Innocence to the embodiment of the Warrior archetype. However, after witnessing the Shadow entity have no effect upon the cat in its Innocence and arouse no fear in me as I embodied my own Innocent Heart after connecting with the animals, I realized that Innocence is the ultimate protective force. Instead of banishing the Fear-Feeder with an intention, surge of energy or by invoking my Spirit Guides, I exhaled a gentle breath from a state of Innocence and the Shadow being vanished immediately, without a trace or a struggle.

In addition to acting as a protective energy, the quality of Innocence enables deep connection. In the Innocent Heart, there is no room for shame, guilt, blame or unworthiness. Instead, there resides love, compassion, grace, curiosity, acceptance, joy, authenticity, and plenty of spaciousness to invite shared experiences. Think about young children in their Innocence: they love easily, feel no sense of shame or judgement, and effortlessly invite others to join them in their space of enjoying the world.

Is it possible to reclaim our Innocence once we have seen and experienced the darkness?

I firmly believe that there is no experience so terrible that we cannot heal from it and release the wound completely. In light of the messages received during this meditation ceremony, this conviction now includes the belief that part of our journey is to reclaim our Innocence, not from a state of denying or forgetting the darkness, but from knowing that it is there and choosing not to be afraid. When we can accept that the darkness, shadow beings and Fear-Feeders are an ever-present part of the energetic balance of the cosmos, without succumbing to fear or despair, we shall be truly free and empowered. In this case, the Innocent Heart is not naïve, but makes a conscious choice to embody its original nature. It does not deny the existence of the shadow, or engage it in battle, or fear it—the Innocent Heart is simply immune. Its protection is its very existence.

As I sit with this information and integrate the teachings, I invite you to join me! See below for a suggested meditation and journal prompts. Together, let’s explore our Innocent Hearts and find more ways that this quality of Innocence appears in our lives. The Innocent Heart chooses the path of love, and love liberates all beings.

From one Innocent Heart to another, you’re doing great out there!

Here is a suggested meditation ritual for you to explore your own relationship with Innocence:

(For the suggested altar arrangement, please do not choose items that you think “should” be associated with innocence! Let every selection reflect a specific intention and invoke a genuine sensation of enjoyment. If you need some support, call in your Child Self to help you choose those things that reflect your authentic Innocence.)

Find a beautiful candle in a color and scent that is the most pleasing to you. Let it be something that you genuinely enjoy and appreciate. (Bonus points for a beautiful candle holder or dish.) Set the candle, along with flowers, crystals or any other items of your choice, on a sacred altar space. If you do not already have an established altar, please consider this an opportunity to create one!

Place yourself in front of the altar, light the candle, and offer this prayer:

“I call upon and invoke the presence of my own Innocent Heart to guide me in love, grace and compassion. Please help me to fully embrace and embody my own Innocence and reclaim this natural state of being. I ask my guides and teachers of Innocence to please reveal themselves to me, so that I may learn from them and receive the wisdom of their teachings. May my heart be forever pure, and love forever shine.”

Allow yourself to drop into a meditative state and see what comes to you. I recommend sitting with this for at least 10-15 minutes, although please feel free to stay with it longer if you like. When you feel complete, you may close with gratitude:

“It is with so much gratitude that I integrate the wisdom of these teachings. To all the guides and teachers who made themselves available to me for this work, I thank you, I honor you and I lovingly release you now.”

Make sure to journal about your experience! See below for additional journal prompts. Feel free to repeat this meditation and see what comes up as you continue to connect to and build a relationship with these teachers of Innocence.

Journal prompt:

What is my relationship to the quality of Innocence? How can Innocence support me on my path?
When do I feel most connected to my Innocent Heart? How can I more easily embody my Innocence and share it with others?


Grab a journal and a pen. Don't overthink it, just write and see what comes out!

Spring Equinox

Yesterday was the Spring Equinox! (Cue Michelle's happy dance and sigh of relief.)

As we step through this Seasonal portal, it's an opportunity for us to bring closure to the most recent chapter and plant the seeds for new growth (see suggested meditation below).

Today, I took a moment to sit with some Winter energies that I am ready to release. One of the primary themes of this past season for me has been inactivity, immobility and some stagnation. Due to my shoulder injury, my movement practice (and thus, my personal practice) took a serious detour and I spent far more time than I would like inside, and not able to pursue my usual level of activity.

As I considered the lessons of Winter and the other energies at play, I honored the stillness that I enjoyed as a result of this slowing-down phase. Last Winter was very active for me, and even though this Winter felt a bit stagnant, there was also a greater opportunity for going within and experiencing quiet.  I invited the gifts of Stillness to stay with me as I move into this Spring phase, and gently honor and release the energies of immobility, inactivity and stagnation.

The seed of intention I planted for myself is around comfortable movement, activity, and grace. I planted the seed of healing, easy motion, physical strength and flexibility in my shoulder to let it grow and blossom within me.

What chapter are you ready to close? What seeds are you planting?

In case you missed it or want to add something to your Equinox practice, here is a suggestion for meditation:

If it feels comfortable to you, go outside barefoot and put your feet on the Earth. Tune in with your breath and arrive fully in your body.

Bring to mind the energies, events and themes of the past three months... what was happening for you over the winter? What are you ready to honor and release from this time? With your breath, invite these energies to leave your field. You may also offer this prayer:

Thank you, Winter, for offering me the lessons of ______________________. I fully honor the gift of these lessons, and I am grateful for how these energies served me. I now release the energies of _____________________. I fully close this Winter chapter as I step through the portal into Spring. Thank you for the blessings.

Once you have fully honored and released the energies from Winter, consider what seeds you would like to plant for the Springtime. Call these energies to mind, and you may visualize them as seeds in the palm of your hand. The seeds glow bright with the light of your intention. You may offer a prayer:

I fully activate these seeds now. Let the energies of ______________________ sprout, grow and flourish in me during this growing season of Spring. I fully align myself and my process to the Spring energies of abundance, fertility, new life and blossoming. Thank you for supporting me in bringing life to the energies of ___________________________. May these seeds grow within me for the benefit of myself, for all those around me, for all beings on Earth and for the Earth herself. Thank you for the blessings.

Place your hands on your body in the place where you would like to plant the seeds of your intentions. Feel them in your body and your field, and make sure to "water" them with further love and attention!

Self Mastery (Full Moon in Leo)

"Any Spiritual practice that I cannot apply to my lived experience is not worth my time."

You may quote me, if you like.

I enjoyed a tea date last week with a friend and colleague, during which she asked me if I thought that getting dressed up, wearing nice clothes, and in general indulging in personal, earthly pleasures conflicted with living in alignment with a Spiritual practice... Does living a rich, earthly, human life make us less spiritual?

My emphatic response, in short: No way!

There’s a term I came up with that I like to use with my clients and students to impress a certain idea upon them when discussing Self Mastery. The term is “Divine Embodied Being.”

I find this term very appropriate for a few reasons, but largely because it reminds us of the multi-faceted nature of our existence. The term “Human Being” is of biological origin and serves only to describe our physical and genetic makeup. How are we different from other beings? Well, we’re Human Beings!

However, we are so much more than our limbs and our brains and our genes. We are the embodiment of the Divine. Our physical forms provide the anchor for our souls to live on the Earth plane.

And so, we are Divine Embodied Beings. We are the physical manifestation of Spirit. We are Source and matter. If we wish to master one, we must master both.

It is so easy for us humans to use duality to separate and exclude: “If A, then not B.” Or, “If I am human, then I am not Divine,” or even, “If I am Divine, then I have no reason to pay attention to my human body.”

This last example is one that I see all too often, especially among people who have begun to realize their Spiritual awakening but have yet to balance it with the earthly aspects of their existence. Many clients come to me who are so focused on mastering the energetic part of their process that they haven’t bothered to bring the physical, earthly part of themselves up to speed yet.

Here are some examples of sacrificing our lived experience in the name of "Spirituality":

  • Having poor boundaries/allowing other people to walk all over us because we're afraid of being unkind or unconscious
  • Giving up things we love (that make us genuinely happy) because we are afraid of being "too attached"
  • Losing touch with our family/friends/community
  • Putting ourselves in compromising, potentially dangerous positions in the name of "spiritual growth" when any common sense would tell us to run away
  • Compromising our values for what we think is the "more conscious" course of action, even if it goes directly against our Truth
  • Avoiding healthy financial flow and structure because "money isn't spiritual"

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that, quite often, there is a period of adjustment when it comes to mastering all parts of ourselves as Divine Embodied Beings... and usually, the human parts of ourselves are on the losing end of the deal.

In order to honor all parts of our nature and live in the world as whole beings, it is of equal importance to devote care and attention to the parts of ourselves that are Divine AND the parts of ourselves that are Matter. Moreover, we must not treat them as separate facets of our existence, but as deeply interwoven and mutually necessary components of our wholeness. It is our bodies that offer a place for Spirit to live inside of us, and it is our Souls that animate our physical forms beyond the level of a biochemical machine.

True Self Mastery means living a rich life in all ways, and knowing that all parts of ourselves are of equal importance. Any Spiritual practice we adopt should uplift, improve and bring grace to our Human, embodied experience. Otherwise, why bother?

On the other side of the coin, any human experience or indulgence we offer ourselves should enrich and cultivate our Spiritual being. Otherwise, why bother?

Lunar Alchemy: Full Moon in Leo

I don't know about you, but I am so damn grateful for this upcoming full moon/ supermoon/ lunar eclipse. We live in a society that has collectively agreed to suppress, compress, categorize and diagnose us all into little boxes.

No effing thank you.

This Full Moon in Leo comes in with a roar to open up the biggest, most expansive container of SELF! How can we ever hope to know who we are if we can't see and fully experience all parts of ourselves? How can we actually be as big as we truly are?

Join me for a Full Moon journey of expansion, discovery and Mastery of Self.

Together, we will:
-Explore the themes of this Full Moon and discuss the magic of Lunar Alchemy
-Share our lunar intentions
-Receive a channeled transmission with information about supporting your intentions and placing our work in the global context
-Enjoy a group healing experience and embodied meditation practice to anchor in the energies
-Learn about the journey of I AM Alchemy

Sliding scale $44-22. Register to reserve your space. FREE for I AM Alchemy participants!

New Moon in Capricorn: Sacred Structure

The New Moon in Capricorn next Tuesday brings us the powerful medicine of Sacred Structure.

Without our bones, it doesn't matter how much muscle or energy or force of will we have: we would not be able to move an inch.

The same is true of anything in our lives: without structure to support and hold a container, action becomes impossible. We spend so much time and energy focused on inspiration, movement, fire and momentum... but running around the world fueled by pure spirit is completely unsustainable. If we're hoping to build mountains, we need to root in the bedrock.

And I'm building mountains. Are you?

If so, we must focus on the foundations of our lives. What sacred structures can we build for ourselves to be able to grow? How can we strengthen the "bones" of our lives to give stability and sustainability to our actions? How can we make our work and our presence in the world more lasting, more meaningful and more powerful?

Let's build our bones together.

The Medicine of Space

When we create spaciousness for ourselves, we can relax into BEing and presence. We can expand to fully embody all parts of ourselves. We can be as big as we actually are. We can welcome in new energies and remain balanced through dynamic shifts.

I’ve been keeping relatively quiet for the past couple of months as I sit with some very significant changes that are coming up in my life and my work. I won’t go into too much detail now as it is still crystalizing, but suffice it to say that everything (one-on-one work, teaching, programs, etc) is getting an overhaul. The way that I am moving through it with a greater degree of ease and grace than I could otherwise is... spaciousness.

Even so, the overhaul has brought on some anxiety. The inner voices share their doubts:

“Am I committing entrepreneurial suicide by switching up my offerings all the time?”
“What the heck do I think I’m doing?”
“Am I kidding myself?”
“What if this is way too far out for people? What if nobody is ready for this? What if nobody gets it?”
“How can I make all these massive changes without shooting myself in the foot?”

Those are some of the highlights, but you get the idea.

I just returned from a week-long trip to Sedona, AZ, where I experienced a great deal of new energy and catalysts, set some changes in motion and received some profound medicine. One of the highlights was a visit to the Grand Canyon.

I had never been to this particular sacred site before, and as I approached the canyon rim, I felt myself start to tear up. I could feel the energy swelling up out of the exposed layers—ancient and constant in its power. Moved beyond words, I wandered off by myself to stand on a cliff edge and feel the potent waves course through my body. The Grand Canyon is a giant portal, and the amount of raw power and potential held within each grain of sand is palpable.

“This is the kind of healer I want to be. I want to be this spacious, this ancient, this solid, yet mutable.”

As these realizations formed in my mind, I felt myself expand enough to accommodate the Grand Canyon within my energy field.

“I AM this spacious. I AM this ancient. I AM this solid, this mutable.”

No matter the direction my work takes from here, the kind of space I hold for myself and for others is that deep. The kind of container I set for transformation is that wide.

I sat down to write in my journal, tears continuing to blur my vision. I had no idea what I was writing, and only discovered after I read it later that night that I had written a declaration—a prayer to the Grand Canyon herself:

I AM big enough to hold you.

I AM strong enough to serve you.

I AM patient enough to learn from you—the lessons in each stone and grain of sand.

I AM ancient enough to remember you as flat, scorched Earth that gave off the sharp tang scent of new metal, fresh from the fire.

I AM small enough to curl myself into each pore in your cavernous walls… tiny wombs where crystals and magic are born.

I AM quiet enough to hear the stories that have been buried in your layers for aeons rise up as they are freed by matter dissolving into air.

I AM raw enough to feel the currents of wind stirred by Raven’s wing.

I AM humble enough to kneel here, to know that I have died here and to surrender my bones to you to compost into soil.

I AM embodied enough to feel that you are big enough to hold me.

I AM wild enough to want to scream and chant and howl and sing and fill your canyons with my prayers, but subtle enough to know that a whisper will suffice.

I know that there is space for you in my bones, in my cells. I feel my body drinking in your familiar magic. Make me ancient. Help me remember. Support me in crumbling away all the surface layers to reveal the parts of me that were present for the birth of this and other worlds. Instruct me in how I may better serve. Teach me the ways of timeless presence. I fill myself with you. I AM reverence. There is no room here for anything but the Truth. I see my blood on your walls. Let me lie here and dissolve.

This is the kind of spacious timelessness that constitutes the Void. In this reality, no healing work is needed because nothing needs to be “healed.” There is no need to fix, to change, to alter or adjust. There is only BEing and presence.

Within that spaciousness, all things are possible. When I hold the medicine of the Grand Canyon in my body, the doubting voices immediately become silent.

I invite you to examine where you can breathe more spaciousness into your life. In what ways can you allow more BEing and presence?

Many blessings!

Michelle Hawk Shaman Portland Sedona Reiki Master Healer Teacher

Solar Eclipse: Courage & the Lion's Heart

My Heart and I have a pretty good system of open communication. Sometimes she speaks to me in words, using clear, precise language. Sometimes she expresses herself with a tender squeeze, or a wrenching twist of outrage or agony. She'll quiver with excitement, sing crystal tones of joy or hum in general contentment.

But whatever the message and means of conveying it, my Heart always tells me the Truth.

I wasn't always as skilled at understanding the deepest messages of my Heart as I am now, but that has come with years of practice of remembering how to get out of my own way and sit in stillness.

As children, we enjoy a graceful and easy connection with our Hearts and their truths. We are governed by the simple desires to be loved, to be seen, to feel connection... we bare our Hearts and their messages to the world.

I hardly need to tell you what usually happens next. We shut down, we step away from our Hearts and their truths, and we forget how to embody that effortless grace and communication.

But the good news is, we can always return to that effortless space. Our Hearts never abandon us, and even if we have closed ourselves off to hearing their truth, they still whisper in our ears.

Under this powerful Eclipse portal, that whisper is becoming a roar.

Any message of our Hearts that we haven't quite been allowing ourselves to hear or honor will now come blazing through in a way that we cannot possibly ignore. What is required now for us to come into harmonious alignment with these energies?

Courage.

Courage (comes from the root cor, or heart) isn't about being "brave" or "fearless." True Courage means living the Truth of our Hearts, whatever that might be. It means creating space and stillness to rediscover in ourselves that whisper of a message, that tender squeeze or drumming intensity. Courage means perceiving this Truth and being willing to honor it by acting upon the message. In short, this Eclipse Portal encourages us to wear our Hearts on our sleeves.

"But it's not safe to do that! Look at the state of the world! Why would I want to make myself vulnerable?"

Our mind presents reasonable doubts in its efforts to protect us. To that, I answer, look at the Lion/ess. The Lioness is truly the Queen of her Queendom. She is an apex predator whose presence maintains equilibrium for an entire ecosystem. Do you think she has any qualms about living the truth of her Heart?

This Solar Eclipse in Leo invites us all to go within and discover our own Lion's Heart. How can we unapologetically claim our seat on the throne of our Heart and live in total sovereignty as the Queen/King of our Queendom/Kingdom?

From one Lion Heart to another, you look great out there.

The Power of Subtlety

"Go big, or go home!"

"No pain, no gain!"

We're all familiar with these statements, and others that also glorify intensity, drama and suffering. I definitely used to be a member of the Harder/Better/Faster/Stronger camp. I think it was a combination of my desire for efficiency, my highly competitive nature and the need to receive instant gratification in knowing that my efforts had achieved some immediately measurable result.

It took me an embarrassingly long time, but I finally learned that healing doesn't work that way. In many ways, I almost felt exempt from the Universal Laws of subtle energy movements. See aforementioned competitive nature. "If anyone can heal overnight, it's me! I'll just do this one big ritual and I'll be good!" Then Spirit would kick my ass in some form or another and I would be forced to slow down, work on the subtleties and not try to rush anything or create some grand Hail Mary healing gesture.

There were times when I was moving through deep healing crisis, and the only thing I could do to work on myself was some mini personal practice, but I committed to doing it every day. One of the most gratifying examples of this took place a couple of years ago as I experienced the trials of the Portland housing market and had no idea where I was going to live. During a healing session, the practitioner told me that my root chakra was almost entirely shut down. I remember thinking, "That can't be right. I'm very grounded." But as I considered this information, I realized that I hadn't adjusted my personal practices to accommodate the destabilization I felt from losing my home. I silently promised myself in that moment to work on my root chakra and my sense of safety every day, even if only for five minutes.

When I saw this healer again a couple of months later, she noted that my root chakra was not only fully back online, but huge! Also, all of my other chakras were more balanced and aligned because of the work I had been doing on my root chakra alone. Aside from the measurable difference in my energy field, I emotionally felt safer, more secure and confident, despite the upheaval in my living situation. I had worked every day for a few minutes on internalizing my sense of safety, rather than having my safety be dependent on external circumstances.

I share this story about subtle personal practice right now because this exact phenomenon is coming up for many of my clients and people in my immediate surroundings. I have had more discussions about subtle personal practices in the last couple of weeks than I have ever had in my life.

In a conversation with a friend of mine last week, we got around to talking about energy clearing. I perceived that his field was a bit "dusty" and asked him what he did for a clearing practice. "You mean like a sweat lodge?" He asked. I answered that a sweat lodge was a good way to do some bigger clearing, but asked again what he did every day for himself. "Oh. Nothing," he answered. At this point Spirit started poking me with a very direct message, so I asked him, "Do you believe that subtle daily practices actually work?" He looked a bit taken aback as he thought for a moment, then, almost sheepishly, answered, "I guess not."

We all like magic fixes. We like thinking that there's one golden gem of a ritual or practice that we can bring in to clean up our energies and erase all the wounds. That's why there are so many "Intensives" out there in the healing and coaching world. There are plenty of retreats, ceremonies and other ways to experience a supercharged dose of healing. There is absolutely incredible value in dropping into your process and doing nothing else for one day, three days, five days, a week, but unless your awareness of the subtleties and your established personal practice is there to back it up, it is not sustainable and the energies won't stick around. While much less sexy, the subtle consistency of your daily personal practice is going to be the thing that saves your ass and creates the solid foundation for all other healing work to take place.

I guarantee you that the subtle work that you do every single day will be one of your greatest tools. This is what will allow you to become intimately acquainted with your energies, your process, your intuition and help you cultivate a strong energetic foundation. It is this foundation that will provide a clear container for whatever intensive healing/coaching/ceremonial work you do, and give you a place to channel that infusion of new energy.

I tell people, "Doing a subtle practice two minutes every day for 30 days is more powerful than doing one hour of practice once a month."

How can you harness your own power of subtlety? Check this out:

A Personal Practice Primer

Congratulations! You're ready to begin your subtle personal practice. Here are some things to consider:

Support

It's a good idea to receive some support in the form of healing work or coaching to help you determine the best direction for your personal practice. What energies would you like to develop?

Time

How much time can you commit EVERY DAY to this practice? I tell my clients to choose something in the range of 30 seconds to 1 hour. Choose the amount of time that you confidently feel you can commit to every single day. If there are some days where you do more than that, that's great! But at very least, you are setting aside that minimum amount of time.

The Practice Itself

So, what are you actually doing during that timeframe? Part of what dictates your practice is the amount of time you allot. For example, if you give yourself an hour, that's enough time for some journaling, breathing meditation, embodiment practices and affirmations. If you give yourself 10 minutes, maybe a brief visualization and affirmation practice would be more appropriate. If you give yourself two minutes, you can create a brief, but rich practice of silence, gratitude and simply being present in your body.

Here are some suggestions of a few things that you might want to weave into your personal practice:

  • Self-healing work (Reiki, chakra balance)
  • Breathwork
  • Meditation
  • Gratitude
  • Affirmations
  • Journaling
  • Embodiment practice (gentle movement, stretching, yoga, exercise)
  • Silence
  • Gardening

It's important also to change up your personal practice every now and then so it doesn't become stagnant. But for now, just get started!

What I Learned From Dancing With Angels

I'm feeling very tender and hypersensitive today.

But spending the weekend holding ceremony, communing with spirits, dancing with Angels and opening a Galactic channel will do that to you, I suppose.

I had the pleasure and honor of being invited to attend ceremony this past weekend with one of the foremost experts in Spiritism and Mediumship in the country. The weekend was a whirlwind of visions, healing, working in the astral plane and connecting with the Divine. I am being guided to share one particular message with you.

Part of the ceremony involved opening up the circle to practice Mediumship. For a more detailed discussion on the practice, please see this episode of Shaman Sister Sessions. In short, Mediumship is a process of opening oneself up to become available to connect with energetic forces, spirits, Angels, etc. In opening myself to practice Mediumship, I issued an invitation to Spirit to direct me in whatever way would serve the Highest and Greatest Good.

During a particular part of the ceremony, people were invited to come sit around the altar and open themselves to channel. I felt a nudge from Spirit to go to the altar, but the particular seat I wanted was already filled by someone else. I felt the nudge again, but still, I didn't move. Finally, I felt someone shove me in the back, making me fall forward out of my seat. Taking the hint, I went to kneel at the open space in front of the altar.

Immediately, I felt a rush of energy as my body began to move. I have experienced trance dance before, but never like this. I could feel beings moving my body to create a flow of energetic current, and I knew that they were Angels who had come to dance with me. After a few minutes, the song ended, and my body returned to relative stillness.

The music began again, and once more, the Angels started to dance my body. This time, I felt my mind creep in with its concern. "I'm only supposed to be at the altar for one song. I should go back to my seat and give someone else a turn." Immediately, however, the Angels responded with the knowledge that I was in exactly the right place, and they would release me when the time was right. I relaxed back into the dance, then felt that concern creep up in my mind again. I opened my eyes a tiny crack and saw that no one else at the altar was moving, and my mind seized upon the idea that not only was I hogging altar space, but I was the weirdo who was dancing while doing it.

Again, I felt the Angels calm my mind. They told me without words that I was in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing, and to continue to trust and be guided. Once more, I relaxed and allowed myself to be moved in the most beautiful dance, conducting the energy current through my body.

When the song ended the second time, I returned to stillness, and the Angels released me to go back to my seat.

What is the message from that experience? Drumroll, please:

As long as we practice trust and surrender to our guidance, we will always be in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing.

That was one of my biggest takeaways of the weekend. I cannot overstate this, so I'll repeat it as a mantra that I invite you to say to yourself out loud:

As long as I practice trust and surrender to my guidance, I will always be in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing.

Yes, our minds may creep in to make us doubt ourselves. Our human brains are very good at trying to keep us safe and make us question things that seem beyond reason or control. That is, after all, their job. But guidance exists beyond reason or control, and the Divine forces we invoke possess no human limitations or concept of shame or social correctness.

As I integrate the energies and messages from ceremony, I'll be asking myself the following questions (and I invite you to do the same):

  • Where in my life am I in alignment with my guidance?
  • Where in my life am I not in alignment with my guidance?
  • How can I more fully practice trust and surrender in order to bring myself into alignment with my guidance in all areas of my life?
  • What is required for me to show up differently to practice trust and surrender with ease and grace?
  • Where can I call guidance into my life in order to support me in embodying the Highest and Greatest Good?

And one more time, for good measure:

As long as I practice trust and surrender to my guidance, I will always be in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing.

Many blessings!

Summer Solstice: Expansion & Contraction

I don't know about you, but I need a break.

I just arrived a few hours ago in San Diego to visit my dear sister, Katherine Bird. Over the next several days, we'll be facilitating ceremony, attending ceremony, doing healing work and offering our channeling and mediumship skills as guest experts in a Galactic Channeling Activation intensive workshop.

This is definitely not a vacation.

And yet, as soon as I arrived, I felt my nervous system immediately go into a state of contraction in anticipation of rest and nurturing.

When working with Cycles of Power, expansion and contraction are both equally important parts in the ebb and flow of energy. Today, on the Summer Solstice, we exist in the biggest possible container of light--the greatest potential for expansion. We have been building to this point for the last few months and the energies of expansion will continue to prevail throughout the summer, then wane back into contraction in the fall. This is the time to harness the power of illumination to reveal the deepest parts of ourselves that might otherwise stay hidden.

ILLUMINATION. WITNESSING. REVELATION. EXPRESSION. These are the keys of the Summer Solstice.

So, where does Contraction fit in all this?

Contraction is the space that enables us to go within, set our intentions, write the contracts (literally, "CONTRACT-ion") for our soul blueprints, work with the Karmic records and adjust our energy frequencies. Contraction is the essential counterpoint that turns Expansion into an effective, directed process, rather than an unsustainable explosion of energy.

I need to contract first in order to expand even more.

As I prepare to dive in deep and move some massive energies (I can feel it already), I will be taking some time for stillness and receiving. I'll be attending a singing and voice activation workshop with a master sound healer, lounging in the sun with my sister and snacking on healthy food. I'll be journaling (see below for my Solstice Gift to you!), setting my intentions and preparing to deeply alter my soul contract.

And then, I'll be ready to expand even further and continue the Cycle of Power.

What are your intentions for this powerful time?

Happy Solstice!

Identity Structure

This article is a follow-up exercise to my last post.

What makes up an Identity Structure?

Identity structures are exactly what you'd imagine: they're all the parts of ourselves that constitute any component of what we might identify as "Self." Some of the things included in our identity structures are:

-Physical body: What container do you live in?
-Emotional body: How do you feel about things?
-Mental body: What do you think about things?
-Energy body: What is your vibration and how does it respond to the world?
-Thoughts and beliefs: How do you think and feel about the world?
-Relationships: What role do you play in other people's identity structures and what roles do they play in yours?
-Childhood/past events: What formative experiences shaped your beliefs about the world?
-Memories: What is your subjective interpretation of past events?
-How you spend your time: Sacred Work/job, activities, pastimes... what do you do with your precious days?
-Language: What words do you use to speak about yourself and your existence?
-Interests: What captivates your attention?
...and SO many more!

Understanding Your Identity Structure

In order for us to work with the nuances of identity structure, we have to know what comprises the foundation of our Being. Here's my best advice to you:

Start with ONE of the points above. With your journal, sit quietly in meditative space and write intuitively about what comes up for you when you examine that facet of Self. For example, if you were to choose the "Memories" option, you might ask yourself, "What are some of the strongest memories I have from my childhood? What emotions are attached to those memories? What do those memories say about me? How do I feel about them?"

After you feel complete, review what you wrote and notice what jumps out at you. Is there any new information there? What themes do you notice? Does what you wrote feel positive and in alignment with a healthy identity structure? Does it feel as though it needs some further investigation and support to be fully processed and integrated?

The Outcome of Working with Identity Structure

Why do we do this? Ultimately, knowing who we are on all levels and allowing it to be witnessed is what lets us live our fullest expression. By diving deep and asking ourselves, "Who am I?" we create space for healing, processing and a healthy way of being in the world for ourselves and for everyone else.

Identity: The Dangers of Suppression

"Who am I?"

No small question, to be sure.

I spend a lot of time thinking, teaching, speaking and writing about identity and its manifestations in myself and my clients. Who are you as a healer? How does your Soul's Mission express itself? What parts of your Medicine are ready to be claimed? These are all sub-questions of that core inquiry: Who am I?

Up until recently, the concept of identity seemed to me to only be a net positive process of investigation. In other words, of course it's a good thing for people to discover and claim all parts of themselves! A few weeks ago, however, I had a startling revelation that has drastically altered my viewpoint on the universal implications of claiming our identities.

In the way that we remain casually connected with people through social media, I saw the coming-out declaration of an old classmate of mine. In a lovely and articulate post, she introduced herself as a transgender woman and showed her true face to the world. One line in particular struck me deeply: "This past year, as I approached my 30th birthday, I realized that while everyone else was exceedingly happy with who I was, I was decidedly not, and, if I didn't do something about it, I knew I wouldn't make it to my 40th."

As the implications of this sunk in, I realized that while it is not only a positive and healthy thing for us to claim and honor our identities, NOT doing so is not a neutral choice, it is an ACTIVELY DETRIMENTAL and DANGEROUS one. The results of suppressing or ignoring any part of our true selves are damaging and potentially life-threatening.

I was staggered. Something had clicked for me in a new way as I thought about all the means that so many of us take to shut down or stifle parts of ourselves. When it comes to our fundamental existence, there is no such thing as neutral: we are living and thriving, or we are withering and dying.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Let's think about this from the societal perspective. The way we behave and the choices we make in the world gives permission and sets the tone for other people to do the same. We are resonant beings whose frequencies respond to each other, so when people in a society are well, happy and fulfilled, it ripples out to others. The same is true for disharmonious frequencies. When people are unwell, unhappy and suppressed, that ripples out as well.

It is imperative, therefore, not only for our own health and well-being, but for that of ALL beings, that we choose to fully claim and honor all parts of our identities. If we don't, they wither, and we collectively create a society of slowly dying people.

I say this not to induce despair, but to emphasize the vital nature of this question: "Who am I?" If we don't fully know who we are, how can we honor those deepest parts of ourselves? How can we give life to and nurture the many faces of our infinitely complex being? How can we grow and thrive and, together, cultivate a society where all beings are inspired and given permission to fully express the truth of their hearts?

From one Warrior of the Light to another, I promise to keep asking myself that question every day so I can continue to honor all parts of my being. I do so not only for myself, but for the health and well-being of ALL beings.

So I ask you, now:

Who are you?
 

Life Review: Birthday Edition

My upcoming birthday is prompting even more introspection and self-examination than usual! I'm turning 30 on Thursday, and as I prepare to celebrate my life and usher in a new decade of even greater awesomeness, I'm taking the time for some considerable life review.  (I also have a GIFT for you!! See below.)

One of the big things that came up as I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago was appreciating just how quickly change occurs. I was at SOAK (a regional Burning Man event which I have been attending since 2011) staring at the massive bonfire and remembering who I was one short year ago, and how I was in such a different place in my life. I continued to follow this train of thought back over the years and was struck with so much appreciation for the way in which change occurs much more quickly than we realize. Maybe this isn't new information to you, but it was a revelation to me. I know I tend to run around the world with a certain degree of impatience, always wanting to accomplish things as quickly and efficiently as possible because there's so much to do!! However, things only feel like they're moving slowly when I zoom in and look at the short-term. As soon as I was able to widen my perspective and take in the last year (and widen even further to take in the last several years), I felt enormously humbled for just how much change I have created in the last year. Let's take a look at some highlights (and lowlights, because those are important, too):

  • On my birthday last year, I officially began claiming my medicine in an even deeper way by calling myself Michelle Hawk and honoring the name that Spirit had given me.
  • (Just over one year ago, but it's so close that we're counting it) I successfully redid/rebranded my business and launched my gorgeous new website.
  • I went through the trauma of losing my home and my amazing roommate, was gifted with a safe place to land over the winter, and two months ago moved into an amazing Goddess Temple house in a beautiful neighborhood.
  • My wonderful witch mother, Rosemary, and I officially released and began teaching our Illumination Reiki™ curriculum. We've been working on this for YEARS and it feels amazing to put this out into the world!
  • We also began teaching our classes at a gorgeous studio space (Vibrant Studios) in SW Portland. If you haven't seen it yet, we'd love to have you join a workshop and check it out!
  • On the personal note, I took a deep look at my patterns in relationships. I learned hard and valuable lessons from a couple of boyfriends and did amazing healing work to heal and finally release some old trauma from an abusive relationship.
  • My wonderful sister Katherine Bird and I began our video podcast, Shaman Sister Sessions, which will soon be available on iTunes!
  • I successfully trained for and ran my FIRST ever race! I ran a half marathon (ran every step of the way, no stopping or walking) and finished just over my goal of 2 hours (2:01:13, which is pretty darn close). 10k coming up next!
  • I reworked my healing and mentorship offerings to include Spiritual Warrior Mentorship for my clients who are ready to fully claim the magic of their Divine nature.
  • I gave a twist to my New Moon Rising intensive program and am delighted to offer it in its newest incarnation this fall!!
  • I spoke at a conference for the first time, taught a breakout workshop at another conference, traveled to California to teach at a retreat and was invited to speak at another conference in October (I just learned that I'll be giving the closing keynote speech on the first day!!).
  • I finally started treating my work like a business, instead of "just" my life purpose and passion. I cannot overstate how huge this is.
  • I released a lot of old beliefs, did a lot of hard personal work, coached myself through heartache and tears, loved myself fiercely enough to hold my ground and speak my Truth, trusted myself and Spirit enough to take some big leaps and danced plenty along the way!

It is so important to look back every now and then in order to really appreciate how much we have changed, how far we have come and how darn quickly it all happened! Thank you for the part YOU have played in my journey. It is a pleasure to walk with you on this path. Let us continue to witness each other in our magnificent unfolding.

Many blessings,

Michelle Hawk Signature

Okay, your turn! And here's the GIFT part:

In celebration of my 30th birthday, I am offering you a free 30-minute call with me! One on one, your chance to chat with me about whatever you like. Life purpose stuff? Big questions? Important decisions? Spending half an hour just catching up and telling jokes? Sure! Send me an email (please include your phone number) and we'll set up a time to talk.

 

In addition, I have an invitation for you.

While this is not required for you to claim your GIFT call with me, I highly suggest doing this exercise before we talk (or anytime). Grab a journal, cup of tea and settle in for some life review of your own!

  • Make a list (like I did above) of the standout events, accomplishments, revelations, personal growth moments, low points, etc of the past year. 
  • After you have your list, give yourself a hug! You've done a lot in just a short time.
  • Next, rate each list item on a 1-10 scale in terms of emotional charge (1 is no emotion attached, 10 is very emotionally charged).
  • Everything that scored an 8 or higher, look at more closely. As you re-read these items on your list, drop into your body and your breath. Notice what sensations and emotions are attached. Do these things feel expansive or contractive? Are they associated with joy, fear, love, rage, grief, pain, euphoria or something else?

The emotional charge that we hold from these defining events informs our current experience and way of being in the world. Notice what revelations come up for you as you look at this list. If you choose to claim your GIFT call with me, we can look more closely at some of these things and identify how they're impacting your lived experience, and what alchemy needs to take place in order to integrate the lessons.

Healing the Money Story

MONEY MEDITATION

Following Tuesday's episode of Shaman Sister Sessions in which we discussed healing the archetypes (catch this and other episodes here), I decided to do some of my own work on my inner "Impoverished Healer" and my Money Story today.

In the way that the Universe works in perfect timing, I received some immediate feedback that this was the perfect thing to do. One of the ridiculously synchronistic signs was this journal prompt I received in my email today:

"What do my thoughts, fears, believes and desires about money say about me? How do I want to treat money? How do I want money to treat me?"

Here is my 10-minute flow journaling entry:

I am intimidated by Money. It has a cold face. It is dispassionate. I can't hear it the way I hear Life. The current of Money exists outside of me. It feels mechanical. I don't want to be a part of a mechanical, cold system. I do not see/feel the life in money.

I would like to understand the life force of money. I want to appreciate it as I appreciate living things. I want to feel its pulse and discover its warmth.

"Cold, hard cash." :(

Money is sovereign, it is not a servant. It has its own soul contracts and agreements. Money knows its own value.

I want Money to be attracted to my vibration. I want it to feel nourished in my presence--swoop in like a flock of sparrows to receive some admiration, appreciation, a handful of seeds, then fly out again to continue on its way.

I want to be friends with Money. I want us to be allies, partners, co-creative visionaries who conspire to bring Joy to all.

I want Money to be on board with my vision and show up to support me in its actualization. I want to honor the life of Money and view it as an equal--it is an entity in itself.

I want to understand its movements.

I want to invite Money to make itself comfortable with me and let us get to know each other. I want to offer it a cup of tea and look at crystals together. I want to thank Money for all that it has already offered me. I want to express my gratitude to this friend and ally who has grown with me and enabled me to invest in myself and my vision.

~~~

I followed this by sitting down and individually thanking a stack of $100 bills, then inviting them to get comfy on my meditation cushion. They seem to like it there.

Sacred Finances Conscious Business Money Meditation

Animal Song

ANIMAL SONG: What does it mean to be an Animal Song Carrier?

A person who has been gifted the role of Animal Song Carrier fully embodies the medicine of that Totem. The Animal who chooses to offer its song to you declares in doing so that it gives you permission to access its magic, and that it trusts you to hold its energy and bring it forth into the world. The Animal Guide who invites you to carry its song empowers you with its medicine so that you can, together, co-create alchemy on the Earth plane. The Animal totem, after all, has a purpose and wisdom all its own, and by sharing its song with you, invites you to enact its vision into reality.

Working with Animal Totems is a significant component of my medicine and my discovery of Animal Song began (subconsciously) when I was very young. I have felt a deep connection with animals for as long as I can remember—in fact, my very first memory of this lifetime features the dog that my parents had when I was born (my parents are nowhere in this memory). As a child, when walking in the woods, wild deer would gently step out from between the trees to look at me before moving away into the dappled shadow. I remember visiting a flock of swans and watching them aggressively chase away other children who approached, and yet they allowed me to walk among them and sit peacefully in their midst.

The idea of connecting with animals in the energetic realm always made sense to me. My favorite stories growing up involved talking animals, and I read every book of Native American folk tales I could get my hands on because animals were featured as powerful, intelligent beings with a purpose and wisdom completely separate from human motivations.

I experienced my first Shamanic journey to discover my Spirit Animal when I was 14 years old. The Totem that revealed itself to me made its presence known in my life in a beautiful, supportive way, and I still receive the benefit of her guidance, even 15 years later.

As I deepened my relationship with Animal Guides, I discovered that I had many. I devoted myself to meditating with my guides, learning their medicine and honoring their wisdom. I found that some guides work specifically with certain situations and energies, some are present for short periods and others are lifelong totems.

Eagle is one such governing Totem in my life. In 2012, while offering blessings to a pair of bald eagles, they told me: “Eagle Song is more than the cries of the bird—it is the BEING of an eagle. It is the movement of air over feathers and the flexing of powerful feet and talons. It is observing without being observed. It is intensely knowing your body and valuing every part: there is no waste, only maximum efficiency for flight. But there is a part beyond our physical selves: that which lives between the layers and flies to the sun and back. This, too, is Eagle Song. Our wisdom comes from intimately knowing these parts and uniting them in our Highest Selves. We—and you, too, Child of Earth and Light—are far more than our physical bodies.”

In 2015, I participated in a traditional Native American dance ceremony, during which the Eagles told me that I am an Eagle Song Carrier. It was then that I truly delved into the essence of Animal Song and learned the enormous magic that comes from receiving such a gift. Being a Song Carrier for an Animal Totem is both an honor and a responsibility. By answering the call of the Spirit Animal who entrusts you with its Song, you effectively create a soul contract with that archetype to actualize its energy on the physical plane. You offer yourself as the vessel through which the medicine of this Animal Guide may flow as it works its own brand of magic for the well-being of Earth.

I carry other Animal Songs as well, but Eagle was the first to initiate me into this medicine. As such, I honor this totem through my work, and help others align with the Song of Animal Totems through private sessions, journey work and events featuring a particular Animal Guide.

It is my honor to facilitate another such event this Sunday afternoon (January 29), during which we will connect with Wolf Song. Wolf medicine is very strong in its cycle of power at this time and wishes to share its magic with the Earth plane for the benefit of all. Please join me this weekend to tune in to this powerful wisdom and let us together honor Wolf Song. Event information here.

Image by EntheoNation

Image by EntheoNation

Winter Solstice Blessings

December 21, 2016

I allow my gaze to float serenely over the bare birch limbs visible immediately outside of my office corner window. The sunlight streaming from behind the pine trees turns the water droplets hanging from twigs into gleaming starbursts that decorate the seemingly lifeless boughs.

What juxtaposition to witness this afternoon of the Winter Solstice in its gleaming golden glory. The misty haze that rises from the trees captures the sunlight and turns my thoughts towards tree auras as I imagine my hungry cells, like those of the languid pines, greedily slurping up every photon in photosynthetic gluttony. (I had my DNA tested earlier this year and I’m about 36% solar panel.)

How interesting, I think to myself, that this, the Darkest Day of the Year, can be so full of glowing, radiant light. The sweetness that comes from an unexpected sunny day creeps inside my chest like a beautiful poem, and I feel Gaia whispering to me as a lover would, telling me to relish this gift. I gaze at my sunlit hand in awe, noticing my fierce pleasure at the warmth and illumination. I employ my Hawk vision to help me observe in intricate detail the texture of my skin, the precise shade of each freckle and the exact pattern of the tiny, almost invisible hairs that cover the back of my hand.

Tonight I will drop into the fullness of the darkness and surrender back into the womb space of our Earthly cycles. I embrace the dark. I welcome her touch. I feel at ease in her inky softness. We have worked and played well together over the years, and I appreciate her for her wisdom.

Yet, for now, I hold in my heart the simple joy of knowing balance and grace. Even on the Darkest Day of the Year, there still shines a painfully beautiful light. Even in our own darkest moments, there still exists that same excruciating luminosity. This idea is the very speck of radiance that saved me three years ago, when I thought that I would be swallowed whole by the insurmountable Shadow. Darkness and I hadn’t yet cultivated our comfortable friendship at that time, and I feared that she would make me disappear.

I needn’t have worried (though that was part of the journey). Darkness has proven herself to be a wonderful teacher and powerful ally. She and I have achieved a level of ease and intimacy that I enjoy with only a few trusted beings. I have danced and held ceremony to honor her every year since we began our partnership, and will do so again this evening.

Last year for the Winter Solstice, I wrote a love letter to my Medicine Family in celebration of community, Tribe and witnessing us hold each other through our journeys. This year, I write this love letter to both Darkness and Light to honor their wisdom and their presence in all of our lives.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I love you, I love you, I love you.

Happy Solstice.

"What's Your Animal Guide?"

“What’s your animal guide?”

People often ask me this question after I introduce myself as a Shaman who works very strongly with Animal Medicine. In the context of a quick conversation, my short answer usually sounds something like, “Oh, I have many animal guides, and so do you,” but this brief response does nothing to illustrate the infinite layers of complexity and magic that come with delving deep into working with Animal Totems.

“My animal guide is an otter, because I’m very lighthearted and I like to play.”

I love that Animal Medicine has worked its way into popular consciousness! Many people share with great certainty the identity of their animal guide and an attribute of this guide with which they resonate strongly. However, as soon as I ask follow-up questions such as, “How else do you work with otter? What other aspects of its medicine do you find particularly impactful?” Most people answer that they haven’t really done anything further with their totem.

To me, this is akin to meeting your new best friend and powerful ally, learning their name, shaking their hand and then never speaking to them again. Imagine if you were at a party and the host tells you that a friend of theirs wants to meet you. The host leads you over to this person and you immediately perceive a strong energetic connection. You find yourself drawn to this person and feel excited to know them, and perhaps a bit honored to receive an introduction. The host goes on to offer further explanation of why this person was interested to meet you, and you find out that they are a wealth of talents, knowledge and power. This new person smiles glowingly at you and you shake their hand, feeling a surge of energy at this new, profound connection! Then, someone else calls your attention away and you make mental note to return to speak with this amazing new friend again, but you never do. You leave the party without exchanging information or making plans. You never reach out to the host to ask to put you in touch. From this point on, you recall with fondness the memory of that one time at that great party that the host introduced you to this amazing, glowing person with whom you felt such a strong connection, even though you never spoke again.

What if this potential best friend is still out there for you, waiting for you to rekindle the connection? What if this powerful ally has been waiting for you to reach out and ask to know them better? What if this amazing, magical being has been watching you, witnessing your life, ready to offer their teachings as soon as you are ready to receive that wisdom?

Throughout my many years of working with Animal Totems, I have witnessed time and again the magic and profound lessons that come from diving deep into animal medicine. To date, some of my most powerful initiatory experiences made themselves known through Animal messengers appearing for a dramatic introduction.

And yet, the introduction is exactly that: the first step in claiming your relationship with a powerful ally. The work that follows holds the real magic of depth, subtlety and power. By stepping into relationship with your Animal Totems, you cement a bond with their medicine that can last a lifetime and support you in your continued unfolding of joy, love and purpose.

Do you already know the identity of your Animal Guide and want to delve further into your personal connection with its medicine? Even if you don’t know its identity, do you feel your guide out there, waiting to meet you?

Magic & Medicine is an in-depth, four week long journey of discovery with your Animal Totem. This experience includes:

  • The Meeting: Welcome the new Totem into your energy field.
  • The Messages: Learn why this Guide is appearing to you and how it wants to reveal its teachings.
  • The Merge: Bring your Animal Totem to life within your own body and make its energy actionable on the Earth plane.
  • The Manifesto: Delve into the purpose of your work with this Totem and solidify your mission together.
  • And more! Learn the details of Magic & Medicine here.

Contact me for a free consultation and begin your Magic & Medicine journey with your powerful animal ally today.

Hineni

I have had a beautiful remix of Leonard Cohen’s “You Want It Darker” playing on repeat for the last several days.

First listen—the song weaves its way into my body and stirs my muscles and bones into supple twists and rhythms. Experience the raw, visceral pulsation of beat and voice and subtlety.

Play the song again, feel the texture of the words gliding roughly over my awaiting and receptive mind, notice the syllables slowly sinking into conscious awareness.

Begin paying attention to the lyrics, revel in the tonal fluctuations and depth of character.

Ponder the meaning… who sings this haunted prayer? “A million candles burning for the love that never came…” Is this Lucifer lamenting the fall? Is this some Christ consciousness agonizing upon witnessing the nature of humanity? Is this we collectively as humans who so fear the light and true nature of love and power that we would rather choose infinite darkness?

Consider the political context and timely obsession with this simple, provocative song.

Look up the unfamiliar word, “Hineni.”

Discover the profound meaning of service, of readiness, of devotion, of absolute trust and faith and surrender.

Meditate on my own offering of Hineni and the implications for one such as myself to claim my path.

Sing this song with my own smooth voice and feel the tortured tones twist my tongue into tragedy.

Recognize myself in my own darkness.

Embody Hineni prayer with every breath.

Know that even if this service takes me into the darkness, I still choose this path.

Play the song again.

Hineni, hineni. I’m ready, my lord.