Category Archives: shamanic journeys

10 Good Reasons to Take a Shamanic Journey

Check out this great post from Michael Drake’s Shamanic Drumming blog.

“Some of the top reasons people take a shamanic journey include . . .

1. To reconnect with your inner or spirit self
2. To gain insight into an issue that you want to know more about
3. To clarify life purpose
4. To access a higher power
5. To access personal help and healing Continue reading

Stepping Into The Darkness

Step Into The DarknessThe most recent lesson in my Druidry course spurred the inspiration for today’s blog — Stepping into the darkness.

The ancient Druids were said to use sensory deprivation as a means of entering an altered states of consciousness and accessing Awen (inspiration). They entered a dark room and placed a stone on their chest to keep their mind from wandering. Eventually they would enter altered state seeking their vision or inspiration. Continue reading

Winter Gardening

Ah, the nights after Solstice and all through the house, no one was stirring, not even the mouse (this is the one the cat brought in and let go last fall☺).
And in the quiet I sat in my warm winter wrap, with the seed catalogs open all over my lap.
Gary still snuggled all warm in his bed, while visions of tomatoes and herbs danced in my head…

Winter Dreams
The new seed catalogs are arriving and I’m like a kid in a candy store. But just what does my garden planning have to do with shamanism, you might ask. And my answer is that we are all gardeners…gardeners of our own life. We all know the old saying “You reap what you sow.” What are you going to sow in the upcoming year?

It’s no coincidence that we gardeners take the winter months when the earth seemingly lies dormant to assess the previous year’s harvest and plan for the new year’s planting.  It is this time of “dreaming” and planning that gives us the beautiful gardens and bountiful harvests. Without this assessment time, we would repeat the same mistakes and/or not see the new varieties and options available to us. Continue reading

Healing Power of Drumming – An Ah-ha Moment

Recently I was talking with a colleague in New Jersey and we were discussing her excitement over drumming for an upcoming shamanic journey at an assisted care facility. As with many conversations, this one led us on a trail of discussing the healing power of the drum.

Through many years of drumming and hosting circles, Gary and I have been witness to the not only the calming and stress relief benefits of drumming, but the power that the vibrations have to shift the energy body to release pain and to heal deep physical and emotional disorders. Studies have shown that drumming stimulates the immune system and promotes the production of endorphins and the body’s own morphine-like painkillers helping to control pain.

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Healing vs. Curing

Frequently Gary and I get calls from someone wondering if and how a shamanic journey can help them or a loved one with a disease. And often these are what the medical community sees as “terminal illnesses”. Their question is simple “Will a journey help?” The short answer is always “Yes, but what are your expectations?”

Here’s where we arrive at the issue of healing vs. curing. Continue reading

The Void and the Empty Chalice

Winter has joined us here in Oregon and nightly covering us with her blanket of deep white frost. If there was any moisture in the air, we’d certainly have snow. Since the beginning of Samhain (right after Halloween), I have been slowly moving deeper into my personal cave, covering up with warm blankets preparing to hibernate for winter. For me it’s just instinctive… weather turns cold… hibernate! Give me a snuggly blanket, a book and a pair of knitting needles and I’m one happy bear!
As Yule approached quite a few years back, a teacher of mine, Patricia Ballentine (, explained this to me with the idea of the Empty Cup or Challice. Continue reading

Honoring Our Ancestors

Samhain (sah-win or sow-een) is the fourth and final fire festival (or cross-quarter holiday) in the Celtic Wheel of the Year.  The veil between the worlds grows thin, as the portal opens into the Celtic New Year, and we begin our decent into the dreamtime.  It is a time of releasing the old, planting seeds for the coming year, deep visioning, receiving transmissions of wisdom, and communing with ancestors, faeries, and the spirit world.  We are reminded of the importance of the season of bone that follows the harvest and precludes the spring – a time of silence, of resting, of the death of all that is completed, and the incubation of that which is to come.

This is also a time for remembering all our ancestors and loved ones who have passed into the world beyond.  Many traditions honor their ancestors at this time. For the Celts, the celebration is Samhian, in the Hispanic traditions it is known as Dia de los Muertos or “Day of the Dead”. The Christian Church incorporated these festivals into a festival known as “All Souls Day”. Continue reading

Lughnasadh – First Harvest

Wow, can’t believe it’s August 1 already. This year is flying by. Fall will be here sooner than we think.

August first is the beginning of Lughnasadh (or Lammas). This is the celebration of the first harvest. Depending on your traditions, Lughnasadh is celebrated from August 1 – August 15.

The name of this festival is Irish Gaelic for “Commemoration of Lugh”.  Lugh is associated with the power of sun and light, and so fires were burned in honor of him on this day. In addition to his associations with light, Lugh is a God of Skill and Craft, a master of all human skills.

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Aspects of the Self – Who’s Driving Your Bus Today?

How many times have we done something totally marvelous, or dumb, rude, mean or off the wall and then looked back and said “Did I REALLY do that? It’s not like me to behave or do . . . ” We treat these actions like someone else is responsible for them, and to be truthful, there is, but that “someone else” a part of you, a personality aspects or archetype. But in these cases, just one aspect is acting (or acting out) in a manor that is not representative of you as a whole.

Through our work assisting others with shamanic journeys and retrieving soul pieces, we have found a group of aspects or archetypes each person carries that have been ignored, stuffed or abandoned along the way. And like a child that is being ignored, they tend to struggle for control so that they can be seen or heard. This is sometimes not in our best interest. Continue reading