Art Video

June 1st, 2017


This short video was inspired by a powerful dream I had in California, October 2015.

In the early 19th century the native Chumash and Tongya people were forced to leave the Channel Islands off the coast of California. They were taken to Spanish missions and pueblos on the mainland. One teenage girl ran back to look for her baby and the ship left without her. She lived alone on San Nicholas Island for 18 years, when she was ‘rescued’. Her name was Juana Maria.

I had a powerful dream in which she appeared and showed me images of her life in those 18 years of profound solitude. She appeared as a Seal Woman (in Europe we would say “Selkie”) who became a great shaman and the Seal Mother of Souls over time.

She developed an intimate relationship with the Moon, the stars, the seals and the whales passing on their epic migration journeys.

My small film does not claim to portray ‘the truth’ about Juana Maria’s 18 years alone on San Nicholas Island. We will never know for sure. (When she was ‘rescued’ after 18 years she had no language in common with the people who welcomed her to the mainland).

What I do know is that a powerful Seal Woman and Shaman invites us to dream with her, her seals and her spirit child.

Imelda Almqvist


About Imelda

Imelda Almqvist teaches shamanism, sacred art and internationally. 

Her book “Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life”, Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages was published by Moon in August 2016.

Imelda is a presenter on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True

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