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Individuals Within the Unified Matrix of Life

January, 2019

art by Katherine Bell McClure

I’ve
been considering the phrase ‘all my relations’ for some time now.
It’s hugely important. It’s our saving grace in the end. It
points to the truth that we are all related, that we are all
connected, that we all belong to each other. The most important word
is ‘all.’ Not just those who look like me, sing like me, dance
like me, speak like me, pray like me or behave like me. ALL my
relations. That means every person, just as it means every rock,
mineral, blade of grass, and creature. We live because everything
else does. If we were to choose collectively to live that teaching,
the energy of our change of consciousness would heal each of us–and
heal the planet.”

-Richard
Wagamese

I
am first generation Canadian. My parents were both born and raised in
Portugal. Along with my extended family on both sides, they came to
Canada to escape the Revolution and mandatory military conscription
(for men at the time). Over the years, my parents have shared with me
how hard it was to arrive in a new country as young adults with
little English and a very different worldview, in some ways, than
that of the mainstream Canadian culture of the time. My parents
learned English, joined the workforce, and adopted some mainstream
Canadian ways that were meaningful to them. As I get older, I
appreciate more and more the things about Portuguese culture that
they valued and held tight to: the language, the spiritual and
cultural traditions, the importance of family and community living.

Even
though I was born in Canada, Portuguese is my first language. I
became more fluent in English when I went to public school in
kindergarten. However, I attended Portuguese school on Saturdays to
learn to read and write. I was aware from a very young age that I had
to learn how to walk between two very different worlds: the very
individualistic values of the mainstream Canadian society and the
community values of my heritage. This was–and still is, to an
extent–a delicate dance for me because I hold values in both camps:
I value my individual expression and free will, while also seeing the
importance of seeing myself as part of a complex matrix of life. I
don’t see these two orientations towards living as dichotomies any
longer. I actually see them feeding into one another quite naturally
when we don’t put them on a polarized scale where one is more
important than the other. As always, nature provides us with good
illustrations of how these two co-exist.

Animals are who they are: a tiger does not pretend to be a horse, for instance. Animals live from their true nature, the essence of who they are. They also know the importance of cooperation. Ecosystems are a great example of this. The Canada geese in our neighbourhood have a choice of many ponds to feed at and raise their young. This year, I noticed that they moved their feeding spot despite the fact that there was still a good food supply for them. It turns out that the geese are great conservationists; they left their territory to allow it to recover from their years of use. An elder also recently reminded me that geese take turns being the leader when they are flying so the birds who fly behind have an easier time traveling. Similarly, we know that when predators are reintroduced into environments from which they’ve been absent, they restore balance to the ecosystems. When wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park, the ungulate population decreased, therefore allowing the plants and trees to flourish again. Not only do animal species know how to conserve, but different animals provide the checks and balances needed for most species to flourish. Thankfully, life is tenacious!

We
are individuals with our own life paths but we are living in a
relational field of energy where what we do, say, and think impacts
everything else in connection with us and vice versa. We are
individuals within the unified matrix of life. The question is not:
Do we choose our individualistic notions above those of community?
Westerners often cling to individualistic doctrine out of fear of
losing their “rights.” And although we must be vigilant not to
give over our rights as sovereign beings, we simply couldn’t
survive alone; we depend on communities of all kinds to thrive. We
see the environmental, social, human, and psychological destruction
that happens when people live only from their individual needs,
wants, and desires– when they forget that they are not alone in the
universe. The important question in my mind is: How do we use our
Spirit-given gifts to add to the collective energy of the communities
we travel within (including the ecosystems we live in)? Being
committed to community living is like a marriage where there will be
rough patches but what is important is that we continue to face
towards each other to find ways that everyone’s needs are met to
some extent most of the time.

Sometimes this means that we must put aside some of our desires so someone else in need can receive more support. One community I am a part of operates in a consensus model. Coming to a general agreement that works for folks is harder the bigger the group gets, though not impossible. Similar to the geese, everyone leads at different times in this group and everyone’s voice has the possibility of being heard. I am more successful in my intimate relationships today in my forties because of my participation with this community model. I’ve learned to see where there is need in my community and give up some of my “wants” so that others might receive benefit. For example, folks have different personal financial budgets and while we have an agreement to meet each year for professional growth, we’ve had to be mindful that we don’t meet in a location each year that causes financial strife for our members. With some creative thinking and adjustment to the community agreements regarding attendance, we’ve come up with a solution that everyone can live with. Is it ideal in that everyone gets everything they want or need all the time? No. However, it does minimize the negative impact the previous system was having on the lives and well-being of some of our members.

This is what the phrase “all my relations” means to me. It entails that we think about ourselves not as contained individual planets floating around aimlessly in a lonely solar system, rather that we are in a continuous, collective dance with the other sentient beings in the universe. Though we stand in our own circles, we have a responsibility to life and to doing the least amount of harm possible. This is challenging as human beings because we all do harm to some extent in order to survive: we hunt, we forage, we take down trees to build homes, we use natural resources to fuel our cars and heat our homes. It comes down to basic Systems Theory: When one part of the system (including families and communities) changes, the whole system has to change by default. Ironically, the stronger we stand in our own inner medicine wheels as individuals, the better advocates we become for issues that imperil the health and well-being of our communities. When we know who we are and what we value, we are more likely to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done. This is what creates true change in the world. I dedicate this article to all my relations. May we continue to evolve in co-creation with Spirit.

Wild
Geese by Mary Oliver

You
do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your
knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You
only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it
loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you
mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and
the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the
landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the
mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the
clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no
matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your
imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and
exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the
family of things.

***

About
the Author:

Jennifer
Engrácio
has been a student of
shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked
with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is
a certified shamanic coach, reiki master, and lomilomi practitioner;
in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from
Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life
partner.

Engrácio
participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The
Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s
Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming
of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’s Shamanic Journey into Healing

For
more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’S Shamanic Journey into Healing on Amazon

The Bad Witch’s Guide

January, 2019

The
Bad Witch’s Guide to The Older People”

Or
You get Better or You Get Bitter”

There
are some people who never seem to get old. Their bodies might age,
but something in their eyes and heart has remained or even grown.
Then there are people who seem to crave death. Sometimes it is
depression. Often untreated, under supported and dealing with the
loss of a great deal. I have been the supporter of an older relative
dealing exactly with this. Without support and indeed medication
these folks become something dark and unpleasant. As The Veil grows
thin for a person you start to see what might be beyond for them, a
light or a darkness. This is not about religion or faith but an
almost physical psychic presence around people near the end. Those
near their light glow. There is a peace and beauty.

Then
there are the other ones. A presence like black sticky smoke. A smell
of something rotten or burnt like old tires or something sickly
sweet. It seems to pour from them. I can not tell if it’s their
mood, their energy, their internal mean-spiritedness or the
manifestation of something else.

Older
people are just that, people. They are neither saints or devils, but
dealing with someone whom is dark and difficult because they are
family is hard work. It is often hard physically, emotional and
spiritually.

So
how do you live with or be around this polluting force? Toxic
parents, and relatives become no less pleasant as they age and some
just use their frailties (real or imagined) as weapons to brutalise
their children and spouses and grandchildren.

As
a child of a toxic parent and one who watched someone become one in
their last years of life there is a complex soup of horrible
feelings. Guilt, duty, blame, shame, fear and pain.

As
a witch I have to change my perspective.

I
must squint at the situation sideways and think magickally.

Firstly
the mundane. Is this person mentally ill? Are they depressed,
grieving or suffering in some other way? Is mental health support
possible? Many older folks have still have a lot of shame and
misconceptions about mental health. Many have some really ugly or
difficult coping strategies. From alcohol and cigarettes, to shutting
themselves away, generationally we are in a much better place to
understand mental illness today. Some might be struggling with side
effects of medications, not knowing that their could be newer better
medications or combinations out there. Some might not have been to
the doctors at all. Avoiding what they think will be a frightening
truth.

Reach
out. Find charities and professionals that listen not only to what
they say but your input too. It isn’t easy. We had a lot of doctors
simply refuse to believe Pop’s had depression. That many of his other
issues would have been solved if they treated that first. In the end
it was as much that as his vices that killed him.

Of
course you can not help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. This
is perhaps a hard truth of our own we must face. The other option is
also mundane and really tough. Sometimes you have to walk away. For
your self, your health, sanity and well being. This might be a break,
this also might be an end to the relationship. It is not our job to
watch someone destroy themselves.

If
neither of these two are applicable (life is complicated and messy)
protect and cleanse yourself and space as often as you can. You might
want to physically clean it as well as smudge. Adding salt and
essences to your wash water can help. Protective wards, charms and
crystals help a lot too.

There
are a couple of things that can help absorb some of the toxic seep
but they are not permanent measures. One is sacrificial house plants.
Sounds macabre I know. House plants tend to die in the presence of
such people, yet these little heroes can and do take much of this and
convert it as best as they can. They don’t have to be fancy, and if
you get a few you can rotate them around (increasing their lives for
a short time). Ferns are good. One near where they sit, one in their
room, one in the loo or near where they spend a lot of time and
absorb a lot of yuck. Some quartz pebbles might even make them live
longer.

The
other is a salt and barely mojo. You can make up a big batch and keep
it in a jar and change out and throw away the used one. How often
depends on the person.

Once
a month or once a week depending on how bad it is. This can go under
a mattress, or sofa cushion or even into a pillow.

You
Will Need:

Salt,
the best kind you can afford.

Barley
(pearl barley is fine)

Calendula
oil

Parsley
(dried)

Per
one cup of salt you will need a tablespoon of barley and calendula
oil with a teaspoon of parsley. This is the base mixture and you can
add other things, like moss or wheat straw (again to absorb the
energy).

Say:

Spirit
of Salt I call to thee

Draw
what is harmful away from me.

Barley
keep the Dark away

Bind
it here until I wash it away.

No
darkness shall harm

With
this charm:

Tenebris
et non nocebit (And the Darkness Will Not Harm)

Tenebris
et non nocebit

Tenebris
et non nocebit!

Place
in fabric mojo bag as discreetly or not as you like. Under the sofa
cushion, or mattress is useful and make sure to empty them regularly.
Dispose of the used mixture down an outside drain with plenty of
water. Don’t put it in a river, but you could put it in the sea.

This mixture can be used for a circle ward around your home, too.

While
none of this deals with the cause of the problem sometimes all we can
do is muddle through and keep ourselves safe. In an ideal would this
sort of thing wouldn’t need to happen but the world is often not
ideal and we need to use our magick to keep us as safe as we can.
Toxic relationships are difficult and draining and it can take a long
time to heal from them. If a little magick can help you feel strong
enough to say “no” when you need to then it has done you a great
service.

3 Pagans and A Cat Monthly Feature

January, 2019

3
Pagans and a Cat Podcast

Three
Paths, One Journey, No Cat

In
this highly informative & entertaining podcast, three family
members embroiled in wildly divergent traditions gather in one room
to discuss, debate, and flat-out argue about their magical, mythical,
and mundane lives, all for our education and pleasure.

***

Each
Month…
we will
share the previous month’s episodes with you from their site to
help keep you up-to-date with their impressive podcast. While there,
don’t forget to listen to this month’s as well, we wouldn’t
want you to miss a thing!

December
2018 Podcasts

Episode 26:Wheel of the Year – Yule: In the eighth of a series of Pagan Holiday Specials, Car, Gwyn, and Ode discuss the origins of Christmas, alcoholic wassail, and who really is this Santa Claus guy, anyway?

Episode 27:One Year Anniversary: Car, Gwyn, and Ode sit down with various forms of alcohol to celebrate a whole year of podcasting, answer questions from listeners live in the Discord server, and briefly touch on the things they’d like to get up to moving forward.

This
Month’s Podcast Share from their Backlog

Episode 6: Special Episode – Convocation 2018: Car, Gwyn, and Ode made it out to ConVocation on February 24, 2018, and on their return discuss the classes they attended, the people they met, the things they bought, and the problems they ran into

Where
Else to Find 3 Pagans and a Cat…

Their
Website: http://www.3pagansandacat.com

Their
Twitter: https://twitter.com/3_Pagans

Their
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/3PaaC

Their
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ0GJacu9SUzuumXJNNUZwQ

Their
G+: https://plus.google.com/u/2/collection/oCWVXE

Remember

You
can always support your favorite podcasts with a donation.
Every bit helps to keep them
going.

***

About
the Author:

Jennifer
Wright
is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She
founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving those a platform to
share and learn without judgment. There are too many important things
to her and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.

Sexual Harassment on the Energetic Level

November, 2018

The week I wrote this article  the case  of Christine Blasey Ford was headlining. She is a university professor from California who has accused supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a sexual assault that occurred when they were both teenagers (in the 1980’s). Dr Blasey Ford has been forced to go into hiding since the story went viral and her life has been turned upside down completely. Yesterday many people close to me were glued to their screens as she gave her opening testimony and explained how  the sexual attack has changed her life.

 

I am acutely aware that her story is upsetting and triggering many other women who have had similar experiences and are now experiencing flash backs or nightmares. (It certainly brought up some memories and issues for me personally). These women (as well as some men) may not have found the courage (or place of personal safety/support from loved ones/enough confidence or indeed faith in the public justice system etc.) to speak out. Or they may have spoken out (as I once did) and been hammered into the role of perpetrator for making allegations.

My shamanic teacher colleague Caroline Kenner helpfully shared a link about the concept “DARVO” yesterday:

DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. DARVO stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim — or the whistle blower — into an alleged offender. This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility and blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.

Institutional DARVO occurs when the DARVO is committed by an institution (or with institutional complicity) as when police charge rape victims with lying. Institutional DARVO is a pernicious form of institutional betrayal.

-https://dynamic.uoregon.edu/jjf/defineDARVO.html

I would like to take a moment of silence and contemplation to acknowledge the experiences of all people (women, children, men) who have lived through sexual abuse of any kind. Tragically this makes up a large percentage of the world population (the #Metoo phenomenon has certainly flushed that fact into our collective awareness, beyond any reasonable doubt).

Many authors have written beautifully and courageously about sexual harassment and sexual abuse. It is not my call to add to their words and testimonies. Instead, by means of this blog, I feel called to explore a more hidden dimension of this phenomenon. What seems to escape our collective awareness is the impact of sexual abuse or harassment that occurs on the energetic or astral (if you prefer) plane.

Now you may say: “What?! You mean sexual abuse that never actually happened?!”

Let’s take a step back and please allow me to explain what I mean.

As a shamanic practitioner (and teacher) I have heard more than my fair share of stories from people (not exclusively women) who woke up in a night sweat to the sensation of someone climbing into bed with them. From people who started to dread falling asleep because the same character would show up night after night tormenting them or interfering with them.

Let’s be very clear: I am speaking about a sexual/emotional/psychological/spiritual interference that does not take physical form, here. By this I mean that the perpetrator is not physically present in the room – but nevertheless there is an undeniable sensation of being touched, intruded on, violated or abused in some other way.

I am aware that victims of sexual abuse may well have flash backs due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Indeed, this could be one explanation for the phenomenon I am trying to describe, as trauma dissolves a person’s sense of time and space, meaning that past events appear to recur in the Here and Now.

I am also aware that many (if not most) people will experience dreams with uncomfortable or unwelcome sexual content from time to time (such as having sexual interaction with a person other than their current partner). Again, that may just explain some of this. After all we cannot really control our dreams the way we control our waking actions and choices.

There may be other explanations as well. It has been said that the human body does not forget and that our body holds the memories that our conscious mind represses or denies. I have certainly found evidence of this in my own body.

Therefore… yes… to all those possibilities. But still, my mind is not at ease.

Let me approach this issue from a different angle. I am aware that in some circles or circumstances (let’s say a group of friends out clubbing) it is considered acceptable to talk freely about other people’s physical attributes. E.g. “I would never consider dating her, she is way too fat!” – While the person thus discussed wouldn’t never even contemplate a date with the speaker. But that side of the story is not being acknowledged. There is the illusion that a physical characteristic allows us to make arrogant and severely imbalanced assumptions about someone: “I wouldn’t dream of dating her – but she would date me if she could!”

Recently I have found myself in a situation where one person keen to find a life partner has been eyeing up every possible “candidate” moving into their line of vision (here I mean walking into a public area), endlessly running a commentary on their physical attributes – while the person thus being commented on was engaged in a different task altogether (doing some gardening and her focus completely on her plants). I could spot absolutely no flicker of reciprocity in response to the obsessive interest and (for lack of a better word) “meat market approach”. This process has, I believe, also been called “undressing with the eyes”.

People commonly masturbate while calling up in their mind’s eye images of people they fancy. Pornography actively invites that – and to my mind there is no problem (and here I am only speaking regarding this specific issue, not other dimensions of the phenomenon) if the actors (or photo models) willingly participated and received a fee for their work. They then agree to, and actively invite that kind of attention. In other words: they are paid to carry the projections or obsessions of others.

I think that we all have understanding and compassion for a lovesick teenage boy or girl obsessing about their “love object”. Having said that, in my opinion there is more of an issue when mature people do this to others (in graphic detail!) without even stopping to meditate on the energetic ramifications of this. During half a century on this planet I have had three stalkers and I know how utterly unpleasant it is to be followed or obsessed about in unwelcome ways.

The suggestion I am posing by means of this blog is that all adults (certainly those with a degree of spiritual and emotional maturity!) need to do some shadow work (read serious soul-searching) on the role we ourselves all play in this larger phenomenon. It is easy and natural to get outraged by cases we follow in the global news – and I am horrified by the fact by some of the responses that Dr Blasey Ford has received for her courage to speak out and potentially protect other women from a man in a position of great power – what else could she have done?!

When I use my imagination and try to place myself in her shoes I sense I would speak out to mainly protect other women, knowing what this man is capable of. I would be acting from a place of knowing that no apologies or amends were ever made – therefore there is no evidence the man has changed.

Holding a position or office of power in society needs to be matched by exercising the muscle of moral integrity.

However, speaking on another level I also believe that an issue has now come to public attention and to my mind it extends well beyond the specifics of the Blasey-Kavanaugh case. All of us have inner work to do on this…None of us, who claim a degree of awareness or “evolved consciousness” can escape doing shadow work on this… To resolve this we need to “own” the fact that we are participants, not observers.

Imelda Almqvist, London UK, 29 September 2018

***

About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of shamanism and sacred art. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books in 2016 and her second book Sacred art: A Hollow Bone for Spirit (Where art Meets Shamanism) will be published in March 2019.  She was a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit in both 2016 and 2017 and is a presenter on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US. She is currently in the editing stages of her third book “Medicine of the Imagination” and has started her fourth book “Evolving Gods: The Sacred Marriage of Tradition and Innovation”

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk  (website)

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/  (blog)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=imelda+almqvist

(YouTube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)

 

Natural Born Shamans – A Spiritual Toolkit for Life: Using Shamanism Creatively with Young People of All Ages on Amazon

Going Shamanic Radio

September, 2018

 

Going Shamanic” is hosted by Jennifer Engracio on P.A.G.E.  Media Project’s blogtalk radio each month. The show focuses on how to integrate shamanism into every day life. Instead of relegating the spiritual aspect of ourselves to Sundays at church or weekend workshops, this show will support listeners in weaving ritual, prayer, magic, alignment with the Spiritworld and the Earth into their lives to enrich their experience of living.

This Month’s Topic: The Gifts of Attention Deficit Disorder with Christina Masotti

AD(H)D diagnoses are rampant particularly here in North America.  This show explores what the gifts and challenges are of living with ADD.  We also explore how shamanic practices can support someone with this diagnosis.

Listen in with host Jen Engracio and her guest, Christina Moon Mountain Woman, certified Shamanic Practitioner.

Christina weaves Life Purpose Astrology into her sessions.  She strives for personal healing, facilitates the healing of the people, and our beautiful living planet.

 

[audio mp3="http://paganpages.org/content/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/pagemediaproject_2014_01_28_going-shamanic-the-gifts-of-attention-deficit-disorder-addadhd.mp3"][/audio]

 

Going Shamanic is hosted by Jennifer Engrácio, about how to integrate shamanism into everyday life.

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic practitioner, Reiki Master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.

Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’S Shamanic Journey into Healing

For more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com

Going Shamanic Radio

August, 2018

 

Going Shamanic” is hosted by Jennifer Engracio on P.A.G.E.  Media Project’s blogtalk radio each month. The show focuses on how to integrate shamanism into every day life. Instead of relegating the spiritual aspect of ourselves to Sundays at church or weekend workshops, this show will support listeners in weaving ritual, prayer, magic, alignment with the Spiritworld and the Earth into their lives to enrich their experience of living.

This Month’s Topic: Storytelling as Medicine with Greg Leach

Jen speaks to seasoned storyteller, Greg Leach, to find out how stories can be told to help us transform, heal and grow as individuals and how we can tell stories that support healing in our communities.

Greg Leach began telling stories when he was 8 years old.  In high school he enjoyed what was then known as Public Speaking.  After university, he wrote for the underground theatre movement.  For a period of time he was a member of the Writers In Residence program at Tarragon Theatre.  Shortly afterward, he wrote for CBC Radio Drama.  But he really came into his own as a storyteller when he entered the marketing world.  They say that every brand has its own story, and Greg was busy developing and modifying brand stories.  He found that the stories that seemed to work best were the stories that had the benefit of being true.

Going Shamanic is hosted by Jennifer Engrácio, about how to integrate shamanism into everyday life.

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic practitioner, Reiki Master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.

Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’S Shamanic Journey into Healing

For more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com

Going Shamanic Radio

July, 2018

 

Going Shamanic” is hosted by Jennifer Engracio on P.A.G.E.  Media Project’s blogtalk radio each month. The show focuses on how to integrate shamanism into every day life. Instead of relegating the spiritual aspect of ourselves to Sundays at church or weekend workshops, this show will support listeners in weaving ritual, prayer, magic, alignment with the Spiritworld and the Earth into their lives to enrich their experience of living.

This Month’s Topic: Sister & Brotherhood Circles with Lori’ and Phil Nelson

On this episode, Jen welcomes Lori’ Black Cave Dreamer and Phil Eagle Song, both certified shamanic practitioners.

There is a need in our society for women and men to gather with others of their same sex to share and to learn more about what it means to be a whole man or a whole woman. This show talks about what the differences are between women and men and why Sisterhood and Brotherhood Circles are such an important support for communities on the planet.

[audio mp3="http://paganpages.org/content/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pagemediaproject_2013_10_29_going-shamanic-sisterhood-brotherhood-circles.mp3"][/audio]

Going Shamanic is hosted by Jennifer Engrácio, about how to integrate shamanism into everyday life.

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic practitioner, Reiki Master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.

Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’S Shamanic Journey into Healing

For more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com

Bringing Up the Next Generation of Witches

July, 2018

As a child, I led such a weird childhood. I was known for seeing things that weren’t there and knowing things before they happened. I felt like a sin in my parent’s household as I was being raised in a Christian church. As I aged, I found solace in Wicca. Life and the things going on finally made sense.

When I was pregnant with my son (Little Bear), I made the decision to raise him in a Pagan household and support him, no matter what religion he decided on. Little Bear is now 4 years old and this has proven to be the best decision. He has shown signs of experiencing the same things that I went through as a child. Little Bear is a natural born healer, empath, and animal lover. He has to sleep with a light on because the dark brings weird things with it. While I cannot confirm it yet, it sounds like he is seeing people that have crossed over.

One of the major things that Little Bear and I have started doing is celebrating the Sabbats. Any reason to celebrate, right?

June 21st was Litha or the Summer Solstice. This is the longest day of the year and Little Bear and I took full advantage.

Every Sabbat, we discuss the Wheel of the Year. This helps remind us where we are on the Wheel and where we are headed. Because this follows the seasons, it is easy for Little Bear to understand. We discussed how Litha falls in the summer and some of our favorite summer activities. Little Bear loves grilling out, riding his bike and playing in the water.

The day started before sunrise. I poured out orange juice and we headed to the porch to watch the sun. It was a warm, quiet morning. I explained to Little Bear that we should be grateful for everything we have. I asked him what he was happy to have. “My bike, my mom, my bed, my dog” and the list went on and on. I smiled at his innocence and gave my own thanks internally. As the sun rose above the horizon, the world started coming alive. The birds started singing, the neighborhood stray cat came to visit, and we watched a herd of deer in the field across the street. We ended the morning with a barefoot walk around the property. We stopped at the outside altar and poured orange juice into the fairy dish as an offering. This is one of Little Bear’s favorite parts. We actually had to make a fairy altar closer to the house so he could easily access it without supervision.

After work, I had Little Bear help with dinner. We were preparing Grilled Chicken Salads. As we pulled the vegetables out, we talked about each one. Where they came from, how they grow, what the health benefits are, and what kind of super powers the vegetables might give us (This was Little Bears idea). I feel that knowing the health benefits of each vegetable will help Little Bear develop his Kitchen Witch side as he grows.

While making the salad, I noticed Little Bear had made a pile that contained a piece of each vegetable that went into the salad. It was his offering for the fairies.

We ended the night with a bonfire and watching the sunset. The longest day of the year had officially ended.

It may seem like I do a LOT of talking with Little Bear and I do. Little Bear is at the age where he is like a little sponge. He is asking tons of questions and curious about everything.

The next Sabbat is Lammas and I’m excited about it. This has always been a personal favorite because I love to bake bread. Lammas is the start of the harvest season. So breads, wheats, grains, grapes, apples, corn and wild berries are great foods. While I don’t have recipes pulled together yet, corn dollies and bonfires are part of the ritual for sure!

Some ideas to do with children are:

-Corn Dollies

-Magical Picnics (Make sure to leave an offering!)

-Collect berries for jams or jellies

-Time to harvest the garden

-Create a Witches Bottle (smaller children will need help with this since you will be working with sharp objects!)

-Time to redecorate the altar

-Visit an apple orchard (bring some home if the apples are ready!)

-Collect rain or storm water

-Bake bread, cakes, or muffins (cookies could be substituted so the little ones can decorate)

The biggest thing to remember, “It’s not about the action you are doing but the intent you are putting into it”.

What are some fun ways you are celebrating the Sabbats with your child/ren?

Blessed Be!

Ask Your Mama

June, 2013

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.

                 *Ask Your Mama™               

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Spirituality and Didn’t Know Who to Ask™

by

©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

A Question of Connection

 

Dear Mama Donna,

 

It’s so important that we all work together in cooperation.

Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that we’re all connected.

They live their lives thinking they’re completely separate. So how do we get everyone to realize that we are a whole?

 

Looking for Unity in Ashville

We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

      -Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Dear Looking,

Well, that IS the question. Basically, we keep talking. To everyone we know and everyone we encounter in the normal course of our lives. We take every opportunity to keep pointing out our connections and our mutual interdependence.

 

Just by virtue of your having written this letter, you have touched who knows how many people. Granted, most people who will be reading this already understand the complex web of life and relationship. However, we all need reminding from time to time. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

 

Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads…our actions run as causes and return

to us as results.

—Herman Melville

 

We also need to make it our business to point out the frightening ramifications of breaking the bonds that bind us, and to suggest positive alternatives to destructive or divisive behavior. It is especially important to talk with people who you think might relate to these ideas. You never know.

 

When I was in Florida recently, I asked a retired gentleman, a refugee from the north, just why there were no solar panels anywhere with all the new development going on. And you know what? He agreed with me. While this is something that he never noticed or thought about before, it immediately struck him as true and important. And then he, too, wanted to know why not. Hey, maybe he’ll write a letter to the editor.

 

Lately, when I buy stamps at the post office, I refuse the flag ones that they are always trying to palm off on me instead of the pretty flowers and such. Each time, I announce in a loud voice, “No thank you. I refuse to fly the flag until this war is over.” And it never fails to elicit a chorus of “Uh huhs” from the folks on line and an “I hear you, sister” from the clerk.

 

These are very small gestures. Tiny. Miniscule. But they serve as cause for thought and invitations for interaction. Each one, one more strand woven into the web that reaches around the world and connects us all at our cosmic center.

Keep looking. Unity is already here, everywhere, all the time. And unity creates more unity. Let us celebrate it every chance we get.

 

xxMama Donna

 

No one can deny that a network (a world network)

of economic and psychic affiliations is being woven

at ever increasing speed which envelops and constantly penetrates more deeply within each of us. With every day that passes it becomes a little more impossible for us to act or think otherwise than collectively.”

 

– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955)

            From The Formation of the Noosphere, 1947

Dear Mama Donna,

 

I applaud your call to others to make connections and make friends. There are so many of us wanting the same things and it’s a matter of simply being aware of each other’s presence. We need to introduce ourselves and share where we come from. May I recommend a website to visit? www.vov.com. If that’s not correct, please look up Victory Over Violence on the internet. This program renews the practice of peace in everyday situations. It is non-sectarian but based in Buddhist principles. We need this interfaith-interaction now more than ever.

For Peace, Rhode Island

 

Dear Peace,

 

You are right. We do need programs of all descriptions that facilitate cooperation, understanding, compassion, and community. Thanks for sharing this information.

 

Also, for peace,

 

xxMama Donna

A person who believes…that there is a whole of which one is part, and that in being a part, one is whole: such a person has no desire whatever, at any time, to play God.  Only those who have denied their being yearn to play at it.

-Ursula K.  LeGuin

*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. *Send your questions about seasons, cycles, celebrations, ceremonies and spirit to Mama Donna at: [email protected]