Sacred Nature Adventures: Beauty, Bats, and Blue Lotus Tea

Yesterday evening, a group of adventurous journeyers gathered at dusk in the Rillito River wash. Relaxing into our circle, we quietly awaited the arrival of Tucson’s famous shamanic flyers of the night – our own Rillito River bats! We journeyed to the drum and asked for messages from Bat.

In various tribal, shamanic cultures, Bat is a symbol of rebirth. Often bat accompanies those undergoing great change, transformation, or ego death (release of old habits, old identities, old ways of being). It is 2012! At this potent time in history, many are feeling the quickening of personal and collective initiation. Bat is a powerful ally and guide for such times.

After our first journey, we relaxed into the quiet evening. As eyes adjusted to the changing light, we saw the bats begin to emerge from their daytime roost (under the Campbell bridge). Then, to the journey drum, we experienced thousands of bats swooping and swirling into the night in the sky above us. One participant later shared, “It was magical and awe inspiring when Alyson drummed and we watched the bats fly into the sunset.” Some received special messages or visions from Bat, and there were many smiles as we reclined on the sand, relaxing.

Last week, several of us experienced a different sunset adventure. We journeyed into Sabino Canyon for a Sacred Blue Lotus Tea Party! As we attuned to the canyon, we listened to the sounds of flowing water and gentling rustling leaves. We sipped our tea and journeyed to the drum. One journeyer received clear guidance in how Blue lotus could be used to assist people shamanically in the emotional realm.

Blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea) is a sacred medicine plant with a rich shamanic history. Technically a water lily, it grew wild along the ancient Nile River and in little ponds and marshy lands nearby. For centuries, Egyptians have prized this exquisitely lovely flower with a dreamy lilac scent for its ritual, visionary, sedative, and aphrodisiac qualities. It was a pleasure to share this beautiful plant with others.

 In the coming weeks, look for more Sacred Nature circles, retreats, and adventures offered through the Institute for the Shamanic Arts. If you feel called to dive into the heart of deep plant connection magic, mark your calendar for September 28 – 30. You are invited to the Sacred Medicine Plant Retreat 2012 with sacred nature guide Alyson Greene and herbalist and shamana flora Darcey Blue.

Written by: Alyson Greene (photo from the Sacred Blue Lotus Tea Party)



Re-Gratitude Sunday

Our shamanic journey circle on Sunday focused on -rethinking and re-generating and re-joicing ourselves.  This was the first Sunday after the close of our most recent Mercury Retrograde experience, and so an idea came to me for the focus of our two shamanic journeys.  Each week, I ask for our intentions and tools to be revealed, and an idea comes to me. 🙂 This time, I saw many Re words, like Re-new, Re-vise and Re-member.  Mercury Retrograde slows things down, backs things up, and if we are lucky, things don’t break (unless they are meant to). Return in many ways occurs.  We back up, stop, and come forward for another time in many ways in our lives.  Our intention was to look at our last month, and ask for guidance about our journey through the next phase.

I asked the circle participants (aged 18-74) if they would play with me. They did 🙂  We each wrote 2-5 Re words. Anything that came to us. “Can we make up words?” someone asked. “Sure” was the answer.  We each wrote, and then put our words (on papers) in a box.  We played a divination game of picking 2-3 word papers without looking at them.  We pondered our word combos, and then got comfortable for our journeys.  Each session consists of 2 shamanic journeys.  One or more drums keeping a consistent beat unleashes the dreaming mind.  People who wanted to, shared what they wanted to, after each drum session.  I continually feel awe to hear people’s journeys.

Here are the word papers that people didn’t take with them… maybe you can think of your last month, and ask “what will be helpful to me in my next phase”?  Pick 1-4 words from the ones below that seem to speak to you. Listen to a drum or rattle beat, and ask for assistance.    By the way, I named this blog ‘Re-Gratitude’ because a voice in my journey said it to me, and it means to give gratitude over and over.

Rejoice, Remember, Regenerate, Regain, Resist, Reveal, Reinvest, Repeat, Remind, Return, Repair, Reschedule, Revision, Recreate, Reunite, Relief, Reincarnation, Restrain, Resistance, Reclaim, Reintroduce, Relove and Relaugh (Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, hee, hee, hee, hee)

Written by Quynn

Shamanic Seer-Divining Bones

Bone readings have played a part in different cultures around the world.

Generally, bones are cast into a circle and the way that they fall determines the outcome of the reading. In addition to bones, other small objects may be added to the cast such as coins, shells, nuts, dice, or stones. Patterns are looked for in the way the bones fall or markings on the bones have significance.

For the Shamanic Seer-Divining Bones night, a different style of reading the bones was used. This method had been presented via the dream world.

My style of bone reading (Elisabeth Black) was shown to me by the spirit world in dreams. These dreams started with the initial dream where I was watching a Native American bone reader give readings to people. He spoke to me and told me that I am to read bones. When I asked him how I would do that, he answered that I should start by getting bones.

Many talkative bones have since been gifted to me. They find their way to me with an urgency to share messages from the spirits. This urgency gets so strong at times that the bones seem to rattle to get out of their protective case.

Together, the bones and I act as conduits to bring forth messages.

The night before the Divining Bones shamanic circle, my spirit teachers appeared in a dream. In this dream, they showed me how they wanted me to share information and proceedings for the night. Tuning into them and being open to their guidance assures me that I am truly being a “hollow bone” and allowing their wisdom to channel through me.

Here is what one man had to say about the night:

“Hi Elisabeth, The Shamanic Seer- Divining Bones session was wonderful. Sharing the info from Spirit as each of us perceived it from our individual points of was very enlightening. It was truly a blessing to be part of this shared experience! I highly recommend this to anyone who feels Spirit guiding them to participate. I’m very grateful for all the opportunities for Spiritual Growth and Healing provided by ISA’s various Shamanic Practitioners.”

In addition to using the bones, I also had the card deck modeled after Tikar Spider Divination. In Southwest Cameroon they use earth spiders which are relatives to the trapdoor spider. It is believed that because they nest underground they have supernatural wisdom.  Originally, plum leaves were used instead of cards. A spider was used to divinate on special occasions.

I pair the use of these cards with the bones because I feel that they share a lot of the same qualities of earthiness and grounded messages.

If the idea of a Bone Reading calls out to you or you are curious, I encourage you to reach out for your own personal Bone Message.

You can find out more information for when the next Bone Readings will be at:

You can find out more information about Elisabeth Black at:

I am also able to do long distance readings. My email is: