Shamanacircle.com is Two Years Old

March 2013. Looking back thru the archives of this site, it is revealed that shamanacircle.com began two years ago this month.  ISA has had a website since 2000 (www.shamanworld.com) but for a period of time we were unable to update it (before we moved to wordpress).  In order to keep moving forward, Quynn decided to create shamanacircle.com and wait until a tech angel came to help update and change the old site of Shaman World.  This has now magically occurred.  Our tech angel came in the form of Re Carlson of abtek.ca media.

Shamanworld.com is now updated, recreated and alive and well once more!  It is bigger and better! Ready for action!  So…now it is time for some spring combining.  ISA will be migrating the content from this site to shamanworld.com for one easy-to-find megasite for ISA’s Spirit Guided Shamanic Community. By summer this will be complete. Stay tuned!!!

While reading past posts, many wonderful events are remembered, and some awesome quotes and photos are seen once again. Here are some by, and of, community members past and present. Enjoy!  If you have yet to attend an ISA event, you are welcome to do so!  Find out more about our events at http://www.meetup.com/tucson-institute-for-the-shamanic-arts/

ISA has given me a community of brothers and sisters on the path and safe place to explore all that my inner and outer worlds have to offer. It’s given a way to connect to the earth no matter where I am.

ISA is a true community…an open, kind welcoming and strong force for personal and global change.

I can feel the pulse of community when we rhythm together. This will heal us and our world. Thank you for our blessings.

These are beautiful people and they took me to a beautiful place. For that I thank them.

I feel relief from the lonely feeling… it is a relief, not being the only person who hears voices or sees spirits….I am able to bare my soul without fear of ridicule.

ISA has helped me connect with the most awesome group of people. There are so many with so much to share, and they are here to share with all their hearts, as am I.

The Institute of Shamanic Arts has given me an amazing sense of community. I have met so many wonderful people with whom I share common interests. This is a safe haven for those of us who have felt “different” from common society, you will not be judged or labeled “weird” here. Nothing but open arms and loving hearts.

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Shaman Images, Symbols, and Metaphors

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The Evocative & Healing Power of Imagery was offered by ISA, (Institute for the Shamanic Arts), facilitator Eileen Ashby (https://shamanacircle.wordpress.com/is/practitioners/eileen-ashby-ma/) on Sunday, Feb. 24.

The shamanic realm has messages for us that are often delivered through images, symbols and metaphors. By tapping into images that might be present through plants, animals, literature, music, and film, we are able to reconnect to the what is sacred, what has been lost, or what has been hidden.

Eileen explained that images are direct links to the soul.

Through several thought provoking exercises, we were able to suspend our judgements and become curious about what images are being presented to each of us.

This is so vital, because in shamanic journeys, we work with images all the time!

Great job Eileen and we look forward to more evocative workshops from you.

If you would like to find out more about Eileen, please see her webpage at:

http://return2wholeness.com/site/

If you would like to find out more about ISA offerings please see our meetup at:

http://www.meetup.com/tucson-institute-for-the-shamanic-arts/

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Shapeshifting

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What does it mean to shapeshift?

Recently we explored this question through the method of journeying. We chose animal kin in various animal decks and reached out to them.

One deck that we used was the Shapeshifter Tarot deck. This deck was useful in seeing how humans merge characteristics with animals. By doing this, we can employ the use of animal attributes in certain situations.

If one needs confidence, protection, fierceness, calmness, or just to be able to sense in a different way, shifting with an animal can be useful.

Shapeshifter_Tarot_spread

As part of our second journey, we attempted to fill one of our body parts with an animal energy. This proved to be very interesting.  As we shared our journey stories and looked closely at each other we really could see aspects of the animal energy within each person.

What follows are pictures of body parts where the animal energy was felt.

This was Pegasus energy.

This was Pegasus energy.

Falcon energy

Falcon energy

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Porcupine

More Porcupine energy

More Porcupine energy

Crab calling in the storm

Crab calling in the storm

Monkey ear

Monkey ear

A resource that provides much valuable information about shapeshifting is called: Deerdancer by Michele Jamal. A quote from this book that is significant is:
“According to legend, from our primal beginnings when life was raw and we knew no separation between instinct, and intellect, between body and spirit, humans had an intimate, inspired relationship with the animal kingdom. Two-leggeds knew other animals as kin, and all had the ability to interchange shapes.”

Helpful resource

Helpful resource

There will be more shapeshifting to come as the Institute for the Shamanic Arts is planning a spring shapeshifting event. Stay tuned for more information and get ready to honor your animal allies and kin!

Back in Jan. 2011, ISA held such an event and here is a comment about that last event:

Shapeshifter is one of the best events I have attended. It was moving and magical, the synchronicity of all the attendees was amazing. This type of event allows positive energy for healing us, our animal kin and mother earth. This is an absolute necessity for all of us looking for healing, love and peace within the Shamanic Community. Thanks to everyone who participated last night for making it so special.

For more information about ISA’s events please see our Meetup page at:

http://www.meetup.com/tucson-institute-for-the-shamanic-arts/

Thoughts from ISA Practitioners

Recently ISA Practitioners gathered to journey and reflect on how ISA is growing and evolving.

We began by lighting candles that represented each practitioner and the light we carry with us in all of our work. Then Celia Blackwood called in all the directions and asked that our spirit guides be present. This is really important because all ISA work, events, circles, journeys, labyrinths, etc. are spirit guided.

Next, we tuned into what messages our spirit guides wanted us to share. Each of us received meaningful information from our journeys that we imparted to others in our group.

In the picture to the left you can see a big octopus. It represents ISA and the different branches of ISA. All around the octopus is an ocean and that is like Earth Web Media-the umbrella for ISA.

We exchanged positive thoughts regarding ISA and then finally we closed with a beautiful blessing offered by Alyson Greene.

Each of us took time to reflect and write a thought about ISA down.

Here are our offerings:

Alyson Greene: Hummingbird magic journey of delight. Room filled with energy of Hummingbird (joy, love, beauty, quick flight, far journeys between the worlds). Everyone (all of us) had profound Hummingbird experiences in our journeys. One theme that came through was being courageous, shedding what is not needed, and the steady loving presence that arises when the busyness is set aside.

Celia Blackwood: Being involved with ISA has been a deeply enriching experience on a personal and community level. ISA has helped me discover and develop my own abilities and connections with my helping spirits as well as my own highest self. My confidence in the tools and techniques of shamanic practice has grown and continues to be nurtured. I am so grateful to offer circles and teachings to others because I know how transformative this shamanic experience can be.

Darcey Blue: The Idea! Yay! series helped me to define, clarify and enhance my professional image and presentation-with spirit guidance.

Plant Journey Walks that are magical and deeply move people to connect with nature in a meaningful way and put them beyond their usual comfort zone helping them to grow and feel the joy and magic of the world.

Plant Journey Circles help people of all skill experience levels to trust their intuition, the shamanic process, and their ability to communicate and understand nature and its messages and gifts.

Quynn Elizabeth Red Mountain: I am very happy to say that our recent shamanic performance came together perfectly. I am grateful that each performer was brave and listened to their guides about what she was to present. Each segment shared an aspect of the shamanic path as experienced by the performer. I don’t know if the whole audience “got it” but I know our spirit guides “got us”.  Thanks to all who attended.

I am grateful to be back to offering personal sessions for people. I took a break over the summer and then while I drummed for participants in a workshop in September, I was given a clear “go ahead” from my guides to offer shamanic journey sessions. I am thrilled to be of service in this way once more.

Elisabeth Black: My positive note is that ISA is having a greater outreach to younger people. Children have started attending circles and labyrinths with their parents. Sensorium for Kids is having a growing outreach. We are striving to meet the needs of children and their parents.

ISA has a strong foundation of beliefs and practitioners that understand and live these practices. They are models for healthy, vibrant, light filled, shamanic mindfulness.

Thank you to our ISA practitioners for bringing us all of the wonderful workshops and circles!

If you are interested in becoming an ISA practitioner, your first step is taking the Healing Practitioner series offered by Quynn each season. The first meeting for this takes place on Saturday, November 3. You can find out more information about it on our meetup page at:

http://www.meetup.com/tucson-institute-for-the-shamanic-arts/

Shamanic Animism in 13 sentences

During the last couple of months, friends of Earth Web Media’s ISA have been gathering information, and opening our minds, to write a document.  It was decided that we needed a “Statement of Beliefs”.  Earth Web Media is a Shamanic Animist Church (a word used by the IRS).  Religions usually have a sacred book or text that tells them how to be and pray.  However, ‘Shamanic Animism’ does not require a book or sacred text to tell people what to believe or how to pray.  Animism is considered the ‘first human “religion”‘ to many (although most don’t like to consider it a ‘religion’), and has been with humanity since its beginning.  Animists tend to believe that the spirit world guides each person as to what to do and how to pray.   This being the case, we still wondered what we, as Shamanic Animists, might be able to agree on regarding our ‘beliefs’.  So we began a discussion about this, we wrote down and organized our thoughts.

We first wrote our “Statement of Beliefs” as written here, and then, for even more simplicity, a friend of ISA compiled the following.

So simple. So descriptive.  Here it is!

Shamanic Animism in Thirteen Sentences
Brought to you by Earth Web Media

  1. Everything, including multiple realities/states of consciousness, is connected with an incorporeal and immortal essence.
  2. Everyone can connect without an intermediary.
  3. Humans have always journeyed among realities/states of consciousness (which is often called the spirit world) for guidance in every aspect of human existence.
  4. Sacred tools and techniques, particularly trance drumming between 220 and 260 beats per minute, facilitate communication and knowledge gathering from the spirit world.
  5. Connection through the senses to non-ordinary reality can take place in a waking and a dreaming state.
  6. All manner of spirit beings exist in the spirit world and on earth outside the range of our five senses.
  7. Humans strengthen a trusting, working relationship with benevolent spirit guides by remembering and exploring the spirit worlds.
  8. Ritual and ceremony, especially in gatherings, are sacred acts that acknowledge and strengthen our connection with the spirit world and the sacred web of life.
  9. In each human’s spiritual life there are important life passages, sacred timekeepers, to be honored with ceremony.
  10. We honor the human body as the sacred companion for our Soul while incarnated on Earth;  our DNA connects us with All That Is.
  11. The Sun and Moon cycles structure our sacred Earth home and all of Nature is our house of worship.
  12. These beliefs and practices can help people restore their mind, body and spirit from past soul wounds experienced or inherited.
  13. Our sacred circles express gratitude, service and reciprocity, arising from our unity with the spirit and physical world, balancing the sacred web of life.

Thanks to Elisabeth, Quynn, Celia, Kym and Jacob for contributing to the creation of the original version.  Edited down to 13 sentences by Alison of www.alisontorba.com    Intellectual Property of Earth Web Media 2012.        Credit when you Use It….Link!  Thank you.

Wind and Water Stone and Stream

Ancestors calling to us from the Dream.

“Remember” they whisper, to the cells of our souls

“Remember the secrets of Creatrix and Crone.”

So we call to you butterfly, snake, coyote and bat.

Honey bee, fish, beaver, bison and bobcat.

Help us old wise ones of wing, fur and fin.

We know you can help us remember our Kin

Those who knew how you speak and who heard their own voices within.

So we ask in prayerful voices because our people have strayed,

we ask that you forgive us, and help us remember your ways.

Poem by Quynn

The Institute for the Shamanic Arts (ISA) and Portlandians

Picture this scene:

It’s early evening.  As you walk up some steps onto a porch, you notice the the sun is glinting with a rosy light. You feel anticipation and  you wonder what the evening will be like. When you enter the charming house, you are welcomed and invited to find a pillow to sit on. You look around and notice that the pillows and chairs are arranged in a circle.  After finding a comfortable pillow to sit on, your eye catches on the altar in the middle of the circle. Here, various instruments are spread out. There are two different decks of cards, an abalone shell with sage, and a book.  You feel that this is a safe and nurturing atmosphere. Out the window, little prayer flags waver in the gentle breezes and one catches your attention. Up against the window is a prayer flag that reads, “GRACE”.

Now you have either been transported to, or reminded of, the journey circle that was recently facilitated by Quynn Red Mountain (shamanic practitioner and founder of ISA) when she visited Portland, Oregon.

At this circle there were both experienced participants and those seeking to delve deeper into the shamanic realm.

Each person used divination to choose a card from the Shaman’s Oracle Deck. This deck of cards has beautiful pictures of cave art from around the world.  There are five different types of archetypes that are represented. These are Spirits, Ancestors, Hunters, Dancers, and Shamans.

After pulling cards,  Quynn read from the book what was being represented by each picture. This gave us insights and prepared us for our journeys. It also invited the spirits, ancestors, hunters, dancers, and shamans into our circle providing protection, love, guidance, and wisdom.

We all traveled into our own shamanic worlds via the rhythmic beat of the drums. Messages of inspiration, love, peace, and enlightenment were shared with individuals. We showed courage by being open to receiving information and then sharing in the best way possible for each of us.

In addition to working with the Shaman’s Oracle Deck, we were guided to choose a card from the Medicine Cards animal deck. These animals guided us in our second journeys.

It was an enchanting journey circle and a pleasure for ISA to bring shamanic tools and guidance to Portland.

Thank you to all that attended- both human and spirit!

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:

http://www.meetup.com/tucson-circle-for-the-shamanic-arts/

You can find out more information about Elisabeth Black at:

https://shamanacircle.wordpress.com/is/practitioners/elisabeth-black/

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

sweetnessofsoul@yahoo.com

Adventure with the Plant Spirits

As shadows lengthened across the saguaros and sunlit clouds gathered above us, six journeyers hiked into Sabino canyon. Herbalist and plant whisperer Darcey Blue led the way. As we traversed a rocky, narrow trail above mature cottonwood trees and willows, we could see and hear the water flowing below. Our recent monsoon rains have brought out perky new growth on shrubs and trees, and everything smelled fresh and lovely. Even the rocky outcroppings seemed to be a more vibrant shade of desert pink.

 As we walked, we discussed the deliciousness of freshly-plucked prickly pear trail snacks. Then, as we rounded a bend in the trail, we spotted a prickly pear fruit loose on the path. Darcey quickly (and valiantly) rolled the fruit on the ground to remove its spines and then skinned it for us. Happily, we each tasted a bit of the succulent red fruit. Smiling, we continued along our way. 

At our lovely gathering place nestled in the canyon, with the sounds of flowing water and rustling cottonwood leaves, and with flying clouds all around us, Darcey invited us to imbibe the scent of the intoxicating Desert Lavender (Hyptis emoryi), which is also amusingly known as “hippopotamus lavender” to a few of us. After several dreamy “oohs” and “ahhs” were uttered, our group gathered in a heart-shaped “circle” and began a special heart meditation. We were invited to connect with the plants by way of our deepest heart knowing, rather than with our thinking minds. We felt very peaceful, and then Darcey instructed us to each choose a plant and to settle in with it for a shamanic journey.

Our group dispersed, some people sitting with trees or herbaceous plants next to the water, others with mesquite or willow. As dusk floated into the canyon on pink clouds, the brilliant red and orange hues of the river rocks intensified. Even the water began to glow. Cottonwood leaves turned a deep green, seemingly lit from their own source of light. As Darcey began to drum, the cicadas immediately began a lively concert. It was a symphony of summer night sounds—the insects, leaves, water, hawk, sky! Darcey drummed and drummed, and the journeyers traveled with the spirits of their chosen plants. When we gathered back in our heart-shaped “circle” to share our experiences, we heard that vivid messages and imagery had been received. Also, Snake and Hummingbird had visited two of us.

 Darcey drummed for us a second time, and this time Nature loudly called out to us! Soon after the drumming began, the winds suddenly raised a wild ruckus of cottonwood leaves, and then Hawk let out a sharp greeting across the sky! During this second journey, the plants themselves made strong requests of at least two of the journeyers. Later, while hiking out, we were a merry little group walking through the night. The temperature was perfect, and the breeze so lovely. After we arrived back down at the trailhead, a few little drops of rain (and three frogs!) blessed our evening, and we all said good night to each other.

In the coming weeks, Darcey Blue and others with the Institute for the Shamanic Arts will be offering more shamanic events in nature. You are invited.                               

 

–By Alyson Greene

 

 

Darcey and Alyson both offer circles through our meetup group. To find out more information please see:

http://www.meetup.com/tucson-circle-for-the-shamanic-arts/

Ravenous Divination

The Way of Raven was pondered and explored this weekend at ISA. On Saturday we gathered for RAVEN SHADOWS, a shamanic circle focused on connecting with, and learning from, our old friend Raven.  Wikipedia says many things about the ‘Common Raven’, including-

The Common Raven evolved in the Old World and crossed the Bering land bridge into North America.[19] Recent genetic studies, which examined the DNA of Common Ravens from across the world, have determined that the birds fall into at least two clades: a California clade, found only in the southwestern United States, and a Holarctic clade, found across the rest of the northern hemisphere. Birds from both clades look alike, but the groups are genetically distinct and began to diverge about two million years ago.[20][21]

The findings indicate that based on mitochondrial DNA, Common Ravens from the rest of the United States are more closely related to those in Europe and Asia than to those in the California clade, and that Common Ravens in the California clade are more closely related to the Chihuahuan Raven(C. cryptoleucus) than to those in the Holarctic clade.[20] Ravens in the Holarctic clade are more closely related to the Pied Crow(C. albus) than they are to the California clade.[22] Thus, the Common Raven species as traditionally delimited is considered to be paraphyletic.[22]

One explanation for these surprising genetic findings is that Common Ravens settled in California at least two million years ago and became separated from their relatives in Europe and Asia during an ice age. One million years ago, a group from the California clade evolved into a new species, the Chihuahuan Raven. Other members of the Holarctic clade arrived later in a separate migration from Asia, perhaps at the same time as humans.[23]

A recent study of raven mitochondrial DNA showed that the isolated population from the Canary Islands is distinct from other populations.[24] The study did not include any individuals from the North African population,[24] and its position is therefore unclear, though its morphology is very close to the population of the Canaries (to the extent that the two are often considered part of a single subspecies).[16]

 Human history is long with Raven, and for those of us in the southwest United States, we have a unique family line of Raven, different than in the northland, as well as across oceans. We are unique it seems.  After meeting with other Arizona Raven people, I must say I am not suprised.  We touched Raven wings, we learned tasty details about Raven, as well as their similarities with we Humans, we journeyed within to Raven Up and ask for Raven Blessings. Many of us even dressed in black. We cackled, we joked, we were serious as a tasty corpse (sorry).  We listened to an audio track of a few of the many vocalizations of our Raven friends to get us in the mood.

On Sunday, for our weekly shamanic journey circle, I asked Raven what it wanted for this new group of people. Raven said “Divination!”.  In the Medicine Card divination deck by Jamie Sams and David Carson, Raven is MAGIC. It’s description says “If you have chosen Raven, magic is in the air. Do not try to figure it out; you cannot.  It is the power of the unknown at work, and something special is about to happen.” (page 102) Ok! We did divination for our circle.

Upon arrival I (Quynn) pulled a card from the Medicine Card deck to give me guidance for our session to come. I picked Antelope, which is ACTION. Antelope says “Atelope arms you wil the Bow of Authority, and forces you to act on behalf of self, family, clan, nation, and finally Mother Earth. Antelope says “Do it now. Don’t wait any longer.” Antelope knows the way, and so do you. (page 186) So, action it is!
We set up many divination decks of different styles in the center of the circle. After opening our circle, we pulled cards from any deck we were drawn to , asking questions and setting intentions for our lives and our personal issues. We journeyed for guidance about many issues regarding our sacred life.  Raven was still present, as we Ravened Up and took magical action to help us understand ourselves in the context of our Sacred Now.  Thank you Raven!

Schedule for the 2012 Earth and Sky People Congress in Tucson, AZ

Welcome to the 2012 Earth and Sky People Congress in Tucson, AZ
Hosted by the Institute for the Shamanic Arts

 We think we know about the vast subject of ET/Star//Light/Interdimensional Beings and their past, present and future connection with Humanity.  It is time to expand our awareness and listen because messages are being sent to us now.  Humans have always used the drum and the shamanic journey to enhance communication between the ‘realms’ when needed.  Join us for this series of circles (one, a few, or all), and be prepared to participate. 

Each circle will offer the opportunity for participants to write a message or an account of their experience, thereby creating an ongoing archive of our respectful endeavors.  We are offering this series of circles during the eventful 2012 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.  We feel that the energy of so many crystals, stones and minerals from around the Earth (as well as meteorites from Space), gathered in one place (Tucson, AZ), is a perfect conduit for traveling the realms and accessing benevolent knowledge.

Interested people do not need to have ‘shamanic’ experience to participate.  However an open mind and heart is essential.  If you feel something calling to you, and that there is something being asked of you, join us as we explore together. 

 A video announcement and invitation the 2012 Earth and Sky People Congress . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVMItEOEowM

Thurs, January 26  7pm     Plant Spirit Medicine Circle with Darcey

Friday, Jan 27   6:30       SJ Circle at Unity- Stone and Crystal People with Elisabeth and Quynn

Saturday, Jan 28 1pm   Journey to Owl Medicine with Dee

Saturday, Jan 28  7pm     Star People Procession- Bird and Insect People

Sunday, Jan 29 11am   Our Star Being Sun – Journey Circle with Celia

Saturday, Feb 4  10am     Warrior Heart- Rhythmic Soul Retrieval with Quynn

Saturday, Feb 4   7pm    Earth & Sky People Congress ACTIVATION

Sunday, Feb 5  11am      Upper World Blessings- Shamanic Journey Circle

Sunday, Feb 5 2-5pm     Healing Arts Sampler

Monday, Feb 6 6:30pm     Shamanic Seer- Star Messages with Elisabeth

Tuesday, Feb 7  6pm    Full Moon Labyrinth Walk- with Shannon

Friday, Feb 10  7pm    Activating Space Portals Using Movement, Shadow & Music

Saturday, Feb 11 11am   Celebrating Green Tara with Alyson

Saturday, Feb 11 3pm   Shamanic Herstory Exploration Circle with Elisabeth

Sunday, Feb 12  11am     Dream Guides- Shamanic Journey Circle with Quynn

Sunday, Feb 12  5pm       Earth and Sky People Congress- Choose Love and Gratitude Closing Ceremony

 For up to date details go to ISAs meetup group calendar
http://www.meetup.com/tucson-circle-for-the-shamanic-arts/#calendar