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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Tucson Gem and Mineral Show 2013-Heart of the Crystal

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In honor of the Tucson Gem Mineral Show 2013, the Institute for the Shamanic Arts (I.S.A.) held a circle called Heart of the Crystal.

This circle was facilitated by Phillip Cash Cash and Elisabeth Black.

For this heart moving, deep, evocative, and amazing circle, participants were led through heart connecting activities.

They stacked stones while centering and achieving an inner balance.

In addition,  all were led on through a visualization to reach out for radiance and to channel the flow of the energetic vibration of crystals.

A spirit guided crystal grid was formed (see photo above).

Then all joined in humming, singing, and vocalizing while Phillip guided us and did shamanic drumming.

It was agreed that we felt we had done this sort of singing together in a past life.

The energy of this circle, our singing, and the crystals provided a breathtaking experience.

We thank Phillip for leading us through such a lovely portal and guiding us to the heart of the crystal.

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Please join us for our upcoming Stone offerings:

Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m.-Your Personal Crystal/Stones as Teachers, Guides and PortalsGive those stones/crystals some attention and bring them to this circle. You can journey together and become closer friends!  Hosted by Quynn Red Mountain.

Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m.-Crystal n’ Human-DNA Activation with Sound, Crystal, and Water-  Put sound together with crystals and what do you get? “Like” the most incredible rush of DNA activation! Allen Smith will share his holy, amazing, and completely transcending didgeridu music.

Feb. 16, 11:00 a.m.-Stone Guided Soul Retrieval and Activation That little empty spot you feel…? The stones want to assist you in retrieving just the right soul piece to fill it up. Oh, and they do this in such a loving way. They love you.  Hosted by Quynn Red Mountain

Feb. 17, 6:30 p.m.-Magnetizing Love, Abundance, and Joy with Crystals Think about it, the title of this workshop lists off what we all want. Love…..Abundance…..Joy…..all there waiting for you and lots of crystal helpers would be thrilled to help you magnetize these in your life.  Hosted by Elisabeth Black and Alyson Greene.

PLUS! On Sundays February 3, 10 and 17 at 10am, Quynn hosts a weekly Shamanic Journeying Circle.
We drum for you twice. Always fascinating. Never the same. Open to all.

Door closes 15 minutes after start time. Parking is available in the lot on the northwest corner of Stone and Toole.

These circles are open to people with all levels of spiritual and shamanic experience.  Find out more at any of the listings at ISA’s meetup group calendar.

Tucson 2013 Gem and Mineral Show is Here!

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Tucson folks have been anticipating the arrival of the Tucson 2013 Gem and Mineral Show. On Jan. 28 the Institute for the Shamanic Arts officially welcomed all of the Stone and Crystal Elders to our lovely city.

As shamanic folks many of us look forward to feeling the loving energies of the Stones surrounding us for the Show. It is also an opportunity to find new connections to work with.

We honor and respect our Stone Friends. With this in mind, the Institute for the Shamanic Arts will continue to offer stone themed workshops all during the month of Feb. We hope to see you at one of the workshops!

Feb. 3, 2:00 p.m. Sacred Nature Journey #1:Desert Earth and StonesHow many times have you been driving along and the desert hums to you? Not nearly enough. Take a little walk out into the desert and ground, center, and refresh yourself. Be right in among the stones and earth.  Hosted by Alyson Greene.

Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m. Like a Rock-Breaking Down as Spiritual Transformation-Don’t let the “breaking down” part scare you. Let the idea of loving support brought to you through Stone Wisdom ease your heart. Stones want to be there for you and guide you to your true joy.  Hosted by Quynn Red Mountain.

Feb. 9, 11:00 a.m.-Heart of the CrystalJourney inward to your heart with singing, (no singing experience necessary and led by Medicine Singer, Phillip Cash Cash) meditative stone stacking, and making a healing crystal grid.

Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m.-Your Personal Crystal/Stones as Teachers, Guides and PortalsGive those stones/crystals some attention and bring them to this circle. You can journey together and become closer friends!  Hosted by Quynn Red Mountain.

Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m.-Crystal n’ Human-DNA Activation with Sound, Crystal, and Water-  Put sound together with crystals and what do you get? “Like” the most incredible rush of DNA activation! Allen Smith will share his holy, amazing, and completely transcending didgeridu music.

Feb. 16, 11:00 a.m.-Stone Guided Soul Retrieval and Activation That little empty spot you feel…? The stones want to assist you in retrieving just the right soul piece to fill it up. Oh, and they do this in such a loving way. They love you.  Hosted by Quynn Red Mountain

Feb. 17, 6:30 p.m.-Magnetizing Love, Abundance, and Joy with Crystals Think about it, the title of this workshop lists off what we all want. Love…..Abundance…..Joy…..all there waiting for you and lots of crystal helpers would be thrilled to help you magnetize these in your life.  Hosted by Elisabeth Black and Alyson Greene.

PLUS! On Sundays February 3, 10 and 17 at 10am, Quynn hosts a weekly Shamanic Journeying Circle.
We drum for you twice. Always fascinating. Never the same. Open to all.

Door closes 15 minutes after start time. Parking is available in the lot on the northwest corner of Stone and Toole.

These circles are open to people with all levels of spiritual and shamanic experience.  Find out more at any of the listings at ISA’s meetup group calendar.

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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.

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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/

The Power of Love

resize altarMy name is Elisabeth Black and on Saturday, Jan. 12, I was spirit led to facilitate a circle about the power of love.

Because of the nature of love, my spirit guides asked that I be more self-revealing than I ever have been in past circles.

I shared about my process of opening up to the intimacy of love. I entrusted to others, in the circle, thoughts about my struggles with giving and receiving love and I spoke about the joys that love has brought into my life.

This circle was very beautiful as each person shared about how love has touched their lives.

I found that I wished that people that I am close to and love dearly were present at this circle. Then I began to feel that because I carry them in my heart, they really were with me…are with me. Always.

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On my altar, I placed items that carried the resonance of love. I had an open heart ring, a female turkey feather, clam shells, citrine gemstones, rose quartz, aventurine stones, a bell, a note from the universe, mirrors, rose petals, and a heart.

For our journeys, we asked that animals share messages of love with us and let us know just what we need.

IMG_5288As part of our circle, I explained how the Institute for the Shamanic Arts (ISA) had recently participated in a Handfasting Ceremony where two people committed to loving each other. Then I passed out ribbons and we all did a handfasting commitment to love ourselves. We wrapped the ribbon around our wrists and repeated vows.

To share love with others that didn’t get a chance to be present in our circle, we used divination to choose words that were written out. We then incorporated them into some written thoughts which I have listed here for you.

Play Spirit Things

A playful kind, loving spirit

connection to all things is one path of loving

wrap me in a kind, loving and playful spirit…gratitude

connection to all things is one path of loving.

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I am a wave in the ocean.

I am part of a powerful and connected system of sea life and movement

beckoned by Grandmother Moon.

Does it serve me to fear that the other waves head toward the rocks and not the beach

or that they move more quickly or slowly.

I do not control how big they swell or how soon any break.

I fear that I am not important.

I need love knowing that I am only a small part of the whole.

I need to give. I need to receive.

I cannot flow alone.

Hold me mother ocean.

Take all of me.

Move me as I am.

…………………………………………………..

Love Is….

Nurturing: allowing of what longs to come forth in its own time. No sooner. No later. Just Perfect.

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Divine Thought

Resides within,

and begins with You!

Be open and let Love flow.

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Love is about finding peace with both the head and the heart, the intellectual and the emotional. A balance is needed for a healthy love to survive!!

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Love

Decide in a strong way that there is indeed power in love.

The universe gives you permission to use this love. You are capable.

………………………………..

To find out more about Elisabeth Black please see:

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

To find out more about upcoming workshops, please see our Meetup page at:

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

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Shamanic Soup’s On!

resizesouppotjpgFor the last journey circle of 2012,  Institute for the Shamanic Arts (ISA) gathered to explore the tradition of soup making.

This was during our Shamanic Soup workshop.

Each individual brought a soup ingredient that they felt was an important soup addition.

While the soup simmered away full of spinach, kale, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, yams, sweet potatoes, spices, onion, and of course, love, we all journeyed to the beat of the shamanic drum.

We contemplated the thought of a caterpillar inside of its chrysalis in a soup state with all of its DNA present to make a butterfly.

We laughed at a coyote tale about coyote always being ready with his hidden spoon.

We expressed gratitude and realized that we are always in a state of gratitude.

We even recognized that, “It’s all perfect.” Each given moment is perfect.

We shared stories, laughed, listened to the rain fall, kept warm, ate homemade tortillas (thank you!) and enjoyed deeply nourishing soup.

As a final touch, we each went into our journeys and fetched what we thought would be the perfect ingredient for an ISA Shamanic Soup.

This special ISA Shamanic Soup sounds amazing and you are invited to partake in all of ISA’s nourishment for the year 2013!

See you then!

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Adventures with Sacred Geometry!

ImageThis morning’s weekly journey circle was infused with the mathematical poetry of sacred geometry. Everything we see in our world is made up of lines and form—from shapes found in our natural world. As we examine the beauty and structure of shapes, we can reflect on the evolving shapes and containers of issues and themes within our own lives.

Today, for a journey prompt, we used two different “sacred geometry” divination decks.  Participants first chose from a set of 17 shapes. There were two-dimensional shapes like circles and hexagons; representations of three-dimensional shapes, such as the tetrahedron; and some very special patterns found in nature, such as the golden spiral and DNA. During our second journey, we each chose two cards from the very colorful and artistically expressive second deck of “sacred geometry” cards. Each of the cards in this second deck told its own visual story—along with containing one of the featured sacred geometry shapes. We chose these cards using divination (and nobody peeked).Image

Amazingly (!), of the six journey participants, four people chose a story card with the same exact shape they had chosen earlier from the first deck! This was a bit of synchronistic delight for all of us, as the mathematical probability of this was extremely unlikely. Something much more magical than chance was afoot in ISA’s Grotto this morning!

ImagePeople’s journeys were very expansive and far-reaching. Participants flew to the upper world in a vast view, swam happily into the lower world’s oceanic depths, met Bee in golden hexagons, explored the fiery creativity of  (triangle-shaped) volcanic mountains of kundalini, or swirled into the energies of heart center. Today, our group felt the uplifting energy of clarity and break-through—with a bit of playfulness, too! This felt like a sweet blessing in the midst of our chaotic world times. May the blessings of today radiate out and offer uplift, clarity, and comfort to all who are in need!

The Institute for the Shamanic Arts offers a journey circle every Sunday at 10 am. Most weeks, Quynn Red Mountain facilitates this circle (today’s circle was facilitated by Alyson Greene). Each week the consistency—wo shamanic drum journeys, with time for sharing after each ones—spirals through a different prompt or idea, and people’s experiences are ever evolving, Imagealways revealing, and never the same. Sunday journey circles are an excellent time to check in with your deepest self and your guides. You are always welcome. . . The worlds open up when you are here! For more information, see ISA’s weekly Meetup listing.

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–written by Alyson Greene

Alyson Greene is a sacred nature guide and shamanic practitioner with ISA. Alyson facilitated this morning’s journey circle, and she enthusiastically invites you to join her on the evening of January 2, 2013, for her Blessings of Golden Light – Activation Circle! See details here.

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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/

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!

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/