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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Postures of Flight!

Last Monday evening Quynn Red Mountain hosted a shamanic circle called Postures of Flight, based on the work of Dr. Felicitas Goodman’s work regarding sacred postures that show up all over the world in sculpture and cave.

Anthropologist Dr. Felicitas D. Goodman, researched and explored ritual body postures as a means to achieve a bodily induced shifting of consciousness – a “ecstatic trance” experience. She discovered each body posture can lead into this alternate reality, an expanded field of consciousness, when performed in conjunction with the proper rhythmic sound, such as a rattle or drum. This shamanic wisdom tradition has its roots in the earliest roots of humanity.  From http://www.cuyamungueinstitute.com/

postureThis is the fourth time that Quynn has offered this workshop, and each time the results have been profound!  Journeyers on Monday traveled in simple positions that brought energies of the Underworld, Metamorphosis, the Tatooed Jaguar Goddess, Place of Opening, Land of the Dead, Female Spirits and others.   After three drum journeys, Quynn asked participants to write a note to you, about journeying in these postures, and the wisdom of the shamanic journey generally… Here is what they wrote…

“I am continually amazed at the innate wisdom within people.  These ancient, worldwide postures bring to light a portal that is waiting for us to enter.  The drum and intention opens the door that lies within us all.”

“Journeying with the postures opened me to more visuals than I have normally experienced during typical journeying, which I wasn’t expecting necessarily.  I had asked to receive messages auditorily, because that I the way I usually receive, but the visual were fantastic. The messages from them profound.”

“Journeying allows you to find the missing piece of yourself.  You find that which you need and desperately long for, whatever that may be.”

“The journey of transformation. The ancient inner pilgrimage to the true awareness.   Finding through a beat of a drum, all that has been forgotten…yet not.  Today I journeyed to my joy, my life purpose, through the portal that was just waiting for me to say “I am back”.  After each shamanic journey I am forever shifted to a new galactic is-ness. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love.”

“These ancient postures, with all their collective wisdom, helped me greatly to gently break through an integral part of my process of becoming the person I came here to be and doing what I came here to do.  I look forward to how it will unfold.”

“These are the poses of our ancestors, but they are also the poses of ourselves, our children, mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers… It is powerful medicine.”

Gratitude to the postures, to Dr. Felicitas Goodman for seeing their power in plain view, and to all the journeyers who attended this workshop!

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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.

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Love Is….

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

………………………………………………………….

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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DO NOT Be afraid- Shamanic Journey Circle for Turkey Wisdom

“Do not be afraid to go where your mind can’t reach. The journey is infinite and you will be prepared for all.”

On the Sunday of the four day Thanksgiving weekend 2012, journeyers gathered for a shamanic journey circle that happens every week in downtown Tucson, Arizona.  On this day there were 13, and the focus of their journeys was Wild Turkey. Many enlightening facts and stories were shared about the Wild Turkey’s strength of flight and sight, their longevity (11 million years!), as well as their sacredness to Peoples of the North America, and then Europe as well.  See Thursday’s blog post about Turkey. Fascinating facts!

“Your wild Nature is beautiful and tasty.”

Two drum journeys brought strong vision to the journeyers. At the end of the last drumming, each participant wrote a message of wisdom from their new Turkey allies.  They are shared here.

“You have nothing to be grateful for unless you have gratitude. Ask Turkey to provide you Thanksgiving.”

“The bad guy in the movies dies when he makes assumptions about the “ease” or manageability of the opponent.  If someone underestimates you that is their weakness and danger.  It is ok to be wild and to be able to defend a boundary. I nurture, but this is my space so respect it or beware.”
“Freedom to experience spiritual peace, finding it walking in natural surroundings.  Turkey gives you peace. Go to the tall trees and rock formations.”

“My energy is a gift of seeing into the distance, or beyond the immediate.  My giveaway is love. Know that it is given willingly and always from love.”

“Live close to the Earth.  Follow your curiosity.  Know you are more powerful than people realize.”

Don’t try and hide anything from yourself, but be aware of what you share with others.  It is a gift either way.”

“Peace. Joy. Freedom.”

“Turkey Blessing:  Turkey is generosity of heart in relationship (all kinds of relationships).  Turkey runs fast (and free).  Turkey shares!  Turkey does not get her feathers ruffled.  Turkey is easy-going but focused.  Turkey love is simple, valuable, and not to be underestimated.”

All quotes were written by circle participants.  Thanks to all who joined in.  Thank you Turkey.

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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Healing Arts Sampler

As participants traveled down the stairs on Sunday, November 11th, an aura of uplifting, mystical, and calming violet purple welcomed them.

They were greeted at a welcoming table by Elisabeth Black and then escorted inside the Grotto where they quickly became aware of the energetic qualities of centering, blessings, love, sweetness, respect, clearing, radiance, joy, grounding, and light.

This energy radiated from the practitioners and their altars.

Each practitioner had an altar that was filled with sacred items from their practice to promote healing.

Participants commented that they received just what they needed for the day and about how wonderful they felt after receiving sessions.

Practitioners that offered sessions for the day were: Dee Watts, Quynn Red Mountain, Alyson Greene, and Darcey Blue. (Read more about each practitioner at: https://shamanacircle.wordpress.com/is/practitioners/ ).

What follows are pictures of the different altars and a short description about the altar.

Dee’s altar had crystals and owl energy. She said that her crystals were feeling neglected and all called out to come share in the Healing Arts experience.  Owl energy also wanted to be present. She used the crystals in her work and one crystal in particular for divination in showing which chakra was out of balance and needed attention.

Quynn received the message to work with illuminating the “heart”. Her altar had heart stones that included aventurine, selenite, and stone hearts.  Red cloth and rainbow cloth wanted to be present. She also used olive snail shells that she had since 1999 in the same jar. These had been collected on the Olympic peninsula. The shells were smooth and beautiful. LED light was used to focus on the heart and provide illumination.

Alyson’s altar illustrated movement from the underworld up through the earth and out into the air/cosmic with the inclusion of elements.  The underworld was represented by a pomegranate. A blue silk became curving water. Earth elements were shown with animals, crystals, and a turtle. A shell recalled the ocean. Butterflies flew gently with air reminding us of transformation. A cosmic squid lovingly held the idea of Sky People.

Darcey set her altar up according to the four directions. In the south, she had a candle to represent fire. For the west there was lichen to illustrate letting go and releasing (like the cycle of life). The north demonstrated the idea of ancestors and helpers. She did this by using a sacred rock from the root of a juniper tree that first empowered her to become a plant shaman. She also had blue corn because of her strong connection to the spirit of corn and the land. There was a turtle because that is one of her close helpers. Finally, in the east, to aid with clarity, there were bird feathers that she had picked up during her own moments of clarity.

The smudge was for clearing.

For Elisabeth’s altar, a spiral functioned as a gateway to welcome each Healing Arts Sampler participant into the gentle, peaceful, and mindful practice of tending to their sacred SELF by receiving sessions from the practitioners. Some of the tokens that were present were rose quartz for heart, shell for feminine energy, pine cone for male strength, bell for clearing, words: “joy”, “smile”, “fun”, butterfly to soar with your beauty, and a mirror for self-reflection.

I hope that each one of these beautiful, gratitude filled, creative, and inspiring altars has perked your interest.

If you would like the chance to explore more about personal shrines, which are very similar to altars but are more for making personal offerings and devotions, you can do so by attending an upcoming workshop that Quynn is offering.  Find out more at:

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

Thank you to all of our practitioners and participants for a wonderful Healing Arts Sampler. If you were not able to make it to this one, don’t worry, we will be offering more in the near future!