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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Talk of Rock- ISA Honors the Stars of Tucson’s Gem and Mineral Show 2013

altarRocks and stones. Crystals and minerals. Water and vibration. Altars and sharing .  We sang our hearts and spoke to rocks. We stacked stones and learned from them about breaking down. We gave thanks to crystals for joy, love and abundance in our lives, gathered soul parts together and walked in the desert, listening to the Stone People.

As ISA’s meetup group hovers just under 500 participants, we give thanks for all the beautiful souls who joined in circle with each other during our first annual “Stone Wisdom” Healing Arts Series.  Here are a few statements shared by a few circle participants:

Heart of the Crystal“Wonderful gathering. I feel blessed. Great Soup! and I got WINGS! yeah! Good Night ALL. Gratitude is in the HOUSE!”

“Thanks for the wonderful journey with the crystals, sound/rhythm, water, and DNA on Friday night.  I certainly went to a deep and powerful place.  I felt a significant loosening of the knots of time and space in my being.  A wonderful space was held for all.”

Stone Stacking“The ceremony the other evening was lovely and inspiring. I appreciate so much that I was able to share in the experience with so many loving souls.”

“I feel personally satisfied to have finally asked my stone friends what they have to tell me. their messages kept unfolding all night.”

“Amazing moment in time w/you all! Thank you.”

“Evocative, amazing, releasing, incredible!”

“I’ve been looking at rock in a whole new way now, very inspiring circle. :)”

“Thank you so much for a truly wonderful healing experience tonight. Between the sound and the crystals, the energy was rockin!”

Thank you to the the ISA Practitioners who offered circles, as well as all who participated (human and stone). Much was shared!

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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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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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!

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/

I.S.A. Empaths

Clearing methods

Grounding and Centering with tree energy

I.S.A.’s Empaths gathered together on Sept. 8 to practice different skills.

In the safe, secure, and loving environment of the Grotto, each Empath had the opportunity to try different skills and do self-reflection about what works best personally.

We used clearing methods and shared ideas about ways and when to clear ourselves.

Then we did a meditation to ground and center ourselves. This helps us to focus on what emotions belong to us and which ones are not our emotions.

After that, we chose a way to protect ourselves from taking on emotions. We were mindful of the idea of not completely blocking ourselves.

Color Protection

Some ways to protect ourselves were using color, an animal guide, an angel protector, or using light.

Angel Protectors

We realized that all of these protectors were available for us to call on for assistance with our empathic abilities.

Animal Guides

After preparing for practicing our skills, we were then able to try some “sensing” activities where we tuned into what sort of emotions were coming forth from someone else.

These are some helpful thoughts that I.S.A. Empaths had to share:

“Be kind with yourself. See the humor. (What do I do with it? Should I tell the person? etc.) then ask your guides and protectors for assistance and clear instruction. Remember that if you don’t know what to do with the incoming emotions or energies, you can always return people’s “stuff” to them with love.”

“Cherish and value your gifts. Stay vulnerable. Eat beets.”

“Who does this belong to? Me? Someone else? Something? I return it to sender with consciousness. Access Consciousness.”

“If you are unsure of what to do with sensing information that you receive, it is okay to check in with your guides and ask for clarification. It is also okay to ask someone, “Are you open to me sharing information that I received?”

“Clearing, grounding and protection is not optional. It is as important as sleeping and eating.”

“Embracing your talents can be scary and allowing your talent to blossom and to be in your life and your practices can be very fulfilling. Love yourself and good things will come to you.”

“You are important. Take time to nurture and protect yourself. Being Empathetic doesn’t have to be a weakness as long as you value yourself and what you can do and feel.”

For more information about our meetups please see:

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

If you would like to join our Empath Facebook group please do so here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/136884413056445/

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

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/