Our beautiful, earthy Sacred Nature Journey Walk among rocks & desert stones

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Yesterday, several ISA journeyers traveled out into the west desert of the Tucson Mountains for a beautiful afternoon of connection to Earth, guided visualization, exploration, and connection.

Read more about our lovely afternoon in the Sonoran desert here: http://sacrednatureretreats.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/journey-walk-1/.

Our journey walk was a beautiful and auspicious beginning to our spring spring series of Sacred Nature Journey Walks in the desert. Join us for our next outing on Saturday, March 9. (See http://sacrednatureretreats.wordpress.com/journey-walks/ for details! And sign-up on ISA’s Meetup page http://www.meetup.com/tucson-institute-for-the-shamanic-arts/events/101241222/) Also, be sure to mark your calendar for our big Sacred Nature *Earth Day* Camping Retreat, April 19 – 21, 2013. We hope to see you there!

Come walk in beauty with us.

21 Dee and N hike out beauty

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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/

Rainbows Galore for Autumn Equinox

Recently, ISA (Institute for the Shamanic Arts) gathered on a magical and glittering golden day to welcome in Autumn.

Duck Anticipation

Rubber duckies were lined up (some kept falling over but they tried their best) awaiting divination. On the bottom of each duck, Quynn Red Mountain had written meaningful words. Participants had the thrill of choosing a duck and finding out what word was just right for them.

Rainbow Wand Making

People gathered round with Elisabeth Black and used their creativity to make rainbow wands.

Alyson Greene storytelling

Then we were treated to spectacular storytelling about the colors of the rainbow by Alyson Greene.

Finally, as the sun began to set we got to walk a rainbow labyrinth made by our official labyrinth maker Jacob Gardener. The setting sun glimmered and glowed and rainbow colors and blessings followed each of us as we wove through the gentle turns of the labyrinth.

What a fantastic Autumn Equinox!

Colorful Sunset

Walking the Labyrinth

Rainbows Galore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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/

Drumming the Elements…

Last night, 5 spirit travelers joined together to create rhythm for the four elements.   The five called on Romanian, Irish, Punjabi, Native American and African ancestors to help them.  Two humans had drumming experience.  Three had never drummed before. They intuitively connected with Earth, then Air, Fire, and finally Water, and below are some quotes shared by travelers after they completed the circle of rhythm for the elements.

“I felt the elements.  I really felt Fire, our beats blended into flames!”
“I kept hearing voices, like there was someone else in circle speaking old prayers.”
“I let go, and then I peaked into myself…and then I got into it again.”
“The drum was picking up on each of the elements, and we asked our ancestors to guide us.”
“Water was a calm ocean, and then it was a hurricane!”
“During each element session I heard the following… Earth-Ground it.  Air-Blow it away. Fire- Burn it off. Water- Wash it away.”
“I felt a buzzing in my body that peaked between Air and Fire.”
“I had a sensational experience.  I had a man in back of me and a woman in front of me.  I trusted them to help me.”

Drumming and rhythm making belongs to all people of all lands.  All are welcome to ISA’s drumming circles offered approximately once a month.  The best way to expand one’s drumming ability is to Practice, Practice, Practice 🙂  Join ISA in this practice.

Below are some articles regarding various drum cultures (specifically of those present in this drumming circle)
http://www.drummagazine.com/features/post/when-the-drummers-were-women/
http://www.godammit.com/2012/02/03/visits-from-the-other-side/
http://www.turtlewomenrising.com/
http://www.ask.com/wiki/Dhol?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamanism:_Archaic_Techniques_of_Ecstasy  (Classic book written by Romanian historian of religion Mircea Eliade)

 

Diving into Summer-The Seasons Move…

February, March, April…now May. Time in Tucson to prepare for the heat and strong sun.  ISA has hosted a series of shamanic journey circles in various parks around central Tucson, including Fort Lowell, Himmel, Limberlost and Reid parks.  Each was lovely and brought much wisdom.  We journeyed with Hawk, Water, Ground Squirrel and Tree Shade.  We also journeyed with children’s play gun fights, angry neighbor and low flying fighter jets. 

Our outdoor series was a great teacher about being in the world, and still being able to be centered in our practice.   We had fun too!  We walked an April Fool’s Day Labyrinth, ate chocolate and honored Rabbit energy on Easter Sunday, and honor our child selves by wearing pink on an unusually cool Sunday morning.
So, we are now  in our beloved Grotto again for Sunday Circles. Cool and dark, just how we like it in the heat of the desert.  There are many events coming up in fabulous places too (not in the Grotto!).  May’s Full Moon Labyrinth walk is hosted by Shannon at the Unity Labyrinth on Saturday, May 5.  Mother’s Day Red Tent Temple and May’s Sensorium for Kids session are hosted by Elisabeth and held at the Harmony Hut, a fabulous space near Uof A, and June 1 is Sabino Canyon Drumming fun.   There is always something interesting happening.  Always different, yet always familiar. Join us!

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show 2012

Every February, Tucson hosts The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.

About 50,000 visitors flock to Tucson to barter, collect priceless crystals, buy stock for their own enterprises, purchase delights, and exhibit gems and minerals from all over the world.

We are surrounded by the high vibrational energies of thousands upon thousands of crystals.

These are crystal beings that are ready and willing to guide us in raising our consciousness, sending and receiving magical messages,  contacting extraterrestrial intelligence, and transmitting love, peace, balance, understanding, protection, and self-empowerment.

The year 2012 resonates with each of us in a unique and visionary way.

The Institute of Shamanic Arts (I.S.A.) recognizes our star connections with all benevolent beings and extends to you the opportunity to receive messages being offered from other realms.

We employ the use of the drum beat to journey within and we work closely with guides (including crystal beings) to expand our understanding and experience non-ordinary reality.

I.S.A. and its talented facilitators will have many special community offerings for the month of February and throughout the year so that we can all interact with the guidance and connections that unfold this year.

For more information about our offerings please see our Meet-up site at:

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

Solstice Shamanic Techno Blast!

On Thursday, Dec. 22, we celebrated Winter Solstice.

45 light beings joined us in this spectacular celebration.

Together we celebrated by infusing each of our 7 chakras with light.

We called in the Spirits of Light to be present.  We were thankful for “light” and felt much love.

This celebration used a combination of traditional celebration with chanting, meditation, journeying, rhythm of all sorts (bells, rattles, drums, etc.) and the new techno aspect of video and shadow play.

It was lovely to see how the senses were activated and how each person received just the right “light” message.

Thank you to all of our wonderful facilitators-Shannon, Don, Lance, Kym, Alyson, Ian, Elisabeth, Patricia, Dee, Quynn, Jacob, and Phil.

Thank you to Quynn and Jacob for making this celebration possible and for the prepping and detail work.

Thank you to Wilson for the use of the space.

Thank you to Kati for her beautiful imagery video.

Thank you to all that participated and were present during our celebration.

Thank you to all spirits, light beings, and star people that were present.

Here’s to a year full of much love and light. So say we all!

Cracking Open is Today!

CRACKING OPEN-A SHAMANIC EVOCATION

November 26, 2011

6:30-8:30

$7-$13 (a spirit-guided sliding scale; ask within to divine your ticket offering)

at Future’s Antiquity Gallery, 19 E Toole Ave, Tucson, AZ

We look forward to seeing you there tonight!