Sacred Enactment as Spiritual Funny

Flaming Rainbow Spiritual Healer at the Fringe Festival

Flaming Rainbow Spiritual Healer at the Fringe Festival

Performance can be Ritual. Enactment can be Ceremony. Theater can be Spirituality.  This sacred form of enactment educates and entertains.
Enactment=process of enacting: the act or process of enacting something
Synonyms: performing, acting out, portrayal, representation, presentation, acting, depiction, play-acting, performance

Two friends of ISA have been acting out in the theatrical realm, to play with spiritual stereotypes, and educate about spirituality at the same time. What fun!

Last October (2012) The Institute for the Shamanic Arts hosted a Shamanically inspired performance called The Plasmic Portal. For it, Alison Torba, musician, actress/comedian and independent paralegal, came up with a hilarious and ‘over the top’ character named Flaming Rainbow Lightsurfer Unicorn.  Her 15 minute stand up comedy routine hit on many popular spiritual issues,  such as having a bad childhood, what it takes to be a sha-man, yoga, raw food, magical feathers, permanent sweat lodges, her ‘relationship’ with her ‘Guru’, and receiving messages from the future, cause she is so spiritually special.  Her routine offered something for everyone to laugh at. It was brilliant!

Shamanic Seer

Shamanic Seer

For the same show, Elisabeth Black, shamanic intuitive, Director of the Institute for the Shamanic Arts, and Waldorf kindergarten teacher, wanted to share her psychic talents with the audience, so she presented The Shamanic Seer.  She recruited questions from the audience, and in a live and beautiful format, consulted her Spirit Guides regarding the answers to offer each questioner.  It was brilliant!

Their segments, and the whole show, was a success!

When the application process came around for the 2013 Tucson Fringe Festival, Alison signed up for Flaming Rainbow to participate.  Elisabeth had the idea “what if these two characters have a reason to get together on stage? What in the world would happen?”  They met, threw around some in-character improv, and wham! FLAMING RAINBOW SPIRITUAL HEALER was born!

Flaming Rainbow

Flaming Rainbow

The show happened on March 3rd at the Club Congress in downtown Tucson. These two talented, and brave, women, created a one hour show. The first segment was Flaming Rainbow’s comedy routine.  Then The Shamanic Seer came on stage.  She read all the questions written out before this show, drummed for guidance, and then told a beautiful story that spoke to the questions of all.

Then we found out how they were to meet.  Each were invited (for different reasons) to participate in a reality tv show audition.  What happened when they met was funny, and educational.  They shared, in an entertaining and very lighthearted way, many important messages that spirituality shares, such as how to use energy, how our childhoods can affect us as adults, the concept of ‘soul retrieval’, how we each have our own power, and the use of spiritual tools.  People laughed, people learned, and we all saw a bit of ourselves in these characters.

Spiritual Funny!

Spiritual Funny!

Theater, performance, play acting and enactments have always helped humans work out problems, understand concepts, laugh at ourselves, and learn new things.  This performance was brilliantly lighthearted, which allowed many important messages to come through, without people even realizing it.  It takes a lot to get up in front of an audience.

Congratulations to Alison and Elisabeth for being bold enough to share this with our community! ISA is proud to have supported, and offered a reason, for this show to be born.  We can’t wait to see what Flaming Rainbow and the Shamanic Seer will do next!!!

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Shaman Images, Symbols, and Metaphors

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

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

Eileen explained that images are direct links to the soul.

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

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

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

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

http://return2wholeness.com/site/

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

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

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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.

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/

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/

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

The Institute for the Shamanic Arts (ISA) and Portlandians

Picture this scene:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shamanic Seer-Divining Bones

Bone readings have played a part in different cultures around the world.

Generally, bones are cast into a circle and the way that they fall determines the outcome of the reading. In addition to bones, other small objects may be added to the cast such as coins, shells, nuts, dice, or stones. Patterns are looked for in the way the bones fall or markings on the bones have significance.

For the Shamanic Seer-Divining Bones night, a different style of reading the bones was used. This method had been presented via the dream world.

My style of bone reading (Elisabeth Black) was shown to me by the spirit world in dreams. These dreams started with the initial dream where I was watching a Native American bone reader give readings to people. He spoke to me and told me that I am to read bones. When I asked him how I would do that, he answered that I should start by getting bones.

Many talkative bones have since been gifted to me. They find their way to me with an urgency to share messages from the spirits. This urgency gets so strong at times that the bones seem to rattle to get out of their protective case.

Together, the bones and I act as conduits to bring forth messages.

The night before the Divining Bones shamanic circle, my spirit teachers appeared in a dream. In this dream, they showed me how they wanted me to share information and proceedings for the night. Tuning into them and being open to their guidance assures me that I am truly being a “hollow bone” and allowing their wisdom to channel through me.

Here is what one man had to say about the night:

“Hi Elisabeth, The Shamanic Seer- Divining Bones session was wonderful. Sharing the info from Spirit as each of us perceived it from our individual points of was very enlightening. It was truly a blessing to be part of this shared experience! I highly recommend this to anyone who feels Spirit guiding them to participate. I’m very grateful for all the opportunities for Spiritual Growth and Healing provided by ISA’s various Shamanic Practitioners.”

In addition to using the bones, I also had the card deck modeled after Tikar Spider Divination. In Southwest Cameroon they use earth spiders which are relatives to the trapdoor spider. It is believed that because they nest underground they have supernatural wisdom.  Originally, plum leaves were used instead of cards. A spider was used to divinate on special occasions.

I pair the use of these cards with the bones because I feel that they share a lot of the same qualities of earthiness and grounded messages.

If the idea of a Bone Reading calls out to you or you are curious, I encourage you to reach out for your own personal Bone Message.

You can find out more information for when the next Bone Readings will be at:

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

You can find out more information about Elisabeth Black at:

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

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

sweetnessofsoul@yahoo.com