A Guardian Bundle for a new Tipi:

When a new Tipi is erected, it is seen as a new female person and member of the camp circle. It receives many Blessings.
One for each lodge pole, one for the hides of the Animals that gave their lives – or the Plants and minerals, that provided the canvas.
In the olden days Tipis were constructed out of up to 24 Buffalo Cow hides = only female hides were used!
They all were individually blessed and given a protection “dot with ground catlinite or red ocher mixed in Bear grease (Bear= healing power)
When erected, the Tipi also received a special protection/ Guardian Bundle, that was hung onto the mid pole at the back. This “Fetish” was usually conceived of in a shamanic dream by and Elder or medicine Person.

This is the bundle, that the Spirits of the Land instructed me to prepare for this Tipi:

Guardian Bundle

Materials used:
– – Buffalo wool to honour the ancient ways and the Buffalo Nation  as being the ultimate provider and giving their life for the benefit of the Human Beings
– – A Prayer Bundle containing a Buffalo bone, Sage and Cedar
Red trade cloth = Red= Life, East, New Beginnings,
Turquoise: Healing stone, prevention of injury and harm

East, discernment, independence, guardianship, protection Spirit of the Men
Keeper of the Sacred Law of Cause and Effect, protection Spirit of the camp, the Clan, especially, when the men are out -at war or hunting and the women are alone
joy in hard work, harvest of riches, protection for small children, especially when nursing = growth of the family


Tipi Facts:
The origin of the Tipi is the North-Eastern Boreal Forest – among the Cree and Chippewa Nations
Tipis are tilted cones: The Back of the Tipi is steeper than the front, to guard against the prevailing West winds.
The entrance is always East – towards the rising Sun.
So in East winds Tipis are somewhat shaky and may “wander”
At least 12 sometimes up to 24 Cow Buffalo hides were used. NEVER hides from a male Animal.
A Tipi usually belonged to a woman. Her family provided the hides and poles. In some tribes, If she wanted to  divorce her husband, she could just put his belongings outside.
Among some tribes however,it was quite different: The men may trade, exchange or loose one or several of his wives in gambling games and then she would have to move into the Tipi of the winner.  She would have to sleep at the lowest place – near the door, often having her children with her.  So husbands may change but it was important to get along with all the women of the camp, because one never knew, in who’s Tipi one may end up, but the Sisterhood of women stays the same.
Tipi poles each have a spiritual teaching, no matter, who’s Tipi you reside in.
A normal mid 19th Century Tipi made from Buffalo hide may weigh from 90 to 110 pounds,it was  18 to 25 ft in diameter when set up.
When the camp was moving the poles were tied – 5 to 6 on each side onto pack Horses. 2 further poles were lashed together to form a travoi and the 90 pound rolled Tipi skin was hoisted upon it. 2 women had to work together to load a Tipi. A second pack horse with another travoi transported bedding, parflechs and other household items. So the owner of a tipi also needed access to 3 pack horses.

Nowadays most tipis are made of high quality fire resistant canvas and a lot easier to set up.

My next post will be a picture essay of the Tipi raising at a friend’s home.



A Turkey Wing Dance Fan

Well, what can I say: It is just before our sale’s season at the Gravenhurst Farmer’s Market starts and I am busy getting ready for the summer. I prefer to make shamanic art pieces in the time between New Moon and Full Moon and am trying to have at least one each month, but this time of year several are coming into Beinghood, because often July and August are soooo busy that I do not have time – And then there are the specific orders from customers I have to fill at that time….

Anyway, today I finished this one:

 Turkey Wing fan

A Turkey Wing dance- or smudging fan 🙂

I took it to the recent Longhouse gathering and it was much admired. 🙂

This Bird was killed on the road to our house.

Turkey stands for giving thanks to our Earth Mother for all the abundance she provides for us and all our relations = all living Beings on her broad back. Since i was working on this fan in spring, when all the profusion of colours and bird sounds erupted all around me, I decided to make this fan joyous and colourful with dress feathers of many different Birds

Truth be told – I also had to cover up a few tooth marks from Wa-guish the Fox 😉

So naturally I added some F0x fur.

The leather is Moose and from its bone is the carving of the Turtle.

This fan is HUUUUGE! 70 cm long, not counting the “tail feathers”

Mallard Wing smudging fans

This Bird was killed on the road to Gravenhurst and the wings were brought to me by a student.I managed to save one complete wing and the tip part of the second wing and create 2 smudging fans.

In Siberia the Mallard traverses all 4 realms – Earth, Air, Water and Fire – when cooked for dinner.

For the Finno – Ugric People a creation legend speaks of First Woman floating in the Waters of Creation, heavily pregnant with the shaman Väinämöinie, when a Duck started laying eggs on her knee. One of them fell into the water and out of the upper half the Sky was created, the lower half became the land, the yolk formed into the Sun and the egg white became the clouds. Now, that this happened, First Woman was ready to give Birth to her powerful son….

DSCN0788Materials used:

Mallard wing

Moose hide – moose is a powerful provider of sustenance for the Canadian

First Nations People as well as for the original People of Finnland and Siberia.

Many rock carvings and ochre drawings attest to that.

recycled black leather,-

Fox Fur – recycled – Wagish, the Fox is smart, silent and a good provider and always

has a smile on his face. He sees everything and chooses, when to be seen. In Siberia we see Ee’ren Dilgiczek as a protector from unwanted energies

Mother Earth the Turtle =hand carved bone with beads

hand carved bone Bear = healing with herbs, herbal Medicine

Quartz crystal from Thunder Mountain in Arkansas

Wood, pottery and fashion seed beads,

Turquoise = healing gem of the Apache and Navaho People,prevention of injuries and harm


Gichi Manitou = Great Spirit, universal Life Energy, great Mystery

Spirit Boat = vision Quest = a Medicine journey into the wisdom of

Earth Mother to find healing or a cure -Peterborough Petroglyph Provincial Park

Lightning bolt = Power

Spiral of Life

Other Feathers:


the second Mallard wing fan




Spruce grouse



Toooo tired to journey :(

Toooo tired to journey 😦

It was late in the evening. Normally for me, that is a good time to go on a shamanic journey. I just sit and drum and ……

No problem…. 🙂


But it had been a crazzzzy day with a pile of complicated interlocking problems to solve and I was tiered. VERY tiered. But I had promised M. that I would undertake a journey on her behalf to find out about a problem she was dealing with.

So I sat down on my Reindeer fur anyway and started to drum. Very soon there was lira leading me to a wide summer meadow- a fenced cow pasture at the edge of a wooded lot. Kids were coming from ?? school?? 2 girls, sisters in the foreground. Wearing light coloured summer dresses they were taking “a short cut home”

all of a sudden and to my extreme consternation my toothbrush appeared in giant size in the visionary field. What the XP&@79|***!!!!

Where were the girls?

Oh! OK! There they were, just walking across that meadow….coming closer to … there was the damn toothbrush again!!

What is up with that? I ….

I saw myself in our bathroom, standing at the sink, holding my tooth brush – ready to brush my teeth – (the last thing I usually do, often with eyes closed already – before crawling into bed… )

So there I was, – sooooo tiered and uncoordinated, the toothbrush fell out of my hand and into the toilet bowl.. I was aghast! I fished it out of there…. Why is the lid open anyway? Lira swooped in, landed on the dresser drawer, looked at me and said. Mi-Shell, go to bed, you ‘ve had it!”

She rarely calls me by my name!!!

Was I journeying, dreaming – was this happening – or -??

Maybe I was sitting on my Reindeer fur and –

Yes, that was it…

I remember !

I stopped drumming went downstairs – looooooked at my toothbrush a loooooong time before using it – and after- crawled into bed…. toothbrush

Next morning journeying was easy and I had a good result and when I wrote the client, what I had seen and found out, she was amazed that I saw an Ancestor known to her, one of her Animal Guides and …..

.well, it is confidential…. 🙂