Summer Solstice Prayers for the Community and the Natural World

Summer Solstice Greetings and Gratitude to the Natural World:

 

In Canada, National Aboriginal Day has been placed onto the day of the Summer Solstice because since time immemorial prayers to the natural world were offered up on this day in all Native communities. Each celebrating in their way, in accordance with their traditions.

So, following these ancient ways, today we have come together to also offer up ancient and sacred prayers

so that they may unite us as people with the Natural World all around us.

Now, let us put our hearts and minds together as one:

 

In a sacred manner we wish to send greetings and gratitude to our Mother, the living Earth, upon who’s back we all live, who provides us with everything we need to survive and thrive and who right now is filled with an abundance of new life and is growing the new harvest, that will feed us and all living Beings far into the future.

Let us always respect the living body of Mother Earth and vow to protect her from all harm.

To our Mother the Earth we send greetings!

 

Let us turn towards the Waters of our World, the Rivers, Lakes, Streams and Oceans, the Rains and Mists and the Snows of Winter.

Water is life. Water is the Life Blood of Mother Earth.

Our own bodies are largely made of Water.

For that reason we need to protect the Waters and keep them clean and pure.

To the Waters we send greetings and gratitudes.

 

Let us also send our greetings and gratitudes towards the Fish and all the Beings that live within the Waters of this Earth. Many of them sustain us and all of them are our brothers and sisters.

 

Now with a prayerful mind, let us send greetings ad gratitude towards the Plants. They are the living dress of Mother Earth and they all are our brothers and sisters.

 

Let us honour all the many Food Plants now growing in the gardens and fields.

They are the ones giving up their life to sustain us.

For that, we send them greetings and gratitudes,

 

Let us also send out greetings and gratitudes towards all the many Healing Plants, that carry the Medicine, that restores our health and well being. We are thankful that they show themselves to our Medicine People and that they offer themselves up to us all.

May they thrive in Beauty and in Balance.

 

Let us also send our greetings and gratitude towards all the many different Trees, large and small. They provide us with wood to build our homes, with sweet fruits like Apples and Pears and with Maple sugar in Spring.

May they thrive in Beauty and in Balance.

 

With hearts full of love and admiration let us now turn towards the Animals:

All the 4 legged ones that live wild in field and Forest, let us honour them!

All the ones we keep in the stables and pastures -the ones we plan to eat – let us honour them!

The the Winged Ones up high in the air, let us honour them!

The Swimmers, the Shape Changers and Insects… let us honour them!

They are our older brothers and sisters, they were here first, on Mother Earth and each of them has a sacred Medicine to teach us.

From them we learn how to live in Beauty and in Balance, in Peace and so let us send greetings and our gratitude to all of them.

May they all thrive in harmony.

 

Let us now send greetings and gratitudes towards the 4 Winds and the mighty Thunder Beings that reside within them. The moving air around us brings us the change of the seasons. It also points towards the special Medicines of the 4 Directions:

From the East we receive confidence and courage and joy

From the South we receive patience, passion and compassion

From the West we receive introspection, strengths and endurance

From the North we receive wisdom Visions and dreams

For all these powerful gifts we are deeply thankful

 

Now we come to send greetings and gratitude towards our Grandfather the Sun , who provides us with light and warmth so sustains all life upon Mother Earth.

May he always be there, in Beauty and in Balance.

 

Next out greetings and gratitude goes out to Grandmother Moon, who rises in the night sky and provides us with a sense of rhythm and time.

She also guides the woman folk through First Blood, pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood and gives all of us sacred intuition and sensuality .

May she always be here for us, in Beauty and in Balance.

 

 

We also wish to honour the Stars that reside in the blue black blanket of Father Sky high above us.

The shining ones among them are the brothers and sisters of Grandfather Sun,

the dark and hidden ones are the brothers and sisters of Mother Earth and many of them carry life just as she does.

When we look up towards them, may we always remember, how small we are in the vastness of creation.

 

Let us now send greetings and our gratitude towards all of our Elders, our Medicine People, our healers, leaders and teachers.

May we absorb their wisdom, carry it within us and pass it along to our children and all young folk.

 

 

Now, with our choicest words and reverence in our hearts we send greetings and gratitude towards the Creator,

Shonkwia’ ti’son, Gichi Manitou, Gemne’do’o,

The Great Spirit, who is neither male nor female but

the very Life Energy, that is within everyone and everything

everywhere and at all times.

May this living Natural World be kept in Beauty and Balance for future generations.

May we and all our families and loved ones be kept save and in Beauty and Balance.

May everyone and everything upon Mother Earth be kept in Beauty,

in Balance

in Harmony

and in Peace.

Aho!

Shyan am!

 

May our harts and minds now be as one!

Gichi Meegweech

Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fox Medicine Pouch

 

MedicinePouch

in honour of E’eren Dilgiczeck, the Fox

and his white Brother, the Arctic Fox

Fox Medicine Pouch cropped

This Fox head I found on the Georgian Bay Pow Wow.

It wanted to come home with me.

It is most likely from a ranched Animal, that never really had a life outside a cage or enclosure. By creating this Medicine Pouch I wish to give honour and meaning to its life and also give respect to all Foxes and Fox Spirits everywhere.

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The Arctic Fox – Tiriganiarlu  = 

Winter Teacher (Inuktitut) comes down from the Pleiades to teach the people how to be wise and resourceful and how to survive the winter.

In Siberia Ee’ren Dilgiczeck , the Fox, is seen as the Guard at the Eastern Door – warning, iffff a disease spirit (Albi) or another “nasty” is approaching. If Dilgi barks, it is not a good day to be out and about and people make sure, they are close to home.

For the Anishenabe First Nations Wa-guish, the Fox,is known for his swiftness, cleverness camouflage and to always have a smile  and a sparkle in his eyes.

Materials used:

Fox pelt

bone beads

Deer leather = Wawashkeshkeshee the Deer is a Spirit of East, Morning, Future and also for none-violence and female energy

Hand carved bone Thunderbird:

Thunderbird pictographs and petroglyphs exist not only in and among the Native Americans, Also from Siberia to Tibet Thunderbirds were carved into the face of the rock at vision quest sites. they point to visionary journey and Dinosaur eggs were often considered as being Thunderbird eggs. In Tibet we still today see the reverence towards the mighty Khyang Bird and in India he later became Garuda.

Feathers:

I wanted to maintain the white purity of this pouch and so added only white feathers or mostly white feathers. Each kind carries a multitude of auspicious meanings in Native American and also Celtic and Central Siberian tribal cultures. You have:

White Swan feathers:

Seagull Feather

Hawk Feathers

Heron Feather

Petroglyph designs on the inside flap:

Fox from Tamgali, Siberia

Fox from Lakota Ledger art

Read more about Fox Medicine in this post:

https://shamanicdrumm.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/fox-medicine/

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Woodpecker Medicine Shield

Today on Full Moon I finished a Medicine shield in sweet memory of “Pecke”, our Woodpecker, that died last year.
These are his wings and other feathers – so his Spirit can soar again…..

Woodpecker is the little Brother of Binesi Wok, the Thunderbird and so brings the wisdom of the 4 Winds

Woodpecker also is the drummer of the forest and creating so is creating his/ her own beat. Woodpeckers communicate with each other through their drumming on hollow logs and through sharp screeches.

Woodpecker medicine is about communication, tenacity, patience and straightforward actions. 

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Drumming:

About me and drumming:
To me my work with drums and drumming, is an inseparable aspect of being Shaman —
My people call a person that does the things I do a “Kham”, leading a Khamlanie = a healing and/ or other rituals. Udega is another Siberian word but it rather describes a person working with herbs and potions. 
Someone who uses drums and chants , who has one or more Spirit Guides, mostly in animal form that he or she contacts while drumming in order to find out what is wrong with a client is called a Kham. The word this culture uses is Shaman, also a Siberian word, Tunguse to be precise and descriptive for someone entering ecstatic trance in order to help, heal, or otherwise aid the community.
In this culture I claim this word as a befitting description for me because it points not only towards what I do but also to my Siberian heritage and distances me from the also often used term “Medicine Woman” that implies Native American heritage and incidentally would be analogues to the word Udega among Siberian people. 
Shaman however is not what I do, it is what I am.
It permeates every aspect of my daily life, my art, the way I teach at elementary and university level, the way I mentor my private students, and how I conduct public multicultural gatherings and rituals.
Teaching at the Pow Wow
………………………………………………………………………………………………….The musical aspect of my practice as a shaman involves drums and drumming as well as chants, traditional ones and others received in trance states and by extension movement and dance.
To me drumming in itself has different aspects that all fit onto a fluid continuum from light-hearted fun all the way to deep states of conflict resolution and healing.
Describing this continuum in more detail I want to first mention community based events that I facilitate and supply a multitude of drums and percussion instruments for:
There is the Bracebridge Drum Circle that gathers every Tuesday evening and provides everyday fun, good for you drumming. People come to jam together and also practice culture specific rhythms from around the world.

Next is my Frame Drum Circle, called “The Healing Drum” It is centred around spirituality and personal growth and I teach the use of the drum as a tool for relaxation and meditation, anger management and conflict resolution and -on occasion- I facilitate cathartic psychological ab-reactions for participants and lead them into profound healing states.

Next there would be the Native American ceremonies and other events I attend and also participate in as a teacher, setting up my teaching tent and bring drums for the people that gather around. Aside from other teachings I teach drum songs and chants. And we of course have the big Pow Wow drum there. I am a Drum Keeper, have received a 4 foot in diameter grandfather Drum from one of my clients… I bring that to events for the community to use. – See a pic about all the kids around it on the previous post about me in schools……

Here we are at home:
HealingprayersonthelargeMedicineDrum
 
In the Longhouse we sing and dance to the Mohawk water drum, that the Sachem plays. We accompany him with horn rattles..Even further along the continuum is my use of drums in shamanic healings. When I either drum with or for an individual client in order to put him/ her and me into trance, so I can “see” into the body/soul to find the cause of an illness or dis-ease.

The last on the continuum is me, alone, drumming and chanting, most every night to initiate and maintain altered states of consciousness and thereby see/find out about concerns I have for self and others. 
That is also where I receive most of my chants and where rituals are “born” as finished entities, ready to be used with the community and where the concept of much of my artwork comes from….. 
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Hemispheric synchronization
or 
How the healing Drum works
One of the most powerful aspects of drumming and the reason that people have done it since the beginning of being human is that it changes people’s consciousness. Through rhythmic repetition of ritual sounds, the body, brain and the nervous system are energized and transformed. When a group of people play a rhythm for an extended period of time, their brain waves become entrained to the rhythm and they have a shared brain wave state. The longer the drumming goes on, the more powerful the entrainment becomes. . All of the oldest known religious rites used drumming as part of the shared sacred experience. 
It is interesting to look at these ancient drumming practices from the perspective of the latest scientific research into the functioning of the brain. Using electro-encephalographs, scientists can measure the number of energy waves per second pulsing through the brain. A system of classifying states of consciousness according to the frequencies of these waves was created. 
Normal outwardly focused attention generates beta waves which vibrate from 14 to 40 cycles per second. When awareness shifts to an internal focus, our brain slows down into the more rhythmical waves of alpha, vibrating at 7 -14 waves per second. Alpha is defined by relaxation and centering. Dropping down to 4- 7 cycles per second the brain enters the theta state in which there is an interfacing of conscious and unconscious processes, producing hypnagogic dream-like imagery at the threshold of sleep. 

Theta is the source of sudden mystical insights 
and creative solutions to complex situations and is 
marked by physical and emotional healing. People with a preponderance of theta brain waves are also able to learn and process much more information than normal. Without some form of intensive training, it is hard to stay awake in theta–one slips quickly down into delta. This is the slowest brain wave frequency, 1-4 cycles per second, the state of unconsciousness or deep sleep. 
The brain is divided into two hemispheres that are basically split in their control of the thinking process. The right brain functions as the creative, visual, aural and emotional centre. The left brain is the rational, logical, analytical and verbal administrator. Generally, either the right or left brain dominates in cycles lasting from 30 minutes to 3 hours. While one hemisphere is dominant, the memories, skills, and information of the other hemisphere are far less available, residing in a subconscious or unconscious realm. Not only do the right and left brain operate in different modes, they also usually operate in different brain wave rhythms. The right brain may be generating alpha waves while the left brain is in a beta state. Or both can be generating the same type of brain waves, but remain out of sync with each other. But in states of intense creativity, deep meditation or under the influence of rhythmic sound, both hemispheres may become entrained to the same rhythm. This state of unified whole brain functioning is called hemispheric synchronization or the awakened mind. As the two hemispheres begin to resonate to a single rhythm, a sense of clarity and heightened awareness arises. The individual is able to draw on both the 
left and the right hemispheres simultaneously.
The mind becomes sharper, more lucid, 
synthesizing much more rapidly than normal,
and emotions are easier to understand 
and to transform.

User avatar
Mi-Shell
 

Life in the bush:

 So, what have I been up to for the last few month?

Aside from telling you about the magnificent Nepal trip and the shamanic journey work that arose from it. I did not want to break the narrative flowing on from post to post, so I put other noteworthy things onto the back-burner.

 

We had a VERY long, hard winter with tonnnnns of snow and record cold temperatures. For part of it I was alone here in the bush, my husband went to see his ageing mother in Europe. I strugggggled with the masses of snow, got our brand new snow tractor stuck in precarious situations – and back out on more than one occasion.

I also had to help out neighbours and in turn they helped me…..house 2

There as a steady trickle of clients coming to the house – I wish I could fill these pages with the very moving sessions that took place – Let me mull over, what I could reveal and how best to do it without infringing on confidentiality and anonymity. – See, that’s the ting here, in this community LOOOOTs of people know me and what I do and the people also know each other, so when telling about a certain person with a certain problem, the people easily can put 2 and 2 together and – well – NOT good!! 😦

I found it interesting to note however, that January seems to be the month, when I see a lot of people coming in, to try and get over their addiction problems. New year’s resolutions to STOP are made and then – they hit the wall = 4 to 6 month loooong waiting list for a place in a treatment centre, a group in town, a Doctor’s office……

And then the local psychiatrist and other MDs tell them to go see me, because I am home, I am cheap and stuck in the snow, so will not go anywhere.

She is “very good”. Just cook her a nice stew and bring a bag of sunflower seeds for the Birds and her Animal Gods and she talk to you for 2 hours and will tide you over, until the program starts..”

Well, I am….

And since I suck at cooking, stew is always good!:)

The Sunflower seeds are a sacrifice:

The client offers up some of his/ her hard earned money to buy something they FOR SURE know, is NOT for me, but for the Spirits of the Land.

 

My dinner has arrived

My dinner has arrived

The client then places the large bag of Sunflower seeds – or dog food for starving predators beneath the family Altar, thinking about and praying for what the goal of this visit is and what he or she hopes for.

Then we open the bag and usually, when the sliding door to the living room opens the “Spirits of the Land” show up right away, often landing right on the hand of the trembling client…..

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This totallllly changes their frame of mind, opens them up…..

Then we proceed with the session.

 

 

February usually is a very quiet month. In the grip of winter nobody likes to venture out onto our by then treacherous roads, especially after dark.

February’s main problem, that I get to see, is depression – the winter blaaaaas as well as clinical depression and anxiety.

Sometimes, when the wind is not toooo fierce, I take clients out on snow shoes to walk the huge snow labyrinth beneath our log house on the frozen marsh. At the start I rattle then open, then we walk in meditative quiet. In the centre they speak their prayers, leave and offering for the ever present Spirits of the Land, then I smudge them maybe play my mouth organ, if the cold permits, then we head back, marvelling at the beauty of the landscape is encouraged……

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March everyone gets antsy and I see more people coming out for Tarot readings – strange, but definitely a pattern…..

A week before Spring Break the kids in school are at their inattentive worst and I get asked to come and bring drums into the school for drum circles and drum teachings – anything to get teachers and students through the last few days….!cid_FF4DE397-9A2A-4D60-9E3A-9BDFDFDCE1CC@home

 

April/ May is busy: Native Studies curriculum teaching circles in a variety of schools.

Early morning in freeeezing coooold, pack the car with bins and boxes of drums and furs, antlers and Native art and set up before first bell…..

NOT my thing! I an NO good in the morning!

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I have different study plans for the little kids – grade 1 to 3 is more “show and tell” and learn a song in Ojibwa and a Mohawk feather dance……

The middle grades learn to smudge, to recognize Native world view and learn about Clans versus totems, and personal Spirit Animals.

I always include how the Celts, the Siberian tribes, Hindu and Chinese and other tribal cultures see said Animals. That is important to the students coming from a multitude of different ethnicity here in Canada.

We usually end with a drumming session (remember the songs from last year?? 🙂 ) and ifff provided for, I teach them the fancy shawl dance steps and the whole class is awhirrrl with joyful hopping kids…..

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High school curriculum is different, more in-depth. For me it is also the most difficult to teach, because they “have to be cool” show no emotions, do not participate….

Typical teenage stuff going on in class…. Worse in the Catholic schools….

Maybe I can get away with writing a separate post about that, without getting “into trouble”

– You be surprised. Who reads this blog and as I said, everyone knows everyone!

For now I will ad a few pictures and pick up the winter report tomorrow with a mostly picture post about daily life in the bush:)

Blessings to all!

Mi-Shell

Greetings from Cassey, who had her babies! 🙂