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… 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…..


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……


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!


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…..



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!


Greetings from Cassey, who had her babies! 🙂




4 thoughts on “Life in the bush:

  1. Yes, of course! Aside from large Eagle Feathers I bring things that everyone can touch. I usually have one of my students with me and he or she walks around the circle of kids with a more fragile item and lets them gently touch it. Other thing just make the round…..
    …..Wish I could ad pictures……

  2. It’s wonderful to follow your monthly adventures Mi-Shell, and i sure would love to stop in one day for a visit. That said, Westchester County NY to where you are is quite a trek! warm blessings your way.

  3. I think its wonderful that you are able to teach children about the traditional cultures. I am very curious about how the high school kids take your knowledge-you alluded to the Catholic school kids being more problematic-I took my kids out of the Catholic institutions at a very young age because I saw things within the children emerging that I didn’t like-my own and the classmates.
    Thanks for sharing Mi-Shell.

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