Blessed Summer Solstice – and Strawberry Full Moon ♥

Strawberry Moon Blessings and Happy Summer Solstice to you all!

strawberry reconciliation moon

For many Native people and in many tribes in Siberia the June Full Moon is associated with the first harvest of forest Strawberries – not the ones that are commercially grown and overbloated….
The Haudenosaunee for example see the Strawberry as the Leader of all the Fruits…..
Summer Solstice is National Aboriginal Day here in North America.

Here is a little about the Strawberry Moon on the Summer Solstice:

http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sc…are-thing.html

and:

Here is the traditional Summer Solstice Prayer I am offering to the Community this year again:

https://shamanicdrumm.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/summer-solstice-prayers-for-the-community-and-the-natural-world/

Turkey feather fan (2)

 

Let us not forget, that the People in the Southern Hemisphere are celebrating the Winter Solstice today!

strawberry-moon from the net artist unnamed

Fisher Medicine Guide?

After the previous post appeared, I was asked; When I do see a Fisher – or in this case Mathilda, in a shamanic sense, what does that mean to me?

What Medicine wisdom does Mathilda – or any other Fisher carry – or point towards?

In front of workshop window (2)

For me personally a Fisher has the connotation of “adversity” living , dealing and overcoming adversity – and reaping the rewards of that.

How come?

It has its roots in how my neighbours see and HATE Fishers, How I fear MR Fisher and his appetite for Raccoon babies, how I remember the tears when “Midnight” my friend Barb’s cat got taken by a Fisher……

So when we moved here learned to despise Fishers…..

But then, about 10 years ago I had a friend come to see me – as a client – with the thread of a a rather nasty and debilitating condition hanging over her head. She is a gifted healer herself and this “thing” was threatening her independence and her livelihood. So we got to work on what was causing it and send it packing! As Medicine Gifts for that healing help she gave me a Fisher foot and a Bear Claw. During the “workings” I called on the Spirit of that Fisher to please forgive the trespass on his life and also asked, iffff he was willing to help getting rid of that problem. He was, and over all these years did a good job.

Since then that Fisher foot is on my Client Altar to help, keep my friend safe.

But soon / about a week after this shamanic session the first Fisher showed herself to me- in Animal form. I think, somewhere on this blog there is a post about it…. I have to look….

Anyway, that one we named Bissiger Beisse = “BB” = the Sharp-toothed Biting One”.

The Fisher Queen on wellfare

Soon after, even her mate appeared at the door. He is about twice as big as “BB” and had NO Fear of us at all and after only a day or 2 he took food from my hand, carefully keeping his sharp teeth in check.

Often he sat at the sliding door, waiting for me, to give him a treat.

The Fisher King

Peter thought this was soooo extraordinary, that he made for me an FFO = A “Fisher Feeding Order, complete with a staff, a Fisher head-shot and a bunch of chocolate Easter eggs, for which Mr Fisher developed a craving……

Order of the Fisher feeders sm

When the snow melted, both Fishers disappeared back into the forest- and our Raccoons all re-emerged from their hibernation trees.

So we now have a positive relationship with the wild Fishers of our surrounding forest and the Ee’ren of the Fishers = the Manitou of them sometimes helps me on trance journeys, pointing out adversities a client faces but is not conscious about.

Is he one of my Miahanits?

No, He is one of my friend’s Miahanits for sure, although I am not sure if she, as an Anishinaabe lady would see it that way……

She is a reader here and I wonder, ifff she will speak to the matter……♥!

As I said, she is a gifted healer and I would love to beat the “word of mouth drum” for her.

We neeeeeeed many more like her.

making pretty for another egg (2)

Night of the Domovoi

Today is January 6. an important date for many Siberian households, as  tonight all the Domovois and Baniks = the house and bath Spirits are celebrating!
domovoi-domovik

Domovoi

They are dancing around the X-mas Tree, or Xmas decorations, that then can be taken down either tomorrow or the next following New Moon, if that is close.
For the Domovois and Baniks
Banik

Banik

one puts out treats = sweets and fat, that they like = puts it under or next to the decorations. They take all of it, especially, if they felt neglected throughout the year – or just the Spiritual essence, iffff they were looked after….
Whatever is left, will be put into the fire or outside for the Birds the next morning.
Also all the Animals, the pets and the ones in stables and fields get a special treat for tonight. Many people say, that on this night they too are celebrating and one can see them dancing.
Blessings!
 Mi-Shell
.
also check:

All the Siberian “Santas”!

 

Grandfather Frost with his Shaman's Drum Today, after a patient left , I had some time to catch up on my reading list. 🙂 

 This article in the Siberian Times put a BIG smile on my face!

All the different “Grandfather Frost” Spirits  from different parts of Siberia are not only described but come with gorgeous pictures!

Enjoy! 

Blessings for your holidays!

http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/features/f0196-merry-western-christmas-from-siberia-where-santa-is-not-always-red/

 

Coursera:

I finished my nursing education with an RN degree in 1976 and a year later my training as a Jungian annalist.

In 1989 I went for a nursing refresher course at the College of Nurses in Nepean, Ontario

In spite of that I have not worked in formal nursing since then.

Bearpaw, our Jewellery making business took of like a lightning bolt and we both worked at new and exiting designs, making and selling our creations full time. Any free moments I had were taken over by my shamanic work and as local word about that went around I took a step back from the daily jewellery making and towards taking care of an ever increasing group of shamanic clients and patients. Then I was also asked to formally teach about shamanic ways, about drums and drumming and also within the Native Studies programs in schools, universities, in the community and in the health care system.

Busy times!

Now, that we taking it a bit slower, as far as Bearpaw Jewellery is concerned and I now am visiting fewer schools on a regular basis (Now there are many dedicated graduates of the Native Studies programs teaching in most all the schools 🙂 )

I have a bit more “private time” – to maybe catch up on some reading – or just relax a bit for a change…

But over the years I often wished, that I could go back to university to catch upon the latest science in in Medicine, maybe even genetics, in social studies, and a variety of “new to me” and exiting subjects.

Live and learn, right!

Keep these grey cells busy ……before they frizzzle away….

Then, a friend pointed me to Coursera!

https://www.coursera.org/

What!!??

Learn without having to go to Toronto or another big city! Study right at home?!!

When I have time – like late at night! 🙂

I was hooked!

So since last summer I did/ participated in quite a few courses offered by Coursera:

tonita46

Curanderismo: Traditional Medicine:

This course provided information on the history, traditions, rituals, herbs and remedies and video demonstrations of Curanderismo, a folk healing tradition of the Southwestern United States, Latin America and Mexico. The course discussed the effectiveness of traditional medicine in order to meet the needs of many people, especially the uninsured.

herbariomagico

I LOVED every minute of that course!

In the early 1980ties during every winter we lived in the Central Highlands of Mexico and had direct contact with curanderos and curanderas and indigenous Medicine, which has its roots in shamanism.

I knew many of the Herbs that were used in curing and in the Temazcal sweat-house. So this course was sort of a refresher and also re-awoke many dear memories as well as it updated my knowledge of techniques like Fire Cupping, the Manteagas and the Temazcal. 🙂

Traditional-mayan-Temazcal

Encouraged by this experience I dove head over heals into “What a Plant Knows” presented by the University of Tel Aviv = a course about the sensory system of Plants.

Plant biology about what and how a Plant can see, how Plants react to smells -to being touched and moved – or eaten and how a Plant always knows where it is compared to the Sun and the Water source.

It sounded sooo easy and fun, but the course went all the way down into Plant genetics and epigenetics, photoperioidism, phototropism and how a Plant’s short and long time memory works.

I realized, how much science advanced and I had to buckle down to catch up in order to pass the exam.

what a plant knows

At the same time that the Plant course, Johns Hopkins offered

”Mayor Depression in the Population”

This I HAD to take!

Sooo many of my clients are struggling with mayor depression and with SAD = Seasonal Affective Disorder.

The course looked at depression from a Public Health Care point of view and the increasing incidences of MD in the population, why more women than men, why do women often seek help and men do not, how does MD present in Kenia – compared to with what symptoms do patients seek help in the US….

But there were hundreds of depressed individuals taking the course in the hope to receive some answers and the professors were all epidemiologists, not equipped to answer their concerns and questions on the accompanying forums. So rather quickly I became quite active there……

It also was a difficult experience, because what the course stipulated as solutions for the problem of a steadily growing population afflicted with Mayor Depression just are not implemented in the communities up here in the bush in Canada – or are not realistic in general, due to costs involved and due to lack of trained professionals.

There were long discussions on the forums of this course and one could easily see, if the posters came from Western Europe, California or the Eastern US or from India, South Africa, Peru or from Central Canada….. We here live in the proverbial First World, but as far as Mental Health services are concerned this here is a Third World Country. When I posted that, many sadly agreed.

But all in all I learned a lot!

Come to think of it, maybe I should share some of it here in a future post.

So, what do I have my nose in, at the moment?

2 very interesting things:

Chronobiology:

The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich offers

“Circadian Clocks: How rhythms structure life “

The course is still open, so you can take a look here.

https://www.coursera.org/course/circaclock

I find it fascinating, because over the years I noticed, that all my depressed clients have a circadian clock, that is out of sync = they sleep until very late in the morning/ noon and are up all night….

Cancer patients also have disturbed rhythms and so of course do shift working people….

The other thing is, that again and again my Medicine Animals point out, that clients with SAD do not get enough Sunlight in the morning hours and most people are working indoors at a 9 to 5 jobs and are not getting enough Sun light to keep a healthy immune system. This all , I sensed, is dependant on a compromised in their circadian rhythm and sleep rhythms and so, I wanted to know more. Sure enough!

My Medicine Guides are absolutely right and the scientists now have prove of how disturbed rhythms make us ill and kill us. They also found out, how to fix these problems, but our social clock = the 9 to 5 workweek would have to change and with it our whole society.

Did you know, that most medications a person gets prescribed do not work, because they are taken at the wrong time of day, when the “liver cycle” just washes them right out of the blood instead transporting them where they were supposed to help??

No, I stumbled over that conundrum with people on blodd pressure meds, when my Owl again and again showed me, that these need to be taken at certain times in the evening – individual to each patient. And then chemo = Cancer patientsthat should get their drugs at night – there is little use to suggest that kind of thing to patient on a tight shedule at the Barrie hospital….

But, right again, Certain cancer drugs work better- or not at all – or have mostly side effects or almost none – depending on what time of day you give them and also depending what natural chronotype the patient is – when his or her liver/ adrenal/ cortisol cycle is at what stage and or his / her immne cycle is active during sleep

Ifff you have any time on your hand sign up to this course and look at or download the videos of the last = no 6 lecture and learn about it!

This course should stay open for a few more weeks…..

The other course I am participating in right now is

“Preventing Chronic Pain” given by the University of Minnessota”

https://www.coursera.org/course/chronicpain

Discussed are myofascial pain, headaches, migraines, arthritis and TMD.

Right now we are all chewing on the module about Fibromyalgia……..

Dopamine serotonine low in FM

… reminding me, that my homework for today is waiting…..

I live and learn

……. to help and heal……

…..hopefully!

How are YOU celebrating the Winter Solstice?

 

yule log Today I want to share a few of the many Winter Solstice customs from around the world.

Most of them date back to a time before Christianity and most of them have an element of shamanism at their centre.

When we get together in our house, each Solstice Circle participant reads out loud  about one of these traditions.

I now invite you to copy this post and follow suit! 🙂

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The Winter Solstice is the year’s shortest day and longest night.
For our ancient ancestors it was a scary prospect, to see the sun in late fall rise later and later and sink earlier and earlier with less and less daylight and warmth left.
……………………………………..

They worried each year that the sun might not be able to gain its warms back again. They believed the sun waged a formidable battle with the forces of darkness and so they gathered and lit fires and drummed and danced to cheer on the sun and assist her in her victory over darkness.
…………………………………

Solstice festivals therefore centred around the idea of rebirth to assist the newborn sun to grow in strength, when it emerged from the dark womb of night. It is a celebration of the eternal cycle of life.
The Old Norse people called their festivity “Yule” – meaning wheel
The wheel of the Solar year has turned and the light is reborn.
…………………………………………..
Many people around the world believe in the Earth as being a female, that is forever changing, a virgin in spring, a woman and mother in summer and a wise old crone in fall and early winter. The solstice is the turning point, where by the power of the sun the old crone is turned again into her virgin form.
……………………………..
In Japan the Sun goddess Amaterasu emerges from her cave again as a young woman.
For the Apache and Navajo Yolkai Estan = Changing Woman = Mother Earth changes from a tired old limping old woman to a beautiful young maiden full strength and promise.
The Apache people have all night mountain spirit dances to ward of evil and guard the village.
In Zuni Pueblo the Soyal ceremonies mark the return of the Kachina people to the human people.
………………………………………….. …….

The divine symbol of the power of the sun, the fire of new beginnings, on the longest night of the year, is the Yule log. It is set ablaze to assure good fortune and continuation. It is a sacred offering from the Tree of Life to the sun.
So let us light the Yule candle and later decorate the Yule Log.

Let everyone present take a small piece of paper, write on it their personal Solstice wishes and then tie the wishes onto the log with colourful ribbons:

DSCN7618 (2)

Another solstice custom are the so called Mummer;s Dances.
People dress up in animal skins and masks would romp from house to house to sing and dance and collect food and drink and pennies for their efforts.
In mediaeval times in Britain the Mummers Plays would re enact the ritual slaying of the old sun/year and the rebirth of the new.
It was widely known as the Morris dance.
…………………………………………

That again comes from the Moor’s dance because the dance re-enacts a story that combines the experience of the crusades with the victory of light and good over dark and unholy:
The powerful King George slays and kills the Turkish knight (the old year)
But Father Christmas (the bringer of light) intervenes calling for mercy and tolerance – and a doctor.
The Doctor has a magical drink (brandy) and revives the Turkish Knight, who promises to behave himself…….
…………………………………..

On Winter solstice in ancient per-christian Europe the people would don animal skins and sing and drum and dance to ensure not only the return of the sun but also to honour the animals of the hunt upon which they depended. This is the beginning of the still popular Mummer’s Dances.
……………………………………..
Later-in northern Europe shamans were often synonymous with the craft of smiting = power and creative force over the element of fire and by extension over the sun.
The traditional guild outfit or the smithy’s gild was a red cloak and cap with white trim and a black belt with a silver buckle and black pants.
Nowadays someone in this outfit is recognized as Santa Clause
………………………………

Among Mi-Shell’s Siberian ancestors the shaman, in this case her great grand mother Ulali, would spend the Solstice night walking around the outskirts of the village singing and drumming to prevent malevolent spirits from entering the village and bringing illness and harm.
…………………………………..
At the height of the celebrations the shaman of the tribe ritually climbed the centre pole of the lodge, that represented the Tree of Life to speak to the Spirits (go on a trance journey).
Amongst drumming and singing he – or she ( often Mi-Shell’s gran) could stay up there for quite a while….
When he /she came back down it was with gifts of prophecy , advice and wisdom that would sustain the tribe through another year.
………………………………
In Iceland people fear, that whoever has not apologized by winter solstice for transgressions committed would at midnight be devoured by a giant long-toothed cat that lived in a mud-volcano.
…………………………………

The Jewish celebration of Hanukah is nothing but attribute to the return of the light after a time of darkness and the lighting of the menorah with its 9 candles symbolises the newborn light. Also presents are given in its honour.
……………………..

Poem:
Here, at the gateway of the year
may we strive to make good cheer
In our revels,
shall joy abound
and sorrow be cast underground!
…………………………..

The importance of the Egyptian culture is expressed in the architecture of the great temples at Karnak, Thebes and Abydos each of which focuses the rays of the Midwinter sun into the heart of the temple enclosure.
This puts these sites at par with the mighty earth temples and stone circles of Europe like New grange and Stonehenge.
………………………………..

Decorating one’s doorway with holly and ivy at the solstice was so clearly linked with ancient beliefs that Christian fathers more than once tried to outlaw the practice, but to no avail.
Holly was also part of an ancient, ritualized battle of the sexes: tradition held that whoever first brought holly into the house at Yule, master or mistress should rule the household for the coming year.
The kiss under the mistletoe may have then represented a peaceful resolution and union of the two.
………………………………………..

In the Baltic’s reigns the Sun Goddess Saule. On Winter Solstice her heavenly smith, Kalvis, wearing a red and white suit with a black belt remade the sun for her. Using his magic hammer he formed a golden cup to catch Saule’s tears the liquid sunshine that solidified to Amber. Then he accompanied Saul in her flying chariot pulled by Reindeers and wrote over the hilltops of dawn. Saule threw presents of amber and apples over the world below as they flew across the sky.
Does this remind you of Santa, Rudolph and the presents?
……………………………..

Rozhanitza Rozhanitza is a winter goddess found in Russia and eastern Europe. Winter embroideries were made to honor her, which often show her with her daughter goddess, who is sometimes human and sometimes a deer. She is shown with horns, lone among the deer species, the reindeer of the far north are the only species in which the female also has antlers. Her feast day is December 26th; and white-iced Reindeer cookies were given as good luck tokens on that day.

Reindeer Cookies

Evergreen trees are a symbol of the Tree of Life and renewal:
Romans wreathed their temples with pine boughs for the celebrations of the Saturnalia and Kalends. The former was a festival for the winter sowing season that ran from Dec. 17 – 24; a general holiday was observed and presents, often candles, were exchanged.
………………………………………

The Kalends was the Roman New Year celebration. Presents were also exchanged at this time, as symbols of the sweetness, light and health the giver wished for the recipient in the new year.
…………………………………….
The new christian church tried to eradicate these customs in their followers but gradually had to incorporated them by declaring that presents and well-wishes were exchanged in honor of baby Jesus.
………………………………………….

The early church did not fix the date of Christ’s birth at midwinter until the fourth century C.E. (comon aera). The church of Jerusalem did not recognize this date for another 300 years;
One would think if Christ was indeed born December 25th, this fact would have been recognized in his native land from the start.
The current date was chosen because it was already celebrated as the birth of Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun an alternate title for the rival Savior Mithras, whom even St. Augustine declared to be the same deity.
………………………………………….

And this date already incorporated the earlier Greek sun festival, the Helia. And of course there was the Norse celebration of Yule, which honoured the rebirth of the God Frey at the darkest point of winter.
………………………………………….. ..

And what about reindeer?
Deer have always been considered magical creatures, sacred to our ancestors -especially on the winter solstice
From the shaman at Trois Freres to the Gundestrupp Cauldron, the horns of the stag were used to represent the divine male principle. Indeed, the “Julebukk” was sometimes costumed as the Horned Lord. Despite church warnings labelling him as the devil, girls still sought a chance to dance with the figure, no doubt recognizing his role as fertility king for the coming year

Gundestrup

Midwinter is the season to work powerful magic charms, spells and
rituals to assist the rebirth of the light and the continuation of the life-cycle.
What is your personal symbol of rebirth and continuation?
………………………………………….. ………..
I send you heartfelt Yule-tide charms,
to keep you safe from ills and harms,
to last through out the coming year,
to ward off doubt and dismiss fear,
And welcome joy with open arms.
………………………………………….. …………..

 

DSCN7662

there are many more customs, including your very own .

Happy Winter Solstice to EVERYONE!

 

Reflections

Soooo – I think, it is time for a little update as to what I am up to the days.

Well, busy for sure. Now in late October whenever the weather is halfway decent Peter and me are working hard – getting winter wood ready. Recent storms have brought down some huuuuge Maples, that we cut and carry out of the bush, section by section…..

Then there are a couple of craft shows coming up and while it is raining Cats, Dogs and Howler Monkeys – or rather Chipmunks, Weasels and caterwauling Catamounts we are making jewellery, lots of little things, that are fit for small budgets. Many of them are inspired by the recent trip to Bon Echo and Algonquin Park:DSC_5927

Spirit Boat petroglyph:

DSC_5915

 I am also making a few nice Medicine Pieces.

Like this Rattle for example:

Shamans Rattle 1

here is another view

SR 2

While sitting on working on pieces like this, I again think back on the “Vision-Teachings I received at Bon Echo and I yet again find myself drawing the pictographs seen on the face of the rocks = or their counterparts shimmering in the water onto the leather of my Medicine items.

The sonorous voice of a long-time enspirited Medicine Person reaches from the beyond into my ear – or rather my soul:

They call it Bon Echo.

But not for the voices reflecting back from the rock walls.

The bon echo is the one coming of the Medicine Spirits as they dance in the Water and teach the People!”

I reflect about these reflections……..

Bon Echo indeed!

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