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
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also check:

Hired as a Shaman

In lat summer I have been approached by the city of Bracebridge, to join them as an employee of the City to bring some of the workshops I usually provide for the community under the umbrella of the Culture and Recreation Department.

I was not interested.

But, they said, I would get paid by them! 🙂

Not very much, certainly not equivalent to what I normally get paid, if they hire me as an “independent consultant”and workshop provider in this department.

In the end they chewed me down and I agreed – at least for this winter – to see, how it goes…….

BB drumming flier

They first wanted to write Shaman/ “Medicine Woman” onto my contract of employment and on the fliers for the workshops I agreed to provide. But I told them, the word Medicine Woman was controversial, as it is understood – by the Native American (First Nations) – to mean “one of THEIR Medicine People” – like a Lodge Leader, Faith Keeper (Sachem) or Shaking Tent man or Pipe Carrier……..

The word shaman is not as widely known among the general population here in Ontario and often I get asked, what exactly that is. When I explain, that it is a Siberian term for a “Medicine Person, that gains information and help from the Spirit World during theta trance journeys brought on by drumming ”

they say Ooh, like a Medicine Man! – Or ah, you are a Witch Doctor!

NO, I am not!

I am not a witch and I am not a doctor, although I do have a current RN licence and am training as a Jungian analyst from a Western university.

My father’s people call a person that does the things I do a “Kham”, leading Khamlanies = healing and other rituals.

Udega is another similar 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, it is descriptive of someone entering ecstatic trance in order to help, advise, divine, heal, and otherwise aid the community.

Living here in the West 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 engage the Spirits in order to facilitate healing, the way I mentor my students, and how I conduct public multicultural gatherings and rituals.

But generally the ordinary folk here in Muskoka do not care so much about what I am called; they are waaaay more interested in what I do and what I teach THEM to do.

One lady, that signed up for the upcoming drum workshop and was advised by one of the town clerks taking in her application, that no, I was not going to do any healing right there…. She reportedly replied: ”I do not care if Mi-Shell teaches knitting this fall, my sisters and me and a few friends will be there and we will learn something that will be important to us – and besides, something awesome always happens anyway…..”

Well, we will see…..

Muslim Prayers in the Longhouse!?!

Yesterday were at the monthly Longhouse celebrations at Wahta. Our Sachem (Faith Keeper) is since recently teaching some courses on Native studies at Georgian college in Barrie = 100 km south of the res. and from the course had invited some students to come up and join us for the celebrations this month. The students he invited however were newly landed immigrants– from Pakistan and Syria. Only as soon as they came through the door it was clear, that few of the Longhouse participants had any idea, about what it means to BE Muslim.
5 young guys had brought their veiled women and small kids and also 1 set of doting parents and a friend from Syria, that was in the country less than a week and spoke no English. So I ended up explaining to everyone, that, no, there is NO pork in any of the pot-luck dishes, we had Beaver stew, Venison and Moose.

What what IS Beaver??? Is it halal?
What is venison?? What is a moose????? Is it halal?
I explained, that all meat is blessed by the person that killed it using the smoke of Cedar and Tobacco and the Spirit of the Animal is send home to its Ancestors, to be born again. So happily our friends dug in.
They however had brought a rice dish that blew everyone’s mind, it was so spicy!
Then, no sooner were tables and dishes cleared away to make room for the round dances, that it was time for our guests to pray.
They asked, can we do this here in the Longhouse??
Our Sachem  is– aehmm…. – not known for being a very flexible adaptive person.

After all he has to “hold on” and keep the Faith pure against all outside influences…..
So no, you can not pray in the Longhouse!
But now praying outside – in the snow that was coming down – and in the pitch dark cooooold?????
When I offered to give them a large comforter as a blanket to kneel on, they asked the Faith Keeper, iffff the shaman lady is willing to be helpful and accommodating, could not he too…….
He said nothing and they just knelt down right in front of all of us and prayed.
I am sure, it gave all the usual Longhouse visitors an opportunity to think and reflect…….
I decided to also pray, quietly– for cross cultural understanding and tolerance.

Then we proceeded with the usual “Standing Quiver Dance”, followed by traditional teachings – this time around Beaver and Deer hunting, Corn bread and marriage customs, when the woman goes out to choose a husband -among others…..
Our Muslim friends were all encouraged to join in the dances. The men did with gusto and also used our horn rattles in the Women’s Honour Dance.
The women did not dance. It took a while until my Mohawk friends understood, that Muslim Women are not permitted to dance in front of men. – So I went over to them to talk and teach. They told me, that they were astounded at Native customs and the matrilineal Clan system and the leadership of the Clan Mother.
I took the time to show them around the Longhouse, pointing out all our beautiful Wampum Belts and explaining their history and specific meanings. I let them reverently touch the mighty Wolf fur at the side of the Wolf Clan and explained our ceremonial Turtle Shell Rattles and a few other things.

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There was also the “thing with the Red Indians”
“Red Indian” is not an appropriate term – rather use Native American or First Nations Person….”
“Oh” said one of the ladies, “That is the same as people calling us Pakies”
Yes!
(Oh maaan, I do not even know, how to write that word…)
And trying to explain that Ojibwa and Mohawk and Sioux are not different casts, but tribes, formerly independent Nations, now coexisting within Canada (or at least try to…..!!)
At the end of our gathering, after the last Stick Dancer gave up hollering for more songs and the Clan Mother did the Closing Prayers, we go around in the circle and everyone is giving everyone else a by by hug.
Of course the Muslim ladies can not allow another man to hug them, so after I explained that to the Clan Mother, everyone agreed, that a handshake would be good Medicine as well.
I hope we see our new friends again next month.

HIAWATNA WAMPUM BELT

Run!!!!

Coming home from last night’s Haudenosaunee Harvest Social there was a freshly killed Snowshoe Hare in the middle of the Road. Dinner for our Raccoon family? It was still warm and so we decided, that the Raccoons would have to share with us. So this morning I first sang a “Soul returning Home” chant and then butchered the Rabbit. There was lots of goodies for the coons; head, lower legs, rib cage and innards, but we do not much like bloody smeary messes on our upper deck, so I brought these out to our organic composting place.

Something was rattling inside the large black bin.

I carefully opened the lid, expecting one of our Coons, but a little baby Bear jumped out, right at me and then scampered of into the bush.

I knew, what THAT meant:

MOM!!!!!!!

Me and Bear 3

And sure enough a large black hulk appeared between the low bushes, huffed at me and proceeded to chase me halfway back to the house…..

 

I ran!

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This was NOT Windwalker, the Lady Bear who knows me/ us, but one of her now adult daughters, now a mother herself, probably for the first time.

Best, to teach her in no uncertain ways, that she ALWAYS will have the “right of way” here on our land and that we are not a thread to her and her cub.

This will assure us, that later, she will simply ignore us when we accidentally meet up somewhere in the bush.

Palaeolithic Hunter’s Knife

DSCN7096 (371 x 720)We now know, what the flint blades, that our early Ancestors used for hunting and in other daily activities did look like. During long hours the carefully collected flint was finely napped into shape and finished with a razor sharp tip.

flint napping

miniatureslargewithrow

When I was able to trade such a blade, created by a fellow artist,that specializes in flint napping, I could not resist, combining it with a smooth goat horn and some bits and pieces of fur and leather to create this replica of a knife used in hunting, skinning of hides portioning meat and in “Hunting Magic”

This actually is the term many archaeologist and anthropologists used to describe the many and varied pictographs and petroglyphs they encountered in paleolithic and also neolithic sites. I feel, that the user of the knife honoured his/ her personal Spirit guide/ Guardian as well as the Animals, that were the desired, but also revered and respected prey.

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The Materials I used for my replica:

Flint

Goat Horn – May the descendants of the Goat, who’s horn I used live and prosper

Pig leather – Can YOU imagine, to go after a Wild Boar with just such a knife?

Deer leather,… or run down a fleeing Deer in dense under-brush…?

Fox Fur – ….get bitten by a cornered Fox?

Mink fur – You would catch this one in a sling……

bone, stone, antler and wooden beads,

hand carved Spirit Bird,

Raven feather

knappers

A Steer Horn Rattle

Steer Horn Rattle

I have always wondered, what type of music our ancient ancestors made. Sure; they had drums, rattles, clappers, Flutes as well as any number of inventive percussion instruments created from bone, wood antler, rocks and other materials. Then We received a CD from a musical ensemble based in Germany, that used original and painstakingly reconstructed musical instruments from the Palaeolithic = the Stone Age. The models for these instruments were archaeological finds from that time.

Here now is, how I envision one of these instruments to to look and sound like.

Materials used:

Steer Horn

Leg bone from Bear:

For the Ancients the Bear was worshipped as the Mother, the bringer of new life, the bearer of the young, with whom she emerged from the cave in spring foretelling renewal. She was also seen as the one who knows how to heal illness and wounds with herbs and honey (Honey has antibacterial and antiviral properties and was used for wound dressing)

Bear is still seen today as the Bringer of healing by all indigenous Siberian Peoples and most all Native American nations.

I added belly fur from Wolf, because Wolf was an important Clan Guardian for the First People of Eurasia, standing for family values and survival through the long winters as well as for his skill in communication with his pack members. Wolf is a “Song Dog” and so was associated with songs and music. Just imagine a Wolf howling in one of the large caves in France and Spain, that were back then used as ritual rooms by the people. It was the time when the first Wolf pubs were raised and bread to accompany humans on hunts – the ancestors of our modern Dogs….

Fox Fur: Here we have another cunning “Song Dog” revered for its fur having the colour of the sun.

Deer leather, snippets from the clothing of the people.

The Feathers are Hawk – an Air Spirit with a distinct piercing call and

Trumpeter Swan, a regal Bird who would be hunted in the marshes and his feathers used to create warm feather quilts to be worn on rainy autumn days.

The Pictographs I added are

The Labyrinth – a symbol pointing to the brain with its ridges turning back and forth – place of meditation and of trance.

The Sun symbol from Pasparo Rock in the Camunica valley,

a Spiral of Life,

a Deer Everyone always says, the old rock art is created for the sole purpose of “hunting magic” – what doe these anthropologists understand hunting magic to be? Very few of them now dare to talk about shamanism….

Lastly I drew a Female figure from the same area, because I belief, that our women Ancestors had important roles to play in all aspects of daily life and in the music of the time, that accompanied ceremonies  and ritual workings.

I am planing to ad a copy of the CD in a decorated leather pouch to this instrument, so that its future owner may get a taste of what inspired me.

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

 Here is a link to a site where one can ?? acquire/ listen to the CD:

https://www.google.ca/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&es_th=1&ie=UTF-8#q=Knochenklang&es_th=1

altamira_bull

 

 

Eagle Power 130 000 years ago!

I just can not resist to post this  exiting find here!neanderthal2200

Neanderthals were creating and wearing Eagle talon jewellery!

It speaks not only to their undoubted intelligence and sophistication but also gives us a glimpse into their belief system.

http://news.ku.edu/2015/02/12/neanderthal-jewlery-discovery-sheds-new-light-cognitive-abilities-human-predecessors

Eagles were special – to at least some of them.

As they are for my ancestors in Siberia.

Still today some of the hunters of the Siberian and Mongolian steppes use Eagles as hunting companions.

From an Eagle’s nest only ever the smallest, the runt, the “spare” was taken. The one usually hacked to death by its older siblings or being starved…..

That one my People took and hand raised and trained to hunt for Foxes, Rabbits, Pheasants, Birds and other small game.

When the Eagle was with the family for 12 winters, it was the ritual to let him/ her go free the following spring.

So the bird could mate and raise a family of its own.

From its nest the smallest chick, the runt was taken…… 

… not before a food offering was placed where the adult Birds would easily find it.

This tradition is ancient – and maybe even crossed from our Ancestor Elders over to our Human Elders.

golden eagle hunter