Brittany, thank you for the little video!♥
Brittany, thank you for the little video!♥
Visiting White Wing
Way over the hills
Thousands of pictures
videos and stills….
Thousands of Spirits
Dance over spring snow
So many places
Where Energy flows….
You just came home
But back yonder you go
I send my heart with you
And my Guardians below…..
You are my fledgling
Now soaring high
Together with White Wing
Over Mongolian Sky….
A little warning:
This is a rather bloody post, so iffff you are a bit squeamish, please skip this one…..
I am putting it here mainly for all my international students to get an idea, as to how to preserver the Birds wings that you so often see dressed up and used as smudging fans in my shamanic art posts.
Usually, you – or we drive down the country road – and there, on the side is a traffic victim, a little bloody, but in all rather fresh and you wonder, how you could save its feathers. .
Well, you will have to get a plastic bag and start plucking ….. and then respectfully put the remains aside for brother Fox to find the coming night. But what, if you want to preserve and use the magnificent wings?
Sure you could take your find home and then work on it there…. But so often I hear: ”Yeah, we found a Hawk, but we were on a road trip and we could only take a few feathers instead of the full wings and talons……”
First of all, equip your car with what you will need:
1 sharp poultry shears
2. a hefty end cutter
3. a sharp knife
4. large styrofoam plates – the ones from the meat department of the grocery store or from Styrofoam packing material you have recycled.
5. a box with medium sized safety pins – to pin down wings and talons onto the styrofoam plate- or, if need be, the carpet of your car……
6. some kind of string – to straighten out talons
7. rubber bands – to straighten out talons
8 .assorted sizes of plastic bags – for fresh items – and for feathers
9. bungee cords – to tie something onto the roof or the back bumper
This will become your Bird tool kit and come in handy for other “finds” as well.
On the little trip to Manitoulin Island that I talked about in the previous post,
leaving the Pow Wow and driving south we found first a Sharp Shinned Hawk.
Into a large bag he went and with bungee cords tied to the roof rack. Only minutes later there was another Bird on the road:
A perfectly beautiful Merlin! Only he was dead:(
We bagged him as well.
In the motel I went to work:
Sage and cedar for a fare well and a chant to find home and to come back 7 generations from now, in a little egg in a nest… grow up healthy and strong… far away from any cars and road traffic…..
Then, tears aside, out came the shears and the promise to make something beautiful and honourable from the parts I take……
I cut the wings right at the shoulder joints
plucked from breast and back feathers what I knew I could use,
plucked the tail feathers
cut the legs at the knee joints
took some cedar boughs from outside and drove to the next secluded wood lot to bury the remains facing East
Yes, there was another chant and some more tears…..
Then, back at the motel I went to work.
I washed the blood of wings and feathers and dried them off
We would be on the road for the next few days and so now I needed a secure place, where to pin the wings and where they could stay – undisturbed.
Out of the back hatch came all our stuff. Cars are upholstered these days and there was carpet material in/ on the bottom of the trunk. Into this I pinned my fully stretched out wings using the safety pins = one at the bottom of the first primary and one into the lower back skin, so the wing stretches straight out.
I put some newspaper over the wings and a floor mat on top of that. Then all our luggage and stuff could go on top and would not make any damage.
The talons need stretching.
Pin then into the styrofoam tray. 3 front claws , on back claw. Then attach a string to the upper part of the leg bone and straighten it 90 degrees. with a safety pin peg the string so this position is secured. You also can use rubber bands as I did later with my “wing box”
At home of course you have to retrieve your wings and pin them to styrofoam or stiff cardboard. When I got home I used my pinning box – an old styrofoam ice chest.
Inside the box you see the perfect Merlin wings at the sides and the smaller reddish wings of a female Kestrel, that, sadly,we found the next day. One of her wings is quite damaged and what I will do with it I will see, when all is dry. In the middle all the talons are straightened out using a central chop stick and string as well as rubber bands.
On the outside of the box I pinned the Sharp Shinned Hawk wings.
It will take at least 3 months, until the wings are dried enough to be worked on and inserted into a decorated wooden handle can begin their life as a smudging fan.
The talons may even take a bit longer and may then adorn a Hawk Medicine Staff
The feathers I harvest, I always put into a plastic bag and then they go into the freezer for 48 hours, to kill off any mites and other “critters” that live in feathers. After that they are ready to use.
One of the shamanic students I mentor is raising the son of a Taita of the Cofan tradition from Colombia.
Parrot feathers are an important part of their regalia.
That inspired me to use all the diverse Parrot feathers I recently received from a loving family, that has several pet Parrots and combine them with a bit of fur from an ooooold coat of Ozelot fur. The Jaguar also features prominently in all South American traditions. Black Jaguars have the map of the Stars hidden on their pelt and bring the teachings of the Star Nations and our Ancestors, as well as our descendants yet to come…….
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……
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…..
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.
One of my beloved students is not feeling well…
I am worrrrried!
She lives far away,
…too far to rush to her side…..
To hold the worries at bay
I am singing healing chants
throughout the night…
I am going back where I am from
to find a healing medicine
I am riding on my horse, the drum
to find a sacred healing dream………
There’s a wild melody
among a million harmonies
There’s a note for everyone…………
That’s their big medicine!
I am bringing you your sacred song
from the place we all are from.
And you’ll be well if you will sing
your song of sacred medicine………….
At this time of year our summer season with busy markets and art and craft shows is still in full swing. On top of that I am kept busy with students, bringing teachings into resorts and health care facilities and with patients coming to the house.
This is the problem with writing a blog about working as a shaman. Most of the “more interesting” things are strictly confidential. I can not write about the consultations with patients, about individual cases and problems or private hours with students.
Oftentimes, when I bring drums and teachings into groups and healing and recovery centres, I – and the students, that accompany me have to sign strict confidentiality agreements and especially taking pictures is prohibited.
At the same time however, it just may happen, that the caretakers themselves are videotaping the sessions and circle activities.
Sometimes that makes me wonder, what will they use these videos for?
Will they try to replicate my teachings?
Are they becoming part of the public domain?
Are they on U-tube somewhere??
Here a few pictures, that recently were put into one of the many public networking sites and so are OK to re-post here.
Here I am on the annual Baysville Craft show, showing of my large Siberian medicine Pouch.
It worked! 🙂
I sold it! Yaaaaayyy!!!
Drums for Recovery
Buffalo Medicine Teaching Blanket
Bear Medicine Teachings