Chant of the Whirlwind Children

….this morning…

from my Medicine diary……

 

 

Thank you for the healing!♥

🙂

What’s in a name?

6 of Wands:

archangel michael:

Oooooh but YES! I do have a problem with him!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not with the image on the card, but with the being he is supposed to depict, with archangel Michael of the christians.

With Michael!!!!

See: Ada, my father named me Mi-Shell. But my mother, having barely and with loss of friends, family, dignity and sanity just ever sooo barely escaped the concentration camp and its gas chambers wanted only one thing for me:

To be SAVE!!!!!

Save from the next holocaust.

Save from the next power wielding set of madmen.

So she had devised a plan: Make the little baby christian and give her a christian name, so she would be spared, the next time around…..

My father wanted none of that. He hated christians and that they professed one thing and did quite the opposite when nobody was watching –like kill people by the thousands in the name of their god….

But with the name thing my mother had a point and she knew it. Using this little trick had saved my fathers first family – and himself on several occasions during his time as a spy for the Russians and later the Americans in WWII.

What little trick you ask?

Fake names: When you are making your living as a spy, fake names – lots of fake names and birth dates and home towns and whole fake families are a tool of the trade.

When WWII rolled around my father had gone to the forger and had made up a whole set of fake papers for his first wife, who was Jewish, for his daughter Mausi, my half sister and of course for himself. It saved Mausi and her mom from the fate that many others had no way of escaping.

Ada also dropped his father’s Russian name. Going into the forger’s office a Russian emigrant, he came back out a true blue German with a christian name to keep him safe on the job….. It was one of many names he used and the surname I grew up with and went to school with was …. well better not spill toooo many beans on the internet……

At home we had a beautiful coffee jar full of fake passports and drivers licenses and so on – all with different names and different professions and different birth dates – And all with my Ada’s picture on them. I used to play with them, when I was lonely….

But I entered school not as Mi-Shell – “What kind of a word is THAT?” the school clerk asked my father – and: “WHAT???? NO religion???? You HAVE to have a religion! Without it she can not be admitted into school. So, what is it? Catholic or protestant? God forbid, you are Jews…..”

Luckily I can not quite recall just what my father answered her, but it was LOUD, contained nasty words and went with lots of expansive hand and arm movements…… But it could not change everything:

I entered first grade as Michaela – but still no religion 🙂

But when asked my name I always told the teacher my real name and was corrected often with the remark ”Michaela for the archangel Michael!”

I hated that and blamed that “stupid angel” for it all!!

Well, in terms of names things for me were still going to get worse, when a month before my 10th birthday I was taken away from my pagan/ tribal parents and stuck into a christian orphanage where nobody had a name and we were known by the number of our arrival. I was child no 235

I would have given much for being named anything other than that and the hell that went with it…

where was that oh so holy angel then, when it was about keeping me safe from all that degrading mistreatment and abuse. He did not help the other kids either……

But My Clan Guardian, the Wolf, helped and I made it out of there – after 3 looong and painful years.

It was only after coming to Canada, that I finally re-claimed the name my father originally gave me ……………………………………..***……………………………………………….

 

After writing all this I have to “come up for clean fresh air” and so I will deal with the image on card in one of my next posts…..

 

Shapeshifting

When I change

to become the Wolf

when Bear licks my loins

and the Power enters

then I can heal

then I can heal

I can see into the people

then I can heal

Hey lee’o hey
hey lee’o ha’
hey lee’o hanah
heyo heyo hanah

                                                                                                                                                                                               Mi-Shell 1993

Native American Petroglyph/ rock art

from Medicine Rabbit, Saskatchewan, Canada

A shaman drums……..

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 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 and descriptive for someone entering ecstatic trance.

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 my 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.

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

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 the 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 cathargic psychological ab-reactions for participants and lead them into profound healing states.

Even further along the continuum is my use of drums in shamanic healings. When I either drum with or for an individual client order to put him/ her and me into trance, so I can “see” into the body/soul to find 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…..

Looking Back Woman

One of my most important companions is my drum.

Nice sentence !

– But which one?

I have over 60 drums, many of them handmade by me.

I use them for school visits and public teaching events, on Pow Wows and multicultural gatherings, for the people to use, to learn about drumming and the Power of the heartbeat of Mother Earth, so they all can meet and feel the voice of our common Soul.

There however are a few drums, that are “special” 🙂

Let me introduce you to one of them:

My Llooking Back Woman drum”.
The woman on it is looking back at where she came from.
What she has experienced
What she has survived
All the good stuff
And all the bad.
But she is moving forward.
towards the tree of Life that grows on Mother Turtle –
(seen as the living animate World by our Native People)
There are many Spirits in the air, surrounding the woman.
She is not alone.
There are buds on the Tree
for new Beginnings
like a Spiral of Life the sap/ Energy is rising up the Tree
To bring forth the New in the Woman’s life.

This is a healing Drum for women.
Only women may ever play it.
I am watching out for that.

Sometimes, this drum appears in the dreams of people I work with or mentor .

To help them move
FORWARD!