Back home!

Hi Folks!

I have not posted in a little while. Now I can tell you why:

We were away from home and to a certain extend also from the internet.

A little well deserved break.

We took our mini motorhome, called “the Turtle” on the road for 2 1/2 months travelling down to Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and then up to South Dakota and sloooowly back home to Ontario.




Many of you guys know, that we used to travel like this – first in our oooold beat up VW Bus, then in our little bigger but just as beat up Mercedes cargo van. From 1981 to 1989 we crisscrossed the country, spending summers in Alaska or the Yukon, in the fall went down to Mexico to create a whole bunch of beautiful jewellery and then sell it first in Florida between February and April and then on markets all across the US and Canada. THAT really was the birth of Bearpaw Jewellery.

But as you remember, that, when we settled in Ontario very soon Bearpaw Jewellery and our creations took over our life and I had to struggle fitting my shamanic clients and patients as well as teaching engagements, students and lots more in and between craft shows and art exhibitions…….

Well, now Peter is 63 and I will be 61 soon, so we decided, to “switch gears” again , demote the almighty Bearpaw to hobby status, quit a whole bunch of shows and galleries and do a few more things we reallllly love doing, like travelling.

For my shamanic practice that is a huuuuge switch as well:

I will not be home year round and available at all hours of day and night.

But on the other hand, I can stay in touch with my clients via internet, I can skype with them and some of them I also can stop by and visit.

Spirits of course travel VERY WELL!

Mine also like it, when I am on the road.

However some of my personal daily practice = interaction with them had to change around as well. – I can not drum in the motorhome late at night and keep poor Peter awake. Never mind neighbours on the campgrounds……

But I can find secluded places in Nature to do that.

So now, back home, I will

….. first have to catch up with all the stuffff that piled up, while we were away…..

and then I want to write a little about my experiences with “shamanic practice on the road”






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)

Everyone in one Box

That is exactly how it felt, when I opened the “Wild Unknown” and flipped through the first few cards of this, my newest Tarot deck. My whole family in in there! My Spiritual family that is.

OK: First up, the Fool, the Chick – obviously me!

Chicken!” It pieped 😉

Well, at least this deck solved the everlasting conundrum of who was first – the Chicken or the Egg!


The very next image confronted me head on with Ee’ren Omsür. The proverbial shaman trickster Spirit of my Ancestor Clans. I have written about Ee’ren Omsür here:

“Spirit of Snow” about Snow Leopards in our Clan

..and you will agree, he makes a great Magician 🙂

Having not seen many cards beforehand, my jaw dropped, when next I was confronted with – my Great Grandmother Ulali – or, to be more precise, her personal Guardian, the Tigress:

Tigers have since the times of old been the powerful Spirit Protectors of the ancestral homeland of my Ada – now called Tuva and the circular Tiger is its main emblem still today. Tiger

In many journeys I have been confronted face on with the Powerful Tigress into which Ulaly at times turns to teach me a hard lesson. Many of these lessons have been about having to overcome paralysing fear and terror and force me into action.

What however I find so very auspicious with the depiction of the High Priestess Tigress in the Wild Unknown is the fact, that she also much reminds me of my other Gran – Eliza, who worked as a Tarot and Crystal Ball reader with several travelling circuses of her time. Also being the one, who was in charge of the health of the Animals the circus featured, she had to deal with sick Tigers, Horses, Brown Bears and Lions and there are stories of her having to pull an abscessed tooth of one of the Tigresses, that was so sick, she refused to nurse her small cubs…..( The story involved ice and copious amounts of hot rum and a large pair of pliers….)

Now here, on the image, the Roman No ll is situated above the head of the Tigress – indicating – for me – both of my Granys…..

Dare I go on to the Empress and the Emperor?

Trees both! What a relief!

The Empress reminds me of the Maple and the here and now: The Maples outside my house in their fiery red Autumn dress and also the fact, that the Maple to the Haudenosaunee is the “leader of the Trees”, providing the sweet Maple syrup in Spring

The Emperor, an enormous Pine, Stands right outside my house, rising 38meters above theNorth West corner, its mighty trunk just 4 inches away from our roof line. I live in its protection, sleep beneath its branches.

The People of the Longhous see the mighty Pine as their Tree of Peace: It was beneath a Pine like this, that the warring chiefs buried all their weapons and covered the hole with a huge rock. It is this pine and the tradition of the Peace it stands for, that the Rohanis, the chiefs, protect with their lives and that is their sacred emblem:

Longhouse emblem

An Eagle alights in the uppermost branches of the Tree of Peace, reminding everyone of the sacred intention of the Creator Spirit, while all the Clan Guardians surround it.

Well, E’eren Karakoruk, the “Black caller” sits on my Pine Tree,outside and here we have the Hierophant of the Wild Unknown. Not only is he in charge of the proper conduct during ordinary daily life, he protects the hearth Fire and also tells/ teaches the legends. He also is the one who knows almost everything that happens in the Middle World and is very good at finding lost things and has “the goods” on anyone that broke a taboo and so drew an illness to him/ herself or loved ones….

To the shaman he is an indispensable informant.

Karakoruk and the Horses

But back to the Lovers – here depicted by 2 Canada Geese. Their Creator – given duty is, to remind us, to never loose our way home, not on the roads of daily life, nor on the roads of Spirit = keeping us from getting lost – in more than one way.

 The next card is all about movement, speed, action and confidence:

The Chariot with the galloping Horse: I see the personification of “Windhorse Energy” Life Energy or Höümoorhüh, as we would call it.

And when I draw the 4 of Cups I can well see, what it looks like, when Windhorse Energy is lacking. When I look at this Horse, I am also reminded of a gray Horse. In Buriatia, Tuva and Mongolia gray Horses are the preferred ones for a ritual sacrifice….. 😦

Well, I could go on and on here; from card to card…..

…Mother Earth the Turtle appears  as the Hermit. Hermit

The 7 of Swords – the Fox, Ee’ren Dilgi the spy…. sooooo reminds me of Ada, my father…..Dilgi

Read world lore about Fox here:




I will now give a quick look at the Court cards, who present themselves as Animal families:

The Pentacle courts are shown as Deer.

I just recently wrote about Deer – here:

the Deer Family

The Cups are all Swans – and for a person from Siberia all the lore and legends of the Swan Maidens, Daughters of Umai Ee’ne flood into my mind…

The Swan Court

The Wand Court is represented by Snakes, bringing us the Power of the imagination and a person’s creativity to transform adversity and grow out of limitations as well as the venom, that may be a part of the cure.

The Snake court

Last is the suit of Swords,who’s Courts feature 4 different Owls. Combining wisdom and vision into other realms with needle sharp talons for executing change, they are a personal favourite of mine.

Read here, why:

Owls for my Heart


Oh yes, in case you wondered; I painted the cards 🙂

Wings of Spirit

July is always a very hectic month for us. The Markets and craft shows are busy with eager customers looking for our handmade jewelry, and many of my patients and clients are “up at the cottage” for the holidays and want to see me , discuss problems or learn a little more about the Medicine ways.

For the last few days it was a mad rush at our house, to get “everything ready for the Muskoka Arts and Crafts annual Summer Show, that will take place from Friday to Sunday in Anny Williams Park here in Bracebridge.

Apart from numerous bracelets, pendants and earrings I also managed to work on 3 large smudging fans.

One is a large Heron wing fan, the other 2 are Ruffed Grouse, a wing feather fan and a tail feather fan.

It usually takes about 5 to 7 hours of work for each of them to get “dressed”

OK, first of all you have to expertly prepare them and let them dry properly – for anywhere between 3 and 5 month. ( You also could send a wing of to a taxidermist and have it done in about 5-10 days for upwards of $ 100.00, but I do not have that kind of money to spare…)


Here they are:

Heron Wing Fan for smudging

This wing comes from a beautiful Heron who met a tragic end on Hwy 11; flying into an oncoming truck. I carefully and lovingly took the wings and feathers, preserved them in order to give this majestic bird a new life and transform its wing into a ritual tool infused with love and respect.

Gichi Mooshka, the Heron -stands for order and patience, the pragmatist, leader of the Medicine Circle
For Celtic People Liilh the Heron laid the first ever egg = the egg of creation. She is the guardian of life and incarnation as well as for secret knowledge of longevity. A so called “Crane bag – a druidic medicine pouch was made of the feathered skin of a Heron or a Crane.
Deer leather = Wa-washkesh-shi symbolizes grace, swiftness and gentleness It lives in the dawn of morning. – Red = East, life force, black= West bridge across the void of fear
Hand carved bone Turtle with beads = Mother Earth
Wood, pottery and fashion seed beads,
Turquoise = healing gem of the Apache and Navaho People =prevention of injuries and harm
Fox Fur – recycled – Wagish, the Fox is smart, silent and a good provider and always has a smile on his face. He sees everything and chooses, when to be seen

Petroglyph drawings:
Spiral of Life= continuation of the life cycle


Spruce grouse = drumming, chanting, ceremony
Raven = mystery, lore, legend,ritual teachings
Pheasant = Pride in your own heritage
Heron – see above
Hawk = east, discernment, independence
Turkey = giving thanks for the abundance provided by Mother Earth
Hairy Woodpecker = little brother of the Thunderbird, dexterity, magic
Blue Jay = Messenger of the Forest People
Parrot = blue – truth


Ruffed Grouse Wing Feather Fan: 

There she was! In the middle of the road. and there was NOTHING I could do.
Other than gently pick her up and carry her home. Her Spirit had long since left…
but left behind were her beautiful tail feathers and one perfectly intact wing. I decided, to preserve these pieces and bring honor and meaning to her life and her species. For Month I hmmmed and haaawed as to how best to mount the wing – then there was this bit of Fox fur and the idea was born….

Spruce Grouse Wing: Grouse stands for drumming, dancing, Spring ceremonies
Deer leather = Wa-washkesh-shi symbolizes grace, swiftness and gentleness It lives in the dawn of morning. – Red = East, life force,
Hand carved bone face of Kikeebik, the Hawk with beads
Wood, pottery and fashion seed beads,
Turquoise = healing gem of the Apache and Navaho People =prevention of injuries and harm
Fox Fur – recycled – Wagish, the Fox is smart, silent and a good provider and always has a smile on his face. He sees everything and chooses, when to be seen

Petroglyph drawings:
Midewiwin medicine lodge mnemonics
Spiral of Life= continuation of the life cycle
Lattice grit = trance and visions
Turtle – Mother Earth, long life, patience


Spruce grouse = drumming, chanting, ceremony
Raven = mystery, lore, legend,ritual teachings
Pheasant = Pride in your own heritage
Heron = Gichi Mooshka, stands for order and patience, the pragmatist, leader of the
Medicine Circle
Hawk = East, discernment, independence from a cooper’s hawk I found a few days later
– on the same road…  😦
Turkey = giving thanks for the abundance provided by Mother Earth
Hairy Woodpecker = little brother of the Thunderbird, dexterity, magic
Blue Jay = Messenger of the Forest People
Great Gray Owl = Wisdom of Night, dreams and visions – guide to the shaman who heals and knows how to traverse into the land of the dead to call back a lost Soul


Ruffed Grouse Tail Feather Fan:

Since this is  the tail of the same Bird, I dressed it with much the same attributes and accompanying feathers.

It however has a different Hawk design for a Center piece.

Ammah,Terrace, Sun?

Ammah,Terrace, Sun?


OK, I better start from the beginning:

they phoned from Toronto, if they could come up and see me to”fix a problem”

I can not fix problems, but I could maybe find out, why the problem is there…..

They are a young couple, he Korean, she originally from New Zealand married since 7 years, no baby – in spite of 2 expensive rounds of IVF. 

N – I will call her Nina, although this is not her real name – was pregnant but at 5 1/2 month had lost the baby in the spring 2 years ago and since then “just was not quite right”

She was on antidepressants but would need to get of them to start another round of IVF.

We talk about all the things that loosing a baby can do to your soul….. they know, they went to several doctors……

He, – I will call him Harry, now wants to know, if the Ancestors are angry with them; all his brothers and sisters have kids……

He is a carrier man – not used to not get his way…..

He had given offerings, flowers, prayers, also money for a kinder garden back in Korea…… A Mundang had told him, all was well, but – why this problem?

I feel sorry for Nina. She looks sad and exhausted and a little embarrassed. She would do anything, not to be the problem anymore….

I take them upstairs, put Nina onto the Bear fur, fiddle with my broken old stereo, until it agrees to play my old drumming tape, then pick up my drum and call my Spirits. The whole gang arrives quickly and settles around Nina, who looks, as if she had gone to sleep. Harry sits in the rocking chair with Fretty at his feet….

So he is not the problem …. Good to know…..

I drum and then sit on my Reindeer fur and let the trance wash me away. Lira flies ahead through a dark snowy landscape to a bright hole in the sky ahead. I hurry to follow her.  Finally we get there.  It had gotten mighty big and it smells like flowers and honey.

Bursting out into the light, Lira changes into a Parrot with bright red and blue plumage.

I find myself on a large sunny terrace, made from brown clinker, there are terracotta flowerpots everywhere and every imaginable flower of every color is growing in them. There is a colorful umbrella and deck chairs, a multitude of small Birds are singing. It is very warm.

Above the Bird song I make out a voice: ”Ammah! Ammah it says.

Ammah? I try to think, always a bad idea during trance the scene wavers and almost bursts.

The loving face of my friend Anne shimmers through the sun light.


Anne?? What….

Yölle, the sun is getting bigger and bigger, engulfing everything in searing yellow.

Yölle koko yah……

The sun chant! “ Yölle and Ammah” the Parrot caws…. and I see Anne’s face floating over the terrace, while Yölle herself is still getting bigger and bigger….. the brick wall behind me is getting hotter and hotter and I feel myself melting.


Anne floating on a sunny terrace?

I try to think, before I melt away, while all the Flowers and Birds on the terrace are unaffected by the heat.

Then the recognition burns through the heat into my brain

Ammah is what Ann’s grand children call her!

Ammah Terrace Sun!!!!


As the thought form enters my brain the Sun gets huuuuuuuge becomes a colorfully robed female Elder that carries a huge fan of hot wind –

then the scene dissolves  – just melts like yellow butter.

Which is as well, because I know, “I got it”

Back on my Reindeer fur I drum over Nina for a while, , then let the drum sound fade out and after both charges are awake I take them downstairs and out onto our upper deck, I make Nina sit in the warm afternoon Sun.

I make her put her face right into the Sun, tell her to soak it up.

Because THAT is, what she neeeeeeds!

That is “the problem”

I ask, when Nina came to Canada. 4 years ago, in October….

She works in a ………(emitted) company in an open concept office cubicle in Mississauga. It is a 9 to 5 job. Then home on the subway. They have a nice large condo in another highrise with all the amenities right there – yes, unfortunately facing away from the lake, but lake view is too expensive….

Well, away from the lake means facing North = NO Sun!

No Sun all day for a person from New Zealand with some Maori ancestry?

She came here in the fall, when it gets quite dark, the no Sun, and quite cooooold time.

Then she lost the baby and fell into depression and now can not climb out again… out of the dark hole.

Amaterasu, the Japanese Sun Goddess, so the legend goes, was in a dark cave and did not want to come out, until someone shone a bright light into her cave and she could feel joy again.

Amaterasu is an excellent picture for SAD = seasonal Affective Disorder.

Come out of the cave, Nina, sit in the sun, have your office moved – or at least get yourself a full spectrum lamp. One for the office and one for home. Move condos , not to lake view = South, but to West, where you get some Sun in the evening, when you get home.

It is sooooooo typical!

Harry has his blackberry (or is it a smart phone??) out, gooooogeling SAD and the prices of bright full spectrum light lamps.

He now knows what to do.

Nina feels ”as if something important inside her just moved”

She says, she can not belief it – yet,- but she can feel it.

I am pleased but direct our talk towards observing and ultimately controlling depressive thoughts and ruminations as well as negative self talk…..

They both are getting homework to improve in this area.

I smudge them and sing the Yölle chant for them again before they leave……

More on SAD:

Inspirations and Transformations

Inspirations and Transformations

Watching the Ravens overhead, becoming familiar with the individual Birds, that live on our land, starting to recognize them, does not only lead over into writing blog posts and poems about them, it also calls forth designs – to be realized if Sterling silver, brass, copper and gemstones or drawn onto leather and canvas. It feeds the curiosity of the artist of just how to portray the Spirit of Karakoruk – and how it would be different compared to Bran, the Gaelic Raven….

Put the 2 next to each other to have a conversation!

What would they say?

Would they talk about the Wolf packs that keep them in food?

Wolves and Ravens hunt together, did you know?

Ravens often see an Animal, injured or exhausted and their cawing alerts the Wolves…

 Also many a Raven flew over the Wolf lair, alerting them, fluttering low, then off in the direction the prospective prey is located…..

And the Wolves knew, to follow.

Ravens then will dine on the plentiful leftovers of Wolf kills.

But stealing a Wolf its food – well, THAT is quite a different matter.

Then a Raven just might be added to the Wolf menu……

The local wildlife sanctuary has several Wolves, that due to injuries or attempted domestication can not be released back into the wild. They live out their lives in the spacious wooded enclosures in the back of Aspen Valley, getting fed twice a week with meat from local farms.

Ravens are wherever Wolves are and so too at the sanctuary. The swoop down into the enclosures to snatch a morsel – but watch out, Wolves can jump and then teeth close around wings – and end of story….

Or maybe not……

T. from the sanctuary, saw what happened to the Raven and went back into the enclosure, luring Amarook into the other corner with another nice piece of meat.

But it was too late for the Raven…. but not too late for its feathers.

I got a phone call. And 2 hours later this Raven was on its way to a new life – with me – and with you.

First there is the Spirit Release ceremony, when he got smudged and I sing to his soul, to honor it and let it float up, into the Trees, into the realm of Kakagee, the – we would say E’eren – or Manitou of all the Ravens here….

  Usually it is an emotional farewell, but after the tears have dried, I am ready to take the wings, whole, spread them out to cure and then dry. The claws will receive the same treatment.

The head will go into an Ant pile for about a week or 10 days – securely fastened inside a live Mouse trap, so that Brother Fox and sister Coon will not steal my prize….

All the feathers will be taken, cleaned and preserved. Then the body of poor unlucky Raven will be deposited, where Brother Fox knows to look…..

A few months later I will go to work.

The wing will become a Raven fan, with a Deer antler handle, Wolf fur and a Sterling silver Wolf inserted – or should Peter rather cut out a Raven?

The finished item will be smudged and invocated on the next Full Moon.

In honor of Raven, in honor of Wolf and in honor of the person, who will one day own and use this powerful Medicine Tool.


As a practicing shaman I am quite often dealing with questions of faith and with crisis of faith.

Faith and Fear are bed-fellows, you know.

They sit in client’s and patient’s  necks during the day-

Like: “I have Faith, therefore such and such will happen – or will NOT happen…..”


they REEEEEEALY come out at night

to play, to taunt and to fight!

This is the first time I am confronted with them – not intrinsic – through the imagery of a Tarot card, this time Faith is out in the open, her own card- and like always……..



….. waiting…….

Minchiate Fiorentine:

Card XVIII Faith

A card, that normally is not part of the Mayor Arcana

A middle aged female crowned by a yellow Dragon wing-like halo sits on a bench. She wears a blue (truth – at least for me 🙂 ) dress and has a red shawl draped over her hips and falling to the floor. I personally see red as passion, looking forward. She holds a spear in the left hand, ready to defend, what she beliefs in and with her right hand holds upright a yellow – -???? is it a lire or a book ??? or some form of board

She looks as if she is waiting – for something to happen – to her or for her. That IS the trouble with Faith:

In my shamanic practice I see it all the time. Passivity, passive expectancy towards deity. Especially from people raised in the christian religion. I pray and you do for me…..

OK, Faith is still better than fantasy

Fantasy involves a concept or belief people cling to in order to avoid reality

Faith however involves a concept or belief people cling to in order to face their reality.

Faith however relies on a power from the outside coming to the aid of the person. And then that implies dependency and an everlasting silent fear or uncertainly that that person, Being or deity will come through for them. And when thy waited long enough, or when they waited too long, this fear starts to eat them up from the inside. That is usually, when my phone rings and they are at the other end, looking for

A) me it intercede on their behalf, pray for them to “their” or another external entity, to please bring about what is needed.


B) try to find out “what they did”, where they digressed, committed a taboo, that made their external deity angry and unwilling to help. (Why is god punishing me with cancer?)

Then before me stretches the loooooooong road to mentor them towards the realization, that Spirit(deity) is NOT external, but is to be found within.

Within everyone and everything everywhere all the time.

And that this realization implies action:

The hands of the Goddess/ Creator…. …..are attached to your own wrists!

Do you have faith in yourself?

There are a thousand nasty things that shatter people’s faith.

A young lad, good student, at the beginning of his life – coming down with ALL….

A mother of 34 with 3 little ones dying of breast cancer…..

A soldier killed in the last days of the mission in Afghanistan…..

You all know many more of these scenarios.

Then people end up in a crisis of faith.

Then they need help.

Then I – with what I know and what I do can give them “a bigger boat” that will float them through the crisis.

Is this lady on this card waiting for bigger boat?

Are you?