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!


Blessings for your holidays!


My Shaman’s Mirror

Have I told you about my Toli yet?
> goes off checks all the posts here….<
No, I have not, then it is a good topic for today and it is important in order for you to hone your inner feeling/ knowing as to what I am going to tell next about mirrors in Nepal
My Toli:
A Toli is a Shaman’s mirror. Different people have different names for them.
My father (Ada) had one. It was laaaaarge and heavy bronze, simple with a rough hole drilled through the middle, where, with the help of a pin and ring he attached a leather rope, so he could wear it over his chest. It had “engraved “– no rather roughly scratched into it several symbols pertaining to his Miahanits – helping Spirits – and notches / marks for certain important events in his live. It also had a nasty, wharpy ding/notch in it, and as a small child I always imagined that that was the notch for the man he killed during the war….. He never talked about it……. contrary to many other things –
This one was “tabu”

My sister also had one – but it is a sweet delicate affair, round brass with a real mirror on one side and a silk ribbon string….. I now safe-keep that one…..
But, years ago there came a time, when I wanted my own Toli.
Sooooo get one from someone???????
These things are available – on etsy and other web sites….. but if it is a commercially made thing – it would not have any Power, right?….
And if it was some oooold mirror – like the one for sale from Tibet by a Santa Fee dealer right now( for $ 1400 so I could not afford it …..) …and -?? What kind of “Energy” would be hanging on that????
Do I want that “residue”
So then, make my own!
And I did :

Toli back 1

handcrafted Toli

Red Brass, with symbols for my Miahanits in Sterling Silver on one side. Peter did the soldering. He is a wizard when it comes to applying fine detail cut from thin Sterling silver sheet or wire. A clear polished front side, with just a rim of hammered emblems, so I can “see” with it.
A nice silk scarf, a few bells and an Owl feather and it was time to invocate it.

Toli with Spirit
Over the years it has become the important shamanic tool I hod it would be.
It directly connects me to my Ancestors and when I lay it over the heart region of a client is – like a “Soul stethoscope” through which I can perceive what is amiss….
So, naturally, I took it to Nepal, along with our drum, my Rattle and my Moy = mouth organ.

If you feel like reading a little more about shaman’s mirrors, here are a few sites:

Another Medicine Pouch

Medicine Pouch

in honor of

Dhiivi, the Mink


Yölle, the Midwinter Sun

Pouch for Yölle, the Sun

It was  back in late fall, when I started to work on this pouch. I had found the fur – in the form of a rather bedraggled looking Mink jacket – in our local charity shop. At the time I was reading a book about Siberian legends and the one about the Mink and Yölle, the Sun came to mind.
My Ada had known and told that one to me when I was little. But in his version of the legend it was not the Mink but the noble Zobel -Sable, that provided Yölle with his pelt, so she could go outside and put an end to a gruelling Winter storm…. 🙂
This gave me the idea, to create 2 pouches – one featuring the Sable and one the Mink…  The first one of them is this one.  While the Sable is a Spirit of Siberia only the Mink is an inhabitant of all circumpolar forests and here in Ontario he is known as Sha qua sho, the mediator between the Water and the Land Spirits.Further west and especially among the West Coast People Mink is known as somewhat of a trickster.


Materials used:
Mink fur – recycled
Bone carving of Yölle, the Sun (bleached bone from Moose)
hand crafted bone beads
split skin Deer hide bleached white

Sea Gull  – messenger of the Water Spirits
White Swan – Woman Power
                   -good fortune is always bestowed by the Swan Maidens of Siberia, the Daughters of
                  Umai,the Earth Goddess. The Swan Maidens live in the Pleiades….
Snow Goose – to find your way back home after a long Winter
Snowy Owl – Guide to the Kham = Shaman
Snow Pheasant – pride in your own heritage
Great Horned 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
Hawk – East, discernment, overview


Siberian Spirits in our Art

Here, upon request, are a few pictures of Siberian petroglyphs and pictographs Bearpaw Jewellery  recreates:

Owl petroglyph from Tom River

with dancing shaman glyph from upper Amur River petroglyph

Sterling Silver, Brass and copper

$ 250.00 Can.

Reindeer talking  in my ear

Sterling silver and copper$ 110.00 can

This is my Great Grandmother Ulali 🙂 and she is not for sale!

But this simpler version is 🙂

Umai Ee’ne our Mother

Wall hanging on wood – Birch, Pine or Cedar on choice…..

price depending on size and what we are supposed to put onto her legs and body…..

= your choice

And this one is Sterling silver and turquoise, which is sacred to us

$ 130.00

And more Umai Eene for good measure – this one is copper only

$ 60.00

Siberian Tiger petroglyph from the Amur region

And the Snow Leopard from a stone relief in Tuva

Last for today is the Wolf from Eshkiolmes Mountain range, Koksu River, Kazakhstan

Another Day I will put up a fewpieces with shamans and petroglyphs and geoglyphs from North America and Europe….

But now I have to scoot and get my things for the Teaching Tent for the event on Thursday together 😉

Until then

Check for other treasures



Spirit of Snow

Spirit Of Snow

E’eren Omsür  is THE  Irvis  Spirit for all the Khams of our lineage and also many other families that have, or still are bringing forth the Khams = shamans in Tuva, Kazahkstan and other countries of the high Sayan and Altai mountains.

He is keeping all the Medicine People on their toes, testing them and – also teaching them.

In my trance journeys I met Him in the most surprising and most unusual circumstances and on more than one occasion had to prove myself and my worthiness to Him.

His physical representation is the Snow Leopard, who only lives in the highest mountain ranges.

It is the stories of the Old Ones that tell of Khams going up into these most remote places, bringing an offering to Him – most often a living Goat or Sheep or Reindeer calf and sitting there- waiting for him to appear. To be a Kham of the very highest rank, you have to feed Him and then snatch a whisker from his face, while he feeds – without him feeding on you….

Try that!!

But what iffff he does not come?

You can not leave!!!

Once there, you meet him or you die trying.

No use going back home and telling big tales – or writing big posts in the internet.

If it is not true- He will “get you”.

To die trying however, is honourable and many an old shaman has “gone to see Him” and everyone knew full well, he or she would go “meet the Ancestors” high up in the mountains.

Well, I am not quite ready for that – yet. 🙂

My Sister’s Tail:

My sister Mausi was Ada’s daughter from his first marriage – to a Jewish lady.

Mausi always kept quiet about her heritage and just who her parents were. That is understandable – she was born in 1926 and being Jewish AND Siberian indigenous could easily get you killed during WWII. After the war Mausi lived in the German harbour town of Hamburg, passing as a white “Hanseat”and dealing in diamonds and antique jewellery, which she bought and sold on auctions on behalf of wealthy clients. Her customers would not ever have trusted her or bought from a Jewess or other none Arian person…..

When I grew up and openly professed what I was, Mausi wanted NOTHING to do with me. Any association with me could easily blow her whole made up life story into thin air… ( Not that I would have done that to her, but…. 😦 )

But privately, and in secrecy Mausy also could not quite escape the powerful pull of the E’erens and Ancestor Spirits. When they called her home in 2009 I found many bits and pieces of shamanic practice in her home: Items of everyday living in Siberia like paintings, sculptures, a balalaika and so on, but also a brassier and “Artish”= smudging herbs, several Owl figurines and Owl mementos and last but very remarkable, several Leopard figurines and pictures of her in the ~ 1960ties wearing a Leopard coat. She was then very much drawn to Leopards because of the oh so elusive E’eren Omsür!

At some point 30 years later she sold her coat.  But she kept the belt, made up of 2 Leopard’s tails sown together.

She not just kept it somewhere where you would keep a loooong forgotten belt, no, she kept it in her safety deposit box in the bank along with the last of her very valuable antique diamond jewellery! Where she KNEW only I could find it – after her passing…..

When I was home in Canada I did a trance journey

to find E’eren Omsür and show Him the tails.

He was VERY pleased.

Since then He has “come in” quite often – to lowly little me!!!!?? accompanies me on journeys of a personal nature  and even at times on behalf of my students.

My Sister’s Tail:


Healing Earth Tarot:


Woman of Wands:


My Sister’s Tail:

A beautiful middle aged woman with a mane of red hair stands confidently in a circle of red and purple flames emerging

from a volcano behind her. She wears a rather sexy outfit and holds a spear. Next to her stands a Leopard. A Lion and a Tiger watch from above, while a band of gray smoke shows dancing and jumping Deer, reminiscent of the Scythian Deer      Spirits found in the Kurgans of Kostromskaya.

 In the light of the late morning sun plays with the gray, beige brown and dark dots of this half     circle, bringing it alive and –

instantaneously I have to think of my sister and her Leopard’s tail, now hanging close to her picture on our family Altar.

We are strong women! We have fire!

I will put this picture next to Mausi’s on the Altar.

. and sing a little chant for E’eren Omsür……

Owls in my Soul

The Owl is my Miahanit, what some people here would call “nagual Medicine Guide” and very sacred to me.

It came through the family through my heritage. Owl was the Guide of my Siberian great grandmother, and my grandmother on my father’s side of the family; (Siberian First Nation) But also my Gypsy grandmother had an Owl as a Guardian and for a while had a tame Screech Owl living in her bender and in later years there was another one, Kautze, living in the hole of the Apple Tree of her small garden plot.

The Owl is the Power that aids and guides me when I work with sick people, to find what is wrong, to find and “see” cancer cells and to work with terminally ill people.

I wear Owl feathers in my braids and also always have some on my ritual drums and regalia.

Native people fear the Owl as a messenger that can fly into death and come back from there, but I can only heal when Owl takes me straight there and makes me see what is wrong. …. And sometimes Owl will just show that the person will “walk the wind” soon and all I can do is help them and the family to find peace, closure and loose the fear.

In trance journeys I work with 3 Owls. Each has a name.

There is my Heart Owl, the one Umai E’ne gave me as a life-long guide and companion. She is small and fluttered right into the center of my heart to roost there. She has a quite peculiar name. When I asked Umai E’ene, why, She said, “So you KNOW”

And that is right, Ifffffffff that was at all some sort of wishful thinking or “made up”  I = my ego would NEVER have given her that name! 🙂

Besides, I was quite young….

Then there is a large Snowy Owl, who only swoops down when I am working with sick clients. She is wise, but aloof and remote.

I am FILLLLLLED with reverence and respect and deference for her in my ordinary life, but in trance she is one of “the gang” often its leader = guides the journey. (I may talk about “the gang” = my group of quite diverse Spirit Animals another day.)

Lately, there is yet another Owl, showing up more and more regularly: A Barn Owl.

Most often when my client is of Celtic heritage – or “Western European descend” This one guides me through issues of culture and realms filled with Neolithic Stone Circles and Celtic mythic figureheads, that until recently were utterly foreign territory to me.

See, lately I have been working with client after client who have issues of needing to move away from an adopted Native American / new age – eclecticism and re-connect with their OWN ancestral culture in order to get healthy again or resolve longstanding conflicts.

There this Owl, I will here call her White Feather, is immensely helpful, blurping out the ancestral lineage of said client and which Ancestral Guardians feel neglected in such a way, that they no longer support his/ her Life Energy and the client took sick, often with life threatening diseases.

White Feather however works under the eye and wing of my large Snowy and it is amazing to see, how fast clients heal, get better, fall into remission, when they follow the Wisdom related by these 2 Guides.

In Siberia, traditionally we wear Owl feathers on our headdresses and our regalia. Owl and Raven, and sometimes Magpie and the Shaman-Bird, the Kukuk – a Robin sized Bird, named after his call,

Traditionally we would not wear Eagle feathers. Eagles were for hunting by day, for war and also the Eagle Spirit was the instructor for the very first Kham = shaman, wearing his feathers was inappropriate. Nowadays, with all the “shaman- tourism” to Tuva and Westerners bringing Native American drums and cultural values to our people, many have taken to wearing Eagle feathers – for the tourists. And because they are easier to get and you can sell them for good money. See, we have tame Eagles, Gyrfalcons too, we bread them, to hunt and they molt 2x a year….. so you get lots of feathers…..

Here, when I wear owl feathers, people think, either I am a crazzzzzy hippie, left over from an era gone by, or I am some type of Native American. The Native Americans however are quite wary of Owls and Owl feathers and often comment on, or ask, why I would wear Owl feathers.

Then that becomes a teaching opportunity and I tell them about my culture and our traditions. This is a tricky subject, because it often is the first time that they ever hear of Siberian culture and spirituality and how VERY similar our lore, legends and worldview is.

From their days in school they always heard of the land-bridge, and that they supposedly have come from Siberia…….

That whole issue however is a good subject for another day….

Often simply out of respect for their culture I do not wear my Owl feathers, when officiating at Pow Wows or attend our Longhouse gatherings.

Talking about Owls, the one in the right corner of this blog is one, that wintered on our property one year.

Then we have a lovely little Northern Saw Whet Owl that lives in the Spruce forest East of our house and comes at night to hunt Mice and Voles underneath our Bird feeders.

She has several refrigerators among the Trees: The upper branches of young Spruce Trees, where the twigs are close enough together to lay a dead Mouse across and let it freeze – for tough times.

Yes, sometimes it is a bit macabre to snowshoe through our bush…

Next there is Kukuku Uuh, our Barred Owl, who nests on the other side of the creek in a large Pine Tree.

We have a long relationship. I can call her in – when/ if she is hungry she will come and I will toss her a live mouse, caught in one of our life traps. She will either catch it in mid- air or let it run across the snow and grab it from there. I only do that murderous act, if snow conditions are bad for Owls, when the snow is frozen hard and impenetrable and makes it difficult for Owls to hunt.

That on the other side is also the time, when “Kuukie” as we call her, shows up and claims the territory beneath the feeders.

Hard times then for the little Saw Whet……

On winter with a lot of snow, “Kuukie” literally begged, by sitting on the railing of the upper deck and making “glucksing and coooing” sounds and moving neck and upper body up and down in rapid motion.

Then I better have a mouse!

When Spring comes Owls become quite vocal and we hear their love calls across the marsh and soon after all becomes very secretive and quiet. The eggs are in the nest….



Peter advised me, to do some shameless advertising and ad a few pieces of how we then translate toe presence of the owl Guardians into tangible reality:

08 pin owl on tree

Looking for another Mouse

pin owl w shaman etch SCB (2)

Shaman's Owl Medicine PouchSnowshoe hare fur, Owl feathers, bone

Shaman’s Owl Medicine Pouch, Snowshoe Hare fur, Owl feathers, bone
26 cm X 18 cm

Hello world!

My name is Mi-Shell!

I am probably best known as a shaman / healer in Muskoka and Southern Ontario.

I am a Registered Nurse and a Jungian Therapist by training, but, first and foremost, I am following in the footsteps of my Siberian ancestors, who were Tofalar people, a small tribe in what is today Tuva in Siberia. My great grandmother was the the healer-shaman of our people. My grandma Aniani and  my father (Ada) followed a shamanistic worldview and in it I was raised and followed it ever since.

From my mother’s side I am Manoush Gypsy.

My maternal grandmother, Elizza, was a ‘shuvihana’ = healer for Animals and people and she also read the crystal ball and Tarot from about 1896 to 1945.

She had among other cards, an original Soprafino deck

But basically I am a mutt – like most of us!

I read and use Tarot in my work with my clients and as a way of honoring my Manoush side and use daily card draws for personal reflections and meditation.

I have practiced, taught and used shamanism and shamanic healing pathways with my patients, clients, in schools, Pow Wows and the health care  system.
I lead circles and gatherings that focus on teaching, healing, ritual, drums and drumming, human growth and well-being.

My personal interests are – guess what – shamanism, cards, drums and drumming, nature, wildlife, and – most of all – people. 🙂


This is the first blog I ever set up – or tried to….

Here I want to post about some of my work as a shamanic healer, my visions, my poems, my shamanic artwork but first and foremost this site will be about my explorations of the world of Tarot and how shamanism and Tarot cross-pollinate each other. I hope you will enjoy this crazzzzzy ride! 🙂