Mazinaw Manitous!



The vision/teaching

as received:



“Be still – and listen!


This is the way…

….the way it was always done

… the people:

Mashkikiwe’ agaaming”  ~Lake Medicine

Be still The Spirits are with you

“The waters open

and the Manitous come


from the cracks”





Some see them…..

…….others do not.

They just see the reflections

in the water……”




“As above, so below…..


…..Until it is not…..”


“Ojika’ago biishin…..

Spirits dance out of the cracks

….not in the rock walls

….but in the waters!”


“And so the shaman becomes a Manitou”

“Wearing the Boat.”


“More than ordinary knowledge”

“It comes from the Teachers in the Spirit Cave”

“Go there!”


Spirit Cave

“The canoe

flies through the Sky world!”

DSCN4848 - Copy


“The Shaman speak to Thunderbirds!”

“Then – becomes the Thunderbird…..

Thunderbird reflection

and paints it in wunamin……”

“Mu zi nu hi gun…”

“Find the boat



of the Moose!”



In Spirit it’s all the same….”



Loooook into the Flame!

Flame open eye meditation/ trance:

Back in our ritual room, were instructed to sit still in front of our small flame, fed by sesame oil,

– to look into the flame.

– Un-blinking

– Focus!

The very air surrounding us and moving the flame is the air our Ancestors were breathing. There is no other.

– Focus!

– NO blinking,

– Even when tears start to flow……

I have no idea, if tears started to flow.

At some point the flickering light became the central fire in the large Clan Tzartan of my Ancestors……

.On the wide open Reindeer pastures of North Western Tuva……

stood at the fire.

I stood on my braids, which were sooooo long, they reached the floor.

Through them I was rooted to the land of my Ancestors.

One of the female Elders, Moon Child’s Auntie, was drumming right behind me.

There was a pot of Reindeer stew hanging on the wooden tripod over the flames. I was offered a plate and Es’ lahi fed me with a horn spoon…..

Tears of joy and happiness flowed down my cheeks!

I was HOME!

I was SOOOOO happy!

Then at the same time there was movement in the ritual room – and singing drifting in and out of the vision… Bhola and the group….

In and out…

I was at 2 places at the same time……


Grandmother Chant

Ya no maa…..

My Inde’ teacher taught me the Ya no maa chant waaaaay back, when I was 21.

-Actually I should rather write it like this:

Ya’no ma’a’

…because of the way “a” is vocalized in Inde’….

He taught me this chant and several others and then, when I was keyed into the melody, the inner voice of it, (what we in the West would call “entrained”, then he had me sing/chant my own words to the melody.

Anything that came to my mind, anything I needed, anything I was “calling out for” or “calling in”

So since then, that is what I do: I chant the Ya no maa

and then…….

. This one is for my Grandmother and my Great Grandmother….

. the women of my lineage:

It’s the right time of year for a chant like this.

When the trance comes, so does Grandmother Ulaly

… and we talk….

2 New Chants, that I “found”

I never know, where the chants come from.

They are “out there”, in the Medicine Lines called the “collective unconscious” by CG Jung

I drum…..

…..the trance comes……

….. flirrrrry lines, sparkling in the bluish blackness…..

…..then somehow the drum rhythm changes….

….. a melody instead of a steady beat……

….. and then words drift in……

….. after a while I just sing along…..

…..Then, after a while it is time, to come back.


Will I remember the chant, the melody, the words…

It is easier, when that is in English….

But sometimes it is not……

What language is it?

Questions the analytical mind will ask –

– and I may or may not have the answer…..





Artwork  by Frank Howell

and Khambra Scarre

How I got my very first Guardian:

I have told you about Fretty, right?!!
Fretty is a Ferret, not a domestic one, but a Siberian one. Fretty has 6 siblings, whom I just remember from when I was small. (They were my Spirit friends – or imaginary friends as we would say here today 🙂 )

I had an imaginary leash and was leading them along wherever I went. My parents knew well about it and my dad showed me pictures in a book about all kinds of Animals, until finally I recognized Fretty, but he still was a little different then the domesticated Ferrets and it took a book about Siberian Wildlife, borrowed from a friend of my dad’s, to find out who Fretty and his siblings were.
My mother was not so pleased, in spite of Ferrets having a quite honorable standing within Gypsy culture and many Roma were known and hired as Ferreters. (hunting Rabbits with Ferrets so the rabbits do not destroy vegetable crops)
Today Fretty is one of my Spirit Helpers, a quite opinionated one that is.
He is GREAT at finding out information.



Somewhere in the archives my teaching notes for my students  there is the story about my first NDE, how I almost died of Diphtheria and in the grip of deadly fever Umai-Ee’ne appeared and did not take me back with her but promised me to send someone who would watch over me and then shortly after that I then received my first real E’eren/ Clan Guardian from Her…..

=Ha! 🙂 I found it:


When I was 2 1/2 my mother and I went on a small child’s scooter down the steep street…

A rock…. and crash!!!!

Mother fell on top of me and I was unconscious for a loooong time.

I “dreamed” that there was a strange animal laying on my chest it smelled strange too, slim and small with a masked face and sharp little claws..
I got better … 3 months later I got diphtheria and was VERY close to death.
There was a VERY BEAUTIFUL young strange woman that came out of a glazing flimmering light! She wore white leather and red ribbons around the sleeves of that dress. She had loooong black braids and on a leash beside her feet there were 7 of those critters!!!!
She said: I can not take you back right now, I already have 7! You are FROM me but these are not for you!

In a …?? time I will send you your own animal from your Clan and HE !! will protect you!
She dissolved into the flirring light and I woke up and told my mother that I had seen an Angel with black braids and 7 …????!!!!! and what she had said!

My mom was overjoyed, that I was all better and recovering now. Being Gypsy and so not too unfamiliar with things, to her Animal Guardians like this were well known, although she had hoped, I would not “wake up to the Blood” sooo soon and so did not follow up on the matter.

But my father took me Very serious and made me repeat and later draw the things I saw, He and I loooooked through Animal books and we found ….
Black footed Ferrets = Frettchen my mother noted as being important Guardians for Gypsy people!


one afternoon about a year later all of a sudden – there was the flirring light again and the Lady appeared for less then a split second and then a LAAAArge slim, scrawny and what today I would describe as mangy looking Wolf jumped into / above me. —- Suspended in mid air he was, as the vision made my body shake (peed my …) and I got a VERY hot feeling up my spine and was shaking like a leave on a tree. I smelled him, his fur kind odd wet – ( nooo not like my pants!!)
and … then he was inside me…… and is there as my Guardian ever since!

As I learned from my father, Wolf is our Siberian Clan Animal.

My father is / was Siberian T. (tribal name omitted for privacy reasons) Wolf Clan and found it very auspicious, that our Clan Guardian appeared to me like this. Our Clan is patrilineal and to him it meant, that I was“special” and that “Eeren Börü, the Wolf-Guardian has taken a personal interest in me, more so than is normally expected. He slaughtered a Sheep from our flock, painted the blood on my forehead and hands and we had a feast with Mutton stew.

I was quite a bit scarrrred about the Biiiiig Wolf inside me at first, but it turned out a Powerful protector. The best friend of my every day ego,,

My “tonal” guide, the one who keeps my body and my Self save and intact when I am in trance. The one that saved me in a Christian orphanage when I was beaten,tortured and later exorcised, because I did refuse communion’s…. (another looong sad story…..)

picture from google

For the benefit of my students I often call him Ari’

but that is only “close” to his name….

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:



How to define shamanism???
I am sure that there are a gazzzzudle of wise, learned professors out there that know absolutely EVERYTHING about that!!!
Only they themselves never had a vision or better said, went into full theta  trance – other than maybe aided by some drugs……..
Well No drugs for me!

All I need is my drum….
A shaman is a person that can go into trance at will, spontaneously and —

– OK, sometimes also goes into trance spontaneously when not called for…… been there, or …..????
What the person then “sees” perceives he, she uses for the good of the community.

Some “see” and talk to Spirits in human, animal or any form in between. There are no rules. Trance has no rules other than that it is universal and found in all cultures.
Usually shamans are not the ones to make rules anyway. They have a bone-crushing vision, that may inspire them to create a NEW ritual , something that revitalizes the community. These rituals may or may not become permanent fixtures after that.
A medicine Bundle may be created after such a vision.

And eventually the community may end up electing a bundle priest, that takes care of the rituals and tabooooos related to that bundle / commemorating the vision…. Now thous guys are the ones we have to looook towards when searching for the roots of dogma, taboo enforcement and rigid moral and behavior codes!! Because out of these THEY receive their power (with a small p!!! ) and their prestige….
OK they also embody the Traditions; good and bad……
The culture’s shamans however are meanwhile busssssssy with the next Powerful vision and the one after that…..
We have no time and room for rigidity; we are treading new ground, keeping the culture vibrant and alive, not a relict, fit for a museum. There you have the exact cutting edge between visionary shamanism and tutelary = learnabel/ apprentice based priesthood.

Shamans the world over were the first artist, drawing their visions onto rocks, trees, into the back of Mother Earth to bring them into tangible reality.
And that is what we still do.
In art, in dance, in chants, in rituals, given to us by Spirit.
And sometimes we write about just how that feels like on an international web site like this one to share with  😉

—> the community!!! = You all!

…….Iffff we are not sitting in endless Pow Wow board meetings -that is…..  😦



Shamanic Journey

Dear reader:

Before you tackle this sad story, please read first my post: Ice Age anyone.

Otherwise this here narrative will not make sense.

And a little warning:

This is a tough read….

Luckily you were not there…

But I “was”……

I decided to go on a trance journey to find out about Rhinos.

What we thought of them.

How our Ancestors regarded them, what Medicine they associated with them.

Shamanic Journey

I am in the journey cave. The fire is out. Only Nishia is there,grooming her feathers. One of the feathers, a medium sized flight feather comes loose and flutters in my direction. (Not a good sign. 😦 )

I pick it up, and the minute I touch it, the ground beneath me opens and I sink down.

I followed the sound of the drum deeeeeeep into the sandy ground beneath my feet.

Down and further down.

It smelled of time and – Earth. I am a little sad, that Nishia is not coming with me. But this is not a journey for a client where I need to find a cure for something….

Even Fretty had decided, that this journey into the distant past should only be undertaken by me.

I see light ahead of me, yellowish milky beige light; I move towards it. I find myself to be in a landscape of wide grasslands, tall grass, not the kind people have on their lawns, but hip high pale greenish yellow grass that waves in the wind like waves.

There is movement in that grass. Gray movement. 2 shapes, one humooooongouse and another one, small and light afoot. I recognized a Mother Rhino and her small calf. She is grazing, the little one still too small to graze, still nursing, is nuzzling its mother’s belly. What a peaceful beautiful sight!

I hunker down, covering myself in the tall grass, watching the 2 majestic animals.

Then, there is more movement! Calls and screams too! The mother Rhino lifts her head, ears flicking, tail raised she turns into the direction of the sound.


Humans are coming.

They are running!

Fast through the tall grass. Not the slightest attempt to hide their approach they yell and wave long spears! The Mother Rhino snorts and turns, as if to face these nuisances. A spear flies in her direction, falls short, gets stuck just next to her calf.


Danger she does not need. Snorting she turns and starts moving off, in my direction!

The screams and taunts of the hunters increase, She starts running, the calf by her side.

I have to get out of the way! She is whirrrrling up dust and bits of dirt and grasses and the ever present flies…..

I hear the loud stomping of her massive feet and am engulfed in a cloud of dust. The grunting snorts of the Mother Rhino roars closer, I can smell her, the wave of heat and dust and flying pebbles and bits of grass race by me, make me step back. Then just as the huge gray mass had passed I hear a thunderous crash and an otherworldly grunting roar woven out of pain, anger and frustration.

I am still vaguely aware that I am still holding Nishia’s feather in my hand….

As the dust settled I recognized what had happened:

A trap!


The hunters had dug out a deep pit and just barely covered it with thin branches and grasses. Now the giant gray mass was caught in it, stomping grunting trying to wiggle itself upright in the tight confined space. -tried to escape. Tried, but did not succeed. The animal woefully tried to rear up, front feet scratching to reach the rim of the pit, finding purchase but not enough to escape the trap. The sound was awful. The stench too. In her fear and stress she lost her water and dung. Farting and grunting mixed with the higher pitched screams of her calf. I had forgotten the little one. But the hunters had not. They allowed the calf to approach the pit, that held its mother and then, as it whimpering lowered its head, nose touching up-stretched nose the spear struck. Blood squirted everywhere. The calf whirled around, wanting to flee, the spear in its throat gurgling whines, gushing red blood. The screams were awful, the Mothers frantic grunts and the babies pitiful wails as it suffocated falling forward, impaling itself deeper into the the spear, its shaft now broken of. Another one stuck in the spine, the little one faltered, legs gave way, flailing in the air in last spasm of nerves.. …. the mother roared, fought the pit with all her might – to no avail, the little one now still, but soon the hunters arrived, struck it once more, the proceeded to break open its steaming body, flint knifes in fist cutting into hot flesh, disregarding the trapped mother feet away from the blood bath of butchery.

I felt my own heart screeeeeeeeeeeaming in horror and pain! But there was no sound – of mine, just the brawly laughter of the hunters as they worked on their kill and the roars from the tormented mother in the pit.

The vision changed and it was night. A small fire nearby. A youngster sitting by it whittling a spear tip in the dim light.

Grunting snorts from behind me. The pit. The mother! What were they doing? Letting her die there? Coming to kill her in the morning?

Again and again she reared up, as much as she could, pawing the rim of the pit.The youngster got up, checked, but returned to the fire, as if all was in order. Next day – or the one after. The light rose in the sky, the heat and the flies – arrived and – as the sun sank again so they disappeared. The Rhino in the pit stomped and snorted and grunted. Then grew silent for hours, just to start yet another senseless attack at the rim of its death trap. Day and day and day and day….. the sloooowly the strength of the animal waned, her attempts at escape grew weaker and weaker….. day after day after day. The rim of the pit was wearing down, but so was she, her left hind lake now broken and useless, she could not rear up anymore… day after day after day. Then – after 12 days it was over.

Her Spirit did, what her body could not:

Rise out of the death trap and flee the scene of the carnage.

The smell told it all. The youngster left to get his Elders. They dug open a sort of slope into the pit and widened it somewhat and proceeded to heave her onto her side and carefully cut her lifeless body, from the center down and out, taking meat out of the pit to be cut into slabs and hung over a long fire pit to dry in the smoke of wet grass. The bones were piled to the side and shortly thereafter transported of to camp. More and more people arrived, baskets on thumb-lines were filled with meat and carried of, others brought twigs and wet as well as dry grasses for the fire. The scene was abuzz with flies…

then the men emerged from the pit with a tremendous burden: The hide of the Rhino mother. In one continuous piece!unblemished by any lance or spear. That was, why they had not killed her, ended her suffering.

They wanted the hie whole.

For what? It was soooo huuuuge, it took 4 men to carry it ?

The scene shifted again.



Soooo cooooold!

Bowing wind whipped a nasty freezing rain-sleet mix into my face.

Up ahead near the furt across the river I saw a bump in the landscape and stumbled towards it.

A hut. Sturdy branches, saplings, woven together to erect a low dome, over which – the cured hide of the mother Rhino was stretched. And it was not the only one. It took 2 of these huge hides to cover the hut.

Voices inside.

The people.

My Ancestors

Your Ancestors.

A mother, holding a newborn to her breast…….


I am still holding the Owl feather.

I stick it between the rocks that weigh down Mother Rhino’s hide………

Ice Age anyone?

The Tarot of the Origins

will be my deck for this week. I am currently reading 2 books about Ice age art and life ways as well as what ethnologist are finding out about belief systems and spirituality at the dawn of civilization. culture and spirituality. The images of the Tarot of the Origins go very well with this theme and my thoughts about creating some jewelry out of the Mammoth tusk pieces we still have from a dig east of Dawson City in the Yukon.

Daily draw:

card 12 of the suite of emotions:

Animal of Soul


What a card to start my week.

The huuuuuuge head of a woolly Rhino dominates the center, just waaaay back in the upper part of the image a human hunter with shield and spear is visible.

It feels as if the Animal is stomping away from him, whirling up dust and dirt and whatever else is in its way…

What, if the beast decides to turn around and face its puny little opponent?

With this HORN !!!!!!is the hunter alone, or are his pals nearby? Can you / can I imagine going after some foe like this – in an attempt to get dinner?

Because eat them we did! In the middle Paleolithic =“30 000years ago, Rhinos made up about 16% of what our Ancestors ate. Later, in the Magdalenian, the time of the beautiful cave paintings, it was less than 1%.

Would we women have joined the hunt?

Me with 56-certainly not, I would be ancient oooold and probably back at camp, taking care of the kids, that for sure were kept out of nose- width of this Rhino.

Well, there is another card with a Rhino in this deck: Death

Here the sandy brown Rhino has speared a puny little human onto its huuuuuuge horn, lifting him into the blood red sky.

A powerful vision of how a warrior or hunter meets the Ancestor Spirits!

Since Rhinos were more and more rare in the landscape, what would our Ancestors have thought about them?

What shamanistic Powers would they have attributed to them?

What myth?

What stories of the hunt would have been told?

Who saw the last Rhino on the steppes of central Europe?

Were there any over here in North America?

Who will see the very last wild Rhino in modern day Africa?

Could we save it from extinction?

For today?

The stern warning is: Do not engage what you may not be able to escape from.

I hope, that does not pertain to the Tarot of the Origins

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