Hello and Happy May, Eclipse, Full Moon, GROWTH!
So, I’m wondering: Which set of verbs do you resonate with?
__Demolish, Destroy, Dismantle
__Allow, Permit, Watch.
I ask this question today, on May 10th, as we move closer to the powerful Full Moon in Scorpio on Monday, May 16th. I’m no astrologer but the “reports” say to hold on to your hats. And it’s not only a full moon but a lunar eclipse as well. We’re actually smack dab in the middle of a powerful eclipse cycle, having had a partial solar eclipse on April 30th. It’s during these times that truths are revealed, artifice slips away, illusions get shattered.
And thus, my verb groups for your contemplation. One set is obviously masculine and the other obviously feminine. There’s no “right” answer, just an invitation to scan your motivation, and think about what you align with. How are you showing up for life? How do you want your energy to be received in the world?
This morning, I was reminded of the 2nd group of verbs. As Molly and I took our morning walk down Mansion Road, I caught a glimpse of a large raptor flying overhead. The black wings of this creature flapped in the current of still morning air; I fast-walked to keep up with his (or her-) flight. Molly sensed my excitement and was happy to speed up to a trot. This bird was bigger than a raven so I knew it was either a juvenile eagle or a turkey vulture.
I lost sight of it for a minute, my view obscured slightly by a copse of trees. As we crested the hill, right before the dirt road becomes “hot top,” I spotted the black figure perched on the branch of an oak.
Molly and I slowed, trying not to scare him or her off. I was practically standing right under it and noticed the “bald spot” of the bird’s forehead: Vulture.
From a biological perspective, vultures are the clean-up crew for the environment. They can eat anything, digesting rotting flesh, trash, even motor oil! They have a non-discriminatory “taste”–being such, a lot of decay and disease is easily cleared away by vultures.
In shamanic terms, these traits can be metaphorically translated as the ultimate healing medicine: The Master of Transmutation, of taking death and making it “viable” nourishment. To carry the medicine of Vulture is to be not only a walker-between-the-worlds but a healer who does not discriminate (or take herself too seriously).
A man by the name of David Koziol gifted me a vulture feather once. It was June 2015 and Michael and I were on a 2nd honeymoon in the great South West. Our focus was to hit up all of the hot springs; I’d moved to Maine from Durango and wanted to show him that place as well. We’d also received a very generous wedding gift from one of his friends who lives in Santa Fe: a night at 10,000 Waves with a luxurious spa package included.
After leaving the Orient Land Trust (aka, Valley View Hot Springs) in southern Colorado, we decided to change our day trip to Taos into an overnight. I popped onto the Air B-N-B app as he drove our rented Ford Escort down into the pink and ochre colors of New Mexico. I found a place where the host, Julianne, was a “ceramicist” and thought that sounded fun. She pinged me back with a confirmation and we exchanged numbers and info. The last message before we arrived in Taos was an invitation to go see her boyfriend’s band, the Bones of Romeo.
“If I’m not here when you guys get here, I’ll be in town, at the plaza. Dave’s playing tonight. They’ll be at the gazebo–you can’t miss it!”
Michael, who is always up for a night of dancing, was game. He was sunburned from too much “clothing optional” options at Orient Land Trust; I decided if that wasn’t going to stop him, who am I to say no? On the way out of town, it started to pour. A good, old-fashioned South Western summer storm. Lightning lit up the sky, thunder cracked overhead. The Escort slowed to a crawl as the wipers slapped out of control at the torrential rain.
We finally made it downtown and walked into the first Tex-Mex joint we saw for food and a couple of beers. Once at the plaza, Julianne spotted us immediately. I asked her how she knew it was us and she said something about my Air B-n-B profile (but later joked that my Gringa-vibe stood out loudly). We talk-shouted over the music and, after a few pleasantries, turned to dancing.
The Bones of Romeo swept us up into a frenzy. Their playing was tight, and offered a balance of originals with covers of Tom Petty, Neil Young, the Doors, the Beatles. Dave was the drummer and bashed that drum set with passion and pride. The frontman was showy, in a White Snake kind of way and the two guitar players ripped. They clearly had fun playing together and the thunderstorm had not kept anyone at home–the place was packed!
That night, the four of us stood in Julianne’s kitchen and talked. Julianne made BLTs for everyone and we hydrated. We were all quite tired so the conversation was the type that was clipped and casual, mutterings really, peppered with bursts of laughter, jokes. It was also obvious that Julianne and David were crazy about each other, an other-worldly type of connection. Their love made Michael and I even more at ease. I slept like a drugged baby that night. It was by far the most comfortable, restful overnight of our entire trip (yes, even better than 10,000 Waves!)
The next day, after my coffee, I walked out onto the deck and further into the sagebrush with my rattle. I love desert sage, much more than the white sage of California. I’ve always felt a special affinity with Taos, NM; it started when I discovered that Taos was about three and a half hours from Durango, CO, where I was finally able to escape the violence of my first marriage. Putting myself back together often happened on little respites to Ojo Caliente (more hot springs!) and Taos. I’d rent an over-priced hotel room in a historic hotel on Main Street and spend the weekend walking around, eating, sleeping, reading. I’d go back to Durango more grounded, more myself–or the self I was slowly re-inventing.
So, with rattle in hand, I wanted to go sing my song “Morning Sun” to the mountains, the air of Taos and to the sun of course. It was so clear! The sun was so hot. The rays seemed to unlock a feeling of remembrance inside of me. Of those past going-through-a-divore days but also something much, much older…
When I walked back toward the house, I found Dave standing on the deck, smiling a big smile at me. This man had the best smile! It was the ‘best smile’ because he’d put his smile to good use–you could just tell. “I have something for you,” he said, and motioned for us to go inside.
He emerged from the bedroom with a feather. “This is Vulture. It’s powerful medicine and it belongs to you,” he said and handed it to me. “You’re a healer, inside and out.”
I was without words at the sentiment. To be gifted a feather is an act of respect, and of trust in the care-taking of feather medicine. Dave added he’d carried the feather for a long time; I was touched he wanted me to have it and I thanked him profusely.
I stayed in touch with this soulful couple, this artist and musician from Taos, my spirit home, for some time. I even did some distant healing work for them after Julianne told me that Dave had been diagnosed with small cell carcinoma of the lung. He fought it hard, was determined–like my Dad–to beat it. Sadly, he passed away on Sept 9th, 2020; he was 57 years old.
After having received Dave’s gift, I always think of him when I see a Vulture. I think about that pronouncement he made about me being a healer and sort of cringe–we’re taught not to use that word, healer. It carries too much weight, and power. I much prefer ‘healing practitioner’ or better yet, ‘energy worker.’
When I eye-balled that turkey vulture Molly and I tracked up Mansion Road, naturally I thought of Dave, and the medicine of vulture. As the black head stared back at me, I asked if there was a message? There was: Let the decay, decay. That’s the natural process. What is decaying means it is in a state of decline and must die.
We don’t always have to go through our lives with a sledgehammer, clearing out the debris with “gusto.” Sometimes, that which is in full decline will take care of itself. When you next see Vulture circling overhead, it might be a sign that something or someone is on their way out.
Let them go.
LOTS OF ANNOUNCEMENTS! *I’m so excited*
Featured Practitioners SARAH SOGGS & KATE BATHRAS
Are you ready for a “game-changer”? Are you feeling like the next best thing for your development as a conscious human is to connect with high frequency healing and “jump a track” on your own growth? Our world is full of healing modalities these days, thank goodness! We surely need them. There’s the clinical side–good old fashioned talk therapy. We’ve got polarity, reflexology, acupuncture. I was blown away by the first time I had cranial sacral therapy! Then there’s what I do–energy work, reiki, shamanic healing.
But you have not experienced anything until you find yourself in the very capable hands of Sarah Soggs DPT and Kate Bathras, Life Coach. After some checking in and intention setting, they had me lie down. The room was bright and calm, a few crystals surrounding the biomat I was lying on. Sarah and Kate sat about 2 feet on either side of me. They told me I would be put in an energetic bubble; I was extremely relaxed and yet stimulated at the same time. Their energy bubble was already working!
What happened next is hard to describe. And I’ll leave it at this analogy: My soul felt like it had met Creator. The clarity of WHY I AM HERE and all of the support I need to carry out my work was undeniable. Doubt was wiped out; confidence and joy were restored.
If you would like to know more about this special healing modality offered Sarah and Kate, you can email Kate at email@example.com
And! Coming IN JUNE….SAVE YOUR SPOT NOW!
Mayan Spirit Bath Ceremony & Retreat
Where the Natural World and the Ancient World Meet
Where: Avalon Acres, 167 Mansion Road, Hollis, Maine
Time & Date: Saturday, June 18th, 2022 from 10 AM- 5 PM
Cost: $195 per participant; $100 deposit needed by JUNE 10th to hold spot
Allow your WHOLE self to step into the elements of Water and Fire, to collide with the Spirits of Plant Medicine, to hold space with others on their path to healing and wholeness. As the ancient Mayans called on IxChel, the Goddess of fertility and plant medicine, shamanic practitioners Amy Chaney and Mary Katherine Spain invite you to join them in a day-long retreat of release, sacred witnessing, and spiritual alignment with the natural world and your holy temple: your BODY.
What is Mayan Spirit Bathing? Spiritual bathing has roots in many cultures. We cleanse with water every day without a thought. The practice of Mayan Spiritual Bathing deepens our connection to Water and Plant. Prayer and words of gratitude are offered as we ask the water and plants to help heal and purge what ails us, thus cleansing our emotions, our bodies, and our spirits. We call upon our teachers and the cultural deities of the Maya, honoring the primary deity IxChel.
All you have to do is show up with your whole self. Feel the love of the elements and plants as they do the work. What words do you want to radiate from your soul? Love? Passion? Kindness? Willingness to receive the fruits of life? What are your personal goals you want to achieve? Bring your dreams and step into the cleansing power of water ritual amplified by the loving essence of flowers and plant medicine.
Is this experience right for me at this time? This specially-designed ceremony is for you if 1)you are experiencing an awakening of spirit, inner guidance, or initiation, 2)you are reinventing yourself, your life or your devotional practice, 3)you desire to “let go” and “let Gaia” upgrade your spiritual circuit board, 4) you are craving a sacred experience in a safe, loving container with others on the path, 5)you have any affinity with Central American practice, mythology or ritual, or 6) you have a profound connection and reverence for flowers, water and the Earth; 7) you need a ‘game-changer’
What to Expect: You will learn the history of this ancient rite and its surrounding mythology, be guided to get clear on what it is you are ready to release, be asked to walk in nature and prayerfully harvest several flowers and/or plants which will be used in your own flower essence bath. You will also reflect on your own soul’s healing via your relationship with Mother Gaia and be witness to others’ healing experiences. You will receive energy work as facilitated by Amy and Mary Katheirne as they channel Earth Energies and participate in sacred fire ceremony
Since this ancient ceremony requires utmost reverence and intimacy, SPACE IS LIMITED in the number of participants Amy and Mary Katherine can accept (10 max). Please contact Mary Katherine ASAP to hold your spot if this event resonates with where you are on your journey: firstname.lastname@example.org. A link to remit a deposit as well as other instructions will then be sent to you
Amy and Mary Katherine first met on a vision quest hosted by their beloved shamanic teacher, Dory Cote, in 2009. Since then, they have studied together, played together, and healed together. This ceremony will take place at Avalon Acres in Hollis, Maine–the perfect setting for this divine experience with nature. You will be asked to bring a towel, bathing suit, journal, water bottle and lunch. It is suggested that you may want to fast the morning before. Once you have registered, additional instructions may be sent to you.
And finally…A VERY SPECIAL Joanna Macy Event using her model, The Work That Reconnects!
The Body of Sovereignty
The Work That Reconnects Event
Sunday, June 26, 2022 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hosted by Healing Hands Holistic Wellness aka Sara Dostie
Co – Facilitated by
Kat Beaudoin, Hope Belief Trust &
Mary Katherine Spain, Nine Pillars Healing
$25 Suggested Donation
The Work That Reconnects model invokes the 4 directions of the spiral of life (from roots to seed): Beginning with Gratitude, Honoring Pain, Seeing with New Eyes and Going Forth.
Utilizing sharing, meditation and personal expression, questions like these will be explored:
- In what ways did we feel sovereign in our youth?
- What caused our feelings of sovereignty to be chipped away?
- How did we make ourselves smaller in order to fit in?
- What survival archetypes/personality traits did we resort to?
- What belief(s) did/do we hold that forbids the whole self from being expressed?
- What is the difference between Power Over and Power With? ‘Does the word ‘power’ hold triggers for you? If so, what are they?
- What feelings arise with the memories of losing our sovereignty?
- Today, how do we appreciate ourselves?
- Today, what boundaries do we set to hold our sovereignty?
- Today, how do we express Self Ownership?
- Today, what affirmations do we use to solidify our Sovereignty?
- What is our commitment to ourselves going forward?
Participants should bring a journal/pen, water bottle, bug dope, sun screen, hat (optional) and a pot luck dish to share for lunch. Swimming will be available so bring a suit and towel if you wish.
**Space is limited as this event will be held at a private residence. If you are interested in attending, please contact either Kat Beaudoin (email@example.com) or Mary Katherine Spain(firstname.lastname@example.org) to save your spot and register
**Are you still with me?
YAH! I have one more NEW, exciting opportunity if:
__You are a student of shamanism
__You are a follower of the shamanic path
__You are a teacher of shamanism
Shamanic Practitioner and Teacher John Moore and I have been hard at work designing a unique community which caters to the “deep dives” of sharing, witnessing, learning, growing and practicing shamanism in a forum that is crafted by all, for all. There’s no trolling, no ads clamoring for your attention and jamming up your feed. The community is membership-based, and it is already growing by leaps and bounds!
We named it Shamanity (Shaman + Community) and if you are interested in joining like-minded souls to discuss, grow and just experience being held in sacred space, then you might want to check out our information page here