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THE GIFTS OF PLANTS

nettlerich

LATE SPRING 2021 -

Where we live, in southern Sweden and Denmark, this time of year is bursting with the bounty of nature. All around, Life is wild and vital, bringing the verdant Green back into being. Trees are unfolding their leaves, opening to the Sun. Flowers and plants stretch up, with the joy of growing into fullness and receiving blessings from Rain. 

There is an old Swedish saying: if you can keep going until the Nettles come, you will survive. In older days, when a long hard Winter m…

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FOUNDATIONS OF LIFE

heatherhillfall

AUTUMN 2011 -

Sometimes life takes us by surprise. Recently I came to hear about The Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers (www.grandmotherscouncil.org) and right after got the chance to go to Göteborg to listen and learn from two of them - Sámi healer Laila Spik and Hopi elder Mona Polacca. This turned out to be a wonderful, heart-opening, and encouraging experience. They talked about their cultural traditions, about environmental changes, global warming, and the Hopi Prophecy. They talked about no…

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MAGICIANS OF CHANGE

oak1

AUTUMN 2012 -

A golden Autumn day. In the Sun’s warmth, the frost on the oak leaves melts to mist in the crisp air. Change. Life is so full of the unexpected, the things we feel to be “good” seeking balance with what we feel to be “difficult.” The main work of the shaman is that of healer, yes, but healing in a bigger sense, of being the one who dances with the rhythms of life and finds ways to restore the balance.

The shaman is the one people turn to in times of change. So the shaman must als…

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LISTEN TO THE SILENCE

foxinsnow

WINTER 2012 -

Here in Scandinavia it is the darkest time of the year, the days when the Sun begins travelling North again – Midwinter, a time of celebration! Asking my Teachers how to celebrate this Solstice, they answered not only my question but also deepened my understanding of how to live. They told me that this is the time to remember those who have gone on before me, not only my blood-line ancestors, but all those who have made my life possible today, from the smallest organism to the gre…

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THE JOY OF RESPONSIBILITY

asbacken

FEBRUARY 2013 -

Many of us recognize the importance of finding and following our own path. My own life experience has been that sometimes I find my path to be be hard and stony, sometimes smooth, sometimes inspiring, sometimes boring, and sometimes it just didn’t seem to be there at all - even though it always is.

In January, I volunteered to be Firekeeper for our International Shamanic Community (ISC). The Firekeeper takes on the responsibility of tending the spirit fire of the community for …

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DON'T GO BACK TO SLEEP

springstep

SPRING 2013 -

It was a long winter, but now it seems we can finally say “Spring is here!” How wonderful to walk on the bare Earth, feeling that raw, re-awakening power come up through the snow-flattened grass. I always become more Earth-conscious in the Springtime, the joy of the early days of smells and textures in the air, the new shoots penetrating through last year’s leaves, the brush of green on the willow, hazel and beech.

This joy is sometimes dampened by the constant reminders that som…

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TAKING TIME

autumnwood

AUTUMN 2013 -

Today I woke up thinking about Time. I always start thinking about Time in the Autumn as the days grow shorter. Time - there is never enough for everything. But is that true? Busying this morning I heard myself thinking: “I’ve got to catch my breath.” Catch my breath! Sitting down, I felt my breath – breathing in – breathing out.

There is time for everything, I thought, starting with time to stop. How easy it is to blame other things, like “no time.” But there are no “other thin…

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THIS IS IT!

winterleaves

MIDWINTER 2013 -

In some parts of the world the new year comes in Springtime, others mark it in the Autumn. Here in Scandinavia the New Year arrives in Mid-Winter. No matter how it’s done, the idea is the same: ending what has been, pausing to gather together what we have learned, moving on and starting anew. It is a wonderful idea, but why wait and only do it once a year? Why not once a month, once a week, or once a day?

In October I went to the Deer Park Buddhist Monastery in southern Califo…

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THE WORLD IS FILLED WITH POWER

mirrorlake

MAY 2014 -

Walking down by the pond it is so still except for the song of a warbler. Sitting by the water, I thought over the past weeks. It has been busy with four courses in four countries working with some of the faces of power – balance, gratitude, responsibility, joy, and the spirits of nature.

Many people think of power as the power over us, but as we know it is also a surging energy that gives life-force. Power has so many faces and different ways of interacting with our lives: the powe…

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WE ARE HOME

heathers

AUTUMN 2014 -

Today, someone asked me how I feel about Åsbacka, the place where I live. I could feel the answer in my heart before the word came. And when the word came, I said “Home.” As soon as I said it, I knew that I had found a new understanding of “home”.

For me Åsbacka is not only a place to live. Åsbacka is a being – a being with whom I have a relationship. Åsbacka has needs and I have needs. We take care of each other and nourish each other in many ways. We share this space and we liv…

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