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THE EDGE OF DARKNESS

edgeofdarkness

MIDWINTER 2014 -

Years ago on a workshop in Finland, a friend asked me, “What do you do when you get tired?” “I drink a cup of coffee,” I answered. He smiled. “That’s one possibility,” he said. So I asked him, “What do you do?” He smiled again. “I take a nap.” For me it was a very deep teaching that I often reflect on, especially at this time of year.

In these days before the Winter Solstice, we are at the edge of darkness. And what do we do when it’s dark? We turn on the lights. Well, that’s …

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SHAMANISM AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

sunstump

SPRING 2015 -

The days are getting longer and I feel very excited about the courses and retreats we are offering this year. When I first learned to practice shamanism it was presented to me as a set of techniques that could help me and others. I could see this was a powerful and good way, but gradually I began to sense it was not the whole story. There was more to shamanism than techniques.

It has taken a long time, but shamanism is now the heart and soul of my life. It informs everything I do…

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HOW DO I WANT TO LIVE?

summerlight

MIDSUMMER 2015 -

Many people I meet wonder about the meaning or mission of their life, what they can do to make a difference, or to feel their life has value. In the Western world, people and media are often preoccupied with the question "who am I?", as if knowing this will solve all their mysteries and the problems of the world. But from many years of doing shamanic work, I feel there is a more essential and rewarding question: "how do I want to live?"

My Teacher once said to me, “Now that yo…

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CONNECTION

rowan

HARVEST EQIUNOX 2015 -

The first birch leaves are yellowing, and soon the cranes will be flying south as Summer seamlessly moves into Autumn. When does the one end and the other begin? It’s different every year, but one day I become aware that the light is changing and I find myself looking back on the warm mornings of July and forward to the cool evenings of October. What did I plant in the Springtime and what am I harvesting now?

At the end of the soul-retrieval course in August I realized t…

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HARVESTING THE YEAR

solsticesun

WINTER 2015 -

The Winter Solstice is one of the great turning points of the year, and celebrates both the deepest dark and the coming of the light. Solstices and Equinoxes are thresholds - invitations to stop for a moment, to consider what has been, where we are, what is to come. When we pause during these changing times it can lessen feelings of being lost, out of step, or racing too fast. It helps to connect us to what is, right now, and to the power of the season.

The Winter Solstice is an …

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ANNIVERSARIES

sunhalo

FEBRUARY 2016 -

This Spring marks the thirtieth anniversary of the very first shamanic workshop I ever taught. Of course I wasn’t alone the doing the teaching. My Spirits were with me all the way. I suppose they were looking at me the way we look at a child who is taking her first steps. And there was one miracle I remember to this day: a woman was spontaneously healed from claustrophobia which had been plaguing her all of her life – cured on her very first journey. Any doubts about shamanism I…

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SHAMANISM IN COMMUNITY

springpath

SPRING 2016 -

As we move towards the edge of Summer, I look back on the Springtime and its many bounties. Being in residence at Schumacher College for six weeks with Zara was a very special experience that brought so much together for me from my 30 years of teaching. We taught several courses but our presence there was also much more than that. I was able to call on all the gifts I have learned and received from my shamanic path, and share it with others. It showed me how shamanism can be at th…

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EARTH COMMUNITY

fireweed

LATE SUMMER 2016 -

“Shamans are the servants of the community and the servants of the spirits.” My spirit teachers told me this long ago. At first it worried me, in fact it concerned me a lot. Where was I in this equation? Service was one thing, but wasn’t being a servant something else? Where was my “free will”? It bothered me for a long time, and, despite my teachings, I did my best to maintain what I thought was my individual freedom. But by resisting, for fear of losing my identity, I put …

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STANDING ROCK

icewatersm

WINTER 2016 -

We are blessed to live in amazingly challenging times. Often we cannot help but feel hopeless in the face of what is happening, be it environmental destruction, political injustice, poverty or greed. But if we allow these things to cripple us, then neither we nor the world has a chance. This cannot be allowed to happen.

We also live in a time of amazing possibilities. For the past half year I have been greatly inspired by what is going on at the Standing Rock Lakota Reservation o…

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PEACE PRAYER

febtrees

FEBRUARY 2017 -

Years ago I was given a deep lesson from my Teacher. He said: “Life is change. Shamanism is change with power.” Of course, he was not talking about the power of money or armies. He was talking about spirit power, the power of Love. Reading the headlines, hearing “the news” from many places around the world, it is easy to feel that love and wellbeing is not of great interest to many political leaders. Whether or not this is true, it does not absolve us from our duty to shine and …

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