Friday, May 1, 2015


This is just personal thought of my personal being , my spirit  & work . I can't speak for others or what may be the stereotype of a solitary person :-)
As I begin movement out of menopause in to my full croning ( another article in itself )
I was thinking to myself of my work of what I do , be it mother , friend ,freelance writer ,  spae wife, wyrt wife , counselor etc. It became clear again that my practice is solitary . I am a solitary person .
I am also an introvert which I'm not sure all solitary people are but I am .
We all need time , our life to do the figuring it out thing . learning & growing always in to who we truly are .
Solitary does not mean I don't enjoy or like being with people either !
So much of my work is with people .
I was thinking of the healers in my family , the strong women .
They too were solitary . Yet my mother for example was different than I in her work with others . She was the opposite of me she went out into community to work  as a nurse . Yet it was still work done alone . She loved this work just as I love mine .
My mother rarely has people in . Even family she does not like to have family in her home for more then a day or two .
I do almost all my work within my home . Yes I go to family functions & community dinners teas & sales . Yet my crafting , preparing medicinal or magical goods that is all done at home .
Many don't see my work as counselor because it is not done within groups .
My teaching , advocacy & counselling  is almost always done one on one . Now with computers this is the way most interaction takes place where as before it was via telephone . & people come to my home ! be it for friendship or counsel , a place of comfort .
I have taught class but always children & I would always keep it that way . Children are about the only human beings I can handle in a group teaching situation .
Even when I did my work in the safe house for street women my work I loved the most was outreach where I & one other person went out on the street rather than remain in the house with the group.
As volunteer within our food coop I did the individual work of herb sorter .
My work as an intercessor /mediator is a solitary work as well .
Meditation & contemplation for me cannot be done within group . I can teach a group the how but the actual work , travel , prayer I cannot do it within a group setting .
As a child I always was like this as well working very much alone or one on one with a teacher like my grandmother etc.
Even friendship I have a very small strong circle of friends we camp , we celebrate , we talk & talk & talk lol
yet my magical work is always done alone I do not have a so called coven .
Large gatherings confuse me . I find I cannot focus on one thing because there is so much going on & the energies of people . My goodness lol .
My partner is exactly the opposite he is very solitary even more so than I perhaps but he almost always works with others outside the home . He also loves large groups . I can't stand the Winnipeg Folk Fest & he loves it ! Grocery shopping it nearly kills me to shop on a weekend where he has no problem .
We sure do balance each other out .
I am a gatherer ! I do so much of this on my own , yet I also know that women did this job together . I miss my women !
I want their presence .
Yet also do you know when gathering women were solitary too !
Even though they'd go off in the bush together , they separated . They did their own individual gathering .
They had calls & songs for in the bush so they always knew where each other were . The older women in the family did this . It is what we used to do .  
This is what I want & need ! This is in my blood my blood knowledge !
I am like any other person on this planet I need other humans ! LOL I think it is a very rare & odd thing that someone would actually be called to be totally isolated hermit ;-)
Yet I too have that feeling of I need to belong creep in , I crave & want to be a part of .
It is funny but I always find out when I step in to that how much I am not a part of a big thing by being with hundreds of other people . I am a part of it by doing my own thing .
I had the call to make a drum for myself . I had not had a drum since childhood . It was the actual large gathering of Idle No More that inspired me . I took this as I was to make a drum & join the crowd .
I worked on my drum , I took a small lesson brought it home & began to make it my own . I dyed her Indigo , gave her a moon & a willow tree .
I needed to bless her on my birthday , that was it I planned . Go out to the lake & then she'd be ready . I still had in my head the whole goal of this was to partake in the larger group ;-)
Well I took her out on the ice I did ceremony . I took her in the bush .
As I played her I knew .
She is a water bush drum & does not wish to be with other drums /or people for that matter
Her beat & my prayer is exactly what my work is .
She works just as hard as a solitary drum to heal water & land as hundreds of drums in a group .
As I grow older coming into full cronehood I see & know myself  & am more secure with myself
 am like my grandmother & mother incredibly so.
I see myself off in the bush in my little dwelling . A place of comfort for ourselves ,  children , grandchildren , friends & others ( animals included ).
Boreal granny in the woods ~ that's me

Monday, April 27, 2015

Reclaiming( Lay ) Folk Ways ~ Healers Witches Midwives ....

( upper left Shafia Atiyah )
yes this is a bit of a rant yet educational too
I began about 8 yrs back calling myself a folk person . I wasn't comfortable with other labels like shaman . Folk is the new cool term within many what would be called alternative communities .
anyone under the sun titling themselves folk healer , witch, midwife etc.
Even those calling themselves traditional witches using the folk label as well.
In the photo above You can see my maternal great grandmother . She was local spae wife , midwife , wyrt wife etc. she read tea leaves , bibliomancy ...
 as were some of my great aunts her elder daughters .
These are the people those so called folk claimers are claiming to be !
claiming to be  people like my great grandmother . They are not !
A folk/traditional /lay  midwife is not someone who has gone through midwifery nursing medical school for 4 yrs ! A wyrt wife is not someone who has taken a 3 yr intensive herbal course !
A folk magician is not someone who has an 8 yr university degree in botany & can afford $300 plant sigil books ! A Folk artist does not have a fine arts degree ! Energy healing was not a level 3 reiki master !
It does not mean that those who have had the vast amounts of money & time to study in this way do not have some knowledge or interest in folk ways .
But it actually is appropriation of what is not theirs to claim !
It insults our ancestors & elders who were folk people & it insults & takes away from us true lay folk people !
It does not mean that folk people were & are  stupid non intelligent people either !
 It does not mean we haven't attended a workshop or read a book . But for the most part folk people have learned via others just like them . & it is not usually or ever a career choice ! They also do not chose to teach hundreds of students at a time . They tend to teach those they see who are also called . & this is usually a small number . They also did not & still do not charge people vast amounts of money . often teachings are free. Often non monetary payments are accepted for work provided .
It does not mean that we never take money but it usually comes with standing right morally within our spirit before we do so.
 So there are people folk people teaching folk courses . which I have issue with because not everyone taking these are called to be doing this . not everyone who goes out gathering will do so properly . it leaves a huge opening for abuse . in midwifery we see all kinds now taking this on a profession who never would have been chosen by community to be midwife .
Sin Eaters , Fairy Doctors, Curanderas , Cunning Folk , Witches , Healers , Seers
in all places geographically & culturally these folk people existed . & they were chosen & accepted . people came to them
they did not have fancy grimoires , hell they often could not read nor write .
They did not order exotic herbs they used their local flora & fauna  .
folk lay people are professional at what they do but not in the way profession is perceived via accredited lengthy expensive programs .
I'm not saying either way is wrong but what I am saying is they are not the same & unique in their own individual way .
Did You know local doctors & folk people shared with each other ? Each had a place in community & often called upon each other .
People need to begin reclaiming their folk ways & also acknowledging those who are . 


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Self Worth & Gratitude

Yesterday I was brought to the realization how uplifted I am by fellowship . Friendship .
The extreme gratitude of the gift of others. Of their warmth , their soul touch .
I also found comfort within the sharing of another sister who like myself had been struggling with the issue of self worth . esteem , confidence , our value .
In a society where value of everything is based upon economic value be it job , education , outer image .
I realize that every human has this struggle but this is my personal struggle that I speak of . what effects me , myself & what I observe within those I love
in all the things that I am mother , grandmother , lover , writer , folk healer wyrt wife etc.  I can be both uplifted so I feel I can go on , love the work , love the ultimate production at the end .
I can also become stuck , having great lack of motivation . struggle with perfection . struggle with being lesser than .
It can be re-enforced via me seeing perfection from others or negative words & actions from others just as much as the uplifting gives me strength to go on .
I can get overwhelmed via constant images of the greatness of others & I just don't compare .
I need to stop myself , stop comparing , stop feeling less than
just as when global problems become to big & I need re-focus , bring self back to home . work on the beautiful little things within the here & now .
 So yes the last 3 days I have faced the lesser than , often via those closest & those most loved within my heart .
Resentment of I not having value via economic means .
why do I not get a job ? why am I not working ?
I go in to feeling like shit .
I begin to look about schooling ?
how could I earn & support our unit via economic means ?
the education system claims that all which I studied within it is out dated . all my college courses wiped obsolete .
do I begin again a course of 5 yr study so I could produce a satisfying income ? only to then retire in 6 more yrs ?
 do I study what I consider false spirituality so I can sell it to others who are also feeling less than can find their calling ?
do I take health care courses to partake in a medical system I do not agree with ? counselling so I can partake in a child welfare system , psychiatric system I don't believe in ?
herbal courses so I then will be somehow qualified ?
Do I need make a resume of all my hrs mothering our own & those of others , volunteering within a school system , the herb lady at the local co-op . the 3 yrs of street outreach & volunteering within the safe house ?
 do I need say & list all I have studied on counselling , sexual abuse that took me far beyond the confines of class work . the friends & family I have touched as they have me . the countless young who continue to call upon me who see I have self worth just as they do .
 Do I need list the list of all ?
The fact is I am at the age & time where I like any single person my age who has had a paying job has !
\ I am tired ! I am looking forward & began it to time that I get to spend on myself .
 that I can perhaps dedicate more time to that which is hobby . that which is creating more from my artistic side . spending time with our grand children .
just the things anyone else my age is looking towards right now .
So when I am belittled & told " why don't you get a job " , looked upon as if I am doing nothing & have done nothing
my spirit sinks .  I become inactive . why bother . no one notices the tub & toilet are clean . the cat cared for . why do it when anyone else can do it .
where is my worth ?
do they not see my value , how I see my worth is for them ? all I've done is for them . & while I do not be lifted on a throne . am I now only of value if I were to bring in an income ?
society feels someone like I could work at Walmart . yes , that's it . someone with my supposed education of nothing can work at Walmart .
So I'm picking myself up , I know I am not nothing .
 But I am broken . I am a woman who does not pretend when her parts have been hurt , broken off.
 I need fixing . very gentle fixing .
 soft touches .
bring it back to here & now .
 what can I give me .
the strong spring sun helps . She caresses my body , warming me . The birds returning & talking to me , the tree beginning to give her blood to cleanse me .
 My friends , who also need self care , who just like I are struggling with self worth are picking me up.
 We are leaning on each other . supporting not draining .
This winter was a very long difficult one for myself . I struggled more with anxiety than I ever did before . I feel I can barely look after others right now . I feel if I do not help myself up I utterly will not be able to help those around me up .
So  I have made a vow to self .
 This is the yr. the beginning of self care
value myself & also be grateful for myself
Not that I don't constantly cleanse & work on the inner & outer of things .
 But really I need to take this yr to be caring to myself .
 nurture & give .
not being selfish but rather a resting & nourishing time much needed .
 I see this in my other sisters too.
 So I've offered we do this together .
 come together to selfcare alone & with each other .
Bath in the sun , waters , herbs & earth  . Caressing each other with gentle touch , walks & feasts .
Stepping softly  , blooming & creating  together .
 vision ~ dancing fires , songs & lazy sleeps
I need this , we need this . So let it begin !

this image should say it all , the why I do what I do & it should be enough !
In fact it should be of the most value for this is the next footstep to walk upon the earth & the outcome of that footprint is what comes next . 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

journeying & psychoactive plants

feeling the need to write on this again . the cautions that is especially relating to younger people who in fact many are being misguided .
spiritual red flags again . there are red flags in everything prudence & discernment .
many younger people do not have elders especially those from European countries who live here in NA . many turn to search via NA indigenous groups .
some of which also have no clue what they are doing . there are false , even bad medicine people within indigenous circles . The colour of ones skin does not make one holy , connected to nature or trustworthy !  European people also claiming to be shamans who are not .
There is a person I know right now claiming to teach traditional birthing / pregnancy knowledge . this person is riding the cool wave . yet never experienced traditional birthing , nor breastfeeding etc.
every single younger generation has had times of experimental uses of alcohol & drug usage. all plants are drugs to some extent .My son jokes that I am a drug dealer because I sell teas etc.
when I was younger the cool wave was peyote . The latest craze is ayahuasca there were false teachers using this to gain power . to manipulate & abuse others . many women were sexually assaulted & now it is known also children .
we need to ask ourselves about sharing of knowledge & cultural appropriation .
So you can see why it is so important that if peoples do not have a spiritual community or elders to go to it is up to us to be those elders . to give proper teachings . we have to become the beginning . the starting point for tradition .
In animistic society all things contain spirit & therefore all things are able to aide us in a journey . be it here on this earth or within other worlds .
Many cultures did not in fact use any form of psychoactive substance in order to journey to other realms . Many used fasting , isolation , fire , water , rattles , drumming etc. in order to achieve trance & journey .
So someone should be willing able to value & travel with spruce just as they would mandrake or peyote .
As I've written before on psychoactive plants & flying ointments I wanted to revisit & explain a bit why I came to choice to no longer sell the ointments .
Basically it comes down to trust & responsibility !
I came to the conclusion that via observation that no matter how close someone claims to be respectful & close to & listens to the natural world . it is just a fact the majority are trying but do not actually fully grasp full teaching of animism .
Also I am accountable & responsible for the sharing & teaching just as much as the customer consuming .
I know other people selling these ointments don't feel that way but honestly we are we have a part in the outcome of what we give to others .
The older I get the more I feel this responsibility for our younger generations .
If You are a person who is searching via loneliness , needing to belong  I know it can be hard . wanting to trust , wanting need for community .
Yet it is at times worth it to say no in order for a yes door to open .
Many authentic shamans are very isolated people . they in fact do not have large followings . very humble & do not usually charge money at all for sharing with others .
Again as older generation it is up to us not to misguide our youth & shame on those who teach falsely in the name of cool & self boosting .

Below are links to the other Writings I've done on this topic
Call to Baneful Herbs

Shamanism & Psychoactive Plants

Flying Ointments