“I joyfully draw to me everyone and everything that I need to help me be of service, and be my best Self.”
This is the intention I heard in my head, and repeated often, back in May when I wrote the last blog post here. It is a bit shocking to see that it has been 2 1/2 months since my last post, however, a lot of life has happened (you know how that is ). :)
I had been waiting for over a year to find a new home for ISA , and in June it finally happened. We didn’t move far (only two buildings away), but we are now in a different world. We moved from the underground Grotto (we will miss being in the Earth) to Our Nest. It felt good to once again remake an unappreciated room into a sacred space. It also felt good to work with my Co-Director of ISA, Elisabeth Black, to decorate and make Our Nest into our new place. Each move and space taken place over the previous decade of ISA, I did it myself. It is a good thing to share the experience now, truly making our new space Our Nest. We are not showing photos much yet, so that each new visitor can have their own first view as they enter. However, here is our wall hanging, created for ISA by Aaron McKusick, in its new home.
Another step of progress is that my endeavor to bring what I offer in person into the web has moved much closer! I have the technology to do it, I have the streaming software, I have the video set, I have tested and retested all the details of doing such circles online. Now is the time to put out the offerings and to find people who are interested. Yay! Thanks to all you very special, special people who have supported this long unfolding adventure. The photo is me in my Spirit House video set.
In June, I traveled to the northwest to visit my mother. I grew up in Portland, Oregon and it is the exact opposite of Tucson, Arizona. I left temperatures of 105 and arrived in a world of 80 degrees. I was pleased to visit the Skidmore Fountain Market in Downtown Portland, where I had a booth during a period in my early 20’s. Here I learned that there was another culture (besides the regular American one I knew previously, and disliked very much) waiting for me. It was during this period when I was ‘hit on the head’ and called to shamanizing, which changed my life overnight. The photo is of me on my first day at this market, over 20 years ago.
While there, I pondered getting a third tattoo on my back. I have wanted this particular tattoo for many years and yet it just never materialized. The design I wanted was an ouroboros, a snake eating its own tail, and it came to me in a shamanic journey. I saw myself in a past life, where I was killed in front of everyone as an example. I was a tribal leader when the Christian invaders first arrived in my village. In the journey I was “the Last One” in my ancestral line who was able to be completely who they were (after this time of Christian arrival, people in my ancestral line hid, passed, converted, were persecuted and even persecuted others), and I now am the “Remembering One”, the first one on the other side who is able to be who I am without overt fear of persecution. A powerful journey for sure!
So I have been thinking for quite a few years about this tattoo, and then my trip to Portland seemed to be the opportunity. To honor my evolution since that journey 6-7 years ago, I also decided to add another part to my tattoo design. I added a petroglyph image that shows up all over the world, that is often called “Squatter Man” (see below). Very, very simply, this symbol represents a sky phenomena that many of our ancestors witnessed worldwide. To me, it depicts my Star People nature, blended with my Earth self, represented by the circling snake.
I found Ritual Art Tattoo, and they had an appointment that worked for me. Chaz Vitale was chosen as my kind spirited artist. We spoke of shamanism the whole time and it didn’t actually hurt much, considering it is on my spine. :) I wanted this art near my neck because this helps me remember my past injury from this past life, as well as the neck injury I experienced during my shamanic calling in this life. (To read about it, click link and scroll to end of page). Also, the three tattoos on my back document my shamanic life so far.
The first one, the claw at the bottom of my back, I got two weeks before I was called to shamanize (by the experience linked above) after having a profound dream that told me I needed to learn to open my heart, be more ‘open and loving towards people’, and to stop being a ‘chicken shit’ (as I said it back then). I got the tattoo to remember my commitment to do these things for my own good. Two weeks later my entire life changed for the better. The second tattoo (the butterfly woman on the back of my heart) was done in 2000, when I decided to stay in Tucson. I had claimed the Butterfly as my animal symbol because I felt that I had completely liquified and been remade into a new being during the few years previous. My shamanic practice and teaching was starting to strengthen, and when a woman offered to create this tattoo and put it on my back, I said Yes. So now, this third piece of art balances my spine. From top to bottom I have symbols at my back that represent my shamanic evolution so far. The question that is echoing in my mind is “What is coming next?” :) We shall see!
The drawing below is a depiction of how the “squatter man” may have been seen by many humans back in the Ice Age. Back when Animism, and Shamanic practice, were the sacred ways of all Humans. Blessings to you and all of us! (Header image is of the Columbia River from Sauvie Island just north of Portland) By the way, I still say the intention above to myself regularly.