Don’t Look Back

12 01 2016

Sometimes we can be so startled by the magnitude of a change which has happened during a healing that we look back rather than forward. Often it is hard to believe that a goal, long sought, is accomplished. Changes such as the loss of something unwanted, such as an emotion, or a connection to something, or positive change in health do happen. It can be hard to believe.

Sometimes our brilliant analytic mind, in trying to understand how this change happened, attempts to trace events. This looking back can undo a lot of good. In some cases, look toward what you want, not what you don’t want is best. I don’t mean neglect reality. Continue appropriate treatment. But, be brave in facing the unknown which is your new reality with the changes that have been made. It is like a child clinging to an abusive parent because it is all they know. We run a risk of become what I call, “united in our woundedness”. Run or tiptoe bravely toward what is next.

A Simple, Easy and Effective Self-Healing Technique

12 01 2016

A simple, easy and effective self-healing technique

Following any deep spiritual work one can feel overwhelmed by the remaining energy of what has passed. Many, many years ago I learned this technique and still use it today. I’m sorry I don’t remember exactly who taught it to me. I hope it can help you.

It can be done in any physical position but I will describe is as though you are standing.

  • Begin by imagining you are in a small egg shaped bubble of energy.
  • Imagine unzipping this bubble below your feet.
  • Imagine your fingers extending out a couple feet and being covered with feathers, as though your arms where a bird’s wings.
  • Starting above your head, use these wings to sweep any negative energy off you.
  • Slowly move down your body on all sides, even lifting your feet to get anything unwanted under them.
  • Imagine this negative energy being carried out through that unzipped part of the bubble.
  • Then, imagine zipping the bubble up so that only positive and neutral energy is left in the bubble.

If you are not able to lift your feet or if you must do this seated or laying down just imagine your “wings” extending into the ground, chair, or bed.

I urge you to try this. It works. After a few times using this technique, you way start to be aware of a thick, sticky substance that is removed. It always leaves me feeling calmer and lighter. Good luck!




Are you interested in classes?

12 01 2016

I’m having a meeting this Thursday night at my house at 7:00 p.m. to hear what people want. I announced it on my meetup: Santa Cruz Shaman meetup. If you invited. If you prefer, you can email me at:

Classes, retreats, sweat lodges, etc.????


Response to requests for training

3 01 2016

In response to inquiries I have scheduled a meetup for Thursday Evening, January 14 at 7:00 pm. If you are interested please take a look at my meetup posted as a Santa Cruz Shaman meetup.

Exciting new development

22 12 2015

I have just registered a Meetup called “Santa Cruz Shaman”. Please join if you live in the Santa Cruz area so that you can attend some of the sessions.  Please consider sharing this with your friends that might be interested.

The first meetup I have posted is a Women’s Sharing Circle to happen on Tuesday evening, January 5, 2016. RSVP required to attend.

Considering a Shamanic Journeying/ Drum Circle, Co-ed sharing circle, and a open Shamanic Healing Circle. Please let me know your thoughts.

Invitation and a Dream

9 10 2015

Open Studios has arrived already and I have done so little to publicize it I am taking the unusual step of cross pollinating to my other passion. My shamanic minded followers may not know that I also create art. You can see some of it on my other website:  (add the work portfolio if you have trouble finding it).

First, here is the invite:

What: Open Studios at my home (Art, snacks, demos and most important, time to visit)

Where: 1615 Heritage Ln, Santa Cruz, CA – which in actually in Capitola near the Target

When: this weekend and next, October 10th and 11th and 17th and 18th  11:00 to 5:00 each day

I am really looking forward to seeing people! Please come and invite others as well.

Secondly, the dream. The first dream of ants I can remember happened during a profound initiation in the Himalayas in Nepal many years ago.  Then, just recently I have been having recurring dreams of ants. This morning I had a marvelous dream. I was somewhere at a shamanic gathering and a woman I don’t know was showing the group an amazing garment she had made. It was a shaman’s coat, a heavy bulky garment. I can remember the details of it quit clearly. I instantly wanted to put it on. I went and quickly changed into clean clothes and return to her to beg to put it on. Reluctantly she decided I could try it on. As I began to pull off layers of clothing and then put on the coat. The seamstress watched and changed her point of view, saying I was the perfect model. As soon as I buttoned up the coat on I began to walk quickly swaying and almost floating across the land in perfect harmony and happiness. I realized the garment was silk with a leather band near my neck and was much softer than I had realized. As I looked down at my left hand (I am left-handed) I saw that a small wooden ring was on my ring finger featuring my three primary power animals. In addition my hand was crawling with small animals and then as I watched, hundreds of ants also swarmed my hand.  As I have recently been fighting the ants for ownership of my garden and home, this was not all together pleasant. incredibly, I was struck by the fact that I could use my breath to focus the ants in a good way and they began to move down my fingers and drop onto the ground. The seamstress nodded in agreement is if saying I was using the garment properly. Ants are  industrious and I am working to learn more about the ant as a totem animal.In the meantime I think of their communal character, much in contrast to my primarily solitary style and thing it is appropriate as I invite others to visit, but more so as I consider yet another teaching opportunity which has come to me. More about that later. Hope to see you soon.

Waiting for Enlightenment

29 08 2015

Many of my longtime blog followers have noticed that I have been posting less frequently. The primary reason for this is that I have been caregiver for my mother these last five years.

Several things about this have interrupted my blogging.

  • It is Mother’s Story
  • My lessons aren’t over
  • My attitude sucks
  • My creativity is at an all-time low

I was initially uncomfortable blogging as observer of Mother’s journey. It seemed to be her story. As I have since learned of the large community of caregivers I see that it is also our story. I hope to offer something of the shamanic view of this universal story while respecting Mother’s privacy.

Besides worrying about Mother’s privacy, I didn’t want to write from the disheartened place I am in. I hate sounding preachy or cranky. I am reminded of Jack Cornfield’s marvelous books, especially After the Ecstasy the Laundry. I have left the solace of a comfortable balances life and been thrown into turmoil. I have waited several dismal years to feel more worthy to speak. Part of me was waiting for completion, relief and some learning I will possibly take from the experience. These things may never come.

I have read several books people have written about their journey alongside a loved one facing death. I was looking for wisdom to help me through it. What I found sounded either: whiny, saintly, or clinical. Of these I admit being most comforted by the whiny ones, as in, I’m not the only one struggling with this.

Seeing no end in sight I have decided to blog despite the chaos. I am as discouraged as ever but I am back at this blank page. I have lots to share about shamanism and also about a shamanic perspective on aging well, dying well, and the work of care-giving. Look for more posts soon. I will try not to be whiny, preachy or cranky. I’ happy to be back.

Dog Piles and Other Holiday Lessons

25 12 2014

Christmas means a good dog pile.  When my kids were little we would get up early on Christmas morning, open gifts, drink cocoa, eat croissants with raspberry freezer jam then lay around enjoying each other with looks of contentment on our faces. I have always thought of these special times as dog piles. I think we looked like a pile of puppies with full bellies laying across each other on the sofa half asleep. My kids are grown now but happily time with them still feels much the same. My wish for you is that you have many such special times with your family and friends.

My thoughts turn to others less fortunate and I am reminded of a time many years ago when I was reminded of the need for compassion for others. One evening I turned on the television and began to flick the remote control to move through the channels.  I came across the image of a woman just as she said that her boyfriend asked her to give him her five-year-old daughter for sex in exchange for drugs and that she had done so.

Repulsed, I swiftly moved to another channel. But, it was too late. The assault to my senses was intense. My inner voice shouting at me, “She is you and you are her. You must love her.” This was in stark contrast to my mind which was saying “how could she, she is the lowest of the low, and why put such a horrible person on television?” My safe little cocoon was assaulted.

I felt the opportunity for a big lesson, as usual, suddenly and unexpectedly. Reluctantly I turned back to that channel and saw what a truly pathetic person she was. I would estimate her age at 35 but  she looked 50. As she spoke, the effects of her self-confessed drug use, criminal past, and bad relationships began to explain how this incident had occurred. Her description of the Hell she had been through was a profound and, possibly, life changing for some of us in the audience.

And I was asked to open my heart to her. This was not an easy task as I had seen the lives of loved ones devastated by such acts. In an act of faith in my unseen teacher, I followed instruction. I began to open myself to a greater self, the part of me which remembers how it feels to be a tiny grain of sand in a beautiful and shimmering universe. This part of me feels no edges between places, things, and beings. It feels joy at being alive and part of all things. From this place of unity I could truly love this person, see that we were much more alike than different, and that, yes, we were each other. I could offer her love and support as she worked to forgive herself and make a positive difference in this world. I could see that given different circumstances I could have been her. Now I was observer. In the past, present, and future I was, had been or would be both victim and perpetrator. I too needed forgiveness, compassion and support. As I offered these to this nameless woman I received them. I was changed by this moment and was reminded why it is better to give than receive. Please join me in praying for love and compassion for all, for good health, the joy of having loved ones near, and for our loved ones near and far.

Thanksgiving Lessons

26 11 2014

This Thanksgiving I find myself thinking of family and friends near and far. I am missing them all, especially my niece and her family who have just moved to Austin. The table will be quieter but less fun without her, her husband and their two small children.

As we hold hands around the table I know I will feel the hands of all of you and my other family and friends clasped elsewhere but linked invisibly with my own. Shamanism has taught me to realize that time and distance are mostly illusion and not nearly as important as intention.

Please join me in holding the intentions of peace and connection this holiday. If your family disappoints you in their attitude or conversation examine how an annoying person is different from you and how s/he is similar to you. I often see myself reflected in my family members, for better or worse.

I also see how my world view has changed over the years. However much I strive, I am not always the calm center I strive to be. Shamanism has changed my reality but not freed from self-created drama, joys and sorrows. I see that I can be difficult for others to be with, just as they can be for me. As I see myself reflected in my family, I learn to accept the things in them that I dislike and perhaps even those things in myself that I dislike.

This Thanksgiving and holiday season, I offer you my current mantra. It is old and familiar but no less powerful. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

Is a Shaman Scary?

12 06 2014

This post is about the shamanic practitioners you may come across in North America today. Most people who visit me come from personal referral, but a greater and greater number are coming from this blog. These folks often have little or no experience with a shamanic practitioner. I sense a lot of hesitance in them so I’m answering some of their questions here.

Like most of us, I was skeptical about shamanism before I began to study it. I also thought Tarot, Palm Reading, and Psychics were all foolish nonsense. It was only because I wanted to understand myself that I ever started to study the occult and eventually shamanism. I just knew stuff and didn’t know how I knew it. Elsewhere in this blog you can read about what brought me to this work.

I am a normal person. I’m probably not that different from you; with a family and obligations, struggles and bad moods, and everything else that goes with this earth walk. I learned a lot from shamanism and feel lucky in that. Because of it I am happier, kinder, and more thankful for my time on this precious earth. I’ve had enough experience with scary stuff through shamanism to try and answer this question.

Because of the shaman’s ability to sense information and call upon spiritual help the shaman can be a powerful friend or foe so is can be scary. With the information below you should be able to find a shaman who can be a powerful force for good in your life.

Good and Evil

My prevailing thought about this issue is that there is only power, which may be running with our desires or against them. Electricity can light our homes or electrocute us. Disease can grows in our bodies and ants can roam out homes looking to feed themselves. It doesn’t make them evil. Yet the source may be an evil intention somewhere.

Good and bad exist in each of us and sometimes there are outside influences which create strings of “bad luck”. Beyond seeking balance there is more to know.

Evil can be powerful, attractive, and easy, even if you aren’t a Jedi Knight. As long as that is true there will be people who have one’s best interests at heart and those who have their own interests in mind. Like a product that has been modified in a way that seems only to cost more money and deliver less, unscrupulous “healers” may put their interest above yours.

In finding a practitioner, as in finding a friend or adviser; look for one who has your best interest at heart. If you know yourself to be seduced by unlawful or unethical actions you may be attracted to unethical practitioner. If you have clear ethics you can probably trust yourself to reject unethical healers.

An unethical practitioner won’t only be the one with demonic symbols in the window or who offers black magic. Those are the easy ones to avoid.

Intentional or Unintentional Harm

Other healers may seem quite pleasant and knowledgeable and still be a poor choice. It is more difficult to detect healers who intentionally or unintentionally causing harm. By being aware of what this type of practice looks like, you can avoid it too.

An example of intentional or unintentional harm would be a healer who lingers with you in your misery. They may feed your victim status because it makes them the “superior” person in the relationship and gives them a sense of power. They may actually feed off your feelings of dependence. Their primary focus may be to create repeat business. A hands-on healing from such a person may feel like you are stuck in a circuit of remembered pain rather than making you feel a movement toward health and returning vitality.

Such a healer may consider him/herself a paid friend or councilor to whom you return again and again. If this is what you want it should be called a consultation, reading, or divination, not a healing.

Another practitioner may just go through the motions with the hopes of effecting change but have no belief in, awareness of, healing or confirmations of past success. They may or may not be successful.

What to look for in a healer

Happily, there is a lot of good news! By using the following tools you can find people who will be powerful forces for good health and a good life.

  • Ask for recommendations from people you trust.
  • Trust your own intuition.
  • Ask questions about the kind of work you seek. Elsewhere in this blog there is information about the many types of service possible.
  • Seek someone who has been doing the work for a while. I had successes early in my career but know I have gotten more knowledge and tools now. This goes a long way toward treating cause, not just symptoms.
  • Ask about their experience. They may or may not respond but it is appropriate to ask. Since time is valuable I have put this information on-line to educate potential clients.
  • A competent healer is usually modest, humble, and doesn’t sing his/her own praise. If they tell me how wonderful they are I would walk away.
  • The Foundation for Shamanic Studies, The Society of Shamanic Practitioners, and the website Shaman’s Portal are where I would start looking for a practitioner to refer someone to out of my area. While I do distance work at times, it may be easier to see someone is your area. Inclusion is these references is no guarantee but is a likely place to start. As you wade in you will learn more about questions to ask.

Don’t be afraid. I was lead magically to wonderful people at nearly every turn. I didn’t encounter anything scary until well into my journey into shamanism. By then I was prepared for it. I’m pretty sure there was a guardian angel watching over me. You probably have one too. Nearly any shamanic practitioner can help you learn to call on him/her.