Friday, February 26, 2010

Release tension of change with color symbolism

My partner and I are buying a sailboat, and I did a Journey Oracle card reading to ask how to release the tension of change by reading the color symbolism in an oracle card. This card was drawn for my one card reading about how to release tension, and its phrase was Tension. This felt like a powerful confirmation of my intentions to receive inner wisdom using color symbolism.

I see a face made of broken black lines, floating horizontally on a cushion of pinks and reds, with pale yellow above the face and also in the lower left corner. I am immediately drawn to the eyes of the face, one of which looks down while the other gazes out. From this position, the face seems to express more quiet than tension. Yet the eyes hold tension in their odd staring gaze. Overall there is a sense of flow moving from left to right.

I translate the color symbolism of this oracle reading about how to release tension in this way. The broken black lines are the intensity of this experience, sometimes flowing toward easily and sometimes circling with uncertainty. The pink color is the face of our partnership, and how we welcome the adventure of this new change. Red and orange combines to show the vitality and mutual encouragement that helps us release the tension of uncertainty around such a large new commitment. Yellow is the knowledge that flows from our past experiences with sailing, and also is the color symbolism of the intention that flows over our adventure.

This oracle reading of color symbolism helps me understand that we are flowing toward a right hand decision from a left hand knowing. Seeing with the intuitive eye looking down into the mystery of change will keep us in the flow, instead of looking at the complications that may bring on the tension of uncertainty. This card belongs to the Celtic tree months suit in the Journey Oracle card deck, whose themes are Connection, Exchange, Intuition and Power. What an excellent list of advice to release tension from change.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Create Sacred Speech

Sacred speech as eloquence is a gift from humans to the Holy. When we find the rhythm and shine in beautifully polished words, so that they uncurl like new sprouts from our tired, winter-hardened mouths, then the last rays of thin light from Februa’s cold heart soften and swell just enough to show us hope for spring.

Yet such speaking is hard to do. My mind and mouth would much rather stay flat and unmarked by these feathery fern tips of sacred speech. These mutterings of words that rise like bubbles to froth the sacred tea of speech we offer the Holy requires my attention and my effort. There is much sacred eloquence to learn from in the traditional tales of First Nations people, whether from the Eskimo of northern Canada or in the literature of narrative poetry from the Ainu of northern Japan.

Sometimes I practice sacred speech by choosing a Journey Oracle card, and describe the image as if it were something else that I am looking at. For example, as I look out to see the last light fading into dusk through the trees beyond the garden, I make a gift of sacred speech to this view with my description of this card 20: When I saw you, I saw your eye of daylight receding from your growing turquoise eye of coming darkness. Your soft purple mouth joined what was rimmed with light with what was deep in green growth, and although you appeared separate, I saw the filigree of dancing threads that stitched you together.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to drum a shamanic journey

When I was first a drum maker in British Columbia, I was show by my guidance that I could not keep making a journey drum without learning to ride this good horse to the spirit world. I asked my drum to show me how to make a shamanic journey on its broad back of drum beats, and these are the journey instructions I received for making this journey into shamanic time and space.

The drum needs to be woken up by lightly running my fingers around the drum rim. This quiet irregular sound prepares my awareness for entering into the alternate reality of the shamanic journey. I next ‘sound the call’ by striking a quick series of beats with my drum beater in each of the drum quadrants. This is my knocking on the door of shamanic reality, saying, “Here I am, please accept my intention to journey to you.” After all, in this non-shamanic ordinary reality we consider it polite to knock on the doors of those we wish to visit.

I begin my shamanic journey beat on the drum quite slowly, as I bring my journey intention into my awareness and listen for the ‘doorway’ in the drum—this is a quality of drum sound that causes me to feel I am falling into the physical experience of the shamanic journey. When I hear this particular shimmer of drum sound I increase my drum beat until I reach the sound of a correct decibel and speed to lift away into shamanic reality.

At the close of my shamanic journey I again sound the call with a quick series of drum beats in each drum quadrant, followed by several minutes of very rapid striking of the drum to bring me back from the journey into this reality. I say goodbye to my shamanic journey experience by sounding the call very softly for a third and last time, and then again put the drum to sleep by lightly running my fingers around the drum rim in the opposite direction from the one I used to begin. While this quiet irregular sound is still vibrating the surface of my drum, I look back into my shamanic journey and ask two important questions. The first is, “What else do you have to show me or tell me?” The answer often expands or repeats some aspect of the shamanic journey and therefore underlines its importance in my memory. The second question is, “What can I do to honor you?” I make sure that after my shamanic journey is complete, I find a way in ordinary reality to honor the gift of this journey into shamanic reality by doing what I have been shown. This drum protocol is available on a CD called Ride a Good Horse to the Spiritworld which can be ordered by emailing me at

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A birthday divination reading at Candlemas

In the witches calendar, I understand that Candlemas is the time of initiation, of divination and of celebration for the light returning into our lives. February 2 or Candlemas is also the time when the greens gathered at Yule are released into the holy fire.

Because my birthday falls near Candlemas, I conduct a birthday divination reading to give me insight into my intention for the coming year. On Candlemas evening I sit with a small candle that has been greeted and blessed to its purpose with my breath and the energy of my hands. After inviting fire to come alive in my presence I sit in meditation with the candle flame until at last the wick wavers and the creature of fire dies. When the flame extinguishes, there is a tiny puff of smoke. All of my waiting is for this moment. In this instant I hear a phrase or word and understand that this is my intention for the coming year. This Candlemas, after the smoke, I wrote “For this year I come home.”

I then went to the Journey Oracle divination deck with this question: “What takes me away from home?” In this card I see a face with calm and staring eyes—eyes that seem devoid of expression. I wonder if a lack of feeling takes me away. I see this face floating in pools of radiant light, flowing like a hook reaching into the void, curling into the center, growing from a mossy root. I read the oracle question: Is there another way to get there? I ask, “Get where?" I turn the card over and read Next Steps. I see a face like in an old tree made of bark patterns. There is a goofy smile and friendly open eyes. The face feels kindly. I want to smile back. I think there is not another place to be but where I already am. I am home. Maybe my next step is to believe it.