Sunday, July 25, 2010

go on holiday

Sometimes it's good to just take some time away from the Oracle cards and shamanic paintings and journey drums. Let's connect next Wednesday August 4th.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The meaning of rose quartz

I recently mounted a rose quartz inside the cedar ring of this beautiful 14" drum. The delicacy of the mounting seemed to enhance the soft pink crystal structure of the stone and I wondered about the meaning, uses and history of rose quartz. The entry for rose quartz in Love is in the Earth, by Melody, describes its emitting a "calming, cooling energy which can work on all the chakras to gently remove negativity and to reinstate the loving, gentle forces of self-love." This sounds good of course, but how did such qualities come to be associated with this stone? Is this something in its crystal structure or mineral composition?

This search became more interesting as I explored the physical properities of rose quartz and found
that how rose quartz becomes pink is a bit of a mystery. I read that the possibility of a totally new and as yet unknown fibrous mineral could be causing the color in massive rose quartz. I also discovered that "some rose quartz contains microscopic rutile crystals which are oriented at right angles to the c-axis of the rose quartz in three directions, each 120 degrees apart. When viewed at a specific angle with a source of light a star-effect is visible. This is known as asterism. I further discovered that "masks cut from rose quartz were used to beautify skin in ancient Egypt."
I wondered if this use was in any way connected to the finds of crystal skulls; there has even been a rose quartz skull found on the border between Honduras and Guatemala.

And then I discovered this mystery. "Scientifically, there is no reason why Rose Quartz does not occur more commonly in crystals. This remains a scientific mystery. Because quartz crystallizes into well formed crystals in all its other macroscopic varieties. Brazil is also the only source of true well formed crystals of rose quartz. Rose Quartz crystals are thus extremely valuable. I think maybe the metaphysical uses of rose quartz should emphasize its association with mystery. And maybe the new owner of this drum holds a bigger mystery than she realizes, when she plays her new rose quartz drum.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Who is your Oracle?

When I do a Journey Oracle reading, I am aware I am communicating with a presence from this reality with the veils removed; the more than human reality I call the spirit world. This presence might have any of the physical forms found in this world, as all have conscious awareness. I am describing what Ralph Metzner calls "an animistic worldview, which is explicit in shamanism, [that] recognizes that all natural forms are animated by living, spiritual intelligence."

When I am doing an oracle reading for a client, I listen carefully for anecdotes shared during the oracle session that might indicate who is the Oracle for this person at this time? Perhaps a person is listening to the Journey Oracle story corresponding to the card she drew, and suddenly thinks of a carved staff brought back from a holiday in Peru. Something about the story of obtaining the staff fits the situation being explored in the oracle reading. Is the spiritual intelligence in the wood and art of the staff the Oracle in this moment?

When I conduct Journey Oracle workshops, my participants spend time experiencing a shamanic journey into the spirit world to meet the Oracle of their cards. For some this Oracle is a force--like rain or smoke-filled wind, sometimes the Oracle is a voice rising from a meadow or sounding within a seashell. Others see figures not of this human world, or sometimes from the animal or plant kingdoms. I ask each person who purchases a Journey Oracle deck from me to spend some time meeting the Oracle of their cards. I suggest they ask this presence what gift to give, to thank and feed them for bringing revelation from the natural wold into our ordinary reality.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How to choose a drum

For me a drum is a spiritual companion, a sacred voice that accompanies me on my soul's progress through many realities. A drum is also an oracle; the strength and flow of its voice brings me messages, intuitions and warnings about the energies I am working with. But especially for me a drum is a story; a story whose hearing is like reading what cannot be written. Its physical story tells of the deer and trees that lived within the dappled sun and slanting rain of our northern forests. Its spiritual story tells of its purpose as a guide and oracle in the other realms. Its paintings tell the stories of the creatures or forces whose characteristics or energies are coming through the drum as vibration.

Sometimes I draw a Journy Oracle card to help a client choose a drum, noting that the image or text on the oracle card will help her make a felt connection to one of my shaman's drums. But mostly I tell the story of the drum. This drum is named "Pushkin" and was painted with the portrait of a rabbit that I sometimes bunny-sit when his humans are traveling. Of course most of us think of rabbits as soft, timid creatures--good at hiding and for petting. But clearly Pushkin does not think of himself in these terms. When I gazed into the drum, asking to be shown how Pushkin wanted to be seen, this fierce and powerful creature was staring back at me. The woman who purchased this drum for her daughter made the connection between this not so timid bunny and her quiet but not timid daughter. In art and life, it is the stories we tell ourselves that give meaning to our choices.