Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Relieving depression with shamanic divination

I use my Journey Oracle cards to guide me toward clarification and understanding when I am depressed about a situation that I cannot change.  Something I love is missing, and it is not in my power to call it home, and this loss makes me feel sad and listless.
I asked the oracle cards to show me how to be with this situation and drew this card.  I see a baby deer partially hidden by bushes, its body blending into the colors of its surroundings. In the background is a beautiful flush of sunrise tones that reflect on the face of the fawn.  This hidden child is alert and attentive, staring out of the oracle card with a steady confident gaze rather than with fear. This is an image of my situation. I next read the teachings of the Oracle text about my situation of depression over loss.

suit:  TREE MONTH          card name:  FEARN / ALDER          #14

These five sentences deepened the meaning of the image of my situation.
This situation began by getting ready.
The prevailing energy of this situation is rising up. 
The core energy pattern of this situation is comfortable.
The Mother of this situation is beauty.
The Father of this situation is not thinking. 

I next turned the card over and gazed into the picture on the question side of the card. Here I see another baby deer image, but this time the fawn looks distressed in its expression and is surrounded by an alarming intensity of bright blood red color. This is my relationship to the situation. These five sentences deepened the meaning.

Your relationship to the prevailing energy is confusion.
Your perception of the situation is dappled. 
The impact of your perception is streaked or flecked. 
The connection between the core energy pattern and the situation is felt as a scrape.
The momentum of this situation is fed by no fire.

I was told by the Oracle that a relationship with tenacity is the support that will guide me.   I was shown to gaze again at the question side of the card and to read the question aloud.
 Do I have first aid?
The Oracle asked how is this word an answer to the question?    float

I continued my divination reading, this time asking for advice about changing my depression over loss. These sentences deepened the meaning about change coming into my situation.
The power needed to shift this situation will be a jagged sound.
Change will come by recognizing a lie.
Your relationship to the change in this situation is proceeding sideways.
The moment of letting go into the change will smell of decay.
The concern to be avoided within this change will taste overcooked.

These sentences deepened meaning about the transformation resulting from change.
The wisdom that access is possible will empower the transformation. 
Completed transformation will be felt as a quality both wild and tame.

I turned back to the phrase side of the card and understood that this phrase is guidance from Divine Will:

 To conclude this Oracle reading I read this guidance from the Oracle.  These phrases echoed in my situation in a way that helped me understand how to relive my depression by seeing that the loss of what I love is temporary, and although difficult, has been necessary in order to take care of this missing child of my heart
a difficult day, taking care of the child
accidents from inattention
fragile energy in being sweet

I will allow time to reflect and integrate so that wisdom will be revealed by feeling the truth of the Oracle in my own way. I hope that by sharing this reading with you I have helped you work through depression using shamanic divination.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Recipe for Summer Solstice ritual

Invite the sun to come to a birthday party.  Take time away from making drums and revising Oracle cards.
Choose a place that takes a bit of work to reach, the spirit world loves us to make an effort on their behalf.

Try and arrive in an interesting way, so that lots of different creatures get a chance to view
 your parade of celebration for the sun. 

It's good to notice that many of the spectators of your ritual are dressed to honor the sun.
Everyone appreciates a compliment so be sure and express gratitude for their beauty.

It's helpful to have a friend along to join in the offering of prayers for the sun, the spirits of place, 
the creatures and forces that share and shape our island lives
Our spiritual practices are strengthened through the diversity of many voices.

Give the fire tobacco; give the 4 directions tobacco;
 give Tobacco your breath. 

Honor what is young and thriving at this sacred summer solstice moment in the wheel of the year.

Especially honor what it takes to survive an endless turning 
of the wheel of the year.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How to find ideas for art

Ideas for art are as infinite as snowflakes, but sometimes thinking up a good one seems as rare as seeing a snowflake on a sunny June evening.  One thing I like to do is trick my art process into creative discovery by playing with materials in unusual ways.  One of my favorite techniques for finding ideas for art involves a cereal box and several friends.  We sit together with lots of smeary, messy, colorful art materials on a table in the middle of our circle.  One end of the cereal box is taped shut and each of us reaches inside with chalk, paint or crayon and makes a mark without planning, or looking at it afterwards. Around and around the box goes—each person adding more marks and becoming more physically marked with each pass.  At some point the laughter and mess comes to a climax and we declare our masterpiece finished.

After the box has been opened and allowed to dry, we make small squares or rectangles of white paper and “frame” different areas as possible ideas for art.  The resulting art piece might be a faithful rendition of the cereal box inspiration, or it might use the cereal box miniature as a starting point whose final image evolves beyond the initial appearance or association.

When I make art using this kind of creative discovery,  which is similar to the way I painted the Journey Oracle cards or find images in the faces of my drums, I believe I am inviting the Lords and Ladies of Chaos and Chance to come into the studio and play.  I understand they excel at situations that are out of control, and it feels like gambling to see what they can create with random enthusiasm, and how I can respond by applying the order and structure of art.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sacred geometry in a drum: the nonagon

Magical numbers are woven into my shamanic journey drums.  I have been taking a break from my work on the text pages for my Journey Oracle cards to make a new drum.  I began with five laces holding the Cortes Island deer hide onto the spruce wood frame.   I relate the number five to the five layers of time that Martin Prechtel writes about in his recounting of the Mayan teaching story: The Disobedience of the Daughter of the Sun, in which Sun Time, Moon Time, Ocean Time, Sudden Time and Possible Time are all layers of interpretation that bring revelation.

The cords that hold the cedar ring in the center of the drum number nine, which to the ancients was the number of perfection in nature.  Freddy Silva writes that “this is expressed in that creation of the earth, the human body, which evolves in the female womb over the course of nine months.  The tail of the sperm half-cell is made of nine twisted threads, and after it unites with the egg, the first step in the doubling process of mitiosis is the duplication of a centriole, a set of nine parallel tubes arranged in a ring.”

I decided to complete the hand hold inside the cedar ring as an interlacement pattern of the nonagon, the triangle manifested threefold.  In Silva’s book Common Wealth, he describes the triangle as the prime force of the universe, and that its threefold expression represents utmost perfection, utmost expression, and highest attainment.  What a beautiful beginning to give a new voice for spirit.