Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mother Bear drum to honor winter

Who doesn't like winter comfort?  Keeping warm in the embrace of what loves us, while the snow feathers down and stars sparkle like ice chips in the winter sky.  This new drum from the Journey Oracle is painted with just a few strokes of black iron oxide, cobalt blue and titanium zircon silicate raw earth pigments.

 The mother bear's head was always in my view, even as the drum was drying.   Her eye seemed to watch me from the first stiffening of the Cortes Island blacktail deer hide.

I thought I was going to paint a strong male bear striding across the frame drum surface.  As soon as I made out the bear's head I spent some time researching Ursa Major, the Great Beat constellation that contains the Big Dipper, one of the most recognized patterns in the night sky.

It was in honor of the great bear that I tied a double Pentacle into the back of the drum, thinking this was a drum for the stars.  This complicated pattern of over and under weaving became even more intricate when the hitching was added with smoke tanned leather.

Imagine my surprise when the little cub appeared.

The bear is the Oracle of winter in our Canadian north.  Heralding its onset by withdrawing into warm darkness to bring forth new life.  Appearing in the first spring thaw with new energy to nurture and protect.

As we approach the heart of Winter on February 2nd, may we all be warm and safe as we nurture new energy and projects for the coming spring.

You can listen to this 17" frame drum being played with a felted drumstick by clicking on this youtube link:  

If this is your drum please go to my webstore for purchase and shipping information.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Oracle cards create a waking dream using dream incubation techniques

How do Oracle cards create a waking dream using dream incubation techniques?  A waking dream, in my experience, is the transformation of my ordinary consciousness into a period of contemplation that surrenders my ego control of perception, and instead derives meaning from the language of image and symbol. 

Incubation is one of the four states of creativity: preparation, incubation, illumination and verification.  Dream incubation is a technique of “planting a seed” in the mind in order for a specific dream topic to occur.  Dream incubation can also be understood as “a form of quest to encounter a sacred being, as an attempt to bring oneself physically closer to a spiritual presence in preparation for a revelatory dream.”   By singling out images, aspects of nature and dream-like pronouncements, an oracle empowers forces to speak that are beyond our conscious control.  The Oracle becomes the sacred being.

How are dream incubation techniques like a Journey Oracle reading? First, one develops a simple phrase for the incubation, just as one thinks of a situation for advice from the Oracle. The Oracle card picture of the situation is a waking dream image that shows us how things are, where we are, and who is with us.

Second, the incubation topic is associated with an emotion which makes our unconscious wisdom more likely to attend to it.  The Oracle card picture of our experience of the situation is a waking dream image that reveals our anxieties, fears and desires.

Third, dream incubation is aided by visualizing the information or outcome desired from the dream.  The Oracle card picture of the change we are seeking in our situation is also like this.  When we see in a dream-like image the moment when the action culminates and our story is transformed, we are visualizing the outcome so we can recognize it when we return to ordinary consciousness.

Fourth, one searches in the dream interpretation for feelings and symbolic images which might be a solution to the incubated topic.  The Oracle card picture of the resolution shows our unconscious wisdom what we are now going to do to promote a happy ending in this situation, once we return to our ordinary reality from the waking dream of the Journey Oracle reading.

According to Mary Watkins in Waking Dreams, “in the Middle Ages it was common practice to hold conversations with the Soul…to ask it questions and to hear answers arising from a source other than consciousness.”  Perhaps a most significant awareness in doing dream incubation or Oracle card work is being certain that you want to know the answer. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Destiny card reading for a new frame drum

I like to build my drums on significant days.  And then conduct a Destiny card reading for its birth day to honor a new voice in the world.  When I do this it seems many energies come from the unseen world to join in creating meanings that heighten the mystery of the drum.

This new 14" frame drum was built on December 29th, the anniversary of the Massacre at Wounded Knee on Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. Even though this tragedy happened 126 years ago, the vapours of grief in the land still feel heavy.  A new drum giving voice to spirit is a beautiful way to offer solace to the earth.

When I go to the Destiny Cards book by Robert Lee Camp and look up this date, I see that the Birth card for this drum is the 2 of Hearts. The basic meaning of the 2 Hearts is "union of hearts."  This speaks to close relationships of lovers, partners, close friends.  When this card appears, one can be certain that she will be spending time with someone she loves.

The drum's Planetary Ruling card is the 2 of Diamonds. While the Birth card is the most important personal significator in this kind of oracle reading,  the Planetary Ruling card is close behind.  It acts like a second symbol of one's life and personality.  The second card that shows a predilection to act like the qualities associated with the card.  The 2 Diamonds signifies a money or value partnership of some kind.  This could be a standard business relationship or something more out of the ordinary.

These two cards together indicate that this drum is 1/2 of a very strong pair that will be doing something that results in a financial or value-based partnership.  Benefits coming to the partnership are likely because the Birth card represents a union of love, rather than of argument or disharmony.

When this dramatic, big-voiced drum was first received as a Cortes Island deer skin, I heard the message "keeping everything alive" as I gazed into the hide.  Perhaps this is the reason for this drum's birthday energy: when we feed sacred drum song to the memory of sorrow, we raise the vibration of that long ago misery, and something more wise and beautiful jumps up alive in us.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Help making decisions for New Year's resolutions

Sometimes it is not the resolution at New Year's that needs attention, it is the ability to decide on what action will successfully carry the resolution into the new year.  This has been my dilemma for the past several days.  I want to rebalance several body functions but am quite resistant to thinking of myself as weak or unwell so I don't like to even discuss, let alone complain about, my health to a stranger.  I asked the Journey Oracle cards what is the best way forward.

This image of my situation is certainly a troubled view.  The woman appears pestered by little black thoughts.  Yet she is also cloaked in the blue color of seeking, and is shining with the yellow color of personal power. 

This is the card of Hawthorn.  A tree whose qualities are cleansing, purity, and sovereignty.  It is associated with May 3 - June 9 in the Celtic tree calendar.  This is the time of Seafest on Cortes Island--the long weekend in May.  A time when my partner and I coordinate 71 volunteers making a 10 course gourmet lunch on campstoves for about 700 people.  Certainly a time of skill and of managing well a complex situation.  Maybe I don't need to be defensive about being seen as less than capable when it comes to my own health. 

The next oracle card is an image of my experience in this situation.  On first looking, I see a bird hanging upside down.  What appears to be a large turkey.  I guess I feel like this in most health care situations--like I am about to sacrifice myself to an experience that does not credit my own wisdom about my inner state.  

This is the oracle card of Ivy whose qualities are self-understanding and triumph in adversity.  Maybe instead of seeing this bird's view as a problem, I can instead understand the image as a time to be out of my usual perspective when choosing how to go about this rebalancing. 

This is the oracle card showing change.  Certainly the person is in a receiving posture, but decidedly tense and uncomfortable about it.  So what needs to change?  This card represents willow whose qualities are adaptable, hardy, intuitive and enduring. 

When I read the Oracle's statements about change, two jump out at me with particularly strong meaning:
Your relationship to the change in this situation is shut tight.
The wisdom of speaking out will empower the transformation. 

I will benefit from being open to a new way of seeking good health, one that encourages me to fully participate by speaking out from my wisdom.  It is occurring to me to book a session with a Chinese Medicine practitioner.  Certainly this ancient way of aligning and balancing the body's systems has all the qualities of Willow. 

This card represents the resolution to my situation.  Of course as the creator of the Journey Oracle deck I know the messages from the Oracle attached to each card, and this one brings a smile.  The card is the Day of the Unhewn Stone and its message is "must go this way, helps you go deeper."

I see the stone chamber and the tiny doorway at the far end as an important journey into a new view of well-being.  So now I am excited to follow the mystery of Chinese Medicine into a new layer of personal knowledge, and I appreciate that the Journey Oracle has allowed my unconscious wisdom a voice my conscious mind can hear,