Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Meditating in nature

When meditating in nature here on Cortes Island, a favorite hike is up Easter Bluff.


To sit with the peace of the wild, high above Desolation Sound, is to feel  my breathing in rhythm with all of nature breathing.

Just focusing on the present moment of each foot placed and then lifted brings such joy as we hike up the bluff.

It's good to go with a friend, especially one who is willing to carry the water and our favorite help with meditating in nature--

--small wedge cushions whose angle and size are just right for perching on  a rock.

It is good to find a place with old energy that has calmly withstood the winds and rains of countless storms.  Such trees and stones are elder teachers who counter a busy mind with the balm of Khanti: patient endurance. 

So before my day becomes filled with making new drum hoops and Journey Oracle card readings, before it  looks as detailed  as a clump of star moss--

I wish you the opportunity to go joyfully out into the world, and be meditating in nature.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cortes Island Seafest Oyster Festival

For days I have looked just like this cat flashing by.  I've had a huge list of things to do to organize Seafest: the Cortes Island Oyster Festival.  No time to do Journey Oracle readings or work on my new shamanic journey drum.

The planning it takes to feed 650 people approximately 7000 oysters and 400 lbs of clams, plus 35 loaves of bread and great quantities of sushi rice salad, is considerable.

While I take another nap to recover, you can go to this link to see lots of pictures of this amazing day honouring community and our bounty from the sea.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Review the Journey Oracle

I just received a wonderful moment of sunshine when ElyseM sent me the link to a review of the Journey Oracle she recently posted on youtube.  It is so true that we don't often see what we have accomplished until we are able to see it through another's eyes.  Here are some of the stories behind several of the qualities she noticed about the Journey Oracle.

Elyse commented on the beautiful packaging.  If only you knew how many versions came before this one! At first I could not afford professional printing, and so each Oracle deck was put in a felted case.  My source of this wonderfully thick felt disappeared just when Ann Mortifee offered to publish the Oracle in exchange for one of my shamanic paintings.

Then the staff at Kask Graphics in Campbell River suggested the use of "auspicious" colors and so the gold and green--which invites good fortune--plus some "sparkle," became a reality.

Elyse was most impressed by the book.  This is the greatest complement.  I began working on the Journey Oracle in 1992 after I had a dream where I was showing a woman a deck of cards I had made,  It took five years to create the round paintings of pen and ink by looking into disks of rawhide, slices of agate and cross-sections of amonite shell. But this turned out not to be the hard part.

What is this Oracle?  How do I describe a never-before-seen-thing?  How to conduct a reading? All the rest of the 22 years of its creation have been seeking answers to these questions.  It was not until I read Carl Jung's autobiography and discovered his description of the four parts of a dream--that I found my way to journey to the Oracle.  You can read the full story of this shamanic journey into a waking dream on my website.

Our lives are truly hand-made art. And each time we circle the table, collecting into our grasp the forces that amaze and confound us, we translate our questions and problems into a language of image and symbol.  This language dialogues with our imagination--the creative root of life we call the unconscious--and our situations are transformed into meaningful action and self-knowledge.  Thank you Elyse, for helping me see my journey through your experience.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A shaman drum for story telling

This new drum from the Journey Oracle comes with quite a story.  As I worked on the hide it became known to me as the "wise child" because the hide is very thin and small with only one deep scratch on the otherwise unblemished surface.

A young deer without physical scars or a thick skin from a long life. Yet the skin is deeply patterned and marked with shapes and shadows--like oracle cards of stories waiting to be told.

I tied the back with the interlacement pattern of the magic hexagram.

The hexagram was popular with medieval magicians.  However, its usual form consisted of two triangles that were interlaced but entirely separate from each other.

This version of the six-sided hexagram is tied in such a way that the thong makes an unbroken line, which means that no negative energies can stick because there are no knots, or "gates," through which spiritual dangers can enter.


Some drums do not ask to be painted because the surface of the skin is already so marked with flickering images.

To choose one would be to diminish all the others that are also speaking.  Like only letting one voice be heard in a story-telling circle of wise children.

Monday, May 2, 2016

What is an Oracle?

I have just returned home from an exciting day spent doing Journey Oracle readings at Banyen Books in Vancouver, BC, my  favorite independent metaphysical book store.  Over and over I heard myself saying, "This Oracle is not like anything you have ever experienced before."  I told those who came for oracle readings that "I am not a mystic, or a medium--I am the secretary.  Your unconscious wisdom is the Oracle and these cards will help you speak to her or him in a way that is clear."
And several participants then said, "So what is an Oracle?"

What is an Oracle?
An Oracle translates a problem or question into a language of image and symbol like that of dreams.  It changes how you experience a situation by revealing the inner forces that are shaping it.  An Oracle dialogues with your imagination—the creative root of life we call the unconscious.

When is best to consult an Oracle?
Read the cards when you feel there is something behind the ordinary flow of events in a situation. An Oracle unveils the forces that are moving beneath your daily experiences.  An Oracle dissolves the surface view of the situation by using images and analogies that reveal the forces beneath. An Oracle brings imaginative meaning into play, as this is the way your inner being speaks, thinks and acts.

How does the Journey Oracle work?
The reading is based on chance.  Four cards are drawn randomly, representing sequentially the situation, your experience in the situation, the change that is calling you, and the resolution sought by your unconscious. By singling out images, aspects of nature and dream-like pronouncements, chance empowers forces to speak that are beyond your conscious control. This dense weave of meaning provides insight into the hidden forces behind the situation.  When your unconscious recognizes the patterns these forces make, your conscious mind can release and resolve them. 

Take a journey into your unconscious wisdom

The Journey Oracle’s answers change the way you see things. Your anxieties, fears and desires emerge to be recognized and resolved, and hidden transformative energies are released.