Category Archives: Native American

The ‘Blood Moon’ Lunar Eclipse. A No Nonsense Guide


Full ‘Blood Moon’ Lunar Eclipse is upcoming!

The blood moon (also known as hunter moon, harvest moon and/or falling leaf moon) is not uncommon.  However, what’s unique about the blood moon this month is that it’s a full lunar eclipse.

The term “Blood Moon” is fairly new in modern, popular media.  In truth, it’s a term that’s been used by earth-worshippers for a very, very long time.

Blood moons commonly happen during the months of Autumn (Sept-Nov).  In the old religions, and ways of life, this is a time of hefty harvest as well as slaughter.  Blazing bright foliage is reminiscent of the color of blood.  Slaughter of cattle is obviously a blood-related event.

This is a painfully simple explanation for the connection between “blood” and “moon”.

So what’s it all about, Alfie?  And what are we supposed to do with this blood moon stuff!?!?

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind during this blood moon lunar eclipse:

Get Grateful:  As this is a time of the long-held traditional harvest, we might give thanks for what we have gained in our lives while admiring the blood moon.    An attitude of gratitude is powerful any day of the year, but especially during the full harvest moon.

Get Picking:  This is a full moon.  That means it’s a great time to do some harvesting of our own.  Our modern world may not muster every villager, gather in the fields and harvest crops…but that doesn’t mean we don’t have fruits to pick.  Consider ideas ripe for the harvest that need to be picked and worked on.  Also consider loose ends that need tidying before the long winter months hit.  Part of harvest is prevention.


Get a Clue:  This is a full lunar eclipse.  Symbolically, a lunar eclipse speaks to us about stuff that is a major presence in our lives.  We know it’s there.  It shines brightly in our lives.  Nonetheless, it’s often blocked by something (time constraints, the ego, ignorance, denial, etc).  During this blood moon eclipse, it might be a good idea to recognize and appreciate the ‘big obvious’ in our lives.  This could be as simple as recognizing mentors, family, our kids or special friends in our lives.  Those people who always shine, but our business or whatever gets in the way of giving thanks for them.

Get a Life:  Blood is a big deal.  It means life.  It is the ocean in which all life might continue to exist on this earth.  This blood moon eclipse might be a good time to get in the flow of that concept.  This could mean paying attention to our health concerns.  It might mean re-devoting ourselves to our “life-blood” which could be our passions, our children, our community…that big aspect of our lives that insures life moves forward.

Give it Up:  Blood is about sacrifice.  Not trying to freak you out, but it’s true that blood has been steeped in the concept of sacrifice since ancient times.  Consequently, this might be a good time to consider the sacrifices others have made for you.  Blood moons are a time for me to thank the military men and women who shed their blood in service to our country.  This is also a good time to consider what kind of sacrifices you can make to better yourself, others, your community, the world.  What can you shed that will lighten the world?

These are just a few symbolic ideas that hold hands with the full blood moon.  However you intend to acknowledge this special lunar eclipse – I hope all your moments with Lady Luna are illuminating.



More Symbolic Lunar Delights…

Moon Meaning and Symbolism

Full Moon Names Per Month

Moon Signs and Personality Types

Moon Symbolism and Meditation


Skepticism About the Enchantment of Life


Skepticism and the Enchantments of Life

I get tons of emails filled with great questions.  I got this inquiry from Roger (name used with permission), and had to share it with you.  Roger writes:

‘All of this stuff you write here is very entertaining, but is that all it is? Entertainment? For example, is there proof of earth elementals, magic, and anything else you describe that is out of the norm? I am very interested in knowing this stuff, but I don’t want to delve deeper if I am going to be let down in the long run.’

I think this is a great email.  It appeals to my innate skeptic, and it smacks of a willingness to go beyond the mundane – to reach out for more – even if tentatively.

Well, Roger…I’ll be honest…it takes a certain amount of belief and faith to encounter elementals, or enchantment in life. It takes attitude, that’s for sure.  This is not to say we all frolic willy-nilly into fairy land.

Too much dreaming without substance is all fluff.  That’s why I appreciate healthy skepticism. It’s necessary to question.

In my experience, I’ve encountered things that logic cannot explain, and so my inquiries persist. Science comes close to explaining the enchantments of life, but it cannot fully explain the human-element which deals with attitude, perception and the dynamism of mind/spirit.

So, I guess my answer is circumventing the question, in that I’d say the realness of magic would be dependent upon your perception and reality.

I once wrote: ‘Magic is inherent in every inhalation of life.’ and that really is true. From a studious stance,  science and metaphysics can track down logical, organized connections within energetic phenomenon taking place in every moment of our conscious existence.  From a creative, imaginative stance…magic just “is”.  It’s in every atom, every cell, every nook and cranny of life.  It doesn’t have to be explained, or shoved under a microscope – it’s just present – at all times, and in all things.

It’s the glimmering sword of reason humans must wield in an effort to slice away doubt. But we’ve got to be able to suspend our doubt long enough to marry logic with imagination.

Life requires balance, and living a conscious life represents an endless Q&A between provable tangibles and intangible mysteries.  It’s healthy to be skeptical.  I certainly am.  Believe it or not, I’m hugely suspect of most things I encounter that deny logic.  But I think that makes me a great intuitive.  Why?  Because I’m not mindless.  I pick apart the unexplained.  In that process of picking, I usually come across a loop I can hook my psychic claws into.  Once hooked, I can suspend my analytical mind just long enough to peer into an opening of magic, wonder and wisdom. 

Plus, I can’t help but revert back to my ancestry – and the ancient lineage all humans share.  Native Americans, Vikings, ancient Celts, Aborigines, etc….all the Old People of the Old Ways.  They had old school psychic chutzpah.  They knew stuff that went deep into the core of what it meant to live and be alive.   We can argue they didn’t have the science to explain stuff as we do today.  But does that make their wisdom any less significant?  I don’t think so.


Take sympathetic magic for example.  This is a kind of practice that sees corollaries in nature, and mimics them in ritual to bring about a similar, binding effect.  An illustration of this is the Celtic Druid approach to mistletoe.  Science tells us mistletoe is a parasite on the oak tree.  Druids saw it as a snuggly, symbiotic partner to the oak.  As such, Druids harvested mistletoe and used it in sacred ritual to bind their community.  It was used as an omen or a symbol to keep marriages together, and bind the clan together.  Mistletoe in ritual was used to imitate a clinging, a kinship, a glue to that which is deeply rooted and strong like the oak.  Were the binding rituals effective?  I can’t say.  But I’m certain the divorce rates of ancient Celts were far less than that of the population today. Am I suggesting that all marriages end in divorce because a hand-fasting or a mistletoe ritual wasn’t employed?  Certainly not.

What’s relevant here is the connection and collaboration with nature.  I wholeheartedly feel (and have experienced) the effects of natural energy when profoundly, respectfully connected to it. 

I guess I’m saying we can’t put all our eggs in one basket.   Yes, indeed, there is such a thing as magic.  Look around at the miracle of Earth and our galaxy…that’s proof enough of magic.  Yes, magic can be conjured too.  Is it the end-all-be-all of an outcome?  No.  I don’t think so.  I think magic requires fortitude.  I think tapping into the enchantment of life requires intellect, imagination and a willingness to believe while still maintaining an even mind. 

I rarely make guarantees.  But I promise you this:  There is absolutely a superior, enchanted life taking place beyond our bills, our jobs, our kids crying, and long lines at the grocery store.  There is more to this life than what we see day-to-day. 

There is a gossamer veil that divides common experience from uncommon experience.  Luckily, that veil is translucent and ephemeral. Luckily, if we want to, we can venture behind that veil to access otherworldly experiences.  It takes an altered perception, and a balanced perspective to straddle the common and the uncommon.  Am I saying it’s easy?  No.  But I am saying it’s doable. 

Other articles of interest: 

Fan Mail From the Devil

Tapping into Nature’s Energy

Earth Meditation

Moon Meditation



Cleansing Spaces


Stuff holds energy and memory.

Consider cell-memory.  Cell-memory is a theory that suggests a body or geographical area retains the memory of a harsh, tragic event.

Take Gettysburg, for example. One of the most bloody segments of the Civil War in the US,  in which more than 50,000 soldiers lost their lives.  It’s claimed to have an eerie aura – it’s landscape is saturated by a thick, oppressive essence.  I don’t doubt it.

I visited Chickamauga in Georgia – almost 2,000 killed and another 1,000 soldiers wounded.  It made me pass out – and left me loopy for an additional 24 hours.   I don’t dare go to Gettysburg.  I’d love to encounter the history – but my sensibilities would crumble under that cell-memory!

This post isn’t about US Civil War.  This post is  about the scars and marks that are left behind in our personal lives, and how to heal them.

On a domestic scale, we could say that remnants of previous owners might have left some residue behind in your home.  Or – we could say that there are some residual vibrational emanations left behind in our cars, office, or even our storage units.

Life leaves a trace.  Why?  Because life is all about energy.   It’s never destroyed. Only recycled.  That means, there is always a fingerprint left behind.

Should you be worried or concerned?  No, I don’t think so.  If you are functioning well in your environment…if you are happy and feel secure….keep calm, and carry on!

However…for those of you who are uber-sensitive…those of you who feel a need to swoosh out some nefarious badies in your pad, or office space…this post is for you.

Some quick tips about cleansing…

1)  Get the proper music-mojo.  I have no doubt you all have an infinite source of musical goodies.  Something smooth, non-distracting, non-verbal, luscious and wavy.  Consider sounds that connect with your astrological sun-sign (air: wind, fire: crackles of fire, water: whale song, earth: rustling of leaves).  You get my drift….ambient and pleasing.

3)  Ambiance, people.  Light some candles. A total must! :) It would be lovely to have your home in amber waves of candlelight, but if you ain’t got that many…no sweat…just light one – that suffices.

4) Say a few words – be intent, be focused – hone yourself within your words – feel the purpose of your steps and actions within your home.  Know this exercise is valid, virtuous and vital.  Pray to the deities that dig your groove, and express gratefulness in their presence in your essence.  Know that each syllable and consonant you utter is heard, validated, loved and reciprocated by the glorious Universal flow.

4)  Set to smudging.  You’ve got options here….

I don’t mean to get technical, but this is what I’ve written about “what smudging is” on my Tarot site: “Smudging: A ritual purification by means of smoke. A common practice performed by ancient cultures as well as Native American Indians, and modern day practitioners of sacred practices. It is thought that the smoke lifts out any possible negative energy in a space or object. White sage is commonly burned for smudging purposes.”

Technical definitions aside…we also smudge to make a bold statement…to the gods, goddesses, elementals, spirits…and to ourselves.  The act of “smoking out” is spiritual, personal, and relevant.  Not only does the act prove to the Universal energies that we’re serious (demonstrative action), it also makes purification a physical process for us humans here on earth.

Now for your options:  You can burn whatever flicks your Bic.  I use white sage.  I’ve also used stick incense (love myrrh or frankincense or even my stand-by patchouli).  Use whatever is most pleasing to your olfactory palate.

What to do with the ashes? No worries.  Use a vessel that means something special to you to capture the burn-off from whatever you’re using to smudge.  I use a lovely abalone shell.  The opulence and swirly-twirly of the colors kinda set me free as I’m dowsing the place with smoke.  I sometimes use an ashtray my grandma had.  -Have also used a bowl made for me by a 12 year old sweetie – I love that her teeny-tiny hands made that bowl, and are a part of this special ritual.

I’m the queen of incoordination – so, at this point, I would be asking: “Which hand do I hold the vessel, and which hand do I hold the smoke-stick!?”

Depends:  Left hand is yin: Feminine, Receiving, Soft, Mothering.  Right hand is Yang: Male, Giving, Assertive. Lean more about symbolic hand positions and hand meanings here.  It’s your choice.

Before you set your fire stick aflame…open a window.  It may be a wive’s tale…but baby, that’s some of the best wisdom, EVER!  The idea of opening a window before smudging deals with having an opening for negative energy to exit.  Smart advice!  Thank you old wives!

Now…In honor of nooks, crannies and Fung Shui…we have to consider where to start and how to swirl those smoke tendrils around your home (or other orifices).


I’m sure there are other ways to do this, but I like simple.  Start north, and move clockwise.

Stand in the center of your space- arms spread with fire-stick and ash-capturing vessel in hand.  Move north.  Say a devotional for the awesomeness the northern energies provide.

From north, you’ll go clockwise to east.

Here is a cultural run-down of directional symbolism which may help with your devotionals:

In Chinese Feng Shui, each direction correlates to the Chinese zodiac animals:

•North =  Rat: Adaptability, charm, creativity, sociability, wit.

•East = Rabbit: Trust, sincerity, love, compassion.

•South = Horse: Physical strength, health, adventure, loyalty.

•West = Rooster: Confidence, business, energy, persistence.

In ancient Celtic symbolism and tradition, the cardinal directions were acknowledged in several ceremonies and festivals.  Hand-fasting ceremonies and other earth-based belief systems (pagan) still honor the directions today.  Here is a brief outline of these directional representations:

•North = earth, home, security, fertility

•East = air, communication, new beginnings, new growth

•South = fire, energy, passion, creativity

•West = water, emotion, psyche, movement

In certain divinatory practices the directions represent time phases:

•North = Infinite Possibility (no-time)

•East = Future

•South = Present – Now

•West = Past

Native Americans have their own meanings of cardinal directions.  The Lakota, for example hold to the following guideline:

•North = wisdom/thought

•East = salvation/spirit

•South = beginnings/purity

•West = conclusions/fullness

The astrological zodiac provides yet another aspect of the four directions and their symbolism:

•North = Air corresponding with Aquarius

•East = Earth corresponding with Taurus

•South = Fire corresponding with Leo

•West = Water corresponding with Scorpio
Don’t get caught up in these segmented definitions of compass assignments.   What matters is you feel the jive in each direction.

Pay special attention to corners.  Negative-nellies love corners, for some reason.  Smudge up and down in each corner.  Continue moving clockwise

When  you’re done, dowse your fire-stick (sage stick or incense) in a bowl of distilled, purified water.  I use holy water from Our Lady of Fatima Shrine.  This action is a “hat’s off” to the fire, smoke and energy that helped to contribute to a nice, clean space.

Store your fire stick in a sacred place too.  Use it again when you feel the urge, or every equinox and solstice.

If you liked this, you might also like a few other offerings I have for you.  Check out the links:

Nature Symbolism

Seasonal Symbolism

Color Meanings

Native American Meanings

Celtic Meanings

Aura Meanings

Bright blessings, as always,


Walking A Labyrinth

Walking A Labyrinth

Tips About Walking a Labyrinth

The idea behind walking a labyrinth is to move out of one perspective into another one.

A labyrinth is a metaphor for our point of view, so the process of walking a labyrinth is about shifting our awareness and consciousness

It’s no coincidence the labyrinth shares symbolism with the spiral.

The spiraling labyrinth is symbolic of:

  • Balance
  • Progress
  • Direction
  • Initiation
  • Centering
  • Expanding
  • Awareness
  • Connection
  • Journeying
  • Development

When we partake in the ancient process of walking a labyrinth we become intimate with all these attributes inherent to spiral symbolism.

The Hopi, a Native North American Indian tribe viewed the labyrinth as an underground maze in which the whole race of humankind sought liberation from.  At first, humankind was created within the inner earth-womb (called a kiva, a cave-like sanctuary underground).  There, humans were nurtured by the earth.  Through a process of evolution, understanding and growth, humans emerged out of the underground labyrinth and ascended above-ground to embrace a new dawn of awareness.  This process of evolution is reenacted today by making a ritual of physically walking a labyrinth.

Walking the labyrinth is also synonymous with moving through the trials and tribulations of life.  We all know every life is replete with twists and turns of fate and fortune.

We could say our very lives are labyrinth-like.  Walking a labyrinth is a way to see the revolutions of life, and gaining composed control over what might otherwise seem out-of-control scenarios.  But walking our way through the labyrinth of life with calm determination and faith, we know our destination is always enlightenment – always expansive.

Give it a try for yourself.  Do a Google search on labyrinth walks offered in your area.  You will find this experience to be incredibly soul-expansive and mind-broadening too.

Other articles of interest:


Shamanism and Alternative Healing for Pets

alternative healing for pets

Exploring Alternative Healing for Pets from a Shamanic Perspective

Most of us who have pets, are devoted to our animals.  We are not pet owners.  Rather, we are family, providers and friends to the animals who participate in our lives.

Because we feel so deeply about our animal family, many of us are seeking unique ways to help them.  Although shamanism is ancient, it can prove to be an innovative method to alternative healing for pets.

Please note, this article on alternative healing for pets using shamanic philosophies is only suggestive.  Seek professional medical advice if necessary.

There are various opinions about what shamanism is.  Simplified, shamanism is a state of being that recognizes the core and primal spirit in all life.  Shamanism is an instinctive form of practice and thought.  Animism (acknowledgment of a spirit in all things alive) is the prime tenet of a shaman’s spiritual practice and path.

That said, shamanism can be a perfect complement to alternative healing for pets because it is rooted in animalistic wisdom.

So how can shamanism help heal your pet?

It’s decidedly simple.  When called to practice, shamans pick up a single energetic thread of life – the main thread – and follow this thread to its origin.  They understand that there is a core animalistic thread.  Once that core thread is identified, it can be communicated with and healing can begin.

For example, a core thread for domestic dogs is the lineage of the noble wolf.  Shamanism affirms this original energetic bloodline within domestic dogs and communicates with the wolf on the dog’s behalf.

Bearing this in mind, you can serve as a shaman to your pet.  Here are some suggestions for incorporating shamanism as an alternative healing for pets.

  • If your pet is not feeling well, you can take the active role of shaman and perform a shamanic healing on your animal family member.
  • Be in a comfortable environment with your pet.  Have one or two of his/her favorite items (like a chew toy, blanket).  This enhances the sense of comfort and ease.
  • Speak your intent clearly and express gratitude.  A verbal or mental statement such as “We are all connected, and I am one with (my pet’s name here). Healing is activated in this circle of energy, and we are grateful for the work that is done.”
  • Touch your pet lovingly.  As you do so, move your awareness into a deeper, meditative state.  Begin to calm yourself as you continue to calm and stroke your pet. With each stroke, move your mind and spirit to a deeper level of consciousness.  Both you and your pet are diving into sacred shamanic energies.
  • When you feel yourself submerged in a calm yet powerful energetic field, begin to focus your awareness on your pet – but do not see him/her as ill.  Rather, see your pet as complete, whole and healthy.  Part of shaman magic comes from seeing potentials (not what you see in front of you) so see vitality in your dog (even if he/she is sick).
  • Now focus on the prime animal bloodline (that core thread of life) of your pet.  Tap into the root, or the original family line.  This is where the power lies.  In domestic animals this power lays dormant, but it can be summoned and activated to facilitate healing.Here are some suggestions for ancient bloodlines connected to domestic pets:
    –Dog = Wolf, Fox
    –Cat = Lion, Tiger, Puma, etc.
    –Bird = Eagle, Owl, Hawk
    –Fish = Shark, Sturgeon
    –Snake = Cobra, Kundalini
    –Lizards = Dragons

    You may tap into different prime lineage.  That’s okay.  Go with what compels you – that’s what shamans do.

  • Once you identify your pet’s original power line, focus on this energy and begin to communicate with this primal, indwelling spirit.
  • Activate this primal power surging through your pet.  See it running through the veins of your pet as waves of ancient healing, helping and strong ancestral love for your animal.
  • Continue working with these ancient animal energies – see the energies co-mingling.  Respect and participate in the energetic mix.
  • When you feel a dip in the intensity of this excursive, it is a natural cue to begin to wrap up your work.
  • Thank all the energies and spirits who came to help and connect.  Begin to pull back into your every-day consciousness.
  • Stroke your pet, and speak lovingly to him/her.  Explain to your pet what just took place (he/she already knows – but it helps to galvanize the experience for  both you and your pet).
  • These practices are intense.  Spend the next hour or so just calmly relaxing with your pet.  Indulge your pet with your undivided attention and love – this adds to the effectiveness of healing.

It’s important to be open-minded when you are practice this alternative healing for pets.  Let the shamanic ways move you.  Stay in a creative state as you work with these shamanic and animal realms.

For example, if you are working with your dog, and recognize Wolf energy, see that energy emerging from your dog.  See wolf spirit come alive in your dog, making him/her more active, alive and full of wild vitality.  See other wolves coming in packs to connect with your dog, and assure him/her healing is available within the energetic wolf tribe.

There is no limit to the potential power inherent in alternative healing for pets using shamanic methods.  Give it a try, and see for yourself.  Odds are, not only your pet will receive a healing – so will you!

Some other links you may like:

Cat Symbolism and Meaning (domestic)

Dog Meaning and Symbolism

Finding Focus in the Dance of Life

Whether you’re a whirling Dervish or popping turtle moves on the breakdance floor, the pros will tell you to keep your eye on a fixed object when you’re spinning in motion.  It’s the same in life as on the dance floor.

Life is a dance replete with dips, jumps and guaranteed spins.  If you think on it, our whole galaxy is spinning in motion…it’s only logical that we too should be doing the Chubby Checker Twist right along with it.

Some of us confess our lives are spinning out of control.  Others report slow spirals in-and-out of the light and dark spaces of our lives. No matter what kind of dance moves our lives are employing, on one level or another, we’re all in motion.  Motion is a natural law. We can’t beat it, so we might as well move with it.

What if we can’t seem to find our groove when our lives boogie to a tune we may deem unsavory?  We find a fixed object and focus on that until the spinning subsides, or the music of our destiny changes its beat.

In order to keep their equilibrium intact, dancers return their vision to a constant focal point upon each revolution of a spin.  When it feels as though we are careening through life, we can employ the same tactic.

What kind of focal point shall we use as an anchor while pirouetting and cartwheeling through life?

Personal preference, really.  Pick something that grounds you, a stabilizing energy, something that represents constancy in your life.  It doesn’t have to be something grandiose.  Most times, simple is better when it comes to stability.

Nature is a good place to look for constancy.  Trees, rocks, soil, roots, mountains…these are all points of focus that emit tremendous energy of long-suffering equilibrium and dependability.  Granted, all things of the Mother (Earth) will change in time, but there are focal points nestled within Her divine design that lend rock-solid support when we need it.

For every turn and twist our lives take, there is a supportive partnership in Nature that counterbalances us.

Other pages of interest:

Symbolic Meaning of Stones

Symbolic Strength from Trees

Nature Symbolism and Wisdom