Any Dreamtime Role requires a lot of work and is a calling. As Keeper of Sacred Sites or Wheelkeeper, I did not go looking for these Roles, they found me. I merely answered the call.
Keeper of Sacred Sites started for me, as far as I know, in 1991 when I returned to Grande Prairie, Alberta, the land of my birth. I came to take care of my aging parents. The demands of the job were high and I would take time out to go and renew my body and soul at a nearby lake, called Crystal Lake. It is a small bird sanctuary and is alive with ducks, geese, swans, blackbirds, cedar waxwings and countless others at different times of the year.When I started going, there were no houses around the lake, except for one. Now the lake is surrounded by huge expensive houses and a fence blocks the path from the north that the deer, moose, coyotes, and other creatures took to drink from the lake. I was infuriated at the disregard for the animals when they built homes there. But there was nothing I could do, although I did have my say by writing a letter to the editor in our local paper. I just had to get it off my chest. Maybe it gave consciousness to a few people at least.
A little way back from the lake is an open space about the size of a square city block. It is surrounded by trees and there is a fox den in the trees to the south. I would go for walks there around the perimeter and breath in the wonderful scents of sage, sweetgrass, wildflowers, poplar, spruce and other trees. This was a sacred place to me. It renewed my spirit.
One day I noticed a yellow tape tied around the east half of the meadow. Then later, tire tracks appeared running right through the centre of the meadow. I called the City Parks department to see what was going on. They told me that they were going to build a dog park there!
“Over my dead body!” I heard this in my head.
The next thing I knew, I was calling the local newspaper and radios, writing to the editor and asking for a photographer to come out and do a story on Crystal Park Meadow. I told them that it was sacred to Aboriginal people and that I would fight to preserve it. That night I made a large sign saying “Preserve our Meadow”. Early the next morning, I stood outside in the rain, with a petition for dog owners to sign to stop the dog park from happening. I got 30 signatures in one morning! None of the dog owners wanted the park there.
A photographer from the newspaper showed up. My letter to the editor was published as well as an article in the paper, asking people to call the Parks Department if they did not want the dog park there. The department was apparently flooded with calls and the whole project was shut down within a week!
The man who had the contract (it was his tire marks) must have been angry, because when I came back the following day, he had driven over the sign I had put there. I felt such anger and aggression in it, that I broke down into tears. I didn’t realize how much emotion and energy it took for me to take on the city. I remember calling Will and crying over the phone to him…lol.
A few years ago, There was a fire at the east and west side of the meadow. I thought it was set by someone, but it had been contained in the trees, so there was no problem. It just seemed to burn away some of the underbrush. Months later, I noticed that they had mowed down half of the meadow. And there was another set of tire tracks going right close to the sage patch. Again I called the city and many calls later, found out that they were doing weed control, hence the reason for the fire. It is a really bad weed, I forget the name of it, but it could destroy the entire meadow if they don’t stop it.
The mowing was also part of the 5 year weed control plan and the man who did the mowing had cut more than he was supposed to. They didn’t know that until I told them. (They know me well by now at the City Parks Department…lol. ) So they called him and told him not do mow such a large area. They are aware now of the sage and made sure to tell him to use the same route through the meadow each time and not make new tracks.
Meanwhile, I joined a local Aboriginal group because I talked to one of the co-chairs and took her to the meadow. We smudged and prayed and I told her my story. I told her that the Ancestors had asked me to protect that meadow, that I had a vision of it as a gathering place. I saw them there picking sage, sweetgrass and berries.
I told her how I felt so strong about protecting this place but I couldn’t do it alone anymore, that I needed the Aboriginal community to help. She invited me to their meetings. They had just formed a new group, an Aboriginal Circle of Servicese, and were negotiating with the city to create a working partnership.
I was allowed to tell my story to the City representatives. At subsequent meetings, the City Parks sent spokespersons and they promised that the meadow would never be developed. I said I want it in writing for future generations, because when they are no longer there, anything can happen. So I am still going to meetings on this step. It’s a lot of work, but my Warrior seems to come out when it comes to certain Sacred Sites.
This is just one area that I have been called to protect.But this is getting long, it will have to be in another blog.
There seems to be a polarity going on in our world today, a battle between the Light and the Dark. Maybe it’s an ongoing battle, maybe it’s nothing new. But the New Age Movement is all about focusing on the Light, being positive, chanting positive affirmations, etc…. While on the other side there are the wars and violence erupting all over the place. Each and every one of us is responsible for this happening. If we push away darkness, it will have to come out somewhere else…. its a law of Nature.
I also love the light, but I have learned through Shamanism to accept and explore my shadow and bring it to consciousness and balance. I used to want to be in the light all the time. According to the Medicine Wheel, this means getting stuck in the East, not going around rest of the wheel.
In Nature there is light and dark. If we deny the darkness inside of us, it becomes a scary monster. Worse than that, it becomes dangerous, because it can erupt in the most inconvenient and unlikely places.
We learn about our Fragments in Shamanism, our Inner Community. We come to know ourselves as multi-dimensional beings. We understand and accept that there are parts of us that are not always nice, pleasant or polite according to society’s standards. We don’t pretend to be always loving, patient, kind and compassionate, although we strive to be those things.
We cannot even begin to grow and heal if we are in denial of our anger, pain, fears, bitterness, jealousy, insecurity, selfishness, greed, etc. It takes courage to face our own darkness. Often we stay in the Light, the nice places, the happy and comfortable places because we judge ourselves. Or maybe we are running away from traumatic memories.
As a child I used to have recurring nightmares of always running but not going anywhere. Then I would realize that I was on a treadmill. Next I heard fighting all around me. I would wake up in a sweat with my heart pounding in my ears. As the years progressed, I saw the nightmare manifest in my waking life. My parents were fighting violently and I was terrified. And I was sexually abused at the tender age of six and no one knew. I hid it so well out of shame that I even hid it from myself. I escaped to my happy place inside. My soul split in half and part of me went back to the Light, the Source. The other part of me, the wounded child, fell into a crumbled heap onto the cold cement basement floor.
I chose to be in the happy place most of my life and forgot about that young child. Until one day I was strong enough to go back and find her, and bring her home again, inside of me. I had to feel her pain and shame. I had to do the healing work to make her feel whole, safe and loved again. We need to talk about these things, not sweep them under the carpet.
Many people are using the Light to hide from their imbalances and unresolve, their dark side. This is dangerous to those around them, to themselves and the planet. We are conditioned to judge the darkness inside us.
If we don’t accept our shadow, we are creating an imbalance in the Earth. It has to go somewhere. So She has to take it into her body. The Shaman also has to take it and work with it. There is more than enough unresolved shadow issues to weigh heavily on the Shamans today.
Each and every one of us has work to do. This is one way that we can help to restore balance. But as long as we are blinded by the Light to the point that we deny our own darkness, we are contributing to the imbalance of the planet.
Our shadow is not our enemy. We make it so. In the Shadow lurks our power and medicine… if we take the time to delve into it, see it for what it is without the programs and judgements. We need to do this in a functional way so as not to become our own worst enemies. The Shamanic path taught me how to dance with my Shadow in a way that empowers myself and others.
We are in the Firekeeper Wind which is about illusions, passions and desires. The Moon of Breaking Masks isn’t giving us much time to stay in illusion… it is as if Cosmology is saying… “See your illusions and Reality at the same time”. Can we handle the paradox? Can we handle that we are creatures of both Light and Dark?
The wind has been relentlessly blowing for weeks now, drying up the topsoil and blowing it away. It pulls at my clothes and hair and echoes through my ear canals. Grit gets in my teeth and dirt settles in my ears and eyes. Litter and leaves are tossed randomly about the streets. Plastic shopping bags fly in the wind like wildly chaotic white birds drunk and stumbling in the air.
I woke up feeling out of sorts today, like the wind was tossing me about. Every day I am hit with another issue, illusion, broken moon or unconsciousness revealed to me. It was hard to find the ground, I was spinning like a top until I finally stopped and sat still.
I decided to do a reading. I have been in a deep process since W left. Abandonment issues (Moon of Welcoming) came up big time for me. And a feeling of FAILURE. There is something inside of me that goes to this place that I failed. I don’t know if it is learned in school or what. I know that in Shamanism that there is no failure, only lessons. But the concept of pass/fail is well ingrained in me. And even if I did fail, why do I have to beat myself up over it?
I know that my parents and teachers had high expectations of me because I was considered smart, but I wasn’t interested in school or succeeding in the world when I was miserable and hurting, lost and confused, wounded and broken…. I just wanted to find truth, I wanted to bring back missing pieces of my soul even though I didn’t have the words for it back then.
It’s amazing how these same issues surface again and again. It takes a lifetime to heal the wounds of our youth. But then we are also working on ancestral stories (past lives) and family burdens that we carry as well as collective issues. No wonder is so much work!
I did a reading this morning and got lots of insights as to what is tossing around inside of me. Oppressive attitudes, negativity, illusions, doubt, futility, fears….
I realize that I have a way of punishing myself when I am not in a good space. I add insult to injury, which sends me on a deeper downward spiral. But I am determined to work through these issues of insecurity, lack of self-worth, lack of confidence in myself and my abilities, lack of trust in the process when I am in it…. and more…I know that these are mostly from broken moons and Christian or Western programs.
INSECURITY is such a big one for me (2nd Moon of Affirmation). I was never affirmed in anything as a child, except for my Mom saying I was special, I was her Spiritual child. This only gave me an over-inflated Moon of Omnipotence. It is not good to spoil or pamper your children or give them undue praise. I spoiled my son at first and even my cat. I thought they were so amazing that I built them up. It only makes for an unruly character that thinks they are special. They become demanding and selfish. My cat still can’t accept the new cat and its been over a year now. She wants all my attention, doesn’t want to share me and chases the other cat away. I see myself in her, wanting to be special, wanting all the attention, not wanting to share the limelight (Moon of Drama).
Its a good thing that I got wise enough to stop catering to my son’s every demand at an early age. I can only imagine what a monster I would have created. It was when he was two, again the Moon of Affirmation that I had to teach him to accept the word “No”. He was affirmed too much at the beginning.
But I was not affirmed and now I have to affirm myself. Every time I go into process I think I am worthless and don’t deserve to live or be loved. It’s amazing how cruel I can be to myself.
I learned in my family that you put up a good front, make everyone believe that you are in a good place, when in fact its not true. We hid the fact that there was alcohol and abuse going on in our family. We were the “perfect Christian family”.. on the surface. This is where SHAME comes in… my Mom was shamed for being a tramp and whore and a sinner. I still carry that shame. How do you let go of something that big?
DOUBT is another one, or the stone of Mistrust on the Wheel. I need to trust the process and know that when things get difficult, when I am immersed in my shit, that I will find a way out of it.
FUTILITY is also big for me. I remember at a gathering when Gerard told me I was wrong about something, I crumbled inside. I give up too easy. It’s like a child inside of me was given too big of a burden to handle and collapsed under the weight of it. In spite of the fact that I’ve lived a full life, was married, gave birth, worked at many different jobs, went to university, did post graduate studies, was a natural health consultant, took care of my parents by myself in their final years, helped lots of people through difficult times, taught the Medicine Wheel for decades… etc. etc…. etc….
It is not how much we accomplish in the world that gives us the strength inside to believe in ourselves, it is the healing of the wounded child who wasn’t taught to believe in her own power, wisdom and inherent skills.
The last part of the reading was about LOSS. No matter how much we live, learn, heal and gain on a physical/material, spiritual, emotional or mental level… we will lose it ALL!
We will all die and leave behind the identity, the person we are in this life. We will have to let go of all our acommplishment and defeats, our lessons and relationships… everything!!! There does seem to be some resistance in my body to letting go. Is it the fear of pain and attachment to all of the above seems to be there in spite of my desire to let it all go? I know there is healthy attachments and unhealthy attachements, but in the end, they all have to go….
The center card in the reading was DEATH/TRANSFORMATION. I pray for this. I am tired of the old programs, fears and issues that haunt me, that drag me down into the quagmires.
Recently GP told me that he could feel that I was building something. I don’t know what it is, but at the same time as I am working on my shadow (Raven Gate), I am also redoing my entire house, painting, buying new furniture, etc. This has to do with ABUNDANCE and I have had issues come up with this too… unworthiness and guilt mainly, also a feeling of incompetence,and inability or unwillingness to handle the abundance.It is a lot of work to maintain a house and car for example. Am I capable of doing all the repairs and upkeep?
I felt like I was doing something wrong when spending money on things for the house. I believe it comes from my days of being poor.
Unworthiness stumps me though. It’s like I don’t deserve nice things, Often when I have something nice, I lose it or destroy it somehow. I once put a $700 Guici watch through the washer. Is it the message we get that others in the world are starving while we are so well off? There is something more there that I am not seeing, yet.
I so believe that part of the reason I feel unworthy is because I often have others providing for me. I never really make a lot of money myself. Lisa said that I as long as I was on my path that I would always be taken care of, but I feel guilty for this. It’s a Western program that I have to work hard for what I get. Even though I do work hard, but not in the Western sense. I work hard on my path, on my inner work….
It’s also about having trouble receiving. It is a vulnerable, humbling place to be.
There is so much going on right now. It’s like the Universe is saying… DEAL WITH IT ALL – NOW!!!! I know its related to the Raven Gate, The Blue Moon, my year of Breaking Masks, the Earth shifts, the Winds & Moons we are in collectively and my path of Initiation all rolled up into one.
Whatever it is, it’s INTENSE!!!!!
(Why do I have a feeling that the Raven in the photo above is laughing at me!!?)
There are times when we have to let go of our pride and take a good long look at our shadow.
I grew up in a middle-class Catholic family. Guilt, shame and the concept of sin was fed to me from day one. We were told that we were sinners just because we were born. It was later in life that I learned the the word sin actually means “to miss the mark”. We all miss the mark when it comes to being whole and balanced. If we can’t admit this, then we will never become whole and balanced, simply because it takes humility to admit we are not there yet. If we were, we wouldn’t be here! We would be “ascended masters” for want of a better phrase.
There was a Christian program in me that I had to be perfect, free of sin or else I will burn in hell forever or in the least, pergatory when I die. That is a terrifying thing to imprint in a young child. I also came from a legacy of shame with a Father and Mother who were alcoholics and had affairs while professing to be good Catholics and upstanding members of the community we lived in. I learned to hide the shame, the sin, my fears, shadow and all that is not to be mentioned, including the physical beatings and the sexual abuse.
“Pride goeth before the fall”. We will all fall at some point in time, again and again. There is no shame in falling. The shame is in not getting back up if anything. But sometimes we need to stay down for the count and admit defeat. Admit that we were wrong, in ego, fear and illusion, that we have unresolved issues….
Shame is one of four nightmares on the Medicine Wheel. Our Ancestors said that if you have shame, guilt, regret or jealousy, it is because you are not living your path and purpose.
Shame can also be ingrained in us from birth. It is an extreme form of embarrassment. With embarrassment we turn red in the face, people laugh at us and we feel silly. With Shame we feel a deep remorse, like we did something terribly wrong. People who are sexually abused feel shame, as if it was their fault. It takes time and effort to go through the shame to the other side of this nightmare. It takes strength and effort and support to not get stuck in it. We often bury it all or push it away without getting at the core of it. But then, if we look at it again and again, we go deeper and deeper, peeling away the layers until there is nothing left of it.
IF we are too proud to admit our faults and shortcomings, we can end up hurting ourselves and others. We become superficial or shallow, not going into the dark recesses of our souls. We reject, ignore or hide. We fragment a part of our soul, a part that is wounded, dysfunctional and in need of healing. OR we unconsciously act out our pain in ways that hurt…
The past month I spent looking at a part of myself that I am not proud of. It is not fun but if I don’t look at myself honestly, there is no hope on Earth that I change the behavours or attitudes. And I am determined to change! Because I am not happy with that person inside of me who is angry, hurt, bitter, sad, resentful… etc.
I discovered that behind the attitudes and actions was a deep pain that has been there for lifetimes! It was almost unbearable to feel it. No wonder we don’t want to look inside ourselves. It hurts too much. I have yet to find the core to this seemingly bottomless pit of sorrow, grief, hurt and anger.
I am in the Moon of Breaking Masks this year. It has been a rocky ride to say the least, but most fulfilling as I come to the final month. It is almost a relief to be able to look back and be conscious of the illusions that drove my thoughts, words and actions in relationships, in my daily life. It is freeing to be able to let go of attitudes that make me unhappy. It was scary to see the person I was becoming. We all want to be “Good People”, but we all have a dark side that needs to be revealed and integrated and brought into balance so we can become the best that we can be.
I am grateful to the Shaman and Sorcerer, my Teachers who won’t let me get away (for too long) with being in illusion. In the end, I know I will be a better person…happier, stronger, more solid and grounded, more integrated and whole!
I am writing this blog because I know that many of us have the same problem with admitting when we are in process, that we are imperfect, that we have issues, illusions, unresolve, that we are are imbalanced, unconscious, hurt, angry, wounded, bitter, resentful… all those things that we are told we shouldn’t be, but we are – at times.
*** The photo is one that I took years ago of an old abandoned house. I wondered who had lived there and what they had lived. I found it odd that they had taken everything but left the curtains on the window, which were now shredded to pieces. It had an odd feeling to it, like something left unfinished. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and discover that I didn’t do what I came here to do, or that I have unresovled issues or unfinished wheels. Hence, the focus on process at this point in time.
Today I was sorting through some old newspaper clippings and photos. I came across newspaper articles about some Circles I did ten years ago, some magazine articles about the work I did, and more… I realized how long I’ve been doing healing and teaching, readings and helping others on their soul’s journey. It is such a fulfilling role and I am grateful for all the experiences, the souls I touched and that touched me on our Earth walk together. Where ever I’ve gone, I seem to have gathered together a community of people interested in healing, learning and growing together.
I can honestly say that I love the path I’m on and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
This Photo is a group that we worked with in Victoria, BC. My Mom, Aunt and son were there that day it was my birthday, June 1997,
Its a cool windy day. Last night was hard to sleep as the Nomad Wind is coming in strong….
My Teacher Lisa writes about “Dreaming Day by Day”… Following her blogs is interesting because It shows me the similarities in our themes. Lately I have been reminiscing, looking at old newpaper articles and thinking about how long I’ve been on the path I’m on and seeing the changes in me and around me.
Today I came across old newspaper clippings, posters, brochures etc… that I keep in a box. I was amazed to see how many workshops I’ve done in the past and the magazines or newspaper articles about me or by me, letters to editors, etc… that I wrote. Some posters were workshops that I attended that were given by my Teachers.
It is good to look back sometimes and see where we’ve been so we know where we are going… to quote a young initiate who is now doing MW circles as well. This seems to be the theme of the NOMAD wind, he says…. I agree.
It is good to see a new generation of wise and committed students stepping forward on the Shamanic Path.
*** Salmon is my Nomad Totem. I haven’t thought about it for a long time…. its not a major one on my Wheel, yet I had some great stories with it along the way. Maybe I will share them in my book.
Today was a good day with four hours of conversation with my teacher and JZ. It is amazing how much we have to share and how much I learn from these talks. It always leaves me with lots to digest and I am busy making notes. Talking with the Shaman is never just idle chat.
There are so many lessons messages and wisdom to glean. I ofen notice that if I just listen, all my questions are answered through the stories she shares. It never ceases to amaze me how she puts words to what I am living and can’t seem to express or find consciousness for, at least not at the depth she does.
I often ask myself how I got so lucky to be in the presence of a true Holy One. I am no one special. I have issues and faults like anyone else. The only thing I can say is that there is a destiny that guides us to our own greatness, our own divinity and we need only be humble enough to listen to our guidance and do our part in the journey, do our work with the issues that block us from our divinity, I am amazed that our programs, our brokeness, our unresolved issues… etc. can be so strong that we are willing to persecute and destroy the sacredness of life in us and around us.
Today, I feel the sacredness in me and around me.