Sunday, August 16, 2009

WEST VIRGINIA ART SHOW







here are three[out of five] submissions to the "BRINGING PEACE HOME"art show in Berkeley West Virginia to be held at the Ice House the first part of September. The show is sponsored by Morgan Arts Council. I am excited about being able to participate. Hopefully all my pieces will sell!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

SURCULAR SOULS

This is the debut of the all woman's fusion drum tribe i am in-- we have completed our studio recording and are now in the process of have a cd duplicated--

we are looking forward to having the cd duplicated now-- just making decision whether to go online or local-- hard to get seven women pointed in the same direction -- mmmmmm!!!!

below is a music player so u can listen to our music-- enjoy!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

HANBLECHEYAPI/VISION QUEST

Friday February 27 -- the beginning of my first Hanblecheyapi or Vision Quest...

my shamanic teacher, Debra, arranged for four of us to have this experience at the Center for Healing Arts-- she and Marcus, her husband, rearranged a room, taped black plastic on all the windows and it was here that we would stay for 24 hours with no food, water, in silence...waiting for our "vision"!!

The Hanblecheyapi is a Lakota Indian rite of passage and is usually done out doors-- it typically goes on for at least two days and more often four or more days.

"
The purpose of a vision quest is for the participant to receive guidance from the spirit world. Depending on the dream and the images presented within the dream, the participant is guided to make important life choices. In many cases, a person experiencing a vision will receive guidance from their particular animal spirit." [go here for more information]

Friday found me finishing my prayer ties-- these are small squares of red cloth that are filled with tobacco, and cornmeal, or sage and then made into bundles and actually tied together -- each bundle contains a prayer ...traditionally there are 28 ...but there can be more. Prayer ties are also used in the Sweat Lodge.

I wasn't nervous until I arrived at the Center and then the realization sunk in that i was going to be stuck in this room with three friends in total darkness and silence for two days!!I have to admit that i really felt just a little bit sick to my stomach... i had two blankets..one for me one for the floor, my mesa, two pillows, and several of my "sacred" stones.

At 7:00 pm the lights went out and the Quest began. My nerves kept me going for a while and i actually thought -- "gosh this really isn't so bad".... that thought however did not last the two days....

It is hard to even begin to explain what transpired during the 24 hours..i know i fell asleep for a while-- my dreams were weird and strange-- kind of unnerving yet not scary. I found myself thinking about many things... and then i was led to get stones from my mesa and place them on my heart, throat, and third eye... i also held a stone from peru for almost the entire time.

the floor was HARD and my back felt like knives were being stabbed into it ... even my knees hurt... i was very uncomfortable and found myself tossing and turning almost every second to find relief from the pain but no matter which way i turned the pain followed....

time seemed to stand totally still... the darkness engulfed me and i couldnt discern space, time, or much of anything.

crawling to the bathroom was weird too
trying to find the door knob--the perception of how far a door opened was totally askew... the coolness of the tiled bathroom floor brought some relief from the heat and at least i was moving -- i was doing SOMETHING.

there were several times i just wanted to leave... i saw myself just crawling out the door-- leaving my bedding and my belongings and somehow finding my way out to the light-- to my car-- and going home -- not telling anyone -- just leaving--- but then as suddenly as that thought came into my mind it disappeared and i found myself praying -- praying for everyone and everything-- rapists, murders, people who were ill, my family, myself, the Taliban... i prayed to pass the time... i didnt know what else to do....

i asked for my "vision" several times-- i begged--i pleaded-- i just wanted it to be over---i said i surrender -- i give up-- but nothing-- nothing came-- or if it did i certainly wasn't aware of it--

i pretended that i heard Marcus coming to open the door and tell us the time was here to leave...but of course he never materialized...and then i heard a voice-- it was Debra-- i dont know what she said all i know is that i heard a human---- and i knew then that the time had ended-- it was over--

we sat in the darkness but at least could talk and laugh and somehow that was very comforting--

there is more i could write -- but part of this is personal-- and part is the mystery--
all i can say is for those of you who are considering this --- go on and do it--- u are surrounded by Sacred Space- -- u can see what u are made of --- and perhaps u will get a vision -- a vision of your life's purpose--- thee and christine did have visions-- they realized it after the quest had finished ---- it took a couple days for the realization to come into focus--

will i do this again? at first i was saying a loud NO-- but i may try it again -- perhaps the next time we can do it outside-- that would be interesting-- nonetheless - i know what to expect now-- so it might not be as hard the next time--




Friday, February 27, 2009

VISION QUEST TONIGHT 02/27/2009

Tonight I will experience 24 hours of total darkness with no speaking, no food, no sleeping along with my teacher Debra, my good friends Thee and Christine. Although this isnt a Vision Quest that will be in the out of doors- for our first experience we decided to have it indoors and for only 24 hours.

I have completed my prayer ties and am now packing a small bag with only a pillow and a blanket...we will be on the floor, a rope guiding us to the bathroom.

We will be Hanblecheyapi
"crying for a vision" in the Lakota Indian fashion.... asking that Spirit visits us and provides us a vision of our life--- much like the Sweat Lodge suffering -- the Vision Quest relys on discomfort--

I am excited about this new experience and will be writing more after it is completed--

BIRTHDAY MILESTONE-- 65 YEARS




WOW well 02/20 found me turning 65!!! gosh i dont know where the time has gone??? i sure dont feel 65 whatever that is supposed to feel like?!?!?! i have applied for Medicare-- YIKES that is scarey for sure-- senior discounts-- i just hope i dont have to wear one of those call buttons around my neck!

My friends Thee, Christine, Pam threw an awesome party for me-- all my wonderful, caring, loving friends attended-- and i received incredible gifts!

I am sure people are over getting gifts for me -- what with the Croning Ceremony and the Minister Ordination!!

I am extremely blessed to have the family and friends I have in my life-- thanks to all of you who enrich my days, and touch my heart in oh so many ways-- i cant imagine what i would do with out you!!!





Monday, February 09, 2009

LIFE CHANGES AND CHALLENGES!!

Well 2008 is gone-- don't ask me where it disappeared to - i don't have a clue.

I know that there were amazing new adventures for me -- life changing experiences-- and i am now a different person than i was a year ago!!!

It began with the Munay-Ki Rites...then participation in the next phase of the Shamanic Path- the Mesa Classes... walking the medicine wheel-- starting in the South where we shed our past like the serpent sheds it skin. A DIFFICULT time- but also rewarding and releasing and filled with forgiveness. My load is lighter...my heart more open... my perspective different.

Now in the West where we experience our own death...are visited by ancestors...face our fears-- again -- my perspective changes and my heart is lighter. Next is the North which will be here soon-- the end of March.

I had some significant health problems in '08..very scarey-- but i am doing very well now and have totally gotten off my blood pressure medication... am taking REAL thyroid not sythenetic -- and my blood sugar levels are back to normal--- i can thank Linnette Beck of Beck Natural Medicine for saving my life.

I also experienced my first sweat lodge on New Year's Eve at midnight. I have to admit i was really afraid-- i had been a helper at the previous Lodge last summer and saw the heat of the fire and the rocks and the suffering of those inside the Lodge. I asked the "Grandfathers" to be gentle with me and emailed my friends to ask that they hold space for me. The experience was amazing and again life changing. i am anxiously awaiting the next Lodge.

I received my Spiritual Name shortly after the Lodge--in a Pipe Ceremony with Debra--- "Sweetwater Mountain Woman" ... awesome !!!

The beginning of January my best friend Thea and I were initiated as sa Crone... a beautiful ceremony performed by my friend John Moore-- yes unusual for a man to preside over a croning ceremony but John has been around a long time and he knew the importance of the ceremony.

Another important ceremony the week after the Croning was the Ordination! I was Ordained as a Minister in the United Brotherhood Movement ...my good friends Janet and Gerald Finnegan presided. It was an emotional and beautiful ceremony.

What lies ahead are more exciting times-- our woman's drumming group has now reorganzied and come back together after a year of not playing together. We have an opportunity to do a recording and hope to get into the studio the first part of March!!! Surcular Souls.... seven woman who play djemes, doumbeks, frame drums, bongos, and assorted percussion instruments! We are so excited about this new adventure!

February 20th I will turn 65! i can believe it --

The end of February will find me participating in a sensory depravation experience-- 24 hours of total darkness, no speaking....... who knows what this will bring up. It will be held at Center for Healing Arts where i am taking my shaman classes.. and my shaman Debra Kruljac-- Willowfire Woman will be in charge

In April and May we will be going to Peru to study with mounrtain Shamans... how exciting is that? we are in the planning stages of the trip now--

So this year looks to be another one of new and exciting adventures-- i am looking forward to all the new paths i will walk and the changes that i will make--

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

MUNAY-KI

Several months ago a good friend was telling me about this series of Rites he was getting. They came from an ancient Inka group in Peru and this whole new adventure had changed his life drastically. At the time, I was really interested but due to prior commitment on that night, I just couldn't become involved in it.
I kept hoping that the teacher of the class would change the night so I could attend but that just didnt seem like it was going to happen so the middle of January I went to the Free Introduction and decided there and then to sign up for the nine week program!! Several of my drumming friends and two of my very good friends signed up too... it was like my whole family decided to do this at the same time.



MUNAY KI SITE
there are also three videos that explain EVERYTHING about this--- so be sure to view them if you go to the site ----there is a lot of info here so be sure to use the links on the right side of the page to gather more information

this is an AWESOME experience--- life changing for sure--

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this to everyone-- -i am sure if you live in a fairly large city, there will be a someone who is teaching it--

I am fortunate in that Debra Kruljac, who has studied under Alberto Villoldo and shamans in Peru lives here in Melbourne and offers the courses.


Rather than try to explain this in my words here is the intro from the Munay-Ki site--
The Munay-Ki are the nine great rites of initiation of the medicine way. The word munay means “I love you” or “BE AS THOU ART.” The Munay-Ki are the nine gates that heal us and transform our human energy field into that of homo luminous.

The prophecies of the ancient Americas speak about a new human appearing on the planet – one who lives free of fear and resides in his or her transcendent nature. The Munay-Ki are the codes for the new human. They are delivered in the form of energetic transmissions. The ninth rite, the “Creator Rite” was transmitted for the first time in the summer of 2006 at the Holy Mountains in the Andes. The nine initiations of the Munay-Ki have only been available until recently to the high wisdom keepers of the Americas.

THE FOUR WINDS
this is Alberto Villoldo's teaching site-- lots of information here too

Recommended Reading:

Dance of the Four Winds: Secrets of the Medicine Wheel

By Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D. and Erik Jendresen. In this riveting narrative of spiritual discovery Alberto Villoldo journeys to Peru to investigate the practices used by Indian shamans to access the four paths of the Medicine Wheel.
Soft Cover - $16.00 available at the four winds site and also amazon

Island of the Sun

By Alberto Villoldo, ph.D. and Erik Jendresen This book describes Villoldo's initiation into the secrets of the Inka Medicine Wheel as he prepares himself for the Journey to the North, to understand the wisdom teachings of Inka shamanism.
Soft Cover - $16.00 available at the four winds site and also amazon

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE...

I came across this video today on another web site and it touched me deeply....maybe we all need a reminder every now and then of what we have and how very fortunate we are to have it........

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

ART SHOW



I cant believe my last post was in November--but Life has taken me on a wild and exciting ride and i have been going in a million different directions on this new path!




December 5th was my VERY FIRST ART GALLERY SHOWING! It was an awesome, magical, night that will be etched in my memory forever.







Pam, the gallery owner kept telling me that it was going to be an emotional night but i had NO IDEA just how emotional it was going to be.... the turnout was amazing-- all my friends came...people i didnt know came and actually bought my work!!!! My good friend John made a DVD of my digital work complete with music and it played on the TV in gallery all night!!! How cool is that????




Journals, spiritmen, spirit masks, handmade paper items went flying out of the gallery... the air was electrified with such joy, excitement, emotion-- wow it was so awesome!!!

At the end of the night Pam presented me with the framed advertisement for the show that everyone who attended signed! It was a huge surprise!!









To see more photos of the show go here

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

CATCH UP AGAIN!!!

Whew things have been so hectic and busy-- a weekend trip to West Virginia [Oct 19th]to see some friends turned into a much longer stay....but it was a good time to just relax and get away. The leaves were beautiful, the weather cooperated by not being too cold, and I got to meet some great new people too.
Once home November 4th..I had tons to catch up on and had to begin working on the art for the gallery show December 7th....yes a local gallery-- DEMOISELLE'S( French for dragon fly) wants to have a showing for me...it was supposed to be the first Friday in November but since my stay in WV was longer than anticipated, Pam postponed it until December!!
I am really excited about this...and have been working extremely hard to get my work ready. I will have my spirit men, spirit masks, decorative bottles, new collages on canvas, handmade paper bowls, wall hangings, journals,angels, and maybe some digital work! The time certainly is perfect as the Holiday buying season is first and foremost so I am hoping to sell many items.
ok break time is over-- gotta get back to art--

Friday, September 21, 2007

SHRINE SLIDESHOW

Monday, September 03, 2007

AUGUST EVENTS

Oh where does the time go? Here it is September already!! The majority of August was spent attempting to repair all the lightning damage and thankfully all has been taken care of.... A whole house surge protector was installed (Aug 22nd), the pump timer replaced,and sprinklers repaired so all is back to normal as far as the lightning strike damage.

On a sad note I had to put my dear cat Simon down on August 20th. He had been a faithful companion for many years but due to his health problems I just couldn't take it anymore. Although not ill with any life threatening disease, he had not only a constipation problem and had to be given laxatives almost everyday but he also would simply urinate all over my house.

I had tried EVERYTHING...the vet recommended psychotropic drugs almost a year ago which didn't work...pheromones which didn't work, and finally in desperation I contacted a pet psychic who honestly did more to stop the problem than anything else.

The problems just became overwhelming and the stress of wondering where he was and what he was doing, and cleaning up after him took its toll on both him and me....

It was such a difficult decision...however now we both are free.

Farewell dear friend....you will be missed.




On August 25th a major art dream came true! I have been making shrines from Styrofoam packing material and showed them to Pam at Creative Energy-- a metaphysical store here in Melbourne. I had two to show her and she totally freaked out over them and took those two and ordered four more!!!! I have secretly always wanted to have my work in her shop so this is such a fantastic event. She also wants to see my other work so after Labor Day I have made an appointment to see her.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

LIFE UPDATE!

Well I called the UPS people on Tuesday 24th and actually had a pleasant experience with their Tech dept. It took a long time to go through everything and the girl on the phone had never had a situation like mine so we had to go through the Engineering Dept.

Good news is however that they found a fix and it was easy. I am pretty sure it was their last resort....unplug machine and take it in another room and plug it in there.

Once I did that it booted right up!!! So computer is back up and running!!

The insurance company took care of the claim with no problem.

I called the Hyundai dealership after talking to insurance company to see if I could tow the car there but they don't do body work. Recommended Dennis' Auto Body- the body shop that does all of their work so I called there and spoke to Durk who was fantastic. He got my car towed to his shop within about ten minutes and told me to tell the insurance company it was there and he would take care of everything.

I rented a Jeep so now I have wheels and things are looking much brighter!!

After some serious thought I realized that all of this could have been so much worse
The lightning only damage THINGS--its just stuff--- my house didnt get hit...I didnt get hit--- nothing really bad happened-- I just lost a bunch of stuff that can be replaced.

The car accident also could have been worse-- if the car hadn't made that slight curve it might have gone into the house across the street.... I could have been seriously hurt or killed by it knocking me down...

So I am glad that I have put things in perspective and I feel much better about it all now.

THE RAIN CONTINUES!!!

Whew things have really been horrible for the last few weeks...Bev's passing, the lightning strike, and Suzie's Mom.....and on Monday July 23rd i had a most horrible day.

I went to install the UPS battery backup I had purchased when I bought the new computer but the software wasnt compatible with Microsoft Vista. So I went on line and wrote the tech dept of the UPS and they sent me a download link so I could install the software. IMMEDIATELY upon installation, the new computer crashed and wouldn't boot up at all!!!!!!!!!!!! I totally freaked out....I tried unplugging it but that didnt help so I called my son but couldn't get him at work or at home.

I didnt have a clue what to do but I knew this was serious and was terrified that the hard drive had crashed and I had lost everything again. The Acronis back up drive software wasnt compatible with Vista either so I didnt have the back up drive connected!
tother slight turn and ended up in my next door neighbors front yard where it stopped THANK GOD!!

I didn't realize the door was totally screwed until I managed to drive it back into my driveway... the door was so sprung it couldn't be closed and there were scratches on the passenger side where it had scraped the mailbox.

I WAS DEVASTED....I HAD WRECKED MY CAR!!!!

Called JP told him I wouldnt be coming to drum class(!) my son,Scott who still wasn't home, my next door neighbor to tell him that there were tire tracks in his lawn..he came right out and the tracks werent bad at all but I felt like I should tell him about them anyway. He was more concerned about me than his lawn. The mail box neighbor just moved in and I hadnt met him and he wasnt home so I left a note on his front door telling him to call me and I would pay for the damage(which again was minute)to his mailbox.

I was totally lost....no computer, no car...trying to get my brain to work to figure out what I had to do to report to insurance company.... it was just awful.

My son called later that night -- totally freaked that I had been hurt.... and was relieved to know I was ok. He couldn't come and check out the computer so we made plans for later in the week for him to come and take a look at it.

Computer less and car less --plus no TV!!! So I cleaned the garage!!!

WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS!

It is hard to loose an old friend-- Bev passed away on Friday July 13th...

we had been friends for over 30 years and there is an emptiness in my heart that will take a long time to heal.

In the last couple years we had drifted apart due to a total misunderstanding on both our parts really...but it caused a rift that simply tore a major hole in our relationship.

She had fought a long, hard battle for over ten years with cancer...but it finally took over almost her entire body and there was no chance of recovery, or remission.

I got the call Saturday morning just as I was leaving to go drumming with JP. He had a job with a store in town that was having a big side walk sale and they wanted him to drum both Friday and Saturday....

I was the only other person he had asked to drum with him and I didn't feel comfortable not supporting him so I basically ran away from my sadness and spent the day in the unbearable heat,drumming.

Sunday my dear friend Suzie's 89 year old mother was rushed to the ER with heart problems. I didn't hesitate to get to the hospital as fast as I could..Mom is so dear to me and I knew the situation was grave. Her heart would simply stop beating for several seconds and then start again --it was very scary and each time it stopped beating we all weren't sure it would start again.

We spent several hours in the ER but there was finally a bed available for her on the floor so we made sure she was comfortable and stayed with her for another couple hours.

By the time I got home I was totally drained and exhausted both physically and emotionally.

Monday was the viewing for Bev at the funeral home...my son Scott was good enough to take me...it was very hard-- Bev was cremated but seeing all the pictures of her simply broke my heart and I realized just how empty my life had been without her presence the last couple years. Our misunderstanding seemed so damn stupid now...

There were tons of people at the funeral home-- old rugby friends I hadnt seen in ages.... it is weird how a death brings people together...

Tuesday was the funeral... I honestly didn't think I would make it through it. So many memories flooded over me....so many good times....she was always "there" for me-- I could ALWAYS count on her.... and now she's gone forever and I didnt even get to see her or tell her goodbye......

Sunday, July 29, 2007

LIGHTNING STRIKE

Holy Cow...on Friday July 20th while sitting in the studio talking to JP on the phone a huge lightning bolt hit so close to my house that I actually thought it had hit the house!! The noise from it was deafening and I hung up the phone and immediately searched the house for the smell of smoke or fire!

I discovered my cable was out so called Brighthouse right away...they said there were no other reports of outage from my area so they would send a tech out tomorrow between 1-2pm.

It was really weird to be with out computer and tv...so I worked in studio and caught up on some art and worked in my journal.

The tech arrived right on time and just as he rang the doorbell another huge storm came complete with driving rain, howling winds, and of course lots of lightning. He braved the bad weather, however, donned a rain suit and umbrella and fixed the cable.

We then discovered that the lightning had fried basically ALL of my Tv's, two phones and answer machine, computer, dvd players, refrigerator in garage, and washing machine!!!!

I was totally freaked out and overwhelmed -- what no computer????? I could live with out TV but not to have my computer was simply too much to bear.

Called my son, Scott, and we decided the fastest thing to do was simply to go buy another computer rather than have him try to build one for me. So that afternoon I met him at Circuit City and I got a HP Pavilion computer,VTech Answer Machine with speaker phone on handset, and a UPS Battery Backup unit.

I had packed the fried computer in the car so Scott to both machines to his house, added a DVD drive, and copied the files from the zapped computer to the new one.

Don't know what I would do with out my wonderful computer wizard son-- he has saved me so many times!!!

I picked up the new computer on Sunday...got it all set up and it worked great with the exception that Microsoft Vista is NOT compatible with my external backup drive- -Acronis software--- which I am not at all happy about as I discovered I have to buy the new version which is another $50.00..... total bummer.

This has been a total nerve wracking experience and one I sure don't want to experience again .... The whole thing is really weird as I did have surge protectors hooked up to some of the equipment and they still got fried. Scott told me that they basically don't work that well and he is the one who suggested that I go on and buy a UPS backup.

Now comes the time consuming job of installing all the software- ugh ugh -- not looking forward to that for sure!!

I AM A REAL ARTIST!!!

Wow....another dream became a reality on July 10th! My work was actually purchased
by a new store in downtown Cocoa Village called What You Love To Do.



A friend had emailed me to tell me of the store and suggested that I contact them in regard to my work so I called but got an answer machine. It was several days before Kathryn,the owner,called me back and we set up the appointment.

She really liked all of the handmade paper wall hangings and took them all immediately. She also took several Spirit Masks and Spirit Men!!!






"Disconnected" actually hanging on wall in shop!!!!






Kathyrn with my friend Thea who bought a really cool metal dragon wall hanging!



I am so thrilled to have this dream actually come true!! I am anxious to approach
Creative Energy,a metaphysical store, here in downtown Melbourne. I am getting my Gratitude Bowls ready to show her along with some other new items...

A new adventure for sure!!!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

STUDIO REORGANIZED!

Well it is finally 99.9% completed!! The studio is now in working order minus some final tweaking that needs to be done! I have worked like a dog for weeks sorting, organizing, labeling, and throwing tons of stuff away. Its wonderful to be able to actual create again and below are some pictures of the latest project that I have been working on the last couple days.

I love doing assembledge and this project evolved using a broken cork tile that I painted with acrylic paints, burned soda cans, copper tape, rusted ball chain, screws, and a can lid, wire and a handmade paper casted face....

It is called Disconnected







This is a handmade paper bowl-- painted with acrylic and water colors... sticks, and wire.It's name is Shasha which when I looked it up on the net means protector and helper of mankind.
How cool is that?



I am making gratitude bowls now and will post some pictures of them when I get a few completed...

oh here is another handmade paper pic



Going out to lunch with my son today so need to get busy around here-- more later!

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