Saturday, May 31, 2008

In the money!

Wow! I got my second google check today! $103.80! How cool is that? It took me a year and a half to get the first $100 and just 3 months later here comes the second one.

Not only that, but I got almost double the amount I thought I would get back from the State of Missouri income taxes... That check came today too. A whopping $27!! I rock!

What will I do with all this money??? Gosh! I might be able to afford a trip to the laundromat! Then I can wear clean clothes again. I'm sure everyone I know will appreciate that! Alternatively, I could put gas in my car and go get a pump for my washing machine so I can take the dang thing apart and fix it.

Choices choices... all these choices. And you know what? I really am grateful. I really am. Money coming in the mail. Now that's cool!

Check this out!

Kate Nicholas and her border collie "Gin" on Britain's Got Talent 2008 doing canine freestyle. It might be pretty cool... I'm not entirely sure, because I have crappy dial up and can only watch about 2 seconds at a time... so talk to me guys. Is it cool or not?

OOPS! I put up the wrong one! So if you looked at this earlier, it was a totally different video. Silly me! I must have been half asleep when I proofread and published this post! OK, so here's the one I was talking about:

Snail Medicine

Three days in a row snails have unexpectedly shown up for me. So, I thought it might be beneficial and interesting to find out what that might mean if it was indeed an "omen" or a "message" of some sort.

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Here's the scoop on snails:

Snails are found in gardens, ponds and even the sea. Their soft bodies are protected by hard shells which they use as a defense. When disturbed or alarmed the snail withdraws or pulls itself back into its shell. It also retreats into itself and seals the entrance in dry weather to protect its body from drying up. Those with this medicine know how to retreat when danger is present as well as seal themselves off from others. This can be beneficial as long as the individual does not become too much of a recluse and inhibit their communication and interaction with others. Knowing when to retreat and when to act is an important teaching for those with this totem.

The snail creates a slime trail to travel on so it is easier to move over different surfaces and textures. They remind us to take the easiest path to reach our destination. When snail appears in your life ask yourself if you are taking a harder path than is necessary. Because snail retreats into its shell during adverse weather conditions those with this medicine have the ability to build walls around themselves and withdraw until a situation improves. Snail medicine people have clear perceptions and need to learn to honor those abilities in all situations.

Both male and female the snail can produce sperm and eggs at the same time. Because of this duality those with this totem have a tendency towards identity conflicts in their younger years. This conflict triggers issues of self esteem and confusion. Fortunately as the person gets older their male and female characteristics align and begin to work together in a complimentary way.

Most active at night or on cloudy days the snail uses all of its senses equally and simultaneously. Those with this totem often find they seldom have one intuitive gift more pronounced than another as all psychic abilities are utilized in any given situation.

The snail understands the value of slow movement and teaches us how to use that movement to our advantage. It holds the teachings of patience, perseverance and respect. It asks us to be mobile and fluidic as we move through life, always aware of how our actions or lack of them affect others. The trail we leave behind holds the history of who and what we are. When snail enters your life your reputation is under review. Past situations come to the surface to be healed or balanced in some way. Snail asks us to "make right whatever we have wronged." In this way spiritual growth is attained.

This is so interesting!
  • When I was in Texas, I told my sister that I believed myself to be moving into a period of isolation.
  • If you could only see my house... a "slime trail" if I ever saw one.
  • "When snail appears in your life ask yourself if you are taking a harder path than is necessary." Me? Take something simple and make it complicated and difficult? LOL!!
  • Self esteem issues and confusion... that sounds familiar!
  • Well, we know I'm not psychic! But the bit about using all senses equally is true.
  • "Your reputation is under review".. true enough. My yearly review at work is coming up next week.
  • Past situations come up to be healed... OMG that sounds "interesting" and "uncomfortable"! Frightening even... makes me want to retreat into my shell for sure!
  • I don't even want to get into the "make right wherever we have wronged"... Yikes!
  • The bit about slow and fluid movement reminds me very much of that snake swimming in the lake at Powell Gardens the other day ... interesting.
  • This blog IS one of the trails I leave behind and will, eventually, hold a history of who and what I am.

So, I'm a Snail Person! Who knew? Just for that, I think I'll post some snail pictures on Way Cool Pictures. I wonder if it means I should be avoiding salt and beer like the plague...

Waiting for the Sun

First page I turned to was about making an offering to the sun. And, again, I wondered if this was working up to some kind of ceremony, or ritual, or something. Wanting answers, I opened the book again, this time to a familiar face - Stand Tall Grandfather, and he said:

"I'm showing you something piece by piece,
and when the time comes,
I'll show you that too."

And so, I guess I'm not quite ready for whatever "that" is. I did, however, think about Solus, the fairy/deva who went with me to Texas. And it occured to me that it might be a good idea to post about him, and to refresh my memory and my connection there. I also wondered if maybe, since I've been pulling up all kinds of "Snake Medicine", if possibly I should take a look at Phoenix energy. I'm not sure how it's connected, but at the time I was thinking this, it made perfect sense.

It also occured to me that this is a really good lesson in just taking life one step at a time, not having to know all the answers, not having a clue as to the final outcome, just doing for today.

Amber Canyon

Legend of the Phoenix


The Phoenix bird symbolizes immortality, resurrection, and life after death. In ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology, it is associated with the sun god. According to the Greeks,the bird lives in Arabia, near a cool well.

Every morning at dawn, the sun god would stop his chariot to listen to the bird sing a beautiful song while it bathed in the well. Only one phoenix exists at one time. When the bird felt its death was near, every 500 to 1,461 years, it would build a nest of aromatic wood and set it on fire. The bird then was consumed by the flames.

A new phoenix sprang forth from the pyre. It embalmed the ashes of its predecessor in an egg of myrrh and flew with it to Heliopolis, "City of the Sun," where the egg was deposited on the altar of the sun god.

Bennu... To Rise, To Shine

The Bennu, the sacred bird, is the quintessence of rebirth...
by Athon Veggi and Alison Davidson

The wonderful Bennu, with its brilliant red and golden plumage, was the sacred bird of Heliopolis. Identified as a heron with its long straight back and head adorned at the back with two erect feathers, the Bennu was later called Phoenix by the Greeks and fabulous stories were told about it.


In Heliopolis, the Bennu bird played a major role in Egyptian mythology, dwelling on the ben-ben stone or obelisk within its sanctuary and revered alongside Ra and Ausar (Osiris). For it was in the City of the Sun where the work of creation began.

The Bennu bird was said to create itself from the fire that burned on the top of the sacred Persea tree in Heliopolis, and in the Metternich Stele, Auset (Isis) says to her son Heru: 'Thou art the Great Bennu who was born on the Incense Trees in the House of the Great Prince in Heliopoli.'

As the 'soul of Ra,' the sun rose in the form of the Bennu to shine out across the world renewed each morning. But the Bennu was also a manifestation of Ausar (Osiris) and was said to spring from his heart as a living symbol of the god. In the 'Book of the Dead,' there are formulae to transform the deceased into the Great Bennu. Here, the deceased says, 'I am the Bennu, the soul of Ra, and the guide of the gods in the Duat.' In another verse, he says, 'I am pure. My purity is the purity of the Great Bennu which is in the city of Suten-henen.'

For the Bennu is the quintessence of rebirth, it rises from its ashes as the spiritual body rises from the dead physical form, as the new sun rises from the old. It is the new condition reached when the return to life is accomplished, namely the resurrection of Ausar (Osiris).

Herodotus records the Bennu bird -- making its appearance only once in 500 years -- as coming from Arabia, carrying in its beak an egg of myrrh that contained its father's body. This egg is similar to Geb's egg that was laid on the primordial hill and gave birth to the sun, the egg within which the whole alchemical process of transformation is effected.

When the Bennu became old, he built a nest of incense twigs in the sacred tree, and lay down and died. In Pliny's account, a small worm appeared from his body that metamorphosed into a bird, and thus the Bennu was reborn.

The planet Venus was called the 'star of the ship of the Bennu-Ausar' (Osiris), mentioned as the Morning Star in this invocation to the sacred sun bird.

I am the Bennu, the soul of Ra,
and the guide of the gods in the Tuat;
let it be so done unto me that
I may enter in like a hawk,
and that I may come forth like Bennu,
the Morning Star.

"The Book of Doors: An Alchemical Oracle from Ancient Egypt."
From: Veggi, Athon and Davidson, Alison

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Cute Dragon Story

I was visiting my granddaughters the other day, and they got all fascinated with the cool little mojo bag I wear with my Shaman Stone in it. Sunshine, who is 7, was really curious about it. So I told her that I had found an egg, and that I was keeping it safe and warm in the little bag I had knitted.

She asked me about a million questions about where did I find it, and did I think it would hatch, and what was in it. So I told her that I found it "somewhere" and that I hoped it might hatch someday... but maybe it might be a long long time. We talked about what might be inside of it... I said, "I don't know... maybe something really cool, like a dragon."

She said, "Yeah! maybe a human being... or even a stick!!"

Then, my other grandaughter Layla who is 4 wanted to touch it, so I let her hold the bag and listen to it to see if she could hear anything in it. After cuddling it in her hands and listening to it, she asked, "What's in there?"

I said... "I think it might be a dragon."
Her eyes got big and she looked at me and said, "A dragon?"
I said, "Yes! Wouldn't that be cool?"
And she said, "Nana! You can't have a dragon!"
I said, "I can't?"
She said, "No! You can't! It would wreck the town!"
I said, "Are you sure? Maybe he'd be a nice little dragon."
And she said, "No he won't! You better put that away! Somebody might get hurt!"

Kids... aren't they fun?
I wonder what it would be if it hatched...

And if I had a choice,
which would I pick...

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Or this?
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Dragon Medicine

Yesterday, as I was cruising for "Pearls," I found this cool thing about dragons. I'm posting it because it seems appropriate, considering that I'm incubating a dragon egg and trying to either HAVE a dragon appear in my life... or somehow BECOME a dragon myself.

The Dragon Totem

The Dragon has so much mystique, lore and legend surrounding it, that it is impossible to describe them all them all with any brevity. This mighty and noble creature has been the inspiration of an immeasurable quantity of books, poems, songs, artwork, paintings and movies. Man has never lost his interest in Dragon mythology and lore. In fact, rather than interest in this creature slowing down over thousands of years, it has only increased. The likeness of the Dragon can be found in a varied and innumerable selection of art, jewelry, statues and clothing. Few are immune to the mystery and lure of the elusive and majestic Dragon. Many cultures and tribes recognize the Dragon as the magical and majestic creature it is and either honor and respect it or fear and evade it. One thing is for certain the Dragon is one of the most fascinating and mysterious of all the Totems, as well as one of the most magically powerful.

The Dragon is has many names and aspects; countless colors, characteristics and personalities. Some have wings, can fly, and breathe fire; these prefer to live on the land, in large caves or caverns. Others, usually of Eastern origin, have gills, dwell in the sea and are said to be able to transport themselves to heaven and back at will. Following are some characteristics and virtues of the elemental Dragons:

  • The Fire Dragon which represents leadership, inner fire, vitality and mastery.
  • The Air Dragon which represents inspiration, vitality, intellect, respect, insight and illumination.
  • The Water Dragon who’s virtues include, passion, depth, courage, ability to face the past without fear, and compassion, and the
  • Earth Dragon which gives the power of realizing potential, acquiring riches, and grounding ones energy in order to harness it.

Dragons offer strong protection from evil, from all directions, North, South, East, West, Above, and Below. They have always been associated with metaphysics and alchemy. Magic, mystery and majesty are only a few of the Totem virtues of the mighty Dragon. All continents of the world have their own legends, myths and beliefs about the Dragon; however, they originated in the East, in China and Japan , and are still honored in those regions to this day. Some of the many cultures and countries that have a deep historical connection with the Dragon are the Chinese, Japanese, The Celts, American Indians, and Europeans.

Buddhist legend tells that Apalala a Water Dragon was converted to Buddhism by the Buddha himself. In Sanskrit the word Naga means Dragon or Serpent. The Oxford Dictionary defines the “Dragon Stone” as a stone taken from the brain of the Dragon; this stone contains a historical collection of Dragon lore and legend.

The Dragon possesses many animal virtues that are powerful and valuable and which any person would be wise to emulate or divine. One who has the power of the Dragon will see enhanced business success, personal happiness, long-life, and the ability to protect oneself from evil.

The Majestic Dragon Totem possesses the following virtues:

Leadership, magical prowess, vitality, mastery, insight, divine illumination, protection from outside evil forces from all directions, grounded energy, fulfillment of potential, inspiration, longevity, personal happiness, greatly increased riches, infinite wisdom, luminous beauty, majesty, indomitable spirit and strength, invisibility, power of transformation and metaphysical knowledge.

Ritual Cleansing

A woman shaman takes a ritual cleansing bath. She takes her time - focusing on what she is doing. I do not feel inclined to interrupt her. It's a silent space. I can hear the water and smell the fresh scent of trees and wet earth. It's early morning. Birds are singing. A sacred time.

Cleansing rituals are very important. That's what I hear, and that's what I see. And I wonder ... first the Snake Racers and now the Ritual Bath ... is there a ceremony or a healing ritual or SOMETHING I will soon be doing? Am I "Waiting For The Signal?"

This morning's experience leaves me puzzled and musing about rituals, and ritual clothing, and thinking about snakes and snails, and I decide it might be a good idea to take a look at my Transformative Rituals book. Maybe something in there will give me a clue.

Amber Canyon

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Here's something really cool... maybe.

Samurai Cuts Egg in Slow Motion

Well? Was it cool or not?

You'd think I would know if it was cool or not, and that if it wasn't cool, I probably wouldn't post it... HOWEVER... I have crappy dial up and so I don't really even get to see videos that I post here. So why post them at all? Because it's my blog and I want to? Because someday maybe I'll have high speed internet? Because it's not all about ME ME ME, sometimes it's about YOU? I don't know... maybe I'm just bored and spending too much time on the computer!!

Snake Racing?

Well, today, I met a boy who was waiting for the return of the Snake Racers. He did not look too happy about it, and was quite shy and refused to talk. It occured to me that my "task" for today might be to research and find out what does that mean... "Snake Racer".

I found it interesting, especially since yesterday Daniel and I saw a snake at Powell Gardens, and I'm thinking that snake has got to be one of my totems. On the other hand, maybe my mind is the snake racer (and I'm only just now realizing this as I write this post several days later) because now I'm curious and thinking about Anacondas and what do they mean to South American Shamans, which reminds me that I want to do a post about Tree Ferns with lots of pictures and also poppies for Daniel and maybe even some Navajo Masks.

Yes... it would seem my mind IS the snake racer. Hmmm... So now what?

Amber Canyon

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Snake Animal Pearls

So, while I was researching Snakes as Totem animals, I came across this:

Mountain Snake Pearl- Type B
English Name Unknown
Rough texture, opaque Pearl, Magickally Powerful

General virtues of all snakes’ pearls:

Improves the quality of the aura, Attracts luck; improves business and social life; charisma; personal magnetism; healing; regeneration, Magickal energies.

Snake Animal Pearls are said to impart their particular magical virtues to their owner. Snake Pearls are characteristic of its host animal; they possess all the awesome characteristics that may be seen in the Snake itself; the stealth and power of this animal is contained within the pearl waiting for its proper owner to bestow its inner magic to that unique and fortunate individual.

For century’s shamans, priestesses, spiritualists, and practitioners of the occult have used Snake animal pearls to transfer the powerful magical energy of the Snake to themselves and to others in need of this commanding animal magic. Snake pearls are sought after by any wishing to absorb Snake virtues into their lives and develop stronger mental abilities such as those embodied by this versatile creature. The owner of a Snake pearl will see their lives, spiritual energy, and mental clarity imbued with all of the virtues attributed to the Healer of the animal kingdom, the Snake.

Sounds pretty cool, huh?

I was thinking I might want one! So I went looking for more snake pearls (and trust me, they're not cheap) and I found these:

snake crown pearl
This is a "Snake Crown Pearl"

And this is an "Anaconda Pearl"

I don't know about you guys, but that "Snake Crown Pearl" looks a lot like an agate to me, and the "Anaconda Pearl" looks man made... So, I dug a little deeper and found a Dragon Pearl:

Sea DragonA1_3018
This is a "Sea Dragon Pearl"

At this point, I browsed the FAQ on the site to see if I could find out what these stones might actually be. Interested? Read on...

What Are Mustika Pearls and Bezoar Stones & How Do They Compare to Other Kinds of Healing Crystals?
Mustika pearls and bezoar stones may look like “typical” rocks, stones or gems, but because they’re actually natural animal by-products, it would be more accurate to think of them as fossils.

Despite the fact that both bezoar stones and mustika pearls occur naturally, finding these unique gems that surpass the average healing crystal is a rarity.

However, the Mustika pearls and stones we offer are even more rare than other mustika pearls and bezoar stones (or any other kind of healing crystals) available on today’s market.

Where do Mustika Pearls & Bezoar stones come from?
Most of our Mustika Pearls & Bezoar stones come from Indonesia. They are found only in places where nature is undisturbed, and the elemental and spiritual energy is very high. They are obtained by highly trained and spiritually developed Pawangs (Shaman) working in close cooperation with nature.

How are the stones obtained?
Obtaining a Mustika Pearl & bezoar stone is an intense and highly complicated magical operation that can only be performed by advanced Shamans. When they are seeking pearls and stones, the Pawang or Shaman live in the jungle and perform magical rituals to open up communication with the elemental and mystical realms. They are then guided to where the stone or pearl can be found which is inside the body of a plant or animal. The journey to obtain these items is often fraught with danger.

Do the stones confer psychic or magickal power?
No object can guarantee to bestow any kind of magical power on an individual; the power of the pearl depends wholly on the individual’s readiness and degree of spiritual development. All those who wear them, however, will notice gradual changes that are bestowed through the law of resonance. Because the pearl is highly charged with magickal energy, this energy will be absorbed by the carrier, creating an evolution of their spirit. This will affect each individual in a different way. Wherever you are at in your psychological and spiritual development, it will tend to raise you to the next level. Those who are already developed spiritually will find their journey greatly accelerated.

What benefits do pearls and stones bestow?
The first benefit you will notice is an enhancement to your aura, this, in turn, will provide protection against negative influences and an improvement of health and energy levels. Since it is hard for negative energy to exist in their presence, you will become more positive in your thinking and in your attitude towards life’s daily challenges. You will soon find your intuition developing naturally. There are also many individual benefits according to the type of pearl you wear. For example, tiger pearls will give you charisma and an authoritative presence. Bamboo pearls will attract money. Any mustka pearl can help your magical operations become more powerful.

Are animals harmed in the obtaining of these bezoar stones?
No. The Pawangs/Shamans maintain a harmonious relationship with nature at all times and would never harm any of the living beings they work with. It would actually be impractical to try and hunt animals for pearls, as they are extremely rare, and the hunter could not possibly know which animals held pearls in their bodies. It is the elemental of the pearl that chooses to work with the Pawangs, and offers itself only when a relationship of trust has developed.

How do we know that the pearls are genuine?
There are indeed fakes on the market, particularly in Indonesia where bezoar stones & Mustika Pearls are quite well known and are often sought for ornamental purposes. The difference is usually well known, as the genuine pearls are only obtained from Pawangs. All our mustikas are obtained via someone who has a long standing relationship to the Pawangs in Indonesia, and only deals in genuine Mustika pearls and bezoar stones. Furthermore, our pearls go through an intense psychic scanning process to verify that they are genuine. You can test them for yourself by holding one between your thumb and forefinger and calling the name of the elemental. You will soon feel intense energies flowing through your fingers as the spirit begins to respond to you.

How rare are the stones and pearls you sell?
On the whole, mustika pearls are all rare. Some, however, are rarer than others. Pearls are more commonly found in bamboo and banana plants, for example, but some species will very rarely produce a mustika and you will find some pearls that are strictly one of a kind. The rarest will be from non-physical beings such as dragons. Even these, however, are beginning to appear more often as more people are waking up to them and are ready to work with them.

These pearls are rare, and many fakes are being offered for sale. It is up to the customer to determine which seller is real and which is not. Your best choice is to use a trusted source, we cannot indicate which companies are honest and which are dealing in fake items. We can only advise you to pay attention to how they present themselves, how long they have been in business and to beware if they offer “guarantees” or “certifications” of their pearls and stones. These cannot be made by any seller no matter what they say.

Who are your sources?
We go directly to the first line of acquisition. Our sources are Indonesian Shamans and suppliers. Mani Zone partners in Indonesia have been dealing with shamans and suppliers for many years and had strong relationships before they decided to join our company. Mani Zone Staff members in Indonesia have connections to large networks, suppliers and shamans over years of personal knowledge in their fields—they were not educated in technology nor did they have the necessary equipment available to them to offer such items on the internet prior to now.

Other sellers may claim that they posses the only direct source but this is not true. It is impossible for anyone to state that they own the only genuine market of Mustika pearls and Bezoar Stones. We have no reason to malign other companies or individual sellers about their claims; we prefer to let the client decide which claims are true or false. We find no need to try and discredit other companies because we are confident in our sources and psychic testers.

Most sellers, on the whole, are genuine and are interested in helping humanity advance spiritually, which aligns well with our own spiritual mission. Please keep in mind that if our sources were not direct, we would not be able to offer our pearls and stones at good prices. With the addition of middle-men our prices would soar, by using direct sources we are able to keep our prices within a reasonable range.

So what do you think?
Scam? Hoax? Bullshit? Real? Awesome? Cool? Boring? Ridiculous? What?

Seeing Snakes

While we were at Powell Gardens today, Daniel and I saw a water snake swimming in the lake. It was so cool... the way it slipped through the water so quietly and without effort. He was very alert to us. Even though we were fairly far from the edge of the water, he kept an eye on us, and wouldn't come ashore where we were.


It was one of those "magical" moments, and we were pretty sure it must have some significance. I also noticed that I've posted here quite a few times about snakes. Looks like snake is one of my totems for sure! So, in depth and in detail, here's the scoop on snake as a totem:

The Snake Totem

The snake dwells in so many places, climates and environments, comes in so many colors, shapes and sizes that this creature can be said to be one of the most versatile of all. Indeed snakes represent versatility, transmutation and change, their natural inclination to “shed their skins” leaving behind the old, and adapting to the new, supports this idea.

The snake has been, throughout the ages, controversial in many regards. Some see the snake as a bearer of evil or bad news, but most see the snake as the healer and spiritual icon that it is. The debate among Christain’s has always been whether the snake is the personification of evil or a holy and scared icon. There are many references to the snake in the bible, some portraying this creature as a bearer of evil, but most refer to its job as healer and spiritual muse. No where in the bible does it say that snakes are evil, however, like any creature, human or animal, they possess both noble and questionable qualities. Some people fear them and many more are charmed by them.

Most of us recognize the snake as the symbol of physicians and alchemists, which shows two snakes wrapped around a staff. This again, supports their totem reputation as healer. Snakes are highly respected in India and their lore and symbolism is highly regarded by their culture; Vitana, the mother of snakes, is the symbol of water and the underworld and the Goddess Shiva always wears snakes on her body as jewelry, which represents sexuality. American Indians also see the snake as a representation of fertility and healing.

Those who are said to posses Snake like qualities have control over their emotions, excellent intuition and the ability to heal quickly. They are slow to anger but have enormous coiled power within them and will strike with control and precision when they must. Some snake type people, like their reptile counterparts, will give their opponent fair warning before striking, others will attack powerfully and without any warning. Snakes rarely, if ever, attack unless provoked, which is an excellent lesson for all of us to learn. Others should be on their guard when in snake territory and should respect the snake’s province.

Snakes awaken spiritual and magical intuition in the person who chooses this totem or is chosen by it. Snakes are associated with unseen creative forces at work. With the snake totem the powers of intuition and observation becomes keener and more precise. As snakes represent change and intuition the combination of these characteristics will allow for great new developments in life and the proper instinct for deciding which changes will be effective and which should not be made. They represent openness to new experiences, and thus, opened horizons.

The Snake in the wild is generally clam and peaceful. They hunt for food when hungry and can go long periods of time without eating again. They bask on warm rocks and will usually not attack unless prompted. To annoy or provoke a snake is a very unwise mistake, which many people make. Because of their calm and somewhat shy nature, many believe that they are too still or quiet to be much harm, however, as many have discovered, while a snake may seem as though it is still and unaware, if pressed they can and will deliver a dangerous blow or bite, sometimes without warning, that can leave permanent damage or even cause death to its victim.

Snakes are very sensitive to their environment, they are silent, calm creatures and seem to be very serene on the outside, but within this animal is coiled power that can deliver lethal blows, with well timed and startling accuracy. The snake is a powerful totem, symbolizing eternity, wisdom, transformation and intuition. Their wisdom is expressed as healer and the snake has been used as a symbol of this for centuries.

The Magnificent Snake Totem possesses the following virtues:

Wisdom, healing, intuition, awaking of creative forces, ability to handle change without resistance, new opportunities for change, material vitality, intellect, power over rashness in speech and thought, emotional control, increased sensitivity to the environment, increased powers of smell, transmutation, and increased powers of observation.

But wait, there's more!

Snakes are fascinating creatures that deserve respect. Throughout history the snake has had many legends associated with it linking them to creation, fertility and transformation.

In Israel the snake was regarded as the earth mother and played a beneficial role in fertility. In Egypt the cobra was known for its ability to expand the upper neck into a disc shape by spreading its ribs which symbolized immortality. In Christian lore the snake is seen rising from the chalice of St. John wound around a cross sometimes portrayed with a woman's head to symbolize lust and temptation. In Eastern cultures a snake rising up through the spine represents the kundalini, or life force being awakened.

One of snakes most noticeable characteristics is the regular shedding of its outer skin as it grows. Once the skin is shed, the old inner layer becomes the new outer layer and a new inner layer of skin begins to develop. Crawling out of its old skin is very significant for those with this medicine. It is a metaphor for how we shed old ways and habits as we grow into higher spiritual energy symbolizing the death and rebirth process. It is also associated with astral travel and out of body experiences.

The eyes of a snake are always open protected by immobile transparent scales. Prior to shedding its skin the snakes markings become obscure and the eyes appear opaque or blue. This gives it a trance like appearance as if it is looking right through you. Learning how to see into the hearts of others is part of what it teaches us.

Snake has been a symbol of life and sexuality for thousands of years in many cultures. It is a totem of power, renewal and transmutation. Soundless in motion and invisible at rest snakes are unable to produce their own body heat. They are often seen lying in the hot mid day sun. The suns warmth coupled with the snakes behavior regulates their body temperature. Not relying on the energy of food to generate body heat, they can survive on meager diets for extended periods of time. Those with this totem need very little food to energize themselves. They are usually cold and prefer warmer climates. Their body temperatures are often lower than normal.

Snakes lack eardrums and external ear openings but have small bones in the head that conduct sound. They are able to hear low frequency sounds and sense vibrations that travel through the earth. This links them to the underworld where secrets are stored. The snake symbolizes healing on a cellular level. Because their bodies are lightweight and flexible they have speed and agility.

When they enter into your world expect swift changes to sweep through your life. These changes signify a death of the old and a birth into untapped power, creativity and wisdom. Snake is a powerful totem to have. Only those with a high degree of spiritual training, be it past or present, will be awarded this totem. It is the guardian of sacred places and the keeper of hidden knowledge.

Chapungu? What does it mean?

The word, pronounced “Cha-POONG-goo,” is a metaphor for the Bateleur eagle, a powerful bird of prey that can fly up to 300 miles a day at 30 to 50 miles per hour. The bird’s characteristic markings are black feathers with white underneath its long wings, a bright red face and legs, a short tail and black beak.

It measures 24 inches long, with a five-and-a-half to six-foot wingspan, and weighs four to six and a half pounds. It is commonly found south of the Sahara Desert in the savannahs, open forests and semi-deserts of central and southern Africa.


The Shona people believe the Chapungu bird is a good omen, bringing protection and good fortune. Pretty cool, isn't he?

The Chapungu Sculpture Exhibit

Today Daniel, Gary, and I went to the African Art exhibit at Powell Gardens. It was really cool!

This remarkable exhibit of contemporary African stone sculpture showcases more than 50 sculptures drawn from the collection of the Chapungu Sculpture Park of Zimbabwe, Africa. They are the work of three generations of artists, most of whom are Shona. The Shona people are the majority ethnic group in Zimbabwe and have lived in southern Africa for more than 800 years. Their hand-carved works are made of serpentine, verdite, opal, cobalt and springstone, and vary in shades of yellow, brown, red, green and gray.

Here's a video:

And here are some pictures:

originally uploaded by lophura.

Scaring the Spirits

So, today was interesting!

I opened the book and a Navaho medicine man wearing a strange mask looked at me and immediately yelled "Muhaha!!" Well, he didn't yell that exact word, I can't describe the sound he actually made, but it scared all the evil spirits right out of me.

It was very invigorating! And I really did feel quite a bit better for it.

Amber Canyon

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Where I want to go next!

Ok, so next time I go somewhere, I'd like to stop by here and buy a bunch ... and I mean a BIG bunch... of stuff! I'll have to rent a truck to get it all home. And then I might even need a bigger house! Take a look!

Gemstar Gemstone Company427 Shaker Blvd
Enfield, NH 03748

Check this out! Love these big crystals!

Wow! Beads!

Amythyst Cathedrals galore!!
And no, that's not me... it's some other lucky person!! I wonder what she bought!

Ooooh! Pretty!

OMG! Look at those chunks of selenite!!

Now wasn't that fun?
I can almost hear the windchimes!

~discovered at Summersea Herbs

Staying in Touch

Right at this very minute, this is what it looks like in El Paso! It's like I left, but I can come back any time I want. Well, not really...

View from Ranger Peak

What's it like today? You can check it out here at this El Paso webcam page.

It's much prettier when you look the other direction. I found this photo while researching images for these posts. The mountains behind El Paso are really pretty, arent' they?


Hmmm... I wonder if it's a painting... the caption called it a photo... I dunno! What do you guys think?

Digging for Abalone

I visited today with a clam digger. Her clothes were made from bark, and I wondered if they were comfortable, but I didn't ask. The weather was cool and clear, the water like glass reflecting the sky and the tree line. She was digging for abalone. We sat in companionable silence for a while, and then she said:

"Whatever the task or the chore.
You can enjoy doing it."

And I was thinking, well, yeah sure... if the place you're working in looks and feels like this! But then, I put that thought aside and decided that as I went about my day maybe I really could enjoy my tasks and chores. And it was true.

Amber Canyon

Monday, May 26, 2008

Stand Tall

Day 9 - Living by the book.

Today, one of the Grandfathers spoke to me. He said:

"Be proud young woman - be proud. Stand tall. Shoulders back. Look everyone straight in the eye."

Amber Canyon

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Love and Comfort

One of my sheeps died yesterday, and then, interestingly, today I got that great meditation about sadness.

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The sheep that died was elderly, ancient in sheep years, and now I have only one left, also ancient in sheep years. She is just devastated. She grieved all day yesterday, and then today when my son-in-law and the kid across the road came over to help me move the body, she got terribly agitated and tried to fight with them.

Did you know that sheep talk to each other? Well they do. And all day she has been saying, "Baaa" (Where are you?) and "Baaa" (I'm over here - but I can't find you). and "Baaa" (Wake up and come out here with me). I cannot imagine what it must be like to be a sheep, alone, to lose the last of your friends and companions. I don't expect she'll live out the summer, and am having some guilt and angst over the fact that I've decided not to go out and buy more sheep so she can have a family again.

I remember when I used to have a pair of geese. One night a coyote came and nabbed the gander. The commotion woke me up, and I chased after him (barefoot), but he outran me pretty easily, and didn't let go of the gander.... so that was the end of that. Geese mate for life, and the goose was really really upset. It was fairly early spring when it happened, and every time a flock of canada geese did a fly by, she'd try to follow them, but she was just an old farm goose, too heavy to get airborn.

Then one day she discovered that she could fly over the fence, and that just down the road was a family with a gander - the Wrights. Before we knew their name, we called them The Scavengers. They live in a beat up old trailer, surrounded by a rather astounding amount of trash and debris and God knows what all. Their gander was very territorial, and would chase any car that had the nerve to come down the road. He'd even try to peck at the tires if you were going slow enough. It was really comical. Even the dogs were scared of him.

So, anyway, my goose ran away from her nice home here... where she had a barn, and hay and grain, and a pond, and me. And went to live with her boyfriend where there was no barn, no hay, no grain, and the pond she swam in was actually their cesspool. Three times I went down there and they helped me catch her and bring her home, and three times she flew over the fence and went back. Finally, I gave up and let her go.

I'm not sure what happened to her ... she did spend the rest of the summer and fall with her boyfriend... and then sometime during the winter they both disappeared. I refuse to think they provided a Christmas dinner or something similar.... Anyway...

I guess the moral of the story is... Love and companionship are more important than good food and clean water... at least if you're a goose. If only the Wrights had a ram!

Being Sad

A Mohave girl and I spent some time together today. She didn't say anything. She was so exquisitely sad. And she showed me that sadness can be carried gently and easily. That it doesn't have to be a burden or a "cross" to bear. It can be as light as the color of your hair, and when you cradle it gently, and you treat your sorrow with love and compassion, it simply becomes a part of you, a flavor and a color that brings a certain richness and depth to who you are.

Amber Canyon

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dances in the Wind

Today my teachers were a group of Hopi girls. They were watching something and not interested in talking to me at all. So, I wondered what was so interesting, and read the caption under the picture, and discovered they were "Watching the Dancers."

I decided that I too would watch the dancers... the leaves dancing on the cottonwood tree. It's just outside the window of my meditation room. I had the window open, and they were making the most delightful sound.

It was great! I watched them as if I was watching "Dancing With The Stars"... with interest and enthusiasm. It was cool. I could almost see the fairies that live in that tree. They were enjoying it too.

I think tomorrow I'm going to start a series of paintings of "Dances-in-the-Wind" I'll even use some of the leaves from the tree itself. Maybe fairies will show up in them. That would be cool.

Amber Canyon

Friday, May 23, 2008

Waiting for the Signal

Today, again, the book opened to "Warriors Waiting For The Signal." And I thought about how, when going on a hunt or heading out for battle, you don't just rush off willy nilly... you plan... you do your absolute best to have everything in place... and then you wait for the signal.

Jumping the gun, being impatient and over-zealous got many a young warrior into trouble. I'm sure. Exhuberant passion, I think is good - but it needs to be tempered with that still-point where you wait for the timing to be right.

So, I waited there with them. Wondering what the signal was, and if I would recognise it when it came. Finally, I thought to talk to them.

Here's what they said in reply:

"Shhh... Be still... Watch... Listen..."

Amber Canyon

Thursday, May 22, 2008

And so today...

Today I met with a man who was standing next to a teepee with his horse. We looked at each other for a long time. I was thinking that maybe, pretty soon, the horse would twitch his tail, or snort or something...

When he spoke to me he said, "Live close to the earth."

This was really similar to what I heard yesterday. I'm wondering if it's maybe a message or a suggestion that it would be beneficial and instructive for me to spend the night outside some time soon. I do have a little tent, and even some firewood. I could make a small fire, and spend some quality time really feeling my connection to the earth herself.

Amber Canyon

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

By the river

My teacher today was a young woman. She was sitting by a river, filling a container with water, and when she looked at me, she said:

"Move through your day with peace."

And I totally got it... that I could be like that river. I could just flow as fast or as slow as was natural and right in the moment. No need to strive or push. If striving and pushing is needed it will happen of it's own accord.

And it also occured to me that moving through my day with peace would be a whole lot easier if I was quietly working next to a slow moving river, on a beautiful peace-filled day. That the river itself, the sky, the trees, the grass, the birds... the fresh cool air... would bring with it a sort of grace. We lose so much being constantly inside of buildings and cars...

Amber Canyon

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Being Kind

The first message that came to me was "Wait for the Signal" and so I waited. And I waited. It occured to me that it's easier to wait for a signal when you know what the heck the signal actually is. But then I heard a whistle, and I knew that was it - the signal.

So, I opened the book again and the first thing I saw was a frightened almost feral looking child. He had that "deer caught in headlights" look which I can totally relate to. I was unable to establish any kind of communication with him at all. We just sat there and stared at each other for a while.

Then I looked over at the facing page and found my teacher for the day. She was clearly a mother. Her face was strong and kind. Her eyes were warm and generous. She said:
Inside you is a frightened child.
So be kind.

It occured to me that this must be true of every one. It sounds really kind of mushy and sentimental now, after the fact, but it felt so good in that moment - like something in me loosened up and relaxed - and I gave that frightened child within me a smile and a hug. It was good!

And since then, I've noticed that whenever I'm feeling angry at someone or impatient, whenever I'm all tensed up and having anxiety, if I just remember the two of them, I'm back in that same good place all over again.

Amber Canyon

Monday, May 19, 2008

She Who Is

Amber Canyon
Morning Meditation

Today I found the daughter of a chief. She showed me an image, or an idea, a knowing that the earth is our mother and our strength.

As she showed it to me, I felt it. That strength that rests below our feet. And I saw that a person could move through life staying rooted and grounded in the earth. Especially if you take the time to really "do" it. When you walk, your feet seem to leave the ground, but the energy actually can and does move with you.

And it occured to me the vastness and the power of she who is our mother... She who must be obeyed. When you live, she feeds you. When you are overwhelmed, she backs you. When you die, she holds you.

My puny words cannot come even close to describing the immensity of what I felt. The love.

What is the Morning Meditation?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Counting Coup

Amber Canyon
Morning Meditation

My first meditation, and I opened to a Sioux warrior.

When I looked into his eyes, I saw a battlefield, I smelled the blood and the shit. He was holding up a decapitated head. Holding it by it's hair. It was dripping blood. Other younger warriors were trilling and "counting coup". It was a dreadful scene.

He looked at me and said:

"Be who you are.
It is very important."

And when he said that, I realized:

Don't be who they are, don't be who others want you to be, don't be someone else, don't be who you think you should be. Be you, totally and completely you. No excuses. No regrets. And if you don't know who you are... well, OK... you can just be "you not knowing you".

What is the Morning Meditation?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hi Guys!


It was a good trip, and I've got lots of stuff to talk about!
So be warned!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

About Selenite and Why It's So Cool

Selenite comes originally from ancient oceans and seas. So it is a water element just as the emotions are associated with the element water. . It has been found that Selenite has a direct effect upon balancing the emotions. Other stones like Smithsonite and Green Aventurine are already known to produce calming effects. But Selenite goes to a higher level and activates our spiritual feeing sense, our inner sense of feeling. Selenite has been attributed with the power to stabilize the 4 body system (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) using spiritual light force

I am talking about reaching the state of a mystical experience or when one reaches the causal plane. That feeling of complete balance when you are in a very spiritual state of calm and joy. That is the sense of spiritual light force that Selenite can bring to you. And in this feeling, this state, you are connected to the causal self experience. So this stone will help you reach the causal state that yogis and mystics and saints have been reaching over the centuries.

What is it really? Selenite, satin spar, desert rose, and gypsum flower are the four crystalline varieties of gypsum. All gypsum varieties are very soft mineral (hardness: 2 on Mohs Scale) composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate (meaning has two molecules of water), with the chemical formula CaSO4·2H2O. Selenite can be scratched with a fingernail.

Lake Lucero

In the heart of New Mexico's Tularosa Basin lies the world's largest gypsum dune field. Originating in an ancient lakebed, the wind-driven gypsum sands have engulfed 275 square miles (700 kM) of desert. But the snow-white gypsum sands are only part of the story of White Sands National Monument.

To the west of the dune field lies a low, extremely flat area called the Alkali Flat. The southern end of the Alkali Flat, called Lake Lucero, is a depression that occasionally fills with water.

The Alkali Flat and Lake Lucero are remnants of a much larger lake that once occupied the Tularosa Basin. Together they constitute the primary source of gypsum sand that forms the dune field.

Lake Otero

Lake Otero during last Ice Age. Covered 1,600 square miles. The mountains that surround the Tularosa basin contain large amounts of gypsum, exposed in the light-colored layers of rock near the top of the San Andres Mountains to the west and the Sacramento Mountains to the east.

During the last ice age (about 24,000 to 12,000 years ago) the climate was much cooler and wetter than today. Large amounts of rain and snow fell on the surrounding mountains and a glacier formed on Sierra Blanca, the high peak to the northeast.

Rain and snowmelt from the mountains dissolved gypsum (calcium sulfate), salt (sodium chloride), and other soluble minerals from the rocks and carried them into the basin.

Normally, water from the mountains would flow into rivers and be carried to the sea, but the Tularosa Basin has no outlet. With no way to escape, the gypsum-laden runoff filled the lower parts of the basin and created a 1,600 square mile (4,100 kM2) lake known as Lake Otero.

For perhaps 20,000 years Lake Otero occupied the Tularosa Basin. Silt, clay, and millions of tons of dissolved gypsum were washed from the mountains into the lake. About 12,000 years ago the climate changed again. With the end of the ice age, less rain fell on the mountains and warming temperatures began to dry up Lake Otero.

Selenite Formation

As the water in Lake Otero slowly evaporated, the dissolved gypsum in the lake gradually increased in concentration to the point where the water became saturated. In the muddy floor of the shrinking Lake Otero, gypsum crystals (CaSO4.2H20) began to form. Known as selenite, these knife-like gypsum crystals grew to be as much as four feet long.

By about 4,000 years ago, Lake Otero had completely evaporated, leaving behind a dry lake bed, or playa, now called the Alkali Flat. Beneath the clay and silt surface of the Alkali flat the gypsum, now in crystal form, was waiting for the wind.

Wind Action

Southwest winds scour the Alkali Flats at Lake Lucero. After Lake Otero evaporated, strong southwesterly winds, typical of this area since the end of the ice age, swept across the Alkali Flat. The winds picked up small particles of clay and silt from the playa surface and carried them high into the atmosphere and out of the area.

As wind erosion removed the surface material and lowered the level of the Alkali Flat, the selenite crystals were exposed. The forces of nature - freezing and thawing, and sandblasting by wind-eventually broke down the crystals into sand-size particles.

Unlike the fine silt and clay particles, sand grains are too heavy to be carried very far by the wind. Instead, the wind tends to bounce sand along the ground, a few inches at a time. This bouncing movement is called saltation.

The southwesterly winds bounced the selenite particles across the Alkali Flat toward the northeast. As more crystals disintegrated, gypsum sand began to accumulate downwind of the Alkali Flat, and the white sands were born.

Lake Lucero

On rare occasions the lowest part of the alkali flat, at the extreme southern end, still fills up with water. After heavy rains, about ten square miles (26 kM2) may be flooded, creating a temporary lake known as Lake Lucero.

While Lake Lucero is only a small fraction of the size of Lake Otero, its ice age predecessor, it is a critical link in the geologic process that continues to produce gypsum sand.

Beneath the surface of Lake Lucero, selenite crystals continue to form, even during periods when there is no standing water. Because runoff from the mountains cannot escape to the sea, the soils of the basin contain vast amounts of water very close to the surface. At Lake Lucero, the water table is usually only two to four feet (.6 to 1.2 m) below ground.

From this shallow depth, ground water, heavily laden with dissolved gypsum, moves upward to the surface of Lake Lucero through capillary action. As the water approaches the playa surface, it evaporates and selenite crystals form in the mud just beneath ground level.

A thin, puffy crust of gypsum may also form on the surface of Lake Lucero. Lesser amounts of other soluble minerals, such as sodium chloride (table salt) and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), may also be deposited as groundwater evaporates on the surface.

This surface crust, along with non-gypsum clay and silt washed into Lake Lucero during rainstorms, eventually breaks down into fine particles and is swept away by the wind. Selenite crystals are then exposed to the forces of erosion and break down into sand-size fragments that are blown into the dune field.

Thus, the same processes that operated thousands of years ago at Lake Otero continue to operate, on a much smaller scale, at present-day Lake Lucero.

While most of the sand that comprises the dune field probably originated on the Alkali Flat, today Lake Lucero is the primary source of gypsum sand for the dune field

White Sands

One of my favorite parts of the trip to Texas was the visit to White Sands. What a cool place!


Here's the scoop:

At the northern end of the Chihuahuan Desert lies a mountain-ringed valley known as the Tularosa Basin. Rising from the heart of this basin is one of the worlds great natural wonders, New Mexico's White Sands. Great Sahara-like dunes of gypsum sand cover 300 square miles of the desert.

The Tularosa Basin is a closed basin, meaning that the valley has no outlet to the Rio Grande River. All water that flows into the basin from rain and snow fall, either percolates into the soil or accumulates in the shallow, seasonal lakes. The largest of these seasonal lakes is Lake Lucero. The sedimentary rocks in the adjacent Andreas Mountains are rich in gypsum which is an evaporite mineral that is highly soluable in water.

As rain/snow runoff contacts these rocks, the gypsum is dissolved and carried to the basin floor. A large amount of runoff accumulates in Lake Lucero during wet seasons. As the water evaporates, the gypsum previously dissolved in the water begins to precipitate in the shallow lake bed. Each season more gypsum accumulates as more water evaporates. Then, during dry, windy seasons, the gypsum grains are blown out of the lake bed and accumulate in the giant dune fields of the White Sands National Monument.

The White Sands National Monument is a unique geological environment due to the fact that the sand dunes are composed of gypsum grains, whereas most sand dunes are composed of quartz grains.

This image, (click to enlarge) gives a small idea of what it's like to be there.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sixty Eight Seconds of Pure Thought

Yowsers! I wonder how hard could that possibly be? I think I'm going to try it.... but first I have to think of something inconsequential that I'd like to manifest... hmmm...

Here's a better idea! How about YOU, whoever you are, reading this... Why don't you spend 68 seconds thinking of something inconsequential to YOU... say for example... shirleytwofeathers gets a check for $1000.00 in the mail! Think about how fun that would be for ME, how interesting and cool it would be for ME, and easy it is for YOU to think positively about ME getting it!!

And in return, just as soon as I receive my $1000.00 check... I'll do the same for you.

Ok... no, I'm just kidding. Tell you what, I'll spend 68 seconds visualizing that each person who reads this post receives a nice fat check in the mail... and you guys reading this do the same for me. And we'll see how it works? OK? Have we got a deal?

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