Offering Smoke: Sacred Tobacco Ceremony #indigenous

childrenofthesunreadings:

The sacred tobacco plant spirit has been a blessing in my life. I love reading about the experiences that people have when they work with tobacco in a respectful way. Here is one from NowMomentJourney

Originally posted on Now Moment Journey:

 A Lakota (Sioux) chanunpa pipestem, without the pipe bowl, displayed at the United States Library of Congress


A Lakota (Sioux) chanunpa pipestem, without the pipe bowl, displayed at the United States Library of Congress, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Since I am interested in learning and sharing content about indigenous peoples, I find that many of the cultures and traditions are from around the globe.  Here in the US, it is harder to locate authentic and accurate information about indigenous people, but it is possible.

One of the ways that I connect with indigenous cultures of North America is by learning about their ceremonies, more specifically the sacred tobacco ceremony.  While searching on the internet, I found a description written by Nicholas Breeze Wood which seemed to match my understanding of the sacred tobacco ceremony.

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Free Email Series: Learn Flower Reading and Healing!

9 of Earth/Mythical Goddess Tarot

9 of Earth/Mythical Goddess Tarot

Forget the books! If you already work with flower essences or heal with flowers, this approach will help you connect with nature directly. If you don’t, this is a gentle introduction to one of nature’s most healing energies. It is particularly good for stress reduction. And working with flowers will only cost you a little time and effort.

In this email series, you will learn:

the benefits of flower reading/healing

how to do a simple flower reading and healing in order to connect to the deva or spirit of the flower.

a short healing exercise with tarot and flower symbolism

plus a coupon for a free Evolutionary Tarot session!

You will receive five days of healing tips from me my joining my email newsletter list here. It contains tarot and flower healing articles, meditations, and subscriber-only specials. I only send this out four times a year, so your inbox won’t be overwhelmed by emails.

Sign Up Here to receive your flower healing information!

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Acting on Your Vision: Empowering the Inner Masculine withTarot

Once you have encouraged the inner feminine to reveal your true desires, it’s time to take action! This is the work of the inner masculine: planning, structure, and action.

You can have a terrific vision, but get bogged down in the planning process. Or you might have trouble taking that first step.

The structure of a tarot deck allows the inner masculine to discover blocks and create good plans. Planning with tarot promotes a dialogue between the feminine and masculine. It encourages whole brain thinking.

So how can tarot brainstorming assist this process? I’ll share an example:

Jay, a very intuitive and creative client, was frustrated with ABC business networking. He felt it was slow and unproductive. During his session, we pulled the Ascension/World card from the Sirius Starseed Tarot. As he engaged with the symbolism ofthe card, he realized that he was ignoring his strength: his intuition! The networking process was shutting down his creativity.

We explored synchronicity and its role in his networking process. His most productive experiences occurred when there was a synchronistic event, a signal to go forward. He realized that ignoring this signal wasted time. He needed to unite his intuition with strategy to succeed. He tried this and felt enthusiastic about the process again.

If you would like to experience a half-hour brainstorming session, please contact me at: childrenofthesunreadings@gmail.com . I would be honored to assist you in your process.

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What Do You Want To Create? : Half-Hour Brainstorming Sessions

 

HOFLady

There is a part of you that always knows what you truly want. One name for this self-part is the inner feminine. We use words like “vision” or “purpose” to describe her voice when it is healthy and easy to understand. However, sometimes her voice can be difficult to hear. A person can’t answer the question, “What do I truly want?”

 

When the inner feminine is not balanced, it can feel like traveling on a ship with no compass. It’s easier to settle for an easier, less satisfying path. You might change directions frequently or feel like you want everything at once.

 

At moments like these, you can take advantage of a fantastic brainstorming tool: a tarot or oracle deck! Tarot brainstorming is a wonderful way to dialogue with this elusive self-part. Brainstorming takes a playful approach that opens a person to new possibilities! And it only takes a half-hour.

 

Here’s an example of the type of breakthrough that can happen:

 

My client wanted to move. She used to love large, airy, suburban houses near water. She needed something different, but did not know what. She felt that her needs had changed; suburbia was not calling to her.

 

We chose one card from the Mythical Goddess Tarot: the 9 of Earth/Community. As we began to explore the images on the card, she realized how important it was to feel her feet on the bare ground. She described how happy she was when she drove past a nearby state park. She had an insight: she now needed to be around wilderness!

 

So draw one card from your favorite deck. Let it show you something you truly want. Or schedule a tarot brainstorming session sometime!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Flower Power: Meeting A Flower Spirit

Blazing Star

Blazing Star

It’s a new solar year in the northern hemisphere and wildflowers are beginning to appear. It’s a wonderful time of year to explore healing with flowers of any kind, but an even better time to meet and work with wildflower spirits. Wild plants (including wildflowers), according to healer Elliott Cowan, are one thousand times more powerful than domesticated ones. Many flower essences are made from wild species.

Soul travel is a traditional way to meet a wildflower spirit. This is a type of intuitive ability is associated with astral traveling and shamanic journeying. Soul travel can involve staying in my body and expanding my energy field so that it joins with the flower. It can mean going into an altered state of consciousness and feeling my spirit leave my body and speak with the plant spirit. It can also occur during dreams.

If I want to get to know a flower spirit, I visit it in the wild. I observe and even draw or photograph the plant. This allows me to study its physical appearance. I notice where it likes to grow, the soil type and other plants it likes to be around. This “getting acquainted” period may take awhile or move very quickly.

Now I am ready to attune to the flower spirit. Before soul travel, it is important for me to center and ground myself with ceremony. This helps to create sacred space and invites my spiritual helpers to work with me.

Sometimes I will stand or sit near the flower and expand my aura. Cyndi Dale describes this approach in her book, Advanced Chakra Healing. I exhale until I feel my aura merge with the energy field of the flower. I am still in my body, but my spirit will stretch far beyond it. My expanded spirit will activate my inner listening abilities. It is very common to feel like I’ve entered a dream state. This is very real and it doesn’t matter whether I see spirits or do not. The flower spirit may have an immediate message for me or I may ask questions.

The second approach involves going on a shamanic journey. It is important to have a powerful spiritual helper that will accompany me. It is helpful to use a rattle or even whistle a monotonous, rhythmic way for a few minutes to enter a trance state. Some practitioners believe the soul traveller must enter the lower world to meet a flower spirit. This involves finding a hole in the ground that leads to a tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, I should meet my spirit helper and begin my journey through the lower world. (This approach has been described in detail by Michael Harner. ) Once I am in the lower world, my intent and spiritual helper will lead me to the wildflower spirit.

Other shamanic practitioners believe that soul travellers can instantly call upon spirit helpers and journey directly to the wildflower before them. This is called a middle world journey. In this journey, I may see the flower as it is or I may see a mythic representation of the flower spirit. It doesn’t matter how the flower or plant appears, I will be able to communicate with it. Although I will be in a trance state, and see things that remind me of a dream, I will not be asleep.

The third approach involves a going on a dream journey. The first time I tried this, I was taking an afternoon nap; I wanted to enter a trance state and can be a heavy sleeper at night. It helps if I can take a little piece of the flower home with me. I try not to injure the rest of the plant and I leave an offering to say thank you. If the plant is protected, I place a clean quartz crystal near its petals and ask for an infusion. I place the wildflower (or infused crystal) underneath my pillow. Before sleeping, I pray or set my intention to have a dream about the flower spirit. Sometimes it is easier to receive information and dreams if I consciously visualize during the hypnogogic state. I trust that whatever I receive in my dream is a message from the spirit.

There are many rewards for working with wildflower spirits. As I have attuned to the spirits or devas of the flowers, they taught me. I have learned a flower’s healing properties without using books. (Of course, I would not ingest anything without receiving instruction from an expert forager and herbalist.) Many wildflowers I “met” turned out to be local healing herbs once used by native healers. It has become easier to locate these flowers in the wild, thanks to the rapport that develops over time. The flowers can be used for spiritual healing just by connecting to their devas.

I will explore some of these rewards in later posts.

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Listening to the Earth: Nature Divination with Cards

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photo: John Connelly

People who practice nature divination assume the earth is a living, wise being. Some refer to this conscious earth energy as Gaia. Gaia constantly communicates with us through psychic messages, signs, and coincidences. Learning to read these signs is a great way to strengthen your connection to nature and helps to develop your energy field and psychic gifts. It’s as if we are hard-wired to communicate with the earth.

People receive messages from nature all the time, but many may not realize it or be comfortable with interpreting them. One way to begin a conversation with Gaia is to find a book about nature omens and look up your latest message from the wild. Since I’m a tarot reader, I was looking for an approach that uses cards.

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photo: Merissa Lovett

I’ve recently discovered Gail Morrison, an eco-therapist and photographer. She has created a fantastic tool called the Earth Deck. (Here are some of the lovely images). So how can this tool cultivate a better relationship with the earth?

Looking at cards creates learning (remember flash cards in school?). The Earth Deck cards draw me in and remind me of time I have spent in nature. The images are lovely symbols that suggest many possible interpretations. I think it’s a wonderful idea and would love to explore this deck.

The Earth Deck also inspired me to create my own set of nature divination oracle cards, based on messages from nature I have received. I have been consciously listening to Gaia since I was 19, so nature divination is very personal and local for me. I needed images of wild places I have visited (Florida, Peru, New Jersey) and natural elements I have communicated with. My partner, John Connelly, generously offered dozens of his lovely nature photographs for my project. I selected and cropped the images to create readable cards. The results are the cards in the photo below.

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When I read with this deck, the pictures combine to tell stories as tarot cards often do. (One card portraying a bird singing combined with another featuring a sunset scene advised me to speak up about my need to relax). They also remind me of experiences when I successfully listened to nature. For example, the first time I “heard” a stream speak to me. The card and memory combine to reinforce the gentle practical advice and mirroring I have received at such moments. This encourages deeper listening in the future.

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photo: John Connelly

I encourage anyone who wants to deepen their connection to nature to try this project or buy an Earth Deck. If you already work with an Earth Deck, why not integrate some of your own special nature photographs into readings? You may encourage a stronger connection to your local nature energies this way.

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2014 is a Chariot Year!

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Sirian Starseed Tarot

Tarot Year Cards are a fascinating way to journey through the Major Arcana symbols. The concept is a fascinating blend of tarot and numerology. There is both a year card for every individual and a global, collective year card. It’s easy to calculate our global year card: simply add 2014 as single digits. So 2+0+1+4=7.

This year is connected to The Chariot, the seventh Major Arcana card. The Chariot represents movement, will, integration of positive and negative emotions. In the Sirian Starseed Tarot, the card depicts Krishna, the spiritual warrior. After The Lovers, our year card for 2013, many of us have collectively had to make choices based on our hearts: to work on issues or projects that we love. We have experienced the polar opposites of high idealism and real collective shadow or negativity.

Now we all leap into motion together this year. Changes will come quickly. It could be turbulent time for us on planet Earth, but after our Lovers year, there is great potential to really understand each other and work together. The Chariot rider has to work in a skillful way with the forces that pull the vehicle forward. He or she can not run roughshod over obstacles, but must learn to go with the flow. The spiritual warrior must commit to his or her goal, yet have detachment. I have a little tarot practice I’m using to do this.

I like to flip through my deck and look for majors that symbolize the questions I am looking for.

High Priestess: what I need to detach from

Sun: What is working

Judgment: what needs to be improved or brought to a new level

Death: what needs to be released

Chariot: how I can move forward with enthusiasm again

Then I draw the first card after that major. These cards symbolize the message of that major. Let’s say I draw the 3 of Pentacles after the High Priestess. I might need to detach from whether my work or resource plan is successful. This allows me to go into the rest of the reading with an open and receptive mind. By the end of the reading I have four more quick answers that allow me to refocus my energies.

I hope this Chariot year brings movement and integration as you pursue what matters to you!

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Part II – Fulfilling Your Soul Purpose

childrenofthesunreadings:

This is a wonderful time to create a mind map. Our 2014 tarot year card is the Chariot. A mind map makes it so much easier to take that leap into the new year with enthusiasm!

Originally posted on My Sacred Journey:

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Happy Solstice everyone! Each year around this time, I create a new “Goal Map” for my coming year, sometimes combined with a Tarot card exploration. On our Oracle Soup podcast (December 27, 2013), Gina Ties and I cover a variety of creative ways to prepare for your new year with the cards. Here, I would like to share with you some special ideas and techniques I utilize to manifest my life’s potential.

Much of the information shared in this post is drawn from a powerful workshop I teach Finding Your Soul Purpose and Path in Life, an experience that helps students identify their strengths and unique skills. These qualities are then condensed into a focus and purpose in their life. Finally, we develop goals and the steps to work toward and ground their vision.

We all have a purpose in life. Those who deny this fact may not be…

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What is a Tarot Counseling Session?

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(Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr) 

I have just finished an eight week class with James Wells called “Tarot Counseling for Self and Others”. This class introduced me to the world of Evolutionary Tarot. The Evolutionary Tarot process encourages a person to create a better, more empowered future. It’s been a fantastic journey and I highly recommend it to anyone who practices divination.

Unlike a traditional tarot reading – an Evolutionary Tarot counseling session does not predict the future.  A person chooses this type of reading because he or she feels blocked or would like to move forward in some area of their life.  The reader (me) uses my intuition and knowledge of the cards to help the client uncover new insights and answers. These insights create new understanding and often shift or begin to shift blocks. The client ultimately answers his or her own question as we work together.

There are three phases of a tarot counseling session:

The question – this involves clarifying what the person wants to create or change. We find the question and I create a custom tarot layout to explore it.

The conversation – this is where we share our observations, feelings, and questions about the cards. During this process, insights emerge.

The action – the querent leaves the tarot session with doable actions and the beginnings of a different mindset about the issue. This process may create small or large meaningful changes over time.

I’d like to share an experience from a recent reading for a client (I’ll call her Kay). She was concerned that she hadn’t made more progress with her job search and a new business she is starting. Kay works in an emerging field. She has had difficulty finding like-minded businesses to partner with.

During her reading, she drew Inanna/The Star from the Goddess Tarot. We were sharing ideas about what was working in her new business when she noticed the ring of stars around the goddess. She had a breakthrough and realized that she had found a way to network with like-minded businesses outside of her usual contacts. The insight gave her more enthusiasm and confidence. Later in the session, she created an action plan that allowed her to move forward after a period of inaction.

If I had been giving a traditional reading, I might have interpreted “The Star” card in that position as an inspiring connection or the forward-looking aspect of her work. We would have looked to the cards for actions to take after the session. The tarot counseling process is different; the action begins during the session because the client has created a new insight.

Of course, this was a relatively simple issue. A tarot counseling session involving more complex issues tends to create changes or insights more slowly. Sometimes change requires multiple sessions.

I am thrilled to be offering Evolutionary Tarot sessions by phone or Skype. If you are interested in exploring one, please contact me at childrenofthesunreadings@gmail.com

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The Green Man Makes An Entrance!

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(The Fool/Green Man from the Sacred Circle Tarot)

I’ve been spending the last month reading with the Sacred Circle Tarot by Anna Franklin. The deck features photo collages of megaliths and other holy places in the UK. Like the Greenwood Tarot, reading with this deck helps the land really communicate through the cards.

Last Thursday, I was surprised to draw the Fool/Green Man card from the Sacred Circle Tarot during my reading. It made sense as I’m creating a new project right now. I was intrigued by the energy of the Green Man as a force that could propel someone forward. It makes an interesting companion to the Fool’s association with Uranus, a planet that creates sudden changes or flashes of insight. I’ve always been fascinated by the wild force of nature. I wondered how the energy of that card would manifest in my life that day. Tarot synchronicity is fascinating.

Since it was also my sister’s birthday, the two of us had decided to attend a free lecture given by James Wanless at my local bookstore. He was discussing his recent work: teaching the tarot in Asia, creating an oracle deck called “Sustain Yourself” cards, and publishing a digital book “channeled” by the Green Man!

He told a wonderful story (it’s in the book) about writing a letter to the Green Man and the “vision” that he received afterwards. The Green Man (like the Fool) loves dramatic action! James Wanless was really enthusiastic about his interaction with this archetype and the new book. My sister and I were impressed and I decided to buy the digital book.

I realized this was not just the archetype of the Fool card manifesting in my life, but a real message from the undomesticated nature energies personified by the Green Man. When I’m creating something new, I like to map out the balance between my vision (feminine) and my ability to act on it (masculine). I love using the Heart of Faerie Oracle for this type of reading because it contains so many feminine and masculine images.. So I drew three cards from that deck in the following positions:

What is in balance? Queen of Shadows

What is out of balance (depleted)? The Green Man

What will help restore the balance? The Prince of Light

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I was surprised to see two masculine cards including the Green Man! Clearly, my ability to take action was suffering and needed some support. I’ve made some adjustments and feel more inspired. I have more respect for interplay between cards and nature energies.

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