Spirit of Place


That certainly was intense and educational Mi-Shell. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.


I see myself dissolving out of Eder's body/ mind and sit next to him, amazed. I get up and scratch his shoulder blade.
I know EXACTLY, where that nasty Gnat is! He loves it and snorts into my groin area. Warm Reindeer air.
All is good!
A gift given and one returned, lovely.

I'm having no success at all with visiulation one, so am going to move on to two today.

Our first really nice weather pattern here. Means lots of work, but wonderful to be out in the sun.


Week 6, Sound

I would rate my success with week 5 at about a 2, 10 being best.
I just realized this morning, rereading the chapter I do have a long standing ability to visualize in one area. As a life long insomniac one way I've learned to hold on to sleep is to hold on to the dream. If it is something I want to continue that is. I can visualize the dream going forward and move it in directions I wish it to go, and before long I can return to sleep. I can do it when trying to break free of a nightmare too when just waking up isn't enough to let it go. So I do have hope, with continued practice, in visualizing at will.

Sound, week six
Interesting to assign sounds to the chakras, or body areas, I've not run across that before.
As intentional focus I've only experienced Omm, drawn out, in association with my yoga practice.

Giving my totem voice. I talk to the crows every day, they have a wide natural language and I very much enjoy our conversations. I love how they go to work together in the morning, and return home together in the evening.

My name. When Rob calls me by name I always turn to the dogs and say breathlessly, he said my name... then the dogs and I have a chuckle. Weird, he doesn't say my name often. I don't hear it very often period. I find that odd. I see it written a lot.
Food for thought.

Today is the start of week three with the baby chicks. This week their back feathers will start coming in. I think two of the unidentified bantys are going to be Silkies, the little hummingbird sized one is still a puzzle. I'm hoping hard they are all hens. There is no way of knowing with straight run bantys until week 5-6ish.


I went to a "Spirit through Sound" free seminar about 12 years ago at an Episcopal church where they did the chanting through the chakras and a drumming circle; it was a very powerful experience for everyone there. Unfortunately the priest who organized it has retired so the the church has returned to more strait-laced seminars.

I've always loved sound, whether it was drumming, singing, chanting or listening to music or birdsong. The chakra/sound exercise in the book I enjoyed very much, as I went from root to crown and then back again. I changed the Ng and Mm sounds the second time I did it to Ing and Om (drawing out the consonant sounds); otherwise they seemed to resonate in my nose too much.:p

Although I'm always chirping and tweeting at the birds in my yard, I've never tried to do my totem's voice (what sound does a beaver make?). When I journey, the communication is done on a mind-to-mind rather than verbal basis.
I've never thought about it until you brought it up AJ, but very rarely do I hear my name, though I see it in writing often.

I used to do a lot of kirtan chanting (Krishna Das, Wah, etc.) that I enjoyed tremendously. It was very trance-inducing in the right environment...


Week 7 Smudge Smoke and Prayers

Back to week 6 before moving on, it takes a lot of focus to relearn the sounds that have become the norm to us. When I first started doing backyard bird feeders I'd sit on the deck or in the window and watch to see which beak was making the noise, then work through my NW birding book to identify the sound maker. After all this time it is easy, or second nature to think/say good morning Mr. Evening Grosbeak, or welcome home Mrs. Mourning Dove without putting much of myself into it. I took the time to sit on the deck steps and watch the birds this week. Very relaxing and enjoyable to refresh some of what I've been taking for granted.

number 5 of page 34 was particularly apt for me and something I'd never thought of doing. I spent time yesterday, as closure to week 6, doing this to the four directions. It felt so good I'll do it again today. I'm also going to make two power/prayer sticks associated with this exercise.

Week 7
While I don't have any problem with Cruden's choices for smudging and her wheel choices this week I'll choose my own, based on my own Place, which is the point of the book.
As we've commented on earlier, I won't be taking smoke into my lungs, although I did it accidently yesterday getting the burn barrel going. I was breathing out smoke all the way back to the house, it made me laugh to see it coming out.

Prayers. The word sort of gets my back up because it is so closely associated with church and the resulting dogmas, but I fully understand the process she means and have been working on incorporating the idea into my personal practice.

And a question...how do you smudge copal? I bought a piece a few years ago and haven't put fire to it for some reason, cost for one :)

flying black kat

I use a charcoal block made specifically for burning incense that I set in a glass ashtray that sits in a larger ashtray that has sand in it. I have found that copal burns best if it is in small pieces. That way you use only the amount of Copal that you need.

Copal also comes in sticks that are easier to use.


I confess, Week 6 has just not clicked with me. Too much going on here and not enough hours in the day haven't helped but giving an Animal guide a voice, learning to mimic etc is something I do do. They look at me with a sort of "what on earth does she think she's doing" kind of curiosity but I have no clue what I am squawking! What it does teach me though, is that mimicking is one thing, understanding the language is a whole different kettle of fish.

I would like to just make a small but important point. The use of the word 'totem'. Our animal spirit allies are not the same as totem animals. A totem is a clan association like the Scottish clans. A clan totem animal would be hereditary and part of your ancestral history. A personal animal ally is quite different and the concept of a totem animal and cannot be used interchangeably for both. This lack of distinction when white westerners talk about animal spirits is one which many 1st Nation people find both amusing and offensive at the same time. If we are going to use words from another language it is worth knowing what the word actually means and using it appropriately.

The chakra sounds . . . . Perhaps it was me and trying to fit too much in but I didn't feel any sense of anything really other than the sound. I tried drumming instead, different tempos, rhythms and volumes but I think a lot more time is needed for me to work out what worked for what.


Week 7 - I have my favourites which tend to get used fairly regularly. A blended incense called Basilica from Prinknash Abbey - a Catholic Monastery which part of me has a BIG problem with and the other part of me says that I need to get over it so this is my way of trying. The other is my own Rosemary from the garden.

Sometimes I use Mugwort, depending on what I'm doing but this year, as things grow I want to look into other local, abundant, fragrant herbs, what they mean in history, mythology and herbalism then what they mean to me when I work with them.

The word Prayer - yes I know what you mean but can't think of any other appropriate word . . .


thanks black cat. It 'should' be just to the left of me on my naturescape sacred space, but I can't find it. I'm wondering if I didn't put it in a box to Scion in the one AT exchange I did. Would you bust off a bit with a pair of pliers or does it saw?

thanks Milfoil, for your thoughts, always interesting! Hope you are feeling better.


Millie I think you make a good argument about using the word "totem" indiscriminately. I actually do have a clan totem - the Scottish wildcat (Sutherland clan). But it seems to have a very different connection to me than that of my allies, though I'm not sure if I could put it into words.

Week 7
I have been lighting a loose plant mixture every morning before dawn on my back porch - it's made up of cedar, sweetgrass, sage and some finely ground palo santo (wood). It gives me a chance to pause, say thank you and ask for blessings on others.
In the back of Cruden's book, there is a glossary. Under the listing for "Prayer" she writes:
"Participation in life through reconnecting with all relations. Articulation of gratitude, remembrance, right intention, and respect, which then reveals the state of grace and possibility that is our true world. Affirmation of spiritual reality."
Not what I learned in Sunday school. :p