Spirit of Place


During this week - Do something different - what kind of different? In one breath we are being told that those who aspire to be or think they are Heyoka are usually not and so I wonder what is being asked of the reader here? Doing something different is a deliberate choice, yet from what I read here about Heyoka, this trickster spirit, this innocent unveiling of truth comes not from deliberation but from a more opportunist (going with the flow) and intuitive upsetting of the apple cart. I cannot, therefore just do something different in this way unless an opportunity presents itself. Either that or I don't understand.

There is no Heyoka persona in my culture that I know of, no one person or identity who is understood as being this transformer in such a specific way. I guess Fox would be the counterpart to Coyote, the trickster, hunted but always surviving etc.

This is something I struggle to understand - perhaps I need to research a little more.

Edited to add: of course there is a character like this - the court jester, the fool, the King's closest advisor, the one who uncovers deeper truths by poking fun at and turning upside down the conventions of the court. Hmmm, interesting. The Fool in the tarot . . . .


Summer Week 8 - Using the Rattle

Firstly what did I do different this week? I spoke out, stood up and surprisingly found that instead of opening a can of worms, invited support.

So this week is about Using the Rattle. If I have a rattle, pick it up, examine it. Well, which one? I have a few, some have the rattles inside a chamber, others have the rattles outside. One is shaped like a Crow, two are Caxixi (woven rattles with a gourd base and stones inside. Some have shells on them, one special one is a horn and wood one from a town near the Mohawk res which Mi-Shell took us to. Then there is a small one made from driftwood, rawhide and sinew, another made from a shell with a rawhide head and chips of quartz inside. Then there is the old Hopi rattle made from a gourd and painted blue, yellow and white . . . . they all mean different things. Either I made them or they were gifts.

We are asked to smudge then address a prayer to the Rattle's spirit and the powers of the South. Why south? Is it because we are working through the summer months or is there a connection between south and the rattle?

Making an inventory of medicine objects. That sounds like a good idea but whether I have time this week is doubtful. Lets see.


Summer Week 9 - Focusing and Projecting Power

The title sounds more auspicious than the reality and in many ways, I like what Cruden says about not trying to attach power to yourself etc but there are one or two things which I would like to question.

Cruden says "Power is intrinsic to Spirit and thus touches all aspects of the path." This seems to gel with my own experience so far, however, she goes on to talk a lot about focusing our own power, allowing power to flow through us like Reiki, yet doesn't go into any detail or even mention the Spirit allies who work with/through us and what they bring yet this, to me, is the primary channel.

She also states that "Power cannot be given or stolen, shared or owned. It can only be interacted with, or not. This interaction can be receptive or projective."

I assume she is referring to people giving, stealing, sharing or owning someone elses power? Yet even in this, I know that this is not true. We've all experienced someone in our life who can make us feel small, someone who encourages and stimulates us, the ones we lean on and rely on. All these are examples of personal power being altered by others. Many shamanic traditions work upon ancient principles of power loss, stolen power and blocking power which is where the shaman can step in to diagnose and repair. I don't know about sharing and giving but I do wonder about initiations, attunements and such. Yes, there is a difference between aligning so that power is conducted more effectively and the injecting of power from a different source but what then is the difference between conducting power in the form of healing and giving power in the form of healing?

I was shown and taught that the 'power' associated with an object (crystal, tool, drum etc) came from primarily from the helping Spirit of that object. Hence invocating new medicine pieces (at Full Moon). The Jhankri Shamans of Nepal spend upwards of 30 minutes before starting the ritual proper, inviting their helping Spirits of the drum, beater and other items to come into the pieces so that the healing will have power and effect. Then at the end of the ceremony they thank their helpers and release them so that should something happen to the Shaman, the Spirit is not held against it's will in the object but is free to do as it pleases.

What to do this week? The first possibility is to have intentional exposure to a specific 'context' of power (one of the elements) and this I know has great effect if done in a sacred manner and with an open mind.

As for the rest (immersion in coloured water or light?) . . . not sure about concepts being used here.


Are you guys still working on this?????

It is September!!!!!!!! :D
That means I am "coming up for air" and out of the Bearpaw earring chaos of craft shows and markets and shamanic clients and students!!!!!

Are you guys still working on this?????
Yesterday I managed to stick my nose into the book again and read and think myself through the exercise (week 11)
I still have to read what you guys all wrote since i fell into my "whirrrrrlwind summer hole", but I am planing to eventually catch up, iffff you are still here...?


Hi Mi-Shell, glad you are surviving your busy time, and the fires didn't get to you.

I am still working through the book but by myself.
I've had a terrible summer and am sort of maintaining a low profile.


It didn't seem appropriate to carry on while AJ was facing such personal grief. We can carry on, of course, but really, it's up to AJ.


Oh, AJ, I am sooooo sorry!
I just found the thread and read what happened.
Now I am sending you gentle hugs and many blessings!

And no problem - these exercises can all wait!