Last year I attempted to keep the hummybird feeder warm by dragging a long extension cord to the base of the Japanese Maple tree where their feeder was quickly freezing. I put an electric heating pad under a towel inside of a 10 gallon aquarium. Added a few holiday lights and put the feeder on the towel. That worked! It was a little cumbersome and required regular check-ups to make sure the heating pad was still on. This year I tried a new idea!
Wanting to see the hummies in action closer to the house I pulled a ceramic, strawberry pot over, sat it on the outdoor table, stuffed it with larger lights (they stay quite warm) and placed a saucer on the top. The feeder shown in the photo was never really their favorite and I concluded it must be the design; it lacked a place for them to stand and rest. Thankfully the local trees had dropped plenty of twigs which I converted into a ring that could rest around the feeder. The rocks were added to give a more stable setting for the feeder to sit on. It’s a beautiful arrangement to look at from inside the warm, cozy house. The feeding water never freezes, and we have the pleasure of watching our micro, iridescent friends zip in and out to feed and rest in a protected, covered setting.
Do you have some creative solutions to feeding your feathered friends during the winter days? Would love to hear from you!
A very tasty, flexible winter drink to warm the tummy and delight the tastebuds!
Ingredients: 1 cup apple juice, 1/4 cup wild blueberries, a dash of ginger powder, nib of ghee (butter), nib of honey. In a blender combine apple juice and blueberries first to make a liquid mixture, pour into a saucepan and warm on the stovetop. Add remaining ingredients.
Super easy to make, and you can add or subtract ingredients to flavor as you like❣️ Enjoy! ❄️✨😊
At this time of year when, as our ancestors would say, there is a “thinning of the veils between this world and the next,” when Nature unabashedly undresses before our eyes and goes to rest in the Underworld, I felt it timely to discuss this thing called “death”.
People often speak to me of their pains, limitations, and fears during bodywork sessions – a verbal purging of all the life stuff that brought them to this place of suffering and, hopefully, to healing. Some will even discuss their trepidation around the topic of death and tell me whose recent passing they are processing, whether a beloved human or pet. I am honored to hold space for such discussions because I understand how cringy people get around the topic in most social circles. For me talking about death flows like talking about weather. Perhaps I had a few too many close-calls, or experiences of brushing up against things that don’t make any sense in 3D reality. Whatever the reasons, I recognize that people need a safe harbor to discuss such matters.
For some time I have questioned whether, in this technologically advanced society, we are truly living longer or just dying slower? Then I’ve wondered: Is it easier to live or die? Some readers might ask, “What does she mean easier to die, no one wants to die?” True, most people don’t want to die, but the collective’s fear of it – particularly from 2020 till now has shown me just how prominent this topic is in our minds. Media’s talking heads babbling 24-7, rattling non-stop death statistics, their crimson red news banners spilling dire emergencies and death tolls on every channel and website. Yet not a single soul will sit down and discuss the matter at the family dinner table. Clearly, our western culture, devoid of its shamanic roots and mentors for life’s rites of passage is spiritually ill-equipped and inadequately educated to handle the topic. Hardly surprising, considering how masterfully the cultural engineers have convinced us we can simply distract that pesky news with excess entertainment and medication. It doesn’t really hit home till someone close to our heart is suddenly no more. How do we remove the taboo of embracing death, and how do we talk openly about the mystical realms that are ever-present yet seemingly out of reach till we reach that last breath?
Julia Assante, PhD, intuitive, and mystic has researched this topic with great care in her book, “The Last Frontier | Exploring the Afterlife and Transforming Our Fear of Death”. She believes strongly we need to focus more on the invigorating and transformational moments before and during the transition from this world to the next, and cultivate meditative states while we’re healthy and cognitive. The “afterlife,” she says, “isn’t really ‘after life’ at all, because there is also the state of pre-birth, and the non-physical realms that exist your whole life.” Her book offers numerous cases of near death experiences, talking with spirits of the deceased, and preparing for one’s own journey.
Likewise, John Lerma, MD, in-patient medical director for the Medical Center of Houston wrote a most inspiring book, “Into the Light | Real Life Stories About Angelic Visits, Visions of the Afterlife, and Other Pre-Death Experiences”. A very beautiful book, filled with heart-touching accounts of his journey honoring the integrity and wishes of terminally-ill people moving from physical to spirit while under his hospice care. Highly recommended!
These are a but a small sampling of the numerous books available to folks looking for answers, who suddenly find themselves in the position of facing death or that of a loved one. While not included in this blog I would add there are many, many great YT videos covering NDE’s (Near-Death Experiences); accounts given by those who’ve touched upon the other side and returned to tell about it. People (and animals) who are facing their end days need support and, likewise, those left behind – especially if they’ve no prior experience in this realm – are in need of solace, education, and comfort in handling the monumentally taxing event. They are the ones who will be delegated to carry the emotional stress, loss of sleep, legal paperwork, and daunting medical decisions.
I have an acquaintance who recently had to make all the hospice then funeral arrangements for her sister who passed from stage IV lung cancer. Meanwhile, her dad has stage IV cancer, her mom has progressed Alzheimer’s, and her elderly neighbor friend just lost his wife. He is now living alone, lost and depressed and she worries for him. She was so distraught on our first meeting it seemed like she wanted to cry from the weight of it all but couldn’t. There were too many pressing, practical matters to address. Once she returned from her sister’s Celebration of Life she confided that perhaps she will train to become a Death Doula after all is said and done. Considering the amount of experience she’ll have from handling so many transitions in her family I should think she’ll make an excellent doula! There are now plenty of online resources for this burgeoning field, which is actually quite exciting and quite overdue! For example, there’s the National End-of-Life Alliance (NEDA) which appears to have just about every resource one could need. Their mission statement, vision and goals:
Mission Statement: NEDA seeks to inspire positive, creative change in American death practices by creating high standards, ethical and practical guidelines, and rich networking opportunities for all EOLDs, resulting in meaningful experiences for the dying, their caregivers, and the agencies involved. Our Vision: To create a cultural shift where trained EOL doulas are welcomed at the bedside of every death as part of the natural continuum of care for the dying To integrate EOL doula concepts into accepted mainstream practices To provide inclusive support of all EOL doulas and trainers who meet ethical and conduct standards To achieve status for EOL doulas as qualified practitioners who provide appropriate, integrative, and ethical care at end of life To enjoy the same professional and economic standing as others offering end-of-life services. Our Values: We value EOL doulas who provide non-medical, holistic support and comfort to the dying person and their family, which may include education and guidance as well as emotional, spiritual or practical care. We value and respect the diverse voices and viewpoints of all doulas, trainers, and others whose practices honor the individual traditions, heritages, experiences and unique needs of the dying, and their loved ones. We value a cultural environment that encourages the potential for healing exchanges between doulas and the dying, the family, and the healthcare team as part of the life-death process. We embrace the Doula Model of Care that recognizes the need for ethical, compassionate care for all, and emphasizes empowering, non-judgmental support to maximize the self-determination of the individual and honor significant others and family as part of the circle of care. We acknowledge and honor the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals. To this end, we strive to create an environment that is welcoming to all, and where each person feels accepted, included, seen, heard, valued, and safe. We pledge ourselves to developing and maintaining an environment that recognizes, understands, and appreciates the impact of differences such as race, ethnicity, gender, class, education, age, sexual/affectional orientation, physical ability, language, political affiliation, economic status, immigrant/citizenship status, military experience, and legal position.
Another resource that comes with book and very affordable course is offered by psychologist, psychotherapist, sophrologist, (and fellow druid), Philip Carr-Grom, which is called, “The Seven Valleys”. I am hoping to take this course soon and find new ways to view the journey that my western upbringing so woefully lacks.
In Philip’s website he describe it as follows: “…[an] ancient Sufi story, adapted to a modern form, which can be used for psycho-spiritual development, and which has also been used for the past forty or so years as a way of preparation for a peaceful transition at death into the next world.”
In my heart of hearts I honestly feel it is time we grew up, initiated ourselves, and open our hearts once again to the realms that birthed us into the physical and receive us with open arms at our exit. Demystifying, embracing and honoring the death process has the potential to profoundly change the consciousness of our species. Isn’t it about time?
It’s not that I relish performing live before an audience. To be honest I’m very reclusive, as most artists probably are. Yet standing before a crowd, baring my musical soul, dance, and voice – vocally or through my horns – always felt like necessary medicine in overcoming stage fright, singing my truth, and expressing my frequency, if you will.
Not everyone wants to sing, play an instrument, dance, or tell stories, yet we’re intrinsically drawn to watch and enjoy and those who do. Why is this? Are we supporting one another through an invisible field of human energy when we gather to share in these art forms? Are we healing one another of deeply entrenched wounds when we hear each other’s voices and see each other swirl, twirl and move like the cosmic forces that birthed our galaxy?
While we may not consciously know it, our voice frequencies are affecting the atmosphere and people around us, and with every spoken word and sound we share very intimate information. Sherry Edwards, vocal profiler/ researcher at Sound Health Options understands this well when she said:
“Your voice can be used as a holographic representation of all that you are, right down to the depths of your genetic make-up. Your Voice is being used to reveal what nutrients you really need; what muscle are you likely to injure within the next 30 days; who you are, really, deep down, at your soul level.”
Children who sing or talk to themselves amuse and awaken our own inner child. Adults who sing and talk to themselves are considered in society’s eyes to be off-kilter. At what point did we shut off our inner child and decide we’re so “woke”, so grown-up we don’t need to hum to the clouds, sing to flowers, or give our body a voice so it can be heard? It’s a sad society of fearful programming who tells us we are not healers, when in truth it is our voices that weave and sing a supportive web of soul medicine.
“Singing is letting your inner-child whistle despite the surrounding storm. It’s a humming, a vibration of the soul that recalibrates the negative energy of a place into a healthy song. Like dancing, it’s a performance, a rendering of the crucibles and vicissitudes of life through poetic verse before a live audience.”
– G. McZee
Before the advent of computers, paper, pen and such it was the oral traditions that kept a culture alive. It was the storytellers, elders rich with life experience, medicine men & women of everyone’s ancestry who spoke over campfire tales of heroes, treacherous journeys across vast terrain, and spirits of nether worlds who interacted with us, helping to expand our creativity and our understanding of where we came from. Their stories kept us humble, malleable, courageous and relevant. Who is writing our story now? The media? The policy-makers? Where are the elders at this time? Have they been shunned and made to feel obsolete? We must find the time and curiosity to re-member ourselves as the great life journeyers we are! Find your storytellers or, better yet, begin writing yours! You never know who just might be waiting for your baton to give them strength in pursuing their own voice.
“We are social creatures who need each other to survive. Similarly, we are storytelling creatures who need stories to survive…. Maybe we’ll understand it, maybe not. Enchant us with your story anyway. Sing your newfound truth anyway. Dance your unique dance anyway. Because you never know whose soul may need reanimating.”
– G. McZee
You may have noticed a number of quotes in this blog came from Gary Z. McGee, former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher. I wish to give him honorable recognition for inspiring today’s blog, and helping me find my voice on this beautiful autumn day. Please take a moment and read his link below at Fractal Enlightenment.
Can Woolly Bear Caterpillar’s coloring predict winter’s chill and length? According to folklore, yes! According to modern science, no. 😁
So let’s all take a little time from our busy schedule’s, romp gently through local forests and open fields to find our Woolley Bear friend and observe its colors and coat. Then let’s note how winter goes in our respective regions and share notes! The photo above is one I took while at the barn, and unfortunately I don’t remember which way the Woolley was traveling. According to the excerpt below (credit to weather.gov) it matters which end is which for predicting the winter weather’s intensity at the beginning or end of season! Of course, that same source was quick to deny any factuality to the Woolley coat and winter predictions. Ah well, it’s more fun to listen and watch Nature and make our own observations. 🔎👀🐛
“According to folklore, the amount of black on the woolly bear in autumn varies proportionately with the severity of the coming winter in the locality where the caterpillar is found. The longer the woolly bear’s black bands, the longer, colder, snowier, and more severe the winter will be. Similarly, the wider the middle brown band is associated with a milder upcoming winter. The position of the longest dark bands supposedly indicates which part of winter will be coldest or hardest. If the head end of the caterpillar is dark, the beginning of winter will be severe. If the tail end is dark, the end of winter will be cold. In addition, the woolly bear caterpillar has 13 segments to its body, which traditional forecasters say correspond to the 13 weeks of winter.
“As with most folklore, there are 2 other versions to this story. The first one says that the woolly bear caterpillar’s coat will indicate the upcoming winter’s severity. So, if its coat is very woolly, it will be a cold winter. The final version deals with the woolly bear caterpillar’s direction of travel of the worms. It is said that woolly bear’s crawling in a southerly direction are trying to escape the cold winter conditions of the north. On the other hand, woolly bear’s crawling on a northward path would indicate a mild winter.”
In light of crops trying to adapt to ever-changing climate patterns, and so many extreme weather patterns of late, I have wondered what food cultivation and water supplies will look like over the next number of years. Actually, I’ve wondered this for a couple decades and built a healthy library on the topic, but didn’t have the correct landscape to grow our own food till recently.
Just because one has land doesn’t always mean the soil is healthy, or that water will always be affordable or available, so being flexible and creative is very important. While megalithic corporations are buying up farmland like crazy with who knows what as their next agenda I take heart knowing that wild food grows all around and often has deep tap roots accessing minerals that much of our commercial food (even organic) is missing.
One of my permaculture mentors, Dana O’Driscoll, has written a much more in-depth view of this situation. Below is a little excerpt to invite you in and think about how you would celebrate (and forage) at this time of second harvest!
Dana says, “One way of cultivating receptivity and honor the harvest is to take up a wild food foraging practice and take a day to go out and seek out wild foods. Wild foods can be found in all settings, from urban to wilderness, and its just a matter of time and building your knowledge. See if you can find enough for to create at least part of a meal. This time of year in Eastern North America, they are particularly abundant–you can find wild apples, hardwood nuts (hickories, chestnuts, butternut, walnuts, hazelnuts, acorns);fall greens (usually there is a second harvest of greens like dandelion); grain harvests (wild amaranth, lambs quarters, or yellow dock); and fall mushrooms (Hen of the Woods, late Chicken of the Woods, Honey Mushrooms, etc). Building an ethical foraging practice and bringing some of this into your regular practice allows for not only a deep knowledge and reverence of nature, but also a way to align with ancient human ancestors and cultivate receptivity.”With any wild food foraging practice, I want to stress the importance of ethical harvest. Offer gratitude and respect to what you are harvesting, seek permission, and monitor wild food populations.”
I purchased an Analemma Water Wand some months ago when I first listened to an interview between its inventor, Dolf Zantinge, and host Tom Cowan, MD. While I do not pretend to fully understand how quantum physics in the 3D realm operates, my bodywork healing practice of 17 years reveals that a great deal happens in the unseen realms which directly affects people’s health, for better and for worse. When the wand arrived I stirred water that was to be applied to plants and pets; I also treated my own drinking water. A friend of mine purchased a wand at the same time and we both observed that animals (including her wild hummingbirds) couldn’t drink enough of the treated water! Bowls were emptied by the end of the day – that never happened before. She also observed the water fountain her wilds birds visited had to be cleaned almost every other day of algae (since it sat in sunlight most days) but, after treating the water with the wand, algae is history – she barely has to clean the fountain. I noticed our pet’s water bowls do not grow algae anymore either, and their drinking water only gets dirty if they accidentally drop food in it. Proof that something very cool is happening since plants, pets, water fountains and bowls do not know about the water wand or its properties.
I love the concept that what we do to the soil biome of the planet directly affects our internal gut biome which is proving to be a major source of all health and disease depending on bacteria balance. In the first link (below) Dolf and Eric go into great detail about the amazing benefits on agriculture production, animal health, human health, reversed aging in people who drank the wanded water on a regular basis, and how their goal is to make this a planet-wide treatment to restore the balance and well-being of the planet’s elements. I can’t think of a more gracious gift for life on this gorgeous, living, conscious Earth. Please take a listen and I hope you give the Analemma wand a try. I do not receive any financial incentives for sharing this information. My reward is peace of heart and mind knowing that we’re on an upward track to healing the damages done to this planet, especially over the last 100+ years. 🌎
Not knowing in early 2020 whether our clinic would/could reopen I chose to expand my education into the field of equine and small animal massage and acupressure. Facing my fear of horses was the biggest hurdle and MAN am I glad I did. Over a year later a true love affair has blossomed that keeps me coming back to help these gentle giants out of pain and suffering, a much too common dilemma for horses that apparently most people are unaware of. Today one of my dear Acutonics® teachers, Jude Ponton, shared the following post from HeartMath Institute which I have now turned into my first blog. Hope you enjoy learning how horses heal us as much as I did! https://soundheartmethod.com/blog/
3 things to inspire you to get outta bed each day:
Have you learned something new lately? Been to a new bioregion? Spent time in Nature? When you seek novelty and find it, lose it, then seek and find it again you’ve increased your dopamine (pleasure hormone) levels fourfold. In other words, the magic of maybe, of uncertainty is what our brains are hardwired for.
Anything more good, more true, more beautiful that rails against entropy, decay, and the feeling of Groundhog’s Day (movie). It can be a writing a poem, painting a picture, starting a new company, whatever inspires.
If you can figure out the first two then share it, especially with people who are struggling to make it.
“As simple as these three things sound they have saved me repeatedly from descent into the screaming abyss.” – Jamie Wheal
Watching this show on Chaco Canyon. The narrator said, “..the ancients were marking the center point of time, where Heaven and Earth meet (Equinox – even day and night), and the powerful ones lived in circular houses. They could communicate with all of Earth’s creatures and elements”.
I realized at that moment a rainbow from a crystal in a distant window was shining onto the fireplace, or “place of fire”. Spirit communicates to me like this – in very symbolic fashion.
When we are balanced within we are the still point in the center of time, we are the conduits between Heaven and Earth. The rainbow body is birthed at the place of fire, in our heart(h). It is in our ❤️ where the 🔥 of Spirit resides. When we reside in our circle of Light (illuminated) we are clear conduits of the Light in all its spectrum of colors. We are children (Beams of Light) of the Great Sun, who touches upon this planet thru each one of us, via our hearts.