Becoming a Godmother at Vision Quest 2014

Becoming a Godmother

Becoming a Godmother

I just finished leading my thirteenth Vision Quest at Temenos Retreat Center in Shutesberry Mass. It was my first one at this new location.

I have to admit, I was nervous about leading this VQ as it was at a new place and I usually have a strong relationship with the land spirits before I lead a ceremony with this kind of power.
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Making My Drum

For many years I have had drums that I have used for my shamanic and ceremonial work. I know they are sacred and I sometimes refers to my shamanic drums as my second car. They take me places.

When I heard that my elders from Canada, Tina and Josh, were coming down to teach a Drum Making Workshop I knew I needed to be there. Even though I already had many drums.

The drum has been in my energy field the last few months.

The sacred drum

The sacred drum

When I was in Ireland in Sept. leading a pilgrimage I took my Celtic drum to be awakened and blessed by the Oak Trees in Glendalough. That drum was gifted to my sweet sister when I came home. I knew she needed it as the drum connects to the heart. It can heal the heart when you pray with it. She needed that Celtic drum with all those prayers as her husband  and soul mate had passed a year ago.

I was glad to give it to her.

As I was entering the space for Josh and Tina’s class I felt a sense of deep wonder and excitement. I knew I was coming to a new place in my own heart. When I made my drum I was surrounded by community. Josh helped as the hide tore a bit and then Gayle and Abby came to the rescue to help me re-string the back to make the drum balanced. I loved that they all used their loving hands in making my drum. I could feel all the love.

Josh and the elders taught us how to bless the drum for seven days and at the end to feed the drum with berries and water. He shared about the Full Moon and how powerful it is to let the light of Grandmother Moon bring healing energy to the drum.

We all promised to pray with our drum every Full Moon and that this would keep us connected. We ended the day with a powerful Pipe Ceremony to give thank for the day and the magic of making our drums in community.

As soon as I got home I was in a class for a week and I brought my drum daily to awaken the energy. All the healing and love from the class also came into my drum.

My seventh day of blessing was the last day of my class and we came in circle and shared from our hearts. The berries, water and my song I say awakened my new drum. This drum sits by my bed. It is a drum I now use to pray for my Beloved to find me. When he does, this drum will be OUR LOVE DRUM.

How cool is that?


Meeting the Bone Mother: Sept. 14th, 2013

Basking in the sun. The new life!

Basking in the sun. The new life!

We were in Ireland for our pilgrimage and visiting our last sacred site while in the Boyne. Each morning we would have breakfast, meet for some Celtic teachings and have our circle. This was our last day there and we were going to one of my favorite sites in Ireland, known as Loughcrew, the Hill of the Hag. When the tourist buses come they describe this sacred mound as a burial tomb. I know this place to be a home where ceremonies have been performed for thousands of years.

It is the home of the Calliach, known as The Bone Mother. We had our teachings, did a shamanic journey to her and we made a despocho, which is a prayer bundle. The Bone Mother is also known as the Wolf Mother. She is the spirit on the land who gathers all the grief and suffering from the land and she takes in into her cave as bones. There she sings the wailing song and transforms all the suffering so that new life can come forth.

Meeting the Bone Mother 2

Top View after we sang and danced

The Calliach is a powerful force and at the same time, she is merciful and compassionate. I was feeling her working me that morning. In our sharing circle I spoke of my son’s third year memorial coming in a week and just felt the heaviness of the grief in my heart.

I knew this was a safe and very powerful place to bring this pain.

We made the despocho filled with our stories of our sadness, grief and places and people we knew who were in pain. We bundled it up and found our way to Loughcrew. As we were climbing the hill, it was cool and cloudy. A bus full of tourist arrived as soon as we got there and I was not too happy about it. I had this whole plan to go inside ( you need the key) to do a ceremony with candles. We ran up the hill to get there before all the old folks arrived and had a few moments inside.

The Bone Mother’s Seat

The Bone Mother’s Seat

Inside Loughcrew is like going inside the womb of the Great Mother. I felt so blessed to be there with my three sisters, who I had shared deep experiences so far. We gave offerings, inside and outside and prayed, mostly in silence as the energy was so powerful.

Then, the tourist man came and insisted that we leave which was OK but it put me in a state of confusion. I could feel intense energy in my heart. I crawled out and waited until the folks

were going back down the hill. The four of us found a circle of stones right next to the Carin. Being in the open space was where we needed to do our ceremony. We all checked in and I could not hold back anymore. Marie, one of the pilgrims, told me it was OK to let go. I said I needed to scream and it all came out. I felt waves of grief. I wailed like a wolf. I became primal. It felt so freeing and with all the support of my sisters and the land, I let go even more.

Front of Loughcrew

Front of Loughcrew

Black was transforming to light. Confusion and pain turning into openness and a deep sense of freedom. I had become the Bone Mother. When I came back to myself, we all had a good laugh and the sun came out. From there we made a fire and burned all the notes and prayers folks had sent to be transformed on the land. We laughed some more, prayed, sang some songs and found a place to bury the despocho.

It felt good to place it in the land, behind some stones, as this place was the stone home.  With the warmth of the sun, we celebrated new life, and being able to see with new eyes. Letting go is a true blessing. As we walked back to our car and the sun was setting, I found many hawthorn trees along the path.

Offerings and burning the prayers

Offerings and burning the prayers

This plant medicine is used to strengthen the heart. I place a few clooties and prayed for forgiveness and prayers for my family and loved ones back home.

This was the “death”part of our journey. Brigid’s Well, which we went to the next day, was the Rebirth.

This is the shaman’s path.

I have realized being home now for a few weeks, that this felt like a completion of some karmic debt I had around Guru Meher’s passing and my ability to open my heart even more to love. I am glad to be back home in the Berkshires, and feel the mountains and trees connected to the land in Ireland.

Rose inside Loughcrew

Rose inside Loughcrew

Brigid’s Well

Entering Brigid's Well

Entering Brigid’s Well

It seems like this time of my life is all about the sacred feminine. This has been manifesting as a connection and guidance from the Great Mother. I see and feel her around me and She comes in white and stands near my heart and crown chakra, blessing me with her nectar. For the Ireland pilgrimage, I felt her guidance so strongly and she guided me to support the woman who were coming with prayer and deep guidance through my dreams and my Pipe.

I knew this trip was also about connecting to the sacred waters on the land and giving offerings, known as “despochos” to the land and waters. Somehow, I knew that these prayer bundles would help in our own healing. Even though I advertised and put out to folks about the trip, there were only three woman. Interesting enough,  we were all healers and light workers and I was told in a shamanic journey that we would all go through a shamanic initiation of death and re-birth.

This was not the typical Irish Tour.

Brigid holding the sacred flame

Brigid holding the sacred flame

We had three places to go : The Boyne and the sacred sites there, Brigid’s Well and Wicklow and Glendalough. We had allot of rain and on the day we were to go to Brigid’s Well the sun was shining and it was a glorious day. After we checked into our B&B’s we found the road to the Well. As we walked in I could feel the power of Her. I could feel this incredible peace and powerful healing as I walked into her sacred space. The sun was setting and the entire West Gate was celebrating that we were there. The West gate is the place of the Woman’s Lodge, stillness and silence. It is where folks go to transition and it is the water element.

I could feel as I opened to her grace the words,” You are my sister. You are my friend, you are my mother.” I repeated this mantra as I walked to her different places to receive her blessings. There was the stream by her statue of her holding the scared flame, the arch with Mary, the Well, and the clootie tree. All were filled with amazing energy of peace and healing. I could feel all the prayers of thousands of pilgrims coming to this sacred place to ask for guidance and healing from the Great Mother, Brigid.

The Well

The Well

But it was when I got to the end where her story was and I knelt down to read it that I felt my heart opening to seeing and understanding who Brigid was as a human being, just like you and me. Brigid was born an orphan and raised by the druids. They saw a power in her as a child and called her, The Woman of the Oak, for her innate wisdom. Brigid loved to heal the poor and specifically woman, children and animals. She taught that being in nature was a sure way of getting closer to God.

Brigid was ordained as a Bishop of Ireland and had a sacred flame that was only to be touched and watched over by the woman. After reading about her life, I returned to the Well and could feel the sunlight from the west connecting to my vulnerable heart. I opened to her with a prayer for healing , for me and all who have lost a child, or a Beloved in some way.

She told me to bath in her waters.

Rose at the clootie tree

Rose at the clootie tree

As I drank, and anointed myself all I could do was feel deep gratitude for being there. I knew from her well, I was being reborn.

Thank you Brigid.

My sister, friend and mother.

Yours always,





The New Earth

Forever I have been hearing about the end of 2012 being the end of the Mayan Calendar and for some they thought it would be the end of the world.

The Great Mother in nature

The Great Mother in nature

Here we are , January of 2013 and the Mother Earth is still here. Father Sky is here also. What happened?

If I can share that my journey, and I can say, many others also,  are on a journey that is about deep, deep change. The real word is transformation. Why this word?

As a collective we are all dealing with unbelievable aggression, sudden earth  and weather changes and the possibility for many, of great loss.

Silently, behind the doors of so many people, regular people like you and me, are simple and courageous folks who are making choices that are out of the box. We are making choices that are inclusive. Having the courage to take responsibility for changes in the world that will allow this Mother Earth to evolve out of intense greed, corruption and deception.
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What Has Happened to Our Sons?

Today I had to get out and walk in the wood, to be near nature to help heal my heavy heart as I allowed the impact of the 20 children and adults gunned down at Sandy Hook, Conn.

When I first heard what happened I could not allow myself to go there…to feel the full impact of what had happened. It almost seemed unreal. Another shooting, another act of aggression, by a young male.

As I walked in the woods, crying, I kept finding myself stopping and praying at the creek and just feeling the impact. I asked Creator,” What has happened to our sons?”
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Merging with Sacred Water

entering the sacred space of healing waters

In August I had the privilege to support seven amazing souls as they walked through the door and crossed the threshold of the Vision Quest.

We had a week of doing ceremony, praying and being on a 200 acre sanctuary known as Rune Hill, a place that was made for spiritual healing.

On the land there were many amazing places to seek refuge and commune with the spirits.
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Loughcrew on the Summer Solstice

Ghislaine blessing the pipe bowl offering for the Mother


Last summer I was blessed to have taken three weeks and traveled to Ireland for healing, rest and to co-lead a pilgrimage.

My dear sister and friend, Eve Bruce, lives there now and drove like a  mad women on the small winding roads, with three other women as we sang, laughed and told stories of our lives.

After resting and hearing some awesome music in Doolin, we made it to the magical land of Newgrange, Tara and Loughcrew, also known as The Hill of the Hag.
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The Chod Practice

pilgrimagesThe Tibetan people have thousands of years of spiritual knowledge that is available for the opportunity to awaken.

I was blessed in my Tibetan shamanic studies to have learned the ancient practice of chod.

There was a holy woman named Machig Lopdron who lived in Tibet. In her deepest meditative  initiation she encountered facing a part of her mind that held fear. This was manifested as a Naga ( snake spirit). In her awakend state she “fed” the snake demon her body as food, so the suffering spirit could be satisfied. In so doing, she allowed the Naga to gain merit and lessened the karma or pain of the spirit.
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