Monthly Archives: July 2014

Healing Ceremony for the Hurt in Our World

Healing Ceremony This SundayP1000940

The past few weeks have witnessed great upheaval and suffering around the world. Mother Earth, herself, is struggling as are many of her creatures. As the prophesies of many peoples have said, these are difficult times.

Please join us Sunday afternoon for a time of sharing and ceremony, as we join our hearts, minds, and spirit to offer healing. We will gather around the Medicine Wheel to share our hopes, visions, and concerns. Then we will perform a Despacho ceremony (we will create an artwork of beauty that will carry our prayers and intent to Mother Earth and the Spirits), drum, pray, and meditate, sending Reiki energy and  healing to Mother Earth and all beings who wish our aid. At the conclusion of the ceremony there will be an opportunity for anyone present to request a healing.

Date: Sunday, August 3rd

Time: 4:00 p.m.

For those who are distant, and cannot come, you may join us in Spirit at this hour to meditate and send energy to our hurting world. If there is something you would like us to say into the circle, please send it to me and I will post it.

Bring:Offerings for the ceremonial Despacho (flowers, herbs, small bits of food, stones, tobacco, cloth, ribbon, etc.)

RSVP’s appreciated. Please call if you have questions or need directions






Summer Conversations


Summer conversations

Summer has blessed us with its fecundity.  In the past few weeks, I have  been working in the garden, and planted a second round of veggies, including Spinach, lettuce and chard. Beets, Nasturtiums, Kale, Broccoli, carrots, and Squash,  are in full splendor. The Squash appears to be taking over the garden in a rather ‘Body snatcher’ like way. There is much humor to be had in watching the garden grow, and a lot of discussion with the unwanted varieties of weeds and insects. Flowers too! Our window boxes now burgeon with multicolored petunias. Begonias and gladiolas and Dahlias grace our front walkway. The world is clearing, cleansing  and  plentiful. Right now, we are welcoming much needed rain.

P1080286The world is experiencing a deep wounding and cleansing that has, up to now, seemed  unimaginable. I sometimes think now, that the unimaginable is in fact the new norm, and we must expect what was once unpredictable as predictable.

In the midst of the unbelievable but becoming predictable, shootings in the US, the climate continues to warm, and new illnesses are plaguing us (in in some cases, literary plaguing us, as the Plague is back in some areas). Water has been shut off to  a quarter of the Detroit community.

From  climate change and our natural environment changing before our eyes, to  global political mismanagement and absurdity, the Middle East has erupted in probably the worst fighting I have seen in decades, if not my whole life. As well as  fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other war torn areas, Israel and Palestine are now at war with each other over Gaza. The shadows of our collective past again rears its head as we struggle for find a home in a world with diminishing resources.

This is a lot to hold, and the weight of the world is often heavy. I find myself distracted and wondering what I can do.

It is at these times that I retreat into the garden and feel the quiet presence of its growing goodness.  I converse with the Squash, the Cukes and the Broccoli, and help to define space for each so that none are crowded out. I have been working in mediating space so all feel able to grow at their own rates and speed. It has been tricky at times to define who has what bed, or for that matter, pathway to line up their vines to produce.

This year, Michael and I created a Medicine Wheel behind the garden.  I have found it a powerful, daily reminder of the closeness of Spirit, and the need for me to go within to find the path inside.

I wish I could offer a magic something that would allow people to see clearly the pain that is being created by the ignorance, greed and anger of our world. I know  each of us must come to this awareness ourselves. Meanwhile, we need to some how stop, look and listen. Sometimes the stopping is the first hurdle in being able to assess. It is for this reason that I hope – no pray – for there to be a Cease fire in Gaza. In our crowded world, we all need a place to be. May both the Palestinians and Israelis find a way to be at home on the earth and with each other.

Stop, look, listen. I try to remember this.  In my ignorance, I keep coming back to the idea that we are not so different from each other, and, with a little effort, we might be able to see the small and rich things that are trying to bless us with their wonder.

Meeting Grandmother Emma

I am reposting this blog from “Jennie Kristel’s Blog” about the experience of meeting an Apache Elder, Grandmother Emma. Enjoy

A few weeks ago, I was at the 45th annual conference of the American Art Therapy Association(AATA). We met this year in San Antonio Texas. It was my first real trip to Texas. (Previous trips include traveling through the Dallas airport. I never left it, so I’m not sure that really counts.) I was interested in seeing what Texas was like. Coming from the north (and I am truly a northerner, as well as a staunch New Englander), I was interested in seeing the architecture, and learning about the area. I wasn’t disappointed. I was there, in part, to take part in a book signing for our new book, Using Art Therapy in Diverse Populations: Crossing Cultures and Abilities (Jessica Kingsley Press, 2013).

In the first day welcoming Plenary, a video was presented about art therapy and San Antonio. No where in the video, created by a wonderful and creative art therapist, was there mention of the Native roots of the area. There were horses, and the Lone Ranger made it into the video, and many wonderful concepts about our artistic roots, but some how the Native roots of our land were omitted, as were Native stories of the land; this was disturbing to me. One of the highlights of the conference was actually being able to sit with Grandmother Emma, an Apache storyteller and Elder. She had come to present a workshop at the conference, and at the last moment (or at least after the program was printed) was included in the second day plenary; she was asked to offer a blessing for the conference. Sadly, this wasn’t announced in any way prior to the second day, so the audience was small for most of her blessing. People came in at the end mainly to see the keynote address. I was aware again, of the ways in which we slight people, and communities. 

After her blessing, and at the beginning of the plenary, I decided to go out for tea and saw her sitting by herself. I went over to greet her and thank her coming to the conference, and I found out that she was on her own until her workshop. So I invited her to tea with me. What ensued was a wonderful hour and a half of conversation about her past and being Native in Texas. She told stories about her relationship to the land and the challenges she faces ( she is raising her great grandson right now). We spoke about how our children often do not realize the importance of maintaining ties to the old ways, nor the reality of what happens when stories are not told. Telling stories is what keep us connected to ourselves, and our past, present, and future. Without stories we forget. As I sat with Grandmother Emma, once again I realized how important it is to keep our story alive.