midsummer fire ceremony
culture plants

Midsummer Fire and Ceremonial Rites of the North

With long dark winters in Scandinavia, the arrival of summer solstice is the most important event of the year. In the northern hemisphere, near the arctic circle, the midsummer night marks a time when the sun doesn’t set and when night and day unite.…

June 20, 2017
incense plants products shaman tools

The Wisdom of North American Sage

All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them. — Arapaho Proverb smudge stick form of incense frequently is associated with North American culture. To discuss the act of smudging and use of smudge…

April 17, 2017
culture news plants

Celebrate Sustainable Palo Santo This Earth Day

Protection for Holy Wood: Palo Santo If you are an aficionado of aromatic Palo Santo incense or essential oil, you are probably aware that although the trees grow in various parts of the dry forests of the Andes, the biggest concentration of trees is…

April 17, 2017
products textiles

How We Measure Our Ponchos

Ponchos are unconstructed garments, meaning they are not fitted to a particular shape: neither do they have arms. The fit of the poncho is meant to be loose, but the garment can be short or long and always meant to completely cover the arms.…

March 23, 2017

Ways to Honor Spring Equinox

With new growth abound And life all around I embrace the changes in me That Mother Nature has helped me to see The first official moments of Spring will happen today. All over the world we experience equal parts daylight and equal parts night.…

March 20, 2017
buddhist culture incense

Tibetan Incense

When you hear the phrase “Tibetan Incense,” it could be referring to any number of incense types made mostly in Buddhist communes in the Indian and Chinese Himalayas, Nepal, Bhutan, Japan, Taiwan and parts of Thailand and Sri Lanka. Incense from these places are…

March 17, 2017
culture interviews music shaman tools

Whistling Vessels – Magical Mysteries

Whistling Vessels, Huacos Silbadores. Are they ancient artifacts, magical musical instruments or ritual shamanic tools? According to some, maybe all three.  These dual chambered ceramic vessels are designed to be filled with water and then either blown into or tipped back and forth by…

February 27, 2017
culture news

The Promise of the Amazon

It wasn’t the kind of a job path advancement one might expect.  She had a dream:  to work as a wildlife rehabilitator.  She had three choices:  Mexico, Africa or Peru. She chose Peru. This step eventually turned into a job as an adventure tour…

January 24, 2017

November Supermoon

A rare supermoon will make an appearance early Monday just before dawn. According to NASA, the moon will appear especially bright because it’s the closest it has been to Earth since 1948. We won’t see another supermoon like this one until Nov. 25, 2034.…

November 13, 2016
healing shaman tools

What You Didn’t Know About Smudging

Many come to me with questions and advice about smudging and ways to eliminate the unrest they’re experiencing. So, in addition to smudging basics, let me share a few tidbits about the ancient art of energy clearing that you may just not have known.…

November 12, 2016
burning sage
healing incense shaman tools

5 Simple Prayers to Use When Cleansing Your Space

Wow! Thanks. Help. These are the Three Essential Prayers, according to author Anne Lamott. What I learned in my church-going experience backs that up: there are prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude; of praise, awe, and adoration; and of petitions and requests. To Lamott’s top…

October 24, 2016
shamanic drumming
shaman tools shamanism

Exploring Shamanic Drumming

The drum has been used throughout various indigenous and shamanic cultures as a tool to alter consciousness or to enter a trance state for various reasons. Shamans or healers enter into a trance states to travel to different realms to aid in healing, finding…

October 24, 2016
incense plants

Copal – Sacred Tree Resin of Mesoamerica

Walking on the streets of Mexico, you can often smell burning Copal.. Copal comes from a healer tree family called Bursera that is sacred to the Maya. This resin has been referred to as the “Mexican Frankincense”, and it is related to both Franckincense and Myrrh. Today, it…

September 30, 2016
culture incense shaman tools shamanism

Incense Fit for the Mountain Gods

Life in the elevated levels of the Peruvian Andes Mountains can be tough and the climate can be the most diverse in the country. When storms blow, tearing across the rugged peaks, they are often accompanied by strong winds, killing lightning and damaging hail. …

September 30, 2016
animal medicine shamanism

Siwar Q’enti: Royal Hummingbird

Who doesn’t love the iridescent splendor and seemingly magical ability of a hummingbird as it floats and flits in mid-air?  As a birder and animal lover, I still get a thrill at seeing hummingbirds at my nectar feeder.  In the Midwestern United States, I…

August 22, 2016