Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween 2015

I’ve never been a fan of horror films; but I always admired my paternal grandmother because not only did she love Halloween and scary movies; but she taught my siblings and me how to deal with fears and tragedy with strength and courage. Because of her unique perspective of Halloween, we received life lessons; which I believe serve us still today.

In most Christian, North American families during the 1970’s Christmas and Easter were the most important celebrations; but in my home Halloween took a life of its own.  These days we spend a lot of time decorating our homes; finding the proper costume; and stocking up on candies for the trick-or-treaters. Yet when I was young I spent every Halloween weekend with my grandparents who had endless stories about ghosts, aliens, demons and monsters; which could rip our souls apart.  Even when it wasn’t Halloween my grandmother shared stories with us about entities; which could rise with the dead and make people’s existence a tragic experience.

It was only once I started studying First Nation traditional stories and hearing them first hand from elder storytellers that I discovered some of my own cultural background.  My grandmother never talked about our family heritage and I never knew as I was growing up that my paternal grandparents were First Nation.  Lets put it this way: My grandmother never said “what we were”; but she constantly shared skills, stories, and personal beliefs; which were handed down to her by her mother and grandmother.  As far as she was concerned we were receiving exactly what we needed to know “who we were and where we came from.”

Throughout my life I often dreamt of an ancestral language, waking up with foreign words, and jotting them down.  In time, with research and luck I was able to identify this language as Micmac, Wabanaki.  In time, with the help of First Nation friends / family I was able to recognize that many of the characters in my dreams, the stories they shared, and the lessons they imparted were related to DNA.  In other words, I didn’t need to be told “who or what I was” – it was all there, in ME!  

It’s the first Halloween where I find myself missing the way of the past. Our World has changed so drastically that we no longer depend on our elders (grandparents) to get a glimpse of ourselves. We definitely explore our cultural backgrounds differently than when I was young.  Ironically these days, it’s almost a “faux pas” to approach a child and ask them about their cultural background.  More and more people believe that “we should be building a new World without cultural differences.”

We have never had more access to information than we do now. Yet what is unfortunate is that we solely depend on technology or search engines to find data. The facts and figures we collect are perceived through the “I”.  Less and less people are willing to accept a perspective that is different than their own.  We are no longer used to the voice of the teacher, or the elder, or the voice of  “gods / goddesses” (a force beyond our own).  It’s our opinion that counts and we can twist any story, or any information to fit what we expect or want.  Our World is not about “truth” or even about “reality” – it is about “fantasy, illusion, and manipulation.” We see this through our use of media, games, and advertisement / consumerism. 

Most students I meet today will ask me: “Can you recommend a book for me to read”.  They don’t have the time nor do they want to give their time away to “listening to me and my story.”  Knowledge in the 21st century needs to be written!

I found through my experience that Oral tradition provided me with a greater, deeper, and more thorough understanding of life, death and dreaming.  It taught me that awareness is made of different perspectives:

·      The perspective coming out of the experience.
·      The perspective given by others.
·      And my own perspective.

Modern men are definitely sedentary people but the fact that we can travel all over the World so easily these days has manifested in a new form the notion of “nomad”.  Here, out east many retirees and elders spend their Summer at home in Montreal; but travel to Florida or Mexico for the Winter.  These customs are no different than how the Iroquois or Wabanaki people used to live.  They may have had a broader sense of the land and a stronger connection to nature but the nomad in them was no different than the nomad in each of us today.  With or without the proper attire for the seasons – our bodies seem to tell us where they need to be or need to go to feel healthy and strong.  We are not realizing that we are repeating ancestral practices because the shapes they are taking almost seem like originals:  New human practices.

When I’m interviewed and asked about Indigenous Dreaming or what people like to refer to as Dream Walking – I’m often asked if “I learnt the skill and the tradition / teachings from my elders?” 

Looking back at my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents along with their children it is clear to me that I’ve inherited my dreaming skills:  Mostly because we all seem to have them. I’m continuing a long legacy of dreaming tradition and inherited skill because I intentionally chose to walk the path; learn everything possible about it; and focus on transmitting it to my children etc…  For me learning from my elders and ancestors is a given; but ironically, it many cases these individuals didn’t even know they were transmitting a dreaming lesson to me.

I learnt as a child that Halloween referred to a point in time mid-way through Fall where the veil between the Worlds was thinner.  During this time characters from different dream realities could be seen, sensed, or heard and in some cases even manifested into realities they didn’t belong in… My grandmother scared us to believe that during this time some of these entities could be dangerous even deadly. Most of the stories my grandmother shared with us gave us lessons about “what not to do” in certain circumstances and how important it always was to be attentive and alert to the smallest of details.  Honestly I never liked Halloween because too much of what she spoke of was incredibly real to me. 

All of us, my siblings and me were sensitive to the thinning of the veil and each of us every year experienced some kind of phenomenal story; which left us believing in the potential horrors of Halloween.  Still, we continue to enjoy this time of year in our own little way.  We celebrate the fact that we don’t have an ordinary “heritage” and that with or without a conscious awareness of the past and our ancestors, we are still connected and in communication. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Basics of the Medicine Wheel.

Lots of people have been asking me to return to the basics with the Medicine Wheel and Indigenous Dreaming.  I’ve been quoted a few times in the last month and each time it’s been about “concentrating on the foundation, in order to solidify the house.” 

One lady said: “I often feel anxious, scared and unsafe; but if I return to the basics and simplify my thoughts and expectations I already realize I can handle anything.” 

We live in a society where everything is about performance, competition, and earning our place / and our salary.  There’s no doubt that having to prove ourselves is a constant source of stress; but it’s more then that…  Who doesn’t want to belong; to be loved; to be “enough”.  Having to fit in a World; which constantly questions who we are; what we can do; and how fast we can do makes it difficult to cultivate the attitudes necessary to feel whole and be happy.  How can we even begin to reach the heights of our dreams if we are constantly and inevitably working against them?

Last winter we discovered that our senior Beagle, Murfle had an aggressive kind of bladder cancer.   Since she was diagnosed is a specialized clinic we were seen immediately by an oncologist who quickly suggested a few treatment options.  At first glance we didn’t think of the money it would cost us.  Love and the fear of loosing her kind-of lead the way.  Fear, moral values and practical thinking were constantly debated during the months; which followed the surgery and then the chemotherapy. 

We constantly asked ourselves the question: “How do we make the decision to stop treatments; to accept cancer; and to choose euthanasia?”

What was incredible about this journey was how our family and friends rallied together and promised one other to be clear and honest about our feelings, our thoughts, and our deep down beliefs. 

The three first elements of the Medicine Wheel: Clarity, knowledge and illumination.

From the very beginning I made up a rule: “It doesn’t matter if we don’t see the same things, the same way and want the same results.  The idea is not to agree but to open up trails and trails of possibilities.” 

On a few occasions when emotions flared some people questioned my “genius”:  “How can it possibly help to have more perspectives then actual solutions and one clear choice?” 

The Medicine Wheel tells us that it’s not the outcome that is important but the journey.  The learning, the healing, the abundance, the beauty, the inter-relations, and the attitudes; which lead to gratitude these are the reasons why we are incarnated.  If we focus on how to manifest our basic desires they inevitably dominate us; but if we “circle around them” like animals do -- we uncover the secret of stepping into them.

If you have ever had a pet, you know that these animals often mirror their owners / masters / or human Alpha.  Contrary to humans animals are rarely selfish and self-indulged.  They please the people they trust and they grow into their basic desires of being loved; belonging; and feeling safe.  What makes them different than humans is that they surrender; and allow themselves to change.  

The second trio of elements on the Medicine Wheel:  Growth, trust and love.

Through watching Murfle in the last year, I realized we (humans) over complicate our lives.  We want to be heard, we want to fit, and we want most of all to be loved but we spend so much time “working at making it happen” that we don’t trust life to actually deliver it.  In the last little while I’ve had too many people tell me that they are giving up and that love, peace, and feeling whole doesn’t exist. 

Murfle was a wounded adult dog when we rescued her.  She was a work dog for a few years; and was abandoned into the dog adoption system moving from one foster home to another because of unfortunate human, life circumstances.  By the time we got her, she was 10 pounds over weight and didn’t trust humans. 

Everyone questioned why I picked her over some of our other options… 

Ironically it was all about Bella then…  We were looking for a companion for our over zealous puppy. The two dogs immediately bonded and in less than a year, something as simple as “playing and running” had skimmed 10 pounds off of Murfle and given her back hope. 

Through the last year, G repeated often the words: “Lets just make Murfle and ourselves HAPPY.”

Here, I was worried about money and about fearing the end.

·      How would she die?
·      Could I make the final decision?
·      How much would she suffer etc…? 

From the very beginning she told me through a dream: “Don’t worry.  I’ll die when it’s my time.  You won’t make the final decision and you’ve already taken away the suffering.” 

It took living the journey all the way to the end to believe in the dream.  Murfle brought me back to the basics and reminded me to listen to myself; to listen to the Universe; and to listen to the Wheel.  She taught me to “let go of fears, worries, anxieties.”  She gave me a glance into the Sacred Circle and showed me that through change there’s always renewal. 

The last elements of the Medicine Wheel: Renewal, purification and wisdom.

Murfle died September 26th, 2015.  She didn’t die of bladder cancer.  The surgery and the treatments actually worked; and she was in complete remission.  Instead, she died of internal bleeding due to a vulva cancer nobody saw until it was too late.  She didn’t suffer.  None of us had to make any tough decisions and she passed at the happiest point of her life.  It was one of those bittersweet moments where “you’re glad and your pissed all at once! LOL

Our minds create all kinds of stories and scenarios with the assistance of our aching and wanting hearts; but what if our hearts were synchronized to the rhythm of the Wheel and feeding our minds an infinite amount of possibilities?  The journey literally brings all the pieces together and if we can get the mind to listen to the heart; and the heart to listen to the Wheel / the dreaming / the Cosmos we inevitably grow, and mature allowing our basic desires to find HOME. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Grandmother Lodge

I’ve been hosting Moonlodges in the Montreal area for more than 25 years.  In the last 15 years, I’ve helped matriarchs from Europe, the U.S., and other Provinces of Canada start up their own Moonlodge Circles.   It’s been an incredible journey for women in the last century.  We’ve come a long way when it comes to healing and empowerment. 

On Saturday we celebrated the 1st Moon of the year, 2015 according to a Blue Moon calendar.  On our Medicine Wheel this 1st Moon is called the “Moon of Welcome” and refers to the 1st steps we take into a new season (birth / infancy, adolescence, adulthood and the elder phase).  Every year brings forth a different perspective of the 13 moons based on our personal story, as well as the cosmological, natural and human influences. 

I don’t think anyone will argue with me when I say: “2015 triggered challenges; which absolutely demanded our full attention.”  It’s not every year that we get blessed with “two dark moons.”  It seems planetary alignments and cosmological influences brought forth climate changes and environmental realities; which stripped us of all kinds of illusions. By Spring of 2015 – it was clear to pretty much everyone that we had suddenly stepped over a threshold and that life as we knew it was ending. 

It was important to me, and “our community” to truly anchor this “awareness”. 

We spent most of the Blue Moon exploring the idea of “what does it mean to be entering the 6th World?”  It seemed like every day we brought up topics about the environment; about society; about human behaviour; and even about science and technology; which deals with extinction and change.  I believe that by the Full Moon it became clear: “It is time to adopt new attitudes and new ways if we want to survive this new World.”  On the other hand, there is no ignoring the fact that animals are disappearing; the climate is more volatile; earthquakes are changing the face of the planet and even humans are “crying out for new visions”.  

The Moon of Welcome is speaking to us about “transitions”.  It’s not just about building tomorrow, it’s also about looking back at yesterday and contemplating over what is staying and what is disappearing or leaving (depending on your beliefs).  In honour of this perspective “our community” decided to let go of the Moonlodge and move into what we are calling the Grandmother Lodge. 

The 6th World needs men and women to gather together.  Like I was telling the crowd on Saturday “we will still work on ourselves as individuals; but if we want to save our relationships, our families, our communities and our Nation – we need to start thinking out of the individualistic box.”  Thinking about “ME, me, me” won’t get us anywhere especially if we want to preserve our World; produce enough food and water for everyone; and live in peace and harmony.  Over population will no doubt put a strain on a few of our human and environmental structures? 

We need to start thinking differently!

Both my maternal and paternal grandparents were involved in my life and upbringing.  My maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother had a bigger influence.   After they passed away, I remember being afraid of forgetting their faces or their voices.  ‘Til this day I can still picture them and I can still hear them speak to me….  They may have left this Earth and continued their journey; but I’ve consciously kept in “archive” those memories and details; which meant most to me. 

In the last few years more and more men have been asking to learn about their “moons”.  There’s a sense that both Adam and Eve (so to speak) are looking to return to Paradise.  Grandparents don’t make a distinction between their grandchildren.  They just give unconditionally to each of them (at least that’s the way it should ultimately be).  The idea behind the Grandmother lodge was that we would approach our inner children “as grandparents”. 

Encourage our Moons to grow up and to fit into a New World with an ancestral and historical wisdom and perspective.  In other words transition with consciousness.

The next three years will be about “remembering and sharing” our stories.  There is incredible wisdom, knowledge, and teachings hidden within the details of our life story.  It takes exploring and bringing to consciousness the different part of our Wheel. 

Our First Nation ancestors referred to the Moon as Grandmother.   The Moon has been an important influence on our Planet; but it has also been watching over our World and over us….  We just need to finally acknowledge HER hand in our life and HER help too.  HAU!

Suzi.  I hope you don't mind that I've used one of your beautiful moon photos???  If you do - just send me an email and I'll take it down.  
Suzi and I met through exploring each other's blogs.  She has the most incredible collection of Moon photos.  She follows the Grandmother month after month.  
If you want to follow more in depth BLOG entries --- join us on idreamer.ning.com
Suzi, Ros and I write regularly for the community.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


I’ve always loved history.  Not so much the names of people or the dates of events but the vibe or energy I can pick up from old stories.  As a hypersensitive (don’t like the word “empath” – sorry) I’ve always picked up “impressions” off of objects, buildings, and even people or events.  For most of my childhood I believed these “feelings;” which often took the form of elaborate stories were simply fantasies or imagination.

When I was a child my parents would take my brother, my sister and I to the Shriners Circus every year.  The first year was held in tents in the back of a mall.  Then their success grew and they changed the venue. In the huge arena they would cater to 10 times the crowd.  I remember telling my parents at the time, how the Circus felt different year after year despite the fact that it was always the same people and the same acts (give or take).

It was only after my first music concert at the age of 16 years old that I noted in a personal journal: “The crowd and venue influences the vibe around an actual event.” It’s not surprising that performers get addicted to the “feeling” they receive from performing.  Almost a decade later, I was on stage as a keynote lecturer and taking in the “energy” I was getting from my own audience.  I understood in that moment that we create “a vibe” and that it’s a recipe made of several ingredients:

·      A vision (mix of fantasy, imagination and intention)
·      Enthusiasm (mix of common interest, curiosity and feeling called)
·      Support (mix of encouragement, excitement, and connection)
·      Collectivity (different people coming together to celebrate)

Imagine your life story as some kind of “performance.”  You are the main character in a 40 / 60 / 90 year old play.  The scenes change every now again and so do the characters; but in most part your story elaborates on one main theme and shows how you have grown through it all.  Of course, you are also a second or minor character in other people’s lives / plays.  By exploring their story you can come to understand the impact you have on their lives and come to even better develop yourself as your main character. 

See how that works?

This idea of growing through exploring the plays /or lives of others
is called living according to a “myth.”

In our Circles we call it: “Living according to a Dream.”

What’s amazing through history is that the human myth (so to speak) although sometimes more colourful; more fantastic, and more elaborate during certain eras has always remained basically the same. 

Humans love “superheroes.”

Looking back at some of the stories in antiquity we see that humans loved the idea of gods and goddesses:  Individuals from other Worlds who were deeply or casually interested in humanity.  These beings always seemed to exhibit human traits (jealousy, regret, guilt, shame, desire, lust etc…); but acted on them with more courage, power, and consciousness.  It was almost as if the makers of “myth” were seeking out attitudes, behaviours, and abilities; which were difficult for most men.  Through myths, humans had access to examples bigger than life or mentors; which could be accessed through dreams and visions.  It gave birth to the potential of extraordinary growth. 

A young student of mine recently said that he wanted to know if his dream of becoming a Superhero was an illusion or a reality.  When I brought up the question amongst some of my peers I was surprised with some of the responses. 

Quite a few people chuckled and said: “I hope you were honest with him and told him that Peter Parker was a scientist (reality) who dreamed up Spiderman (illusion) under a microscope.”

A few others took a moment to think about it and almost insulted replied: “Are we saying that there are no Superheroes in our lives?  Nobody who accomplishes incredible feats; thinks of the community first; and lives a life of incredible integrity…”

Where some people believe that “superheroes” are the fantasies of little boys and little girls; others believe they are a reality missing in today’s ever growing over population.  From my perspective we demand heroism from our religious and government leaders; and when we come face-to-face with their humanity we are often disappointed.  I don’t believe we’ve stepped away from “myth” we are just expressing it differently.

As I was walking the dogs with GP this morning I made the comment that I had to find a way to win the “BEETLE WAR”.  For a split second I literally wrote a whole script about a beetle villain and it’s heroic super predator…  Creating “myth” came quite naturally. 

GP giggled at my words and simply asked: “Have I missed something?”

This summer has been deadly for many trees and plants in our gardens and yards.  It seems like every day I hear about a new insect attacking the vegetation in our neighbourhood.  At the vet this year, we were told to protect our dogs from a dozen different types of bugs.  Many of them I’ve never seen before.  

How many movies have we watched in the last 5 years; which describes some kind of alien invasion in the form of giant insects?  I couldn’t help but giggle at my reality this summer because it certainly mimicked a “myth” we’ve created through our movies. 

Myth certainly expressed itself differently 20,000 years ago, 8,000 years ago, 2,000 years ago in comparison to now…  Yet, what repeats through those years is this human need to connect to some “higher being.”  Just yesterday I was looking through my Facebook feed and came across a story about extra-terrestrials.  The video showed these flashing lights in the sky over Australia.  Nobody commented on the authenticity of the video but everyone mentioned having the belief that “alien life exists and that it is closer to us than we may imagine.”

I know quite a few people who believe in “alien life”.  I’ve been told about books, podcasts, blogs and radio shows; which can prove to me that extra-terrestrials exist; and that our governmental officials have been meeting with them for decades and keeping them secret from the public.  My grandmother was a great UFO fan and she often referred to stories (Native American legends) she was told by her mother and grandmother; which she believed validated her beliefs.  Whether we speak of the Gods and Goddesses of Greece and Egypt or the Extra-Terrestrials of modern times these characters support the basic nature of man; which is to strive towards mythical creatures.

Whether we believe in the Son of God, the Second Coming, or the Pagan Gods and Goddesses, we are looking towards characters; which can inspire us, teach us, love us, and help us grow into stronger and better people.  Today, more and more  young people are believing in Video Game characters:  Prophets, Mages, Shamans and Sorcerers. Even those individuals who believe in Satan, Demons and all of the creatures of the undergrounds are looking to find pieces of themselves; answers to their deepest questions; and ways to journey into what best calls to them.  All humans seem to need “myth.”

I guess the ultimate question is: “Are we creating “myth” (fantasy and imagination) or does it exist as a reality.” 

I think both are possible and “real”.   Like my story about the Beetle – both the myth and the reality came together.  The idea is not to stay attached to the form. 

P.S.  I’ll be back with another blog – on kind of the same topic but relating to children and dreaming.  For today, this is what wanted to get written…..