Sunday, 31 August 2008

Spirit Animals –Mountain Goat

clip_image002Mountain Goat Hunting for Food on the Mountain”   Photo by Barbara Hirst  Copyright May 2008

For anyone that lives near the Rocky Mountains, the sight of a mountain goat is not that unusual. However, these agile creatures seem to be popping up more and more in television ads, newspaper ads, and in stories. If someone sees the ad or hears the story, you can be sure that Mountain Goat brings you a message.

The M. Goat lives on rock, and therefore, is about creating a solid foundation for one’s personal life and spiritual life. M. Goat also sends the message about moving higher in career, life, thoughts, and wellness. Although the pickings seem slim, M. Goat always finds food and may be seen happily lying on a ledge, chewing its cud (regurgitated grass). Abundance and trust in finding that abundance is another message that M. Goat shares with all. In a very tough environment, M. Goat thrives and raises its family with many of the off spring being twins. The message in its behaviour is to move through the rocky areas of life with grace and dignity.

M. Goat shows us how to explore the unknown, the uncharted areas that allow it to go where other animals cannot. As we move through the unfamiliar, we too move into areas that take us beyond the ordinary. By living high in the mountains, M. Goat is also a reminder to continually connect with The Divine. Mountains represent wisdom and are said to be the Wisdom Keepers of the Earth. M. Goat walks through wisdom daily, and learns from taking chances, and with its appearance, encourages each of us to try something new. © May 2008 Judith Hirst-Joyeux. Judith is a Sage-Healer-Shaman who works with the Goddesses and Gods, Great Spirit, and angelic realms to move quickly to the source of issues or blocks.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Spirit Dance - The Shaking of the Earth


Picture from Microsoft Clipart

This was the headline on August 28, 2008------     "VANCOUVER, Canada (AFP) - A strong earthquake struck at sea Thursday off Canada's Pacific coast west of Vancouver Island, but was too small to generate a tsunami, Canadian and US officials reported.  Initial government reports indicated it was a quake of 6.1-magnitude, but the US Geological Survey later downgraded it to 5.8.""

Our Ancestors have passed down stories and prophecies that talk about the time to come when Mother Earth will be so unhappy with the people that walk upon her, that she will dance in frustration.  And, much like the rain dance that our Ancestors did in various cultures, Mother Earth will dance for change.

From the above headline, it appears that Mother Earth is indeed dancing.  An earthquake also hit off the shore of the coast of Oregon with a magnitude of 4.1.  Earthquakes surfaced in the Aleutian Islands and Honshu, Japan.  This means that the Mother is dancing world wide and is not limiting herself to one specific area.  In the last two weeks, various earthquakes have hit Central America and the Polynesian Islands.  The visual map of all earthquakes is at

Our Ancestors also predicted, in legend, that the bridges between lands (the continents) would disappear meaning the various islands and land bridges.  Where did our Ancestors get their knowledge from?  Did they dream these things?  Did aliens deliver the messages and tell them to pass it along to the next generations?  No.  For some, how our ancestors received their information is almost more unbelievable than UFO's. 

Our Ancestors, and this means Before Common Era, were much more in harmony with the Earth (Mother Earth) and the Sky (Father Sky) then we can imagine.  Our Ancestors used all of the senses given to them.  One sense or ability they had was to walk out of time.  As a side note, the Rites of the Munay-Ki are designed to awaken that innate ability in all of us to walk out of time.  Using this ability, our Ancestors were able to walk backwards and forwards in time, to see what would be.  Nostradamus used the same principle.  When the Ancestors began looking at the technological age, they had no words for what they saw, so, they used the concepts and phrasings of their world, and applied the concepts forward.  We then have Mother Earth dancing, and creating some very large tremors.

May you dance softly on this Earth.

Judith      (See the September newsletter online at

Friday, 29 August 2008

Spirit Animals - The Monarch Butterfly - Missing

West Coast monarchs preparing for a winter sleep in California. West Coast monarchs preparing for a winter sleep in California. (Vern Fisher/Associated Press)

Butterflies Journey north Where are the monarchs, the cry goes out Last Updated: Thursday, August 21, 2008 | 8:51 PM ET

On Wednesday, July 23, 2008, I published a blog that talked about a world without butterflies.   The original source for the article came from England where the butterflies have been honoured for some time.  However, they are now diminishing in numbers in areas, and in some places, are not seen at all! 

And so it is here in Canada.  Even last year, in Alberta, we had several days of bunches of Monarch butterflies creating clouds of colour in the fields and in our yards.  This year, hardly any Monarchs have been seen.  The change in the butterfly population and migration is a huge signal for change in the world. 

In spirituality, butterflies have always been about transformation.  That is, one sees a butterfly, and it signals that change will come to the individual, from the inside, or from Spirit.  The lack of butterflies in many places now signals an external change.

The Native American Ancestors believed that the butterfly population was a good indicator of the health of the environment - or as scientists now call it, the ecosystem.  If butterflies disappeared, the land and area was no longer healthy.  The People then moved from the area, following the butterfly to its new home.

Because of their ability to fly and ride the wind, butterflies represent the element of Air.  Humans are conscious that our air is changing - it is getting warmer.  And, although generally we work hard in North America to reduce air pollution, third world developing nations are not so knowledgeable as they get their factories up and running and all learn to drive the old gas guzzlers that were exported from the West.

Monarchs bring the message of courage: have courage, walk with courage, make changes with courage.  This butterfly travels huge distances on their annual migration following the same route as many birds.  Humans do not have the courage, generally, to travel to unknown places with the conviction of faith that the Monarchs have.  That is the other part of the message - to have faith.  Monarchs realize that the world is not something they control, and yet they make this huge journey.  Humans feel the need to control everything - people, environment, weather, plants and animals.  The message is to let go and let the journey happen.

You say - what about them disappearing?  Keeping in mind the idea that the butterflies were honoured as messengers of the Gods and that they are the first to recognize change and transition, it seems that the Monarchs and other butterflies may have already made the Ascension shift that is much talked about.  The butterflies are the leaders, showing the way.  Perhaps they have found a portal that takes them to that next level or next dimension.

May your life be filled with joyful transformations!


Thursday, 28 August 2008

Ancestors - 80 Million Year Old Sea Creature


Two partially covered teeth attached to a jaw on the fossilized remains of Angus, an 11-metre-long mosasaur unearthed near Morden, Man. (Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre) - Photo from CBC news....

The discovery of this dinosaur is exciting because it provides detail of the habitat of the mosasaur.  Another mosasaur was found thirty years ago in the same area.  The geographic area of the find, was covered with the mid-continental seaway. 

Our stories and legends, mostly passed down by oral tradition (story-telling) contain many references to sea monsters.  The mosasaur definitely qualifies as a "monster-type".  Imagine being our ancestors and having to face this creature, or any other dinosaur that existed.  Although paleoanthropology puts the oldest species of homo sapiens at 2 million years ago, it seems reasonable to believe that some form of man, our ancestors, existed even 80 million years ago.  Just because there has not been any findings of this man, does not mean he never existed.  Until the first fossil of mosasaur was discovered, it too never existed.

Thich Nhat Hanh, a respected Zen Master in exile in France, says, “If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”

It seems to me that he is saying that we carry the genetics of the very first types of humans, even though we may not know of them.  We carry a holographic memory of all that has happened in the world in our genes.  This may account for the 97% of DNA strands the scientists say are useless.  Perhaps some of those urges called "primeval" are stored there, and perhaps they come from these ancient ones.

May you be the best of your ancestors!


Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Munay-Ki Rite 2 - Bands of Power


Rough diagram of "Bands of Power" created by Judith Hirst-Joyeux

This rough sketch shows that the bands of power are attached to a silver and gold cord that surrounds the body, front and back, and then the five bands of power (black, red, gold, silver and white) attach to the cord to create an energetic suit of armor.

Physics has proven that metals and crystals have energy bands that are a collection of individual energy levels of electrons that surround each atom.  Many energy bands link together to form a continuous energy band.  Physics has also proven, via the Pauli Exclusion Principle, that energy bands are discrete, and exist separate of one another.  While this may seem to be a very high level summary, it helps to explain how energetic bands of power may co-exist.

The Bands of Power have existed outside the Munay-Ki Rites, and stand in their own place as part of the Inca Mystery teachings. These Bands of Power are shields of energy that are used to protect our energetic system from negative energies that surround us, so that we can walk with protection in the world. The bands of power transmute negative toxic energies into the elements. The Bands are very useful for healers or others who are exposed to negative persons, situations or toxic energy. The Bands do protect the individual from direct and indirect hits of bad-wishing, jealousy, and anger as well. It is important to feed the Bands to maintain their strength. The Bands may be installed without going through the Munay-Ki.

If the Bands are implemented as part of the Munay-Ki, they are installed as Rite #2. For those that see light, the Bands look like five luminous belts or bands of light around the body. If one has had the Bands installed before, it is necessary to have the Bands installed again. The Bands still filter out negative energy into Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Light. However, the power of the Bands is intensified as they are now part of a powerful continuum of energy. The power of the Bands is always present, provided they have been maintained. The Bands enhance any other protection that the individual may use.

May your days be bright and may you feel at ease.


Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Spirit Animal - Blue Jay


"Blue Jay watching for it's next meal"  - picture from Wikipedia

The Blue Jay wears the many colours of Father Sky.  Although, Blue Jay is native to most of North America, one may go years without seeing Blue Jay, almost the way we see old friends from time to time.  Even though we do not talk every week, we have no doubt that should we need them, they will always answer our call.So, if you are starting to see Blue Jay, he is answering your call. 

You may say, "I have not called on Blue Jay".  However, you may have asked God or Great Spirit to show you what is next in your life, what is holding you back, or what your next step is.  Blue Jay wears the colour blue and the little blue crest (cap) as part of his messenger duties from Great Spirit.  Blue Jays do not have naturally blue feathers.  Rather, their blue colouring is from light refraction on their feathers.  When Blue Jay feathers are removed from the bird, they turn darkish as the light refraction no longer works. 

Our Ancestors have passed down stories that say this colouring was a gift from the Gods because of the impossible tasks Blue Jay was given to do.  One of the traits associated with Blue Jay is the "Trickster" aspect of his behaviour.  Blue Jay steals - eggs and other things - destroys nests or other things, plays jokes and shape shifts.  All of these characteristics have caused the other birds and animals to shun Blue Jay.  Many humans shun him because of his harsh, noisy call, and his habit of making a mess of bird food or other things.  Yet, by these actions,  Blue Jay plays an important role in teaching everyone to take better care of what they have, to value home and family, to be discerning about what they believe, and to keep their sense of humour.

Blue Jay comes to you as a teacher.  He uses noise to distract.  Are you easily distracted by noise or commotion?  Now is the time to work at being more disciplined.  He shows you how easy it is to take away another's power.  Yet, shunned and mostly alone, Blue Jay walks his talk (integrity) and stands in his power.  Blue is the colour associated with the throat chakra - the chakra of truth.  Regardless of how one views Blue Jay's voice, he teaches us that when we have something to say, it does not matter how harsh it sounds if it is the truth.  Being able to stand alone and say what needs to be said is Blue Jay's lesson in leadership. 

Blue Jay comes to tell you that it is time to step into your truth, and find the resources within to acknowledge that people (governments, corporations, family, employers) have been taking advantage of you - whittling away at your nest (income and home) and that now is the time to make changes.  Just as Blue Jay shifts shape from bird to human, he tells you that you may shift to be anyone you wish to be.  The power is within you.  Blue Jay recognizes talent, and he says that you, too, have talent.  Recognize that it needs nurturing and developing, and that along with Blue Jay as a teacher, you will need to find other teachers of strength and integrity to help you cultivate the innate skills that are within you.

If Blue Jay is working with you, now is a good time to remember how connected everything is.  Blue Jay represents the blue of the skies and the oceans and the point on the horizon where they become one.  Just as the wave cannot exist on its own, Blue Jay's feathers do not exist without the nurturing life support of Jay's body.  He reminds you that your light cannot shine without nurturing the body and the soul, and that now is a good time to get started on your journey to live harmoniously with the Earth.

May you have nothing but blue skies!


Monday, 25 August 2008

Career - Four day work week


"Consultants at work" - picture from Microsoft Clipart

Change is usually accepted slowly for most people are more comfortable with the familiar then they are with the unknown.  The headlines for August 20 2008 in Canada are showing the signs of change, from a 40 hour five day work week to a 40 hour four day work week. 


The fascinating part about the change is that it is driven by socio-political factors out of the control of corporations or their employees.  Some of the reasons are:

  • rising gasoline prices
  • higher energy prices for running buildings
  • loosing valuable employees who look for employment closer to home because of high fuel and long commutes
  • offering three day weekends to promote more quality time for family and self

Some of the consequences of the change are yet to be analyzed.  While the savings are a more quantifiable number for corporations, no one has done a study to see what effects the longer day has on:

  • child care costs and issues
  • picking up kids after school and taking to games, lessons, etc.
  • moving the family meal back two hours
  • or, getting everyone up an hour earlier, and having the meal an hour later

Doctors and nurses and police and fireman and EMS in many places have been on twelve hour shifts for many years.  The schedule plays havoc with their family and their social life, and with the doctors and nurses, even with patient care when they are over tired. 

It is workable, however.  Ranchers and farmers have worked varied schedules from the beginning of their ranch life.  They work very hard and long hours when the work is to be done, and they try to take it easier when the work allows it.  Our Ancestors also hunted and gathered as they needed to and they took time to celebrate.  Perhaps with a shorter work week, people will feel more relaxed and take time to celebrate the good in their life.



Sunday, 24 August 2008

Munay-Ki Rite 1 - The Rite of the Healer


"The Ruins of Machu Picchu"  from Wikipedia "Inca"

The Rites of Munay-Ki - be thou as thou art - is a means of awakening information locked in our unconscious mind or in our cellular memory.  When we remember, we have the means to shift our perspective and to see that the reality that is around us is manufactured.  We are able to discern truth, and realize that this is a most abundant world.

Each of us has the potential to be a healer and to heal ourselves. The Rite of the Healer connects the protégé (the person on the path - you) to a lineage. The word lineage means that the group is composed of species or individuals (beings) who descend from a common ancestor. In the case of the Munay-Ki, the lineage is the grouping of healers. The Healers invoked in Rite #1 come to work with you to help you in your transformation, and to awaken the ability to heal. Before and after you receive the Healer Rites, stuff or lessons will come up for you so that these issues may be cleared. This clearing prepares the way for the remaining rites.

Receiving the Healer Rites is a powerful affirmation of who you are to be. All of us carry untapped potential for creativity, healing, wellness, and happiness. This potential seems to get shut down as we get trapped in the play that is our life. We believe the story and it becomes our reality. We get bogged down. We loose our zeal for living. When our story gets stripped away, our reality changes and we begin to live again.

See more on Munay-Ki at

See more on the stories around us at

Blessings on your journey,


Saturday, 23 August 2008

Ancestors Speak - Faces In Stone

image  "Faces In Stone At Big Rock" photo by Judith Hirst-Joyeux

Just as digital cameras have helped clarify the Orbs which were unseen using film cameras, people are seeing more faces in rocks and trees through the lens of the digital camera.  When I was at Big Rock in July, I felt that the Rock was calling and wanting someone to listen to it.  I walked around it, and as I did I started snapping pictures. 

The picture above has 3 red circles on the face of the rock indicating three separate faces.  As I snapped the picture, and recognized that there were faces within the rock,  the voice(s) became clearer.  What I heard was, "We need a blessing. Please help us!  We need a blessing." 

I was not sure what blessing was required, so I asked my guides what was needed.  I was told to move in very close to the stone, roughly where the split is that separates the Big Rock into three huge chunks.  As I moved in, I felt what was like relief from the stone.  I usually carry tobacco for offering for any occasion,   and I made an offering to Great Spirit to honour the spirits of the rock.  My offering was accepted.  I waited for the next instructions. 

What I heard was a voice asking for a release ceremony for all spirits trapped within and around the stones.  This request made me think that the Blackfoot story about Napi and Big Rock did not name all that were possibly rolled over by the stone, and that possibly the stone had many spirits in it that allowed it to be so active. 

I called in my angels and the four directions, and asked for a releasing and honouring of all spirits that were ready to leave.  There was so much energy that all the hair on my arms and neck reacted.  The hair on my head will pick up energy as well and acts as though it is filled with static electricity.  This process was very intense and complete within fifteen minutes.  As soon as it was finished, a huge blue dragonfly appeared and began flying around my head and up through the fissure created by the split and then back again.  There was a sound like a high pitched hum.  I offered water to the Earth in thanks, and then headed back to the parking lot.  My trip felt complete.

May you find the unexpected in all your adventures.


Friday, 22 August 2008

Karma Files - Self Sabotage In Career


From Microsoft Clipart

Self sabotage refers to what you may do consciously or unconsciously to stop yourself from achieving a clearly desired goal. Self sabotage can happen any time - to athletes, to children, to volunteers - to anyone. Mostly, though, it seems to happen in our careers. For example, you are two weeks away from finishing a big project that will enable you to achieve a new status ranking at work. With this status ranking, you will be considered for a new position. One week away from the final goal, you come down with severe pneumonia, and end up in the hospital for several days, and because of the nature of the illness, will be off work for several weeks. Your place is being filled by someone relatively new, who will complete the project and get the promotion, even though they did not do most of the work. You did! Now you feel sick and miserable because of the lost opportunity.

Hundreds of books have been written on goal setting and how to avoid self sabotage. The mind doctors call it "fear of success". Is it really? I propose that it is your ego and body taking care of you. The main purpose of the ego is to take care of the body. It therefore creates fear so that you will not knowingly damage the body. The ego analyses success as putting more strain on the body and on it (yes, it may act independently). Therefore it does create a sabotage scenario. Further, it may buy in to belief systems that were part of your family's belief system - you don't deserve; you aren't good enough; you aren't smart enough; and others are using you. How do you get around this? My suggestion is to find a method that works for you to get your ego to listen to you and not all the beliefs. For each person, this method may be different. Send it out to create to-do lists, to find stuff that you may have forgotten years ago, or even to plan or design something. At the same time, create your own positive affirmations. Use these as mantras to recreate the belief systems. It works.

What if it doesn't work?  If a person has tried the goal setting and affirmations and it doesn't work, then one may be certain that something else is going on.  The next step then, is to see a healer-shaman.  The self sabotage may simply be the body telling the person that there is some ailment that will prevent  going further.  When this is corrected,  the person moves forward.

The other block may simply be "karma".  No, not the negative punishment type karma that has been discussed so much.  Simply karma or remembrance that stays in the cells.  It may come from the parents, grandparents, or a long line of ancestors.  It may be their block that is inherited that stops the person moving forward.  Generally, if the person clears the blocks, through the help of a shaman or healer, the person gets clarity around other events in their life, and how the "pattern of behaviour" may be affecting their life.  When clearing is done, the individual generally feels lighter and more peaceful.

I wish all success at what ever they choose to do in life! 


For more information on karma clearing, refer to

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Ancestors Speak - Big Rock, Alberta


"Big Rock In The Sun"  Photo by Judith Hirst-Joyeux, July 2008

This picture is of a "glacial erratic" and it is located south of Calgary, Alberta, five miles west of Highway 2A, on Highway 7.  This chunk of rock is the only huge rock of its kind in the area.  It is made up of quartzite, which is a very hard and brittle.  The rock was an early cowboy that rode a glacier from the Jasper area of the Rocky Mountains 250 miles south to the Okotoks area about twelve thousand years ago.

The Blackfoot tell the story differently.  The big rock came to be close to Okotoks because of an incident between Napi, the trickster God, and the rock.  Napi needed to rest, and decided to sit down on the comfortable stone in the mountains.  The stone was very hot so Napi threw his cloak over it.  When his rest was done, Napi left his cloak to cover and protect the rock.  Part way down the mountain, however, rain began pouring down on Napi.  He raced back up to the rock to retrieve his cloak.  The rock wished to keep his cloak, and refused to hand it over.  So, Napi grabbed the cloak and ran. 

He heard sounds of thunder behind him.  Looking backwards, he saw the big rock had mobilized and was racing down the mountain after him.  Napi was afraid.  As he got out of the mountains, he called on his friends, the animals, to chase the rock away.  The rock rolled over the buffalo and the deer, and laughed at the coyote. Napi had run several hundred miles and was concerned at the anger in the rock and whether it would roll over him.  It was getting dark so Napi called on his friends, the bats, to help him.  The bats began diving at the rock and wearing it out.  Eventually, they hit the rock so hard, that it split, and the life went out of the rock, and it sank to the ground.  Napi thanked the bats.  Napi then asked the Blackfoot to honour the rock and remember it by visiting it from time to time. 

Today, the rock is a landmark visited by tourists, and included in things like wedding photographs by those that live near it.  There seems to be "something" about the rock that draws people to it. Perhaps the rock has become the symbol of doing the impossible.

Wishing you joy in discovering the impossible,


Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Karma Files - Sensitive Feet


"Monk Meditating" from Microsoft Clipart

Since November of 2007, as a Shamanic Practitioner, I am called on to work with clients to facilitate a safe session space to allow them to clear patterns that reoccur.  We associate these recurring patterns with Karma.  The clearing may be done through either the Akashic Records or through specific wording around recognizing a pattern of behaviour.

The client came in with pain and sensitivity in her feet.  She was experiencing foot cramps, sore toes, and pain on the balls of her feet.  She also did not like to be barefoot or to have anyone touch her feet.  The pain was getting to a point where she needed to do something about it. She said that she had experienced something like this from time to time over the past ten years and that the pain only lasted several days and then disappeared.  When I checked, the foot problem seemed to be anchored in the past.  The Universe/Great Spirit directed that the foot pain could be cleared through the Akashic Records. 

As an aside,  the Akashic Records are a repository of all information that has happened to every being on Earth.  In the instance of Karma, an event has not been closed before the being's life ended and the situation seems to be acted out again and again over time.  Going through the Akashic Records does not necessarily mean that it is this person's past life.  It is a life that the person has agreed to witness and close. 

We set the meditative position and began the process of moving backwards in time to find the first life where the pain in the feet seemed to be a problem.  With my client's permission, I was allowed to view the "movie" that was unfolding.  We saw a rocky slope, with a path through it.  Nestled up against the mountain was a low stone building with monks around it.  It appeared to be a monastery.  Many rooms were filled with scrolls and small paintings on skins, and stone tablets.  It appeared that these monks gathered information and analysed it, and then sent out messengers (monks) to disperse the information, and gather new thoughts to bring back to the monastery.  The sect was not so much about religion as it was about preserving knowledge. 

The client was associated with one of the messengers that travelled, by foot most often, all over Europe and Russia.  The knowledge they carried was always ahead of what most of Europe was comfortable with, and the monks drew much criticism for their ways.  The particular messenger in this case, had special gifts where he could literally help people see what this new information was that he was bringing.  He had a gift for making the people on his route feel comfortable with new information, and usually they accepted the new knowledge unconditionally.  Eventually some of the very conservative, don't rock my world, monasteries were against the spreading of new information, and, they were particularly against the messenger monk with gifts carrying the information.  The organization of monasteries became divided.

In one of the visits the traveling monk made to a conservative monastery, the monk was ambushed and held against his will in an effort to make him recant what he was doing.  As he loved and believed in his work, he refused to recant.  Since it was against God and Nature to kill anyone, the conservative monastery cut off the monk's feet so that he could not travel and spread information.  He lay there bleeding, and determined to heal so he could carry on his work.  The pain was great. 

In another part of the monastery, a much younger monk lay dying from some unknown disease.  The body seemed healthy, yet the organs did not function correctly.  The young monk heard what happened.  He asked to be taken to see the traveling monk.  When they were alone, the young monk offered his body to the traveling monk.  They would exchange souls, for that was one of the pieces of knowledge the traveling monk had.  The younger monk was ready to die, and he believed that the other man's energy coming into his physical body would revitalize the body, and make it serviceable for the traveling monk to use on his journey.  Within minutes, the traveling monk was in a new body, and rushed out of the monastery to continue his journey.  The traveling monk was actually able to live two life times because the new body served him well.  Thereafter, however, he seldom left his feet uncovered.

There was nothing else that we needed to see in that lifetime, and we asked for the healing of the feet and peace for all concerned.  The client reported that within days, all pain left her feet, and her sensitivity was diminishing.

I wish you healing stories that will change your life.



(info on Karma clearing at

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Spirit Animal - Magpie


"Magpie curiosity" Photo by Judith Hirst-Joyeux July 2008

Magpies are very resourceful birds with a reputation for stealing anything that is not nailed down, especially if it is shiny.  Because of their characteristic of liking valuable baubles and for having picked up gold nuggets and coins, our Ancestors believed that several magpies around your house or yard, or around where you were working, was a sign of good fortune and abundance.

For those people with Magpie power, know that you need to pay attention to those shiny opportunities that come along from time to time.  Know that you need to take advantage of them.  It is the resourcefulness of Magpie that will help one to be successful.  Pay particular attention, too, to the sounds that Magpie makes.  One, alone, makes some noise.  However, congregations of three or more make a joyful (or not) racket that gets attention.  In keeping with the "squeaky wheel theory", Magpie says that one must speak up and ask for what they want in order to be noticed.  If Magpie shows up in your life, and you have trouble expressing yourself, then Magpie says it is time to learn self expression and voice modulation. 

Magpie's black head is symbolic of the black cap of the grad - one that has learned all they can from school and is now ready to move on to something else.  In this case, Magpie says to move into using all your special gifts - psychic abilities and intuition - to feel more fulfilled and see the hidden world around you.  Black is also about the connection with the Earth.  All of Magpie's needs are supplied by Mother Earth.  And, to balance the amount of time in the air, Magpie walks on Mother Earth quite frequently.  There may be a message in Magpie's behaviour that you need to be out on Mother Earth and ground.

White is symbolic of spirituality and of higher consciousness than selfishness and greed.  It is time to start looking beyond the level of self gratification.  Magpie says to look inward and see what needs to be healed and then look to Spirit for guidance.  Magpie may be asking you to soar beyond your current limits.  Perhaps you are too grounded and need to balance the grounded-ness with delving in to new mysteries and expanding the current level of thinking.

What ever else may be going on in your life, pay attention to Magpie so you seize the opportunities presented to you.


Monday, 18 August 2008

Freedom To Be

100_0191  Picture of  Mourning Dove by Judith Hirst-Joyeux, July 2008





"Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice... No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out."—Thich Nhat Hanh

The funny thing about freedom is that it is a concept, something intangible. Yet we talk about it as though  it was a car or a particularly nice jacket.  We talk about how all people on this earth have the right to freedom; to be free from hunger, thirst, and oppression.  In democracies, the concept of freedom is reflected in phrases like "freedom of speech" and "freedom to demonstrate", and "freedom to bear arms or not".  What freedom really is, then, is the absence of constraints such as coercion or the power of another.

The quote by Thich Nhat Hanh talks about freedom in a different perspective from our normal political view.  He talks about the freedom to choose how you think and feel and react to everything in your life.  His point?  Regardless of how much others try to restrict you and try to control and command you, they are not able to take away your individual preferences and your freedom to believe in that which your Ancestors and others have also believed in.

There is philosophical discussion about how free the animals are.  Animals do not have the same politics and oppressions as people.  They do not have to work a "9 to 5" job and they are free to do as they wish.  Are the animals and birds really free?

The Dove in the picture above has the same basic issues that humans do - to find enough to eat, to have a safe place or home, and to be free of fear of some predator taking its life.  Yes, in North America, humans have things like Safeway.  Yet, in some areas of the world, humans hunt for food much the same as the Dove does. For Dove, feeding and finding water, especially when it is raising its young, is a full time job.  In fact, the humans, in some countries, would compete with Dove for certain seeds. 

Humans have always wanted a home that was theirs and that offered sanctuary.  In the United States recently, people are losing their homes and looking for safe roost in much the same way as Dove.  People lose their homes with little warning in warring countries. In areas where crime is rampant, humans may also fear for their lives and constantly be on the look out for danger.  Dove is very familiar with this mode of behaviour.  When Dove finds a safe place, it tends to frequent it.

So, do we have freedom of speech?  It seems difficult to determine!  We have so many rules about what one can say, what one can write, and what one can debate, that it seems more like regulated speech - which by a process of voting for government - we have all agreed to.  We have agreed to have our freedom curtailed.  Dove certainly has us beat out in that respect!  Dove can sing when ever, from where ever, and how ever it chooses, without regulation. But then Dove does not go looking for power or control over others, and has no wish to make decisions for others.  Dove even pushes the young out of the nest when they are ready to fly to encourage the hatchlings to find their own freedom.  Dove then is just able to "be". 

May you find freedom in your thoughts and dreams, and may they become your future.


See for "How To" articles.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Spirit Animal - Dinosaur

IMGP0029   "Brontosaurus Model in Park" by Judith Hirst 2006

In the past several weeks, two clients have mentioned to me that they have had some sort of dinosaur appear in their dreams and that the dinosaur seems to be a Spirit Animal guide.  They asked me if this could be true.  My answer is an immediate "Yes".  A Spirit Animal is not limited by our constraints.  Each person then asked what the message could possibly be and why it was happening now?  Neither person has seen a dinosaur movie or article or anything in many years.

The message that dinosaur brings may be about your belief systems and values that are "prehistoric" and need to be shaken up to be current with the knowledge in the modern world.  The Vatican only recently recanted on it's judgement of Galileo.  The Vatican's view is what is a prehistoric view.

The other message that dinosaur brings is about the type of dinosaur that appears.  Each of these ancestors to our modern day lives had a specific life style and the lifestyle speaks to what our life style is. 

Future Spirit Animal articles will deal with specific dinosaurs.

May your life be filled with surprises!


Saturday, 16 August 2008

Purification and Enlightenment

 IMGP0335 Statue of Athena, who's worshippers had moon rituals that they followed.  - Photo by Judith Hirst-Joyeux copyright 2007


After reading the headline "Teachers Purify Students with Cow Urine", I started to wonder about purification, enlightenment and what they both mean. I understand that purification is used to clear un-cleanliness for a particular spiritual event. I fail to see how using something that is involved in elimination could be a purifier. I am just making an observation. To me purification is about wiping or washing away, and moving the person to a higher feeling of being. In this article, the students complained and said they felt humiliated.

Is purification necessary to find enlightenment? If enlightenment is a final destination, then it would seem that one would be purified at the end. If someone tells you that you need purifying, and it is not part of a ritual, it would seem a judgement is taking place. Purification in a ritual is part of a tradition. Tradition honours our past; honours our ancestors.

Enlightenment generally means acquiring new wisdom or clarity. This may apply to either spirituality or to intellectual knowledge. If the Buddhist (Theravada) meaning is applied, then it means having shed all negative aspects of self and having perfected the positive aspects of self. At the most complete level, one achieves Buddha status. Enlightenment exists in all belief systems, as do purifications such as baptisms. Perhaps its time to rethink our rituals and prepare for 2013.

Friday, 15 August 2008



"Salisbury Cathedral meted out fairness with a Christian set of guidelines"   Photo by Judith Hirst-Joyeux June 2007


There is an interesting website called It's logo is "life isn't fair, but we're working on it!" As you glance through the categories, the headings cover everything from Education to Health and Medicine to Business to Philosophy and Religion. These are pretty broad topics. What is striking in one article is the discussion of plagiarism. This definition comes from Wikipedia - "Plagiarism is the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work". While plagiarism tends to apply to the arts, it makes one think about the application in business.

When one works for a company, generally, all information that employee creates during their tenure as employee becomes the property of the company. This is called intellectual property. The best way to define this is to use a common meaning, again from Wikipedia - "In the practice of law, intellectual property (IP) is an umbrella term for various legal entitlements which attach to certain names, written and recorded media, and inventions". This seems particularly true in software and medical/drug inventions. It hardly seems fair that the company gets to "plagiarise" the work of the employee.

It actually is a good form of fairness. Generally, the work accomplished in an organization is done by more than one person, and it would be difficult to assign the rights to one person. The funding for the project is also assumed by the company. Most of us would not be able to fund the work on our own. And, it has been proven time and again, that the sum of the whole produces something greater than any one part of the whole. This means then, that with the teamwork effort, the end result is far greater than it would have been from one individual. Yes, one can cite that Einstein did great work on his own. However much of his work is done with a partner as well. The real concepts are - how does one judge fairness - for it is a judgement, and how does one determine whether we did something entirely on our own since we are all influenced by something. Good luck!

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Spirit Animal - Sparrow


"Sparrow Waiting" by S. Roger Joyeux, copyright August 2008

Several days ago, I was feeling sad because my Dad was gone, and I was feeling glad because he was now released from the body that was starting to weigh him down. As he said, "It just doesn't work right anymore!"

I went out and sat under the arbour and mountain ash tree.  I relaxed my body back into the swing chair, and closed my eyes.  Within minutes, I could feel something watching me and there was bird song all around.  I thought the birds were eating the berries in the tree.  I looked up.  There were about half a dozen sparrows hopping around the tree and looking at me, like they were concerned. Yes, I do put birdseed out, however, it's not like they are dependent upon me for food. 

I wondered what was up.  Then they started flying past me, quite close to my face.  The dogs came and sat with me, and watched the birds.  Pretty soon they were swooping over the dogs.  It was quite a show!  They were trying to tell me something.  I started to watch them more carefully and mulled over what I knew about sparrows.

Many people see these birds as pests. They do congregate early in the morning and sing very cheerfully, even as early as 4:30 and 5:00 AM.  They will eat all seeds and can get messy.  They are flock birds and love company.  Their colours are brown and white and grey and black.  As a flock, they will chase off much larger birds and terrify squirrels.  Several flocks hang out in our yard and provide a constant commentary about what is to eat, where the cats are, and where the insects are easy prey. 

Sparrows are noted for eating a wide variety of insects, and will fly up around the house.  This year, they have kept our garden quite free of the normal pests that eat our lettuce and spinach and tomatoes.  Chairman Mao Tse-Tung learned, with disastrous consequences, what happens when one dishonours the sparrow.  He calculated that a sparrow could eat almost ten pounds of rice per year, and that if he killed a million sparrows, he'd have enough rice to feed an additional 60,000 people. The Chinese people were commanded to kill as many sparrows as possible.  In Shantung province, the locals killed an estimated 2.7 million sparrows.  The amount of rice did not increase with the death of the sparrows.  It diminished.  The insects that the sparrows normally killed, ate and damaged rice well in excess of what the sparrows ate.  Chairman Mao decided he'd had a bad idea and ordered the people to be friends with the sparrows so the population would return to normal.

Sparrows are noted for representing abundance - both substantial and spiritually.  The Japanese have a story about a sparrows gifting an old woodsman with gold and silver.  There is also a story about a sparrow singing to Jesus as he hung on the cross.  Songs have been written about the relationship between God and the sparrow.  In ancient times, sparrows were thought to carry the souls of the dead up to the Gods. Our ancestors believed it was bad luck to kill a sparrow because this stopped them from fulfilling their task.

Taking all of this information into context, it seemed to me that the sparrows were telling me to cheer up.  They were saying that I was well taken care of, and that Dad was also well looked after.  Sparrow song was a reminder to stay grounded (as are the colours) and stay in the present moment.  The present is full of joy and peace and wonder.  Their aerial acrobatics were reinforcing that I should use my gifts of my third eye and connect with the Divine to see the perfection in everything. 

It is good advice! 


Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Ancestors Speak - Montezuma's Well

0703 Sedona Mont Well 010

"Stillness at Montezuma's Well"  by S. Roger Joyeux copyright March 2007

In March of 2007, Roger and I visited Montezuma's Well.  The site is fascinating because it pumps warm water up from Mother Earth at a rate of 1.5 million gallons per day.  The water is guided out of the Well by an aqueduct or irrigation ditch as the National Parks label it, estimated to be approximately one thousand years old.  The water from the ditch is used by locals .

We had been in Sedona for several days, climbing Bell Rock and hiking, and visiting vortexes.  Through out our activities, various people, even waiters in restaurants, would say that we should visit Montezuma's Well.  We have both learned that when something is repeated to us many times, we need to pay attention.  And so we planned a day trip to the Well. 

When we arrived, there were few tourists around because it had been raining and was overcast.  We followed the trail to the Well and as we walked we both began to feel some anxiety about getting there more quickly.  We felt pulled.  The Well is located about eleven miles from the archeological and historical site known as Montezuma's Castle.  It was the main source of water for the Sinagua People who created the five story apartment block in the cliff (Montezuma's Castle) and the aqueduct. 

As we arrived at the trail leading down into the Well, other tourists arrived and there was a flurry of activity for about twenty minutes, and then it got quiet.  We wandered down the path, and we felt like there were many walking with us, unseen yet somehow tangible.  We could hear the words - "This way. Come this way."   We saw some lizards and birds, and they seemed to ignore us for the most part.  We arrived at the end of the path, and looked at this place where Ancestors lived and marvelled at their engineering skills.  They built homes and built steps and constructed canals to move and filter the water.

I always carry tobacco and water and seed when I am outside, even when I am walking the dogs.  And so we offered tobacco and spring water to honour what the People had built that endured so long.  We heard an echo through the Well that was like a sigh of relief.   We turned to start back up the path, and felt the presence of people, invisible, but almost real, around us.  We could smell smoke from fires and food cooking.  It seemed that we were being asked to stay for a visit. 

Each of us had separate experiences with the Ancestors.  We sat on the rocks and talked.  During that time, no other tourists came down into the Well.  There were many there that now felt ready to cross from this plane to the next that would be their home.  What we understood was that they had been here so long, they had forgotten how to move onward, and they asked us to help them.  We did a release ceremony for the Ancestors.  Those that wished to cross, did so.  This took about twenty minutes.  We were surprised that there were as many as twenty or more that did not move on.  They indicated that they were Guardians and would stay on.  The energy shifted, and tourists began coming down the path.

As we walked back uphill, a small black and white bird swooped down in front of us.  We stopped, very startled!  The bird then flew down on to the rock beside us, and began an animated conversation in song and chirps.  We understood that we were being thanked and that we too were being honoured as we had honoured the Ancestors.  Another tourist stopped and noted the bird's behaviour and asked us if that was normal.  We laughed and walked up out of the Well.

In memory of the Ancestors,


Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Truth vs Facts

Image from Microsoft Clipart
clip_image002"The truth is more important than the facts."
- Frank Lloyd Wright

Most of us go through life with some vague idea of what a fact is and what truth is.  We aren't really sure because from the time we are born, we get so much misinformation fed to us under the form of  "true facts" - think back to your school days - that we often confuse telling a lie to avoid hurting another's feelings as a "fact" of life. 

Facts are usually some piece of information that has been discovered, tested, measured, observed, proved actual existence, or event that has happened.  That is a pretty big list!  Here is a fact: scientists have proven in conclusive experiments that we can alter the facts of an outcome simply by observing it. In other words, a scientist affects the results of an experiment by the belief and the bias they have prior to the experiment.  Results or facts have been deemed true when the methodology is repeatable and the first findings are repeated.

Life proves the scientists correct because we all observe incidents everyday.  Five of us watching the same interaction of people, whether it is an accident or a simple pleasant conversation, will have five different views on what the stages in the interaction were, and what the outcome is.  Typically when two people or more tell a story that differs, we have come to understand that the truth is somewhere in the middle.  Our life experiences do influence how we see facts.

How does one change this?

It seems the only way to make a change in our view of the world is to change our view of the world.  This sounds cryptic.  To change ourselves, we need to move beyond the level that we are currently in, when we are thinking, doing, and observing.  A good example of changing this level is to watch what happens to an individual when they begin taking the Munay-Ki Rites. When protégées come to take the Munay-Ki Rites, they go through an introduction that includes the five vows integral to moving forward as a "Rainbow Warrior".  Each protégée must vow to practise these new ways of life beginning immediately.  There are three vows that are relevant to truth and fact.  They are:

1.  Bring harm to no one, including one's self.  This is about nonviolent behaviour and allowing everything to be the way that it is. One does not judge, criticise, condemn or manipulate what is done or said by either one's self or by another.

2. Truthfulness in all things so that what you say and do then becomes the truth.  As Yoda says, "Do or do not.  There is no try."  This means no more white lies to self or to others.  It is about examining the rationale of why one does not operate in truth.  Some say, if it doesn't hurt anyone, it doesn't matter.  The fact is, it hurts the person who fibs because they are not in truth or integrity.  Dr. Wayne Dwyer sums it up nicely with " How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours."

3. Come from a place of integrity so that those who meet you immediately know that they can trust you as you have a high standard of behaviour - you are courteous, kind, honest, accepting, cooperative, responsible and self disciplined.   (This does not mean that you are a doormat - there is no need to please.)  One of the most frequent comments made about politicians and leaders within corporations is that they lack integrity.  If you need to tell someone you have integrity, it will make them suspicious.

When a protégée is challenged to break a vow, then the next step is to look beyond what the situation appears to be, and to step back and ask, "What is really going on?"  This is the next level.  This is the place of looking at one's own behaviour to see what is self serving, and to see why one is being reactive to the situation.  Part of it comes back to truth, and part of it comes back to being accountable for one's own behaviour.  Einstein recognized that when he was doing his experiments.  He said, "You can never solve a problem on the level that it was created."

As a person becomes comfortable living in truth, the facts are not very relevant.  They just are.  The person becomes less reactive to the point of being non-reactive in confrontational situations.  Being cut off by another driver, as an example, does not evoke anger or judgemental comments about their driving.  It just is.  The driving is the other person's karma.

May you find a place of truth within you, and may you be at ease.



(For information on Munay-Ki, see

Monday, 11 August 2008

Why Do We Hurry?


Picture from Microsoft Clipart

"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." - Saint Francis de Sales

Do you remember the story of the tortoise and the hare?  They had a race, and even though the hare was faster, he lost the race because he overslept his nap, so great was his confidence. 

We hurry every day to make it to work, to appointments, to pickup or drop off kids, to grocery shop, to clean the house and groom the yard, to exercise and to simply get from A to B.  We have all come to believe that if we hurry, we will achieve more, and have more time for ourselves.  The result is that we have great anxiety (stress) about not hurrying, and we get frustrated if anyone gets in our way when we are hurrying - be they spouse, child, other driver, or simply anyone in our path.   We give ourselves indigestion, high blood pressure, trigger tempers, heart attacks, and speeding tickets!  And, the speed at which we hurry does not make us happy. 

What if we all did slow down in everything?  Would we feel better?  Are we confident that hurrying will solve the problem?  Napoleon said, "Disorder is always in a hurry".  He said this in the early 1800's, over two hundred years ago.  It looks like Napoleon got it right!  As more technology appears in the world, and as things speed up, disorder seems more prevalent. 

We are bombarded with the ads on TV and radio that advertise sales, concerts, vehicles, new technology, and the last comment is usually to "hurry and get.....".  Hurry then becomes the threat of scarcity.  Coincidently, disorder also leads to scarcity because "things" are not in the right place and therefore not available.   What is interesting is that with all the "hurrying" that we do, especially over the last fifteen years, the waste is piling up in a hurry, too. 

Projects are completed in a hurry, and resources are misused or misallocated and waste occurs.  Buildings are hurriedly built and fall down before they are even used, and waste occurs.  The list could continue.  Hurrying doesn't seem to work as well as the slow and orderly path.  Even racers don't hurry; they run a disciplined, well thought out race according to their competition in the meet.

So, will you slow down today?


Sunday, 10 August 2008

Spirit Animal - White Koala Bear

More and more wonderful natural phenomenon are popping up all over....  Mick the white koala bear has been discovered in Australia on September 21, 2007. 

The picture below is taken from the Reuters' clip on this little guy.


How did this come up as a spirit messenger for me?  I was looking for an article I had written a year ago.  As I sorted through the information on my backup drive, I found a file I did not recognize, and opened it.  This picture popped up.  Did I save this picture?  My logic says that I must have. However, I had to search for the story on the Koala on Reuters.  Messages do come to us in various ways!

I have learned from past experience that when a white animal appears to a person, the message is about several things:

1.  The individual has completed a task that was a challenge, and the individual completed the task beyond expectation using some initiative.

2.  White animals are associated with Gods/Goddesses/The Heavens and all things highly spiritual.  The message is that the individual is working at the highest spiritual level at that point.

3. White is the colour associated with lack of colour or, the opposite meaning, of a blend of all colours.  White is about unifying people or ideas or activities.  In my case, white is referring to unifying the different things so that a higher purpose than what I first intended, is achieved.  (This may sound cryptic, however, it is true.)

4. As much as white animals are about what has been, they are also about what is to happen.  Generally, the person will have another shift of understanding of the Earth, the Universe, and one's place in it. Some people call this "an awakening".

A Koala brings its own meaning to the message, as well.  Koala is about being slow and thorough.  It eats one thing - eucalyptus - and drinks very little water.  Koala says that one doesn't need a huge variety of food to live and Koala is the finest example of the "100 Mile Diet".  The message for those Koala appears for is to be mindful of what goes into the mouth, and to keep the food simple and to choose food grown more locally. The local food will help the digestive system clear and clear away the sluggishness one feels. Eucalyptus is a herb, and this may also be a reminder to use more natural remedies daily instead of taking over the counter or prescription medicines.

While many animals may make herds or packs with family members, Koala is about "Oneness". Koala does not like to socialize very much, and seeks independence.  The message for the recipient of Koala Medicine is to seek time alone, even isolation, preferably in an environment that is very quiet.  Perhaps the message is that it is time to take a retreat break.  The secondary meaning around Oneness is to be comfortable in one's own company.  Needing to have a break from everything and everyone on a regular basis makes it difficult for the individual to have intimate relationships.

The "up" side of being alone more often means that the individual will often live more relaxed and balanced a life style than the norm.  The person's stress is low (no meaningful relationships) and they typically are very firm in their values and beliefs since they have no one to constantly challenge and erode their beliefs. 

Having Koala come as a messenger is a keen reminder to be focused and to spend more time in meditation surrounded by silence. 

I wish you peaceful solitude for the next several days.


Saturday, 9 August 2008

About Judgement


"White Water Rafters on the Kananaskis River" copyright July 2008 by Roger Joyeux


Several times in the past month, different people have accused me of judging them and I hadn't even opened my mouth. I simply sat there while they each proceeded to tell me what they had done, why they had done it, why I was judging them and how upset they were. I am still mind boggled by the events. For, as I said, I hadn't spoken, said anything, or done anything. I felt like the white water rafters in the picture, moving along at a good speed, and falling over rapids each time I was accused of being judgemental.  It was like watching rushing water sweep me away. 

I am not saying that I have never been judgemental!  I believe we all pass through a stage of being very judgemental - right vs wrong, mostly.  I think many of us realize that we are looking at a situation through a very narrow focus, and we outgrow the judging as we mature. 

The judging they were attributing to me was actually taking place in their own heads and they gave voice to this judgement as though it came from me. Because I found the experience both fascinating and scary at the same time, I have started doing research about judgement.

What I learned in the last several days is:

1. There are two types of judgement, one that is discerning and inquisitive that we use to uncover a truth about something, and that truth becomes our opinion. We generally call this critical thinking. We can take a situation and diagnose it and come to a good conclusion. If a leader does this in a situation, we say that he/she has "good judgement."

2. The second type of judgement is narrowly focused and either faintly (passive) or overtly aggressive, and usually is a negative evaluation of something. We might refer to this as passing "sentence" on whatever the item/action is. Quite often the opinion has already been formed before the item/action.

3. Judgement is something that we learn.  We do learn it from our parents and siblings, especially if we are the youngest in the family.

4. Judgement is a form of comparison.  Where does it come from - the comparison?  Mostly from a convoluted set of Norms that our parents inherited, and that our village or tribe teaches us.  The big message is "we are right and everyone else is wrong!"

5. Judgement, although we try to externalize it, is always about us.  When something comes up that makes us want to pick it apart and say why it is right or wrong, and justify that view to ourselves, know that an issue is brewing.  It will come out over and over, with decreasing spaces between episodes until we "do" something with it.

6. Judgement if applied to every experience causes one to lose the present or moment of the experience.  It is hard to be in the moment if you are thinking up all the things in your life that make this occasion right or wrong.  To be in the moment means not to look backwards or to look forwards.

7. We are truly more judgemental towards ourselves then others.  In Munay-Ki, one of the vows one must take prior to receiving the rites is "harm no one" or "violence to none".  This is tough because it includes harm to one's self.  It means that the person must be KIND to themselves.  Most of us have grown up with a litany of all the character flaws and behavioural flaws that we have playing in our heads all the time.  Beating one's self up verbally is not being kind!

It also seems that judgement is a world wide human trait.

Be kind to your self today, and soon you will be kind to everyone.

Judith    (

Friday, 8 August 2008

Spirit Animal - Horse


"Curious Colt" 

picture by Barbara Hirst copyright July 2008.


When I was born, my Dad was still using horses to pull the hay rake, haul the rack of bales to the barn, and  to haul feed to the cattle, especially in the winter.  Horses - black, brown, and pinto have been part of my life from Day One.  I find that I go for long times, now, without seeing or riding or even speaking with horses.  Yet, when I need that extra strength, or when travel calls, Horse shows up. 

Many people have a passion for horses.  Psychologists and psychiatrists link it to the need for male sexuality or for male energy.  I think this is a 20th Century concept.  Horses have been around since the earliest dinosaurs, and the people had a passion for the Horse then - or they would not draw it on cave walls or create horse symbols to wear around their necks.

Horses are about freedom!  The earliest myths and legends talk about flying horses, Horses that spoke with and travelled with Gods.  Since Man is not able to do that, then possibly Horses were more spiritual than man. We worshiped them!  In Norse, Greek, Roman, Hindu, and North American Aboriginal stories, the Horse plays a key role.  When Horse befriended our ancestors, man was able to travel farther and faster.  The horsepower allowed man to do more work and encouraged settlement and stabilization of tribes.  

There are many legends about wild horses all over the world.  It is the spirit and zest for life that draws man to the horse.  And, it is that same spirit that fires man's more brutal nature to tame the horse and beat the spirit out of it.  Some men believe that the Horse should not be nobler than man. So those people who have Horse as a guide are very much like the horse - they are fiercely independent.  They are intolerant of restrictions on freedom.  They are hard on their partners in relationships because the person with Horse spirit needs to be free.  Horse appearing may be notice that you need to travel to new territory, either geographically or in spirit.  Horse does not stay where the pasture is depleted.

Horse has a strict sense of status, based on leadership abilities and survival skills.  There is always a dominant stallion and a dominant mare.  The Mares call the shots about grazing, water, and moving, and most often settle disputes.  The Stallion is the protector and the lookout.  He will often be on high ground where he may easily see what is coming up around the herd. 

All horses are protective of the young and the wounded or sick.  Many who are healers have Horse Medicine as horses are natural healers.  It is this healing ability that has led to the creation of so many healing - riding programs.  Horse is one that likes to touch.  The Healer may have the gift of healing in their touch.  Horse will also gather the herd together to circle the wounded one.  Horse probably taught our ancestors about "healing circles", a gathering which is quite common in spiritual communities today.

Horse communicates with the herd via a shared consciousness or the "herd mind".  If you have been experiencing difficulties in communication with your family and friends and in work relationships, Horse may be telling you to use your other senses to discern what is going on, and to "see" with a bigger picture in mind.  This will make your words more win-win oriented, and less inclined to sound selfish.

Enjoy your time with Horse as your guiding Spirit Animal, and may you travel to new places!


Thursday, 7 August 2008

Feeling Grief


"Puff ball in a field" picture by Judith Hirst-Joyeux June 2008

When practicing any healing, the emotion "grief" seems to show up with regular frequency. I think this definition from Wikipedia says it all - "Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss". The loss may be for any thing or person or animal. It may even be a perceived loss, and not a loss that we would normally associate with grief. Since grief is a personal or unique response, it is hard to gage how deeply it does affect the individual. Grief carried too long without release takes the form of physical dis-eases or illnesses. Grief will manifest in lung problems. Louise Hay in her book You Can Heal Your Life talks about grief/lung problems as "fear of taking in life".

Since grief is an emotion, and in Shamanism, emotion is associated with water, the body filling up with water - lungs filling up, water around the heart - indicate that grief may be at the root of these illnesses. It seems too that grief may be inherited. When an event happens and the grief is not dealt with at the time, the grief seems to be captured and passed on at a cellular level.

Grief is very prevalent in the world and a large topic of conversation. I say "large" because the number of web sites containing the word "grief" total 28,600,000 web sites, when I did a search. It is the topic of books, prayers, poems, stories, songs, and has become a whole counselling discipline. One solution to heal grief is when the individual recognizes that it is grief they are feeling and they decide to deal with it and ease it.

The Buddhists call this part of the practice of "Mindfulness". When one is aware of the feeling/energy and stays with it, and judges it not and lets it be, it has a chance to take shape, and then the energy can be released. The saying "time heals all things" really means that we, by our choices and actions heal ourselves.

I have been mindful of the sadness that I carry over the loss of my Dad.  I throw the emotion to fire, in a traditional Incan Fire Ceremony, and I cry when I feel the urge to do so.  I do not stop the crying until it stops itself.  I feel it to completion.

I wish for you to have the time to feel your emotions to completion.


Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Tarot Discussion - The End and The Beginning


This is the card of Completion from the Osho Zen Tarot.

One of my daily routines is to pick a card from one of my many card decks. The intention that I set is "Tell me what I need to know today". I picked this card - COMPLETION - on Thursday July 31st, at about 6:15 am Mountain time. Within an hour and 20 minutes, my Dad left this world.

It is only today that I can actually look at this card and see the profound significance of the message. Osho writes "In the finishing, we can either be in despair because we don't want the situation to come to an end, or we can be grateful and accepting of the fact that life is full of endings and new beginnings." I look at the swiftness of my Dad's leaving, and I wonder if he was in a hurry just to have done with this time and get on to the new life that awaits him. My brothers and sisters and I celebrated Dad's life, both at the funeral and at the family party that night. We were grateful that he did not suffer and that he kept his grace and dignity - one of his strongest wishes. We could be sad, however, we were not despairing. We knew that he looked forward to seeing his Mom and Dad, and his sister, and several fishing buddies that predeceased him.

The card is a reminder too, that part of my life was completing. In the last two years as Dad and Mom downsized and Dad went into an apartment and Mom into daily care, a part of each week was about phoning and chatting, and sending envelopes of "stuff" to read and a short letter. All of this changes now for me, as well. When we sorted through the living room, he had most of my envelopes for the past three years stacked in a pile, with little notes on the envelopes about what was in it. I felt really happy that I had taken the time to put together the envelopes - he loved them!

He also had a stack of maps - he loved maps! The maps were of the places that my three brothers and my two sisters and I had traveled. He liked to know where we started, and where we ended, our journeys, and when we would be home. He had a lot of stories, and loved to share the stories that had a surprise ending. And, he loved practical jokes. There are so many he played - on us, on his friends. My favorite is when a good friend of Mom and Dad's began to grow patio tomatoes. The subject of each visit always turned to the tomatoes. Dad and Mom bought some small cherry tomatoes and about midnight, after everyone was in bed, they stealthy visited the patio tomatoes and tied the cherry tomatoes to the vines with thread. That was the end of the tomato discussion! It is all about beginnings and endings.

My wish for each of you is that you may celebrate your completions and find enthusiasm for the next adventure!


image The OSHO Zen Tarot is available at a reduced rate at Chapters. Click on the deck to order.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Life is Like Dating

  Office Building -Picture by Judith Hirst-Joyeux


A friend sent me an interesting email article about how a woman should go about choosing the "right" man. One line in the article provoked some serious thinking for me. The line is "Dating exists not for mating; it exists for collecting data." The important part of this quote, for me, was the "collecting data" idea. For, we do this all the time. We meet new people, people we may want to be friends with (aside from the whole mate hunting thing), and what is it that we do? We usually suggest going for coffee to talk or getting together - because we want to collect data to see if this person or couple or group of people is someone we want to spend time with in the rest of our lives.

I went for a job interview in 2000 when I was trying to decide what I wanted to do for the next ten years of my life. The interview took place in Minneapolis, and has stayed with me. I wanted to be very sure that the career move that I was making would be a good one. So, I had prepared quite a long list of questions about the company, the clients, and the business in general. The interview took place over a day since I needed to meet with and interview with five people. At the end of the day, the Director of Services that I would be working with, should I take the job, came back in to the room to debrief the day. He indicated that all interviews had been quite favourable. However, I had unnerved several people with all the questions that I had asked.

He said, "I feel like we are dating". I responded that I was carefully analyzing the information that was being asked, as well as what wasn't being asked because the working relationship would be a long one. Even in friendships and career, it is all about collecting data because you are, in a sense, setting up that "marriage" for an important part of your life. Don't be afraid to ask questions to get that information. The question that you don't ask may be the most important one.

May you find time to ask questions and be curious!


Monday, 4 August 2008

Another Hill To Climb - Facing Loss


"View from Kananaskis" --Picture by Judith Hirst-Joyeux


Nelson Mandela said, "After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb." This thought could be daunting! It means that one never is really finished all the things that need to be done. OR, perhaps more things that need to be done become created by the very act of climbing. What if everything really is just a bunch of hills and the idea of flat land is a hallucination? What if the hills are really mountains?

When driving or walking through the foothills areas in Alberta, one has to give unconditional gratitude to the people, our ancestors, for the courage to explore and settle a land so full of hills. What they faced after one hill, was another hill. Yet the top of the hill gives one so much hope! The view goes on for miles. Water, land, trees, mountains and a new destination are all visible. Climbing hills (any obstacle in our life) will give us the same view.

This last five days have been one of those "hills" and yes, it felt more like a mountain.  Early on July 31st, we received word that my Dad had been taken in to the hospital and would probably not last through the day.  From the time of the first call, two hours and some minutes passed when we received the second call, saying that he was gone.  My brothers are outside of Toronto, we are in Calgary, and a brother and sister live in Winnipeg, close to where my father lived.  The funeral was scheduled for Saturday, August 2, and we all had a day to get to the funeral home to have some private time and family time with Dad on Friday before he was cremated.  Packing and driving and calling family and friends made the time seem short.

Now, everything is over, and it seems that I finally realize what has happened.  I have lost one half of the duo that brought me in to this world.  A circle of life closed.  We honoured the man, now the ancestor, that taught us what he knew.  He taught us how to climb the mountains and the hills, and how to stop to enjoy the view.  I hope that Dad enjoys the view from up above!

Bright Blessings!


Friday, 1 August 2008

Spirit Animal - Pelicans' Duality


"Two pelicans on the Bow River channel" by Judith Hirst-Joyeux July 2008

I have been listening to some of my friends and clients talk about  the difficulty that they are having with their mates.  It seems that some days I will get several of these discussions.  I was walking the dogs and pondering what was going on in the Universe that might be causing this dissension in couples.  Was it because time was speeding up?  Was it because life really is just getting too difficult?  I was getting ready to make a list of all of the possibilities. 

As we rounded the curve in the path, we look over the side channel that flows into the river.  And I saw the two pelicans.  It seemed a rather odd place for them to be since the large flock was about one-half mile back on the river.  They both looked at me, quite pointedly, and then looked away.  I pulled my camera out of my pocket and snapped a picture so I could study it later, and figure out what they were saying.

As I sat down to puzzle out the message, two things struck me: 1) there are only two and 2) one was definitely female and the other male.  The answer was before me!  This was to help me understand duality in the situations that I was getting from my clients and friends.  When talking about duality, I teach that each thing or each incident is like a double edged sword. There is a positive and a negative side (and the terms positive and negative are judgemental, yet we use these terms to express what we think helps us and what we think hurts us).  The truth is that most swords are just sharp and can cut with either edge which humans interpret as cutting either way - right or wrong, positive or negative; helpfully as in cutting ties that bind and hurtfully as in cutting and wounding. 

What the penguins were reminding me was that each human carries duality within them - the female and the male.  However, we have not been able to balance the feminine and masculine within us. So, we choose a mate that most reflects that masculine or feminine within (see the prominent reflection of each penguin in the water), and we work out our duality with a partner in our daily lives.  Quite often the pair work out their lessons in tandem.  Although they may disagree, the issue is quickly resolved and harmony is restored.  When one part of the duo moves ahead more quickly on the journey, their lesson is resolved with out the help of the mate, and the mate remains with unresolved issues.  This is when the pressure in the relationship begins, and the couple begin to moving in different ways. 

Picture two horses who have not learned to work together trying to pull a wagon.  The horses do not move rhythmically in step and consequently, one pulls and puts the other off balance.  The pulling motion is jerky and the direction may be erratic.  Result - disharmony and quite often an angry driver.   The driver will usually give the team a week or so to get their act together because the team is together all day, every day.  If harmony is not restored, the driver replaces one of the horses. 

So too, do humans get more and more out of step, and the result is an uncomfortable situation where there is no forward movement as a team, and the views of each begin to differ more and more.  At some point, the situation is so uncomfortable, the relationship breaks down.  Each partner then either immediately looks for a new mate or takes some time to figure out what was going on so they "get it right" on the next go round.  Did I mention that pelicans mate for perhaps several seasons and do not appear to mate for life?

It appears Great Spirit is reminding me that there is a season, or several seasons for everything, and then everything changes.  The message is also telling me not to get caught up in the drama or to be attached to the outcome.  It is simply nature at work.

Wishing you many moments of harmony,


Ps. for some good reading about spirituality, check the book page at  The Book Department at