Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Ancestors Speak – Protecting Dogs From Fleas

  A common issue during the summer is to keep our dog buddies free from fleas and wood ticks.  Here are some great ideas for washing Rover to keep her safe from these pests (and to keep your house free of the varmints as well).

Idea One – wash your dog in a bath with peppermint castile soap.  Peppermint is a repellent for the fleas, ticks, and even for some deer flies and mosquitoes. 


Picture of Roger and Magic and Sage – taken by Judith Hirst-Joyeux





Idea Two – make a cloth collar for your dog and then soak it with some essential oils.  Use one drop each of

  • cedarwood
  • lavender
  • citronella
  • thyme

The oils will remain strong on the collar – provided your dog stays out of the water – for about one month.  Simply add a drop of the oils every four weeks to keep the collar fresh and useable.

Idea Three – mix the oils together that one uses for the flea repellent collar talked about in Idea Two above, and sprinkle it on a brush. Thoroughly brush the dog.  Not only will it repel the fleas and ticks, it will add a beautiful shine to your dog’s coat. 

Let us know if this works for you!    See the June newsletter at  on June 1

Monday, 25 May 2009

Spirit Animal – Owl Family


Baby great horned owl picture taken by Judith Hirst-Joyeux on May 22 2009 in Fish Creek Park


Sometimes we are gifted with a chance to be with Mother Nature and her babies and her charges.  This was my luck several days ago when I saw this baby owl on a log in the park in the center of the woods where the dogs and I walk. 

Her mother watched over us as we chatted. 


Great Horned Owl Mom picture taken by Judith Hirst-Joyeux on May 22 2009 in Fish Creek Park




Mom actually let me get quite close to the baby.  She even let me watch her feed baby a black bird.  I chose not to take pictures of that feeding. 

Pretty soon, Dad came along.  He was more subtle in watching us, and he gave Mom a chance to go hunting.  He is quite hard to see in his camouflage.


Great Horned Owl Dad picture taken by Judith Hirst-Joyeux on May 22 2009 in Fish Creek Park



I know that I am truly blessed to have three owls present themselves to me in one day.   Watch for our June newsletter, or sign up to receive it at  Spirit Animal feature is GOPHER.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Spirit Animal – Wolf

Picture from Microsoft Clip Art…

The timber wolf is a fascinating predator that can track its ancestry back to about 300,000 years ago.  Research suggests that timber wolves and dogs share a common ancestor which may be one of the reasons that many humans love wolves and identify with them as they would with a dog.  Wolves are pack animals, built for stamina, and carry surprising bulk. 
Wolf weight varies geographically; on average, European wolves may weigh 85 lbs, North American wolves 80 lbs, and Indian and Arabian wolves 55 lbs. Though rarely encountered, extreme specimens of more than 77 kg (170 lb.) have been recorded in Alaska, Canada, and the former Soviet Union. The heaviest recorded gray wolf in the New World was killed on 70 Mile River in east-central Alaska on July 12, 1939 and weighed 79 kg (175 lb.) – from Wikipedia…
Wolf is very territorial and marks the territory by both scent and by howling.  On average, a territory may be 200 kilometres in length with the width being about 75 kilometres, and bordering on another territory with perhaps a 35 kilometre buffer zone.  Wolf will fight to death to defend its young, its pack and its territory.j0262841

Black wolf picture from Microsoft Clip Art

Wolves convey much with their bodies. If they are angry, they may stick their ears straight up and bare their teeth. A wolf who is suspicious pulls its ears back and squints. Fear is often shown by flattening the ears against the head. A wolf who wants to play dances and bows playfully.  Wolf does not fight without reason, and usually will go out of its way to avoid fighting a pack mate. The pack is headed by a dominant female and male. They organize the pack to hunt deer, elk, and moose, and look for the very young or very old.  The whole pack raises the young after the pups reach ten weeks.  Before that, pups are fully dependent on Mom and Dad.
Wolf is a common Spirit Animal or Guardian Animal.  Our Ancestors hunted down dens to capture pups that they could raise and use for hunting and for guarding the tribe.  Even though there is a lot of animosity towards Wolf, she comes to us in real time or dream time, or by symbols, and delivers messages that we need to hear. 
  1. The Wolf howl may be telling you to defend your boundaries, or perhaps you need to create boundaries first.
  2. Although Wolf is very loyal to the pack, she maintains her own identity. She may be guiding you to look at whether you are too dependent or submissive.  Perhaps it is time to leave the pack and find your own territory.
  3. Wolf is also about balance – in family because only one female usually bears young as this is the number the pack can support, and in life. Wolf hunts and feeds and plays. Do you play enough?
  4. Wolf speaks with body language and vocals.  She is about sending the right messages and communicating her needs.  She asks if you are sending the message that is truth for you, or whether you submerge your needs.  Do you need to change your style of communication?
  5. Wolf is about confidence in themselves and in the pack.  Where do you have confidence?  Do you need to find a career or hobby where you are totally confident in what you do?
May you find your territory and a great pack to run with!    Also see 

Spirit Animal - Honouring Delinda, The Leader of the Bow Valley Pack

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Monday, 18 May 2009

Tarot Discussion – Rune Tarot – FEOH


The “FEOH” card from from the Runic Tarot by Caroline Smith and John Astrop


In the actual runes of the Elder Futhark, the rune symbol ofimageis called FEHU, and means “Possessions won or earned, earned income, luck. Abundance, financial strength in the present or near future. Sign of hope and plenty, success and happiness. Social success. Energy, foresight, fertility, creation/destruction (becoming).” from the website www.sunnyway.comIt was also the rune of helpfulness – if you have plenty, share it with others and help them.

May this card bring you luck today and always!

Blessings,   See the May Newsletter and Psychic Abilities Assessment at

Friday, 15 May 2009

Spirit Animal – Hummingbird

I love when readers share their stories, dreams, or experiences with a Spirit Animal or Messenger Animal.  I am extremely moved when the story strikes a deep chord in me that insists that I must respond.  So, I would like to share one such story with you.  Perhaps you too will get a message from this writing.

Namaste,  Judy            image

Email story……

Judy, for the last two weeks, I have been fortunate with the daily sight of a hummingbird. She hovers around my bedroom window almost all day long. Interestingly enough, there are no plants near my window. Yesterday, I sat under a tree in my front yard, and as I looked up, there she was again; this time in her nest. Do hummingbirds have any special meaning. I also always happen to notice white butterflies....Do U think this has some special meaning?

Judy’s response…..

Thank you for sharing your story of hummingbird.  Yes, hummingbirds do have special meaning.  I did a blog on hummingbird in Oct 2008, and you may find some more guidance there.

I have several thoughts to share with you, if I may. 

1.  When hummingbird hovers as you are describing, she is generally encouraging the person to have courage; to get beyond the illness or trouble, and to remember that in each life while there are difficulties, there is also great sweetness (joy).  It seems that she may be one of your guardian or spirit animals.

2.  When hummingbird appears to you in the tree, she is reminding you that all answers are above you – that is – in Great Spirit or Creator.  Hummingbird is a home loving being, and she reminds you to turn your home to a place of sanctuary, however you need to do that.

3.  The white butterfly sends several messages as well.  Butterflies are an indication of transformation.  All will be well if one goes with the flow of life.  When we take the path of least resistance, life is easy.  When we battle and try to control things, life is hard and generally, we end up with an illness of some sort.  A white butterfly is a reminder to take this time of transformation and reconnect with nature, Mother Earth, and find a way to have conversations with Great Spirit, and with your Angels.  Life is a whole new adventure for you right now.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Spirit Animal – Red Headed Sapsucker (Woodpecker)

red sapsucker woodpecker

 Picture of red headed sapsucker (woodpecker) taken by Ann Kelliot from

NOTE: Most often in North America, the red headed sapsucker is called “red headed woodpecker”.


This morning as I walked the dogs, I enjoyed the different messages that the animals and nature were giving to me.  The goal of our walk is a place called “Mallard Point” about 3.8 kilometres from our house.  As we were coming up to the last bend in the trail, this flashy little bird drummed on the tree next to the trail and looked straight at me.  After we connected, he flew away.  As we walked forward, the gate to Mallard Point was locked and a Park Ranger and a city policeman were guarding the gate.  Beyond them, on the trail, I could see several police cars and an EMS vehicle.  Appearances suggested that there had been a death.  I kept walking.  Later, the evening news confirmed that a body had washed down the river, possibly from the mountains.

What does Red Headed Woodpecker have to say?

1.  Generally, Woodpecker is very fast and moves up and down and uses its tail to move quickly around the trees making it difficult for predators to eat them.

2.  As they move in trees, Woodpecker moves up, coasts and flies upward again. 

3.  Although they are quick enough to catch insects in the air, they love to use their beaks to hammer out food from the trunks of trees.  The different sounds of their pecking will tell you the type of insect it is after, and even something about the tree.  Woodpecker shares the truth of the moment.

4. The drumming is also Woodpecker’s way of signalling its territory to other males, showing that this piece of the Earth is its connection to the Mother, and the particular drumming that

5.  Legends about Woodpecker abound.  According to a Lakota legend, the red-headed woodpecker taught a poor young suitor how to make and play the first flute. The suitor was then able to win the respect of his tribe and the hand of the chief's beautiful daughter. That is why their flutes are made to resemble this bird.  Pawnee mythology tells a story  of the Woodpecker and the Turkey. The Woodpecker and the Turkey once had a debate as to which bird should be called the protector of humankind. The turkey felt she deserved the title since she laid the largest clutch of eggs. However, the woodpecker's cautious ways won the argument since she kept her young safely nestled inside the tall tree trunks. Although the woodpecker laid fewer eggs, the survival rate of her young was greater than that of the turkey's because she taught them so well that they were certain to live to old age. From the site  Early European trappers of the fur trade believed that a Woodpecker with a red crest appearing close to you was the foreteller of death and the transition to the after life.

The messages that Woodpecker brings are many, so one must choose that message which resonates.  One message is to speak one’s truth and march to the beat that one hears in their heart.  Another message concerns how you send out your message – is it clear and full of meaning and rhythm, or is it chaotic without meaningful rhythm? Does it show a deep relationship to the Earth and therefore grounded behaviour, or does it speak of one who is ungrounded, flighty, and sends mixed messages about their journey?  The drumming out of territory speaks of someone who aggressively takes a stand on issues.  However, are you too aggressive and therefore controlling and domineering?  Do you need to relax your views and allow room for the views of others?

May you find the beat and rhythm that allows you to be part of the Earth and to find the path that gives you the easiest journey.

Blessings,   Reminder that our New Moon ceremony is on May 24th at 7:30pm.  See

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Tarot Discussion – Rune Tarot – Thorn


“Thorn” Card 3 from the Runic Tarot by Caroline Smith and John Astrop


When using the Runes, one often gets the Rune designated as “thorn” or “Thurisaz”.  Within the Rune context, it means “advancement, good fortune, happiness, basic powers of manifestation”.  It is governed by the Norse God, Thor, and is believed to give you the ability to win any struggle.  The shape of Thurisaz reflects the shape of Thor’s hammer, and provides you with a tool to cut through any difficulties. Thor walks with the Seeker of Answers to help them realize and overcome the upcoming challenges.

I have been having a few challenges over the last two days, and in trying to determine a path to follow, I pulled some cards.  I pulled the card “Thorn”.  The card was reassuring. The meaning of Thorn in the context of the cards was around having to make an important decision, and finding the power to make the decision. 

If the card doesn’t resonate for you, then perhaps one of the other meanings feels right:

  1. a situation where power can corrupt if someone doesn’t have a true and honest heart
  2. the questioner is being too stubborn in a situation, and the stubbornness is detrimental.

May all your cards provide answers and feel true!   See our site at

Monday, 11 May 2009

Buddha Speaks – A Story of Friendship And What is In A Name

One aspect of Buddhism is about RIGHT SPEECH.  The following definition and explanation help us to understand what Right Speech is to be.  The story gives a great example of how Right Speech is not considered when giving people nicknames and associating misfortune with the name and person. 

The definition  "And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech."
Speak only words that do no harm ---"One should speak only that word by which one would not torment oneself nor harm others. That word is indeed well spoken.  "One should speak only pleasant words, words which are acceptable (to others). What one speaks without bringing evils to others is pleasant."  from

 image                                Gandhara Buddha Statue from 1st –2nd Century CE from

A Man Named Jinx

Once upon a time, there was a very rich man who was well known for wholesomeness. He had a good friend who had the somewhat strange name, Jinx. They had been the best of friends ever since they were little children making mud-pies together. They had gone to the same schools and helped each other always.

After graduating, Jinx fell on hard times. He couldn't find a job and earn a living. So he went to see his lifelong friend, the prosperous and successful rich man. He was kind and comforting to his friend Jinx, and was happy to hire him to manage his property and business.

After he went to work in the rich man's mansion. pretty soon his strange name became a household word. People said, "Wait a minute, Jinx," "Hurry up, Jinx," "Do this, Jinx," 'Do that, Jinx."

After a while some of the rich man's neighbours went to him and said, 'Dear friend and neighbour, we are concerned that misfortune may strike. Your mansion manager has a very strange and unlucky name. You should not let him live with you any longer. His name fills your house, with people saying, 'Wait a minute, Jinx,'

'Hurry up, Jinx,' 'Do this, Jinx,' 'Do that, Jinx.' People only use the word 'jinx' when they want to cause bad luck or misfortune. Even house spirits and fairies would be frightened by hearing it constantly and would run away. This can only bring disaster to your household. The man named Jinx is inferior to you - he is miserable and ugly. What advantage can you possibly get by keeping such a fellow around?"

The rich man replied, "Jinx is my best friend! We have supported and cared for each other ever since we were little tots making mud-pies together. A lifelong trustworthy friend is of great value indeed! I could not reject him and lose our friendship just because of his name. After all, a name is only for recognition.

"The wise don't give a name a I second thought. Only fools are superstitious about sounds and words and names. They don't make good luck or bad luck!" So saying, the rich man refused to follow the advice of his busybody neighbours.

One day he went on a journey to his home village. While he was away, he left his friend Jinx in charge of his mansion home.

It just so happened that a gang of robbers heard about this. They decided it would be a perfect time to rob the mansion. So they armed themselves with various weapons and surrounded the rich man's home during the night.

Meanwhile, the faithful Jinx suspected that robbers might attack. So he stayed up all night to guard his friend's possessions. When he caught sight of the gang surrounding the house, he woke up everybody inside. Then he got them to blow shell horns and beat drums and make as much noise as possible.

Hearing all this, the bandits thought, "We must have been given bad information. There must be many people inside and the rich man must still be at home." So they threw down their clubs and other weapons, and ran away.

The next morning the people from the mansion were surprised to see the discarded weapons. They said to each other. "If we didn't have such a wise house protector, all the wealth in the mansion would certainly have been stolen. Jinx has turned out to be a hero! Rather than bringing bad luck, such a strong friend has been a blessing to the rich man."

When the master of the house returned home his neighbours met him and told him what had happened. He said, "You all advised against letting my friend stay with me. If I had done as you said, I'd be penniless today!

"Walking together for just seven steps is enough to start a friendship. Continuing for 12 steps forms a bond of loyalty. Remaining together for a month brings the closeness of relatives. And for longer still, the friend becomes like a second self. So my friend Jinx is no jinx - but a great blessing!"    Check out

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Spirit Animal – Ferret

Ferrets are fashionable today as pets.  They are extremely loving, curious, attracted to shiny objects, and liable to take over the household.  They walk well being leashed, and are extremely playful.


Picture of ferret is from


What makes Ferret so attractive to humans?  Like many domestic pets, Ferret originally was domesticated as a working animal.  Europeans and Asians used these clever beings to hunt rodents – rabbits, rats, mice, moles, and hedgehogs in the tunnels or in buildings over run with rats.  Always happy to oblige, Ferret loves to hunt, and when not hunting, will drag off any item that captures their interest, and squirrel it away in their cage or burrow.  Ferrets are meat eaters, and need a high protein diet to feed their hyperactivity. 

Playfulness causes Ferret to be so excited that she breaks out into a “war dance”.  She hops sideways, hoots and hisses, and pants. All these actions are an invitation to play, much like the dog bowing and stretching to invite others to play with it.  She loves to wrestle, tickle, nip a bit, and snuggle. 

If Ferret comes up to you, know that she brings a message.  One of these messages may resonate with you:

  1. Are you in danger? Are you safe and secure in your “tunnel” which is where Ferret needs to be to feel her safest? 
  2. Speaking of tunnel, are you a victim of “tunnel vision”?  Do you see what is straight ahead on your path, and forget about the influences around you?
  3. Are you hunting for the very little things and ignoring the larger opportunities that will pass you by?  Do you need to expand your territory to get better prey?
  4. Is your nourishment sufficient for your activity – or is it too much consumption?  When Ferret is not eating correctly, she may have adrenal problems, cancer, and foot rot. 
  5. Do you get enough activity?  Ferret is very active and happy.  When she has something to do, she does not get depressed or lethargic. 

Take note of Ferret’s many messages, and go and have fun!   Try Karma Clearing at

Friday, 8 May 2009

Spirit Animal – Raven

image Raven – picture from and photographed by Michael S. Quinton


When I hear the word “Raven” two different thoughts come to mind.  The first is the line, “The Raven cried, “Croak”, and they all tumbled down.  Fiddle de diddle de dee.” This line comes from an old English nursery rhyme which has many versions.  The second is that Raven is the sacred bird of the great Norse God, Odin.  His two Ravens, Thought and Memory, went out in the world each day to gather news and bring it back to Odin. 

So why is Raven an important messenger animal?  First, know that Raven is classified as a song bird. Second, Raven is a scavenger.  Third, Raven mimics sounds, including human words. Therefore, when Raven moved to clean up corpses from the battlefield, she would sing and even talk.  Anyone stumbling upon this phenomenon found it quite disturbing and Raven was gifted a reputation of being a foreteller of death and a demon disguised as a bird. 

What makes Raven so unique is that it has been found in all climates and even as high as 5000 feet in the Tibetan mountains.  It does not live all year round in the Arctic, yet most often stays year round in other climates.  Sometimes, Raven will follow Wolf or Coyote and forage off of their kills.  Diet consists of everything from road kill to cereal grains, insects, and whatever is on hand. 

If Raven is coming to you to work with you, feel blessed!  She is very discerning and works with highly evolved, intelligent beings. Her colouring reflects her association with magic, with the heavens, with the Dark Mother of the New Moon, and with transformation of the parts of us that we call “shadow self” to an integrated being.  Many indigenous people believe Raven is a trickster being that shape shifts as it makes noise.  While Raven is a noisy one, she uses her voice to shift perspective and consciousness.  If Raven appears, she asks, “Are you using your voice enough?”  She pushes you to speak your truth, and to sing what you know.  Some belief systems say that Raven can actually impart “magick” to those she favours.  Let your heart guide you when you work with Raven, and grow into the light being that you are! See the website at for up to date Workshop information.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Buddha Speaks – A Story of Truth

2009 may rainbowRainbow picture from email



A year ago, a friend of mine started a group of women on a journey of meditation for the Earth and the greater good.  The mantra she used to start our meditations is the Buddhist mantra  “Om Mani Padme Hum”.  She wrote it out phonetically for us on a white board.  My friend indicated that this was a mantra that came from the Buddhists in India. The Tibetan Buddhists adopted it, and changed some of the sounds because Sanskrit is hard for the Tibetans to pronounce.  When I was reading my Buddhists lessons, the following story about “truth” came up, and I found it quite fascinating that the story was about the mantra.

                              The True Sound of Truth

A devoted Buddhist Seeker from India, after years concentrating on a particular mantra, had attained enough insight to begin teaching. The student's humility was far from perfect, but the teachers at the monastery were not worried.

A few years of successful teaching left the Seeker with no thoughts about learning from anyone; but upon hearing about a famous hermit living nearby, the opportunity was too exciting to be passed up.

The hermit lived alone on an island at the middle of a lake, so the Seeker  hired a man with a boat to row across to the island. The Seeker  was very respectful of the old hermit. As they shared some tea made with herbs the Seeker asked him about his spiritual practice. The old man said he had no spiritual practice, except for a mantra which he repeated all the time to himself. The Seeker was pleased: the hermit was using the same mantra he used himself -- but when the hermit spoke the mantra aloud, the Seeker was horrified!

"What's wrong?" asked the hermit.

"I don't know what to say. I'm afraid you've wasted your whole life! You are pronouncing the mantra incorrectly!"

"Oh, Dear! That is terrible. How should I say it?"

The Seeker gave the correct pronunciation, and the old hermit was very grateful, asking to be left alone so he could get started right away. On the way back across the lake the Seeker, now confirmed as an accomplished teacher, was pondering the sad fate of the hermit.

"It's so fortunate that I came along. At least he will have a little time to practice correctly before he dies." Just then, the Seeker noticed that the boatman was looking quite shocked, and turned to see the hermit standing respectfully on the water, next to the boat.

"Excuse me, please. I hate to bother you, but I've forgotten the correct pronunciation again. Would you please repeat it for me?"

"You obviously don't need it," stammered the Seeker but the old man persisted in his polite request until the Seeker relented and told him again the way he thought the mantra should be pronounced.

The old hermit was saying the mantra very carefully, slowly, over and over, as he walked across the surface of the water back to the island.

                                     The End   See the upcoming events on the home page of

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Ancestors Speak – Spirits Around You


Picture of a ghost outside an old hotel

by Robert Brown on the site


I work with many clients and students who do have the ability to see Angels and Spirits or Ghosts.  In the Shamanic world, we call these ghostly mists “The Ancestors”.  Recently I was working with a client who has been having difficulty sleeping because so many Spirits are showing up in her bedroom at night. 

She had some questions.  First, why did they seem to mostly accumulate at night.  My answer is that is the time when her mind was the least busy, and she was not involved in something else so she could pay attention to them.  Her second question was, “Why me?”   The answer to that is always “Because you have the gift to see Spirits. And, one gift is to help them return home.” 

I have learned that there are Angels, Guides, Ascended Masters, Spirits that for what ever reason have stayed on Earth and now want to go home, and finally, dark spirits (energy) that are harmful in some way.  Dark Spirits can cover a whole range of different entities. 

Angels, Guides, and Ascended Masters will simply show up because they want to work with you, and although their energy can seem over whelming if you are not used to it, they are all beautiful, loving beings. They are not angry or harmful.  Angel’s energy is generally warm or hot, and Ascended Masters and Guides may have energy that is almost cool or cold, or electric. 

When you feel overwhelmed by the presence of Angels and Guides, remember that “Permissions” are the first rule.  If you ask them to leave, or to leave you alone for the period of 11:00pm to 7:00am so you can sleep, then they will abide by your request.  However, expect them to show up at 7:00am sharp to work with you again.  If you have been ignoring them and the pull that you feel to doing something “different”, then know that you are going against the flow, and that life will get more difficult.  If we try to control our life, and the events around us, we are simply setting ourselves up to have a great fall – an illness, an accident or injury, or even relationship or career difficulties. 

Learn about your special gifts. Start meditating on a daily basis, even for just ten minutes a day. Begin asking for guidance, and listening.  The Spirits around you will be grateful.     See our Psychic Abilities Assessment for help on finding out about all your gifts.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Tarot Discussion – Rune Tarot - DAEG


24 DAEG from The Runic Tarot by Caroline Smith and John Astrop


I have been in a period of change now for about three weeks.  Part of that time, I was actually away and contemplating what I should be spending my time on.  I really did not come up with a satisfactory answer.  All I heard was the word, “Patience”.  I felt like young Grasshopper at the feet of his Master with not knowing what comes next. 

Today, I pulled the DAEG card in my daily routine of pulling a card to see what was up for me.  DAEG means day. The wonderful verse that goes with this card is:

“Day is Odin’s messenger, dear to men,   The Ruler’s glorious light, Mirth and hope to prosperous and poor, Useful to all.”

It seems this card is promising that my energy is going to be restored as new opportunities come my way.  DAEG is about growth, development, progress (Grasshopper likes this!), new light, and positive change. 

Some of the meanings associated with this card are:

  1. bringing hidden or unjust things to the light
  2. causing a drastic change in public opinion
  3. researching and discovering new advances in ourselves and in the Universe
  4. a new way of living and seeing life
  5. finding new knowledge and revealing new truths.

I will take any of these happy outcomes that are associated with this card.  Life is bright with DAEG.   Watch for new events at

Monday, 4 May 2009

Spirit Animal - Chipmunk


Chip and Dale image from Wikipedia

Walt Disney brought the loveable chipmunk characters, Chip and Dale, to the big screen in the 1950’s. Although they never achieved the stardom of Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck, they still remain the very favourite characters for many Disney fans.

Perhaps it is because the actions of the cartoon chipmunks is so similar to the real chipmunk. Chipmunk is a part of the family of rodents, and yet, like squirrel, seems to have little fear of humans. Chipmunk has much to teach us about trust. It will chatter so that people will notice it, and it will come up to people and take food out of their hands. The idea of taking food where ever you can get it seems to be Chipmunk’s motto. Chipmunk is also curious. It is attracted to anything that is unusual. She, therefore, is a good early warning system for other wildlife in the area because she will set up quite an alarm if she feels threatened.


Chipmunk in the wild from

Depending on the species of Chipmunk, young chipmunks may leave the nest between seven and twelve weeks. All are on their own by the twelfth week. During their nest time, Chipmunks develop a keen sense of play. Although they are extremely hard working in the fall and gather nuts and seeds to store for the winter’s food supply, you will see them running and wrestling and chasing each other with a joyful abandon.

Some of the lessons that Chipmunk has for us are:

  1. Take a leadership role and take responsibility for your neighbourhood.
  2. Don’t accept what others tell you. Be inquisitive and find out or verify information. People will tell you as much as they think you need to know.
  3. Chipmunks leave the nest by 12 weeks, and mate twice, approximately 12 weeks apart. Chipmunk urges you to be conscious of your cycles of energy. They may relate to seasons, to the moon shifts, or to the cycle of the sun. Is your energy optimal?
  4. Take time to play. Chipmunk has fun and balances business with playfulness. Are you working too many hours and not spending enough time on yourself or your mate?
  5. Chipmunk is without fear, yet cautious when dealing with new events in the environment. Are you living in fear, and letting that fear control your life? Now is the time to clear it.

Enjoy Chipmunk antics and pay attention to the message that they send to you.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Ancestors Speak – Healing With Parsley


Picture of parsley from


Even though it is only the 3rd of May, my parsley is peeking up through the ground.  It has survived five inches of snow and many mornings of frost. 

I remember my grandmother saying that parsley was good for you.  She would take parsley, wash it, and put it in brown paper bags in the freezer so she could use it during the winter in soups and stews and stuffing for chicken.

When I was researching why parsley was so good for us, I found this column by Jim Long at  He summarizes the benefits of eating parsley very nicely.

“Parsley is an excellent breath freshener, thanks to its high chlorophyll content. It is high in Vitamins A and C, and one cup of minced fresh parsley contains more beta-carotene than a large carrot, almost twice as much Vitamin C as an orange, more calcium than a cup of milk, and twenty times as much iron as one serving of liver.”

My grandmother also believed that parsley, crushed up and spread on cuts or gashes, was a very fast healer of these wounds.  The fact that parsley has so much Vitamin C in it makes this idea credible.  She used it instead of Aloe Vera.

If you are looking for a great herb for your flower pots to grow year round, try parsley.  And, use it in everything!  See the May newsletter at

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Spirit Animal – Wolverine


Wolverine on snow from




The wolverine is known for its great ferocity and extraordinary strength.  Indian mythology describes the wolverine as a trickster hero, a link between the material world and the spirit world.  In ancient mythology the energy of a trickster is linked to the underworld where the secrets of creation  live.

Baby wolverines are born blind and weigh less than one pound.  This prompts all their other sensory organs to awaken quickly, their sense of smell, feeling and inner sight are heightened at an early age. Small yet insightful, the new born wolverine acknowledges and responds to all its intuitive senses from the moment of birth. They  respond to life and the challenges it holds with clarity, focus and persistence giving them a deeper understanding of personal power. Those with this medicine should ask themselves if their personal power is serving them appropriately.  Learning  how to utilize  personal power in a balanced way is one of the teachings the wolverine holds.

The wolverines crafty cunning nature coupled with their perseverance and focus keeps them aligned with the energies of creation.  This alignment serves them in many ways.  They know when to act, when to retreat, how to respond to any situation and how to become invisible.  All of these abilities inherent in the wolverine are also inherent in those who hold this medicine.  Wolverines are masters at shape shifting their reality to benefit them in some way and can teach us how to do the same.  Shamanic studies is helpful for those who have this totem.

Wolverines are excellent scavengers although not the best hunters.  They are very resourceful and know how to make do with whatever is available.  They turn trash into treasure and teach us how to do the same.  Alaskan natives consider the wolverine to by a symbol of the wilderness, a survivor of the elements.  Its fur is commonly used for parka trim and hoods because of its durability.  The guard hairs of the wolverine fur resist frost accumulation helping people survive in extreme cold weather.

Solitary creatures with tremendous physical endurance the wolverine can travel up to 40 miles a day in search of food.  Because of their great strength and endurance wolverines have become the center of folklore, although its fierce reputation has been exaggerated.  They rarely attack any predator larger than itself and only attack when food is needed. They show us how to go the distance and acquire that which we seek.

When this medicine is fully developed in humans the capability to survive in any situation is common.  If under developed challenges regarding survival are common. Because the wolverine is a shape shifter the art of survival doesn't just represent the physical realm.  It also indicates the challenges associated with mental clarity, emotional balance and spiritual understanding.

The wolverine is a master teacher and embodies a variety of skills.  When it appears in your life it is asking you to take a serious look at your self and your life, change anything that does not serve and utilize your personal power for the good of self and others.   See our May 2009 newsletter online at

Friday, 1 May 2009

Ancestors Speak – May Day (May 1)


Picture of May Pole Dancing from 


Our Ancestors believed in the power of ritual and celebration.  The month of May is named for the Greek Goddess, Maia, seventh daughter of Atlas. In Europe, May Day is regarded as a way of celebrating the feminine, the Goddesses of Fertility, to ensure that the planting and harvesting will be successful.  The Maypole represents the male, and the ribbons represent the female. The Maypole becomes an artistic rendering of the act of copulation. 

In some countries, the people that have enough to eat and wear often leave presents tied to the trees to honour the Goddesses, and to allow the Goddesses to “see” how generous they were, thus ensuring the “reward” of a bountiful harvest.  The Goddess would then “direct” sending of the gifts to those that needed them. 

Sacred trees which are used in this honouring festival include willow, rowan (mountain ash), apple, fig, pine, and oak trees.  As the trees received gifts, the people believed the fruit of the tree multiplied so that both humans and animals would receive much harvest in the fall.

Some thoughts on May:

  • the full moon is called “The Frog Moon”
  • colours are hazel and pink
  • flowers are lily and trefoil
  • May’s creatures are magpies and doves

Enjoy May as a time of renewal!    Check the website for the posting of the May newsletter.