horses shamanism legend purity of heart

The Legend of Purity of Heart

As a child I harbored secret fantasies about horses. Standing in the Colorado State Fair stable with the gigantic nose of a Budweiser Clydesdale cradled in my small hands was pure bliss. There was a precious brief moment where I could just enter, enter into the experience of equine. Nothing came between us.  The gentle gelding’s eyes smiled at me. I still remember the touch of his velveteen white muzzle and the round edges of his nostrils. Then everything becomes…

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Spirit Animals: FLEXIBLE FOX

Foxes are versatile and varied. Did you know that there are five species of fox in the continental United States alone and over 20 worldwide? Some species like red foxes cover many habitats and commingle with human habitation while others like the swift fox remain in a particular habitat. Let’s review a few species to get a glimpse of the unique power and symbolism of the talented fox. Gray Fox Spirit Animal Camouflage The most prolific and common fox native to North…

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red-tailed hawk talons

Angel of Fiery Red Trees

This excerpt from Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks is near the end of the book and shares some of my most intimate and beautiful moments with the red-tailed hawk named “Graccia”. Graccia is an ambassador bird trained to work with people and go on public speaking occasions to help raise awareness about the value of raptors and wildlife. She went on an average of one presentation a month, but I trained her daily which meant that many of our…

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wolf spirit animal

Spirit Animals: WOLF the WITNESS

Wolf Symbolism Wolf spirit animals embody a wide range of qualities in the human psyche. Just think of how many stories you’ve read and movies you’ve seen that have wolves or werewolves as characters. Most obviously, wolf symbolism is about dismantling fears and not letting them control you. When wolves used to roam the habitat around our small towns, many people feared going out at night. Despite the myths, thank you Red Riding Hood, wolf is not a vicious man-eater. It is truly…

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swan symbolism

Spirit Animals: SERENE SWAN

She glides gracefully along the water, neck arched with her stately head held high. Her feathers couldn’t be any more white. They gleam and look so soft and so smooth to the touch. She’s often seen in this way, gliding on the mirror-like surface of a lake, but she takes to the wing too. Her enormous wingspan reaches out as if it may touch the ends of the sky and her elegant neck stretches out, long and forward venturing into…

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shamanic journey with hawks

“Split in the Canvas” from Gracious Wild

In this excerpt from my book Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks, I share the story of the first time that the northern harrier hawk named Thalia came flying to land on my glove. Thalia lived at a wildlife rehabilitation center where she’d been trained to work with humans to do bird of prey education programs. I was learning how to work with her to become her caretaker. Annie was Thalia’s current custodian who was handing the reins over to me…  One…

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How to: Setting Intentions

Now that we have explored the question of What is Intention? and the similarities and differences between intention and prayer, we move on to understanding the nature of each. It is important to understand what makes a powerful prayer when learning about setting intentions. Learning About Prayer Coming to prayer as an adult, I  have been exploring the nature of prayer itself. What I find in conversations with my teachers, friends and clients as well as in the printed words of renowned mystics are widely…

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raccoon spirit animal

Spirit Animals: RACCOON the BANDIT

He sneaks about in the darkness looking for the slightest opportunity. Any tidbit hidden in a crevasse becomes a jewel in his hands. He is at home in the city or the country. No matter where we find raccoon spirit animal we will find a dose of both good humor and good conscience. Who thought such a common animal could bring such luck? These little bandits are ubiquitous across the whole of the North American continent. Found in swamps and…

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what is intention

What is Intention?

In our spiritual work, we so often utilize the words “intention” and “intent”. We set an intent for what we’d like to heal. We carry an intention for something in our lives to change. We decide what we’d like to manifest (such as a new job or a new house) and set an intent around that. I’ve used the words myself for years and years. I use the words casually. I unconsciously weave them into my inner conversations and my conversations with clients.…

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buffalo spirit animal


In the midst of the lowing of the herd, he takes a break from munching grass and saunters over to a bare patch of earth. The sun is rising and his breath is made visible by the steam that drifts from his nostrils like tendrils of smoke. His head sways ever so slightly as he walks, the bulk of his shoulders clearing the way as members of the herd part to allow passage. At the wallow he comes down to…

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