"More will be revealed."

Being and Dreaming the Healing of our World

Welcome to Cottonwood Healing Arts! We're here on a hillside under 14 grand old Cottonwood trees in Western Colorado. I live with my husband, two big dogs, a wild old cat, and a flock of red chickens. We do our best not to impact the rest of the living beings here, with the exception of grasshoppers and other pesky insects. Spiders and snakes are welcome. Hummingbirds are thriving and nesting. A lone coyote trots long the trail above the house on occasion. A lot of living is going on with the beastie beings of all kinds on this high desert slope. I am a shamanic and energy medicine practitioner, and a retired massage therapist who works with people with developmental "dis" abilities as a day job. I am an artist with many mediums. I write for my own satisfaction and to push my envelope about "being seen" in the world. This is my blog, and the ramblings of a woman in her middle years who is impatiently waiting for her first grandchild to be born, and for humans to wake up to the truth of who we really are. If you take the time...time is SO very precious...to read a few lines, you might find something to help you on your journey. If nothing else, please enjoy the photos of places in my "neck of the woods". May you find your heart every day, and may it guide your behavior in favor of life and the generations of all beings to come. Blessed be.


Learning to live with Dying


This winter so many people I know and love have been dying or falling ill.  And just this morning, news of yet another one, a family member much younger than me.  A friend said, “Well, we are of that age when this will happen more frequently.”  Honestly, not much comfort in that statement, but someone has to be the realist I suppose.  In a recent doctor visit I was reminded that I myself am nearing my expiration date, as well.  It may be ten or twenty years away, or maybe much less than that.  I am scheduled for a few tests tomorrow and beyond. Pending insurance approval, of course.  I am feeling pretty bemused by this experience. I suddenly lost hearing in one ear just a couple days after seeing my doctor for a routine exam. I was sent to the emergency room where they drew an enormous amount of blood.  For me, a drop is a lot, so bear with me. While in that process there was more discussion about what my insurance would and wouldn’t pay for when I asked them to check my thyroid hormone level while they were at it. Turns out they could check it, with a doctor’s order, of course, but what I marvel at is here I am in the ER and feeling pretty shaken and vulnerable and they are making a point to let me know about the financial end of things.  Very therapeutic. Thanks so much.  All I want to know is if I can still do shoulder stands later on today.

So back to the dying part.  When my ear went deaf suddenly and the world narrowed down into strange sound bytes like the refrigerator motor running and the crack and pop of the fire burning in the wood stove I asked myself ” If you are dying do you want to do that in the ER, or on the way there in this very real snow storm, or would you prefer your bed?”  I went to bed.  My dog came in to snuggle, but actually got on top of me, where upon I had to push her off me to breathe, and she left the room in a funk.  She hasn’t slept with me since that night so I really think I hurt her feelings pretty badly.  She was trying to keep me in my body maybe and I wrestled free.  I have a habit of doing that, you know.  Breaking free of restrictions, leaving boring and boxed in jobs or relationships, living situations that no longer suit.  I tend to stick with something at least for a year, to claim that I committed to it.  The one constant in my life besides my sobriety has been my massage practice. It’s my life’s work actually and something to which I have devoted 24 +years of constant study. I read volumes of related material and have a great deal to share in that vein. Or so I think, most days.

But back to the dying thing. Sometime ago I learned of a shamanic practice that helps prepare a person for their own death.  I engage in this practice sporadically. I really want to transcend this life in an “exalted” way. In other words, I want to be of service to my descendants rather than feed off of them due to having to hang around as a shade.  And this world is very cluttered with shades.  Of the human kind.  Too many have died without a proper psychopomp, but I won’t be going into detail about that here as it deserves a more thorough description. You will have to wait for the next installment.  Insert smiley face here.

Today I will live with the fact that I will die. Today I will prepare for that death with all the grace I can muster. Today I will enjoy the sun on my face and the blanket of snow all around that will water all those seeds in the ground.  Today death has no sting.



Another Turn of the Year and Giving Gifts in the World

SAM_4123 Autumn here in the northern hemisphere. Making a fire in the morning now, and then later after dark. My favorite time of year. Remembering my people long dead.  Ancestors coming round for their due. I think they are pleased with me, mostly.  Maybe somewhat impatient, like I am, about current national affairs. Here I am facing my inner demons every day.  Taking them to lunch so they keep their mouths shut about my shortcomings, my lack of awareness, my blind places. They are not vegan.  They still like a meat and potato sort of feasting.  I can hear them noshing in my sleep.

Buried the old dog Mallory a week past. I performed ceremony, and danced the grief away under the light of the moon.  I can sleep through the night now,though I still hear her giving me gruff, needing in or out, wanting her blanket and a tuck in at night.  The other dogs miss her, too. Husband concurs. I know it’s left a hole in my daughter as Mallory was her dog and a sweet witness to the beginning of her adult life. I think back on all the animals that have come and gone in my life.  It is a great crowd, a clan of beasts, my kin.  Tonight they feel very near and close in to my heart.  Rest easy, sweet friends.  All are hallowed here.  Sweet dreams in the darkening year.

February Love Affairs

My heart is taken by my grand daughter. She’s toddling now, and learning new words and sounds, making her own songs ,and exploring everything everywhere. You must keep an eye on her every minute. This demands time and attention and in the moment changes of plans.  Grandmothering.  I’m putting to use everything I’ve ever learned about relationships and childrearing, and ADDING the intentions of my work in the world. It’s all one, really.  Being present to life each and every moment. Time speeds and slows. Cycles spin and return again. I’m a toddler revisitedImage, on my knees looking under things, laughing, discovering my self over, all while seeing to the very real needs of this wee being in front of me. Bless us, Grandmother, with your presence your light your loving heart.  Renew us again and again.  

Stalking Power


Yesterday, after a very busy morning, I heard a young red tail hawk calling in the stand of cottonwoods on the north side of our property.  I thought,”May be a good time to see this youngster.” So, I walked back through the sage and damp ground from recent rains.  The calls were regular and distinctive and I could hone in on the sound.  As I entered under the long arms of the cottonwood I saw one of the parents, who saw me at the same time, and flew off closer to it’s offspring, which I couldn’t yet see, so I said a few rounds of Thank You’s, and meandered down closer to the tree trunks.  I walked carefully, quietly, respectfully, and as I came around the bottom of one of the old trees, I felt something on my right, and as I turned, there on the ground, was the other parent hawk.  She was less than four feet from my face, above me on the hillside.  She must have heard me coming all that time, but sat there silently.  I said, “Whoa!” in surprise, then she flew directly at me, with a calm undisturbed grace.  I instinctively turned away and covered my head and face with my right arm, fully expecting her to flap me like a mad hen.  Instead, she flew over my head, and I could feel the draft of her wings as she made her exit.  Wow!  My heart was beating and adrenaline poured through me, making me pant and gasp with relief and amazement.  Wow.  Just wow.

I guess it’s fair to say that Power stalked me, instead of the other way around.  More like an ambush, really.  She could have left easily before I got there, and I would have never even seen her.  I’m still integrating this experience, and am humbled yet again by the magnificence of Mama Nature and all Her Children.

A New Offering in the World

I have recently let go of working with a special population of people in favor of getting the writing done, now that the research is complete.  I am also endeavoring to start seeing clients again for Energy Medicine and bodywork, shamanic journeys, home and land clearings, compassionate depossession, and the work that is calling loudest, which is the psychopomp work.  This involves end of life preparation from the spiritual perspective, and you do’t have to have a terminal illness in order to begin this work.  It is about tidying up all sorts of life concerns like forgiveness, recapitulation, and letting go of what no longer serves.  This can mean changing life paths and even involve the mundane affairs of cleaning out the garage in order to release the physical collections one has held dearly.  It is a process of healing, and releasing, as well as forward looking at destiny lines, rather than clinging to our fate.  I hope you’ll join me.  It would be pretty boring to do all alone.  And we do want to be thorough, don’t we?  Stay tuned as it unfolds.

In the mean time, I send you blessings of Spring ….in the wind.Image 

At home with Fire and Altar of Days Gone By

SAM_1450The neighbor has come and gone this morning, bringing with her the holiday plate of Christmas candies and banana nut bread that she brings every year.  She marveled over the baby and I did my best to keep the dogs from sniffing her fanny.  I like her, and she has a clean house, which, I do not.  A lot goes by the way when you have a new baby in the house, and three dogs, and a husband with a cold.  I am making sure everyone eats and is warm, and trying not to stir up dust with the vacuum cleaner.  Priorities.

Breakfast is ready, which consists of left overs warmed up, but will have to suffice until  I whirl into a cleaning frenzy later on.  Then there is the cookie baking and gift making that runs concurrently throughout the day.  No shortage of stuff that needs doing around here.  oh, and the laundry.  Always laundry with newborns especially when using cotton diapers instead of the landfill filling kind. At least this breast milk baby poop will end up feeding bacteria in the yard through the gray water.

Yes.  Life keeping.  That’s what we are up to today.

The Turning of the Age

This morning at 4:11 AM Mountain Standard Time our planet aligned with the galactic center.  That’s important to many people and for various reasons.  For me, I am now a Grandmother in the truest of senses.  My only daughter Maggi has given birth to a new being in the world.  We will call her Rosie, because her real name is long in order to heal and unite her ancestors.  I am extremely glad to be living at this time with all the many changes, even the sad ones, for I am seeing how human beings are creating oneness and collaborations in far greater numbers than I have ever seen before.  This is very exciting. In writing this I am endeavoring to conclude, or at least tidy up, my own healing of past issues in order to move ahead with what is calling my soul into the world.  

As I watched the red candle burning all night on my altar, I felt the shifting within my self.  I healed my own rain forests and rivers, and put away the bulldozers that have been shredding my own mountains and valleys.  I purified my inner air and stilled the tempest that has been raging for so many years in my heart.  With all that settled, I can proceed with the work “out there”.  Wish me luck.  Wish us all luck.  It will take the lot of us to accomplish the “turn around” that is so necessary here on PLanet Earth.  We will have each other, and that is a beautiful to behold.

May it be so.





My Grand Daughter Rosie was born the day before my birthday this year. She’s beautiful, healthy, and the light of our lives.

Hens gone missing…


Last evening while preparing a feast for friends and family, the rooster came to the front of the house, right at dusk, and pecked the door.  This caused mayhem in the dogs, who thought it was someone knocking on the door.  We were expecting company, after all.  But the peck was unexpected, and kinda weird.  I went out to see why my big old handsome rooster wasn’t headed to the coop with his girls.  I tried herding him, but he wouldn’t go.  He finally evaded me completely so I went back into the house for a flashlight.  A quick look in the coop revealed only half of my chickens were on the roost.  I went back around the house and found the rooster sitting on the snow shovel on the trailer, a hen on the water containers behind the house, and another in the doghouse.  “Note to self: Don’t put the dogs in the pen!” I couldn’t reach the one in the dog house so I shut the gate and hoped a weasel wouldn’t discover her before morning.   I herded the other hen and the rooster  back to the coop, where the others waited waited silently. It was rather eery and unsettling to know there were at least three missing, and with company coming any minute, I wouldn’t have much time to look for them.  My husband and daughter and the dogs all came out with me to hunt in the dark, but we found nothing.   Our guests finally arrived, so we gave up and went ahead with our evening.

This morning I heard the hen in the doghouse calling for her friends, so I went out earlier than usual to feed and let the chickens out.  I counted 10 outside, 11 total, with the dark hen, who was always so aggressive with all the rest of the hens, but is now the “picked on” and at the end of the pecking order, staying on the roost in the henhouse, as if she was afraid of going out into the daylight. They were all very quiet, looking up and around and making that sound they make when they are listening, a sort of question mark of a sound, that made the hair on my neck raise up.  Some things are so primal you can’t miss the meaning.  They were bothered and not their usual rowdy selves around the feeding pans.  In fact, they barely ate any thing, and instead went around the corner of the house, past the watering station under the spigot, and into the front yard where they milled around uneasily.  I stayed out with them for quite awhile until I got chilled and decided to start a fire and make coffee.  After the water was hot and poured over the fresh grounds, I went back outside with a tobacco offering.  “Please be satisfied with three hens and no more.”, I said to the hillside above the house and to the fox I know lives above us in the green spaces along the spring.  I included any coyotes that may have survived the last holocaust of coyote kind in the valley.

I pray I am heard, that I am not forced to take any further action, and that the chickens will prosper after this thinning of the flock.

May all beings be well fed.

Harvest Moon of 2012



As the Moon wanes away from fullness I find myself altered from the intensity of experiences throughout the summer season.  And, now, in the Falling of the year, I am becoming new.  New and formless, grounded in the rigor of change.  The idea of letting go of the side of the river and plunging in, letting go into the flow, letting go of expectation as completely as is possible for me at this time in my life.  I am going to be a grandmother, while inside myself there is still a child, sometimes teenager of 17, looking out from behind my blue eyes. Once in awhile I manage to enter the heart of who I truly am, amidst the chaos of my intellect.  This happens most often under the trees, in the woods, and beside the river.  I can be a stone in the sun if I want to be. or a human being complete with gathering storms of questions and pervasive disappointments.  This summer, in a lucid and willing moment, I discovered I see humans as alien beings in the world, most without awareness of the impact they are having not only on others in range of influence, but also not aware of the effect their thinking and behaving is having upon their own flesh.  In my practice of helping others, it is the AHA!  I hope for each time I work with someone.  I hold the vision for my own awakening, as well.  So many paths for each of us to follow, especially the ones we discover on our own.  

As I drive around the county I am struck by the current number of political signs.  There are hardly any where I am, and mostly are for the neo-conservative candidates. After watching Monday night football with my husband at a local bar and grill for the first time in nearly a decade, I can understand something about the mindset of many Americans who think electing a Mormon with money into the White House is a great idea.  And while I see that President Obama has accomplished much more than the neo-cons give him credit for, he is still a man with a mission that doesn’t quite match my own vision for the world.  I give him credit for making some strides under the circumstances, but when you sleep with dogs you usually come away with a fleas. 

Where are the leaders we need to help this country grow out of adolescence, I wonder? Where is all that American “Exceptionalism”?  I’m not so impressed with us, to be honest.  

As I face my grey haired self in the mirror each morning, I see the leader is actually me, and the many more women, and the men that love them, are out there that are looking like me, slightly rounder around the middle maybe. I just spend a fair amount of time, wrestling as it were, with the truth of myself while moving rocks or firewood or lugging water around in the hose to keep the trees and medicinals alive, and the dogs and chickens watered.  We are tending to the home fires and educating the next generations in the ways we pray will leave a suitable world behind.  I will make fewer trips to town so that there will be clean air to breathe after I am gone.  I hope you are doing the same thing.  Saving the planet by living with less.  It’s really pretty easy to do, if you set your intention to do it.  The new paradigm goes beyond recycling cans and bottles. It means living a life without much of what every CEO in this country wants you to buy.  Which brings me to the question: Why aren’t we building something instead of buying something??  Supply this!, demand that! mentalities are getting pretty out of vogue with anyone who cares what future lies ahead for children in the world.   

I picked peaches to can this year. The orchardist told me this story:  “Today I will drive this truck full of North Fork peaches to Palisade where they will magically become Palisade peaches.  They will load the peaches on semi truck to Denver, where at the re-distribution center they are tallied, bar coded. repackaged, then they board another semi truck back to Grand Junction, and then back into Delta county to be sold at Safeway and City Market”  We marvel at how our peaches had traveled nearly a thousand miles, yet were grown within 30 miles of where we live.  Insane, isn’t it?

So, while I make my way back to the Full Moon, the peak of Harvest, let me invoke the vision of a world that knows what balance looks like and achieves it on a regular basis.  I will harvest close to home and celebrate the farmers and teachers and ranchers, and store clerks, and nurses, and care givers and hail my community members with respect, and awe and gratitude when I encounter them.  Life and balance are about the WE-ness of it all, isn’t that true?  “Being the change” is quite easy and wonderful and is only a breathe away from the suffering I engage in when I listen to too much fear mongering.  Especially my OWN fear mongering.  I know you know what I am taking about.  

As the moon wanes and the tides shift and turn in our lives, let’s embrace our inner harvest of new awareness, along with the bounty of tomatoes and cucumbers, spuds and onions.