Sandra Ingerman – several times repeated during online study courses:


I began journeying and found two spirit guides: a male who lives and heals in a Hogan and a female who keeps her doctoring apothecary in her wickiup.  My instructions were visual images of white birds, animals, geometrics and human figures chipped into black rock faces.  The home of these images is the Piedras Marcadas section of the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, New Mexico where I have hiked and prayed for over a year.  The black stones, from ancient volcanic eruptions, exactly reflected the location of my only stalking nightmare.  This nightmare entrapped my four-year-old self, deep in the rocky earth, struggling for freedom and breath.  My mother’s seven-week hospitalization following my twin brothers’ birth preceded the dream and my spirit teachers had instructed me to work through it NOW.

I wandered up and down the mesas scanning for a healing gateway.  I found it under a large, well-rooted juniper tree located just off the side of a mesa.  Surrounding the tree’s base was a semi circle of hard earth walled in by clumps of black stones: a place out of sight to the world.  I crawled in and looked up at plump, dark blue berries scattered throughout the junipers bough.  The day’s heat burst the smell of both from sleep and soon I was journeying with three eyes: one open to this world, the other to the waking dream and a third to the all- around.


I awakened to a girl with curly, shoulder length hair wearing a petticoat.  She was opaque, floated over and behind the boulders, and bright against total darkness.

She told me she was the holder of my mother loss and all subsequent losses/traumas in our lives: “I stayed in the rocks because they helped me protect you from these things…and I was also safe from you hurting me!”

“My teachers told me to come here and I found you. Come back with me.”

“Good luck with that…your teachers are as stupid as you are if you think I am going anywhere just like that. You don’t even know my name.”

“I don’t.”

“That is the only thing you will get from me today – Rocky Girl.”

Along with her name, she presented me with a red stone from the mesa.  Our journey ended with the hawks call.


I hiked, again, to the Piedras Marcadas clutching the red rock.  I opened my walking prayer with gratitude to the elementals, the center, the as above, so below and the all around.  This time I hiked as Shaman and Therapist.  Rocky Girl took her time in berating me for not coming sooner, cursing and swearing as she did so.  I began crying, sat in the dirt, and covered my face with my hands.  I was exhausted and cracked open to pain.

“Start screaming, you imbecile!  Stomp, throw stones – anything!”

This startling insight was in my face: who was the real Healer?

I began raging and screaming.

The boundary between Rocky Girl and I loosened and the screams turned into chanting transforming the energy of pain into beauty.  We sang and marched together honoring the darkness and naming our experiences as heroic; in doing so, we began building a bridge of trust.  Mother earth joined the concert by spiraling pulses of energy through my chakra system.  The strength and power I felt terrorized me into a state of panic that stopped my breath and I was back inside the rocks, struggling for air.  I thought we were going to die and could feel Rocky Girl sliding back into the boulders.  Remarkably, the chants turned into a single tone vibrating across all my body cells and systems from the smallest to largest segments and Rocky Girl stood with me.  She handled the red stone, touched it to her heart, and returned it to me with a smile.

INSEMINATION – full moon

A warm wind sprang into the back yard, skipped around, and turned over leaves undisturbed since winter.  I heeded its call and journeyed to my Teachers who suggested that I needed to birth Rocky Girl into my life versus retrieving her; tying a red cord around my waist and attaching it to the ceiling would let her slide down from her world into mine.  I spent the next several hours feeling the light of the moon slithering inside my woman space.  I danced to its rhythm and the song of the leaping wind in the trees.

Birthing – Dark moon

George attached one end of the red, birthing spirit cord to the ceiling on an air vent hook, just above my ceremony space.  I opened and smudged the circle in my usual way and included the five mothers and all my spirit guides.  I tied the red cord around my waist and performed the ceremony sky clad sitting on red material and wearing on my head a fringed eye cover.  To attract Rocky Girl, I used two items: a Native American baby rattle and the Fourth of July fireworks already blazing and etching colors in the sky.  After drumming and swaying for some time, I rattled all around me, concentrating on my heart chakra: the connector of the physical and spiritual essences.  I sang a birthing song to Rocky Girl describing our future lives together.

I heard the birth song echo inside my head; it bounced off the walls, and vibrated against my nakedness before sliding to the floor in honeycomb shaped puddles. I could feel the terror rising inside my chest because I was going somewhere and could not stop.  I kept chanting and this “thing” kept happening.

Out of nowhere, I distinctly heard the sing – song, mocking voices of my teachers:  “false shaman…false shaman; boo who, who!

A window hovered before me.  Perched on the narrow sill was a sparrow, shivering against the January freeze.  She pressed herself into the little warmth radiating from the other side of the frosted glass.  I knew she would die because the window was nailed shut.  I watched helplessly, still hearing my hateful teachers, throughout the starless winter night. At some point, I fell into sleep, but awakened in the morning to find me – and the little one – still alive!


“Two leggeds think having a baby means birth. That is true, but there is a bigger vision; birth gives never-ending life to Mother, Father and child by what it does.  This is creating change that never stops across the community and inside the child and parents.  It ripples the waters and underneath them.  On the surface, we see many circles while underwater other things are happening that takes new eyes to see.”

That is what my teachers said when I next journeyed to them, but there was more: “Our hatefulness to you in your last journey, and your dreamtime experience, strengthened your connection with Rocky Girl.

“Is Rocky Girl fully realized in me?”

“What must you do to continuing growing the bond with each other?”

Posted in HEALING, SHAMANISM, Spirituality | 2 Comments


VERIFICATION OF PLASTICITY:   I am not 1/8 Native American (NA) and/or listed on tribal membership roles established by U.S. colonialism; I have no tribal validation through marriage or adoption; I use some NA ceremony in my healing practice; I do not charge exorbitant fees for service; I am a white woman blogging on a native American experience. What I have been called is Healer, Artist, Therapist, Provocateur, Social Worker as well Advocate and a “Spiritual Person.”  …Witch and the B word are others!

Cannupa Hanska Luger Destroying His Stereotypes: The Plastic Shaman



In 2015 an article entitled, Trauma May Be Woven into DNA of Native American’s, appeared In Indian Country Today:

“The science of epigenetics… proposes that we pass along more than DNA in our genes; it suggests that our genes can carry memories of trauma experienced by our ancestors and can influence how we [today] react to trauma and stress.”

State terrorism against the NA nation included food source removal, the introduction of disease and alcohol into the population, and murder, rape and torture. Children were placed into white run schools and forbidden access to their cultural supports including use of language: was this the earliest example of “psyche – ops” employed against enemies of the United States?

Other groups in history have been exposed to the same torture, proving that violence has no boundaries. Many have spoken against the genocide committed by fair skinned colonialists against those of color.

How could any peoples exposed to generations of these practices NOT have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?



In early 1932, Black Elk Speaks was published and describes his spiritual development as a Visionary as well as his experience in, and observation of, the Wounded Knee Massacre and Ghost Dance. The Sacred Pipe and how it came to the northern plains tribes is described in this account as well as the Heyoka ceremony and others. Black Elks Son translated these accounts to John G. Neihardt who documented them.

In the late 40s/early 50s, Joseph Epes Brown recorded and edited more information from Black Elk that described seven Oglala Sioux ceremonies: The Sacred Pipe was published in 1953 – two years after Black Elk Died.


In 1968 The American Indian Movement (AIM) was established and concretized historic concerns throughout the 70s via protests against legal, social, health and community violations. It remains active today.

In 1993 the “Declaration of War against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality” was established by the Lakota people and identifies as enemies anyone of non – Lakota origins who misappropriates cultural traditions and expressions.

In 2003, the “Arvol Looking Horse Proclamation” was established and set only tribal boundaries for ceremonies.

In 2007 the United Nations General Assembly recognized the wide ranging negative, worldwide effects of colonialism and passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This document includes most of the Lakota concerns.


Harming self and/or others through addictions, physical or psychological violence and explosive rage are symptoms of complicated trauma; choosing to maintain victim status by blaming others and seeing spiritual shortage everywhere are other examples. In fact, victims DO become perpetrators with incessant blaming and shaming of the innocents around them.


Healing is complicated and its timeline and methods are not to be mandated by anyone other than the Seeker, their Healer/s and Spirit. Recovery is often a Spiritual Crisis transforming wounds into gifts in the spiraling process of Initiation. It is not a matter of getting from point A to B; rather, it is a forward – backward circular movement toward the sky. The mitigating factor in the spiral is becoming one with the landscape and honoring it – both a space and time issue. Peoples of all ethnicities must respect and honor the healing process in others by recognizing that perpetrator and victim have suffered prior trauma at some point – Even THE PLASTIC SHAMANS of the world.


I was enthralled in the early 90s by firsthand accounts of non – Indian ceremony and lecture being halted by angry groups of indigenous Americans. The utility of unmitigated rage in recovery cannot be underestimated; at the same time, it must be recognized for what it is: adopting the stance of the original abuser and creating terror. Likewise, many white teachers claimed victim status by dropping NA teachings entirely or couching them as something else (insight from spirit guides, etc.). Others obtained spiritual instruction in South American or elsewhere and imparted it here, seeking to avoid confrontation by the dispossessed. This proved faulty because AIM now has South Americans in its fold.

What I am most troubled about is the resulting bifurcation of Plasticity that mirrors the split between extremists the world over. Recent incidents in Paris, and the inability to compromise in American politics, are two examples. How can we move beyond this?

And for those that have, congratulations!


How do the differing timelines of healing impact decisions to share teachings; can individual recovery work extend to EPIGENETIC trauma and how; can whites and NAs look for areas of spiritual alignment versus opposition and begin to share in the healing process for the greatest good of all; can students of NA teachers assist whites in their movement away from colonial attitudes; what teachings are contained in both victim and perpetrator roles?


I have learned that what I am depends on who is talking, who is listening; and on my SELF perception.

Connie C. Cox © 2015



(180IQ1), T. C. (n.d.). NAFPS Forum. Retrieved 11 18, 2015, from New Age Frauds and Plastic Shamans:

Aldred, L. (2004, 10 7). Plastic Shamans and Astroturf Sun Dances: New Age Commercialization of Native American Spirituality. (L. C. Smith, Ed.) The American Indian Quarterly (2000) , 3, pp. 329-352 .

Brown, M. F. (2004). Who Owns Native American Culture. Boston: First Harvard University Press.

Dehaluyi. (2009, 4 23). Books to Avoid about Native American Spirituality. Retrieved 11 18, 2005, from Eay: (2007, 4 9). In Their Own Words: Indigenous Activists Challenge New Age Frauds . Retrieved 11 18, 2015, from As the Teaching Drum Turns Poke a Bigot Long Enough and He will Show You His Hood:

Sylvie. (2011, 12 9). The Ugly Truth About Native American “Shamans,”Wisdom Keepers” and Spiritual Teachers. Retrieved 11 18, 2015, from Above Top Secret:



Dupree, S. (2011, March 12). WordPress. Retrieved 11 17, 2015, from Looking Back Woman – Suzanne Dupre Blog:

Lakota/Nakota/Dakota Spiritual People. (1993, June). Declaration of War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality. Retrieved 11 17, 2015, from American Indian Cultural Support:

NAAIP Articles. (n.d.). Lakota Declare War Against “Shamans and Plastics”. Retrieved 11 17, 2015, from The Peoples Path:

Taliman, V. (1993). Lakota Declaration of War. Retrieved 11 17, 2015, from The Peoples Path:

Wittstock, L. W. (n.d.). A brief History of The American Indian Movement. Retrieved November 17, 2015, from American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council:




Drury, B. a. (2013). The Heart of Everything There Is The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend. New York: Simon and Schuster Paperbacks.

Epes, B. J. (1953). The Sacred Pipe Black Elks Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sious. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Means, R. (1995). Where White Men Fear to Tread The Autobiography of Russell Means with Marvin J. Wolf. New York: St. Martins press.

Neidhardt, J. G. (1932). Black Elks Speaks Being The Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.


Heart, T. (2007, Summer). Blood Quantum, Enrollment, Imaginary Indians and Plastic Shamans in. Retrieved 11 17, 2015, from AICP Group International:


Gallagher, J. (2013, 12 1). ‘Memories’ pass between generations. Retrieved 11 17, 2015, from BBC News:

Pember, M. A. (2015, 5 28). Trauma May Be Woven Into DNA of Native Americans . Retrieved 11 17, 2015, from Indian Country Today Media Network:

Pember, M. A. (2015, 6 8). Suicide and Trauma May Be Woven in DNA for Native Americans. Retrieved 11 17, 2105, from Huffington Post:

Rice, K. B. (2014, 10). Examining the Theory of Historical Trauma Among Native Americans. Retrieved 11 17, 2015, from The Professional Counselor:

Thomson, H. (2015, August 21). The Guardian. Retrieved 11 16, 2015, from Study of Holocaust survivors finds trauma passed on to children’s genes :



Herman, M. J. (1992). Trauma and Recovery The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. New York: Basic Books.

Linehan P.Hd., M. M. (1992). Cognitive – Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Basic Books.

Linehan Ph.D., M. M. (1993). Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guiliford Press.

Bessel A Vander Kolk, M. (1989, 6 0). The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma Re-enactment revictimization and Masochism. Retrieved 11.19.2015. Psychiatric Clinics of North America , 12 (2), pp. 389-411:


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….To the reader: any process has many causes, effects and outcomes. All are beneficial and difficult along a continuum.

My creation while studying at Lynn Andrews School for Sacred Arts and Training

My creation while studying at Lynn Andrews School for Sacred Arts and Training

 SEEING is a shamanic tool used by some to deepen the connection between themselves and the creative process. SEEING involves direct, personal revelation and is heart focused. Art of any kind also “SEES” as it potentially awakens in both viewer and creator a larger vision of themselves. When artists SEE they step fully into the role of truth teller and creator of what Jean Huston calls the possible person and/or society.

YOU:   “Why is SEEING both italicized and emboldened in the title of this article?”

ME:  “You become One with Four Eyes when you learn to SEE. The eyes in your head keep you from stumbling over things. Your second pair of eyes lets you see what you have tripped over was a mountain, a grain of sand or something unknown. “

Creation informed by SEEING is a dangerous act because it effectively tears down and/or weakens the process of blinding that everyone in the modern world is subject to, me included!


One type of blinding is perceptual narrowing based on what I call dualistics: rigid cultural edicts enforced by threat or real support withdrawal. Dualistics dull perception weakening the Artists ability to name truth, beauty and potential.

When truth cannot be spoken – or we function for long periods with discord between our inner selves and outward circumstances – challenges can result. In the case of many Artists it can negatively impact confidence and production levels. In others, this process may ignite a fire of rebellion filled with heart path renewal and growth!

So if truth-speaking confronts the status quo; is NOT doing it – in order to fit in – easier? Asking only these two questions is black and white thinking –  and evidence that Artists need spectacles.  Simultaneously holding truth-telling and silence up to a mirror offer other remedies.


Well established shamans and wisdom keepers spend a life time perfecting this ability and many produce art reflecting it.  Artists may be visionary from birth while others have achieved this ability on their own.

For the most part, learning to SEE happens in levels and is a process improvement. SEEING requires Artists to adjust their perspective, reposition their subject or both. SEEING involves time collapse of everything into the now; a place not tinged with regret or fear.

It also involves – at its deepest level – a withdrawal of inner projections from the outer world: a willingness to turn those four eyes back on you! This step enables the self-responsibility button that Artists can push to explore the origin of creative blocks to manifestation and content enlargement… but this is another blog post!

Essential to SEEING is mindfulness which I “stumbled upon” as a girl:

“In a darkened room I would light a small candle and stare into its flame for long periods. This action calmed my teen angst. After much practice, I noticed a ring of light around the flame and a shifting shape and color in its center. I discovered that casting my gaze down and sideways blurred the fire; slowly figures and colorful objects began to arise in my new world.

SEEING as a lifestyle is no accident, however!


Improving the depth and breadth of  SEEING abilities is possible by reading and personal work with a coach. However, in a group setting of like-minded people this learning work is similar to what occurred long ago in French Salons where Artists nurtured idea exchange through discussion; however, it also includes elements of spiritual and personal growth. Foremost, It is a container for truth-telling, unfolding the possible Self and investigating beauty with mindfulness. The spiritual salon necessitates ownership. Of this process, shamanic writer Hal Zina Bennett says that SEEING …brings with it a personal responsibility that positively enlarges reality and a person’s role and potential in it.


I am writing this to you from Albuquerque, New Mexico where I will be engaging creative’s of all levels in my Salon of Seers!




Andrews, L. (1995). Dark Sister A Sorcerer’s Love Story. New York, New York: Harper Perennial.

Castaneda, C. (1998). The Wheel of Time The Shamans of Ancient Mexico, Their Thoughts about Life, Death and the Universe. Los Angeles California: Laguna Productions.

Christensen, Kimberly and Gage N. Riddoch. (2009). Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Skills, 101 Mindfulness Exercises and other Fun Activities ofr Children and Adolescents. Blomington, Indiana: Authorhouse.

Herman, J. L. (1992). Trauma and Recovery the Aftermath of Violece – from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. New York: Basic Books.

Ingerman, Sandra and Hank Wesselman. (2010). Awakening tot he Spirit World The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation. Boulder Colorado: Sounds True, Inc.

Jack, D. C. (1991). Silencing the Self Women and Depression. New York: Harper Perennial.

Levy, M. (1993). Technicians of Ecstacy Shamanism and The Modern Artist. Norfolk Connecticut: Bramble Books.

Zina Bennett, H. (1987). The Lens of Perception A User’s Guide to Higher Consciousness. Berkley California: 10 Speed Press.

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they were


from the dark continent

… birthed us all

from rich wombs


black sweetness


they were


from the fertile places

…nurtured us all

Through giving breasts


white manna.


they are


inside a hallowed space

…awakened us all

to forgetting’s price


white ignorance.


And then for the first time…

The People are kidnapped and taken to the south-land of the United States and their free labor used to build a gargantuan economy benefiting white landowners. Torture, death threats, sexual and emotional abuse controlled The People.

The People were forbidden to read or thought incapable of it: to acquire this skill, many of them read a book called the Christian Bible. While their perpetrators used verses from this book to support their sadistic practices, The People realized this perversion of intent and found solace in the same words.

from public domain

from public domain


Mother Emanuel Church is 200 years old and located in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s history includes being banned, destroyed by fire and assaulted by an earth quake.

Senator and Pastor Clementa Pinckney- and 9 parishioners – were gunned down during bible study at Mother Emanuel by a 21 year old boy named Dylan Roof.

Compare and contrast Pastor Clementa and Murderer Roof. The first came from a long line of Preachers and Activists and was in the pulpit at an early age.  See Boy Roof waving the confederate flag while saying he shot people with a 45 caliber hand gun because he wanted to start a race war and because  The People were too powerful (as per CNN).


The blood of the Original Seven was no longer visible on the skins of the early sadists; it was visually absent in those who later wore hoods and burned crosses of white, and cannot be seen in current day haters.

In the final group I include a fair skinned woman from South Carolina who – in 2003 – bragged to me about throwing out black votes during local elections in the 1970s. She had been an official on the City of Charleston’s election committee. She was also beaten by her husband regularly.


another  perspective

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Halloween and waking dreams and spirit names….

On Hallows Eve in 1997 I hiked in a section of woods across the street from my apartment complex in Clinton Township, Michigan. This wood was adjacent to the Community College and encompassed about 90 acres. The trails move about a landscape of tall hard wood and pine; in one area there is a little pond reminiscent of the wetlands that once formed the entire State. It was chilly and nearly dusk when I began my hike. I had been walking about an hour when I came upon a circle of trees and stepped confidently into their midst. All trees pull water from the earth for sustenance and I could feel this calming energy begin to move through me. Very soon I was mesmerized by this intense experience and began to gratefully pray; nothing outside the circle of trees existed. Silence threaded itself luxuriously around me for some time, unknown in length. It was only when the void of sound raised the hackles on my neck did my reverie stop; I became hypervigilent, expecting – what?
And this was what:
A sharp, cold wind burst sideways through the woods violently rattling limb and branch and sending masses of leaves to the ground. My hat was blown off and the wind sailed through my hair. I was terrified by the abrupt change in my perception and began running – really stumbling – toward 15 mile road. The usual paths were lost to me in the darkness and the temperature dropped at least 20 degrees. My struggle to gain composure was successful enough to allow me to realize that I had no choice but to go where my feet took me. The din being raised in my ears by wind that caused the woods to scream was frightful; a slight pause in the sound was followed by silence – I thought I was off the hook – wrong! Another blast of wind and I escaped being knocked to the ground. In the remaining light I saw the wind bend the trees on either side of the path into a frenzied canopy over my head, clearly pointing the way out. I did not know where this tunnel ended. I again became fearful and heard a tiny voice say: “keep going and don’t look back!” I ran as if the Devil chased me and found my way out to the street. I looked back and heard my Spirit name whispered in my ear: “Woman of the Woods.”
At the time I recorded this “waking dream” event in my journal. But it was not until 2012 in Henderson, Nevada, that I stumbled upon something that would further concretize it: a 3 foot piece of Palm Tree bark strongly resembling a mask with natural openings for the eyes and mouth. I found this object near the pool, after a wind shear had zipped through our housing complex. I covered it with strips of plaster tape and it remained that way until we moved to Monterey, California in March of 2014. I then decided to complete the mask. It was necessary that I obtain materials from the local forests to do so.
The Monterey Pine is the only one with threes needles per strand to be found in the world. The cone it produces is attractive to me for its spiraling shape and chestnut color. What I enjoy the most is the contrast between the smoothness of the pine cone scales and the roughness of its grey tip. I wanted some of them for the mask but using pruning shears to get them off the cone – as per Martha Stewart – was tedious. This problem was solved for me by another example of a waking dream.
I returned home one day following a seaside hike at Point Lobos and later in the evening the cat and I both heard loud thuds on top of the roof. The following morning I saw sections of pine boughs lying in the drive way. That next afternoon I returned from a hike to Jack’s Peak and closed the car door. Looking up, I saw a grey squirrel gnawing and chewing on pine cones; thus, covering the driveway with pine cone scales. The work of this grey squirrel enabled me to complete my mask with little fuss!

There is little difference between a waking and daydream, dream; further, both can occur at once and those spaces are outside of time. Dreams are information sources. Indigenous tribal peoples routinely created shields and other items that carried the power of the dream. The physical manifestation of a dream – such as mask making or art work – invites this process to continue.

Robert Moss is a good further sources of information regarding this:
Robert Moss.jpg –

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Explains what has been happening

Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD


On December 1st, 2016, three astrological alignments came together. They generated a powerful energetic shake-up whose aftershocks we´re still processing.

– Mars trined Jupiter at 17 Aquarius-Libra, whilst sextiling Saturn at 17 Sagittarius and aspecting Pluto at 16 Capricorn. (Those of you with placements near 17 Cancer — yikes! You experienced a powerful Yod / Finger of Fate)

– The North Node, South Node, Neptune, Juno and The Sun formed a Nodal T-Square (7-10 Virgo, Pisces, Sagittarius)

– The Vesta Retrograde Began (at 5 Leo) .

(It might be Dec 2nd for those of you in Asia/Australia)

The only way I can describe the potency of this energy is a shockwave. For some of us, it manifested itself as external events in the world bringing turmoil (or simply the impetus for change) – and for others – it directly impacted our personal lives. Some have found themselves catapulted into a…

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The Moon conjuncts the Sun and Juno (the Soul-mate) at 7 Sagittarius, whilst squaring the North Node (7 Virgo), the South Node (7 Pisces) and Neptune (9 Pisces). If we include the astrological posi…


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From Fiction to “FACT” – MPD, Recovered Memory and Now Trauma Causing Schizophrenia

Source: From Fiction to “FACT” – MPD, Recovered Memory and Now Trauma Causing Schizophrenia

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A Sacred Sisterhood

Watching Over You on Polyvore “There is a sacred sisterhood available to us as women. It is rich and profound and has the ability to literally save your life…” so begins the storytelling of Cheryl Hunter. Her story is gripping and grueling and oh, so poignant. Do you have evidence of a sisterhood in your own […]

Source: A Sacred Sisterhood

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Pass to Power: What is Race and Passing?

Pass to Power: What is Race and Passing?.

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California Dreamin’

I have personally moved at least 17 times and that does not include the time spent living between three residences at once. Add to this the four times I have moved with my Husband in the last 11 years. Musicians say that skill and repetition is equivalent to natural and passionate performance. Am I a musician or a reluctant Bedouin who has surrounded myself with multicolored carpets of intricate patterns? Sometime a pattern will leap off a carpet and I can hear the tapping of the Great Weaver’s shuttle late at night. I can see her gnarled fingers twisting and pulling threads; so, maybe I am a music lover if not a maker of it. Moving to Monterey, California in March of 2014 was a time when I stopped hearing songs.
Our things were transitioned into the new residence across several days of wet chill pounded into the earth by a grey sky. I endured this process by settling the contents of the house. I eventually decided it was time to venture into the woods and chose two different areas for hiking. Jack’s Peak nearly always filled with fog. It was close and from certain points I could see the bay. I followed trails up and down hills and glimpsed deep canyons plunging into the earth; I easily spotted brilliantly colored Red Headed Wood Peckers and Blue Jays on those walks. Garland Preserve, in the sunny Carmel Valley, was much warmer than Jacks peak. The meadows burst with yellow, red and blue wildflowers while thickly wooded areas protected trails that sharply cut into steep hills. The Red Tailed Hawk soared above my head on those hikes and I found an owl feather.
Then I needed a change of pace. So early one June morning I drove off Highway 1 into an area called Point Lobos. My hike began underneath Live Oaks dripping with long, shaggy moss: this was the Lace Lichen Trail which I followed to its juncture with the Pine Ridge trail. I surrendered myself to this quiet sanctuary and breathed in the Christmassy smell of the morning air. Slowly, I began to hear the rhythms of the wind mingling through the Forrest and the Pacific ravishing the shore. The infinite shuttle once again clicked as the hands of the Great Weaver bid it so; she ground me to the earth with pattern and hastened me toward the Sea with confidence. At the raw edge of the shore I saw her fly from craggy rocks in white bursts against blue sky and water.
I was jolted out of this waking dream by an image of an Octopus against my inner sight; I hiked back to the car filled with fear and wonder. The Octopus began to visit me in thoughts and dreams that I sketched onto paper and shared on Facebook. Those early images were not well received as people do not like slimy things with rows of suction cups attached to their arms! I remembered this response each time I reworked my sketch.
One afternoon from David Street I looked down toward Cannery Row and saw large, yellow and white Octopus arms on top of a building. This balloon figure was being used by the Monterey Bay Aquarium to advertise a new exhibit called “Tentacles.” My Husband and I visited it shortly after. In the museum proper we found small, Day Octopi housed in their natural habitats set in glass fronted wall units. In one enclosure, an Octopus used its suction cups to hold the glass and turn itself around; in another, the creature adopted its surroundings so precisely we could not see it. In the featured exhibit Cephalopods were given more life via displays of them in ancient mosaics and pottery. I was most fascinated by Omar Rayyan’s 2011 oil painting entitled, “Contessa with Squid.” The subject cradles a Squid, but Octopi tentacles form her hair, and she is dressed in 17th century garb. This artwork and exhibit further solidified my strange obsession with Octopus.
I next hiked trails bordering a conference center in Pacific Grove called Asilomar. I learned from a brochure that in the 1900s Phoebe Hearst – William Randolph Hearst’s Mother – initiated and organized this area as a tented retreat for YWCA girls. The check in building was later designed in the arts and crafts style by California’s first female Architect, Julia Morgan, of Hearst Castle fame. This knowledge and lovely architecture of Julia Morgan imbued me with a sense of that time as I stood upon the rocks and listened to the gull calls and surf echoes surrounding me; I looked into a tidal pool some feet below and viewed in and outrushing waters tussling sea plants. Standing on the rocks, I felt the exquisiteness of the sea moving in and out of my womb space. I could sense an Octopus out there in the limitless water…It all felt like a dream, but was it real?
It was at a meeting with ladies involved with the arts that I learned the truth of the matter. We were outside at Asilomar in the bright sun. Everyone was working on creative projects from the picnic benches. My sketch pad was open to my Octopus, who I named Molly, and I began to apply color to her arms and depth to her tentacles. The soft pastels felt good in my hand and I loved moving them around on the paper and smearing them with my fingers. One of the other participants approached me, sat down, and we began to discuss what interested us. The conversation turned to my work.
“So what are you working on there?”
“Oh, it’s something I have been obsessed with for some time. I have been instructed to put it on paper – this Octopus – to find out more about what it means.”
“Well I think it looks cool and interesting.”
“I have even named her and she is Molly; hey, have you been to the Tentacles exhibition at the Aquarium?”
“No, but I have read about it and intend to get there. Those Octopi are quite clever; they can squeeze through an opening and get out of anything, they can even take lids off jars!”
“I heard about this and think it’s fascinating! I wish I could actually witness this.”
“Wait a minute,” she said: did you hear about the Giant Octopus some divers were watching off Point Lobos?”
“About two weeks ago; it was on the news! Apparently, the Divers watched it for several days and then put a bait can out. The video they made shows the Octopus handling the bait can and then scurrying off with it. They watched it for about two weeks until it disappeared.”
So you decide about this story: is it creative nonfiction, science fiction or just baloney?
But what if it is real? What does that mean for you? Molly wants to know.

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