The Shamanic Way
Stephanie Phelps is a contributor to our book, Markawasi Peru’s Inexplicable Stone Forest
A Feature of Labyrinthina.com
* The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers and World Water Day Spring Equinox 2014
* The Shamanic Journey: insightful keys to Awareness
* Shamanism and Catastrophic Illness – A Journey to Wellness
* The Dreamer – Orchestrating Life Upstream
* Medicine Wheel Experiential Shamanic Study
* Walking the Path of the Medicine Wheel
* Boulder House Equinox Ceremony
* Bird Medicine and Feathers
* Khuyas: Working with Sacred Stones
* Walking the Path of Mary Magdalene
The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers
World Water Day Spring Equinox 2014
by Stephanie Phelps
I just returned home from the 1st all women’s gathering with the international council of The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers for Spring Equinox and World Water Day. This was a global vision to pray for the waters of the world and reestablished our sacred connection with Mother Earth.
This momentous gathering of women took place over 4 days on private land in Yavapai County along the banks of Beaver Creek in Arizona. The women who heard the call came from all around the globe from as far as Burma, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, France, Germany, and Africa. Almost 400 women listened and followed their hearts to come together in a sacred act, opening to the land, each other, and to the love and wisdom of the Grandmothers. A calling to connect our sacred hoops, activating a field of consciousness with prayers and love, creating a new vision of a world that cares for our Mother Earth and all living things, establishing and restoring balance.
The event took place on a private 145 acre ranch which had never been opened to the public. When the owners of Soda Springs Ranch learned of the International 13 Indigenous Grandmothers and their vision for World Water Day they wanted to support and see that vision come to fruition. They opened their land and the meadow to house the tents and teepees for the women’s gathering, and traditional ranch style buildings to house the Grandmothers. The very fact we were given permission to be in this magical and sacred land was an extraordinary blessing. The old growth sycamores and cottonwoods graced the meadow with their presence along with the sounds of Beaver Creek speaking and singing to us throughout our four days together. The owners of Soda Springs Ranch could feel the magnitude of our vision and supported us with the gifting of opening their ranch in an unparalleled exchange.
On the first day, Spring Equinox, we gathered for the opening prayer and the lighting of the sacred fire. The welcoming ceremony was opened by the women from the local Yavapai-Apache Nation followed by the International 13 Indigenous Grandmother Council. The introductions were made and the ceremony and teachings began with tears, gratitude, blessings, and all of Mother Nature responding.
The ceremony took place beneath one old noble Arizona Sycamore tree who had grown into a grand majestic family. The white bark of the tree was illuminated with lights in the soft colors of purple and blue. Its shade and shadow provided the perfect backdrop for our ceremonial space. It looked like a magical place where the faery folk would dwell. The ceremonial space was beautifully laid out. The center of our circle was a sacred fire protected in a circle of cornmeal and bordered with yellow and white flowers. The Grandmothers were dress in their native regalia and the beauty and power of women in the Way of the Circle created a field of energy that was palpable.
All of nature responded to our presence when we opened our ceremonial space; the earth started to vibrate beneath my feet. I asked myself if there was an earthquake happening and then the tears swelled up in my eyes as I recognized the earths love responding in kind to our love and collective vision. It was a powerful and unforgettable moment as I felt the movement, warmth, and vibration coming up from the souls of my feet. The earth will respond to you when you create sacred relationship. It is up to you to make that relationship with the water, earth, fire, and air. All of nature is alive and has consciousness, and when you are in sacred relationship with the elements it will accord with your energy.
The spirits of the land were present you could feel the eyes watching. The hawks circled, blue heron flew by and continued upstream, owl hooted, while the drums connected to the heart beat of the Mother Earth awakening something deep within. The sound of the native words spoken and the remembering of untold lifetimes were activated and connected in the stream of time. To feel in your heart and mind the gathering of presence and intention, prayer, and the knowingness of the Father, Mother, Creator Spirit is the remembrance of the sacred hoop.
The highlight for me was the ceremony on Saturday, World Water Day. Just knowing that people all around the world were joining together to pray with focused intention for the waters of the world was beautiful. Grandmother Mona Polacca a Hopi/Havasupai /Tewa elder lead the ceremony at Montezuma’s Well. This is a special place where the warm waters flow forth from the center of Mother Earth, and where the plumed serpent is said to live. We were about to participate in a ceremonial gathering that would be like a stone dropped in a pond and ripple out into the unknowable, and yet it felt knowable, and more significant than words can express.
Montezuma Well is a historic sacred site which has been both refuge and inspiration to many over the centuries. With its constant flow of 1.4 million gallons of water each day, this above ground well in the heart of the high desert is a place like no other in the world. It features ancient cliff and cave dwellings and petroglyphs, and for centuries has been a sanctuary and sacred place for the local tribes, such as the Yavapai-Apache, Hopi, and Navajo.
On that Saturday Morning we walked in silent pilgrimage from the Soda Springs Ranch to Montezuma’s Well. This was walking the path of the ancient ones and our feet were like tiny batteries activating the site. We may have held our tongues but our thoughts and presence was loud. It was a site to behold as over 300 women walking in silence and purpose stood tall lining the 368ft wide rim. The women connected with the source of the water and as a symbolic act created an umbilical cord winding up the stone stairs wrapping around the rim. The Grandmothers were in groups placed at each of the four directions across the body of water from each other and a yellow flag was flying at the direction of the east, black in the west, red in the south and white in the north.
When the ceremony began Grandmother Mona Polacca’s voice rang out and reverberated around the rocky rim of the sink hole and the water so all could hear in this natural amphitheater. She called out to the ancestors and the spirit of the water to hear our prayers, she was powerful and the prayers potent and everyone felt her words deeply in their hearts and held a vision for the planet.
This ceremony was not open to the public, the Parks had closed the site for the Grandmothers and the blessing of the waters. We came together with the support of the local tribes, the park service, and with the guidance of the Elders. People around the world also prayed for the water, offering their prayers and projected their energy to fill the water with good vibrations that spread to the waters of Mother Earth in a unified vision.
The experience of this ceremony activated a deep feminine way of connecting with the essence of the goddess within me. I considered how we spend the first months of our life in the embryonic waters of our mothers womb coming into the world from that sacred water. I felt the light of spirit infusing me with grace when I looked into the eyes of all the women on that day and the beauty of that light manifesting into the density of form. I became aware of my tears made of water and how they felt like liquid drops of velvet. We are water beings and our lives depend on that flows in our lives.
My thoughts conclude with the importance of prayer and ceremony. The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers shared their ways, rituals, and ceremonies. All the Grandmothers pray daily in their own way with their own beliefs and truths. Each tradition was so different that the next, yet they all lead to the same place.
It is the Grandmothers of the world that are holding the future of our generations to come. Take a moment and ask your elders about their prayers. My mother of 88 years starts her day with prayer; she prays for her children, and their children, and their children’s, children. My mother prays everyday and each night before she slumbers, her prayers circle around including all the children of the world. Our Grandmothers are full with the wisdom and knowledge of their life and make an impact on our future generations.
There are many ways to live a spiritual life and they do not all have to look the same. Remembering we are all One and judgment does not come from the Creator of life. It is humanity that has created limitations and boundaries around the creations of the Creator. There is a place for everyone in our beautiful world. We are the caretakers of our planet earth teach your children well. I am grateful for the all Grandmothers in my life.
Insightful Keys to Awareness
Journeying, like meditation, is a tool for spiritual growth. Access spiritual guidance directly from yourself, and for yourself, through shamanic journeying, finding answers, information, healing, wisdom and knowledge; most journeys are taken to the sound of drumming or rattling, which encourages a state of trance and “dreaming” brain wave patterns, taking us into a deeper state of being and perception. The process begins with a period of deep relaxation and centering. Often it feels like a dream, but you are awake, and you can make conscious choices.
Two important things for a successful journey are your starting point and your intention.
Your starting point will be an entrance to the earth that is known to you, from your own life’s experience. It’s your special place. If you don’t have one, you can create it in your mind’s eye. Every time you revisit through a journey, it will become more familiar to you. It could be a swimming hole, a well, a cave, a tunnel, or an opening in a tree. It could be a crack in a rock wall, an entrance into the earth, or even an anthill. It doesn’t matter what it is! Have a clear image of your “special place”, the picture in your mind must be vivid; a familiar departure point is key to learning how to excess Otherworlds with ease.
Expressing your intention, the purpose for your journey, and keeping this in focus is very important as you journey. Intention is the energy that guides the journey and ensures you do not wander aimlessly in the Otherworlds. When you are relaxed and ready to go on your journey, state your intention by putting whatever question or purpose you have into a positive statement of intent.
For example, the question “should I take the new job?” could be expressed positively and definitely as: “My intention for this journey is to explore the outcome of taking a new job with my company.” This statement of intent alerts the spirits to your purpose, so they can work with you more effectively. It will begin to direct your energy, and the energies of the universe, towards your specific purpose. It also ensures that you do not get distracted, that you have a clear and definite purpose in mind.
Trust the spirit helpers, it is important to leave your ego out of your journey. Often we may drive the experience to include Spirit helpers or totem animals that we feel are important to us, however it is not up to us who shows up. Allow the experience to unfold rather than rushing it, or trying to force it. Michael Harner says that you are in charge of you, on a train which is taking you to your chosen destination. But you are not in charge of the scenery or the inhabitants.
A big help in letting go of your need to control, and detaching from outcomes, is to trust the spirit helpers. As hard as it can be sometimes, trust that the spirits are giving you what you most need at that particular time. As soon as the drumming begins, imagine yourself entering a place that will take you down into the earth. Continue in your imagination until you reach your destination. The spirit guides, perhaps your power animal, will be waiting there to help you with your question. Remember to stay focused on your intention throughout. If you lose your bearings at any time, focus on the sound of the drum, and come back to your purpose again. Imagination is the bridge we use to cross to the Otherworld. Once we are there, the spirits are our guides. All we need do is relax and receive. Return from your journey.
The journey will be about 20 minutes long, then you will hear the recall which is four sets of seven beats each, followed by 30 seconds of very rapid drumming, followed by another four sets of seven beats. The recall sounds that it is time to return.
When you hear the drum change its beat, and call you back, simply do your journey in reverse. There is no need to rush, and it is not critical that you retrace your steps precisely. The reason for retracing your steps is to “groove” the journey, so in future trips, you will be able to arrive and return from the lower world with greater ease, and efficiency.
When you have returned, relax for a moment. Don’t try to get up right away. Notice how you feel; reflect on the experiences you had, and what you have learned.
When the journey is complete you might want to thank the spirits for supporting you in this effort, and record it all in a journal.
Shamanism and Catastrophic Illness
A Journey to Wellness
Many of us are aware that when we heal ourselves, we aid in healing the world. A great truth is that the most blessed gift we can share with each other is that of transforming our wounds into sources and tools of power and wisdom.
I was introduced to the contemporary reinterpretation of ancient healing practices that are still used in North and South America. While I was working as an Intuitive Medium, connecting the “Other side” with loved ones, I used Energy Medicine to help people come to terms with their grief and sorrow. However, I realized that although I could help people heal their emotional and spiritual grief, I could not restore their physical health. I set out to discover the instruments I could place into my medicine bag that would transmute my abilities into achieving equilibrium of the whole body: mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical. I was introduced to a very well-known Shaman, and embarked upon the teachings of Inka Medicine ways. After many years of study, practice and initiations I have the tools in my medicine bag that can assist in changing lives.
I first met Larry Frank in the fall of 2008, when he came to seek my advice. Larry had been on a spiritual journey for many years, and had studied shamanism, participating in numerous ceremonies with various teachers. Of late, he had been feeling broken and lost. He had just been through the roughest six months of his life, and he related to me the following story…
“I was still recovering from achilles tendon reattachment surgery, an umbilical hernia repair; a “spot” on my lung was discovered during the work-up and diagnosed as a possible tumor. While the cat scans, x-rays, etc. were being studied for the lung spot, an additional “hot” spot was found on my right adrenal gland. Due to the biopsy, I exhibited full-blown symptoms of pheochromocytoma. I was told I was a walking time bomb, liable to have a stroke or heart attack at any moment. And then, my significant other informed me she no longer wanted a relationship. I was living 24/7 with the distinct possibility that I may die at any time. As my blood pressure was out of control, I was scheduled, and then rescheduled for surgery numerous times. It was during this period that I was referred to Stephanie Phelps.”
“Immediately upon entering her office, Stephanie’s warm and caring nature, tempered with great empathy, helped put me at ease. We focused on clearing negative entities from my Luminous energy field. Then, prior to the surgery, we worked to clear any negative energies and entities that may have inhabited the hospital room and surgery theater.”
“Prior to surgery, I felt at ease, although I had had a premonition that I may die during surgery, which I indicated to my sister and best friend. Stephanie’s work left me prepared for any eventuality. On December 17, 2008, as I was being wheeled into surgery, the last cognizant thought I had was, ‘My lungs are going to fail.’ Two days later, I awoke in ICU from a supposedly simple hour-and-a-half laparoscopic procedure, strapped down with tubes poking out of my orifices. The surgeon informed me that as they had started the laparoscopic surgery, the adrenal vein burst, and they had to cut me open from sternum to hip bone for a compete adrenalectomy. As they started the surgery, my lungs failed, and my heart stopped. I died.”
“They started my lungs and heart back up, and I am here today, still working with Stephanie. Thanks to this special Healer Shaman I am embarking on my soul’s purpose, and continue to seek her counsel.”
After meeting Larry and assessing his situation, I had begun with a technique known as “Illumination”. It is a foundation for much of the healing work in my practice. It is very effective for assisting with a variety of problems–a fast-track for transformation.
During my healing sessions, I track any negative energy that is affecting the person, and remove it, guiding the person through the process and identifying the energy that is holding the patterns in place–the things that keep that person “stuck”. This removal technique combusts the dense energies that prevent one from moving past personal obstacles. I follow by flooding the chakras with the Light of the Sacred. In this way, together we develop a new, broader map, incorporating the healing that has just taken place. Part of the process is working with breathing, including use of my medicine stones, or Khuyas.
The Khuya is a stone that carries particularly fine or abundant energy, and is considered a stone of power. My Khuyas have been initiated through a lineage of shamans. When we work with the stones in the Illumination process, they help with transforming, or mulching, the dense energy.
In describing the Illumination process, we begin with the Luminous Energy Field: the Aura, or Spirit Body, which surrounds the physical body. The Aura is an invisible matrix that holds the imprint of all our karmic, personal and ancestral memories, traumas, wounds and beliefs. These imprints can become activated to mirror a personal history that repeats itself, compelling us towards behaviors, relationships, accidents or illnesses that replicate the original trauma. They may also manifest as addictions, headaches, anxiety, depression, anger, shame, blame, sadness, etc. An Illumination is the energetic clearing of the negative imprints in our Luminous Energy Field. It is one of the ancient energy healing techniques that come from the Q’ero shamans of Peru, the descendants of the Inca.
The Illumination process includes balancing the chakras, as well as clearing out negative patterns and imprints, transforming wounds into sources of power and compassion. Imprints to the Luminous Energy Field appear as sluggish energy around the chakras. During the healing, the heavy emotional energy of the imprint is drained through the chakra. An Illumination is helpful when you feel stuck in a behavioral pattern which continues to repeat itself. Each individual struggles to heal from traits (emotional, mental, spiritual or physical) that are part of his/her ancestry. Emotional traumas of one’s past continue to haunt, and do not respond well to other healing modalities.
It is a great honor to share my years of experience with the hope that I can inspire others to move fully into the life they were born to live.
The Dreamer: Orchestrating life up-stream
Life is indeed an extraordinary journey; little do we know when we are confronted with the unknowable that it is already known. Our Dreamer or Higher Self is orchestrating life up-stream in a way that is what we can call, “divinely perfect”.
I recently attended the Crystal Skulls World Mysteries Conference on the date 09.09.09, in Tempe, Arizona. The Conference featured Mayan Elder and Solar Priest – Hunbatz Men, as well as many of the top crystal skull owners and their renowned crystal skulls from across the world. I was gifted a ticket to attend this conference from the organizer. This gift came to me only because of a woman who attends my medicine wheel ceremonies. Brenda had a vision in my medicine wheel about a crystal skull coming to her, and through that experience she actually became the keeper of the smoky citrine skull shown to her during a shamanic drumming journey. Brenda was the first person to sign up for this conference, and she shared her story with the organizer on how she came to be the keeper of the skull. For some reason, Cece, the organizer, thought it fit to gift me a ticket to attend the Crystal Skull World Mystery Conference.
On my first day at the conference, I was thinking about how I never really have had an affinity with crystal skulls, although it was about a year ago that I had had my first encounter with a skull, and it happened to be the Mitchell-Hedges, when I attended the Seeking Global Transformation Conference. The story of the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull was shared by the keeper, Bill Homann, and the crystal skull was displayed. I learned that for over 80 years, the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull has been regarded as an archaeological treasure, a technological marvel, and a sacred artifact. There are people with intuitive gifts that are able to access the extraordinary secrets and wisdom locked within the crystal skulls, and the skull delivers messages that will affect the lives of all those who are willing to listen.
It was most interesting to me that, while in attendance at the Seeking Global Transformation Conference and in the middle of a lecture given by Burt Jansen, I was called telepathically by the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull to go find and be with it. I listened to my intuition and removed myself from a very interesting lecture on crop circles. I walked upstairs, feeling drawn to an unknown destination. I saw my friend, Linda Rettinger, in the hallway and I told her that I had been called to be with the skull; she said, “You have come to the right place.”
To my surprise, doors opened, and I walked into a private room to find the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull sitting on top of a table surrounded with four chairs; one of those chairs was empty–waiting for me. My private session began with a very personal one-on-one with the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull.
What I received was extraordinary, and some experiences are best left without words. I will share that on a physical level, my heart opened up to a new place of being. It was as if I had just run a quick mile: my heart was racing, and I felt pumped. Bill Homann, keeper of the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull, later told me that the skull opens and works with the heart chakra. What I became aware of after my encounter with this skull was that my intuition increased tenfold, and my telepathic powers were heightened to a new level. When gently nudged, I took action, trusting in my intuition, and I received a great gift on that day. I am so glad that I listened to the message to leave the lecture and find the skull, rather than feeling it was just a figment of my imagination. This was the start to an unknowable adventure.
Upon arriving home that evening, after having my encounter with the Mitchell-Hedges skull, I laughed out loud, because on the walls of my living room and family room for the last three years had been hanging four incredible oil paintings; all have images of crystal skulls! These oil paintings were painted by the French-Canadian artist, Jeannie Vellux. She channels one painting a year, and these metaphysical paintings are large, approximately 4’ by 5’. Jeannie had thought that with groups of different people coming through my home for Medicine Wheel ceremonies, there might be a potential buyer, and I would receive a commission. I loved having these powerful paintings in my home–each one was a conversational piece and really made a statement. Jeannie’s metaphysical world opened up at a Sedona sunrise ceremony led by a Native Shaman, who bestowed a blessing at a gathering which included ancient and modern skulls. That connection has inspired her ever since. I laughed again when I thought of how I could have been living with these huge paintings these past years, all of which were about the crystal skulls, and not have them influence me, or bring them into my life in some way.
So, here I found myself a year later at the World Mysteries Conference for 09:09:09, and I must say that my first day there was rather uneventful. The second day, I struck up a conversation with a lady in the women’s restroom, Marta Thomas, who was from Chicago. Marta had just returned from New Zealand and is a producer of documentaries. I was surprised when she said that she had been trying to come to my Medicine Wheel for two years. We talked, sharing stories, and she asked that if there were people from the conference who were interested, could she bring them, and we could have a Medicine Wheel ceremony on the last day of the conference. This invitation took on a life of its own, and soon I heard that there would be presenters with their ancient skulls coming, and people from all over the world wanted to attend this gathering around my Medicine Wheel! Linda Rettinger was instrumental in organizing and directing the people who wanted to come. Linda asked if I would be willing to have a few of the ladies spend the night, as it would be too late after the ceremony for anyone to drive on to Sedona. My first thought was, “Oh my God– the windows need washing, the beds need changing, and will I have time to prepare some food for everyone?” (Funny how we put the most obscured obstacles in our way…). But that thought only lasted less than a nano second. I felt there was something big brewing in the undercurrents of this pending Medicine Wheel ceremony and the people who were coming.
The Medicine Wheel ceremony was a first-time experience for many of the attendees. I had invited Taka, a well-known multimedia artist and master didgeridoo player, to come invoke the primordial sounds of the ancients through the didgeridoo, ushering us into the realms of the Dreamtime. The crystal skulls were out in all their glory placed in a circle, with people from all around the world. We shared from the heart, and it was an introduction to who we are and why, and how we came to be in this moment at this time. A rich golden tapestry was woven, with beautiful patterns and the colorful stories all interlaced with one another. This was a view of life from above bought down in time to find its connections with the significant colorful threads of many lives who heard the call to come together for this event, and create a new story. The ceremony became the beginning of spinning gold.
My house was full and the evening came to a close with Dr. Jennifer Welch from Durban, South Africa, keeper of the ancient Tibetan skulls; sound healer recording artist, Lia Scallon from Ireland; medium and author, Michele Brennan from Australia; and Dr. Luitguard from Germany, all spending the night. With a lot of last-minute excitement and chaos for all the sleeping arrangements, we did manage to sleep with the angels, and had visions of crystal skulls dancing in our heads.
Linda Rettinger invited me to join this extraordinary group of women for a couple of days in Sedona. We were to meet up with other Medicine People at sacred sites, continuing the high level of ceremony, prayer, and song. Our first destination was Montezuma’s Well. Upon arrival, Inca Medicine Man Wachan and his wife, Martika, Elk Dreamer, a Yaqui native, and others were waiting for us. The songs and stories were shared at a level of heart I had not previously ever before experienced. There was a feeling of kismet, bridging the lives of all of us in a powerful bonding of consciousness that rang out into the planetary grids and blanketed our earth in beauty. Making ceremony together felt natural, and everyone participated in their own way. Wachan and Martika sang a song that moved us to tears. They stood side-by-side, and their energies became melded as one powerful force. Their song rang out, echoing around the walls of Montezuma’s Well, and carried up into the etheric realms–there was a strength and force that came through unlike any other time I have heard them sing this song, awakening and uniting the masculine and the feminine in equal partnership. The second golden thread had been spun, with all of us together weaving the magic of this incredible gathering of medicine people and our focused intentions of prayer. I felt a stirring deep within the loins of the collective masculine and the feminine, birthing oneness with equal honor and respect on that day. We also prayed for all the people struggling with addiction problems, and again, this was a powerful healing for the people present. I could feel the ripple reaching out in waves beyond what was known, and could not be told. When we were complete with our ceremony at this site, we said our goodbyes to some of the medicine people who had gathered, and moved on to the next site.
George, known as Elk Dreamer, took us to Cathedral rock in Sedona for ceremony. Meeting George was another orchestration that the concerto spirit was conducting, or spinning gold. Elk Dreamer was the medicine man who led the very first sweat lodge I had ever attended. This lodge was the catalyst for my shamanic transformation over ten years ago. It was because of Elk Dreamer holding sweat lodge and the gifts he shared over ten years ago that I became a Medicine Wheel Keeper. I had not been in touch nor seen Elk Dreamer for over eight years, and he knew nothing of the way he had touched my life. To my amazement, there stood the medicine man that had transformed my life, and he was the humble, beautiful soul I remembered.
We gathered at Oak Creek with the backdrop of red sandstone towers, known as Cathedral Rock. This is a powerful, magnetic vortex resonating strongly with the feminine. Elk Dreamer was always the story teller, and he shared the legend of this site, sang his songs, and we had a talking circle. Our energy and presence at this site drew others to join us, and again there was a gathering of all one tribe of those who heard the call. When I was downloaded with the realization of events that had just unfolded, I was overcome. I was supposed to be in Peru this week, and it didn’t happen because I was to be with these people doing ceremony in my country, in my language, in our ways. Elk Dreamer was to come back into my life for the completion cycle of my phase as a Medicine Wheel Keeper, which I had been keeping as a secret from myself.
The realization of the timing and synchronicity of being in that place at this time, when I was to be in Peru with my mentor, was again a huge lesson in trusting Divine timing, and how the universe takes care of us, even when we can’t understand why things are the way they are. Had I gone to Peru, I wouldn’t have been at the World Mysteries Conference, and I would not have met the extraordinary people who became recognized as my ancient soul sisters. The magic of this four-day adventure in Sedona and Hopi land continued through a conspiring unknowable force conjuring up the knowable, taking us to the Prophecy rock, toning and channeling through crystals skulls in Lemurian temples, shifting our energetic vibration, and creating the golden luminous threads spinning out to touch lives. Living in the moment and through passion is key for creation, and the magic that is manifested in the golden moments of truth and time are as powerful as the energy that it takes to create stars.
The last piece of this story and how the magic of the synchronistic timing came together was having met up with Elk Dreamer. I invited him to come to my Fall Equinox Medicine Wheel Ceremony. He arrived in silent power with his ceremonial pipe, which has been smoked in over 26 states and two countries. Little did I know that with this invitation to my equinox ceremony, the history of my medicine wheel would be completed, along with the sacred space I had created as a Medicine Wheel Keeper. My Medicine Wheel was created in tandem with spirit through purity, innocence, and passion. It came from a direct experience of the sweat lodge with Elk Dreamer and the native elders in attendance that night. I was the only person left in the sweat lodge by the fourth round, and they shared with me, and said my life would change as a result of this lodge experience. The very next day I had a full blown shamanic awakening with the spirit of every rock, tree, and cloud speaking to me. This was the beginning to my calling of Medicine Wheel Keeper. In the ten years I have been the keeper of this Medicine Wheel, many people have come to experience the ceremonies and personal healing. People have come from all over the world bestowing their gifts of stones and crystals for this space. This Medicine Wheel has grown into something much larger than I could have ever conceived on my own. Through its creation, much has been given birth, and it has been one of the greatest gifts in my life.
My husband arrived home that evening of September 22 to say that our home was to be sold at the end of October. I knew this day was coming, but the realization of this fact hit me with an auction date, and this would be my last Medicine Wheel ceremony in this space. How interesting that my chance encounter with Elk Dreamer, who touched my life over ten years ago, would be at my home for the first time for this last ceremony. My experience with this Medicine Wheel had gone full circle. Elk dreamer was there at the beginning, and now the ending, which seemed strange, because in eight years our paths had not crossed. He had no idea the ripple he had made in my life, and how that exchange of energy in his lodge was a catalyst to sparking my divine connection to step in to the power and mystery of spirit. A veil had been lifted in his lodge. I said to him, “You had no idea that when I came to your lodge, you touched my life in a way that sent out a big ripple, which affected many lives, because hundreds of people have come to this sacred place to receive healing and transformation.” Elk Dreamer was very touched at this realization of the effect we have on others by coming into contact with just one life.
Some things we will never know concerning the effect we may have had on a person’s life: it may come through sharing an idea, or with a simple word, or even one kiss. It remains in that place of the unknowable, until it is known. Spirit is conducting a great concerto, and all comes back to a beginning, when we let go and trust in the golden threads of divine timing.
VIEW CRYSTAL SKULLS Photo Gallery.
Our thanks to Linda Rettinger for use of her photos.
The Medicine Wheel Experiential Shamanic Workshop
Is there is an area or place where you feel stuck, or are seeking clarity or deeper understanding? To embark upon the teachings of the medicine wheel can bring you into a new place of seeing, living and embracing personal freedom.
The Medicine Wheel program is a series of experiential shamanic workshops based on ancient wisdom and knowledge; it is a training program that teaches how to increase your personal power and live an authentic life. It is comprised of quarterly weekend training sessions where you are taught the 4 directions of the medicine wheel, and how to apply these lessons in your life. Each direction culminates in a ceremony in which you will receive the Karpays, rites of passage and initiation into the lineage of the indigenous mountain peoples of Peru. With these rites of passage you will begin to grow your medicine body and learn to walk your life in beauty.
The Medicine Wheel is a Four Fold Path known as the Four Winds or the Four Direction of the Medicine Wheel. We start in the direction of the south. The south is known as the path of the serpent, the direction of power and energy. It’s where we shed our personal past and our programming, much the way a snake sheds its skin. It’s the work of releasing your past energetically and mythically, and it’s your first act of power. It is accomplished by working with the themes in your life that are keeping your energy stuck in the past. As these themes are healed your energy is brought into present time, this empowers you to live life differently and fulfill your life purpose.
In the work of the south powerful techniques are presented on how to practice non-attachment, non-judgment, non-suffering and beauty. So you no longer have to live the pain and the suffering of the past. In the south you will begin to assemble a Mesa, the Shaman’s altar, a collection of Khuyas or medicine stones which will assist you with your transformation into your new medicine body, and become the tools you can use for healing.
Going through the Medicine Wheel has changed the way I live my life. I choose to live my life as the peaceful or luminous warrior. For me it is the luminous warrior who strives to live life impeccably; to show-up and do the best that one can. It is about walking a path of heart, walking through life consciously without pain or suffering.
Walking the Path of the Medicine Wheel
I teach the journey around the medicine wheel presenting you with options to explore and apply this cosmology to develop your own personal spiritual path, embracing personal freedom and live a life as a peaceful or luminous warrior. To embark upon the teachings of the medicine wheel can bring you into a new place of seeing and being, a place of balance and wisdom. You will grow your medicine body and learn to walk your life in beauty.
The journey around the Medicine Wheel is a Four Fold Path known as the Four Winds or the Four Directions of the Medicine Wheel:
We start in the direction of the south. The south is known as the path of the serpent, the direction of power and energy. It’s where we shed our personal past and our programming, much the way a snake sheds its skin. It’s the work of releasing your past energetically and mythically, and it’s your first act of power. It is accomplished by working with the themes in your life that are keeping your energy stuck in the past. As these themes are healed your energy is brought into present time, this empowers you to live life differently and fulfill your life purpose. In the work of the south we learn how to practice non-attachment, non-judgment, non-suffering and beauty. So you no longer have to live the pain and the suffering of the past. You will learn to become a Hollow Bone.
The second direction is the West, path of the Jaguar, death of the old and transformation. In the west you work with your ancestors and learn how their stories and shadows live within you, and you will learn how to release and heal those biological and karmic patterns that live within you. The west is where the luminous warrior chooses her/his battles. Instead of fighting the battles everyone else wants you to fight, you fight your own battles and you learn what those battles really are. You will learn to become a Spiritual Warrior.
The third direction is the work of the North. The North is the direction of magic, and the ancestors of our shamanic lineage. The archetype for the north is the hummingbird; teaching us how to make the impossible journey while drinking directly from the nectar of life. In the North direction you begin to step into your power in present time learning the practices of invisibility, mastery of time and how to keep a secret from yourself. You take off your mask leaving your ego behind and begin to walk a path of service. You will claim your power and learn to tell your Sacred Story.
The fourth direct is the east. You finish in the east but truly this is where it all begins; it is the direction of destiny. The journey of the east is the hardest journey the Shaman makes. It is the path of vision and enlightenment. The archetype for the east direction is the Eagle or the Condor. It’s where you fly wing to wing with the Great Spirit. The Eagle/condor perceives the entire panorama of life without becoming bogged down in its details. The east is where we step into who we are becoming. This is where you step into a place of dreaming the world into being for yourself and future generations. You will learn how to come into right relationship with your Sacred Medicine.
In the medicine wheel way you learn how to utilize the many tools presented through the lessons of embracing this ancient modality for problem solving and making this journey through life with more ease and grace. Walking the path of the medicine wheel can change lives and our perception of the world in a good way. It is about spiritual development and learning through the teachings of ancient wisdom, nature and ceremony. It is a path of personal empowerment for whatever you do in your life. It is a journey of self discovery, an opportunity to look at the undiscovered aspects of your true self.
Walking the path of the Medicine Wheel has changed the way I live my life. I choose to live my life as the peaceful or luminous warrior. For me it is the luminous warrior who strives to live life impeccably; to show-up and do the best that one can. It is about walking a path of heart, walking through life consciously. The Path of the Medicine Wheel can show you how to become a peaceful warrior. The word Peace goes beyond the definition of peace the absence of conflict to its original meaning of uniting heaven and earth; a peacemaker and bringer of light and love; to walk a path of heart and to be of service and to walk through life consciously.
Equinox at Boulder House
During the Spring Equinox in Scottsdale, Arizona, at an historical site known as the “Boulder House” (a significant sacred location identified by the Ancient Ones as a celestial marker and fertility site) we held ceremony. The Equinox and Solstice are marked by the solar interaction between the circle and spiral petroglyphs carved into the granite boulders. There is much evidence of shamanic activity throughout the area. The shamans energetically entered the formations and symbols depicted in the boulders, offering datura seeds, shards of white quartz, and pottery at the entrance to the site connecting with the mysteries through sacred landscape. As repositories, these sites are illumined with wisdom and energy accessable by all.
The ceremony was well-attended, including over 70 people, all coming together to celebrate the first day of spring. Participating in sacred ceremony unites us to an alignment with the natural flow of life, with its beauty and cycles of Earth rhythms. We re-awakened the Spirits of the Land through the songs we carried in our hearts, and in return felt the Universe was listening. We created something pristine and fresh, and experienced a blossoming and expansion of melody: the pure melody of Life itself.
How beautiful it is to join in a circle, establishing and restoring relationship, balance, and harmony! As we come to circle and invoke the Divine, Life itself convenes, and the connections with all relations are revitalized and renewed: animal, plant, spirit, and stone people. All things gather to sit in council. Within each of us this circle exists, waiting to be ignited; it is our personal medicine wheel. The inner council lies within us.
Each participant involved in the process of sacred ceremony establishes a singular bridge joining Heaven and Earth. The Spirit is honored in its interface with the Universe, Mother Earth, and all her relations. A gift is given: one is allowed to step into the mystery and power of the uniqueness of personal Spirit. A fluid give-and-take occurs between the individual and the mysteries.
As we walk the path of the Ancient Ones, healing takes place on many levels, and as we come into balance, the Earth joins us in that restoration. Through the peace, harmony, purity and love created in ceremony, an energy resonates profoundly throughout the rocks, trees, and Earth, nurturing and re-establishing the memory of health and tranquility.
Planet and Humanity converge, together we make this happen!
Bird Medicine and Feathers…
Birds have always inspired the imagination with their grace, flight and beauty. They connect us with the heavenly realms, teaching us to fly to new heights in all our endeavors, and to see life with new perspective. Birds and their medicine have been associated with the mind, wind, new flight, ascension and lofty ideas. Birds or what I lovingly call the Winged Ones fly along the sacred pathways of the winds, the breathe of Spirit and come as messengers leaving their feathers as gifts.
I have always loved the winged ones and they have gifted me many beautiful feathers over the years. When I find a feather placed upon my path I see it as a sign to inspire and support my spiritual journey or perhaps it has come as acknowledgement for work done in a good way. A feather carries the essence of the whole bird and all its creature features. When you study the traits of particular birds you will learn how to apply their medicine to your life. For example the Owl sees in the dark, and owl can lead you from the dark into the light. The Roadrunner keeps showing up lately for me and its medicine is about mental agility, moving quickly and being able to stop and start quickly. This is important for all the projects I am working on presently. I paid attention to the signs and symbols through which spirit communicates and supports me.
Some of the ways in which I use feathers are for smudging and clearing space, clearing people’s aura, in healing sessions and ceremony. When I use feathers in ceremony I call in the energy or essence of that particular bird. For example I might call on the medicine or power of Eagle with my legal Eagle feathers to come into our ceremonial circle bringing into the ceremony clarity, perspective, new vision, healing, or even showing us how to fly straight into our destiny. We are connecting to the medicine or power of the bird using its feathers. Everything carries and energetic imprint and can influence the substance of life. Consider working with Bird Medicine and feathers, and allow yourself to be open to awaken to the magic of your own inner flight.
Khuyas: Working with Sacred Stones
Have you ever felt the pull of a rock, but couldn’t explain your affinity with it? Have you collected stones over the years, repeatedly putting one in your pocket? You are not alone! Stones are calling you, drawing your attention to receive their invitation to work with them. Every stone has a field of energy and a consciousness. I have heard people say “it’s just a rock.” But the truth is that a rock has consciousness, its resonating slower. We are all made up of the same cosmic stuff in different frequencies. In the shamanic tradition the “stone people” are considered living beings, fully consciousness and able to communicate and teach.
Not all stones are “power stones” but all possess the potential. Similarly, not all people are “awake” but all have the potential to remember who they truly are. For example, you go to an event and one person stands out, you are drawn to them for no apparent reason, and later learn they were conscious of you too. It’s the same with stones.
Stones are repositories of information absorbed through the energetic transference of the site itself, particularly sacred sites. In the shamanic tradition of Peru (and elsewhere), you will find a plethora of “khuya” or sacred stones, at these sites. When you feel an invitation from a stone, collect it so that you can access the information. Always leave an offering behind. A pinch of tobacco or sage, or a strand of your hair (DNA) along with a heartfelt prayer of thanks, may be offered in the void vacated by the stone.
By connecting your field of energy with that of the stone, you will learn how to interact with the energy. Listen and examine, letting your imagination “read the stone.” When you connect with this field of consciousness, you connect with the language of the stone. Impressions will speak to you visually or energetically; perhaps the stone is connected to the ocean, the moon, or to the Mother Earth, revealing its history. If it’s a power stone, a khuya, it will call you, and reveal how to use it.
All Stones are Doorways! In Kathy’s book “Markawasi: Peru’s Inexplicable Stone Forest” you will see how the stones tell their story. The information is available for all who are ready to hear.
Creating Ceremony and our Luminous Fibers
I believe that most people who feel disconnected from the earth have a greater relationship with their car and I-Phone than the beauty of a budding tree, and the whispering of the wind. This is the reason why I like to create ceremony. It reestablishes the living, breathing, fabric of our luminous fibers, weaving together the fabric of our life. The earth does not understand our spoken language, but embedded within ceremony is the language of the Earth. In ceremony our feelings, reverence and our sacred voice is given form. This expression embues the Earth, Creator, the seen and the unseen, with what is felt through specific actions, movements, and intentions. The very fact that you have made a decision to connect through ceremony honors the Earth, and all of life. It is through this outward expression that we engage the Mysteries. We bring awareness to the spirit world–the elements, and the creative energy that weaves all things together, through our conscious connection.
Outdoor ceremonies are where we can physically connect to the earth, sky, moon, stars, and all creatures. Here we renew our connectedness. Try creating simple ceremony with intention and heartfelt meaning. Greet the rising sun! Offer birdseed to the dawn chorus. Smudge with sage. These actions create simple ceremony, connecting us with an ancient process that honors all of life. We restore the balance of life through our sacred connections. ~ Stephanie Phelps
Walking the Path of Mary Magdalene
Off the beaten track in the heart of Provence I discovered the sites of St. Maximin and Sainte Baume made famous by Mary Magdalene.
I was interested in visiting the Basilica at St. Maximin because it is an ancient town that was originally a Gallo-Roman site. Its fame owes much to the mystique of Mary Magdalene, as her relics were discovered here in 1280 in an old Roman-era crypt. The 14th Century Basilica of Mary Magdalene was built with the blessing of Pope Boniface VIII to hold those relics. The Basilica’s sacred crypt contains the sarcophagus of Mary Magdalene, and a bronze reliquary ( a receptacle for relics) of angels holds her skull, while a crystal tube preserves a fragment of her skin known as the “noli me tangere.” “Touch me not” were the words Christ used to Mary Magdalene on the morning of his resurrection.
I became lost in time the moment I entered the splendor of this medieval church. There was so much to take in as I approached the high alter, there were symbols long forgotten making reference to the Holy Grail and the path of the three Mary’s. What felt like an hour became four hours, then it was time to move on and drive up the mountainous countryside to St Baume and the Cave of Mary Magdalene.
Driving through the French countryside was magical with red poppies scattered throughout the fields, and the remembering of a distance past. We drove through a holly tree forest and then I saw the alabaster mountain which was beckoning to my heart, we had arrived at Sainte Baume. This is where we would climb up to the grotto in the face of a cliff, where Mary Magdalene is said to have spent long years in penance and ecstatic contemplation. Some say it is where she wrote the Book of Love. I had no idea how sacred this site was or the long history it held. It proved to be one of the most profound experiences of my life.
Hiking up to the Grotto was an initiation in itself. The path is called Allee des Rois (King’s Way) it is very steep in parts, intermittingly stone steps protruded from beneath the earth with the fallen debris of the ancient forest. The forest was declared protected and sacred since the 1500’s. Walking this sacred pathway I could feel the imprints of the Popes, Kings and pilgrims who had gone before me.
Finally after an arduous hike up the side of the mountain we arrived at the entrance into Mary Magdalene cave. The entrance had two huge oak doors. It looked like the entrance into a church or building, however it was like a façade because you step straight into the grotto, and without natural light, this holy place took on a supernatural aura, lit by hundreds of candles around the shrines. Drops of condensation added to the mysterious atmosphere of the sacred site. The water I could hear dripping around the cave but did not have a source, the stone ground was wet. I took off my shoes and walked barefooted absorbing the energy and imprint of the place. I took the holy water in my hands when I could feel it dripping and washed my face and hands. When one has an experience of grace it is something to be held within your heart, few words can adequately express the miracles and magic of discovering sacred sites.
We were all Born with a Drum
The first thing we hear is the heart beat of our mother while in the womb; and the Drum is said to connect us to the heartbeat of our Mother Earth and our Ancestors.
“The drum is a powerful tool for a Shaman. The Shaman uses the drum beat to access an altered state of consciousness to perform journeys for self, others and the earth and universe. We follow the drum beat to other dimensions and other worlds, travelling where no time and space exist. The drum beat also acts like bread crumbs being left along the trail that we can follow to return home to this reality”.
If you are drawn to find your drum ~ put out the call because it will find you. Making contact with a drum awakens our soul and something deeply sacred within us. Each drum is unique and brings its own character to our lives. The drum will take your prayers to Spirit. As you awaken to and honor your rhythm through the drum, you awaken to inner growth and healing which manifests outwardly to heal the planet.
I offer a ceremony for individuals who are ready to birth their drum into being; connecting with the spirit of your drum. This is not a drum making workshop but rather when your drum has found you and you are ready to honor its role in your life. I will lead you through a very powerful and meaningful ceremony.
Stephanie Phelps is available for personal mentoring, group workshops, medicine wheels, and journeying worldwide. Ask about her upcoming 3-Day Sedona Spiritual Retreat, not to be missed!