Category Archives: Rattles

Rest, Respite, and Releasing the Density

Stepping into the forest, the outside world can so easily be shed.  The vibration of the trees slows my thinking and begs for me to be still, stand with them in golden radiant sunlight, let them hold me.

This mighty Western Red Cedar tree is one of many old growth trees along the hike to Dorothy Lake, part of the bounty of the PNW.  My dear friend and I walked the trail up to the lake yesterday, sat in the warmth of the sun with our feet I the cold water – sweet respite!  We come from and practice different traditions yet we are always going in the same direction.  Each time we hike, we talk of the generosity that comes from embracing the light, from shedding the density of fear.  We know it exists, even within us on some levels, flirting with and luring us to old patterns and ways of being.  And still we know the feelings of happiness and peace that we live with every day by not holding onto the fearful places or by getting twisted up in the fear mongering that is so prevalent today.  Life is good.  Resting within the forest is such an incredible boon.   I am so grateful that fear doesn’t rule my life any longer.  That I know in this lifetime I am called to seek the light.  Share it out from an open heart, one of many gifts from the forest.

I am grateful too for the Standing Nation, these beautiful trees who we cannot live without.  They clean up our filth so we have fresh air to breathe!  Om!  Wopila!  They are my friends too, like the sweet companion I hike with – I am grateful!

Says Ted Andrews, “All cedars have a fragrance that is cleansing and protecting.  It has been used in rituals and ceremonies to prepare a person or an area.  Native Americans used it for it’s purification properties.  A staff made from cedar has the energy of protection, and it can open opportunities to heal imbalances of an emotional or astral nature.  Cedar is a tree whose spirit and essence will strengthen and enhance the inner potential of the individual.  This is a tree tied to strong healing energies.  Its energies cleanse the auric field, especially at night while the individual sleeps.  It helps the individual to balance the emotional and mental bodies and can stimulate dream activity, which brings inspiration and calm.”

I use cedar wood in the crafting of rattles and icabu, the hoops of drums and for medicine staffs and talking sticks.

Across my Path

No matter what crosses my path internally or externally, I will keep going this direction, for it is calling and I am willing to met it.                    Aho Mitakuye Oyasin!


Sunshine in Seattle

I’ve lived in Washington state since I was 11 years old.  In all my years here, with the variety of landscapes within the state (Washington boasts more ecosystems than most states in the union), I find little to be more beautiful than Seattle on a sunny day.  Mind you, I prefer the wild landscapes without roads, buildings or people, however something magical happens when the sun comes out.  For one thing, the Mountain, as Mt. Rainier is referred to, Tahoma as the original People say, is visible – this sight is something rarely taken for granted by any Seattle-ite.  What I find so magical though is the fact that people seem a little friendlier, happier with each step, eager to be outside.

For the most part, regardless of the weather, the temperature is mild on the west side of the state.  Having lived for many years east of the Cascades, I know cold pretty intimately.  And frankly, I don’t dislike all the rain (ok, some days enough is enough) but the more rain that falls the greener the trees, the more abundant the mosses, and the hardier the ferns.  After all the rain, the sun makes diamonds on the many waterways and Puget Sound,  the multitude of greens become even more brilliant.

On days like today – blue sky, billowy white clouds, bird song, the warmth of the sun – rather than working in the studio, I will work outside.  Today I am sewing rattles of elk and buffalo hide.  A few from yesterday’s work are ready for a bit of paint possibly or maybe just a driftwood or cedar wood handle is enough – I’ll let the rattles speak to me, telling me what they would prefer to be as a completed medicine tool.

It’s been a rattle making week here on Echo Lake – a custom crafted rattle was vision forward for a healer friend of mine, there’s the crafting work that is coming through me for Fusions ART Gallery and the making ready for the Fall City Days street fair.   There was a gorgeous day of sacred rattle crafting by a few beautiful people committed to going out on the hill to vision quest, Hanbleciyapi, as it is properly called.  It is an honor to hold space and bring the teaching forward.  I find it good medicine to be involved with such venerable ways. Even if the sun doesn’t shine.  I make myself available to teach rattle making workshops and all my workshops any day of the week.  I invite you to come create with me.

Blessings from sunny Echo Lake where today the lawnmower noise is tolerable.                                                  ~   Aho Mitakuye Oyasin


Please visit Fusions ART Gallery and Fall City Days



May 2014 Workshop Schedule

Please email to reserve your seat in any of these workshops, to inquire about fees or with any questions.  Aho Mitakuye Oyasin

5/4       10am to completion   ~  Hanblechya Rattle Crafting

5/6       6pm-9pm    ~  Tuesday Evening Crafting Circle

5/10    1pm-5pm    ~   Moms & Kids Group

5/11    noon-6pm   ~   Wing Medicine Crafting

5/13    6pm-9pm    ~   Tuesday Evening Crafting Circle

5/17    9am-7pm    ~   Moccasin Crafting Part 1

5/18    9am-7pm    ~   Moccasin Crafting Part 2

5/19   6pm-9pm    ~    Monday Medicine

5/20    6pm-9pm    ~   Tuesday Evening Crafting Circle

5/24   9am-7pm    ~   Hanblechya Moccasin Crafting Part 1

5/25   9am-7pm    ~   Hanblechya Moccasin Crafting Part 2

5/26   10am until completion   ~   Drum Making Workshop

5/27   6pm-9pm    ~   Tuesday Evening Crafting Circle