Joe Bonamassa and Other Company

joe bonamassa

August 15, 2017 – I attended the Joe Bonamassa concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. The ticket cost was $166 and was worth every penny. It was a balcony seat. There was a fat man that would have been next to me, but I concentrated on having space around me, and I took my place one seat away. I didn’t have to sit next to the fat man. No one sat on my left or right. Rejoice, Sacred Space.

stevie-ray-vaughan-for-radio-bdc-1050x700  Reese Wynans was the keyboard player.  Wynans joined Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble in 1985, playing keyboards on Soul to Soul and In Step and played with the band until Stevie Ray Vaughn’s tragic death in 1990. Vaughn was my all time favorite guitar blues player and his voice was something. I still miss him. Back in 1993, a black bus driver introduced me to Vaughn’s music. One day I got on the local bus in Lusby, Maryland, and the bus driver handed me a CD saying, “He’s the only white boy that can play the blues.” He was right. I thought of the bus driver tonight even though I don’t remember his name. He wasn’t the only person I thought of.

According to Joe Bonamassa’s Website, Anton Fig is one of New York’s most in-demand session drummers and has spent the last 29 years as the drummer for David Letterman’s house band on the NBC and CBS networks. Fig is one of America’s most widely-heard musicians and has racked up an impressive session resume playing on albums by Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Rosanne Cash, Joe Cocker, and Ronnie Spector. During his Letterman years, Fig recorded or performed live with such legends as James Brown, Eric Clapton, Miles Davis, and B.B. King. As a freelance drummer, he has played with Paul Simon and also in the house band for Bob Dylan’s historic 30th Anniversary concert celebration.

I wish you could have heard him play tonight. I have never heard anyone play drums like him. Believe me; I have known the best such as Chico Hamilton. It was thrilling to hear Anton’s versatility and power. The rhythms were extraordinary and carried me away.

Michael Rhodes is a bassist. Some of the musicians he’s played with include Mark Knopfler, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Elton John, Stevie Nicks, Emmylou Harris, Faith Hill, and even the hottest star in the entire music industry, Taylor Swift. Rhodes is a fantastic bassist and played like a jam session with Bonamassa.

Lee Thornburg is a trumpeter. You can hear Thornburg’s past work with Bonamassa on four of his #1 Billboard releases, including Live at the Royal Albert Hall, the Grammy-Nominated album Seesaw with Beth Hart, Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks, and Live at Radio City Music Hall.

Paulie Cerra is a versatile and dynamic Saxophone player. He has played with Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin, Lucky Peterson, Luther Allison, Little Milton, Bobby Bland, Billy Preston and Jimmy Johnson. Cerra joined Joe’s band earlier this year and you can hear him on the #1 Billboard Blues release Live at Radio City Music Hall.

These musicians are the world’s best. The music lifted me up and beyond an earthly experience. I felt like I ascended to the cosmos. I thought of old friends who had already walked on and those who I used to play with in my twenties, and the gay times we had when we were young and reckless.

I remembered Michael R., and it felt like I was dancing with him again at Michael’s. Back then, we were in our 20s. Michael was a system design engineer, and I was a clerical training instructor for Digital Equipment Corporation in Maynard, MA. Sadly, Michael, at 61 years old, died Friday, April 24, 2009, at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Massachusetts.

I am so glad there is life beyond this planet, and we can still dance in the stars for time immortal. Energy never dies. It changes and that is OK. Our minds are a wonderful thing and if we hang on to great memories, we are blessed.

In this natural high state, I felt like I was among friends around a campfire and we danced. I remember having a shawl on. Mind you; I lost my shawl tonight. I must have got distracted when I came out of the Gideon Putnam and saw all the fire trucks. The door man, asked me if I was looking for a cab? I said yes, and he escorted me to the waiting cab. I must have lost my shawl in the confusion in front of the historical hotel.

The driver Fred was such a gentleman. He is a gambler and likes the horses and cards. I told him about my time with Henry who knew the horses because he worked with them for 30 years. In 2014, Henry and I bet on American Pharoah and we won the Triple Crown. After the race in Saratoga Springs, when American Pharoah lost, Henry passed away. I went down to the garden where the waterfall is and cried like a baby. I liked Henry and he gave me a thrill by teaching me about racing. Then I lost my thrill. I had to find something else that gave me a high so I started learning about the Stock Market with Jim Cramer. I study it daily with Mad Money. So far I am doing OK. I know it could change in a blink. That is why I study it daily.

At the concert, while I was in a natural high, In my imagination, I saw my friend Sandy S. She is precious to me, and it made me tear up realizing how much I miss her. I miss the ceremonies we used to perform. We used to dance around in a circle and chant the Water Ceremony song Nibi Wabo. These times were sacred and oh how I miss them. Time is moving so fast. I feel like a space traveler.

Listen to Joe at https://www.facebook.com/JoeBonamassa
You Better Watch Yourself. Love this blues. Blow me away! I am wild about the keyboarder Arlan Oscar Schierbaum, although he didn’t play tonight. This piece Dislocated Boy reminds me of Michael more than any other.

I miss my blazing fire pit at my former home in Minong, WI. How I loved those times. Seeing the lightning bugs and listening to the night critters and the tree frogs. The wolves used to yap and yell, and I loved it. I miss my wild country. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t make her a total city girl. My wild side still calls, and Joe called it up again tonight.

I normally don’t write about events like this, but this was such an alive moment for me. Just as a final note. I grieved for Michael for several days and felt his presence close, and He has walked on now.

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Finding the answer to my heart’s question

Grandfather boulder

Grandfather boulder

Yesterday I hiked out on a trail through a forest near Fitchburg, Massachusetts; last week I was rewarded while on the same path by what I discovered while out in the woods.

Meantime, I have been feeling torn about taking an altar from my home in Minong, Wisconsin. I am moving to Massachusetts from Wisconsin. The beautiful raw wood is a single piece of wood, a former tree limb. Many years ago, a severe storm hit Southern Maryland and the limb fell during the storm. The fallen limb was from a sacred tree hidden in the forest, along a horse trail in Lusby. There were no other footsteps because no one hiked or road horses on the trail any longer. I used to go here with Tia, my dog,  when we lived in Southern Maryland. I could unburden my heart at the base of the ancient tree. I loved the tree that survived massive development of Southern Maryland, withstood thunder storms and still strongly stood. I sensed the tree had good medicine. I could feel it. I had many experiences to learn from the ancient tree. I don’t know how to express it any other way.

When we moved to Northwest Wisconsin, I took the limb with me. For many years it stood on the mantle over the fireplace at our home in Minong, Wisconsin. Here is where I lit a candle to set the day’s intentions. Here is where I put sacred objects to honor the Great Spirit and Mystery of the Cosmos and Universe. The altar is still there. I return to Wisconsin on Wednesday. Shortly, I will be moving to Massachusetts into a small alcove penthouse in Fitchburg, MA. There really isn’t room for many of my things, including the sacred wood of the prayer tree. Now you know how I was feeling about moving this sacred object. All my family including my husband, our animals, and most of my elder friends have walked on whom once lived on B Street, Minong. It was here in this little valley where we had our retirement home and I spent many a happy year.

Now, it is time for me to move on too.

 

 

Woodland trail

Woodland trail

It was while hiking within the woods, in Massachusetts, that I was led to another ancient tree. It was then I literally broke down because I had found the tree, or was it that the tree found me? I knew then that I didn’t need to bring the altar to MA. I could now honor the altar by placing it with the sacred place where my animals are buried. It is here also where the bullets from my husband’s Military Honoring Internment Ceremony are also buried. My husband is interned at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Northwest Wisconsin. Someday, I will return to Wisconsin to be interned with my husband. It is a beautiful place. There are native gardens that border the woods and I will someday be in these beloved woodlands forever.

In the meantime, I am getting ready to fly to Wisconsin on Wednesday, pack up the house, and say goodbye to this sweet interlude that embraced me for 12 years. Know that when I return to Massachusetts, I can walk out to my sacred tree as long as I have the strength of my legs to carry me. How sweet this reality is and how honored I am.

This county story starts under a plant – Spooner Advocate: Arts & Crafts: spooner advocate, monarch, mary ellen ryall, shell lake, washburn county

For those looking for a Christmas gift inspired by a Washburn

County story, one idea is My Name is Butterfly, a book written by

Mary Ellen Rya…

via This county story starts under a plant – Spooner Advocate: Arts & Crafts: spooner advocate, monarch, mary ellen ryall, shell lake, washburn county.

Butterfly Corner

Published in Washburn County Register, February 8, 2012

News from Xerces Society, “In 2010, with support from the Monarch Joint Venture and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Innovation Grant, Xerces Society initiated a multi-state project to increase the availability of milkweed seed for large-scale restoration efforts in California, Nevada, Arizona, New México, Texas and Florida. Xerces is working with native seed producers and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Plant Material Program to increase the production of local ecotype native milkweed seed.” The reason for the collaborative milkweed seed project is because pollinators, including the monarch butterfly, are besieged with a threatened migration phenomenon.

Prior to Xerces Society milkweed initiative, Happy Tonics has been selling common milkweed seed since 1999. Milkweed is the only host plant of the monarch butterfly. The seed is offered in the Visitors Center/Store in downtown Shell Lake. The store reopens on Memorial Day Weekend. Out of season, milkweed seed is sold online through eBay. Several seed buyers from around the country are now donors of Happy Tonics nonprofit public charity. Some buyers have gone on to build butterfly gardens at schools and monarch butterfly habitats on their own property. It is good to know that monarch butterfly conservation is an ongoing environmental education act that brings positive results to help the monarch butterfly.

Cindy Dyer, VP Marketing, Happy Tonics, will have a one woman art show at the Horticulture Center, Green Spring Gardens, in Alexandria, Virginia. The exhibit, “Garden Muse: A Botanical Portfolio,” will run February 28 – April 29, 2012. If you wish to take a sneak preview of Cindy’s extraordinary floral and insect photography visit http://www.gardenmuseshow.com  Her garden photography was also honored by Nikon camera in 2011. Here is a link to their Web page featuring Cindy’s garden photography tips at http://www.nikonusa.com/Learn-And-Explore/Photography-Techniques/gr35ffdt/all/How-To-Grow-Your-Garden-Photography-Skills.html

In summer 2011, Cindy photographed butterflies and native plants while visiting the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake. We are working on a Field Guide – Monarch Butterfly Habitat. The publication will highlight the symbiotic relationship between native plants and pollinators including the monarch butterfly, birds and small animals.

 

 

 

 

October Water Ceremony News

WATER CEREMONY

October 26, 2011 – 6 p.m.
Hospitality House, 705 B Street, Minong, WI
Sponsored by Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites

Storm looms in west as Minong is bathed in golden light

Storm looms in west as Minong is bathed in golden light

 Open to women who feel called to honor and respect water. Purpose: Support water issues that need our attention. To change negative impact on the world’s fresh drinking water supply for all living species all over the world. Turning our hearts and prayers toward positive energy and vibrations to heal water world wide.

Water Blessing Event
October 28 – 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Sponsored by the Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites
and Grandmother Tonya Whitedeer. May we all stand together with a single intention for water matter where we are on the Earth at this time.

Water Sister Worth Cooley-Prost sent the following Messsage:

Dear Ones!  At long last, the convergence of time, energy  and Heart allows for this long-overdue message.

[A new friend and I] talked about indigenous understandings of Now, and how I can’t imagine how I’d be able to look around in these times if I hadn’t heard Don Alejandro speak 11 years ago, how the Mayan calendar isn’t about the “end of the world,” rather about the accelerating unfolding of a whole new Time that’s very different from all that’s unraveling now. (I really like Tom Kenyon’s metaphor about 2012 or whenever — he says when his odometer turns over 100,000 miles, he doesn’t expect his car to disappear!) I think our unexpected hour together was a Gift to both of us, and recalled again the Hathors advice about the difficulties of chaotic nodes: “be curious and expect miracles.”

Turtle Women Rising 2011 was in Olympia WA this year, from sunrise on October 7 through the afternoon of October 10. I have the bowl that held the Water on the altar at TWR 2008 and 2010, both here in DC. It’s lovely bowl, about 16″
across and a graceful low, open shape in that hint-of-palest-green often seen in thick handmade glass, with a swirl of slightly darker pale green. It was in one of Coldwater Creek’s crazy online sales about 2002, marked down from probably $125 (never could’ve afforded that) to about $35. I loved it (and had a lot more money back then!), and ordered it thinking it would be beautiful on our diningroom table with fruit or flowers or just air. When it came, I realized that our diningroom table was
neither big enough nor clear enough for the bowl, so for about 6 years it sat up on top of a bookshelf in the diningroom. Then in one of the final planning conference calls for the first TWR, Eli said they needed a bowl to hold the Water in the
altar tipi, and I said, “Eli, I have the bowl.” Near the end of the final day of TWR that year, I’d left the circle to smoke a cigarette and just put my chair at the edge of things when I came back in. I remember sitting there watching
everybody singing and dancing, and thinking, “I can’t sing and I can’t dance, but I can bring the bowl that holds the Water.” We used it again in 2010.

So last Friday, Willy put two chairs and a little round table that came from the side of the road several years ago in a special, leafy grove part of the yard before he went to work, and later my friend Margaret came over with her drum. The several pieces of cloth covering the table were made by Mayan hands, African hands, and Indonesian hands, and though I’m sure the the bright red fleece with Native American designs was made in China, it came to me from Council on Indian Nations a couple of years ago. The bowl took up most of the table. The things around it included several stones, a tiny bottle of rose
quartz chips, a little basket with Haiti beads, some lavender, a Fourth Wise Man figure, and seems like a couple of other things I can’t remember at the moment. (I’d meant to take a picture but forgot; it must not have wanted me
to.) After smudging us and everything else, we filled the bowl with Water from the house and opened the space with prayers to connect with TWR and with all healing Waters around the world. I asked especially that the spirits of all the men, women,
children and horses of the civil war be honored for their courage and sacrifice, calling them back from their journeys and the traumas endured, so they can heal and return Home… and that Mother Earth be healed in all the places that have
held their pain and fear and anger for all these 150 years, and that all the Waters that touch that land — rivers, rain, dew, fog, snow, tears past and future — carry that great healing also.

Margaret brought a really beautiful drum, and I used my Ocean drum for the first time. I’ve always wanted to be where drumming is — Native American, Haitian, African, and those astonishing sideways Japanese drums — but somehow never really felt called to drum myself. Then last summer I ordered myself an Ocean drum for my birthday — synthetic covering on one side, clear mylar on the other, and filled with steel shot. I’d experimented with it a little a couple of times since… tilting it from side to side makes sounds of waves and surf… but this was the first time I really used it. Amazing! Each of the
times between opening the space Friday and closing it Monday afternoon — and the next night when Moon was full somewhere behind thick clouds — it’s given me something new. The first day, when I opened my eyes after a few minutes, the
sky and trees were in my lap! (The clear mylar side is like a mirror.) Also, the steel beads often make a yin-yang pattern. The next day I also used the beater that came with it, and after a little while realized there were subtle musical tones at the edges; they’ve been clearer each time. Another time when I looked down, I saw the ripple patterns around my thumbs holding the
edges. Looks like I have my drum — who knew?!!

When we came back to the house on Friday, the mail had come, bringing the sage you sent, Mary Ellen… so that’s been part of each visit since. When I went back to the space the second day, there was a line of sand or fine dirt around the whole front edge of the table. (Another time I’ll tell you the story of the six deer who came in January after I’d asked my grandmothers for guidance and protection and that I be able to see them and hear them clearly.) We took everything back in but the cloth and bowl when we closed the space on Monday. I’ve left the bowl there for the three days of rain we’ve had, and tomorrow will give the Water to the Earth there and it will go back on the high shelf until whenever its next time is.

Margaret is coming again for Water Prayers at 1:00 on October 28, so we will be among you all around the world. These are some fancy, fancy times, aren’t they? I’m so grateful to be here, so grateful to both of you that you’re in my life and in my heart. I do want to be a Water Sister, please!

Abundant love and blessings,
Worth

Water Ceremony at Hospitality House Minong Wisconsin

Milbert tortoiseshell butterfly

Milbert tortoiseshell butterfly

It was a cold and rainy day here in Northwest Wisconsin and yet a blessing considering that we are doing Water Ceremony and rain is always something to be grateful for. Animals totems today were a Milbert Tortoiseshell butterfly basking on Chrysanthemum in a southerly direction which looked like a fall aster to me and Canada geese flying east at sunset.

Worth asked that I recall anything that may speak to the stained glass she is currently working on. I was thinking colors like the brown, orange and yellow of the tortoiseshell. The Canada geese that flew over honking were grey, black and white. Somehow I was seeing colors when I closed my eyes.

Animal Speak says that the butterfly is a creature of change, color and joy. The butterfly is also the symbol of transformation because it goes through metamorphosis and becomes something brand new in the process. Canada geese when they show up “can show us where excesses are dissipating our life force and facilitating a congestion to growth and movement. They can teach how to get back to creative and beneficial experiences and expressions of emotion,” according to Ted Andrews.

Later in the afternoon I received emails that attendees were unable to make it to the Water Ceremony tonight except for one. Lindy was at a distance and I suggested that she not come all this way tonight and wait till next month. Two people were ill, one was at work and the other was traveling and in Minneapolis. Deborah called from MN. Being the Council Guide for the Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites I knew that it was important to perform a Water Ceremony with or without attendees.

I received a water pendant from Worth Cooley-Prost from Arlington, VA that is to be given to a woman in emotional need. In exchange I am sending her White Sage from the Midwest which is known as western mugwort. I was expecting a healing shawl in the email from Grandmother Tonya Whitedeer. Update: It was at the Post Office and I picked it up this morning. I will bless the box with water from the Water Ceremony last night. The shawl is going to a Water Sister who is suffering a lot of stress right now due to work and family illness. I will be sending white sage out to Grandmother Whitedeer for her other half Threecrows.  Women who asked to be remembered in Ceremony were: Jennifer Lynn Engstrom-Bressette, Diane M. Stephenson, Grandmother Akasa WolfSong who was doing a Water Ceremony in Beloit, WI and Cassandra Winger. We join their hearts along with the Water Sisters here and afar and offer them up to the Water for purification, cleansing and blessings.

Water Ceremony September 27, 2011

Water Ceremony September 27, 2011

I was able to use the gourd that came from the woods. Two years ago I found a mound of earth with gourds growing on it. I never was so surprised in all my life to see the gourds growing in the woods. I picked many of them and one dried out nicely and became my ceremonial gourd. I danced with this gourd tonight in the Four Directions. I placed a bowl of my garden tomatoes, a Navajo robin egg corn cob, a glass bowl of fresh rain water and the gifts on the altar. I smudged the alter, myself and room. Then I used my birch bark clapping sticks to sing the Nibi Wabo Water Ceremony song and walked in the Four Directions. Somehow I always feel happier when I sing the chant. It is if the water is happy and I can sense this.

Perhaps a lesson for me tonight is to realize that I keep my promise to myself to do Water Ceremony on the New Moon dates at 6 p.m.

The next Water Ceremony will be October 26 at 6 p.m. Grandmother Tonya Whitedeer wrote that there will be a World Water Blessing event on Oct 28 from 12 Noon to 3 p.m. Pacific time. Visit the Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites to learn more at www.waterblessings.org

Water Ceremony September 27 in Minong, WI

Purple milkweed and Pond, Minong, WI

Purple milkweed and Pond, Minong, WI

Water Ceremony, September 27, 2011, 6 p.m.

 Weather permitting we will hold Water Ceremony outside in the Sand Dunes.
Afterwards we will dance in circle
around a rescued pine tree on the property at Hospitality House.

Before dancing, Jackie / Godarvi will teach us a simple chant that we will sing and dance to. Jackie says, “I’d like to read what qualities the names of God we’ll be chanting refer to and just give a brief statement or 2 about Siddha Yoga chanting.”  Description: “I would be happy to introduce you to a form of chanting that can induce the experience of the divinity within each of us, the source of universal Oneness. In the tradition I follow, Siddha Yoga (which originated in India), chanting is
a key spiritual practice. It can purify our surroundings, fill us with love and joy, free us from worry, bring us supreme contentment, and let us experience the divinity that lies inside. We chant different names for God, each evoking certain qualities of the one God.”

Community meal follows.

Please RSVP 715 466-5349. Thank you. Miigwetch!

Let’s share books that promote women’s advocacy to action.  Like a Tree by Jean Shinoda Bolen. How trees, women, and tree people can save the planet.

Animal totem: Turtle faces west September.

Beautiful intention:  Danka Brewer, Mother Earth Water Walkers,
“Maja awi mino niiban, sweet dreams May the Creator keep you safely in his loving arms and grant that we might rise and greet the dawning of a new day and each other spirits tomorrow. May The Dawning of a New Day bring you to a better place to start from and a bright path to travel tomorrow.”

August Deer Medicine: “When deer show up in your life it is time to be gentle with yourself and others. A new innocence and freshness is about to be awakened or born. There is going to be a gentle, enticing lure of new adventures. Ask yourself important questions.  Are you trying to force things? Are others? Are you being too critical and uncaring of yourself? When deer show up there is an opportunity to express gentle love that will open new doors to adventure for you.

Migrating bluebirds

 

http://www.dec.ny.gov/images/administration_images/wwbluebirdleft.jpg

Eastern bluebird

This afternoon I woke up out of a sound sleep and by chance looked out at the birdbath. I was delighted to see one male bluebird and five females. Each in turn took a soak to dust off their wings. It must be a happy day because the little cheerful bird is called the bluebird of happiness.

Enjoy a beautiful bird on a warm and sunny fall day.

Image was available on Google images with property: http://www.dec.ny.gov/images/administration_images/wwbluebirdleft.jpg

According to SandyTSeibert’s article titled “Bluebirds Migrate to Find Better Weather and Better Resources”: “Eastern bluebirds do not simply shift southward. In some of the warmer areas of the country, many are year-round residents. Often, the birds from Canada and the northern U.S. will leapfrog over areas with many resident birds in order to avoid competition for food. These birds will travel as far as Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and the southern portions of Alabama, Georgia and Texas. Source: http://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2010/02/migration-of-eastern-bluebirds.html
 

New Moon Water Ceremony in Northwest Wisconsin

Saturday, July 30- There were thunderstorms surrounding the valley in late afternoon. Water sisters arrived at the Hospitality House in Minong. We began by dressing up in skirts. Sandy Stein mentioned that when women wear a shawl and skirt it represents mountains and being close to Mother Earth. A skirt worn in ceremony is respectful and helps women remember that we are feminine energy and connected to Mother Earth. We put our sacred items together to carry them out to the sand dunes. I had on my glass water pendent that Worth Cooley-Prost had made for me. Sandy wore her medicine bag. It is good for women to have their very own medicine bag. We have several small beaded butterfly medicine bags made by an elder Marilyn Vig, Rice Lake, WI. I will exhibit and offer them for sale in September at our online store at http://stores.ebay.com/happytonics

Rainbow after storm

Rainbow after storm

While still at the house we witnessed a rainbow. This was a beautiful sign.

Then it started to lightly rain again as we walked to the sand dunes. Sandy Stein said, “Rain is good.” I responded, “After all we are praying for the water.” We felt blessed as we entered Sacred Space and the rain began to lighten up and then stop.

Sandy, Deborah and Godavari met the sweet fern for the first time that is now growing over the dune and into the site. I love this fern, years ago I put my intentions on the fern and wished that the fern would climb the dunes from the other side. Each of them smelled the plant and were joyous when they smelled the sweet fragrance having never smelled anything like it before.  I reminded water sisters that we needed to be silent as we entered Sacred Space.

Sweet fern.

Sweet fern.

We put our individual sacred items on the blanket alter in the sand. Before we began the Nibi Wabo (Water Song) each of us added our pure water to the water bowl to marry the waters. We tried to smudge but couldn’t get a match to light the sacred sage; it was too damp. We each took a pinch of tobacco in our left hand. In turn each spoke their intentions of remembrance before beginning ceremony and added a pinch of tobacco to the basswood Two Headed Bear Dream Bowl handmade by Frank Galli. The bowl was made especially for Water Ceremony offerings.  Then I gave a short talk on the observations of water to the sisters.

Message: Grandmother Tonya Whitedeer is one of the Ambassadors of the White Buffalo Family in Oregon. She is with them now and doing ceremony as we stand in circle. Worth Cooley-Prost is traveling from Arlington, VA to the Carolinas. Worth is standing with us in ceremony at the same hour where ever she is. I remembered Shelley Ruth Wyndham, Cape Town, South Africa, who asked that she be remembered each time we stand in Water Ceremony. She is with us in ceremony.   Mother Earth is going through a Great Cleansing and weather is and will become more violent.  We are to stand firmly grounded to the earth and hold any fear in our feet which is solidly planted in communication  with Mother Earth. We are not to let fear rise up through our bodies. We are not to be afraid when great and turbulent changes occur around us. We are to know that Mother Earth is protecting us. We are the Water Walkers, water sisters and water teachers.As women we are called to protect water. We are not alone. We are here to grow in healing energy work as we band together all over the world. Each of us in our own environment is here to teach others not to be afraid and to help people cross over the rainbow road after a storm. We are here at this moment to personally adapt to Climate Change and its consequences. We need to learn what our agricultural plant growing zone is and may be in the predicted future. We need to plant appropriately while we look towards the future. Current plant zoning is changing. In Northwest Wisconsin instead of planting the same species of downed trees ( Birch, Red Pine and Jack Pine) of the last storm in Minong on July 1, we need to look at a zone or two further south and plant accordingly. We need to personally adapt and teach others to adapt. There is no sense in old programming of being alarmed when our immediate world is changing and negatively lamenting the changes. If we survive I believe this is sufficient enough to be grateful. The solution: Think positive because we are still here doing our work. Adapt! This is the message.

Then we sang to the four direction, using our birch bark clapping sticks.  The clouds were getting black and thunder clouds came closer. After concluding the Water Song we ended ceremony sooner, packed up our ceremonial objects and headed back to the Hospitality House. Before we left the sand dunes, Sandy put down the sacred items she brought to the ceremony. These were a shell and rock. I left a tear drop shell in a special place also which was significant because we were blessed by rain during ceremony.

Parched sand dunes from drought.
Parched sand dunes from drought.

One of the observations I have noticed since I started working on water issues and Water Ceremony, with the Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites, is that I am forever thirsty. Northwest Wisconsin experienced a seven-year drought .  I am conscious of having a dry mouth and wanting to drink water.

NOTE: Parts of this state’s North Woods and the adjacent Upper Peninsula of Michigan are the only areas in the continental USA experiencing “extreme” drought. It’s the region’s most severe drought since the 1930s and its longest dry period since the 1950s, says Roy Eckberg, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Green Bay, Wis. Learn more at http://www.usatoday.com/weather/drought/2010-06-24-drought_N.htm

Artesian well with spout and cup
Artesian well with spout and cup

I am grateful for all the rain in 2011 even though we have had to deal with strange, unpredictable and more frequent violent storms. Even the clouds have changed to forms I have never seen before. Now I keep a weather radio on.

I am secure in knowing  that there is pure water at the artesian well in the woods where sweet water flows to the surface from deep within Mother Earth. What a happy woodlands it is that surrounds the artesian well. Even though the trip is long and I need to drive 60 miles round trip from Minong to Shell Lake and back, I am happiest when I am drinking this precious pure water.

After the Water Ceremony Godavari wrote, “Thanks so much, so very much, for having us at your place, especially right after the trauma of the storms, when it must have been hard for you to get ready.  I like that it rained on our ceremony.  In Siddha Yoga rain is auspicious (highly beneficial, a good omen) because it is a blessing upon the  earth and its people.  As you said, it is life itself.  After our ceremony, I began drinking water with much gratitude, knowing we are blessed to have clean water on this part of the earth.  And inside, I feel a purification beginning, which the water ceremony seemed to launch.  Purifying me of anger and resentment, making space for greater love.  So in a personal way too, I am grateful to you for leading us in honoring water, in honoring Mother Earth.

Note: Godavari  means goddess of a holy river, and there is a River Godavari, as they call it there, near the Siddha Yoga ashram in India.

Worth Cooley-Prost says, “My part of Water Ceremony was brief and on the move, but held my Heart and I hope added something Good to the whole. My old (85 now!) friend Dot, who co-founded the Light Group in Kinston NC in the early 1970s, brought me a little container of water from there. (It used to be artesian well water, now it’s a mix of that and water from the Neuse River… anyway, Water from close-to-me Ancestors’ home since 1841 or so.) And our car smelled so wonderful with sage lit!

Tonya Whitedeer Cargill is a Clan Mother of the Bear Clan of Medicine Creek Metis in Laytonville, CA.  She holds women’s circles and Grandmother Net of Light Ceremonies.  She is one of the Ambassadors’ for the Sacred White Buffalo Family in Northern Oregon.  She is currently working on a novel that is coming to her through Spirit.  Tonya works with endangered species Medicines of the Green Nation and maintains a Medicine Walk open to the public to educate all those that come to her land named through Spirit as Medicine Creek. Visit the Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites at http://waterblessings.org/

Mary Ellen Ryall is a Council Guide of the Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites and Executive Director of Happy Tonics, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization and public charity. Ryall is the author of My Name is Butterfly published in 2011 by Salt of the Earth Press. The book will be available on Amazon shortly.

The fully illustrated children’s book gives testimony of why native plants are important for pollinators. The charming book teaches about the life cycle of the monarch butterfly and its only host plant milkweed. Over the last eight years Ryall has planted milkweed at the sand dunes. Monarch butterflies flitted about the day of the Water Ceremony. This is another good sign that the monarch butterfly abounds in Minong in and near the sand dunes.

 

Snowshoeing makes me happy

Today it warmed; I headed out on my snowshoes this afternoon. Sunshine on my face was so warm and inviting. Recently a General Dollar store opened in Minong. I was looking for the wild asparagus stand but I didn’t find it. Surely I thought the dead heads would be sticking up through the snow. It looks like the builders may have plowed them under while bulldozing the site. I will go back there in early spring to see if perhaps the deep roots survived and new shoots hopefully will brighten my day with nature’s wild edibles.

I did see some trees that look like they may be cherry. I hadn’t discovered them before when I trekked through this land. I will explore more closely this spring. I love where I live. I saw lots of deer tracks and at least one fox trail on the back property. There were some pretty big foot prints on the front property and I think it may have been a wolf.  The field that I normally walk out to had no deer tracks. This is unusual because there are usually deer tracks out there. It was a blessing to be out and about on snowshoes all by myself. I absolutely love to be alone in nature.  It is a walking meditation to me and I am revived when I am outside with wind, sun and snow.

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