Dear Friends, at the beginnings of this year I shared with you the article “Welcome 2017 – Year Of New Creations And New Beginnings“, in which I pointed out what the capacity for the collective energetic development of this year is for humanity. We looked at this big evolution process from the perspective of numerology, where this year is caring the vibration of the number 10, which provides us with endless strength and courage to bring new manifestations into this world.
Especially when we are talking about manifestations that are powered by the essence of our soul desires and human dreams for world peace,oneness and humaneness on planet earth. A driving collective desire, that vividly manifested already in the 2nd half of January in the worldwide women’s march, which started for Washington D.C. and turned in the blink of an eye into a big global movement. One of the abilities we all need to practice on our path right now, is the understanding how toguide and lead ourselves into a behavior fit for a Golden Age futureon planet earth. Lets all remember, that doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different outcome, is insanity. Who has to change is us, and that quickly! Let’s see what we can do to learn. Love and Blessings! Edith
“You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.”
“You cannot fulfill God’s purposes for your life while focusing on your own plans. ”
“Reason lost the battle, and all I could do was surrender and accept I was in love.”
This is the magical poem “We have come to be danced”, by Jewel Mathieson
We have come to be danced
Not the pretty dance
Not the pretty, pretty, pick me, pick me dance
But the claw our way back into the belly
Of the sacred, sensual animal dance
The unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
The holding the precious moment in the palms
Of our hands and feet dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
But the wring the sadness from our skin dance
The blow the chip off our shoulder dance.
The slap the apology from our posture dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the monkey see, monkey do dance
One two dance like you
One two three, dance like me dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker
Tearing scabs and scars open dance
The rub the rhythm raw against our soul dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the nice, invisible, self-conscious shuffle
But the matted hair flying, voodoo mama
Shaman shakin’ ancient bones dance
The strip us from our casings, return our wings
Sharpen our claws and tongues dance
The shed dead cells and slip into
The luminous skin of love dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
But the meeting of the trinity, the body breath and beat dance
The shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
The mother may I?
Yes you may take 10 giant leaps dance
The olly olly oxen free free free dance
The everyone can come to our heaven dance.
We have come to be danced
Where the kingdoms collide
In the cathedral of flesh
To burn back into the light
To unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
To root in skin sanctuary
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I highly recommend you take some time tomorrow and let yourself be papered!! Right after the 5 planet stellar alignment of yesterday (Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn!!) we are hitting the peek energy of this January Full Moon in Leo. Many of us are still processing the intense effects the resent magical stellar and intergalactic events had on our system, and staying grounded with our energies will be very important over the coming days. To spend some relaxed family time in nature and do a light workout (simply kick some balls with your children!), might be just the right thing to do. Also think of discovering / renewing / actively continuing your love-relationship with the powerful alchemy of your own breath, and let the waves of light wash away the past!! I hope you are all doing well and feel loved held and guided in this magical dance of constant transformation, we call life. The divine forces are on our side and support us with full power on our collective journey into the Golden Age of Aquarius. I hope you enjoy and use this amazing new energies that the Full Moon is providing to bring forward you true colors and pure light!
Loving Star Light and Blessings
Shared with the kind permission of the wonderful Kelley Rosano:
There is a Leo Full Moon on January 23. The best part of Leo is the inner child. You are to nourish and protect your childlike innocence. You are to be open to new ideas and fresh perspectives. Be curious about life. Be engaged in the magic of the moment. Be in your heart. Let go of the need to criticize and judge. This will kill your creativity. Instead, allow yourself to make mistakes. It is the only way to learn what works and what does not work for you. The magic word is “try.” Try something different. Keep an open mind and heart. Nourish your gifts. Gifts + Passion + Values = Calling. What does your heart desire? What are your gifts? What have you come to be? What talents have you come to share? What is your calling?Leo represents the creative individual. Aquarius is the power of the whole. There is strength in collaboration. Aquarius teaches us to transcend tribal limitations. You are to go beyond race, gender, age or country. All Are One. The sum (Aquarius) is equal to all of its parts (Leo). Unity builds community. When you join forces with like-minded people, you will be unstoppable. You matter. You count. You have an important role to play. What is your destiny? “Many think success means getting everything I want. And we say, that’s what dead is, and there is no such thing as that kind of dead. Success is not being done; not being complete. Success is still dreaming and feeling positive in the unfolding.” — Abraham
Full Moons are oppositions. On one side, you have the Sun and Pallas Athena in Aquarius. Pallas is the Goddess of Truth and Wisdom. On the other, you have a young Leo Moon. Shouting, “Who wants to play?” Aquarius is an intellectual and determined air sign. Aquarius teaches you about the power of knowledge, facts and reason. Leo is a fire sign. Leo rules leadership, creativity and love. Leo is passion. Aquarius is objectivity. The cosmic message is to balance your heart with your head. Find the middle ground in your relationships. Work to create the win/win with people. Live from your heart. And, be practical in your approach with your dreams and goals. There are many kinds of love. Romantic love is but one expression. Self/Soul love is the foundation to a healthy and happy life. You were born complete. You were born perfect. What you need is inside of you. Loneliness is a disconnect from your own soul (inner child). The word alone means All One. Love you more than the need for a relationship. Love you if you want another to love you. Love you. Make relationship a want not a need. You need food, water and sleep. These are real needs. Relationship is a want. You want it, if, the union adds value to your life. You want relationship, if the person makes your life better. You receive. What is true for you? What do you love and value? Is your heart in the work you are doing? Is your heart in the relationship? Are you living the life that you have dreamed?The Law of Attraction rules the universe. That, which is within you, is what you draw to you. Change on the inside first. Then the outside will reflect what you want. Change yourself. Be the soul mate to you that you want in your life. In this way, you will attract one who is healthy and whole. Your soul mate will arrive when you are ready. Make the space for a partner if this is what you desire. Act as if, s/he is already here. Give to you the love you want from another. The Leo Full Moon is saying, “Don’t wait to celebrate. Live as if you have what you want.” Then you will be a match in vibration for your heart’s desire. Be love. Be joy. Shine your light. This is very attractive. There are 100 Ways to make you irresistible to the right people and opportunities. Use The Irresistible Attraction Program. Make it happen.
Leo is about who you really are. Your heart. Your essence. Your Inner Child. Purity. Living your life from your creative self-expression. Embracing your unique Self. Aquarius is community. Leo is the creative individual. Aquarius is the power of the whole. There is strength in collaboration. There is strength in numbers. Aquarius teaches us to transcend tribal limitations. You are to go beyond race, gender, age or country. The sum (Aquarius) is equal to all of its parts (Leo). Unity builds community. When you join forces with like-minded people, you will be unstoppable. You matter. You count. You have an important role to play. What is your calling? Now is the time to use your gifts to create a better world. Why are you here at the turning of the ages? Mercury will couple with Pluto at the time of the Full Moon and on January 29. This energy is intense and penetrating. Watch out for mental obsession. Worry is focusing on what you do not want. Wherever your mind goes energy follows. Focus on what you want, not on what you do not. You can solve any mystery or puzzle. You can get to the heart of the matter quickly. Truth may be revealed. On the other hand, be careful. The waters could get rough. It is going to be intense. It could be challenging at times. Some people may be aggressive. Take good care of you. Mars is the planet of action and desire. He is in Scorpio. Mars is challenging both lights (the Sun and the Moon.) On the one hand, this empowers you to complete your creative endeavors. Watch out for losing your temper. Conversations can erupt into disagreements. This energy can make you irritable. Mars creates sexual tension. Make love not war. Channel your energy into physical activity. If you notice your anger rising, count to ten. This is temporary. The Moon harmonizes with Saturn later that day and then Uranus. Do something new and creative. Build up your strength. Practice patience. Meditate. The Leo Full Moon message is follow your heart’s desire. Play. Let your inner child soar. Fall in love with life. Nurture your gifts. Gifts + Passion + Values = Calling. You end the month with Mercury Direct! This is good news. This is your green light from the universe. You can move ahead with your plans. The Aquarius New Moon on February 8 will be a great time to start a new job or project. Begin a new love affair. Be bold. Be brave. Be Blessed. Be safe. Be well. You are loved. All Are One.
“Let your light shine for your soul is merry and bright. As you share you with this world,
all is better for it.” —Ivo/Lisa Dorr
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we are approaching a period in the development of human kind, where relationships are ready to go through a major transformation. Daily more people realize that the current paradigm of being with each other, does not really work for human beings and needs to be adapted to the time we are living in. The divine forces have blessed us with intense light impulses during the whole month of December last year. A part of the collective impact we experienced is the cleansing of the human energy field from the thinking and behavior pattern of the first chakra. This upgrade in frequency in the physical body of all beings on the planet, has an impact on how we experience love relationships, sexuality, territorial behavior, family or tribal bounds, and leadership.
In the new paradigm for romantic relationships, we will see more and more people choose their partner rather from a sense of purpose, inner guidance and soul connection, than practical reasons or pure sexual attraction. And when people decide to be together because they can feel a mutual soul contract, than the relationship is allowed to naturally strive rather than “function”. When the beings involved in a relationship are also individually committed truth seeker, than the partnership becomes a journey of evolution with endless potential for growth. And as human beings we need the feeling of inner growth, otherwise we loose the sense for fulfilling our soul’s purpose. This shift of awareness to the soul level of our connections, lifts us to a place where cooperation and collaboration are experienced as equally shared in responsibility and created from a place of ease.Together with this changes a relaxation settles into the interactions between the sexes, which leads us to more authentic and truthful communication. In the partners loving presence, we train to reveal our secrets in a profound emotional openness and a transformed feeling of solidarity. Within the new relationship paradigm, we also will see more couples who value growth more than anything else. And the ones who are wise, strive towards spiritual expansion, even at the risk of outgrowing the relationship within the process. That might be scary in times, but it also maintains a natural feeling of aliveness, freedom and loving energy-flow between the relationship partners.
Within the new paradigm for community living , clan members meet by soul calling, for the mutual reason of consciously supporting each others evolution process (and often as well the collective awakening). Everybody is committed to allow authentic expression, even if that means to be triggered in their beliefs systems. As we start building this conscious communities according to the divine blueprint for the Golden Age of Aquarius, we will see more and more guideline models arise, that include techniques from our ancestors in their toolbox.
From the talking circle to the conflict solving group meeting, from the healing tent to the transformation ritual, everyone is celebrating a comeback!! In growing groups of cultural expressions, like the so called “New Hippie Movement”, we can see the first alive models at work. And as our current society is a product of human concepts, not of divine will in this moment of time, it is on us to make all necessary steps for this alignments now. When the groups sharing also include the spiritual practices of total acceptance, being present with another, instant forgiveness and a commitment for allowing vulnerability, their communities will have the vibrations and feeling of a Sacred Space. A home where every member feels safe, welcome and appreciated to SIMPLE BE.
And leadership, well that is shifting in peoples heads as well. When I was a child, impressive people in leading positions, pretty much scared the living daylight out of me. They where simple unapproachable!! No warm feelings, no openness, there was nothing that mad me feel safe within the energy field they where radiating. Well, the natural born leader our collective awakening is now inviting to step up, will be human beings with the soul capacity to do a better job. A leader the awakening masses will identify as real now, is a being who naturally knows how to put the ego aside and truly care for others. Their communication skills will include the awareness, transparency and honesty, that are required to create an authentic relationship with others. Traits we should demand from our future authority figures like Politicians, Teacher, Doctors and Police officer!
A true leader also has to be able to co-operate and create with others on an energetically honest level, and with the focus on a win win situation. Doing so allows them to develop the ability to let others shine, without feeling threatened or attacked by their abilities. Anad a natural leader knows when to step in and give the collective a direction, and when to step back and let others do their part.
Dear Ones, i hope this little collection of insides has brought joy to your heart about the expected changes, maybe vibrated with some of the desires you are also caring in your soul, and invited you to even more spiritual growth in this magical year 2016. May the guidance of your higher-self sound loud and clear in your ear ;-), and lead you to the fulfillment of all of your hopes and dreams for community living, love relations and future leadership, that we actually can trust! I wish you inner peace and send blessings of love! Edith
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Dear Friends, I really loved reading this article!! Again a conscious man truly spend time thinking about what is going on in our relationships. To me, he came of quite angry at the beginning, but I love his conclusion. In my work with couples I saw quite often women taking the emotional high horse, in the believe that simple being female makes them the better being ;-).. Nice try sisters… I also found it very interesting that he addressed the issue of women often not being able to hold space for the vulnerability of their partner, even when they express to desire an emotional man. That is an issue ladies!! One we collectively have to address! We can not call for equality with or partner and than not give him the space to experience, live and show all his deeper feelings… that’s a natural contradiction!
I think that first we, the women of the world need to be clear in our inner understanding of our individual “Good Man”, than we will be able to recognize him on the street!
Again this is a piece send to me by a reader, unfortunately without name of the author. I bless him for this little wake up call to all humanity, to become the partners we desire to meet! Such a valuable read for men and women – to good to keep to myself!! Love and Blessings from me!! EdithThe other day I was speaking to my friend about the realities of dating and relationships today. It only takes a glimpse into the interactions on any relationship article or Instagram love quote, to see there are far more women reading and striving to improve their relationships than men.
This isn’t just true in the realm of social media. Women are the consumers of far more articles and books regarding bettering themselves in love. Whereas, we as men, are more open and willing to read a book on how to be a better leader, how to pick up women or manipulate our way through life. Many of these books, I’m reluctant to admit, have had a comfortable life on my shelf.
The line between work and home and how we behave is vague at best. As men, do we not see that the way we behave in romantic relationships and family systems is a form of leadership and teamwork too? That the way we are at home can translate to how we show up at work, and vice versa?
In addition, women are often a much more accurate barometer of the emotional state of relationships. Just think about the percentage of times a man says, “I want to talk about us” or “Things just seem off, I was hoping we could have a chat about how we’re doing.” Male-initiated emotional conversations are few and far between. And this is even further supported by the mere fact that about two thirds of divorces are set in motion by women.
If we were to survey most established romantic relationships, it wouldn’t take long before we would see that men can exist in a relationship that is not necessarily amazing, but not bad either. Kind of like a “good enough to stay and not bad enough to leave” situation. I don’t mean all men, but most men. And when a woman finally leaves that’s when he says, “Wait!? I didn’t even realize things were bad! You never even tried!”
Oh yes. She did. And we were not listening, and maybe she was not saying it the right way. Or maybe no one taught us how to maintain a great relationship.In order for men to thrive in relationships, good men need to teach good men.
However, with women there is a belief that they have an inherent ability to thrive in relationships and there is a pervasive arrogance to the messages regarding their emotional intelligence and capacity for love. One needs to only survey a couple of women before you’ll hear the commonly uttered phrase, “There are no good men out there.”
It’s a provocative thought isn’t it? Are there enough good men for good women?
To move forward there is a need to define the idea of what makes a “good man” and what makes a “good woman”?
We could argue that a good man is one who shows integrity, honesty, the qualities of good fatherhood, supportive, empathy, and is kind in his words and offers fidelity. This is going to be defined a little differently by each person, but for sake of argument we can/will assume this is what makes men inherently “good”.
What defines a good woman? It’s likely very similar to what makes for a good man, except for the ever important caveat of women having different genitalia. What makes a good women seems controversial to even discuss, doesn’t it? Because we usually just assume that on average women are the “good ones”, don’t we?
It sounds insulting to state “There are no good women out there” as indicates that women on average are not good. Then why is it ok to suggest that men are not good?
From what I have observed and read in the relationship world, I see that men are under the microscope when it comes to love and relationships, and women are told they are perfect at love, and that men need to step it up.
Have we truly invited men to be emotional?
Brené Brown’s research supports the idea that when a man breaks down and shares emotions with a woman, he loses her trust. His vulnerability reduces the safety his lady feels. This in turn, causes her to become angry and in some ways resent him for displaying a softer side of masculinity.
I thought we wanted emotional men? Is emotional equilibrium what we truly seek? Based on the vast majority of literature and conversations I indulge in, the mass consensus appears to be that men should be to be able to talk about how they feel.So what do women really want?
It’s no wonder men feel confused about what role they need to play in relationships. There is a disconnect between what is asked of them and what they are empowered and rewarded for being. Now, truth be told, it’s not like men everywhere are shedding tears, opening their hearts, and losing their woman because of emotional transparency. Men do not tend to share their emotions, they do not tell the women in their lives that they are upset or don’t feel loved. Men are lost, because no one taught them what being a man means, or what they are taught is patriarchal and “old fashioned”.
Brene’s research demonstrates men being their vulnerable selves may actually result in disconnection with their partner, which is the opposite result of the intention of sharing. So on each man goes, pretending that men don’t have emotions and are not good at talking about feelings. Because if he is sensitive he is a “pussy”, certainly not emotionally intelligent and aware of his emotional state. We can safely say that all those things which traditionally defined the masculine model for the last couple of centuries have been displaced, and women often find themselves making the money and decisions. We are quick to point out where men can step it up, but we do not think or discuss the idea of where women can step up their game, do we?
Women do so many things well. They show up emotionally and they create community. Women, are inherently good. They are beautifully kind, empathetic, nurturing and supportive. They build amazing social programs and have rallied to create a female empowerment movement that is unbelievably inspiring, and unbelievably needed.
There is still much oppression of the feminine, and every country and culture has a lot of work to do to have women treated with equality, and empowered and supported by all men. That’s why I think this conversation is important, because in order for women to thrive, men need to as well. I think that we are all here for connection and to share our hearts, but we cannot do it alone.It begs me to ask: Are we forgetting about men, in the effort to save women? Have we forgotten about all the good men out there through our desire not to disturb the feminine? Celebration of men and the male model is uncommon. We tend not to talk about all the amazing fathers, and unbelievably stand up men who we can call at any hour and would do anything for all the people in their lives. Because there are a lot of them.
I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up with, and really have only enjoyed the company of great men. Men of integrity and consistency in how they show up for the women and men in their lives. But, I do not think that it is rare, and it is not only my friends and athletic teammates who are like this.
Everywhere I travel I meet incredible men. I can see and find good men, because they are who I look for. Just like all the women I know are incredible, intelligent, kind and have some of the brightest souls on the planet.
The truth is, we get what we focus on. There are a lot of women who focus on their inability to find good men. I hear “There are no good men out there” from women who have emotional wounds. Women who have chosen men and ignored red flags. Women who cheat and lie to themselves and others. Women who have their own work to do.
I’m not saying men don’t have work to do. We do. And women have work to do too. It’s a human problem, not a gender problem. We, as men, need to build from within first and create conscious communities where men can learn to support and develop together. We need to teach each other, and even more importantly, we need to teach our sons how to become a good men and what that means. We need to be GREAT fathers. We need to embrace and embody the emotional skills required of us to be amazing leader in every facet of our lives. We need to show up for the women(and men) in our lives and demonstrate kindness and empathy. We need to remember and celebrate all of the men who are changing the world. We need to create a space for men to thrive, and instead of trying to destroy each other, we need to build each other up. I commend all the good men who push for change and equality. Who don’t see gender, and instead see hearts; hearts that crave connection and love. I am so proud to be a man and to share this planet with such amazing and wonderful men.
To answer the question, “Are There Enough Good Men For Good Women?”: YES, I believe that there are more than enough good men out there.
And if this is true, it begs the next question: Are there enough good women who can hold the space for good men?
I hope this read inspired you to dig deep into your believe system and emotional body! And that this will enable you to find the very last old thought, that might have kept you from seeing a “REAL GOOD MAN”… Just like the author, I meet them everyday… They are really everywhere! It truly is a matter of focus!! Love and Blessings Edith
Dear Friends, I hope you have noticed the amazing, magnificent, WORLD CHANGING, events that happened this week on our planet. An incredible victory of powerful, peaceful, collective change regarding political influence and military power has been achieved by the consisting force of Guatemala’s people. A change, that expresses the qualities of the numerology number 8 – the number we are experiencing as human collective in 2015. A brand new blueprint of divine will, guidance and faith is created for our world – available for all of us, to pick up and fulfill the call for authentically, truly serving leadership. Let’s choose people of authenticity, integrity, honesty, service now! This are qualities we need for a Golden Age of Aquarius!!
So “what happened” in Guatemala and why is it “so important”, you might ask.
On a 3d level that is quickly explained – the president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina, resigned at midnight of the September night 2nd to 3rd – only 3 days before the upcoming election, under the constant peaceful pressure of thousands of Guatemalans, sick of corruption, scandal and betrayal from their government. An incredible act of peaceful revolution in co-creation with the divine will for our collective!
And why is this such a WORLD CHANGING event??
To answer that question we have to take a little look at the energies the numerology year 8 is carrying within and the history of Guatemala .The number 8 is the great Karmic equalizer. An energy that just as easily creates as it destroys. As the 8 comes knocking on our door, we can be sure to be taught the Universal Spiritual Law of Cause and Effect. The law expresses – ‘as you give so you shall receive’, or ‘you reap what you sow’. The 8 balances the material and immaterial worlds. At its best, it is as spiritual as it is materialistic. And, it teaches us to see money as a tool, rather than an end-result. When the energy of the vibrational field 8 kicks in, it creates a powerful drive to succeed. It’s the ability to rise above aversions and adversity, the clarity for good decision-making and it usually achieves it’s goals. The frequency 8 is also a call for authentic leadership in integrity, that integrates a profound understanding of human nature. And this is where Guatemala comes into the picture!
Because another of the impressive qualities that are provided for us by the current energy dynamic are, learning through experience, true justice, patience, self-discipline, insights, spiritual consciousness, a desire for peace, a deep love for humanity and the need for world transformation. Divine qualities that created human action! Action, that the Guatemalan people have shown to a level of beautiful self-mastery.
And this is so amazing, because Guatemala experienced an unspeakable brutal, from outside forces directed, soul destroying civil war, in the years 1960 – 1996 (both numerology years 7 – expressing spiritual growth, destruction of the old for the sake of new beginnings – in alignment with the energies for a needed step in evolution).
A war that left the population in deep drama and fear about the negative power and impact their military and police forces have shown. The pain and suffering of hundreds of thousands civil victims, most of them from the indigenous tribes of the Maya (the natives of the Republic of Guatemala), left the country in a state of deep trauma.
And September 2015, only 15 years later, this people have gathered the strength for a leap of faith. The unity to stand up for a peaceful change. And please take the time to contemplate what an immense sigh of strength that was!! In the same physical space, where so many of their own had been slaughtered by military forces and their governments police, they overcame their fears, memories and emotional imprints, to create an energy field of freedom from their so resent past.
They held their space, demanded their human right for honesty in leadership, without the violent history repeating (on an energetic level, you only need to transform 51% of the old energy, to shift a pattern. The other 49% are deep root searching and detail cleansing, within the different manifestations – created from the same energetic origin).
So the change has happened!! The first manifestation, created by the voice of people who desire a prosperous, peaceful and shared life on this planet, has happened!!!!
Go out and spread the word!!!! Celebrate the amazing work, done by the people of Guatemala!!! Send them your deepest blessings and gratitude for this amazing service to the human race. Burn fires and candles in their honor, create ceremonies to invite this peaceful force of transforming energies into your country or, give more love and strength to the frequency field, that now is awakening for everyone.
Or simple consider yourself lucky!!! For you have been part of this amazing, magical world, in this mind blowing time of change for the human collective, to witness the seeds of the New World unfold!!
Personally, I feel extraordinary blissful, proud and whole today, because the amazing magical landscape and the heart-centered people of Guatemala, are my souls home and the passion of my heart!
Wish you courage and peace in the heart, when you are called to stand up and be part of the next big step of our new collective creation!!!
Read tomorrow how you can be an active part of charging the newly created energy field of world peace, with your supportive thoughts and actions!! Feel free to share this article, just include all credits and links please!!
This is a brief summary of a visual presentation, first shown in 1986, which was given in September 2005 at the Shamanic Studies Conference in San Rafael, California.
A Chukchee proverb declares, “.” (1) Yet the female dimension of this realm of spiritual experience has often been slighted. Mircea Eliade believed that women shamans represented a degeneration of an originally masculine profession, yet was hard put to explain why so many male shamans customarily dressed in women’s clothing and assumed other female-gendered behaviors. Nor does the masculine-default theory account for widespread traditions, from Buryat Mongolia to the Bwiti religion in Gabon, that the first shaman was a woman.
In fact, women have been at the forefront of this field worldwide, and in some cultures, they predominate. This was true in ancient China and Japan, as it still is in modern Korea and Okinawa, as well as among many South African peoples and northern Californians such as the Karok and Yurok. There are countless other examples, including the machi of the Mapuche in southern Chile and the babaylan and catalonan of the Philippines.
Images, oral traditions, and historical descriptions show women as invokers, healers, herbalists, oracles and diviners, ecstatic dancers, shapeshifters, shamanic journeyers, and priestesses of the ancestors. The Chinese Wu were ecstatic priestesses who danced to the music of drums and flutes until they reached trance, receiving shen (spirits) into their bodies, healing and prophesying under their inspiration, speaking in tongues, swallowing swords and spitting fire. The power of the shen gathered around the whirling dancers was said to cause objects to rise into the air, to prevent wounds from forming when the dancers slashed themselves with knives.
Similar descriptions were recorded by Greco-Roman visitors to Anatolia: “At Castabala, in Cappadocia, the priestesses of an Asiatic goddess, whom the Greeks called Artemis Perasia, used to walk barefoot through a furnace of hot charcoal and take no harm.” (2)
Certain female burials from ancient Central Asia have been designated as shamanic priestesses by archaeologists Natalia Polosmak and Jeanine Davis-Kimball. The priestess of Ukok (fifth century BCE) was buried in a three-foot-tall framed headdress adorned with a Tree of Life, with gilded felines and birds on its branches. Similar finds have been excavated at Ussun’ in south Kazakhstan, and from the Ukraine to the Tarim basin, with recurrent themes of the Tree of Life headdress, amulets, incense, medicine bags, and sacramental mirrors. Such mirrors are also seen in the Bactrian region of Afghanistan, held facing out against the body, and they still figure as initiatory devices wielded by female adepts in Tibet. The overwhelmingly female mikogami of Japan also kept the “sacred mirror” of the sun goddess Amaterasu.
My visual presentation Woman Shaman includes a sequence of women shapeshifting into animal form or riding on the backs of shamanic steeds. These themes recur in many shamanic traditions, and are vividly illustrated in modern Arctic carvings. An Aleut ivory (circa 1816) shows a woman shaman wearing an animal mask. Other examples from the mid-20th century include “Woman Riding a Bear” by Cecilia Arnadjuk, Repulse Bay, Canada; “Woman/Polar Bear” by Odin Maratse, Greenland; a walrus-tusked “Woman Shaman” by Nancy Pukingrnak of Baker Lake; a half-woman, half-walrus piece titled “Woman Shaman Transforming Herself”; and “Medicine Woman” by Kaka of Cape Dorset.
The darwisa or maraboutes of North Africa bear Islamic titles, but practice much older North African customs. Among the Tunisian cave-dwellers, the darwisa cures sick people from possession from the jnun. In the ritual, she plays drum rhythms to discover which jinn caused illness; when she hits the right one, the person begins to dance. Then the darwisa talks to the spirit about what caused the illness and what is required to cure it. (3)
Codices produced by Aztec artists shortly after the Spanish conquest show women presiding over the temescal (sweat lodge). One of the invocations sung by such a priestess was recorded: “Mother of the gods and us all, whose creative and lifegiving power shone in the Temezcalli, also named Xochicalli, the place where she sees sacred things, sets to right what has been deranged in human bodies, makes young and tender things growing and strong, and where she aids and cures.” (4) Invocatory chants have remained an element of Mexican Indian shamanism. One of the great master was Maria Sabina, “the woman who knows how to swim in the sacred,” whose incantations seem to have acted as a means of entering into deep states of consciousness. Laying on of hands was part of her healing practice. Further north, in California, Bernice Torrez of the Kashaya Pomo, healed by touching and removing spirits of illness from the body of the sick person. She was the daughter of Essie Parrish, the great yomta, a title which means “Song.” This prophet-seeress carried chants for ceremonies, healing, and control of the elements.
Chant and shaking a sacred rattle are important elements in the practice of Katjambia, a Himba medicine woman in Namibia. As she shakes the rattle, she calls out Njoo, Njoo, in a “secret language from Angola.” After absorbing the negative energies into her own body, Katjambia returns to the sacred fire of her ancestors, who release them. A song by the Chilean composer and folklorist Violeta Parra celebrates the powers of the Mapuche machi, describing how she presides over the guillatún ceremonies and how her shamanizing cures the sick and brings a crop-threatening rain to an end.
The healing power of female shamans was occasionally stated to have been so far-reaching that they were described as being able to restore life to the dead. So it was told of Pa Sini Jobu, great Tungutu of the Bosso people in the middle Niger region. Her method of dancing to ecstasy and shifting into the form of a great bird echoes the story told of Isis. Both the goddess and the Tungutu are described as beating their wings over the dead (a ram, in Pa Sini Jobu’s case) and bringing them to life. (The Colchian sorceress Medea is also pictured bringing a ram to life, using a cauldron, herbs, and incantations.) In western Africa, the sorceress Kulutugubaga has the power to heal all and bring the dead to life. She is the last of the legendary Nine Sorceresses of Mande.
Reviving the dead was one of the marvels performed by Yeshe Tsogyel, a foundational figure of Tibetan Buddhism. In Lady of the Lotus Born, she says, “… In Nepal I brought a dead man back to life… My body journeyed like a rainbow in celestial fields…” (5) This 8th-century poem is loaded with shamanistic content, recast in a Buddhist mold. The shamanic Bönpo religion is known to have contributed many elements to Tibetan Buddhism.
A Manchurian epic, Nishan Shaman, turns around the story of a woman who is the most powerful shaman in the country. She is called upon to revive the son of a rich man after countless others had failed. She beats her drum, chants, and sinks as if lifeless herself while journeying to the Otherworld, where she meets up with Omosi-mama, the “divine grandmother” who “causes leaves to unfurl and the roots to spread properly,” who is the giver of souls and protectress of children. It was she who ordained that Nishan would become a great shaman.
Of course, Nishan finds the soul of the dead boy. But she is pursued by her long-dead husband, who demands to be saved as well, but she calls for a great crane to seize him and throw him back into the city of the dead. The shaman is hailed as a heroine when she comes back to the upper world and showered with riches. Later she faces repression from Confucian authorities who accuse her of not being an obedient wife, and they burn her shamanic regalia and drum. (6)
In much the same way, Spanish colonials persecuted women shamans in the Philippines, calling them “devil-ridden old women” and “witches,” and destroying their shrines and sacred objects. (7) Maya oracles and shamans faced the same treatment; the Tzoltzil priestess María Candelaria raised an insurrection in Chiapas in 1712 to resist the repression of the indigenous religion.
Several hundred years ago, the Jesuit Acosta wrote that Peruvian witches were shapeshifters who could journey through the skies and foretell the future “by means of certain stones or other things they highly venerate.” He and other Spanish sources agreed that the witches were mostly old women.(8) The colonials imposed their own preconceptions on Peruvian shamans, notably that of the devil and flying ointments, and persecuted these Quechua and Aymara women shamans as witches.
The Peruvian Inquisition forbade seeking knowledge through dreams or signs in the sky or through vision quests: “the said women other times go out to the country by day and at night, and take certain brews of herbs and roots, called achuma and chamico and coca, with which they deceive themselves and numb their senses, and the illusions and fantastic scenes which they experience there, they think and claim afterwards as revelations, or certain news of what will happen.” (9)
Inquisitors tried the curandera Juana Icha for healing with the power of the old Quechua gods. She had offered corn meal, coca and chicha to the mountain spirit Apo Parato. An Indian informer told the monks that she “worships the earth and the stars and cries to the water.” (10)