Monthly Archives: April 2013

Writing prompt: Inspired by Hafiz

Stop making me a pregnant tree! That’s what the clay yelled at me yesterday. “Stop making me a pregnant tree!” I was taken aback. Because from the start she kept saying,” Tree Woman, Tree Woman”. So why she gets all in a huff, all of a sudden, I do not know. I was utterly confused, still am…OK, so that was a lie. She never actually did say that, but I had to start somewhere.
What actually happened was… I was possessed by the Tobacco Spirit. I have only been utterly possessed by the Tobacco Spirit twice, so I can only say that it was a lot like keeping company with the spirit of Peyote. Tobacco Spirit made me sing for two hours the first day: and the Star Flower crowned. The next day I was required to sing for one and a half hours and the Star Flower was born.
I do hope that one day I will be able to describe this magic in words. How it is that Spirit guides me through this process. How the Elephant Spirit will push open a door I had never even noticed and there before me in my own home, in my own heart, I find the Holy. Holy Holy is thy name; you sing it for two hours and see what happens. The star flower is a mandala which Tobacco Spirit sends to help us “tiny men” realize its vast magnificence.
Moving from the Elephant Spirit, which is constant change, huge metamorphosis, and the bringing of the Holy Rains…into the eight directional balance and groundedness of the Holy of Holies is quite a journey. Two pots of transformation… two days of shifting were required to get me there, to get me there. It is this magical journey that I long to put into words. How do I even begin: In a world where almost no one remembers the holiness of which I speak. White Buffalo Woman, please hear my prayers. How do I carry this Holy Child into the world?
Oh my God Hafiz, Attar was right! God has made love to me and the whole universe is germinating inside my belly! Piece by piece I give birth to The Big U. I give birth to Grandfather Coyote. I give birth to Tree Woman. I give birth to Rock Woman. I give birth to the Elephant Spirit; to the Badger Spirit, to the Dog Spirit, to the Snake, to the turtle, to Javalin… and now the most holy of holies…I birth the Star Flower. But where do I go from here? I mean who really cares in this world? You made me a tiny woman but my children are not of this world. How do I protect them and at the same time let them go?
I had a dream: Spirit said, “Slow down, you can’t see where you are going.” Well that’s for sure. I have no idea where this is all going but it cannot be stopped, nor denied. The universe is spilling out of my belly at an alarming rate. White Buffalo Calf Woman I need you now. I need you as my midwife. I need you as my Nanny. I need you as my sister. You got me into this along time ago. I know you remember! Now please, bring me home, show me the way.
The stars are falling.
Falling from my hands…
Falling to Earth as flowers…
Holy Holy is thy name.


Something unusual seems to be happening in the studio today. I guess that means its business as usual. Today the snake spirit asks the seemingly impossible. Which of course means that it surely is possible. My best days in the studio are the ones when I feel it happening… I feel the presence of spirit beckoning me forward into something utterly new.
I have been working with Snake since the old days in Alaska. Way back in the egg rattle days. Somewhere out there, there must be a snakes’ egg rattle or two.
The Snake medicine bowls of Arizona came directly out of the Wolf medicine bowls. The third time Wolf came, spirit said, “Wolf only came to open the door for Snake.”In other words, the teacher only came to open the door for the healer. The Snake medicine bowls are only the second double spirals thus far. Where Wolf spirals down in (the journey to finding the gift) and is then required to break trail yet again to find a whole new path way out ( the journey of bring the gift into the world)… The Snakes both emerge from the center, moving outward. Where the original snakes moved as opposing forces, outward, like two arms raised up in prayer: left and right, male and female… in this new form the snakes move together, entwined… mating… conception. They move as one, in a sacred dance.
There is a kind of chaos here. A lot of electricity! When Jesus said, “Take up your bed and walk”, he shocked a lot of people! This new Snake medicine is a swirling storm of thunder and lightning: shocking, reawakening, scattering, rearranging chaos into new forms.
Also this newer snake energy embodies the energy and protective quality of the coral bean. There is protective prayer built right in to this form. The male and female mating snakes are very difficult to see; in nature and in the clay. It is a private matter this ultimate joining together, deserving protection.
It seems the most important lesson spirit wants me to get right now, is that even though it seems impossible for me to do what they are asking…if I just move forward in faith the seemingly impossible is possible. Or as Johnny Trudell would say, “Whatever can happen, just might.”

The Knowing and The Being

Perhaps the most important ingredient in cooking the shamanic into my work as a potter is my ability to surrender my personal desire to spirits direction. After completing the first seven Tobacco Spirit pots I knew the eighth would be my last. I did not want to quit. I wanted to continue. But Spirit was quite clear, it was time to prepare for my final pit firing of the season and move on into spring with the rest of nature.
I once put together a small collection of poems titled: Twenty Seven Poems: Shamanic in Nature. I thought this was really funny. It was a kind of playfulness in words. You see there is no other way to be shamanic. To be shamanic is to be ones true self in oneness with the rest of nature. I am an animal, first. I am a daughter of the Tree nation, literally. Grand Mother Moon rules over my life as absolutely as she does my sister the Owl’s. I am not a human being in the regular sense of the word. And so, in harmony with the spirit and nature of who I truly am I finished up my winters work.
Friday evening I began my springtime communion with the Snake Spirit, as requested by the Snake Spirit. Saturday morning I completed my second Snake medicine bowl. Later that day Moon Doggie sounded the alarm! I spent the next hour and a half bearing witness to the springtime mating ritual of two stunningly beautiful young rattlesnakes. They danced their sensuousness under the rare delight of a cloudy, cool, post spring equinox, post full moon ritual of conception: they danced. Twining and retwining, weaving themselves in and out of the mesquite fence, reaching for the sky. Falling four feet to the earth in their ecstatic primal love, they began again, entwining untwining, entwining again and again as they reach for the sky.
Some might suggest that I called them in, in to within eight feet of my house, to bless and be apart of my own ceremony in clay. But perhaps it is closer to the truth to understand that it was they who called me in to their ritual. Spirit and nature demand my participation. I am theirs, not yours. I have given my life into this thing. This love. My love of the clay is my love of Mother Earth given voice in form: a voice that sings in ecstasy. I am putting together a collection of pots, perhaps I shall call it: Twenty Seven Pots: Shamanic in Nature. More and more as I mature I live the knowing in the being.

Shar Shk Buk X

P.S. Are they mating or is this actually two males in competition for the attentions of a lovely female watching from near by?