Wednesday, 21 December 2011
I just wanted to wish all my friends many blessings on Solstice or for Yule or Christmas ... whatever you personally are celebrating may your celebrations be wonderful!
There seems to be something interesting going on here with a pile of food and presents appearing. I wonder which one is for me? I do so love this time of year!
Many blessings to all Indie Shaman subscribers and customers; to all Indie Shaman Facebook friends and my personal Facebook friends.
Many blessings also and many thanks to all at Minuteman Press Bristol for looking after me so well during my visit and to everyone else I have visited over the past year.
And last but most certainly not least Many Blessings to all my friends who are reading this because they follow my blog.
As you can see I intend to take it easy over the holidays. I found a lovely little cot (it rocks you know!) that was made by June's Dad for her daughter's dolls when she was a little girl. So I have my own space all set up now with a bed as well as my chair - both are really comfy!
This evening we have candles lit all around the room for Solstice to help bring the light back. Not much light out there at the moment so maybe I should fetch a few more.
Happy Solstice everybody! And many bright blessings for the Coming Year!
aka Shaman Sham the Wandering Hedgehog
(who is currently all wrapped up in the warm planning next year's adventures!)
Saturday, 26 November 2011
Now I’ve learned all about printing the Indie Shaman magazine with many thanks to everyone at Minuteman Press Bristol. It’s been fascinating watching their expertise at work and as I’m very nearly an expert now too I look forward to being able to advise June, the editor, when I get back home.
Here I am doing a post-press spot check of colours and print. All in order so on to the next stage.
When the print run is complete it’s time to collate, staple, fold and trim the edges.
All done! Just time to box the magazines. Oh, and what a great image on the front of this particular edition!
Just time for a chat with Peter about Minuteman Press’s all important environmental policy. Like Indie Shaman, Minuteman Press Bristol recognises that there is a great responsibility in printing magazines so they use only FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified paper. This means the paper is sourced from sustainable forests. A sustainable forest is one where felled trees are replaced by new trees. It will contain trees of all ages and care is also taken to ensure the safety of any wildlife there.
All the paper used by Minuteman Press Bristol is EU sourced as well as FSC certificated. Sourcing things as locally as possible helps carbon emissions – June told me that was important. Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere when people (I nearly said ‘we’ then but to be honest its people that do it not hedgehogs) burn fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are used in transporting things to different places so it’s much better if you can source things locally or from as least far away as possible. In nature’s cycle carbon dioxide is absorbed by plants and trees, which is one reason sustainable forestry is so important. But the trees can’t keep up with the amount of carbon dioxide people produce which is why it’s equally important to think of the ‘carbon footprint’ of everything you do.
Peter told me that the inks they use for printing are vegetable based too. We then had an interesting talk about plastic bags because Minuteman won’t accept orders to print them and Indie Shaman don’t stock them. I don’t like plastic bags either as my cousin hedgehogs in the wild can get stuck in them when they are discarded as litter and suffocate or starve.
As a hedgehog it’s always good to know that some people care about things like the environment and plastic bags. Maybe one day all people will but possibly all people aren’t as wise as hedgehogs yet. Well we do pass down our wisdom through the generations and we are quite ancient animals having been around for about 15 million years!
Saturday, 5 November 2011
I was very happy to hear that Peter Wise, Director of Minuteman Press Bristol, had said to June Kent on Twitter that they would be happy to have me visit them to learn all about printing magazines and to give a hand with printing the Indie Shaman Shamanic Lifestyle Magazine. Peter said they had a desk and seat and cardboard box with straw all ready for me!
Having written a couple of articles for the magazine about my adventures I was very excited to get the opportunity to learn all about how the magazine is produced. June, who is the editor of the magazine, says she likes Minuteman Press because they are local, helpful, friendly and very efficient. In fact I have heard her say that without their help there wouldn’t be an Indie Shaman Magazine as ‘she hadn’t a clue when she started’ and that would have be a great pity as the shamanic lifestyle magazine is pretty popular now! She also likes their ‘environmental policy’ as things like that are very important to Indie Shaman so I am hoping to talk to Peter about what this is and learn a bit more about it.
In the first photo above I am helping one of the graphic design team make sure that the latest edition of Indie Shaman looks crisp and clear and that the colours are as they should be.
After a final few adjustments and a paw to the start button the press roars into life. Yes I started the latest Indie Shaman print-run!
Hot off the press the latest run of Indie Shaman is expertly (following intensive training) supervised by me.
Here I am having a well earned lunch break shared with Tom, Peter’s son and Minuteman Press’s youngest employee. Peter said I do eat a lot of worms but I was happy to share Tom’s food too.
Its pretty tiring learning all about printing but I’ve been having great fun. Next I’m learning about post production checks, bindery and despatch so I’ll be back to blog about them and the all very important environmental policy soon.
In the meantime I've had a telephone call from June who said that she has been learning about Seidr Shamanism which sounds pretty interesting. If you would like to learn more about Seidr June is interviewing Runic John for the next edition of the magazine so send her any questions you have and she could include them in the interview! June can be contacted via Indie Shaman or I don't mind if you post any questions in the comments on here.
With many blessings
(and not very inky paws thanks to all at Minuteman Press!)
Thursday, 13 October 2011
What a wonderful atmosphere there was at the Pagan Federation 40th Anniversary Event last Saturday and what lovely people there were there. I met lots of new friends who all seemed very happy to meet me and hear about my travels.
I got my chair set up on the Indie Shaman stall straight away as I wanted to get a good position where I could see everyone. The stall was very busy with people being especially interested in the Magazine. We also sold out of some of the large Fair Trade shamanic drums so June has to get more soon! It was also lovely to meet a new member, Graeme, in person who joined up on the day.
I was very pleased to get the opportunity to meet Mike Stygal and get a manly hug which was great after knowing him online for so long. It’s difficult to sum up all of Mike’s work in few words but he was there as one of the Pagan Federation’s event organizers and is also an interfaith champion extraordinaire, running among other things the Pagan Moot Forum. I don’t know how he fits it all in! Mike congratulated me on all my ‘ologies and said I must be a very wise hedgehog now. Made me blush to the end of my snout but I don’t think he noticed!
Our stall was opposite Rev. Rebecca D’arcy who runs an Interfaith Ministry and Spiritual Counselling service including Sacred Ceremonies. Judith spent quite a bit of time chatting to Rebecca about Egypt as Rebecca also runs off the beaten track tours with ‘A Passion for Egypt’. I told Rebecca that I would really like to go to Egypt and that I am a very experienced and well behaved traveller. Her partner Agi Angliolini came to talk to me so I told her as well. I have my paws firmly crossed!
We were also fortunate enough to be opposite the very talented Neil Geddes-Ward’s stall. I rather liked the young lady in the painting I am sat by ‘Hedgewitch’ but June and Simon fell in love with the sketch of the woman with the sword on the wall behind me and had to bring a small print of her home.
Geraldine Beskin from Atlantis Bookshops came over to say hello to June. Judith brought a book from their stall which June wished she had brought too. June also fell in love with a bracelet from Runesmith which she had to buy so she could take it home. Just as well the Indie Shaman stall kept her busy for most of the time or she would have been bringing most of the contents of everyone else’s stall home!
Very lucky me all round because I had a wonderful time, received lots of hugs and learned lots of interesting things from many interesting people. Many thanks to all involved for organising the event. I believe a lot of them went onto further celebrations on the Sunday but we had to travel back home. Maybe we can go to one again another year and next time I’ll get someone to take me to some of all the great sounding workshops and talks I missed!
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
As you can see I now have a new chair especially for me to sit on. This is because I am going to the Pagan Federation 40th Anniversary Event on 8th October and, as I told June, Simon and Judith I'm not helping out with the Indie Shaman stall if I can't rest my legs occasionally. It sounds like it's going to be a great day so if you can get along to London do come and say 'hi' if you see me.
A couple of weekends ago on 13th August I was lucky enough to go on a David Rowan Tour of Avebury and Stonehenge. Here I am at the start of the 'Stonehenge by Moonlight' Tour sat having a quiet drink outside the Red Lion at Avebury. June's walking stick turned out to be just a little bit big for me to use so she used it instead and carried me in my Indie Shaman bag to save my legs.
All the other people who were doing the tour were very nice to me. I was especially pleased to get to meet one of Secret World Wildlife Rescue's volunteers who told me all about the hedgehog she had rescued.
David gave a very interesting illustrated talk about the history and astronomy of Avebury and Stonehenge which I learned are both much more than just the impressive stones you can see. I was too busy listening to take notes so Judith took all the notes as she is writing an article about the tour for the Indie Shaman magazine. David very kindly said we could use some of his photos as well as our own.
Then we were off on our walking lecture tour. David has a masters degree in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology. He is a fascinating speaker and really helped bring this magical landscape to life as we walked round. Of the two stones above the one on the right is said to represent the male and the one on the left the female. Everyone seemed to know what David meant by that but I had to wait to ask June when I got home.
This magnificent stone is called the 'Devil's Chair'. It is said that sitting in the chair results in pregnancy. Judith, Simon and June insisted I sit in it immediately although I did point out to them that I am a boy hedgehog!
Then as the sun was setting on the temple of the Moon at Avebury we set off in convoy following a ley line to ...
... see the Moon rise over the temple of the Sun at Stonehenge.
It was so peaceful and beautiful to explore and sit in the stone circle itself and felt such an intimate experience among such a small party of like minded people. It was impossible not to be touched by a sense of wonder and by the magic that surrounded us as the dramatic clouds parted to allow us to see the moon rise over the stones.
David drew up an astrological chart for the moment we were there.
Then we all had some quiet time to meditate or send healing before setting off back to our cars for a short drive to a local hotel for a quick drink and chat before setting off back home.
If you would like the opportunity to go into the circle at Stonehenge as we did I highly recommend contacting David Rowan. If you do we might even meet because if I get the chance to go again next year I will!
Many blessings to all my friends
p.s. Many thanks to David Rowan for sharing his photos. For more photos and information about the Stonehenge by Moonlight tour, Stonehenge and Avebury, see Judith's article in the Autumn edition of the Indie Shaman magazine.
Wednesday, 13 July 2011
I had a great flight back to England as Ross travelled with me which was a far more interesting experience than travelling alone as I usually do.
I must admit, even for a modest hedgehog such as I am, I feel I can safely say I know quite a bit now. Here is a photo of me teaching about banisteriopsis caapi (used to prepare Ayahuasca).
I also learned:
Lower, middle and upper world journeying
Mapping the shaman's cosmology
Mapping the energy body
Pre-birth, conception and family work
Plant spirit shamanism
Making allies in nature
How to make 'magic potions' (pusangas, seguros and perfumes)
How to diet plants (and he's dieted rosa blanca and ortega and poppy)
How to conduct a salvia ceremony, san pedro ceremony and ayahuasca ceremony.
Unfortunately talking human is still not a strong point but everyone on the course seemed to have no problem communicating with me (and my writing is, as you can see, quite fine as long as someone else does any typing - paws weren't meant for typing!)
Indie Shaman magazine which wasn't much hardship as Ross had sent most of it to June already. Indie Shaman has a particularly good cover on the Summer edition if I say so myself. Looks like June has been keeping busy while I've been away - she That reminds me I haven't checked my Facebook page for ages so I must finish blogging and let my friends know I am back in the UK.
Speak to you all again soon
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Many many Solstice Blessings to all my friends around the world.
I am still with Ross Heaven in Spain, assisting in ceremonies and generally being as helpful as I can.
Here is our St Peter's Day celebration, earlier in June, where I started the ceremony with a simple mesa for healing.
And here I am below with some Embruho juice all ready for a day of magic
Hope you are enjoying the photos as much as I am enjoying sharing them. I have some more to share before I leave Ross and Sarah in Spain and return to the UK where I am looking forward to seeing Stonehenge at Moonlight on a David Rowan tour in August and later on in the year going to the Pagan Federation 40th Anniversary Event in London!
Have a wonderful Solstice
Ezekiel aka Shaman Sham the Wandering Hedgehog
Monday, 6 June 2011
Hola! I have been preparing for the new plant workshop which began on June 1st and where I was once again in ceremony with the vine of souls and with the cactus of vision, two plants I learned a lot from during my time with with Ross Heaven in Peru and I was keen to explore again in case I had any lingering unresolved issues. Now I have my Shamanic Practitioner and Shamanic Healer diplomas I feel it's important for a shaman to continually work on his own self-development and the release of personal blocks so he can be a more effective healer for others.
The other day I was thrilled to discover that Ross and Sarah have toe (pronounced to-HAY) growing naturally in the garden here. Nobody planted it so it's a mystery where it came from but I was excited because the ancient shamans of Peru used to mix it with San Pedro to perform profound healings for their people and Ross was about to begin a diet with San Pedro but thought it best to diet toe first so I could get to know that plant and its arrangements and interactions with San Pedro.
Toe is the strongest visionary plant and teacher in the known universe - a tea made from the flower that I am holding here is enough to produce a 3-day out-of-body experience where the shaman will meet a whole team of ancestral and universal spirits who will teach him about reality. I had been sniffing the toe flower all night and felt a little trippy himself.
I've really enjoying my work with plants and Shaman Sarah (who also has an 'ology) made me my own romero and salvia smudge stick. Rosemary (romero) and salvia (sage) grow naturally in Ross and Sarah's garden and Sarah dries them and mixes them to produce the smudge bundle which is then lit and the smoke used for purification and cleansing. On the Shamanic Practitioner diploma course they also teach how to diagnose illness with smoke and a smudge stick is very useful for that too. I am going to show you everyone how to do it when I gets home. If you would like order your own smudge stick send Sarah a message via Facebook.
That's all for now but will blog again soon before I come back to the UK.
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
I have now been to 2 new aya ceremonies. On the first I was very sick, purging out all the stress and illness I had accumulated again since my time with Ross in Peru. I had a difficult journey but Sarah and Ross sang our ayahuasca songs to me and made me better.
Then they gave me a floral bath and I was well. My second ceremony was much better and I realised I am God and the universe is inside me and so I am very powerful indeed.
On the course I also learned to talk to plants and sing their songs, understand the core principles of all shamanic herbalism so now I can prescribe plants effectively for any client, and I followed a shamanic diet with White Rose so had her as an ally (or at least I did until 7.31pm that night when my diet ended providing I didn't have sex, drink alcohol or eat sausages until then).
Back again soon with pictures of my Soul Retrieval and Shamanic Healing Course certificate. With many thanks to Ross and Sarah - I passed!
Friday, 13 May 2011
How time flies! I'm soon to attend Ross' Soul Retrieval and Shamanic Healing course so here's some more first about my experiences earning my Shamanic Practitioner Diploma.
My favourite part of the course was the plant spirit work: listening to the whispers of the plants divulging their secrets to me. This spirit to spirit communication feels very natural and I’m looking forward to working more with plant spirits on my shamanic path and singing more songs of nature. Creating plant perfumes in the rain was more fun than I anticipated and I thought my own concoction (for love, if you must know) looked particularly pleasing to the eye in one of Ross’ hand-painted bottles.
... and I must have done OK on the course as at the end I was awarded my certificate!
As I said at the start of today's blog I'm staying with Ross and Sarah in Spain a bit longer so I can join in with the next course too. So do catch up with my blog again soon!
Many hedgehog blessings
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
We made many drum journeys to explore the spiritual realms available to us and afterwards we sat and discussed our experiences. I enjoyed the sharing of our journeying stories and these were some of my favourite moments. It’s funny how themes started to emerge within the group and it was already starting to feel like we’ve all been brought together at the perfect time.
Power and soul retrieval were challenging for me: old fears and beliefs arose in us as we learned to work with the techniques, but we were such a close knit group by then that we worked together to heal and support each other as these issues came to light. I feel like I’ve made so many good friends here!
"King Ezekiel awaits counselling from the Merlins"
Yours, blessed and passing on the blessings
(aka Shaman Sham, Indie Shaman)
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Here I am when I landed safe and sound in Montefrio, but a bit green around the gills. I'm still not used to airmail! As Ross said it's a good job that hedgehogs are well known for their ability to breath plastic. Although of course he meant only very special hedgehogs like me. Plastic is very dangerous for ordinary hedgehogs who can't breath through it at all.
Here I am with Sarah who showed me around the workroom. I was a bit nervous at first to meet all the new people who were also taking the practitioner course but soon after meeting them we were all chatting away like family. Everyone was excited at the prospect of Ross' course in shamanic healing and I was looking forward to using some of the skills I've picked up on my travels.
Ross explained the medicine wheel, the cosmology of the shaman and how we traverse these different worlds to seek information and allies with whom we work in partnership to facilitate healing.
We learned how to diagnose energetic imbalances in each other using sage smoke and pendulums, agua de florida and jungle tobacco. I found the gazing techniques more difficult but was assured that I will improve with practice.
Here I am dowsing Boris for energy imbalances. I discovered that Boris, while very pretty, is quite depleted in energy due to being dead.
Feathers can be used to realign energies and I have become fond of using a white duck feather to move energy within a client’s body. We learn how to rebalance the energy body and clear the chakras, so that any further healing work will flow freely through the client. Then Ross demonstrated extraction techniques during a spontaneous healing need that arises in the group! This leads us on rather appropriately to the methods used by shamans to extract unwanted energies from them.
I'll be back next week to tell you more so do visit me again soon. I'm on Facebook too at facebook.com/shaman.sham
Ezekiel (aka Shaman Sham)