Friday, January 9, 2009
Our Indigenous Ancestors believed that we came from the Stars long ago. I do not doubt this fact. As a child, I would often find myself gazing at the night skies, towards the constellation of Pleiades, longing to “Go Home”, long before I knew what that meant. I know now that there is much more to us than we imagine, if we open our hearts and minds to the bigger picture and remember our path and purpose on Mother Earth.
In this life, I was born in a small town in Northern Alberta, Canada. On the Prairies the skies dominate the landscape, giving plenty of room to stretch your Spirit. As a child, I was often in a state of bliss when alone with Nature. I would dance in the wild meadows in the spring and under the sparkling Stars and swaying Northern Lights in the winter night sky. My friends and I would lie on the grass on those long summer days and watch the cloud people parade by and marvel as images formed and dissolved before our eyes.
My childhood was wonderful in many ways, but there were also hidden secrets too terrible for me to remember, so I blocked them out. The gift in this was that I got to be in a heightened state of spiritual ecstasy for many years.
I moved to Vancouver, British Columbia on the West coast of Canada in 1969, and discovered the Hippy Movement. It was a rebirth for me, and I met many kindred souls. I was a rebel and Flower Child of innocence and wonder. I met my Spirit Guide, whom I had first seen when I was fifteen, and it was instant recognition and unimaginable unconditional love. Coincidentally, it was the same day that I met my husband-to- be in at a "Love-In". Those days were pure magic!
Once married, our delightful baby boy was born in 1972. We moved to Montreal in 1974, where we lived for the remainder of our marriage. When my son had grown and left home, I struck out on my own to seek that which was missing in my life and in me! I realized that I didn't know who I was, really... I had had a brush with death - a life-threatening illness that left me with many unanswered questions.
I didn't know what I was looking for, but it was a Spiritual Quest. I explored New Age Spirituality, Alternative Healing modalities such as Natural Health and Spiritual Psychotherapy. They were all very interesting and healing enough, but something was still missing for me.
I completed my studies in Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montreal and years later - Art Therapy in Nelson, BC. Art is powerful healing tool. The Creative process helped to get my Inner Wheel moving. That was difficult in some ways because dark images from my past began to surface, having been waiting there in the shadows. Buried memories of childhood abuse and the painful illness as an adult came back to haunt me as I explored imagery that was beyond words and conscious awareness. Art was a Sacred Tool which helped me to find images of empowerment and healing. And finally, I stumbled upon something that linked me to my Aboriginal Heritage and put me on the Red Road.
In the spring of 1990, I did a ritual performance for a Multi-media Art project that changed my life. I didn’t know it then, but that was my first experience with the Power of the Living Wheel. It awakened the Wheelkeeper in me and put me on my path.
Then that summer, I made a spiritual pilgrimage to the Bay of Fundy on the East Coast and later found myself at an Aboriginal Peace Elders Gathering on the land of Twylah Nitsch, Seneca Elder and Visionary. That experience changed the direction of my life. I had come HOME - to the Red Road of my Ancestors. This is where I belonged.
I was initiated into the Wolf Clan tribe and attended my first Moonlodge, Sweatlodge and Sundance that summer.I am Metis on my Mother's side, but our family did not talk our cultural background, even though some of our relatives were living on Metis settlements. My Dad was Russian, and I look like him, white on the outside. But my soul and spirit are as Red as the blood that flows through my veins. Since then I have since discovered that there are many others like me who feel called to the Aboriginal Teachings in spite of their cultural backgrounds. The Wheel is not about culture, it belongs to the Earth, and we are all Children of Mother Earth!
Since my first dramatic steps onto the Red Road, I have stumbled and fallen off a few times, only to find my way back again. And each time, I was more committed to my calling, that of Keeper of the Wheel.
After experiencing the Path of Peace and Truth with Grandmother Twylah in New York State, I began leading Medicine Wheel circles back in Montreal. Something was moving through me, a memory of a Role that lived in me. I was a vessel for these teaching and healing Circles. They were powerful and wondrous for all who attended. The Wheel has a magnetism all its own and magic just seems to happen whenever the stones are laid down.
By following the circular and cyclical movements of my internal and external worlds, I began remembering Sacredness once again. The challenges are many, but the more I travel this Road, I know that there is no other for me. In 1991 I met my Teacher Okwaho Lablanc (Lisa F. Tardiff). I am blessed to have found her and her Sacred Partner Natza (Gerard Peyrot). They are devoted to Truth, Healing and Growth – to the Wheel and the Dreaming. There is much more for me to learn and my ego often trips me up, but Spirit always brings me the lessons I need to come back to balance, in spite of my own shortcomings.
We are all here to learn, heal and share our journeys. I hope you will join me on the Red Road and share your stories, questions and experiences.