name='keywords'/> WhiteOak's World: October 2012

My Favorite Saying...

"Life is filled with magick, if we allow our eyes to see it"

Monday, October 29, 2012

Spirit Guides

Spirit Guides and Animal Spirit Totems

When it comes to Spirit Guides and Animal Spirit Totems, there is a lot to learn.  I wanted to share a few things I have researched, and share some of my own experiences.  As I write more pages, I will be adding them here, so please bookmark or follow my blog to see updates.

When it comes to spirituality, we are all given Spirit Guides that are there to help us.  It does not matter if your Spirit Guides are angels, animal totems, family members who have passed or spirit guides from your ancestors from long ago.  Each guide we are sent are sent for a reason, to help us learn and to keep our journey safe.

Please click on the link to read more about Spirit Guides.

I personally believe that Hawk has been one of my animal totems forever.  I have always had a very special connection with them. I believe that each person has very sacred gift that are all influenced by the animal spirit who have chosen them.  When you are working with the spirit world, it is not like going into a candy store and choosing everything you want.  A spirit guide, animal totem and even angels choose us to help.

Please click on the link to read more about Hawk Totems

The bear is a very interesting animal totem to have.  Bear came to me back in the late eighties or early 90's.  It was during that time I was learning many different kinds of alternative healing.  Bear is not only a healer but very protective.

Please click on the link to read more about Spirit Bear Totems

I have always loved horses.  I was thrown from a horse when I was 12, another horse threw me in a rose bush, but like the saying goes, I always got back on!  However, although I love horses, unfortunately it has not chosen me, so it is not one of my totems. Horses represents strength, new journey's and travel.  

Please click on the link to read more about Horse Totems

Once again, I have always loved wolves.  However, I would have never dreamed or thought wolf would ever be one of my animal totems.  But it choose me and presented itself to me in a very unusual way.  I share a lot of my story how wolf came to me on the link below.

Please click on the link to read more about Wolf Totems

I have added a lot of different information on this page all related to animal spirit totems.  There are a lot of links and different stories about what kind of medicines a lot of animals have.  I have also listed a list of animals that each and everyone of us are born with.

Please click on link to read more about Animal Spirit Totems

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Drumming to the Earth's Heartbeat

Earth's Heartbeat

This is something very special to me, my drum.  I have actually made two, one Goat skin and one Elk skin.  I attend two ceremonial drum workshops a few years apart.  The classes lasted all day and it was very powerful and very sacred.  My Elk skin drum was blessed as a Siberian Medicine Drum, and it is used to honor the Earth.  I will share the beginning of this journey.

Many years ago (it actually seems like a thousand years ago) I was looking through a local paper and seen a group of people that met up during the New Moon and the Full Moon for a Drumming Circle.  The circle met and played drums, sang honoring songs to the earth and passed a talking stick around if you had something that you wanted to share. 

At that time I was doing Gourd Art and made gourd rattles to display in different shops.  When I seen the ad in the paper, I had to attend at least one of these drumming circles but I did not have a drum.  I called the lady that was holding them and explained that I wanted to attend but did not have a drum.  She welcomed me with opened arms and I took one of my gourd rattles to play.

I have to admit I was a little overwhelmed, excited and a little intimidated to be with a group of people that were so powerful. Once the drumming started I left this world! I went straight to the Earth and automatically connected with its heartbeat.  I could feel the vibrations of the drums all through me, it was the MOST power thing I had ever felt.  After a while, I tried to play my gourd, but I was so intrigue with the drums nothing else mattered to me.  

Soon I became a regular at the Drumming circles. I had several people offer to let me use their drum, but I always refused. I could not bring myself to accept any offer, I knew it had to be my drum that I would play for the first time. 

I am not sure how long it was perhaps a year or two, I heard about a drum making ceremony that was being held. My spirit popped up so fast it reminded me of a cartoon.  It was hard but I came up with the money and shortly afterwards I was making my own drum. It was a very long day and it was very draining but it was very sacred.  I had made my first drum, a Goat Skin Drum and at the end of the day it was Blessed but I could not beat it for a couple of days until it was completely dried.

When I got the drum home and was totally alone with it, my heart sank. I knew in my heart this drum was not to be my drum. I tried to connect to it, but it just would not happen.  Soon afterwards, I bartered this drum for my 3rd degree in Reiki.

A long while after that I attended another Drum making ceremony and this time I knew with every fiber I was, this was my drum. Through every second of the ceremony I was fully connected to it. It felt like it was a part of my spirit that had been missing for life times.  This drum is a Siberian Medicine Drum and will always be connected to my heart and soul.

As I sat in different circles playing my drum, I could actually feel the thumping of Natures heart.  I was referred to as a Drum Traveler which meant I could travel in the circle through the drums and hear each of their voices. Although there has been many circles I have attended and have played a lot, one of my favorite times was when I attended a ceremony and was drumming right behind SilverRaven Wolf.  She is an Author who I truly admirer.  Our drums had almost the exact sound, it was amazing!!

I would recommend to anybody that truly wanted to feel the earth's heartbeat, to make a drum.  It is one of the most powerful ceremonies and the rewards will completely overwhelm you.  To feel the Earth's heartbeat is like pure unconditional love enveloping you in nothing but comfort and love.  

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Connecting with Nature-Part Two

One day I was driving down the road and was in a horrible emotional state.  I pulled off into a Walmart shopping center parked and cried.   I turned my head to look out of my side window, and a crow feather was floating down right beside my car.  I actually sat there in  shock for a moment, I opened my car door and grabbed the feather and sat there holding it.  When I got home I went straight to Ted Andrews book and looked up Crow Medicine:  It says where their is crow, there is magic.  Crows are symbols of creations and spiritual strength.  They remind us to look for opportunities to create and manifest the magic of life.  They are also messengers calling to us about the creations and magic that is alive within our world everyday and is available to us.

For a while during the time the crow feather experience, I was losing touch with many things that was in my heart and a part of my soul.  If you try to cute off your connection with Nature, it leaves you with a huge emptiness that is truly unbearable.  All of the years that it took me to learn nature's language, then trying to run away from it really threw me for a loop. Never again, will I allow that to happen, NEVER!

Often when we need insight on a certain situation, we can go outside and send out a prayer or affirmation.  Since Hawk also has visionary medicine, if we hold a Hawk feather and speak our affirmation out loud, Hawk will help us.  It may not happen right in that moment, but rest assure you will get a reply by message, signs, visions and even dreams.

I wish I could sit here and tell you that connecting with nature is easy, but it isn't.  It takes a while to learn how and mainly depends on how much you can truly trust your intuition.  When you learn to fully 100% trust your intuition often that will mean going against the "Norm".  I have personally had people turn against me and accused me of being something I am not. Do you know why?  Because many people fear what they do not understand.  When I feel at my weakness, if I go outside and touch a tree, it helps me to gain strength.  Often when I need to purge and get a lot off of my energy, I will lay on the ground and ask Gaia to take it from me.  I believe and trust enough in Nature to know if I need help she will help me.

That does not mean you should not give back to Nature.  In today's world so many people do not show any respect for what is happen to our environment.  Trees are cut down by the thousands every day.  When you visit Elders you are always suppose to take a gift with you, usually everyone will bring sacred tobacco.  That is no different than sitting against a tree or touching a tree to ground and make a connection.  You can pour a glass of water at the base of the tree and the trees will be grateful for that, because you are showing them respect and honor.  It is the same with the earth, if you laid on her soil to purge, leaving some sacred tobacco is a symbol of respect and honor.

The connection we make with Nature is truly a very individual thing.  It is like what we believe and consider our spiritual path, it is something that belongs to each of us regardless of what others think. If there was a recipe for connecting with Nature, it would be respect, honor and believe.  When I say "Life is filled with magic, if we allow our eyes to see it"  I mean ever word of it.  The animals, insects, flowers, trees, mountains-everything has magic.  All it takes is allowing yourself to see it, feel it, breathe it in and understand we are all connected.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Connecting with Nature-Part One

Every culture and religious belief -have symbolic meanings when they see  certain things in Nature. Some cultures more so than others; have a deep understanding that we are all connected to everything in Nature and everything has an energy.

Many Spiritual leaders in the Native American culture understands Natures language through different symbolic signs.  It is almost as if communication is made possible through telepathy and a spiritual language. 

Many dancers and different ceremonies incorporated different things from nature in their dance, regalia and ceremonies.  Things that are often used are: feathers, animal teeth and bones, animal skins and mask made from things in Nature such as wood and other natural material. When I had my naming ceremony, I made an Oak necklace out of oak leaves and acorns to wear. Other things used are, shells from the ocean and sage from earth for smudging and cleansing the space before ceremonies.  I wrote an article called: Smudging-Cleansing your Space that will explain what smudging is and what to use. One of the reasons items from nature are incorporated is because of its energy.  Animal skins-presents the energy of that animal and is used as a way to give honor to it and to share its medicine.  Wood has earth energy which is powerful and give strength to ceremonies.  The point is, everything in nature has energy and is considered sacred because of the "medicines" they carry.

The Signs

Often people who receive messages in dreams and cannot understand the meaning of the messages- will go to Elders or Medicine People to get help understanding the dream.  I know this to be a fact:  often when you go to Elders or Medicine people for help with answers and/or meanings; they will not give you a few words in a sentence-often they tell medicine stories that could help you with finding your own answers. I also know for a fact: if you ever ask a question to an Elder or Medicine person, they will answer your question with another question.  Again this helps you to find your own answers. I believe this is done because every message that Nature gives us, does not mean the same thing for every person.

How does someone even begin to understand Natures language and signs? First by understanding each of us are connected to natures energy and by trusting what your intuition is picking up when you see or feel something.  You will not always understand every sign and/or even spot every sign you are being given.  You will have to work with the interpretations and research on your own as to what symbolic meanings are and what they could mean.

One of the best class rooms to study in is nature.  Sit outside, listen and watch everything going on around you. Walk in the woods and along trails that has a creek next to it.  Feel nature, hear her songs, feel her energy.  Lean up against a tree, close your eyes and feel the ancient wisdom that is associated with the tree.  Feel the energy flowing for its bark, smell the scent of the leaves, connect with the strength of the tree.  

Something important to remember is the same meanings or the messages you receive from Nature, will not always mean the same thing for everyone else and the message may not always mean the same thing to you. When you see a deer, one time it could be telling you what lays ahead and another time it could be telling you there is a message from the spirit world that will be coming soon. 

I have shared this story on another article I wrote; one time I was looking out my kitchen window admiring this beautiful wildlife scene.  Chickens were walking through my yard, squirrels were playing and I had a pair of Hawks living in my trees.  The next thing I heard was this horrible sound from a chicken.  I ran down to the back yard and there was nothing left but a pile of chicken feathers.  Now, Hawk and Wolf are two of my Animal totems so I honor them greatly, but when Hawk took that chicken, my first instinct was to get mad.  I sprinkled some tobacco and sage where the pile of feathers were, grab a few of them and passed them out  at a drumming circle I attended.  As I sat there thinking about what I just witnessed, I heard a voice say, "It is all part of the cycle of life.  No animal will take more than it needs."  Hawk brings me a lot of messages, and I have learned a lot from him.  All it takes is trusting and believing in everything Nature provides for us. 

                                                                  To Be Continued......

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Part Time Job-Couponing

You have heard the expression, "Money doesn't grow on trees" right?  But the amount of money you can save by using coupons will almost make you feel as if it does. 

I have written several articles about couponing but wanted to write an on going piece about using coupons on my own personal blog.  

Being a frugal person I have used coupons off and on  throughout the years. I did not use them on a regular base,  until last year (2011).  I began to take it more seriously and challenged myself to see exactly what I could do with them.  So, I decided to see my couponing as a part-time job, writing myself a check weekly for the amount of money I saved using coupons on that weeks grocery bill.

Let me tell you one of the first things I noticed right off the top:  People do not like standing in line with a person in front of them using coupons.  Another thing I experienced was actually having a lady laugh and shake her head at me because I had my coupon book opened on top of my cart.  My first thought was how rude, but than I realized, she may have been laughing at me but when I seen how much money I save, who had the last laugh?

So, how did I decide I was going to do this: At first I went to online coupon sites and gathered what coupons I knew I would use.  Than each Sunday, I began getting two different newspapers at the store (because they do not deliver papers in my area).  I signed up at several different coupon sites and also checked my local store sites for any additional coupons they may have.  So I spent time clipping, sorting and paper clipping the coupons together. I put all of the paper clipped in a envelope and finally I felt they were organized.  But this method got on my nerves real fast. So I had to figure out something that would work best for me. (More on that a little later). 

I checked the sales papers and compared specials to my grocery list, matched up coupons and off to the store I went.  After coming home and looking at the receipt and how money I save, writing that check was sweet!  Every month I would take these checks, cash them and tuck the money away in a safe place.  I repeat the same process every week.

Here are some of my favorite sites!

SavingStar  is an ecoupon site that works with your store discount  cards.  They have several stores like Ingles, Kroger, Bi-Lo and more.  Each of these stores give customers saving cards.  When you enter that card number in the appropriate place on SavingStar, that activates any ecoupons you choose.  When you make the purchase from the store, the info is sent to SavingStar and they pay you the amount of money the coupon was for.  Once you accumulate  $5.00 they pay you via your Paypal account-Almost free money!! I have personally had several pay outs so I know this site is legit. 

Coupons  At you upload their printing program and go through the site and place a check by the coupons you want.  When you are done, you press print and you are done.  I know you can only print the coupons twice before they let you know you have reached your limit. AND if your printer messes up by chance and your coupons did not print, you are out of luck because the site cannot reset the printing limit.  I lost 7 coupons last week because my printer decided it wanted to give me a hard time.

Couponsurfer It is the same directions as

Becentsable Is a really good site that covers a lot of different things. They offer coupons from different drug stores, department stores, grocery stores and so on.  They also have a coupon data base. 

These are just a few sites that I use regularly.  There are many, many more.

This link was shared by John Sitton  and it is something that benefits everyone in a household that has to take prescriptions:  Cost2Coast Rx Care  You can save 55%-75% on your prescriptions, and it is FREE.  You go their site and add your name and telephone number (which is used as your member number) print the card laminate it and SAVE!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Smudging-Cleansing your Space

Smudging and Cleansing your Space

First and foremost, what is smudging?  It is when you burn certain herbs and wave the smoke around you and your home.  The purpose of doing this is to cleanse your space and yourself of negative energies and invite good spirits in.

I have been doing this for a very long time and as with anything, I am sure things have changed and new ways of smudging is out there.  I am also sure there are new herbs to use and most likely a brand new way of doing it.  But since I am old school, I am going to share the herbs I burn and the way I do it.

Smudging is often referred to as a simple ritual which is used a lot to prepare for inner work and cleansing your energy, others energy and your surrounding area. There is a wide range of different herbs you can use.  I personally use: White Sage, Lavender, Rosemary, Cedar and Sweet-grass. I am going to break these herbs down and write a simple explanation for what each one does.  Often you can purchase smudge sticks which have a mixture of herbs, you can purchase loose herbs and burn in a fire proof earthen pot, you can also use charcoal brinks to sprinkle some of the herbs on and spiritually bathe in the smoke.  I have also used an abalone shell for years. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT light your smudge with a wooden match representing fire because it was naturally given to us from Spirit.  Be sure that whatever container you use to burn your herbs it is fire proof. 

To smudge you place the herbs in the container or light your smudging stick and set it in the earthen fire proof container.  Cup your hands the way you do when you are washing your face and gather the smoke and wash it over you as if you were bathing.  You can also use a smudging feather, I have done both.  If I am in a group I will use the smudging feather.  If I am alone, I spiritually bathe in the smoke. As you are waving the smoke around you, you are spiritually washing the negative energies away.

To smudge or cleanse your space, you light some herbs in an earthen container and walk around each room so you and the smoke are actually pushing the old/negative energy out of the door. Often to do a deep cleanse, you would open the drawers and the close and smudge every area again, pushing the energy of the door. Often you would follow and do another smudging with sweet-grass and/or a lavender and rosemary mixture.  This is purifying your space and inviting sweet good energy in.

There have been many times when I do a deep smudging, I will verbally say an affirmation out loud.  Calling on my spirit guides, angels, protectors and the Divine to help me cleanse my home of all negativity.  Each person that begins to smudge will use their own methods.  When you feel comfortable enough you will add extra affirmations, cleanse your space the way that feels right for you and you will eventually create your own special smudging blend. Smudging like everything on your spiritual path, is private and individually done. It is a sacred moment between you and the Divine.

Here are some of my favorite Smudging herbs:

Lavender- Protection, purification, cleansing, relaxing and love
Rosemary- Protection, purification, sleep, love
White Sage-purification, cleansing 
Sweet-grass- Invites sweet energy into your home
Cedar Tips- Healing, purification, protection

I have an online store called:  WhiteOak Art Designs and Herbs

I am going to list some things from Amazon, or you very well may have these things on hand.  I also like burning a white and black candle together, it helps with balancing the energy in your home. 

I was told once long time ago:  When you think of smudging, see it as the sage being the warrior driving all of the bad energy away and Sweet-grass being the who invites all of the good energy in.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Tiny Mouse

I want to share a small story with you of some events I have been having lately.  I have been dealing with a lot of sickness not only with people around me but personally as well.  Trying to understand or make sense of these events have been a bit mind spinning to say the least.  But,  the one part of me that I feel is the strongest is the part of me that is connected to nature and tuning into her messages that she lovingly gives to me.  

I am the type of person who honestly believes everything in nature has energy, a spirit in a sense. I also believe we are all connected to this energy.  Since a very young child my connection to nature has only increased to a level that I believe nature is part of my family.  It is a place I receive my energy and my strength from in order to face things that are very hard in life. There are so many different ways we communicate with nature, often it feels like it is telepathically but also through little symbolic jesters.  That is where "The Tiny Mouse" comes in.

The other day I had to stop at a grocery store to pick up a couple things.  As I was walking by a SUV that pulled up in a parking place close to mine; I looked down on the ground and seen something really odd.  I seen this black spot that was about the size of a silver dollar but it was moving!!  I got down closer to see what it was and at first I couldn't make it out. I sat there in awe watching this tiny spot move its tiny arms!! Once I noticed the tail, I knew without a doubt it was a baby mouse! Okay, first I have to admit, I am NOT a mouse fan-Mickey Mouse yes but real mice, NO!! 

This beautiful little creature was just there (I think cleaning itself) so I went into the store but could not get that little cutie off of my mind.  I quickly grabbed what I needed from the store and hurried back to my car.  That little mouse was still in the same exact spot AND the lady in the SUV was getting back to her car at the same.  Meanwhile I asked the guy gathering carts if he could help me move something.  Yes, he looked at me like I was a nut case, but he helped me regardless.  I had nothing to pick up this mouse with and it just so happened he had a paper and scooped up the little mouse.  The lady in the SUV was watching us, I guess she was wondering what in the hell we were doing by her vehicle. So I told her and her response was, "WHAT! A mouse grows into a rat, YUCK! But my thoughts were it was so cute and even something that tiny had the right to live.  

Meanwhile the guy with the mouse in the paper asked me, "What do I do with it now?"  I told him we could put it in a grassy area close to the parking lot, and that way the mouse would have a chance to live. Regardless, this event made my heart feel good.  I have been away for a couple of days and have not had a chance to look up mouse medicine until this morning. But when I did, it was like a 2x4 hitting me in the head.

Mouse Medicine-According to Ted Andrews:  Mouse medicine brings a lot of questions to our attention that we need to be asking ourselves.  Are you getting lost in big dreams and neglecting your life in front of you? Are you so focused on current activities that you may not be seeing other opportunities opening up in front of you? Are you missing what is right in front of you? Mouse medicine teaches us how to focus and pay attention to the details in our lives.  It can show you how to make small choices that can help you to build your bigger goal. In short, mouse medicine is all about paying attention to what is around you.

The tiny mouse showing up on my path was a message that I needed very bad and still do.  The objective of sharing this is when you pay attention to all of the tiny messages in life, you can learn a lot!!

I have written a few different pages about Animal Totems: 

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Georgia Botanical Gardens-Sept 21, 2012

I took this photo at the Georgia Botanical Gardens.  It is one of my favorite photos.  I stopped at this bench and was looking at all of the autumn colored flowers and spotted this butterfly.  I had my short lens on so I quickly changed to my 300ml lens and took several pictures of this beauty.  This brown swallowtail butterfly sure made heart happy the day I took its picture.

I took several photos of this little beauty.  It is a Gulf Fritillary Butterfly on beautiful orange colored flowers.  I took the picture at the Georgia Botanical Gardens. 

I truly believe this is one of my luckiest shots.  Catching this bee on the tip of this flower was priceless to me.  I took this picture using a 300ml lens.

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