All posts by Tasara

Tasara is a shamanic healer, teacher and ceremonialist who has been teaching pagan/shamanic practices and leading public ceremonies in the Seattle areas since the mid-90's. She passionately believes in the necessity to rebuild our sense of community and love for ourselves, each other, the spirits and mother mother earth. Nurturing compassion and devotion. Tasara has studied extensively with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and has had the honor of being deeply moved by the teachings of many loving, powerful shamanic people: Betsy Bergstrom for Mediumship and Depossession, Janine Ellison in her foundational and Extraction healing, Tom Cowan in Celtic Shamanism, Anank Nunink Nunkai from Ecuador, Miguel Kavlin from Bolivia, Isa Gucciardi in Depossession, mentor and friend John Lawrence, Sandra Ingerman for Soul Retrieval, Leslie Conton for many, many classes as well as Bhola Banstola from Nepal, Sangoma John Lockley from South Africa, Christiana Harle from Finland. Littlelight Ceremonies: http://www.littlelight.info/ http://www.turtledrum.littlelight.info/ http://dryad.lightroot.com/

To not wield

The stillness stretches across the horizon and whispers without words,
with the force of emptiness so loud,
our every fiber can hear it.

“Listen.”

We have heard nothing, yet there is so much.
This silence so potent, the only true path, acceptance.

Allow ourselves to regain our strength.
Not the kind we put on the morning.
The kind that moves as we breathe, that breathes as we move.
The kind that we cannot feel, but moves others without our knowing.

We cannot begin out of folly. We cannot begin.
To begin now would be to return to the blindfold.

We gather. We wait.
There is more. It is coming.
We wait.

Advertisements

When the Veil

When the veil comes down, we are standing there like Innana, naked. Or maybe we are already turning on the spit.

What they don’t tell you about Innana is that by the time she gets to that point, she is so desperately relieved she could kiss the ground. She is sick of the long haul, the grasping for something, anything, the agony of loss – and she’s glad it’s finally all gone. Because now she can see that which could have never been taken. It is herself. And that undignified humiliation, that unbridled relentless unapologetic agony is what brings her to herself. She faces herself, and then she knows all that she has always known, this time without interference. And she thinks, “Holy crap. I am home”.

veil

And all that has been stripped, she knows she’ll never want back. Her jewels, her crown, if necessary will only be a prop for the real show that needs no casing. It is the people who need it to be encased in order for it’s rawness to be bearable to them. She can give them that. Such is the power of a woman.

And the veil to the outer world is torn down too. The antics of humanity, the circus show that has always tantalized in some way has now become a low hum because she no longer wants. She does not hunt. Her power, her nourishment is found, and she has become like the rocks, like the waterfall, like the moon. She channels the archaic ages of time and sips her tea while she watches. And she waits. She may try to trip us up once in a while hoping we may find our way to her, to keep her company, but she knows that no one can do that finding but ourselves.

Yes, we. We are all forces of nature, some to glow, some to build, some to sing, some to purge and some to awaken. Like waves crashing upon each other we greet, we encounter and we retreat to await the next surge. What will it be like next time? Will it be different? But who will we be? There is no other.

The wise woman, she breathes on the sea bed. She has seen it all. She has lived every form from hay flower to flea, from bat to snail. She has growled and been prey. She has birthed and she has lay down to die. She has loved and she has burned. She has prayed and crawled. She understands the value in things and the waste in trying.

The old woman, she is endlessly awake, her awareness our daylight, her dream-time our moon. And with her gaze she holds us all. She holds us with a love yet unfathomable.

The Grove of the Titans Need Your Help.

I’ve never posted the story of how I found a secret, ancient Redwood grove last summer because though the adventure was epic, part of the lesson I learned was how easy it is for the smallest of footprints made in utmost of earnesty could harm the delicate and precious floor of the forest, especially one made up of trees whose root systems grows wide, rather than reaching down.

I just didn’t want to encourage anyone else to go there.

But now there is finally an effort to raise money to build boardwalks and open it to the public. My heart sings and I encourage you to support these honorable forest protectors, in turn making this utmost sacred grove open to all to experience it’s glory. Even if you can only give ten dollars, please, I beg of you, consider looking here. https://redwoodparksconservancy.org/save-grove-titans

Standing in the Grove of the Titans was heaven come to earth. It was like Lothlorien. It was majesty personified.

beautiful

In my journey to find this magical place described in Richard Preston’s “Wild Trees”, I discovered that that it was not inaccessible to a middle aged woman with periodic knee issues. I didn’t believe at first that I would find it, which made me less attentive, so I spent a few days hiking in the wrong areas, on unrelated trails.

But I was possessed with the desire and call to go there, so I persisted, not knowing if my story might end with my body shutting me down.

I dreamt about it. I was empassioned. But I could not find the trail. Instead I used hints from previous travelers online and figured it would be a hidden trail. So I went off, over rotting logs, onto soft moss and at one point I stopped and with dread and regret, looking around me at the pristine land, knowing, seeing that every step I took left a mark. I thought “What have I done?” But I knew I was close and I was going to cause as much damage if I went back, so I continued forward.

Then crossing a small dry riverbed, I saw it. It is difficult to take in an Ancient Redwood because you cannot turn your head in any way to see the whole thing at once. Redwoods can grow to be over 300 feet tall so it’s like standing under skyscrapers of trees. Walls of trees. It’s impossible to eek out even a glimpse of the rare ecosystems that reside up in the cloud. Every tree is unique as a snowflake, or a human, each angle speaking, sharing a universe of spiritual mystery. It is an emotional experience, a humbling one at the very least. Each time I visit these forests, like any true pilgrimage, there is a long internal integration for me afterwards.

So there I was. I lavished. I listened. I revered.

beautifully

But no. I had heard that there were trees that most people never saw because the grove was kind of spread out. So what did I do? I had to follow a trail, that went up a 30 degree slope up to.. no where. I almost killed myself. I made track marks on the hill. I was completely possessed. It was too steep to go back down so I had to bushwhack over to a fallen giant and walk down it, but there were bushes growing over and I had a small pack and there was a 25 foot drop and I really almost killed myself there.

I couldn’t stop myself from such tree crimes and I was the biggest, baddest, bad tourist from out of state with selfishness and destruction in my two footed path.

And then I found the proper path back to the main trail, where a sign was waiting for me, reminding me of the damage I had done. There should have been someone there with handcuffs to send me to tree jail.

badness

I could barely walk anymore so when I got back to the road, I hitched a ride back to my car, at which time I found that I had lost my cell phone. Ugh. Arrghhh!!! It was…no where! No in my car, not in my pack.. I drove back to the trail head and barreled back up the trail even though my body had previously called it a day until it was getting dark and I had to go back.

The next morning, an older guy with a Harley at the campground let me use his phone to call my phone and I discovered that my phone was still on and ringing. Incredible, as most areas where out of signal reach. Some nice folks in an RV (those RV retirees are an interesting and likeable breed of their own) let me use their phone to learn all about the horrible iterations one must go through to cancel their account and get a new phone. aaa. Not ready yet.

I forced myself to get a burner phone from the one store where I have never purchased anything – the store that does so much damage to so many people, towns and ecosystems – Walmart.

Then the trials of getting the damned phone registered and running. And charged. I went back to the trail. The burner phone lost signal. I started playfully asking every creature I saw if they would help me find my phone. “Hey Mr. Frog! Hey Ravens! Hey! Can you help me find my phone?” I was desperate. I also believe in these sorts of things.

I had to go back to that bad place where I had gone off the trail and walk again in the area where I never wanted to walk again.. ahhh!!! I immediately found a food wrapper – you know the kind that you see in the woods and you think “who in the hell would litter in a place like this?” – that had fallen out of MY back pocket. My pocket! My pocket had a major hole in it! Going further, feeling like a complete idiot for being there at all, I knew this was senseless.

But a miracle happened. My eyes just fell on my hat, that I didn’t even know I had lost, and my phone, a few feet away. In the middle of NO WHERE. Where NO ONE would have EVER found it, in a million years. (well maybe 6 months now that I know what’s been going on) Wow.

It was over half-way to the trees, so I saw them again, travail over and was able to relax a bit. I actually saw them 3 times in a few days because one of the trees, my favorite was incredibly hidden only 50 feet off the main trail.

On my way to camp, I spent a significant amount of time trying to make the entrances from the main trail look hidden. Then I sent messages to the bloggers who have posted their clues, begging them to remove them. It was such turmoil, such embarrassment, such a jaw-dropping, awe-striking experience to be there. But I did return that useless burner phone back to Walmart.

And then it took me a good amount of time to digest the whole experience.

So I never told anyone. Well, I told my mom. And some close friends, but I didn’t tell them where or the name of the grove. These ancient ones are literally being loved to death.

But now there is a way to help them, so my heart sings with joy as I entreat you to join me in preserving this gem. This place on the planet like no other that can never be recovered in a thousand years. That is how old these trees very possible could be.

Even if you can only give ten dollars, please, I beg of you, consider looking here. https://redwoodparksconservancy.org/save-grove-titans

Much love to you and the trees.

Tasara

Speak, Shout, Sing, for Mother Earth

The time is here. The place is here.

20170310_172606.jpg
There is no other time or place for us. A sacred, beautiful leadership has arisen in our indigenous brothers and sisters. They are listening to the great spirits of our Mother Earth and we join their voice to speak for the land. The blessed lands with all her creatures who provide for us with their very lives, this land which we destroy with most every product we purchase. We must act as a family now. We have all come from this land, this precious Earth and we must speak for her. The power base is rising. We in Seattle have become leaders for the world, as we have been major supporters of the Standing Rock tribe and we were the first to divest from Wells Fargo Bank, an effort which is now spreading nationwide.
There are many, many ways to speak for Mother Earth as we spread our efforts to bring light to the fact that the many other pipelines, oil and natural gas, that are being fought all over the country, that need our love and support. And the KLX pipeline right here in our homes threatens our sacred Salish Sea, the life and spirit of our home.

We are the Protectors. If it is not us, who will it be? We must protect our Mother.

Even the Dalai Lama says that religion and prayer is not enough. We must be active. We must walk our talk. We must show up, be one with each other in body, mind and relationship.

And I speak directly to those that have committed their lives to the shamanic path.

There is no spiritual path in these times without action. Our native brothers and sisters make it easy for us, as when they gather with drums and signs and speakers, Great Spirit is invoke and all you have to do is put your body in that circuit, call in your helping spirits and pray. As we pray we give and we receive as well.
20170310_190233
It is with great respect and honor that we are given the opportunity to work and pray with these special people, who know what it is like to have their entire societies, families and cultures ripped to shreds. Yet they rise. We have lost our own roots, our own deep relationship to Mother Land and we must rise with them. We must feel our feet, look to the sky and know our place.
Our place is here, speaking and fighting for the jewel Mother Earth and everything we love about it, be it the human peoples, the tree peoples, the rocks and stone nations, the four-legged or winged creatures. We must come out of our boxes that the over-culture has so craftily place us in, the boxes of single homes, emotional isolation, catatonic television, greed or hedonism. We must find ourselves again and come to life. If they can climb out of generations of direct oppression and genocide, surely we can do it too – and join them.
The time is now.

20170310_161032.jpg

I hope to meet you there.

Death

I see Death in the darkness.
It sidles up to me and says, “You are depressed.”
It says, “Here, I have sickness.” It says, “Look at your rage.”

And I say, “Yes I see it. There is a seat at my table for you. Please. Sit.”

I call in the Healing Darkness, this darkness velvety deep
and in course I feel an embrace that slips into my secrets,
those spaces where my despair is known by no one but me.

The healing Love says,

“I am with you.
You are known.
I am holding you.”

Tears soft slide, quench soul-thirst, release.

There are glowing beings around me,
unseen,
they are moving,
glowing as no other could but in a place such as this.

I say, “Sit. Eat with me, Death. There is much to talk about.”

and we gleam, looking far into each other.

A feast awaits us in the deep winter.

What’s the Use of a Rally?

Why go to a rally? A lot of people ask. Does it really make a difference? Is it worth it to go? The unequivocal answer is yes. Yes! Always, yes! Even if it’s a small rally or it’s a rally in a liberal town where you feel like you’d be ‘preaching to the crowd’, the answer is yes.

800px-march_on_washington_edit

But aren’t activists a bunch of angry people? I don’t want to be part of all that anger and conflict. The answer is.. not really anymore. People working for positive change come in as many flavors as there are people. It is true that the “father of political organizing”, Saul Alinsky, developed and proliferated methods of bringing people together based on tapping into their anger but Saul Alinsky died in 1972 and we are stronger than that. Lots and lots of people are acting out of love and now with the Standing Rock movement, prayer and the sacred have become a perfectly acceptable, long needed aspect of political change.

There are many different kinds of change that happen at rallies. There is political change. There is physical change. There is personal and spiritual change. There is emotional change as well. There is also intellectual change. Don’t forget the change that happens to everyone who has been touched by those who have changed. They change. No matter what the rally, something positive is happening on at least one or two of these levels, all of which contribute to larger change.

There are different kinds of rallies. Some are one shot deals, meant to make a statement period. Some are designed to meet a goal in a broader campaign. Some are vigils. Some are directed at a target – for example to launch a boycott: marching to a bank and trying to convince customers to divest from it because it is supporting a destructive industry. Some are not rallies at all. They are actions. We’ll get to that later.

One of the wonderful things about putting yourself in front of people who are leading progressive movements is that these people have really thought things through and are able to verbalize what we may just be feeling. These speakers, their brains are not following popular memes. You might find yourself hearing people talk about issues ways you hadn’t considered. It can be a truly freeing experience. You don’t have to agree, but it gets the brain going and it feels good. So here another way that change is made. All those people starting to think differently; it’s going to change the memes.

Rallies are also great for the heart. We get to be in a crowd of people whose values we align with on an important issue and my goodness that feels so good, our whole body starts to hum. We might even find it easier to talk to people, because of this feeling of unity and community that so much of our society has lost. The vibe lasts long after the event. Having our energetic system plugged into a collective is nourishing, as we are all focused on something positive together. This stuff is contagious. It’s not a football game. It’s not a concert. It’s real life and we are really showing up.

Then there is exposure. If the event is big enough, or if people have done the right preliminary outreach and press releases, the press will be there. With designated press liaisons, we can do our best to get a clear message out to people who are watching it on the news. Even if they do not agree with our intentions, the cause is put into their consciousness. They are thinking about it, which is better than having an issue buried and not thought about at all. Ultimately, when mass consciousness is conscious, changes start to happen.

A rally might have a direct action portion. Direct action is when people take things into their own hands and physically try to do something that needs to be done, because waiting for the establishment to do it might leave us waiting forever. Direct action often includes breaking the law in some way, resonating to a higher law of human rights, common decency and caring for one another and the planet. People who do direct action typically go through training, so they understand what their rights are and how to behave in ways that will mitigate potential police violence. The majority of political activists are dedicated to nonviolence. When you see the news talking about riots, often the riot is happening on the police side, as they throw tear gas canisters and such. Not the activist side.

Sound scary? It doesn’t have to be. The media is prone to focusing on conflict and pictures of iconic 60’s looking people – this is intentional. They are trying to turn you off of political participation. Go down there and find out for yourself what it’s like. If you read the flyers and invites, you can get a pretty clear understanding of what is going to happen. Even in the case of events that include direct action, if you want to support the cause but don’t want to get arrested, you can just stay in the back. Most of the time. It is also possible for the police to just start randomly arresting people. It depends upon the event. Read the vibe and get out if you need to. Or go the rally part and not the direct action part. They are usually separated.

If you want to have a big influence on the nature of the rally, get creative. When people make their own signs, when they come up with creative chants, wave huge beautiful banners and wear costumes representing their ideas in street theater format, it colors the culture of the event and makes everyone happy. They notice the time and energy spent in preparation and they feel it. In a good way.

Bringing your children to a political rally shows them that we have a voice. That we can have collective power. We can be creative and have fun making positive change.

You don’t need a reason to go. You don’t have to be a die hard activist. You can go just because you are curious. You just want to put your body next to the bodies that are standing for something you believe in. That’s power. Or maybe you want to expose your brain to some new ways of thinking so you have more to think about later on. You don’t have to be angry. Be something else. But you can be angry. Anger is healthy when people are being oppressed and the land is being destroyed. It’s a good thing to draw a boundary and say no sometimes. It’s all in how you want to express yourself. If you have an alternative idea you want to present rather than saying no to something, make a banner. Offer that up for thinking. Give room to people who are being angry and be yourself. Diversity is the whole point. There are many ages, stages and experiences being represented. We hold space for the vibrant, wonderful humanity that we are and we are stronger for it.

Political action a powerful, beautiful thing. It’s the hallmark of our country. Public demonstration is our right here, and the reality is, the longer we go without exercising that right, the more likely we are to lose it.

People have had their entire lives change course after experiencing working with other people for positive change. I’ve seen folks quit their jobs, move across the country, start writing. All sort of wild and crazy, magnificent things happen when our passion is ignited from our deepest values. Who knows what might happen to you.