Event: Meeting the Shadow – Eating Hucha

What do we do with the heaviness and helplessness, often unspoken, that comes to us in the wake of events far away?  The Shadow’s energy on the planet is widespread – homeless refugees on the move, Syria demolished, age-old treasures destroyed -

A centuries-old tool from the Andes puts heavy energy to use, as darkness afoot becomes compost for Mother Earth.  We can shift our own capacity to deal with the Shadow.

Be supported by the impetus of time’s movement through the dark of the year, and of the monthly turning of the tide. Hone your capacity to use the shadow within, moving into the light.

Wednesday, November 25, at 11:00 AM, as the full moon brings high tide to Bayfront Park in Menlo Park, explore the practice and its place in our own life experiences.  Then walk along the crest of the hills overlooking San Francisco Bay, as we “Eat Hucha”. Taking in the shadow in multiple forms, through intention and the guidance of this spiritual practice, we’ll offer this energy to Mother Earth and fill ourselves with Light.

Email Ginny Anderson for more explicit directions.  Share this invitation with others you know, and find a way to lighten the shadow’s burden on your mind and heart.

11:00 AM on Wednesday, November 25

Bayfront Park in Menlo Park

Cost: $25

Guided Meditation; The Inca Trail – A Shaman’s Journey

Take this guided meditation of a shaman’s journey on the Inca Trail, gateway to the Mysteries of the Inca tradition.

Meditations on the arduous four day journey of the Inca Trail are preceded by preparatory ceremonies with water and with fire.

Follow these guided visualizations; travel in mind’s eye, in spirit body, to work with the elements and with the spirits of nature to transform your energy, and help shape your personal destiny.

Walk in beauty, receiving the support you need to meet today’s challenges. Centuries of travelers have used these trails to shift their availability to the guidance of Spirit, to shape their personal responsibility and attention to walk in a sacred manner.

Journey into other realities that overlap our time and space. Choose the highest possible destiny, and in Machu Picchu, experience empowerment to help manifest your dreams.

Available for download on CD Baby.com

Celebrating Winter Solstice: Tule Spirit Boat

As winter’s darkness prepares to give way to light, join us creating a tule spirit boat with offerings of gratitude for the many blessings that nurture our lives. Those very gifts of Nature and community empower our intentions for the coming year.  In that partnership, we become the voices, the hands and feet – expressing the Life Force.

For many centuries, tules lined most of the shores of San Francisco Bay; growing, their structure helped deal with toxics in the water.  Harvested, they offered housing and boat materials for the Ohlone people.  Early in December, at the edge of the Bay, we’ll gather the tules in ceremony. When the reeds have rested and dried, ready for their next incarnation, we’ll shape the boat and fill it with offerings, talking story  – of the Bay’s past, of the Ohlone people, of our blessings this year. We’ll tell stories of the power of hibernation and of dreaming, of resting and visioning.

This is a really delightful sequence if you like poking in the mud, adventures in nature, celebrating community, sacred play, connecting with the ancestors – and feasting!

Joyous to do – and so helpful to orient ourselves in alignment with the universal powers that help us shape our own desires for living harmoniously with Nature.

Join us for either event, or both

Saturday Dec. 6  11 AM Ceremonially collecting tules near the shore of the Bay

Sun. 21  10 A.M. at Bayfront Park, at the bayshore end of Marsh Road in Menlo Park.

Building, blessing and launching the boat on the high tide, helping pave the path for the return of light, for the highest and best relationship to the evolving web of life next to the Bay. Carried by the boat, biodegradable offerings of flowers, prayers, foods, sweetness, and incense will make their way toward the open sea.

COST of  the 2 events – $75
separately,  Dec 6  $35, Dec. 21, $45

Location:
TBA among various west Bayshore locations for tule collection
Bayfront Park in Menlo Park for the ceremonial building and launching

For further information, or to reserve a space, contact Ginny Anderson, at 650-323-4494, or email Ginny at silkythree18@gmail.com

New Circling San Francisco Bay Events

I hope you can join me for one or more of these journeys – Ginny

Saturday Dec. 7  (Pearl Harbor Day)   At the foot of San Bruno Mountain, the restoration of a frog habitat site is a perfect setting for an Andean shamanic practice –Mihui – the Art of Eating Heavy Energy.  As we learn this ancient practice, we’ll orient the practice toward the restoration being undertaken at Fukushima, the nuclear site in Japan devastated by a tsunami in 2011.  Co-led with Paul Bouscal, of San Bruno Mountain Watch. Click here for more.


Saturday Dec. 21  (at Bayfront Park at the edge of the Bay, in Menlo Park)  Build and launch a ceremonial tule boat designed after the model of boat offerings at Lake Titicaca in Peru, Tule reeds once occupied some 75% of the Bay’s shoreline., and were used for housing, for clothing, and ceremony by the native people who lived along the Bay’s shore. Click here for more.

 

 

Saturday Jan. 11th  On San Bruno Mountain: In the dark of the year, we turn to the wisdom of the bears (who once roamed the Bay Area territory). We envision also the tiny violas, Johnny-jump-ups. Now underground and completely unseen on San Bruno Mountain at this time of year, this endangered plant will return in the spring to sustain the equally endangered Callipe butterfly.

Through shamanic journeying, we’ll invite the wisdom of these very different life forms for whom a time of sleeping in the dark is key to survival. This respite from activity can help us explore life rhythms that will prepare us for active involvement in sustaining conditions for life on Earth.  Click here for details.

 

Winter Solstice Gathering

Winter Solstice at Stonehenge

Come celebrate the approach of Winter Solstice and more than twenty-five years of Circling San Francisco Bay, honoring the spirit of place, creating ceremony on sacred mountains that nourish our lives and communities, blending traditional story-telling with plant medicine and elemental wisdom.

We’ll be joining with Daniel Foor and Earth Medicine Alliance, celebrating nine successful years of community ritual with the land and the ancestors, creating conferences and Voices of the Earth, a series of interviews with native elders.

We’ll come into ritual space and participate in personal and visioning. We’ll meet others who walk the sacred space delineated by mountains and streams that surround San Francisco Bay.

Tule Boat

Very likely we’ll construct a traditional winter solstice tule reed offering boat. The boat is one of the time-honored rituals, celebrated in North and South America; that gives us an opportunity to express thanks for bonds of community, for personal blessings in our lives – as well as the connections with the ancestors and with the spirits of place.

The rituals connect us with the privilege and challenge of being alive at this time of transformation of life on the planet, in which we mark the 13,000 year cycle of time in the Mayan tradition and other time-keeping traditions.

This gathering is open to all by donation ($25-40 suggested).  Optional group dinner/social time afterward.  Please confirm with me directly if you plan to attend, and I’ll get you directions to the mid-Peninsula location.

Please contact me directly if you plan to attend:  freyjand@comcast.net

The Seventeen Virginias: A Day of the Dead Celebration, Oct 28

“Virginia! Virginia!” my dying aunt’s voice called urgently on the intercom between our rooms.

I leaped up, and ran into her room.

“What’s wrong?” I cried.

“Oh, there are 17 Virginias, and they’re scattered all over the place. I have to get them together so we can all leave at the same time!”

Astonished – and still only half awake, I said, “O.K.  Let’s do.  But can we wait till morning?”

She agreed, and settled back onto her pillow. Marveling, I returned, sleepless, to bed, wondering what awaited me.

The next morning, we began.  I came into her room with my lap-top, and settled into a chair next at her bedside.

“OK, shoot!  Where shall we begin?”  And in the last days of her life, we sat together as she reviewed the “Seventeen Virginias” – chapters of her life that had taken her on an amazing journey of transformation at a time when “women’s liberation” was still a-borning.

She was part of that courageous era, played out in large and small ways – a pioneer in stepping forward, who guided me in my years of growing into adulthood in an era when “Leave it to Beaver” was a model for women’s roles in our society.

Several nights later, she slowly left me.  I sat beside her, dozing off, then waking to check on her.  When her last breath had been inhaled, I waited with my own baited breath – and when I knew there would not be another, I sat quietly for a bit, before I called my friend Carol, who came to share my aunt’s passing.

Together, we anointed her chakras, and gathered the threads at each of them, honoring the amazing journey of a lifetime of joyous living, experiences of trauma, courage, love, sacrifice, and accomplishment.  Carol and I touched our own hearts, power centers, third eyes – and invited Virginia to continue to inspire us, to live through us.

I invite you to join me, and to bring with you memories and symbols of someone who has powerfully impacted your life. It could be a parent, another relative, a teacher, a friend. Come with pictures, stories, their favorite foods. We’ll assemble altars, share their favorite foods and drink, and feast in their honor.  We’ll share stories of these wonderful people who have impacted our lives.

Let’s fill the room with their energies, and bring them into the present. Day of the Dead altars have become powerful statements in our California/South of the Border culture. Sunday, October 28th, noon to 4:30

Reserve a place by emailing freyjand@comcast.net or calling Ginny at 650-323-4494.

A Breastplate of Protection – For the Goddess of Love, Nov 3

In the tradition of the Goddess, we’re reminded that each of us is the Goddess.

When Freyja, the Norse Goddess of Love, descends to the underworld, we ourselves are making that journey, She is our guide, and at the same time she illuminates the way that we’re called on to make the journey

In ancient stories, she’s gone to fulfill her vow to spend a night with each of the four creators of the beautiful golden necklace, Brissingamen. In the new rendition of her journey (see schedule on San Bruno Mountain, Sunday October 30), the dwarves who have crafted this object of beauty are also the guardians of the elements, and the true destiny of Freyja’s involvement with the necklace, spoken of as “The Jewel of Humanity’s Enlightenment”, is only revealed during her journey.

You’re invited to craft a breastplate for her journey.  While the full story will be told on San Bruno, abbreviated visualizations shared as we craft the breastplates will help you sample the journey that each of us faces in this time of transformation on the planet.

Using story, drum journeys, hands-on involvement with the use of tangible symbols, explore the roots of your power.  In present time, we urgently need to confirm our ability to be aware of and acknowledge our own power to be in right partnership with the elements of creation.

Portions of palms will provide a natural base for the breastplate;  beads, yarn, paint, Milagros, and an assortment of surprising materials will be available to incorporate into your personal vision of empowerment as a partner of the elements.

Ginny Anderson, eco-psychologist and teacher of shamanic practices, and Eric DuPraw, woodworking artisan, join forces to help you create the Breastplates of Protection.

Sat, Nov 3rd – 10:30 am to 3:00 pm  Cost $50
Mid-Peninsula address given when you reserve a space. For further information, or to reserve a space, contact Ginny Anderson, 650-323-4494, or email Ginny at freyjand@comcast.net

A memorial for Lynn Marsh, who Circled San Francisco Bay with us from the beginning of our journeys….

When Circling San Francisco Bay first began – around 1990 – artist Lynn Marsh traveled the Bay’s mountains and wetlands with us.  Her artistic perception of the natural world, her love and knowledge of nature, added so much delight and discovery to our journeys.

Over the week-end we celebrated Lynn’s time with us on the Earth.  “The veil is thinnest…”  took on special meaning as a wide circle of friends came together to create a memorial to honor her passing.  She expanded our sensitivity to the natural world – the wonder and delight in the presence of Spirit that surrounds and permeates all forms of life, the lusciousness of flesh and bone.

Memorial altar for Lynn Marsh

Friends were invited to bring paintings, sculpture, her handmade mushroom papers – any of the many forms of artistic expression that Lynn had created. Outdoors, luminarias lined the path leading to her sculpture of Isis, who was draped with tomato vines and surrounded by orange marigolds. Indoors, we were enfolded by beautiful artifacts, sometimes surprising and whimsical – the Green Man and the Goddess; mushrooms and mushroom papers; beautiful molas, textiles and huipils from traveling days, small bronze figures. A painting of the Tomato Diva hovered over the altar, which was filled with countless remembrances of connections with people, place, and Spirit.  Orange marigolds, lights of many candles.

In the garden, we circled in sacred space, calling the elemental winds to be the container of our sharing – poetry, songs, and stories of her life. Ending the ceremony, a spiral dance was a reminder of her continued presence in our lives and community.  Those of you who were fortunate enough to share in her activities with Circling the Bay still carry the filaments of her shared talents; I encourage you to create a beautiful mandala in a special place in nature, using the natural elements you discover around you to honor Lynn and the natural world she loved.

Fall Equinox Overlooking the Salt Ponds

Bayfront Park

One of the gifts in preparation for the Wetlands Ceremony was spending time each day at Bayfront Park. Before dawn on the Fall Equinox, Carol and I went to the spot where the Ceremony was scheduled to take place.  We sat on a hillside next to Redwood City’s Salt Ponds sparkling in sunlight below us.

We sat in the tall grasses, facing the East. In the foreground, a long, wide channel of water running east and west cut through a salt pond, so that when the sun peeped over the mountains in the distance, a “second sun” appeared reflected in the channel; the higher the sun in the sky, the more the sun in the water moved toward us.  The double image was simply beautiful- and then, before long a third “sun” was reflected in the Bay itself, between the one on the channel and the one in the sky.  I think you’d have to be on another planet somewhere else in the universe to see three suns at the same time!

Finally, we lay back on the land, and looked up at the amazing blue sky through the chaff of the oat grass.  They’re so

The Salt Ponds

transparent that the sun show through the delicately striped, leaf-like structures on the plants, and it was beautiful, beyond belief.  Other tall grasses had less transparent structures, but beautiful shapes all turned golden from the sun.  A tiny snail was clinging to a stem, and its concentric circled shell was glistening, with its whirls of white, blue, grey, and tan all just singing!

Tule Boat Ceremony at the Pacific Ocean

One year ago to the day, the Earth Medicine Alliance, whose purpose was to help bring people back to the Earth Honoring ways and connection them with all their relations, of the stone, water, plant and animal realms sat in ceremony. At one of the early meetings we journeyed, and the vision came of being on a mountain above the Bay Area looking at the lush greenery that had returned and seeing the sparkling connection of the web of life below. We were filled with hope, then as today, as we come together in ceremony and add another spark into the web of life with our ceremony to honor the Ocean.

Our purpose is to honor the Ocean, the body of water that connects us all, the womb of which all life was born and one of the places on Earth where one can find intense peace, joy and harmony within. We gather in a cleansing downpour of rain. The water is with us even before we meet at the ocean.

We gather to create a Tule boat in which we place our prayers and let the Ocean consume them to feed them back to the world. We are led by two beautiful people of mystery, Charlene Sul, who is the founder of the Confederation of Ohlone people, which empowers others to serve their communities thus creating better society and Ginny Anderson an eco-Psychologist and leader of ritual for personal and community transformation.

The Tule reeds were collected a week before by Ginny and Stacey, in a sacred manner, at Alviso by the south end of the Bay. In their search for the tules, Ginny and Stacey where held invisible from park rangers and duck hunters; flying over a fence without shape shifting into ducks, and thus attracting the unwanted attention of the high tech duck hunters that surrounded them. Miraculously, they survived and brought the Tules for our purpose of building a boat.

We begin to gather on the beach with Tules and offerings for the ceremony. We can not see Charlene who is supposed to have arrived. As we wait outside in the rain, we each tell our story about being drawn to the ocean. After we have shared, we do a thorough search of the beach to see if there are any other beings that wish to join in our prayers and offerings to the ocean. A feather, piece of wood, a flower and a breath of prayer of heath to our Mother Ocean are gathered for the boat. Several of the group begin to move down the beach- it seems that Charlene has been hiding in plain sight and steps back into this dimension and is ready to start the ceremony.

We prepare an altar of flat stones in a cleared circle on the beach. Charlene smudges us with sage and the rain stops. We lay out our offerings of flowers, fruits, herbs, seeds, incense and all other offerings to add our prayers to. The Tules are unwrapped and we go to work.

We each gather a bundle by taking the Tules and folding them in half. The bundles are then tied with raffia in four places. Next we braid the raffia in to a rope to tie the tule bundles together. Some of us get a lesson in braiding. The bundles are tied in the shape of our prayer vessel. If one were to make a boat in this manner for fishing then the boat would be allowed to dry completely before being sea worthy.

Once the boat is completed we add our prayers and offerings. It is a beautiful ceremony as we create with our prayers and intentions this offering to the Ocean. The boat is a beautiful expression our hearts’ desires for the Ocean.

Now there are eleven of us, two male and nine females. Charlene opens the ceremony with a song. The birds gather on the ocean as a flock of seagulls plays in the waves. We go around the group and everyone offers a prayer or a song or both. Half way through this the flock of seagulls flies overhead and one of their numbers bless our gift as only birds can with a bit of good luck as some might say.

Next we make a offering of tobacco and cornmeal and each one of us takes a pinch and offers our last prayers for the Ocean. The rest of the cornmeal and tobacco is offered for all forgotten prayers and the boat is ready to be carried to the sea.

The two men, Aerin and Bob, carry the boat to the sea following a straight line in the direction the boat faces and Charlene leads the procession smudging the air. Before going into the Ocean there is one last prayer song. While we sing there is the last offering of honey that is poured on our prayers to sweeten them for the Ocean. They head to the sea, trying to avoid getting knocked down or soaked by the waves, but fully commited to the offering of our prayers.

The boat makes it to the surf and the waves play with it as it moves down the shore line, getting stranded and being brought into the sea again. Charlene tells us that it will take its journey as it will, and not to worry that it is still on the beach. Each one of us offers more of our prayers to the Ocean with the additional items that did not make it to the boat. Our ceremony is completed and we are again joined by the rain.

We join together for a feast of corn, delicious home-made cookies, nuts, cheese and other goodies. Later we return for a picture and while we had our backs on our prayers they were consumed in the surf, a successful offering accepted by Mother Ocean.