I was visiting my son, his wife and my grandchildren ( ages 4 and 6) in the Pacific Northwest. Aside from cherishing family, enjoying the unseasonably mild February weather in Ashland, Oregon, I’ve also had the opportunity to camp in an old growth Redwood forest, dreaming with their ancient power and presence.

Leaving behind over 2 feet of snow at my house in the woods on the coast of Maine, I traveled with a suitcase packed with 4 seasons worth of clothes, as well as two drums. My own, and another for my six year old grandson, Heron, for Valentine’s Day, and to honor the significant developmental phase of his loosing his baby teeth and the slow emerging of adult teeth.

When I gave him the drum he exclaimed with joy and a deep sincerity, “I’ve actually been thinking and dreaming about a drum recently!” Amazing himself that he had known and sensed that it was coming, though I’d never mentioned it to him before.

I can’t tell you how heart warming it is for me to teach my grandson about the sacred. How to honor, respect and care for his sacred drum, the earth, the spirit animals, and the gift of life itself.

Of course he wanted to take a shamanic journey right away! After slowly rubbing the surface clockwise with his hand “full of love and gratitude” we journeyed to the magical spirit deer of the south.  Not only did this six year old follow my lead drum beat with a natural ease, he easily connected with the deer spirits, felt their loving magic, and afterwards, humbly shared, “the rest I can’t really describe, I was just there with them.”

A few days later, we were camped in an ancient redwood forest on the banks of the crystalline waters of California’s Smith River. Seated on the earth in the glow of the campfire, we journeyed to the spirit of a magnificent ancient redwood towering over us against the star strewn sky.

The redwood’s messages were clear for both of us. It thanked us for our respectful presence, and taking the time to connect with it. The ancient tree reminded us that trees are always there for us to connect and ground with, to always be loving, rooted with the earth, and to feel and think with our hearts. 

Did you have this kind of sacred experience with your grandmother when you were growing up?

Many of the people I work with didn’t and still carry a sadness and grief about it, without even realizing it. When I work with clients we usually begin by connecting with the magical inner child/children within, which is some of the foundational heart work in the south on the medicine wheel. This gentle work enables us to fully climb our sacred mountain (step in to our power and purpose) in the north.

When we connect with and heal the magical childlike parts of us, we can be open hearted, trusting and powerful; our inner warrior embodied, standing in and speaking our truth.

*If you want to check in with your inner, magical child you can meditate or take a simple journey to a warm summery place in the south, and call on the spirit deer to take you to visit him or her to connect and receive any messages about taking care of yourself today.