Author: Sky Bray

What is a Spiritual Practice?

Back in the day I worked at a high fashion retail store, selling too expensive imports from Paris and London to ladies who couldn’t really afford them. One of my co-workers was a model (quite obviously – tall, beautiful in that androgynous kind of way). We didn’t talk too much, but I remember her telling me offhand one day how she was tired because she got up at 4:30am that day. ‘Why?’ I asked. Oh her boyfriend and her regularly get up at 4:30 to chant together for 2 hours. ‘Chant?’ I wondered what the heck, but didn’t ask for more. I thought she was a little nut-bar but, at the same time I secretly admired her dedication. I wished that I believed in something deeply enough to make that kind of regular commitment. Skip to now. What I’ve realised is that to have a daily practice of chanting, yoga, breathing, prayer, devotions, whatever it is, takes belief in oneself more than anything. Then, the more we practice, the more what else we believe in …

A Message from the Wanderer

Today outside your prison I stand and rattle my walking stick: Prisoners, listen; you have relatives outside. And there are thousands of ways to escape. Years ago I bent my skill to keep my cell locked, had chains smuggled to me in pies, and shouted my plans to jailers; but always new plans occured to me, or the new heavy locks bent hinges off, or some stupid jailer would forget and leave the keys. Inside, I dreamed of constellations— those feeding creatures outlined by stars, their skeletons a darkness between jewels, heroes that exist only where they are not. Thus freedom always came nibbling my thought, just as—often, in light, on the open hills— you can pass an antelope and not know and look back, and then—even before you see— there is something wrong about the grass. And then you see. That’s the way everything in the world is waiting. Now—these few more words, and then I’m gone: Tell everyone just to remember their names, and remind others, later, when we find each other. Tell …

Helena of Constantinople | SpiritMAMA Blog

The Reindeer Goddess Part One: Saints And Empresses, Antlers And Sovereignty

(Note: As this article is now a few years old, many of the links have sadly broken. Nevertheless I will keep it in it’s original form – just with the links out. The quotes are originally from my research.) The beautiful and intriguing, alleged reindeer goddess of ancient British Isles, ‘Elen of the Ways’, needs more investigation. I feel in my heart that there is a horned goddess out there so of course in my scientific brain, I have to find proof enough of her existence that it will satisfy my intuition – my guts. This intuition told me right away that there is something, something that needs more exploration there. So it’s been fun these past few days, searching out the origins of Elen in history – and running across her in the blogosohere as well. I found a few references to Marion Zimmer Bradly and The Mists of Avalon series – apparently she wrote in the character of ‘Elein’ in The Priestess of Avalon, who was a priestess of Elen of the Ways. And Elein compared …

Shamans Journey Nine Worlds | SpiritMAMA Blog

The Shaman’s Journey: Nine Worlds

I love this installation. It really creeps me out, in a good way. I had posted this on my other blog years ago, before doing any journey work myself. Interesting to see it now and have a different perspective on it. I find it decidedly less creepy now. I love the way it starts out eery and grey and ends up green and colourful, like we’ve just been taken on a journey that had a happy ending. It really speaks to me of the shaman’s connection with the unseen. “Nine Worlds,” a film from the multimedia installation “The Shaman’s Journey” by Thomas Ross Miller, in the exhibition Siberian Shamans, Linden State Museum of Ethnology, Stuttgart, Germany (December 2008-June 2009). Director: Thomas Ross Miller, Curatorial Consulting (New York, USA) Video Producer: Craig Campbell, Metafactory Studio (Edmonton, Canada) Assistant Video Producer: Aaron Munson (Edmonton) Sound Mix: John Hudak (New York) Exibition Curator: Erich Kasten (Berlin)

Reclaiming Narnia: Walking Trees, Talking Beasts, Divine Waters

Originally posted on GODS & RADICALS:
By Jonathan Woolley Image by Skullb3at I – Radical Voices from the Lantern Waste – Opinions That Won’t Be Chronicled by Prof. Lewis. “Narnia is a realm dominated by one voice – the roaring caterwauling of Aslan of the East. He has cried out many times in our history, drowning out all other truths. Sometimes in love, sometimes in anger. Sometimes with great cause. But only ever when it has suited him.” “There is a deep magic, unknown to most. There is a deeper magic, unknown even to the wise. Then there is the deepest magic – known to everyone.” “Aslan, or the White Witch? The messianic agent of some foreign emperor, or some despot from a dead world? Are those our only choices?!” “Susan was the best of them, really. The High King was never here; more interested in fighting foreign wars and chasing valour than government. Edmund was clever, yes – but you couldn’t trust him. He’d say one thing, and do quite another, if he thought…

Rainbow Body | SpiritMAMA Blog

Rainbow Body Guided Visualization

I do a variation of this every morning. This is a basic foundational mediation and visualization for clearing out your chakras and grounding to the earth. You can build on it later after you’re comfortable with it. Go into a meditative state in the usual way, with steps downward or counting or whatever you use to relax yourself into a deeper meditative state. Then open the chakras, starting with the Root chakra: red, then the Spleen: orange, the Solar Plexus, yellow, the Heart: green, the Throat: sky-blue, the Third Eye: indigo, the Crown: violet. In your mind’s eye, see these spots in the corresponding places on your body. Open them by creating light and color there in accordance with the chakra. Make them spin. Then, pay attention if any the color seems off or faded. If so, stop and concentrate on bringing light to that place and ‘cleaning’ it out. Let the rainbow of colors and light encircle your whole body. Once your whole body is glowing and it is effortless, move on to the next visualization.

We Miss You Film Police with Deer | SpiritMAMA Blog

Let Me Tell You About the Sacred Earth

Mama-earth is sacred. She is alive, a non-human person. Everything on the earth is alive. From rocks to trees to rivers and mountains. This is the animistic world-view. In one way she is our mother. She feeds us and nurtures us, As my teacher says, ‘may her back always rise up to meet our footsteps’. In another way we are cells in a larger organism. We cannot survive and flourish without the survival of the earth and yet we go through our days acting as if we could. We have turned away our faces from our Mother, to accept, even revel in the cold and cruel reality of our separation. This is also a separation from self, and we are suffering for it. Our children suffer from nature deficit disorder while we indifferently tear down football fields per second of forest, destroy whole mountains with mining, stir up earthquakes with fracking and watch our oceans choke on plastic waste. We are more like a cancer than anything else. Perhaps it’s hard for us humans to understand the true nature …

Ostara by Helena Nelson Reed | SpiritMAMA Blog

Happy Ostara

We started following the traditional wheel of the year many years ago after a rather harrowing Christmas season. The stress of it all made me question why I was actually doing it. We weren’t Christian after all and back then that seemed pretty black and white. We weren’t pagan either. We had no religious leanings. I just ran across an article actually, stating that British Columbia is one of the least religious places in the whole world! Needless to say, almost all of our friends are secular. So I decided then, that we could celebrate the Winter Solstice instead, because I could get behind celebrating snowboarding, sleigh-rides, icicles and general winter-y fun. Also upon further digging I found out that a lot of Christmas traditions were actually pre-Christian pagan traditions. The tree, the mistletoe, the yule log, the holly. I was so glad to be able to keep my beloved Christmas tree tradition (renamed Solstice Tree). We can talk more on this next winter hey? Suffice it to say, Halloween, Spring-time and Easter are the same. We Germans to …

The Wizard of Oz | SpiritMAMA Blog

Shamanic Journeying and Liminal Spaces

I’ve always been fascinated by stories that talk about going to parallel realities through tunnels or portals. C.S Lewis’s Narnia was my favourite, in particular The Magicians Nephew. Remember that between place that the children find? A heavily wooded forest with its cloying stillness that caused one to doze and forget – dotted with many pools, each one leading to a different world. Or how about Oz, a place found only through the eye of a cyclone? Or that book A Wrinkle in Time – about the girl who travels to another dimension to find her father. I loved these books when I was a kid, but there was something decidedly creepy about them. Like, these places exist, but they are not of our reality and so anything could happen if you went there. There’s a feeling of immense power that makes you feel tiny…not necessarily evil, but not good either, just you know, really BIG. I think I went to one of these places once, when I was attempting a shamanic journey. It was similar to that Narnia forest.