Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The art of crafting

This past Christmas I was rendered speechless by a powerful feeling of love that enveloped me as I walked into my client's room. I felt as if I'd been dropped into place of magic; so transformed was her previously sparse abode.

My client lives in a nursing home, her space is essentially a bedroom with a shared bathroom. As is the case in most of these environments the rooms tend to be spare and simply decorated. Pictures and seasonal cards are hung on walls and bulletin boards. Few items, labelled with the owner's identity, are displayed on dressers simply because as they say, "They have legs and tend to walk away". At this stage of life valuables tend to be held in safe keeping by family members and are rarely ever seen again by their former owner.

My client's daughter, visiting from a far off country, had spent the hours in the company of her elderly, physically compromised mother, decorating her room with found items. During walks with her wheelchair bound Mom she gathered boughs of evergreens.

"Mary" arranged them as you see in the picture. Hung on the branches were numerous, tiny, felted, solid, swirls of coloured balls wrapped in spun yarn, brought from her home miles away. Angels of loose, dry felt floated from pictures and lamps; the light shining through giving them an ethereal air. A star fashioned in the same manner provided a focal point on the make-shift Christmas tree.

Little felted pieces of art scattered here and there rewarded seeking eyes. Stones and winter berry bearing branches further transformed the room into a forest cabin retreat of calm, heart felt beauty.

When I raved about what I saw and felt, Mary simply responded, "I'm not an artist. I just do crafting. I'm a crafter." Which I took as a modest judgement of her ability, until a few weeks later when I came across Chapter 7 CREATIVE ART AS A BRIDGE in AWAKENING TO THE SPIRIT WORLD - The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation by Sandra Ingerman & Hank Wesselman. In it she talks about the art of crafting in Shamanic practice.

Her craft of choice is spinning. As she spins she meditates on the quality with which she wants the yarn to be filled such as: love, light, peace etc. While crocheting the yarn into a blanket or scarf for someone she focuses on the words of power that she's placing into each stitch of the item she's making. In this way her creation is filled with power and healing.

Now, I don't know if this is what the daughter meant by the word "crafter" but, this is what I felt when I walked in the room and spent time there with Mary and her mother surrounded by objects made with love and intention. Love, joy and peace were palpable.

Carol Proudfoot-Edgar calls this type of practice "soul-crafting". The main intention, she says is "to craft our souls through our hands - to create art and objects infused with spirit power."(pg. 147)

You can do this with anything you make, including food. Doing daily tasks while focusing on a healing intention creates the same effect.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ode to Victoria

I loved Victoria B.C. I just couldn't make a living there. I struggled for 4 years to work on my cartoon strip while I housesat and worked at various jobs to pay rent on my studio space, provide for basic necessities, art supplies and fund mailers containing full sized packets of cartoons - 6 weeks worth of dailies, Sunday pages, character bios and an introduction into the world in which they lived.

In need of a break and some family TLC, I scraped together enough money to return home to visit with family and friends. At an evening get-together as my friends talked about their homes, husbands and children or of exciting single lives with well paying jobs it became apparent to me that the reality of my life was something they could not imagine. Maybe I really was, as a sister-in-law had thought of me at that time - a Don Quixote of sorts.

A year after I wrote this poem, at the age of 34, I gave up my quest, made my way back to Ontario and moved in to my folk's place in search of a new beginning. I did not know then the unexpected turn my life would take.

Cartoon and poem © Nance Thacker 1985

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dream Lovers


poem © Nance Thacker 2012
Artwork © Nance Thacker 1983
This art originally appeared on the cover of Yoga Centre of Victoria Newsletter, Feb. 1983.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dreams & Synchronicity - our teachers

There were no dreams hovering around my awareness as I awakened this morning. Disturbing myself as little as possible, I lay on one side and then the other, but none came to call or even brushed by me. But, I'm not disappointed as there are many different ways of accessing the Dreamtime. One of my favourite is to pull a card from an amazing deck that I've used since the lomi training with Harriette and Birgit in 2005.

My mind drifts and floats in nothingness as I shuffle the Journey to Kanaka Makua cards. Unless clarification is needed I will only seek guidance from one card today. This deck is stunning in its clarity and accuracy, so one is usually sufficient. The deck fans out in my hands and my fingers find the one in 49 that is the vibrational match.

AHI - Fire emerges.

From within the message, these words feel important and right and are recorded in my journal:
"Burn away what stops you. Make way for the new." and "To create and destroy".

I don't seek out what is stopping me, from what am I being stopped, nor what new thing is coming my way. Rather I feed the cats, move to my mat for my yoga session, prepare for and treat my clients and later clear the bathroom for Rod to begin our long planned renovation. I keep Flippy and Maya company downstairs as bashing and crashing resounds from their upstairs lair and open up the book  AWAKENING TO THE SPIRIT WORLD - the Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation, to where I left off last night. At the top of the next page - page 103 is A FIRE CEREMONY. Authors Ingerman and Wessleman describe this ceremony used to release core beliefs that are blocking one from using their creativity to its fullest and living ones' life purpose. Fire with the power to destroy, transform, transmute and create is the perfect vehicle for this task. They describe how to discover your blocking belief(s) or attitude, create a symbolic power object and imbue it with these qualities. The object is then burned in ceremony releasing these blocks in the process.

As I was typing this blog I referred back to my journal entry to make sure that I have the wording of the message from the cards correct and I'm drawn to glance through my previous night's dream. Something, I can't recall just what, is calling me. My last recorded dream describes a small fetish wearing blue and wrapped with a leather cord. I can call up the image as vividly now as I experienced it in the dream. I was curious about it but gave it no other thought once I began my day. Ingerman and Wesselman describe such a stick with some yarn wrapped around it and perhaps a letter or picture.

The synchronicity of these events is staggering. I have been given an answer to the question I'd posed before dreaming the other night How can I move forward and manifest my dream workshops? and was shown a vehicle to help make it so. To make it all the more clear I was provided with a book that explains just what this is, how to make it and its ceremonial purpose.

As I walked today I meditated on these blockages, recalled my dream object and later crafted it out of found and natural objects. The monthly fire ceremony in Ancaster is tonight, I will go as planned and burn it all away.

Note: I haven't taken a picture of the object. Once it has served its purpose it is meant to be destroyed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I love a bright, sparkly, shiny, New Year better than any other time of year! It holds so much promise for newness or at least freshened resolve to try yet one more time to make it a great one.
Take this observation that I posted on FB just the other day...

If I could step into opportunity the way I step into cat poo, I'd be unstoppable. How is it possible that in a space of 1100 square feet, my foot (unbeknownst to the rest of me) smells it and makes a bee line to it like a fly on shit. PBG (poopy butt girl) strikes again. She gets a butt shave and the house is sanitized within an inch of its life.

I know this doesn't sound very promising, but if you really look at it, it's surreal, kind of like a dream.

TITLE: I'll call it - STEPPING INTO OPPORTUNITY. Feels better already, doesn't it? Better than STEPPING INTO CAT POO.

FEELING: How do I feel in the "dream"? You'd think my primary feeling would be pissed off, but it's not. It is amazement!

REALITY CHECK: How can this possibly happen with such unerring accuracy? I find it especially significant that Rod NEVER EVER smells it nor steps in it. Why just the other day, the warm, wafting odour of freshly made poo found its way all the way down to the nasal receptors of the thing that lives at the bottom of the stairs (that would be me). I followed its trail like a bloodhound in search of a missing child. I sniffed my way up the stairs and all through the ground floor, then up another flight of stairs and directly to the top floor only to find the steaming pile not 2 feet away from Rod who was merrily, obliviously surfing the web. Though there was an exception to the rule in that I didn't step in the pile, the incident proved categorically that this delivery is for me and me alone.
So, does this happen in real life? Of course it does :)
Is it likely to happen in the future? Of course it will :(
Are the people in the "dream" acting like they do in waking life? Yes.
Could it be a metaphor for something else...? Here's where it turns around as evidenced by my opening sentence. If I could step into opportunity the way I step into cat poo, I'd be unstoppable. And this leads me to...

WHAT DO I WANT TO KNOW about the dream: Could I step into opportunity the way I step into cat poo? What if I was able to refine my sense of smell, a primary survival instinct which resides in the  first chakra and the primitive brain, to sniff out opportunity? What if I was able to step unerringly into opportunity just like I do cat poo, without agonizing about it or trying to figure it out, just going with the flow and letting it find me; without weighing the pros and cons, doubting myself and my abilities but just trusting that, YES I CAN STEP IN IT! Not only that, but I WILL STEP IN IT with as much total conviction as I do with poo. WOW I truly would be unstoppable. The world would be my oyster instead of a steaming pile of shit (note, in real life I don't feel that life is a steaming pile of shit, it just makes a nice comparison).

HONOUR: How will I honour my "dream"?
Go with the flow, do what I love and let opportunity find me. Stop resisting and putting up barriers when things are going my way. Trust that, when it comes to my "big dreams" I too can have them become reality, just like they do for so many people I know.


Wow, I love a bright and shiny New Year!
May you all have the best year ever and remember to JUST STEP IN IT!